Baptism of Blood or Desire

Q. Where do you find the doctrines of baptism of Blood and Baptism by desire in scripture?

A. The Catholic Faith is not based on Scripture in the same way Protestants do theology. (But please see this post for scripture on baptism)

For several reasons:

1. For 400 years after the birth of Christ, the New Testament, as we know it today, was non-existent.

2. Therefore, it would have been impossible for all theology to be based on something that did not exist.

The Church taught FIRST from the deposit of Teachings given to the Apostles by Jesus. Then as the need arose to write epistles or Gospels these were written, SECONDARILY. So, Sacred Scripture, is derived from the teaching of the Apostles or Sacred Tradition as we call it. Not the other way around as in most Protestant Churches.

3. The only Christian Churches in the world for over 1400 years based theology on both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (Teaching of the Apostles) until the advent of Martin Luther.

4. There is nothing in Sacred Scripture that commands the faithful to base theology on Scripture Alone/Sola Scripture.

5. Until some time after the invention of the printing press, the Bible, was an extremely costly book. At today’s minimum wages of $5.15 the cost of one Bible in today’s US Dollars would come to $21,424. And that still does not include the cost of materials, or for the time for another monk to decorate the pages and for someone else to bind the pages together and put on a cover. At these prices it is easy to see why every person could not have their own personal Bible for study and devotions. It also becomes clear why Churches chained the Bible in the Church to prevent the theft of this precious possession.

6. The idea of the necessity of Scripture alone for personal reading, salvation, and growth in holiness could not be an eternal Christian principle because the majority of people, until the last several hundred years could not read. Even today, 20% of the world population cannot read. So, Our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom and mercy would not make salvation dependent upon personal reading of the Bible, as some Protestant sects teach.

Q. Should our desire be for baptism or for the Lord Jesus Christ?


Q. Shouldn’t our desire be for his saving grace and our devotion to him.?


Q. Or should we focus on outward acts?

IN OBEDIENCE TO HIM, WE DO WHAT HE COMMANDED. Our outward acts He has commanded for reasons of His own. It is not the place of the clay to say to the potter…….

Q. Don’t you think we should be desiring the savior more than religious acts ?

A. AMEN. Of course, but don’t you think we should also be obedient to Christ? Will He be pleased if we explain our disobedience by saying, “But I really really desired You more than ritual actions.”

Q. I do not accept the Catholic Church’s assumed responsibility of authority by Christ as the conduit ofr truth on this earth. Where in Scripture does it tell me to take another man’s word as the truth or conduit for truth or as an interpreter of truth?

II Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

II Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

Your question is a fair one and this is some scriptural foundation. But I will ask you a question if I may. Where in scripture does it say that we are only allowed to believe something regarding theology if it is in scripture?

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..

This verse applauds scripture as does the Catholic Church but it nowhere forbids belief in anything unless it is found explicitly in scripture. Niether does it warn or teach that all theology must come strictly from scripture. It just does not say that. It recommends the benefits of sacrd scripture. That is all.

Q. If Roman soldiers were martyred for their conversion to Christ, were they joining a church when they made their profession of faith OR were they recognizing their sinfulneess and need for a savior…that savior being Jesus Christ the son of God?

A. They recognized something they wanted to be a part of if people were ready to die for their God. Only God knows exactly what was in their heart. But it is assumed they knew something about Christianity and when they witnessed the faith of the martyrs they were graced with conversion….martyrdom.

Q. If they truly put their faith in Christ yet were not baptized with water (they did not get “dunked, sprinkled or whatever method) then the truth is they did not get baptized. Only God knows if they were truly saved.

A. True. I don’t know if the Church states categorically that they were saved but that they certainly could have been saved surely they had enough faith to be willing to profess Christ in the face of certain and immediate death. Lack of water baptism would not prevent their reception by our loving and merciful Heavenly Father.

For instance there is a speed limit on our freeways. But when my son had convulsions with an extremely high temperature and a probable diagnosis of meningitis at 10 months old we drove him to children’s hospital and broke all the speed limits. If a highway patrol man had stopped us he could technically- legally give us a ticket but based on life and death he could instead have led the way at top speed to the hospital. And all would applaud his wisdom. How much more wise and just is Our Lord.

Q. I am thinking if they professed Christ, then they were saved…but really, that is only something God knows (none of us here on earth know it for sure!)

A. True. Of course, Protestants have no problem saying that a soldier who converted and was martyred would be saved without baptism. Because they do not believe baptism does anything sacramentally. I am only pointing out that the need for literal baptism is not absolute in the Catholic Faith either, even though baptism is the ordinary way.

Q. So, let’s assume they were savedthen, the truth is, they were saved without baptism. Right?

A. Yes without water baptism.

Q. You cannot hedge words …either you are (water) baptized or your not.

A. I agree.

Q. Either you need baptism for salvation, or you do not. Right?

No that is not right. It is not either /or. In obedience to Christ we are baptized in water and teach its necessity in accordance with scripture, yet grant that God can save whoever He wills to save by His own criteria. As through a “baptism” of desire or blood. But just b/c this is true does not give us the right to teach that water baptism is optional.

All the Church knows it what Jesus taught us through the disciples. And this we faithfully teach. The Church cannot safely teach that water baptism is optional when a person could be perfectly able to receive water baptism. And neither do the scriptures say anywhere it is optional. We teach the obedience of faith as Paul opens and closes his letter to the Romans.

Q. You (or the Catholic church, or anybody) cannot just come up with some other doctrine (teaching) to make up for the “holes” in your present theology.

A. Of course you are right. But what the Church believes has been believed from the first centuries of Christianity. I am afraid the Protestants need to cite by what authority they, against the history of Christian theology, can reject what is in scripture and historical Christianity.

3 Responses


  2. I think this is way off track from the truth of gods word and interpretation. I am happy however that you have a truthful honest account for how the decision for this was made. I do believe that many were martyred for belief in Christ. I think it is a heresy to equate it with Christs sacrifice. No blood offering is required of us for anything his blood has purchased our salvation and whether we live or die we are in him the only baptism required is water and spirit according to the bible. We don’t need to add to it.

  3. Dear Theresa,
    We do not in any way equate martyrdom with Christ’s sacrifice. Not sure where you got that. I agree that no blood offering is require of us. I hope you follow the link to the other post on Baptism.

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