What will happen if I don't get baptized before I die?

I did not say that Protestants were pagans. I even said explicitly that this was not my meaning. I was not saying Protestants were Jews either. I was using those examples as analogies. The point was that Protestants are not Catholic, and by receiving baptism from them, you are saying that you are not either. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

The Church does not teach that baptism should always be administered without delay. Otherwise the Church would not ordinarily delay baptism until after a period of catechesis. Surely you are familiar with RCIA? The Church ordinarily delays baptism even for those who are dead set on it for as much as a year. Even in the case of infants, if a dying infant who was never baptized belongs to, say, Jewish parents, and there is a Catholic nurse who wishes to baptize the infant, the Church’s instruction is that infants in such cases should not be baptized contrary to the parent’s wishes. The Church’s teaching is not that it should not be delayed, but that it should not be unduly delayed. And it is certainly not the Church’s teaching that one should be baptized whatever the cost.

If the OP would be unduly delaying baptism by waiting until he was older, he ought to seek out baptism from a minister of the Church, not just do what is easy because he is afraid of what his parents might think. This is a question that would best be tackled with guidance (in person) from a priest.

This article applies to catechumens (people who have begun the process of being received into the Catholic Church). The OP identifies as protestant - this would not necessairly apply.

The Church has not taught (and will never teach) whether this teaching would apply to a protestant who had begun the Baptismal process in his own church but dies before receiving it. But it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate this teaching to protestant Christians.

But we cannot extrapolate this to include those who simply put Baptism off. If Baptism is available, but you don’t avail yourself of it, you can hardly have expressed your “explicit desire” to receive it. This is why (in another thread) I have encouraged the OP to take advantage of the first opportunity to begin the Baptismal process in his (her?) own church.

The Catholic Church does teach that it is possible to obtain salvation without Baptism even beyond what is taught in CCC1259. But, in the case of a non-Catholic (or a person who has not started the process to become Catholic), the Church has no idea how it works. We don’t know if many people have found salvation this way, or if few have, or if ANY have. We don’t know the criteria by which God makes this decision.

Thus, the “assurance” that is promised by CCC1259 does not apply. The only 100% assured way to receive salvation is through the Grace of Christian Baptism, and neglecting the opportunity to receive it is far less than ideal.

Well I guess I just disagree. He is not formally in the Oder of catechumens, and 3 plus years is a significant length of time.

The person desires baptism and as such should be baptized however possible for him to obtain a valid baptism.

His other sacraments can be done later when he comes formally into the church.

First, if the formula (words) used at your baptism are “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” or something similar that is clearly trinitarian, then your baptism would be valid. To be sure, however, you might be baptized conditionally when you join the Catholic Church with words such as “If you are not baptized, then I baptize you…”. That’s how I was brought into the Catholic Church in 1979, anyway. :blush:

As for what would happen if you were to die before being baptized, do you desire it?

If yes, then “baptism of desire” applies to you. Here’s why:

Trent on Baptism of Desire
From “The Necessity of Being Catholic” by Jimmy Akin
(read the whole article if you can)

Canon four of Trent’s “Canons on the Sacraments in General” states, “If anyone shall say that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation but are superfluous, and that although all are not necessary for every individual, without them or without the desire of them . . . men obtain from God the grace of justification, let him be anathema [excommunicated].” This is an infallible statement because anathemas pronounced by ecumenical councils are recognized as infallibly defining the doctrine under discussion.

Trent teaches that although not all the sacraments are necessary for salvation, the sacraments in general are necessary. Without them or the desire of them men cannot obtain the grace of justification, but with them or the desire of them men can be justified. The sacrament through which we initially receive justification is baptism. But since the canon teaches that we can be justified with the desire of the sacraments rather than the sacraments themselves, we can be justified with the desire for baptism rather than baptism itself.

This is confirmed in chapter four of Trent’s Decree on Justification. This chapter defines justification as “a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of the ‘adoption of the sons’ of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.” Justification thus includes the state of grace (salvation). The chapter then states that “this translation, after the promulgation of the gospel, cannot be effected except through the laver of regeneration or a desire for it, as it is written: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’ [John 3:5].” Justification, and thus the state of grace, can be effected through the desire for baptism (for scriptural examples of baptism of desire, see Acts 10:44-48, also Luke 23:42-43).

