Re-enchanting Baptism

A few months ago we were going through a study on baptism in our Sunday School class at church.

Some background here. Our tradition practices a believer's baptism by immersion. Also, for us, baptism is the proper response to the gospel proclamation. We don't have a "Sinner's Prayer." For us, if you want to respond to the gospel you don't say a prayer where you sit, you get up and are baptized.

Anyway, we were studying baptism. And the resource we were using, Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity, has a chapter on baptism as illumination, connected with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Texts we considered regarding this theme: 
1 John 2.20, 27
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Hebrews 6.6, 10.32
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit.

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings.
As I pondered and we discussed these texts, it struck me how disenchanted our view of baptism is. We are baptized in our tradition for the forgiveness of sins. That forensic understanding of baptism is very disenchanting. In this view of baptism, some extrinsic issue related to God (God's judgment on our sin) is dealt with (forgiveness). To be sure, that's good news. But all the action is external and distant from the believer. Baptism changes something about God (wrath is changed to grace), but doesn't change much about me, constitutionally speaking.

But in the texts above baptism changes me. I am illuminated, enlightened. Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, I've been given sight and understanding.

That's a very enchanted, miraculous, supernatural, spookier view of baptism. In baptism, a divine power has been poured over and into me that changes me, giving me capacities and abilities that I would not have otherwise.

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