Getting a 'clean start'
May 25th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

My adult baptism

What was it like to go on a pilgrimage? How did it feel the first time you spoke in tongues? Where did the experience of a week-long meditation retreat take you?

The CNN Belief Blog will occasionally share the spiritual journeys of others and begins with this one from Jascinth Hall, a 26-year-old wife and mother of three who was baptized - along with 109 others - on Saturday, May 8, at Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. This is her account of the experience, in her own words.

There’s a generation of people in our churches, in all churches, that never left the church but left the church. You're there every week, you hold down a pew, but sometimes you're not even listening to the preacher.

My father’s a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, so I was raised Seventh-day Adventist. When you’re a child, you do as you’re told. But as an adult I wanted to make an independent decision of my own to be re-baptized.

It had been a long time since I'd prayed. It had been a long time since I read the Bible. But it's never too late. It's only too late when you give up on yourself.

Re-baptism is a common thing in the church. As a teenager, even as an adult, I’ve made bad decisions. I’ve sinned. I wanted to just give my life completely over to Christ again and say, “Lord I know I’ve made mistakes. But I know that you forgive me for my sins. I know that you’ll take my life and make it worth something - make it of some value.”

I hadn’t told anyone I was getting re-baptized. I wanted it to be a surprise. I'd been praying about it, and I knew it was something I needed to do just for my own soul.

When I woke that Sabbath morning, I just felt that the Lord was saying, “I can see in your heart that you're good, and this is me giving you a clean start. It may not be the end of all of your mistakes, but I'm here, and I always will be here.”

Having that feeling that you have a God that's always going to be there for you and always going to care for you and just loves you is a good feeling.

We wore nice white robes. Even though before you may have sinned, it signifies that when you come out of that water you're going to be clean. Every sin you've made in the past is gone. So even if you can't forgive yourself, it's as far as the East is from the West with the Lord.

Before you join our church, there are beliefs or foundations that we want you to understand. We [those being baptized] don't recite them, but they go over them and you agree to them in front of the congregation.

You go up to the baptismal pool. It's an indoor baptismal pool – not a big space, but it's enough space for you to get three people in and baptize side by side. It’s located behind the choir loft, and it's lifted up and seen by all.

It's like a little journey in that traveling time going up the steps. I just thought about a lot of things. My children. My husband. The choices that I’ve made. How I'm seen as a person. Who I come off as, and who I want to come off as.

I was waiting to go into the water, standing at that window, just looking out and thinking. I do hear the Lord talk to me. We do have conversations. So at that time, I was having another conversation. There was just a moment when I looked out the window and I was like, “Lord, I don't know what the next step for me is. I don't know what you want me to be in life. I'm not perfect, but if you'll have me, I'm coming back to you.”

Going in the water, it feels very tranquil, like a bath, like a warm bath. When I read the Bible, you hear about Christ baptizing in the Jordan River. You could just imagine how great that water must have felt. We don't have Jesus baptizing us, but it still feels that same way. You’ve got people who support you there at the church standing up, and they're singing, and there's music. The pastor’s got this great smile. It's almost like going into a concert and being the featured guest. It's just a great feeling to go in there, and when you go into the water it’s just like peace when you come up.

It was quick. It's probably all of maybe five or 10 seconds, but it feels like forever when you're waiting.

That experience is one of the best experiences that you can possibly go through. If it’s one time or five times, it's a great experience because every single time you go into that water you feel that pressure, or that burden of guilt, just lift and it's gone.

I felt happy – a real sense of the word happy. It's not a material thing. It’s not something that you can buy. It’s not something that you can render to somebody else. Only the Lord can give you that sense of peace and that's what happiness is, I think.

