Baptism Revisited

Interesting insight from Rite of baptism trickles away. I most definately “resonate” and echo what Brian says … I liked how the final words in the article was a twist from the title.

To me it’s true that Baptism is rising in significance in my life and practice! 🙂 I will be conducting one baptism this Sunday and it’s most definately significant … and recalling the story of how our baptismal candidate has come to this point .. many major and minor decisions were involved both by him as well as others on him!

“We focused so much on the personal decision, the big deal of turning your life over to Christ, that the public, external identification baptism was less important in practice,” says the Rev. Brian McLaren, who co-founded the non-denominational Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md.

Yet McLaren, who retired in January to write and lecture, sees change in the air, particularly when he looks at young church leaders such as the Rev. Rob Bell, 35, who Christianity Today once said “puts the hip in discipleship.”

At Bell’s non-denominational Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Mich., where 12,000 worshipers gather weekly in a former mall, they roll in a portable tank every few weeks so baptismal candidates can witness their conversion to the whole congregation. “We are baptizing more people than ever,” because “people are desperate for something ancient and lasting and meaningful,” Bell says.

Even if baptisms aren’t rising in numbers, they’re on the rise in significance, McLaren says.

Baptism is “a commitment to a lifelong spiritual practice, a discipleship, not a one-time event.”

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