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Are Catholics “Born Again?”
Catholic Sensibility ^ | March 13, 2010

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 it’s 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.” It’s 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 God’s 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 God’s 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 God’s 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.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS: bornagain; catholic; salvation
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To: tiki

I’m not judging those who are not born-again. But I can tell the difference. Takes one to know one, I think.


51 posted on 03/13/2010 3:15:26 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Mikey_1962

“Ahh Jeeze, This sh*t again?”

Yep.........sigh


52 posted on 03/13/2010 3:17:05 PM PST by Cheryllynn
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To: IrishCatholic
"Satan? Is that you? You type like him."

No. It's that fellow that would love to see many of the sheeple escape the clutches of the Roman cult. It's the guy that cares more for your soul than those Vatican mobsters do. They "make others more a son of hell than themselves". They lead folks astray by creating traditions of men, superstitions and ceremonies they claim can offer escape from the deadness of the soul. They are wrong and they should repent...if they can.

53 posted on 03/13/2010 3:18:47 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: OpusatFR

LOL. How can you say that? Do you know all the Catholics I know? Actually there is one other; I forgot about him. He is blind. But as I said to tiki, I am not judging anyone.


54 posted on 03/13/2010 3:19:03 PM PST by firebrand
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To: SaxxonWoods

Let me shorten that for you. The trouble with Christianity is the Christians. I was told this once by a full on minister, and I agree with him. Now, you Christians, don’t go getting all riled up. Think about some of your encounters with Christians in the past before you speak.


55 posted on 03/13/2010 3:19:07 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: firebrand
How do you know? You really know the intents of the heart and minds of all your friends? You should have and act in Las Vegas.
56 posted on 03/13/2010 3:23:06 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: Joe 6-pack
"...all he had to do was be crucified for his crimes, just like my Savior, who died precisely to spare us the wages of our sins. Personally, I'd rather do the faithful worship route. "

There is the heart of the error of Rome. If you think that somehow you are "faithful" enough to warrant heaven, you think wrongly, my FRiend. According to Paul, there is no one who seeks God, no one who is adequately "faithful", no one who will take the other way out. Paul notes that unless God rescues you by His decision, you will remain dead in your trespasses and sins...irrespective of the great life you may think you live.

So then, it does not depend on man who runs (lives faithfully) or the man who wills (chooses God), but upon God. And He will have mercy upon whom He desires and He will harden whom He desires.

May want to read the letter to the Romans all the way through sometime...if Rome allows.

57 posted on 03/13/2010 3:26:48 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: MikeWUSAF

The good thief did not just have faith; he had Actions. He roused himself, rebuked the mocking bad thief, and publicly stated his faith in Christ and asked for mercy.

He had faith with works. This is what Catholics believe saves us. We must live faith out daily through our actions or we are like the fig tree that bears no fruit. Every time we resist temptation and turn away from sin we are “born again” in Christ. In baptism, we become children of God. In Confirmation, we become adult believers who affirm, as adults, that we belong to Christ alone. Confirmation is the completion of baptism.

One can also be baptized through desire, as the thief was, if there is no other way for a baptism with water. Nothing is impossible with God. If we knock at the door, He will answer.

Catholics do not believe one achieves salvation at one moment in time, but throughout a lifetime of choices. What happens to people who are born again, but then backslide? What if that backslider lives a life of complete evil right up to death? Is he fit for Heaven and unity with the purity of God? No. His choices are what he will be held accountable for at his moment of judgment. His life showed he was not saved. We send ourselves to Hell.


58 posted on 03/13/2010 3:27:04 PM PST by Melian ("The seed is the same but the soil is different..." ~Fulton Sheen)
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To: fish hawk

Let’s see. There’s a little passage about knowing them by their fruits. Do you mean you can’t?


59 posted on 03/13/2010 3:33:37 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Mikey_1962

Again?


60 posted on 03/13/2010 3:35:10 PM PST by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: ADSUM; fish hawk
"If you loved God as much as he loved you wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to show your love?

I hope that you see the Catholic Church as the pathway to God. Perhaps, there are others, but this is the one that Jesus established for us."