CNN’s Jessica Ravitz, who interviewed Hall, condensed and edited the transcript for length and clarity. Most of the featured photographs were taken by CNN’s Robert Johnson, who attends Hall’s church. If you want to share your own spiritual journey, tell us about it in the comments section or send us a note at journeys@cnn.com.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Journeys • Traditions

soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. Teekaay

    if we are wrong about all of this we have lost nothing but, on the outside, 100 years. If you guys (unbelievers) are wrong there is no number big enough to describe the years of misery that Jesus came to save you from. Jesus loves you. God bless you.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • J.P

      Do you know how much I enrage when I see comments like this? A threat of hellfire damnation and then what, "Jesus loves you?" It's because of dolts like you that religion continues to lose respect. It's dolts like you that are the very ones besmirching your beloved Christ. May you be the open-minded intelligent creature you were made to be and just stop. Maybe you could convince your blinded self-proclaimed Christian cohorts to stop their stupid ministry of convoluted logic not found anywhere in the respectable versions of the Bible.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • Andrew

      No, if we're "wrong" it doesn't mean you're right. If you're "wrong" it doesn't mean we're right. It's very possible that god exists, but punishes all of the believers for believing in something without sufficient evidence. It's possible god exists, but punishes anyone who wasn't a clown when they were 23. It's possible god exists, but punishes no one. It's possible god exists, but punishes everyone. It's possible god exists and only punishes the people who believe non-believers go to hell. See the problem yet? You're painting a false dichotomy, you're assuming either your god, or no god, ignoring the infinite number of other possibilities. So if you're wrong, you could be just as screwed as you believe we are.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jessica

      Teekaay – question, why must an all-powerful god use fear and intimidation to get me to believe? Shouldnt his love and compassion be all the motivation one needs to want to believe in him? Personally, its not just his tactics that offend me – but the people who follow him. I frankly dont want to spend eternity with people like you...id rather just be blinked out of existence all together. Is it a gamble that im wrong and i'll burn in hell for eternity, I suppose...but so is dying from cancer because of sucking in exhaust while stuck in traffic...but we arent exactly banning fossil fuel to "save a few souls" are we?

      May 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • xyx25

      Jessica: Psalm 130:4:

      4But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • kyle

      Christianity is not about a "Get out of Hell FREE" card. That is not why you become a Christian. You become a Christian because you want to follow Christ...hence, the term "Christian." Christ rewards that personal decision with Heaven.

      Somebody that conversely makes the decision to reject Christ must also face the consequences of that decision, which is hell. It's not a threat, but a consequence. A THREAT is telling my son that if he plays in the street that he'll be punished. A CONSEQUENCE of playing in the street is being hit by a car.

      It's ultimately your choice. Nobody is forcing you to believe or not. Jesus loves you so much that he leaves it up to you.
      Forcing you to be a believer would make you no more of a believer than you are now.

      May 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Michele

    Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. His blood has made us whole. Through him we will be made a new creature. We must believe in The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  3. Joel3

    The reason you don't understand it and see it as just getting "wet" is because you have not taken a step toward Him- at all. God is not going to come knocking at your door begging you to join Him. He already sent His Son to die for you. The very least we can do is seek Him FIRST. And when you seek you shall find. Think about it..

    May 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • Michele

      Very, Very true.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • ttwp

      The cross is foolishness to those that are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). To be wise you must become a fool (1 Cor 3:18). Seek Him out and he will draw you near, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. God Bless!

      May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Joel, while I agree that we have to seek God and truly know Him for ourselves, I'm afraid I have to correct you on one point – He is "knocking at the door" – the Bible says so:

      "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him..."
      -Revelation 3:20

      May 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  4. Spawned

    The tranquility and peace , the warm feeling of everything is going to be okay.
    Talk to a heroin addict about how he/she feels when they get high, and they will tell you the exact same thing.
    Religion is the most dangerous drug in the world.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Sheila

      There is a difference in "religion" versus living the life that Jesus Christ taught. Religion too often times are rules and rituals, rather than just showing the love to each other that God asks. Religion can create cult like states of mind. But truly living in God's teachings is a freedom like no other. Not freedom to sin. But freedom from sin, and freedom from the pressure to live sinfully as the world.

