Why do Baptists make baptism such a big deal and put such an emphasis on immersion?
Really, the emphasis is on being biblical because we believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative, and sufficient Word of God; and we believe this is what the Bible teaches. Our spiritual forefathers were the Anabaptists. The word means rebaptizers, and they were named such by their opponents, who were the Catholics and Protestants. Both groups despised them because they practiced believer’s baptism instead of infant baptism. However, we believe they were carrying the Reformation teaching regarding salvation out to its biblical and logical conclusion in regard to baptism so we happily stand on their broad shoulders that endured terrible persecution for this doctrine.