|Just baptized Hannah (November 15, 2008)|
And I have a feeling that most people don't get this either, which is fine. (If you haven't done so, please that the two polls -- one about baptism, and one about communion to the right.) Ever the scientist, I always like gathering data. If you are lucky, I'll even make a graph.
For now, I want to present a case for why I think that baptism should precede communion, for adults and for children. But the problem is that I'm not a theology expert.
So this is what I'll do. I'll give my own perspectives, and then next week I'll post what Jeremy Keever (a pastor on staff at Grace Church) wrote. I appreciate his willingness to take the time to help me out once again, (since he and his wife already gave me their perspectives on why they have their kids in public school).
Here's my two simple thoughts on this issue:
- Communion is about partaking in what Christ offers (His body and blood). Baptizing is identifying with Christ. You cannot (or at least shouldn't) partake in something unless you first identify with it. It's reaping the benefits without a commitment and cost.
- From a personal or parenting perspective, taking communion is relatively easy, but being baptized requires more effort and trust. To be baptized (at least to be baptized at our church) requires giving a public testimony and taking a step of humility by being immersed in front of hundreds of people. I have told parents that if their child is not ready to trust Jesus with doing a video testimony, they are probably not ready to trust Jesus with being baptized, and they are probably not ready to partake in Communion.
Not saying all this is perfectly accurate; it's just where I land (for now). Be sure to stay tuned, as I will publish what Jeremy wrote about this issues.
What do you think? Should baptism precede communion? Why or why not?
- Should I Take Communion If I Haven't Been Baptized? Theology
- You Could Take Communion If You Haven't Been Baptized. But You Shouldn't.
- Is My Son Ready for Baptism?
- Who Is Communion For? (on The Christian Century blog)