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Celebrating new life in baptism!

Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

We're a baptist church, so you might rightly assume that we've got baptism all figured out, right?

Well, we started out rough, a year into our church I realised that I, as a pastor of a baptist church, had yet to be baptised after coming to faith and so I was baptised by my wife in our bathtub at home.

And we continued on in bathtubs, the ocean and different lakes... The picture to this article is one of our early baptisms happening in a lake by our house, this was in November, it was much colder than it seems on the picture and I was sick for a week afterwards.

Anyway, as we grow and more people started coming we realised that it might be a good idea to create a document full of verses, questions and thoughts so that we can make sure that everybody who gets baptised is on the same page as to why we do what we do, what baptism means and so on.

So I, the hater of systems, took on that task, I tried to do my own document from scratch, re-inventing the wheel in a sense, until I realised that there are churches who probably have this stuff online for free and have had much smarter people who could spend much more energy than I into putting a baptism document together, and so I looked at a few different churches and basically came up with a document that was mostly done by others with only a little spice added by myself.

To give credit where credit is due, most of the material was copied from Village church in Texas, we are thankful that they had their stuff online and available.

Now, on our end, we simply needed to translate this over to Icelandic, and in the future hope to make our short baptism class into videos so that various people may not need to teach the material but can play the material and host discussion or answer questions afterward.

The only thing I might change in the future to fit more of an Icelandic context is to put in there "Who should baptise?" as infant baptism here is steeped in tradition, so much so that the Icelandic word for "baptism", that is "Skírn", has literally morphed from being a purely religious term to also mean in the modern context "To name [something or someone]", so if you're having a conversation in Icelandic about "Have you given your car a name?" or "Have you named your child yet?" the direct translation of those sentences would be: "Have you baptised your car?" or "Have you baptised your child yet?", and so a lot of people may expect a person wearing a robe and a weird collar to be doing the baptism.

Anyway, I recommend doing this much earlier on for those who are taking their first steps in thinking about planting a church or even those who just started this journey, if you want to use "our" document you can access it here in English and here in Icelandic.


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