Yesterday, when I opened the newspaper* to the third page of the religion section I saw a man standing in water up to his armpits and a person baptizing him with milk (pouring it out of the bottle over his head). Interesting!
This made me think of times when I've jokingly mentioned anointing the head with chocolate syrup before baptism. Now I made that up, but this I didn't. Is it wrong to pour milk over someone's head before or as a part of baptizing them? Based on what? The Bible doesn't command us to not do it!
Well, with some of these issues some people may feel a little more in limbo than I do. But on this one, I think many Bible-believers won't have a problem seeing the wrong in the principle, if not the act itself. The "Apostolic Church of Christ" believes this baptism with milk "cleanses the soul, drives away evil spirits and changes a person's luck."
Most Christians I know do not believe and would not be convinced that a baptism with milk will perform any of those acts. The ritual has antecedents in non-Christian religion. Certainly this is reason to look askance on rituals that are not Biblically-based. It might inform us to look for principles behind new "ritualistic" ideas that are being promoted in our own churches.
I looked online and found the "baptism" picture on The Columbus [OH] Dispatch with the article ‘Spirit churches’ blend local and Christian beliefs.
* Tyler Morning Telegraph, Saturday January 20, 2007, p. 3C
** Note 1: I don't know if this group follows up the pouring of milk with an immersion in water. I could not find any information on that.
** Note 2: An interesting quote somewhat relative to some previous threads:
"...like many independent churches in the United States, there is no special training for clergy. 'We don’t have to teach anyone religion,' Mojela said. 'We just read the Bible together and discuss what it says'."