Renowned Christian rap artist Lecrae recently posted a photo on Instagram that showed him being baptized in the Jordan River—the very place that John baptized Jesus. Although many of Lecrae’s fans celebrated along with him, there were some that criticized his “unnecessary” second baptism.
Using Baptism to Promote New Album
In addition to his Instagram post, Lecrae shared a video of his Jordan River baptism on Twitter with the words, “Can’t be baptized in the Jordan river and make the same old music. This new album is gonna be special.” It didn’t take long for critics to chime in with their opinion on the matter.
The very first Twitter comment said, “Yo bro, why did you get baptized again? To promote that album? Who does that serve?”
Another reply criticized Lacrae’s apparent lack of self-awareness by saying, “Before I say my next bit, know I support you and what you do. Baptism is one of the first steps in proclaiming your new life [in] Christ. You, on the other hand, took a weird bath in a very significant place.”
Jordan River “Re-baptisms” Not Uncommon
President of Oral Roberts University Billy Wilson and his father baptized each other while they were visiting the Jordan River for his father’s 75th birthday.
Max Lucado, author and pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, has also been baptized in the Jordan and plans trips for members of his congregation to do the same.
Lecrae wasn’t even the only Christian rap artist that got baptized in the Jordan River. Fellow rappers Tedashii, Derek Minor, and Propaganda also made the trip in order to experience what Lecrae calls “a picture of safety and security.”
A Theology of Baptism
There are many different views on baptism. In fact, some denominations are formed primarily on the basis of how they look at the sacrament of baptism. Is it merely an outward symbol of repentance and salvation? Does the action itself actually impart salvation? Does the mode of baptism matter—sprinkled or immersed?
Aside from those questioning Lecrae’s intent at using baptism to promote his next album, the theological view of a second baptism is also in play.
Paedobaptism is the belief that baptism is a sign of covenant membership and is performed on infants and young children. Being re-baptized after a personal conversion is not necessary—it serves no purpose.
Credobaptism is the belief that baptism only holds significance once a person professes Christ as Lord. Any baptism before a personal conversion is meaningless, and therefore a re-baptism is technically the first biblical baptism and is necessary.
How Should Christians Proceed?
In light of the controversy surrounding Lecrae’s second baptism in the Jordan River, we must understand that only God knows the intention of his heart. If his actions were purely for self-promotion, God will humble him.
If Lecrae was simply excited for his experience to be baptized in the same place as Jesus, who are we to shame a fellow Christian for rejoicing in His Savior? Criticism without the pursuit of Christian growth is sinful, and as we all know, Twitter comment wars never end peacefully.
Take opportunities like these to learn more about the Christian faith and how you can listen to others. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” does not only refer to accountability. It’s applicable in all matters of faith. Learn and grow from one another. Succumbing to the status of a keyboard warrior does nothing for the Kingdom.