      May 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • rsdmom

      "The tranquility and peace , the warm feeling of everything is going to be okay.
      Talk to a heroin addict about how he/she feels when they get high, and they will tell you the exact same thing.
      Religion is the most dangerous drug in the world."

      Tranquility, peace and hope..doesn't sound very dangerous to me. I'd much rather live like God exists and turn out to be wrong then to not live like God exists and be wrong.

      May 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    In response to the comment above – as someone living in the southeastern US, I hardly ever find that people respect my right to be a non-believer. While I wholeheartedly believe that religion hinders the progress of the human race and brings far more bad than the (some) good that it offers, I don't bring up religion unless it was brought up to me first. I can't say the same courtesy is usually offered to me.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  6. Talon7

    Read Numbers: 31 to see what we are up against. An egotistical maniac that commands that women and children be murdered and enslaved.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • Silas Scarborough

      That was edited in the New Testament to pin it on Moses instead.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Talon7

      Doesn't matter why they were killed. Killing and enslaving children has NO justification. If you had an ounce of intelligence you would know that.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  7. knowledgeispower

    People can say what they want now but one day The Lord Jesus Christ will return to reclaim his people. We are in the last days and time shall soon run out for satan and his followers. Remember they hated Jesus so they will hate us too. Follow Jesus read your Bible and Pray he will lead you. God bless and stay strong Read Revalation 22 as an insight to what we are up against.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sean

      "one day The Lord Jesus Christ will return to reclaim his people."

      I really wish he'd hurry up already. I've got big plans for the Bible Belt.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • denco8

      sean, you seem to be a hateful human being. It shouldn't matter what people's beliefs are. Obviously no one taught you how to respect

      May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Talon7

      No respect? Christians don't have any respect. The don't respect people of other religions, they don't respect people who are different, they don't respect people who actually think for themselves.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • denco8

      i love how you bunch a few radicals into one group.. its really what we do best as americans. Thinking for yourself? I think not. Since your comment was extremely stereotypical.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • BassOMatic

      Show me one bit of reliable evidence that supports this belief and I'm all with you...until then, what you say is just one more kooky claim among a cacophony of craziness. Can't you understand that reasonable people can't tell the difference between your myth and everybody elses's? Please show me one piece of evidence that makes the existence of Jehovah any more likely than Zeus, Allah, Odin, Shiva, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      May 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  8. Talon7

    Baptism – archaic ritual that promotes the belief in imaginary, invisible, supernatural beings in the sky.

    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own
    father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and
    telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove
    an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a
    rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
    Otherwise you'll be tortured forever by an invisible red guy with horns.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Ceece

      Very clever response, but shows a fundamental (perhaps deliberate) misunderstanding of what you are trying so hard to be clever about.

      May 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  9. Peace

    The only way to cleanse yourself of sins is to ask God for forgiveness. He is the only one who can forgive your sins and you are accountable for your sins. No soul share bare the sins of another! No one can die for your sins neither can anyone but God forgive you. So open our hands and ask God to truly guide us and forgive us. That is the best way.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  10. Canuck PhD

    How does it feel to be baptized? Wet, I would imagine.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Sean

    What a load. Wasting your Saturday (or Sunday) dunking yourself in water and listening to bad poetry is a shame. Go outside, enjoy life, read a book, play with your family. Dain Rudolph thinks you're going to hell because you're "not baptized in the New Name", Muslims think you're going to hell because you don't worship their way, Buddhists think you'll be reincarnated because you haven't learned their way, yadda yadda yadda. Hell is other people's wishes and warnings to you. Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." Just enjoy your life, be kind to others, and ditch religion, which only seems to make you feel superior to others because you took a bath in public.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dain Rudolph

      I have one question for you brace yourself like a man. Why do we have to die? Job 38:1-4

      May 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • J.P

      I think what Dain Rudolph is asking is, "Why should we ditch religion like you and then be doomed?" Something along the lines of that. I'm not saying I believe that, I'm just offering a suggestion.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • mother of four

      For what it's worth, there are lots of Christians out there who believe that baptism is simply a really solid symbolic act. God could care less about the water or how wet you get–but he knows that humans are tactile creatures who often need a physical starting point to make changes in their lives.

