Okay so my in-laws have always been of the Lutheran faith and have recently switched to an E-free, bible thumpin Catholic bashing cult. I thought they’d be smart enough to see through it but all of a sudden they’ve announced that they’ve been re-baptized. I always thought they were as Lutheran as I am Catholic, but this adds another dimension that is “unique”. Can anyone help me with this re-bapitism ordeal? Do they do it so you can profess, as an adult? I’ll need some ammunition on this topic…unfortunately. Thanks in advance for your help.
Cyguy–I just have a few minutes to reply, but Evangelical Free Churches of America were formed from a merger of some originally Lutheran churches in the US; as such, they do not require re-baptism. Some E-Free churches routinely baptize infants as well as older people. E-Free churches aren’t a cult; they’re generally not Bible-thumpers; and they’re generally open to ecumenical co-operation with Catholics. If your relatives are finding all those things in an E-Free church, that’s not the norm for the denomination.
I know this church, many of the members, and know they challenge Catholic salvation once they’re well versed and comfortable quoting Bible scripture. Trust me, I’ll have my hands full at some point.
Well, if you do have problems, just explain your faith in a respectful manner. That’s all you can do. I don’t have time today to dig up links to E-Free statements for you, but more or less officially, the EFCA is ecumenically open to respecting and cooperating with the CC. If you’ve hit an anti-Catholic pocket, that’s regrettable.
I’ll do some searching on here…thank you. Calling it an anti-Catholic pocket is a perfect description.
God bless you.
There is one baptism for the remission of sin.
Sounds like you’re going to have your hands full. :shrug:
I will be praying for you and your family.
THE WORK OF ST. OPTATUS
BISHOP OF MILEVIS
AGAINST THE DONATISTS
Translated BY THE REV. O. R. VASSALL-PHILLIPS, B.A.
BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD
PRIEST OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER
Lest anyone should say that without thought I call them brethren, I would reply that such they are, for we cannot escape from the words of the prophet saying: You who fear the Word of the Lord, hear ye the Word of the Lord. To those who detest and curse you, and are unwilling to be called your brethren, say ye nevertheless: “You are our brethren.”
They therefore are without doubt brothers, though not good brothers. Wherefore let no one marvel that I term those brothers, who are unable to escape being our brethren. They and we have one spiritual birth, though widely differing is our conduct.
(They could not escape this, because by Baptism they had become Sons of God, and therefore brethren of all the brothers of Christ.)
Concerning the sins of these our brethren, I will speak in another place. For they, sitting over against us, speak evil things about us. They consort with that Thief who robs God, and share their lot with adulterers (that is, with heretics), and make their sins an object of praise, and plan reproachful words against us Catholics.
They all each in his own district make a great noise with wicked words. To some of their statements I may reply when opportunity arises. …
For what can be more to our purpose than your argument from the fact that there was only one Flood the type of Baptism? And, in maintaining that the one Circumcision availed for the salvation of the people of the Jews, you have written in defense of our doctrine, as though you were one of us. For this is our argument, who defend the Unity of Baptism conferred in [the Name of] the Trinity.
It is not an argument in favor of you, who dare to repeat, against the laws, that Baptism, of which the one Flood and one Circumcision are typical. And this, although you yourselves would not deny that what has been commanded to be done once only, ought not to be repeated.
But whilst you have praised with acuteness that which is worthy of all praise, you have by a quibble introduced your own persons, as if since it is only lawful once [to baptise] for you it were lawful, for others unlawful.
If it be unlawful for Betrayers to baptise, it cannot be lawful for you, for we can prove that your first fathers were Betrayers. If it be unlawful for schismatics to baptise, it must therefore be unlawful for you, for you originated the Schism.
If it be unlawful for sinners to baptize, we can prove from divine testimony that you are sinners also. Finally, since the validity of Baptism does not depend upon the character of the man who has been chosen to baptize, but upon an act which lawfully is done but once, for this reason we do not set right baptisms which have been administered by you, because both amongst us and amongst you the Sacrament is one.
Don’t let their new religion cause you anguish.
Find a way to let them know that it upsets you when they speak poorly of your faith.
If they want information, take time to share your faith.
You don’t have to have “ammunition”… as you will feel you are in a battle and you won’t be at peace.
Pray for God’s peace to be with you when they say things that are against the Church. Pray that you can let any disrespectful words against the Church not disturb your peace but that you can address their issues without “ammunition”.
Often these types of churches don’t recognize the infant baptism because they believe infants are unable to make active decisions about their faith. I think there is something about being baptized as an adult that said, I think you need to approach them with love and compassion. It would be interesting to find out why they left the Catholic church and then begin dialogue from there. Sometimes people leave because they haven’t been taught about the faith. If they continue to badger you, there are many Catholic apologetic books you can read. A biblical defence of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong and Why do Catholics genuflect by Al Kresta is also a good book to read. The later, you can also purchase for the in-laws and if they continue this anti-catholic badgering you can always ask them to read that book.
