This will be a three part post on a Biblical understanding of Baptism. Today we will start to consider the ramifications between baptism being a work that I do or a work that God does.
Before you begin please think any/write down any questions that you have about baptism and we’ll see if we’re able to answer them in this series.
A man legally changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger. Yes, alcohol was involved. But after he slept it off the man says he has no regrets to be legally identified with his undying love—the cheeseburger. But I’ll tell you who does have some regrets— the women in his life.
HIs mother was appalled that her once little Sam Smith is now a cheeseburger and his fiancé is have second and third thoughts about getting married to a bacon burger. He said, “That’s something we’re discussing a lot. No girl ever dreams of spending her big day marrying a man called Bacon.”
But for right now he signs all of his work emails…B.D. Cheeseburger. Maybe he should have considered his undying love for his fiancé before his undying love for a Bacon Double Cheeseburger when he changed his name.
Now, without disrespect meant, some people approach baptism in the same way that this man approached being named Bacon Double Cheeseburger. Maybe it was during a particularly meaningful worship service that had the invitation to come up and be baptized and they thought, “yea, now is a good time to be a Christian.” Maybe it was a low point in the person’s life and they thought they had tried everything else, so they would try religion. Some approach baptism with the same enthusiasm as the B.D. Cheeseburger, I have undying love for Jesus I want to get baptized. Many times babies and children are brought to baptism because that is what we do without much thought to the future ramifications and obligations that such a decision will entail for them and their children.
But what will happen with our friend, B.D. Cheeseburger in the future. You know this won’t last, either the mom guilt will get to him or he may really want to marry that girl (or marry someone else because his first finance dropped the kind of guy that would get drunk and change his name. Who knows what else he’ll do the next time he gets drunk!) Or he’ll figure out that the top earning employees with the corner office don’t have Cheeseburger in their name and if he ever wants a promotion, well… In any case, life will change, it will be a lark, just for fun, something I did, but now life is different and so I’m going to change my name again to suit where I am in life.
The same can apply to baptism as well. You decided to get baptized during a particularly moving worship service, but that emotional high is unsustainable and when it doesn’t come around again like it did you wonder why, maybe the baptism didn’t take. Or you’ve gotten past that low point in life and now life is looking up, you don’t need God anymore, maybe I’ll move on to yoga or pilates or petting cats to help me get through. Or parents bring their children to get baptized but the whole teaching and raising them up in the Christian faith simply is too hard to do, we’ll get around to it when life gets easier—whenever that is!
Somewhere along the way, they may want to get re-baptized, whether as something they want to do as an adult because they were baptized as a baby or because they’re worried the first time didn’t take and they really mean it now that they love Jesus.
Last night someone asked me this exact same question. “It’s okay if someone wants to get baptized again, right?” What a great question! I love it when people ask me questions that they actually want the answers too.
So, let’s ask ourselves this question, is okay if someone wants to get baptized again?
(Tomorrow we’ll talk through this question and look at the comfort of God’s Work through baptism in our lives…)