      I can't speak for all Christians, but I can assure you that I feel anything but superior because I "took a bath in public." The only difference between you and me is that I admitted that I had a need for change and a need for a relationship with my maker.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Sean

      "He didn't ask HOW do we die... He asked WHY do we die."

      We die. Because. Our hearts stop. And. Our lungs don't take in air. And. Our blood is at a standstill. And. We start looking like Liberace. And then. National Geographic takes photos of us after we're unearthed centuries later.

      I understand what you're getting at. "Why?" "Oh, Why?" "Will they come again?" I've lost loved ones, and some day I will die. So will you. And until that point in time, I see no reason to waste my time with religion. Martin Luther King Jr. died. All the Popes except the current one have died (maybe, he looks a little iffy). Mohammad died. Ghandi died. And I see no evidence that their current status will be altered. So enjoy the time you have.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Elsa

      I pray and hope that all the non-believers repent and accept Jesus Christ as their ONLY savior right before they die.... otherwise, they will not have the eternal life that God promises all of us who believe. People think, think, think.. It saddens me more that these comments to know that they will not enjoy the glory of God in heaven where there will be no more hate, no more tears, only JOY!! May God Bless all of you non-believers. We will be praying for your soull.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • iBelieve

      Jesus died too... but he arose on third day. That makes all the difference!

      May 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • elsie

      You stated that Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, "Hello, babies...There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." Who made the one rule? Does that make them God? With out a lawgiver there is no need for laws. There is no distrinction between good or bad for who makes that distinction? Man is not born kind, it has to be taught if you don't believe this go look in on a group of one year olds at daycare. Who came up with the idea of being kind and what was their motivation?

      May 30, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  12. denco8

    How about you respect other people's beliefs? It is a choice to be a nonbeliever as much as it is a choice to be a believer. I respect your choice not to believe, now respect other people's to believe. Obviously you don't believe in respecting fellow human beings either...

    May 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  13. joshua

    Welcome to the family to all of you that were baptized, it is of great joyce to hear that 109 lives gave away their sinful lives to dedicate the rest to serving jesus christ. Lets now bring more to his feet in order for them to receive enless blessing, but most importantly the opportunity of surviving the second death that we all must face, but through christ we can be in the promise land...God Bless all of u and welcome....to the FAMILY....

    May 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • Whatever

      You are all crazy! I don't understand how you can all just beleive in this bs. Own up, take responsibility for your own actions. Giving your sins to 'god' is the cowards way out.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
      • NyteShayde

        If you want to be an atheist, be an atheist. But by slamming people for their beliefs or faith and pushing your own agenda you have turned yourself into another proselytizing religious zealot. I don't have to listen to them and I don't have to listen to you either.

        May 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
      • Brent

        So should we turn against you because you are an atheist? But see we wont do that. You have to find god on your own. One day you might or may not. Its your choice. You shouldnt trash what people believe in. Everything you have said here goes nowhere. You have anger inside and this is how you deal with it. Taking it out on people who do believe. It took me to lose my life and something brought me back two weeks later when the docs removed the respirator because my family told them to let me die. Funny thing is , my heart started beating on its own and I wole up. So why did this happen? Afterwards I thought I was invincible and started doing crazy stuff like challenging death. Then my son was born and everything hit me. It wasnt my time? Second chance? I actually had no idea why Im here. Was it God?

        May 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  14. adrian

    Baptisim doest automatically make you a good person even in the eyes of God. You have to live by his word and generally be a good person.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jessica

      For how long? A few days? A few weeks? Until you die? Can you fall off the wagon and get back on again? if so, how many times...inquiring minds want to know how many times Jesus will forgive us.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
      • WJC

        If you are SINCERE, He will forgive you as many times as you ask him to.

