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Friday, September 26, 2008

Born again, again

Candy writes of John 3:1-21:

Notice that you must be born of the water and of the Spirit. Jesus makes it clear that born of the water means physically born - the waters being the amniotic fluid in the womb. One must be physically born, before they can be born again. Born of the Spirit is being Born Again. There is no mention of baptism in the above scripture, for one isn't to get baptised before getting saved, only after, in obedience to Christ, but not for salvation. Since being born again is not baptism, it must be something else.

We discussed this when studying the 3rd chapter of St. John's gospel. Please read the full article, but here is the Cliff Notes version.

I think that if Candy takes such a literal interpretation of this verse, then she must rule out the possibility of salvation for those who are never physically born, i.e., those who are miscarried or aborted. Jesus does put being born of water as one of the two conditions for entering the kingdom of God.

It can also be a danger to put a significance on the order in which something is placed in scripture. One obvious case would be that Peter's name is always listed first in the lists of the apostles. Would Candy say that this is significant?

This verse supports that baptism and being born in Spirit through belief in Jesus is linked. This is found throughout the entire New Testament.

The first thing that Jesus does after speaking with Nicodemus is to begin baptizing in 3:22.

Why would Jesus say in John 3 that we should be born and believe, when He says everywhere else that we should be baptized and believe? Clearly, when unless you take the verse out of context of other verses, you should conclude that by "born of water" Jesus meant baptism.

You really can't get more clear than 1 Peter 3:21, which states "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

All other religions require one to DO something - rituals, works, sacraments, penance, and acts of self-righteousness. Yet, for the Christian, Jesus paid it ALL. Through Christ's spilt blood, anyone can gain entrance into heaven.

While Catholicism remains unnamed, rituals, works, sacraments, and penance are all code words used by Candy to allude to Catholicism. However, Catholicism does not teach that we are saved by any of these aspects.

CCC #161: Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"

#169: Salvation comes from God alone

#1741: Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."

#620: Our salvation flows from God's initiative of love for us, because "he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins" (1 Jn 4:10). "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor 5:19).

#1427 It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.

#2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"- reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.


Accepting, believing, and fully trusting in Christ's free gift of salvation is how one becomes born again - born of the Spirit.

Accepting, believing, and trusting are all verbs, or as they call them in schools now, action words. Candy's religion requires her to DO something, too. It places the burden of salvation on your action of accepting Christ.

I ask again, what role does God's grace play in salvation for Candy?

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9 comments:

Saved Sinner said...

Very interesting. Aside from the neccessity of baptism for salvation I think I more or less agree with all of what you said. We tried to understand the baptism for believers only viewpoint before our daughter was born (we wanted to check the opposing viewpoint to confirm our own) but we just could not undertand it.

Kelly said...

Susan, while the Catholic Church teaches the necessity of baptism, we also recognize different kinds of baptism.

For example, suppose you were on your way to get baptized, and died in a car accident. We believe that God would still consider you baptized through baptism of desire. Similarly, we hope for the salvation of miscarried babies, or infants who die before they are baptized.

Certainly, you wouldn't want to knowingly delay baptism because you felt it wouldn't really matter, but we do recognize that God is not restrained by physical baptism, as in the case of the good thief.

I've got a bad head cold right now, so let me know if this doesn't make sense. I can probably find a link to explain it better, but I really need to get started on supper. :)

Elena said...

Good to see you again Kelly!

Saved Sinner said...

Yes, that does make sense - thank you.

I agree that one should not delay baptism on the basis of it not being essential. We had our daughter baptised as soon as we could because we figured that if God tells us to do it, we should do it as soon as we can and not delay it.

Tracy said...

Excellent post Kelly:)

Toni said...

First of all,how is it Christian in any way to devote an entire blog on attacking and bad mouthing some one els? If you don`t like Candy`s blog,don`t visit it.
If you truly believe that she is misleading people,then you should be praying for her. Physical baptism by water is an outward expression from someone that has put their faith and trust in Christ.One should first be saved before getting baptised.The only way to be saved is to 1. realize that you are a sinner,2.realize that God hates sin,3.believe that God sent his son Jesus Christ into this world to die as a sacrafice for all who have put their faith and trust in Him and Him alone. When Jesus was cruicified(Jesus was God in the form of a man)He died and rose again in three days.Then He went to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.He left with us The Holy Spirit which comes upon all who believe and repent. 4.Repent~~Go to Christ,tell Him that you realize your a sinner and you need Him to come into your Heart and you trust Him as Lord and Saviour of your life.Then The Holy Spirit will dwell within you and God will give you a new heart as you continue to seek Him.
THAT`S ALL YOU NEED TO DO.PERIOD.Candy believes this as well.None of this is possible without faith of coarse,which only comes from God. As far as Candy believing that we "need to do something" to get saved,I don`t think she meant it like that at all. God is the one that causes us to have the faith that brings us to repentance. I`m pritty sure that`s what she meant.I`m truly sorry that you are so offended by Candy that you feel the need to have a blog about her.
I hope you have a blessed evening.~~Toni

Pen of Jen said...

