Thursday, April 13, 2006

baptism's needed

Here's this week's assignment, go out there this week and find someone who hasn't been baptized and get them baptized. If you haven't been baptized, then get baptized. If you have been, then maybe it's time for a re-dunking.

Whatever, we have to get this trend turned around. What will the world say if we do not?!?!? (please note the sarcasm)
Rite of baptism trickles away
Falling birth rate, rising secularism driving the trend

By Cathy Lynn Grossman

Every month there's a cheering, weeping, air-horn-tooting celebration at First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Ark., when the Rev. Rod Loy immerses new believers in the baptismal tank.

“This is a sign that someone understands the ideas of sin and Christ's sacrifice and willfully chooses to be a lifelong follower of Jesus,” says the pastor. “So we celebrate it big.”

For believers, baptism is modeled on their savior, who the Bible says waded into the water to consecrate himself to God.

They may be sprinkled, washed from a flowing pitcher or immersed, as faith rituals vary. But all forms point to beliefs: rebirth in faith, salvation from sin, acceptance of God's promises and charges.

For parents who bring a baby before their church, baptism is a pledge of their faith, a shield against evil, a wrapping of communal arms around a defenseless soul.

For Christians of all denominations, “even if they never darkened the door of a church any other time in their life … there's a tendency to hold onto this life-cycle marker,” says the Rev. Paul Sullins, a sociologist at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Yet, this Easter, the holy day of resurrection, statistics find Americans slowly drifting away from the ancient baptismal ritual. [more]
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Randy B. said...

I've done my part recently (sort of). My lesson for our small group last week was baptism. (I'm talking about the water kind. You know I wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole that other kind.)

You wrote: If you have been, then maybe it's time for a re-dunking.

OK, I'll bite. Under what circumstances do you think re-dunking is appropriate? I have my opinions, but it's your blog.
Randy B.

rick said...

well - I was joking. I'm a once dunked, always dunked person. If you need dunking again, it could only be because you were not really dunked the first time.

What reason did you have for re-dunking?

Randy B. said...

Possibly a person should be baptized if he/she was baptized for the wrong reasons the first time or if he/she didn't understand baptism the first time. For example, in Acts 19:1-7, Paul came across some disciple who had only been baptized with the baptism of John. They were re-baptized.

Annie said...

The decline in baptism is not just the result in people's declining spiritualism - but more a reflection on our adversion to committment. This fear of committment is seen in every facet of our lives.

We would rather lease a car than own one. We want short term or pay as you go cell phone plans. We hop from one employer to another, and I assume there is no need to even mention the lack of committment in marriage and parenting.

A baptism symbolizes committment rather than our spirituality, and this is why the number of baptisms have declined.