I seem to have wandered into an area of faith I had little idea existed. Can anyone offer any insight on this??
Baptism and Regeneration, sxws.com/charis/questions-5.htm
[Mark, since you believe so heartly in a part of your salvation coming via the pouring of the so-called “holy water” by a catholic priest I thought you might find this very helpful. You are still doing your speed reading with that photostaic mind of yours right? Good!!!]
Some of those who argue in support of Catholic teachings on baptismal regeneration assure me that all the Church Fathers affirmed that in this sacrament our sins are forgiven and our souls regenerated. One I encountered recently asserted that the Bible makes this very clear! He charged me to “Look up John 3:5, for starters!”
It would appear that this person who so vigorously waves the Catholic banner of doctrinal purity was declaring that, without exception, every one of the church fathers supported the fantasy of baptismal regeneration. Could it be he was correct in making this declaration? After all, even a blind hog occasionally roots up an acorn. Before examining the proof text he offered, I first sought to determine whether every Early Church Father indeed did support this doctrine so beloved of Rome and those who speak for her.
As it turned out, my abbreviated search of the early church fathers failed to turn up anyone whose writings disagreed with the Catholic apologist’s claim. This is not to say the Fathers had a right understanding of the doctrine, as may be seen in this paragraph from the Catechism:
1213. Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),[Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spiritualis ianua.] and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.’[Roman Catechism II, 2, 5; Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314; CIC, cann.]–Catechism of the Catholic Church, © 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.
Is the above teaching in line with Scripture? No. In the New Testament, baptism is the believer’s public profession of his inner faith, his testimony that he had come to Christ.
**The Scriptures teach that through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of repentance and faith, a person is united to Christ, forgiven for all sin, accepted by God, adopted into the family of God and given the gift of eternal life. Baptism is the outward sign of the inward reality of these spiritual truths and a seal to the believer of their reality.***–William Webster, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History, © 1996 Banner of Truth Trust, p. 96 *