Skin color, language, ethnicity, background—all of those divisions between people have been overcome in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!
God’s plan for humanity is to draw different and diverse peoples into one unified human family. As the Apostle Paul reminds the Galatians:
There is no longer Jew or Greek,
there is no longer slave or free,
there is no longer male and female
for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
[Galatians 3:28, emphasis added]
Is there a more powerful or pertinent message for today?
How Is God’s Plan to Unite the Human Family Accomplished?
God is unifying the human family in the Crucified and Risen Messiah Jesus, and baptism is the outward and visible sign of this unity.
Through baptism, we are buried with Christ in his death and raised with Christ to new life. The mark of membership in God’s covenant people is no longer in the skin, but rather it is a watermark—it’s baptism!
Here is how Paul reminds the Colossians that it is not a physical circumcision that marks membership in Christ, but baptism:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. [Colossians 2:9-12, emphasis added.]
Baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is the way people are made part of God’s covenant people.
What’s beautiful about baptism is that it is available to anyone who trusts in God’s promises—no matter that person’s skin color or language or ethnicity or background.
Baptism is a sign of hope!
Who Can Be Baptized?
Baptism is a one-time sacrament of the church. If you have been baptized before in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, then you can’t be baptized again. A sacrament is a sign-act through which God’s grace is specially made available to us and by which our reality is changed. So, as a sacrament baptism involves the visible work of water, but also the invisible work of the Holy Spirit, and the baptized person’s identity is now joined with Christ’s and with his people. It is not possible to re-do that through additional baptisms.
A person is ready to be baptized when he or she:
- Trusts in the promises of God made available in Jesus;
- Has been instructed in the basics of the Christian faith;
- And is willing to public affirm the Church’s baptismal vows.
We Also Baptize the Children of Baptized Parents—Here’s Why
In our tradition, we also baptize the children of baptized parents (a practice called paedo baptism). Why? The short answer is because, though it is absolutely true that nowhere in the New Testament are children explicitly said to have been baptized, it is also true that nowhere in the New Testament do any of the apostles argue that, though circumcision was for 8 day-old babies, baptism ought to be only for believing adults. As R.C. Sproul says in this excellent video, this is an argument from silence, “but it is a screaming silence”. In fact, this is what the Apostle Peter says on that first day of Pentecost, after he stands up and delivers a sermon about Jesus:
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
[Acts 2:37-41, emphasis added.]
Who Do Some Churches Only Baptize Believers?
At the time of the Protestant Reformation (starting in AD 1519), some of the Reformers questioned the ancient practice of infant baptism, which goes back to the earliest days of the church, and, rightly concerned with ways that infant baptism had been cheapened and abused over the centuries, became convinced that only believers able to answer for themselves should be baptized (a practice called credobaptism).
Though we understand and appreciate the argument for believers baptism, and though we consider other Christians who vehemently disagree with us on this question to be brothers and sisters in Christ, nevertheless we are persuaded that including the households of believers—even including infants—in baptism is the more faithful position, reflecting the teaching of the Scriptures, as well as the ancient practice of the Church.
How To Be Baptized at Munger
We do baptisms at Munger 4 times a year. The next 4 upcoming baptismal dates are:
October 31, 2021
February 6, 2022 (infants only)
May 8, 2022
September 4, 2022 (infants only)
October 30, 2022
How to Be Baptized as An Adult at Munger
- Have you already been baptized? Then you cannot be baptized again. However, you should come forward and “remember your baptism” at the end of one of our baptismal services.
- Have you already attended The Daniel Project? You must attend a Daniel Project weekend as a prerequisite for baptism. Information and registration here. Through the Daniel Project, you can sign up for a baptism date.
- We baptize adults in our outdoor baptistry as part of our worship service on baptism Sundays. Good news--we heat the water beforehand! Wear loose-fitting, modest clothes, bring a towel, and clothes to change into.
How to Have Your Child Baptized
- Are you already a Munger member? We only baptize the children of baptized members. Want to become a member and be baptized? You need to attend The Daniel Project.
- If you have previously become a Munger member, then you’ll need to attend a baptism class for parents. We offer this class 4 times a year; these are the upcoming dates:
October 24, 2021, 4-5 PM
January 23, 2022, 4-5 PM
To attend, please register here.
Elementary Kids Interested in Baptism:
The next opportunity for elementary-aged kids to get baptized is October 31 at 10 am during our annual Mungerfest Celebration worship service.
If your elementary-aged child is interested in receiving baptism, please have them join Ms. Amanda on the playground during the 9 am worship service on October 10. Kids will attend worship with their parents at 9 am and will then be released to the playground from the service. We will answer all of your baptism questions and get you ready for this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Questions about the baptismal process at Munger? Please contact Rosemary Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org