Tuesday, July 06, 2004

We've been talking about baptism in our community. One thing which has become exceedingly clear to me is that baptism is to be a unifying experience (1 Cor. 12:12-13) both bringing people to God and to a communal oneness with each other through the Spirit. Tragically, that has not been the case in the Christian world. Baptism has been a cause for much division and the non-acceptance of other believers. Something has gone wrong.

My own thoughts concerning the root of the problem is that we Christians tend to think that the one baptism of Ephesians 4 is defined by human understandings of the rite and human ways of practicing it. We believe that the one baptism is a doctrine that must be comprehended instead of a mystery that is God's grace in us. The one baptism must be that God performs one work in all - even when our understandings and practices differ. We are bound together by a common work administered by God. This is something we must accept by faith, even as we acknowledge that our thoughts and convictions regarding the rite differ.

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