Is Roman Catholic Doctrine Biblical? The Mass

CrossThis is a basic understanding of the Roman Catholic Mass, from About Catholicism, called here the central form of worship in their world-wide church.
Looking through its basic tenets, it contains several deviations from Jesus’ standards for taking Communion, and which is considered, by the Roman Catholic church to be part of the Sacraments of Initiation, that is, the way in which a person becomes accepted into the Church, and involving Baptism (by sprinkling water, not full immersion, especially as infants, before confession of Christ can be made), Confirmation and Communion, the three making up the passage into salvation and sanctification.
The Mass as the Central Act of Worship in the Catholic Church:

Catholics worship God in a variety of ways, but the chief act of corporate or communal worship is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the Eastern churches, Catholic and Orthodox, this is known as the Divine Liturgy; in the West, it is known as the Mass, an English word derived from the Latin text of the priest’s dismissal of the congregation at the end of the liturgy (“Ite, missa est.“). Throughout the centuries, the liturgy of the Church has taken a variety of regional and historical forms, but one thing has remained constant: The Mass has always been the central form of Catholic worship.

The Mass: An Ancient Practice:

As far back as the Acts of the Apostles and Saint Paul’s epistles, we find descriptions of the Christian community gathering to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist. In the catacombs in Rome, the tombs of martyrs were used as altars for the celebration of the earliest forms of the Mass, making the tie between the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, its re-presentation in the Mass, and the strengthening of the faith of Christians explicit.

The Mass as “Unbloody Sacrifice”:

Very early on, the Church saw the Mass as a mystical reality in which the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is renewed. Responding to Protestant sects who denied that the Eucharist is anything more than a memorial, the Council of Trent (1545-63) declared that “The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner” in the Mass.

This does not mean, as some critics of Catholicism claim, that the Church teaches that, in the Mass, we sacrifice Christ again. Rather, the original sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is presented to us once more.

The Mass as a Re-presentation of the Crucifixion:

This re-presentation, as Fr. John Hardon notes in his Pocket Catholic Dictionary, “means that because Christ is really present in his humanity, in heaven and on the altar, he is capable now as he was on Good Friday of freely offering himself to the Father.” This understanding of the Mass hinges on the Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. When the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Christ is truly present on the altar. If the bread and wine remained merely symbols, the Mass could still be a memorial of the Last Supper, but not a re-presentation of the Crucifixion.

So here we have a serious deviation from Biblical New Testament communion and orthodoxy. Christ is, despite Catholic claims here, brought down into the Mass as a sacrifice.

Although the claim is made that this ‘does not mean, as some critics of Catholicism claim, that the Church teaches that, in the Mass, we sacrifice Christ again. Rather, the original sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is presented to us once more’, there is no ‘once and for all’ sacrifice of the cross being referred to, since they claim a secondary (in multiplicity) work of sacrifice during every Mass.

It is a contradiction of terms to say that Christ is a sacrifice in the Mass, and yet is not sacrificed again. He is either a sacrifice or he is not.

The Communion is considered by Roman Catholics to be the real body and blood of Christ. Christ is called down by men into the wafer, despite Catholic claims to the contrary, to be part of the recipients’ life, which totally contradicts Christ’s own words that he would send another One just like him, the Paraklete – ‘One Called Alongside” – the Holy Spirit, who would be with us and in us perpetually.

John 14:16-17
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

On this basis alone, the necessity for calling down Christ to be with us and to further strengthen us is rendered null. He sent the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, to dwell with us for ever. There is no need to call down Christ in the Mass. He has sent his Spirit to dwell with believers.

The Mass as Memorial and Sacred Banquet:

While the Mass is more than a memorial, it is still a memorial as well as a sacrifice. The Mass is the Church’s way of fulfilling Christ’s command, at the Last Supper, to “Do this in remembrance of Me.” As a memorial of the Last Supper, the Mass is also a sacred banquet, in which the faithful participate both through their presence and their role in the liturgy and through the reception of Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ.

While it is not necessary to receive Communion in order to fulfill our Sunday obligation, the Church recommends frequent reception (along with sacramental Confession).

