For the past week, or so, the members of a group that I'm part of (online) have been discussing baptism. It has been a very interesting discussion with people from both ends of the spectrum (infant baptism vs. non-infant baptism & full immersion vs. sprinkling).
Some of the members are even pointing out the original greek meanings of words in their effort to prove their point - through it all, though, everyone has been playing very nice and none of the comments have gotten "heated" ..... which could easily happen with a discussion of this nature.
One of the points that was made yesterday was whether it was Biblical to baptize infants - there are several ladies on this group that believe that infant baptism is meaningless because an infant can't recognize their sinful nature, repent from it, ask Jesus into their heart and then be baptized. I did enter the discussion at that time ..... I mentioned that infant baptism was not a meaningless thing, it is, in fact, a very meaningful one where the parents/family members/and even congregation members take a vow to raise the child as a Christian (attending Church, reading the Bible, telling them about Jesus, etc.). It is also crucial that the parents tell their children about their baptism (why they were baptized, what it means, etc.) numerous times throughout the life of the child. This reinforces to the child how important their baptism was and is.
Recently the discussion has turned to the correct way to baptize ...... full immersion or a sprinkling of water. I have to admit to two things: (1) I have never witnessed a full immersion baptism and (2) I don't think I've seen a "sprinkling of water" baptism either - when our Pastor baptizes people, their whole head is wet and so is she, lol. In light of this part of the discussion (full immersion vs. sprinkling) I posed a question to this group: "Does it matter how you were baptized or does it matter that you were baptized?" One member of the group replied with "Both - if the definition of baptism is immersion" - when I read those words, I heard my friends voice in my head telling me to look the word up in the dictionary, lol ..... this is what it says:
Baptism = (in the Christian Church) the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person's forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church. In many denominations, baptism is performed on young children and is accompanied by name-giving".
She (the member of this group) then went on to use a couple of analogies (I'm paraphrasing) ...... "you can call a bouquet of daisies roses, but that won't make them roses", to which I replied, "But, they are all still flowers". The next analogy was "a White tiger is as much feline as your neighbour's Fluffy, but it would be bad to confuse them" ..... my reply "That's true, the White tiger and Fluffy are both feline .... just like full immersion and sprinkling are both baptism"
For me, it really boils down to the question that I had posed to that particular group ..... Does it matter how you were baptized, or does it matter that you were baptized?