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.
Actually, we have no quarrel about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, His work on Calvary and Resurrection. I thought you were saying faith saves us. Its where we place our faith is where we seem to be splitting hairs. Quite possibly, I totally misunderstood what you wrote, because it was written in gooblygook. AT least in my opinion. I think we believe the very same regarding salvation.
Anyway, I’m bored with this game, and now must move on. I can tell you are upset and quite possibly, need to grow some fruit in the area of patience.
See post 259.
We agree. A person who claims faith in Christ is required to live out Christ’s words. Good works come about through your faith. Living out your faith through good works, for the rest of your life, brings you salvation.
In Matt 5:22 we know that anyone angry with his brother is in danger of judgement. In Matt 7:19 we know any tree that does not bring forth “good” fruit, shall be cut down and cast into the fire. In Matt 18:8 we find that any part of you that causes you to sin must be cut off lest you be cast into eternal fire.
In 2 Thes 1:8 we hear about those who do not OBEY the gospel. In Jude 1:5 we are admonished that “though ye once knew all things” Christ still destroys the that believed not.
Christ cautioned those he forgave to “sin no more.” Actions. He knew they believed but something more was required. Change. Conversion of thought and behaviour. He also said in John 8:34 that whoever commits a sin is the servant of sin. In John 15:22 He says, powerfully, that “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” In Romans 6 we are told to be dead to sin. Believers are told to let no sin reign in their mortal bodies.
Finally in 1 Cor 8:12 we are told firmly that when we sin against our brethren and wound their weak conscience, we sin against Christ.
“And,might we add, an arrogant attitude? ... By the way, The Lord hates a haughty spirit. So, while youre dealing with the above mentioned sins, add haughtiness to your list.”
Fortunately for my keyboard I wasn’t drinking anything when I read your penetrating observations.
“It was a blanket statement, but, mustve cut to the quick.”
Grow up. Respect for the rules of FR keep me from saying more.
“Anyway, Im bored with this game, and now must move on. I can tell you are upset and quite possibly, need to grow some fruit in the area of patience.”
I can’t stop laughing. You are a piece of work.
We are all born again in Baptism.
More importantly though is where we are as adults in accepting Jesus as our Savior. We depend on Him for our salvation for none of us are worthy on our own merit to go to heaven. The very sin nature of man makes it very possible.
Most Catholics get these issues above, but there are some less educated Catholics that may not get some of the issues above and that is where we need God’s mercy.
Heaven help us all.
A Catholic CA Guy :-)
You are a piece as well, but, I hesitate to use the word work.
Nah, not goodbye to you, but, good riddance.
But, I suspect it is too busy burying the stories of its pedophilia and protection of dirty priests by Ratzinger. Tragic, but expected when men focus on themselves. Is this more of the non-hate which manifests itself in the “love” of little boys?
Hmmmm..you are aware, I assume, that the incidence ofclergy preying on young boys is FAR more prevelant in the protestant clergy than it is in Catholocism.....and the protestants are usually married which exacerbates the situation. Do Catholics have their share of idiots, of course we do, but in no greater numbers than any other religious group.
You don't seem to catch the enormity of the problem with the RC organization. They claim exclusivity to being the "true church", they claim that each of the ordained priests is another "Christos" (Jesus on earth), they claim that these men may absolve others from sin, they claim that they ALONE speak the gospel. Now...this is just the Catholics "share of idiots"?
Few could argue that the Catholics certainly have a number of idiots, but to use that as a reason to turn the focus from those claiming they alone have the "keys" to others is disingenuous. Can't have it both ways, exclusive and flawed. I think we all can tell which it really is.
Go read what is going on at this thread: "Vatican fights to distance Pope from abuse scandals"
I read it. I’m not playing a game.
Salvation is offered to us through faith. True faith would be lived out in actions. If there aren’t faithful actions, it would be like hiding your light under a bushel— or forgetting to put oil in the lamps— or not bearing fruit— or not turning the money loaned to you by the owner of the vineyard into a good investment.
Christ was a man of action. He demanded action of the Apostles and all of us. We can’t just believe in the cross; we must TAKE UP the cross and FOLLOW Him. Action. We must DO something if we believe. Action brings us to salvation.
I agree with you.
Perhaps what you call salvation is what we call being baptized a child of God. We become His. At some point there must be a true, conscious, and reasoned conversion. We call that Confirmation. Good deeds are a manifestation of that faith conversion. We are born again as adult believers in Christ— with all the responsibilities that entails.
Let’s not forget that some people were named righteous by Christ because of what they did (like the good Samaritan) despite their beliefs or status. Actions seemed to matter to Him very much.
Jesus IS the Church, but He put Peter in charge of BUILDING it after His resurrection.
If Peter and the other Apostles DIDN"T go out and build the Church, what do you think would have happened???? It would have died out!
Jesus does not lie. Nor does the Word of God. Some misinterpret what the Word says, what Jesus said, even what He says today.
I think YOU have mis-interpretted Him! What Jesus said, he MEANT....choose what youCHOOSE to believe at your peril.
I know my Lord and my God. I choose to believe Him. And I do not have to have any mediator other than my Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessings, Ann Archy. May the Peace of the Lord be with you!
Born Again - a method for churches, ministers, etc. to make more money.
A friend took me to one of those born again services.
People looked at me like I was strange. They had big wide eyes and these goofy smiles as if to say isn't it wonderful. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
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Where is the Beatitude in your Christianity?
Where is your Biblical knowledge? If you are not 100% sure of your afterlife you are in big trouble.