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The Baptism Sacrament ChurchResearch Paper

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Ceremony of baptism has immense importance in the religion of Christianity. It is one of the seven sacraments, which helps to imbue it with a degree of holiness and spirituality. It symbolizes numerous things: purification, redemption, and an acceptance into the church of Christ. As such, it is associated with both beauty and sanctity, and has a lifelong importance to the true Christian that believes in this religion and all that this ritual symbolizes. The ceremony of baptism is the most beautiful event that happens in someone's life. Initially considering that baptism has taken the place of circumcision and could only be performed once, it is true baptism also should only be performed once?

An examination of the history of baptism and various facets of this ritual help to elucidate the preceding thesis statement. The sacrament of baptism is largely attributed to the time period in which Jesus existed and to his influence on this practice. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were contemporaries of one another, and both were associated with baptism during their lives (James). Christ himself was baptized, which helped to attribute a great deal of significance to this ritual and to the degree of importance it would take on in Christianity. John The Baptist's frequently recurring baptisms helped to provide a foundation for this practice, and to help it gain credibility as well (James). When Christianity was formally outlined as a religion, it is important to note that the sacrament of baptism was one of the original sacraments, which underscores its eminence in this particular religion.

Additional insight into the practice of baptism and whether or not it should be performed once or more than once pertains to the relation of this practice to other religions. There are certainly some religions that do not practice the rite of baptism, although most have lore and various histories that impute significance to the effect of water on critical facets of them. However, it is noteworthy that one of the religions that does have a practice that is extremely similar to baptism is Judaism. There are numerous parallels between Christianity and Judaism; these religions share many of the same texts, prophets, and points of origination. Thus, it is not coincidental that there is a rite in Judaism known as Tvilah, which is extremely similar to the sacrament of Baptism (British Broadcast System). In this Jewish practice the individual is immersed in water -- which is a ritual which takes place in the aforementioned sacrament, as well. Additionally, this Jewish rite is required for an individual to become a true member of the faith of Judaism (British Broadcast System); this fact is also parallel with the significance of baptism in Christianity. The main difference between these two practices is that the Jewish ceremony can take place more than once, whereas baptism cannot.

The predominant reason for one to undergo baptism is that in doing so, one becomes a member of the church of Christ. It is seen as a rite of initiation or of admission into Christianity. Granted, people can still practice the Christian faith without undergoing baptism, since "Living from a Christian worldview means that what you do aligns with what is true, and the Scriptures are the ultimate authority on Truth" (Fey). Yet baptism symbolizes the sort of spiritual rejuvenation and purification of the adherent that is of immense importance in this particular religion. It is critical to realize that there are a number of different denominations of Christianity, some of which ascribe various degrees of significance to this sacrifice. In some, baptism is a prerequisite for eternal salvation -- which would certainly spur a believer to undergo this ritual. Many denominations posit the notion that getting baptized is a way of bringing the adherent closer to Jesus (who was also baptized), which is another reason one would want to get baptized.

Another facet of baptisms that greatly influences the fact that it should only be performed once in a person's life pertains to who has permission to perform the baptism. For the most part, a clergyman is required to perform a baptism. This fact dates back to the reality that some of the earliest baptisms were actually performed by people who had a vested interest in their relationship with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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