Sorry, I see only error and tragedy in the Catholic Church. I see the Roman Catholic Church has saddled many, many folks with a burden that they cannot carry: The implication that something, anything can be done to secure their own salvation in some kind of association with Rome. Do this, say that, genuflect, take this wafer, drink this cup, etc. All for naught, my FRiend. All is death and destruction...unless Christ Himself rescues you. That is not found in an organization, or a sacerdotal group, a sacrament, a ceremony, an attendance, an amulet, a bone, a building or anywhere or anything.

It is only when He finds you and chooses you. And according to the letter to the Ephesians, this has all happened before the foundation of the earth and the rebellion of Rome is that they don't like this truth.

61 posted on 03/13/2010 3:35:31 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Salvation
I take it then that Abraham, et al. did not get into heaven?

Bummer.

62 posted on 03/13/2010 3:38:38 PM PST by starlifter (Sapor Amo Pullus)
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To: MikeWUSAF

A couple of corrections are appropriate here.

First the Church Age did not begin until some 50 days after the resurrection on the Day of Pentecost, some 10 days after the Ascension.

Paradise was a compartment of Hades for all deceased believers, separate from the Torments and separate from the Abyss and the Lake of Fire.

Old Testament believers went to Paradise, also known as Abraham’s Bosom after death. At the resurrection other believers also rose from the dead as recorded in Acts and today believers after death are face to face with the Lord, indicating they are in heaven, but not yet receiving of the bema seat rewards.

A minor point, but if the thief on the Cross was the first in heaven,...assuming after Christ, it would be after the Ascension some 40 days later, but probably 50 days or in another place pending the preparation of the Bride of Christ for the wedding feast.


63 posted on 03/13/2010 3:38:38 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Melian
Of course there is backsliding. We can't make hard-and-fast rules about it, though. If someone whose heart truly belongs to Him backslides, and dies suddenly without having had a chance to repent . . . we just can't know. I don't think we can have a rigid formula about it. That's what I used to think, but I don't think so any more. We can't know.

As for the person who converts at the moment before death, I believe he is saved, but not if he plans it that way. Then it is not a deathbed conversion but an attempt to hoodwink the Almighty.

64 posted on 03/13/2010 3:43:11 PM PST by firebrand
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To: firebrand

“I am not judging anyone.”

Balderdash


65 posted on 03/13/2010 3:45:09 PM PST by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR
I have said on FR that if someone is still steeped in ritual, I believe it is possible that the Lord accepts the ritual as the best that the person can do at that time (and I already admitted that this sounds condescending, but if so, I am being condescending to my former self as well).

I believe He accepts surprisingly little as a token or expression of our love for Him. In fact, it's possible that He sees no difference between someone who goes through rituals and someone who sees through them. After all, we accomplish nothing through our own efforts, whether they be material or spiritual.

66 posted on 03/13/2010 3:55:23 PM PST by firebrand
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To: NYer

Every human is born of water..the natural birth process (when your water breaks, the babies are ready to be born.) When we receive Christ, we are born again in the spirit. That’s it...


67 posted on 03/13/2010 3:56:27 PM PST by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
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To: fish hawk

AMEN. I feel the same way.


68 posted on 03/13/2010 3:57:45 PM PST by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
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To: Marysecretary

Glad to see you back posting.


69 posted on 03/13/2010 3:58:33 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Dutchboy88
"Do this, say that, genuflect, take this wafer, drink this cup, etc. All for naught...."

It seems like some may be confusing the ritual for the relationship. And one can have both - but where the ritual can be comfy, (and who doesn't find comfort in the stability of some type of ritual), only the relationship is the real key.
Ritual without the relationship is temporal - a human without his Saviour is lost.

70 posted on 03/13/2010 4:01:33 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: fish hawk

AMEN, fish hawk.


71 posted on 03/13/2010 4:02:38 PM PST by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
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To: firebrand

Good to BE back...thanks.


72 posted on 03/13/2010 4:07:48 PM PST by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
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To: Dutchboy88

Yea, hi Satan.

