Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

22 July 2015

Baptism In The Square ~ August 16th



August 16th you’ll have a chance to witness or participate in one of the more … let’s say unique events that happens annually in Brantford.  Freedom House joins together with a number of other churches to present the annual “Baptism in the Square.”  You know why it’s called that?  It’s because it’s baptisms; in Harmony Square.  Clever name eh?

This will be the 4th summer of hosting this experience publicly with the open invitation for all to come.  In the three years, roughly 300 people have come and participated in this 2000 year old tradition and we expect to see another hundred or more this summer as well.   It’s a safe statement to say that “Baptism in the Square” has created a lot of “chatter” around town.

First of all, you’ll notice that the ad for this event includes a coupon for One Free Baptism.   That’s certainly not the everyday approach to this process.  But it’s simply a tool to garner a further dialog in for individuals internally or externally between on-another.


“Aren’t Baptisms ALWAYS free?” people often ask.  “Of course they are” is the response, “and it’s free for you too.”  The truth is that many in their teens, 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s have grown up without church attendance being the default setting in the cultural outplaying of their lives.  They’ve heard about baptisms, or even attended the baptism of a friend’s child in a traditional church setting once, but they don’t know what it means to their lives. It’s a new way of engaging thought and action on an ancient, yet relevant right of passage.  And as we’ve discovered, many want to know more.

Some of the debate around “Baptism in the Square” has revolved around whether it is appropriate or not to host such a thing in the public arena. There are no hard and fast ways that Baptism “should” be.  Ages, theologies and the practical bits and pieces vary from denomination to denomination. But the nature of Baptism is that it’s an outward public declaration of an inward choice. There was one Biblical instance where a traveler intersected paths with the equivalent of a Minister of Finance in public.  The Finance Minister flagged him down and said, “Hey can you explain these scriptures to me because how I am supposed to understand them if no one explains them to me!” So the traveler did just that.  The Minister of Finance said, “Oh.  OK cool.  There’s some water right over there. Can I be baptized right there?”  So that’s exactly what they did… dripping wet on the side of the road.  It was an outward, in-public expression of something that was going on inwardly.  

For 2000 years it’s meant people of all kinds… getting dunked in rivers, tanks, lakes, tubs, oceans, and even inflatable swimming pools.  Baptism is not an “outskirts of the faith” thing propagated by those on the fringes of Christianity.  In one form or another, it’s an accepted part of the faith, across the spectrum.  It’s a spectrum that, according to the most recent census, includes around 60% of Brantford’s population that identifies with some level of traditional or active Christianity.  Baptism is also now a part of the Christian faith that now some aren’t able to access because they are not attending a regular church service.  There’s nothing wrong with Church services in Church buildings.  I highly encourage them!  We’ve got them, the number of people in them are growing, and we’re expanding Freedom House to accommodate more.  

But Baptism in the Square has facilitated many in a process that they, either rightfully or not, felt disqualified for.  We’ve seen shopkeepers close up their store, run across the road to be baptized and return soaking wet.  We’ve see families reconcile with God and one another around it.  Last year we saw a family drive an hour and a half to Brantford to be baptized together.  A documentary crew actually flew to Brantford from South Africa to capture this phenomenon because of its public nature.

It’s an incredible thing to behold, but it’s even more incredible to participate in. You are welcome to do either… or both.  It’s simply an on-the-ground-in-Brantford version of a long-standing tradition, consisting of regular folks publicly expressing their faith. Be it new or be it not-so-new.  I hope to see you August 16th at 3pm in Harmony Square.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

WHAT DID THE FIRST CHRISTIANS BELIEVE? BY STEVE FINNELL

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST HAD ITS BEGINNING ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST 33 A.D.. WHAT BELIEFS AND ACTIONS DID THE THREE THOUSAND CONVERTS TO CHRIST HAVE IN COMMON? DID GOD APPROVE OF EVOLVING BELIEFS, DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION? IF THAT WERE TRUE, THEN WOULD IT NOT BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES?

Acts 2:41 So then, those who received his word were baptized; and there were added about three thousand souls. Acts 2:47....And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

All three thousand believed the apostle Peter's message and were baptized in water. Then they were added to the Lord's church by the Lord Himself. The Lord did not add the unsaved to His church. They had to believe and be baptized in water prior to being added to the body of Christ.

1. Acts 2:22 Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know---

All three thousand believed Jesus was a miracle worker.

2. Acts 2:31-32 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

All three thousand believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

3. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ---this Jesus whom you crucified."

All three thousand believed that Jesus was Lord and Christ.

4. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

All three thousand repented in order to have sins forgiven. (repentance meant that they made the commitment to turn from their unbelief and sinful lifestyle and turn toward God).

All three thousand were baptized in water in order to have their sins forgiven.

All three thousand received the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit after they believed, repented, and were baptized in water.

5. Acts 2:40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"

All three thousand were saved after they believed Peter's message: They believed, repented, confessed, and were baptized in water. (Mark 16:16, John 3:16, Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:35-38) THEN THEY WERE ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH! (Acts 2:47)

WHAT THINGS DID PETER NOT PREACH AND WHAT THINGS DID THE THREE THOUSAND NOT BELIEVE.

1.Peter did not preach that men were saved by grace alone.

2.Peter did not preach that men were saved by faith only

3.Peter did not preach that God had selected a few to be saved and that all others would go to hell.

4. Peter did not preach that water baptism was not essential to salvation.

5. Peter did not preach that Jesus was just one of many Saviors.

6. Peter did not preach that once you were saved, that you could continue in a sinful lifestyle and still be saved.

7. Peter did not preach that God did not have the power to give us an inerrant translation of the Scriptures.

8. Peter did not preach that God would provide hundreds or thousands of different Christian denominations, and that they would teach different ways of being saved.

9. Peter did NOT preach that you had to speak in tongues as evidence that you were saved.

AS BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, MEN SHOULD USE THE BIBLE AS THEIR GUIDE FOR SALVATION. Looking to man-made creed books, Bible commentaries, denominational statements of faith, and church catechisms, is looking in all the wrong places for the absolute truth!


YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

Related Blogs

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...