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Piva 1 Keegan Piva HUMA-2300-005 22 February 2014 Baptism in Christianity Around the world there are thousands of different

religious traditions and doctrines that are practiced every day. One tradition that has really caught my attention and I set out to learn more about was baptism. I never really understood the concept and I thought that it had to do with a certain religion but in reality it doesnt. In this paper I am going to talk about what baptism is and how it is conducted, along with some requirements for being baptized and whether it is necessary to reach heaven. I use my experience of attending Calvary Chapel Boise on Sunday February 16th and some of the teachings that Pastor Bob Caldwell taught on that day in this paper. After the service I interviewed Todd Ziegler, a dedicated Christian, to figure out more about baptism and his personal experience with it. When the service started on Sunday at the Calvary Chapel one of the first things that was talked about was baptism. Pastor Bob wanted to remind everyone in the Chapel about the upcoming baptisms that were going to take place. The following weekend the Chapel was going to be baptizing those that have chosen to be baptized. He then gave a quick message on what baptism is about and then went on to the talking point of the day. Throughout the service when I was listing to the Pastor, it made me think of more questions that I had about baptism. When the service was over I sat down and talked with Todd and got more information on those questions. When Pastor Bob was talking he said that, Baptism is faith in Christ and not in a church.2 This immediately took me by awe because I have always heard of people being baptized Mormon or being baptized Christian but he was saying otherwise. Pastor Bob meant

Piva 2 that a person is baptized because they are ready to put their faith in Jesus and live a life through Him. When I asked Todd what baptism is, he told me that there is two main times you get baptized in your life. He said, The first is when you are in your mothers womb and then are born into the world, the second is when you chose that you want to follow a life through Jesus.3 The one that I am most concerned about in this paper is the second one. This is the baptism that is always seen in religion. In the second baptism you are baptized because you want to give up your old ways and give faith in Christ and let Him live in you. This means that He guides you in your everyday life. When you get baptized you are allowing Christ to help you in life. Most people know a baptism as someone going into the water and getting dunked under water and then come out baptized. Well there is a lot more to it than that. At the Calvary Chapel Todd told me that the process is you pronounce to the room why you want to be baptized and why you want to commit to the Savior, and then you go into the water and the Pastor prays on you and then dunks you into the water3. The reason that you first talk to the people at the service is because it is a proud moment to follow God and put your faith in Him and let Him lead the way. It is announcing that you are ready to make this step in your life and allowing the people in the room to be a part of that. Then once you get into the water and take a seat the Pastor then says a prayer to Jesus and then baptizes you. He baptizes you by laying you back into the water and then lifting you out. When the believer is put under the water in baptism it represents the death and burial of their old life. Coming up out of the water is a beautiful symbol of resurrection and walking in newness of life.1 This statement off of the SLC Calvary Chapels website tells exactly what the baptism is about. The water is meant to wash away the sins of the person and put to rest their old life and when they rise out of the water they have been reborn into a life of Christ. That is the process of how someone gets baptized.

Piva 3 One thing that a lot of people will get caught up on with this process of baptism is the water. It seems that the water must be holy water or some type of special water. When I asked Todd about this after the service he went back to the two main baptisms in ones life. The first time is when you are born. He said that, When you are born you are in water in your mothers womb and then you are born.3 So then it makes sense that in order to reborn into the world you must be placed back into the water. Pastor Bob touched on this concept of how it doesnt have to be any special type of water or place in a joking way. He said, We do it in a horse trough on the stage.2 He was making the point that baptism is about being reborn and rinsed of your past life regardless of where or what body of water you are in. So the issue of the type of water that one must be baptized in really isnt an issue it is about the concept of rebirth. Another thing that is commonly wondered from people outside the religion is at what age can someone be baptized. There really is no correct age that someone is going to get baptized. When I asked Todd he said, I have seen people of all ages get baptized but it is usually later in their teens when they start to understand themselves as a person.3 Some people will have their kids baptized when they are a baby by having the water sprinkled on their head. This is more for the parents to symbolize that they are going to raise the child the way that the Lord would want him to be raised. Another time is in the age range from 6-13 and Todd mentioned, This is when the kids do it because everyone else is doing it, or their parents want them to do it.3 Meaning that at this age the child is really not fully at an understanding of his life but is being pressured into baptism because everyone else is doing it. This is where I was when I was baptized when I was 8 years old. Looking back now I really had no idea who I was or what I was really doing but my parents and everyone in church was so I should do it as well.

