One view of baptism
No, this is not going to be about the theological dispute on modes of baptism. Rather it stems from a video I saw online from “Leslie” of a show called “Big Rich Texas” that is on the Style Channel. When I first saw the video I thought it was a parody but, as it turns out, there actually is such a show and the Style Channel is a real channel. Not only that, I’ve found that I get that channel from my TV supplier. Who knew? I am sure that most of you who have actually seen me will not be shocked about my ignorance of the Style Channel.
In any event, the video is an instruction on how to have a stylish baptism because, as Leslie assures us, “baptism is all about style.” It is a remarkable video for, among other reasons, her ability to use the words “baptism” and “boobilcious” in the same sentence with a straight face. The video has had a significant online audience and I’ve found mocking comments from unbelievers and indignant ones from Christians. I am not going to give you a link to the video; if you really need to see it you will have no trouble finding it.
Of course, while being indignant is a bit extreme, as a Christian it at least makes me sigh and shake my head. I have no doubt that Leslie was sincere and intending to be helpful in her effort but I do sort of wish she had kept her opinions to herself. But that thought got me to do some introspection.
If I am honest with myself I will admit that there are times the cause of Christ would have been helped if I had kept my own opinions to myself. None of us are immune to saying or doing things that make Christians look either stupid or bizarre. What is worse, any attempt on our part to refrain from giving that impression probably will have the opposite effect. I will come across as humorless and judgmental; as wishy-washy and weak; or as someone so blended into the culture that I am invisible.
Inexplicably the grace of God keeps being extended to fools like me. Even worse, He then gives us the task to share that grace in His name. Leslie has been commissioned as an ambassador of Christ. She is a credentialed representative of His in this foreign land called earth. So am I. So, if you carry His name, are you.
Those credentials don’t come to us because we’ve earned them or deserve them; they are just given to us freely. God gives them out in a way that seems foolish to my logical mind. It reminds me of a clip I saw of a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans a few years ago. Those guys on the floats were throwing necklaces of beads into the crowd where people grabbed for them. But there was this one guy who seemed to be just walking down the street behind the crush minding his own business when one of those bead necklaces fell right on his head.
I am as deserving of the grace of God as that guy was of the necklace. Sometimes I feel His grace just sort of landed on my head. There are even times when I expect Him to come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and ask for it back, saying it was intended for someone else. In the meantime, fool that I am, I guess I should just go on showing people the necklace.