What I’d love to see at tonight’s debate: Ashes

posted at 2:45 pm on February 22, 2012 by Tina Korbe

It is Ash Wednesday, after all, and, if Joe Biden is willing to sport soot in public, then surely Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will be, too.

Why do I want to see smudged crosses on their foreheads? It’s not because I want more folks to accuse Santorum of running to be “theologian in chief” or to question the sincerity of Newt Gingrich’s conversion, as thoughtful as those accusations and questions generally are (not). It’s also not so I have to field questions from areligious friends who think Christian (and specifically Catholic) customs like this one are odd, fun as that is (not). Nope — it’s because the ashes Catholics and some Protestants receive on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday are a symbol of something it’s always good to remember: “We are dust and to dust we shall return.” That puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it?

‘Course, Christians agree with Henry W. Longfellow when he wrote, “‘Dust thou art to dust returnest’ was not spoken of the soul.” That invests everything with meaning — but it also subordinates temporal matters (like politics!) to eternal ones.

But even non-Christians can benefit from remembering the one inevitability of life. “It is the first part of intelligence to recognize our precarious estate in life and the first part of courage to be not at all abashed before the fact,” as Robert Louis Stevenson put it. Time is running out on all of us: Why not be bold in the solutions we pursue to whatever problems we face?

If Gingrich and Santorum are ashless, though, I won’t question their dedication to their faith: Contrary to popular perception, today is not a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church.

Update I: Ed said a contact at the Santorum campaign says he has no idea whether Santorum will wear ashes this evening and Guy Benson says Newt Gingrich has confirmed that he won’t be attending Mass today and, so, won’t be wearing ashes tonight.

Update II: According to Rick Klein via Guy Benson, Santorum is campaigning in Arizona with ashes on his head, so it’s probable he’ll still have ‘em this evening.


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Instead of telling me what you think show me in the Bible where it says baptism is being born again.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Here’s some info for you, but I’m no Priest: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Instead of telling me what you think show me in the Bible where it says baptism is being born again.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Here’s some info for you, but I’m no Priest: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Don’t play that game with me. I am not gonna read half a page to answer your false claims. I want YOU to show me in the Bible where it says baptism is being born again. Show it to me here.

It is your dogma as a Born Again Christian

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 8:32 PM

How can you say it’s my dogma when I am showing you Jesus’ own Words? Jesus says that one cannot even see that Kingdom without being born again. Where do you disagree with Him?

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM

You don’t have to be born again to see heaven = CLASSIC false convert thinking

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Oh, I know that one! Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Basic inspiration.

We sometimes underestimate those of the past. While literacy was not as high as it is today, the first century AD saw the churches spreading throughout the entire Roman Empire, including Asia Minor, India, and Europe. It also saw the Bible, including the New Testament, being translated into multiple languages — even though learned people throughout the Roman Empire spoke and wrote in Greek already. Another huge source of manuscript evidence was the writings of early church pastors and leaders, who quoted Scripture extensively. It’s been said that you could reconstruct almost the entire New Testament just from the quotations of those pastors and leaders.

So several centuries before the first Pope, the Bible text was far better established than many people think.

It’s true that there was a council that met and officially established canon in the 4th century, but the churches had been going and using Scripture for several centuries before that. The vast majority had already settled on the canon of New Testament books long before.

tom on February 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM

You have some of this right, which is good. But you’re mixing up some events and you’re fuzzing over a lot of issues. First, there was no counsel that met and established the canon in the 4th C. The canon of the NT was generally accepted in 4th or 5th C. (the East had issues with Revelation). The Catholic canon was not officially set until Trent (16th C.)

I’m not sure who you’re referring to as the first Pope. Traditionally, that’s Peter. But, at the least, you see documentary evidence of Clement exercising pastoral authority over other Churches. You can read the Epistles of Clement (1st is Authentic, 2nd almost certainly not). Both Catholics and Orthodox agree that, at the very least, the Bishop of Rome was primus inter partes from the very earliest days. Even the most skeptical historians put it in the 2nd Century. So who is the first Pope?

