Monday, July 28, 2003

From the forums:
Here are some verses that say celibacy is good:
Mt 19:12; Jesus said, "Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage 9 for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

1 Cor 7:7-9 ... Paul was unmarried. "Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God, 5 one of one kind and one of another. 8 6 Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire."

1 Cor 7:32-34 says celibacy is good. "I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 33 But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.


I would very much encourage you to look at some of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on many issues. If you're scared of leaving the church because it is Christ's 'one and true Church,' (which I was for quite some time,) I would encourage you to research what a church is.

Everything the Roman Catholics do has a good base. I understand why they have the crucifix, why they have the Mary Doctrines, (I can never spell Marianal right for some reason - I'm pretty sure that's wrong.) why they have a Episcopalian church government, but the one thing that I absolutely could not go with was Papal Authority, and Papal Infallibility.


I've been getting TOS violations lately for my defense of the RCC, so I'm sending a private reply. I've enjoyed some of your posts too.

I am not afraid of leaving the RCC. I checked out some Protestant churches when I was younger. My friendships with Protestants have enriched my faith as, hopefully, I have for them. I have no desire to leave because I love all the RCC teaches.

As I participate in this forum, I see why Christ left Peter in charge and gave the pope authority. I see wildly different interpretations of Scripture, great disunity, uncharitable debate, slander towards Catholics, and all kinds of false claims that are not supported by history. So many seem adrift and searching for truth and are unable to feel confident that they can find it.

Without authority, there is no certainty that I am being taught what the apostles taught. My faith would be on shaky ground when it comes to doctrines like salvation. I've seen churches that cave into the latest fad doctrines or trends. There seems to be no anchor. We all can quote Scripture, but what does it really mean if no one can agree on the same basic tenents like salvation, the ten commandments, the trinity.....etc?

I love the pope's authority. I love that he can settle disputes to restore unity. I love that the RCC is still teaching what was taught in the first century. I love the way I can read the early writings of Christianity and find no conflicts with current teaching. I love the way the RCC does not change its doctrine, no matter how much pressure our society puts on it.

Jesus founded only one church. All for whom he died are members of his church, whether they are fully united with its teachings or not. To me that means that every person on this planet is part of Christ's church in some way or another. All who will be save will be saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Lord & savior. God does not send to hell those who are innocently ignorant of his teachings and follow the ten commandments. Those who are not ignorant and disobey - that's another matter.

Your sister in Christ,


Friday, July 25, 2003

Pryor's religion triggers debate

By Charles Hurt
A judicial confirmation hearing yesterday turned into a rancorous debate between Democrats and Republicans over whether it's possible for a devout Catholic to be confirmed to the federal bench.

Are you and your church 100% in agreement doctrinally?
Yes. I got a copy of the church's by laws. I read them and studied the Bible regarding them. I would not go to a church just because I am "comfortable" there. I go to church to hear the Word of God and to have fellowship with other Christians of like minds and beliefs. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable because my pastor preaches on issues that I either should not be doing or should be doing. For instance, I struggle with forgiveness. There are some people that I felt 'justified' in not forgiving. Well, I heard a convicting sermon one Sunday. I didn't want to know the things I heard. I am now working on forgiving. I am able to do this with a lot of prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit.
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I'm with you, yellowbug, and I'm Roman Catholic; which is considered by many to be pretty strict. It took time for me to submit my will to Christ's. The more I studied why my Church taught what it did, the more I realized I was wrong and was being stubborn. It was humbling to find out I didn't do a good job when I tried to re-invent the wheel. When I discovered the biblical basis and submitted to authority, I found more peace. Our society in the US has a "do your own thing" mentality. All that did for me was degrading and stressful. God's rules are wiser than any I can dream up. I will trust the wisdom of the ages as expressed by the Bible and taught by Christ's church from here on. I don't ever want to get lost again.
I will pray that you will forgive whomever, because I once struggled with that too. Victory will be yours. "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I saw the movie Johnny English, a parody of James Bond movies. If you love slapstick and parody, this movie is for you. It was a riot. Except for a man mooning us, it was a good clean movie.
Obscenity law in Ohio targeted by lawyer

By Frank J. Murray

A lawyer who specializes in defending the distribution of sex images, including by Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine, has moved to overturn Ohio's obscenity law on the basis of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual sodomy.
Purgatory was not a recent invention. It is more than two thousand years old. The practice of praying for the dead was common among the Jewish people centuries before Christ. The Jews still say the Kaddish ( for a year after a death.
2 Macc 12:39 On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. 40 But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain. 41 They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden. 42 Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; 44 for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. 45 But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. 46 Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin." Note: Maccabees is a Deuterocanonical book. This quote from Maccabees is referenced in Heb 11:35, which shows that the Jews thought this book was inspired. Also, in John 10:22-26, Jesus celebrates the feast of the dedication (Hanukkah) which was made a feast in Maccabees, which implies Jesus didn't have a problem with this book either.

