Born again

I live in a very rural area 30 miles from any church and am currently leading a bible study with fallen away protestants a Congregationalist, episcopalian, baptist and me. I am the only one currently is attending any church and understand my faith well. One of the people in the group started talking negatively about “born again christians” and I feel I need to say something but don’t feel the group is ready for a catholic answers track because they are a little abrasive.

I am thinking about just having everyone open thief bible to

John 3:3-5
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
3 Jesus replied, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can see God’s kingdom without being born again.”

4 “How can I be born when I am old?” Nicodemus asked. “I can’t go back inside my mother! I can’t be born a second time!”

5 Jesus answered, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can enter God’s kingdom without being born through water and the Holy Spirit.

And say I agree with it completely and move on
Any thoughts?

When you ask them to open a thief bible is it because the Protestants STOLE our bible? :thumbsup:

The only thing I can suggest checking out the amazing tracts and already written material here, at Catholic Answers, and memorize as much as you can… As Catholics we recognize it is God’s Grace (and not faith) that saves us and through Baptism (the water and the Holy Spirit) we are are a new creation, adopted Sons and Daughter’s of Almighty God.

:popcorn:

I am trying to be delicate because we have made so much progress to get these fallen away protestants to except jesus as their savior this will not be a good approach to show them a CA tract I think I will also show them 1 Peter 3:21

1 Peter 3:21
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
21 The water of the flood is a picture of the baptism that now saves you also. The baptism I’m talking about has nothing to do with removing dirt from your body. Instead, it promises God that you will keep a clear sense of what is right and wrong.

Jesus Christ has saved you by rising from the dead.

It is hardly surprising that some would have had a negative impression of some “born-again” groups. From a Catholic point of view, we would agree that those protestants are in some error.

You can point out 1. that Christianity is not dependent on the behavior of individual Christians and 2. that all baptized Christians are born again.

Not knowing the personalities of the group, have you thought of not tackling that particular issue and turning it to something along the lines of people aren’t perfect, only God and Jesus are perfect. That way, you stay away from that rabbit hole. All fallen-aways have a lot of negative baggage, and as a former fallen-away Catholic and Evangelical, I can honestly say that much of it is irrational or petty.

Maybe if you get to Moses it may help as there is loads in the story of Moses and the Israelites to illustrate human imperfection e.g. every time God did something good, they complained, doubted, sinned and challenged God. Let them see how even the best of them make mistakes and how they are forgiven.

Personally I think you are wise to leave Catholicism aside for the moment as they will learn about it by the way you live and what you are offering them. God-willing they will get curious enough to start asking questions and you will be guided to the right answers. I like the way God said He would led the Israelites “little by little” to the promised land. So, slow and steady building strong solid foundations for weak and damaged souls will need slow and steady teaching and learning.

I will pray that God will bless you and that your work will bear much sweet fruit that is pleasing to God and that it will cause great rejoicing in Heaven.

The first chapter of 1 Peter also uses the expression “born again.” From the NIRV: “You have been born again by means of the living word of God. His word lasts forever. You were not born again from a seed that will die. You were born from a seed that can’t die.” (1 Peter 1:23).

I would consider commending the perspective that uses the term “born again” in a flippant way. I think “born again” has become enough a catchphrase in some circles that it has lost its reverence. I would mention early Christians (and/or saints) that put off baptism for a period of time because they weren’t confident they could live a Christian life. This “enlightenment” was a serious commitment that offered both grace and ramifications. You might try to illustrate that there was a definite expectation attached to being “born again (or ‘from above’)”. Try to illustrate being born again through the eyes of the early Christians–as an absolute commitment to be the light and imitation of Jesus Christ to the nations in thought, word, deed. Encourage them in their pursuit to not let being a “born again Christian” lapse into mundane words.

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