Depending on your relations with your in-laws if they are hostile towards your faith, you can always try to limit contact. It is hard but sometimes you do what you have to do. Furthermore, patience is also important when handling them because often people are excited about joining something new. They are new and they just want to share this new faith with everyone. Over time it does fade out a bit as they get settled into their new church.
Oh my… where’s our charity? What’s all this talk of “ammo” and “cults” and “ordeals?”
Woooaaa… deep breath folks. Jeepers.
It’s not that unusual for folks (whatever their previous religious background) who have a profound conversion experience to ask those with whom they “found” faith in Jesus, “What should I do next?”
In most “non-denominational” churches, adults are baptized after they profess belief in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior- just as Baptists have done for hundreds of years.
Does the Catholic Church teach that baptism should be performed on infants and is not repeatable? Yes, of course. Does this mean your friends have lost their minds? Probably not!
It’s a shame a profound, life-changing conversion isn’t more common among Catholics; anyone ever heard of Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, Saint Ignatius? How about Scott Hahn, Marcus Grodi, Tim Staples or Jimmy Aikin? Oh yes, we’ve all heard of them, praise God!
Your in-laws just got off track, because they didn’t have a personal encounter with Jesus before (I assume) but they have now. People tend to keep looking where they found a good thing. It’s common.
They were Lutherans all their lives? The way I see it, they were protestants without saving faith in Christ before and they are protestants WITH saving faith in Christ now! Hallelujah. If they were to come to knowledge of the Catholic Church at some point down the road, that would be terrific. But they are certainly no worse off now, out of one sleepy protestant congregation and into one where people love the Lord and worship with gusto.
Amen. (Don’t worry bro…)
Sorry, I disagree. One is in communion with the one, true Church to the degree that they accept the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church. The Lutherans are certainly more in communion with the Catholic Church than your run of the mill “Bible church”. The fact that they would not recognize the valid Lutheran Baptism is a sure sign of this. In short, they were much closer to the truth when Lutheran then they are now.
As far as the Baptism is concerned, they just got wet the second time.
Take a look at some of Patrick Madrid’s stuff. Good ammo. Also go on youtube for Fr. Larry Richards
I had friends that joined a so-called Bible Church and one of the requirements was to be re-baptized because the infant baptism might not have taken.
Cyguy, hi again…This is another short post since I was out tonight, but…EFCA (E-Free) churches officially do accept infant baptism from other churches. While some will allow adults to be baptized as a conscious profession of faith, it is not for Donatist reasons. I have to get to sleep, and I’m under a work deadline, but if I have time later this week I’ll try to scrounge up some links to EFCA statements and articles.
Have your in-laws actually challenged you, Cyguy, or are you just assuming the worst of them? Have they come after you, or are you taking an adversarial stance (looking for “ammo”) without proof that’s necessary?
Thank you, RoseMary and Dodge pursuit. Well said, IMO.
I’d add, though, that I expect they had saving faith in Christ while in their Lutheran church, but for reasons known to them, maybe they weren’t connecting the dots while in their former church.
CARITAS IN VERITATE! There is no charity outside of the truth. To re-baptize is grave matter.
The Lutheran church is NOT in communion. Ask your bishop. You can call it “sort of Catholic” or whatever you like but it is NOT in communion, any more than Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists or Pastor John’s Church of the Savior on Main Street. They most certainly do not “accept the teachings of the Catholic Church,” hence the violence and upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, which led to thousands of deaths and excommunications and, eventually, to the thousands of new churches ever since.
It may “feel” better to some Catholics, because they have a big building, a liturgy and they don’t bother anyone with talk about Jesus Christ or accepting him as your savior… but they ain’t in communion. There is no grey area; if we believe in one church, you’re either under the authority of the pope, or you aren’t.
My main point was, I see more hope in someone who actually believes Jesus is alive and worships him as lord and savior, than anyone who goes to church for twenty years and isn’t sure Jesus is any more real than Captain Kirk or the Easter Bunny. And sadly, there are lots of those in big denominational churches. Remember the pharisees- you can sit in the garage every night, and know the manual cover to cover, but that doesn’t make you a Buick!
Not in formal communion, no.
However, all baptized Christians are in some communion with the Catholic Church as the Catechism declares.
There is a current thread, To Be In Heaven, You Must Be Catholic, which is discussing this topic at length.
YET. You forgot the “yet.”
Or, as the more authoritative Holy Scriptures state, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
Dodge, all Christians who receive one baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are part of the church catholic.
And all Christians who receive one baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are part of the Catholic Church.
They just don’t know it.