The first of the sacraments of Christianity is called baptism. Through him, a person is granted Christian character. For example: “Ricardo invited me to the baptism of his son”, “The day of your baptism it was raining a lot and we arrived at church drenched”, “In my opinion, baptism should be a choice of each and not an imposition of the family ”.
The verb baptize derives from a Greek word that has the meaning of immersing and although it refers directly to the first initiation ritual of Christianity, it is also used to refer to any initiation rite regardless of the religion in which it is performed. It can be used to refer to any ritual that consists of an act of purification that cleanses an individual of his bad deeds and prepares him for a new life.
The notion of baptism is used, on the other hand, in contexts other than religious. In such cases, baptism is understood as an initiation or debut. If a soccer player scores the first goal of his career, one can speak of his “baptism in the net”. Something similar can be expressed about a writer who has his “literary baptism” with the edition of his first book.
The phrase “baptism of fire” serves to refer to those individuals who enter combat for the first time; The first performance of a person in a certain activity is also called that: “The brand new Minister of Economy had his baptism of fire when he met with the creditors of state bonds.
Christian baptism throughout the centuries
In the case of Christianity, baptism is found in the Gospels, where the reasons why followers of Christ should be baptized are explained.
Until the 4th century AD this ritual was performed by immersion. In fact, until then they used to be carried out on the banks of a river or in large baptismal fonts, where the individual was introduced and was submerged for purification.
Until that moment, the ritual was performed on adults who were already responsible, who knew the laws of religion and consented to clinging to this faith: in a voluntary act that allowed them to enter the community of believers. Later this ritual became an almost automatic gesture that lost the true relevance of its origins. However, it is important to point out that a person is anointed with water to symbolize that in this way he is purified and begins his religious life, and for this reason this gesture should be assumed in full control of the faculties.
The way in which this ritual is carried out today may vary in each church, although the main elements of this ceremony are the same. The Christian priest approaches the individual who is about to be baptized and sprinkles his forehead with water, while invoking the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) through a prayer. With this ritual, whoever receives baptism becomes a participant in the death and resurrection of Christ and joins the church community.
According to DigoPaul, baptism also supposes the forgiveness of original sin (that committed by Adam and Eve) and of any other sin that was in the individual who is baptized.
One of the things that many believers and non-believers criticize is that this ritual today is carried out when the person still does not have developed reasoning capacity (generally during the first year of life); it is her parents who decide to baptize her without the individual being able to choose another type of religion as they cannot choose what type of spirituality they wish to develop.