How Was Baptism Administered in First Century?

November 24, 2011
Question: Baptize means to fully immerse. Why doesn’t the Catholic Church follow the words of Jesus? Why place tradition above scripture? As is the concept “age of reason” your idea or is it Catholic?

Bread From Heaven: Clearly, TRADITIONS (The Teaching of the Apostles) were handed down for many years before, what we know today as the New Testament, was actually written. Therefore, the New Testament was given birth OUT OF the Teachings of the Apostles. But there was more to it than what got written down. That is why St. John says the “world could not contain the books” if it all was written down. Because of this, all the teachings of the Catholic/Christian Church was used to decide what got canonized and what did not get canonized. Therefore, all that the Church teaches is NOT contradicted by scripture. I submit to you, that despite the strict definition of baptizo, by the time the NT was canonized the method and meaning of baptizo had expanded to include pouring because the Church had been baptizing validly using this method for years already.

It was never an issue until Protestants came along and were motivated to find fault with the doctrine of the Catholic Church (in addition to Catholic who sin) as an excuse to separate from the Church founded by Jesus.

I would like to suggest to you that if the Catholic Church taught that baptism by full immersion was wrong, then this would clearly contradict scripture or nullify the word of God. And what the Catholic Church teaches does fit into scripture much more cohesively that any of the Protestant teachings I was familiar with. There were always scriptures that just didn’t fit Protestant doctrine, and Protestant explanation or commentary on those things just did not ring true to me.

That the “born of water” refers to natural birth is an interpretation. Since the scripture does not specifically say this refers to the waters of natural birth. And this interpretation is not universal among Protestants. It actually derives from those sects to deny the necessity of baptism or want to make it completely optional.

What I am trying to communicate to Protestants is in regard to this very discussion we are having. You are convinced that baptism is by full immersion based ONLY on the definition of the word baptizo in Scripture.OK I understand that. But, what did the Christian Church of the first century do? How did they baptize? Before those words in the New Testament were ever even written, how were converts being baptized?

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before. Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) 90A.D.

So, you see that the Oral Traditions preceded the New Testament. This is settled practice it is not a new instruction. If Satan had actually been able to destroy proper baptism, then that would mean that Jesus was unable to keep His promise.
” and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (His Church). Mt 16:18
The age of reason is a Catholic concept. It is usually around 7 years of age but can vary. Until this time, even though a child is born with a sin nature they are not judged to have committed their own sin until after the age of reason. They must first of all know that a certain behavior is a sin and then freely consent to sin. If what is done is very serious the sin is mortal. If it is less serious it is deemed to be venial sin.

Baptism, Church Authority, Salvation, Eucharist & Mortal Sin

November 22, 2011

Bread From Heaven: Baptism without Faith will not ultimately save a person except a baby who dies without reaching the age of reason or a person baptized on their deathbed. There may be other exceptions, but generally baptism is the first step.The salvation is through the water just as Noah’s ark saved those on it as the Peter passage notes. Baptism corresponds to this.

Sonja: but this is a completely different baptism than
Jesus showed us.

Bread From Heaven:
But the fact is that neither Jesus not anyone else, ever described baptism as being full immersion. While that is the general meaning of the word so the conclusion that immersion is what was done is legitimate, nothing explicitly precludes other methods.And the Jews had been instructed by God to pour and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices to cleanse and consecrate. So these methods were chosen for the cleansing and consecration of baptism when immersion was not practical. (Heb 9:13 Lev. 16:19

Leviticus 16:19
He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 12:27
Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat.

2 Kings 16:15
Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Sonja: Do you accept the churches authority on faith alone or what is
your reason for doing so?

