Praying is Good
There’s nothing like a bout of misfortune to bring a person to their knees and inspire them to say a little prayer. I’ve done more than a little praying, I’ve done a lot. On my knees? More like flat on my face. Praying is good. It takes a lot of worry of our minds and puts it in the care of those who are way more capable than us to deal with our dumb decisions, stupid mistakes and regular uphill battles. Spending time praying gives us a chance to smell the roses, enjoy the breezes and be super duper grateful for all the blessings in our lives.
Once I realized how much smoother my life rolls with a little help from my friends up High, the next most obvious step was to get baptised. To be honest I had no idea what it meant really, I just knew that I wanted to be baptised. A couple of near death experiences helped point me in the right direction. Despite my ailings and failings I felt totally reborn and the idea of baptism felt just right.
Our ‘Non-Denominational’ Pastor
At a health resort during one of my more notable failed attempts for better health I asked the ‘non denominational’ pastor at the resort if he could baptise me. He said, that he had a better idea. How about he would come over to my house and teach me the bible? I didn’t know. Thought I’d run it past my kids who were teenagers at the time. We all know what teenagers are like.
After I viewed my Catholic upbringing with a fair dose of skepticism my kids had been brought up to believe that the Eastern religions with the regular secret initiations and silent retreats were the bees knees. As well as sharing Jesus’ parables I’d thrown in regular servings of New Age stuff and esoterism, mixed with Wicca, sprinkled with Taoism. All their lives my children dined on Syncretism Supreme a la Maison served on fancy occult platters.
I asked my kids what they thought about this pastor coming over to our house and teaching me the bible. My kids said, ‘cool.’ So I told the pastor, ‘cool.’
The pastor came and taught us for more than a year. All three of us LOVED the bible. We weren’t always 100% sure about the interpretation he gave to it. But we LOVED God’s Word. It made sense to us and put a lot of things in perspective for each of us. After a year it was time to get baptised.
Time To Get Baptised
We had big plans. We were going to invite the whole of town including the Major and we did. We chose a really lovely spot to be baptised at the river’s mouth. It was so exciting. We found in our combined wardrobes three nice long white dresses to wear on the day. A little lace but not too much, just right. We ordered the biggest chocolate cake in town and we had huge chocolate letters put on it. My little 5-year-old nephew who came over to visit for this big occasion all the way from the lower end of the Gold Coast to our place at the top of the Sunny Coast, said that it was the best cake he had ever tasted in his life. We could only agree.
The cake read, O, Taste and see that the LORD is good.
My bed spread doubled as a beautiful white damask tablecloth to dress our ‘cake table’ on which we also placed a few brochures on baptism. Because by then I had discovered what baptism is all about. The bible is very clear on it.
It all felt holy and right. Jesus said, No one can enter into the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
I had been baptised as a little baby in the Catholic church and really had not much an idea of what this involved. This time around it was like a very strong inner urging which made me want to be baptised even before I had read much scripture and understood what it all meant.
The date was set, the weather beautiful, our minds relaxed and at ease with a hint of excitement of what was to come.
A week or so before the big event, another pastor ‘mate’ came and visited. He wasn’t our ‘mate’ he was our pastor’s mate.
Signing On The Dotted Line
These mates had collectively decided that there were going to be a couple of changes. The suggestion was that it was not going to be our pastor who would do the baptizing but it was going to be the pastor’s mate, his mate’s dad and his mate’s granddad. The granddad was a retired pastor and the other two were both pastors in a local church. And could we please sign on the dotted line that we were going to join this church and follow their doctrine?
We thought about this for a fraction of a second and decided, no. We like non-denominational, that’s why we picked the pastor we picked.
Apparently, according to our pastor, he’s one of only three non-denominational pastors in the whole of Australia. So we said, ‘thank you that is a really nice offer to have us join your church and all that. And to have your dad and granddad go out of their way for us and come, risk getting seaweed tangled up in their shorts to baptise all three of us in one go, but you know what? We’ve been listening to this ‘non-denominational’ pastor’s bible studies for over a year now and this has never been brought up before. We would just like to go ahead as agreed and be baptised by our pastor whom we know, as agreed at the river mouth with the whole of town invited to the ceremony.’
Think About It
They told us to think about it. We told them we thought about it. And liked it as had been agreed. They left. Then a few days before our baptism our pastor indicated that he had a better location for our baptism in mind. We had chosen a nice bright open clearing at our town’s river mouth with enough space to accommodate many friends and visitors. As I said we’d invited a lot of friends.
Only days before our baptism our pastor and his wife drove us around murky rivers in an adjoining town to entice us to change our mind re the location. It caused their four year old grand daughter who joined this little impromptu trip to exclaim, ‘yuk I would not go in there, there could be crocodiles.’Our thoughts exactly. So we declined the offer of a murky river baptism.
The next day, the day before our baptism, this time after an invite for an impromptu boat trip by the pastor and his wife, we declined the offer of baptism at a tucked away little corner of a little inlet, which would not accommodate the crowd we anticipated.
Needless to say that our baptism was cancelled.
We did a bit more reading up about baptism and the bible tells us that if someone wants to be baptised, you stop then and there and baptise that person. Got that? One does not need a years worth of indoctrination to be baptised. That is not how it works according to the bible.
It is not the church either, which does the baptizing. Nor the pastor nor the denomination.
We are baptised in the name of The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost.
This could happen in a bathtub in your home or the dam or pool in your back yard. If any one tells you differently, ask them which church they are with or what denomination.
Baptism is between you and God and His Son and the Holy Ghost. If someone asks you to sign on the dotted line before your baptism, ask them about their church doctrine. And if their answer is not, ‘Our bible is our church doctrine’, I suggest you run. Unless you want to get sucked in or unless you actually like the church doctrine they present you with. That’s totally fine.
Just don’t confuse it with God’s Word.
If occasionally my finger slips and you’ll read demonation and church doctoring, you’ll forgive me, won’t you. We all bare our scars.
God Is Awesome
What did this teach us? God is awesome. His Word and His Son, I’m just head over heels. There’s no church doctoring or demonation that will be able to touch that.
Be aware of false prophets. They are literally everywhere. And come in any shape or form, particularly the one you expect the least such as pastors and health workers. If you read or hear anything anywhere which is not in line with God’s Commandments or His Son’s Word and actions, that means there is no light in it. God, His Word and His Son, they are the Light.
all rights reserved copyright myemmanuel 2012 reprinted with permission from the LORDsPub