Sorry, it won’t work. We Catholics worship Christ,the Holy Spirit, and God the Father. (Three of a kind beats a full house of Satanic hatred.)

You can just go back to your underworld.


73 posted on 03/13/2010 4:10:42 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: firebrand
Quit playing with your vegetables, get some meat on your plate. Do you even know what Bible Doctrine is? Have you ever studied your Bible and I don't mean at Mass. Did you pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire you mind before you even opened you Bible? You don't need to answer me with dribble, just think about it.
74 posted on 03/13/2010 4:16:31 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: firebrand
You are still on milk , try reading you Bible and getting the meat of it's intent. If you truly have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can NOT lose your salvation. Any church or cult that teaches any different is lying. I'm not going to give you the scriptures to back this up because you really need to do some serious study on your own. Do you know about “GRACE”. That is what it is all about. The Bible teaches that ALL SIN is an abomination to God whether it be murder or stealing or rape.(All Sin) So even though you may be saved you ARE going to sin every day for the rest of your life. (what you are thinking about me right now is probably a sin). So, how can you lose salvation for a sin when Jesus says we are all sinners and Paul himself said he was one of the worst??? Think man.
75 posted on 03/13/2010 4:25:08 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: IrishCatholic

Are you in the IRA. You sound off more like Islam than a Christian. Every one that does not agree with your faulty teaching is a Satan. You are too stupid to be a Conservative.


76 posted on 03/13/2010 4:29:18 PM PST by fish hawk
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To: Marysecretary

Marysecretary wrote:

“Every human is born of water..the natural birth process (when your water breaks, the babies are ready to be born.) When we receive Christ, we are born again in the spirit. That’s it...”

So, Jesus was telling Nicodemus that first you had to be born before you can be reborn? Is that what you are saying? This idea of yours that being born of water (decoupling it from Jesus’ words “and the Spirit”) in John 3 is simply a reference to natural birth is interesting. Is there any history of such an interpretation of John 3 in the long history of Christendom? It seems to me that this is a novel assertion of very recent vintage.

Your interpretation is, simply, preposterous. It is a wonderful example of imputing 21st century thinking to 1st century reality. Jesus’ point, in perfect accord with the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and, obviously, John, is that John the Baptist, at God’s authority, was to go out to all Israel preaching repentance and baptism. The reason being that all of Israel had sinned, all were called back to the true way God taught them through Moses (from which they had wandered under the leadership of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots, and Essenes), and all were, through baptism, to be prepared for the Messiah, who would provide the forgiveness baptism promised. Since Nicodemus had not been baptized, as was the case with many of the religious leadership of the Jews, Jesus was pointing out that before He could understand the nature of God’s rule (that’s what the word kingdom means in most Biblical contexts) through His chosen Christ until he himself had been baptized, again, as God through John the Baptist had commanded.

The context of the term “born again” is John 3. The connection between “born again” and baptism is utterly biblical. Baptism is intended to lead to Christ, to bring the person in question to faith in Christ, and make him or her a disciple of Christ, as Matthew 28:18ff. makes perfectly clear.


77 posted on 03/13/2010 4:30:33 PM PST by Belteshazzar
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To: Cheryllynn

Bummer.

Maybe I should go to DU for some laughs.


78 posted on 03/13/2010 4:45:40 PM PST by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President)
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To: IrishCatholic
Satan? Is that you? You type like him.

Right on target and very perceptive!

79 posted on 03/13/2010 4:47:25 PM PST by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Belteshazzar
"Baptism is intended to lead to Christ, to bring the person in question to faith in Christ...."

Just curious - so when you baptize an infant, that infant comes to a faith in Christ? For the rest of their life?
Even if it against his will?
Should one not make a consious decision about Jesus?
Does one's parents make that decision for them?
What if that baby dies before he is baptised?
Infant baptism just seems so confusing.

80 posted on 03/13/2010 4:52:41 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: fish hawk
And last, I am a born again Christian with absolutely NO doubt as to where my eternal soul will reside.

How nice for you. I'm a Christian who keeps Holy the Lord's day, prays daily for many other people and their intentions, does not cheat clients or customers, uses talents to help others know and come to God, among other things we are taught is proper behavior for a Christian and I have no idea where my soul is going. I can only hope for the mercy of Almighty God and His son along with the Holy Spirit.

