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!