Those “pastors and leaders” have titles: Priests and Bishops. You can see this in the earliest Christian writings. Check out Ignatius of Antioch’s Epistle to Polycarp writing around 100 (“Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you. My soul be for theirs that are submissive to the bishop, to the presbyters, and to the deacons, and may my portion be along with them in God! “. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ignatius.html

I could go on…

How is it that we can distinguish between writings that are divinely inspire and those that are not?

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

The relevant info was in the 2nd paragraph:

“The Decree for the Armenians”, in the Bull “Exultate Deo” of Pope Eugene IV, is often referred to as a decree of the Council of Florence. While it is not necessary to hold this decree to be a dogmatic definition of the matter and form and minister of the sacraments, it is undoubtedly a practical instruction, emanating from the Holy See, and as such, has full authenticity in a canonical sense. That is, it is authoritative. The decree speaks thus of Baptism:

Holy Baptism holds the first place among the sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church. And since through the first man death entered into all, unless we be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, we can not enter into the kingdom of Heaven, as Truth Himself has told us. . . .

There you have it. I know you are going to claim that none of this matters because it didn’t come directly from the Bible, well that’s not how Catholic beliefs work.

How can you say it’s my dogma when I am showing you Jesus’ own Words?

Yes, that is a passage that is emphasized by Born Again Christians, and not necessarily Catholics, therefore it is your dogma.

Catholics don’t have the same interpretation of all parts of the Bible as you do. And yes, they hold the Holy Trinity, the Saints, the Virgin Mary, etc as sacred whereas you feel that is all sacrilegious.

You don’t have to be born again to see heaven = CLASSIC false convert thinking

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Right and you have to be born again and accept Jesus Christ into your life as your own personal Savior otherwise you will go straight to Hell = CLASSIC born again convert thinking.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Born again’s are interesting. Ask them where the Trinity appears in the Bible. Or where the Bible defines which books are in the Bible? Just why area/are not the deutocanonical (“apochrypha”) books in the Bible? (Hint: Maccabee’s supports prayer for the dead, something Luther rejected). Which specific version of, say, Mark is the correct one? Where does it say in the Bible that Christmas on December 25? And I could go on.

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM

And I believe this Heathen is finished for the night.

Enjoy arguing over religious superiority, authority, ashes, and candidates :-P

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM

There you have it. I know you are going to claim that none of this matters because it didn’t come directly from the Bible, well that’s not how Catholic beliefs work.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

You obviously don’t know your Bible. You did get one thing right though that is exactly how Catholic beliefs work. I read your whole post and I didn’t see any Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again. There’s a difference between Catholicism and Christianity and you have proved it again. Goodnight.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Born again’s are interesting. Ask them where the Trinity appears in the Bible. Or where the Bible defines which books are in the Bible? Where does it say in the Bible that Christmas on December 25? And I could go on.

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Well don’t we have to establish which version is the correct version of the Bible before we can even get into all of that?

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The more this campaign drags on, the more I see the faith of my fathers ridiculed by athiests and secular partisans hoping for advantage..

I was an agnostict for a time in my twenties,.. not for quite some time now though.. I really need to seek out a local Parish, and see what’s envolved in joining the Church. I have never been a Catholic, but for some reason, I’ve always felt as one, with them.. so maybe it’s time to take that last step.

mark81150 on February 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I have never been a Catholic, but for some reason, I’ve always felt as one, with them.. so maybe it’s time to take that last step.

mark81150 on February 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Go to where you’re being led, Dude. In my heart I still think there’s only one important point of order in any flavor of Christianity. ANd you know what that is. If you’re drawn to the Catholic faith, go there.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM

You obviously don’t know your Bible. You did get one thing right though that is exactly how Catholic beliefs work. I read your whole post and I didn’t see any Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again. There’s a difference between Catholicism and Christianity and you have proved it again. Goodnight.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Ugh, I’m not going to bed yet afterall.

#1 I called this already:

There you have it. I know you are going to claim that none of this matters because it didn’t come directly from the Bible, well that’s not how Catholic beliefs work.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

I’m sure there is some basis in the Bible for the Papal Bull, but I’m not a Bible scholar, nor do I care that much to try and give you proof of parts of Catholic dogma that you are just going to dismiss because you don’t believe in it.

