baptism


#1

I have read the article placed in the information area of this site and still after reading it I still can not see where baptising babies is called for in the bible anywhere…It does clearly state that who soever beleaves and is baptised shall be saved…so in my understanding one must beleave before it is done…another ? I have is just how important is the baptism to begin with ? The military personal that find or found God while in the fighting hole or by being told from someone else and accepts the christ as his personal savior then is killed before baptism what happins to him or her…just dropped off the ends of time ? Jesus also states that whoso ever listons to his words and beleave onto him that sent me shall be saved…no mention of baptism at all.


#2

Hansen,

The link below will take you to the section of the cetechism which deals with Baptism in great detail. You may or may not find yourself in agreement, but you will get a through understanding of how the Catholic church views baptism and why.

198.62.75.1/www1/CDHN/part2_2.html


#3

[quote=Hansen]I have read the article placed in the information area of this site and still after reading it I still can not see where baptising babies is called for in the bible anywhere…It does clearly state that who soever beleaves and is baptised shall be saved…so in my understanding one must beleave before it is done…another ? I have is just how important is the baptism to begin with ? The military personal that find or found God while in the fighting hole or by being told from someone else and accepts the christ as his personal savior then is killed before baptism what happins to him or her…just dropped off the ends of time ? Jesus also states that whoso ever listons to his words and beleave onto him that sent me shall be saved…no mention of baptism at all.
[/quote]

Hansen,
St. Paul speaks variously of baptizing entire households. It is probabble that such households sometimes included babies. St. Paul also, in Colossians 2, equates NT baptism with OT circumcision, which was for infants and converts. Also Jesus, in John 3, states that one must be born of water and the spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven, which up until the 16th century, had always been interpreted to refer to baptism. Seen as Jesus elsewhere states that the Kingdom of Heaven is for such as these (babies), the Church put 2 and 2 together. If the Kingdom of Heaven is for babies as well as adults, and one must be baptized to enter the Kingdom, then we should baptize babies.

As for the poor soul who is killed before being baptized, the Church considers them (like the thief on the cross) to have been baptized by desire. In other words, baptism is normative (it’s what most people go through), but there are certain circumstances where a person’s desire to be baptized is counted in their favor.

As for how important is baptism, St.Peter states that baptism saves (1 Pet. 3:21). St. Paul says that it washes away sins (Acts 22). Jesus says it is necessary to enter the Kingdom (John 3). Sounds pretty important to me.


#4

[quote=Hansen] Jesus also states that whoso ever listons to his words and beleave onto him that sent me shall be saved…no mention of baptism at all.
[/quote]

No mention of Baptism? Please dont selectivly read the NT. Read the rest. Try these verses.

Baptism is…

Foreshadowed in OT Ezek 36:25; 1Pet 3:20-21*John’s baptism preparatory *Mk 1:4; 8; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:4 Administered by disciplesJn 4:2 In Christ’s nameActs 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; Rev 14:1; 22:4 In name of TrinityMt 28:19 For all mankindMt 28:19; Mk 16:15-16; Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38 Baptized into Christ1Cor 12:13; Gal 3:27 Baptized into Christ’s deathRom 6:3 Baptized to new lifeRom 6:4; Tit 3:5 With water and Holy SpiritJn 3:5; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5 Only one baptismEph 4:5 Necessity of baptismMk 16:16; Jn 3:5 For our redemption1Jn 5:6 For sanctified1Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26 For justification1Cor 6:11 Our assurance of resurrectionRom 6:3-5; 1Cor 15:29 A free gift of GodTit 3:5 Forgives sin1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; 22:16


#5

I have read the article placed in the information area of this site and still after reading it I still can not see where baptising babies is called for in the bible anywhere…It does clearly state that who soever beleaves and is baptised shall be saved…so in my understanding one must beleave before it is done…another ?

Somehow I cannot believe that you would hold to “one must beleave before it is done” By say this you are saying that children who cannot profess their Faith, cannot be saved?

I have is just how important is the baptism to begin with ?

The Scriptures do state that no unbaptized person can enter the kingdom. It would seem to be really important in light of that statement by Christ.

The military personal that find or found God while in the fighting hole or by being told from someone else and accepts the christ as his personal savior then is killed before baptism what happins to him or her…just dropped off the ends of time ?

