Question on baptism

Sorry for so many questions as many have probable seen a few of mine, I have had many and you all have been so great at responding thank you. Also I am not hear to debate doctrines on baptism or proper baptism.

But a question that to me is very important is this, as a baptist regarding baptism.** I agree fully with the ccc **when it says

“CCC 1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.”

however I have as said a baptist understanding and it Leads me to have two questions here.

1] Catholics are generally baptized as babies correct? cradle to grave catholic I believe its called. If so than from my understanding that the person has to first accept the baptism becoming christian accepting Jesus as Savior etc] a catholic infant baptism would not really count.

2] So the second question to me is, is there another time that a age of accountability catholic accepts a baptism? Or a re-baptism? and if not, than what does the infant baptism mean to a adult catholic? how does it effect them if at all?

3] Ok three questions, at what point in the catholics life in the church, does the catholic accept Jesus as savior for the forgiveness of their sins? is this done in the mass and Eucharist?

thank you and sorry so many questions.

Let me take a shot at your first question:

1] Catholics are generally baptized as babies correct? cradle to grave catholic I believe its called. If so than from my understanding that the person has to first accept the baptism becoming christian accepting Jesus as Savior etc] a catholic infant baptism would not really count.

First note that the Bible nowhere says that one must make an act of faith for baptism to be operative. The persons in the New Testament that we directly hear about being baptized were primarily adults (although we hear about “whole households” being baptized) so they *could *make an act of faith, and so they did. But nowhere does the Bible say it is strictly necessary at that point. So there’s that.

Catholics believe that baptism is ex opere operato, meaning that the sacrament actually does what it signifies whether we believe it does or not. It is not dependent on our faith whether it “works”: when we are baptized, our sins are taken away and we become born again through water and Spirit as it says in John 3. When the child grows older, of course, he can and should make a personal decision for Christ. That’s where the grace provided by his baptism can be instrumental. Even to make a decision for Christ is impossible without God’s grace. He chooses us, we only can choose him by his grace.

There is an analogy here to circumcision: when Jewish babies are circumcised at 8 days, they don’t have a say in the matter. However, once they have been circumcised, the reality is that they are irreversibly members of the Jewish people at that point–whether they will it or not. In fact, the New Testament compares circumcision to baptism which, as St. Paul says, “now saves you.”

Catholic Answers tract on infant baptism:
catholic.com/tracts/infant-baptism

Tim Staples on infant baptism:
catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/infant-baptism

Tim Staples: Born again the Bible way:
catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/born-again-the-bible-way

Baptism does not require an acceptance only a request. Sacraments must be requested. In the case of infant Baptism, the parents make the request on behalf of the chid entrusted to their care.

2] So the second question to me is, is there another time that a age of accountability catholic accepts a baptism? Or a re-baptism? and if not, than what does the infant baptism mean to a adult catholic? how does it effect them if at all?

No, if a child is baptized as an infant, no further acceptance is necessary. A person can reject his/her Baptism and apostatize but there is no need to be rebaptized. It is like citizenship in that way. A person is a citizen of a given country by nature of his birth. He does not have to re-claim his citizenship when he is an adult but he can renounce his citizenship.

3] Ok three questions, at what point in the catholics life in the church, does the catholic accept Jesus as savior for the forgiveness of their sins? is this done in the mass and Eucharist?

For Catholics, this is not a “once and done” event. It is an ongoing condition. We first accept Jesus as Savior at the moment of Baptism. An infant gradually grows in understanding of what this means. Toddlers learn prayers that voice this. School children study what it means in daily life, etc. And, yes, every time a person says the prayers at Mass (especially the Creed) and receives Communion he/she is reaffirming this belief.

thank you and sorry so many questions

When in doubt go to the CCC. It states:

Faith and Baptism

1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”

So for adults they should “supply” their own faith. For infants and children who have not yet reached the age of reason, the godparents/parents/community supply the community of faith. Paragraph 1254 describes how faith needs to grow after baptism. Paragraph 1255 talks about how parents the community help in this growth.

Yes. Though I was Baptized as a protestant child (in an Anglican Faith). It’s not just Catholics.

If so than from my understanding that the person has to first accept the baptism [becoming christian accepting Jesus as Savior etc] a catholic infant baptism would not really count.

