Baptism

This is getting to be a pain…but I guess God expects you to go through trials and tribulations before getting you to where you should be…

I want my son baptised.  5 words that seem so simple.  They are proving to be hoop after hoop.  I thought that it would be great to have LiDo baptised at my Grandparents church and where my Mom was baptised – especially when it coincides with the G-parents 60th wedding anniversary.  My whole family will be there along with our extended Texas family – I wanted it to be a private baptism – not in front of a congregation. 

So – we have been working on this for months.  Today I had to call the Pastor at my old church in KC – I haven’t attended that church for a decade.  I had to explain to him that I needed him to call the Pastor at my Grandparents church and tell him that I went to school there, grew up there, was confirmed there, attended youth group there, sang in the choir there…but no – I am not an active member now.  I asked this Pastor if this was normal – especially since I don’t want to get him baptised in Oregon at a church I don’t know around people I don’t know.  Was this normal when I don’t know where I will be in the next 5 years and right now – well, he is 3 weeks old.  Not old enough for a congregation to promise and swear to God that they will raise him in the eyes of the Lord.  This Pastor said that it was important for a congregation to support the raising of the child.

This makes me mad.  I lived half my life at that church.  I loved going.  I loved the fellowship, I loved the singing, I loved God.  But that congregation did nothing to support me, talk to me, tell me everything was going to be fine when my parents divorced.  Actually, by that time, I was looked upon much differently because I went from attending their private school to going back to public school.  I was no longer friends or talked to by the private school kids…then in high-school my parents divorced.  I was still a part of the church – still attended youth group – but I had no support from the congregation that promised to support me. 

My family – that is who has supported me throughout my life.  They are the ones that tell me it is going to be okay.  They are the ones that tell me God loves me even though I haven’t attended church on a regular basis for years.  Why should I have to back down to what a Pastor wants and what is normally done in order to get my child baptised?  I don’t believe that a congregation – a specific church congregation will help me raise my child in this religion.  The congregationt that matters most is my family. 

I ask myself if I am getting my son baptised for the right reasons.  I was baptised.  I was raised religious.  I would not say that I am religious still but I certainly have faith.  I just want my son baptised. 

One year at church camp in Colorado during an evening bible study and prayer around the campfire, they spoke about baptism.  They spoke about being re-baptised into God’s hands.  They went around to everyone and asked them if they accepted Christ into their hearts and “re-baptised” them.  One of my friends – I can’t even remember her name now – had never been baptised.  She was baptised that night while the rest of us were “re-baptised”.  Still to this day I remember the way she looked and how happy she was.  That night meant so much to her.  Isn’t this what baptism should be?  Should I have to go through long distance counseling by a Pastor I don’t know in order to have my child baptised? 

Apparently.

If I walked up to Jesus and asked him to baptise my son would he have me do the same?

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4 Comments on “Baptism”

  1. FlyGuy Says:

    I hope you read this is the right tone and remember that I’m not a “bible beater” I just thought I’d try to help you see a little about how baptism is seen from the church family point of view.

    As you know Laura and I have been attending the same church for as long as we have been together and we were married by the Pastor there and both service the church. With that said Riley still has not been baptized.

    Baptism is meant to be a public display of your commitment to God and in this case to raise your child in a Christian way. That is way lots of Churches do not do private baptisms. Also part of the baptism is the churches congregation say they’ll support spiritually the growth of the kid in Gods family.

    It’s sad that you feel badly about the congregation at the church you were baptized at and it’s bad that they didn’t support you… as that is exactly what they should be doing… supporting each other. But also just because their church goes doesn’t mean they are Christian and you’ll also need to remember that they are not perfect… they are just human.

    But I can completely understand that the Pastor you talked with wanted you to “jump through hops”. Take for example the Pastor at our church will not marry or baptize folks that don’t go to our church. On things like this his focus has to be his flock.

    Also if you’ve been baptized and want to raise LiDo Christian then really you don’t have to have him baptized until his… I believe 7 or 9… he is “covered” buy you. So you could wait until you find a place you feel comfortable in and with.

    “If I walked up to Jesus and asked him to baptise my son would he have me do the same?” Well actually… “yes” in a way. If you really think about Jesus would have asked you questions, just like the Pastor did. He would want you to be committed to God. He would just say “oh, sure jump in… it’s okay if you’ve no clue what’s going on”. You have to remember that Jesus/God can look into your heart… the Pastor can not, that’s why the counseling.