        May 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Tacoma

      Being a good person will get you nothing in the eyes of God. Living by his word will get you nothing. We are made in right standing by accepting that Jesus Christ has died on the cross for our sins once and for all. All the good works in the world will not save you unless you have Jesus.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Sarah

      You're mistaken. No one can be a "good person." Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." That means even pastors, bishops, and you and me cannot earn our way to heaven. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." We all deserve to die; none of our good deeds will ever outweigh the pride and sinfulness of our hearts. But God in his rich mercy provided a way for us to be set free from sin and death. Baptism, however, does not make one good, nor does it bring salvation. It is simply a step of obedience out of thankfulness for the work of the cross.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Brent

      You have to ask god to forgive your sins if you truely believe in god. He will if your true. God knows people arent perfect and will sin and he will forgive you. Not to sure about killing people and what not..

      May 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  15. Thanking GOD for you

    WoW, GOD has given you a great testimony to his word, just know that greater things are on the way your obedience to answer his call to comeback is just the beginning. Jeremiah 1:5

    Congratulations on your new life in Christ!!!

    May 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  16. Dain Rudolph

    That is incorrect the Bible does say Jesus was also baptizing along with his disciples. Take another look at the scriptures...

    May 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • mother of four

      Umm . . . No. Jesus was baptized (Matt 3) before he had disciples (Matt 4). Read YOUR Bible. 🙂

      May 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sean

      Hey! I thought Christianity equaled peace! No fighting! 😉

      May 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • serg

      His disciples are the one baptizing ...not Jesus! 🙂

      John 4

      1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jim

      Does anyone really give a big R.A. who was baptising whom?

      May 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Jared

      Seriously why is the crap on the front page of cnn, I don't care about people getting baptized or their spiritual journeys.

      Religion is and always will be a crutch for the weak minded.

      May 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • Pearl Black

      John 3:
      22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

      This text says to me that Jesus tarried with his disciples and baptized.

      And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

      This text says to me that same man (Jesus) that was with John beyond the Jordan was baptizing.

      June 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  17. Dain Rudolph

    You should be baptized in the name of the Father(Jehovah) Son(Jesus) and Holy Spirit(New Name of 2nd coming christ) One thing I will agree upon is that the Sabbath is Saturday. But the Seventh day adventist keep it incorrectly because of their misinterpretation of the scripture they keep it from Friday Evening, which is because Nehemiah closed the gates Fri to keep people from selling their merchandise in Jerusalem on the Sabbath. The day begins when the sun rises common sense. If you are not baptized in the New Name (REV 3:11-13) then yes you need to be re-re baptized. They also were baptized two thousand years ago in the name of Jesus after already being baptized by John. It is the same now. Now the Holy Spirit(2nd coming Christ and his bride have come. REV 22:17

    Dain- World Mission Society Church of God.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • Andrew

      This above comment is strictly false. There has not been a second coming, nor should anyone be baptized in any other name other than Jesus.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Zena

      According to scriptures, the day begins in the evening and ends the next evening..for ex: Genesis 1:5 says: And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. The evening and the morning was the first day. This phrase," the evening and the morning", was continued to be used until God finished His work of creation and rested on the Seventh Day. So the evening the morning was the first day, the second day, etc. We Seventh-Day Adventist prepare for the Sabbath on Fridays before the sun is set...like the Jews to make sure no work is done to distract us from keeping the Sabbath Day holy which begins from sunset to sunset. Also check out John 19:30 and 42 which tells you that Jesus died on the evening of sixth day and the jews prepared his body for preperation day which is the sixth day for the Sabbath in which Jesus rested and were raised on the First day which is Sunday, John 20:1

      May 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • W.J. Ellis

      Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, walked among the gentiles, seen among angels and received up to glory. The greatest revelation to mankind is the knoweledge of His Name: The Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Lord Jesus Christ. We are buried with Him in baptism, taking on His Name the precious blood that was shed on calvary is applied to our lives and we become adopted heirs by our obedience. How Great is the Name

