Validity of the Sacrament of Baptism under fire (so to speak)

Hello! :slight_smile:

I’m sort of in a predicament here. :shrug: There’s a man on facebook backing a theory that the way that St. Paul’s epistles are worded through the New Testament indicate that Our Lord, Jesus’ revelations to him provided an order of the complete cancellation of the Act of Baptism, bringing a complete stop to it because the “baptism with fire, and the Holy Spirit” by the Lord Jesus, Himself, was sufficient and thus made water baptism redundant and void. ( o_0! ) He said,

“if the Church would only recognize the updated revelations of St. Paul that baptism is no longer necessary at all, then all this confusion about the way baptism is administered would stop altogether. He said, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” which means water is no longer necessary at all. What (The Lord) Jesus said when They were all on earth (with his disciples) and how He commands after He was in Heaven are a big difference. They are not the same.”

It’s adamant that what all Churches are doing is useless because the Lord told St. Paul to cancel the Act, “evidenced” by the phrasing St. Paul spoke. I’ve been trying and trying to figure out what’s the proper evidence to use to answer this man, and thus disprove this weird theory. I don’t know his religious affiliation, but he did say “we.”

If that were true, wouldn’t The Lord let Peter in on the declaration as well, like He enlightened Peter about the gentiles with the whole “blanket of forbidden animals” vision? Plus, wouldn’t Peter have officiated a notice to the collective Church about that, in which told the Apostles to stop in the Bible, like he did with the Jewish rituals discontinuation in Acts 15? Also, every post-biblical saint that the Catholic Church has canonized that has spoken about physical baptism by water through the Church rigidly maintains it’s activity, vitality and necessity. Baptism is too vital and necessary an element of entry to be left foggy and unclear.

This man’s convinced by this theory that baptism by humans in water, and Baptism by God of the Holy Spirit and by fire are 2 DIFFERENT BAPTISMS, and so “one body, one faith, one baptism” means one of them is done away with - and it’s not The Lord God’s.

Help! How do I explain this rightly, without twisting the bible and correct doctrine, and/or confusing people? :confused:

Honestly, in a place such as facebook, I would ignore it and hide the post from my view. Many people use the anonymity of online to say very strange things and aren’t interested in the truth. If this person is in your friend’s list, lead by example, rather than debate.

true, but with facebook so mainstream, that’s a serious issue to let people continue promoting and convincing people of - misconstruing the Bible, mistrusting and walking away from the Sacrament?

This seems like there should be such an easy answer… :o

You might as well realize now that you will not convince him. As for yourself, you are Catholic. You are a citizen of the Kingdom established by God.
That man does not believe, as Catholics know, that other men have the authority and ability, to grant this citizenship to you or to grant you the Holy Spirit. He wants to get the Holy Spirit directly from Heaven. Your Baptism was your “naturalization” into being one of the people of God. Other people gave you this citizenship with the authority first given to the apostles by Jesus, and they gave you the Holy Spirit. When you were confirmed, the Bishop or Priest gave you the fullness of the Holy Spirit, calling for you to receive the gift he was giving to you.

The man on Facebook does not believe that a Priest or Bishop or Pope can give you the Holy Spirit or give you entrance into the Kingdom of God to be one of his Holy People. But you are Catholic. You know you are one of this Holy People, granted this new birth as a son of God when they baptized you.

John Martin

Thank you, Sir. :o I appreciate that comfort.

I know it’s one thing when someone doesn’t believe, and another when they don’t *want *to believe. But I still think I should answer, for others’ consideration even against his stubbornness, I guess. All that people see are his POV, when they should read reasons for both viewpoints. I’m still trying to make sure that what I say is reasonable and accurate. It shouldn’t be that easy for people to be convinced of such an idea. If this random post found it’s way onto my wall (he’s not a friend, just a post one of my friends “liked” - hence “likes” get spread onto other people’s newsfeeds.), there’s other people reading this as well. That’s a pretty widespread promotion of this weird theory, hence my feel for a defense sort of.