So the Mass is made both a memorial and a sacrifice, meaning Christ is called down from the Right hand of the Father to be sacrificed again, every time a Mass is held.

Now consider: there are just under one billion Roman Catholics worldwide, covering all time-zones, expected, for the devout, to attend a Mass every day, which means that, at any given time on earth, there is a Mass taking place somewhere, in which Christ is being called down as a sacrifice.

The idea is that a person is baptised as a sacrament, and then, at every Mass where Communion is held, Christ offers himself, as he did at his death and resurrection, to each participant in the Mass as the sacrament of Communion is taken, his real body and blood being given in exchange, again.

So the once and for all Great Exchange at the cross is, during every Mass, effectively nullified and replaced with a wafer which becomes his body, sacrificed once again at the priest’s altar, and at the priest’s command.

The Mass as an Application of the Merits of Christ:

“Christ,” Father Hardon writes, “won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification.” In other words, in His Sacrifice on the Cross, Christ reversed Adam’s sin. In order for us to see the effects of that reversal, however, we must accept Christ’s offer of salvation and grow in sanctification. Our participation in the Mass, and our frequent reception of Holy Communion, brings us the grace that Christ merited for the world through His unselfish Sacrifice on the Cross.

So a final appeal to orthodoxy, preceded and followed by non-scriptural practices which have replaced the original Communion instituted by Christ.

Is this cultish, or  merely a different translation of scripture? How different? Enough to be considered a different gospel?


71 thoughts on “Is Roman Catholic Doctrine Biblical? The Mass

  1. The position is clear, when the only starting point, the measure and the goal is a protestant doctrine, which pretty much closes it’s eyes on the wider history of church and the Trinity. The dictrine of Jesus’ presence on Earth doesn’t exclude the presence of the Holy Spirit, if we remember that the orthodox doctrine is that we worship One God in Three persons of One substance, and not three gods. Logically the sacrifice and to sacrifice do not need to mean one and the same thing, it is the subjective motif, that can be different- to sacrifice is an active action by subject to object, this is one side of what happened, when the solders nailed Jesus to the cross. But he also acted like subject and object at the same time, He gave Himself willingly. Since He has risen now, He doesn’t need to be sacrificed. In the Communion, if we take it seriously, He is present as the Subject tbrough , who gives

  2. who gives Himself and His fullness of life and presence to the most inner parts of the people. Roughly speaking, you become one with what you eat, you become united with God, because the bread and vine enter the blood. Every church has its own cults, some are very visible, but in some cases they are less visible,but more ideologial. The Roman Catholic Church has one Pope and different people under one roof, but every protestant church had its own pope on the stage every Sunday, whose doctrines people never question.As a result we get more and more different churches, because everone who doesn’t profess as a local pastor, is forced to leave.

  3. I agree. Christ did say “This is my body” and “This is my blood”. He did not say “This is a symbol of my body and blood” – he said they were His actual body and blood.

    Standard Evangelical interpretation is to take passages literally unless there is a good reason to interpret them symbolically. It is up for debate whether this one should be taken to be symbolic. I believe Christ was using symbolic language, but it is certainly not an orthodoxy. We cannot in finality say whether it is a symbol or actual.

    The Catholic interpretation on this was developed very early in the Church as Greg has said.

  4. by the Roman Catholic church to be part of the Sacraments of Initiation, that is, the way in which a person becomes accepted into the Church, and involving Baptism (by sprinkling water, not full immersion, especially as infants, before confession of Christ can be made), Confirmation and Communion, the three making up the passage into salvation and sanctification.

    The editor seems to be having a go at RCs for this. It is also standard practice in Anglicans, Uniting and Lutherans.

    It does come down to how we interpret Jesus’s words. RCs interpret them literally.

  5. Christ also said, regarding the communion, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

    Translating this into Christ coming down into he wafer every time a person is given the bread is beyond amazement. Christ died once and for all. He does not need to com down again until he comes for the Church.

    He has given us his Spirit. He is the One who gives life.

    Jesus is seated at the right hand of glory, and there he will emain until he comes again.

