A Baptized Atheist
A Baptized Atheist
I don't remember what brought it up the other day, but we had a good laugh when we realized that in a house with 2 Christians and an Atheist that it was the Atheist who was the only one who was baptized. (It turned out, however, that two of us are baptized, so not as ironic as originally thought)
I thought it would still be amusing though to post about my baptism though because I have photos!
|Not to be confused with David Smalley's book, Baptized Atheist|
Jehovah's Witnesses do not baptize at birth, they require it to be a conscious decision. I chose to be baptized at the age of 12. When you are considering baptism as a Jehovah's Witness, the Elders in your congregation will ask you a bunch of questions to determine why you've made the decision and if you're ready. If they give you the thumbs up, then your baptism is scheduled for the next big assembly (a church event where a bunch of congregations all gather today for a multi-day meeting). I was baptized at a 2-day Circuit Assembly (a Circuit is about 20+ congregations, and then Circuits make up Districts, and the hierarchy continues...) in Norco, CA.
All of the baptismal candidates are required to sit in the front rows of the large assembly hall because the sermons that morning are directly aimed at them. Then they are asked to stand and verbally shout "YES!" to a couple of questions which are essentially "Do you dedicate yourself to God..." or "Do you accept Jesus died for your sins..." etc. (This was how they did it 25 years ago. If you're a Jehovah's Witness currently, let me know if the process has changed!)
At these large Assembly halls, they have baptismal pools built into the floor. Even though Jehovah's Witnesses consider the water to be a symbolic part of the event, they still believe you should be fully submerged. After the sermons and questions, they slide back the cover to reveal the baptismal pool and the candidates go into the changing rooms behind the stage to change from their nice suits and dresses into appropriate (AND MODEST, LADIES) swim wear. Hundreds of people gather around the pool to watch, take photos and such.
So... here you go, my baptism.