ALL ABOUT THE BAPTISM THING
What is water baptism?
It is a spiritually meaningful, symbolic ceremony that publicly shows a person's desire and commitment to following Jesus Christ.
Why baptize people anyway?
Jesus commanded us to baptize (Matthew 28:19-20), and we are following His example when we do it (Mark 1:9). It is a symbol of how we were spiritually buried with Him and raised for new life when we accepted His forgiveness and the new life He offers us.
Do I have to be baptized to get to heaven?
Nope. We are saved by faith and God's grace, not by any religious works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is kind of like a wedding ring - its an outward symbol of an inward commitment based on love.
Why is baptism done publicly?
Almost all of the biblical examples of baptism show people doing it in public (Acts2:41) as an expression of sharing a joyous decision with family, friends, and our church.
Why do we baptize by immersion?
In the New Testament, we see people being taken down into water and brought back up (Matthew 3:16, Acts 8:38-39). The Greek word 'baptizo' means to immerse. Immersion is a picture of being buried and raised to new life in salvation (Romans 6:4). In a lot of Christian churches throughout history, the format of baptism has been a major doctrinal issue. At TMP, we are more concerned with our heart attitude towards Jesus.
Who can baptize?
In the New Testament, we usually see church leaders baptizing (John 4:1-2, Acts 10:47-48, 16:33) so normally a couple of our pastors baptize, but we're totally open to inviting others and family members to baptize a loved one.
How soon should I be baptized?
In the New Testament, we see people being baptized immediately after accepting Christ, as a first and public step of allegiance to Jesus (Acts 2:41, 8:38-39, 10:47-48). We would encourage you to be baptized as soon as you feel the tug to do so ...
What if I was baptized before I made a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ?
Since baptism is a first step after deciding to follow Jesus Christ, the first time may have been a well-meant, but only religious activity. Maybe you were baptized as an infant which may have been very meaningful for your parents. We don't want to take anything away from their memory of that experience. We'd just say that this time... its your memory. Your decision. Your experience.
What if I was not immersed for baptism?
Although the method of baptism is not a deal breaker for us, we really do desire to practice the pattern found in the New Testament. Immersion is our standard practice, but if you've got a water phobia or something we can make something work for you.
How often can I be baptized?
In the New Testament, baptism is seen as a first-step, one-time ceremony. Since it is not a magical action that saves us or makes us closer to God, we would encourage you to not confuse yourself or others by being baptized more than once.
Can children be baptized?
If a child has understood and accepted what it means to follow Jesus Christ, then we're willing to baptize them. If they aren't at the age or awareness level where they can express why they want to be baptized on their own, we usually ask them to wait a bit.
What are baptism services like at The Meeting Place Church in Nanaimo?
At TMP, we usually have our baptism services on the beach at Long Lake in Nanaimo. If you wish to be baptized, you’ll get together with someone beforehand who will explain everything to you and answer any questions you might have. Then, on the date, everyone gets together on the beach. You’ll have a chance to share with those who are there why it is your decision to be baptized. Some people like to do this just by talking from the heart, others like to read something they’ve written, and still others like to have someone else read or share something on their behalf. Public speaking is not a prerequisite for baptism! Then you head off into the water one at a time. You’ll be met by a pastor or whoever will be baptizing you, they’ll dunk you under, and you’ll pop back up... very wet! You’ll be met by someone with a towel back on the beach, and then have a chance to accept well wishes from the people who are there to encourage you.
What do I wear for baptism?
The appropriate attire for baptism at TMP is a non-see thru shirt and shorts. Sweatshirts are sometimes a good idea - and we’ve even had folks wear wetsuits! Bring a change of clothes and a towel.