This is what I love about the internet. I ran across a site called eHow.com — a virtual “how-to” about everything, even religion. So I look and sure enough, there is a post on “How To Make Lutheranism Part of Your Life.” Not exactly the way I would phrase that, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Then I see “How To Make Methodism Part of Your Life.” Just as I am starting to think that Baptists — my flavor of the faith — are being given short-shrift, I discover this insightful article, “How To Make Baptism Part of Your Life.”
Wait — Baptism, not Baptists? I guess if Lutheranism is the beliefs of Lutherans, and Methodism is the beliefs of Methodists, then Baptism is the beliefs of Baptists! (I am not making this up, I promise.)
That’s what it says, but as I am reading I recognize that the illustrious author really means Baptists, not Baptism, so I am feeling better. I keep reading and discover there are 7 steps (is this symbolic?) to making Baptism part of your life.
I’m reading and I’m with this guy on Steps 1 thru 3. However, we hit a major snag on Step 4. See if you can figure out why I am concerned:
“STEP 4: Know that within this faith, baptism does not grant you salvation. The Baptist church does not believe that just because a person is baptized it necessarily follows that he or she will be saved. Baptists believe that good deeds on Earth and living by the word of God are the way to salvation.”
Okay, I have no problem with the first part of this — “baptism does not grant you salvation.”
But, here’s where the wheels come off — “Baptists believe that good deeds on Earth and living by the word of God are the way to salvation.”
I take exception to this strongly. Baptists — and I speak for all of us — certainly do not believe in good deeds. Period. Didn’t we do the whole Reformation thing so we wouldn’t have to do good deeds? Anyway, we do not believe in good deeds, or that living by the word of God is the way to salvation. If we did, we’d all be in church each Sunday. No, sir. We’ll not have any of this works salvation stuff. Sole fide forever, and we can prove it.
But Step 7 is my favorite — “Attend weekly mass and Bible study. Soak in the Baptist beliefs and begin applying them to your life.” Spoken like a true Baptist!
See you at mass this Sunday!