Moving beyond childhood to adulthood is also valuable in matters of faith. Most of us inherited a religious outlook from our parents, and it may have served us well as kids. But while childhood faith is valuable for childhood, it is not adequate for life as an adult. Everyone needs a grown-up faith. This has become very clear to me over the last several days.
Since last Friday I have met with three PRESTON TRAIL folks who wanted to talk about our upcoming baptism celebration on May 1. Each grew up in a religious tradition where children are baptized as infants. Each appreciated the religious heritage their parents tried to hand down to them. Each experienced the beginnings of grace in their home and church.
But all three said that their childhood faith no longer describes what they now believe or how they have experienced God’s grace through Jesus Christ. They now have a grown-up faith of their own that sustains them spiritually and informs them ethically. And now they want to express that faith publicly in a tangible way. So they are going to be baptized on May 1.
Here is what they told me, in their words:
“I resisted being baptized as an adult for a long time, but I read the Bible a lot and realized that God was calling me to do this. It is now a matter of obedience. Plus, I want it to remind me of how fully forgiven I really am.”
“When my husband wanted to get baptized several years ago I said, ‘Go for it!’ He had grown up as an atheist and I had grown up in church that baptized me as an infant. But lately I’ve been realizing that now it’s my turn. It’s a celebration after all, right? It represents my relationship with Christ.”
“I grew up going to Sunday School and learning all the geography of the Bible lands. But I didn’t know Christ. Now I do. I want to get baptized because it expresses what I believe about Jesus. I want to proclaim my faith publicly.”
I don’t know the state of your faith, but if it’s still the one you inherited from your parents, you may need more. You may need a grown-up faith. And you may need to express that grown-up faith by being baptized as a believer. If so, contact Jim or me. We would love to hear your story and help you find a faith all your own.
As the Apostle Paul wrote, “We will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)