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Friday, June 27, 2008

Candy on Infant Baptism

On Candy's most recent post, someone left a comment asking her opinion of infant baptism. (A secret reader here?)

Candy's reply:
There is no place in the Bible, at all, that says we are to baptize babies.

Under the New Testament, baptism is to occur only after a person has accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

A baby is under the age of accountability, and therefore can't choose Christ, meaning that their baptism is just a bath, and nothing more.

I dedicated my firstborn to the Lord, but I never baptized any of my children, as it's meaningless, and not biblical.

All babies who die go to heaven, regardless if they've been baptized or not.

Anyone under the age of accountability, or without the mental capacities to understand the Gospel is saved by default, because they can't have their sins imputed to them, because they don't know it's sin, and the Bible says that if one sins, and didn't know it was sin, then it is not imputed as sin to them.


Now, I can hardly blame Candy for not providing Scripture citations for NOT baptizing babies, because she says it isn't there. I would be curious to hear what her interpretation is of the verses which I provided in my previous article.

However, she provides a whole comprehensive theological view without any reference to Scripture. Yes, she's busy and maybe she didn't have time. I understand that, and as she is pretty independent theologically, I can't just look up an article online explaining her view. That, at least, is one point in favor of Catholicism. If we're busy here, you can find an answer pretty easy.

But returning to my point, I can guarantee you that "age of accountability" isn't found in the Bible anymore than "purgatory." I'm also pretty sure that it doesn't discuss mental capacity. Catholicism is criticized for not relying strictly on Scripture, and for using tradition, but in practice, even people who consider themselves strict "Bible Believers" will use tradition in interpreting the Bible, as Candy does here.

Joy has a good list of common non-Catholic traditions here.

I am also curious as to how this: the Bible says that if one sins, and didn't know it was sin, then it is not imputed as sin to them.

lines up with this:
Many people will fall into religions that worship the counterfeit Mary and Jesus. They will fall into these cults because of their ignorance of the Word of God, or because they are reading the new Bible versions that have been translated from extremely errant manuscripts translated by ignorant or ungodly people.

Candy also wrote at one point that "sincerity will not save you."

If Catholics are unaware that they are worshiping Baal and Semaris, or Dagon the Fish God, if they think they are really Christians, then they don't know they are sinning, so does that mean that their salvation isn't really in danger?

I think this is typical of the sort of double-standard that Candy has for Catholics. When in doubt, they're probably going to hell.

For example, Julie wrote about her husband:

Hi Candy! I have a situation that I am a bit confused on. I am not 100% sure on my DH's salvation but he does attend church with us

Candy replied: Julie, he said he's saved, so that's that. The rest is between he and God. Different Christians are in different walks in their life.

Yet, when Angie, a professed Catholic, claimed to trust in Jesus for her salvation, Candy's response was very different:

Angie, it's nice that you believe in Jesus Christ - whatever that means. I believe in Abraham Lincoln, but that's not getting me into heaven. Also, I already told you that I'm not condemning you, GOD has ALREADY done that, and I gave you scripture which proved it.


I'll keep an eye on the comments to see if any additional information is added, but for now, I'm filing this away as an instance where Candy is relying on tradition to form her interpretation of Scripture.

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22 comments:

Barb said...

This comment is for Tracy, who posted at the other site.

Tracy,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your testimony! I have no doubt that you are saved at all. It was a blessing to read.

Now, this is my first time to comment here, but I've been reading. I'm not Catholic, but will say that I know Kelly from the LAF Message Board (I'm blr1968).

Kelly has a wonderful testimony over there and I always enjoy her well-thought out answers and replies to those who are not Believers on the board.

I will say that I do no agree with everything that you post, but I have found much of it interesting and it has answered some questions as to why you believe it.

I do pray that I didn't offend with this post.

Angie said...

Awesome job, Kelly!

Kelly said...

barb, thank you so much for stopping by!

I'm glad to hear that you've found our posts informative. Our aim isn't to convert everyone to Catholicism, but to clear up misconceptions.

I know that we will never all agree theologically, but I do enjoy the conversations. Of course, you already knew that, because I'm always the first one in a theological discussion over at LAF!

Elena said...

Wow. Now I think this one should go to the Catholic Carnival too!

Elena said...

What is LAF? Ladies against Feminism?

Clare said...

A little OT right now, but I just wanted to share a welcome response from Ginger to my comment correcting some misinformation.
She published my comment and graciously acknowledged the correction.
You can read it here:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3704212976550744146&postID=5325112956483961786

Kudos to her!

Tracy said...

First off, excellent post Kelly!!

Second, thank you very much Barb, I really appreciate your kind comments:)

Many Blessings!!

Buildeth Her House said...

