Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Protestant's wrong undestanding of Catholicism and Baptism

On Paltalk last night several people attempted to "refute" the Catholic Church based on the little knowledge they had of it.

One person was named "hello dolly," she acts as if the fact her friends were Catholic qualifies her as someone who is competent in Catholic theology, however, the wording of her questions suggest she is incompentent in this area.

She asked me if baptism makes someone born again, "how was the thief on the cross born again"?
There are a few problems with this example.

 1) We don't know if the thief was not a Christians before and was baptized, it was possible he was since John 4:1 tells us Jesus had more people baptized and made disciples than John the Baptist, which must have been a HUGE number since the Gospels tell us concerning the number following John the Baptist:

And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptized by him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.--Mark 1:5

So logically, Jesus had a huge number of followers in Israel at one time, only to have many of them apostacize in John 6.  So is it unreasonable at all to say that the thief may have already been a follower of Christ (at least at one time) and was baptized? 

2)Baptism in water is not the only means by which a person is made "born again" in Catholic theology.  In Catholicism there are 3 recognized means by which a person can be "baptized" they are: water (traditional baptism), blood (someone who dies for the faith though was not water baptized), and desire (someone who if they had the chance to be baptized would have been, these people usually are catechumen who meet an early death). Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the matter:

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

Many of the Fathers justified calling martyrdom for the Faith a "baptism" because Christ called His own death on the Cross a "baptism," so those dying for the Faith are said to likewise be "baptized" "in their own blood."

There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!--Luke 12:50

Baptism of desire's older name was "desire of baptism" and this was justified by Fathers as being salvific because of Scriptures like this:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.--Acts 2:21

Conclusion: Ultimately in Catholic theology whether or not the Good Thief was baptized in water is not relevant, since water is not the only way to become born again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Desperate Protestant arguments to "prove" Mary is not the Mother of God

The other day I encountered the most desperate arguments by Protestants to explain why Jesus did not have original sin, without having a sinless Mary--God forbid should the woman the Lord chose be sinless! They likewise concocted some screwy reasons why Mary was not really Jesus' mother!

 One of them was arguing that Jesus has blood that was special and did not have sin--as if sin were transmitted in the blood, or that blood in of its self were evil.  The fact is when the bible calls blood righteous or blameless it's an expression for the righteousness of the person being killed. It's not refering at all to "sinful blood." To say that blood itself transfers sins is smacking with gnostic doctrine which believes the physical world to be evil. I was continually question by people if "blood passes to the child"-which it generally does not, however DOES occassionally happen, they were trying to argue that somehow this proves Jesus did not get "Mary's tainted blood", yet what they fail to realize if in the womb they themselves do not get their mother's "tainted" blood, NOR THEIR FATHERS! So why are not all men conceived without original sin or "sin nature" as they prefer to say? (As a side note, they seem to be ignorant that a child's blood is determined by a combination of the mother and fathers, eg. if the mother is AA and the father is OO the child will be AO; also, ignorant of the fact that modern biology says the mother is the one that accepts the seed via chemical signals, though neither of these are really relevant to the discussion).  Now, continuing she pretends Acts 17:26 somehow proves sin is passed in the blood--though it only says (and only in certain manuscripts) that all men were made of "one blood" (ie Adam), yet she conveniently forgets that Christ too is a "man."  So apparently "all does not always mean all" applies here too! Regardless, this verse in no way speaks of sin being passed in the blood. Even Jesus spoke of other people's blood as being "just":

upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.--Matthew 23:35

Dare we interpret this to mean their physical blood was a better quality than the rest of man's "sinful blood'"? After all, they too were of the "one blood" of Adam! This is the some person I addressed in a previous Question and Answer session over this issue.  People continued to argue that Jesus was not of Mary because she was sinful, so He could have "none of her DNA or blood."  In this desperation to discount Mary they make Jesus a false Messiah because He had to be of the tribe of Judah to be King.  Furthermore, he is called the "seed of David"--so he must be of the "blood line" of David.  If He did not have anything from Mary--how was He the "seed" of David at all?

Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?--John 7:42

In fact, this is not the only verse in the Scriptures which call Him the "seed of David."  St Paul even makes it clear He speaks of Christ being a literal descendant of David by also adding that Christ was of the "seed of David ACCORDING to the FLESH."

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;--Romans 1:3

Another person tried to make an even more desperate against Mary by saying that Jesus' body was prepare in Hebrews means God created a body for Jesus then placed it inside of Mary.

For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in."--Hebrews 10:5-6

Nothing in this verse at all implies God created a body outside of the Virgin Mary, in fact if it did it would contradict the Scripture when it says:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.--Isaiah 9:6
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.--Luke 1:30-31

Why does the Archangel Gabriel call it conceiving, if according these Protestants God merely relocated an already made body inside of Mary for Jesus?

Furthermore, why is Jesus refered to as the "fruit of the womb" of Mary if Jesus is not the fruit that was produce from Mary via an umbilical cord? Also, how can these people even argue Jesus is the one being spoken of as the "seed of the woman" in Genesis 3:15 if Jesus is not Mary's seed? (This is an argument from a Protestant prespective, since all Christians are actually the "seed of the woman" spoken of in Genesis, not simply Christ, though He fulfills the role first and foremost and without that seed none of the others ones would prosper in overcoming the serpent).

 Why shouldn't we simply believe the Holy Spirit when speaking through Elizabeth the Blessed Virgin Mary is declared to be the "mother of my Lord"?

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?--Luke 1:43

In summary: Mary is called the "Mother" of the Lord, Jesus is called the "seed of David according to the flesh" by St Paul, Mary is told she will "conceive" in her womb (not be implanted with a preexistent body), and Jesus is called the "fruit of her womb," so there is NO reason to speculate Jesus was not a physical descendant of the Virgin Mary.

Addition: I have also encountered people objecting to calling Mary the Mother of God on the basis that she did not bear the Father and the Holy Spirit.  However, this reasoning is faulty in that it would mean that Jesus is not God since He is not the Father and the Spirit.  If such requirements were needed to make Mary the Mother of God, then Jesus, nor any other member of the Trinity maybe called God on Their own since, no person of the Trinity is Himself all Three!  Thus the Bible would have errored in Hebrews 1 and Psalms when it has the Father addressesing the Son says "Thy throne of God.."