I was going to write about Baptism for babies because I find it ridiculous that anyone thinks God will send an infant to hell because they didn’t have a baptism, and because the idea that someone else can make statements of faith for another person, baby or not, is also not something I believe will fly with the Lord.
To get my facts straight I looked up baptism and saw a site that is about clarifying Christian thought. I figured I’d find a lot of good fodder there, but when I read it the statements were all in keeping with what I think.
Needless to say, I was surprised and disappointed, all at the same time. Here I was, ready to stand and defend God’s word and His love, show how baptism was a Jewish thing from the start (it’s called a Tevilah or a Mikvah) and rail against the anti-Semitic Church!
Now, here I am, stuck with nothing but my own preconceived (or, more correctly, ill-conceived) ideas that I can’t use because they are wrong.
That’s when it hit me- who am I really defending? Am I doing what is right in God’s eyes or just spouting my own personal thoughts, in the name of the Lord?
OUCH! That’s a tough thing to figure: am I talking on behalf of God or on behalf of Steve? Am I feeling a righteous anger at the misuse of God’s word or am I really just exercising my influence to expound on my personal “peeves” and, as such, misusing God’s word myself?
I pray each day when I ‘blog’ that I am saying only what is right in His eyes, making points that lead people to salvation and understanding as God wants, and doing His work. Yet today I am finding myself wondering if that is what I was doing when I decided to bash baptism of babies.
BTW…for the record, baptism is important and it is a Jewish thing. The Tevilah is an outward expression of an inner change. It is a symbol of cleansing oneself, and is an important activity/ritual to go through when accepting Yeshua as your Messiah. It should be done when one has reached the age of understanding and can make one’s own decisions; as such, it cannot be done by proxy.
Back to my confession of pridefulness, which is exactly the right word to use if I am saying things I believe in order to teach people about God that may or may not be what God wants taught. Yeshua tells us that those who teach are held doubly responsible for what they do, and how influential we are and how important it is to do what is right. I don’t want to be one of the blind leading the blind, or one of those who sin and teach others to sin. Yeshua says that person will be least in the Kingdom of God. Teaching is an important responsibility. The Prophets were teachers, in a way, reminding the people of what God said they should do. And how often did God warn the prophets that if they did not tell the people what they need to do then the blood of the people would be on the Prophets own head?
I believe, and it has been confirmed often to me, that God has given me a gift of teaching, but that doesn’t mean I can’t screw things up by my pridefulness and ego. And, trust me on this, I have plenty of both. The only way I control it is by understanding that I have it and owning up to it, so I don’t forget to always be looking for it to rear it’s ugly head. It is sin crouching at my door.
So what lesson is there today from all this soul-searching? The lesson is to remember that old Greek aphorism: “Know Thyself.” When we do things in God’s name, make sure it is for His glory and in accordance with His word and what He stands for. When positive it is from God, preach it; when in doubt, don’t. You may be doubting something that is from God, but better to not take the chance you are misusing His word or His gift. If God has a word He wants you to preach, He will make sure you get it out. Maybe the word is good but the expression is not, so just wait: if it is from God, I guarantee it will gnaw at you until you finally figure out how it should be taught.
I ask anyone reading these ministry blogs of mine, or my book, to reply and let me know if you think I am off topic, ever. I appreciate your input and ask for guidance. I always pray to God for guidance, and often He answers through the interaction of another person. So, nu… don’t be shy.
Thank you, Abba, for your gifts and your Word which You have provided, and please lead me with your Ruach to do and say only that which pleases You and gives You all the glory. Halleluyah.