To dunk or not to dunk, that is the question. When a person thinks about what it says in Matthew 3 regarding baptism being accompanied by repentance and fruit bearing, does it really make any difference? It is more of a heart attitude. Many Christians believe that immersion is the biblical way because of the Greek word “baptizo” and that it is a picture or symbol of new life in Christ-down with the old and up with the new. I personally believe that immersion is the correct way, however let me relate a true story from a former pastor of mine.

A man bed-ridden in a hospital desired to be baptized. The pastor went to visit him and sprinkled water over him in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The man rejoiced and gave praise to God. He was truly blessed and had a righteous heart.

Another pastor was critical of what he did, saying he wasn’t truly baptized. The pastor who did the baptizing reminded the other pastor of the circumstances. He said,”There is no way that this man could get out of bed, come to a church, and be baptized by ‘putting him under’.”

I was raised a Baptist but later served on a staff at a Presbyterian church where they sprinkled. Then I became involved in a denomination where the pastor did it both ways, depending upon the preference of the person.

As I said, I believe that immersion is the correct way but I do not believe we should insist on it if it is not practical to do so, as in the above scenario. Allowance must be given so that one does not feel condemned or guilty about not doing it the “biblical way.”


Filed under: Bible Study

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