Skip to comments.Are Catholics Born Again? (Discussion is applicable to Orthodox and Mainline Protestants as well)
Posted on 12/31/2008 4:38:01 AM PST by Huber
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If they have been regenerated by the Spirit of God they are.
The 'Greek' word is born "from above" NOT again!!! So naturally the answer is YES, all born in the flesh are born from above, just as was Christ. John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He That came down from heaven, even the Son of man Which is in heaven.
It has been a long time since I have heard anyone express that level of understanding. I usually refrain from any discussions regarding “The Christian Walk through life” when this subject is broached, because most will reject and ridicule any interpretation other than the “born again” doctrine.
I was “born again of water and the Holy Ghost”(John 3:5) when I was baptized and, by the grace of God, my faith was reignited later on.
We plant seeds of truth when we can.
If one accepts the interpretation you are forwarding, one must also accept that there is a “store” of beings with the Father ready to make the pilgrimage on this planet. And if we are with YHVH before the birth, how long have we been with him? Are we part of the legions in the name EL-OHIM? Did YHVH literally rather than figuratively know us before the foundations of the earth were laid?
So many questions arise from the translation of one small phrase!
Therein lies the crux of the problem. Roman Catholics follow, properly so, the Petrine Doctine. He was appointed by Jesus, Himself. Saul, not so much.
This is more than simply a good article, it is a necessary article for both Latins and Orthodox, many of whom have no idea of how to respond to the fundamentalists’ innovative theological nonsense about being “born again”. Like so much Western protestant theology, it is born of two things, first, a compulsion to deny, and a misunderstanding of, the efficacy of the Mysteria of The Church and second, a reliance on very bad translations of the NT read out of the context of what The Church believes and believed at the time of the definition of the canon of the NT in, for the West, the late 4th century. For those who are interested, a reading of the works of +Cyprian of Carthage, +Clement of Alexandria and +Cyril of Jerusalem will be instructive in this regard.
In the meantime, there is this, from the “Baptismal Instructions” of +John Chrysostomos:
“Are we only dying with the Master and are we only sharing in His sadness? Most of all, let me say that sharing the Master’s death is no sadness. Only wait a little and you shall see yourself sharing in His benefits. ‘For if we have died with Him,’ says St. Paul, `we believe that we shall also live together with Him.’ For in baptism there are both burial and resurrection together at the same time. He who is baptized puts off the old man, takes the new and rises up, `just as Christ has arisen through the glory of the Father.’ Do you see how, again, St. Paul calls baptism a resurrection?”
The world is fortunate that the “born again” nonsense is embraced by, comparatively speaking, so few people, almost all of whom are North Americans (the truly astonishing cultural chauvinism of N. American fundamentalists to the contrary notwithstanding).
Thank you for this discussion. (I will stick around until the first insults fly. My pride tends to draw me into that sinful activity.)
Now for the idea that baptism represents birth, I would direct you to the first letter of Peter, 3rd chapter, where he states:
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you— not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
One, Baptism represents DEATH. Water was a righteous judgement on the world, and only those that put total faith and enter in the Ark of Jesus will be saved, and through a willing appeal to God. The rebirth is the death of the old self and renewal through Christ, by the actions of the Holy Spirit from above, as God has preordained from before the foundations of the earth, and this rebirth is shown by a life of good work freely and joyfully given by a servant of Christ.
Now if baptism is NECESSARY for salvation, then all of the righteous in OT Israel (who were not baptized in the name of ...) and the thief on the Cross will not be saved. Abraham, Isaac and Joseph not saved? As Paul states Abraham was saved by faith, not by baptism.
Necessary is not optional, but a requirement. Any that start putting in provisos for salvation without baptism are saying that it is not necessary.
But Christ Himself says that one must be born from above to be saved, thus baptism is not being born from above.
Oops, and to answer the title of the article, as someone that already said, those that are are. Those that aren’t aren’t.
You and I would be hard pressed to find signs that many Catholics in the upper echelons of the Dem party are saved (ie Pelosi and Big Ted, et al). Not saying they could not be, but the signs are not apparent, or they hide them well...
Um, what John Chrysostomos said holds just as nicely for the Protestant view. I think you might not understand what is meant then.
Does he say that the individual is changed? Yup. Does it say he is now washed clean of all sins? Not really. Does this support baptismal regeneration? I would have to say no.
Perhaps if you gave your impression of the Protestant view, I can understand your meaning better.
“Does he say that the individual is changed? Yup. Does it say he is now washed clean of all sins? Not really. Does this support baptismal regeneration? I would have to say no.”
And I would say that you have not read +Cyprian and +Cyril and +Clement. +John Chrysostomos alone doesn’t represent the consensus patrum. No individual father does. That an individual would represent the sum total of the Truth of The Church is an almost Roman Catholic notion. Its interesting, at least to me, to see these little flashes of a distinctly Roman Catholic mindset pop up in discussions with Protestants.