#2 Yes, we all know there are HUGE differences between Catholicism and Born Again Christianity. I wasn’t claiming one was superior to the other.

This whole digression began because of a snarky post you made in reference to the Catholic observation of Palm Sunday. I mentioned the Bible verse about not judging people, but apparently the most important teaching in Christendom is the verse about being saved. And here I thought Jesus was sent to Earth to tell us to quit being such jerks to one another!

Someone else then posted that baptism was being born again, and I provided some limited information to back up that post at your request.

By the way, Catholics are Christians. . . as are Orthodox Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, etc. They are just not Born Again Christians.

I’m calling this one too, you are going to tell me that the only Christians are those that are born again.

And here’s a disclaimer to all and sundry: I don’t really care what religion you are practicing, and I have nothing against Catholics, Christians, or even Born Agains. . . I just don’t really care for the overly judgmental or sanctimonious.

Maybe Apocalypse isn’t intending to come across that way /shrug

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Go to where you’re being led, Dude. In my heart I still think there’s only one important point of order in any flavor of Christianity. ANd you know what that is. If you’re drawn to the Catholic faith, go there.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM

That’s what I have felt of most religions; at the heart of them all isn’t it all the same?

Respect Life, Don’t Kill Things.

Help Others and Treat Them Like You Want to Be Treated- Don’t be a Jerk.

Don’t Sleep with Anyone Else’s Wife/Hubby.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

The major difference is that the “born again” have the notion that it’s a one-time event and then you’re done. Once saved, always saved kind of thing. I think it derives from some Calvinist notions, but I’m not sure. They’re usually not so hot at theology, frankly. They’re not the intellectuals of the Christian club, that’s for sure. Their talents lie elsewhere.

Catholics see Baptism/Confirmation/Holy Orders as indelible marks on the soul granting “charisms.” But they see life as a process of conversion. Grace is something that can slip away but you can always return, etc.

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

None of that was the answer.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM

None of that was the answer.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Well those seem to be pretty important, so you’ve lost me.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Where in the Bible does it say which books are in the Bible?

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 6:34 PM

At the beginning of mine there is a very helpful Table of Contents.

RINO in Name Only on February 22, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Zing!

profitsbeard on February 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Where in the Bible does it say which books are in the Bible?
NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 6:34 PM

At the beginning of mine there is a very helpful Table of Contents.

RINO in Name Only on February 22, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Indeed. And where did that come from?

NYCcon on February 22, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Well those seem to be pretty important, so you’ve lost me.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I didn’t lose you.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 11:46 PM

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

None of that was the answer.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Respect to hawkdriver. Cmsciulli backs up everything they say with man’s opinion. No Scripture.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

I read your whole post and I didn’t see any Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Ugh, I’m not going to bed yet afterall. #1 I called this already:

Who cares. You’re not providing answers.

I’m sure there is some basis in the Bible for the Papal Bull, but I’m not a Bible scholar, nor do I care that much to try and give you proof of parts of Catholic dogma that you are just going to dismiss because you don’t believe in it.

It doesn’t matter what we believe. I asked to see some Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again and you don’t have any. You even admit that you’re not a Bible scholar, a Christian, or a practicing Catholic, and, yet, you trust the Catholic church’s words over Jesus Word’s. Scary.

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM

That’s what I have felt of most religions; at the heart of them all isn’t it all the same?

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

All religions are the same… spoken like a true ecumenical/false convert

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Respect to hawkdriver. Cmsciulli backs up everything they say with man’s opinion. No Scripture.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

You know the answer.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM

mark81150 on February 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Mark: Every parish has an RCIA(Right of Christian Initiation) group that starts up in the fall.
RCIA is Catholicism 101 basically.
If you go all the way through you join the Church during Easter Vigil. I had my first communion and was confirmed-since I had been baptized in a protestant church-during Easter vigil 2010. I took ‘Edith’ as my confirmation name-after my patron saint, Edith Stein.
Here’s a link.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 23, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I felt really embarrassed for Ms. Burley. I know I shouldn’t have been, but listening to the front end of the tape made me choke on my tuna sandwich, and then when she says she was Catholic at the end — well, that was painful.

