Tuesday, January 22, 2013

on baptism

Raise up a child in the way he should go...

I'm reminded yet again this evening that I was not raised in a mainline Protestant denomination. I picked up "A Sacramental Life" at the library last week and started reading it tonight. I almost immediately ran up against an assumption that I've seen repeatedly - Christian churches believe that the christian life begins at baptism, or that it is impossible to be a christian without being baptized.

Every time, that assumption brings me up short, because that is very definitely not what I was raised to believe. Heck, it doesn't apply to most of the evangelical movement. Christianity is about accepting Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Billy Graham converted a heck of a lot of people with those famous altar calls, and he wasn't the only one. Baptism is the outward acknowledgement of the inward moving of the Holy Spirit. Life in the church may begin with the sacrament, but being a Christian, salvation from sin and death, isn't dependant upon getting doused with water. It's important, because community is important. It is only in community that we can break bread together.

And I run into the mainline view yet again. It is the stated theology of my church. It is something that I struggle with every time it comes up. I'll be over here, looking at it again.

in the mean time, I'm computerless this week, which also means short of keyboard and spell check...forgive the errors.

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