Skip to comments.Are Catholics “Born Again?”
Posted on 03/13/2010 1:24:38 PM PST by NYer
Our parish has a Q&A feature in which staff members tackle the queries left in a comment box or e-mailed to the parish. I volunteered to reply to the question titled above:
The root of this principle is in John 3:3-5, and it reads:
Jesus said to (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
Scripture scholars note that the Greek word ἄνωθεν (anothen) means both “from above” and “again.” Jesus seems to be referring to the first meaning, and Nicodemus seems to misinterpret the Lord, taking the second meaning.
Misunderstandings aside, the notion of being reborn in baptism, in water and Spirit, tells of the great significance of the sacrament, and of the commitment to the Christian life it implies. Jesus certainly preaches that those who wish to see and participate in the kingdom of God will experience such a momentous change in their lives, that the notion of a second birth is not an exaggeration.
Many Christians speak of being born again, as a graced event in which people, usually adults, experience the Lord in such a significant way that its like a whole new life for them. And ideally, this is what all Christians should experience when they commit themselves to Jesus Christ. The question might be raised: does it happen only once? Or is it possible, through a continuing conversion, to go progressively deeper into a Christian commitment to God? The witness of the saints might suggest that this continuing experience is the mark of a godly life.
In baptism, and even as infants, Catholics are born again, in the sense Jesus means: being born of water and Spirit. Its no accident that the baptismal font at our parish was designed to suggest a tomb, and that in baptism we participate in death and rebirth, as Saint Paul describes, We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
As a child grows, an openness to Gods grace is necessary. The same is true for adults. Baptism is not a magical event, and neither is the evangelical or charismatic experience of being born again. Each of these experiences is an opportunity for Gods grace to work in us. But we always have the freedom to choose: we can close ourselves off from divine grace, or we can cooperate with Gods will and live out a Christian life after being born from above.
Image Credit: painter Edward Tanner (1899), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
Too bad you have rejected my kindness. I do pray for your eternal soul if you dont believe in being born again.
WOW, Marysecretary, you’re back!! I just said a special prayer for you at Mass this morning and Halleluia, it worked!!!God works in mysterious ways, you’re still wrong, but you’re O.K.....that’s good.....thanks God!
You are a walking (sitting?) example of the power of prayer. Hope you are feeling better Mary. God bless. Please keep us posted as to your needs for holy assistance.
As a Catholic I even have the Communion of Saints praying for you! *wink*
I have not followed this conversation but just a quick look back at what Dutchboy was responding to, I would suggest your response could have been directed at terycarl just as well.
The fact of the matter is, if anyone were to study the history of the Protestant Reformation, there are serious issues that Protestants have with Catholics. Many Protestants today are simply "Catholic-lite" in their doctrine-not true Reformers. Consequently, they are aghast when a true Reformer comes along. Protestants today would simply shy away and be embarassed by the works of great Reformers like John Hus, John Locke, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin or Wyncliffe. These men saw the Roman Catholic Church for exactly what it was. However, now it's not politically correct in today's modern and gentile society. We are, after all, "enlightened".
Our goal, as Protestants, among other things is to root out and demonstrate the failings of our belief structures based upon the absolutely inerrancy and infallibility of scripture. That includes all of us, and we should be willing to hear the issues no matter how "insensitive" they may seem. It doesn't do us much good to simply say, "Can't we all get along." when some Christians believe that it's perfectly alright to bow down before relics and pray to Saint Joe that he'll ask Christ to forgive him.
Catholicism today is far worst than 500 years ago when the Protestant Reformers left the Church. It should give one pause when they defend their "brothers and sisters".
Okay, I get it now. It's "my way or the highway" right?
You "born againers" think there is only one way to do things in the eyes of God.
You, and the multitudes like you, insult and denigrate the rites and traditions that people like me grew up with.
Please keep your Bible verses. You use them to cover the disdain you feel for me.
I guess hate, couched in criticism, is considered part of your church's belief?
There is a whole world of real truth that says there has always been a group protesting the abomination from Rome. Your historical survey has no connection to reality and their gospel is from the pit
while it’s true that there have always been dissenters....the Jews were first, but as time went by those dissenters became known as heretics....teaching things that were anathema to the newly formed Catholic church. At the first vatican council, several of those were rooted out and exposed for what they were. Throughout her magnificent history, Catholocism has weathered various dissident groups and protestantism is merely the latest. She’ll weather this one too and as protestant churches dissolve and return to the fold, christianity will once again be the church that Jesus envisioned....the Catholic church. The church of England and maybe the ELCA are leaning that way now.
When one begins to recognize their new life was not a product of themselves (the way Lazarus found himself made alive from the dead), of course one can and should try to grow toward the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. But even then, we recognize that it is God who causes the real growth.
As long as one stays stuck in the "self" religion of Rome, they will try personal holiness, try to make oneself worthy, try to make oneself fit for heaven and they will flail about, striking and hating those who remind them of their helpless state and the error of semi-Pelagianistic Rome. It is to be expected. We all did it. But, remember this reminder...you are the clay, He is the potter.
May all those who kneel to Mary and assorted saints be given new eyes to see the idolatry that's staring them in the face as they gaze lovingly at statues of dead people when God alone deserves our prayers.
OK, let’s try this again, Catsrus (and anyone else who would like to take part). I merely pointed out that 1 Peter 3:21 says that baptism saves us. Argue with it all you want. It says what it says. I am trying to get you to look at and meditate upon what the Scriptures say instead of jumping to wild conclusions and accusations, nothing more, nothing less.
