Archive for the ‘Baptized’ Category

I know I have expressed strong opinions on organized religion, and many of those opinions are harsh on the God of the Bible. Believe it or not I was not raised an atheist or taught to hate God; in fact I used to have a strong faith in God and his Word. My mother was not a religious woman to my knowledge and my step-father was Jewish, neither one projected their faiths upon their children. My father on the other hand was a devout born-again Christian. When he was around he would teach me His Word. I think because I saw so little of my father the time he would spend with me was the greatest, and if this is what made my dad happy then I knew it would make me happy if I believed and showed an interest in his passion. I would also go to a Baptist Church with my best friends parents on Sundays if we had a sleep-over, and later on when I moved in with them. I would eat up all the lessons they would teach me. I think at my age I was well versed in this religion. I was drawn into believing this religion in part because I feared going to hell, the unknown of death, and the comfort knowing there was someone looking out for my best interest. I never ask a thing from God, I believed in him without needing anything in return.

It wasn’t until I fell into despair and I called out His name, only to hear nothing in return. Things were rough with my stepdad; my father would be inconsistent in my life, and when I was moved around. This did not just happen once; it happened many times. I prayed for protection from my stepfather. I prayed to have my father in my life, and later prayed to be with my mother. As I continued to grow I prayed for reprieve from my mental illness, I prayed for relief from my inner suffering. I finally got tired of asking for shelter, and walked away. I figured either I was not worthy of his shelter, or he did not exist. If he existed and was allowing suffering to go on in my life and around the world; then I did not want to know such a God.

I still feared the great unknown of death; I feared the wraith of God, and being cast into a lake of fire. I started studying other religions; in fact it became an obsession of mine to find the truth. I think because of my rejection issues as a kid I took the rejection from God as the ultimate rejection. The more and more I would read the Bible I started to find holes in this belief system, perhaps it was my lack of faith, cynicism, or anger which turned me into an atheist.

If you read my book, you will see a lot of poems where even after all the disappointment and unanswered prayers I was still extending my hand to the lord; in hopes he would take my suffering away. Just like all the times before he did not answer me. The Bible says in a few places where Jesus is telling his people “if you ask the Father for anything in my name and it will be granted.” These verses tended to stick with me, and caused me to become angrier at Him.  

The one thing which stayed consistent with me was an indescribable hole inside my body. I no longer feared death and the unknown; I no longer feared hell. Once I was able to shed these two fears it opened my heart and mind to other religions such as the Tao. I could not be more content knowing I have found something to fill this hole. I am grateful I have found the Way.

The question that I am going to ask, I’m hoping to get a 3rd party outside opinion on and it is a very religious based question which hopefully you won’t mind but I have noticed with the blog you have touched on different aspects of religion, so here it goes….

I have two girls. One is almost two and the other was born almost a week ago. It was brought to my attention at the birth of my second daughter by my eventually to be mother in-law that I need to get her and her older sister baptized and I need to get them both baptized right away because I waited too long to baptized my older daughter and if anything happens to her she will go to hell. Obviously the remedy would be to baptize. (I kept putting it off with the first child unfortunately) The only issue is that my mother in-law and the father of my children are raging Catholics. I am Lutheran. I don’t really belong to a church though but I was a raised a Lutheran. They want me to baptize my girls Catholic and my mother in-law even has the godparents picked out and the church and probably everything else down to the napkins that will be used at the reception. Ideally I would like my children to be able to choose what religion they would like to practice and I think that with how strict Catholicism seems to be I don’t really want to baptize them in a Catholic church with two strangers acting as their god-parents just because they are friends with my mother in-law unless it was something that I knew that they would want. I have been researching baptism and a lot of the churches want you to be registered as an active church member as well as to take a pre-baptism class and so on and so forth. 

What would your advice be to my situation? Do you think that I should just back up and set my beliefs aside for right now and get the girls baptized as Catholics? Should I maybe do an elope type of thing and go to the local Lutheran Church with some witnesses and baptize them as Lutherans? I have no idea what to do and I am feeling very forced into something that should be a joyous occasion.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my situation/question!

Sincerely,

Monica

Monica,

Thank you for the question Monica. I will attempt to answer this question in a non-biased way. First I will start with; no one no matter how old they are should have religious believes forced upon them. Your future mother in-law should not attempt to steamroll you into making a decision you do not feel comfortable with. The fact she is your “future” mother in-law only increases the pressure you are feeling. If you look at the many inquisitions throughout history; you will discover Catholics tend to be a tad bit more forceful when pushing their beliefs on other people. Your future mother in-law should respect your given right of freedom of religion. 

I do not believe having your children baptized in any faith; will matter either way. To me it is a ritualistic act, and has no barring on where your children’s souls would go if they were to pass today. It is my understanding the God of the Bible is a jealous and vengeful God, who prefers us to fear Him. With that being said; I have a hard time believing the concept of Him denying your innocent child a ticket into heaven based on whether you did or did not have holy water on their body. This concept is absurd and if I was hearing this for the first time I would not want anything to do with a God so spiteful. I am not 100% on this but I believe it says your children can suffer based off the sins of their parents. I am of the belief these concepts were added to the Bible for purposes of fear mongering and are used in the form of re-education.

I do not believe children should be subjected to religion, I believe this is a deeply personal and life altering decision. This decision should be mad when they are at the age of reason. This goes back to fear mongering tactics aimed at scaring them into believing based on the possibility of whether their soul will be sent to a permanent time-out in hell. I have heard from many people who say “I would rather believe and be wrong, then to not believe and be wrong.” This comment has come out from far to many people and is evident of a forced foundation of belief. When we believe based off this assumption is when we live a life of consistently lying to ourselves.

The question I have for you is what do you believe? They are your children, and as their mother you need to follow is in their best interest. Do not make a decision based off appeasing your future in-laws. Being baptized is an intimate and big religious step, and your children deserve the right to make that decision on their own.