Dogma - Core doctrines of Scripture; doctrines necessary to be believed to be saved
Read Mark 16:16:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Will an unbaptized person necessarily be lost? Why or why not?
Immersionist - Christians that believe and practice immersion as the only acceptable mode of baptism
Immersion - The act of dipping something or someone entirely under water; a mode of Christian baptizing
Due to the differing answers to these three questions by various church denominations today, we will examine each in more detail. The church denominations which follow the teachings of Menno Simons (1496-1561), e.g., the Baptist and Mennonite churches, answer all three questions in a different manner from the historical interpretation of Scripture taught by the Apostolic Church, the Western and Eastern churches, as well as all the reformational church denominations. Other denominations, including some Reformed, are providing answers to the third question which also depart from the historical interpretation of Scripture held by the church of all ages.
Before beginning our examination of these differences, however, it is important to realize that baptism is not a dogma of the church; it is not a core doctrine that is necessary for salvation. Therefore, a regenerated Baptist is as truly a saved child of God as any regenerated Reformed person. On all core doctrines pertaining to man's salvation, they will share full agreement and experience true brotherhood.
Although baptism is not a scriptural dogma, it is, nevertheless, a doctrine of Scripture. Therefore it is important, as are all doctrines found in God's Word. The examination of the answers to the previous three questions which are most scriptural is therefore important, even though they are not crucial to one's salvation.
The first question to examine is:
What are the proper modes or methods of baptizing?
Two principal answers are given to this question:
1. The answer of immersionists (Baptist, some Mennonite denominations, and a few other groups) is immersion only.
2. The answer of the Reformed/historic church is sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; all are acceptable modes, as all are a sign of cleansing by, and dedication to, God.