Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, what if I killed loads of people?

A conversation with a baptismal candidate old enough to ask their own questions.

C: Is it true that Baptism washes away all your sins?
me: That's right - in Baptism we die to sin and are born to new life in Christ.
C: But all your sins?
me: All, no matter how bad they are. It's like a fresh start in life.
C: But what about really bad sins, like murder?
me: Those too. It doesn't get you off the hook with the law, of course, but as far as God is concerned it's like they never happened.
C: But say you were really bad ... if you committed loads of murders say, wouldn't he hold that against you?
me: No. After Baptism it is as if they never happened. If fact in the old, old days of the early Church it wasn't too uncommon for kings and princes, who would be responsible for having people put to death and fighting wars, to wait until they thought they were close to death to wait to be baptised.
C: And they'd be forgiven too?
me: Yes, event though they might have been responsible for literally thousands of deaths.
C: Maybe I should wait until I'm older.
me: What do you mean?
C: Well I haven't done anything really bad yet. Maybe I should wait to be baptised until I'm older. Really, really old, like 56.
me: Well you could wait. The problem is, if you've spent all your life doing whatever you like, because you know you'll be forgiven everything once you're baptised, what makes you think you'll be suddenly able to stop? You'll be pretty hardened in your ways by then. And, remember what it says in the Bible about not knowing the day nor the hour? You might plan on being baptised when you're 56 but then be hit by a bus when you're 26! Then where would you be?
C: But what about the bad things I do after Baptism?
me: That's what Confession is for. If you're truly sorry for what you've done and ask God's forgiveness, then it as if those sins never happened either. That's why we talked about how important it is to make a good confession.
C: I suppose we should go ahead with the Baptism so.
me: I'm glad to hear it ... especially as the church is already booked  and we have everything organised!

Some great questions ... I don't often have such deep theological conversations!  

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