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:23 AM

You obviously don’t know your Bible. You did get one thing right though that is exactly how Catholic beliefs work. I read your whole post and I didn’t see any Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again. There’s a difference between Catholicism and Christianity and you have proved it again. Goodnight.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/born-again-in-baptism

One key Scripture reference to being “born again” or “regenerated” is John 3:5, where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

This verse is so important that those who say baptism is just a symbol must deny that Jesus here refers to baptism. “Born again” Christians claim the “water” is the preached word of God.

But the early Christians uniformly identified this verse with baptism. Water baptism is the way, they said, that we are born again and receive new life—a fact that is supported elsewhere in Scripture (Rom. 6:3–4; Col. 2:12–13; Titus 3:5).

No Church Father referred to John 3:5 as anything other than water baptism.

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

Matthew 3:13-17:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:40 AM

You don’t have to be born again to see heaven = CLASSIC false convert thinking

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Hmmm. Which one should I believe? I like reading stuff for myself, instead of listening to people with no knowledge AND chips on their shoulders.

Squiggy on February 23, 2012 at 6:10 AM

You obviously don’t know your Bible. You did get one thing right though that is exactly how Catholic beliefs work. I read your whole post and I didn’t see any Scripture from the Bible to back up your false claim that baptism is being born again. There’s a difference between Catholicism and Christianity and you have proved it again. Goodnight.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM

You obviously don’t know your Bible, or anything about Catholicism. Here’s the scripture that equates being “born again” or being “born from above” (the Greek word for “from above” also means “again,” leading Nicodemus at first to misunderstand Jesus’ meaning):

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”

4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”

5 Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.

7 Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’

8 The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

This encounter with Nicodemus foreshadows what comes later in the same chapter of John:

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing.

23 John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized,

24 for John had not yet been imprisoned.

25 Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings.

26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.”

steebo77 on February 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

equates being “born again” or being “born from above” (the Greek word for “from above” also means “again,” leading Nicodemus at first to misunderstand Jesus’ meaning) with baptism:

steebo77 on February 23, 2012 at 7:08 AM

You even admit that you’re not a Bible scholar, a Christian, or a practicing Catholic, and, yet, you trust the Catholic church’s words over Jesus Word’s. Scary.

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM

I never said I trusted the Catholic church. You wanted some evidence in Catholic dogma that equates baptism with being born again, and I provided some limited evidence.

That’s what I have felt of most religions; at the heart of them all isn’t it all the same?

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM

All religions are the same… spoken like a true ecumenical/false convert

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Yes, the main tenets of the religions are the same. I’m sorry that you can’t see that.

Stop labeling me as a false convert; I’m not a Born Again, let’s just leave it at that.

cmsciulli on February 23, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants and non-denominationalists (who are being called “born agains” here) who are given the grace to be true believers in Jesus Christ and given the Holy Spirit are all born again. Catholics believe in being born again, too. Just not leaving it at that. Because the BIBLE says there is more to salvation.

Like Ungles has quoted from the rest of John (since someone left off the rest of that passage) “born of WATER and the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:20-21:

“who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water.

This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

Acts 10:44-48:

“While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word.

The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also,

for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded,

Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?”

He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”

If these people who had received the Holy Spirit already were saved, why did St. Peter (hand picked by Jesus and instructed by Him) think it was so important to baptize them immediately?

It is in the Bible. The question is how one interprets the Bible.

Read the early Church writers from the first 3 centuries of the Church. Read how the first Christians interpreted the Bible and see if you are interpreting it the same way. I would rather agree with the interpretations of those who were instructed by the Apostles who were instructed by Christ than believe the interpretations of men 1500 years later.

There is Baptism by Water, Blood and Desire. But Baptism is necessary for salvation in Christ.

Elisa on February 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Like others here have pointed out, how do you know your Bible’s table of content is correct?

You have to have faith in the Holy Spirit working through the Bishops in the Councils of the 4th century to have faith that the Bible you hold in your hand has the correct books.

Those Bishops decided which books were to be read at Christian Masses, and no others. These were the Word of God to them, and no others.

this list has not changed in the Catholic Church till this day. It was the official canon of books and later in the Council of Trent became the formally declared canon of books. But it was decided and official by the late 300s AD.

