Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: To be Dunked or Sprinkled
By sheri stafford
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It was going to be a difficult change. How would the families they mentored or those that mentored them react? Sixteen years of deep relationships, linking ones life and family to that of other believers, yes, this was going to be tough.
How would the kids respond? With six boys and one precious girl there was going to be a lot said about this decision. But in the end this was a family that trusted God. These were children that trusted their parents. If the Lord was leading, they would go.
In the course of time and a few visits to churches in the area it became obvious to all that they were being called to a Baptist church. God was being true to His word that He would build the church and it was evident here. This church was growing and growing fast.
The initial shift from Presbyterian to Baptist wasn’t a problem. New relationships were forming, kids were getting plugged in and the family was giving of their time to serve this new church body.
Within a year or so James was stirred by the Lord again while watching the Baptism of a new believer. Baptism here was definitely different from what James was accustomed to. Not only does the preacher try to drowned you by completely dunking you under the water but the testimony of new believers is shared publicly by the pastor. What has led this person to this place in time? How the Lord changed a heart, mended a married and brought redemption to the life of this person? People, hearing their own stories in a person’s life while they are baptized, were often led to decisions for Christ. James recognized this way of baptizing as a very powerful ministry.
With the Lord stirring James’ heart toward a second baptism the idea of a dunking vs. a sprinkle really made no sense to him. “Why would you want me to do that again?” he would ask the Lord. His conversion and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savoir was real and being sprinkled the first time was enough. End of subject for James. Not the end of subject for the Lord.
Totally ignoring the issue became a daily and purposeful event and it began to weigh on James like a wet blanket and Kara began to see the changes that come with disobedience. She suggested seek counsel, seek wisdom, seek obedience.
James sought counsel through several men in the church explaining that being sprinkled did not invalidate the gracious redemption through Christ nor would being dunked now change his salvation, to which all agreed. But one man posed some questions. What if this is not about you? What if this isn’t for you? What if this is an example? An example of what he did not know, but he knew God was faithful. James knew the Lord was dealing with him in this matter and obedience was what was required. “…to obey is better than sacrifice…” 1Sa 15:22 KJV
After talking things over with Kara they approached their children. The kids knew this had been a struggle for their father but they also knew that if he did anything it would be because he was obedient to his God and therefore making the right decision. He explained the counsel he had received from godly men and the questions posed and said that he would be baptized by emersion the following Sunday.
The 9:30 service was packed as always. The Senior Pastor stepped into the baptistery, off to the left of the podium area on the large stage, followed by James, Kara, Keri, John, Joseph, Jacob, Isaiah, Peter and Matthew. Each were baptized by emersion with a testimony that spoke to the obedience not only of a father but that of an entire family.
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