Just look at the early Catholic Church, and what they practiced! The New Testament wasn’t assembled for over 300 years after Pentecost. So the Church was the primary witness to the beliefs taught by Jesus, and handed down by the Disciples. The Bible was a reflection of these Sacred Traditions already in practice for almost 400 years. The Apostles, and their sucessors practiced water Baptism as instituted by Christ! This has been consistent through out the ages. The Catholic Church understands how to interpret these Bible passages because she lived it, wrote it, and still teaches it. Sacred Scripture reminds us that The Church is the Pillar & foundation of the truth! It never mentions that we are to listen or follow this guys ideas.

This is a fine example of what can go wrong when one uses proof-texting as a means of apologetics. This man is using a single verse (Ephesians 4:5) and extrapolating from it that water baptism is unnecessary.

First thing I would do is ask him to show you where in the Pauline epistles it says explicitly that water baptism is unnecessary. And I do mean explicitly, because if he would be bothered to read the rest of Ephesians chapter 4 it would become readily apparent to him that “one faith, one Lord, one baptism” is Paul’s admonition that all believers be unified.

The next thing I would do is point out all the other instances in the other Pauline Epistles where St. Paul speaks about our sharing in the life of Christ by having been buried with him in baptism (see: Romans 6:1–4, I Corinthians 6:11, I Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:26–27, Colossians 2:11–12, Titus 3:5, etc.) What sense would it make for the very same person to in one letter seem to say (or at least seem that way to this one guy on Facebook) that water baptism is futile, while in various other letters make allusions to the salvific and regenerative nature of water baptism? For crying out loud, in the very same letter to the Ephesians which this guy is quoting St. Paul exhorts Christian husbands to love their wives just as Christ loves the Church, so much so that he “sanctified her, having cleansed her by the washing of water unto the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without Blemish”.

If St. Paul is saying what this guy thinks he’s really saying, then St. Paul is very confused, internally inconsistent, and speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

Since the earliest Church, (which, by the way, included Paul) Baptism by water has been practiced. There is no evidence anywhere in history that Paul’s writing was interpreted to mean that Baptism by water was to be done away with, was not to be practiced, or had no meaning/content.

One needs to understand that in the first years after the Ascension, the apostles and the Church were the recipients of a vast amount of information (some of it experiential, such as the gifts of the Holy Spirit) and it took time to sort it all out. Baptism by water continued through all of that time up to today and as the Church reflected on what Christ had taught and what they had experienced, they came to understand there were seven sacraments (which, interestingly, most of the Protestant churches do not recognize - poor historians).

Don’t know who your friend is on Facebook or what their background might be, but Facebook is hardly the place to try to sort through Church history in any meaningful fashion.

Understand that not all statements need to be challenged. and for those that need to be challenged, sometimes Facebook is not the place.

Whoa! O_,O

Yeah, I never knew how long that was. :slight_smile: I knew there was some passage of time between the life of the Apostles and the time when all of their letters and dictations to each other were compiled into one mass Bible publication.

That is true, tradition and word of mouth were more on how these instructions survived before written doctrine was asserted “in stone” so to speak. I didn’t even think of that. Thank you.

He’s not claiming this idea as his own, it looks like he’s just backing it. I’ll try and word this as best as I can. It’s not about winning an argument for the sake of winning, or being right for me. It’s being accurate for the presentation and defense - the importance of how others understand it and believe in this faith, and not write off the wrong vitals.

I think I have an idea of what to say, but if there’s anything else I should really emphasis, please, by all means.

Thank you!

I do have one question since this theory is being based solely off St. Paul’s words, and he claims that “we have to read the Bible in a progressive manner,” (quote, “The confusion comes when the Bible is not read progressively. Who is it written to, Why, and when.
It does not help if verses written to Jews are used for us “The Body of Christ”. There is a difference in what Jesus and the 12 said while they were on earth and that which He revealed to us by Paul after He was already in heaven. Big difference!”) - which is confusing, since the PILLARS are who finish the Bible, and Peter I guess you can say puts baptism into clear definitive perspective by paralleling it to Noah’s ark (at least I hope I understand that right…) after all of St. Paul’s epistles are done, my question is this:

I read somewhere online that in catholic doctrine, it clearly states that if a doctrinally sound baptism was performed that’s undeniably valid regardless of what denomination it was performed under, it isn’t repeated even when a person converts to the Roman Catholic Church, it’s just accepted (it was also said so in an interview I saw on a show called “The Journey Home” on EWTN). That being said, in ACTS 19 - did St. Paul re-baptize the people who only had John’s baptism and had never heard of the Holy Spirit? or did He just confirm them?

