Poo-Pooing Baptism

I read a short introduction on a church’s website this morning. The intro was trying to tug on a persons heartstrings and get them to doubt in what had been done for them in their baptism. Once you realized that your baptism doesn’t mean anything…then they can lead you in the proper direction and help you do what is really necessary and obtain the proper understanding of a real, living faith in Jesus.

I just googled baptism and up popped this anti- baptism, Christian (so-called) site. That seems to be the way it is in most churches these days. People wanting you to forget about your baptism and get with the program! Let’s get serious about this Christian faith thing! If you’re gonna do it…then do it right!

I believe it stems from a great misunderstanding of what exactly baptism is. Many of these folks believe that baptism is merely a rite, a tradition, a going-through-the-motion type of exercise that is strictly about what we do…and therefore they conclude and rightly so if you want to look at it from their perspective, that nothing happens in baptism. Absolutely nothing.

So they see a lot of people that go to church and don’t bring their bibles, and cuss amongst themselves afterward, and talk about baseball, gardening or the economy, and don’t go to the soup kitchens and don’t attend bible studies. So they assume that these people are not Christians…because they don’t look like what they believe a Christian ought to look like. There are the fruits of the spirit you know…and these folks just ain’t got any!

So what now? Well…it is obvious that baptism itself must be worthless since almost all of these folks have been baptised and nothing happened, or it didn’t stick. So something else besides baptism must kick in. A sincere desire, an emotional commitment, an observable filling of the Spirit. One must sincerely repent and accept Jesus. Right?


One must do nothing.

That’s right…nothing.

All of your sincere repentance, all of your sincere love and acceptance for Jesus, all of your emotions and fire for the Lord mean nothing. It is all filthy rags…that’s all, and the Lord will have none of it when it comes to your salvation and justification before Him, the Living God.

He calls you. He chooses you. He gathers you. He enlightenes you. He justifies you. He sanctifies you.

And to make sure that you get all these things He baptises you. He makes you a promise in baptism to do all these things for you. He adopts you in baptism. You belong to Him. He promises to be your God and gives to you the forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation.

He doesn’t leave it up to you to muster up the appropriate amount of sincerity, or commitment. He is the One who is sincere. He is the One who is committed….not you… for cryin’ out loud. Would you like it if someone were to follow you around 24 hours a day for the next week and really see just how committed and sincere you really are? I didn’t think so.  And they would see just your actions or inactions…what about what’s going on inside that sinful little head and heart of yours? Well, somebody does follow you around 24 hours a day and knows every thought, word, and deed of yours. And it ain’t pretty.

I was baptised as an infant. I had no idea of what God was doing to me, and for me. But He still did it, and does it, and will continue to do it . I trust that He will. He made that promise to me in my baptism and that promise of God’s to me is good if I’m one month old or one hundred years old.

So, if some people want to poo-poo what God does in baptism and fall back into their own whatevers… then so be it. But I am asking them to leave the rest of us alone. We will not throw everything overboard because there are people that misuse the promise, or distrust the promise, or poo-poo the promise.

“Baptism saves you now also…” 1st Peter 3:21

That is water baptism! When Jesus tells us to go into all the world, baptising and teaching…He isn’t telling us to give the Spirit of God to people (only God can do that)… so baptism is what baptism is. It is what almost all of the references to baptism in the New Testament are…water baptism!

” No thanks, I’d rather rely on my own feelings of faith.”

Fine. Who’s stopping you? Have at it. I hope you don’t get dizzy on the top of that ladder. And don’t look down, lest you have a great fall.

9 Responses

  1. St Stephen,

    Indeed. I wonder if ppl that teach that are seeing where they are going by denying a strong, clear promise of scripture. Eventually it leads to other works righteousness which can lead to denying the faith entirely. Scary!

    God’s peace. †

  2. St. David,

    I think folks that downplay or outright deny the sacraments, think they are combating ‘religiosity’. They are unwitting participants in that which they profess to hate. Their decision, and sincere efforts to lead to s works righteousness or flat out phoniness, or despair.

    It’s a shame. But we’ll keep speaking of His love and promises, and once in awhile someone will hear it…praise the Lord!