    I hope that this help you see what the Pastor is really doing and that he’s just not a big jerk waving his bible around.

    PS: on a personal baptism note. One reason we have not had Riley baptized is that Lauras sister have all been Godparents for each others children and I don’t want them to be Rileys. Why? Because they are not christian, they just are not spiritual. We want someone that will be a christian mentor to Riley, not just someone to say “hey, I’m a Godparent, it’s cool”.

  2. javagirl Says:

    I completely understand this part. I do want to raise him with a faith and according to my faith he should be baptised at birth (or soon after). The questions do not bother me, especially because I do have a clue as to what is going on. My commitment to God is there, I don’t believe though that I have to go to church every Sunday to have that. Having a congregation that I do not know commit to raising this child spiritualy, well, I still didn’t get that from my church.

    When you say “on things like this his focus has to be his flock” – well I am one of his flock and always will be – I just do not have a “particular” flock that I am a part of right now… And I’m not sure that I agree that baptism should be a public display of our commitment to God. In my eyes and in my heart, baptism is showing my commitment to raising my child spiritually in front of God alone.

    I’m not taking this lightly (which I don’t think you are saying) but I also do not feel right about how this is playing out. I don’t know what faith LiDo will be raised in…will it be the one I grew up knowing, will it be something different. I don’t know. I do know that I am torn about all of this. Why do I all of a sudden feel so insignificant and feel like I have to prove myself and my faith in order to get my child baptised? This isn’t testing my faith in God – this is something else entirely. It is as if they are asking whether or not I am worthy. The first Pastor was going to make a call to the Pastor at my g-parents church – he never asked me a single thing about my faith. He just looked up my name on their computer database to see if I was telling the truth about being a member there. I also told him truthfully that in college I and several other people I knew all received letters from the church stating that our membership was “cancelled” due to lack of participation at the church…I didn’t participate (except when home) because I was at college. The church told me essentially to take a hike because I hadn’t attended for a few months. I was a baby at that church, a child, a youth and an adult – and then they threw that “membership” out over a few months of non-participation. Due to that – well, I never felt obligated to go back and get my “membership” again. I knew what I believed and that I had faith and that has been good enough for me. To me, a church shouldn’t tell their people to take a hike over a few months of missed Sundays (well, I didn’t tell him that part). That is the most that he got from me about my faith – which to me – doesn’t sum up a whole heck of a lot.

  3. sarah Says:

    actually jes, you’re right — if we look at the bible itself, jesus accepted all who asked. he didn’t hand out membership applications.

  4. Momma Squared - Texas Family Says:

    Jesi,Get a cup of coffee and relax I have a few comments for you. I’ve read all the commentary coming from the various sources and assure you that if ten people read about your situation you would have potentially ten different positions – all of them accurate, based on their own religious training and personal experiences. It is impossible to attempt to cahnge anyone’s position on the issue of baptism – public or private – congregation or not- but you have been extremely artculate about your feelings and what you desire. As part of your family and always a friend it is now my responsibility to listen to your heart and seek to “understand” your position – not try to get you to agree to my religious position. Why? Because this is YOUR faith and your child and your heart.My favorite comment so far is that God knows your heart. He does!! Jesi,I share your frustration and sadness with the process. I’m certain that we could go to any numer of churches and they would welcome the opportunity to bring a child to the water of God to declare that the parents, friends, and family are committed to assist in his spiritual upbringing. I can’t wait to be there and be part of the process! Recently I had the opportunity to heard an outstanding religious leader from San Antonio. He worked for many years with Billy Graham – writing,ministering,training, etc. One of my most memorable moments during his presentaion is when he said “Don’t let being a Baptist get in the way of being a Christian. Faith is about representing Christ and being Christ-like!”. Jesi, don’t let anyone diminish your desire to have your son baptised. There will always be someone who allows “religion” to get in the way of being Christ like, being a Christian. God knows what is in your heart and the rest of us are fools to attempt to ever change His knowledge. I love you daughter and I’m here for you and Doug. I have faith that all will be fine. This will only serve to make your faith stronger. If it were easy, everyone would be a Christian. Hope you had a BIG cup of coffee! . .


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