Baptism, Church Authority, Salvation, Eucharist & Mortal Sin



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.

1 Peter 3:21…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also..

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

Bread From Heaven:
But the fact is that neither Jesus nor anyone else in the NT, ever described baptism in detail so that full immersion was mandatory. While that is the general meaning of the word; the conclusion that immersion is what was done is legitimate, however, 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 full 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 church’s 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. 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. Plus, the fact that 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 encompasses 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 what 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.

How Was Baptism Administered in First Century?


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.

Canon of Scripture



Q. I do not accept the Catholic Bible because there are seven extra books in it that Jesus never quoted from.

A.Why is the Canon of Scripture not a man made tradition? There is no Table Of Contents anywhere in scripture. The fact is both Protestants and Catholics accept TRADITIONS but Protestants are so comfortable with their own Traditions that they don’t even recognize them or know they have them.

The assertion that Jesus and the apostles never quoted from the 7 books removed by Martin Luther is supposed to prove that these books were, therefore, rejected by both Jesus and the Apostles. So, they should NOT be in the Canon of Scripture. But please examine the scriptures to see if this is true JESUS NEVER QUOTED FROM THE APOCRYPHA.

But this hermeneutic proves too much. Because, Jesus and the apostles DO NOT QUOTE from Ecclesiastes, Esther, Obadiah, Zephania, Judges, I Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Lamentations, Nahum, or the Song of Songs. To be consistent Protestant would need to remove these books from their OT. It is inconsistent to criticize the Catholic Canon for including nonquoted OT books when the Protestant Canon also includes nonquoted OT Books.

A further problem with this idea that Quotation=Canonicity is that the apostles DO quote uncanonized books from the OT period. Should they, therefore, have been canonized? Jude 1:9 quotes from The Assumption of Moses because the story he cites is not found anywhere in the OT. Also, in Jude 1:14-15 the author quotes from the Book of Enoch and declares it prophetic. The Book of Enoch is not in the OT Canon either.

To make matters even worse using this hemenutic: Quotation=Canonicity, St. Paul quotes the pagan poets: Menander in I Cor 15:33, Aratus (300BC) in Acts 17:28 and Epimenides in Acts 17:28 and Titus 1:12. Since no one is advocating the canonization of these Pagan poets of what use is the principle of: Quotation=Canonicity? Or is it just a handy club to beat on the Catholic Church.

To go even further it must be asked,

“Is it even true that Jesus and the apostles do not quote anything from the 7 books removed by Luther?”

For the answer please see my post Jesus Never Quoted from the Apocrypha.

Q. Many great leaders of the early church spoke out against the apocrypha-Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Athanasius.

A. The fact is that before the Church makes a final decision about something like, “Which Books are inspired?” discussion and disagreement will exist. There is nothing heretical or wrong with it. In the 400 years between Jesus’ death and the final closing of the canon of scripture there was agreement on most of the books but disagreement on a handful of other books. You might want to see my post…Who Decided Which Books Should Be in the Bible?

As long as there is general agreement about a doctrine, a Church council does not need to define it dogmatically. But when confusion grows beyond the ability of local priests and bishops to clear it up a Church council will be called or the Pope will issue a declaration and solemnly define the dogma that must be believed by the faithful.

For instance the faithful had always believed in Mary’s Immaculate conception. But after the Reformation and by the mid 19th century confusion needed to be cleared up so Pope Pius IX defined it as dogma in Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854.

Jumping ahead to our own time we see the institution of marriage being undermined by our culture in many ways. For instance, Christians have always and everywhere believed that Marriage was between one man and one woman. However, this has never been dogmatically defined by the Catholic Church. But, today the Christian definition of marriage is under severe and unrelenting attack. Most Christians are still pretty clear about this but there may come a time when the faithful become so confused that the Church will need to solemnly define a Dogma of Marriage.

In the cases of the Immaculate Conception and the definition of Marriage there is a history of belief. The Church KNEW what had always been believed. But, in the case of the canon there was honest disagreement and discussion about exactly which books belonged in the Sacred Scriptures, because it had NEVER been decided before.

That is why Origen et al. voiced their opinions.
Q. Jerome rejected the apocrypha and would not include it into his Latin Vulgate translation. He eventually translated a few after being pressured by Augustine.

