Philip is not a part of Tactical Faith, nor is he overwhelmingly interested in apologetics. He is a dear friend, and an occasional participant in the Sunday school class that I teach. I’ve known Phillip and his family for close to ten years now, and they have continued to be a blessing to me and my family (That is his father and grandparents playing with him in some of these videos).
Now, there aren’t too many people or friends I can say this about, but I’ve had the privilege of seeing Phil baptized twice. Once, when he was about 9 or 10 years old. The church we were attending was renting some facilities and we had an open air baptism in the local pool. If memory serves me correctly, there were a dozen or so people that got baptized that warm summer day. It was a joyous time and somewhat of a spiritual high point in my life. However, Phil disclosed to me recently that he was getting re-baptized, mainly because “I get it now”.
I get it now
The second time I saw Phil get baptized was about six weeks prior to this post. In his early twenties, he felt the compulsion to recommit and rededicate his life, both internally and publicly to God. In a cold, cold creek feed by a natural spring, down in a wooded valley, I watched as my friend was dunked by his Grandfather. And it was SPIRITUAL! A moving and powerful experience. When Christ begins working in our hearts, it is a beautiful thing.
I myself resonate with his experience. I was baptized when I was a kid, and later strayed from the faith, only to come back to Christ in my early twenties. Re-baptized in the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of the night with an ex-Mormon who found Jesus and my charismatic and Jesus loving friend Michael Dow doing the dunking. It was also, truly SPIRITUAL!
I think Phil would agree with me that the many things we did between our two baptisms shaped us and formed us in a way that would set the course of our continued Christian walk. I’m proud to call Phillip Dudley my brother in Christ, and to share with him in the Allegiance of the Cardinal-Baptismal Society. It reminds me that we are not so far away from God that we cannot start afresh and enter into our our eternal spring