Saturday, October 30, 2010


Recently I came across an announcement by a pastor of a very large church stating, "Everybody come out to the service Sunday night, we're going to be dunking people." As I read it, I thought perhaps the church was having some sort of carnival or harvest celebration and they were going to have the tank where a person throws balls to hit the target and the person is dropped into the tank of water. To my utter shock, this pastor was referring to a baptism service. There was a note to this pastor from a lady in his church which said, "Hey pastor, thanks for dunking XXXXX Sunday night."

Some might say that I'm being old fashioned, not staying with the times, or making a big deal out of nothing. However, I will openly admit that I was offended by this flippant reference to a holy sacrement that warrants total respect and the utmost of humility and reverence. Furthermore, this church has an attendence of several thousand people who are being influenced by this kind of irreverence.

I understand that the words "dunk" and "immerse" are quite similar in meaning.

DUNK: (slang)
–verb (used with object)

1. to dip (a doughnut, cake, etc.) into coffee, milk, or the like, before eating.

2. to submerge in a liquid: She dunked the curtains in the dye.

3. Basketball . to attempt to thrust (a ball) through the basket using a dunk shot.







–verb (used with object), -mersed, -mers·ing.

1. to plunge into or place under a liquid; dip; sink.

2. to involve deeply; absorb: She is totally immersed in her law practice.

3. to baptize by immersion.

4. to embed; bury.









"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the gloryof the Father, we too may live a new life." Romans 6:3,4 (NIV)
I don't believe I am being rigid here. I believe that the world changes and people change and attitudes change, but the things of God, His Word and His commands to us remain the same and as Christians our attitude and approach to the things of God also remain the same as the Lord Jesus Christ's attitude and approach.
AM I BEING OLD FASHIONED OR WAS THIS PASTOR BEING IRREVERENT? I'd really like to hear from you all and how you see this issue. God bless, Dr. Bobbi

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Whidbey Woman said...

Baptism is such a holy sacrament!
I can't believe this story.
But on the other hand, I can.

Virginia said...

The sacrament of Baptism
should be honored and treated with respect. I agree with you.
Much Blessings,

sarah said...

good points....when I read what you makes watch what we say and be respectful....

Saleslady371 said...

I hope you will follow through and speak to your pastor about this. I think it would really help him to discern some things.
Have a great weekend.

Dee said...

I feel he was irreverent. The ways and words of the world are creeping into the church at a fast pace. The pastor may be trying to reach the younger crowd but I feel he is taking away the importance of this sacrement.

mya said...

Though the meaning may be same, our usual use of the word does not suggest the same.
Perhaps the preacher meant nothing by the use of this word, but I think it was at least a mistake.

Annesphamily said...

I am so happy when someone bears their heart over here! I agree! I am not a big fan of mega churches. Many years ago John McArthur wrote an article i=until "Give me that old fashioned Religion".He warned us against this big money making churches. I think you can be happy in God's word but not disrespectful! I am always offended by this kind of behavior. Amen! Anne

Anita Johnson said...

I don't care for it either and I wonder what any non Christians that might be attending the church that day would think of that phrase.

Charlotte said...

I totally agree with you. It sounds pretty "flippant" to me. If I'm old fashioned, I'm glad that I am.

Donnie said...

This was a great post. I don't know which way to go on your question. I guess as much as I would want and expect the reverence pertaining to me I also feel that the Lord uses many ways to bring us to Him and "dunking" might just be one of them. Have a blessed day.

Vintagesouthernlife said...

I agree with you, that is a very flippant attitude and shows such immaturity. Maybe he was trying to appeal to the younger segment of the congregation but irreverence has no place with any generation.

Blessings from an old retired school teacher.

Lillie Ammann said...

Dr. Bobbi,

I agree with you and other commenters that Holy Baptism should be treated with reverence and not flippancy!

Lloyd said...

A very thought provoking post Bobbi. I read your post several times just so I felt that I understood what was happening. It is my opinion that this pastor was irreverent in the way he was going about the holy sacrament of baptism. My first thought was this: Were all of the folks being "dunked" SAVED? Did each of them repent of their sins and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior of their life? True repentance and humbling yourself before a Holy God is something that should not be taken lightly. We must first be SAVED then we fulfill the requirements of water baptism as a believer being obedient to his Lord and Savior.

So my question would be this: Was the preacher baptizing all these folks believing that baptism is required for salvation or did all of these folks make a confession of faith in our Lord Jesus before showing up to be "dunked"?

God bless, Lloyd

Katie Ganshert said...

I think what matters as far as irreverence goes is the pastor's heart toward baptism, and only God knows that one. Sometimes we say things without thinking or maybe he's just a casual guy. But on the other hand, sometimes our words are a reflection of an attitude in our heart.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Glad you found it refreshing. I enjoyed reading your 3 C's.

Sonja said...

yes, I agree with you here... I understand the way the church is trying 'new methods' to reach out, but I think it gets a little loose and 'less than' sometimes. When you think about Jesus sitting there and listening... WWJD? I think we would be more careful with our words and the way we used them, and... He IS there.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I am with you...but sad to say this is more common than I would like to admit...and the younger generation doesn't seem to bat an eye!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today...going to do some reading through yours!

kenju said...

Maybe he meant well, but I think it is being way too casual to call it that instead of Baptising or Christening.

Thanks for the visit and for following.

hip-chick said...

I think that the trend of many churches these days is to make it all seem more fun and casual. I'm not sure I agree with it.

Rhonda Schrock said...

This would stretch me, too. I have to consider what Katie G. said above, that we can't judge his heart, but the very least, I'm uncomfortable with it on a personal level.

Thank you very much for visiting the blog. I look forward to coming back again!

Patrina's Pencil said...

Great points. I loved how you gave us the dictionary meaning of the two words - they are similar but definitely different in the English tradition. the world has gone to slang. The younger set is so into texting that they are developing their own language. Some people haven't grown up in the church and therefore are looking at things from a wordily perspective. The pastor is probably trying to reach a a newer generation with such irreverent slang. But truthfully, The Holy Scriptures meant for it to remain a Holy act.

This is just one more example of our churches going the way of the world.

Patrina <")>><

Miriam Peterson said...

I agree, there seems to be a growing amount of things that seem to be pulling down the respectable and formal and such. Clothing, grammar rules, respect for leadership and elders, etc. I think we need to hold onto some standards on many things.

Miriam Peterson said...

Where did you get this great picture of the Holy Ghost and our Savior?