Rev 21:27 says "but nothing unclean will enter it [heaven], nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." True repentance requires making amends for the sins we have commited. If I steal something, I have not really repented if I don't pay back what I stole. It would not be fair to send people with minor (venial) sins (1 Jn 5:14-17) to hell, so there must be some way for the sins for which one has repented to finish the process of making amends. None of us are perfect when we get to heaven. We all have a tendency to sin, so how do we get to where we no longer have a tendency to sin? Something must happen to us after we die.

1 Cor 3:12 "If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work. 14 If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. 15 But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire." The people Paul is talking about can't be people who are going to hell because they will be saved. So some people will be saved, but will be purified through fire.

Mt 12:31 "Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." This implies that some sins will be forgiven in the age to come. It doesn't make sense that these sins would be mortal sins, because those who commit mortal sin go to hell and will not be forgiven. So the sins that are forgiven in the age to come are minor (venial) sins.

Here are some more verses about Purgatory:

Lk 12:59; 1 Pet 1:7; Mt 5:25-26 ... temporary agony.
Heb 12:6-14, ... God's painful discipline.
Heb 12:23 to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
1 Pet 3:19 ... he also went to preach to the spirits in prison (purgatory, limbo?).
Col 1:24; 2 Sam 12:14 ... "extra" suffering.
2 Tim 1:15-18 ... prayer for Onesiphorus for "that Day."

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I'm doing some research for a depraved v. deprived debate. So far I've found these sites:
Catholic view = Deprived:

Lutheran view = Depraved:
Heidelberg Catechism

Can anyone recommend other sites? Write me at

Importing morality?

Can government compel people to act against their conscience? A Canadian judge forced a Catholic school to act against its understanding of Catholic teaching. That's what Henry VIII tried to do to Thomas More. Do these Canadian controversies foreshadow American controversies?

Thursday, July 10, 2003

From the forum:

To Country_rocks1,
Is baptism necessary?
John 3:5 "I tell you solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. I think this verse makes the point baptism is necessary clear enough. If you want to see that believing and baptism are both required, go to Mk 16:15-16 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Also see Col 2: 12 "You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
Are you thinking it is one or the other and not both faith and baptism that are necessary? I would baptize a baby just because Christ commanded the apostles to baptize. Why would Our Lord command it if it were not important? See Mt 28:19-20; "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." I would baptize the child for that reason even if we baptize people for gifts other than for salvation. Jesus did not say baptize everyone except young children. Acts 2:38-39 says "Then Peter said unto them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you.. "
Baptism is a step in you full submission to God. But I do not believe that w/o it you are doomed.
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Baptism removes original sin, so it is necessary for this reason. For verses that show original sin, see Psalm 51:5, Gen 3:16-24, Rom 5:12-19, and 1 Cor 15:21-22. Rev 21:27 says "but nothing unclean will enter it [heaven], nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." If you believe that baptism doesn't really do anything, think again about the verses that show that baptism regenerates and washes away sin as in Titus 3. How would God treat a baby that dies without baptism? Rev 21:27 says the unclean will not enter heaven. Yet I do know that God is loving and merciful and does not punish the innocent who had no chance of choosing to believe or be baptized. Who am I to say that God will not make exceptions? But why risk it? I don't want any child to get into heaven on an exception if I could give them the grace of God by following God's commandment to baptize.

Infants can have faith even if they don't have language to let us know. Luke 1:43 says that John the Baptist had faith in Jesus while in the womb. "And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord 14 should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." Jesus told us to let the little children come to him and not hinder them (Matt.19:14). Mark 9:42 says "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." Psalm 22:9-10 "But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly." The mercy and grace of God is with us from conception. My three kids started asking about God and praying not long after they could talk.

Before Jesus, circumcision was normally performed on infants (cf. Genesis 17:12) but it was replaced by baptism. Colossians 2:11-12 says "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." There was a disagreement in the early church whether one had to wait till the eighth day to baptize instead of doing it sooner. In the 200's, the bishops decided that it could be done sooner than 8 days.

