Advice on getting baptized
Hello, r/reformed. I need some advice.
I have been a believer for nearly a decade. I converted as a teenager in a hostile home. My parents confiscated my Bible and religious literature, I was forbidden from attending a church, and even my internet access was limited for a long time because it was how I had learned about Jesus. I have suffered greatly, but God preserved me through it all. He drew me constantly to Himself and was the spiritual father I did not have here on earth. I got another Bible, learned what it taught about salvation by faith, and have preached it and studied it intensely ever since. However, my isolation from other Christians has created a problem.
I have never been baptized – not for lack of desire, but for lack of opportunity. I have endured trials for the Name's sake, preached the gospel to others, seen the work of God in my life in sanctification, and have never wavered in my faith, yet I have not obeyed this simple command. There are two churches in my area I have attended since last year when I was finally able to start going. The first, a megachurch, turns baptism into a spectacle that I want no part of. I believe it undermines the sacrament, and further, they don't want to baptize me because I have already believed for so long. The second, a much smaller Reformed church that I have attended for a few months, is wary of me because of this situation. I feel as if I have few options. I greatly desire to obey Jesus' command to be baptized – no matter your stance on how baptism should be performed or what it accomplishes, we all believe that He command this.
At this point I have three options. The first, and easiest, is baptizing myself (hence the name of my throwaway account). With God as my witness, as it has been throughout my faith journey, in a local lake. I readily admit there is no biblical precedent for this. The second option is organizing a private ceremony – a mature Christian friend of mine from out of state may be coming to visit in a few months. I could have him administer baptism to me. There are some semiprivate or fully private baptisms recorded in the book of Acts. The final option is continuing to look for a church that treats the sacrament with respect and will accept my desire to be baptized. The issue is that there are very few churches around me, fewer still that take the Bible seriously (ie, as the final, inerrant rule of faith as opposed to a liberal church).
Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on sebaptism and private baptism.
Submitted by sebaptistthrowaway