As I searched through Catholic blogs and bulletin boards, I became aware of an amazing situation. Catholics tend to use words that have meanings to Baptists and Protestants (Catholics will deny that Baptists are not protestants – just as many Protestants will). I quickly found myself almost believing that a RC is a regular ol’ Christian after all! However, I know the FACTS.
Now, the RCC has doctrines that make it clear their doctrines are not Biblical doctrines. We’ve dealt pretty conclusively with the concept of the Magisterium, asked harsh questions, and come to the conclusion that the Magisterium has no basis in fact, Scripture, or otherwise. Indeed, we proved that the words of Scripture teach otherwise!
Let’s briefly talk about some of the terminology shared by Christians and Catholics.
What does it mean to a Catholic when they read, “Ye must be born again.”?
in “A Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture” by Bernard Orchard, Fr. Orchard simply addresses the question in John 3:3, concludes the translation of “Born Again” is correct… then simply drops the subject.
If it’s that important. that we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven without being Born again, You don’t just drop the subject! You deal with it, right here, right now!
It is mysterious, but one must not deny its reality because one does not know the whence, and the how and the whither of it. (“A Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture” by Bernard Orchard)
Hold on. Stop right there. The Bible states specifically in John 3:3, if you are not born again, you will not enter heaven. The Council of Trent, which Fr. Orchard appeals to in his commentary on this verse, maintains that this is Baptism. This interpretation is a violation of Scripture, because Scripture maintains that Salvation (which is what in context we see John 3 is talking about) is a gift of God…
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
Baptism is a work. The thief on the cross was told he would be in Paradise that very day with the Lord. He was not baptized. If Baptism is being Born Again, then the thief could not enter heaven. The Lord did not say, “So sorry, buddy, you never obeyed my commandments and joined the Catholic Church by means of Baptism. Tough luck, fella. Oh, by the way, you’re about to start burning in hell for all eternity. Shouldn’t have held back on that baptism thing!”
I did a work of obedience and was baptized in Believer’s Baptism. My body went under the water, and came out. That did not make me born again. If that saved me, it was a work I did, and could boast about it. “I know I am saved, because I was Baptized into the church!” You see how the Lord is not in that sentence at all? It’s a boast, bragging about my works. However, my baptism did not save me, any more than it will save the Roman Catholic. We are saved by being born again.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 (KJV)
Salvation through spiritul birth is not a work. The very act is one of surrender. “I surrendered to the Lord. I repented of my sins, asked the Lord to forgive me, and be the Lord of my life, and He saved me!” You see how this sentence is all about the Lord? Not me – I admitted I couldn’t do it. I turned to the Lord, and He did it.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14 (KJV)
John chapter 3 is not talking about Baptism. It is talking about Spiritual Birth.