The 4 Gospels and St. Paul’s writings were universally accepted as Scriptural in the first few centuries.

but there were other books which were widely, but not universally accepted.

They included the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermes, the Didache, up till the mid 200s AD it included Clement’s 1 Epistle to the Corinthians. It also included Hebrews, James, Revelation, 2 and 3 John, 2 Peter and Jude.

How do you know they made the right decision? How do you know your Bible shouldn’t have the Epistle of Barnabas instead of Hebrews. Or have both books? Or have neither book? How do you know Revelation is the Word of God?

Because you “feel” it when you read it? I can give you passages from those other good Christian books from back then and you might also “feel” they were the Word of God, all written in the late first century, like Revelation.

(Note: I am not talking about the stupid Gnostic “gospels” which were of late origin and NEVER considered Scriptural by anyone in the Church.)

And how do you know that these 3 Gospel passages are actually the Word of God? They were not in all the early manuscripts and there was huge debate as to whether they were late additions from man and not the Word of God.

How would you feel to open up your Bible and not find the story of Jesus and the adulteress being stoned and telling her to “go and sin no more.”

Or not finding the end of Mark’s Gospel vanished from your Bible?

Or no mention in your Bible of Jesus sweating blood?

These 3 Gospel passages were also decided by those same Bishops inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I believe in the written Word of God because I have faith in the oral Word of God, the HOly Spirit working through the Sacred Tradition of the Church, as the way Jesus set the Church up so Christians can have confidence in what is true and what isn’t.

Elisa on February 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Tina Korbe,
When I attended Mass last night, one of the readings cautioned against public displays of charity, piety, and faith … “Amen, I say to you, they have already received their reward” … so I applaud both Santorum and Gingrich for not giving into temptation and making their faith a political instrument … unlike others such as Biden and Pelosi who publicly sport their ashes and their religion then violate that faith at every opportunity … IMHO
—Tim Lenox

TimLenox on February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

TimLenox on February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Great thoughts Tim.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Agreed, Tim

SarahW on February 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Right and you have to be born again and accept Jesus Christ into your life as your own personal Savior otherwise you will go straight to Hell = CLASSIC born again convert thinking.

cmsciulli on February 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

You are arguing with God’s Word. The Bible refers to the fate of the unsaved with frightening words like “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2) “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46), “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:51) etcetera, and you won’t go to heaven if you are not a born again Christian. It’s that simple. It is another term for getting saved (see John 3:1-7).

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Respect to hawkdriver. Cmsciulli backs up everything they say with man’s opinion. No Scripture.

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

You know the answer.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM

Wrong. I put my faith in God, not Roman Catholicism and man. Why you ask? Because “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” Psalms 118:8

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 2:06 PM

You don’t have to be born again to see heaven = CLASSIC false convert thinking

apocalypse on February 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, (truly, truly) I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

Hmmm. Which one should I believe? I like reading stuff for myself, instead of listening to people with no knowledge AND chips on their shoulders.

Squiggy on February 23, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Personally, I would go with Jesus. :)

Sterling Holobyte on February 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

One key Scripture reference to being “born again” or “regenerated” is John 3:5, where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

Like the Catholic church, you have no concept of what it means to be born again. You think Jesus is talking about having some water sprinkled on your forehead by a priest. That is absurd and deeply flawed theology. Baptism in the Bible is always after salvation and only by full immersion (see Mark 1:10; Acts 8:38). I see a lot of well intended people trusting their souls to the Catholic church (small “c”) which is so deeply flawed and continues to change all the time. They are ignorant of Scripture and are trusting in a system or vicar to save them or vouch for them at the Judgement!

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

The early Christians uniformly identified (John 3:5) with baptism.

