Who remembers King Midas of Greek mythology, where the fictitious king was granted the hastily avaricious desire of turning all he touched into gold, but turned his daughter and all he tried to eat into gold as well? To be rid of it, the fabled satyr granting the wish had him wash the damnable trait away in a flowing river.
Flowing waters? But wait, there's more.
The prophet Elisha told Naaman to wash his leprosy away in the Jordan River. Both are descriptions of Baptism, aren't they? -- of redemption by having stumbling traits washed away.
Well, baptism originally was an ancient rite for novice priests of the tabernacle's inner sanctum, where the ark-of-the-covenant was kept hidden from view, so that they should cleanse themselves well enough to attend it. The format then spread to where all priests of all synagogues were baptized for service In that day, everyone knew that baptism was only for priests.
Then when Joshua the Son-of-God arrived on the scene, John the Baptist, from the same family and just about as blameless as he, baptized regular people as priests of their own destiny, cleansing them to stand before God on their own without need of religious authority.
And no less a personage than Joshua the Son-of-God set the example by himself being baptized.
The arrangement created here—the new covenant between God and man—was made plain to all when the Holy Curtain between the ark and its temple keepers ripped asunder, proving that there was no longer to be separation between God and His loyalists -- that there were to no longer be priests serving-up God to the masses, but that by baptizing, we were to each be our own priests .
It's something the original Baptist Churches had understood.
Not Protestant at all, that is, not "protest-ant" of the mother catholic church but originally stand-alone organizations, Baptist Churches knew that the freedom of Godly partnership was paramount to each person's faith.
Interestingly, even the author's Mayflower antecedent quit his pilgrim church offshoot for a Baptist start-up.
So while it's good to follow Joshua's example of being baptized as a public profession of allegiance to our Creator, its original intent was to show priests that we didn't need them or their religious establishments to get to God, whereas today, baptism is used to indoctrinate naïve followers into controlling churchy organizations. Even as modern Baptists now wrongly do.
Once when your observer asked the director of a Baptist Church Mountain Camp why it didn't have a baptistery, or at least dunk people in the nearby lake, the director sadly responded that Baptist churches sharing the camp liked to baptize in their own church lest they lose a 'member' -- he dismayed by their want of enrolling new believers in their own clubs.
From personal files—
"When I going to a Baptist Church, I'd met two people who, although wanting to live by that which they saw in me, refused to be baptized as I'd been. I think one of them saw it for what it had become—a club initiation—while the other wasn't really into God but just wanted to enjoy church life as a new new playground.
"But for me, baptism did seem to have a benefit. Not to carp, but when baptized as a child, my heart was between myself and God so exclusively that when lifted from the water, a heavenly rift opened over my head and a harp strummed -- an eidetic vision of absolute joy.
“So a year later when another controlling church grabbed to baptize me into their roll call, I went ahead hoping for the same delightful experience.
“Disappointed that it didn't happen that second time, it confirmed instead that God had already pacted with me forever. However, no one else has reported this experience, and most others to whom I tell the story act resentful of it not happening to them, especially pastors."No, neither God nor the Son-of-God ever required ritual from us to return to heaven but only our heartfelt acceptance of them, clearly indicated by fact that the apocryphal and possibly added tale of the thief, executed aside the Son-of-God, was accepted into heaven sans baptism. It's a story that makes many theologians rationalize baptism as not necessary in this modern era.
Still, the observer reports having liked his baptism very much. But it's the reader's call.
God knows who belongs to him and who doesn't.