Washed in the Blood

I feel confident in saying that most of you who are reading my blog posts know I was raised Methodist. If you didn’t know before, you do now! When I was born, my parents were members of a Presbyterian church, and then later switched to Methodist. (They’re pretty close to the same thing.) So.. both of these denominations have the tradition of sprinkling babies when they’re a few months old. In these churches, this is considered as your baptism. Occasionally older people are also sprinkled, but I honestly could count on 1 hand the number of people over…. about 2 years old.. that I witnessed being baptized in the Methodist Churches I have attended.

Another thing about these churches– eh.. I don’t want to bunch all Methodist churches together and say they’re all the same– So let’s say “another thing about the Methodist churches I have attended…” Another thing about the Methodist churches I have attended is that they don’t really talk about salvation. Well…. they didn’t when I was growing up. I’m sure they have adjusted a bit “with the times.” I don’t remember anyone ever talking to us about being saved. It seemed like it was mostly, “well you’ve been going to church your whole life and have known Christ your whole life, so you’re going to heaven.” There was no focus on the defining moment. There was really no rejoicing or even mention of people being brought to Christ.

So obviously, I was one of the babies who was sprinkled. We have pictures of me in a gown being held by the minister at the Presbyterian church in Vicksburg, Ms surrounded by my parents and grandparents. Assuming the words of a baptismal ceremony at a Presbyterian church are similar to that of the Methodist church, my parents were asked if they believed that Christ was God’s son, and then they and the congregation said something like, “With God’s help, we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that ‘this child’ surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in a way that leads to Life Eternal.”

SIDE NOTE: I can’t believe I remember that! That and the communion liturgy are engraved in my brain, apparently. 

To me, that is more of a parental/congregational profession of faith and is more like a dedication than a baptism since babies cannot declare their belief as Jesus Christ being the son of God. I haven’t always felt that way.. I had The Kid “baptized” when he was a few months old. Small ceremony with just Mama, Deddy, and Cinda Walker and her son Peyton (I worked for her and babysat Peyton. They are special people to us.) Vaughn Stafford, my youth minister from 9th grade, is the one who baptized him.. Before I began really reading and understanding on my own, I felt that sprinkling was the right thing to do and thought that it was weird that others waited until they were older to be baptized. I really had no clue that baptism had anything to do with salvation. I thought, “Ok. People in the Bible were baptized when they were older, but that was just because they weren’t raised knowing Jesus.” Or “I was already baptized, so now that I’m saved, I don’t need to worry about getting baptized again.” I’m not saying that I was wrong, I’m now saying that I don’t believe in that process anymore. I do think that baby/child dedications are wonderful and in some cases help with accountability.

To give some back-story, I asked the Lord into my heart in 7th grade at a See You at the Pole rally. Like I said before, I didn’t really know it was such a big deal because I had always known that God was with me. To be honest, I don’t really think I realized that the way I lived should have been changed. Goodness knows I have made my share of mistakes and have done my share of sinning. My point is that I have felt like something was missing or wasn’t right. My thoughts here recently are that I feel that way because haven’t been baptized of my own accord.

For the past few weeks I have been praying about it. I had asked God to show me what I should do. Yesterday morning in church, I got the sign. I was able to witness another girl who was raised in a church that “sprinkled” get baptized. She felt the same way I have been feeling and decided to take the step. I worried that people would say that it was weird or pointless. You only need to “get saved” once, so why would you need to be baptized more than once? Right? Nah. Because of her, I was able to see that I am not the only one who felt/feels this way and it gave me the push to make the decision to take the next step in my salvation and be baptized. Matt, one of our preachers, told me to find a Sunday that my parents would be able to come (since Deddy is a music minister and works on Sundays) and that Deddy could assist in the baptism if I and he would like. We haven’t picked a day, yet, but I’m sure we will have one soon!

(Originally posted on my old blog on August 8, 2016)
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2 thoughts on “Washed in the Blood

  1. Anna,

    This is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing. The doctrine of baptism has always had many different interpretations and practices among denominations. Many say you must be baptized by water to be saved, others might say that the actual act of baptism by water is symbolic. Many choose to sprinkle the head with water, while others feel that full immersion is necessary.

    Christ is enough to be saved. We can’t do anything to earn our own salvation. That is why I struggle with traditions that insist that human administered practices like communion and baptism by water are necessary for salvation. However, I understand that many believe differently.

    I too was baptized as a baby, by having my head lightly splashed with water. From what I have been able to understand about baptism and based on what my church teaches, being baptized by water is more of a tribute to God and a proclamation of one’s accepting of Christ. Someone can still be baptized by the spirit and also be saved even if they die before they can actually have the ceremony of being baptized by water.

    I felt the need to be re-baptized after I had consciously and was fully able to accept Christ as my savior. Obviously when I was a baby, I wasn’t able to accept Christ. I got baptized in a lake near my house via full immersion with a small group of family and close friends. It was a wonderful experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree on all of your points. Baptism (whether by immersion or sprinkling) is absolutely a tribute. It is used as a physical representation of our old life dying and being buried and our rising as a new member of Christ’s church/following/family.
      I think it can be a very important step, though, for those of us who may not have grown up “in the church.” It makes salvation seem more– concrete– if that makes sense. Communion is also an outward representation of taking Christ into our body and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it seems it has now just become just something that you’re supposed to do at church. (I wish I had my Bible with me so I could quote some scripture)
      Your baptism sounds like it was a very special moment!

      Liked by 1 person

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