Personalized Baptism?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Max S., Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Max S.

    Max S. Grasping at Clouds

    Apr 24, 2016
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    I'm wondering about tailored, personalized baptism.

    For context: I grew up in a Christian group and I follow and work with the Abrahamic God (with some non-Abrahamic tendencies; another topic for another day) but, as a scientist, when faced with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, I don't have enough empirical evidence at my disposal to say that one is inherently more or less 'correct' than the others. Therefore, while I follow the Abrahamic God, I don't have enough evidence to believe that, for example, Jesus is the literal Son of God, alongside some other specific beliefs.

    I'm wondering, can I perform a personalized baptism as a ceremonial, formal commitment to the Abrahamic God, complete with commitment to living as Jesus did (because, let's face it, he's a cool dude), without it being a commitment to believing (without empirical evidence) that Jesus is the literal Son of God?

    What is your opinion?
  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

    Feb 24, 2014
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    Yes, though many church structures will no doubt disagree you can be Baptized outside of a traditional setting and it can even be performed by non-clergy. That said however, until you are willing to accept by faith all that Jesus stood for and proclaimed to be, there is little point.
    Aussie Thoughts likes this.
  3. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

    Jun 24, 2014
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    No biggie. There's really no formal ceremony required. Any Christian can Baptize another.
    This on the other hand is like agreeing to take the wedding vows as long as you don't have to accept them. You can't have it both ways. If you require empirical evidence to accept Jesus as the son of God, you're simply not ready to make a Baptismal commitment.

    If you see Jesus as little more than a "cool dude" perhaps Islamic or Judaic teachings would be more to your liking.
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

    Oct 27, 2014
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    In the Islamic system, ones Baptism is performed on oneself. once you take Shahada you should immerse yourself in water. It is said this washing not only washes your body of the dirt and filth but also your sins, as when you enter Islam your minor sins are forgiven, and major ones you have the right to work on.

    All that said, Baptising yourself without accepting God (in whichever tradition you choose) is a somewhat baseless gesture. If you have accepted the God of Abraham as the creator and all powerful, then I see no harm, nor any reason to discourage you from doing so in any of the Abrahamic styles, or your own if you have not accepted any of the traditions, but accept the God.

    This is fitting for the Jewish aspect, but Muslims see Jesus (PBUH) much more important than just a "cool dude". He is the Messiah. A Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Equivalent to any of the Prophets in greatness. We just don't think he is God... based off either scripture.
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Baptism wasn't invented by Christianity.

    The sacramental acts of Christianity take the mundane and everyday: washing, eating, etc., and offer it up to God, and thereby sacralise it. But it does so in the Christian context...

    So the first part answer is yes, a 'personalised baptism' is OK, but then it's only relevant to you. I'm not sure it has any legal status, for example — a 'personalised wedding' is not recognised by our legal institutions, I think — nor would it have any sacramental significance either.

    As you don't hold a triune faith, for example, then you wouldn't use the words of a traditional Christian baptism, 'In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit', so it would not be a baptism in the traditional Christian sense. No doubt there are US denominations who've invented their own forms.

    So I fall somewhere between Namaste Jesus and Aussie Thoughts — you can perform your own baptism, but why? Baptised into what?

    Lastly, 'baptism' signifies entry into a community. A 'personalised baptism' then is a contradiction, unless you mean baptising someone into your own community; a personalised baptism would not be recognised as entrance into a community that does not recognise your baptismal forms.

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