  3. They are like the Pharisees who think they are doing God’s work but in reality persecuting Christ via His people. It’s the gravest thing I warn my wife to teach my children. We have tons of family in the baptist church and in THAT ministry, but I pull no punches in teaching my children…it’s persecution point blank. NOTHING, not even the sword, persecutes so much as that which says, “hath God really said”, the very darts that stung Christ on the Cross more than any was the mockery laughter of His abandonment.

    All the country and world can go up in huge conflagration, so be it, but nothing stings as that hell that vomits forth, “hath God really said”. Be it an atheist or “believers baptism”.

    I tell my children EVEN at this young age if ANYONE, family or minister says that you have not been baptized or God didn’t give you anything realize FIRST and FOREMOST and with great fire that this is surely as the sky is blue Satan and none other.

    Deception today does not come by the Pope’s sword but with smiles from swell fellows that ‘you’d love to have as neighbors’ that attempt to wedge you away from Christ, the Word, in the the Sacraments by great smiles, swell well meaning fellows, and emotions.

    Luther’s FIRE for the sacraments were not the rantings of a bad temper but the war sword of a Gospel warrior that knew what was at stake.



  4. Larry,

    ” I tell my children EVEN at this young age if ANYONE, family or minister says that you have not been baptized or God didn’t give you anything realize FIRST and FOREMOST and with great fire that this is surely as the sky is blue Satan and none other.”

    Good going, Larry! Why sugar coat it? This is a matter of life and death. Those that want to fool around with their side of the equation where God is concerned, wish to be little gods of their own making.

    Wasn’t that the question asked of Eve? “Did God really say?”

    Thanks Larry!

    – Steve

  5. Yep!

    Just the other night my four year old who has reached the age of thinking and asking and will probably be the “anxious one” was in bed and worried. She was worried about where bad people go (hell as paganism answers the question ‘where do bad people go’) and by extension ‘good’ people. She’d been having night mares. I had to dispel that right out of the gate with a Gospel shock, “bad people go to heaven, for Christ’s sake” (Christianity as opposed to paganism, beware of so called ‘innocent’ cartoons, any Disney cartoon will do for chocolate covered Pharisaical yeast – I’m no ‘anti TV’ piest, just be ware of it and use it as teaching tool between the ToG and ToC). But even more she needed to know “how do I know” (the pro me) in her way of asking that. That’s where baptism came in and I explained again to her that’s why God not a man gave her His name in baptism (=Jesus/Yaweh saves) and God unlike men cannot lie. You could see the relief as her eyes lit up and she smiled giving me a huge then going back to bed, the fruit or signature of faith (PEACE AND REST) right in front of my very eyes. Yes, peace and rest as opposed to fruit Gestapo distilled church yard piety and “changed lives”. For the first time in my LIFE I could literally see the real fruit of real faith budding before my eyes, but it doesn’t look like what pietistic false religion parading itself under the name of Christ says it does – busy, busy, busy little life cleaner upper programs with its deluded self righteous erecting testimonies of “I use to drink, party, etc…ad nausem, but the Lord took that away from me”. Luther says faith does such simple good fruits, it simply sleeps and eats, sweeps the floor and goes on because it does indeed trust NAKEDLY. Pietism will never see this as it is false faith.

    Keep up the good news work Steve, I always look forward to what you post, it’s Gospel packed!!!



  6. Larry,

    What a terrific thing (blessing,{ for the pietists} ) to witness right before your very eyes the effect of the gospel on a worried soul!

    With a child, I believe it is magnifyed, for the world hasn’t had the chance to grind them into a cynical, beaten animal, (yet).

    One of the reasons I believe Jesus told us that “we must become as these little ones”, trusting like a child, the promises of God. And those promises are given to us in our baptisms.

    Thanks Larry, for your contributions here at ‘the old Adam’. I appreciate your insights and encouragment, very much.

    – Steve

  7. St Stephen,

    Which references to baptism in the New Testament are not water baptism?

    God’s peace. †

  8. St. David,

    I was referring to passages like Acts 1:5 where Jesus says “…for John baptised you with water, but before many days you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”

    Passages like that are ammo for the Anabaptist types that like to poo-poo water baptism. As Luther said, “they swallowed the Holy Spirit, feathers and all.”

    – His Peace to you!

  9. St Stephen,

    Yes. Have had that pulled on me several times. I always like to point out that the Holy Spirit is still connected to the means in that promise. My anabaptists find it quite revolting to always have an answer for them.

    God’s blessings are with you. †

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