I think the mercy and grace of God is not to be refused to any one. For as the Lord says in His Gospel, "The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them," so as far as we can, we must do our best to see that no soul is lost. Do not let sin get any opportunity, but let him/her be sanctified from his childhood; from his very tenderest age let him be consecrated by the Spirit.
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Are you totally positive that "we" fully understand His rules and not how He applies them or could it be that we DON'T "fully" understand the rules themselves.
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I think both are true to some extent. We know only what God has revealed, but sometimes we are confused about how to interpret that. 1Cor.13:12 "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." Sometimes we have to read the Bible as a whole, not a verse or two to get the whole picture. Despite the gifts of knowledge and revelation, we can't know everything (2 Pet 3:15-16). Any God that I can fully understand is a pretty small God. Judgement is reserved to God alone, so I can't always know how he will judge someone. Again, I do know that God is loving and merciful and does not punish the innocent.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

From the forum:
I feel the rules you speak of hear are the ones defined by man, not by God. You say "if the rules are strictly applied, God would seem unmerciful". Well, if that is God's rule, than their is no "seem to be" about it, it would mean God is unmerciful in the way we view him. You are again implying that God makes exceptions to his rules to not seem unmerciful. You can't say we know what the rules are if that would mean God sometimes uses them and sometimes doesn't. Wouldn't it make more sense that God knows our heart, and as our hearts are his we obey his teaching to be Baptized out of our acknowledgment of our sin and our new life with him. Then if someone is taken from the world between the time the Holy Spirit entered his heart and the time he was baptized, we don't have to say God didn't stictly apply his rules in that case. We say, God knew his heart. And if you don't agree that the Holy Spirit enters your body before you are baptized, read the book of acts and you see many accounts of the Holy Spirit entering the body and then the men being baptized.
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When I say we don't fully understand how God applies the rules, I'm thinking of things that seems impossible for two things to both be true. For example, Jesus came for the salvation of all people regardless of denomination or creed.
1 John 2:1 "My children, 1 I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the WHOLE WORLD."
This seems to contradict with John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes after baptism. Acts 2:38 "Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, 7 every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit."
Acts 8:15 "who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."

Acts 19:2 he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." 4Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."

Other times, the Holy Spirit comes first. Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, "John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"


A few things about this qoute, first, you again say baptism is a necessary step to salvation, yet I don't ever remember Jesus or his apostles emphasizing this. As much as they emphasized how the heart of man had to commit to their Faith in God and Jesus, I can't believe that it was not discussed, but for one verse in 1st Peter where it is said "Baptism now saves you" I haven't even read this section yet, so I am not sure of the context. But this is the only place in the Bible that it is even implyed that this act of Baptism is the difference between heaven and hell. And if you say it is "part of the process" as it kind of seems, that is a direct contradiction to this verse. Everywhere else, Baptism was shown as an act performed to show your faith. I am in need of plain English here because flowery descriptions are not doing it for me. Where else in the Bible are you deriving that Baptism is necessary. And I'm not even sure that is what is being stated in first Peter. If you are basing these "Rules" on one verse than why can refering to the theif on the cross which makes up one verse be refered to as an exception to the rule. They take up equal space in scripture.
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Baptism is one of several necessary steps. Earlier I wrote that salvation is a process, not instantaneous. Baptism is one of the necessary initial steps.
John 3:5 "I tell you solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized."

John 4:1-3 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples), 3 he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptised will be saved."
Matthew 3:14 "And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I NEED to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"

Luke 7:30 "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him."

Acts 10:47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 22:15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
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Also, you say baptism is the means of recieving four basic gifts. Can you tell me where you are deriving this from, that Baptism is actually when all of these gifts are being given.
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Baptism is the means of receiving four basic gifts: the remission of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit. Baptism does more than just wash away sin.
Baptism makes us a member of the body of Christ:
1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit."
Gal 3:26 "For through faith you are all children of God 17 in Christ Jesus. 27 18 19 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise."

Remission of sins:
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her 26 to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, 27 that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Psalms 51:3 Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense. 4 Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
Ezk 36:25-28 "I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Deliverance from death:
Romans 6:1-4 What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not! How can we who died to sin yet live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

Titus 3:4-8 "But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others."

Bestowal of the Holy Spirit:
Acts 2:38 "Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, 7 every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit."
Yet the gift of baptism can end up being like an unopened gift. One must open the gift to truly have use of it. If a child doesn't grow in the faith, the gifts are dormant. Rom 2:28 "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code." This is why the parents must promise to raise the child in the faith before the child is baptized. The faith is more often "caught" than "taught" because of the good example of the parents. has lots of verses on baptism. You could also go to Bible Gateway at and do a search on the word "baptism" or "baptized". I think the above verses are the most important, though.