    I trul am amazed.

  6. What is also truly amazing Steve is how in charismatic/pente-types of church they emulate all the trappings of an RC mass. There is the basket of broken wafers (or sometimes proper circular ones), and tiny plastic cups of grape juice both dispensed by the pastor or particular individuals. It’s like we ‘do’ the Catholic mass, but without all the fancy ceremony, prescribed words and intonation that ‘this is the body and blood of Jesus’.

    My point is that in the C3 church I experienced, they performed much of the style of the Catholic sacrament but without the sense of reverence that the RC church seems to express. A deeply engaged RC will be almost awestruck at the solemnity of what they are about to partake in and that worshipful respect for Christ and his sacrifice comes across much more powerfully than the average C3 version.

    That said, I think the whole partaking of wafers and grape juice does no justice to Jesus’s original intention. Again man has made a formula and ritual of what was supposed to be an organic time of building relationship, giving thanks and worship – a full and proper meal when all the local believers would sit with each other and share their food, love for the Lord and each other and grow in Christ. In Corinth it had become rather out of control, but Paul stepped in to guide them back to truth (1 Cor 11). If we wanted to be legalistic about it, we would have to re-enact a full Passover meal paying particular attention to the significance of the bread and sequence of the cups, but this is removed in the ‘freedom’ we have in Christ. He has come to do away with rituals and fulfil their old symbolism. It’s to the church’s shame that we have turned another opportunity to build the body into a ‘sacred’ performance.

  7. have you listened to any debates with James White on Catholic doctrine?

    I have to say I have an affection for James White. He truly has an amazing intellect and passion for the Bible and he is a guy who goes out and witnesses to people as well. Not that I agree with everything especially his defence of John Calvin’s involvement in Severus’s execution.

    I haven’t listened to any of James White’s debates with Catholics but I think they would be fascinating.

    Are they on the Alpha and Omega site?

    How do you get on the chat channel?

  8. Lots of debates available online and though A&O. Not sure about the chat channel.

    Bones, this is a comment I posted last year over at Groupsects – “my experience of Catholicism is limited, however John Macarthur does an excellent audio study on it’s history. When we came to faith, my father-in-law’s best friend, well known (for his weekly blog in the Sunday papers) Passionist monk Fr Dennis Madigan, was totally bemused by our conversion. It just did not compute.

    Apart from that, our son-in-law’s Swiss parents pray to dead saints and believe in purgatory, believe it’s Mary’s heel on Satan’s head (Douay Rheims Genesis 3:15 “SHE shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for HER heel). My bible says “HE”.

    That’s the extent of my Catholic knowledge apart from the fact the Lord will lose NONE that the Father has given Him, even out of the Catholic Church.”

    Those same Swiss in-laws teach scripture in the local Catholic school, and believe their own son is going to spend time in purgatory, because he divorced his first wife and remarried.

    What are children taught in the Catholic school system today?

  9. Ok folks, so what did Jesus mean when he said literally “This my body”… “This my blood. Do this in remembrance of me”?

    I find the way that Luke accentuates Jesus’s actions in Luke 22:17-20 – eg he took the cup, he broke the bread, that Luke is doing more than just recounting a meal.

  10. What are children taught in the Catholic school system today?

    I dunno Margot though I know a lot of Christians who send their kids to Catholic schools. I have helped some of my rellies out with religious assignments on abortion nd such. I don’t know if they pump RC as much as confront issues in the world and how to respond.

    I personally love the scriptural music of John Michael Talbot. (Steve would be shocked to know there is a born again monk). I find it great for meditating on the scriptures. His rendition of The Lord’s Supper lifts me more than any Hillsong CD.

    I’m not going to defend all of RC, some of it is wacky. But I find it hard to believe that St Francis of Assisi, Thomas Acquinas, Augustine and the Niocene Church Fathers are burning in Hell.

  11. Ok Bones – read this, quite controversial in some respects, and I do enjoy listening to Jim twice a week on podcast…

    Not quite sure if it was that controversial. Most of what Jim said made sense. Though I have to say that celebrating communion once a year isn’t for me.

