Today, I have been a Christian for 20 years.
But what does that mean?
Especially with a presidential campaign looming, being identified as "Christian" has been relegated to being part of a certain demographic. It has been "downgraded," if you will, to a social group.
But at it's basic core, what does it mean?
I sat weeping on a couch in a dormitory at Freed-Hardeman University as a fourteen year-old boy who didn't know a lot about the world. I had just been told a story that particularly impacted me, and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was time to put on Christ in baptism. That was twenty years ago.
It's still the best decision I've ever made.
It wasn't a decision that was made lightly. I was peer pressured into it. I didn't do it for my parents. I did it because I wanted my soul saved.
So after I got back from church camp that week, I walked through the aisle at the invitation songs, said "I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God," and put on Christ in baptism.
People that try to degrade the act of becoming a Christian by saying that you can just pray a prayer or "call upon the Lord" are just flat wrong. That's not what the Bible says, that's not the example Jesus set, and we've tried to shortcut and degrade it just like we have everything else.
My life as a Christian (so far) has been extremely challenging, probably just as it has for you. But I'm a different person than the 14 year-old boy that got baptized in the summer of 1996.
What am I trying to say? I'm not really sure. I guess I'm trying to encourage you to not degrade the experience of being baptized. To me, it was the most vivd and important event in my life. It needs to be much more greatly emphasized to our teens today. It needs to be known that perfect people aren't baptized - sinners are.
I can point to a lot of significant events in my life, but even getting married and seeing my beautiful boys born into this world isn't as important as that summer day twenty years ago when I put on Christ in baptism.
Be glorified, O Christ.