The lie that water baptism removes original sin, fixes the urge to sin and unites you to God and puts you in his Church has been very fruitful for the Church.

The biblical evidence that Jesus wants such a doctrine is flimsy.  If you want to be honest it is non-existent.

The Church has essentially stolen the baptism idea from John the Baptist.

Jesus says that you need water and the spirit to be saved but he didn't use the word baptism!  He does not say that you get the Spirit when you get the water!  So the verse does not do what Catholics want it to do.

The Church used references to the need to be baptised to be saved to make a case for saying you need to enter the Church by baptism.

Mark 10 shows there was a tradition for using the word baptism to mean other than just baptism in water. So it is possible that when Jesus said man needs water for salvation in John 3:5 he was not talking about real water.

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” The cup is usually taken to mean the suffering of the cross and the baptism refers also to immersion in suffering.

39 “We can,” they answered.  Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,

40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” It is odd how Jesus just takes their word for it that they are willing to drink the cup and be baptised with his baptism when he just said they didn't know what they were asking for!

The reason the cup and baptism are thought to mean suffering is because Luke has Jesus saying, "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division." But that could be a different usage of the word baptism. Baptism here seems to mean engulfing the world in war. Curiously, the parallel text in Matthew mentions only a cup! Why did Matthew eliminate the reference to baptism? In Matthew the mother of James and John asks for special treatment for the two men. It is felt by many that the mother was Mary herself. The Pulpit Commentary says, "They had spoken ignorantly, perhaps fancying that some favour might be shown to them on the ground of their relationship to the Virgin Mary".


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