Bread From Heaven: That is a good question. I accept the Church’s authority because in my reading of history and theology I became convinced that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded 2000 years ago and her beliefs were found
to be as old as the Church itself. When I looked at the writings of the early Church Fathers
if they had been writing in such a way as to support Protestantism I would still be Protestant.
However, uniquely Catholic doctrine existed at the dawn of the Church. No Catholic doctrine
contradicts Scripture but only Protestant interpretation of Scripture. Have you read my conversion story? You can read it–> My Conversion

Sonja: As far as faith alone…

Eph.2:8,9
For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Bread From Heaven: I agree and the Catholic Church does not teach that we can save ourselves by works. And Eph. does not say by grace through faith alone. Martin Luther, on his own authority, added the word alone to that passage in his German translation of the Bible. But it is not there. This is a Protestant Tradition. It is contradicted by Scripture.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless…as a result of the works, faith was perfected;…24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. … 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Also, if Protestant theology was correct then the demons would not shudder but be saved because they KNOW and BELIEVE in Our Lord God.

James 2:19… even the demons also believe, and shudder.

Sonja:I have already listed several verses that include belief/faith as a means for salvation, but you reject them as only “partial” truth. Many of them have no mention of baptism in them at all as the one above.

Bread From Heaven: True. You can find many different things linked to salvation/eternal life but not all of them are ever in one scripture. This is precisely why the Catholic Church does not teach that salvation is by ______alone. But the other reason is that the Bible is NOT a book of systematic theology. In order to understand, one must take it as a whole in order to be “in context”. To say we are saved by faith alone is taking the verse out of context b/c James 2 contradicts that idea. But since we accept scripture does not really contradict itself we need to find an understanding that makes sense out of both of those scriptures and many others. Some of the things scripture links with salvation/eternal life/heaven etc.

Faith
Eph 2

Good Works-

James 2 Faith without works is dead.
Ephesians 2:10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do.
Romans 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

LOVE

I John 4: 7 Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 12 …if we love one another, God lives in us

Matthew 5:44-46 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Keeping the Commandments

John 15 .. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. .. bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. … 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Can one be saved without abiding in Jesus? Then one MUST keep His commandments.


I John5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Can we be saved without loving God? How can we love God? By keeping His commandments.

John 14:1515 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:23
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you… 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. … 17 This I command you, that you love one another.

Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Endurance to the End


Hebrews 10:35-39

35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive [a]what was promised.
37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
39 But [b]we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the [c]preserving of the soul.
I could go on and on but I think I have shown that FAITH as Ephesians speaks about it must be a multifaceted entity that encompases all of the above and more.

Luke 21:19
By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Revelation 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:12
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

Sonja: I did read the baptism selection. It mentioned that communion was to sanctify.
This is different than saying the physical bread gives us eternal life. Which do
you believe?

Bread From Heaven: I believe both b/c Jesus said we must eat His Flesh and drink His blood in order to have Eternal Life. But it is not about taking communion one time for salvation. Ongoing communion cleanses and strengthens our souls to stay the course until death and end our lives in friendship with God. So, it is not an either/or but both/and.

Sonja: Do believe that one is subject to damnation until they partake of
communion?

Bread From Heaven:That is for God to decide. The Catholic Church NEVER pronounces who is damned. That is the domain of Our Lord. He is able to save in any way He wishes. But He has given us the sacraments and commandments to guide our souls to Eternal Life with Him. It is the sin of presumption to reason that “just b/c God can save a soul who does not conform to this or that, that therefore I am free to disregard all of these gifts and commands He has given us through the Church. Therefore, based on the teaching of Jesus and His apostles the Church teaches the way of Eternal Life and bestows sacramental graces upon the Faithful to keep their souls in Him.

Sonja:Cause if you take that passage literally that is what you must
accept. I don’t see another way of seeing it.

Bread From Heaven: This is the Problem. You are INTERPRETING the passage. The passage does not say that all who do not eat and drink are damned. I understand why you think this is a logical conclusion. But God’s ways are above our ways.

Sonja: Again you put your faith in the priests that bless the bread (mere humans) to put Jesus into the bread.

