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Looking for Christian input on baptism, and whether it is neccesary for salvation

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

My family has been going to this church we really thought we could become a part of.  Now, however, we are beginning to see that our salvation is being questioned because of our experiences with baptism. I myself was baptized when I was in high school but went my own direction after that, and have since returned to the Lord. I was questioning, when I first saw their major emphasis on baptism, whether or not I should be baptized again. My husband has not been baptized.

 

I am wondering how many Christians think it is neccesary for salvation to be baptized? Whether you do or do not, can you please tell me why? And include scripture, if possible. Thanks :)

post #2 of 41

yes.  However, I also believe that God can save whomever he wants.  Thats His business.  But I wouldn't bank on that.  Especially if you have been instructed in the way of baptism and still refuse it.  That is clearly different than someone who does not know or is unable to be baptized.

 

Of course your church takes a strong stance on baptism. Why wouldn't they.  Christ commanded the disciples to go out and baptize everyone.  Not sing songs with them or pray with them or anything else.  He commanded them to preach the gospel and to those that received it baptize them for the remission of sins.

 

People like to point out the thief on the cross didn't have to go get baptized.  Like I said , God can do whatever he wants.  And the Thief died prior to the resurrection and ascension and therefore prior to Jesus's commandment to be baptized.  he was part of a different crowd.

 

 

Here is a nice summerization of what my church believes

Quote:
Christian Baptism is the mystery of starting anew, of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life, in Christ. In the Orthodox Church, baptism is "for the remission of sins" (cf. the Nicene Creed) and for entrance into the Church; the person being baptized is cleansed of all sins and is united to Christ; through the waters of baptism he or she is mysteriously crucified and buried with Christ, and is raised with him to newness of life, having "put on" Christ (that is, having been clothed in Christ). The cleansing of sins includes the washing away of the ancestral sin.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Baptism

 

I do not know why anyone would not WANT to be baptized.  Christ commanded it and it seems to me like rebellion  to refuse.  As for being re-baptized I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins and the first time you were baptized was probably good enough.  (my church has a few guideline on what constitutes a real baptism.  They evaluate on a case by case basis but it has to be trinitarian - in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. )

post #3 of 41
For me, Separate Baptist is the religion I belong to and no it dosnt mean we are separate from others it is just a name like Missionary or Southern Baptist, being baptized is not a requirement for salvation. It is however necessary to join the church. Most people I know who are saved get baptized within a very short time of being saved then join the church right after. I was never baptized and I obviously dont belong to a church. I havnt been in awhile due to some personal issues. As of right now I have no desire to be baptized. I have personal reasons for not wanting to be that I wont go into at this time. I have been saved since I was in my teens I am now 39.

I think it is a great thing and will/does bring you closer to the Lord but my getting into heaven is not based on whether I have been baptized. The Lord knows my heart and my reasons and that is good enough for me.

The guidelines for being baptized is full water submersion, no sprinkling and no baby/child baptism (it has to be done after the age of accountability) and it is in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.

Rebaptizim can be done if the person wishes it after they have been away from the church for awhile but it is in no way a requirement.
post #4 of 41

No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."

post #5 of 41
I agree with everything lilyka wrote upthread.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

I agree with everything lilyka wrote upthread.

Me too.
post #7 of 41

Well I do not believe in the saved mentality or salvation. My church(Roman Catholic) does not teach that baptism is needed for salvation. Baptism forgives us of our sins and brings us the blessings of the Holy Spirit. It makes us more pure and welcomes us into the Church. God and Heaven is open to all people of all faiths. Sins will effect our afterlife, but for the most part, all people will end up in Heaven eventually.

 

ETA: to become part of the Catholic Church you do have to be baptized. A baptism at any point in your life will suffice though, as long as it was done with a trinitarian church. When I joined the Church I didn't have to be baptized again because I was baptized at 12 in a protestant church that believes in the Trinity.

post #8 of 41

Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.

post #9 of 41

thumb.gif, well said katelove!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."


 

 

post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rani View Post

Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.


You can have anyone baptize you. It doesn't need to be a minister or a priest. If you want to, you could ask a Christian friend to do it.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rani View Post

Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.




You can have anyone baptize you. It doesn't need to be a minister or a priest. If you want to, you could ask a Christian friend to do it.



