The Catholic Church has no “man-made religious laws” that “keep sinners and seekers from Our Lord.” All you’re stating here is your personal opinion and then judging Catholics based upon it. The Catholic Church has both man-made laws (such as what we call disciplines) and divinely revealed doctrines, but none of it acts as a barrier between God and people.
And before you quote me the famous but almost always misunderstood - “Whatever you bind on earth …”
With what authority do you claim that the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:19 is “misunderstood”? Why makes your personal interpretation of Matthew 16:19 the correct one that everyone has to adhere to or be guilty of concocting “maddening man-made rules”?
…ask yourself this question:
Do you honestly believe that if a man falls to his knees in private and asks forgiveness from the Father through His Son - the Lord Jesus Christ and is truly sorry in his heart that the sin will not be forgiven until it is repeated before a member of the Catholic Clergy and then absolved through the Catholic Clergy - do you truly believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ needs an assist (like in basketball) ? Really? The all powerful, all forgiving Our Lord Jesus Christ needs another sinner to absolve the sins of one of His followers - a child of the FATHER - because I don’t…
It’s not a question of what God needs to do, but how he chose to set things up. God initially applies savific grace through the sacrament of baptism, which is channeled through a minister who represents the Church. God likewise deals with post-baptismal sin in the form of a sacrament (Reconciliation) through a minister who represents the Church. The Church believes that there are also non-sacramental means by which a sinner can receive salvific grace, and I will address this topic in a bit when I answer your question about the Good Thief.
And as a side note, this is not just a historical Catholic teaching but one taught by all the various Eastern Orthodox Churches and all the various Oriental Orthodox Churches. So if this is a “man-made” rule then which of the many original apostolic Churches invented it, and how did it get all the other apostolic Churches spread out over three continents to go along?
And I will also point out that God knows our hearts better than we do, and humans can often mislead themselves through emotions. Exactly how does a sinner know that he is “truly sorry in his heart” for having sinned? Just because he feels badly? What if in the dark recesses of his heart he still relishes the sensual pleasure he derived from at least one of his sins, even if only a little bit? Can he be said to be “truly” sorry? One of the great things about the Sacrament of Reconciliation is that people do not have to gauge how sorry they are in order to receive the sacrament’s grace of mercy and forgiveness; they only need to be at least somewhat sorry (whatever is lacking in contrition is supplemented by the power of the Holy Spirit).
And having died twice - I think I speak on good authority. The Blood of Our Lord washed your sins away - they are not there - they are just not there - when you are brought back - you can still remember all of your sins - you don’t forget them but Our Lord and Our Father does forget and forgive without an assist- what an awakening that was.
Are you saying that your near-death experience gives you the power to correctly interpret Scripture and define doctrine for all Christians everywhere?
And I guess what you referred to as silly was my question about when the thief was baptized? Well answer the question - where and when does it say that the thief was baptized of water - point me to that scriptural statement.
In answer to your question I will make three points.
The Good Thief may have already been baptized at some earlier point as this was a ministry the disciples had been providing for some time. Just because the Bible does not specifically state that it happened does not mean that it did not. I’m sure you’re aware that Catholics are not adherents to Sola Scriptura so why make requirements such as “point me to that scriptural statement”?
The Good Thief may not have already been baptized. However, Jesus is not a minister of the sacraments, but their very source. He can baptize anyone however he wants. Nevertheless, humans are not allowed to presume to administer the sacraments in a manner other than the way God has revealed to the Church, and humans are not empowered by God to suddenly declare the sacraments as being unnecessary.
The Good Thief may not have already been baptized but what happened to him on the cross may embody what the Catholic Church teaches about Baptism by Desire.
Probably no need I am sure the judgmental people on this post will be feverishly working to have me removed - TRUTH CLARIFIES.
The only reason people are banned from CAF is for violating forum policies. There are many CAF members who openly challenge Catholic teachings and have been active in these forums for years.