I was privately baptized

I was cleaning out my drafts and found this, written 8th December 2013. I feel like it might give some insight to someone currently against it and/or battling it, so I’m keeping it. I’m also keeping it because I feel like it’s not a completely horrible post that was doing me a favor staying in the drafts. c:

Baptism is “a public declaration of faith”. Many pastors and churches will not baptize others privately because of this.

In 2008 I was preparing to be baptized at Fellowship Church simply so that I could volunteer there. Isn’t that contradictory? To have merely wanted to get baptized so I could volunteer at a church and become a “real” member? They required members to be baptized because they’d had a situation in the past where someone committed fraud.

But really, even con artists could get baptized and make it seem genuine, you know?

I found it so odd. I was being pressured to go before 50 or one hundred people and counting since there was the possibility of them using it for a video later on. I felt pressured, because there was no way to avoid going before the audience and making my way outside to be baptized and instead do it privately. Because it’s a “public declaration”, and such should “never be private”.

I was asked questions about wanting to have a private thing — which eventually made me feel like I was being judged.

  • Don’t you want to do what the Bible tells you to do?
  • Don’t you think you’re being selfish?
  • Why wouldn’t you want it public? For all to see?

Really, my answers are in the questions themselves:

  1. This question is judgmental, which is the exact opposite of what it tells us, no?
  2. I would rather be comfortable than be in an uncomfortable setting where I wouldn’t normally put myself in.
  3. Such a personal thing doesn’t need to be public; I’m not putting on a show, and I don’t need everyone else’s approval.

Easter weekend, I went to visit Mimi. The discussion regarding my baptism was brought up (I don’t remember how I brought it up), and she suggested getting baptized there.

I ended up doing just that. It was a private thing, in a small town, with no movie cameras or anything that made me feel like I was pressured to go through with it. It was so easy, and because it smaller, it felt more personal. The next time I went back, I received a bible with my name engraved in the bottom right hand corner. And the person still remembers me, and I didn’t feel like I was just another one of the hundreds of people ____ baptized. I wasn’t just another face. Or a name. Or anything that someone did to maybe fill their personal quota in their lifetime. I was a person with a name attached to a face that he would remember (and still remembers). And it was a personal thing I did for myself instead of for a church that wanted me to.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Melissa’s gravatar

If all religious groups handled the way your baptism was finally handled, I think the world would be a better place. I don’t want to get into a religious war on here or anything, but I’ve always felt pressured and was literally called a sinner by the religious folk in my family’s circle. Simply because I didn’t feel the need to go to church every Sunday.

Just baffles me that so many religious organizations claim to be loving and accepting while trying to judge and bewilder the crap out of people.

I’m happy you had such a warm, welcoming and private baptism. Really wish this was a common thing, especially for the younger ones getting baptized. It’d be less traumatic if it’s just their loved ones.

Kya’s gravatar

Wow, that seems so bazaar to me that they would try to pressure you so much and have it recorded as well. I would assume that it should be a choice of if you had it done privately or not. I am glad in the end you were able to find a way to do it privately in a setting that suited you so much more!

Agent Q’s gravatar

For some reason, I always assumed that baptism was a private ritual because of the [supposedly] increased connection between the individual and the supreme being. Granted, I’m not a part of any organized religion nor do I wish to be a part of it. Anyways, good for you for getting it privately done by someone who still remembers you.

Your responses to these questions are pretty reasonable. I didn’t quite catch whether or not you said this to them or if you just thought these and kept them to yourself though.

Liz’s gravatar

:3 The questions were frequently asked over time, ever since I was baptized, regularly for about three years. Now, when/if it is brought up, some family members do get upset/hurt over the fact that I did it privately, as if I robbed them of some right that they automatically have to witness it. It actually hasn’t happened lately, but in general, when people ask and find out, they’re so shocked to learn I didn’t do it in front of everyone.

Susanne’s gravatar

How nice that you got the opportunity to be baptized in a small setting like that!
I like the idea of being baptised privately. It seems weird to me that anyone could even ask you those questions. They’re kind of rude to me, and I don’t understand how getting baptised privately could be opposed to doing what the Bible tells us. And selfish? It’s more selfish to make it a show, in my opinion.

Crystal’s gravatar

I’ve never been baptized, or felt any reason to. Though, I am only 30. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, and they practice public baptism. As an adult, I practice (though not to the letter) Hebrew Christianity. Still, if I ever was, I would think doing it privately would be just fine. If I remember correctly, Jesus and John were the only people there when John baptized Jesus. Besides, I think Christianity as a whole teaches that your relationship with god is something personal. Not something to be haughty about.

Joy’s gravatar

I was recently Baptized and I had honestly never heard of or had someone push me toward a public baptism. Naturally, it was something I wanted to share with my loved ones but I don’t think it was very nice for them to insisted you do it publicly. A baptism is so that you recognized yourself as part of a body and that counts whether you choose to do it in front of a crowd or not. I’m glad that you were able to do it with comfort and on your terms!