First of all, I’m going to talk about baptism for a while, and then I’m going to ask for your opinion. So this will be one of those posts that needs other people’s feedback to make it complete.
Just so you know.
And I think that this might be a little bit self indulgent, so if that makes you roll your eyes and go ‘first world problems’, then head on over to these great Countess of Grantham gifs and I’ll see you next post.
So, I’ve been thinking about baptism lately. And I’ve been thinking that it’s something I would probably like to do. And what it means.
Is baptism mainly about belonging? About belonging to the faith, tracing back to the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul. And about belonging to a church.
But a church that isn’t, in its most pure sense, a building. Church is a people. A disparate and eclectic and imperfect and wonderful people trying to bring about their best version of heaven on earth, while also trying to navigate their own lives, and other peoples lives, and the tricky bit where everything intersects and what do we say, and how do we say it and what happens then?
People are fantastic. I know that I joke that I’m a bit of a misanthrope, but I’m really not. I love people. I like to be challenged and to connect and to question and be questioned, and to spend time with the energy and the ideas and the stimulation of others.
But what I don’t like is to be exposed. And I don’t like the walls to go down too far. Because you can connect with people deeply, and forge friendships and make a pretty good go of life without opening up yourself too much.
I know that some people would say that you can’t, but you can.
But I don’t really think that you can say, in front of a group of people;
I repent of my sins…
I turn to Christ…
I commit myself to God…
Without pretty much exposing yourself completely. Don’t you think?
I’ve read that it’s an ‘outward sign’ of an expression of faith, which immediately puts my back up. Outward sign? What, for other people? An expression of faith for other people to accept?
Or maybe it’s much more than that. It’s about God and I. But I thought God and I were doing pretty well. Will getting baptised cause me to be anything in God that I am not already?
I suppose I’m a bit confused at what it’s all about.
Because it will take a bit of interior realigning for me to get there. Which I can do, of course, but it would take some work. But doing something just because it’s what people ‘do’ when they are a christian isn’t something that I can connect with on an authentic level.
So what is it all about? Do you think it’s necessary? What does baptism mean to you?