2007September5, Wednesday

A Real Presbyterian Baptism

Posted in Anecdotes at 22:20 by Trey Austin

A week ago last Sunday, i had the great priviledge of baptizing a young man into membership in Christ’s body. He is a young man who had never been baptized (otherwise, i never would have baptized him!), but who came to know Christ through several issues in his life that providentially converged.

Well, i counseled with the young man, not only explaining the Gospel, but also explaining his responsibilities as a Christian to live in way that is worthy of the Gospel, because if he doesn’t, if he falls away and by his life later denies the Lord who bought him, he’ll be worse off than he was before. Also, though, one thing i counseled him to do was to wear nice clothes, but to wear clothes that he didn’t mind getting a bit wet.

Well, Sunday came, and i gave my baptismal exhortation before the baptism itself. Then, i asked the young man to come and kneel down next to the font. In keeping with the Didache, i practice trine baptism by effusion (short of baptism in running water, i pour water three times over the head). I cupped my two hands together, and took a handful of water from the font and said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father,” pouring the first handful. I took another handful as i said, “And of the Son,” pouring the second time. Once again, i took a handful of water as i said, “And of the Holy Ghost,” pouring the third time. Each time i poured the water, you could hear the water as it rolled down the young man’s head, off his shoulders and back, and splattered on the floor. Immediately after the third handful, i laid my hands on his head and prayed for him that God would make his baptism effectual, and that he would, by God’s grace, grow in his faith and assurance, especially thanking him for the grace of baptism that would give him, as it does for all of us, aid in time of temptation and trial. It was a wonderful time of worship and fellowship, as we had a meal immediately following the service to celebrate the new member of God’s Kingdom.

During that meal, though, several people made some funny comments about the baptism. One person said, “I thought you were going to drown that boy!” The funniest line, though, i thought, was one of the elders who said, “I’ve seen Baptists use less water to baptize somebody!” But of course, i just think that it was what Presbyterians should be doing as we baptize.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalm 133)

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1 Comment »

  1. tempe said,

    “I’ve seen Baptists use less water to baptize somebody!”

    Hilarious!

    And reading Psalm 133 has inspired me to make music in my heart to Bible Songs 280, “Christian Unity” (which we will hopefully sing at my upcoming installation).

    Glad to see you back blogging. I hope things are going well now.


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