**Only actual baptism makes one a formal member of the Church; baptism of desire does not do so. Since justification can be received by desire for baptism, as Trent states, justification and thus the state of grace can be received without formal membership in the Church. The desire for baptism is sufficient. **

In the same chapter that it states that desire for baptism justifies, Trent defines justification as “a translation . . . to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God” (Decree on Justification 4). Since whoever is in a state of grace and adopted by God is in a state of salvation, desire for baptism saves. If one dies in the state of grace, one goes to heaven and receives eternal life.

As Trent also states: “Justification . . . is not merely remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts, whereby an unrighteous man becomes a righteous man, and from being an enemy [of God] becomes a friend, that he may be ‘an heir according to the hope of life everlasting’ [Titus 3:7]” (Decree on Justification 7). Thus desire for baptism brings justification and justification makes one an heir of life everlasting. If one dies in a state of justification, one will inherit eternal life. Period. This question of whether formal membership is necessary for salvation is thus definitively settled by Trent. It is not. Informal membership, the kind had by one with desire for baptism, suffices.

And if you want to have some fun with your folks, leave this lying where they will find it:

The Necessity of Water Baptism Proved from Scripture

The New Testament writers indicate that baptism is necessary for salvation in the following verses of scripture.

Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Note that two things are necessary: 1) belief and 2) baptism.

Acts 2:37-39
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Note that two things are necessary: 1) repentance and 2) baptism.

Acts 22:16
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Note that baptism – not faith – is prescribed for the cleansing of sins.

Titus 3:4-7
4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Note that the author states that “He saved us through the washing of rebirth” – an obvious reference to baptism.

1 Peter 3:20-21
when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

“Baptism…now saves you”.

In a previous post, the OP indicated that he “was putting off Baptism.”

I think others here share my concern about this, and I continue to encourage the OP to avail himself of his soonest opportunity to begin the Baptismal process at his own church.

If someone desires something, but does not accept it when it is offered, the sincerity of his desire could be called into question. I’m not sure how the doctrine of Baptism of Desire relates to someone who desires Baptism… someday (but not today).

I realize that in the OP’s faith, Baptism is merely ceremonial, and there are no consequences for delaying it. But, on a Catholic Forum, we’re gonna discourage that idea.

God knows of your desire to receive Baptism and enter His Church and that it is through no fault of your own that you cannot be baptized. Rest assured, God will honor your desire to be with Him should you die before being able to be received into His Church. You have what is known of Baptism of desire.

Generally speaking, Protestant baptism using the trinitarian formula is valid and I would suggest that you avail yourself of baptism as soon as possible.

I see, I think the full picture: In your culture, you are still considered under the guardianship of your parents, not yet a self-responsible adult allowed to make such choices about your life, but required in many ways to follow your parent’s directives.

In the Catholic Church, we will baptize anyone (grant them membership in the Body of Christ / citizenship in the Kingdom established by Jesus) who has reached the age of reason and knows they want to participate in this Body and in its mission in service of our Lord. We also will baptize children of members of this Body when it is obvious that their parents and sponsors will teach them to know the Lord as their Lord.

And our Bishops also will then confirm the faith of those baptized and grant additional and full Grace to be a witness to the world.

Back in the early Church, people bound in service to a master or those that the culture did not recognize to be of a reasonable age were only baptized and confirmed with the consent of their masters or their parents, even if they could use their own reason (as you are).

Since the culture of the United States must be observed, in a way we are not always free to make Catholics / Christians of every person, but only those that are “free” to choose this new citizenship in the People of God, the Church.

To you, I will suggest you continue learning about the Catholic Church, continue in submitting to your parents wishes, and when you are (in your understanding) free to follow Christ without considering yourself a disobedient child, then come and ask to be baptized into union with us. Many people followed Jesus at a distance at first (Nicodemus, for example) and were finally baptized at the day of Pentecost or later - but they kept their focus on Jesus and his disciples until the time was right for them. Keep your eyes and ears on him, and be ready for the right time in your life. (Other people “put off” baptism in order to continue in sin until they think some day they will give up sin - most people here on this thread are warning against that. But you do not seem to be doing it for that reason, but you desire to be part of us yet find you are not yet fully a “free man”, not yet allowed to do this by the culture of your country and your family). So keep your focus on Jesus, on learning of him until you see your moment to join him openly. Okay?

