Friday, November 21, 2008

Baptism

OK, my turn! Nate is clearly beating me in the race to see who can write on our blog more :) But it's not a competition, so...

This Sunday, I am getting baptized! I know, I know...you are probably thinking, "Bethany, why haven't you been baptized yet, if you have been a Christian for so many years?" I actually was baptized in my church in Connecticut as an infant many years ago. And since then, I had never really given it a second thought or been confronted with the challenge or opportunity to be baptized as an adult believer. I always assumed that I had been baptized once and that was enough.

A few months ago, Nate and I began to learn more about becoming members at our church, Parkview Community. We have really enjoyed and been blessed by our experience there and we hope to make it a longterm home church for us. However, we also found out that in order to become members, each of us needed to be baptized as a believer. All of a sudden, I was confronted with a decision. Did I want to be baptized again? Did I think and believe this was ok?

The issue of baptism has never really been one that I consider "major" in the realm of theological, divisive issues in the church. There are people on both sides of the fence - believers' vs. infant baptism - and I believe both sides are well intentioned and have good, biblical support for their beliefs. And even though I have decided to be baptized as a believer, I do not lose respect for anyone who leans the other way.

At the same time, going through this experience has definitely produced joy, excitement and a new sense of involvement related to the baptism issue. I am excited to publicly declare my faith in front of my church. It is a bit intimidating and that is good - it is pushing me to do something out of my comfort zones and there will be many more times where God will push me to do uncomfortable things! This is just one small step. I also believe the symbolism of full immersion baptism of a believer is so powerful - the water washing away my sin is a very tangible experience of God's grace in my life. I am also excited to celebrate my baptism and salvation with Nate and several close friends on Sunday, along with our church family.

Thank you, God, for the joy and grace-filled experience of baptism!