81 posted on 03/13/2010 4:54:59 PM PST by Desdemona
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To: Mikey_1962

“Maybe I should go to DU for some laughs.”

I’ll go with you. It can’t be any more infantile than here.


82 posted on 03/13/2010 4:56:12 PM PST by OpusatFR
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To: NYer
Nicodemus understood what jesus meant by that ..all we have to do is look at the scripture..

e 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
1 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
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.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

There was no sacrament of Christian baptism when Christ had the conversation ...but Nicodemus understood that to be "born of the water," spoke of human birth ...

1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

Peter understood the words of Christ

John 6:63 It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.

83 posted on 03/13/2010 5:03:05 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Desdemona
"....among other things we are taught is proper behavior for a Christian and I have no idea where my soul is going."

My dear friend, it is not the things WE do that save us, it is what JESUS did that saves us.
If our salvation was dependant on our behaviour ("for all our works are as filthy rags"), then why did He die on that cross?
"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. ...For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". (Romans 10:10,13)

84 posted on 03/13/2010 5:09:26 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: tiki

Excellent tagline.

One thing that drove me out of the Protestant milieu was the unceasing arrogance of thinking that everyone who didn’t espouse their particular interpretation of the Faith - whatever the denomination - must be going straight to hell. Sorry, but God is the judge of our souls, not other humans. HUMILITY OF FAITH seems to be missing here.

God didn’t create these Christian divisions...WE did. On Judgement Day I highly doubt He’s going to say all the Catholics go over here, all the Baptists go over here, etc, etc. EACH person will be judged individually by the content of their hearts and their personal fidelity to the Faith given to them.

I can only shake my head at all of this, and think that the Muslims must be just laughing at us, knowing we’re too preoccupied to watch them overrun the West.


85 posted on 03/13/2010 5:12:49 PM PST by RedDogzRule (And no...I'm not Catholic, but I do respect their right to practice their tradition.)
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To: RedDogzRule
"EACH person will be judged individually by the content of their hearts and their personal fidelity to the Faith given to them."

I'm sorry, not trying to be a smart-alek, but what does that part in Bold mean?
Does that come out of the Bible, or is it something your believe that "the God of your understanding" might say?

86 posted on 03/13/2010 5:20:10 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: fish hawk

And who was addressing you?
It isn’t my job to teach you punctuation.
It isn’t my job to teach you manners.
I don’t mind you aren’t Catholic. I will give the courtesy that no matter how faulty I see your rudimentary understanding of Christianity, you at least are Christian. I don’t denigrate you in that way. Up until the point where you punks feel free to declare Catholics non-Christian.

The reverse isn’t the case with you and the other Know Nothings. If Christ himself came back and declared the Catholic Church his one true Church. You and the others who hate Catholics would be the first to nail him back on the cross.

That is your problem. I can peacefully disagree with fellow Christians on the way we view Christianity, but I wouldn’t deny they are Christians. But I have no problem twisting the tail of Catholic hating jerks.

Like you.


87 posted on 03/13/2010 5:20:40 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Psalm 73; Belteshazzar; Marysecretary

Belteshazzar posted this: “So, Jesus was telling Nicodemus that first you had to be born before you can be reborn? Is that what you are saying?” And went on to make his point that being born of the water meant baptism.

While Psalm 73 posted this: “Just curious - so when you baptize an infant, that infant comes to a faith in Christ? For the rest of their life?
Even if it against his will?
Should one not make a consious decision about Jesus?
Does one’s parents make that decision for them?
What if that baby dies before he is baptised?
Infant baptism just seems so confusing.”

Both Belteshazzar and Psalm 73 are partly right, in my opinion. I agree with Belteshazzar that being born of the water means baptism, and for the reasons he gave. I agree with Psalm 73, to summarize his post, being born again cannot possibly mean INFANT baptism. I agree absolutely.

Born of the water (water baptism), yes, but not without faith being excercised, not without repentance. Not by infant baptism, rather someone being baptized who is old enough to make exercise faith and repentance.