Piva 4 After this age group it really depends more on where the person is at in their life. In the late teens and on, people understand a little better of what they want in life. A person makes that decision that he or she wants to be a better person and live the way that Christ wants us to live. They decide to give up their old life and get rid of their sins and follow the life of Christ. For some people this happens later in life, if a person is having hardships or is living a life of sin and they realize that there is something more to life than this they will chose to get baptized. They realize that they have more to offer and to stop being so self-centered and be more about following Jesus and what he has planned for you. At the end of high school and beyond that, I think that people understand what they want better and can make the decision to get baptized on their own. All that is required to be baptized is that one has committed their life to Jesus. Baptism is a key part of every Christians religious following and most of the time they are very vivid memories, for Todd he said he could remember it like it was yesterday afternoon. I was 17 and had a sense about how I was living and felt bad about it and didnt want to live like that anymore. I wanted to live like I think I should and how Jesus wants me to. There has got to be a better plan than this. Something is wrong with this picture and this isnt right. I want to be baptized. So he told his friends that were Christian and they went to a church and said he wanted to get baptized. So there I was confessing my faith to Christ with my nine bros and the Pastor and then I got baptized. It was a very personal experience.3 After Todd told me the experience he told me that all of his family members can remember their baptism as if it were yesterday as well. Almost all baptisms are a very personal and memorable experience. Todds story did bring up the thought of: Can baptisms happen on any day? When I asked him he said of course no matter what day it is if you have a pastor and you are ready to make that commitment in your life then you can get baptized.

Piva 5 Although baptism seems to be a requirement for Heaven it is not required. Some people think that in order to get to heaven that you must be baptized. By getting baptized you reach a point in your life that you are ready to commit to Jesus and follow his ways. But even if you do not get baptized one can still be saved. When I asked Todd he said, Faith in Christ gets you there and being baptized is not required.3 He told me the story of when Jesus was being crucified there was two other people being crucified at the same time. The guy on the right mocked Jesus because if he was all powerful than he would be able to save them. The guy on the left was sorry that Jesus was up there and knew who he was and acknowledged him, and Jesus told him that he would be safe with him and live life in eternal heaven. So even though this man on the right had never been baptized he acknowledged who Jesus was and put his faith in him and still was able to reach heaven. Although baptism is an important part of a persons life it is not necessary in order to make it to heaven. On my journey of learning the ins and outs of baptism I learned many different things about the Christian religion at Calvary Chapel Boise and interviewing with Todd Ziegler. I did learn a lot more but really wanted to understand the concept of baptism. I learned that getting baptized means that you are putting your faith into Christ and you are ready to live a life with Him. Baptism is a commitment to Christ and is important in a Christians following. For most Christians this can happen at any time in your life as long as you are ready to make that commitment to God. When someone gets baptized it is about washing away and putting to rest their old ways and sins and embracing a new life with God. Baptism is a very helpful way to connect with Christ and to live as a better Christian but this is not a requirement to reach Heaven. Going to Calvary Chapel and experiencing their time to worship and pray was a great experience and a great way to learn more about something I previously had no clue about.

Piva 6 References 1"Baptisms." Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
2

Caldwell, Bob. Quotes from the Pastor at the service. 16 Feb. 2014 Ziegler, Todd. "Interview on Baptism." Personal interview. 16 Feb. 2014.