I came over from Ginger's because I guess curiosity. I am not going to point to one side or the other as correct in this. I am completely amazed at Satan and how he can spin Christians into a battle that takes us into a " I am right, you are wrong notion"...

The harvest is great and the workers few...yet we squabble amongst ourselves.

I am not wishing for any to go to hell because they are interpreting things through an error that I may or may not make on my blog. I pray that we in blogland take this very serious as we can become stumbling blocks for others.

I am not a Catholic, but I am a sister in Christ. I peeked around this blog, and you seem to be directing those who read this blog in the faith of Catholicism...so why worry about Candy?

I mean Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords ...

Let's be lights instead of blamesayers...this is the same as for the other blog.

I remember in the 80's and 90's-Coca cola was the #1 soda seller in the world...so pepsi had all kind of commercials pointing out coke's flaws...coke never did this in reverse. I think that the assurance of your Faith could be the example like Coke...no need to even mention Pepsi.

I pray that this makes sense. I have no ill feelings here. I pray that all that visit either blogs don't take sides of the bloggers. The sides are clear it is not about Candy or you- it is whether or not you have Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Praying in NM
Jennifer
doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com

Kelly said...

Toni, how is it Christian to accuse someone of "attacking and badmouthing" someone without providing concrete examples? We are not calling Candy a big fat meany head. We are clearing refuting her errors on Catholicism, and providing a place to have a free discussion on theological differences.

If you take the time to actually read the blog, you will see that we do not allow personal attacks on Candy. We also have had some very good discussions with non-Catholics about our differences.

pen of jen, this blog is directed to non-Catholics who are confused about Candy's claims regarding Catholicism. Do we really worship a Babylonian goddess? Are we all waiting until protestants trust us to rise up and murder them all? Do priests really rape nuns and murder babies? These are all things that Candy has really written.

We have no problem with those who disagree with us theologically, and we have had some great discussions here on, for example, the purpose of baptism. But you can't truly disagree with someone unless you understand their position. It does no good to write about how works are not necessary for salvation when the Catholic church does not hold that doctrine.

Elena said...

Kelly pretty much said it all and quite eloquently. I'll just add a few thoughts.

First of all,how is it Christian in any way to devote an entire blog on attacking and bad mouthing some one els?

I always think that when you come to a blog that is brand new to you, it is worth taking the time and effort to read through the archives. A quick perusal of this blog's archives will show the discerning reader that this is not an attack blog - but rather a defense blog. We do not attack Candy; however we fully defend against her viscous and unwarranted attacks on our Catholic faith.

Some questions that come to my mind that I NEVER read from Candy's supporters:

How is it Christian to stir up so much anger and bad feelings?

Is it Christian to tell mistruths or misunderstandings against another group of Christians without giving them a chance to explain and respond?

How is it Christian to personally attack and tell lies about a fellow Christian to the point of providing personal information? just some thoughts...


If you don`t like Candy`s blog,don`t visit it.
If you truly believe that she is misleading people,then you should be praying for her.


We do. In fact we have been criticized for offering rosaries and prayers before the Blessed Sacrament on her behalf. But it seems to me that the message Jesus was more than just a prayer support for sinners. He was also very big on instruction and teaching and that is a big part of what we do here.

As far as Candy believing that we "need to do something" to get saved,I don`t think she meant it like that at all. God is the one that causes us to have the faith that brings us to repentance. I`m pritty sure that`s what she meant.

Who really knows what she means. She writes things, then takes them down, or restates them. It's like trying to grasp smoke.


I`m truly sorry that you are so offended by Candy that you feel the need to have a blog about her.


Thanks but that apology, which I believe is not forthcoming, should come from Candy. But a subtle difference - we do NOT blog about Candy. We blog about her attacks on Catholicism and on theology. That is a big difference.


I am not a Catholic, but I am a sister in Christ. I peeked around this blog, and you seem to be directing those who read this blog in the faith of Catholicism...so why worry about Candy?

Well isn't the more direct question, why does Candy blog about Catholicism. She is not Catholic, she doesn't study Catholicism, and yet she is obsessed with it, although not to the point of actually learning much about it. Perhaps you should ask her why she keeps wanting to bring that up when it has done nothing to enhance her reputation or her influence in the blogosphere.