      May 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • BassOMatic

      Show me one bit of reliable evidence that supports this belief and I'm all with you...until then, what you say is just one more kooky claim among a cacophony of craziness. Can't you understand that reasonable people can't tell the difference between your myth and everybody elses's? Please show me one piece of evidence that makes the existence of Jehovah any more likely than Zeus, Allah, Odin, Shiva, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      May 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • SR

      According to Genesis Chapter 1 the Evening not the Morning is the beginning of the new day. The Seventh-Day Adventists have it correct...because it's in the Scriptures.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • SR

      To Bassomatic –

      Compare the scriptures with History, Archaeology, Biology, Nature, Astronomy and you'll have all the evidence you need. There is absolutely no other book of any kind that rivals the truth of the bible. However, you won't know it unless you prove it for yourself. Evidence makes the truth out of assumptions.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • Brent

      Is this for Catholics or all People who believe in Jesus and God?

      May 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Sheila

      The Holy Bible does specify when the Sabbath begins and when the Sabbath ends. The SDA have that correct.

      May 25, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Sid

      Jesus became our passover when He died on the cross. As our sabbath we rest in Him, so everyday is sabbath. Finding peace of mind in Jesus is what transpired after He defeated death. The enemy certainly must be laughing at us when we argue and fight over which day of the week we believe to be sabbath and also over all the different church denominations.
      In Love.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Mathi

      Not quite Andrew. Since the beginning of the church proper baptism has been done "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Check out Paul's letters and historical records such as the Didache, the Didascalia Apostolorum, Letters of Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Justin the Martyr, just to name a few.

      May 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Dan

      The Sabbath does, in fact, according to Scripture, start the evening before, which is Friday night. The Jews always regrded the new day as starting at sundown. It's not about common sense; i's custom. Read Genesis 1: "...and the evening and the morning were the first day."

      May 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Sarah Thompson

      Sid, I'm in agreement with you. To what purpose does it serve- arguing over which day the Sabbath falls- when the only way to heaven remains the same...Christ...

      May 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • Joe

      BassOMatic – One piece of evidence? There probably is no single thing someone can say to you that you have not argued away. However, if you want evidence that you can believe in would you consider making one heartfelt prayer, asking God if He is real if you can be a part of his life, in Jesus' name. If you do not receive a reply then no harm done. If you do............

      May 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Pearl Black

      Genesis 1: 1-31 and Genesis 2: 1-3 will explain to you why the Seventh Day Adventist keeps Friday evening to Saturday evening as their day of rest. You see when God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, it points out that in each day of creation the evening and the morning is considered the first day, the second day of creation the evening and the morning was considered the second day and so forth. As you see when God rested from his work, He rested on the Seventh day, so the evening Friday to the morning Saturday is the Seventy day. Nehemiah closed the gates Friday to keep people from selling their merchandise in Jerusalem on the Sabbath is because he too honored God's Holy day of rest. Nehemiah is just an example of his faithfulness to God. There are several other instances in the bible where God did not want any work on Friday evening through Saturday evening. One instance I can give for example and I am referencing Exodus 16: 22-30. He told the children of Israel to pick a double portion of manna on the sixth day. There were some Israelites in the bunch that was hardheaded and did not follow what was commanded to them so when they went to pick manna on the Seventh day there was not any.

      June 3, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  18. a brother

    Jesus never baptized anybody. He commanded the Disciples to do it.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • adrian

      Ever here of John the Baptise? He was a big as Jesus in his day.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • mother of four

      Yes he did. See John 3: 22-24:
      "After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. 24(This was before John was put in prison.)"

      May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • serg

      No! Jesus never baptized anyone...it was his disciples

      John 4

      1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Pockets

      When I read and hear stories such as this, I think I am extremely lucky to be an atheist. It was like a weight coming off my shoulders realizing that giving up a 'belief' in the supernatural and a god that doesn't exist makes life so much easier now. I take full responsibility for my actions. Descended from primates and still a primate, but assisting fellow humans along the way is what its all about, just for the sake of helping. No heaven or hell above or below us. We come from dust we return to dust.

