Friend: Can’t I love God without being baptized? Why do I need to go through this formality?
Me: You can’t love someone without trusting the person, and so the question is whether you trust and accept what God says to you about being baptized for the remission of sins, etc. So if you refuse to accept that, then you don’t believe Christ and you don’t love God.
Friend: No, you can love someone without being it being formalized, just like how you can love someone without getting married.
Me: Well, there would arise the question as to whether one truly loves the person if one refuses to get married, or whether one only loves a mere part of a person only. If one loves the entirety of a person, his or her entire history, entire person, all the parts of him or her from now till death, then why not get married? But if one only loves the person’s “time-slice”, say only 5 years out of the entire life history of the person, then one doesn’t really love the person but only a part of the person.
Friend: But just because I don’t get baptized doesn’t mean I reject God right.
Me: Sure you are, if you despise his promises given in baptism…
Friend: I don’t despise him!
Me: Well, God says to you, I am offering here in baptism the remissions of sins and the gift and the Holy Ghost and you refuse to the gift, isn’t that by definition despising the promises of God?
Friend: Arrgghh! Not everything is so by definition!