88 posted on 03/13/2010 5:23:45 PM PST by sasportas
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To: sasportas

Correction:

Not by infant baptism, rather someone being baptized who is old enough to exercise faith and repentance.


89 posted on 03/13/2010 5:25:49 PM PST by sasportas
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To: Psalm 73

What we do on earth with and to our bretheren determines the state of our soul. At earthly death, none of us can know our soul’s state save God in the Trinity and He decides where we go from there and whether or not there will be a pit stop in Purgatory (see all references to the refiner’s fire in both Old and New Testaments). I’ll take a pit stop over the alternative.


90 posted on 03/13/2010 5:31:30 PM PST by Desdemona
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Yes, the Sacrament of Baptism by water is required!

Jn 3:5
Jesus answered (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”
Mt 28:19
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
Mt 3:11
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.
Gal 3:25-27
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
1 Cor 12:12-13
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Acts 2:37-38
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.”
Acts 10:44-47
While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?”
Acts 8:11-13
They paid attention to him (Simon Magus) because he had astounded them by his magic for a long time, but once they began to believe Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptized. Even Simon himself believed and, after being baptized, became devoted to Philip.
Titus 3:5
... not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth (baptism) and renewal by the holy Spirit.
1 Pet 3:20-21
God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
Rom 6:3-4
Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.
Col 2:12
You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Acts 2:38-39
Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”
The New Testament speaks of the baptism of “whole households” which in the normal Greek usage of the time included children.

1 Cor 1:16
I (Paul) baptized the household of Stephanas also ...
Acts 11:13-14
He related to us how he had seen (the) angel standing in his house, saying, ‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.’
Acts 16:15
After she (Lydia of Thyatira) and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation...
Acts 16:30-32
Then he (the jailer) brought them (Paul and Silas) out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
Acts 18:8
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household.
To the Colossians, Paul paralleled baptism and circumcision. Circumcision was normally administered to children eight days after birth.

Col 2:11-12
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
To the Corinthians, Paul recalled that just as all the Jews of the Exodus (including children) were baptized into Moses by passing through the Red Sea, they were actually being blessed by Christ.

1 Cor 10:1-4
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all of them were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ.
In Mark’s Gospel, we have Jesus’ own teaching on children.

Mk 10:13-16
And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” ... Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation after the promulgation of the Gospel for everyone, both children and adults.

Jn 3:5
Jesus answered (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”
It is frequently asked by non-believers how an infant is capable of making an act of faith in order to receive baptism. The response of the Catholic Church is to follow the Biblical example of Christ. Jesus accepted the faith of others as an occasion of salvation, forgiveness and healing of another. The Church has always done likewise. In infant baptism, the faith of parents and sponsors is required.

Mk 2:1-5
When Jesus returned to Capernaum ... They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Mt 8:5-13
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” ... When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” ... And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour (his) servant was healed.

Jn 3:5
Jesus answered (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”
The Roman Catholic Church believes that a “washing of the body with natural water” is what is required for valid baptism.

Mt 28:19
... baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
Mk 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.
Acts 8:36,38
As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” ... Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Acts 10:47
“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?”
Tit 3:5
He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit.
Eph 5:26
... to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
1 Cor 10:2
... all of them were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
1 Pet 3:21
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.


91 posted on 03/13/2010 5:33:25 PM PST by OpusatFR
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To: Desdemona
"What we do on earth with and to our bretheren determines the state of our soul."

But that is not what God (through His servant Paul) was saying in Romans - or did He not mean what He said?

92 posted on 03/13/2010 5:36:01 PM PST by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: fish hawk
The ONLY thing that saved him was his belief in that Man on the cross next to him.

Whether one calls themselves Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Lutheran, Christian, etc... THAT is the one thing that saves us.

The "act" of being "born again" .. or baptized is as my Pastor explained it an act of obedience. The real transformation of being "born again" is in one's HEART, so of course Catholic's can be born again without being baptized again (as some would call it.)