      May 30, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  19. indifferent

    I guess for people need to turn to obedience of imaginary instructions when they don't have the willpower to make decisions for themselves

    May 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Brian

      eh, you're indifferent... way to take a stand!

      May 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • dolfina

      "The fool hath said in his heart – 'there is no god'"

      May 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sarah Thompson

      For many of us, our willpower to make decisions for ourselves led to our sin...

      May 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Anita Chancey

      I know it is difficult for many to believe a man would die, be buried, then live again. Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." If you don't believe, It should seem idiotic. I tried to figure out both why a God would do this & how it worked. It seemed like if I believed in that, I would be anything. But God opened my eyes. 4 years ago today. Before that day, I couldn't believe because it seemed crazy. On that day, it didn't matter what I thought or anyone thought. I know it doesn't make sense; to many I am believing in something imaginary. But it is real. And I am grateful that I was able to get past the thought that it was crazy that God would sacrifice himself on a cross for me.

      May 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  20. Mike

    I wish I believed in a ceremony that would cleanse me of all my mistakes. I guess I'll just have to stick to learning from them.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • kjnnkj

      Good thing that a Baptism doesn't say that we shouldn't learn from our mistakes. =-)

      May 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Mike, it doesn't cleanse you from anything. It's a ritual SIGNAFYING, you have realized you're a sinner and have given your life to God. Baptism doesn't save anyone. Learning about your sin will do nothing for your soul in eternity. But dealing with your sin will.

      May 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ana-Maria

      Baptism in itself does not cleanse you of your sins (ie Jesus did it and he was sinless). Instead, it is a public testimony, a reaffirmation that you are giving your life to Christ. That you are dying to your old self and being reborn to a new life in Christ. Adult baptism in the church is a public witness of your own decision to accept Christ. It does not wash your sins away, but rather, symbolizes that Christ has done that for you. And all sins- past, present, and future.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • mother of four

      By itself–it is nothing more than one person dunking/sprinkling, splashing another. But with a change of heart, it is a terrific symbolic act. Kind of like how the lighting of the Olympic flame indicates the beginning of the Games. Baptism indicates beginning a new phase in your life.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • serg

      No! Jesus was not the one who was baptizing. It was his disciples.

      John 4

      1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Lydia

      The bible says in 1Peter 3:21: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38 gives the correct way to be baptized.

      May 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Juli J from San Jose

      Baptism DOES save you...1 Peter 3:21says that baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God).... look up the word baptize or baptism in the Bible you'll find the answer
      and by all mean.....go and do likewise1

      May 25, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Jackie

      Mike, everyone who is baptized will go on to make mistakes. I believe it is an essential ordinance. You can repent of your sins throughout life, and learn from them. Baptism is just the beginning.:-)

      May 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • kathleen

      it isn't a ceremony that cleanses you from your sin. JESUS CHRIST is the only way to be cleansed and forgiven. we've all sinned and fallen short of God's glory, but God loves us so much that He sent Christ to die once and for all for our sin. we just need to accept that gift.

      May 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Prometheus

      "Only the Lord can give you that sense of peace and that's what happiness is, I think." Your thinking is flawed and filled with egocentric hubris. It's true fantasy can be an anti-dote for the harsh reality of human life, but for you to say your religious myth is the panacea is absurd. Numbing your mind via religion is mental laziness. Develop critical thinking and a curious rational mind. Maybe you'll discover the natural is so super, you don't need your supernatural fantasy.

      May 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Myke

      Sad that this discussion has turned into a who's right among religious sects instead of a nice reverent respect towards the people following their belief. The photography was amazing and the article was nice. No need to throw scriptures around and make yourself look like the better Christian. Enjoy the story.

      May 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • waitasec

      it's being born of the spirit or from above
      but my question to all you is; if jesus and nicodemous were conversing in aramaic the misunderstanding would have never happened in John 3. Most scholars agree that the NT was written in greek translated from aramaic. In greek the word "again" has 2 meanings; from above and from the beginning but in aramaic it only means from the beginning...looks as though the author that wrote the gospel according to john changes and makes things up ...

      June 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.