  12. What do you think of Jim McClarty’s view of communion as a memorial?

    I think that’s what I’ve always believed and fits in with my Anglican theology.

  13. Apart from that, our son-in-law’s Swiss parents pray to dead saints

    That’s an interesting one that. I’ve talked about that with my RC brother. The whole communion of saints as espoused in the Apostles Creed was believed fairly early on in church history at least from the 2nd century.

    According to my brother it stems from Hebrews 12:1 “1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.

    The belief is that the great Christians of the past, as it were, are surrounding us, and, just like I might ask you to pray for me or you might ask a Christian friend to pray for you, so RCs believe they can ask members of the great cloud of witnesses to pray for them.

    My apologies if I haven’t been accurate to RC beliefs.

  14. Though I can appreciate Jim’s approach and how highly he esteems the memorial aspect, Communion is a very important and regular part of my life. It was a particular meeting with Him at an altar rail in Switzerland that broke me. An old-fashioned altar rail in an Anglican chapel for tourists in Zermatt.

  15. I always interpret that verse in Hebrews as meaning the “witness” of their journey of faith (having gone before us) is bearing witness to us as an example. Make sense?

  16. “With so great a cloud of witnesses; or “martyrs”, as the Old Testament saints, the instances of whose faith and patience are produced in the preceding chapter: these, some of them, were martyrs in the sense in which that word is commonly used; they suffered in the cause, and for the sake of true religion; and they all bore a noble testimony of God, and for him; and they received a testimony from him; and will be hereafter witnesses for, or against us, to whom they are examples of the above graces: and these may be compared to a “cloud”, for the comfortable and reviving doctrines which they dropped; and for their refreshing examples in the heat of persecution; and for their guidance and direction in the ways of God; and more especially for their number, being like a thick cloud, and so many, that they compass about on every side, and are instructive every way.” John Gill

  17. Communion is a very important and regular part of my life. It was a particular meeting with Him at an altar rail in Switzerland that broke me. An old-fashioned altar rail in an Anglican chapel for tourists in Zermatt.

    Yep understand that totally. Spent many hours in repentance to God at my old church’s communion rail.

    I always interpret that verse in Hebrews as meaning the “witness” of their journey of faith (having gone before us) is bearing witness to us as an example. Make sense?

    Yeah I suppose. I don’t pray to dead saints but I can sort of understand their literal interpretation of that verse.

  18. John 6 is very interesting and would indicate a RC interpretation of communion.

    I’d be interested as to how non-RCs interpret these verses.

    28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

    29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

    30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]”

    32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

    34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

    35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

    43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

    52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

    53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59

  19. Firstly, the problem with Protestants is you are all so convinced that Catholics don’t follow the Bible, like you supposedly do. But you all interpret it differently! So who’s right? Steve? Bones? Margot? Brian Houston? None of you can agree on anything!

    And where did you get your New Testament from? Did the early church have a new testament? If not, why not? When was the canon finished, and who decided on it’s inclusion?

    Re the mass, what make you Protestants of this?

    “But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”

    From the Didache. Written way before Houston, Luther, Calvin etc etc. Take a read one day.

    Some protestants only have communion once a month, and in some of your churches they don’t even have it on Sunday.

  20. SM, great post.

    There were at least 150 documents circulating in the Early Church which were believed by different churches to be canonical.

    Most can be read here in varying degrees of completeness.

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/index.html

    Have a read of the Diatesseron too. An amazing book which combines the four gospels into one. It is canonical in the Syriac Church I believe.

  21. As for the New Testament, the canon wasn’t formalised until the mid-fourth century but even then Books like Revelation scraped in by the skin of its teeth and some canons omitted it.

    By this time the Church was very Catholic in it’s beliefs adopting Marian worship and communion with the saints.

    The site below has some great information on the history of the canon.

    http://www.ntcanon.org/

  22. zeibart,
    What is also truly amazing Steve is how in charismatic/pente-types of church they emulate all the trappings of an RC mass. There is the basket of broken wafers (or sometimes proper circular ones), and tiny plastic cups of grape juice both dispensed by the pastor or particular individuals. It’s like we ‘do’ the Catholic mass, but without all the fancy ceremony, prescribed words and intonation that ‘this is the body and blood of Jesus’.