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

I don’t think so. In John 3:3 Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” and it was so important that He repeated it a few verses later in verse 7 saying, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.” This is more serious than a heart attack. The difference between “believing in God” and being born again is like the difference between believing in a parachute and putting it on. If you jump off a plane believing in a parachute without putting it on you’re gonna die. This is probably the clearest Old Testament reference to being born again.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

The new birth spoken of by Jesus happens when you repent and trust Him. I was converted by the power of the gospel. I was made a new creature instantly, overnight, new heart, new desires, born again. First time I was born it was radical. I didn’t exist and then suddenly I did. Second time I was born again it was just as radical and then I opened the Bible and the Bible explained to me what I had already experienced. It’s called CONVERSION. It’s when I confessed and forsook my sins. It’s when I came to know the Lord: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God” (John 17:3). No, I wasn’t converted by baptism! Early Christians weren’t converted by baptism! There was no printing press. They couldn’t read. The New Testament hadn’t been compiled. The gospel was even in written form. They were converted by the power of the message and that’s what happened to me. I was converted by the power of the gospel! Don’t believe those who offer another salvation.

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Early Christians (Catholics) uniformly identified (John 3:5) with baptism. Water baptism is the way, they said, that we are born again and receive new life

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

I culled one of the quotes from your Catholic father Tertullian:

“[N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, ‘Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life’” (Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203]).

If no one can be saved without baptism tell that to the thief on the cross. Salvation is God’s gift to us. All we have to do to receive a gift is to accept it (Ephesians 2:8-9). Stop believing that you can save yourself by your baptism, by being good enough or by your own suffering in a purgatory that doesn’t exist. Shift your faith to a more solid foundation. Trust Christ to save you!

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM

All religions are the same… spoken like a true ecumenical/false convert

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Yes, the main tenets of the religions are the same. I’m sorry that you can’t see that. Stop labeling me as a false convert; I’m not a Born Again, let’s just leave it at that.

cmsciulli on February 23, 2012 at 8:04 AM

You are a little devil who misleads others… you will be in hell if you don’t change

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Wrong. I put my faith in God, not Roman Catholicism and man. Why you ask? Because “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” Psalms 118:8

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Okay. All Christian faiths accept Jesus as their Savior. That’s all I was ever trying to say. All of all your other side arguments, I wasn’t talking about.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Personally, I would go with Jesus. :)

Sterling Holobyte on February 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Me three.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Wrong. I put my faith in God, not Roman Catholicism and man. Why you ask? Because “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” Psalms 118:8

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Okay. All Christian faiths accept Jesus as their Savior. That’s all I was ever trying to say. All of all your other side arguments, I wasn’t talking about.

hawkdriver on February 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

I have no beef with you and I appreciate your humble heart hawkdriver, but I want you to know that not all religions calling themselves “Christian” are, in fact, Christian (Mormons, JW’s, Catholics, etc.) and they do not have a proper understanding of who Jesus is. So there is Jesus of the Bible and then there is the jesus of false religions. All the religions I’ve mentioned are what’s called works righteousness religions. They think they can do something to merit everlasting life. Lying on beds of nails, facing Mecca, praying, fasting, repentance or whatever. They think they can do something to merit everlasting life, but God says you will not bribe the Judge of the universe. We’re criminals. Our good works aren’t good works. They’re attempts to bribe God, but God provided the gift of everlasting life through One Savior given to all men. So a Buddhist can find everlasting life by repenting and finding faith in Jesus. So can a Muslim if he’ll repent and trust the One who died on the cross for him. That’s how you become born again/saved, but you have to have the right Jesus. The greatest faith in someone false is not gonna be faith that saves you. Please watch this short interview for your own son’s sake, for your loved ones sake, and for your own salvations sake. Hawkdriver, thanks for posting and talking with me.

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

For the record, I didn’t see either Catholic candidate with an ash on their head at the debate. Didn’t expect to see them though. And I didn’t know ashes were that big. What a whopper that’s on Biden’s head!

The Nerve on February 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

There is just so much you misunderstand and state incorrectly about the Catholic faith in your posts that I wouldn’t know where to begin. But I do want to touch on just one thing before this thread disappears.

Catholics do not believe we can ever “merit” salvation in any way and we can never “bribe” God.

The Bible is clear that we are not saved by works alone and we are not saved by faith alone. James Chapter 2 actually says, “not by faith alone.”

Faith is a gift. Grace comes from God, unmerited, never merited, freely given. But we must accept God’s grace, which is a work. God does not force Himself on us, we are not Christian robots. We have free will. And we must continue to say “yes” to God every day. Those are works.

And the Bible talks about “recompense” and “reward.” (I will post some quotes on this later.)