So, a simple little test:
1) Our Lord Jesus Christ saves us: True or false?
2) Our faith saves us: True or false?
3) Our works save us: True or false?
I put in 3) just to get that issue out of the way. In case you fear some kind of a trap or disingenuousness on my part, I will supply the answers:
Now, let’s add 4).
4) The two statements: our Lord Jesus Christ saves us, and, our faith saves us, cannot both be true. True or false?
This one I will let you answer. I will wait for your reply.
“If baptism is meant to lead people to Christ, why doesnt it? I know way too many, including my own relatives, who have NO interest in Christ and they were baptized as infants. No, God draws people to Himself. Baptism is only effective AFTER you have come to Christ.”
Yes, and I know way too many people who were baptized after profession of faith, sometimes more than once, and they are woefully ignorant of the Christian faith to the point that they really don’t know what they believe or even don’t believe anymore. And what does that prove? Nothing, the same as your observation.
God draws people to Himself. Well, yes, of course, the Scriptures say that very clearly, e.g., John 6:44.
Let me ask you a question. How does one “come to Christ”?
Hell is NOT a physical place. It is a state of spiritual existence for those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.
You’re missing the point. Baptism does not save us. AS I shared previously, but, it seems apparent that you are very dogmatic and wrong in what you believe.
Hebrews 11:1 gives us the definition of faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 Corinthians 5:7, Paul says, We walk by faith, not by sight.
It is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins and asking Him into our hearts - His work on Calvary that saves us. Though we can’t see Him, we believe, or have faith.
So, I think your little game is misconstrued.
If you wish to take the time then I would be interested in hearing/reading a few.
Why was the following post removed? It is no more personal or offensive than what it was replying to. It even ends by praying for the conversion of Ducthboy88 to Christianity. Far more charitable than his posting. Isn’t it your policy here to have a thick skin and all that? I think I remember that from previous Catholic attack postings.
Well let’s throw some quotes right back at you:
“It is typical for Catholics to attempt to silence those who speak against that monstrosity from Rome.”
Who cares about silencing you? I simply called you out as being a punk for your rudeness. The question isn’t that you are Satan railing against Christ’s Church on Earth, it’s if you were, how would you be posting otherwise? The answer is, you wouldn’t.
What I have found again and again when seeing the outright hatred of Catholics on these posts is that Catholics don’t care if you aren’t Catholic. They hope you see the error of your ways and will debate theology, but they don’t hate. You and your ilk HATE. That is why there is no love in your heart and why no matter how you mouth the words you are lost.
“Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
“Bashing and personal attacks are expected.”
And so you wear the label hypocrite. You revile the faith of Catholics in base terms and scream like a little girl when called on it. Man, Satan, you are a weenie.
“For usconservative to ignore the words of IrishCatholic and criticize my condemnation of Rome’s demonic theology is perhaps due to the inability to see the light.”
“Rome’s Demonic theology.”? Only one of the damned would call the faith to Christ as demonic. By your denigration of Christian faith it shows your black heart.
“He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant.”
“That some of you are still entangled in the error of Rome does not surprise any of those who now clearly see that Rescuer from Israel is the only way out of the darkness.”
There is no error of Rome. That is your prejudice and hatred. We are taught from birth that Christ is the redeemer. You followers of the fallen angel make up what you believe Catholicism to be, not what it is.
“As long as one stays stuck in the “self” religion of Rome, they will try personal holiness, try to make oneself worthy, try to make oneself fit for heaven and they will flail about, striking and hating those who remind them of their helpless state and the error of semi-Pelagianistic Rome. It is to be expected.”
Catholicism isn’t a “self” religion. It is the faithful following of Jesus Christ as he set down the faith to be. It is unbroken since the time of his crucifixion. Whatever you made up is your personal problem. What is expected is that YOPIS is as rudimentary as your courtesy and love for your fellow Christian. All the hatred is in your heart.
But, I have little patience for you humping my leg with your vileness. So don’t think of it as “striking” you with hatred for it is only mild irritation. The same I would show for those Neo Confederates, Police haters, and Evos here on FR and for liberals in the government and society. I don’t hate any of them. I pity them. Hatred isn’t natural to me, I’m Christian. But I am also not given to allowing those around me to call good evil, and evil good. So I am not above calling you out when you do so.
“13 And he saith to them: Are you ignorant of this parable? and how shall you know all parables? 14 He that soweth, soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown, and as soon as they have heard, immediately Satan cometh and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these likewise are they that are sown on the stony ground: who when they have heard the word, immediately recieve it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but are only for a time: and then when tribulation and persecution ariseth for the word they are presently scandalized. 18 And others there are who are sown among thorns: these are they that hear the word, 19 And the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts after other things entering in choke the word, and it is made fruitless. 20 And these are they who are sown upon the good ground, who hear the word, and receive it, and yield fruit, the one thirty, another sixty, and another a hundred. “
I pray you are converted to Christ in whatever denomination you choose, Catholic- the full faith, or simply Christianity.
“19 Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us. 20 If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not? 21 And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother.”
You will find Catholics do not hate. You do. I will say the Rosary for you that you come to Christ.
Hades and its compartments are spoken in Scripture with locative sense. Attribute it to a spiritual domain if it is easier for you to comprehend, but within the spiritual domain it then will be perceived just as real as any physical domain we might perceive prior to the first death.
Since our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, is now in a resurrected body, and consumed meat while here on earth prior to the Ascension, it can be safely implied that Hades is just as perceivable to a physical body as was His locative position with us prior to the Ascension and after the Resurrection.