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Baptism At Solomon’s Porch August 1, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, family, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement, Solomon's Porch.
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Me and my family attended the baptism service at Solomon’s Porch Sunday. At beautiful Minnehaha Falla, we witnessed 9 people commit their lives to Jesus Christ. One couple getting married next month did a simulataneous baptism. There was one infant baptism (interesting) by sprinkling and the rest by immersion.  

I’ve got my views on baptism and I was a little uncomfortable with some of what went on, but what I did like was the lack of regimented and required language hoops to jump through. It forced me to stretch and affirm these people’s baptisms. It was a beautiful thing.

If you are in the “baptism is essential to salvation because it is the exact point in time when a person goes from Hellbound to Heavenbound” crowd, you would have had major issues with this baptism service. However, if baptism is more like joining Christ in the life of the Kingdom of God and identifying with Jeuss in his death, buriel and resuirrention, then this was a good thing.

I liked the full immersion (except of course for the baby) because I think the symbolism really gets lost in sprinkling.

I liked just how public these baptisms were. It was in a very popular and crowded park with a river flowing through it. Half of the people within viewing distance of the baptisms were just people out at the park. It might have been weird to them, but at the same time, it didn’t take some kind of cult’like ritual effect either. It was just plain good.

Don’t know for sure if we’ll end up joining the community at Solomon’s Porch, but I will say that they gave my wife and I (both introverts) a very good impression.

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1. Chris Florence - August 1, 2006

What’s the difference in baptism is essential for salvation and joining Christ in his death , buriel and resurrection?

2. Jeanna (Beaner) - August 1, 2006

I’m doing my own in-depth study on Baptism because I want to know the truth. I was sprinkled as a baby & immersed as an adult, but my current belief is that we’re saved by grace, saved by faith in Jesus & that our baptism equips us to be effective servants of God. I could be wrong, so I’m trying to get the answers from God as opposed to man’s teaching.

3. fajita - August 1, 2006

Chris, there is a big difference, from a certain perspective. If I am only concerned about getting myself into Heaven, then I will find the formula and do it. If I can reduce salvation to baptism, then I will get baptized, I will exalt baptism, and I will make it the distinction point between “us” and “them;” the “saved” and the “lost;” the “right” and the “wrong.”

If I am joining in the mission of Jesus, I must understand that I am not merely getting dunked for my ticket to Heaven, but rather that I am changing my life in order to bring about God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. That, my friend, is much more than baptizing a whole bunch of people. God’s mission on this earth is to bring His will right here and now – and for eternity. God wants us to join in serving those who need help, feeding those who are hungry, befriending people who have no friends, etc.

I might be reading too much into my own statement about joining Jesus in his death buriel and resurrection meaning joining him in his mission, but I don’t think so.

Baptism says: I am a Christian and I am not ashamed of that. I intend to spend ly life making this mission of Jesus a success in whatever little part of the world I am filling. It does not say: I’m saved when I die.

4. Chris Florence - August 1, 2006

It was the water of the flood which washed away the filth of that evil generation, so it is the water of Christian baptism that, in a figure washes away our sins. Acts 22:16 and Ist Peter 3:21. We are buried with him and raised to walk a new life.

Then go join the mission of Jesus, feed the hungry, befriend the people who have no friends. etc.

5. Jeanna (Beaner) - August 1, 2006

Just a question: In Acts 10:44, the Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit BEFORE being baptized. How do you explain that if baptism is required to be saved? I’m just wondering because I’m researching this!

6. fajita - August 1, 2006

Beaner’s got a point. Order is less important. I’m never going to argue against baptism like some people end up doing in order to defend their point – that would be crazy. Jesus obviously instituted baptism as something essential to the Christian faith. He was baptized himself.

My whole point is that if we reduce baptism to a mere punchcard toward salvation, we end up looking (and being?) selfish concerning “getting saved” for the ever after rather than joining a mission that is going on in the here and now. Please, I am in no way anti-baptism.

7. Jeanna (Beaner) - August 1, 2006

To sum up my “research” so far…I believe that we need to be baptized to show the world that we are followers of Jesus Christ. salvation & the gifts of the Holy Spirit are separate & apart from this act.

8. Chris Florence - August 1, 2006

The Holy Spirit falling on those Gentiles of Cornelius’ household was not for the purpose of saving them but for the purpose of convincing the Apostle Peter and his companions of the propriety of welcoming the Gentiles into the church of God upon the same conditions as everyone else, (the Jews) This is indeed an exceptional situation. One cannot even say they were believers since the Spirit fell on them as soon as Peter started speaking.

The fact that baptism for Gentiles was necessary to their salvation, no less than it was declared to be on Pentecost, appears in the facts (1) that an angel of God told Cornelius that Peter would tell him words wherby he would be saved (Acts 11:14), and (2) that in all the words spoken by Peter there was but one commandment, that requiring them to be baptized.

