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One Year Bible Reading: Leviticus 12-14:32

Thoughts on today’s reading…

Leviticus 12 – Purification after Childbirth Amazing how this purification actually provided the new mom time away to recoup and rest from her daily housechores. Women were also required to bring a sacrifice to be declared ceremonially clean. This served as a reminder that we are born sinners.

There were also instructions to have boy’s circumcised. This was a rite given to Abraham for the people of Israel to have a special mark of the covenant. Warren Wiersbe says of this chapter “Some people equate infant baptism with circumcision…the true believer has experienced an inner spiritual circumcision of the heart and imparts new life (Gal.6:12-16; Phil. 3:1-3; Col.2:10-11). R.K. Harrison wisely states it, “The parallels of circumcision to infant baptism are too superficial and narrow to be entirely convincing or valid.” If you ever want to do an interesting study on church history–infant baptism in the early church and what different denominations believe is fascinating. You might even be surprised the number of believers who follow this tradition but don’t know the history or what it means. It was passed down from the Catholic church (the first infant baptisms took place in the 3rd century). BUT it is chapters like Leviticus 12 that many link infant baptism. A study on it is really enlightening if you ever want a topic of interest to study.

Just a quick briefer–Roman Catholicism practices infant baptism because they follow two sources of authority—the Bible and tradition (magisterium). So, if you ever wondered by Roman Catholics hold tightly to infant baptism although it isn’t in the Bible–this is why. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a Martin Luther girl and chant “scripture, scripture, scripture”. I became a believer later in life (my first year in college) and for me, my baptism was one of the most impactful things in my walk. And because scripture says to repent and be baptised, that’s just what I did. I want my children to have this same life-changing experience. I think it’s very important to understand every single detail of what you practice in your church, why you participate in some traditions and what it means. Understanding your faith deeply and what traditions you might choose to follow will either make it more meaningful, strengthen your faith or it may press your need to dig further into what YOU really believe. Communion for example, when you study it deeply, will bring you to a deeper understanding of what needs to take place before your come, the miracle of what happens while you are there and the power that you take from it. I encourage you to DIG in scripture and seek to understand ALL you can about His sovereign Word!

Levitcus 13 and 14 deals with diseases—God was concerned not only about their spiritual health, but also their physical health. HE IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN!!! He was wounded so we might be healed!!!

Asher Collie - February 21, 2010 - 9:23 am

Andrea-it is so very interesting to me that todays post you talked a lot about baptism, and our church service today will be about baptism. This is a topic I have been digging DEEP in since I was 13 and still don’t feel like I have a clear understanding of! Also interesting that you referred to Martin Luther because the Lutherans practice infant baptism. But, they do something called confirmation in which a teenager(ish) aged child stands in front of the church and tells the church why they believe what they believe in their own words. Oh, and the Lutherans hold fast to infant baptism as being scripturally based because Jesus talks about baptizing whole house holds. And in those times whole households included anyone from infants to grandparents. Lutherans also talk about how infant baptism is like being adopted unto Christ. Just like a baby is adopted into a family and does not choose his or her family, that is the family they will grow up in and when they are older they will still have the name of that family. Now they can choose to go leave the family and change their name but it is like a mark that is on their life.
I can understand this side but I also totally understand how the scriptures talk about making the choice to repent and be baptized.
All this being said, neither one of my children were baptized as infants and the church we go to believes in baptism like you talk about Andrea…but my dad is a Lutheran pastor and really makes a good case (better than I have explained here) for infant baptism-all scripturally based.
This will be the FIRST question I ask God when I get to heaven.

Andrea - February 21, 2010 - 9:45 am

I love that you dig deeply to know and understand what scripture says and to follow after Him. I mentioned Martin Luther not for his take on baptism that matters. For it’s not what he believes that matters. I love Martin Luther for questioning everything like you are doing. My encouragement in today’s post is to know deeply what you believe and why. And to always take what you believe back to scripture.

Marci - February 22, 2010 - 1:25 pm

The baptism in our Roman Catholic faith is an infant baptism usually and yes, Asher, it is just as the Luthern church believes…the family saying that they have commited this child as God’s…we would like to believe ours but, we are all belonging to our Lord. It is our promise to raise that infant in the church to know ,love and serve our Father and the Church body to be apart of that spiritual walk. To know Christ ,to lay our hearts and troubles and joys at the foot of the cross…this is our promise to our children through baptism. It is a sacrament. Holy indeed ! Confirmation is about age 16…Shockley is going through a year preparation to walk on his own from the baptism that was given to him as an infant and announce publicly that he is apart of his inheritance to belong to the royal family of the KING ! Jesus Christ. All things are possible through Jesus ! Some are not ready for this step and postpone this journey. As a Catholic…we accept all faiths and the way they were baptised. As long as they have been baptised at any age. I was at Emory Catholic Church and at Easter Vigil watched a precious graduate student be fully emerged in water for a very special baptism (we do full immersions also)sp? At any rate…it is never too late and so exciting to see the power of the Holy Spirit in the New Life !

Megan - February 27, 2010 - 2:39 am

My husband and I were both baptised as infants and have a “Profession of Faith” when we were teenagers. After joining our church here, we found out in order to be members we need to be baptized as adults and make the conscious choice. We still haven’t done it yet…need to. For our kid we have made the decision to dedicate them as infants and let them make the choice of baptism. I have some family who strongly disagrees with our decision, so its great to hear everyone’s perspective on it.