A. It is very true that Jerome argued against accepting the seven books into the canon. His argument was worthy of consideration. These were his opinions and input right at the time when the canon was being decided. However, once the Church and the Pope, by the power and authority of Christ, decided and closed the canon of scripture, Jerome, by the virtue of humility, accepted the decision and translated ALL of the OT books into Latin.

For more click–>Five Myths about the Seven Books

Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition Equal


Q. The quote I am posting below proves that the R.C. church teaches equality between scripture and the catechism.

The Documents of Vatican II

Hence there exist a close connection and communication between Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture. For
both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a Unity and tend toward the
same end. For sacred Scripture is theWord of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration
of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word,
which was Entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit . . . Consequently, it is not from
sacred Scripture alone That the Church draws her certainty about everything which has Been revealed.
Therefore both sacred tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of
Devotion and reverence. Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God,
which is committed to the church (p.117).

The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism

59. Where do we find the truths revealed by God?
We find the truths revealed by God in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

60. How does Sacred Scripture compare with Sacred Tradition?
Both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are the inspired word of God, and both are forms of divine
revelation. Sacred Scripture is divinely inspired writing, whereas Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of
inspired persons.

89. Why is Sacred Tradition of equal authority with the Bible?
The Bible and Sacred Tradition are of equal authority because they are equally the word of God’ both derive
from the inspired vision of the ancient prophets, and especially from the infinite wisdom of God incarnate who
gave to the apostles what he came down on earth to teach, through them, to all of mankind.

A. I do not deny that they are of equal authority. But, many imagine that because of the equality of Scripture and Tradition, Catholic doctrine could be almost anything. And that the Catholic Church therefore, ends up with all kinds of Doctrines diametrically opposed to Sacred Scripture. But that is NOT how it works. The beliefs of the the Church existed FIRST. Scripture and the Teaching of the Apostles or Sacred Tradition are cited to support these doctrines.


Jesus—>Christian Faith—> Authentic Apostolic Teaching—>Oral and Written =Tradition and Scripture

And I can assure you NOTHING that the Church believes contradicts one thing in Sacred Scripture.

It is the BELIEFS of Protestants and their INTERPRETATION of scripture that contradicts Catholic Doctrine.

The reason for this is that both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition were DERIVED out of the FAITH and the CHURCH founded by Jesus Christ. So, the Bible does not contradict Catholic Doctrine and Catholic Doctrine does not contradict the Bible.

The only thing that contradicts Catholic Doctrine are Protestant Doctrines derived from various interpretations of Sacred Scripture 1500-2000 years after they were written.

Q. How do you relate John 21:25 to oral teachings?

A. John 21:25

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The reason for citing this verse is to point out that Jesus did and said many, many things that did not get written down in John’s Gospel or even the rest of the NT. For instance, all that Jesus explained to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Now Protestants will just say “We don’t need anything more than what was canonized.” But Catholics would disagree saying that the fullness of the Faith did not get written into the Canon of Scripture. Nothing in scripture says Scripture is enough. Therefore, this passage in John shows that there is nothing wrong with accepting unwritten teachings of the apostles which we call TRADITION. Traditions of men is something completely different. And St. Paul even exhorts the Thessalonians to hold firmly to what he taught them, both written and ORAL.

2 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.

Q. What about 2 Thess. 2:15? Remember scripture backs scripture.

A. I agree.

Q. Oral traditions get lost over time, but the written word of God has withstood time and persecution.

A. I would have to say the same thing about the Catholic Faith. Where in scripture does it teach that oral traditions get lost over time? I would contend that the Oral teachings of the Church were eventually written down and God has by HIS power protected and preserved the TRUTH within the One,Holy,Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Q. How can you possibly follow “oral” traditions handed down over 2000 years ago?

A. I believe that God protected the purity of the Faith handed on by word of mouth just as St. Paul taught in Scripture. You believe in the inspiration of the Old Testament don’t you? Moses wrote down the first five books of the OT. The events he recorded were thousands of years before his time. We both believe that God safeguarded the truth to Moses several thousand years later. While on the other hand Sacred Tradition began to be written down within one hundred years after Christ’s resurrection. We reject any and all writings, no matter how old they are if they do not align with scripture and the Faith as always believed and taught. I am sure you believe God could have done this. The question you must decide is, “Did He?”