The reason I ask is because he could argue that the term “baptism” could be put in the context of the holy spirit coming down without water ever being involved. but that’s not what’s implied is it? If He baptized twice, what’s that say about John’s baptism commissioned from Heaven? okay I know it sounds completely unrelated, but I’m curious…especially because this could contradict his claim on St. Paul’s revelations vs. what St. Paul did in terms of baptizing, himself.

I apologize.I was still answering Regina Love, and posted before I saw your 2 other posts. Give me a minute read through them. :slight_smile:

ok how about this, I’ll post his full statement so you can see how he’s seeing things, and I don’t misrepresent him:



(We are in the dispensation of Grace - Make sure you understand this difference revealed by the Apostle Paul to us Gentiles. We are not Israel or the Jews.)

Since Paul makes it clear that there is only one baptism in Eph 4:5 why is there such a hullabaloo over baptisms?

If Paul says there is only one then it must be the one baptism Paul teaches. It is found in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Romans 6:3.

It is dry and performed by the Spirit baptizing you into Christ. This is the baptism that saves you. It is not water baptism of any kind.

If you can see this then you have succeeded at making the leap of scriptural understanding that the information Jesus gave to Paul supersedes the information found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

If you do not see this then you are stuck trying to reconcile the multiple baptisms taught in the Lord’s earthly ministry with the single baptism in Ephesians 4:5.

Matthew 3:11 stands in direct contrast to Ephesians 4:5.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: “ (Mat 3:11)

In this verse we have three baptisms: 1) baptism of water unto repentance; 2) baptism with the Holy Ghost; 3) baptism with fire.

This list does not include the Lord’s baptism just four verses later which could not be unto repentance since he did not need to repent. His baptism was performed to ‘fulfill all righteousness’.

You may have been baptized with water, but have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit ? You say you have? Well have you been baptized with fire? You probably wouldn’t want to (Mat 3:12; Isa 4:4).

When it comes to baptism we are faced with a scriptural necessity. Will we accept that Jesus revealed to Paul information that superseded the prior teaching of baptism?

Or will we believe that Paul was wrong; there is more than one baptism; and the one Jesus did we could never do.

If the church would recognize the progressive revelation given by Christ to Paul then there would be far less confusion about baptism.

We would understand the purpose of all twelve baptisms in scripture and still conclude that Christ is right when he taught Paul:

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

to which someone replied a link that lists all of the verses in which Baptism is mention in the new testament:

to which he replied:

“I have read the link. We say again. If the church would recognize the progressive revelation given by Christ to Paul then there would be far less confusion about baptism. Still no water baptizm nessecary. Baptizm by Jesus Christ only. The confusion comes when the Bible is not read progressively. Who is it written to, Why, and when. It does not help if verses written to Jews are used for us “The Body of Christ”. There is a difference in what Jesus and the 12 said while they were on earth and that which He revealed to us by Paul after He was already in heaven. Big difference !”

otjm & xixxvmcm85. Thank you both considerably for your input. Reading the whole context IS vital. PLus as I heard one person put it: If you leave individual to themselves to study the scriptures, you can make the bible say practically anything. - sad but so true. Hence, letting the superiority of the Church officials and leaders, which I completely agree - is the one who Lived, it, wrote it, witnessed it, taught it and truly cooperates with, in, and through the Holy Spirit - interpret it’s own writings.

To all:
I’m not trying to make this guy look bad, I’m just trying to fight the theory he’s somehow convinced under. Please don’t think bad of him, I think he’s well meaning, just really confused…and hoping I at the same time, am not. lol! :smiley:

PS: pray. :slight_smile: it’s 3:00.

God bless you all.

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