In his book, Not A Fan, Kyle Idleman tells of the of the baptisms of those who belonged to the Knights of Templar. When they were baptized the church allowed them to be baptized with their sword, only they would hold their sword out of the water while being immersed. It was the knights way of saying, You can have control of me but you can’t have this. Jesus, I’m all yours, but who I am and what I do on the battlefield, how I use this sword, that’s not part of the deal.
Strange practice – or is it? Do we ever withhold things at our baptism?
Let’s think about it. Maybe we don’t do it literally as these soldiers, but…
Have you known people who might hold their wallet out of the water? Actually our practice today is not to take our wallets into the water. We not only literally do not baptize our wallets, but sometimes we are saying to Jesus, I’m not committing my money!
How many hold their watch out of the water? Some may choose to leave their watch on as they are baptized because their watch is not water proof. The old Timex commercial comes to mind – it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. But, many may be saying to Jesus, I’m not committing my time!
Well, you get the idea. There may be a symbolic gesture in NT baptism being by immersion. It is an all or nothing commitment. One can’t hold anything out of the water. Have you ever refused to make a commitment because you knew deep down inside there was something you were holding back?