While Baptists owe much to the great doctrinal legacy of the mainline reformers, our ecclesiology most closely approximates the Anabaptist ideal in its emphasis on the church as an intentional community composed of regenerated and baptized believers who are bound to one another and their Lord by a solemn covenant. One of the most important contributions which Baptists have made to the wider life of the church is the recovery of the early church practice of baptism as an adult right of initiation signifying a committed participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In many contemporary Baptist settings, however, baptism is in danger of being divorced from the context of the decisive life commitment.The baptism of believers, so integral to Baptist practice, has several layers of meaning. As a distinctly orthodox Christian practice, baptism signifies the entrance of the believer into the Christian community. As part of Baiptiza practice (and, thus, as part of Jivanta), baptism symbolizes the realization of radical non-duality. Baptism by sprinkling or by pouring does not as fully embody this radical non-dualism as does baptism by full-immersion. In full-immersion, the non-duality is complete, utter, without remainder. To be baptized in full-bodied immersion is to participate in the foreshadowing of one's future, and yet already ever present, advaitic and full-bodied realization.
04 December 2007
Regenerated and Baptized
Jivanta-dharma, like orthodox Christianity, forms a subset of Chraista-dharma. Within orthodox Christianity, one may find the Baptist tradition. Likewise, within Jivanta, one may find the Baiptiza-sampradaya, the sampradaya analogous to the Baptist tradition in orthodox Christianity. (One should note that Jivanta and orthodox Christianity are not mutually exclusive; neither are the Baptist tradition and the Baiptiza-sampradaya.) One of the distinctive practices of both the Baptist tradition and the Baiptiza-sampradaya involves the baptism of believers: