Is Baptism mandatory to get into heaven?
What is you take on Baptism is it mandatory to make it to heaven and does it have to be done in a special way and what is your take on the belief of the catholic approach to doing it?
Baptism is not mandatory to make it to heaven! Baptism is a sign of the washing away of sin through the Holy Spirit. It does not wash away sin it is only a sign. Only Jesus death on the cross can wash away sin. It is because of Jesus death on the cross that people can receive the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is a sign by which people declare their trust that God has done this in their lives. It in no way washes away sin or causes God to forgive people. It is only an outward sign of what we hope God has done inwardly.
The Catholic and Anglican (I’m Anglican) Baptism service appear in form to be very similar. But the actual form of the baptism Service is not really important. What is more important is what people believe happens at a baptism service.
In talking about the Catholic church I need to make a careful distinction. What is taught by the Catholic church institution and what is believed by individual catholics can be quite different. So I can only talk generally about what I understand is Catholic teaching. There will be catholics who disagree with what I say as well as those who will agree.
My understanding of Catholic teaching is that you must have specific sacraments (church ordained rituals), baptism being one of them, in order for you to be accepted by the church and in some cases by God. Such a view is contrary to the bible in two main areas.
The first is the requirement to undertake the sacraments. No where in the Bible does it say that people need to go through certain rituals to be accepted by God. In fact the Bible is very much against religious rituals (Isaiah 1:11). What Jesus wants is people to have transformed hearts. Rituals never transform the heart, it is only the Holy Spirit which is able to do this. To believe human rituals will transform the heart is not true. This is not to say all rituals are bad, but if the heart is not transformed, then the ritual is meaningless. The criminal upon the cross who went to heaven was never baptised (Luke 23:39-43).
The second issue is related to the first. If the church teaches that peope must undertake the sacraments in order to be acceptable to God then this sets the church up as the mediator of God’s forgiveness to people. This sets them in direct conflict with the Lord Jesus one says he is the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Though I’m an Anglican I don’t care how people are baptised, what is important is that people trust in Jesus death upon the cross to forgive sin.
I hope this is helpful and please get back to me if you have further questions.
Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au
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