Born Again, and again, and again, and again,


#1

Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic East/West share Baptism as expressed through Apostolic Teaching. Some Protestants have views that are close and then there are those that deny Baptism has anything to do with being born again...The OHCAC accepts Baptism in the Trinity by those outside the Church proper and do not require re-baptism...on the other hand those that believe that the born again experience excludes Baptism leave the question open...as to how many times can you be born again?

Born Again, and Again, and ...
How many times can one man find Jesus?

slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/12/bishop_eddie_long_can_born_again_christians_be_born_yet_again_.html

Thoughts? :) Comments?:)


#2

[quote="CopticChristian, post:1, topic:281452"]

Born Again, and Again, and ...
How many times can one man find Jesus?

slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/12/bishop_eddie_long_can_born_again_christians_be_born_yet_again_.html

Thoughts? :) Comments?:)

[/quote]

As to the last question is not Jesus who finds us time after time again?


#3

[quote="CopticChristian, post:1, topic:281452"]
Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic East/West share Baptism as expressed through Apostolic Teaching. Some Protestants have views that are close and then there are those that deny Baptism has anything to do with being born again...The OHCAC accepts Baptism in the Trinity by those outside the Church proper and do not require re-baptism...on the other hand those that believe that the born again experience excludes Baptism leave the question open...as to how many times can you be born again?

Born Again, and Again, and ...
How many times can one man find Jesus?

slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/12/bishop_eddie_long_can_born_again_christians_be_born_yet_again_.html

Thoughts? :) Comments?:)

[/quote]

That is what you call "Decision Theology" as practiced by Billy Graham and others like him.


#4

[quote="fbl9, post:2, topic:281452"]
As to the last question is not Jesus who finds us time after time again?

[/quote]

agreed:)


#5

[quote="hn160, post:3, topic:281452"]
That is what you call "Decision Theology" as practiced by Billy Graham and others like him.

[/quote]

agreed:)


#6

[quote="CopticChristian, post:1, topic:281452"]

Born Again, and Again, and ...
How many times can one man find Jesus?

Thoughts? :) Comments?:)

[/quote]

It is common, probably almost universal, that Christians of every persuasion fall into sin, repent, fall into sin, repent, many times throughout their lives.

Confession is similar to Baptism. Both are sacraments of the dead. Baptism brings us to life by taking away original sin, and Confession brings us back to life.

Eucharist, Confirmation/Chrismation, Matrimony, Orders are sacraments of the living.

Jesus rose from physical death once, alleluia. We rise from spiritual death again and again, by the power of God's life giving grace, mercy and love.

A priest told me that Confession is an extension of Baptism. I am not a theologian, but it makes sense.

How many times can we be reborn? Seventy times seven! There is no limit to God's mercy for us fallen ones although we test it severely. In fact it is our only hope.


#7

The way I understand it is that it’s not that someone is "born again and again and again . . . " It’s more like a person is born again, but at some later point they fall away or walk away from God. Eventually, by the grace of God, the person perceives or realizes that this has indeed happened, and he realizes that he needs to be reconciled to God. This then leads to him seeking forgiveness from God, and he rededicates his life to God. It may look a lot like he’s been born again again because in a way it is similar. Someone who walked away from God has returned home. Because of their sin and hardness of heart they were spiritually dead, but by the grace of God they’ve been brought back to life again.


#8

[quote="grandfather, post:6, topic:281452"]
It is common, probably almost universal, that Christians of every persuasion fall into sin, repent, fall into sin, repent, many times throughout their lives.

Confession is similar to Baptism. Both are sacraments of the dead. Baptism brings us to life by taking away original sin, and Confession brings us back to life.

Eucharist, Confirmation/Chrismation, Matrimony, Orders are sacraments of the living.

Jesus rose from physical death once, alleluia. We rise from spiritual death again and again, by the power of God's life giving grace, mercy and love.

A priest told me that Confession is an extension of Baptism. I am not a theologian, but it makes sense.

How many times can we be reborn? Seventy times seven! There is no limit to God's mercy for us fallen ones although we test it severely. In fact it is our only hope.