For the life of me, I don't know why those of us who call ourselves whatever label we do in the name of Jesus argue about this stuff. If Christ is in our hearts and we've felt the conviction of being sinners with no chance of achieving salvation without Jesus Christ, then we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and should focus on what unites us rather than what divides us.

Just my two-cents worth, and with the value of the dollar these days you get what you pay for.

93 posted on 03/13/2010 5:36:21 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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The Church has taught through all ages, all of the Bible does present clear requirements for the Christian’s relationship to Jesus.

The Catholic Church, using explicit Scriptures, has always found that the basis of a personal relationship with Jesus begins at the origin of the Christian life. The Church, from Pentecost onward, examines the language of Christ and Sacred Scriptures and the content of that language for God’s desire for the Christian’s relationship to Him. The Church begins at the beginning of life as a Christian.

The origin of the life of a Christian and of Christian perfection to which the Bible constantly calls us, is the Heavenly Father, Who communicates His life through the Son, and through the Son, the Holy Spirit.

1 Jn 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”

The initiative for the life of a Christian is a movement descending from the Father to men: the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit sanctifies man.

1 Jn 4:10
In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us ...
2 Cor 13:13
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.
1 Pet 1:2
... in the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification by the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ”

The movement descending from the Father to man touches man first in baptism.

Rom 6:3-5
Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
Col 2:12-13
You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him ...
Eph 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,”

Through this participation the Christian is a new creature living in an atmosphere clearly new.

2 Cor 5:17
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. “

This new life of the Christian is directly a participation in the life of Christ, is the life of a member, joined with the Head, in the Body of Christ which is the Church.

Eph 4:15-16
Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.”

The movement through Christ in the Father, founded in participation in the divine life - the movement of life in its origin involves union with Christ and - through Christ - with the Father.

Jn 14:23
Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
Jn 14:20
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.
Col 3:3
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. “

The new life of the Christian is an assimilation of God through Christ. This life begins in baptism.

Gal 3:27
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Rom 8:9
But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Rom 8:14-17
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

The new life of the Christian is a personal gift of the Father.

Rom 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”

The response to this personal communication in the Christian is the gift or the donation of self to God through Christ.

2 Cor 11:2
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
1 Cor 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
1 Cor 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? “

Corresponding to this ontological state, the Christian life is not to be lived for itself, but for Christ and - through Christ - for God.

Rom 14:7-8
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Rom 6:11
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as (being) dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”

How is this gift of self of the Christian to be made manifest? It is first manifested in service to God because service to God involves conformity to the divine will and also praise to God.

Christ is the model for the Christian of service in the divine will.

Heb 10:5-7
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: “... a body you prepared for me ... ‘As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”
Jn 4:34
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”

Jesus teaches us that obedience to the will of the Father is our calling.

Mt 6:9-10
This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Mt 12:50
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The total earthly servitude of Christ consummated on the cross was praise and glory to God.

Jn 17:4
I glorified you (Father) on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.”

Just as with Christ, the servitude of the Christian is simultaneously praise to God.

1 Cor 10:31
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
Eph 1:11-12
In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. “

The gift of the self for the Christian is the denial of self.

Mk 8:34-35
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”
Mt 19:21
Jesus said to him (the young man), “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

In the life of the Father through Christ, charity/love holds first place.

Mt 22:36-40
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
1 Cor 12:31-13:13
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. ... So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Gal 5:14
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Rom 13: 8-10
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

The walk is not easy. The path is narrow and yes, you can lose your way. Walk into Christ through Christ’s own Church, the Catholic Church, not the waywardness of a 500 year old religion split into thousands of shards of self-interpretation of that original error, now leading people out of the light and further into the darkness.


94 posted on 03/13/2010 5:36:44 PM PST by OpusatFR
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To: Psalm 73

Psalm 73 wrote:

“Just curious - so when you baptize an infant, that infant comes to a faith in Christ? For the rest of their life?
Even if it against his will?
Should one not make a consious decision about Jesus?
Does one’s parents make that decision for them?
What if that baby dies before he is baptised?
Infant baptism just seems so confusing.”

You ask a really good question.

