Rituals of Baptism
Sacrament is defined as: “a Christian rite that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality” (Merriam-Webster). Baptism is one of the Sacraments of Christianity that is recognized. It affirms that guilt will be removed as well as the effects of Original Sin. Those baptized will be united with the Church, which symbolizes the body of Christ here on earth. In Hebrew or Greek forms, baptism means to immerse in water. This sacrament is often thought of as the “door by which the believer enters the church and has the right to partake in the rest of the Sacraments” (Sacrament of Baptism).
Infants possess the original sins that each person attains after birth. According to various religious beliefs from Christian communities, the practice of baptism cleanses those sins. Essentially, they can die with or without the sins depending on this practice. Technically, the personal sins are absent from them as they have not reached the age of accountability. In this light, the infants baptized through Christian faith are believed acceptable in heaven as they have no sins. However, those who die before baptism bring a controversy that churches like the Catholic Church do not clarify on their fate1. In respect to this controversy, theologians have a wide range of theories indicating that the infant’s souls are received in Limbo, which is believed to have absolute happiness or mildest punishment. It is, therefore, apparent that children who die before attaining individual consciousness can be sinful depending on whether they are not baptized. In answering the subject question, they are not primarily innocent of sin unless in the conditions stipulated within this paragraph.Essentially, there are many Christianity-based arguments that support the baptism of infants. It has been argued that baptism is a practice for believers in which they protest their faith to other people. This argument implies that those who believe in Christ are his remnants through decision making. For instance, it has been indicated in Romans 6: 3-4 that, “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried 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.
The ritual baptism commonly practiced by Baptists community. Baptists are Christians who believe that baptism is performed on adults(do not accept infant baptism). They believe that the ritual must be performed through immersion in water(not scatter and affusion). Baptism is performed through a religious law whereby a person is purified with water and becomes one of their own. Baptism continues to play a key role in the sacramental tradition of Baptists. This ritual has helped a lot in shaping the behaviors of Baptists. Baptists have come to understand the importance of forgiveness. It has contributed a lot in passing moral and ethical values to people as time advances. This ritual helps in understanding the norms and customs of Baptists without any uncertainty. These objectives are achieved through introduction of Sunday school classes and religious seminars where children and youths participate before the ritual is performed (Baptist faith & message, 2000). This ritual of baptism is not fixed, but it continues to grow as time progresses. Through research and gathering information’s from church artifacts and the elderly, I have come to realize that the former baptism was performed through immersion in water by the Jews (Hebrew Bible). John the Baptist performed this ritual with the intention of reducing crime while other priests had other motives like changing to Judaism. This ritual was passed by John the Baptist to Jesus and his disciples. Jesus was immersed in water by John. Jesus also performs this ritual to his disciples since it was part of their culture and had to be transferred from one generation to the next generation through observations and actions. (John 3:22-4:2).
Generally speaking, it is clear that baptism has a very important place in religion. As the bible says, ““Now when all the individuals were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened.” (Luke 3:21, 22). The sacraments appear to be very sacred and their significance is something that has been passed down for many generations. In the end, it is obvious that baptism is a ritual that secures a person with a destiny that connects them to their creator.
Baptist faith & message. (2000). Dallas, Tex.: Baptist Executive Board, Baptist General Convention of Texas\
Blount, D. K., & Wooddell, J. D. (2007). The Baptist faith and message 2000: critical issues in America's largest Protestant denomination. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Jewett, P. K. (1978). Infant baptism and the covenant of grace: an appraisal of the argument that as infants were once circumcised, so they should now be baptized. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans