SILVER SPRING, Md. --- Baptismal candidates have an extra hurdle to clear in the process of joining the church. In addition to the ambitious series of Bible studies most candidates experience, a quick body scan will now be required.
"Don't worry, it's nothing intrusive," said World Public Evangelism Director, Harper Bookings. "Candidates will simply be required to wear a standard baptismal robe in front of a jury of their future church brethren while performing a series of stretches."
Harper explained that the idea was to scan each candidate for any obvious tattoos so that they can be covered for the event of the actual baptism.
"In some borderline cases where a tattoo may be barely visible at the end of a sleeve for example we perform one extra check by giving candidates a quick shove into nearby bodies of water. We feel that the spontaneity of the event will determine how visible any given tattoo will be on the day of the baptism."
Harper was quick to stress that due to the possible need for the water test, the candidate scans should take place within comfortable reach of a current church member's pool or, if need be, a local pond.
"Your sins may be washed away but that tattoo is still staring the saints in the face," explained Harper as he laid out his reasoning for the new procedures.
If tattoos are visible despite the covering of standard baptismal robes, churches will need to carry longer-sleeved robes as well as what Harper described as a "well-stocked array of wide sweat bands for tattooed limbs or necks."
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