9. justinmundie - August 1, 2006

43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

Hmmm.. it wasn’t just when Peter started speaking that they got the holy spirit, it was right after he said the key phrase (anyone who believes… receives forgiveness of sins…)

Chris,

I think you’re trying to read what fajita is saying as “don’t get baptized” when its just not there. He’s saying that when you put so much emphasis on baptism, and not on how its the beginning of joining the mission of God, it becomes a “what is the least I have to do to be saved.” I would say Fajita looks at salvation as more than just where I go after I die, and when does my destination change from hell to heaven. He’s saying that salvation is just as much on the earth, (following jesus not to get salvation, but following jesus because it is salvation) as it is an afterlife. When you look at baptism purely as something to do to get to heaven, it becomes legalistic.

Maybe that cleared things up?

10. Chris - August 2, 2006

I understand your point but it just isn’t biblical in my opinion.

We are talking about two different verses. In Acts 11:15 Peter says “And as I began to speak…..

There are so many more verses that clearly teach that baptism saves, for example Romans 6:3-5.

I do not see it as legalistic because that is only the beginning. Of course one has to continue to follow Jesus.

11. dojo - August 2, 2006

I love to experience old traditions in a new way. I wondered if y’all would make this community your church home. Keep us updated.

**are you guys going to make it back to Nashville for Zoe this year?

12. LW - August 2, 2006

Wouldn’t it be child abuse to dunk an infant underneath water? However, I suppose if the infant understood the purpose for this near death (pardon the pun) experience, it would be acceptable.
Do you see the point about infant baptism? A person has to willfully participate in the act or it’s just an elaborate bath. Therefore, since an infant can’t reason and decide for themselves, baptism is an act of faith in which those who are of the age of reasoning may participate.

13. justinmundie - August 2, 2006

The only verse that says anything remotely close to baptism saves you is 1 Peter 3:21 “baptism saves you, not merely the removal of dirt from the flesh, but the pledge of a clean conscience to Christ.”

(that’s the justin mundie translation by the way)

That verse doesn’t really make your point. Its saying that its not the getting dunked under water thats doing anything. its what the dunking under water represents: a pledge or vow to Christ, to join his mission in the world, to die to yourself daily, take up your cross and follow him. To be salt and light and love those that aren’t loved by others.

14. Jeanna (Beaner) - August 2, 2006

To add more confusion to the baptismal: where in the Bible does it talk about an “age of reasoning”? IF baptism is the act that saves you, then why does it matter that children can’t reason? Isn’t the dunking under water doing it? Or is it the confession of Christ? Or…..?

15. Chris Florence - August 2, 2006

1 Peter 3:21 doesn’t sound so remote to me.

Of course it is what it represents but that doesn’t make it not necessary. “We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, SO WE ALSO MIGHT WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

ROMANS 6:4

16. fajita - August 2, 2006

Dojo, we’ll see about making it our churhc home. Need a little more investigation. About Zoe – no go Dojo. With grad school, I don’t think we can afford the time or the monsy to make th trip. That trip, I assure you, will be deeply missed. I’ hope the bloggers will meet again and wil blog from the conference.

I got the feeling we’ll not come to any concensus on baptism here on my little blog, however, the conversation can continue. Thanks for keeping it so friendly. I love friendly conversations.

Here’s more of my 2 cents: I had a conversation one day with a Lutheran minister who was baptized as an infant and asked him what he knew as an infant about Heaven, salvation and so forth. He was very patient with me. He said that baptism was something he was growing into. It was simply too deep to capture, but rather was a lifelong process of growth.

Now, that’s not biblical in the proof-texting sense, but it is biblical in a discipleship sense. I learned from him even though I ahve my objections to infant baptism.

17. LW - August 3, 2006

Chris,
I like the idea of growing into baptism. As you know, I’ve been baptised 3 times. The first one was just to get everyone off my back, the second was to seek forgiveness from the church that I thought I had wronged and the 3rd was in all honesty as much as I can understand was an act of faith and trust in God. I’m growing into that 3rd baptism as I grow into faith. I think trust is also part of that process. As I learn to trust others, it becomes easier to trust in God. You helped me to trust; therefore, you helped me to become closer to God. Thanks

18. Chris Jaekel - August 8, 2006

I recently heard someone use the illustration of marriage as it pertains to baptism. You begin to date…this is the beginning of your faith. The dating relationship deepens and grows as time is spent together, understanding of who each other is, and appreciation of the other develops. Again…faith and relationship in Christ growing and developing. Then the proposal of marriage and a time period of engagement. The serious contemplation of a new life in Christ…following Christ. (Luke 14:26-27) The commitment contemplated. The couple is not yet married…not in a covenant relationship (In God’s eyes). There is, however, a moment in time when the relationship enters into the covenant relationship. “I pronounce you husband and wife…you may kiss the bride.” Just as the dating relationship has a moment in time in which it goes from non-covenant to covenant…so is true for man and God. (Romans 6:4,6) Curious of your thoughts!

19. fajita - August 8, 2006

Not a bad metaphor. I had the timing a little different in my own marriage/baptism metaphor. I had baptism as engagement and the Second Coming (however that’s going to happen) as the wedding day. I can jive with it eaither way, but baptism as engagement flies better with me because I am committed to Jesus, but I do not get to be with him fully. It is only in part. I am trying hard to be committed and pressing that way as far as I can without the benefit of the fullness of the relationship. Yes, ther relationship is there and it is strong, but it is not the fullness it will be.


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