In Diana Butler Bass's book Christianity for the Rest of Us, she relates the story of a woman who came to a Christian church in her adult life after having had a non-religious upbringing. The woman was dying to know if she had been baptized, and invested considerable effort finding out:
She tracked down relatives, made dozens of calls, and finally located the congregation that her grandmother had belonged to when Deanna was a baby. The church secretary told her that the baptismal records had been destroyed in a fire. Deanna was disappointed. But three weeks later, the secretary called back to say that she had tracked down other records. On January 6, 1956, Deanna had, indeed, been baptized. "I was overjoyed," she recalls, "I was a child of God all along and I didn't know it."I find something very disappointing about that story. What is it in her understanding of Christianity that would lead her to conclude that she would not have been a child of God without a baptism?
I believe that we are all children of God, whether we are baptized or not.