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Buried with Christ in Baptism
We baptized 16 people...
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, ESV).
This past weekend, we baptized 16 people! We had one baptism on Saturday night, fourteen on Sunday morning, and one on Sunday afternoon. I think that’s the most people I’ve baptized at one time in all my years as a pastor! We had people from age 7 to 51 step into the water to proclaim their decision to follow Jesus. We also dedicated seven children! It was quite a weekend! Praise God!
There are a variety of Christian perspectives on baptism—and each is held by believers who love Jesus and recognize the authority of Scripture. At LakeView, we practice what’s commonly called believer’s baptism. This is the practice of baptizing a person after she has confessed faith in Jesus. Since infants cannot confess Jesus, we don’t baptize infants. We practice believer’s baptism because we’re following what we see in the New Testament. Every time the New Testament tells about someone getting baptized, it is after that person confessed faith in Jesus. We simply follow that pattern today.
In a similar way, we prefer to baptize people by dunking them under the water. We do this because it’s what we see described in the New Testament. And we like the visual imagery of going under the water (buried with Christ) and coming back up (raised with Christ).
However, we recognize that some Christians hold different theologies of baptism, and some churches have different practices of baptism. Some churches teach that infants should be baptized, while other churches make kids wait until they’re a certain age (usually around 12 or 13). Some churches require people to go through a catechism-type series of classes before baptizing them. Some dunk, some sprinkle, some pour.
As a church, we’ve decided not to fight about the theology or practice of baptism. In fact, we have members and leaders at LakeView who hold different views, and we get along just fine! Contrary to pop culture, it is possible to agree to disagree and still love each other!
We know the Bible teaches us to baptize (see Matt 28:18-20). And we have settled on the practice of believer’s baptism. But we won’t divide with brothers and sisters who believe in infant baptism. Nor will we condemn churches who practice baptism differently than we do. We find unity where diversity meets love.