I was watching a movie not long ago, in which Jesus was being baptized. As he walked down into the waist-deep water of the Jordan River, greeted by John the Baptist, I thought, “OK! This is it. At least THIS movie will show someone being fully plunged into the water.” But then John the Baptist reached down, scooped up a little water in his hand, and sprinkled it on Jesus’ head.
I was thunderstruck, and let me explain why while recording a bit of history that is fading from the popular mind.
There are many methods of baptism, of course, some of which date back before Christianity. All of which have spiritual importance to those who practice them. Various doctrines might include simply touching a few drops of water on a person’s forehead, sprinkling water from a specially blessed bottle, or maybe immersing in a pool of water, depending on a particular religion’s interpretation. I am not here to promote any particular method; only to remember my own experiences, to perhaps bring memories back to you, and to at least record one style of “country” baptizing that seems to be fading from modern-day activity.
Some churches, such as those in which I grew up, believe that “dipping is the only mode," and they go farther in believing that baptism should be in “living” or natural water such as a river or stream, outdoors. continue reading...