A new video that shows megachurch pastor Joel Osteen baptizing many families and children describing what baptism means to them now has over a million views.
In a recent Facebook video post, Joel Osteen ministries celebrated the baptism of several families using the scripture verse in Mark 16:16, where Jesus says, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved."
"More than Five-Hundred people, including children, adults and even a man who traveled all the way from Boston were baptized this weekend with their Lakewood Church Family," the video caption read.
The footage compilation featured a dressed down Osteen performing the biblical ordinance. After being baptized, one by one each child looked into the camera and shared what the experience meant to them.
Below is a transcript of some of those comments.
"It means you're going to wash your sins away."
"When you get baptised you're going to follow Jesus"
"I get to start over."
"It means I'm getting born again, not physically but spiritually."
"He forgives all of your sins. I'm free to be with Jesus"
One young man in particular said he had a spiritual experience while going in the water.
"Something touched my heart," he emotionally said.
Children were not the only ones being baptized. In the video clip many adults were also seen being dunked into the water by Osteen.
In Christianity, baptism is seen as an act of identifying Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, memorializing the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. According to Bible Gateway it's an ordinance "immediately instituted by Christ himself in Matt. 28:19, 20, and designed to be observed in the church," like that of the communion, "till he come."
Some believe in baptism as an infant such as Catholics and Lutherans. Most non-denominational churches, such as Osteen's ministry, agree with the early Anabaptists that one should be older and immersed in water as in Bible times.
Two of the children in Osteen's video ended the clip by encouraging others to likewise partake in the ceremony.
"Just get baptized because you'll follow Jesus and you don't have to be afraid," one said.
Another concluded, "You can be in Jesus' heart and He can be in yours too."