Hey Lee, I wondered if you could share your thoughts on baptism. I was baptized as a baby, into the Catholic Church, but lately I have been really drawn to the idea of baptism, of the public declaring of faith. I am not sure anymore that Catholicism is the denomination I want to embrace. I wonder if you had any advice about how to know if this is the Lord prompting this, or just my own thoughts getting tangled up! I’d appreciate prayers for more clarity and guidance too. Thanks so much. :)
So I Said:
Hey Madeleine! Thanks so much for all your encouragement and for writing in.
Have you ever been to a sporting event where some of the fans were so pumped about their team that they covered themselves in paint for their school color? It’s an expression of the extreme fandom. They are saying in no uncertain terms, “I am with THIS team! WOOO!!”
Well, baptism is kinda like that. That word, ‘baptize’ is a Greek word. We didn’t translate it, we just moved it over and started saying it. It’s a word that means to ‘dunk down’ or ‘immerse.’ People used that word when they would dye cloth a different color. In the same way, people get dunked down in the water as a way to say, “I’m with Jesus! I’m on His team!” It’s like getting painted up.
Baptism doesn’t save you and it doesn’t mean you’re forgiven for your sins. When you believed in Jesus, you were instantly and eternally forgiven and completely saved forever. Baptism is just your way of telling the world, “I’m team Jesus now.” Baptism doesn’t give you anything and it doesn’t change your spiritual status in any way, but the Lord does want us to do it. I don’t really know why, but then again, I hardly ever know why He wants me to do the stuff He wants me to do.
Baptism is supposed to be your decision. In other words, you need to be old enough and able to decide to do it. When you were little and your mom dressed you up in the home team’s colors, you didn’t have any say in that. You weren’t really a fan yet. When you were old enough to paint up, all that changed. Madeleine, you love Jesus. That’s obvious. This is just your chance to shout it from the rooftops.
You get a fluttery feeling in your tummy and you wonder if that’s love. That’s romance. Love is when you’ve lost your arms and legs and you still wouldn’t hesitate to walk a thousand miles on your lips through broken glass for the object of your love. If you struggle to have this kind of love for a perfect God, who offers you eternal life in paradise as a free gift, then you’ll certainly struggle to love an imperfect person. Be a bigger, better lover… bold, passionate, and zealous!
From: Unka Glen (unkaglen.tumblr.com)
It’s both hard and easy to love and desire God. But that’s OK, He gave you the ultimate helper the Holy Spirit! And also a lot of awesome helpers too (the brothers and sisters around you who also have the Holy Spirit in them). =D