What does your baptism mean to you now?
I can't work out if you are just back-pedalling or if you are really totally unaware of the opinion you were conveying by your words.
Ok let's rationally look at Christian baptism. At the time it was explained to me that immersion, going fully under water then coming up again, symbolised dying to my past way of life and starting a new way of life. Now what was so wrong with the life of that fifteen-year-old girl who loved flowers and animals and mountains? Why did that life have to die? Plus why does any powerful being want me to dedicate my life to him, doesn't he have his own life, why does he want to play with mine?
Only joking, it doesn't matter.
Glad we don't have to turn every thread into a fangs and claws debate, but you know as well as I do that this does matter. So, whenever you feel like getting into it, start a topic with a clear title and I'll jump right in.
Bring your water wings
Sorry Xanthippe but I don't really care if I'm understood or not, it's actually not important. My baptism mattered to me, that's it!
And to answer the OPs question, what does my baptism mean to me now...
when I look back, I remember an idealistic young woman who truly believed she was giving her life to the service of God, to serve him totally and wholeheartedly, to be clean mentally, physically, morally, spiritually... To know and have the love and acceptance of the most Sovereign person of the universe, the great and wonderful loving creator, Jehovah...!!
.... to do his will... to be his instrument, to be meek and humble and obedient and live a godly life of total devotion to him... and to his organization. Can't forget that! - His organization!! The two are always joined: "Jehovah and his visible organization. Jehovah and his earthly organization. Jehovah and his organization. Jehovah and his representatives. Jehovah and his loving arrangements and provisions through his organization on earth today." On and on.
I see a young woman whose life had been in chaos and depression following a series of life tragedies who had been "rescued" and saved and "made holy and clean" by studying these little books from God's own representatives on earth.
(Yes, it's nauseating...)
I see this young woman being totally indoctrinated, and caught so deep it would take 25 years to begin listening to her doubts and start questioning....
I was attracted to the clean, shiny, sparkling life and its purity and the "wholesome" people..... I wanted to be like that.... And indeed I was (in that goddamn smarmy self-righteous yet deprecating way!) for so many long years.
I see a person who doesn't exist anymore.
I see my baptism as a baby stepping toward gaining approval... and living afterward a life of constantly seeking that approval and never being good enough or "living up to my dedication".....
An anxious life, filled with the doom and gloom cloud of utter destruction that could descend any moment, from which I might "probably" be saved if only I kept doing enough and being holy enough.....
I see a person who was led by lies, by clever manipulation of fears and dreams and hopes.... A person who was trusting and open .... and now I question everything!! To call me a cynic now might be accurate.
I still have hopes and dreams and fears, but they are toward my family, toward their betterment and well being. My life is turned toward community and yes, politics, and the inclusion of doing things for society, not standing away from it. To practice and learn what charity really means! I feel more connected to life, to the preciousness and rareness of life and consciousness.... to have the feeling and belief that we are all in this together, we are connected in a larger society and community which is important! and vital! and meaningful! I feel like I have rejoined the human race, but some days like a baby again.... deciding what to do and how and just who I really am.... It is a journey now of constant discovery and open-ness.... and of way less judgment toward others, and more compassion and empathy towards people.
What does your baptism mean to you now?
Nothing....it was not a real baptism
Ooh, fighting talk Nic what are you like? Bizarre thing is every thread seems to start something and go to places it was never meant to go to but that's humans for you. loving you already
At this precise moment, a curse. Things are spiralling out of control atm. Not a good day tbh.
My baptism in 1980, I was 15 years old and I thought I knew it all. What did I know really?
I was rebaptized in my new church, because the first baptism was incomplete. Not in the father, son and Holy Spirit. I had dedicated myself to God at the time, and I still feel good about that part. I wasn't thinking about any organization when I made that dedication. But I also believe Jehovahs witnesses aren't real Christians, and their part in the baptism is corrupted, especially because the questions I was asked were after the changes in 1985 and focused on their organization as our silver collecting friend pointed out. I was also pressured to get baptized by family.
This time it was all me, and everything I believed in and my choice. It was also a way of washing away the witness, symbolically.