    What utter rubbish. The communion at Pentecostal churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mass, which calls down Christ into every wafer, says the wine is the real blood and the bread is the real body, and that Christ is sacrificed every time a participant takes the bread.

    What is even more amazing is your constant need to make some comparison with charismatics or Pentecostals no matter what subject we might address. Your modus operandi must invariably bring us back to your pet peeves, as if bringing up C3 or Hillsong in some way negates the argument.

    The bread and the wine represent the body and blood as we remember what he has done at the cross. We judge ourselves ad we confess our sin to Him, and we forgive those who have sinned against us or offended us. That is all that is required. He is faithful and just to forgive us. His cross has made the way clear for forgiveness.

    He doesn’t have to be summoned down from the right hand of glory. ‘It is finished’, once and for all.

    The RC are so solemnly engaged because they are told to be and because their concept is built on works and the understanding the that they might face purgatory or hell, and therefore fear based, not love based.

  23. Bones, you quoted from John 6, but stopped short of Jesus’ full explanation. I earlier quoted verse 63, which says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

    There is his explanation of how the blood and body are received. Not literally eating his body or drinking his blood, since he as ascended, but remembering his body and blood in the communion, and partaking of the Spirit who gives life through Jesus’ words.

    SM, until the 1970s most Catholics didn’t follow even their own Mass because it was conducted in Latin. They were not permitted to study the Bible without a priest present.

    Like Bones I also studied with a charismatic Catholic group for a while. They couldn’t read the Bible, even in a small home gathering, without a priest or trainee priest present.

    My thought was that, since they had been found by Christ, responded, born again through confession of their faith, and filled with the Spirit, why couldn’t they take the next step and deny the errors they were forced to endure every Sunday, and any other ‘saints’ day they attended a Mass. Perhaps some of them did, eventually.

    I think many people who are in the RC church are saved despite the false doctrine, and will be with Christ forever, because they have enough of the Bible to discover for themselves what Luther discovered, and of course, he paved the way for all Catholics.

    But the system is clearly error-strewn.

    The canon as it is is fine.

  24. Salvation is by faith alone, yet that was declared (and still is) anathema in Catholicism at the Council of Trent. That dogma hasn’t been rescinded to this day. Catholic theology can’t be amended because the church/pope is infallible.

    Theirs is a combination of grace, faith AND works. Romans 3:20-28 says we are declared righteous through faith in Jesus apart from the works of the law.

    So they “preach’ another gospel.

    Side note – does anyone remember hearing at Pope John Paul’s funeral, an American bishop saying on the TV funeral broadcast, that “we prayed for him now we are going to pray to him”? I did!!

    The most obvious sticking point is, as Steve says, transubstantiation, and that is the most offensive denial of Christ’s finished work on the cross imaginable.

  25. So we read John 6:63 and ignore all that goes before it. I can understand why. It is supportive of RC interpretations of the Mass.

  26. Steve, why does God pour out His Spirit on Catholics and manifest the gifts of the Spirit if they “follow another Jesus”.

  27. @ Bones – can you clarify that “pouring out”? If the Catholic church teaches another gospel (and I believe they do), why can’t we assume that lying signs and wonders may occur?

    What do we do with scriptures that warn us of deception in the last days – if Paul warned the church approx 2000 years ago, do we ignore those warnings now?

  28. Sometimes we really overlook strong passages such as “many will say to Me, Lord, Lord, and I will say ‘depart from me I never knew you, you workers of iniquity’……

    Who are these people? What are they doing? Where do we find them? In the church.

    John MacArthur said recently that about 50% of his congregation come out of Catholicism. Those same people affirm unequivocally that they did not know Christ, they were certainly not disciples of Christ when they were in that “system”

    The “system” being the surrogate Christ and salvation comes through being attached to that same system, by way of rituals, sacraments and ceremonies.

  29. John 6:63 qualifies what went before, Bones. Surely you must read through for the context of what Jesus is saying. He clearly qualifies that the flesh profits nothing.

