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Discuss how various forms of baptism impact on the society

The Christian concept of baptism has attracted massive debates in religious circles. There seems however to be some sort of consensus among scholars of religion that baptism, being a rite refers to an outward act which has a bearing on one’s inner being. There are several forms of baptism in Christianity which include but are not confined to; water baptism (immersion), crossing the fire baptism, spirit baptism, annointing oil baptism as well as marching under the flag baptism. These forms of baptism have both positive and negative effects on the society which among many include; curtail social ills, promote good citizenship and fuel poverty. This paper seeks to discuss how various forms of baptism impact on the society.

Immersion is one of the forms of baptism that carries significant impacts on the society. It is worth-noting that immersion refers to the complete drenching and submerging in a water body symbolising death in sin and the resurrection of a new creature. By virtue of undergoing water baptism, one ought to live righteously, conforming to the societal expectations since the new born creature is anticipated to do likewise. This is key as it curtails crime in the societies for example, violence, theft and rape as the baptised would desist from such on grounds of having been cleansed through immersion. On the contrary, immersion has in some cases left the society robbed of its members, in grief, lament and deep sorrow as those who undergo immersion in open water bodies such as rivers are at risk of either drowning, suffocating to death afterwards or being feasted by aquatic life such as crocodiles. Therefore, immersion is a critical form of baptism that carries significant impacts on the society.

Crossing the fire is yet another form of baptism in Christianity that has pivotal impacts on the society. It should be noted that crossing the fire baptism is a rite whereby the one intending to be baptised needs to cross a fire set on bare feet; repenting and being born anew. This form of baptism which is typical in most African Independent churches is important as it prevents members from commiting sin for fear of paying the price by being exposed to harrowing pain as they step the fire regularly during gatherings. This then makes the society free of social ills like prostitution and robbery. However, crossing or jumping the fire exposes the members of African Initiated Churches to burns which ferments disability. This is indeed a major blow on the society as development is derailed by increased casualties of societal members. Thus, crossing the fire is yet another form of baptism that has pivotal impact on the society.

Spirit baptism is another form of baptism that has key impact on the society. It is prudent to highlight that Christianity has a conception of spirit baptism whereby one is baptised with the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God. The coming of the Spirit of God in one’s life pushes away sin such as adultery which is problematic in the society. This, then paves way for peace, mutual respect and harmony to prevail as violence on grounds of infidelity is done away with. On the contrary, the idea of spirit baptism has brought about increased cases of sexual harassment, especially of female members of the society. This is because African Initiated Churches explanation of spirit baptism is that the prophet “madzibaba” should initiate it. Cases have surfaced of the man of cloth using this platform to abuse women sexually, under the guise of baptising the with the so-called spirit baptism. Hence, spirit baptism is another form with key impacts on the society.

Baptism with anointed objects is another form of baptism which has essential impacts on the society. It is of utmost importance to highlight that with the rise of pentacostal denominations, baptism through anointed objects has been embraced in the Christian community. Administering of anointing oil, wearing of wristbands and even bracelets is a form of baptism. By virtue of one, doing the aforementioned, he or she parts away from sin such as hate as they will be bound by Christian ethos. This is then beneficial to the society as it will revolve around love, reciprocity and togetherness which are the chief ingredients for progression. However, this form of baptism deserves to be criticized as it is partial towards the rich since the anointed objects or products come at a premium. For example, one has to part away with US$10 to obtain Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries’ anointing oil and US$20 for United Family International Church’s anointed brick. Furthermore, with the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe, these anointed objects for baptism are plunging the poor into abject and extreme poverty as they desperately are milked of their cash in pursuit of salvation. Therefore, baptism with anointed objects is another form of baptism that carries an essential impact on the society.

Marching under the flag is another form of baptism that has vital impacts on the society. It is key to note that marching under a flag of purported salvation in Christian denominations such as the salvation army is deemed a form of baptism. Once one undergoes this rite of baptism, through marching under the salvation-ascribed flag, he or she becomes a new creature who is divorced from sinful conduct such as lust and envy. This is of relevance as it stirs up respect among other societal values. However, the lack of a Biblical trace of this form of baptism has prompted other members to continue in sin as marching under the flag for them is a mere artificial creature established by humans. This explains why some members of the salvation army were reportedly caught pants down in an extra-marital affair even having surpassed this baptism. Thus, marching under the flag is another form of baptism in Christianity that is has crucial impacts in the society.

In a nutshell, this write up explicitly discussed the various forms of baptism and highlighted how they impact the society. The forms of baptism include; immersion, spirit baptism, baptism with anointed objects, crossing the fire and marching under the flag while their impacts on the society among many are; promoting good citizenship, stirring peace and sexual abuse of women. From the above discussion, one can conclude that the various forms of baptism impact on the society in a largely positive way.