The New Testament (especially St. Paul in Romans) talks about 3 different kinds of works.

There are the works of the law, which if you read all the passages in context are talking about circumcision 99% of the time. Works of the law do not save us.

There are self righteous works that we do to try and curry favor with God or man or out of pride to look good or try and force God’s hand. Self righteous works do not save us.

Then there are the good works of God. When we cooperate with God’s grace and do good works out of love for Him. Not for ourselves or by ourselves. These are our faith manifested in our works. These are the works St. James talks about in Chapter 2 and the works mentioned throughout the New Testament. These works done from our faith which is a gift from God do save us, but never alone or apart from faith. So, by God’s grace, our works play a small part in our salvation.

Show me just one quote from the Bible (in context) that says we are not saved by faith and works together or that faith alone saves us.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church can explain this better for you. Here is the link to the Catechism on grace and faith and works and salvation.

It starts with Justification, then goes to Grace, Merit and Christian holiness. Just click “next.”
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6Y.HTM

excerpt from Merit:
The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. the fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man’s free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man’s merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

Elisa on February 24, 2012 at 1:52 AM

apocalypse on February 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Elisa on February 24, 2012 at 1:52 AM

There are countless Bible quotes about our works cooperating with God grace in our salvation. Do not ignore them. Otherwise, you are only listening to half of Christ’s Gospel.

Especially Jesus Himself in the Gospels. Like telling the man (when asked) that for salvation he would have to follow the commandments, sell all he had and follow Christ.

Often the Bible talks about works without even mentioning faith, but we take the Bible as a whole, so we know it is never works alone that save us.

I am not going to quote all the many verses and passages that speak of works, but I will narrow the quotes to “reward” and “judgment.”

I wrote this to someone once and kept it in my Word file. Hope this helps you understand.

If we had no part from our free will to play in the works and if we do not cooperate with His grace, then why would we be REWARDED FOR OUR GOOD WORKS and why would we be JUDGED ON OUR WORKS. (We are judged on the good works, as well as the bad. It is not only the damned/reprobates who will be judged. We will all be judged.) If we do not need to assent and can not reject His grace, if these good works are only of Christ and we play no part, then why are we rewarded? Faith, grace, salvation is a gift. Yes. Yet Christ is rewarding some for something they have done and judging us. The reward should be His alone and what is there to judge? Why judge if we cannot reject His grace? What is there to judge? He would be judging Himself. Why are we rewarded and judged if they are not our good works, but someone else’s?

I am only going to quote the works quotes having to do with reward and judging. And I am sure it is not a complete list.

Reward, recompense, reap, repay, storing up treasures in Heaven and judgment – all on our good deeds and good works. If we played no part, then why are we rewarded for them? Some of these passages, including Jesus’ Words, do not even mention faith at all. Obviously we know faith is necessary and the works are done in faith. Because that is what the entire Bible and the Church teach.

Galatians 6:7-9:
“Make no mistake: GOD IS NOT MOCKED, for a person will REAP ONLY WHAT HE SOWS, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of DOING GOOD, for in due time we REAP OUR HARVEST, IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.”

1 Corinthians 3:8:
“The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.”

Colossians 3:23-25: Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the DUE PAYMENT of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will receive RECOMPENCE for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality.”

Besides the recompense, please note he is telling us to “be” slaves of Jesus. Not that we “are” slaves.

2 Corinthians 5:10:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive RECOMPENSE, ACCORDING TO WHAT HE DID in the body, whether good or evil.”

Romans 2:5-11:

“By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are STORING UP WRATH FOR YOURSELF for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God,
WHO WILL REPAY EVERYONE ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS:
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in GOOD WORKS,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God.”

Proverbs 24:12: “If you say, “I know not this man!” does not he who tests hearts perceive it? He who guards your life knows it, and he will repay each one according to his deeds.”

Psalm 62:13: “so too, Lord, does kindness, And you render to each of us according to our deeds.”

In John 5:28-29, Jesus says, “Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done GOOD DEEDS to the resurrection of life, but those who have done WICKED DEEDS to the resurrection of condemnation.”

In Revelation 20: 12, John says, “I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their DEEDS, by what was written in the scrolls.”