[/quote]

GF,

That explains the True Christian paradigm, however as you know there are those that deny Baptism, Confession, Confirmation ie a sacramental life...explain that.:)


#9

[quote="ltwin, post:7, topic:281452"]
The way I understand it is that it's not that someone is "born again and again and again . . . " It's more like a person is born again, but at some later point they fall away or walk away from God. Eventually, by the grace of God, the person perceives or realizes that this has indeed happened, and he realizes that he needs to be reconciled to God. This then leads to him seeking forgiveness from God, and he rededicates his life to God. It may look a lot like he's been born again again because in a way it is similar. Someone who walked away from God has returned home. Because of their sin and hardness of heart they were spiritually dead, but by the grace of God they've been brought back to life again.

[/quote]

It,

I understand what you are saying. You are looking from the inside out and understand something that an outsider would not. The outsider sees someone saying..."alleluiah, praise the Lord...I was saved...I was born again"...and then as in this case this gentelman as you say fell away...to the outsider they see...Born Again? wow look at what has happened and then they see repentance and another born again experience...

It suggests that as Grandfather has explained...the Sacramental paradigm people understand as Universal Christian thought...Catholic experience...for instance one of our well known public figures that proclaims Catholicity and yet in action opposes Catholic thought...they are just seen to be poor representatives..

The idea I think is that there is such a public display in the Protestant realm that people not understanding what this paradigm is see...born again, and again and again...

As you know the Protestant paradigm is taught in Bible study and other such places...that is where I learned the "fellowship" and "relationship" Protestant paradigm of the walk with Jesus that Protestants believe and live.:)


#10

To be fair, having once been evangelical myself, there is no such thing as Born Again, and again, and again, and again. Even those Protestants who adhere to losing ones salvation (or Arminian theology) do not believe this. They would simply state we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) fell away and "cannot be brought back to repentence", quoting Hebrews. So we are apostates headed for Hell, no way to stop it.
Those who adhere to OSAS (or Calvinistic theology) would simply state we were "never saved in the first place (NSITFP). So we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) need to be 'born again' in a 'genunine' way because the last time obviously didn't 'take'.
Now some who adhere to OSAS would not go that far, they would say we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) have been 'put on a shelf' POAS :D.
They would state that we have been 'handed over to Satan' until we come to repentence. We're still 'saved', we're just in a kind of Protestant Limbo until we repent. We're still going to Heaven, but we will have no rewards.

Gotta a headache yet?:D


#11

[quote="JustaServant, post:10, topic:281452"]
To be fair, having once been evangelical myself, there is no such thing as Born Again, and again, and again, and again. Even those Protestants who adhere to losing ones salvation (or Arminian theology) do not believe this. They would simply state we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) fell away and "cannot be brought back to repentence", quoting Hebrews. So we are apostates headed for Hell, no way to stop it.
Those who adhere to OSAS (or Calvinistic theology) would simply state we were "never saved in the first place (NSITFP). So we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) need to be 'born again' in a 'genunine' way because the last time obviously didn't 'take'.
Now some who adhere to OSAS would not go that far, they would say we (us former evangelicals who became Catholic) have been 'put on a shelf' POAS :D.
They would state that we have been 'handed over to Satan' until we come to repentence. We're still 'saved', we're just in a kind of Protestant Limbo until we repent. We're still going to Heaven, but we will have no rewards.

Gotta a headache yet?:D

[/quote]

Just,

What you are saying is that you have an understanding of the Protestant paradigm from the inside out and then left. I believe that as I said from the outside looking in, this phenomenon is not well understood...since there is no "born again" catechism. Can you imagine the feeling in the head for those that do not know or understand this paradigm observing as outsiders?;)


#12

[quote="CopticChristian, post:11, topic:281452"]
Just,

What you are saying is that you have an understanding of the Protestant paradigm from the inside out and then left. I believe that as I said from the outside looking in, this phenomenon is not well understood...since there is no "born again" catechism. Can you imagine the feeling in the head for those that do not know or understand this paradigm observing as outsiders?;)

[/quote]

Exactly.
OSAS is a very inticing web that is hard to discard once you have accepted it at one time. It was hard for me when I reverted. But once you do discard it, the sense of relief is overwhelming.
Look at it from their (once mine) POV. You have (with Bible verses to 'prove it') "eternal security". Who wouldn't want that? A guarentee of Heaven because of the 'event' of salvation. Then along comes the Catholic and says that's presumptious. They respond "your calling God a liar, saying He won't keep His promises". Those Bible verses (or thier interpretations of them) are thier security, they just don't realize it.


