Baptism as understood by Catholics and Protestants

My reply to a friends questions on Baptism. by Pat Miron

[QUOTE]Super busy, thanks for asking!! How’s everything with you?

Hey, do you by chance have something you could share to help me understand all the different theologies on Baptism? I’ve come across some questions on a Protestant forum. They see a contradiction in our teachings on this matter. Main emphasis being the “necessity” of being “born of water” and the of the Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet, there are many exceptions (infants, mentally disabled, the good thief to name a few). If it is a necessity, how can it not be a necessity? Does that make sense? What exactly do they take this statement to mean… “Born of water”?

Thanks for all the great lessons, I’m learning a lot![/QUOTE]

SURE. Thanks for asking. It’s another GREAT question.

Please understand my response in no way a detraction of non-Catholics. But we must lay a right understanding and truthful foundation for our discussion.

Let’s begin with the fact that all non-Catholic-Christians have in varying degrees, a limited amount of right understanding on a great many bible teachings. This is God’s JUST response for there hard-hearted and at times even hard-headed, lack of even common sense, on issues like One God can logically have only one set of Faith beliefs. Combine this fact with the reality that God; Perfect and Good, simply could not, would not and certainly did not wait more than ONE THOUSAND YEARS for King Henry; Luther, Calvin, Smith and the horde of today’s innovative, new- church and differing faith-beliefs founders to make His One True-Faith Teachings known and available to humanity. All of which compete with the Only Church and Only Faith actually founded by God personally and directly and therefore, all other faiths, are in competition with God Himself and a direct affront to God’s necessarily singular truths.

Acts 20: 28-30 “Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, [singular] which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Douay Rheims Bible Christ did in fact give the very Key’s to Heaven access directly too, and exclusively to Peter and today’s Successors to Peter.

Matt.13:9-12 “He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”  For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. “

Baptism holds differing levels of understanding, importance and meanings within the numerous Protestant communions. Some accept and understand its essential significance in mans efforts and desires for ones Salvation. Other, far less so. And some go so far as to deny that it is “essential “ at all.

John 3:1-12 “And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’ s womb, and be born again? Jesus answered: [Verse 5] Amen, amen [Means: Truly-Truly] I [God] say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again. The Spirit breatheth where he will; [MEANS: grants RIGHT Understanding to whom it please Him to do so] and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can these things be done? Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a teacher in Israel, and knowest not these things?

Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?” End Quote 

Mark.16: 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”

So the fact that the Catholic Church teaches is full accord with God’s Devine and Perfect Will as evidenced by the Bible is clearly factual. Truth does not become meaningless simply because some choose to deny or alter it. And it is highly notable that this teaching comes from the same Author; the same Book, and even the same chapter as one of Protestantism’s most quoted passages:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting”; Which too is not fully or correctly understood.

Thee issue for many Protestants;

notably, Fundamentalist and OSAS, “Faith Alone” adherents is that any imposed conditions, no matter by whom [EVEN Their God] or what they are, or how well grounded they are biblically, that “compete” with their chosen understanding HAS TO BE either wrong, insignificant or both. Because they “certainly are right” and everyone else is wrong. Understanding this reality is critical for those who are attempting to actually share God’s TRUTH with them. In their minds, hearts and limited understanding, the FACT that our position is biblical is simply not relevant.

Because they, by buying- into “by Faith alone [or even grace & Faith alone], no other conditions, or mandates can possibly “be relevant” much less necessary or  essential. “I BELIEVE therefore and thereby I AM SAVED> End of [their] story.”

By failing to accept God’s WORDS, and understanding the effects of baptism, they actually choose to deny God, and God’s Saving [highly conditional Authority], & God’s Will. Because God MUST pass judgment based NOT on what we choose to believe; BUT on what God makes Possible for one to know and then accept and believe.

Isaiah 48:4 : “Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass”

Psalm 95: 6-9 “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts, as at Mer’ibah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,  when your fathers tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.”

Hebrews 3: 8, 15 “do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, while it is said, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

The effects of this Obstinate denial of truth are many.

Ones salvation is put greatly at risk.

Right and full understanding is made impossible by God to them

One knowing or unknowing, makes little difference in Devine Justice, because this act, this choice, IS denying God’s RIGHT to be God and to dictate to His Created the conditions He will accept for merited salvation.

This belief denies the existence and effects of Original Sin and HOW it must [and can] be eliminated

Their belief is clearly unbiblical.  Actually holding to a belief clearly contrary to Gods KNOWN Will and desire.

Some of the effects of sacramental Baptism

Baptism: The Door of the Church: The Sacrament of Baptism is often called “The door of the Church,” because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church. Traditionally, the rite (or ceremony) of baptism was held outside the doors of the main part of the church, to signify this fact.

“The Necessity of Baptism: Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.”

The Church [the CC], as the sole, and SOUL holder of “the Key’s to heavens access:

Matthew 16-18-19,

is so adamant and clear in understanding the absolute necessity of Sacramental baptism [which can be valid, conditionally, also by Desire or Blood as a martyr] in the process of Ones Salvation that She [Mother Church] recognizes as valid, other Christian Faiths Baptisms “with water & and in the name of the Blessed Trinity.”

[QUOTE]Yet, there are many exceptions (infants, mentally disabled, the good thief to name a few). If it is a necessity, how can it not be a necessity? [/QUOTE]

First, Infants, and mentally disabled are NOT excluded from the absolute necessity of Baptism

. Those are uniformed  or under- informed Protestant positions; NOT God’s and not God’s Catholic Church’s Teachings.

John 3:5 “Amen, amen [Means: Truly-Truly] I [God] say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

God and the Bible say nothing about ANY exclusions

. Certainly the bible contains nothing specific that claims infants, or the handicapped are not, or may not be baptized.

Because of their inhibited understanding, they cull certain passages such as this one, which when taken out of context, CAN lead one astray.

Acts.8:12 “ But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”  This accept passage while at the same time ignoring the same author: Acts.16: 15; & 33  And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. & And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Acts.18: 8 “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. So here we have testimony of THREE-families being Baptized. What are the odds that none of them had children, which are not specifically excluded anyway?

As for the “Good Thief”

1. God can make any good thing happen; as he did in OT times.

2. IF under the New Covenant: he would have been covered by Baptism of Desire

3. If under the Old Covenant [Christ had not yet Risen from the Dead]; He would have been covered by the Blood of Christ Sacrifice on the Cross.

Mentally disabled

are still required to have baptism because of the EFFECTS of Baptism on ones Soul do NOT rely only on personal consent; so much as God’s Mercy and Love. Just as Infant Baptism is VALID and Licit; so too those UNABLE to choose by themselves or FOR themselves can be sponsored by an adult. This Sacrament is often affirmed for ones self in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

God Bless you my friend, thanks for asking!


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