Friday, October 22, 2010

Flashback Friday {Seattle, 1958}

Grandpa Peter, at age 14
I love this photo of my dad!
As a teenager, my dad was named "US Catholic Youth of the Year," and traveled to 
Washington DC to receive his award.

Joseph, age 11, miter bearer for Bishop Tyson
(Father Qui Thac's Pastor Installation Mass 2009)

Peter, age 10 (Easter Sunday 2010)

Zachary, age 15 (Acolyte, Easter Sunday 2010)

I met a nice Christian lady at a training session recently who implied that I (my husband, our children, and all our relatives) had been baptized illicitly because we were baptized as infants.

Yes, our parents and Godparents brought us to be baptized and made baptismal promises on our behalf.
Yes, we came into the Body of Christ before we could articulate the desire to accept Jesus on our own.
Yes, we were washed clean of original sin, saved through Christ's suffering, death and resurrection, and received special grace and virtues.

For some reason lately, I'm being asked all kinds of questions and/or being challenged for my beliefs, and 
I want real answers!

I don't know about you, but I will follow Jesus wherever He leads me!

I've found a great resource for answering such questions {like the one about choosing baptism vs. being baptized before you're old enough to choose for yourself} at a great website called Bible Christian Society.

I’m a Born-Again Christian and I was wondering why the Catholic Church doesn’t do the altar call to have people accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior since it says that you must make this declaration to be Born Again?
Answer posted @ Bible Christian Society:

The Catholic Church does, in a sense, make an altar call at every Mass. When people approach the altar to receive Communion, they are indeed accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, as they accept His body and blood into their bodies. Jesus says in John 6, verse 51 and following, that unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you have no life in you. If you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you will have eternal life He says, and He will raise you up at the last day.

He repeats Himself on this matter in John 6 like He does nowhere else in Scripture. Catholics take Jesus' words literally - we believe what He says. That is why we believe we receive His actual body and blood during Communion (or the Lord's Supper as you might call it). So when a Catholic approaches the altar to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, they are saying with their bodies, “I believe.” And just minutes before they approach the altar, they have, with the recitation of the Nicene Creed, declared with their lips that they believe. They believe Jesus is the Lord and Savior of mankind and they believe He is present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - in the Eucharist that they receive.
My question to you, however, is where does it say that someone must make a “declaration” in which they "accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior" in order to be born again? Nowhere does the Bible say such a thing. In fact, the Bible says that one is born again by being baptized. John 3:3-5 says that unless one is born of water and the Spirit (baptism) one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
So it is through water and the Spirit that one is born again. All Catholics, by virtue of their baptism, are Born Again Christians. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that one should not make a declaration that Jesus is their Lord and Savior - we need to constantly proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ - but the Bible does not say that one is "born again" by making such a verbal declaration of acceptance of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior....


Sheila Hughes said...

That's a great link, Bridget! I once heard the response about infant baptism, really exhibits the gift of grace; that our salvation is a gift. No matter what the age we come into the Church/Body of Christ, we are dependent upon the mercy of God.

The continuation of our faith development is so vital, for all. It doesn't stop when we are Confirmed. We are charged to keep growing in our knowledge and practice of the faith. Our personal relationship with Christ is both taught and caught (by our example) to our kids, and others we encounter along the way.

Once again, I'm blessed by your thoughtful posts!

God bless!

Renee Bergeron said...

Nice post. And I think is such a common misconception. Nor does the Bible say you need to "ask Jesus into your heart". That is language that was obviously created to explain faith and salvation to someone.