Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is it a sin?

Last night I met with six teens who are preparing to be baptized. The book that is guiding us used John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” to show obedience as a reason to be baptized. One of the guys asked, “then would not being baptized be a sin?” I gave an answer, but I am not totally satisfied with it. So I am curious, what do you think, is it a sin for a Christian to not be baptized and how do you support your answer?


Combs said...

I don't think that I would go as far as to say that not being baptized would be a sin. We're given many examples of why we should be baptized. There's one instance in Mark where James and John want to sit at Jesus side in heave. He tell them that the places are reserved for who they are reserved for but also askes them a question. In reply to their answer Christ tells them that they will "drink the cup I drink, and be baptized with the baptizim that I am baptized with." It's an interesting passage for sure, but it doesn't say that we must. In matthew 28, in the 'Great Commission,' we're told to make disciples and baptize them, but again the baptizim, at least to me, seems to be something of a side note, important but not nessisary.
The only passage that give me a little pause is Mark 16:16 where Jesus says, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemed." You could read here that baptizim is nessisary for salvation, and so to not be baptized would be disobedient/defiant and negate the act of believing. The last vestigest of evangelical thought still lodged in the back of my mind are screaming at me right now for thinking that. It's the second half of the verse that I think drives the point home. Believing is the crucial part, the baptisim is the public statement of belief. So no, not a sin...but I would question anyone who refusses to be baptised for any reason.
hope to talk to you soon.

matthew said...

In my observation of Jesus, He doesn't seem to be a fan of answering questions yes/no questions with a 'yes' or a 'no'...instead choosing to give a more thorough answer. I doubt a yes or no answer is the best answer here either.

I'd explain the strong example the church set in baptizing new believers and I'd question possible motives for not wanting to be baptized. I don't think anyone is excluded from God's family merely because they aren't baptized, but I think people can be excluded from God's family because of the mindset or attitude that shows itself in their refusal to be baptized.

The Stiffs said...

Not being baptized is simply a question that never occured to the New Testament writers. It wasn't an option at the time. That it is one now shows, I think, how little we understand about discipleship.

Jesus himself was baptized and he clearly commanded his followers to baptize each other in his name. Baptism is a deeply meaningful way to connect with the life and person of Christ, on multiple levels.

I ask, how can you be a disciple and not want to imitate and obey your teacher? Wouldn't doing so run directly contrary to the very meaning of the word "disciple"?

Anonymous said...

I've never been baptized, and Jesus and I are still good.

BreakForth Administrator said...

Being baptised or not being baptised is neither a sin, or a browny point. A sin is something that causes a person to "miss the mark." What is something that causes us to "miss the mark," something that moves us away from God, instead of towards him. Does not being baptised move us away from God. No, not in itself. But it does move us closer to him, in a spiritual sense, because we are being buried in his name. Baptism is more of an outwards showing of our sins being washed away. Following a baptism at our church a few months ago, the husband of one of the ladies baptised was overheard making the statement. "wow, 40 years of sinning, gone in a matter of 30 seconds. now thats amazing" And it is. It is the symbolism of baptism that we grow to appreciate. What it means to us, and to our relationship with God, because it reminds us that he has washed us, and made us new. Is it a sin to not be baptised. No. By not being baptised, we are not in any way moving away from God. There are many other things that we do which helps move us towards him. I think God would be happier that we gave him our heart, then he would be about us getting baptised. Can anyone name how many people in the Bible were not baptised, but were still considered great men and women of God. We are building a relationship with God, not a point system.