    The life isn’t in the literal bread – the wheat, or the flour or the water. The bread represents his body. The life, he says, is in the Spirit, and in his words.

    His words are the Manna, the Bread of Life.

    Read it for yourself and see. You can’t stop at 62 and say, ‘There you are, proven!”

    I did’t leave anything out. I gave the conclusion of what preceded. I did so because, in your presentation of John 6, you stopped short. You left out verse 63, and it gave a different meaning to the text.

    Explain for me, then, the purpose of the cross.

    Was it a once and for all occurrence, or does Jesus need to be called down bodily and literally into every person when they take the bread? Is that what Jesus was saying in John 6?

    Or was he saying he is the Bread of Life, the Manna, which Israel consumed in the wilderness, which is a type of the Word which Jesus speaks as the Word made flesh?

    Bones,
    why does God pour out His Spirit on Catholics and manifest the gifts of the Spirit if they “follow another Jesus”.

    Because, as I said earlier, there is enough of the Bible n Catholicism for adherents to read for themselves and come to the same conclusion Luther did that salvation is by grace through faith, and not of works, so they either stumble across this truth, or there are people from within this vast and varied denomination who are converting the religious int the saved by preaching truth in spite of the error. In this way people within are both being saved and being filled.

    Many Catholics have attended charismatic meetings put on by charismatic evangelicals worldwide. In fact the great revivals of the seventies amongst evangelicals and catholics took place because of charismatic ministries, including Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, which reached thousands of Catholics and denominational nominal Christians. Those meetings still have momentum today.

    So, yes, the outpouring is reaching within the denomination, and not just this denomination, but it has gone deeply into the Baptist denomination, and other evangelical movements, which, at one time, resisted the baptism with the Spirit, even teaching against it, but today have a growing number of adherents.

    As Jesus said, the Spirit is like the Wind, who blows we know not where, but e know where he has been.

    To God be the glory!

  30. @ Steve – “So, yes, the outpouring is reaching within the denomination, and not just this denomination, but it has gone deeply into the Baptist denomination, and other evangelical movements, which, at one time, resisted the baptism with the Spirit, even teaching against it, but today have a growing number of adherents.”

    I often wondered why there are so many divisions amongst all the various groups that bought into this since Azuza. The common experience is “tongues” yet the great divide is still around the fundamentals of salvation, baptism etc etc. So we have all these different groups breaking away (see what happened with AOG many years ago).

    So we can have similar doctrine but not teaching and practice? Is God the author of confusion, of course not! Do we have unity of faith as a result of Azuza (just for starters)? No!

    Or was this simply not a genuine move of God.

    Now I’ll just go into my bunker until the shells stop falling! 🙂

  31. The lying signs and wonders have nothing to do with the outpouring of the Spirit. That cannot be duplicated.

    The lying signs and wonders are not actual wonders, they are deceptions, slight of hand, cunning craftiness, the mysteries of Babylon revived. They are the stigmata and the weeping statues, the shrine worship of peculiar events. They are the canonisation of dead people who are supposed to have caused healing and miraculous events from their graves, and qualify them for Catholic ‘sainthood’, which is a deception of the highest order. They are the prayers for the dead, the indulgences which raise people out of purgatory, extreme unction, the miracle cures of spa baths, the ‘signs’ in the skies, on walls, in the clouds, and the like, which simply become money-spinning rorts.

    The baptism with the Spirit can only occur in those who are truly born again. Therefore there must be Catholics who are saved, even within the denomination, in spite of the error.

    However, they cannot possibly be saved by Catholic doctrine itself, which is error. They can only be saved because of an exterior influence, a personal encounter with Christ, or a personal discovery of the truth through scripture or preaching of the gospel.

  32. That’s just a strawman, margot. Did we have unity of faith before Azusa? No!

    Where did Jesus say that everyone who purported to be Christian would engage in unity of faith?

    It could equally be true that those who oppose the baptism with the Holy Spirit are in error and causing disunity.

