Friday, July 1, 2016

Before Baptism

In Christian circles it seems that people get baptized and then are supposed to follow Christ.  The grace of the sacrament is supposed to help them to do this.  But what happens if these churches end up with a lot of baptized believers and sometimes worshippers, but not real followers of what Jesus said and did himself.  It seems he emphasized "follow," more than believe or worship.  So what if baptism came after someone had a period of time when they were taught, not doctrine, but what to do as followers of Jesus?  Several things would be discovered in this process.  One, they would realize how hard it is to become like Christ with all that selflessness, forgiveness, and mercy showed to some not so nice people.  Some would decide that this path is too narrow or steep for them and go elsewhere.  But just maybe, they would realize that without God, they cannot accomplish the lifestyle of a Christian.  They can choose Christ, but they cannot practice Christ, on their own power.  Their experience of failure would recognize their need for grace. Then Baptism would be seen as so much more precious as well as demanding.  How will anyone know how to follow Christ?  I guess that is what my lifestyle, and maybe yours, if you are baptized, is supposed to model.

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