This touches on an important, even critical difference in the way the major denominations understand God, man, the person and work of Christ, and the Gospel (the good news of forgiveness for the sake of the life and death of Jesus). Baptism is not, primarily, something man does to signify his/her commitment to Christ. God, who knows all things, already knows our hearts. It is rather something that God does in and for us.

Consider for a moment this: Jesus commanded His apostles to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things He had commanded them, and then He promised to be with them (His disciples) until the end of the age, i.e., until Judgment Day. The church’s practice tells us how they understood this: Adults were taught to observe what Christ (not Moses - this is an important distinction) commanded first, and then baptized when they acknowledged that they believed what they had been taught. Children were baptized and then taught, something that parents were held responsible for before God from the very beginning. Baptism and instruction go hand in hand. Later, as they came of age, they confirmed their faith in that in which they had been instructed.

The goal is well illustrated by Paul’s picture of planting, watering, and then God giving the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:5ff.) God, through the ministry He established (Matthew 28:18ff.) baptizes, Paul’s “planting”, preaches and teaches the Word, Paul’s “watering”, and then God giving the increase, i.e., faith. Baptism both gives and leads to faith. But baptism is never alone. The instruction of the ministry and the training of the parents is necessary.

Might such be against the child’s will? Well, since we are all enemies of God from birth, we are all pre-disposed to be against God. But this is true of both adults and children. The Holy Spirit brings light, through Baptism and the Word, where before there was only darkness.

Should not one make a conscious decision for Christ? Well, of course one should, just as I outlined above, one way for the adult, the other for the child.

Does one’s parents make that decision for them? Well, again, yes. What do parents not decide for children? That is their duty and responsibility before God. And what parent who loves and cares for his/her child would not want to give that child such a good thing as forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation?

What if the baby dies before he is baptized? Who prevented the baptism? If it was God, we commend the child to Him, believing He is gracious and merciful for the sake of His beloved Son. If it was us, who is to blame? In the same way, if parents neglect the health and well-being of their child, who does the law hold responsible? This should give all parents a big, big wake-up call.

Infant baptism isn’t so confusing if you understand it as the Scriptures lay it out. It is primarily the gift of God to us, bringing us Christ.


95 posted on 03/13/2010 5:38:05 PM PST by Belteshazzar
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To: Dutchboy88
I revere Christ, alone, but they will attack anyone disparaging that Cult of Rome.

I wonder what Christ would think of one self professed Christian disparaging their brothers and sisters in Christ, fomenting dissention for the enemy as you've done here.

Check your heart.

96 posted on 03/13/2010 5:39:56 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Judith Anne
Christ would tell you to mind your own business, and grant us the same courtesy you would like in return.

Three words: The Great Commission. The Catholic church has the same mission, btw.

Respectfully,
USC

97 posted on 03/13/2010 5:43:12 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Psalm 73

Thank you for your concern. I’m familiar with the Gospel, despite what you might think. I just come from a sacramental tradition that you may not understand. And that’s fine. I’m not here to try to “convert” fellow Christians. I wish others could afford as much respect.

As a matter of fact, this is all getting tiresome. I’m outta here. CYA.


98 posted on 03/13/2010 5:43:19 PM PST by RedDogzRule (Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone. - James 2:24 (KJV))
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To: RnMomof7

So why did Christ institued water baptism its not an after dinner mint! Why is it in new testament. I could put a lot in here but ezekiel reads about the future chapter 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities,and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26:I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,taking from your bodies your stony hearts giving you natural hearts. 27: I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statues,careful to observe my decrees. sounds Catholic to me. Thats how they baptize. But in emergencies its called Baptism of desire. God is always merciful. A humble and contrite heart he will not ignore. Also in the old testament there are examples of people forgiven outside the mosaic system. So goes today in the new testament.


99 posted on 03/13/2010 5:43:25 PM PST by johngrace
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To: fish hawk
The trouble with Christianity is the Christians. I was told this once by a full on minister, and I agree with him.

Your minister and my pastor must be talking, we've heard the same thing in our Church and the words are exactly true. Just look at some of the posts on this thread.

Peace to you.

Respectfully,
USC

100 posted on 03/13/2010 5:45:18 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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