It might not count as far as you are concerned, but it counts as far as God is concerned. Hey, we Catholics fully recognize the Sacramental nature of your own Baptist Baptism. If you wanted to become Catholic, you would not be “re-Baptized.” If you were a Lutheran or a Methodist or an Episcopalian who was Baptized as an infant (the usual practice in these protestant communions), your Baptism would still be fully recognized by the Catholic Church.

2] So the second question to me is, is there another time that a age of accountability catholic accepts a baptism? Or a re-baptism? and if not, than what does the infant baptism mean to a adult catholic? how does it effect them if at all?

There is only one Baptism (Eph 4:5). There is no such thing as re-Baptism. If a person comes to the Church and the validity of his Baptism is in doubt, he may be “conditionally Baptized.” But most protestant Baptisms (including yours) are recognized as valid by the Catholic Church.

There is no difference between infant and adult Baptism other than where the Faith of the Sacrament comes from. Baptism is the Sacrament of Faith, but in the case of an infant, it is the faith of the parents, the godparents, and the Catholic community at large. In the case of an adult, it is his own personal faith.

3] Ok three questions, at what point in the catholics life in the church, does the catholic accept Jesus as savior for the forgiveness of their sins? is this done in the mass and Eucharist?

There’s no specific point. Under Catholic theology, a person is saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism (and by nothing else). A baptized infant (whether Catholic or protestant) who manages to avoid mortal sin before his death (regardless of age) is assured salvation.

Don’t worry about your many questions. You are great to converse with.

You have been given great answers have been given so far…but I’ll just add a thought or two.

1] Catholics are generally baptized as babies correct? cradle to grave catholic I believe its called. If so than from my understanding that the person has to first accept the baptism becoming christian accepting Jesus as Savior etc] a catholic infant baptism would not really count.

From the Baptist perspective I can see why this is problematic, but you see within the Ancient Church this is not problematic. Consider it from the perspective of Love. The parents love their child and wish to assure that child’s entrance into heaven. What parent wouldn’t after all. So they come to the Church and they and the God-parents declare before God that they will protect this child and raise the child in the faith. Having made this declaration - in the child’s name, the child is baptized into the family of Christ.

Within this framework of Love - can Baptism fail to have effect?

2] So the second question to me is, is there another time that a age of accountability catholic accepts a baptism? Or a re-baptism? and if not, than what does the infant baptism mean to a adult catholic? how does it effect them if at all?

In a sense, yes. While the Catholic is not re-baptized, there are “rites of passage” so to speak that Catholic children undergo as they begin to reach the age of accountability.
The first of these is the sacrament of Reconciliation, commonly referred to as confession. At this point the child begins to be held accountable and must take responsibility for his own actions before God.
Perhaps in the Baptist world one might equate this to a person who, having strayed from the fold, repents and responds anew to an “altar call”. It is a cleansing, a repentance, a taking responsibility and accepting Jesus anew.
The second of these rites of passage is First Holy Communion". Having reached the “age of reason” and taken on the responsibility for one’s actions, one is now privileged to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. This is a personal acceptance of Christ.
The third rite is “Confirmation”. This is the act of the bishop (or priest acting for the Bishop) laying on his hands and conferring the Holy Spirit. Again, this is a free and personal acceptance of Christ AND as a part of the confirmation rite, the baptismal vows are renewed, this time by the person themselves - not by the God parents for them.

3] Ok three questions, at what point in the Catholic’s life in the church, does the catholic accept Jesus as savior for the forgiveness of their sins? is this done in the mass and Eucharist?

Well _ think that formally I have somewhat explained this above - but just to add - the Catholic does this continually.
If a child is raised in the faith, they will many times simply come to accept Christ as a matter of course. They might later stray (I’m sure you will agree that there are many prodigals in all faith traditions) but if they were well founded in the Truth of the faith, there is a very good chance that they will eventually return home to the house of their father.

thank you and sorry so many questions.

No need to be sorry - they are great questions.

I hope my answers are of help to you.

Peace
James

thank you so much, you are first to respond to my questions for a baptist understanding, that is what i was looking for. Very valuable responses. Any info on

sacrament of Reconciliation
rites of passage is First Holy Communion
"Confirmation

thanks.

Happy to be of help.

Any info on

sacrament of Reconciliation
rites of passage is First Holy Communion
"Confirmation

thanks.
You might find this LINK helpful.

