I Get It — Get Wet

January 31, 2011

Cheyenne Christian Center, Cheyenne, Wyo.

9:20 to 9:59

Chosen because…mobility

I was sick to my stomach Sunday morning so after much deliberation (and chunky vomit) I decided to stay home.

Lucky for me, divine intervention flew down the morning before. Saturday, my dad and I went to breakfast. As we were leaving the place that likely gave me food poisoning, I found the Cheyenne Christian Center “2 Church Ordinances — Water Baptism & Communion” CD in a newspaper bin. What are the odds?

Head on pillow, I pop that baby into my computer and, according to iTunes, prepared to listen to “Uber Die Aufgaben Des Schriftstellers in Unserer Zeit” on the “Wirkliche Leben in Verlorenen Landern” disc. Poorly translated this means, “On the Tasks of the Writer in Our Time” in “Real Life Lost Countries.” Interesting.

Disc intro includes heavy breathing and a few “amens.” I think, “Damn, this is a cover for some sort of soft core German porn. How will I relate muffled foreign slang to Sunday service?”

The Mystery of the Dunking Unveiled

The sermon is not about porn, it’s about Passover, a time for Jews to celebrate their freedom from Egyptian bondage. Although Passover is a few months off, this is a timely discussion since there’s a minor tiff occurring in Egypt and Syria.

According to the pastor, Passover and baptisms, which I fear, go hand in hand. Thank God for that because it answers a question no one has answered. That is, why do baptisms require submersion? Answer: Symbolism.

Apparently the dipping is a choice. It symbolizes faith in Christ; receiving the sacraments of grace; turning into a new person; and walking with the privileges of the covenant. The water is celebratory. These are the details I need to jump over some of my Biblical stumbling blocks.

I have an answer to baptisms, but I still don’t know why people writhe on the ground and speak in tongues to demonstrate their connection to the Holy Spirit. I also don’t know why pastors discuss the number of people in the Bible saved by baptism, but gloss over the number of those God killed.


The pastor plants a new idea in my head — Remission and forgiveness are not the same.

“Remission is stronger and means to send away. It signifies the release of bondage or imprisonment, a sending away and forgiveness is an added quality of canceling out judgment, punishment, obligation or debt.”

And Jesus’ blood allows for remission. This makes me reconsider the blood and body of Christ…

He says resurrection is a timeout, a “hey, despite the stuff we talk about every week, it all comes back to the foundation of sacrifice.”

I think about this. I have an epiphany. I thought my inability to sacrifice was my greatest weaknesses but, I’ve sacrificed happiness for selfishness and broken my own heart. That’s gotta count.

The pastor says, “We do things out of habit rather than out of understanding and worship.”

Makes me think about “I love you” as automation, not emotion.

Take Away

Sermon via iTunes is a bad way to worship. It’s too distracting and impersonal. Looking forward to getting my butt back in a pew.

*Next week’s Bible entry may come from this CD or an on-line service. I want to diversify my church selection but I’ll be en route to Abu Dhabi Friday and since most religious services are held Friday (Christians included), I may improvise. Men, I may hit you up for some background information regarding sports


5 Responses to “I Get It — Get Wet”

  1. Aaron said

    I have an answer to baptisms, but I still don’t know why people writhe on the ground and speak in tongues to demonstrate their connection to the Holy Spirit.

    Some of us Christians don’t have an answer to that either. 😉 I take an “I don’t know” stance on those expressing themselves (or the Holy Spirit expressing Himself through them) in that manner. As a Christian, I believe all fellow believers have the Holy Spirit, not just those who have such expressive displays.

    I also don’t know why pastors discuss the number of people in the Bible saved by baptism, but gloss over the number of those God killed.

    The same reason why you find it easier to make sense out of some events of your life than others. It’s not that those events are any less “real” than the others, it’s just that you see their meaning as much more obvious and apparent.

    Most theologians have explanations for the hard sayings, especially those in the Old Testament, but that doesn’t mean they are going to preach on that every Sunday. The focus of Scripture, Old and New Testaments, are about Christ.

    We can (and should) talk about and discuss other individuals and events, but they are all are to be understood in light of the coming (OT), present (Gospels), come, gone and coming again (rest of NT) Person of Jesus.

    As an aside, not all groups, I would say the majority of Christian groups, do not believe baptism plays a role in salvation. It is a step of obedience for the Christian, but it has no saving power in and of itself. Getting wet in a church building doesn’t make someone a Christian. That comes about by committing our lives to Christ and accepting His offer of forgiveness through His sacrifice.

    I’m enjoying reading about your journey.

    • thumpme said

      Thank you. He did say that not all religions do the baptism thing. I just found that interesting because I couldn’t figure it out. Lots of learning to do…

  2. Ingrid said

    Hi Ivy!
    This is Ingrid, the girl that sat next to you when you visited Mountain View Community Church in Fort Collins. I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been praying for you and your journey. If you are ever in town again, come and visit us, we’ve love to have you!

    • thumpme said

      Good to hear from you! You were the person who made me feel welcome! Thanks for reading. I’m trying to post this week but I’m out of the country so it’s a bit more challenging.

  3. marg said

    I wish there was a “like” button. I would *like* Aaron’s comment.

    I am also enjoying reading about your journey, Ivy. And it was nice of you not to slander the establishment that might have given you food poisoning. But did you let them know?

    May you have safe travels.

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