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The Christian message is one of doing away with religious ceremonies (e.g. circumcision) as a means of identifying the good guys. So why would Jesus institute another such ceremony? Ceremonial baptism has caused more divisions in the church than any other single issue.

1. Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16 Jesus' baptism is with the Holy Spirit. The gospels repeatedly state that Jesus' baptism is not with water, and yet churches persist in focusing on water... most likely because they cannot see the Holy Spirit.

2. John 4:2 Jesus never baptised anyone with water. If water baptism represented acceptance of Jesus, then why didn't Jesus do it? It appears to have been a hangover from the Old Testament, that Jesus tolerated in his disciples, and refrained from doing himself.

3. Luke 16:16 John's ministry was pre-New Testament. Jesus did not see John's ministry as part of the gospel. Obviously, some of his disciples did, which often frustrated St. Paul, who was more progressive.

4. Ephesians 4:5 There is only one Christian baptism. Ceremonies just naturally foster divisions, whereas if we would concentrating on getting the Holy Spirit there would be unity.

5. Acts 15:24, 29 Gentiles don't have to keep Jewish rules. Throughout the book of Acts, the apostles were still hammering out their beliefs. So it is not wise to follow their example if it is inconsistent with Christ's.

6. 1 Corinthians 1:17 Paul realised he wasn't supposed to baptise with water. Paul, too, observed that water baptism only led to divisions. He suddenly realised that Jesus had never sent him to baptise with water, but just to preach the gospel.

7. Matthew 28:19-20 Baptise people with God's Spirit by preaching. "Baptise" just means to "cover". So we cover people with God's Spirit by preaching (as Paul had concluded). Preaching the gospel and covering people with God's Spirit are one and the same.

8. Luke 7:28, Matthew 11:11 John was not part of the kingdom of God. Just one more verse to show that John's ministry (and baptism) belongs to the Old testament and not to the New Testament.

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