[quote="benjammin, post:1, topic:301067"]
I'm asking this because a good friend of mine who attends an E-Free church told me that being saved is all one needs to be a christian. He didn't say there was no point to baptism, but said that if a christian didn't feel worthy, they didn't have to be baptized since they were saved
To me this was odd. I know that baptism in these churches usually happens when a person is a teen or young person, but is it necessary in evangelical churches? Is this a common feeling in evangelical circles?
My friend only recently was "saved" and before was an ELCA lutheran who didn't practice so I don't know if maybe he was misinformed by someone since I assume he was already baptized (i know its another question, but does infant baptism count if you join an evangelical or baptist church).
Protestants think of the whole topic differently than Catholics do. Entirely differently. My grandfather was a protestant minister. It's very, very difficult for Catholics to understand how Protestants think about this and they almost always get it wrong. Even the official explanations Catholics give are nearly completely wrong.
Protestants usually baptize once someone is old enough to know what's happening. They don't usually infant baptize, with the exception of the more "sacramental" churches like Lutherans & Episcopalians. Being baptized is usually considered being saved.
However, in the non-"sacramental" type churches (Church of God, Pentecostal, Non-Denominational, etc) after being baptized a person can "BACK-SLIDE" and revert. But if they come to their senses, they can "give their lives to Jesus" during an "altar call" or a "saved" experience which is really something Catholics have no official counterpart for. And then they are "saved." Saved is sort of like declaring your commitment to God with the help of the Holy Spirit in a prayer experience. It's usually somewhat dramatic. It can happen in public or private but the effects are supposed to be public in every case. It's supposed to change you and it usually does.
Some Protestants believe that once saved, always saved, but the more fundamental types don't believe that. They believe that you are always a work in progress and they work very, very hard to do as God wants them to do. They don't really focus on being "sinless" or "clean" because they think they are sinners. They focus on what they do, not what step they're on, so to speak. It's a very different way of thinking about this.
Like I say, Catholics have a very hard time understanding it because it's completely foreign to what they've been taught. Protestants don't really understand our way of doing things either. It's one of the things that converts moving from Protestantism to Catholicism have to negotiate and figure out. [And probably the other way around, although I've only come from Protestantism to Catholicism, so I can't tell you what the reverse trip is like.]