Southern Baptists--The Book of Life?

So, I have been having an ongoing conversation about Catholicism with a Baptist friend that e-mailed several weeks ago out of the blue asking why we call our Priests Father, why we go to Confession, why we Worship Mary and that there is no purgatory and get this—why WE Catholics removed books from the Bible. The usual fare. She also admitted that she does not know anything about Catholicism----but to my mind she is really not asking for educational value as their is a tinge of anti Catholicism in her writings. Like a subtle rant.

Anyway, these past several weeks I have e-mailed her my answers using Scripture, Tradition, and have sent her the online Catechism and I have also e-mailed old Church docs from the old Fathers.

I have asked her a lot of question about her church and their beliefs and if she believes in osas and she flat out never answers any question. So tonight I received this:

“Christ death burial and resurrection would have been in vain if you could accept Him one day and be lost the next. Once your name is written in “The Lambs Book if Life” , it cannot be erased. That does not mean we can live for the devil and dishonor Jesus name. He said he would kill the body to save the soul. Hope this helps.”

I don’t know why she added “hope this helps” lol but whatever.

So here’s my question what is The Lambs Book of life and why would she think one cannot lose their faith and turn their back on Christ? Thanks

You might refer her to the following Scripture passage where Our Lord says:
Revelations 3:5 He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; Jesus certainly seems to imply that a name written in the book of life can be erased/“blotted out”.

In doing a word search on the phrase “book of life”, except for one occurrnce in Philippians 4:3, it appears only in the Book of Revelation. (Scroll close to the bottom for Revelation)


For fun you might want to tell her you prayed the sinners prayer last night and are continuing in the Catholic Faith so she doesn’t have to worry because your name is written in the book and can’t be blotted out !

This in itself is the perfect rebuttal but I would bring this up too…

*]So according to this person, accepting Jesus into your heart means your name’s in the book of life
*]and rejecting Jesus means you’re names not in there…
*]And your name is blotted out. So what happens if accept Jesus and later reject Him?

She probably uses the king James Version Bible. Tell her that the KJV of 1611 had the 7 books as an appendix. Some time they were taken off. So they subtracted the 7 books. We had all 73 books since 397. Their 1611 KJV had the 73 books but now they have only 66 books. Jesus preached from the OT including the 7 books. There are many references if you want them.

Nobody worships Mary we just pray to her to intercede for us.

Ask her which of the Baptist Churches say that once you obtain salvation you cannot lose it because there are 300 Baptist denominations all preaching different things. They cannot get unity among themselves. So they should work for unity among themselves first before they criticise others.

If the Catholic Church had not upheld Christianity for the first 1500 years AD then there would be no protestants and hence no Baptist church. The Baptist church was founded by John Smyth and a few others. He was an Anglican priest but left to form the Baptist church. Three years before he died he became a Mennonite. So their founder did not even believe in the Baptist Church when he died. Of all the protestant churches, they are the only one that has 300 denominations.

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:32-33)

Having been trained in a General American Baptist seminary, I can answer this one. I will come back later, though because I am walking out the door to work!

The doctrines of eternal security and progressive sanctification of the saints both come into play here. The short answer is one of circular reasoning. A good Baptist will respond:

“If they later rejected him, they were not a truly regenerate Christian to begin with.”

Thank you all for helping me with this. I wrote a big response but it was eaten in cyber space.
Your responses are really very helpful and I am very appreciative. I have to admit her e-mail threw me for a loop and you all have helped tremendously. As I said this has been going on for several weeks and though I have shown her Scripture, Tradition, the Catechism and old Church docs she obviously passes right over them. I find that scarey actually because I am a very factual person. Show me the facts and I’m hooked LOL

SerbCath: were you trained to NOT answer any questions and to just go on to something else–like the Book of Life? Yes your insight concerning the Southern Baptist is most helpful.

I find it frustrating to have my questions skipped over. She seems unimpressed that we have more books, that the Bible is actually a Catholic book and eventhough I have shown through the Bible why we have confession with a Priest, purgatory—she just keeps moving on without answering any questions.

I generally do not hate protestant sects. I feel they should follow whatever they feel comfortable with. However, I had a Baptist friend who came over twice or three times a week. Not once did he not bag the Catholic Church. He spent more time bagging the church than being a Christian. Ultimately I gave up my friendship with him. Since then I did some research on the Baptist. That is why I could tell you so much about them.

Well, to be fair, arguing with most people is frustrating. No one is taught the rules of logic, reason, argumentation anymore. To engage in an argument nowadays means you will be subject to all manner of nonsequiter and other forms of obfuscation.

The Westminister Confession of Faith contains 5 tenets that are generally considered the crux of Calvinism and are accepted by the vast majority of reform Christians.

  1. Total depravity
  2. Predestination
  3. God’s [absolute] soveriegnty [over the free will of man]
  4. Eternal security
  5. Perserverance of the saints/progressive sancitification.