I believe that there truly are some Catholics that are born again & still devoted to following some the traditions of the Catholic Church even though they don't have to. I also believe there are different "denominations" of Catholics so what one may practice is not the same as another.

As far as Candy's response to Angie I would guess what she meant by that was that you can "believe" in Jesus Christ, His death on the cross for sinners but not TRULY be trusting in Him. So the question is who /what are you trusting in for salvation & is that "all" you are trusting in for salvation. This goes for any person....Catholic or not...... because we all have sinned and fallen short of God's standards.
Something I've seen among many Christian women is it seems they are trusting in outward things to change them/save them/ make them more Christian.....such as dressing a certain way, homeschooling or eating a certain way etc. (it seems like some kind of fad or following to me)It seems much like some unneeded religious traditions.

I have devout Catholic friends that follow everything they are taught but are just doing it because they are following the traditions not seeking a personal relationship with Christ. I know this to be true because when I refer to being born again or speak of scripture about salvation they have no idea what I'm talking about.

I see no need for infant baptism....because the Bible doesn't speak of it....it only speaks of baptism for those who have believed.
How did this tradition of infant baptism start in the Catholic church ? Do adults in the church ever get baptized? ....what is the history behind it? I have read some things but I don't know it to be the truth. It was from a book a read based on folklore,pagan practices,superstitions etc.....it spoke of no religious groups by name.

Elena said...

I know this to be true because when I refer to being born again or speak of scripture about salvation they have no idea what I'm talking about.

To be honest Buildeth, sometimes Protestants talk and I have no idea what they're talking about either. The terms are foreign to my ears, just as I'm sure that Catholic terminology is foreign to yours. The paradigms are different as well.

I would not however try to judge whether or not your friends are working on a relationship with Jesus Christ simply because they are following traditions that you do not understand. Much of Catholic symbolism is deeply meaningful and helpful in reminding us and bring us closer to Christ.

Barb said...

Yes, LAF is Ladies Against Feminism.

Kelly said...

buildethherhouse, I wrote about infant baptism just about 5 posts back, so scroll down and you should find it easily. It is the John 4 post.

I would point out that baptism isn't a derivation from the norm that was started by the Catholic Church. Infant baptism WAS the norm, until the Anabaptists came around in the 16th century.

People who are Catholic by birth are usually baptized as infants. People are baptized as adults if they were not previously baptized as infants, or if there is some reason to feel the previous baptism was invalid. For example, if you were baptized LDS (Mormon) that is not accepted, nor if the formula "Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" was used, as has been trendy in recent years.

In general, the Catholic Church will assume that a baptism is valid and not re-baptize. My husband is a convert who was baptized as a teenager at church camp, and he was not re-baptized.

One thing I find a little humorous in all this, is that if Candy became Catholic, she would not need to be baptized again, as she does in her current church.

It is interesting that often the churches who feel that baptism is merely symbolic and doesn't do or mean anything, are the ones who baptize again, while the churches who hold to a sacramental view don't baptize again. If it doesn't mean anything, why does Candy need to be baptized again? I do really feel for her on this. I imagine it must be very frustrating to have to remain an permanent guest at your church, and not be able to take part in the Lord's Supper.

Buildeth Her House said...

Kelly,

I will be strolling down to read what you wrote.

Elena,

I'm not judging my friends "working on a relationship with Jesus" because they follow Catholic traditions, that I don't understand. I was just pointing out that they are following traditions but have no understanding of what it means to be born again.
A Catholic friend & I were talking on the phone one day about our beliefs. She got out her Catholic Bible I got out my non-Catholic Bible. She looked at her table of contents, I looked at mine. We both had the Old Testament & the New testament. So all the books I had in mine she also had in hers.

So I don't believe this could be just Ptotestant terminology that she doesn't understand...... It's a term used in her Bible ,as well as mine (John Chapter 3 verse 3, actualy reading further on in chapter 3 would put it all into context ) but she had never heard it......."Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kigdom of God" KJV. I'm not KJV only....I have two other translations that use the same term "born again". The NASB says it this way .... Jesus answered" Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God"

I don't see how you can have a relationship with Jesus if you have never heard these basic truths.

Saved Sinner said...

Some people say that very young children go to heaven based on David's son with Bathsheba who died and David (who we assume was saved) says he will see him again. I don't think you can make any conclusions about what age this goes up to or an "age of accountability" from that though.

Elena said...

Buildeth - it is a vocabulary and a paradigm thing.

This article might help you understand what I mean.

Elena said...

As mentioned in the Catholic Answers link, the United States Catholic Council of Bishops translation of the New American Bible translates it this way:

Jesus answered and said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born 3 from above."

RSV Catholic version says:
"Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Douay Rheims has
3 Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

but in the notes says:
5 "Unless a man be born again"... By these words our Saviour hath declared the necessity of baptism; and by the word water it is evident that the application of it is necessary with the words. Matt. 28. 19.

angie said...

