Surely baptism is not required for salvation, but only in order to introduce us into the Church. P. B.
THE contributor of this query reasoned in his letter that since Christ redeemed the world from original sin, the world is now in a redeemed state. Everyone is redeemed whether or not they have been baptised. The only use baptism has, therefore, is that through it a person may become a member of the Church.
This is an interesting argument but there are one or two essential items missing from It.
The first is, of course, the necessity of baptism for salvation by the express command of the Redeemer. This also means that the world or mankind is not in a redeemed state as such, without the need to do anything about it.
Rather, it tells us that we in this life have redemption offered us, not given us, and it is up to us to accept this redemption, i.e.
the baptised.and live the life of
Baptism, it is true, does introduce us into the Church, but it also gives us the life of Christ and is concerned that we eventually pass from being members of the pilgrim Church • to being members of the heavenly Church.
It is possible through baptism by desire to be "anonymous" members of the Church and to achieve salvation living by the usually unseen light and life of Christ. But this doesn't take away the need for those who have seen Christ to accept his baptism and to live its life in order to achieve salvation.
Queries, please, to Fr P. Sanders, Question Box, Catholic Herald. Herald House, Lambs Passage, Bun/till Row, London Ed.