One could get the impression Christianity by itself would not work because he scarcely encounters anyone who really behaves Christianly in daily life, although he or she would claim to be a Christian.
There must be something wrong both with the Protestant mainline churches and the re-baptizing Free Churches (let us expel previously the Roman Catholic Church, which is obviously distorted by papacy).
In the USA, there are a lot of so-called rebaptizing Free Churches (rebaptism is not according to the doctrine of the Early Church and not according to the Bible). The re-baptizing Free Churches presume to be the real Christians because they emphasize true conversion and repentance. They assume that the mainline churches would make a mistake by baptizing infants before they have converted or were even able to convert by use of a fully developed reason. Yet the infant baptism or the sacramental baptism is not wrong in itself. It is only handled falsely by the mainline churches by concealing that sacramental baptism is a divine call for discipleship.
First, an outlock on the churches which don’t rebaptize.
Well, even in the USA many people may have received infant baptism because still many Americans are members of Protestant mainline churches like Episcopal Church, Anglican Church, Presbyterian Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, etc. It is good that the mainline churches keep the infant baptism, and don’t rebaptize because that is the tradition of the Christian Church for times immemorial, and it is according to the Holy Writ.
It is only that these Protestant mainline churches don’t tell the people what infant baptism (= sacramental baptism) means. It means that we got baptized into a new life or into Jesus. After sacramental baptism, we are empowered to follow Jesus and we shall follow Jesus at any rate. The Early Church could not imagine that someone who is baptized doesn’t follow Jesus in daily life.
Conclusion: the mainline churches urgently need a Reformation so that they may preach the gospel of the costly grace again (gostly grace means that a Christian, who has received God’s grace, follows Jesus). The mainline churches have actually good roots but bring little fruit. That is a great pity.
One could assume that there is something wrong with the mainline churches because most of there members don’t follow Jesus in daily life (reason: no information about the meaning of sacramental baptism). The rebaptizing Free Churches assume that sacramental baptism or infant baptism would be wrong in itself. They make a mistake. Sacramental baptism is not wrong in itself, but the problem is, as I have yet said, that the mainline churches don’t inform their members about the meaning of sacramental baptism, and thus it remains ineffective. People need to know that they should refer to their infant baptism and start to follow Jesus in the power of Christ’s sacrifice, which was dedicated to them at baptism.
The rebaptizing Free Churches emphasize (too much) the conversion or getting born again. They assume that someone must first become a believer and then get baptized (baptism, they regard as an act of obedience and a public confession of the personal faith). They don’t baptize infants because they assume, an infant could not yet believe in Christ. They think baptism is a mere symbolic act, and God would not act during baptism.
Furthermore, they presume to be the real Christians and emphasize strict discipleship. They make the mistake to reject infant baptism or sacramental baptism because they assume sacramental baptism could not work (above, I have explained there is another reason: the mainline churches don’t explain the meaning of the sacramental baptism, and thus it remains without effect). The rebaptizing Free Churches are also out of line with their doctrine of conversion and repentance. Of course, one should have faith before he gets baptized, that is true, but the faith doesn’t depend on our reason but on the impact of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, starting to believe and getting baptized belong together, and they are a unit. Sacramental baptism strengthens the faith (it is much more than a symbolic act or an act of obedience and public confession). It is a mistake that the rebaptizing Free Churches emphasize too much the conversion and repentance because by that they imply that the human being would be able to be a Christian out of his own natural power.
Now, what is the real Church, which helps people to live a delivered life?
Actually, the mainline churches (Episcopal, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.) are the real or true Church because they keep the one, holy, sacramental baptism, which comprises infant baptism. It is only that they regrettably have adopted the gospel of the cheap grace (you are yet a good Christian when you are a Babbitt), and they ordain gays priests and pastors. Furthermore, they don’t tell the people that baptism is a divine call for discipleship. Mainline churches would become the true Church again if they would tell the people that baptism is a divine call for discipleship.
The rebaptizing Free Churches must be condemned because their doctrine of rebaptism was always condemned. Someone who rebaptizes shows that he has not understood at all what baptism means. Yet true baptism is the condition for successful discipleship. Hence, although the rebaptizing Free Churches favour discipleship, they fail totally because they don’t have the power to really follow Jesus, which is given through sacramental baptism.
Conclusion: the Free Churches must get abolished, and the mainline churches must get reformed.
What about Roman Catholic Church (RCC)?: RCC is no Christian Church because of papacy.
In a word: the members of the mainline churches fail to live the Christian life because nobody tells them that baptism is a divine call for discipleship. The members of re-baptizing Free Churches fail to live the Christian life because their churches don’t keep the sacramental baptism which is the entry door to discipleship. By emphasizing the conversion and repentance the rebaptizing Free Churches condemn their members to dependence on their natural abilities. They are condemned to fail even if they want to follow Jesus. It will not work.
The meaning of sacramental baptism
Assumed, you have heard the gospel: Jesus has borne your sins when he died for you on the cross.
To a certain extent, you may grasp that statement: Jesus has borne your sins on the cross.
God, in his infinite grace, has invented a process in order to strengthen and to confirm your faith perfectly. This is sacramental baptism. At sacramental baptism all barriers of time and space disappear, and you die and rise together with Jesus. Sacramental baptism is the locus in space and time where you get holistically connected with Christ’s atonement.
Sacramental baptism is much stronger than any human homily. Your whole man gets involved: soul, heart and body. After baptism, it should be impossible to remain without faith.
After sacramental baptism, you can be that sure of deliverance that you can immediately start to follow Jesus in daily life. This is the “trick” of sacramental baptism.
The members of rebaptizing Free Churches may always ask themselves if they are really born again. Anytime they become mad or totally desperate. Damned rebaptism!!!
Sacramental baptism is a clearly defined point which marks the beginning of your Christian life, and you just begin to live it.
That is all according to Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 6, which is the center of the Holy Bible.