Baptism: crossing a line

We baptized someone at church on Sunday. It’s a simple act of obedience that takes place at Christian churches all over the world. In fact, it’s so commonplace that perhaps we don’t fully grasp its value, its power.

Now, I realize that there are different ways and traditions of baptism. I’m not here to debate those. Rather, I’d like to offer some thoughts — from a global and a personal perspective — about why baptism is a worthy undertaking for anyone who claims faith in Christ.

Writing for Christianity Today, Nik Ripken, one of the world’s premier experts on Christian persecution, shines a light on the significance of baptism in places like Somalia and Iran, where Islam is the predominant religion. In his piece, Ripken describes the excuses curious Muslims offer when they are caught actively exploring Christianity.

For example, Bible study can be explained as simply research to strengthen arguments for Islam. But Muslims view baptism as the line at which one leaves the Islamic faith and becomes a bona fide member of the Christian community. Baptism is the act that demonstrates the ultimate betrayal of one faith and wholehearted allegiance to another.

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