I feel the need to let out what has been running through my head the evening part of this day.
So around maybe lunch-ish time today my aunt pulled me in a room at the office to tell/ask me something. She was like, “On Thursday night, Darla, Jeremy, Brandon, and Preston are all going to get baptized. Even Bob and I have talked about it too. Since we haven’t been before we might do it too. Anyways, I was going to see if you wanted to do it too. It could be like a family baptizing night. HA!” [Note: it was two Sundays ago when we were all at church together that she leaned over to me after the passing of the “bread” and was like, “You’ve never been baptized??” And I told her no, to which she seemed highly surprised.]
So I look at her and said, “No thanks.” To which she was like, “Okay, I just wanted to ask and tell you.”
At first hearing the news I immediately thought that was cool. They are all going to get baptized. I’ve always been a big supporter of people getting baptized, so I was happy for them that they had made this decision. And then of course I went on with work. Didn’t think another thing about it till later on…and honestly, I can’t remember what triggered my thoughts of it and why it hit so hard, but it did…
The thought crossed my mind that I don’t support this. I suppose I don’t agree with it is a better way to put it. Let me explain…
As I’ve mentioned in a blog entry a few entries back, the grandpa of Brandon and Preston was recently told his cancer is back and in full force. He was told he had a year. Upon hearing this news the family became very concerned I suppose you could put it. As I mentioned earlier, we all attended church the Sunday following the “news.” It was after that church service while we were standing in the foyer that I heard my aunt telling her boys, as they were complaining that they wanted to go home and not go to class, this: “Listen, you boys are going to be joining life groups, it is one of your grandpas last wishes, and we’ll be coming to church and you both will be getting baptized sometime this year too…”
So, I think you see where I’m going with this…
I suppose I can’t “judge” someone’s actions and intentions or even their heart. And you can go say your “she can’t judge someone and what they truly believe,” but I can tell you not as judging, but as putting one and one together, I’m pretty sure these baptisms that are going to be going down on Thursday are not for what one might call the “right” reasons.
Now don’t think this was my first time of being faced with pressure to get baptized. I’ve dealt with the “here’s a perfect opportunity! Let’s do it!” I’ve gotten it from family members (even in the immediate family) as well as friends, but as you can tell, I’ve yet to “give in.”
I suppose in a sense I think this is kind of like what I mentioned in my post just a couple posts ago about my religious beliefs that people seem to always “find Jesus” during their most trying times or when they “need” him; when people are feeling "down."
Let’s face it, not a single one of us that was at church two Sundays ago would have been at church that morning had Grandpa not gotten his “news.” I’m not condoning our going that Sunday. No one made me go, they could have cared less had I not gone, I didn’t even ride with them, I drove separately, but I went because I am a big fan of supporting people. People need our love and support and I love and respect this gentleman, Grandpa, and I wanted to show my support by going to church, which is something he holds dearly to his heart. But I view this baptizing frenzy on Thursday differently…
To me, baptism is supposed to be about God/Jesus/your beliefs and your confessions. Yes, I’m sure grandpa would want to die happy knowing his grandkids have been baptized, but he knows, as well as I do, that the act of being baptized is not what God is concerned with. Yes, maybe He has his “rules” for what counts as true baptism (ie, submersion, sprinkling, splashing, dunking, I don’t know what all there is!), or maybe He doesn’t, maybe that is a mankind discrepancy, either way, I believe the important part of baptism with God is your heart. What you believe.
Yes, on Thursday night we might see 5, 10, 15, 20 baptisms, I don't know, but I can tell you this, if the heart of those individuals being submerged that night isn’t truly in the confession they make verbally, it doesn’t mean a thing.
Granted, this is my opinion and what do I know. But whatever the case I had the thought cross my mind that maybe I shouldn’t attend Thursday night since I don’t support these acts.
Sooo….say I’m judging, that’s fine. It isn’t my place to say what is truly in their hearts I suppose, but deep down I don’t think their hearts are focused on the right thing for this event.
Most likely I’ll be there on Thursday night, whatever the case, but will I be truly supportive? Most likely not. Will I be the only non-baptized individual there once it is all over? Most likely. Will I be the only person there whose heart isn’t in accordance with God’s will? I don’t know.