Have you heard that the Church of England has voted to wash some Bible imagery from its baptism rite? What’s your view?
Here’s mine. On the one hand, I’m all for cultural sensitivity. On the other hand, I’m also for scriptural authenticity. Critical contextualization involves striving for both. So when it comes to contextualizing Christian rites – whether we’re talking baptism or ordinary Sunday services – what I like to ask is, where are our sacred stories in the alternative worship styles we’re experimenting with? Are the stories washed out or are they contextually sharpened?
You be the judge of this. Here’s what they consider problematic:
In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.
Here’s what’s proposed instead:
Heavenly Father, bless this water, that whoever is washed in it may be made one with Christ in the fellowship of your Church, and be brought through every tribulation to share the risen life that is ours in Jesus Christ our Lord.