The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Water baptism is not necessary for salvation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 535 times Debate No: 116349
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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There are a number of churches that teach that when a person is old enough to comprehend the matter, it is essential that they be water baptized in order to have their sins up to that point, be forgiven. There are a number of scriptures that teach this is not so. The ones that have been taught to believe that there are scriptures that teach water baptism is essential, have been taught incorrectly.


[1] Sounds more like an opinion and not a very well-rounded debate based on any facts.

[2] In those opinions you expressed (Example: "There are a number of scriptures that teach this is not so".) You don't provide any of those aforementioned, said; scriptures, nor references of any kind and so I will again mention [1] just a bunch of opinions you have it seems like.

[3] In order for me to properly debate 'Water baptism is not necessary for salvation' then I MUST make it known to you and all viewers/spectators of this debate that I am NOT a Christian, or follower of any Abrahamic faith/spirituality/path. Etc. Therefore; I WILL be debating this topic on notions based inside (and outside) of those systems of belief. Not because I do or don't necessarily believe in any of these particular things - but I'll need to sink to the sort of grossly misinformed notions that your debate topic was formed on which will require me to quote Biblical passages although I know those arguments may be silly (more or less) for a lack of better words. Because Biblical passages are not hard facts. But that's the debate you posed and so I will entertain.

[4] In doing so (what I mentioned above) it must also be understood that I am pretending to understand Biblical passage literally, as you seem to be interpreting it and NOT metaphorically, and while ignoring the God-awful amount of mistranslations & interpretations that one may have. Instead, I pose that; in this debate we both agree to take scripture for it's face value and examine it based on mainstream common belief rather than arguing about the semantics of it all. No picking and choosing which parts of a verse you like and don't like - you must take the entire verse for what it's worth.

[5] So in pretending there is any validity to your argument; I'd still have to ask from which point of view are you making your statements? Denomination? Or...? Please tell me WHY you believe what you do and that should help clarify a few points you didn't really cover.

[6] And again in reference to; I would not consider myself to be Christian or related to the faith in any type of relevant instance, I will now quote passages from the Bible based solely on the notion that I need to in order to argue you properly. So I will now just literally Google the 'good word' and throw some random verses at you that seem to side with the water thing.

[7] I will be quoting from the New International Version (NIV) Bible. Which is widely accepted by today's mainstream religious audience as a relevant scriptural source.

[I] 1 Peter 3:21; and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also"not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

[Note I] References 'water' specifically. And so no further explanation is needed.

[II] Acts 22:16; And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."

[Note II] I refer to the word 'wash' which is commonly known to symbolize water, as like a shower, for instance.

[III] Luke 3:16; John answered them all, "I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire.

[Note III] This is an interesting passage and one that I'm sure someone in your position might use to defend your side but I will point out in advance that John specifically states that he will use 'water' until 'the one' comes along, but in further researching that verse I find that there nothing hinting to 'that one' having yet come and so water would still be necessary within the context of the Bible in it's entirety and if you were to believe it as truth; then to date water would still be necessary as the more powerful one hasn't yet stumbled into our lives.

[8] And well. There you go. Upon looking up Biblical verses about Baptism in general, I will admittedly say that there were plenty of passages that mentioned Baptism and salvation that do not specifically reference 'water' or liquid of any kind. I'll give you an example;

[IV] Matthew 28:19; Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

[8][Continued] But even those verses that don't necessarily mention 'water' being needed for salvation, I couldn't find any verses that specifically state that water *isn't needed. And I'll remind you that my search was not biased at all because I did not specifically look for Biblical verses about 'water baptism'. I searched for 'baptism' in a whole. But please do point out anything that I may have missed.

As of right now though I repeat, twice over, [I] Sounds like you have an opinion with nothing to back it up.

[P.S.] Typos, errors and punctuation mistakes are maybe present and I don't give a **** enough to go back and edit an argument that will likely end with no response or at best; a dim-witted attempt.

