Why Are So Many "Born Again" as Protestants?


#1

It’s something I’ve often wondered about. Whenever I speak with someone who talks about faith, they always talk about being “Christian”, yet when I ask what denomination, the answer is invariably non-demoninational or some Protestant branch. What gives? Are there many people who find God via the Catholic Church? I’ve even met people who one might assume is catholic (assuming always a dangerous thing, I know), especially if they are hispanic or of Italian descent. I know part of it may be my own personal prejudice in assuming things, but more times than not, Born Again Christians are some sort of Protestant/Non-Denominational sect. Perhaps it’s the evangelical and proselytizing manner by which the Protestants gain their membership.

I realize there are many here who are converts to Catholicism, but the Protestant monopoly on Born Agains is a mystery to me.


#2

Good question.

The Protestants, including the nondenoms, who say they are born again are telling you about an emotional few moments they think that “Saved Them”. It was totally an EMOTIONAL thing that had little to do with being “saved”.

Lets say they were “born again” at age 25. Then at age 70 they have lived a life with no confession, much sin and now they are dying. They will say,“Hey I was born again at age 25 so I will go to heaven”. Did a priest of Jesus Christ give him any sacraments? No! So I say the words, “Born Again” mean nothing to a nonCatholic, absolutely nothing. Protestant’s Born Again is EMOTIONAL not SACRAMENTAL. Emotion doesnt work.


#3

I think it’s because Protestants use that term much more commonly to describe a “personal relationship with Jesus.” They embrace the term while many Catholics view it as something only “non denom - holy roller types” call themselves. Not to say that we don’t know Jesus personally - of course we do… we just don’t use those words.

I think many people who grow up not knowing a thing about God are more likely to come to him initially in a Protestant Non-denom atmosphere. The churches are very seeker friendly and welcoming. They present the gospel in very simple terms & offer lots of Bible studies where the new believer can learn more.

I think the Catholic Church is intimidating to someone who knows nothing… what are we saying? Why? What’s it all about? And let’s face it… we aren’t set up to even KNOW who is new - and even if we were, I think we get in & we get out. And if you want to learn more, you often have to buy the books & read up on your own. Totally different.

But it’s after the new believer learns about the Chrisitan faith & studies the Bible that I believe - if taught, he’d convert to the Catholic Faith becuase I think the truth of our faith becomes so obvious to anyone who is willing to take a serious look.


#4

NonCatholic “born agains” are purely Emothional and not woth much at all. They do not recieve Sacraments from a Priest who is derived from St. Peter.

That emotion wears off in a few minutes. Sacraments do not wear off. The Emotional Born Again is fooling himself. He goes through life without confession so he retains his sins unto death. It (Born Again) has a false hope and is a poor sustitute for the real thing.


#5

Exporter that was perhaps the most ignorant statement I have read in my entire online existence, as a 30 year old web designer that is saying a great deal.

To die unto yourself and be reborn in Christ is doing nothing more than following the Word of God as it addresses our salvation. The belief that you need to recieve sacrament from an RCC priest is a legalism of your faith, non-Biblical and by the way, completely dishonors the cross.


#6

At least for younger people, its more fun than a dreary catholic church. why chant when you can sing and sway? but that is just the young people, i hope.


#7

[quote=ChristFollower]Exporter that was perhaps the most ignorant statement I have read in my entire online existence, as a 30 year old web designer that is saying a great deal.

To die unto yourself and be reborn in Christ is doing nothing more than following the Word of God as it addresses our salvation. The belief that you need to recieve sacrament from an RCC priest is a legalism of your faith, non-Biblical and by the way, completely dishonors the cross.
[/quote]

That was about as ignorant a statement as I’ve ever read (short of Chick and White) and I’m more that twice your age. All the sacraments of the Catholic Church are Biblical and one is done in memory of the cross. Maybe you need to find out what Catholics really believe before making such a statement.


#8

[quote=ChristFollower]Exporter that was perhaps the most ignorant statement I have read in my entire online existence, as a 30 year old web designer that is saying a great deal.

To die unto yourself and be reborn in Christ is doing nothing more than following the Word of God as it addresses our salvation. The belief that you need to recieve sacrament from an RCC priest is a legalism of your faith, non-Biblical and by the way, completely dishonors the cross.
[/quote]

Is it your philosphy that an ignorant statement must be responded to by an equally ignorant answer? :slight_smile: I think both positions are grotesquely simplistic oversimplifications and does nothing toward understanding the position of each.


