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Baptism

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Baptism

Baptism is the sacramental act of cleansing in water that admits a member within the Church community. Baptism is one of the most important ritual that could happen in a Christian person's life. It symbolises the washing away of sins, being accepted within the Church community, belonging to Christ and a sign of new life as children of God. It also configures the person to Christ and obliges the Christian to share in the Churches apostolic and missionary activity. Christian baptism also has its origins with the Jewish rituals at the time which is mikvah, because Christianity has its early development from Judaism such as the Old Testament(Torah)

Within the Orthodox Christian Church, Baptism is very important and Baptism always occurs at infancy. There are some disputes between other Christian denominations such as Protestant and Pentecostalism over baptising young infants. They say that 'infants should not be baptized as they do not know the meaning and have no sins to be washed away. They do not understand enough to hold faith in Jesus in their own right'.

During the Baptism process the child has to have a godparent. A godparent is someone who promises to help the parent's child be raised as a Christian, and play an important role during the ceremony. The child is then brought to the Baptismal font and the priest then places the child by putting him/her into the water 3 times. The water symbolises cleansing and free of the Holy Spirit. Being dipped into the water 3 times symbolises the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Afterwards the child is anointed on the face and body with smelling oil which symbolizes the sealing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The child receives the Holy Spirit when anointed. After the Baptism ceremony has finished the child is then dressed in new white clothes. The white garment is a symbol that the person is being clothed in Christ.

Baptism is one of the most important sacraments that could happen within the life of a Christian. It is the start of a new life for the believer and is presented within the Bible as one of the most significant events. A person embarks upon a new course of life in the faith that God will receive him as on of his children. Also it is a sign that Christians have understood the truth that the revelation of Gods will for them. It is also the first out of seven sacraments in the life of a Christian. That is why Baptism is a sign of new life and commitment to the Church and the Church community.

Although Baptism has been compromised in such a way due to the multiculturalism of the Australian society where different religions are emerging and exist, thus producing mixed marriages where the parents decide not to Baptise or follow either parent's religion and faith. But instead allow their children to choose their own religion when they mature as adults, hence there is a decline in the sacrament of Baptism due to the different religious denominations and also the younger generation are turning away from religion instead. It has also been compromised in the sense of whether Christian Churches should baptise the new adherent at infancy or adulthood. Many different variants of Christianity have come to a conclusion to either baptise at infancy or not. Those Churches that do baptise at infancy are the Orthodox, Roman Catholic & Anglican and the ones who do not baptise at infancy, but rather baptise the adherent in adulthood are the Protestant, Baptists, & Pentecostal. There have been debates about this issue, but a compromise between the different branches of Christianity all have their own differences and views on how the Baptism ceremony should be carried out and the importance of it to them.

The significance of Baptism is that it symbolises a break with the old way of life and demonstrates a full commitment and determination to begin a new way of life. It is linked to the beliefs of spirituality, re birth, cleansing and purification in Christ the Lord, faith in the Holy Trinity, participation in the life and death and resurrection of Christ and lastly the forgiveness of sins. The entire are important and very significant. Although it is a very significant time for the individual and the community of adherents.

Baptism is significant for the individual believer because it initiates them into the whole Christian life and also introduces them to the life which is guided by the Holy Spirit, hence it gives them access to other

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