I stumbled upon this Christian site, which I believe is owned by people who are Restored Church of God. I saw an article where they tell people how to be saved. A lot was actually good material. It talked about the necessity of repentance and believing with Scriptures, but when it came to baptism they said it's not necessary for salvation and it's just good to do to be obedient to God.
My question is: Why is the religious world so against baptism as being a necessity for salvation when God clearly tells us it is?
People prefer their own way of righteousness than God's. They believe they know better than what God has said. For example, Israel knew God's law, but they are called a stiff-necked and rebellious people who persecute the way of righteousness (Acts 7:51-53). Same could be said for people who purposely know that baptism is said to be a part of entering God's covenant and then completely deny it. They then persecute those who do teach God's word correctly. You are right the Bible is clear about the subject considering all the verses that connects baptism with forgiveness of sins and salvation in some way,
- Mark 16:16 - saved;
- Acts 2:38 - forgiveness of sins;
- Acts 22:16 - wash away sins;
- I Peter 3:21 - now saves you;
- Romans 6:3-5 - buried with Christ and raised up to walk in newness of life;
- Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:4-5 - a work of God;
- Galatians 3:26-27 - to be clothed with Christ;
and the list could keep going. Some people are just plain rebellious against God's word because they are zealous for their own way of righteousness. "For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:2-3).
People love to pick and choose what laws of God apply and how "important" they are. Consider the Pharisees. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others" (Matthew 23:23). People will think they can find a loop hole in keeping God's word. "And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God," he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition" (Matthew 15:3-6).
You will even see good followers of God use this excuse on different topics and say, "it is not a matter of salvation," but we tend to rate God's commands as optional at times for a variety of reason, when none of them are. What people do is set the standard of righteousness where they care for it (these are salvation issues and these are not categories) and not where God has said (I John 3:4). God sets the terms on salvation, not man.
Ignorance is probably the major one. Most people just have not been challenged on their views and, therefore, have never questioned their beliefs. When talking with people about what God has said about becoming saved in His word, their response is usually something like: "I have never been shown these verses before!" It is because religious leaders are afraid of truly showing God's word and won't try to challenge their followers but tend to keep them in ignorance. The leaders care more about numbers in their congregations and people following their belief system than following God's word.
The list of "why" is endless, but these are the ones I run into most often. If you run into someone with a different view than God's word, share what God's word says. Most of the time you do not have to say too much because God's word is clear.