Bread From Heaven:No I trust the words of Our Lord and His power to work this miracle for the faithful even through a sinful priest. This the Church has always believed. To see some quotes from the first century A.D. –>Early Church Beliefs in the Eucharist

Sonja: As far as grape juice and wine, you are wrong about our reason for staying with
grape juice, although there are many protestants that believe alcohol is sinful.
The Bible never differentiates between the fruit of the vine that is fresh
(unfermented wine or grape juice) and fermented wine. They both have the same
name. (For example in proverbs when it says Look not upon the wine when it is
red.) We don’t ferment it cause it takes yeast and yeast represents tainting.
The same reason we eat unleavened bread.

Bread From Heaven:That is interesting. You are correct as far as what Jesus actually said. But I am quite sure that the Jews used wine for the Passover, fruit of the vine is a euphemism for wine, so Jesus certainly would have used wine at the Last Supper. But I am not all that hung up on wine vs. grape juice. It is just an interesting digression.

Sonja: I assume on the last point that the church has decided which sins are unto death
for the believer?

Bread From Heaven: Well, not exactly. In order for a sin to be mortal it has to meet 3 requirements.

1) It has to be a very serious sin, like adultery, murder, abortion etc.
2) The person must KNOW it is a sin
3) The person must do it freely not forced or coerced.

Then it would be considered mortal. There is not a list of mortal sins but scripture gives us several lists to make us aware of what grave or serious sin is. The ten commandments is a good place to start.

Sonja: I’ll have to look at these verses more carefully. I’ll read
through 1 John a couple times to try and understand it better. I do try and
understand the more “complex” passages, but it seems there is just too much that
seems completely contrary to what the Bible teaches in the Catholic church for
it to be right if you put the Bible first and the church secondary.

Bread From Heaven:Yes, I am sure it does seem so because you have been taught to interpret scripture according to the Protestant methods. But the doctrine of putting the Bible and personal interpretation first and the teaching of the apostles secondary is a Protestant Tradition with NO SUPPORT in Scripture. Here is an explanation of we mean by Tradition. Also, private interpretation is not approved.

2 Peter 1:20
Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

And the word translated “prophecy” does not mean fortelling the future but according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary:

“Propheteia: signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.”

Before my conversion, I was a very zealous Protestant, sola scriptura adherent and I used Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries and interlinears to “search the scriptures.” All contradictions of Catholic doctrine with the Bible are apparent rather than real. What Catholic Faith contradicts is merely Protestant interpretation of Scripture, not Scripture itself. But Catholics have perfectly legitimate alternate interpretations. It has been a very interesting journey. I applaud your careful reading and analysis of the Scriptures and your willingness to seek the Truth. baptism


Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics Worship Idols

October 22, 2011

Bread From Heaven: On my post Where Does Scripture Say Mary Was Sinless? I made the oft repeated comment: “The Catholic Faith does not contradict anything in Scripture.” To this Erica replied:

Erica: How about IDOLATRY…?

Go and continue worshiping your godly images and let’s see how far you will go…

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, IDOL WORSHIPERS, and all liars–their fate is in the FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. This is the SECOND DEATH.”
Revelation 21:8

HAHAHAHA!!!

Bread From Heaven: Since I had just made a presentation to all of our confirmation students just last Sunday I decided to make my talk into one more post on this topic:

Does the Catholic Church worship Idols?

Protestants say we do. Where do they get this idea?

TEN COMMANDMENTS
First Commandment

Exodus 20:You must not have any other god but me.You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them

Therefore, many Protestants criticize Catholics because we have pictures and statues in our Churches and our homes. Most Protestants never have these in their churches because they think they are idols. They take this very seriously.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind…

Protestants are very sincere, BUT…are they right?
No, they are forgetting some very important Bible verses where God told Moses to place in the Temple, in the very presence of God, in the Holy of Holies:

2 ANGELS of hammered gold …their wings spread upward..The angels are to face each other..-Ex. 25:18-20

So, God Himself wanted  images of “things in Heaven” in the Tabernacle

And did you know God told Solomon to decorate the Temple with images of things in Heaven and Earth?

