Answering A Baptist


What is the best way to answer a Baptist that will say Catholics are not saved because they have been Baptised by poring and sprinrling and not by immersion


You should say:
Being baptised doesn’t save you, being a Baptist doesn’t save you, even being a Catholic doesn’t save you. Romans 10:9 says,“If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead YOU WILL BE SAVED.” and that is all there is too it.

so Yeah!!! that’s what i think!
God Bless!


For some reason I think that the above is something along the lines of OSAS so I’d disregard it if I were you.

As for baptism by immersion I don’t know how to answer that. There are probably dozens of sources out there concerning it, but then again I’m not that well versed in all this.

On a similar note on a Sedevaticanist site it showed a picture of the pope (JPII) baptising an oriental girl by pouring water on her head, and a comment that said this was invalid because she had hair?? Can someone, after answering the OP, please help me understand this?



You could refer to the earliest of Christian traditions of the sprinkling on the head as a legitimate baptism. Ask your Baptist friend where it says in the Bible that baptism by immersion is the only valid baptism. You might want to share with him the early early church father writings of the option of sprinkling.

And last but not least, ask him how one is to be baptized in a drought stricken desert? Where there is not enough water for a full immersion. I would think his answer would be that no one could be baptized. Which is silly.


Being baptised doesn’t save you

I am confused. Your profile says you follow the Bible but the Bible says:

1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism… now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

God Bless


How about "judge not lest ye be judged " (actually the most correct translation is “condemned” not “judged”) but I quoted it as it appears in the KJV.

Only God knows with certainty the fate of any person’s soul, and it a pretty presumptuous (I’ll even say downright arrogant) statement to claim to know something reserved for God alone.

All that aside, according to Baptist theology, I thought baptism was merely symbolic anyway. If that is true, are you telling me that our Salvation is dependent on our performing this SYMBOLIC ritual in the correct manner ? Is baptism a symbol or is it something of more substance ? I have a hard time believing that messing up something that is merely a symbol to begin with can jeopardize our Salvation.


What you said is correct. From Wikipedia, “Those who hold views influenced by the Baptists may perform the ceremony indoors in a baptismal, a swimming pool, or bathtub, or outdoors in a creek or river: as long as there is water, nothing prevents the performance of Baptism. Protestant groups influenced by these convictions usually emphasize that it memorializes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6), which according to the grace of God has become the basis of repentance and new life for those who have professed belief in Him, symbolizing spiritual death with regard to sin and a new life of faith in God. They typically teach that baptism does not accomplish anything in itself, but is an outward sign or testimony, a personal act, indicating the invisible reality that the person’s sins have already been washed away by the cross of Christ, and applied to their life according to their profession of faith. It is also understood to be a covenantal act, signifying entrance into the New Covenant of Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12, Romans 6). For Baptists, baptism is a requirement for church membership, rather than a necessary requirement for salvation. Once baptised, a Baptist may move their membership to another congregation by letter.”


Hello Will,
The best way to answer ANY Baptist that tells you that, is to tell them to stop skipping Sunday school and start reading the Bible more than one hour a month:D . God Bless and good night,


:slight_smile: I started a thread in the Sacred Scripture forum asking why more Christians don’t read the Bible.:frowning:


There is no way of knowing for sure the method that was used in the baptism of Jesus by John. Some scholars believe Christ stood in the Jordan and water was poured over His head. Others believe that Jesus was fully immersed. The scriptures do not record the method that John the baptist used when he baptised with water (which was a baptism symbolizing repentance).

Baptism by immersion is the preferred form because it is a fuller expression in its symbolism of rising from death to new life. This theme is echoed in the texts during the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil.

Baptism by pouring (infusion) is supported with the Didache (the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) from around the year 140 A.D. The following is from the Didache 7,1:

“In regard to Baptism - baptize thus: After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. If you have no living water*, then baptize in other water; and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before the Baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days.”

*(“living water” is running water)


Most Baptists that I have encountered don’t think baptism is what saves. They typically think baptism is something you do *after *you are saved.

Perhaps you misunderstood your Baptist friend. Perhaps they were really asserting that you as a Catholic think you were saved by baptism and that is why you are not saved, because you have this false belief about salvation that you are relying upon. I’ve heard this expressed by saying it is stupid to think getting sprinkled with some water as a baby saves you. I can see how that remark could be misinterpreted to mean that sprinkling is ineffective, but immersion is.


look up the didache


Challenge him to do a study on the Greek word baptizo.

It can mean “to submerge” or “to immerse”; but it can also mean “to wash”, “to bathe”, “to cleanse”, “to make wet”, or “to dip”.

Clearly the idea here is to make wet, and the manner of doing so is less important than the fact of making wet, which is, of course, clearly borne out in the passage quoted above from the Didache.


i have a kind of stupid question. how do we get into heaven? now if we sin (we all do it) we can’t get to heaven. God cant be around sin. God didn’t like to see His people suffer and then going to hell so He sent Jesus. Jesus died as a payment for those sins. now all you have to do is “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.” (Romans 10:9). if you accept that the Blood of Jesus washed away your sins can go to heaven. And that is the very basic truth of the Bible.

Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” so if Jesus is able to save us completely, then why do we HAVE to be baptised? I know God wants us to be baptised to show the world that we are now Christians and there is a difference between being baptised in the Spirit (which is the Spirit coming to you) and in water (whether by poring or immersion:) ) but isn’t it the sacrafice of Jesus that washes us clean?

i spent two months in Africa last summer spreading the Gospel and met many On-Fire Christians who have never been baptised and never been catholic (the Catholic churches there are corrupt and teach a bunch of lies but I’m not gonna talk about that right now). but still God did amazing things through them. were they not saved? Did God not accept them and give them the Holy Spirit? i have never been baptised (i’m waiting to be baptised on a mission trip or some other special occasion) and i’ve never been Catholic yet God has used me.

So we dont need anything else. “Therefore He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” i do not need baptism to be saved and i do not need any church (Catholic or otherwise) to be saved. I have come to God through Jesus therefore I have been completely saved.

what do you guys think?


P.S. what is OSAS? and 1 Peter 3:21 in my opinion is saying a physical water baptism doesn’t save you (… not by removing dirt from your body,…) but the mental decision and the baptism of the Holy Spirit (… but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective becasue of the resurrection of Jesus Christ) plus the guy next to Jesus on the cross was saved and he wasn’t baptised. one last thing, are you guys coming to Acquire the Fire! check out


OSAS is an abbreviation used around here. It stands for Once Saved Always Saved, which is a common belief that is encountered by Catholics in their interactions with other Christians. It usually indicates a belief that once a person has accepted Jesus, they will go to heaven no matter what, and cannot fall away.

Those who die while in Christ will enter heaven (or those who are in Christ and still living when he comes again). No one goes to heaven without Christ’s work. I consider being in Christ to include the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, btw.

I think God wishes us to get baptized (using water) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Also, the Holy Spirit is there in that moment, so the moment is interior and not just exterior (or maybe I mean the moment is spiritual and not just physical). Of course, the Holy Spirit can certainly come to a person at other times.



All that aside, according to Baptist theology, I thought baptism was merely symbolic anyway.

That’s what I’m told, but I since Jesus commanded it, they obey! :slight_smile:

Prayers and petitions,


This, as any text, should be interpreted according to the whole teaching of Scripture, in light of the Tradition of the Church. Scripture texts taken in isolation lead to misinterpretation and sometimes heresy.

The text you selected reads (in the RSVCE), “…if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.” These verses bear on the doctrine of justification, which was at the heart of Luther’s disagreement with the Church’s teaching. It’s too involved an issue to give any adequate treatment here, but let me make an obvious point: This text presupposes two requirements for salvation, faith and works.

Faith is the inner disposition of the heart, accepting and embracing all that God has revealed, especially in the life and death of His Son, Jesus Christ, whose teaching and divinity were verified by His Resurrection. Works are the necessary expression of this faith, that is, the following of Christ, in whom we profess to believe.

We are first justified when we receive the gift of faith, a virtue infused in Baptism (in infants, given even before it can be used). But this is only the beginning of a process of justification, in which our works have a part. These are represented here by confession with the lips – not just talking about our faith, but living it, expressing what our hearts believe in what our bodies do. If confession with the lips, i.e., living our faith, is what leads to salvation, then it’s evident that works, as well as faith, are necessary.


Actually, in our parish, most of our baptisms ARE done by total immersion, so I wouldn’t even be having the argument, but, for the sake of the topic, since some of the visitng priests do it differently, I’d say that we are baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as are Baptists, and most other Christian denominations as well. I’m not worried. Jesus knows who’s baptised. I would ask this person if they were as secure about their own baptism. Did they reject satan and all his works? Did they accept all the teachings of Jesus Christ? Did they profess their faith in the Trinity? Did they profess their faith in baptism itself, the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, The reurrection? Did they have someone stand with them promising to ensure that they would continuously instruct them in the faith, and help them in their journey? I think the Catholic baptism is just fine, thank you. It’s not about the application of water. It’s about the application of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Peace be with you,



“He saved us . . . by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit . . . so that we might be justified by his grace” (Titus 3:5–7). This “washing of regeneration” is baptism. It actually does something to us. It regenerates.

John 3:5: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” The Catholic Church understands this combination to represent the water of baptism that brings to us the Holy Spirit, which is to say his grace.

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Notice the sequence: First comes repentance; then comes baptism—which effects the forgiveness of sins—and then, as a consequence of that forgiveness and therefore of baptism, comes the gift (the grace) of the Holy Spirit. This verse makes sense only if it is understood as saying that baptism is not a mere symbol. If baptism were just an ordinance and not a sacrament, why would Peter bother to include it in his instruction?

“you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified” (1 Cor. 6:11). By washed he was not referring to the Corinthians’ bathing practices, because sanctification and justification are not dependent on hygienic practices. The verb meant that they had been baptized, and it was their baptism that brought them, for the first time, a state of sanctification and justification. Baptism changed them internally, spiritually, as it changes us.

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
Catholic Answers


You could ask them to explain this:

Ezekiel 36:25-27 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Kind of sounds like a forshadow of Baptism, but yet says sprinkle…

God Bless

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit