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Old 04-15-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Baptism: Immersion Only?

Baptism: Immersion Only?
A Catholic Answers tract
Source: Baptism: Immersion Only? | Catholic Answers


Although Latin-rite Catholics are usually baptized by infusion (pouring), they know that immersion (dunking) and sprinkling are also valid ways to baptize. Fundamentalists, however, regard only baptism by immersion as true baptism, concluding that most Catholics are not validly baptized at all.

Although the New Testament contains no explicit instructions on how physically to administer the water of baptism, Fundamentalists argue that the Greek word baptizo found in the New Testament means "to immerse." They also maintain that only immersion reflects the symbolic significance of being "buried" and "raised" with Christ (see Romans 6:3-4).

It is true that baptizo often means immersion. For example, the Greek version of the Old Testament tells us that Naaman, at Elisha’s direction, "went down and dipped himself [the Greek word here is baptizo] seven times in the Jordan" (2 Kgs. 5:14, Septuagint, emphasis added).

But immersion is not the only meaning of baptizo. Sometimes it just means washing up. Thus Luke 11:38 reports that, when Jesus ate at a Pharisee’s house, "[t]he Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash [baptizo] before dinner." They did not practice immersion before dinner, but, according to Mark, the Pharisees "do not eat unless they wash [nipto] their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they wash themselves [baptizo]" (Mark 7:3–4a, emphasis added). So baptizo can mean cleansing or ritual washing as well as immersion.

A similar range of meanings can be seen when baptizo is used metaphorically. Sometimes a figurative "baptism" is a sort of "immersion"; but not always. For example, speaking of his future suffering and death, Jesus said, "I have a baptism [baptisma] to be baptized [baptizo] with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!" (Luke 12:50) This might suggest that Christ would be "immersed" in suffering. On the other hand, consider the case of being "baptized with the Holy Spirit."

In Acts 1:4–5 Jesus charged his disciples "not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’" Did this mean they would be "immersed" in the Spirit? No: three times Acts 2 states that the Holy Spirit was poured out on them when Pentecost came (2:17, 18, 33, emphasis added). Later Peter referred to the Spirit falling upon them, and also on others after Pentecost, explicitly identifying these events with the promise of being "baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 11:15–17). These passages demonstrate that the meaning of baptizo is broad enough to include "pouring."


Christian Baptism


The Fundamentalist contention that baptizo always means immersion is an oversimplification. This is especially true because in Christian usage the word had a highly particular meaning distinct from the term’s ordinary, everyday usage.

The same principle can be seen with other special Christian terms, such as "Trinity" and "agape" (divine love), that were originally ordinary Greek words with no special religious significance. The earliest evidence of anyone referring to God as a "Trinity" is a letter by Theophilus of Antioch (Ad Autolycum [A.D. 181]). Before the Christian usage, a "trinity" (triad in Greek) was simply any group of three things.

However, as Christians made theological use of the term, it quickly gained a new, technical sense, referring specifically to the three persons of the Godhead. When Christians professed that God is a "Triad," they did not mean a group of three gods, but one God in three persons. Here, an everyday word was being used in a special, theological sense.

The same is true of agape, originally a general term for any sort of "love" very much like the English word. But it quickly became used in Christian circles as the name of a common fellowship (love) meal among Christians (cf. Jude 12).

In the same way, baptizo acquired a specialized Christian usage distinct from its original meaning. In fact, it already had a complex history of specifically religious usages even before Christians adopted it. Long before Jesus’ day, Gentile converts to Judaism were "baptized" as well as circumcised. Then John the Baptist performed a "baptism of repentance" for Jews as a dramatic prophetic gesture indicating that they were as much in need of conversion as pagans. Through these usages baptizo acquired associations of initiation, conversion, and repentance.

Given this history, it was natural for Jesus and his followers to use the same word for Christian baptism, though it was not identical either to the Jewish baptism or to that of John. But it is completely misguided to try to determine the meaning of the word in its Christian sense merely on the basis of ordinary secular usage. It would be like thinking that the doctrine of the Trinity is polytheism or that the New Testament exhortation to "love one another" means only to be fond of each other. To understand what Christian baptism entailed, we must examine not what the word meant in other contexts, but what it meant and how it was practiced in a Christian context.


Inner and Outer Baptism


One important aspect of Christian baptism in the New Testament is the clear relationship between being baptized with water and being "baptized with the Holy Spirit", or "born again." This tract is primarily concerned with the mode of baptism, not its effects [Footnote: For more on the relationship between baptism and rebirth, see John 3:5; Acts 2:38, 19:2–3, 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11–12; Titus 3:5; and 1 Peter 3:21; and also the Catholic Answers tract Baptismal Grace.]; but even non-Catholic Christians must admit that the New Testament clearly associates water baptism with Spirit baptism and rebirth (even if they do not interpret this relationship as cause and effect).

Right from the beginning, as soon as the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost, water and Spirit went hand in hand: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

In Acts 10:44, the first Gentiles to whom Peter preached received the Holy Spirit even before their water baptism. This is always possible, for God is free to operate outside the sacraments as well as within them. In this case it was fitting for the Spirit to be given before baptism, in order to show God’s acceptance of believing Gentiles. Even under these circumstances, however, the connection to water baptism is still evident from Peter’s response: "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" (Acts 10:47).

Still later in Acts, when Paul found people who did not have the Spirit, he immediately questioned whether they had received Christian water baptism. Upon learning that they had not, he baptized them and laid hands on them, and they received the Spirit (Acts 19:1–6).

These passages illustrate the connection between water and Spirit first made by Jesus himself: "Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

Earlier we saw that the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" was depicted as "pouring." But these passages show that the "baptism" or "pouring" of the Spirit is itself closely related to water baptism.

This provides some balance to the Fundamentalist argument that only baptism by immersion adequately symbolizes death and resurrection with Jesus. It is true that immersion bestrepresents death and resurrection, bringing out more fully the meaning of the sacrament than pouring or sprinkling (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1239). (Immersion is actually the usual mode of baptizing in the Catholic Church’s Eastern rites.) On the other hand, pouring best represents the infusion of the Holy Spirit also associated with water baptism. And all three modes adequately suggest the sense of cleansing signified by baptism. No one mode has exclusive symbolical validity over the others.


Physical Difficulties


After Peter’s first sermon, three thousand people were baptized in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41). Archaeologists have demonstrated there was no sufficient water supply for so many to have been immersed. Even if there had been, the natives of Jerusalem would scarcely have let their city’s water supply be polluted by three thousand unwashed bodies plunging into it. These people must have been baptized by pouring or sprinkling.

Even today practical difficulties can render immersion nearly or entirely impossible for some individuals: for example, people with certain medical conditions—the bedridden; quadriplegics; individuals with tracheotomies (an opening into the airway in the throat) or in negative pressure ventilators (iron lungs). Again, those who have recently undergone certain procedures (such as open-heart surgery) cannot be immersed, and may not wish to defer baptism until their recovery (for example, if they are to undergo further procedures).

Other difficulties arise in certain environments. For example, immersion may be nearly or entirely impossible for desert nomads or Eskimos. Or consider those in prison—not in America, where religious freedom gives prisoners the right to be immersed if they desire—but in a more hostile setting, such as a Muslim regime, where baptisms must be done in secret, without adequate water for immersion.

What are we to do in these and similar cases? Shall we deny people the sacrament because immersion is impractical or impossible for them? Ironically, the Fundamentalist, who acknowledges that baptism is commanded but thinks it isn’t essential for salvation, may make it impossible for many people to be baptized at all in obedience to God’s command. The Catholic, who believes baptism confers grace and is normatively necessary for salvation, maintains that God wouldn’t require a form of baptism that, for some people, is impossible.


Baptism in the Early Church


That the early Church permitted pouring instead of immersion is demonstrated by the Didache, a Syrian liturgical manual that was widely circulated among the churches in the first few centuries of Christianity, perhaps the earliest Christian writing outside the New Testament.

The Didache was written around A.D. 70 and, though not inspired, is a strong witness to the sacramental practice of Christians in the apostolic age. In its seventh chapter, the Didache reads, "Concerning baptism, baptize in this manner: Having said all these things beforehand, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living water [that is, in running water, as in a river]. If there is no living water, baptize in other water; and, if you are not able to use cold water, use warm. If you have neither, pour water three times upon the head in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." These instructions were composed either while some of the apostles and disciples were still alive or during the next generation of Christians, and they represent an already established custom.

The testimony of the Didache is seconded by other early Christian writings. Hippolytus of Rome said, "If water is scarce, whether as a constant condition or on occasion, then use whatever water is available" (The Apostolic Tradition, 21 [A.D. 215]). Pope Cornelius I wrote that as Novatian was about to die, "he received baptism in the bed where he lay, by pouring" (Letter to Fabius of Antioch [A.D. 251]; cited in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6:4311).

Cyprian advised that no one should be "disturbed because the sick are poured upon or sprinkled when they receive the Lord’s grace" (Letter to a Certain Magnus 69:12 [A.D. 255]). Tertullian described baptism by saying that it is done "with so great simplicity, without pomp, without any considerable novelty of preparation, and finally, without cost, a man is baptized in water, and amid the utterance of some few words, is sprinkled, and then rises again, not much (or not at all) the cleaner" (On Baptism, 2 [A.D. 203]). Obviously, Tertullian did not consider baptism by immersion the only valid form, since he says one is only sprinkled and thus comes up from the water "not much (or not at all) the cleaner."


Ancient Christian Mosaics Show Pouring


Then there is the artistic evidence. Much of the earliest Christian artwork depicts baptism—but not baptism by immersion! If the recipient of the sacrament is in a river, he is shown standing in the river while water is poured over his head from a cup or shell. Tile mosaics in ancient churches and paintings in the catacombs depict baptism by pouring. Baptisteries in early cemeteries are clear witnesses to baptisms by infusion. The entire record of the early Church—as shown in the New Testament, in other writings, and in monumental evidence—indicates the mode of baptism was not restricted to immersion.

Other archaeological evidence confirms the same thing. An early Christian baptistery was found in a church in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, yet this baptistery, which dates from the second century, was too small and narrow in which to immerse a person.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
[b]Baptism: Immersion Only?
Jesus said at John 3:5 "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". also notice....

1. MATTHEW 3:16, And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up immediately out of the water: and, behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.

2.Act. 8:38,39- And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

regarless of any false teachings, ANY...who claims to follower Jesus, MUST, be baptized the same way he was. no one whill ever convince me into being believing any other way. be-it for myself, or my children. no IMPERFECT human was/IS better than him. even if they want to believe they are. peace
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

^ Dear JoJo,

What about the Word of God in Sacred Writing (Ez. 36:25) which states, ... "I shall pour clean water over you and you shall be cleansed; ..."?

This is a clear reference to Holy Baptism.


May the Peace of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, be with you.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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^ Dear JoJo,

What about the Word of God in Sacred Writing (Ez. 36:25) which states, ... "I shall pour clean water over you and you shall be cleansed; ..."?

This is a clear reference to Holy Baptism.


May the Peace of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, be with you.
It's not clear to me, not at all. That is referring first of all to Israel returning to the Land of Promise, not to Gentiles being baptized. What is clear to me is that the water being sprinkled is the water of purification mentioned elsewhere.

Leviticus 14:51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:

Numbers 8:7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

Numbers 19:13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.

Numbers 19:18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:
19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.
20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.
21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.

Last edited by Giuliano : 05-13-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

Ez. 36 goes on to say that upon the pouring of this clean water, there shall be remission of sins and a regeneration by the Holy Spirit, ... a new heart, and God will put His own Spirit in the midst of that person.

How can you not see that this is what Jesus was speaking of when He said that a man needs to be born of Water and the Spirit in Holy Baptism?

Peace be with you.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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Ez. 36 goes on to say that upon the pouring of this clean water, there shall be remission of sins and a regeneration by the Holy Spirit, ... a new heart, and God will put His own Spirit in the midst of that person.
Yes, he's talking about Israel!
Quote:
How can you not see that this is what Jesus was speaking of when He said that a man needs to be born of Water and the Spirit in Holy Baptism?
Jesus never said any such thing. That is your idea -- your interpretation.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:19 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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Yes, he's talking about Israel!
Jesus never said any such thing. That is your idea -- your interpretation.
Jacob, the 3rd Patriarch, longed for Rachel, eventhough he had to first be married to Leah (the elder sister).

The Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person in the Divinity, was first covenanted with the Old Israel before finally being Covenanted, in the New Law, with the Church.

So, ... yes, it is talking about Israel, ... the Holy Catholic Church, the NEW Israel.


It is not my interpretation, concerning John 3. For it says in St. John 1:31 that the Baptism of Water was SO THAT Jesus might be revealed to Israel.

Nicodemus had to have received the testimony of St. John the Baptist, and therefore had to know what Jesus meant by the word "water" in John 3.

St. John the Baptist also spoke repeatedly about water and the Holy Spirit. And Nicodemus, you say, was oblivious to this communication from Christ? How is this my private interpretation?

It isn't. It is the Word of God.



Peace be with you.

Last edited by AHJE : 05-13-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:15 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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Originally Posted by AHJE View Post
Jacob, the 3rd Patriarch, longed for Rachel, eventhough he had to first be married to Leah (the elder sister).

The Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person in the Divinity, was first covenanted with the Old Israel before finally being Covenanted, in the New Law, with the Church.

So, ... yes, it is talking about Israel, ... the Holy Catholic Church, the NEW Israel.
You are calling the "Holy Catholic Church" idolatrous then.

Ezekiel 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:



Quote:
It is not my interpretation, concerning John 3. For it says in St. John 1:31 that the Baptism of Water was SO THAT Jesus might be revealed to Israel.
That is not you said before. You're changing the subject. If baptism is all there is to being born from above, why was Jesus needed? Why wouldn't the baptism of John been enough for people to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Quote:
Nicodemus had to have received the testimony of St. John the Baptist, and therefore had to know what Jesus meant by the word "water" in John 3.
Baptism is not mentioned in that section of John 3. You may think Jesus was talking about baptism, and you may think Nicodemus had to know what Jesus meant; but the text doesn't mention baptism in their conversation.

Quote:
St. John the Baptist also spoke repeatedly about water and the Holy Spirit. And Nicodemus, you say, was oblivious to this communication from Christ? How is this my private interpretation?

It isn't. It is the Word of God.
Because it is your interpretation, and a very unsatisfactory explanation at that. There are too many details in that passage you can't explain.

Where is "born from above" in the Old Testament? It has to be in the Old Testament since Jesus expected Nicodemus should know about it.

Why does Nicodemus start off flattering Jesus? How does the person who is born from above move like the wind? What does it mean, "Flesh is flesh, spirit is spirit"?

I tell you people are still flesh after being baptized. People can't move like the wind after baptism.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:58 AM
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Lightbulb Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

Hey Giuliano,

Peace be to you,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
You are calling the "Holy Catholic Church" idolatrous then.

Ezekiel 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
Excuse me, but the history of Ancient Israel is really our History as well as the New Israel. There is a continuous aspect here between the Old Covenant People and the New Covenant People. I am not calling the "Holy Catholic Church" idolatrous. Sin, in anycase, is a form of idolatry and we, when we were baptized, were cleansed from all our idols, those things which we clung to instead of worshipping the One True God.


Quote:
That is not you said before. You're changing the subject.
No, ... I am elaborating based on Sacred Writing.

Quote:
If baptism is all there is to being born from above, why was Jesus needed? Why wouldn't the baptism of John been enough for people to enter the kingdom of heaven?
The Baptism of St. John was clearly not a Sacrament, an outward sign, Instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace.

Jesus is needed to make the water as part of a Sacrament and therefore efficacious WITHIN the context of a Sacrament. This is possible with the Power of the Holy Spirit. So, therefore, it is not merely water, but water and the Spirit. This is what Nicodemus must have understood. Water and St. John the Baptist must have clicked in the mind of Nicodemus. Especially since John the Baptist didnt't prophecy at length about many things, but about ONE THING basically: The Greater One who is coming after him who will baptize not merely with water alone, but WITH the Holy Spirit.

Quote:
Baptism is not mentioned in that section of John 3. You may think Jesus was talking about baptism, and you may think Nicodemus had to know what Jesus meant; but the text doesn't mention baptism in their conversation.
So then what do you suggest "water and Spirit" refer to IN THE LIGHT OF THE WITNESS OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST???

Quote:
Because it is your interpretation, and a very unsatisfactory explanation at that. There are too many details in that passage you can't explain.

Where is "born from above" in the Old Testament? It has to be in the Old Testament since Jesus expected Nicodemus should know about it.
Why should it be explicitly stated in the OT? Jesus was pointing to a heavenly reality, which a teacher of the law should have been more sensitive to perhaps. Besides, Jesus went on to EXPLAIN what being "born from above" meant when he gave details to this REGENERATION, that is to say, by way of water and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself explained what he meant by being born from above.

Quote:
Why does Nicodemus start off flattering Jesus?
Nicodemus was sympathetic to the mission of Jesus Christ and he was using a diplomatic approach with the Lord.

Quote:
How does the person who is born from above move like the wind? What does it mean, "Flesh is flesh, spirit is spirit"?
According to the Holy Gospel of St. John, these terms are pointing to certain realities.

(1) "Flesh" is a term used to point to what is earthly, human, and/or natural.
(2) "Spirit" is a term used to point to what is heavenly, divine, and/or supernatural.

The same terms are used to speak of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in John 6:63.

Quote:
I tell you people are still flesh after being baptized.
You are using the word "flesh" to refer to the corporeal body. But this is not the sense intended in John 3:6. There may be a play on words, but there is a second sense to this word "flesh" in this Gospel. And this ought to be recognized and figured in.

Quote:
People can't move like the wind after baptism.
It just means that they operate on a supernatural level, those who live and walk in a state of sanctifying grace. The world does not know the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, and therefore will not comprehend the ways of a Christian. The world will say to a Catholic, "Where are you coming from?" or "Where do you think you are going?" and stare in confusion. "Are you holier than thou?" the world might say in contempt of what they fail to understand or in the face of the supernatural effects in a faithful believer in Jesus Christ who is Baptized.


God bless you.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:34 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Baptism: Immersion Only?

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Excuse me, but the history of Ancient Israel is really our History as well as the New Israel.
What a work of fanciful thinking. Did your ancestors come out of Egypt? Were Gentiles ever told to observe the Law of Moses? Do you share the covenant? If so, then you should be an enemy of the gospel as Paul wrote:

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.


Quote:
There is a continuous aspect here between the Old Covenant People and the New Covenant People.
In your mind only.

Romans 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Quote:
I am not calling the "Holy Catholic Church" idolatrous.
You just did by trying to apply Ezekiel 36 to it. Will God collect Catholics along with the Jews to fulfill this passage which you cited?

Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.


Will God return the "Holy Catholic Church" to the land of Israel?

