Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE MEANING OF BAPTISM

Most of us in the west were taken to the Church as a baby when the priest or minister poured water on us to make us Christians as he said, “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. It is assumed that these words must be said on the authority of Matthew 28:19 which only has Jesus saying baptise my disciples in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit which gives no indication that these words are to be said or even that baptism can be given only the once!
 
If the practice of baptism especially for infants could be reduced, things would not fare well for the Church. That is what this book hopes to set out to do. The Bible, which for Christians is the teaching of God, point blankly refutes the practice and the attributing of special power to baptism and so does reason.

If it is true that baptism saves you from death and evil making you fit to live forever body and soul in Heaven and erases original sin and the power of evil it follows that if you ensure only a particular race is baptised that race can declare itself superior to other races. A doctrine that could be used to implement racism is evil. It is an insult to those who work against racism.

Catholicism despite insisting there is no salvation unless you are baptised argues that in extreme and rare circumstances you can get into Heaven without it.

So does baptism save you?
 
THE TWO BAPTISMS
 
The Church of Rome in common with several other religions teaches that the rite of baptism in water has supernatural power. It teaches that “baptism makes us Christians (hence its being called christening), members of the Church, takes away original sin in babies and original sin and ordinary sin (and without sacramental confession too!) In those who have reached the age of reason and makes us stronger in the fight against sin”. In other words, baptism is a sacrament – a magic spell that gives grace or power from God to conquer sin and be holy. It is the sacrament of new birth for it makes us be “born again” into the kingdom of God, not as in reincarnation, but as in changing a person into a new or different creature. Nobody would believe that baptism does the last thing if they raised unbaptised and christened children.

Another thing that baptism is supposed to do is confer the power to have faith in the gospel even when it is an infant that is getting the splashes. It infuses the gift of supernatural faith. When the baptised child grows up the baptismal grace enables her to accept the “truth”. Pity they don’t wonder why so many children just are not interested!

It is a hell-deserving sin to refuse to be baptised when one believes in baptism.

The sceptic finds no evidence in the Bible that baptism does any of these things that it is really a sacrament.

A lot of the confusion among those who argue otherwise stems from the fact that there are two kinds of Bible baptism. The Bible clearly distinguishes between baptism in the Spirit and baptism in water. We read about baptism in the Spirit, “John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). (See also Luke 3:16; Acts 11:15-17). Spirit baptism means immersion for the goal is to be full of the Holy Spirit. Spirit baptism is immersion in the Holy Spirit. It is therefore inane to depend on a verse that just mentions baptism and doesn’t mention literal water to establish any doctrine about water baptism.

If the Bible said baptism has miraculous powers it may be Spirit baptism that is meant for if it meant water baptism it would say so to avert confusion. But it never hints that it considers water baptism more than simply a meaningful ritual.

All the texts of the Bible which inform us that baptism in water saves us from sin and remits it do not mean that it is a magic rite like Catholic baptism. Christian baptism is a rite of repentance which has no power of its own but which just removes sin for it is an expression of sorrow that asks God to take sin away so it is for people who can make their own decisions just like in any other prayer. The Bible may say that Baptism in water saves us because it is an appeal to God to keep one from sin so it is an act of repentance.

Christians who teach that baptism is a sacrament are agreed that the baptism of John which was for the remission of sins (Luke 3:3) was not a sacrament for John instructed the people to look forward to a baptism in the Holy Spirit which would be better. If it were a sacrament it would confer the presence of God the Holy Spirit for God is his power and when he gives you his help or grace it is himself that he gives.

WRONG BIBLE ARGUMENTS AGAINST OCCULT BAPTISM

There are a number of fallacious bible-based arguments that baptism cannot forgive sins and has no occult powers.

Jesus is supposed to have said in John 3 that nobody knows who is born of the spirit. He said that like people born of the spirit the wind goes where it wills and you can hear it and you don’t know where it comes from. You don’t know where they come from and will go, meaning go to Heaven or the other place, for you never know if a person has sincerely responded to the Spirit for it is often in his or her best interest to pretend to be holy. The Spirit can use a fake Christian to do good. Jesus really is saying you don’t know if a person is saved or not. This is alleged to disprove salvation by water baptism because if salvation and mercy were obtained by it then we would know who was pardoned. We would not because not everyone who receives baptism would be genuine. If a person didn’t want the salvation conferred by baptism that person wouldn’t get it and would be in need of another baptism for their baptism was invalid. The verse proves that infant baptism is heretical for if babies are sacramentally redeemed in the waters then you know they are saved. Catholics might answer that Jesus is just thinking of adult baptisms but there is no trace of that in the chapter. He makes no distinction so we ought to make none either. At that time, nobody was receiving sacramental baptism so the new birth has nothing to do with it. Nicodemus could not have understood him to be revealing that baptism in water had magical power.