Sue me.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I begin, I will show that water baptism did not originate from the church, Jewish teachers, or the Essenes. It originated much earlier.
In ancient Babylon according to the Tablets of Maklu, water was important as a spiritual cleansing agent in the cult of Enke 2000 B.C.
In ancient Egypt, the book of Coming Forth by Day, contains a treatise on the water baptism of newborn children, which is performed to purify them of blemishes acquired in the womb. The Niles water was believed to have regenerative power.
Today, a number of churches, like the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, teach that physical water is essential to accomplish a spiritual fiat.
A misunderstanding of the application of water in the Christian doctrine can result in believing that it is essential to one's salvation even when there is none around. One church teaches that procrastination of submitting to water belief can be rectified by terming it 'baptism of desire'. In other words (even though our church teaches that water baptism is absolutely essential to one's salvation, the person waited too long and thereby missed the opportunity, but if they were sincere before they died, they are saved).

The true New Testament teaching is that the Holy Spirit is the AGENT baptizing the person's spirit into the ELEMENT (spiritual blood) (spiritual church) (spiritual body) "For by one Spirit were we baptized into one body..." 1Cor.12:13, (Eph.1:3,7) (Col.1:18).
The 1st century church practiced a baptism in water whose authority was addressed by the baptizer and what the baptism was to accomplish.
For example, before Jesus took authority, water baptism was in John's name (by his authority) and the reason for the baptism was to show repentance, and if the person were to have died before they had the opportunity to obey the Gospel, they would have obtained the remission of sins. 'John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins.' (Mark 1:4)

With the death and resurrection of Christ, we all were given the opportunity to be in covenant with Him. By coming to New Testament belief, as opposed to worldly belief (John 12:42,43) a person's spirit is washed clean and then in covenant with Christ. 'Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synogogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.'

Of those who were water baptized by John but did not have the opportunity to be a member of the New Covenant, they later on did get an invitation- '...and finding certain disciples, he (Paul) said unto then "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" And they said unto him, "We have not so much have heard whether there be any Holy Spirit." And he said unto them, "Unto what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Unto John's baptism." Then said Paul, "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this they were baptized in the name of (by the authority of) the Lord Jesus.

Now to some of the scriptures you quoted.
Like many who hold to water being essential, they sincerely believe that the scripture actually means what they have been taught. It many times does not. This is one of those times. Acts 22:16 Is actually telling us that Saul (Paul) was to arise and be water baptized and wash away his sins, calling on (invoking) the name of the Lord. There are only 2 places in the New Testament where this Koine Greek word for 'calling' is used. Here in Act 22:16 and in Acts 7:59 where Stephen is very near death; 'And they stoned Stephen, calling (epikaleomai) upon God, and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." These are parallel passages. They both describe a cry to God to deliver them. Stephen's a plea to deliver his spirit, and Saul (Paul) a plea to cleanse his conscience from many years of sins.

Many who hold to water baptism salvation also appeal to 1 Pet.3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save (sozo) us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." The key word here is (sozo) the Koine Greek word meaning- deliverance from error and corrupt notions, moral purity. Many, including yourself, thought that the Koine Greek word here was (diasozo) which means- to preserve through danger, to keep from perishing.

My source for the Koine Greek words in this 2nd Affirmative are Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.



Likewise, before I begin I would like to give credit where credit is due and retract the final statement of my last argument. After reading your response I must say, off the record - and I'll use my character count to do it; I am pleasantly surprised at your reply. Honestly, it's not often I get a worthwhile debate opponent. Normally I just jump into the first coherent, available match that I see on the list and run with whatever side I happen to be on. I rarely ever debate because I sought out to pick a side I choose on emotional or personal grounds. And so, in full transparency here I'm in a bit of a pickle here because now I realize that I'm about to take someone who actually knows a little bit about where they're talking about, head on and my usual rhetoric isn't going to work.

As I mentioned already. I don't subscribe to the faith I'm defending which means that I am going to be sort of forced to try and win this dispute while arguing for a side that I know would typically be a loser when up against the type of historical facts & logic you've presented in your response. Kudos, sir.