I grew up in a denomination (The Church of Christ) which rejects all 5 of these, but went to a Baptist Seminary, which was squarely Calvinist. It was fun. Now I am converting to Byzantine Catholic.

Your Baptist acquaintance is engaging you from this stance. It is systematic theology, in the sense that all the pieces work together in a “system” that in some ways is actually quite reasonable, but in others it becomes circular. For example, there is nothing wrong with the hermeneutic approach of gramatico-historicsm. I consider this to be the most valuable contribution to the faith, and much of this approach can be attributed to Calvin and Luther.

However, as you found out this is what often happens:

Total Depravity: Worse than original sin. Every human deserves to be beaten to death while on fire chewing razor blades for eternity until Christ enters their life. (Even then, they still deserve it but have been justified by faith alone).

Predestination: All souls from the beginning of eternity to the end of the universe were predetermined to be saved or not. (The implications of this are that billions of souls were predestined to burn in hell, a conclusion that AW Pink and some other honest theologians actually acknowledge)

God’s Soveriegnty: God is literally in control of everything that happens.

Eternal Security: The pejorative of this is “once saved, always saved.”

Perserverance of the saints/progressive sanctification: If you are REALLY a Christian, you will not be able to help but perservere in the faith, and become more and more Christ like over your life time.

You can see how these fit together. They compliment and feed off of one another, and when arguing with someone who believes this (and by the way, there is SOME biblical truth to each of these ideas) they may not articulate which tenet you are engaged with. However, you will recognize it if you have studied it for years like I did.

My guess is she heard some talk at church about how she needs to evangelize Catholics because they are going to hell. So she is trying to evangelize you and isn’t really interested in debate, just in leading you from the Church.

As a former baptist I can imagine such a scenario.

The sad thing is she is the one who needs evangelizing.

The why Catholics call priests fathers suggests belief in the idea that scriptures teaching to call no man father means this practice violates Biblical teaching. That is a not uncommon belief and seemingly modern and without warrant. Apparently in early America Protestants typically called their religious leaders father. Of course the argument against calling no man father is ridiculous based just on the fact that applied consistently you couldn’t call your dad father. But the answer of the question as to why is simple; man has a natural inclination to call a male who is a leader father in just the way St. Paul, in scripture, refers to himself in relation to others.

This article gives some interesting insight into Protestant use of father for religious leaders:

Are ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ Appropriate Titles for Protestant Clergy?

Well, I think it is finished.McCartney/JonS I believe you are correct. Either she was told to evangilize me or her preacher was actually answering all my e-mails because her writings sounded out of character. At any rate I finally just came out and told her the way it is since she didn’t have a problem telling me how it is. LOL Did that even make sense??

I just got done answering an IM from her telling me that everything the Baptists believe and teach is in the Bible. I finally just said that you do not believe nor do you teach everything that is in the Bible otherwise you would have the 7 books Christ taught from and you would be Catholic and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

I then told her about the Book of Life and used all your quotes about being blotted out. I also told her that the osas argument does not hold up because Peter was a true believer and still he turned his back on Christ and denied him. So was Peter not REALLY a believer/not saved ??

Then she went on to say that Baptists are the only ones that baptist the way Christ institued. So I shot her over the old church writings that explain baptising (ad 70) that pre-date Constantine and the Bible and told her that I sent all this info to her first week but evidently she never read it. And this is why I feel McCartney and JonS are correct in their asumption because surely if she just want to have an exchange of beliefs between friends for educational value she would have read what was sent and not just throw out versus that had nothing to do with the conversation at hand.

If someone wants to be a Baptist or whatever as long as they are ok in that skin fine BUT do not come at Catholicism pointing a finger calling my Church man-made and idol worshippers etc because I will put on my armour now. I have never pulled up in someones driveway and told them they need to convert (it’s spring and I know the Baptist church is headed my way one more time so I don’t go to hell.) LOL

exnihilo: I just realized you are a Protestant and I sincerely hope I have not said anything to offend you especially since you have been so kind in assisting me. Thank you so much.

I want to thank everyone again for all the assistance it was a great learning experience for me.

I’m not offended. I’m not Baptist myself but know and encounter a lot. I appreciate their passion. I appreciate their stance on abortion, same sex marriage and some other issues. But I find big inconsistencies and serious problems in their theology and practice. May we all come to know the truth more fully.

My understanding of the Book of Life (which is referenced in the book of Revelation, as others have mentioned) is that everyone’s name who is ever born is written in the book. At the end of time, the names of those who have rejected Christ are “blotted out.” (I could be wrong on this, but that is my understanding.) Some Protestants, such as your friend, believe that their names are written in the Book the moment they “accept Christ as Savior.”

Yes English Teacher my understanding is the same as yours and others on this thread.

Yes she does believe that every name is entered in the Book as soon as they accept Christ.

exnihilo I apologize—I thought you profile mentioned you are protestant. I too admire the stance protestants take. However, I do not appreciate it once they start talking anti-Catholic rhetoric.

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