At any rate, take a look at these
“The dispensation of our God and Saviour concerning man is a recall from the fall, and a return from the alienation caused by disobedience to close communion with God. This is the reason for the sojourn of Christ in the flesh, the pattern of life described in the Gospels, the sufferings, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection; so that the man who is being saved through imitation of Christ receives the old adoption. For perfection of life the imitation of Christ is necessary, not only in the example of gentleness, lowliness, and long suffering set us in His life, but also of His actual death. So Paul, the imitator of Christ, says, `being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.’ How then are we made in the likeness of His death? In that we were buried with Him by baptism.” +Chrysostomos, “Homily on the Holy Spirit”.
And this from “Homily XL on First Corinthians” :
“As thus: after the enunciation of those mystical and fearful words, and the awful rules of the doctrines which have come down from heaven, this also we add at the end when we are about to baptize, bidding them say, “I believe in the resurrection of the dead,” and upon this faith we are baptized. For after we have confessed this together with the rest, then at last are we let down into the fountain of those sacred streams. This therefore Paul recalling to their minds said, “if there be no resurrection, why are you then baptized for the dead ?” i.e., the dead bodies. For in fact with a view to this are you baptized, the resurrection of your dead body, believing that it no longer remains dead. And thou indeed in the words makest mention of a resurrection of the dead; but the priest, as in a kind of image, signifies to you by very deed the things which you have believed and confessed in words. When without a sign you believe, then he gives you the sign also; when you have done your own part, then also does God fully assure you. How and in what manner? By the water. For the being baptized and immersed and then emerging, is a symbol of the descent into Hades and return thence. Wherefore also Paul calls baptism a burial, saying, “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death.” Romans 6:4 By this he makes that also which is to come credible, I mean, the resurrection of our bodies. For the blotting out sins is a much greater thing than the raising up of a body. And this Christ declaring, said, “For whether is easier to say, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Take up your bed, and walk?” Matthew 9:5 “The former is the more difficult,” says He, “but since you disbelieve it as being hidden, and make the easier instead of the more difficult the demonstration of my power, neither will I refuse to afford you this proof.” Then says He to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go unto your house.”
“And how is this difficult,” says one, “when it is possible to kings also and rulers? For they too forgive adulterers and homicides.” You are jesting, O man, who sayest these things. For to forgive sins with God only is possible. But rulers and kings, whether it is adulterers whom they forgive or homicides, release them indeed from the present punishment; but their sin they do not purge out. Though they should advance to offices them that have been forgiven, though they should invest them with the purple itself, though they should set the diadem upon their heads, yet so they would only make them kings, but could not free them from their sin. It being God alone who does this; which accordingly in the Laver of Regeneration He will bring to pass. For His grace touches the very soul, and thence plucks up the sin by the root. Here is the reason why he that has been forgiven by the king may be seen with his soul yet impure, but the soul of the baptized no longer so, but purer than the very sun-beams, and such as it was originally formed, nay rather much better than that. For it is blessed with a Spirit, on every side enkindling it and making its holiness intense. And as when you are recasting iron or gold you make it pure and new once more, just so the Holy Ghost also, recasting the soul in baptism as in a furnace and consuming its sins, causes it to glisten with more purity than all purest gold.
Further, the credibility of the resurrection of our bodies he signifies to you again from what follows: viz., that since sin brought in death, now that the root is dried up, one must not after that doubt of the destruction of the fruit. Therefore having first mentioned “the forgiveness of sins,” thou dost next confess also “the resurrection of the dead;” the one guides you as by hand on to the other.”
He speaks in a similar vein in his “Homily IX on Hebrews”.
+John was as aware of the sin cleansing efficacy of baptism as the other Fathers.
If you believed the scriptures, you'd know differently...
Born again? In Baptism, but if you’re talking about returning to the Faith, the term we use is “revert.” And it usually takes a while and prayer from many people for hearts to be opened. What causes the falling away can be anything from laziness to being seduced.
A corporation is created. The founder states his son will soon be coming to lead customers, vendors and employees into a new place. The son arrives. Some of the corporation’s customers, vendors and employees accept the son and his new place. Other choose to remain with the original corporation.
When the son makes arrangements for his departure, he specifically chooses one of his faithful employees to carry on in his stead. The son gives this employee the keys to every door.
Sometime later, a hostile takeover occurs by one who claims he received a memo from the son. The memo, he claims, states some rules and regulations will be changed, others will be discarded.
Who is the rightful heir to the legacy? The man who was directly appointed by the son, in front of witnesses or some johnny-come-lately who claims he has a memo?
What’s your point???
Now your only defence is to call Paul's epistles lies...However Peter calls Paul's epistles, scripture...
Your stool doesn't have any legs on it...
Yes, through the Sacrament of Baptism. All who are baptized in the Catholic Church and other mainstream Protestant churches that the Catholic Church accepts are BORN again; they have a cleanly wiped slate and can begin a new life.
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