c) Forgiveness through Baptism
c) Forgiveness through Baptism:
To gain salvation from the original sin committed by Adam, Christians stipulate the practice of baptism. A new born baby or someone newly converted to Christianity must be baptized by being washed with water by a priest.
Christians believe that a baby is born tainted with Adam's sin, and thus it has to be washed by the priests. They say that they are following the example of John, called the Baptist, who used to baptize the believers in the holy river of Jordan. He also baptized Jesus. The authors of the Christian Bible claim that God, addressing Jesus after being baptized, said: Thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."
The different sects of Christianity have always argued about the power of baptism. Some of them claimed that baptism clears man of all sins including the original sin while others claim that it remits the original sin only; as for the other sins, they can be forgiven through priests.
The different sects have also failed to agree on when, where and how baptism should be performed. However, they all agreed that baptism is only valid when it is performed by priests or Christian leaders. In his book Comparing Religions:
Christianity, Ahmed Shalabi wrote about the topic of baptism saying: "Christians failed to agree on the time when baptism should be performed. Some of them insisted that childhood is the best time for this ritual; others believed it could be carried out during any time of man's life. Others, yet, claimed it could be performed on the death bed since baptism is said to eradicate all sins and this is the time after which no sins would be committed."
According to Christian doctrine, baptism is a symbolic washing with water as a religious practice. It indicates or transmits purification, the washing away of sins, and the start of a renewed life. This is administered by pouring or sprinkling water on the forehead of the person being baptized. Some Eastern Orthodox and Western Protestant Churches practice immersion (submerging a person into water). In a typical Christian baptism ceremony, the person being baptized makes a statement of faith in Jesus. Sponsors, called godparents, may make the statement on behalf of infants. In most cases, a priest or minister then pronounces the person's name and administers the water, saying, "I baptize you in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Baptism should follow a voluntary, public statement of faith in Jesus as savior.