Friday, September 9, 2011

Some Priorities (in retrospect), part 4, cont.

Yesterday, I spoke of our front door of membership. I also wanted to take a moment to look at our front door of baptism.

Our front door of baptism – We also have adjusted our baptism practice at Ogletown. In truth, we are more in line now with our Baptist heritage. Traditionally, Baptists have taken the practice of baptizing believers very seriously (not surprisingly). Yet in recent days unfortunately in the US, often it has not been carefully practiced. In Scripture, baptism is not only a symbol of Christ’s death, but an ordinance that marks off who is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Our practice of baptism unifies our church. As we observe another Christian being baptized, we identify with the one who is identifying with Jesus Christ. He is our Savior as well.

We have started the practice of asking that those who are getting baptized prepare a testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ. We ask that either they share it themselves, or that they have someone share it for them. This happens right before they are baptized. Our entire church receives the blessing of hearing of faith in Jesus Christ directly from the person getting baptized. People come to Christ due to so many different earthly factors. Hearing these factors always amazes me. Since I have the privilege of participating in so many of these services, I can speak to the emotion of these moments. I rarely have a dry eye when leaving our baptism services. My faith is stirred, and I count it a privilege to be a part of a church that attempts to take baptism seriously.