The word means different things to different people. I have seen violent arguments and groups torn apart because of conflicting beliefs. If you are screaming at one another and condemning each other over the Word of God, then both side of the argument have lost. I don’t believe this is a correct response to an act of faith.
My wife and I both believed that a person of maturity, who understands the difference between right and wrong, sin and grace, who has accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, should be baptized as a sign of our commitment to God. I have never believed that a baby, who has no such awareness, should be baptized. Baptism of a baby does nothing to help the baby, but only helps in the minds of the parents. This is all due to different understandings of the Bible scriptures and different dogma and doctrines of organized religions.
To be a Christian, one must strive to be Like Christ. That is what the word “Christian” means; to be “Christ-like”. Not only was Jesus baptized in the River Jordan by John, but he was crucified, buried and resurrected. Our baptism, by full submersion, not only emulates the baptism of Christ, but also symbolizes our death to our old lives, our burial and our resurrection to a new life. It shows our belief in the Word of God. (How can an infant make such a choice?)
My wife and I grew up in different cultures and different churches. When my wife was baptized, a few drops of water were sprinkled on her head as she knelt before the alter in her church. In her heart and her mind, she had made her faith known to God and her beliefs known before man. I believe that for her, this was right. Her pastor invited me to join in the baptism, but I told him that because of the way I grew up, I wouldn’t feel really baptized without full submersion. He smiled and understood; many people feel this way.
I have seen full submersion baptisms in rivers, ponds, baptismal tanks, what looked like watering troughs and even a hot tub. It’s not really important how you get baptized, but why you get baptized. It should be because you have accepted Jesus into your life and wish to demonstrate that communion with Him before God and Man.
As for me, I would like to emulate Jesus as thousands of believers do each year, by traveling to Israel and being fully submerged in the River Jordan as Christ was. I feel that such a baptism would bring me closer to Christ and bond my life to His service.
Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”