Baptism is a sacrament, symbolic of
spiritual regeneration, in which, as a result of the traditional
use of water, the individual is cleansed of original sin and admitted
into Christianity or a specific Christian church. One does not
need to be baptized into the Universal Life Church. Our theology
expounds the belief in that which is right for the individual
and many members of the church do believe in baptism. Thus, baptismal
certificates are made available, at a nominal donation of five
for $1.00, to those who wish an outward sign of this inner conversion.
The certificates are available at International Headquarters.
Rev. Hensley often tells the story of
his own baptism. He originally was baptized a Southern Baptist,
but as his knowledge grew of different modes of baptism he felt
he had to try them all -- just to make sure! When we talk of different
modes we are talking of the different ways in which one can be
baptized. Water may be poured or sprinkled on the head, or the
person may be immersed once or three times, backwards or forwards,
or water may not be used at all.
Another variable is age. The controversy
of infant baptism' vs. 'believer's baptism" has been a constant
one. In "believer's baptism" the adult convert makes
a conscious decision to join the church. In "infant's baptism'
it is maintained that it was the practice from the time of the
Apostles to baptize the infants of Christians. In either situation
the baptismal ceremony is an outward sign of the dedication of
a life to a specific religious philosophy.