I don't often end up in a corner. But.

"When backed into a corner, a man has two options: he can lie down and die, or, he can fight regardless of the odds." --Marc Schiller

So I will ask for your forgiveness in advance as the only choice that I have is to put on my Christian cap and try to contest this from an Abrahamic point of view, to the best of my ability. My anticipated apology is for, well y'know how those types can get sometimes and I respect your argument to a certain degree, so I hate to downplay it but I'ma have to rip your retort a new *sshole.

Starting Now}

To reiterate; "Water Baptism Is Not Necessary For Salvation."

The title of that which you're taking a pro stance; and topic of this debate in it's entirety would lead me (and most others) to believe that YOU do in fact believe 'salvation' is attainable but that you do not believe that 'water baptism' is necessary to obtain it.

If you believe 'salvation' is something that can be achieved then somewhere in your philosophy of self you must believe that something greater than yourself must exist to grant 'the salvation'. While you do not state what it is you do or don't believe in (which I will point out that I asked; and so is a question that went unanswered) - to believe in something greater than yourself, whatever that may or may not be, it would have to be assumed there is in some shape, way or form a sense of spirituality about you. Irregardless of what your spirituality and/or philosophy may be...

IF you are going to argue the points & facts that you have made, for instance; commenting on the nature of the Biblical verses I quoted in an attempt to clarify what they may have "actually" meant; then I would have to point out also that it is still proving what I originally said; that your argument against scripture & debate on a whole (aside from historical references) are STILL only more of an opinion than certain fact.

I did state & attempt to clarify that biblical passages should be taken at face value and understood literally as to not risk wasting time by having to argue over semantics & interpretations of said verses. Which you obviously failed to recognize or even comment on. As a matter of fact; the only attempt you made at directly responding to my argument are those which reference the Biblical verses; which would not only again prove you have only, not an opinion; but a STRONG opinion on the nature & meaning of those texts.

You start your argument by discussing the context and origins of water baptism, which I respect, rightfully. But after reviewing the historical sources that may have inspired the contemporary Christians system of belief, I repeat that you go on to critique Biblical verse and attempt to correct me as if to say you do indeed know what those verses actually meant and so you believe your interpretation of those verses. And if you do not agree and believe Christian doctrine to be absolutely true, to the highest and most literal extent then your commentary and criticism on those few stated verses hold no merit at all, whatsoever because you try to argue your opinion as if it were certain fact and it just simply would not be in that scenario. Therefore you cannot rightfully discuss the factual historical origins of Baptism at any volume and then turn around and contradict yourself by stating that your interpretation of spiritual or Holy doctrine to be truth because then you would only be picking & choosing which parts you like and want to believe in and not honestly taking all viewpoints on the matter; as if what you say is and can be nothing else but the truth and the whole truth. Which - I hate to sound like a broken record, but would mean again that you are just full of opinions and half-truths, while leaving out important points and facts in these matters.

So for the second time around I will ask AGAIN. IF you are going to take a pro stance on the matter of water baptism being unnecessary for salvation, please do include in your response whether you do or do not truly believe in what Biblical scripture says & has to offer, otherwise you are only arguing your interpretations of the semiotics of it all. (Aka: Your opinion, not fact). If you do not hold personal value & believe scripture to be true to your own philosophy than you have no warrant to express what you 'think' the scripture meant if you do not believe it to be true at all. Because in MY arguing FOR Biblical context on the merits of water baptism being necessary for salvation; we/you and I and spectators of this debate (and future voters) are forced to see my standpoint as solely trying to defend a Christian doctrine that very clearly states (your opinions and personal interpretations aside) a belief infrastructure that is very, very obviously; in black and white - a text recognizing that water baptism to be indeed, necessary to the fullest extent in order to obtain salvation in their honest faith in what it goes to say.

Historical landmarks & origins would then be irrelevant in this specific case if you continue to state you know the true meaning of Biblical text and hold your interpretation of it to be truth because in this context; those who actually do believe in what the Christian Bible has to offer; would also then have to accept to some degree that history "has it wrong".