#13

[quote="ltwin, post:7, topic:281452"]
The way I understand it is that it's not that someone is "born again and again and again . . . " It's more like a person is born again, but at some later point they fall away or walk away from God. Eventually, by the grace of God, the person perceives or realizes that this has indeed happened, and he realizes that he needs to be reconciled to God. This then leads to him seeking forgiveness from God, and he rededicates his life to God.*** It may look a lot like he's been born again again because in a way it is similar***. Someone who walked away from God has returned home. Because of their sin and hardness of heart they were spiritually dead, but by the grace of God they've been brought back to life again.

[/quote]

Bold mine.
How does one determine that?


#14

[quote="JustaServant, post:12, topic:281452"]
Exactly.
OSAS is a very inticing web that is hard to discard once you have accepted it at one time. It was hard for me when I reverted. But once you do discard it, the sense of relief is overwhelming.
Look at it from their (once mine) POV. You have (with Bible verses to 'prove it') "eternal security". Who wouldn't want that? A guarentee of Heaven because of the 'event' of salvation. Then along comes the Catholic and says that's presumptious. They respond "your calling God a liar, saying He won't keep His promises". Those Bible verses (or thier interpretations of them) are thier security, they just don't realize it.

[/quote]

Just,

Sadly it is the welfare system mentality.:)


#15

[quote="JustaServant, post:13, topic:281452"]
Bold mine.
How does one determine that?

[/quote]

Just,

Now this is an interesting question. This is particularly interesting since you state you were former evangelical. Here I see someone that is on the inside looking out saying one thing that should be evident and someone formerly on the inside looking out having left asking someone that is still there to explain something that should be evident and is not. I look forward to the comments.:)


#16

[quote="CopticChristian, post:15, topic:281452"]
Just,

Now this is an interesting question. This is particularly interesting since you state you were former evangelical. Here I see someone that is on the inside looking out saying one thing that should be evident and someone formerly on the inside looking out having left asking someone that is still there to explain something that should be evident and is not. I look forward to the comments.:)

[/quote]

Itwin is asking a question I struggled with myself when I was evangelical. He said "It (the Born Again 'experience') may look (and what does it 'look like'?) a lot like he's been born again again because in a way it is similar (how is it similar?)".
Unless he is willing to ask these uncomfortable questions (which strike at the very heart of 'eternal security') he is stuck in the web.
The answer is that 'eternal security', OSAS, whatever you want to call it, is based on a psychological subjective 'experiece' that cannot be pinned down because it means something different to every adherant to OSAS. That is at the heart of the matter. For many its too scary to consider, so they never step out of that 'comfort zone' that is ultimately psychological in nature, not spiritual.


#17

Here's another way of looking at it. Suppose you bought an insurance policy, but there is no way you can ever tell if it will ultimately be collected. No one is around to say 'yes I was paid off, the policy is good'. What do you do? Well you put wording in the policy that makes it clear the company (Heaven Inc.) will keep thier word. But whose word is it? Is it being interpreted correctly?
I trust God.
I just don't trust the insurance salesman.


#18

Having spent over a year as a "non-denominational evangelical Christian Fellowship" I have seen a few approaches.

