During my freshman year of college, as I was searching for a new church to be part of, I ran into a problem. This is an excerpt from my freshman year journal/blog…
On Sunday nights, I go to the Church at Brook Hills, and it is awesome. I sit in the middle of the church with my incredible new small group leader Jamie and get to be surrounded by hundreds of fellow Followers and worship Jesus. It really couldn’t get much more incredible than that?
Earlier this week, I received an email from the director of Mid-Term missions at C@BH. In order to go on any sort of mission trip with C@BH, you have to be a member.
So, I thought about what it would mean to actual join the C@BH. As I read the website about their new member classes and talked to the director via email, I realized that in order to even join C@BH, I would have to be “baptized through immersion.”
Well normally, this wouldn’t be a problem for most people. As a Methodist, I was baptized as an infant (not through immersion but through sprinkling). Baptists do not recognize infant baptism, which means that the C@BH does not mean I have been baptized at all. In order to join a Baptist church, I would have to be “re-baptized.”
According to Baptists, “We believe the biblical pattern of baptism is by immersion. The word “baptizo” in greek means to immerse. Best we can tell (we are human!) there is no other baptism in the NT than immersion and it is always of believers and not infants. Therefore, based on the strong evidence from scripture, we practice believer baptism by immersion. We ask that those who were baptized prior to becoming a believer (ie infants) be baptized by immersion to join the church. Romans 6, Paul talks about Baptism as a picture of the gospel and the picture being “death” and “burial” and it is hard to symbolize death and burial by sprinkling or pouring. That is why we believe immersion (dunking) under the water is the clearest picture of the gospel and of death, burial, and resurrection in Christ.”
I understand this, and to an extent, I agree with it… but if I’m re-baptized, would I not be denying my “original infant baptism?” Today, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and THAT is what matters…
I want to hear your thoughts and comments on this issue. Anyone else running into this problem that’s dividing the Church?