This is particularly true for those Christians who converted from a confession of faith that viewed the Sacraments as being mainly an "act of obedience" or "symbolic" even.
I'm a perfect example of this! I'll admit, there are still plenty of times were my mind shifts back into its previous "Non-Denominational-Though Pseudo-Baptist/Calvinist/Reformed-Default-Mode" way of thinking about Baptism as something I/WE NEED TO DO instead of something that GOD DOES FOR/GIVES TO US, or as if it were merely an OUTWARD SIGN and a PROFESSION OF FAITH to PUBLICLY PROVE to ourselves and the world that we stand with God.
How narcissistic and sad that I had been led to believe that that was Biblical all these years! To think of the countless others who are still trapped by that mindset breaks my heart.
So, with that in mind, here's an extremely helpful resource from December 2010 courtesy of Issues, Etc. regarding a Biblical, faithful teaching on Baptism.
Specifically, it's a brief 30-minute presentation designed for people like me -- ex-Evangelicals who have just discovered the Lutheran faith or "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
This is Pastor Jeremy Rhode from Faith Lutheran-Capistrano Beach, CA discussing the key differences in perspective on the Holy Sacrament of Baptism during his appearance on a 2010 interview with Issues, Etc.
AUDIO/PODCAST: Teaching Baptism To Former Evangelicals
I hope you enjoyed that and found it as helpful as I did.
The truth? Baptism is something that GOD DID/DOES FOR ME as His Means of Grace to covert souls, save sinners, and grow Christ's Church!
It has absolutely nothing to do with me other than the fact that I was the one receiving His blessed promises and salvation through a washing with the Word.
Please CLICK HERE if you would like to see a more in-depth study on Baptism.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, learning the truth about Baptism after leaving American Evangelicalism and becoming a Confessional Lutheran was one of the most comforting discoveries for me personally, and it's a beautiful and glorious gift that keeps on giving day-in-and-day-out.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!