Revelation 22:12: “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.

In John 3:36, John the Baptist says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

Jesus in Matthew 16:27:
“For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will REPAY EVERYONE ACCORDING TO HIS CONDUCT.”

Jesus in Matthew 25: 31-46:
“”When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

AND THESE WILL GO OFF TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, BUT THE RIGHTEOUS TO ETERNAL LIFE.”

Jesus is talking about works and not mentioning faith here at all. Jesus didn’t say that at the final judgment we would be separated as believers from unbelievers. The sheep from the goats are according to deeds/works.

Jesus in Matthew 5:46:
“For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?”

Jesus in Matthew 6:19-20:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, . . . But store up treasures in heaven,”

What does it mean to “store up treasures in heaven?” It means we do things here that we will be rewarded for in heaven. That means we work towards our salvation, which is the ONLY treasure in heaven. Living with God forever.

Jesus in Matthew 5:7-12:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Jesus in Matthew 7:2:
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.

Likewise, Jesus in Luke 6:31-33 and 38:
“Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. . . .
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.

And one of my favorite scriptural lines, Matthew 25:21:
“His master said to him, ‘WELL DONE, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. COME, SHARE YOUR MASTER’S JOY.”

Matthew 6:16-18:

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. . . .But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden WILL REPAY YOU.”

Hebrews 3:12-15: “Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end, for it is said: “Oh, that today you would hear his voice: ‘Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion.’”

(Psalm 95:8: “Harden not your heart.”)

How can we harden our hearts ourselves? Only if we have the choice to reject God or accept Him. God can harden our hearts. But so can we.

On rejecting His grace/falling from grace:

1 Timothy 1:18-19:
“. . . with the prophetic words once spoken about you. Through them may you FIGHT A GOOD FIGHT by having faith and a good conscience. Some, by rejecting conscience, have MADE A SHIPWRECK OF THEIR FAITH,”

So Paul is saying to be careful not to give up the good fight and ruin or lose our faith. Paul isn’t saying that these people never had true faith. You cannot make a shipwreck of something that wasn’t there. So we can lose our faith and fall from grace. Which means we can reject His grace.

Matthew 24:12-13: “and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.”

We are to fight the good fight, run the race and persevere. Why? If we have been given the gift and we can’t give it back? He isn’t going to take it from us. We can give it back. Free will.

James twice says, “faith without works is dead.” He didn’t just say that it isn’t true faith if it didn’t have works. And he didn’t say that there never was true faith if there were bad fruits or if there was a later rejection of God. He didn’t say that having no works was an indication of never having had faith. James said that the person’s faith was dead without works. To be dead means that something had to once be alive. So even one with true faith can lose it. We can fall from grace.

Hebrews 6:4-12: “For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the holy Spirit and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to bring them to repentance again, since they are recrucifying the Son of God for themselves and holding him up to contempt. Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected; it will soon be cursed and finally burned. But we are sure in your regard, beloved, of better things related to salvation, even though we speak in this way. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.”

All good things done are for the greater glory of God. We can do nothing apart from Christ and His grace. We all agree with that. But do not throw God’s gift of free will back and say it is not necessary for salvation. God gave us this gift freely. Like the gift of faith.

We DENY He gave us free will if we say He DOESN’T ALLOW HIS ELECT TO EXERCISE IT. Especially in the ONLY WAY THAT COUNTS. The most important time for us to exercise our free will. Probably the main (perhaps only) REASON HE GAVE US FREE WILL. To come to Him freely. What other good reason would he have for giving it to us? We can accept or reject His grace. Freely. HE WANTS OUR HEARTS IN OBEDIENCE and LOVE. Not empty works that are only done on His part without our assent and cooperation. It is possible only with His grace, but we give Him our hearts freely.

Elisa on February 24, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Elisa, do you realize how long your posts are? Nobodies gonna read that. I can post a lengthy one every now and then, but I had to scroll down the page 10 minutes before I got to the bottom of your post. Sorry, I didn’t even read it. It’s just to long. Now let me ask you some questions.

1.) Do you have a burden for lost souls?

2.) Can you tell me the plan of salvation? How do we obtain salvation?

apocalypse on February 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

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