Acts 2:38-39; Acts 16:15; Acts 16:33; Acts 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16 ... suggests baptism of all, incl. children.
Jn 3:5; Rom 6:4; Mk 16:16 ... necessity of baptism.
Col 2:11-12 ... circumcision (normally performed on infants c.f. Lk 2:21; Gen 17:12) replaced by baptism.
Acts 22:16 ... baptism removes sin.
1 Pet 3:21 ... baptism saves by water.

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Was it not taught that we are saved by Faith or did I interpret something wrong. I am being serious here, please don't take this as sarcastic, because I do want to understand how other people interpret the new testement. If inner faith is not what saves you, than either faith didn't save you at all or outward faith is actually what does it, and then does that mean you outward faith has to be real? It seems as if so much is to be questioned by these "rules" you speak of.
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And we are not saved by faith alone according to James 2:13 "See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone." Grace, repentance, faith, obedience, charity to neighbor are all part of our response to God's grace. This is a much bigger issue than what is included in this topic, but it is important to see how baptism fits into the bigger picture of salvation. The bottom line is that when Paul says in Rom 3:28 "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." Paul is talking about obeying the 613 Jewish laws like circumcision (Rom 2:25). He does not mean that we don't have to have the "obedience of faith" as in Rom 1:5 or repent as in Rom 4 or act like he says in Rom 12. is a good site for some verses on this. This topic has already been discussed in another forum Do Catholics believe in salvation

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

From the forum:
So, if the parents don't back up the promise they make at a Baptism that the child will be raised as a Christian, what happens? Now, if it is true that the parents act on the child's behalf, really all that has happened is the baby's head got wet because the parents are not following through.
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The faith of the parents makes a difference. The child is baptized on the basis that the parents are faithful Christians, so you are right in being concerned. Only one of the parents is required to be faithful, though. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 "To the rest I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy."

On the other hand, God's words are effective. The words do what He intends. So you can say the baptism of that child was ineffective or that the child will need to be re-baptized later. People do become believers even when their parents were not. Sometimes, parents later decide they want their child to be taught morality so they start going to church when the child is old enough to learn about God. Pray for the parents and do what you can to raise the child as a Christian even though the parents fail in their duty. In either case, baptism is one step in the process of salvation, yet Scripture says it is a necessary one. After baptism, the child is saved, is being saved, and hopes to be saved on the last day. The child is redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus and is part of God's family. Baptism is the means of receiving four basic gifts: the remission of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit. The idea that it is a superfluous sign of inner faith was not what the apostles taught.

I don't feel like their is gray area to God's judgement of us. He knows where our heart is and doesn't make "exceptions" to his rules because his rules are perfect and exceptions need not be applied.
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I do think there are gray areas where we can't judge exactly how God will judge someone. Judgement is reserved to God. On the one hand, we know what the rules are, but there are situations where if the rules were strictly applied, God would seem unmerciful to condemn one who was not baptized. St. Thomas Aquinas speculated that these were marginal cases. The word "marginal" in Latin is limbo, which is where the idea that unbaptized babies go to limbo if they die. That was never a doctrine; just a theological speculation. We have to assume God is merciful and that we don't know everything. There may be different rules for the innocently ignorant than for those who are willfully rejecting the faith. I don't think God will treat both the same because it would not be just.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

From the forum:
Here are some major differences between religions:
Buddists believe there is no God. You have to save yourself.
Hindus believe any God will do. There is one God, but no one true God.
Muslims believe God created the world, but doesn't love us. We are slaves and have to earn salvation.
Jews believe God created the world and loves us.
Christians believe God created the world and loves us so much that he sent his son to save us.
Catholic Christians believe God created the world and loves us so much that he sent his son to save us and that they can hold the body and blood of Jesus and receive him into their body at Communion.

Which religion presents a picture of a God you want to believe in? Why would one want to turn away from an unconditionally loving, merciful God? Isn't that what every heart yearns for? Who would want to have to save themselves? Not me! Only those who do not know anything better would accept less than the God Christians worship.

2) How do I know the Bible isn't made up
How do we know any ancient literature isn't made up? How do we know it is as old as it is? There are some writings that we have only one copy of, like the Iliad, that we accept as being of ancient origin. How much more can we trust that the many manuscripts of the Bible are legit because they say the same thing no matter where they were copied. The Bible would not have been copied and preserved if it had not been believed to be of great value. Those closer to the time the Bible was written should know more than us Johnny-come-lately folks.