600 Pomegranates, Lilies, Gourds, 12 Bulls, Lions, Angels, Palm Trees, and Golden Flowers

And it stood upon twelve oxen, of which three looked towards the north, and three towards the west, and three towards the south, and three towards the east, and the sea was above upon them, and their hinder parts were all hid within.–I Kings 7:18-46

And then we have the incident where the children of Israel were bitten by fiery serpents and …

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Obviously, God has not forbidden art because He commanded specific kinds of art to decorate the Temple and to save the Israelites from snakebites. He just didn’t want us to Worship these things

“You must not bow down to them or worship them”

Why does the Catholic Church have Art in Churches? I can think of 5 reasons.

1. Pictures and statues are like family photos in our houses of worship only we have images of the Family of God.

Doesn’t every house have family pictures?

2. As an aid to prayer and to keep us focused.

3. To remind us of those who set an example of heroic Christian living.

4. As reminders of Stories of Faith; to teach our children when a child asks, “Who is that?”

5. To tell the stories of our Faith to all the generations in the last 2000 years when Bibles were too expensive for individuals to own and most people could not read anyway. Did you know, even today 20% of the world population cannot read? But everyone can understand art.

But Protestants will say, “The Bible says: You must not bow down to them or worship them….”

Therefore, Protestants reason, since Catholics have images in their churches and they kneel or bow to them, Catholics worship images and commit idolatry!

So, Protestants think this kneeling is Idolatry?

.

.<–But not this

.

.

Or this–>

……….or this–>

Is President Obama worshiping the Emperor of Japan?

No! He was merely honoring him.

Why do Protestants think only Catholic kneeling is Idolatry?

Simple. Because their leaders have taught them that Catholics worship idols. Protestants trust their leaders and so when they visit a Catholic Church and see statues and pictures with people kneeling in front of them they jump to the conclusion that they are actually seeing modern day idolatry.

They do not question this judgement because they have been taught that this is true. They fail to recognize that they are unable to know the heart and mind of the kneeling person and therefore their judgement may, very well be, uncharitable. They don’t mean to be uncharitable…..But…..

They are simply WRONG!

We bow and kneel in order to honor Mary and the Saints. We do NOT worship them. The Catholic Church condemns the worship of anyone except God, the Holy Trinity!

There is nothing wrong with art in our Churches

Because God Himself commanded Moses to decorate the Jewish Temple with images of:

Things in Heaven–>Angels

and

Things on Earth–>Plants and Animals

The idea that all kneeling is, without question, Worship, is absurd.

If all kneeling =Worship then:

A Knight kneeling to a king is worshiping him.

A little girl kneeling by her bed is worshiping the bed…

A boy kneeling by a Bible and baseball glove is worshiping them.

.

When God said: You must not make …an image of any kind or …bow down …or worship them…

He did not mean all images are idols and all kneeling is worship.

He simply meant : Don’t worship anything or anyone but ME.


Tradition Adds Error to the Bible

May 17, 2010


Q. The Scriptures give us all we need that pertain to life and godliness and are able to make us perfect, and complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work [2 Tim 3: 16-17]. If we need it, it is in the Scriptures. Therefore, the Traditions cannot add anything necessary that are not given to us in the Bible, they can only take away by adding error.

BFHU: You said:

the Scriptures give us all we need that pertain to life and godliness and are able to make us perfect, and complete, thoroughly equipped unto every good work [2 Tim 3: 16-17].

You added the 2 Tim citation which would make many readers think they had just read a line straight out of scripture. And, I know from experience that this is how you have been taught to interpret this verse. But let’s take a look at what scripture actually says:

II Tim.3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The difference between what you said and what the Scriptures actually say is significant. The Timothy passage does NOT say “the Scriptures give us all we need that pertains to life…”

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

The sacred scriptures NO WHERE teach anything like your assertion that”

” If we need it, it is in the Scriptures.”

Sola Scriptura is a tradition of men. It is not Scriptural.


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