Monday, June 6, 2011

Just wondering...

I've got a question for you

We had a church meeting today and our pastor suggested that we think about becoming members (of our church). I've thought about it a few times over the past nine years, but never made the step of doing it. Our church has ten members but  about three times more associates (regular attenders who aren't big M members). Our church is part of the Baptist Union so membership requires baptism by full immersion.

Perhaps I should mention that the pastor making the suggestion is my husband. But anyway...

I have been baptised, in a childhood, Presbyterian fashion. When I was a teenager, I went to youth group, and then church, with some friends from school. At that church, I began to understand God's grace, and started following Jesus. I decided to take part in Confirmation and told my family and friends that I was following Jesus. That was more than twenty years ago. Since then I've graduated from University, worked at a different church, studied some theology, got married, had children, and done twenty years worth of stuff. For the vast majority of that time, I've tried to make decisions in the light of God drawing me into relationship with him.

So what would it mean to get baptised now?

If baptism is a sign of repentance and of new birth, shouldn't I have done it a long time ago? If I get baptised now, is it just for pragmatic reasons? Is that enough?

I ask myself all sorts of hypothetical questions about how other people will interpret the pastor's wife getting baptised. Maybe I just need to explain myself clearly. But I'm not exactly clear why I would be doing it.

Which explains why I'm still thinking about it nine years later.

I'm just wondering what you think. Do you have an opinion about the when, where and whyfore of baptism?

And do you have an opinion about how? Some would say my sprinkle on the forehead, and believing confirmation was entirely adequate.

*complicating factor* I haven't heard him say it directly, but I suspect my husband doesn't think it is. He's hedging in this discussion.

I'd love to hear your comments.

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