Summary: One preacher decided not to baptize one young girl on October 31st because he didn’t want her to associate her baptism with Halloween - a season of death. Was he right?
OPEN: One of the boys in a Sunday School teacher’s class proudly announced to his teacher that he was being baptized the next Sunday. She told him that was really great, and he told her he was going to take his swim goggles.
She was curious about why the youngster would want to wear his goggles during the Baptism service. When she asked, the boy replied, "So I can see my sins washed away!!!"
APPLY: Children often have a very simple and straightforward way of viewing things. It’s only when we get older that we start to make things more complicated.
I just heard about a preacher who decided not to baptize a young girl into Christ on this particular Sunday because this was October 31st - Halloween. He was concerned because this is a season reserved for ghosts and goblins and the walking dead. For many people Halloween celebrates death.
And I understand his concern.
As you make your way through our city, you’ll find homes decorated with gravestones, men hanging from nooses and images of dead people all over the yard. Most everybody does this tongue in cheek and they don’t mean anything evil by it, but there’s no avoiding the fact that many people decorate their homes on Halloween for death.
And so, this preacher was concerned about the effect it would have on this impressionable young girl about being baptized in a season of death.
Now I understand what bothers this preacher, but I’m convinced his fears are based on a few false ideas – the first of which is that it would be wrong for this girl to connect her baptism with death.
Baptism IS all about death.
Look again at Romans 6:3-4
“.. don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his DEATH?
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into DEATH in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
In order to become a Christian… you have to die.
• You have to die to the past.
• You have to die to your old way of life.
That’s why Romans 6:2 says “…We DIED to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
And Romans 6:6 says “For we know that our old self was CRUCIFIED with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”
This theme is repeated in Colossians 3:3 which says
“For you DIED, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
And 2 Timothy 2:11 “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we DIED with him, we will also live with him”
One preacher put it this way:
“Did you know - because of the resurrection of the Jesus there are dead men walking all over the earth. They are not zombies, they are not the undead, they are not men on death row; they are born again believers in Jesus Christ.
We WERE Alive to sin and dead to Christ. But in Christ our position has changed, our situation has been reversed. Ephesians 2:1-5 says God made you alive, who were “dead in trespasses and sins”.
We used to be alive to sin but dead to Christ but now we are dead to sin BUT alive in Christ!” (Phil Hammons, Sermoncentral.com)
Again and again in the New Testament we’re told that in order to belong to Jesus we have to die. We have to die to our past sinfulness and our old way of living.
Well… what do you do with dead people? (You bury them.)
Baptism was God’s way of driving that truth home:
Baptism was meant to remind us that our past is now gone. The old man of sin is dead and buried. Our sinful past doesn’t exist anymore… it’s been buried
Now some churches try to make their congregations believe that baptism can be done by pouring or sprinkling water on people’s heads. But if you think about that for a minute or two – that doesn’t make any sense.
ILLUS: Let’s say I died this afternoon. They’d take my body on down to the funeral parlor and prepare it for burial. Then, at the funeral you all come and cry… and cry… and cry (You’ll miss me when I’m gone).
And when the ceremony is all done they’re going to take my casket, with my body in it, down to the cemetery and bury it.
Now, how they gonna bury my body?
Are they going to open the casket lid and sprinkle a little dirt on my face?
Are they going to toss in a couple shovels full of dirt on my head?