Where the Bible says that faith in Jesus saves without mentioning baptism it doesn’t mean that faith alone is enough but only a kind of faith is. The Bible lays it down that repentance is necessary and that is not faith but it is a part of faith in the Bible understanding. The faith that saves is faith in what Jesus told us to do to get saved and proving that faith by repentance. So, the verses might not explode salvation by baptism or sacraments or by keeping God’s Law. But when baptism is not commanded by God it is probably the last thing that would be necessary for salvation.

Acts 4:12 says that Jesus is the only way to God and salvation. This is held to prove that baptism cannot save for Jesus is the only way. This does not refute salvation by works or sacraments because when Jesus is the only way he can grant salvation under certain conditions.
 
Paul, who taught that grace is the only way to salvation, said that grace is not grace if it comes from works (Romans 11:6). Some argue that baptism cannot give grace or save for it contradicts this verse. But Paul is saying that grace is not grace if you earn it. Grace is a free gift. A free gift is still free if you have to go and get it. If I have to walk to the shop to claim a free gift my walking there isn’t trying to earn it. It is the same if I have to go to the baptismal font. Baptism is a work though a Church of Christ booklet says it is not on the grounds that it is an act of faith (Unsaved Believers, page 17). You can make an act of faith without baptism in your heart which illustrates the point that baptism has to be a work when it is an extra work.

Baptism is a work of righteousness. In Titus 3:5 we learn that we are not saved by works of goodness but are saved by a washing of regeneration. Does this disprove water baptism being a sacrament for it is a work meaning that the washing is just a metaphor for forgiving and/or removing sin from the soul? The doctrine of sacramental baptism says that it is not the work of being baptised that saves but God’s promise to pour grace and salvation into the person who takes the washing. “But we are still saved by a work of righteousness in a sense”, the critics will bellow. True but did the writer have this sense in mind? He either meant works that gave grace like sacraments and repentance or works that earned grace. We don’t know which he meant so the verse does not disprove sacramental baptism. But it is most probable that it is not about sacraments at all for it would make that clear if it was for there is a total difference between sacraments and trying to buy salvation.

Some argue that the Bible says the blood of Jesus not the sacrament of baptism cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7) as if both couldn’t be true. The blood of Jesus does not literally wash away your sins. The cleansing is only a metaphor for the blood paying for your sins to get them pardoned and remove them. 

There is a lot of Bible symbolism about washing.  That is why Christians who believe baptism has power to take away sins and unite a baby to God need to be careful.  Nobody is asking for total proof that it works but they are asking for total proof that the text says it.
 
WORKS CONSULTED
 
12 Church of Christ Doctrines Compared with the Holy Scriptures, Homer Duncan, Missionary Crusader, Texas, 1984
All One Body – Why Don’t We Agree? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
Baptism, Meaning, Mode & Subjects, Michael Kimmitt, K & M Books, Trelawnyd, 1997
But the Bible Does not Say So, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London, 1966
But What About the Thief on the Cross? Cecil Willis, Guardian of Truth, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Christian Baptism, Philip Crowe, Mobray, Oxford, 1980
Covenant Reformed News, Volume 7, Number 13, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Four Great Heresies, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1975
Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, Vol 1, Karl Von Hase, The Religious Tract Society, 4 Bouverie Street, 1906
Is it necessary for you to be baptised to be saved? Hoyt H Houchen, Guardian of Truth, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Is Water Baptism Essential to Salvation? Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, 1988
Jesus and the Four Gospels, John Drane, Lion, Herts, 1984
Objections to Roman Catholicism, Edited by Michael de la Bedoyere, Constable, London, 1964
Radio Replies, Vol 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota 1942
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
Regeneration or the New Birth, A W Pink, Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Herts, England, undated
The Documents of Vatican II, Edited by Walter M Abbott SJ, Geoffrey Chapman Ltd, London, 1967
The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1986
The Only Way of Salvation, H. A. Twelves, Christadelphian ALS, Birmingham
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Scripture Press Publications, Illinois, 1992
Why Baptism Really Matters, Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
Why Does God? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Paul Publications, Bucks, England, 1970
Why you Should be Baptized, Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1991

The WWW

Doctrinal Summary by Br Thomas Mary MICM. This page informs us that Catholic teaching is that if you hear of the Catholic Church and don’t join it or study it your damnation is guaranteed. It affirms that babies that die without baptism will be banned from Heaven forever.

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible