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my mum's just announced she's to be baptised and don't know if I agree

(14 Posts)
canofworms Fri 18-Jul-08 00:20:07

Ok - long story so I will try to keep it short.

My mum has always gone to church but sometimes I wonder why. She is the most negative/complaining person I think anyone could ever meet. No-one or nothing is good enough for her standards. (Before now I have said she gives Christians a bad name blush.)

She has suddenly announced that she wants to be baptised again as she felt her 1st baptism (35 years ago) wasn't done correctly. She says she's mentioned it to a few ministers over the years who have just said it'll be fine. Now there is a new assistant minister at her church who is willing to do it.

She's invited me along (but only by chance after a few glasses of wine) and I really feel uncomfortable going. I was baptised myself as an adult and go to church every week so I understand the meaning of baptism but I seriously don't understand why she's doing it a 2nd time.

Anybody else any experience of this?

DutchOma Fri 18-Jul-08 11:20:57

Unless there was a tremendous change in your mother's attitude to life I would be very wary of her wanting to go through any kind of 'ceremony' and I wouldn't want to be part of it. On the other hand, if there was such a change in attitude I could well understand that she would want to 'seal' that by publicly announcing that she now has a completely different understanding of what God personally means to her.

DeeRiguer Fri 18-Jul-08 11:25:21

how will she fit in the font? grin

SqueakyPop Fri 18-Jul-08 11:38:49

Why was wrong with her baptism 35 years ago? Was it not done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Is she at a church that only practices credo-baptism (believers' baptism)?

Can she simply renew her baptism vows?

MaryBS Fri 18-Jul-08 22:34:45

Only she can say why she's doing it again, but it seems to me she is searching for something which she believes baptism will give her. Only she's already been baptised... I don't see how this is going to help her, except perhaps make her more disappointed, once the initial high has worn off?

All I can suggest you do is ask her what was wrong about the first time? Then make up your mind whether to attend. Also consider the implications of your not going and what it would do to the relationship with your mother.

My own mother hasn't been happy with some of my life choices, yet she's always been there for me - when I was received into the Anglican church for example, she didn't agree with that (she's RC), but she knew how much it meant to me, so she came...

Ses15 Fri 18-Jul-08 22:40:20

Difficult one but I guess it's what she's choosing to do and IMHO the right thing to do would be to support her rather than try and judge whether she's right in her decision.

MaryBS - FWIW I have the opposite experience as I was an Anglican and was received into the Catholic Church and my Mum had huge reservations about that, but again she came to the service...

serin Sat 19-Jul-08 21:56:42

Its a shame she couldn't get confirmed instead.

canofworms Sat 19-Jul-08 21:58:24

Thanks everyone,

I will go and support her but I'm just wary of her motives for doing this.

She says she wasn't fully immersed 1st time so feels it wasn't done properly (although I think she was pg at the time so don't know if that had anything to do with it)

Maybe I could find her a book to give as a gift that might make her think a bit more about her attitude (in a nice way).....

onepieceoflollipop Sat 19-Jul-08 21:59:42

Was she perhaps baptised in a church that sprinkles people with water rather than full immersion, and now she feels she would like full immersion?

I appreciate your feelings, we are in a similar position with mil. She became a Christian about 8 years ago, and is a very difficult lady. Christianity to her seems to mean judging others in quite a negative manner. We find it so so sad

onepieceoflollipop Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:31

x-post re the immersion issue.

Incidentally I was brought up in a strict church environment, and many of the elders were obsessed with making sure you were properly immersed. My poor friend came up out of the water and was promptly re-dunked shock with no warning as they thought her nose hadn't quite gone under!! (not making this up btw). She came up spluttering grin

justaboutagrownup Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smithagain Sat 19-Jul-08 22:17:38

I had a "second" baptism, as an adult, despite having been baptised as an infant. I knew that my first baptism was "valid", but had a very strong urge to be baptised by full immersion, as a public statement of my own, personal commitment to Christ. I'd been confirmed as a relatively young child (too young, in retrospect) and really needed a ceremony to mark my own, adult life as a Christian.

I took advantage of the fact I was attending a church which practised believers' baptism and went ahead. My parents expressed their support, although they still maintained that they were quite sure my infant baptism had been entirely valid. They weren't actually there, because I was away at University.

I know that to some extent my adult baptism wasn't necessary. But I still look back on it as a real rite of passage and I'm very glad I did it. As it happens, my boyfriend (now husband) had a significant spiritual experience that day too, so it is a strong shared memory for us.

I know that's all about me and not about your mum, but maybe she's having similar feelings. Try and support her, even if you think she's a bit off the wall!

Grrlscout Mon 21-Jul-08 07:21:14

Sorry, but I don't understand why you're considering not attending her baptism. You can disapprove of her reasons, but surely you'd want to support her renewal of commitment? How is her being rebaptised all that much different from her having a renewal of wedding vows in a church? Once you've had the sacrament, having it again doesn't change anything.

Just give her your love and support and attend the baptism, and hope for the best. You never know - it might be the push for her to at least try to become a better person, whatever that means to her. It might mean she becomes even more of a sanctimonious cowbag, but that's between her and her god, right?

canofworms Mon 21-Jul-08 12:46:37

I never said I wasn't going to attend hmm

It's just the way it makes me feel that I'm having trouble dealing with and wondered if I'd understand her better if anyone else had got experience of this situation.

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