This is what we pedants like to call a "hand wave". It's not an argument -- it's a confession that no real argument is forthcoming. It's relativism. It's elevation of ritualism over sound doctrine. It is, in short, exactly the same error our Roman Catholic friends fell into so long ago, and what the Reformers worked so hard to pull us away from. We do indeed need to follow the "whole counsel of God" in our doctrine, but that means not erasing or ignoring the inconvenient or upsetting parts. The Bible is inerrant in its teaching, which means that it cannot contain paradoxes. Thus we must be able to explain, theologically, how Cornelius and the thief on the cross can be saved prior to baptism (or absent baptism entirely) without running afoul of Christ's command for us to be baptized into his Church. We need to establish how Paul's letter to the Romans (really, his whole epistolary corpus) reflects Christ's own teachings regarding sin and salvation. This stuff matters, because it factors into church teaching and practice. Yes, we must baptize because Christ commands it. But what if, for some reason, we cannot do it? Is the faithful aspirant (or innocent infant) doomed to perdition simply due to an accident of time or place? I say no, absolutely not; for Christ is our judge, and he is perfectly just. (See Luke 7:50, where he tells the fallen woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." No word of whether she is baptized; but we may safely assume even if not that she is saved because Christ himself said so.) Biblically speaking, we must say that baptism in and of itself is not salvific. It is a sign and seal of a covenant already struck in the aspirant's heart by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Our justification, our being declared righteous before God by having Christ's righteousness imputed to us, lie in the (undeserved, unearned) grace given us by God through our faith in him. We are baptized not to be saved, but to enter into the Church symbolically washed and clean, where our sanctification -- our new life in Christ -- can proceed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must look primarily to Scripture to guide us, for it is there that the ultimate truth resides. Anglicans recognize this, which is why we affirm the principle in article VI in the 39 Articles of Religion.