Baptism and Catholic Chains

One of the ploys utilized by the Roman Catholic Church to gain and keep control of those who are either lured or born into Catholicism is control of the rite or Sacrament of Baptism. Catholic parents are urged to deliver their newborn into the arms of Moloch, -- via their parish priest – at an early date in order that they might be united with Christ, forgiven of all their sins, receive the Holy Spirit and be incorporated into the Roman Catholic Church. At least that is what Rome teaches. As a consequence of parental acculturation within the Romish cult, I imagine that the impetus behind the rush to the baptismal font is fear that the child might die before its sins are washed away in the lustral water. Were this to happen, according to what the RCC used to teach and now apparently wishes to forget, the child's spirit would spend eternity on the wrong side of the fence around Heaven.

For those not born as cradle Catholics, Baptism comes after a period of training that involves exposure to the foundational teachings of the RCC. Once they have completed their basic training and indoctrination, catechumens make their way to the baptismal font, where they receive the same promises as those made to Catholic infants.

1277. Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by baptism.--Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2nd Ed., © 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

If baptism is necessary to salvation, one must wonder why the Lord did not include such a vital requirement in His clear statements concerning salvation? I see no mention of baptism in John 3:15-18, or 5:24. I do not see the word baptism in Ephesians 2:8,9. In fact, nowhere in the Scriptures do I see a clear statement that baptism is a requirement for salvation. Perhaps I am not as enlightened as Vatican theologians. Perhaps they are able to explain why the 12 in Ephesus (Acts 18) believed and then were baptized. Perhaps they can help me to understand how Cornelius and his household first believed, then were baptized (Acts 10). Did Lydia and her family have some secret baptism before they believed and were baptized (Acts 16)? And how about that Philippian jailer and his family? Remember him? He's the guy who asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Do you also recall Paul's response? "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. " (Acts 16:31)

Some might point to Mark 16:16 as their “proof” that baptism is a necessary element of salvation.

16:16 And is baptized (\kai baptistheis\). The omission of baptized with "disbelieveth" would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism. So salvation rests on belief. Baptism is merely the picture of the new life not the means of securing it. So serious a sacramental doctrine would need stronger support anyhow than this disputed portion of Mark. -- A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, "Mark," Chapter 16

If baptism is such a necessary component of the salvific process, I can but wonder why we are not informed of the baptism of the 12 Apostles who followed Jesus. I don't refer to the baptism of John, which was a not unusual Jewish practice. Should you wish to learn a bit more of Jewish religious practice, particularly ritual bathing, I refer you to Alfred Edersheim's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah and The Temple. Ritual immersion, baptism if you will, was a vital part of Jewish life – and especially so before sacrificing in the Temple. Every observant Jewish woman underwent ritual cleansing (baptism) every month of her childbearing years – except when pregnant.

Here's something to think about: Accepting the erroneous Catholic position that baptism in necessary for salvation, don't you wonder, even a little bit, why Jesus insisted that John the Baptist baptize Him? (Matthew 3:13-17) Jesus hardly needed to be saved. Actually, He was fulfilling a Jewish ritual; a baptism (or washing) of repentance, not for the remission of sins or for regeneration.

Some have suggested that Jesus baptized His followers, but this cannot be supported in Scripture. (John 4:2) But even if He did, don't you just wonder why He would have baptized unbelievers and why His baptism of Judas Iscariot “didn't take?” In fact, during most of the time they traveled with the Master, none of the 12 were saved, nor the 70, nor the hundreds who at one time or another walked with Him. Salvation comes by faith in Christ the Lord, and the Scriptures are clear that the Apostles did not believe this until just prior to Christ's atoning death on Golgotha. The Church – the true Church, not the Roman Catholic caricature – has its roots in Genesis and is built on faith (Hebrews 11:6). The Roman travesty was kick-started by Constantine's Edict of Milan, though its roots go deeper -- all the way to the Mystery Religion of Persia.

I call to mind Peter's words on that wonderful Pentecost so long ago:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.--Acts 2:21

I read this in context and, wonder of wonders, I find no mention of the word “baptized.”

How could God be so forgetful?

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