Is public baptism necessary?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Prodigal Daughter, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Prodigal Daughter

    Prodigal Daughter
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    Before I get more into the actual wuestion and basis, let me give you a background of myself. I was in beauty pageants for my whole life. I was in talent shows....any way that my face could be pushed out, and made public, I did it. Well, I have become humble and modest. I dont want attention, and I dont want people watching me. I would like to sit back and be part of the crowd.

    I feel that baptism is between God and myself. This is my act to show Him that I love Him, and have accepted Christ, and want my sins wiped away...so far, everyone I have spoken to says that I am supposed to do this in front of the church. It is a public ceremony. If that is the case, then I truly don't wish to go through with a baptism.

    I know preachers who would do this for me, with maybe my husband, and a few friends with me. I seriously want no more than 5 people to see this act. Is that ok? Or do I really need to do this in front of my whole congregation?
     
  2. bapmom

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    I understand and respect your viewpoint, especially your change of heart about wanting to be the center of attention.

    However, baptism is not between you and God....it is not done (primarily) to show God how much you love Him. It is, by definition, done in order to be a testimony to other people. It is supposed to be somewhat public, although sending out invitations would, of course, be unnecessary. :) In the least it ought to be done in front of your local church body. That is what baptism is supposed to be, a public declaration that you are now following Christ because of the change that has happened within you.

    A public baptism is not you showing off....it is you glorifying Christ. As a Christian you cannot and must not take yourself completely out of the picture.....in order to be a testimony for Christ people will have to see you. Don't fall into the trap of going from one extreme to another.......be balanced.


    Wait now, I just reread your post and you mentioned wanting your "sins wiped away". You do understand that physical baptism has no part in washing your sins away, right?
     
  3. Amy.G

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    Baptism is an outward expression of an inward commitment. The fact that you would refuse to be baptized based on the public aspect of it says to me that you are still clinging to "self" and not willing to submit to God. If your desire is to please God instead of yourself, you will go ahead and be baptized in the presence of the church. :)
     
  4. SBCPreacher

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    Try and look at it this way: If you refuse to do what Christ has commanded, then that is disobedience. Jesus, who set the example for us, was baptized publicly. It's already been asked, but who do you want to please - self or Jesus?
     
  5. donnA

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    Baptism is a public declaration, it is not private. It is the first act of obedience God asks of you, if you disobey Him here, you live in disobedience. Jesus was publicly baptized, why would we not want to be associated with Him publicly? Being publicly baptized is not the same thing as parading and showing yourself in beauty pageants. When I was saved my deepest desire was to be baptized. I was so extremely shy I didn't want to do anything people would see me. I was scared to death, but I did it anyway, God said so. God soemtimes asks us to do things that are hard for us, we do them through His power in us. This cause us to grow, if we did nothing hard or challenging for us, and brushed off what God tells us to do, would we grow, not at all.
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    Rejoice! It's your first public testimony. Your baptism by emersion represents your dying to self and raised up into a new life with Christ.

    Baptism doesn't save you.....it has no part in your salvation. It's something you do after you are saved as bearing witness to your salvation and your obedience to the LORD.

    Jesus was baptized publicly. Very publicly.

    Jesus didn't need to repent nor to be "saved", so therefore believer's baptism is not for repentance nor salvation. Jesus was baptized in obedience to the Father and as a public testimony to His commitment to Him.

    Ours is the same. We don't want to boast in anything except Jesus and we want to publicly demonstrate our commitment to God.

    God's response to Jesus' baptism was extremely public. The Holy Spirit came down as a dove and God's voice could audibly be heard.

    That kind of thing doesn't happen with our baptism, but those who bear witness to our baptism rejoice with us!
     
  7. Prodigal Daughter

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    I think I have been misunderstood. I mean, I did put my basic thoughts out there plainly, but it's not that I don't want people to know I am baptised. Not at all. I've just developed a complex over the many years of being thrown out for everyone to see. Im not ashamed. I just feel anxious, and scared, and I want nothign more than to run and hide when I have to stand in front of people.

    I want nothign more than to be baptised, but I don't know many people in the congregation, and I just...I don't know. I lived in an abusive household when I was younger, and before I could tell anyone what had happened to me, my aunt would call the whole family, and tell her side. She was a saint in their eyes, and I never go tto tell people what really happened. I became used to people saying thigns about how I just wanted attention, and when I did something good, it was just to get in good graces with everyone else, and that I wasnt doing it for the reasons I should.

    When you overhear something like this while young and impressionable, it sticks with you. That's why I only want people I know being there. They know that Im not doing this to impress anyone. Im doing it for me. If I had to do it in front of all the other people, those I dont know, or dont know well, I think I would just feel like they are all saying "She's just trying to get attention."

    Maybe I should have explained more of that sooner, but Im not trying to get pity. After reading the replies, I figured out that maybe it was a little important to share that part.
     
  8. ccrobinson

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    I don't know anybody in the church you're talking about, but I guarantee you that the real Christians at the church won't think anything of the sort. The fake ones might have a problem with it, but don't pay them no mind.

    Personally, I always love it when adults have the guts to go forward and get baptized. :thumbs:
     
  9. bapmom

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    Prodigal Daughter,

    if those are your reasonings for not wanting to be baptized publicly than you are still letting your family rule your actions. And I honestly understand your feelings! I can empathize with you. But you must not let this hinder you from doing what is right. God wants you to lean on Him for strength and for courage. All that matters is what God thinks of you, and if you are obeying Him than it does not matter what your family thinks of it.

    In a way, you are still letting it be all about you. Please understand what I mean. By saying "I don't want my family to think badly of me" you are letting your reputation be the guide for your actions. This is still prideful, even if it looks on the outside as if it is retiring and humble.

    Public baptism points to what Christ has already done for you. It is all about God. It is not a huge public performance with trumpets and fanfare.....but it is still to be done in front of your local church. Your family may talk about your baptism and wonder if it was sincere. But it will be up to you to prove your testimony through your life after baptism.
     
  10. annsni

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    Sweetie - Baptism is NOT about putting you in the spotlight but to put what God has done for you in the spotlight!! Pray about it and ask God to give you the strength and courage to stand up for Him and declare His goodness and mercy. I'm sorry for what has happened to you in your past to make you feel this way. Have you met with anyone about this??
     
  11. Prodigal Daughter

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    Nothing like therapy. I have spoen with other family members, and some have admitted that I had a rough life, but there wasnt much they could do at the time. Ive been given some closure on most of it, and forgiven my abusers. As for the feeligns I have about the baptism, or anyt public display, no. This is my own dragon to slay, and Ive been fighting with it for a while now.

    I know, I need to pull myself together and show my gratitude. It seems like it is nothing, but just having the guts to do it....wow, I cant even ptu it into words. I know that this isnt about me, and I seem selfish for thinking of myself over God...*beginning to cry* This is something I want so badly. SOOOOOOOO badly. I know that I can live with myself and my past once it is done.....pray that God give me strength
     
  12. following-Him

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    I too put off being baptised - for many years in my case. I used my fear of water as an excuse. There came a point when I could no longer fight the will of the Holy Spirit. When that morning came, my fear of water just vanished. It was such an awesome occassion. It was more than that because the Holy Spirit also used that act of witness and obedience to be baptised to touch the heart of another in the congregation and a few months later he was baptized too. This baptism led to at least another person being baptized.

    Praying for you



    Blessings

    followinghim
     
    #12 following-Him, Feb 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2007
  13. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Having been through abuse as a child I am sorry that you went through that. It is hard to discern a persons heart in a forum sometimes so understand that If I were talking with you my tone of voice would be different than what appears here.

    Baptism isn't about you. It is about glorifying God. If you want to make sure that happens then give your testimony just before you are submersed. Give God all the credit and glory.
     
  14. Brother Bob

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    I can assure you, if you will confess the Lord before the whole world, that all your thoughts and troubles about this, will be gone forever and you will be the happiest young woman in the world.

    As some have said, its not only about you, but its you, not being ashamed to confess the Lord, before the President of these United States or anyone in the world.

    I would like to veiw your baptism, just to watch the glow on your face when you come out of the water. God Bless and trust in your Lord,
     
  15. donnA

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    When your affraid for whatever reason to obey God, when you do it anyway, your fear leaves you just when you need it too, and in the end your are so glad you did what you were affraid of. Don't worry about what other people will say about, worry about God, and disobedience. People who love the Lord will know exactly why your getting baptized, and know it has nothing to do with getting attention.
     
  16. annsni

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    Oh, gosh!! ((HUGS))!! Pray about it - and make that stand. I assure you that you will be thrilled you did. I honestly cry at every baptism - knowing how awesome God is and how much He's done for us. He's pretty cool, isn't He? Step out in faith - to do something that is so hard for you. I think even THAT is an awesome testimony to the Lord and His goodness.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Now is your chance to give a public testimony of God's grace. It should be a time of celebration. The focus is not to be on you but Christ.

    Hebrews. 12:1,2, "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
     
  18. Benjamin

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    I like that idea, you might even talk about your fear of people thinking you were just doing it for attention in conflict to the strong conviction given by the Holy Spirit to express these changes that are happening in your life publicly. To humbly tell the world of the light in you given by God's grace:

    (Mat 5:14) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

    (Mat 5:15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

    (Mat 5:16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
     
    #18 Benjamin, Feb 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2007
  19. AAA

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    The bible says: If you deny me (JESUS) before men I (JESUS) will deny you before my Father.

    It also says: If you confess me (JESUS) before men, I (JESUS) will confess you before my Father.

    Baptism is one of the many ways that we a christians have the privlige to confess (JESUS) before men.

    :godisgood:
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    After witnessing to a man and seeing him confess Christ as Lord, I suggested that his next step would be baptism, and he was ready. But his wife said she had been saved years earlier, but never baptized because she was terrified at the thought of having her face pushed under the water.

    My response: "I'm sorry, I can't help you. This is between you and God to work out." I resolved to place her under no pressure whatsoever, but to trust God in this matter.

    Daughter, this is my counsel to you. Do not bow to pressure to be baptized. But do not be baptized until God gives you the courage to do it before your congregation.

    At present you desire baptism on your own terms. Pray that God will give you a desire to glorify Him above all else, starting with your baptism.
     

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