A cursory review of ancient history will reveal that baptism, as a form of ritual cleansing and purification, was practiced by literally all cultures in ancient times, including Hindus. It seems that, likely, the Egyptians were the earliest to employ it. A ritual washing in the waters of the Nile River was a surefire means of obtaining closeness to and favor of the gods. In fact, one account shows that drowning in the Nile or submersion of a corpse in its waters was a certain means of restoring life with their gods in the afterlife.
I can find no reference to Jewish baptism prior to Moses. You will recall that the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians for forty years. Undoubtedly, during those forty years they adopted the Egyptian custom of baptism – hence it’s appearance in Mosaic law and its continuance till the time of John the Baptist. However, John’s baptism was a ritual cleansing of repentance.
Most Christians are taught to believe that Jesus, by his submission to baptism by John, gave sanctifying significance to the event – hence we have the ‘sacrament of Baptism’ in many Christian religions.
Now, let’s consider the plain, simple facts. Jesus was a Jewish male aged thirty-three. Number one, it would be unthinkable for a Jewish male of his age not to be married. Number two, it would be just as unthinkable for him not to have been baptized – maybe many times before — after all, it was a ritual purification. The bible writers glorified John’s baptism of Jesus by having God speak directly from the clouds to a local audience verifying his pleasure with the event and certifying Jesus as his only Son.
I have shown many, many times that all those ‘miracles’ are impossible because God would have to ‘change his nature from that of ‘a perfect rational being’ to a nilly-willy overlord who acted like a drunken sailor and could not be trusted under any circumstance – not a chance. In my humble opinion all that represents the mythological, astrological, superstitious ignorance of those writers who were determined to have their vision (version) of religion come true. As I have noted many times before, we simply do not and cannot know what the original writers said. The versions of the bible we have now represent the writing and rewriting ad nauseum of a single copy which was made from possibly thousands of recopies. It was the only surviving copy and was made two hundred-plus years after the original.
We can and should be very suspicious of all accounts from any current bible. That justification stems from the known fact that three hundred years after Jesus’ death, the Jews remained under Roman control. Rome, as it was in Jesus’ day, still allowed the Jews and their newfound Christian religions to be self-governed concerning their religion(s). The only thing Rome cared about was their productivity. By the year 325 AD, there were 1800 so-called bishops in the Christian domain of Rome. A bishop was the most prominent person in his community. Each Bishop had his own ideas about Jesus – what he said, and what he did, and what he meant. Hardly any two of them agreed with any others. Therefore, they were squabbling and infighting among themselves. They became so involved in their differences that their productivity diminished noticeably. Emperor Constantine became alarmed by their lack of production. His coffers were already depleted by all the wars he had been fighting. At that time, the official Roman religion was a pagan religion known as Mithraism. Constantine reasoned it would be wiser to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire, rather than further deplete his treasury and resources by trying to coerce the squabbling Christians into productivity.
Accordingly, he called a conference at Nicaea of the so-called Christian bishops. All eighteen hundred bishops were invited but only about three hundred attended. They squabbled among themselves from May till August before a consensus was reached. Some dissidents were excommunicated. Some accounts say some were beheaded. Thus, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and it had full support and protection of the Roman army. Any dissidents had two choices: beheading on the spot or banishment into the wilds.
The religion so formed represented the collective wishes of the consensus attendees. More importantly, it put each of them into positions of high power and influence. So, it is unthinkable that they would not have patterned their newfound Christian religion exactly after the lucrative father-religion, the Jewish religion – sacrifice and all. Only, this time the sacrifice was to be unbloody (they didn’t want all that mess). They devised a plan of actually recreating Jesus out of bread and wine, and then offering him to the Father in an unbloody sacrificial way – the Catholic mass was instituted.
Of course, baptism became the rite of initiation into the newformed church. Anyone not baptized could not enter heaven. Even though one might have led a holy life, if not baptized, he was relegated to a place in eternity known as ‘limbo’. When I was a child studying and learning Catholic catechism, I was taught that early infant baptism was imperative so that a newborn baby might not die and be committed to Limbo forever. Later, as a medical student and medical doctor delivering babies in a Catholic institution, Saint Louis University, that same urgency was instilled in me. I was to immediately baptize any newborn who might appear unlikely to survive the usual seven days allowed before average infant baptism. It is a curious thing that I haven’t heard the word Limbo mentioned from any pulpit in the last 40-50 years. Curious too, I have heard no protest from any pulpit about parents waiting two years or longer to have their child baptized – think I know why – it’s called alienation – don’t lose any prospects at any cost – to hell with limbo.
The Church gets away with this dictatorial overlording in a sly and cunning way. They know young people growing up don’t know the difference – they never heard of limbo, And the Church knows the old dudes like me who do know and who do remember will soon be gone. So, it’s conveniently ‘swept under the carpet’ as though it never happened.
It’s not only happened with limbo’ it’s happening with nearly all the Church’s dictatorial, controlling rules, the breach of which would send one straight to hell or limbo. Again, I think I know why – it’s called ‘money honey’. People are dropping out of religion like dead flies falling off a wall. The dastardliest observation yet is the Church’s occult stance on abortion. The Church has gone from absolute prohibition against artificial birth control of any kind to overtly condoning the vilest of birth control devices or techniques, abortion.
Not only has the Pope given his blessing to the two biggest proponents of abortion in this country, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi, both of whom profess to be Catholic, but now he has made a pro-abortionist bishop in California a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Again, I think I know why – it’s called ‘money-honey’. It is intended to stem the outflow of young nonconformists from the church. Such hypocrisy, I have never witnessed in my lifetime of nearly 89 years – but the youngsters will never know the difference –another ‘sweep it under the rug’ deal.
So, to sum it all up in one neat little package – it only has value if it benefits the money flow of the Church – to hell with morality. And might I quickly add, I seriously doubt that my observations, or at least similar ones, are not applicable in most other churches besides the Catholic Church.
If you desire a full explanation and understanding of the fallacies and failures of religion, please read my little book Wilderness Cry. You will then eagerly want to read its sequels, Peace in Spirituality, and Provocative Catholic. If you want to know more about me and my childhood upbring, you’ll enjoy Growing Up in Fancy Farm Kentucky. All are available Amazon-Kindle, and from me, handg@#comcast.net.
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