Few Items I am Not Yet on the same Page about


#1

Hello everyone. To my surprise. I have been more “accepting” of the teachings of the RCC. A few I would like to discuss/get info on.

“Born Again”. I understand it is the RCC view that one becomes “born again” at Baptism. When I read scripture, I get the perspective that allot of it is talking about “who we were” - which would be before conversion - and who we are now - which would be after conversion -. I do not see how that perspective applies, if one is “born again” at infant baptism. I realize the deficiency when I start a comment with “to me”, however please allow me the liberty so as to present my point in which I seek further explanation.

1 Cor 7:20 “Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him” NIV. To me, this is an example of a “born again” moment. I Cor 7:24 “So, Brethren, in whatever station or state or condition of life each one was when he was called, there let him continue with and close to God”. Amplified. One where “before conversion” one was in a specific “state”…

1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever” KJV

1 Cor 6:11 "And such were some of you, but ye are washed…"
Again, to me demonstrating a “before” and an “after”.

Another item would be the infant Baptism. I am familiar with all the quotes for and against. I am wondering why Mary and Joseph were not told to baptize Jesus as an infant. As well, from what I understand, the term Baptism, is pretty much not translated but kept the same from the Greek, which means to actually “put asunder” being the whole body.

Please bear with me. From what I gather, the word “church” is derived from the word “ecclesia” which literally means “called out ones”, so even if the church was headed by Peter, the gates of Hell would not prevail against his “called out ones”, not necessarily a hierarchical structure.

Thank you for your time and I await many responses to help me understand. Thank you


#2

Hello! :tiphat:

Catholic theology does hold to “bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy spirit” as pertaining to baptism (cf Titus 3-5). The term “born again” is a misnomer from John 3-5 where the Greek term anothen, is used. It can mean “again” or “from above” - Christ meant “from above” and Nicodemus misunderstood him to mean “again” which is why Nicodemus asks the ridiculous question about entering his mothers womb a second time. That is something you should know. However there are a few other things:
First, Grace is not visible
Second, you seem to assume that only infants are baptized by the Catholic Church - that is erroneous. And all the adults that are baptized are called to conversion in the manner you look for. Im sure some will even share their experiences of it with you.

That would be because they were…Jewish! Jesus was circumcised on the eigth day and “presented” to the temple on the 40th day where Simeon’s personal revelation was fulfilled. Remember? There was no baptism for devout Jews.

Im pretty sure it can also mean to simply wash, and the word is even used in the bible to refer to someone washing their hands. Nothing wrong with the full body submersion, however. The Didache (circa AD 90) specifically mensions that one can be baptized by pouring water onto the person…

Please bear with me. From what I gather, the word “church” is derived from the word “ecclesia” which literally means “called out ones”, so even if the church was headed by Peter, the gates of Hell would not prevail against his “called out ones”, not necessarily a hierarchical structure.

“Called out ones” as defined by whom? Kinda grasping at straws here. Read a little Church history. Try the “Home” link at the top left of this page and check out the library. Tons of stuff there to answer many of your questions…


#3

Here is the link to a tract from the Catholic answers Home at the TOP of the page dealing with “immersion”. It was in the “Sacraments” section. Enjoy!

catholic.com/library/Baptism_Immersion_Only.asp


#4

[quote=malachi_a_serva]Hello everyone. To my surprise. I have been more “accepting” of the teachings of the RCC. A few I would like to discuss/get info on.

“Born Again”. I understand it is the RCC view that one becomes “born again” at Baptism. When I read scripture, I get the perspective that allot of it is talking about “who we were” - which would be before conversion - and who we are now - which would be after conversion -. I do not see how that perspective applies, if one is “born again” at infant baptism. I realize the deficiency when I start a comment with “to me”, however please allow me the liberty so as to present my point in which I seek further explanation.

1 Cor 7:20 “Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him” NIV. To me, this is an example of a “born again” moment. I Cor 7:24 “So, Brethren, in whatever station or state or condition of life each one was when he was called, there let him continue with and close to God”. Amplified. One where “before conversion” one was in a specific “state”…

1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever” KJV

1 Cor 6:11 "And such were some of you, but ye are washed…"
Again, to me demonstrating a “before” and an “after”.

Another item would be the infant Baptism. I am familiar with all the quotes for and against. I am wondering why Mary and Joseph were not told to baptize Jesus as an infant. As well, from what I understand, the term Baptism, is pretty much not translated but kept the same from the Greek, which means to actually “put asunder” being the whole body.

Please bear with me. From what I gather, the word “church” is derived from the word “ecclesia” which literally means “called out ones”, so even if the church was headed by Peter, the gates of Hell would not prevail against his “called out ones”, not necessarily a hierarchical structure.

