The issue for us is the question "is it neccesary for salvation?". I have never heard of this before. Actually when I first read it in the church's informational booklet I was almost shocked. At this point I am a little confused. I can see how they take 3 or 4 scriptures, put them together and it reads as though it is neccesary to be baptized in order to be saved. However, I can find a lot of scriptures that talk about being saved by grace alone, and how no works add or detract from salvation. Of course works follow salvation, which would seen to lead to the original purpose of what I thought baptism was for; identifying with Christ's dead, burial and ressurection. Basically acting out the death of self and the rise of your new life in Christ. But now it is only after baptism that you're saved?
It seems like the question was asked of Christ "what must I do to be saved?" and that was clearly answered for us. But now we are adding to that the need to ask a preacher or pastor "what must I do to be baptized?" ?? Doesn't quite make sense to me. And the passage that says we are saved by grace alone, not by works so that no man may boast. Well, if you need to be baptized to be saved couldn't that provoke pride in a heart? That "I" had the courage to get up in front of all those people and profess that I love God!! Or something like that. What about the pastor who performs the baptism. Could he begin to get a big head about it? Thinking he had a hand in people's salvation, since he did after all physically perform the act that gave them salvation. No? Am I wrong? I thought Jesus specifically took all human hand out of the salvation process so that it was fully depending on the Lord's grace?
So, the law doesn't save us. That much is clear clear clear from the gospels. It is grace now that Jesus has given Himself for us. Except, of course, that one act that must be performed. Baptism... this sounds like law to me. Just one law. But still.
So, thanks for all the responses!! I really appreciate it and feel like I need to read a lot of opinions and information on this. I like the church we have been going to but if they are going to preach an addition to what Jesus taught, I will not be able to keep bringing my kids there, or giving my family's tithes there.
BTW I am aware that Jesus said to be baptized, and my husband is going to do so whether we come to agree with this "neccesary" thing or not, but I think it is tremendously important to get clarity on something like this. Don't you guys? If Jesus said to do something symbolic and beautiful and life changing like baptism, we should at least be clear on why first, right? In the end whether I get baptized again or not will be up to what the Lord tells me about it, and WHERE my husband gets baptized will depend on where scripture leads us as to the "neccesity for salvation".
Looking forward to reading more discussion on this!