Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Nature of Baptism

As a Friend I am convinced that baptism is primarily a spiritual reality. For one reason the physical ritual includes all sorts of Christians who claim the other brands aren't even Christians. They attack each other verbally and often have slaughtered each other in so many Christian-sponsored wars.

How can there be ONE baptism in one Spirit when that happens?

And think of the many thousands of other disagreements among Christians:
Calvinists declare there are no Gifts of the Spirit but charismatics and Pentecostals claim the opposite.
Evangelicals claim the Bible is inerrant but liberals state Scripture has many errors.
Fundamentalists argue the Bible is scientifically accurate, evolution is a satanic lie, and the end of the world is coming in this generation
while mainline Christians think those views are ludicrous.

There are many Christians who support killing unarmed civilians in war, who think that the nuclear weapons are given to the U.S. by God, that using torture is justified, that becoming wealthy doesn't mean one needs to share with the world's impoverished.

Where is the love of Christ in this? Where is the Spirit of their formal baptism?

It seems rather that true baptism is spiritual and unseen, when God's Spirit begins to slowly transform a person toward the Truth, the Good, and the Loving.

Physical acts of baptism may be used by some who derive much comfort or inspiration from outward signs, but the danger always remains.

Allegedly, most Germans of the Great War and the Nazi Holocaust War (WWII) era were baptized
yet that didn't show forth in their lives as they went out to slaughter other Christians of the Allies.

And Allied baptized Christians returned the evil favor, urged on by war promoters such as American evangelist Billy Sunday.

Don't forget the Thirty Years War, the American Civil War, and the English Civil War (where Cromwell's "New Model Army" which killed while singing Bible verses! attacked the King's forces who also killed for Jesus Christ).

Sounds more like a baptism into injustice and sin.

No wonder Jesus wept.

No comments: