Dear Pastor Andy, why do people have the necessity to spread their beliefs? Some religious people (some, not all) are always looking to persuade people to join their religion. Shouldn’t your religion be a choice that you make yourself out of your own beliefs?
Also, I find that I agree with Anabaptists, that you should only be baptized after you are of certain age to decide your religion. What do you think about that way of thinking?
My Reply: First, you are absolutely correct about the need for it to be a choice. That’s actually one of the things many people of the many religions out there don’t realize, is that it is absolutely, 100% IMPOSSIBLE to force somebody to convert to Christianity…REAL Christianity. I mean, sure, you could force somebody to go through the motions, but a true Christian is one who has a genuine relationship with God, which is only possible through Jesus Christ. You cannot force somebody into a relationship with God, for such then would not be genuine, would it?
As for persuading people to accept Jesus Christ: Suppose you are in a building with a ticking bomb. You may or may not be aware of it, but it is there and you are trapped in the building. There is not much time left, and if you do not get out now, you will perish with everybody else in there. Now, if somebody was to know of a doorway, and it happened to be the only one doorway that led to safety, wouldn’t you want them to show you that door? I know this may sound a bit extreme, but sin is very deadly, much more so than a ticking bomb in the room. But Jesus is that One and Only doorway that will lead you to safety, and as REAL Christians, our concern for those who are stuck in the room with the ticking bomb is the reason many of us are so (pushy?) when it comes to sharing Christ. However, I find it interesting at how much more seriously people react to bomb threats than they do to sin.
As for age of being baptized and choosing your “religion”, you’d be surprised, but one of the most common ages for people to accept Christ is 8. Crazy, right? But if they continue in their relationships with Jesus from then on, many do continue on as solid Christians. On that note, the most common age for people to give up their faith (leave what relationships they had with Jesus) is 18-20 (when they move away from home for college). And those who do, usually make worse decisions with their lives than 8 year olds. Then when they begin thinking about God again, they usually only have a young, Sunday School-level understanding about God and what it means to be a Christian.
Understand, I am not saying that I disagree with the Anabaptists, for they do make a good point. Plus, they are correct in that baptism does not save you, a misunderstanding by many who baptize their infants. However, I do believe I have found some places in the Bible that support the baptizing of infants (not for salvation, but as baptizing the whole household when the Master of the home accepts Christ and is baptized), as well as sprinkling when submersion was not possible, but I will go into those, as well as my stances about baptism, more in later posts.