underwater: a conversation about water baptism (TV spots)

31 08 2007

Without further adieu, here are the TV spots for the first House of God event at Rochester College taking place on September 10, 2007! Kudos to freshman extraordinaire, Grant McClure for putting these together for us! Check them out and drop in for the conversation that night! YHWH’s peace.

Student Action Diversity Committee

Spot #1–How does your church practice baptism?

Spot # 2–Why did you get baptized?

Spot # 3–Do you believe baptism is necessary for salvation?

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7 responses

1 09 2007
Naomi

I miss you all, and feel left out. So, by way of including myself, I will comment.

How does your church practice baptism?
We’re an adult, full-immersion bunch. It doesn’t have to be by a pastor/preacher, just by someone who has been a mentor or a leader to you. It doesn’t have to be in church building. In fact, some of my favorite baptisms (am I allowed to say “favorite baptisms”?) to be a part of (and it is a communal event) are at camps, in rivers, lakes, and bathtubs. Most importantly, it’s got to end with a rousing rendition of Welcome to the Family, or I Am Mine No More…ha.

Why did you get baptized?
I wish I could say I had really holy reasons for being baptized, but mostly, it was a fire insurance thing. I was 9; my private school was teaching different things about salvation than my church, and I was scared. I figured if I got baptized, I’d have my bases covered. Isn’t that horrible? I knew what was going on, intellectually (Jesus is the Son of God, he died for me, I needed it because I’m a sinner, etc), but I hadn’t internalized much yet. Sometimes I wish that I had waited until a time when the event itself would have meant more to me. But, as with a lot of turning points in my faith, it’s something I didn’t realize the meaning of until I was looking back at it, and I guess I think that’s okay.

Do you believe baptism is necessary for salvation?
I hate this question. And it’s not because I want to be politically correct, to avoid excluding anyone or being the bad guy…girl. It’s also not because I don’t know what I believe, because I do. I hate it, because I think it’s a misplaced focus. And so, as all good theology students do, I will answer the question I want you to ask, rather than the one you actually have. Ultimately, here’s where I fall: Baptism is a sacrament. As such, it is an outward representation of an inward grace. I’m less interested in the outward representation (and all the nuances and arguments found therein) than I am in the inward grace. For me, it’s about the journey.

2 09 2007
C. E'Jon Moore

Naomi,

We miss you, too! Thanks for the comments on the videos. Grant did a great job on them! I may be tipping me cards here as an impartial moderator for the event, but I think I really agree with your take on the baptism/salvation question. You’ve given me food for thought in that it might be a false dichotomy-type question to begin with. In hearing so many different answers as we put together the videos, I often times felt like the answer was generally a matter of semantics for most people being interviewed.

A lot of people also seemed to think of their baptisms in terms of “being pressured” rather than “being moved by the Holy Spirit.” That raises a lot of questions we’ll be asking that night at House of God. Look for the podcast here and on I-Tunes on September 15th!

Keep in touch. Hope all is going well with grad school and your new job. Hit the books and hit ’em hard! YHWH’s pax.

3 09 2007
Naomi

Being moved by the Holy Spirit is good. Then again, when you bring infant baptism to bear on the subject…they can’t be moved by anything, except their parents desire to commit their child to the faith. And if baptism is about commitment to the journey of faith, maybe it doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re pressured or convicted…you’re still making the commitment. And sometimes, the difference between conviction and pressure is only a difference of semantics. Conviction is just pressure from the Holy Spirit. Maybe the Holy Spirit works through circumstances such as guilt or fear because the Spirit knows you won’t hear anything else.

Or maybe not. Who knows? There are always more questions than there are answers.

7 09 2007
Phil Travis

Make sure it actually records!! 🙂 I’m looking forward to listen to this, though I am disappointed that I won’t be able to be there personally.

I really appreciate SADC’s contributions to Rochester, and I think that discussions like this are valuable. Thanks for all the hard work involved with this type of an event. I hope it all goes well!

p.s. Less than a month until we get new Heroes episodes!!

7 09 2007
C. E'Jon Moore

Phil,

Thanks for dropping by. We’ve got our fingers crossed for the recording. They assure us that everything is set to go in that area. Here’s to hoping!

7 09 2007
Luke

I first attended Rochester College back in 1997. That year, a friend and I, who had differing views on baptism, wrote opposing articles for the student newspaper. Unfortunately, no one ever saw those articles because the administration thought it too divisive. Of course, my friend and I were not at all hostile towards each other (obviously, we were friends), yet the Dean, Provost and eventually the President all decided that it was best not to have that discussion. I’m glad to see things have changed.

7 09 2007
Luke

How does your church practice baptism?
We too are a full-immersion, adults (mostly) baptizing church. Occasionally we have teenagers as young as 12 or 13, but generally most are over 16. We also agree that it does not need to be performed by any person in particular or in any particular place. In fact, if full-immersion is for some reason impossible, I think pouring would still fly…and I don’t think God would mind either.

Why did you get baptized?

I got baptized because I believed that God wanted me to and I had not yet done it. I had claimed Christianity for a few years at that point, but had not taken the baptismal plunge, so to speak.

Do you believe baptism is necessary for salvation?
Very few things are ABSOLUTELY necessary. Some things are generally necessary, others are sometimes necessary, and still others are rarely necessary. Baptism is one, that I believe, is GENERALLY necessary.

In the law, there is a principle known as “equity”. This is when the rule of law is inadequate to do justice, and so “equity” is applied. So, generally one ought to live by the rule of law, but when the rule of law is impossible or inadequate, equity need rule. Therefore, baptism is something that every believer ought to do. However, it is not an ABSOLUTE necessity. Jesus is a God of grace and while it is best that we not make him give us grace, it is nevertheless abundant, ready, and constantly pouring out on us. According to my reading of the Bible, there is absolutely no reason that this grace would not excuse our inadequacy in this area. (Not to mention the countless verses that say that “Faith” is what saves us.)

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