This paper analyses the difference between onsite and VR baptisms using Miczek’s exclusion strand of the ‘ritual transfer theory.’ It considers three areas, the avatar is baptised not the individual, there is no physical water, and the candidates change from a passive to an active role. I will suggest that in onsite the body is the vehicle for the soul to be baptised, the same as an avatar is in VR, both models are acceptable. In conclusion, it is sacramental as both person and avatar are baptised in VR.
Simon Werrett has recently completed a post-graduate diploma in Digital Theology at Spurgeons Bible College, UK where he was first introduced to the concept of the metaverse. He has two Master’s degrees (Policing, Security and Community Safety and Theology) and an Honours degree in theology. Simon was a police officer for over 30 years, retiring as a Detective Chief Inspector on Major crime, spending his last few years leading murder investigations and other serious crime as the Senior Investigating Officer. He was a minister of a small evangelical church for over 21 years, the last five as Senior Minister. However, in mid 2021 God called him away from that to focus on the digital ministry, and he partners with Lakeland Community Church (Wisconsin) in VR as well as leading the digital work for Coffee Shop Sunday (UK Methodist project).
Baptism in the Metaverse: Sacrament or sacrilegious? (PDF – Draft paper)