Cute story- last night a friend dropped off a baby doll highchair for my girls (5 and 3). This morning when I came downstairs they were happily playing with their dollies and new highchair. I asked if they liked their new highchair, and my 5 y/o says, "Oh,yes, but what I really want now is a 'baptize set.'" :)

Buildeth her House- If you've been raised in your faith and been a faithful Christian (or Catholic for that matter), what is the process of being born again? I've gone through experiences where I my spiritual life has been stronger than in my past, but as a Catholic who has pretty much stayed the course on my journey, I don't really understand what your interpretation of that scripture verse means. I have always understood it as Elena explained it (baby is born, baby is baptized to remove original sin, thus baby is born again).

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Barbara C. said...

buildeth her house,

"Being born again" and "saved" aren't terms that are really in the every-day Catholic vocabulary but appear to kind of be Protestant catch phrases. I think those terms imply a major "one time" emotional experience. However, with the Sacraments starting at birth, I never felt like I had to have a big experience of accepting Jesus into my life because it is just kind of a given that Jesus is Christ and is part of my life. I can't remember a time when I didn't know that. The Sacraments and maturity just re-enforced my belief and faith in Jesus and the entire Trinity. And even though I slipped away from the Church in college I never lost my faith in Christ and I see my reversion to Catholicism more as a re-affirmation rather than the point of re-birth in Christ. Even though I know I was "born again" through baptism I still make a lot of mistakes that start to distance me from God again. The Church helps me to rebuild my relationship with God.

This is why if someone asks me if I've been "saved" I tend to say, "No, not in the way you're implying." I believe that salvation is an on-going process not a one-time event like a religious epiphany.

There is also a difference in approach. Many Protestant denominations start teaching kids to memorize Bible verses from an early age. Most Catholics that I have known tend to learn all of the events in the Bible and discuss their meaning without memorizing the exact wording or what chapter and verse they are found in. Catholics may and should study the Bible more in-depth to deepen their understanding of Christ, but Catholics do not bare the burden of having to interpret everything for themselves.

This may be why your Catholic friends' faith may seem lacking to you. It's a difference of approach and emphasis. And sometimes it's just different terminology for the same belief. It's kind of like how any soda down South is called a "coke", but up North it's a "soda" or a "pop". You're talking about the same things just using different words.

I don't know if this helps.

KitKat said...

Ok, I am probably going to sound pretty silly here, but I am going to ask anyway. I have never ever been able to wrap my mind around the terms "born again" or "saved". I come from a Protestant Lutheran background, but I converted to Catholicism. This was not a term that I have ever familiar with except for the famous bible verse that some Protestants quote when they ask if you are saved. In my youth I was taught that I didn't need to be "re-saved" or "re-born" again because I already was when Jesus died on the cross. Since I already accepted that and had been a practicing Christian basically from birth, I was already saved by his sacrifice. Honestly, (and please forgive my bluntness here) that whole "saved" or born again process that I hear some Protestants denominations talk about seems a bit self-serving and overdone to me. But maybe I am just not understanding it because of a terminology issue or such. In my eyes, I am already saved and always have been by Jesus dying on the cross. I just need to accept that salvation, which I have.

Anyway, I guess the point of my rambling comment here is: Elena or Kelly, would you mind someday tackling the subject of how a Catholic can politely address the whole "Are you saved?" quesiton. I really just don't understand the concept that they are speaking of. It always has seemed to me that you have to have some type of experience or spiritual awakening. I have had many things happen to me that affirm my faith and changed my life. But really, I hope that those experiences don't stop, and I choose my faith everyday. So I just don't get it. What am I missing in their defintion and how can I explain that I am already saved without having to go through whatever it is they I get the feeling they think I need to go through. Do these question make sense? Thanks!!

KitKat said...

Great Explanation Barbara C! I may steal your answer to the "saved" question. The problem that I have always run into is that some Protestants don't consider infant baptism valid, so they think that I still need to be saved and experience adult baptism. It just frustrates the buggers out of me, so I can't answer them intelligently.

Anyway, great post and I am learning alot on how to deal with some issues and answer some questions that have always been tough for me to explain. It's weird - I *understand* why I am saved, but I just can't *explain* it without becoming frustrated.

Thanks again!!!

Kelly said...

kitkat, if try the article that Elena recommends about halfway down the comments on this thread. It is an article on Catholic Answers called Are Catholics Born Again? I think it really helps with how to answer this question.

KitKat said...

Thanks Kelly!! I haven't had the time to check out Elena's links today but I will be sure to do so tonight.

KitKat said...

Ok, I was curious so I went and read it. It is an excellent article! I am not sure how I missed this article on Catholic.com because I go there quite frequently, but I am glad that Elena pointed it out. Thanks Elena & Kelly!