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Adult Baptism - views and opinions

(14 Posts)
BrokkenHarted Wed 09-Sep-09 12:02:55

i was not baptised as a child as my parents decided to leave it up to me to do as an adult if i wanted.

Do you think as born aagain christians we are required to get baptised? Have you all been baptised? What are your thoughts on it?

Problem is due to my upbringing and the way i used to feel about chrisianity before, i developed a fear of baptism as i felt pressured into doing it at some point in my life and was badly bullied for it. (this was all in my early teens) It is not something i fear in general but more where i live (where i was brought up) I just cant stop feeling the same fear i did then when i think about it. I have been praying about it and feel i need to talk to some other christians who i dont know.

Thank you in advance.


Mouette Wed 09-Sep-09 20:13:56

Hi Brokenharted
I'm sorry to hear that you were pressured into getting baptised. That is quite wrong. Baptism is a major step on the Christian journey, but it's a step people should take when they're ready.
I was baptised as an adult at the age of 22. I was not brought up a Christian, came to the faith pretty much by myself. For me, baptism was the point where my faith stopped being a private matter, and I was ready to join the Church. However after baptism I still didn't go to church regularly. It's only in the past 3 years that I've been going every week and become active in the church, because I found a church I really liked and was ready to concentrate on that rather than on other things.
So in short, I don't think you "have" to be baptised, no. The question is: are you ready to make a public commitment of faith? Are you happy to become a fully paid member of the Church? I think it also matters that you have found a church you're happy with.
Hope this make sense?
Next Sunday my son, God willing, will be baptised in turn... smile

vinblanc Wed 09-Sep-09 20:21:20

I think that baptism is important as a public declaration of your faith. I love adult baptisms because they are totally from the heart and not there to conform to a particular image.

I was baptised in my early thirties and was blown away by the public support and celebration from within my church family. I felt I belonged before, but afterwards was an even deeper and permanent sense of belonging.

You should not take yourself to baptism until you are ready to make the promises, so do not feel pressurised, but a couple of questions:

How do you feel when you attend an adult baptism? Are you joyful for the person and truly welcome them into your family?

Can you make the promises yourself? Do you turn to Christ, renounce evil and the devil? If you can do that, you are ready for baptism.

Are you sure that you want to follow Christ until the end of your life?

Worrying about what other people think is conforming to the ways of the world. Baptism is between you and God.

BrokkenHarted Wed 09-Sep-09 20:38:18

Thankyou Mouette and vinblanc.

In answer to your questions.

I have not yet found a church i think i want to attend for the rest of my life although i am quite happy to attend my local church every sunday for now.
My dad always told me you should attend a church near you. This church i find at the moment to be very traditions based rather than anything else and comes across snobby like. The church i would feel comfortable with is about 30 mins away but until i pass my driving test i cannot get to it.

I havent really attended adult baptisms. My bro was 13 when he was baptised and i was still in the horrible stage i described to you then. I kinda blanked out my sisters, who was baptised at 14ish.

I am still learning to turn to Christ in difficult times to be honest. (i only recentely became a chritian btw and am still young - not 20 yet)

And yes i am sure i want to follow Christ for the rest of my life.

I literally6 shake thinking about it. It is not exactly the fear of what people think now. It is simply a fear that stemmed from before my teens.


AMumInScotland Wed 09-Sep-09 20:40:19

I think if you've been bullied and pressurised about anything, then you're bound to have a lot of very negative feelings about it, so I'm not suprised you feel conflicted.

Can you think about what parts of it you have these feelings? Is it because you'd be "giving in" to the bullying, by doing it? Or are there parts of the service etc which you feel uncomfortable about? I don't mean you have to tell us, just maybe be clear in your own mind what the problem is.

I think of baptism the same way I think of weddings - they are a public statement of your relationship, but they don't make the relationship happen, or prove that it does. So, if you feel committed to your life as a Christian, and to being in relationship with God through Christ, then you are a Christian, whether or not you have a baptism service.

BrokkenHarted Wed 09-Sep-09 20:52:28

Thank you AMumInScotland

I just feel that pressure i did then. Jut to clear this happened when i was young before i told my parents i wasnt interested and they had just assumed i had commited my life to Jesus same as my siblings. I got bullied by my peers.

I think also, the church here doesnt belive in music. Just presenters and psalms. Things like this annoy me about this church. Its all suits, ties, hats for women and long skirts and that is not me. I like to dance to instruments and sing a cheery modern tune and i wear my jeans and slobby t-shirt. Do you know what i mean? That is what i would do, i have no problem if they want to do their thing but i dont.

vinblanc Wed 09-Sep-09 20:54:43

No church is perfect, bh.

The joke is: If you do find a perfect one, don't go because you will surely spoil it grin.