The Church accepts that if a person desires and seeks Baptism and is killed before being able to receive it, that God supplies the Grace of Baptism (Justification) without the “Mark of Sacramental Baptism”.

Jesus also states that whoso ever listons to his words and beleave onto him that sent me shall be saved…no mention of baptism at all.

What does believing on Jesus mean? Is a person saved if they believe that Jesus existed, walked the earth? Do they need to believe in all that Jesus taught? Do thay have to live or act a certain way? Do they have to follow the teachings and practices of the Church He established? Are the Scriptures the only means of Divine Revelation that God can use? Do we not limit God by saying that if it’s not found explicitly in the Scriptures then it’s not Christ’s teaching?


#6

Paul also says that baptism now takes the place of circumcism. In the OT, boys were circumcised at 8 days old. When circumcision was first instituted as a sign of the covenant, every male in the household was circumcised, including all the children, servants, servant’s children. In the NT, you see whole households being baptised as well.


#7

I had this question to. Many passages say you have to believe AND be baptized. Infants can’t believe yet so is their baptism invalid?
Also, I’ve heard that Catholics believe that is a baby dies before it is able to be baptized, it goes not to Purgatory or heaven, but straight to hell because it retains the stain of Original Sin. Why wouldn’t the baptism of desire apply here?


#8

[quote=Curious]I had this question to. Many passages say you have to believe AND be baptized. Infants can’t believe yet so is their baptism invalid?
[/quote]

That has been answered in this thread. Many passages only talk about belief. Some passages only talk about baptism. One has to take the scriptures as a whole.

[quote=Curious]Also, I’ve heard that Catholics believe that is a baby dies before it is able to be baptized, it goes not to Purgatory or heaven, but straight to hell because it retains the stain of Original Sin. Why wouldn’t the baptism of desire apply here?
[/quote]

You have unfortunately been misinformed. There certainly has been speculation throughout the course of time, but no official teaching on the fate of unbaptized infants. The current catechism merely speaks of commending them to God’s mercy.


#9

You have unfortunately been misinformed. There certainly has been speculation throughout the course of time, but no official teaching on the fate of unbaptized infants. The current catechism merely speaks of commending them to God’s mercy.

Oh well good. Thanks then. I’ll have to read through the thread more carefully to find the answer on the other question since I didn’t see it before. :o


#10

[quote=Curious]I had this question to. Many passages say you have to believe AND be baptized. Infants can’t believe yet so is their baptism invalid?
Also, I’ve heard that Catholics believe that is a baby dies before it is able to be baptized, it goes not to Purgatory or heaven, but straight to hell because it retains the stain of Original Sin. Why wouldn’t the baptism of desire apply here?
[/quote]

Please keep in mind that the New Testament is the account of the fist generation of Christians. So it makes sense that most of the accounts in the NT speak of believing and being baptized since it does not detail the lives of those believers children. The only exception being Timothy and we now that he was taught the scriptures from infancy- which means he was a disciple from day one and therefore was baptized as a disciple accordign to the Great Commission.

Of course a first century Jewish man would have immediately seen to it that his entire household be vbrought into Covenant by being baptized. In fact this is exactly what Peter instructs in Acts 2:38-39. His sons were already in Covenant by virtue of their circumcision. So it was only natural that there entire household would have the New Covenant sign applied to them as well.

Baptism is not a response to God (you won’t find the concept in scripture) it is a promise from God. So Baptism is something God does to us, not something we do in response to Him.

Mel


#11

John_Henry,

You said:

There certainly has been speculation throughout the course of time, but no official teaching on the fate of unbaptized infants. The current catechism merely speaks of commending them to God’s mercy.

I think this may be a bit misleading without further explanation, but let me know if I’m misunderstanding Catholic teaching.

The fate of souls (infants included) who die in original sin was officially taught at the Council of Florence:

The souls of those who die in actual mortal sin, or only in Original Sin, immediately descend into Hell” (Denzinger 693).

Likewise, from Pope St. Zosimus:

"If anyone says that, because the Lord said ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions,’ it might be understood that in the Kingdom of Heaven there will be some middle place, or some place anywhere, where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without Baptism, without which they cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven which is life eternal: Let him be anathema. (Pope Zosimus at the Council of Carthage XVI)

My understanding is that the above teaching is considered a *de fide dogma *of Catholicism (infallible) (cf. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma). However, what has not been definitely declared by the Church is whether infants who lack *sacramental *baptism are necessarily omitted from the possibility of *nonsacramental *baptism (by desire or by blood, for example).