So which is it?

If you do believe in Abrahamic scripture, then please, be my guest and argue it as truth. If you do not believe in scripture; the please do not try to edit what the Bible very clearly states because then you'd be trying to rob the side I am defending of it's viewpoint, while defending only your own (again) opinion of it. And so if you do not believe - then I will again state that in this debate we MUST understand Biblical scripture as literally true as to what it says; quite literally.

And while you make very cute arguments in regards to what you 'think' the Bible meant, they are irrelevant if you don't believe in what the Bible means to those who know what it clearly says. Which is yet another thing you failed to point out. You argued historical inspiration for Christian baptism & your interpretation of the passages to mean but you did NOT point out any verses or sources that specifically state and/or deny that water is NOT necessary for salvation. You only mention passages and verses that don't mention it, but do not go on to say that water baptism is not specifically needed.

Trust me. I would LOVE to argue your historical merits. I read every single word of your argument and you make very interesting points that I'd enjoy reviewing. Unfortunately, I can't even touch on them until you clarify what it is and which part that you are or aren't trying to say you believe to be true. Because then I'd be accepting & entertaining your dancing around the topic as a truth; and it's not.
Debate Round No. 2


The New Testament was written in a language that Scholars say had become a 'dead' language. Most Bible scholars claim that this occurance was not a coincidence but and act of God. For by this, we can actually take a view back to that time and find what the words precisely meant to the speakers and writers. It is very helpful for us who are English speakers because we often have more than one word to describe a certain thing. When a novice starts to read the New Testament, they most often are not aware of the Koine Greek by which their current version was translated. As the person matures in the faith, they may go on to study the Koine Greek language and then decide which Bible translation adheres more closely to the original language.

As you have written already, that our English word 'baptism' in the Koine Greek meant- 'to wash. As we already are aware, some churches have disregarded this for many years and added sprinkling in it's place. I do not think this is wise because I am of the belief that our having such a resource as the Koine with us today, may have indeed been an act of God and we should not be manipulating those words. Just as a side, for the last 150 years the most manipulated Koine Greek word has been 'pornia' translated into English as fornication. The Koine speaking people kept it's ancient Roman (Latin) definition because It's meaning was the same as theirs. It has become an embarrassment to me to have so many Christians give such off -track statements from what the word's original meaning was and still is. Even if we do not have the setting for it today as the people did then.

This debate is about water baptism not being necessary for salvation. It is also about our spiritual baptism being necessary for salvation.
The instant a person comes to the belief commanded in the New Testament, their spirit is regenerated. The person has instantly come to repentance. 'When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18)

This spiritual baptism is different from the miraculous spiritual baptism that was evident by the people being suddenly able to speak different languages. "Forasmuch then as God gave them the [like gift] as He did unto us (Apostles)......" Acts 11:17
This was the second and last baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was not the Spirit's person, but by metonymy, the power which was directly associated with the Holy Spirit.
In the New Testament, when it is mentioned about a believer not yet receiving the Holy Spirit, what was meant is that they had not yet had an Apostle passing on the (gift) or (power)of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. 'When Peter and John had come down to Samaria, they prayed for the people that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet it had fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

With the death of the last Apostle, there would be no passing on of miraculous gifts. We are told in 1Cor.13:8 that love will never cease, but the ability to prophesy, speak unlearned languages, have miraculous knowledge, would be ending. This ending would occur when that which is perfect 'teleios' (complete) is come. Since we were told in 2 Pet.1:3 'According to His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue;' we know that all the knowledge we need had been given in full (complete).

In my next Affirmative I will show the water baptism of the New Testament and what it signifies.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DoctorDavid 3 years ago
It's fun to see such schooled interchange.
No one mentioned Acts 10:47, where new believers received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the apostles said, what's to keep them from being baptized in water now? Obviously God accepted those believers without the water baptism, so it wasn't a matter of salvation, Q.E.D. But it is a matter of following Jesus' command to be baptized, and it shows a public commitment to the faith.
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