Baptism of Desire


#1

Hello all, Tuesday night our church has a Bible study. Father was asked a question concerning whether salvation could be obtained outside the church. His response was baptism of desire and he expounded. I have searched the web and this forum and have found much refuting that dogma, but little supporting it. I would like to get both sides. Are there any sources that support that teaching from official church documents? I know the sacred scriptures take a line more in line with salvation through the church, or through Jesus as the only way to the Father. Peace Mike


#2

It goes with the notion that St. John put in his gospel account, “For God so loved the world that he gave up His only begotten Son, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” Also, in Marks gospel, Jesus Himself says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned.” Notice the omission of baptism in the condemnatory portion of the sentence. It doesn’t say, “he who does not get baptized will be condemned.”

Jesus wills salvation on everyone. He instituted the sacramental system for imparting His grace on they who receive Him. However, Jesus knows that not all who come to the full knowledge of the saving power of Christ will be in a position to be baptized before they die. Let’s say that one makes a perfect act of contrition and repentance while the hangman is slipping the noose over his neck. Do you think that the executioner will pause so that someone can dunk or splash the poor fellow with water before he snaps his neck? Probably not. however, if the act of repentance is sincere, do you not think that Jesus wills that he be saved from damnation? This is the essence of “Baptism of desire”. A perfect example is Jesus and the thief on the cross. He made a sincere act of repentance while hanging next to Jesus, and Jesus promised him a place in paradise. Did you hear Jesus commanding someone to baptize the thief before he died? God establsihes sacraments for us, but He is not bound by them. God is free to save whomever He pleases.


#3

How does it apply to those who deny Jesus? Do not some other faiths deny Jesus as the Son of God, but worship their god to the fullest. Jesus gave his blood for the forgiveness of our sin, if you deny him then you die without baptism and a life’s worth of sins attached; ouch I would think. It’s a tough dogma coming out of a “toe the line” Pentecostal faith. Peace


#4

[quote=Mike316]How does it apply to those who deny Jesus? Do not some other faiths deny Jesus as the Son of God, but worship their god to the fullest. Jesus gave his blood for the forgiveness of our sin, if you deny him then you die without baptism and a life’s worth of sins attached; ouch I would think. It’s a tough dogma coming out of a “toe the line” Pentecostal faith. Peace
[/quote]

Its important to understand the Catholic perspective on culpability. If someone is raised in a faith that adamantly denies the divinity of Jesus, and they are never exposed to the truth of Jesus’ Godhood, but they live in a manner in which they do their best to honor God within the tenets that they believe to be true, then Christ will not condemn them for their ignorance. To truely deny Jesus, you have to make a reasoned conclussion based on understanding all of the facts. That is hard to do, say for a simple Muslim who is never given the Christian perspective. In God’s ssense of justice, how can He condemn a person to eternal punishment if he was never given the truth to begin with. Now, if that person disobeys the tenets of the faith that they WERE given, in favor of selfish pursuits, then whoa to them.


#5

council of trent’s decree on justification—says that one can be in the state of grace by baptism or its desire. alos the holy office’s letter in the father feeney case states that faith that leads to salvation “need not always be expilicit.” Baptism of desire is implicit faith. Also the scrpitural verse when Jesus states Father forgive them they not what they do." That is a supportive text…


#6

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.