Take for example the story here:
Because Thorgeir Thorkelsson was a respected citizen, the Icelandic parliament gave him the responsibility of deciding Iceland’s future. He huddled under a fur blanket for more than 24 hours and then announced that Iceland would become Christian. So in the year 1000 A.D., Thorgeir, a pagan priest, took his pagan idols and threw them into a large Icelandic waterfall, which is now known as Waterfall of the Gods (Icelandic: Goðafoss). The people abided by Thorgeir’s decision and were baptized; thus ended a possible civil war before it began. (Source)
Not only did it end a possible civil war, it confirmed the entire nation of Iceland as Christian. But did it?
Just because Thorgeir made a unilateral decision affecting the entire people, and they were all baptised with water, did it actually affect their hearts, where the love of God will reside in a true Christian? I know this is all (possibly) hypothetical, but it certainly bears thinking about.
I can tell you from first hand, having been baptised at birth, that it did not make me into a Christian. I was turned 40 years of age before I finally declared Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour – and knew what I was saying – and knew what it meant, and meant it!
Brenda Wood, author of the above Icelandic story says:
Getting baptized doesn’t make you a Christian, anymore than holding a bag of milk in your arms makes you a refrigerator.
John 3:3– Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God (AMP).
Prayer: Father God, don’t let us fool ourselves into thinking that baptism or church attendance gives us relationship with you. In Christ. Amen.