Not according to the Church folks I have spoken with.  They say it doesn't "count". lol

 

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rani View Post





Not according to the Church folks I have spoken with.  They say it doesn't "count". lol

 


What kind of Methodist church is this?  It doesn't sound like the United Methodist Church I attended when I was a teenager.  They even have open communion which I participated in even though I was not baptized. 

 

post #13 of 41

"they" say all kinds of things.

 

Jesus gave instructions for baptism.  IIRC, he didn't mention a church building or who specifically has to do the baptism.

 

About the OP:

I think this is a several sided issue.

 

1. No, baptism is not necessary for salvation.  The thief on the cross was not baptized, and yet Jesus was clear about where that guy was going.

 

2. Knowing that Jesus did instruct us to be baptized, and knowing that it was important to him, if he is our Lord, who are we to huff and puff and say "No, I refuse"?  If you cannot, you cannot (like, you get saved on your deathbed or an infant is lost before baptism or there's a freak accident or something.  But to me, essentially saying "I don't feel like it" or anything along those lines just doesn't cut it.

 

3.  Churches that require *their* particular baptism annoy me.  They're the reason my parents both ended up baptized 3 times.  I can see an individual wanting a "believer's baptism" as an adult if they were baptized as infants when they didn't know it's meaning, but IMO a confessed and baptized believer is just that, and shouldn't have to go through the process again and again and again every time they change churches, for whatever reason.

post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 

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!

post #15 of 41

I think it's clear that Jesus said for us to be baptized.  He also asked John the Baptist to baptize Him, and John did not see himself worthy to do it, but he did so anyway because Jesus asked him to.  I think that says something....we might not understand why, but who are we to say no?

 

ETA:  I also don't think of baptism as just a public declaration of faith or any other personal "work".  The mystery of baptism is something that God does to us.  The work is His, not ours.  Priests in the Orthodox Church begin the baptismal service with a prayer acknowledging that they are, like John, unworthy to perform the work of God. 


Edited by Purple Sage - 4/15/11 at 11:33am
post #16 of 41

I've noticed that, although the original poster asked for scripture, no one has cited any. OP, you are quite correct that, before one is baptized, one should have clarity on the purpose of baptism. The Bible gives us that purpose: the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  I would ask you to seriously consider the following:

 

1) Can one be saved without partaking of the benefits of Christ's death? "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" Romans 6:3

2) Can one be saved without being spiritually circumcised? "In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2:11-13)

3) Can one be saved without the remission of sins? "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:37-38). Baptism is not because sins have already been remitted: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28), but in order to have sins remitted

4) Can one be saved without putting on Christ? "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27).

5) Can one be saved without being in the body of Christ?"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (I Corinthians 12:13) The body is the church (Colossians 1:18), to which the Lord adds those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). How is one added? (Acts 2:41)

6) Can one be saved without having his sins washed away? "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)

7) Can one be saved without having a new life in Christ? "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4). According to this verse, how can one be a Christian before they are baptized and then still be a Christian after baptism? If one has a new life after baptism, and they were a Christian before baptism, then the Christian life is the old life! One must be born of water as well as spirit in order to be a Christian (John 3:3-5).

8) Can one be saved who cannot wear the name of Christ? "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
(1 Corinthians 1:12-13). Paul here points out that in order to where someone's name on a religious sense: a) the person must have been crucified for you, and b) the person must have authorized your baptism.

9) Can one be saved without being saved? "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). There are two statements here. One that tells us what to do to be saved, and one that tells us what to fail to do to be condemned. If one wants to be condemned, all they must do is fail to believe. If one wants to be saved, he must look at the first statement. (See also I Peter 3:20, 21)

Offered in Christian Love,

Elizabeth

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."


thumb.gif I totally agree~ good use of Scripture...also I might add that those who require baptism for salvation are requiring a " work" to accomplish what Christ already finished on the cross. I would say that it is erroneous and is contrary to Scripture to state that God requires a work when Ephesians 2:8-9 states " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Anyway, like I said~ I agree with you, and believe you stated it well! yeahthat.gif

 

post #18 of 41


I did nod.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obscureepiphany View Post

I've noticed that, although the original poster asked for scripture, no one has cited any.

post #19 of 41

Sorry, Kate, I missed yours. smile.gif


Edited by obscureepiphany - 4/15/11 at 7:05pm
post #20 of 41
dp
Edited by obscureepiphany - 4/15/11 at 7:06pm
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