    Most people who are baptised with the Spirit, as with Azusa Street (which wasn’t the starting point for the outpouring), are very keen for everyone to receive the baptism, which makes them desirous for unity in the body whereby all flesh receives the outpouring as prophesied.

    The stories of exclusivity are mostly banded about by those who deny that the baptism is either for today or for everyone. Very few Spirit-filled believers have the opinion that they are in any way superior (there are some, but few and far between). Rather they believe there is enough of the Spirit to go around and that all can be filled, and all should be continually being filled.

    Catholics who are filled are obviously saved, which is Bone’s point, and I agree. The point we are establishing, to stay on track, here, and not be detoured, is how?

  33. Not a detour, Bones talks of Catholics being filled with the Holy Spirit as if from some fresh outpouring? I’m still waiting for Bones to clarify.

    Am I spirit-filled, Steve? I used to speak in “tongues” and “prophesy” and shake etc etc.

    By the way, I do not believe that any more. We receive the Holy Spirit at conversion and we are empowered (obviously) at different times to fulfill the great commission.

    That so-called baptism, as claimed by Azuza Street proponents, have “filled” some pretty nasty wolves out there reeking havoc on the church.

    And “lying signs and wonders”? Seen any gold dust, oil, feathers, glory clouds, lately. Those claims are not coming from the Catholic church.

  34. margot,
    That so-called baptism, as claimed by Azuza Street proponents, have “filled” some pretty nasty wolves out there reeking havoc on the church.

    Unfounded cobblers.

    There are many people who claim to be Christian who prove not to be from all denominations. Attacking the vast majority of sound Christian people who speak with other tongues as defined in the New Testament just because a handful act badly is such an infantile, unloving argument I wonder at your true motives.

    There’s whole section of pretty nasty wolves who denounce speaking in tongues and preach cessationist doctrine, but I wouldn’t bother to use that as an argument against Bible believing evangelicals being saved, simply because the worse of people don’t prove the rest of people to be the same. Mostly evangelical doctrine is solid. They just haven’t been taught correctly on the Holy Spirit and his gifts. They are able to read the Bibles and ask the Holy spirit, though, so it’s not over yet!

    And, yes, you received the Spirit at the new birth, but this doesn’t negate the outpouring, the continual infilling, nor the baptism, nor speaking with other tongues, nor the gifts of the Spirit, nor the fruit.

    I agree with Bones that if they are filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues it is likely they are saved. I rejoice in this. Don’t you?

  35. If you believe that speaking in “tongues” as practiced today, especially as evidence of some secondary baptism, that’s where we depart. Having had the “experience” gives me a voice in that argument.

    To me, baptism of the Holy Spirit is “positional”, at conversion, being baptised into the Body.

    Not sought but given.

    Ongoing “filling” is practical, empowering for the works He has ordained in advance for us to do, in a totally yielded life (though I’m the first to admit that “yielding” is a struggle!)

  36. We only receive the Holy Spirit if we are truly His. And in spite of Catholic doctrine and practice, of course I believe some Catholics are saved.

    And cobblers 🙂 to you too, if you believe tongues is evidence of conversion and indwelling by the Holy Spirit.

    As they said “we come to baptise with the Father, Son and Bam”, how many are deceived by that little episode – (Lakeland Revival)

    I know, I know, stay on topic…..

  37. @Steve – “And, yes, you received the Spirit at the new birth, but this doesn’t negate the outpouring, the continual infilling, nor the baptism, nor speaking with other tongues, nor the gifts of the Spirit, nor the fruit.”

    And I call that the process of sanctification (leaving out tongues/secondary “baptism”)

    1 Thess 5:23 “and may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

    Not a second blessing but a practical fulfillment of what was begun at conversion, a very good thing. He will finish what He has begun, that’s why I love His sovereignty over my life regardless of all the stuff-ups, hiccups, or as we should really call it, sin.

  38. Steve that’s hardly an explanation of the text in John 6. It’s interesting that fundamentalists don’t want to take Jesus’s words literally.

    Also interesting are the quotes from first generation Christians especially Ignatius who was a disciple of the Apostle John.

    A letter by Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written in AD 106 says: “I desire the bread of GOD, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ.”

