Day 59: Do You Dunk?

Read Mark 10:35-40

There was a time when some Christians wouldn’t purchase life insurance because, they argued, to do so implied lack of trust in God. We do not base our beliefs or practices on such constructions. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable buying insurance, then he shouldn’t go against his conscience. But the moment someone insists we do what the Bible neither commands nor forbids, we’ll dig our heels into the ground and refuse to budge.

We do not stress immersion baptism because our trust is not in the method of baptism, but in the message of baptism. We focus on God’s Word rather than the water. The water is necessary, but baptism’s power comes from God’s promise (Acts 2:38‐39).

Many Christians believe you have to be dunked to be properly done. We ask, “Where in the Bible do you get that?” Nowhere in the Bible does it say you have to be immersed. The method is never prescribed. Add to this difficulty the fact that the Bible does not use the word baptism univocally—or with only one meaning.

Some argue that the verb, to baptize, means immerse. This is not true. Of the 64 occurrences of this verb in the Bible, baptize is often used for ceremonial washing, but even this does not necessitate immersion (cf. Luke 11:38). To baptize also indicates an initiation or even a religious experience. For example, Jesus baptized with fire and the Spirit (Matthew 3:11). Jesus himself described His suffering on the cross as a baptism (Mark 10:38).

Matthew 28:19 commands us to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit,” but doesn’t say how. Therefore, we will sprinkle, dunk, immerse, or apply water any other way except in any way you demand. Then we’ll set our heels.