On the topic of Baptism, I had the privilege of interviewing Pastor Dr. Ron Smith of
Waterstone Church and Reverend Debra of Church of the Good Samaritan. Each once
again, had very distinct and passionate responses as it pertained to infant and believers
Pastor Ron used such wonderful, simplistic yet profound analogies to explain
and signify the importance of believers baptism. Reverend Debra shared beautiful
imagery as she described the process for infant baptism. Each Pastor adamantly
mentioned in their interviews how they believed their practice was the way it was
intended to take place.
Pastor Ron shared just as the marriage ceremony comes after the
engagement and there is an exchange of rings between the bride and groom, the baptism
is the next step after accepting Christ into one’s heart. It is the order of the events as they
take place. It is the outward act of obedience that an individual share with their loved
ones. As a wedding is announced and celebrated so is the baptism something to be shared
allowing a time to rejoice in the most important decision an individual will make in their
Reverend Debra discussed how the infant is brought before the church and their
parents and extended family and are held before God as the Priest sprinkles water over
their forehead to signify the baptism. Sharing that this covering should take place as the
child enters the world and not something that should be prolonged over time as the
Analysis of the Interviews
Pastor Ron discussed with many biblical references how many people come to an
understanding of salvation and the acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior, but many
have a challenging time moving on to the next step and realizing the valuable and
significant relevance to the next piece of the puzzle with baptism. It can become a real
stumbling block for many new believer’s as they begin to connect the dots on their
journey of faith. Acts 18:8 reads “Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household
believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were
baptized.” (NIV) He typically waits until the individual is at least 12 years of age. He
then has the parent’s if it’s a minor, or the individual schedule a face-to-face time of
dialogue where he has them express verbally in their own words how they came to the
decision of wanting to be baptized.
Reverend Debra typically meets with the parents and speaks with them briefly about the
significance and the procedure that will take place the day of the baptism. She was
incredibly detailed about the book she uses to follow very closely how to carry out the
procedure, it gives a step-by-step account that needs to be followed with what to say and
do and who can perform the duties.
Much of the believer’s baptism that Pastor Ron leads is very much led by the spirit with a
few specific areas where he shares biblical references and has the individual repeat after
him before they are fully immersed in the water of the baptismal pool.
I fully agree that the choice to be baptized is one that should be made when the individual
is of an age where they can grasp and understand the significance of what Christ
sacrificed for us as believer’s and the individual can articulate to some degree the reason
for their choice. I believe this miracle can and does take place at any age and definitely
earlier than 12 for some people. I have witnessed children by age 7 or 8 and have known
people as young as age 5 accept Christ and choose to be baptized that have amazing
understanding and faith.
I believe the step of brining individuals in to speak with them allows for additional time
to gain insight and understanding as to why they are choosing to be baptized, whether a
child or adult this is a wonderful opportunity for the Pastor to guide and lead the believer
into a deeper relationship with God as they continue their faith journey. Our text speaks
of three differences as it pertains to baptism the mode, symbolism, and subjects. The
believer’s baptism mode according to the New Testament is immersion. “The Greek
word baptizo literally means “to plunge, dip, immerse.” (Hughes p. 374) The symbolism
depicts “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.” (p. 375) Lastly, as it pertains to the subjects “the New Testament consistently
records that baptism was reserved for those who professed their faith in Christ-believers
only.” (p. 376) I learned a great deal as I spoke with both Pastor Ron and Reverend Debra
and it really opened my eyes to the other side of the coin so to speak. While I still agree
with the believers baptism, I enjoyed learning about the biblical references that supported
the beliefs for infant baptism as my understanding broadened. The dialogue was
informative, and I was challenged to see the passionate perspectives of another
denomination. “Baptism is not necessary for salvation. A symbol cannot save. The
imperative is simply to obey Christ, who commanded baptism for all who believe.” (p.
In the text Hughes clearly states that “the one thing we agree on, and which is more
foundational, is that baptism is not optional. As Christians, we are to obey Christ’s Great
Commission command to be baptized (Matt. 28:19).” (p. 374) We don’t have to work
hard to immediately identify and bring to light the differences we find in each other; but
let us be challenged to work hard to find the similarities if not in each other, than the
Christ that is in each of us.
NIV: New International Version. Zondervan, 2011.
Hughes, R. Kent. The Pastor’s Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.
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