My wife and I got married on July 25, 2009, at the Dallas Arboretum, and I wanted everyone to know! When Lindsay and I started dating, I was teaching at a private Christian school in Illinois. At that time, I was a single guy in a small, tight-knit community without a wife. You can only imagine the number of conversations I had about my dating life or lack thereof. Whispers and rumors spread around our little school when Lindsay and I started dating. My favorite rumor was that she was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. (I let that rumor run for a few weeks before addressing it.) When Lindsay and I began dating, I wanted everyone to know that I had a girlfriend, and she was awesome. But more than that, I wanted to be identified with her. When people spoke about her, I wanted them to think about me. I was honored to be associated with Lindsay. I think the same thing is true about baptism. The purpose of baptism is not for salvation, but rather for identification. It seeks to answer the question: Do you claim the name of Christ?
I love what co-pastor Paul McDill said during last Sunday’s sermon:
“Here is a piece of advice for you young people: Never date someone that wants to keep it a secret.”
I love it!
The same is true for baptism, it is our public proclamation of our relationship with Jesus Christ, and we should want the whole world to know about it. Baptism is letting your friends, family and community know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus has some very serious words to his followers in chapter 10 of Matthew:
“But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 10:33
My relationship with Christ is public, and I never want to hide my personal relationship with him. I know that baptism can be confusing to people, and possibly intimidating, but baptism is nothing more than a proclamation of faith — a telling to the world that you are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I was married on July 25, 2009, because I wanted everyone to know who I fell in love with. I was baptized in the fall of 1989 for the same reason.