Your dad is right in that you should try to go to a church in your community. However. it is not always easy to find one that you fit with, theologically and worship style. We go to a church in our neighbouring parish because our local parish church just isn't a fit for us. I am not putting down the parish church because it is a home for many people. I am glad that within our deanery there is a church for everyone.

We had to move for a few years into a parish with one Anglican church, of a different churchmanship we were happy with, and a myriad of other denominations. We church-hopped (or is it shopped) for a couple of months and found ourselves back in the Anglican church. I had a love-hate relationship. I hated the worship, the preaching, the children's education - you name it. But I loved the people. I think this was all part of God's plan to make me more people focussed - and it worked. I learned to count my blessings and find new ways to worship God, and to cheekily ease in my side of Anglicanism into what was there.

My feeling about baptism is that the relationship you have with church family is just as (or almost) important as the one you have with God. God know that you will be ready in time, and his timings are different from ours. The important thing for you is to settle in a church and build relationships there.

You need our prayers to find (or accept) a church family.

BrokkenHarted Wed 09-Sep-09 21:00:04

Thank you so much vinblanc. Silly thing is it is somethin i would like to do in time but am not sure i am ready as yet. I know we are not always right in everythin we do but i do not want to ignore this if it is something i should be doing. I will keep praying myself that God will ease the fear in my heart and give me peace about it.

weegiemum Wed 09-Sep-09 21:08:17

Hi there!

Its a hard one, I think.

I'm 38, and was baptised 2 and a half years ago after having been a Christian for 20 years. I had been baptised as a child, and it took me a long, long time to figure out all the theological wrangles of that - finally decided that I wanted to do it as my parents got me "christened" with no real intention of bringing me up in the church, though we did go sometimes.

I think it is something that it is good to do, however, it doesn't make you any more a Christian than you were before. Though for me it was very emotional, actually. I thought I was just doing it cos it was something I should do (we had recently started going to our Baptist church, couldn't be members if not baptised, and for the first time ever, in a church that didn't promote Infant Baptism).
I stood in the tank, and though "why am I doing this?", went down, and came up dripping wet but also sobbing my heart out - it was a very, very emotional thing to do. Partly I think as we had our 3 children dedicated on that day and dh was baptised just before me.

You were clearly very badly treated as a teenager over this. Personally, I wouldn't want to see anyone under the age of about 16 baptised, because you need to grow up and make your own decisions. Have you talked to anyone about what happened to you? It would be good to talk it through and try to learn to come to terms with what happened, which might well include forgiving the people who put so much pressure on you when you were so young and vulnerable.

It also really sounds like the church you are going to is not for you. You don't have to say, but your talk of precenters and psalms makes me wonder if you are in the North of Scotland somewhere? I lived in a very "Wee Free" area for a long time and it can be quite difficult if it is not what you want. I don't think you should be baptised in a church you are not happy with, where you don't belong. I spent years in the Church of Scotland and more years in the Scottish Episcopal Church, but now I am in the Baptist church I feel I have really found a 'home'. I know what you mean about the tunes and the jeans and the dancing - I'm a big old happy-clappy, me!

If you would like to talk to me more about this, feel free to CAT. There are a lot more personal things about the whole experience I would not want to put on a public forum.

Take care, and just spend time getting to know God better. there is an ancient Celtic blessing which encourages you to "sail into the ocean of His love" - this is my prayer for you.

oronoco Wed 09-Sep-09 23:22:50

hi brokenharted,
i think baptism is really important, we are told it is in many places ie,mark1v4 and mark16v15 tell us it is for 'forgiveness of sins'and baptism 'saves us'. You are on the right path through prayer! I do think it is important for us individually to study the bible and make our own decisions. We have to understand what God is expecting of us and of course what He offers in return if we follow Him. Sorry to hear you were bullied for it when you were younger - shame on them sad

Mouette Thu 10-Sep-09 11:35:45

Dear BH, I completely understand. Music and singing are very important for me too (indeed the church I go to now is very big on music and has a very good choir - my husband joined it!). However it doesn't mean you can't get baptised in the church you go to now, if you want to, it's a separate matter. You are very young (19!) so there's no need to rush really. Take your time, pray about it, do it when you're ready. I was baptised in the Lutheran church in France, am now in an Anglican church with a liberal outlook and an Anglo-Catholic style of worship. You don't have to stay in the church you're baptised in. All the best!

Tortington Thu 10-Sep-09 11:39:36

churches without music are pants.

and theres nothing lovlier than kids singing what i term ' jesus songs'

shame you can't get to another church.

i think regarding the baptism, perhaps you should just go to your priest,vicar whatever - and say "look want to get it done, would like it done low low key due to bullying reasons - can you do the shake rattle and roll with a couple of witnesses and have done!"

BrokkenHarted Thu 10-Sep-09 12:35:10

Thankyou Everyone.

I think i will just take Mouettes advice and pray about it and do it when i am ready.

Mouette Fri 11-Sep-09 19:52:34

smile May God be with you.

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