The Question of Baptism

// Published September 23, 2014 by Swati

My pastor at church that I’ve been attending regularly for the past 6 years asked if I would be interested in attending the baptism session early fall. If at the end I decide that I want to be baptized, it would be done this year.

Little does anyone know, this has thrown me in for a loop.

I very much like Christianity as Tolstoy presented it or something like Jesuism. I don’t understand why people are so tied to the Bible when it’s canonization isn’t even close to divine and made by a body of church that seems entirely about power! (Might I mention no women were involved in it’s canonization?!) I even toy with Gnosticism, because frankly, if reading through the Old Testament doesn’t evoke anger for the guy called “God”, then I don’t know what you’ve been smoking. There is a massive difference between the God as described in Old Testament and teachings of Jesus Christ. And then there is a difference again when you compare the synoptic Gospels and “Apostle” Paul. One teaches love and inclusion, and the other seems to teach hate and exclusion.

Yeah, there are people who defend it and say that it’s “out of context” and yada yada. I am just not sold on it. I feel that Christianity took a bitter turn with Apostle Paul. Maybe he wasn’t a bad guy, maybe it wasn’t intentional; I don’t know. I just don’t feel comfortable with it.

So, here comes the question of Baptism. The church in question is a Baptist church; heavily biblical. My pastor is a fairly liberal pastor, who is very welcoming. He can maintain genuine friendships with atheists and Muslims, which counts for something. But that’s the issue….I think I am in love with the idea of Christianity as my pastor presents it, not as the baptist community necessarily does. And that scares me. I feel like I’ve tied my religion somehow to my pastor; whereas it should be something way stronger…like God.

Not having God as the cornerstone of my faith surprised me. I realize that I still don’t trust that God is there for me. I realize that I still don’t believe that he won’t abandon me. I realized how far away I am from God’s love than I had expected. And while I may have been alone before, now I feel alone. I am afraid that God is actually like what Apostle Paul and the Old Testament talk about (a God I cannot trust or love, a God apparently obsessed with Israel), verses the God that that Jesus presents (a God that loves me, a God that I love). It’s weird, but other Christians are making me realize how God is now who I thought he was.

I don’t know what to do now that I’ve realized the incredible emptiness in my soul.