So, without proclaiming a definitive dogma one way or the other, the Church merely leaves the fate of infants who have not been *sacramentally *baptised to the mercy of God (thereby, there exists the prayer and hope that they are somehow *nonsacramentally *baptized).

This hope is especially justified, given the assertion by Pope Pius IX that God does not “permit anyone to be punished eternally unless he had incurred the guilt of voluntary sin.” (Denzinger 2866). The current Catechism also assures the faithful that this hope is part of official Catholic teaching:

CCC 1261 “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.”

Thus, baptism (sacramental or unsacramental) is ABSOLUTELY necessary for salvation. As I understand, infants who die without *either *sacramental or nonsacramental baptism cannot enter into heaven, according to official teachings of the Catholic Church. However, whether infants who die without sacramental baptism can be said to have been unsacramentally baptized by desire or by blood is still a speculative opinion with Catholic theology.


#12

Are we not all born with a desire for God? Does not God put that desire there? Therefore, all infants would have that desire, ie a non sacremental baptism or baptism of desire?


#13

Curious,

Remember that we are saved by grace. Grace comes first even before belief for we must have grace in order to beleive.

That is why Catholics reject that baptism is a work. It is merely the reception of God’s grace, pure and simple.

In Romans it says we die with Christ and are reborn in baptism. It is in the gree gift of grace in baptism that we are freely given new life in Christ. The only thing that can take that away is our rejection of the free gift through sin.


#14

Are we not all born with a desire for God?

I don’t believe so. I believe infants are born without Original Justice due to the consequence of Adam’s sin. In other words, we are not automatically born with the grace infused with our soul as Adam and Eve were. Without special intervention by God, we are not automatically justified by nature. The forgiveness of sin requires sanctifying grace, which I believe we lack until it is gifted to us by God. The question is, when does that special Divine intervention happen?

Sanctifying grace is most certainly gifted to us in sacramental baptism, or the desire for the same. Whether an infant can be described as having implicit desire for baptism is speculative opinion. We can certainly have a just hope that this is so, but to assert it dogmatically is difficult, given the lack of support within Scripture and Tradition justifying this as a dogma of Catholicism.


#15

Here’s an article from Fr. William Most that may interest you:

**Unbaptized Infants: How Might They Be Saved? (A Speculation) **

“My baby died without being baptized! Is there any hope or chance?”

The new Catechism of the Catholic Church, in § 1261, after carefully explaining that those who without fault do not find the Church, can still be saved, quoted the words of Christ (Mk 10:14) “Let the little children come to me, and do not prevent them,” added: “[this] permits us to have hope that there is a way to salvation for infants who die without Baptism.”

Yes, the Catechism is right, there is real hope, first in the words of Jesus, “Let the little children come to me.” But there is still more.

Many theological attempts have been made in our time to find such a way. Let us offer something a bit new here: First, as St. Thomas said (III. 68. 2. c): “His [God’s] hands are not tied by or: to] the Sacraments”.

Theologians commonly hold that God provided for the salvation of those who died before Christ in some way. Girls of course were not circumcised, cf. III. 70. 4. c: “By circumcision there was given to boys the power to come to glory.” It was enough to belong to the people of God. So the girls who belonged to the people of God were provided for by the mere fact of that membership in the people of God.

But now that Christ has come, are we worse off? The very thought is practically blasphemy. So if just membership in the people of God sufficed before Christ than it must be all the more true now that He has come. In fact, St. Paul is really enthusiastic. In Romans 5. 15-21 several times over, in varying words, he insists that the redemption is more abundant than the fall.

But now we seem to find a remarkable teaching in the words of St. Paul in 1 Cor 7:14. He is speaking of the cases that often arose in the Corinth of his day: a couple had married while both were still pagans. But then one of them becomes

Christian. What should be done? St. Paul says that if the pagan party is willing to live peacefully, then the marriage should stand. But if not, then the marriage is dissolved.

St. Paul adds the remarkable statement that if the marriage stands, then: the pagan party is made holy by that union.

"Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy " So they are holy precisely by belonging to a family with even one party Christian. That word holy is of capital importance. Ordinarily it would mean the person has high moral perfection. Of course that is not true of the pagan spouse. But the key is this: St. Paul so often uses Greek words in the sense of the Hebrew words he has in mind. Now the Hebrew word here is obvioslyqadosh, which means “coming under the covenant”. So the pagan spouse does become a member of the people of God. And so do the children become part of the people of God - just as they would have been before Christ. His coming cannot make them worse off: the redemption is superabundant as St. Paul insists so many times. So these babies if they die do not only escape eternal punishment - they reach the very vision of God!

to be continued …


#16

In passing, we note that Paul does not at this point mention Baptism as the reason for their status - he speaks of the mere fact that they belong to a family with one Christian parent.

An objection may be raised from the words of the Council of Lyons saying those who die in original sin go to hell. The Latin word used is infernum, which means the realm of the dead, and need not mean the hell of the damned. As to the word poena, often translated as punishment, in Latin it need not mean the positive infliction of suffering, but could stand for only the loss or privation of some good. If unbaptized infants were merely deprived of the vision of God, that would be a poena, but would not have to involve any suffering. So there is no problem about finding in the words of St. Paul that these infants even reach the vision of God.

Also, Vatican II gave a sound principle about the language of older decrees In the Decree on Ecumenism #7 it taught: “… if anything… even in the way of expressing doctrine - which is to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith - has been expressed less accurately, at an opportune time it should be rightly and duly restored.” Paul VI agreed, and in Mysterium fidei Sept 3, 1965, 23-24. AAS 57. 758, said we must still not say the old language was false, only that it could be improved. Surely that is the case with the language of such texts as the Council of Lyons.

All the above does not mean that parents could be careless in delaying Baptism. We have the command of Christ, and must not abuse His goodness. Also when baby begins to make little decisions --still far from the use of reason that makes mortal sin possible–it can act against God’s will in the perversity we so readily see even in little ones. . It is often said in jest, and not entirely without truth: “Original sin is the one doctrine for which we have experimental proof” in the perversity shown even in little ones. Baptism gives the sacramental grace of carrying out the obligations given by the sacrament. Babies should be given every advantage.

What we have just said clearly applies to children with at least one Christian parent. What of a child from both pagan parents? We distinguish. Some persons without realizing it do come under the covenant, provided they live their lives in accord with Vatican II LG 16 which says that those who through no fault of their own do not find the Church, but yet with the interior help of grace keep the moral law known to them by the Spirit writing the law on their hearts (Rom 2. 15) can be saved. And we could add: St. Paul in Rom 8. 9 says that one who has and follows the Spirit of Christ – even not knowing what he is following, - belongs to Christ–which means he is a member of Christ, and so a member of the Church. A child of such a parent can qualify under the things we saw above.

to be continued …


#17

What of a child who does not have even this? God’s hands are not bound by the Sacraments (and in OT times He gave grace freely without sacraments) and so we can add the following reasoning:- God shows great concern for the objective moral order (cf. the appendix on sedaqah in my commentary on St. Paul). There is good reason to think He has also great concern for the objective physical order. Thus in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham explains (Lk 16:24): “Remember that you in your lifetime received good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.” There was no mention of sins on the part of the rich man or virtue in the poor man, just the reversal of the objective physical order. Similarly in the series of four woes in the Great Discourse (Luke 6:24-16), there is a reversal for those who were rich, for those who were full, for those who could laugh, for those who were well spoken of. There is, again, no mention of moral virtue, just of reversal of the objective physical order. Also, in the account of the Last Judgement (Mt 25:31-46) the excuse of those on the left that they did not know they did not help the Judge is not accepted.

So could it be then that God decides: These infants according to my plan should have had many goods things in life. They were deprived of all - and in the case of abortion, were cut to pieces savagely - so now there should be a reversal.

Most certainly no infants go to hell, as we learn from the teaching of Pius IX in the Encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore: “God in His supreme clemency and goodness by no means allows anyone to suffer eternal punishments who does not have the guilt of personal sin.” Babies lack that personal sin, and therefore…

from: catholicculture.org/docs/most/getwork.cfm?worknum=91


#18

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