Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baptism Bash

Tomorrow's the big day.

I told my Dad on Friday that I was getting baptized on Sunday and this is the conversation.

"I'm leaving town on Saturday for a job in Colorado." He says at the start of the conversation. I begin to become slightly excited because that means he won't be there. Then I begin to feel feelings of guilt because if I had scheduled it for Saturday, he could make it. I knew the sentence I was about to spew out of my mouth would cause controversy and frustration between the both of us. He doesn't understand what I mean when I say, "I am a Christian." He feels he is one too because he reads his Bible, or "gives money to the church" or never misses a Sunday or visits a church when he's traveling or feeds the homeless or speaks to the Sunday school about his travels or prays before he eats.

"Oh, well, I'm getting baptized on Sunday night."
"You've already been baptiszed, Meg." He says very matter of fact like I am the one mistaken or perhaps I forgot.
"Well," I say with great caution, seeking the proper words to say, "it wasn't a baptism as I believe one should be."

I went on to explain how I had accepted Christ many years ago. And that if a child is 'sprinkled' that that doesn't keep them from Hell or give them the promise of Heaven. "Dad, Chloe and Cooper have the choice to believe in God and accept Him on their own. Matt and I will teach them and do our best to instill those values and morals in their lives but ultimately, they make their own decision. Neither Matt nor I can not make it for them. Do you remember when we dedicated the kids?"
"Ya, right what was that?" He asks thinking he 'got me' even though I have explained this already.

"That was Matt and I promising to do our very best to raise Chloe and Cooper in a God-filled home, teaching them about God in the hopes of them deciding to accept Christ in the future."

He pops off, "Well, in that idea, then why did you circumcise Cooper. If you believe it should be his decision, then why didn't you let him decide when he is older?"

"Because if Cooper is or isn't circumcised that doesn't determine his love for Christ, Dad. I just believe this is something I have to do to show people what I believe and who I believe in. It's symbolic. This alone will do nothing for me, but since I accepted Christ years ago, this is something that needs to be done in order for me to be obedient to what I believe. I believe what Mom did wasn't the 'correct' way of doing things."

"WELL, YOUR MOM DID WHAT SHE THOUGHT WAS BEST!!" He is very angry and is sticking up for my Mom, which was weird.
"Dad, I agree. Mom did what she thought she should do, you are right. Now that I'm older, I just feel like I need to do this."
"Sooo, what's Matt doing?" He changes the subject like we were just discussing the weather. He's not giving in and I am for darn sure not changing my mind either.

I have yet to tell my Mom. I'm scared of the same reaction, or worse. I'm scared she'll be offended and hurt. She has a hard time seeing the big picture, the one I am trying to show her but she wears blinders. I'm not sure what 'emotions' are her blinders, but I'm sure pain, anger, emptiness and confusion are a few. My Mom did her best with what she thought was the 'right' thing to do. I can remember that day, I had no idea what was happening. Ohh, the Episcopal church.

My Dad proclaims to be a Christian, but like I told Matt. "My Dad has traveled the world. He's been on every continent except Antarctica, he's seen a lot of different religions. My Dad wants to believe that there is a religion and a belief for everybody, you just have to find what's 'right' for you. He told me once that he believes just parts of the Bible. He can't believe it all because it was written by men and men are corrupt. He compares. My Dad is a 'good works' kind of guy. I'm afraid he'll never get that it's not a 'good works' kind of deal. He will see a story on TV and perhaps it's a person who says they are a Christian. Now the person has done something wrong, evil or against the law. My Dad will say, "You believe that guy is a Christian. Is that what YOU stand for Megan." I just tell him no. So Matt you see what I'm up against?"

Matt just shakes his head and we both pray that some day, some day soon my family will get it.

Pray that they do.


For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. -Corinthians 5:14