So, a little while back in our small group/ Bible study we got on the subject of baptism and it's importance. The discussion also went to the question of whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. I am not going to get into a topic about which some Christians argue or disagree. That's not necessary in my opinion.
I would say it is pretty clear from reading the New Testament that baptism is important either way. My question is this- why does it feel like baptism is so...forgotten, or at least given less importance than it seems it had in the early church? As I have been reading my Bible post resurrection, baptism usually directly follows a decision to follow Christ. Believe and be baptized. Right?
And perhaps it's just me, or where I live or something, but I feel like it's treated as something separate. When a gospel presentation takes place, should not a call to baptism go right beside it? From my experience it's not like that. First there is sharing of the gospel and what Christ has done for us, then there is a leading in prayer, or an offer to pray with. It is usually stated that if you have made a decision to follow Christ there should be follow up and discussion about what that means, etc. (Please don't misunderstand my feelings. I am not trying to take away from the importance of that, or the goodness of it.)
Baptism is something that is presented at a later time. It doesn't happen based on the time frame of a decision to follow Jesus (again, this is just from my experience...I may be observing things differently than most). Baptism is called for when one is planned. "We are having a baptism on such and such date. If you have not been baptized and would like to be, please talk with so and so..." or something like that.
I feel like this makes baptism take on less importance than perhaps it was meant to have. It feels like it has become something that we do at our convenience rather than as a first act of obedience. Now, I might be a little confused on the subject, so please give insights if you have them. Also, I do understand that perhaps here in the Pacific Northwest with our weather it might make a difference. I suppose that if you do not have an indoor baptismal font it might make things hard to do. There might be the reason that if you are in a large church you would be doing it all the time. But should that matter? Can't other means be figured out?
This is just something that has been on my mind. Please feel free to share any insights that you might have. I am not meaning to ruffle feathers if my observations are off either. If you have experienced something different, please share. I would love to find out that this isn't as normal as I might think it is.
1 month ago