We had one Pastor who held to an Arminian theology somewhat, somehow he held to OSAS, just not logically

The Assistant Pastor was a Calvinist, so Obviously OSAS was espoused

Most of the Congregation believed you could walk away from Salvation, which meant, by your Actions (denied works of course) or one could lose faith (Apostacy) or by your works it shows that you have lost faith :shrug: Each group all held to the notion that the Holy Spirit was Removed from them, Left them, or they Lost the Holy Spirit :shrug:

All these different views were in a group no bigger than 40 people (very small Calvary Chapel)

The head Pastor would say, that "as a believer you can fall anywhere on the boat, but never fall overboard, because God built the walls to high" :shrug: His view was that people that fall into "major sin" repeatedly, like drug addicts, alcoholics, etc may have "been saved" at a point in their lives, but it's unlikely, and any fruit that they seemed to bear was a human work, not God's. He believed that people could come close to receiving the Holy Spirit, but not receive Him, because they didn't Repent and trust Jesus enough to receive Him :shrug: A product of a type of** quality of faith, or Saving Faith**! He said that, we were NOT called to be judges, but we were called to be fruit inspectors!

I was speaking with a man that had a problem with drug addiction, (I struggled with alcohol for years) And was trying to offer some advice. The assistant Pastor afterwards told me, that "I am wasting my time" That this guy "says he had received the Lord, but it's obvious he has not, being that the word says He who starts a good work in you will complete it" I wonder if the assistant Pastor questions his own salvation, every time he falls into "serious sin"

Others in the Congregation would say that they received Christ one sunday when they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and said the sinners prayer :shrug: ,but then fell away, and went back into the world. In doing so they Lost, had Removed, or walked away from the Holy Spirit, by sinning, or by a loss of faith, or by doing wrong, it was showing that they didn't really and truly believe, or believe enough, (have a type of saving faith or quality of faith) Or their actions were bearing witness that they had Lost, walked away from, or had removed from them, the Holy Spirit :shrug: Most of them end up "rededicating" themselves to the Lord, and in doing so, once again receive the Holy Spirit's indwelling again. Funny,** they would never use the term I got born again, again.**

I don't know if any of you are familiar with Shane Claiborne, but years ago I listened to him talk, jokingly, about how he got born again, and again, and again, and again, every year at a revival camp through baptism!

All of the groups I had mentioned were adamant about how you can KNOW you are saved. :shrug: and that almost all Catholics are Lost

95% of them identify themselves as "ex-catholics" that were "saved" out of religion and now have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and listened to a vehemently anti-catholic Pastor preach week in and week out!

I thank God for a sacramental economy :D

The biggest reason for the hated of the Catholic Church from these people, was emotional! They would say look at the people, they go to the Catholic Church on sunday, and live like the devil on monday!

I never had that, being that the greatest witnesses in my life for Christ were Catholic.

Reverted back to the Church 2 years ago, and it still feels sooooooooooo good to be Home!


#19

[quote="JustaServant, post:16, topic:281452"]
Itwin is asking a question I struggled with myself when I was evangelical . . .

[/quote]

Wasn't aware I was asking any questions. I thought I was simply giving an "insider's" perspective from my own understanding. Feel free to disagree.

Unless he is willing to ask these uncomfortable questions (which strike at the very heart of 'eternal security') he is stuck in the web.

Hmm. I don't believe in OSAS or eternal security. I believe in what could be called "conditional security." In a word, I'm Arminian, like most Pentecostals.

[quote="JustaServant, post:13, topic:281452"]
How does one determine that?

[/quote]

It's all grace, whether you are being made a new creation or whether you are being reconciled with God. Both are different degrees of the amazing grace of God. The first is a new birth, the second is a restoration of that broken relationship.

Both come about by God reaching out to us, revealing who he is to us. In both cases, we are simply responding to the grace of God. The only difference is that in the latter case the person formally knew God and his awesome grace but something happened along the way and that person rejected God. But thankfully, even though we may reject God, he will never reject us if we come to him in faith and repentance. The Holy Spirit does soften hearts, convicts of sin, and moves towards repentance. This is what happens when it appears that someone is "born again, again."

And of course, this returning to God is not inevitable. Humans have free will.


#20

Salvation can come as simply as the desire expressed by the one crucified with Jesus - once, with no baptism required.

:)


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