Quote:
Sin, in anycase, is a form of idolatry and we, when we were baptized, were cleansed from all our idols, those things which we clung to instead of worshipping the One True God.
What are you saying now? That people cannot sin after baptism?
Quote:
No, ... I am elaborating based on Sacred Writing.
By introducing more and more subjects?
Quote:
The Baptism of St. John was clearly not a Sacrament, an outward sign, Instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace.
Then how could Nicodemus know of the "Christian sacrament" you speak of?

Quote:
Jesus is needed to make the water as part of a Sacrament and therefore efficacious WITHIN the context of a Sacrament. This is possible with the Power of the Holy Spirit. So, therefore, it is not merely water, but water and the Spirit. This is what Nicodemus must have understood.
You seriously think Nicodemus understood baptism the way Catholics explain it today? Seriously now!

Quote:
Water and St. John the Baptist must have clicked in the mind of Nicodemus.
I doubt it crossed his mind. I know why it clicks in your mind; but I see no reason it would have clicked in Nicodemus' mind since he didn't have a catechism to explain it to him.

Quote:
Especially since John the Baptist didnt't prophecy at length about many things, but about ONE THING basically: The Greater One who is coming after him who will baptize not merely with water alone, but WITH the Holy Spirit.
True enough, now if only you can figure out what it means.

Quote:
So then what do you suggest "water and Spirit" refer to IN THE LIGHT OF THE WITNESS OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST???
Well, obviously baptism by water does not make one into a perfect saint.
Quote:
Why should it be explicitly stated in the OT?
Why should anyone be mentioned in the Old Testament? Why is not the question. I am stating that it is mentioned, not trying to explain why. If it wasn't mentioned, how could Nicodemus be expected to know about it?

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Jesus was pointing to a heavenly reality, which a teacher of the law should have been more sensitive to perhaps. Besides, Jesus went on to EXPLAIN what being "born from above" meant when he gave details to this REGENERATION, that is to say, by way of water and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself explained what he meant by being born from above.
Yes, he said the person so born could move like the wind. Like Elijah and Moses.
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Nicodemus was sympathetic to the mission of Jesus Christ and he was using a diplomatic approach with the Lord.
Don't be naive. He was testing Jesus to see if Jesus was vain. If he could flatter Jesus, he'd know Jesus was a fraud. Jews don't believe that someone must be from God just because he can do miracles; but Nicodemus pretends to believe it to test Jesus.

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According to the Holy Gospel of St. John, these terms are pointing to certain realities.

(1) "Flesh" is a term used to point to what is earthly, human, and/or natural.
(2) "Spirit" is a term used to point to what is heavenly, divine, and/or supernatural.
Right. The flesh body is not born again -- cannot move like the wind. But he who is born of the spirit can move like the wind, going here and there.

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The same terms are used to speak of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in John 6:63.
I don't see the Eucharist mentioned in that verse.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Sorry, but I don't see it.

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You are using the word "flesh" to refer to the corporeal body. But this is not the sense intended in John 3:6. There may be a play on words, but there is a second sense to this word "flesh" in this Gospel. And this ought to be recognized and figured in.
I think it's quite easy to understand without making things so complex.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Most people really don't know what is flesh, what is soul, and what is spirit. They do not know this unless they are "divided."
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People can't move like the wind after baptism.
It just means that they operate on a supernatural level, those who live and walk in a state of sanctifying grace. The world does not know the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, and therefore will not comprehend the ways of a Christian. The world will say to a Catholic, "Where are you coming from?" or "Where do you think you are going?" and stare in confusion. "Are you holier than thou?" the world might say in contempt of what they fail to understand or in the face of the supernatural effects in a faithful believer in Jesus Christ who is Baptized.
It means what it says. The person can move around without the physical body as Elijah and Moses can, as some of the Old Testament prophets did. Even before attaining perfectly, some can move about. Paul was caught up to the Third Heaven as Isaiah was. Someone who is born of the spirit can move as any spirit can.
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