#9

I admit, to say it dishonors the cross was harsh and probably out of line considering Catholic Answers is even allowing my opinions be heard here. I stand by the rest of the statement.


#10

[quote=geezerbob]** Maybe you need to find out what Catholics really believe before making such a statement.**
[/quote]

Geezer, if the Catholic beleif conflicts with scripture and the sufficiency of what Christ did on the cross in regards to my salvation, it has no more relevance to me than what may be in Watchtower or LDS manuscripts.


#11

Boys, boys, boys-

Please relax everyone - it’s just a thread.

Why is there a Protestant monopoly on being “born again”? There isn’t, just a monopoly of using the term “born again”. And if I’m not mistaken the term “born again” is a continuation of the misunderstanding that Nicodemus had while speaking to Jesus in John 3: Jesus words were translated into the greek adverb “anothen” which has a dual meaning. He could have meant “again” or “from above”. Nicodemus thought he meant “born again” which is why he asks the rediculous question, “How can a person once old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mothers womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus meant born from above and goes on to explain as much.
So in reality, there is no monopoly by Protestants on being “born again” - everyone who has been baptized has been born again as well. Most catholics were just a little too young to remember it though :slight_smile: .

Phil


#12

It’s simple - Catholics are only born once.


#13

[quote=ChristFollower]Exporter that was perhaps the most ignorant statement I have read in my entire online existence, as a 30 year old web designer that is saying a great deal. To die unto yourself and be reborn in Christ is doing nothing more than following the Word of God as it addresses our salvation.
[/quote]

I agree that to disparage what can be a real grace-experience via the “born again” template shows a certain lack of confidence in the Holy Spirit.

The belief that you need to recieve sacrament from an RCC priest is a legalism of your faith, non-Biblical and by the way, completely dishonors the cross.

Is this your view of Catholic sacramental theology? Non biblical? A mere “legalism?” Dishonors the cross? May I quote you: “That was perhaps the most ignorant statement . . .”


#14

[quote=ChristFollower]Exporter that was perhaps the most ignorant statement I have read in my entire online existence, as a 30 year old web designer that is saying a great deal.

To die unto yourself and be reborn in Christ is doing nothing more than following the Word of God as it addresses our salvation. The belief that you need to recieve sacrament from an RCC priest is a legalism of your faith, non-Biblical and by the way, completely dishonors the cross.
[/quote]

1119 Forming “as it were, one mystical person” with Christ the head, the Church acts in the sacraments as "an organically structured priestly community."36 Through Baptism and Confirmation the priestly people is enabled to celebrate the liturgy, while those of the faithful "who have received Holy Orders, are appointed to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God in the name of Christ."37

1120 The ordained ministry or *ministerial *priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood.38 The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church. The saving mission entrusted by the Father to his incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors: they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person.39 The ordained minister is the sacramental bond that ties the liturgical action to what the apostles said and did and, through them, to the words and actions of Christ, the source and foundation of the sacraments.

1121 The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental *character *or “seal” by which the Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible,40 it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.

** 34 Jn** 16:13; cf. Mt 13:52; 1 Cor 4:1.
39 Cf. Jn 20:21-23; Lk 24:47; Mt 28:18-20.


#15

[quote=buffalo]It’s simple - Catholics are only born once.
[/quote]

Depends what you mean :slight_smile: - one can only become a Catholic once (i.e., Baptism cannot be repeated);

but

if any man would enter the Kingdom of Heaven, he must be born “again”/“from above”: being born once, from his mother is not enough; the second birth, by baptism, is needed. ##


#16

Non-Catholics often use different terminology than Catholics. When they say “born again,” what they really mean is that they have “accepted Jesus as their ‘personal’ Lord and Savior,” where as Catholics, we are born again in Baptism. So, I don’t think non-Catholics have a “monopoly” on born again, it’s just that we both use the term to describe two different things. The only problem I have with the non-Catholic use of the term is, how can someone know it “took” when they are born again, or “saved?” There really is no way of knowing.


#17

[quote=jusher7281]Non-Catholics often use different terminology than Catholics. When they say “born again,” what they really mean is that they have “accepted Jesus as their ‘personal’ Lord and Savior,” where as Catholics, we are born again in Baptism. So, I don’t think non-Catholics have a “monopoly” on born again, it’s just that we both use the term to describe two different things. The only problem I have with the non-Catholic use of the term is, how can someone know it “took” when they are born again, or “saved?” There really is no way of knowing.
[/quote]

Sorry to be nitpicky but it’s what Im best at! Actually Catholics and Protestants AGREE on what being born again MEANS(ie the spiritual effect it has): it means that you are made spiritually alive by the grace of God as a result of the atonement through faith for the forgiveness of sins. So we all agree on what happens to us, the difference is the MEANS(the method used) we employ, and this is what you have pointed out. Catholics look typically to Baptism as the means, whereas Protestants view the
profession of faith as the means.