Thank you for your time and I await many responses to help me understand. Thank you
[/quote]

First, I think you need to understand that the letters which appear after the Acts were just that letters written to certain groups who were being warned against particular heretical ideas. If you think about that time in which these things took place, most of the believers were converts from some other religion. It was specifically their baptism into the faith which is being refered to here. Secondly I dont know exactly which passage it is, but Paul refers to an entire family which he has baptised, that did not exclude the children. The Catholic Church is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion, in which they were instructed by God to be circumcised 8 days after birth. Baptism replaces circumcision. Jesus Himself say suffer the little one to come to me. I suggest that if anything you read in the letters contradicts what Christ taught in any way, then your interpretation is wrong. To me that is one of the great things about the Catholic Church, that I dont have to interpret the Bible according to my own opinion. I have found that if I have a question about a certain passage I can not only find out what the Church says about it but also how they came to see it that way.
To your other point, if it was just the chosen people who would be the church then how do you understand the parable of the weeds and the wheat, which is a direct parable of the Church. And how do you have a church without knowing whos in it for only God knows the secrets of mens hearts and since none of us can know who is chosen then it only makes sense that he was talking about a visible church. Not to mention, after Peter’s death it was specifically these other men who chose the next Pope. Seems to me they understood that Christ wanted a hierachical church, with a visible head. Trace all the churches back and you will only find one which goes all the way back to the apostles. Lastly, Christ came to fulfill the Jewish religion, there should be some similarities between the two. Like the Priesthood, Sacrefice, Forgiveness of Sins, Liturgy, oh and Gods guiding of His chosen.


#5

First, remember that it is more proper to refer to the Catholic Church as just that—the Catholic Church. “RCC” refers to the Roman Catholic Church, and the perspective on the doctrinal issues you raise is shared by the whole Catholic Church, not just the RCC.

I think that Philthy has already responded to your post better than I could, so I’ll just throw in my two cents that conversion is an ongoing process. Yes, baptism is a “born again” experience. But it doesn’t stop there. Other conversion experiences happen as we journey through life, as God continually draws us to Him. Protestants (especially Evangelicals) tend to view a single event (usually an adult experience) as their “born again” experience, but the Catholic understanding is that conversion is ongoing: we need to be “born again” every day. Also, as Philthy has explained, baptism is not restricted to infants. Obviously in the early Church, the many baptisms were of adult converts. It still happens.

As for the hierarchical structure: read the Early Church Fathers for more perspective on this. The more you read about the early history of the Church, you will recognize the Catholic Church and her doctrines were there from the beginning.


#6

[quote=Sherlock]read the Early Church Fathers for more perspective on this. The more you read about the early history of the Church, you will recognize the Catholic Church and her doctrines were there from the beginning.
[/quote]

I must admit, it is in those readings that has kept me quite interested.

Perhaps let me ask this, for links of Ignatius or Polycarp (specifically) where they describe infant baptism or sprinkling and rebirth @ baptism. That might quicken my journey. Myself, scrolling through page after page, has been quite exhausting.


#7

[quote=malachi_a_serva]I must admit, it is in those readings that has kept me quite interested.
[/quote]

That’s great to hear. One book that is very good for those who are sort of new to the Early Church Fathers is “Four Witnesses” by Rod Bennet.

God bless.


#8

malachi:

When Christ was presented after his birth, St. Joseph and Mother Mary did what jewish people do, offer turtledoves and have their child circumcised. Jesus being the advocate of the whole of humanity participated in the baptism of water by John—not to remit any personal sin on his part but for our edification.

Our practice of baptising infants is a fulfillment of both of these biblical events as well as the Jewish tradition…but far more deeper for the baptism by water and spirit that Christ was talking to Nicodemus about is what we fulfill everytime a child is baptized.

So, just as good Jewish parents had the moral and cultural obligation to offer their children to God at the temple after their birth, we as good Christians offer to God our child when they’re born is totally legit biblically and theologically.

Great question. Hope this adds a bit. By the way, the Catechism treats this topic beatifully-better than any of our stumbling words.

in XT.


#9

[quote=malachi_a_serva]I must admit, it is in those readings that has kept me quite interested.

Perhaps let me ask this, for links of Ignatius or Polycarp (specifically) where they describe infant baptism or sprinkling and rebirth @ baptism. That might quicken my journey. Myself, scrolling through page after page, has been quite exhausting.
[/quote]

First, here’s the link to the Catholic Answers Homepage:
catholic.com/ - add it to your “favorites”!
Heres a link to the Fathers on infant baptism from the Library:
catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp
And here’s the link to the entire Sacraments section from the Library:
catholic.com/library/sacraments.asp

One thing I will point out and you may wish to consider. Whenever something novel or unorthodox appeared in the early church, there was energetic, written condemnation of it by the Fathers. A review of early church history will reveal to you that infant baptisms were taking place. What you will not find, however, is a SINGLE word of condemnation from the Fathers on this issue. Where is the outrage? Where is the condemanation? Why the silence? The most obvious answer is that no one was outraged, no one was condemned and there were no energetic, written condemnations because infant baptism was orthodox from the beginning.