But the OP is a minor subject to his parents’ authority…:shrug:

I’m not sure if I inderstand why that’s relevant? His parents seem happy to have him baptized in their church.

David was just saying he should proceed down that path to receive baptism however he can and when he is no longer under his parents he can properly discern coming into the Catholic Church fully.

Yes. First priority is salvation, and Baptism is the ordinary means by which we attain salvation (become “born again of water and the Spirit”). Then we can talk about doctrine. I’m much more interested in the OP receiving Baptism than becoming Catholic.

I detected no objection from the OP’s parents to Baptism in his own church (which practices Sacramentally valid Baptism). He seemed to be postponing it for his own reasons. Since he is not coming from a Catholic background, he did not consider that this might be a bad idea. I hope that we have helped motivate him to take action in this regard.

I missed that. My apologies.

Like the Ethiopian eunuch said to St. Philip:

“See, here is water: what hinders me from being baptized?”

And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answering, said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

And [the eunuch] commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and [Philip] baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38)

The eunuch was not in a position to join the local Church. He was headed back to Ethiopia, where there would be no Christians. But God thought it was so important to get that Ethiopian baptized that He teleported Philip all the way to the eunuch and back home again.

The OP believes in Jesus and accepts the need to be baptized for salvation, so getting the OP validly baptized is the priority here.

Re: “Generally speaking, Protestant baptism using the Trinitarian formula is valid and I would suggest that you avail yourself of baptism as soon as possible.”

In addition to the “trinitarian formula” the validity of any baptism received from any non-Catholic church organization as from the official point of view of the Holy Catholic Church: would need to include during its administration, absolutely, also, the proper intent, i.e., at least the fundamental proper intent, which the Catholic Church provably requires for recognizing that a valid Christian Baptism, if claimed, has been actually accomplished by any other baptizing church, or individual.

So if the baptizing ministers of a church, person, or any particular party, performing the baptizing; doctrinally teach, and or believe that their baptism, even if performed according to the Trinitarian formula, to be merely a symbol. And as such does not then actually clearly intend the washing away of actual sin, and sins, etc…

Then to be sure in any such case: one should expect that a properly informed receiving Catholic priest; will determine that a “conditional baptism” will be a priority to be properly pursuing straight away upon one’s approach to their coming home into full sacramental holy communion with our Holy Mother Catholic Church.

Yawn; LOL: Lots of bait takers here “ahsokanerd” and also taking it all in hook line and sinker @ your other recent posts. Your a cleaver 16 year old all right playing your Catholic version of “fan fiction”…

Go see our Mr. ahsokanerd’s Trial Membership post Re: Meet and Greet #117 - posted Nov 22, '14, 7:52 pm - Spunky Guy

But now Catholics only what is - Fan fiction: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_fiction

“Fan fiction, or fanfiction (often abbreviated as fan fic, fanfic, or simply fic), is a broadly defined fan labor term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work’s owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published. Due to these works’ not being published, stories often contain a disclaimer stating that the creator of the work owns none of the original characters. Fan fiction is defined by being both related to its subject’s canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside the canon of that universe.[1] Most fan fiction writers assume that their work is read primarily by other fans, and therefore tend to presume that their readers have knowledge of the canon universe (created by a professional writer) in which their works are based.”

God is Mercy, Judgemental too… but an “unbeliever” just having some fun and a good go at the unweary Catholic could care less… Right?

Umm… What? Are you suggesting that, because I use this username for the fan fiction I write (in order to stay annonymous), that I’m actually faking my (real) question just to have some weird form of fun? That’s absurd. (And if you’re not suggesting that, then I’m rather confused why you write that post.)

I would hope that baseless accusations is not something that is a habit of people on this site. There have been, what, at least three trolls that have hijacked this thread as of now? I stopped looking at this thread for some time for a reason, you know.

On to other things in regards to my original post. Yes, many of you have encouraged me to get baptized, and I’m happy to say that I’m working through the process at our church! I hope to be baptized at the Easter service.

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