Peace
James

Infants, who are not in danger of death, are licitly baptized in the Catholic Church only when there is a well-founded hope that they will be raised in the Catholic faith by their parents or guardians, which, by the way, includes a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (See links, below)

The Catholic parents or guardians of baptized infants are expected to evangelize them and encourage them to personally accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Because Catholics expect baptized people to be believers, post-baptismal acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ is typically not given a special liturgical celebration all its own. Though such an event is certainly a cause for celebration.

Unfortunately, baptized children are sometimes not raised in the Catholic faith. When such baptized-but-yet-unbelieving persons are enrolled in Catholic religious education classes designed to prepare believers to receive the other non-repeatable sacraments, such as Confirmation, or the repeatable sacraments for the first time, such as Reconciliation (Confession or Penance) and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), those preparing them are also expected to evangelize them and encourage them to personally accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Another poster has mentioned that candidates for Confirmation renew their baptismal promises.

In addition, at every Sunday Mass throughout the year, Catholics are given the opportunity to personally and publicly profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, using the words of the Nicene Creed, which includes the phrase, “I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ.” Alternately, annually at Easter Sunday Mass, Catholics are given the opportunity to personally and publicly renew their baptismal promises — whether they made those promises themselves when they were baptized or because of their young age their parents or guardians spoke for them. During the renewal of baptismal promises, Catholics are asked, among other things, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord…?” And they are expected to respond, “I do.”

We all come into this world suffering the eternal consequences of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin; on account of Original Sin, we come into this world spiritually estranged from God. Unless we are reconciled to God before death, we are destined for Hell. Likewise, our own mortal sins cause us to be estranged from God. A participation in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross for the forgiveness of sins is the only thing that can reconcile us to God, save us from Hell, and gain for us eternal life. The sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Anointing of the Sick are, each in their own way, participations in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins.

Regardless of age, when a person receives Baptism, he is reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and he receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, whether he is an infant who is estranged from God due to Original Sin only or he has reached the age of personal accountability and is also estranged from God due to his own past mortal sins.

Because Baptism can be received only once, as Sacred Scripture says, “There is … one Baptism…,” if a person commits mortal sin after receiving Baptism, he again becomes estranged from God and, unless he is again reconciled to God before death, he is destined for Hell. However, if he repents, he can be reconciled again to God through Jesus Christ by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession or Penance. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a baptized person confesses his mortal sins to God and to a Catholic priest, he expresses his sorrow for those sins to God and to the priest, and also expresses his firm purpose of amendment. If the priest thinks he has made a good and sincere confession, the priest absolves him of his sins in Jesus’ name, i.e., in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The priest also typically assigns him an appropriate penance to help him ameliorate the temporal consequences of his sin and to help him advance in holiness.

Pope John Paul II’s 1990 encyclical, On The Permanent Validity Of The Church’s Missionary Mandate, section 46, says, “Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple. The Church calls all people to this conversion…”

Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation On Catechesis In Our Time, section 19, laments the fact that sometimes people baptized as infants grow up “without any explicit personal attachment to Jesus Christ” and without “committing their whole lives to Jesus Christ.”

thanks for the great info.

jj-

Let me tackle your questions this way…

First, do you believe that someone may accept Jesus as his or her personal Lord and Savior but then later in life wander away from the faith and be lost? Or would you say that once a person has been saved, (s)he is always saved?

Catholics believe the former. Consequently, just as a Baptist might get saved as a young teenager in high school, giving his life to the Lord and being really on fire, etc., later, in college perhaps, he might backslide and stop going to church altogether. With me so far?

Similarly, a Catholic might be baptized as an infant, receive first communion in elementary school and confirmation a few years after that. So far, so good. But just like her Baptist friend, the Catholic may stop going to Church and eventually stop believing in God altogether.

Alternatively, the Catholic might continue to attend mass faithfully every Sunday, go to confession, have a Catholic wedding, etc. Why would he do this? Well, you could argue that he only does it because his parents or his wife wants him to…and that COULD be a reason. But more realistically, he goes because he believes what the Church teaches about Jesus and he wants to same relationship with God that any faithful Baptist wants.

So, we don’t have “altar calls”, and we don’t talk about “having a personal relationship with Jesus” - but then, neither of those things is found in scripture, either. Instead, we faithfully love God and obey the commands He has given us.

Finally, the Catholic Church is REALLY big, and over the course of 2,000 years, some of us have had truly amazing personal relationships with God…we tend to think of those people as “saints” and “mystics”. But most of us have experiences that are a lot more humble.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:

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