Have you started to read food labels?
Many folks nowadays do not trust all the beneficial claims of the big brand names.
This is a new custom. When I was coming up the custom was orange powdered drink and marshmellow spread for breakfast, baloney on white bread for lunch, and powdered mac and cheese for dinner.
We've outgrown this era by greater knowledge and understanding and taking more personal responsibility for what we eat and what we serve to our families. This change in custom is well worth the effort and the occasional discussion with those who still just eat whatever.
When it comes to religious customs in the Christian Church- these are even harder to change. And perhaps the biggest custom of all is infant baptism, performed oft times without so much as reading the label, I mean the bible.
Infant baptism began to be practiced by some within two hundred years after Jesus rose. By 600 AD it had became the state policy of the Roman Empire. It was sort of like one's name was put on the citizen's roll of the empire at birth, so why not on the baptism roll too?
Now my heart goes out to parents who have to make this decision. The expectation that all will follow this custom is very real and pressing (but please know that most pastors will gladly dedicate babies to the service of the Lord and pray for protection of them).
And when someone brings up the scriptural norm of waiting for a believer's baptism so a young person or adult can freely choose Jesus as Lord, our first instinct is to defend the honor of our family and religious custom.
Now when we choose to follow the bible it's not that we are saying that all one's religious customs are off the mark. Thanks be to God your family taught you to fear Him and attend church. And infant baptism is often the best that parents know or knew to do for their children.
And when I give my testimony about the power and greatness of an adult faither's baptism, I make sure to tell folks it doesn't mean everything you know about Jesus and true religion is wrong. It just means that you missed an important step along the way.
Deciding once and for all for Jesus as your Lord, as the one you will follow and obey is the most important decision you will ever make.
Why would you let anyone else make that decision for you?
We all know of many Christians that say that water baptism, whether infant or an adult beliver's baptism, is not necessary. Faith alone is all you need. It is my sense that many Christians are rejecting the clear biblical mandate for adult baptism, or ignoring it with rationalizations, because along with the unbiblical teaching of infant baptism often goes the unbiblical teaching that water baptism saves folks without a personal expression of faith.
The way we see it here at ZPM is that if you are faithful in knowing and following scriptural practices, you will repent and get baptized and publicly profess your faith (Acts 2,37-39). Baptism and profession go together like a husband and wife (Ephesians 5,26). There is true faith without baptism, but why not follow through and do what Jesus did?
Baptism and this type of faith roots us in the strong cornerstone salvation of Christ and also lifts us out from and above the domain of sin (Romans 6,6) and ushers us into the domain of the resurrected Lord, the ever flowing grace of God and His kingdom.
Think about it- pouring water on a infant's head takes away his or her sin nature?
Pouring water on a babies head saves an eternal soul?
We innoculate babies against various future diseases, and this has proven to be effective, but infant baptism is no such innoculation and there is no proof of its efficacy.
An adult faithers baptism is the best decision I ever made for myself.
We have gone back to square one when it comes to our diets, that sustain our persishing physical bodies, why not go back to square one when it comes to sustaining our imperishable spiritual bodies, host of our eternal souls?
If you would like to read the bible about baptism you might start with Acts 2,37-39; Mark 16,16 and John 3,5.
(Please keep in mind that the various defenders of infant baptism will equate it with infant circumcision in the Hebrew scriptures. This comparison doesn't convince because physical circumcision begins a physical-national law based covenant for the whole people of Israel, whereas the Christian faith begins as a Spiritual circumcision, a personal response in one's heart to God's grace that begins a new covenant whereby individuals personally choose to live by faith in Jesus, Romans 2,29; Colossians 2,11-12).
If you'd like to inquire about your own baptism, please contact us.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...