Phil


#18

Geez it’s just terminology. Nobody has the license on salvation. The term “Born Again” is just the term we use for the time we made the conscious decision to follow Christ. Sure to those outside the circle it may seem like an “emotional” decision but put the shoe on the other foot for a moment and try to see how us non-Catholics see the sacraments, for us they border on superstitious. We take the example of the thief on the cross, he made a declaration that Christ was lord and that was sufficient for his salvation. Catholics believe that salvation is part faith and part works, My denomination believes that salvation is by grace but that grace produces works. In both cases though one can’t survive without the other.

The point is that a lot of time is wasted here trying to prove one side is right and the other is wrong. It seems like we’re in a peeing match and we don’t realize were peeing into the wind because the more effort we exert proving the other side wrong the sillier we look. I wish we all put so much effort in saving the lost and helping those who really need it that we wouldn’t have time to argue over the details. I just hope when we all get to heaven we can laugh over it, something tells me that God doesn’t hold the when and how of salvation nearly as high as the act of salvation itself.


#19

[quote=Shlemele]Geez it’s just terminology. Nobody has the license on salvation. The term “Born Again” is just the term we use for the time we made the conscious decision to follow Christ.
[/quote]

I respectfully disagree, it isn’t *just terminology, *especially if someone thinks that by simply making a conscious decision to follow Christ, that they are now saved. There’s more to it than that.

Sure to those outside the circle it may seem like an “emotional” decision but put the shoe on the other foot for a moment and try to see how us non-Catholics see the sacraments, for us they border on superstitious.

I’ll give you that. Most of my friends are non-Catholic and they can’t understand why Catholic do what they do, but that’s because they haven’t bothered to ask why. It goes back to the original point, and that is, they believe all a person has to do is make a profession of faith and then try to be the best person they can. What they don’t realize is the sacraments (all of which were instituted by Christ) are ways for us to receive the grace necessary to do just that.

We take the example of the thief on the cross, he made a declaration that Christ was lord and that was sufficient for his salvation.

That’s just one example, and an extreme one at that. Jesus said there are other things a man must do to receive eternal life, one of which is to be born of water and the spirit (Baptism).

The point is that a lot of time is wasted here trying to prove one side is right and the other is wrong.

Both sides can’t be right, can they?


#20

[quote=jusher7281] Both sides can’t be right, can they?
[/quote]

Actually… I think it’s more a question of balance. The Word and Sacrament are essentials. Protestants have forgotten their roots and how the sacraments are not just formative - they’re essential.

There is some Protestant bigotry going on here; “born again”, as someone mentioned, comes from the Gospel of John (Nicodemus). In that same chapter, Jesus states that we must be born of water AND the spirit. The water certainly suggests baptism. The Spirit? I think that not only suggests the charism of confirmation, but a continued willingness to live in the Spirit. Faith and discipleship are not static.

John Wesley had his heart “strangely warmed” at a Bible study in his 30’s - long after his baptism and ordination. It was a matter of the heart; while emotional, I don’t think that discounts the experience (I was emotional when my daughter was baptized as a baby!). On the contrary, it was the genius of the Methodist movement: a balance of the evangelical AND the sacramental. Because of that… Wesley converted the working poor, factory workers, and coal miners of England - and did so in the absence of the Catholic Church, or for that matter Wesley’s own Church of England.

Where my own tradition has failed is in forgetting the sacramental emphasis that was so much a part of the early days of Methodism. I applaud the Catholic Church for its seminaries emphasizing homiletics… I’ve heard some pretty good sermons from Catholic priests of late, which gets the Word and the Table on a more equal plane.

Catholics certainly have legitimate “beefs” against the Protestant Church. But in many areas of the U.S., Protestants have filled a niche that the Catholic Church has evidently not bothered with. I guess I would ask this question: why isn’t the Catholic Church being proactive about converting individuals from other faths? And why are there areas of the U.S. that have no catholic churches? The closest catholic church to me is 15 miles… and where I’ve lived previously, the trip was as far as 40 miles.

Pax,

O+


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