Phil


#10

You can find the complete writings of the Fathers at www.newadvent.org, but they are not topically indexed (click on Fathers in the top right corner). You’d have to read/skim all of Ignatius or all of Polycarp since there isn’t any indexing.

(Perhaps looking at the Catholic Answers tract you could then go to New Advent and at least know which document to look in).

The book by William Jergens, Faith of the Early Fathers Volume 1, would have what you are looking for. This book has not only excerpts of the writings of the Fathers and early Councils chronologically, but als a topical index cross-reference in the back-- I highly recommend purchasing a copy of this book. I’d give you the references but I just moved and my copy is packed away in a box somewhere!


#11

Scripturecatholic.com has references to pouring and sprinkling used to baptize, although I only skimmed the page. Here it is:
scripturecatholic.com/baptism.html#baptism-IV


#12

Hi Malachi,

You asked for the early Church fathers writings on a few subjects. I too recommend the Jurgens’ books (Faith of the Fathers) which has an index in the back.

But if you would like to look online, try this Corunum apologetics page . It will show pertinent quotes from the fathers for various subjects. Try the sacraments -> infant baptism to see quotes on both infant baptism and equating baptism with being born again.

God Bless,
Glenn


#13

Evidently the Early Church did practice Baptism by Sprinkling. Here’s a quote I pulled from elsewhere:

From “Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine” by Michael Sheehan:

It is not true that full immersion remained common even in the early Church: of the dozen or more 3rd and 4th century baptisteries excavated in Greece, only two have fonts a metre or so deep, and most are under 50cm, i.e., knee-deep if full. The same patterrn is true of baptisteries found in Syria, Palestine, Egypt and N. Africa. A fresco from the first half of the 3rd century in the Catacombs of St. Callistrus, Rome, shows a baptism being performed in water a few inches deep. From all these it is clear that an adult candidate stood in a shallow pool, and some water was gathered from it and poured over his head.

Sources: J.G. Davies, The Architectural Setting of Baptism, Barrie and Rockliff, London 1962; S.A. Stauffer, On the Baptismal Fonts: Ancient and Modern, Grove Books, Nottingham 1994; Bellarmino Bagatti OFM, The Church from the Circumcision: History and Archaeology of the Judaeo-Christians, Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem 1984, p. 245; Id., The Church from the Gentiles in Palestine: History and Archaeology, Francisc. P. Press, Jerusalem 1984, pp. 301-8.

*Note from John: Our priest, Rev. Martin Nelson, was telling me about the fresco mentioned above. He’s been to Rome and saw this fresco deep in the catacombs of St. Callistrus.

*Take Care

Notworthy


#14

This is from another post dealing with Infant Baptism. This shows that the Early Church did in fact do Baptisms for Infants.

***Archeological discoveries in the Roman catacombs have long-ago proven that infant baptism was common in the primitive Roman Churches. Two clear examples, among dozens of similar inscriptions, are all that we really need to support this claim. A man with the resounding Roman/Latin name of Murtius Verinus placed on the tomb of his children the inscription: “Verina received Baptism at the age of ten months, Florina at the age of twelve months.” The date of this tomb has been firmly established by radio-carbon dating of the children’s bones as being 105 AD +/- 4 years. Another tomb, not far away from this one, has the inscription: “Here rests Achillia, a newly-baptized infant; she was one year and five months old, died February 23rd…” and then follows the year of the reigning emperor, which dates her death to 91 AD.

***Thanks,

NotWorthy


#15

[quote=NotWorthy]Evidently the Early Church did practice Baptism by Sprinkling. Here’s a quote I pulled from elsewhere:
[/quote]

There is nothing wrong with baptism by sprinkling. I remember reading a passage in scripture about it, but I don’t remember where exactly it is. Maybe someone can help me out?


#16

forgive me if I am misunderstanding a part of your question…

I am wondering why Mary and Joseph were not told to baptize Jesus as an infant.

My first response was…because they were jewish.
My second response was…um because John the Baptist would have been an infant himself at this stage. Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant together. According to prophecy, I believe John the Baptist was supposed to be the one to baptize Jesus… just food for thought… perhaps this is why John was “cleansed” of original sin from the womb, to be pure enough to be worthy of this task.

any thoughts?
were there (m)any baptisms before John?


#17

I ran across this excerpt from Bob Stanley’s web-site.

*Yes you are right that the Greek word ‘baptizo’ (also ‘baptisma’, and ‘baptismos’ for baptism) means to dip. However, it also means to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to MAKE CLEAN WITH WATER, to wash ones self, or to bathe. If you wish to use the word ‘dip’ as the only meaning of baptism, then to ‘dip’ ones hand or foot in the water would be correct also. Is the purpose of Baptism to clean our bodies by immersion, or to ‘make clean’ our souls and make them pleasing to GOD, by the removal of original sin?

*Notworthy


#18

These are all great answers and responses, thank you everyone. One further…why did/would Jesus not baptise anyone? And then for Paul to say that he was not sent to baptise but to preach the gospel?


#19

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