Contradictions and Criticisms about Baptism in Christianity
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Where did Baptism come from? Did the Prophets Ibrahim [Abraham], Musa[Moses], Isa [Jesus] all get baptized? Is the water used for baptism really holy? Who did Jesus baptize?
The Definition of Baptism
Baptism (in the Christian Church) is the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person’s forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church. In many denominations, baptism is performed on young children and is accompanied by name-giving. Baptism is an obligation in the Church which is done in what they say is the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This cleans the soul from its sins.
Baptism was known among the other denominations of paganism before Christianity. The Hindus, the Buddhist, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and even the Egyptians all practiced baptism. Among the Christians, there are 3 methods of baptism that have been practiced over the centuries: immersion, affusion (pouring), and aspersion (sprinkling). The Christian scholars differ over the correct method of baptism, some say the complete body must be immersed in the water, or immersed three times. This was traditionally practiced in the river of Jordan where Christians believe Jesus the son of Mary was baptized. Today the Coptic Church still baptizes people there.
The necessity of Baptism according to Christians
Baptism according to Christians is a key to Heaven. In the King James Version, it’s mentioned.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.[John 3.5]
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.[ Acts 2:38]
The Contradictions for the Reality of Baptism
Based on the above-mentioned passages baptism is required; nonetheless, there are several contradictions and uncertainties that remain unanswered over the baptism issue.
- Is baptism mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament as a religious task of Moses?
- Was Jesus Holy before he was baptized? If the answer is yes, then there is no need for baptism and if you say no, then this is another contradiction. How can we believe someone being God or the Son of God as Christians proclaim and not be pure and righteous?
- Imam Al-Qurtubi said: The water you use for baptism is it holy or not? If it is holy water then who made it such? And if you say God made it holy, then where is your proof?
- If the Christians say we make the water holy, then we must reply who gave you the right to do so. Is it possible for someone who isn’t holy to make something holy? Is it possible for someone to purify something that isn’t purified? Aren’t you sinners who regularly sin, therefore how can you make something pure and holy while you can’t do the same for yourselves?
- The Christian says the one who doesn’t get baptized will enter Hell. So what about Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and the rest of the Prophets are they in Heaven or in Hell? If you say, Heaven, then this is another contradiction, as no Prophet from Adam to Noah or their progeny were ever baptized.
- The Christians believe that getting baptized removes sins, so here is another contradiction as they say the entire world suffers from the sin of Adam when he ate from the tree, and the only way to remove this sin was through the sacrifice of Jesus. In John [1:29] it reads, the next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” If baptism removes sins then there’s no reason to sacrifice Jesus.
- Some Christians say the being baptized removes the original sin of man. In traditional Christian teaching, the original sin is the result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God when they ate a forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. This belief contradicts the passage in Deuteronomy 24:16. , “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Also it reads in Ezekiel 20:18. “But I said unto their children in the wilderness .Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers,” This agrees with the verse in the Quran. Allah said: Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned.[At-Tur:21]
Taken from “ Baptism in Christianity a Presentation and a Criticism, by Ash-Sheikh, Doctor Sulayman As-Sihimi (Associate Professor in the Dept of Theology in Madinah University)
Arranged and Prepared by
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah Battle (Ph.D. Candidate in Hadith)
Academic/ Khateeb in Qatar
A gift to my mother and I ask Allah to guide her to Islam