A few weeks ago I found out that Buckhead Church-where we’re worshipping until the launch of The Courageous Church- offers a 1/2 hour class on baptism for young people and children who are interested. I am so pleased with this idea as most churches that I know of don’t have this type of system in place. Excited, I registered my girls for the class right away.
In my small baptist church, where I was baptized at the age of 6 or 7, I simply went before the church, answered a few pre-rehearsed questions, and the next First Sunday I was baptized (along with the rest of the 6 and 7 years olds who were just following my lead). That was that. I was saved.
Well yesterday I was sitting on my bed braiding my girls’ hair. I decided to tell them about the class that would take place the next day and talk a little about what it means to be baptized. I explained to them that it is just a way to declare to God and to friends and family what you already believe in your heart. Well I think Kendi’s 6 year old mind immediately thought back to scenes she remembered from our previous church. I think she thought of a group of parishoners all gathered around the baptism pool as the preacher smothers some poor soul’s face and proceeds to drown them.
This image obviously did not sit well with her because after all my lofty, holy explanation all she had to say is: (and put on your most stereotypical black girl sassiness for this) “Whaaat? I don’t wanna get dipped in no water!” My mouth dropped wide open and I immediately began to lament and wonder where I had gone wrong. Then my 9 year old Taeyonna says, “Well I still want to go because I’m ready to get out of the house.” Not, ‘Yes, please take me to the class so that I can learn more about becoming part of the family of God.’ Not, ‘How exciting to declare my love for Christ.’ No, Taeyonna’s only concern was getting out of the house because she had been in for two days!
Well needless to say I’ve postponed the baptism class. I don’t think they’re ready. I’ve concluded that my children are heathens (they get this from their father). We will wait until next year. Maybe God will have pricked their hearts by then!