You want to be baptized? Why?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by jayleew, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    My daughter was baptized a little while ago. She's never been a devout follower of Christ, so it sort of came by surprise. She never reads the Bible and only goes to church most of the time with my wife. I don't know how to approach the subject to find out why she made this decision, but I am just trying to reason it out myself. How is her life changed? It hasn't. She's still the same person and never even talks about God. I don't get the point of believing if your life stays the same.

    What does one gain by believing in God? If it is really nothing, and she just believes then I'm puzzled.

    Why does she believe?

    I think back to how I raised her, and for much of her childhood I myself was a devout Christian. Is that all belief is, just a notion passed down and cultivated by the previous generation? She has no motivation to believe aside from how I raised her.

    The Christian way of life is something we can observe, but belief....what does it mean? There are so many reasons I can think of for a person to believe, but if the result is the same...which is no change...what is the point?

    There is one fellow I knew who became a Christian while going through some tough stuff with the law. His lifestyle choices were very bad and our pastor managed to pull him out of that dark place. Everyone, including the gentleman, gave credit to God. He was a really beautiful person who strengthened my resolve as a Christian to continue the fight to spread the gospel and continue believing myself.

    Is it God who saved him from that life? Was he using his newfound faith only to impress the judge (as he had to face one a couple times for his past transgressions).

    Why believe in God? Why not just find something to focus on to pull yourself out of that dark place?

    Some people need God as the focus to get out. So where does that leave belief? Is it not the same thing as any inspiration we can dream up?
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    That's very interesting.
    But, if she 'still seems like the same person,'' it doesn't mean she hasn't felt some type of change, internally. Faith for many, is a private experience.
    Maybe she will share, when she's ready.

    I believe in God, and I have never seen my belief as a 'crutch,' so to speak. But, it's been a personal experience for me, more than anything. I grew up in the Catholic faith, so religion was a part of my overall upbringing. That said, I do believe in the theory of evolution and applying reason, when possible. I also don't take much of the Bible, literally.

    I can't answer for your daughter, why she wished to be baptized or why she believes. Only she knows the answer, and maybe in time...she'll share that with you, too. For now, you simply have to accept that what she believes, defies logic, and relies more on faith. (evidence of things not yet seen)

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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    The answer is only all of those things, or something else.
     
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Aha. So that explains why you're not a fundie.

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    Although I must warn you, I think they've designed a special chamber of their version of Hell specifically for the Catholics. :mufc: It consists of having to eternally stand at the blackboard and write "I should have read the Bible literally"

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    Although they may give you parole if you write 3 trillion times "The pope is not my daddy"

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    . . . after that you get to get a hall pass, to the stage where literal goats and sheep are literally on the left and right.

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    I could give you reasons, but they might not be the same as hers.

    If you're true to yourself, then what's to change?
     
  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    aka: ''purgatory''

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    (which I've never believed in; I'm not sure that's 'taught' anymore by the RCC, as dogma...hmmm)

    Regarding your comment about 'staying true to yourself.' Again, hard to say what leads all folks to faith in 'something' outside of the physical realm. Interesting to note, I read not too long ago, that Shamanism was the oldest 'pre' religion, and it had dominated the Paleolithic era. It seems that mankind has had a preoccupation with searching for something outside of the physical realm for quite some time. Right or wrong...logical or not. Thought that was curious.
     
  9. arauca Banned Banned

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    I believe we that live outside of the jail , we dont have much time to reflect on life . we struggle in our daily life without thinking what is life all about.
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It's like a talisman or bowing before an idol. It means nothing, it's just hedging your bets, adopting a lucky charm.
     
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Baptism is symbolic of membership in the church, right? I'd guess that your daughter wants to feel a stronger feeling that she's fully part of the congregation and belongs there, that she's something more than an occasional outside visitor. That might be more a social thing than a theological thing.
     
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Many religions teach that baptism is a basic tenet of the faith. It's not really a social contract kind of thing.
    I included this link, because it gives a general overview, as I know various 'denominations' teach different things about it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism
     
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    To me that's one of the more rational tenets of Catholicism. It gave them away to be sure that misdemeanors wouldn't be punished as felonies, and people who are actually innocent could eventually be set free. It made God more just than the alternative. It also made for a lot of good music, art and literature.

    At least they're not in denial of some of the other topics here.


    My take on this is that Shamanism (animism in general) has its roots in the primitive fear of natural threats to humans. Obviously lightening, thunder, earthquakes and volcanoes are all spontaneous and beyond their ability to anticipate. Same with sudden infestations or attacks by predators, or being stricken by illness. Or the onset of infection after an injury, or sudden death after chewing on hemlock. Trying to live cooperatively in tribal settings, or in some of the early cities where animism later was recorded in clay, is good for benefiting mutual survival, but terrible for allowing people to pool their fears in order to create more highly elaborate forces acting on them -- by giving the wind, waves, fire and earth their own personifications of power, in various mixtures of good and evil. The rest is history, at least to the extent that artifacts have been found. And it's that historical trail that links modern religions to the animism of the past. Christianity didn't just appear out of thin air. It rode the back of Judaism. But Judaism didn't just appear out of thin air either. It rode the back of the animist religions of that era. That's why it contains the Sumerian Flood Myth, the Babylonian "eye for eye", the Zoroastrian concept of angels/demons and the Phoenician Creator/Father-God El related to the Elohim of Genesis 1.

    Giving the gods human-like personas with traits like anger, jealousy and revenge seem to me to be rooted in the same primal fears of shamanism/animism. In that regard the package is about the same, only the label changed. Obviously Christianity gave God the ever more human trait of compassion, and no doubt this accounts for its huge popularity over the otherwise nearly identical religion, Judaism.

    I agree that there is a lot of searching outside the physical world that goes on in religion - Buddhism is probably one of the purest expressions of that although obviously there are plenty of deep excursions of that sort in Christianity as well.

    It ties to the notion that the daughter in this story is not going through that 'depth'. Maybe once a person feels that there is not much more that needs explaining, they simply prefer to stay in shallower waters. That would be sort of like what the Catholics used to call Modernism. I mean that would illustrate their reason for fearing it - that the congregation would only engage God at an arm's length. If I'm even close to being right about her that leaves Dad in the position of the church elders of the past, uneasy about the perpetuation of the faith to the later generations. He never really was quite clear about his position, but that's one possible interpretation I guess.

    Go forth and multiply

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    --er, I mean Pax vobiscum

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    eace: (shaman icon of the tribe formally known as the Rainbow People.)
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Buddhism has always fascinated me. It looks like a very contemplative life, to me.

    Thanks for taking the time to post all of that info...you are like a walking-talking encyclopedia.

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    Peace, my brutha.

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  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Most interestingly, the goal is the opposite of contemplation. It's not to overthink things, but live spontaneously in the moment.
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    yes but, I thought there were contemplative aspects to Buddhism, no?
     

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