Is baptism necessary to be saved? If it isn’t, then why should we be baptized? Many Christians have neglected being baptized for a variety of reasons, but in the end, it just boils down to not thinking baptism is that important.
It should be no surprise that there are Christian groups out there that have reacted against this seeming apathy to be baptized by making it a necessary part of being saved.
One such group is called the church of Christ. One of their core beliefs is that a person must be baptized to be saved. Their “plan of salvation” is that you need to: Hear the Gospel, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, repent, publicly confess faith in Jesus, receive baptism for the forgiveness of sin, and remain faithful.
A popular book in the church of Christ is named, “Muscle and a Shovel” by Michael Shank. Shank’s book is basically the story about how he came to believe that baptism was necessary for salvation.
I could not find out why he named it “Muscle and a Shovel,” but it strikes me as a very odd name to give a book that is essentially a manual on how to get saved. Does it take muscle and a shovel to get saved?
I will say that I do appreciate the importance that Michael Shank and the churches of Christ give to baptism. I think they have overblown it by making baptism necessary for salvation. But many other Christians have done the opposite and made baptism optional. The truth, as it often does, lies between.
After thinking about this for awhile, I decided that if I got into a discussion with someone about whether or not baptism was was necessary for salvation, what I would do would be to change the topic: “So, what do you think about this crazy weather we’ve been having?”
Okay, I wouldn’t change the subject that much, but I would try to focus the conversation more on the heart of salvation, namely…