Monthly Archives: September 2009

OPINION PIECE: Baptism

Hi ya’ll- this site’s been a bit dead for a while, and so while I’m piecing together the final draft of an essay on the biblical basis for logical reasoning, I thought I’d post this school paper as a hold over.  Please note this is strictly my opinion, and my interpretation of scripture.

            Baptism is the most important sacrament in the Christian faith.  It is the only one common to all denominations, and is consistently affirmed by scripture as necessary (if not sufficient) for salvation.  However, it is most frequently performed by sprinkling holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Why is this incorrect and why does this matter?

 

            In Acts 2:38, Peter commands all the converts to “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  This command is repeated again in Acts 10:48, making reference to “the name of the LORD.”  Name singular, LORD singular.  Many tri-baptists use Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commands them to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  This was not a command to use a formula, but to use a name.  And what is that name?  Jesus, coming from the Hebrew name “Yeshua”, meaning “Salvation.”  It’s common sense- you can’t be saved without salvation!

 

            Why is full water immersion important?  Well, just like every other Christian sacraments, it’s a metaphor.  It is symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection; Christian act it out to symbolize their own death, burial, and resurrection through Christ.  Romans 6:4, in laying out the plan of salvation, it is written “Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism.”  A corpse is not buried by sprinkling dirt on top of it.  By changing this, the symbolism of the baptism is effectively destroyed.

 

            Baptism is a Christian’s first commitment to the Christian faith.  By stripping baptism of it’s meaning, the newly created Christians lack a foundation to build on.  Without the solid rock of Christ to build on, their faith is left on shifting sand and the slow slide to relativism is inevitable.  

            Baptism is the most important sacrament in the Christian faith.  It is the only one common to all denominations, and is consistently affirmed by scripture as necessary (if not sufficient) for salvation.  However, it is most frequently performed by sprinkling holy water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Why is this incorrect and why does this matter?

 

            In Acts 2:38, Peter commands all the converts to “Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  This command is repeated again in Acts 10:48, making reference to “the name of the LORD.”  Name singular, LORD singular.  Many tri-baptists use Matthew 28:19 where Jesus commands them to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  This was not a command to use a formula, but to use a name.  And what is that name?  Jesus, coming from the Hebrew name “Yeshua”, meaning “Salvation.”  It’s common sense- you can’t be saved without salvation!

 

            Why is full water immersion important?  Well, just like every other Christian sacraments, it’s a metaphor.  It is symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection; Christian act it out to symbolize their own death, burial, and resurrection through Christ.  Romans 6:4, in laying out the plan of salvation, it is written “Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism.”  A corpse is not buried by sprinkling dirt on top of it.  By changing this, the symbolism of the baptism is effectively destroyed.

 

            Baptism is a Christian’s first commitment to the Christian faith.  By stripping baptism of it’s meaning, the newly created Christians lack a foundation to build on.  Without the solid rock of Christ to build on, their faith is left on shifting sand and the slow slide to relativism is inevitable. 

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