The Ordinances – Part II; Baptism

Matthew 28:19

As good and faithful, Bible believing Baptists, we did not have the seven sacraments; we had the two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  Preacher’s kids regularly practice both. In fact, any time we were near any body of water that was more than knee-deep, we baptized.  There weren’t any true converts waiting to have their sins washed away, but we practiced doing it anyway, just in case.  There must have been something in us that wanted to honor the somber nature of baptism yet have fun.  The solution was to dunk each other “in the name of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy!”  We dared not invoke the name of the Holy Trinity into potential blasphemy.

baptism

Living in west Texas means there are regular dust storms.  Regular dust storms means the baptistery must be cleaned before each and every service which included the joyful ordinance.  My father took special joy in sweeping, mopping, and rinsing the tank before baptism services. We could see it in his eyes as he labored.

On one occasion, we decided to help. In fact, we offered to do it for him.  After the communion fiasco, he was reluctant, but as any good father would, he offered us a second chance.  On Sunday afternoon, we gathered our broom, mop, and bucket to prepare for the task.  We swept and swept. Then, we liberally applied Tide detergent over the floor of the baptistery, so we could mop it.  I don’t remember exactly what happened next, but something distracted us, and we left the building.  My father, thinking we had finished, crawled under the platform to where the water valve was, and he turned it on.  It takes about 45 minutes for most baptisteries to fill up, so he then went home for a bit. (Wait for it).

When he came back to turn the water off, there was a four-foot-high mountain of suds on top of the water.  By that time, it was only a few minutes until the service was scheduled to start.  He scraped as much of the suds off the top as he could, but not nearly enough.  When the curtains opened to reveal him standing in the baptistery awaiting the candidate, gasps then snickers and giggles swept over the congregation.  He had forewarned the poor fellow, who took it all in stride with good humor. Never was a convert so thoroughly cleansed of his sins.

Through the years, there were many instances of baptizing a younger believer who loved to chance to be in the mini-pool. There was more than one occasion when the baptized was significantly taller and heavier than the baptizer. I usually just told those guys to sit down, as if on a chair then stand back up. You have to be careful to get their top-knot under the water, though.  One fellow was so large, he doused the back row of the choir when he went under. It was sort of like Shamu at Sea World.

No matter the circumstances, we Baptist are good dunkers. We were named for it, and we take special pleasure in doing it. “Buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in new life.”

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Published in: on April 14, 2016 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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