    Ignatius’s theology is totally consistent with the Johannine text and it is obvious that John is referring to the Eucharist. That is how the early Christians understood it and why they were referred to as cannibals by the Romans. Unless of course you want to believe that the Christian Church was utterly permeated with false doctrine from the start.

    Writing to the Christians of Smyrna, in about AD 106, Saint Ignatius warned them to “stand aloof from such heretics”, because, among other reasons, “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.”

    There is definite Bibical evidence for transubstantiation and the that is seen in early Christianity. Not just a remembrance meal.

    But of course we would rather apply our antiCatholic bias to the text rather than read it for what it is saying.

  39. Off subject completely, but speaking in other tongues is completely Biblical NewTestament doctrine.

    It is not sanctification. Without sanctification no one can speak in tongues. Sanctification is both an instant occurrence at the new birth and an ongoing process. There is scriptural evidence for both applications. We are sanctified by the Word, by Truth. That is all over scripture, and taught by Jesus himself.

    He told his disciples, whom he had already breathed on to receive the Holy Spirit, to wait, tarry, in Jerusalem until they received the promise, the baptism with the Spirit, the endowment of power from on high to be witnesses.

    When they received the baptism, part of the evidence was speaking in tongues. The process was repeated at Cornelius’ house and speaking in tongues declared evidence of receiving the baptism by Peter, who then recommended they be baptised in water.

    At the new birth we are baptised into Christ by the Holy Spirit (1Cor.12:12)

    We are baptised in the Spirit by Christ.

    We are baptised in water by other believers as disciples, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    The one baptism of Ephesians is that into Christ by the Spirit.

    Without the baptism into Christ no on can be baptised in the Spirit, and baptism in water has no point or power.

    That is why infant baptist in Catholicism is null, just a ritual, a ceremony with no power to save.

  40. Steve – when you go to church, how many are standing there speaking in tongues, is it two or three at most and not without interpretation?

    Or, is it a crowd, whether large or small, all speaking at once with no interpretation?

  41. And of course from evil Wikipedia

    Those who believe that in the Eucharist the bread and wine become instead the body and blood of Christ see this as plainly indicated in the New Testament, both in the Eucharistic discourse given by Christ in John 6, and in 1st Corinthians 11, where St. Paul several times equates the body and blood of Jesus with the “bread” and “cup of benediction” used in the Eucharist. Christians who deny that there is such a change (transubstantiation) deny that the New Testament teaches it. Some of them even see the New Testament as contradicting it.[citation needed]

    Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholics, who together constitute the majority of Christians,[48] hold that the consecrated elements in a valid celebration of the Eucharist indeed become the body and blood of Christ. This belief is held also by some Reform and Protestant Christian churches, Lutherans and Anglicans,[49] though they generally deny transubstantiation.

    While there is a large body of theology noting the many Scriptural supports for transubstantiation, in general, Orthodox and Catholics consider it unnecessary to “prove” from texts of Scripture a belief that they see as held by Christians without interruption from the earliest, apostolic times. They point out that the Church and its teaching existed before it assembled and canonized the New Testament, and even before any individual part of the New Testament was written.[50] They also point out that early Christians such as Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Rome (who were much closer to the event than those who have later proposed a figurative interpretation of the Eucharist), described the Eucharist as truly the body and blood of Christ. They see nothing in Scripture that in any way contradicts this age-old Christian belief that the reality beneath the visible signs in the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ and no longer bread and wine. Instead, they see this teaching as the same teaching in the Bible’s reports of what Christ himself and Paul the Apostle taught.

  42. That is why infant baptist in Catholicism is null, just a ritual, a ceremony with no power to save.

    So are people saved by adult baptism? Is there power to save in adult baptism?

    I used to go to a Salvation Army youth group which didn’t even believe in baptism at all. Were they saved?

  43. Without the baptism into Christ no on can be baptised in the Spirit, and baptism in water has no point or power.

    Well charismatic salvation Army Christians just blew your theory apart.

    You do desire to see signs and wonders

    wrought in the name of Jesus.

    This baptism then, is your first great need.

    – William Booth

    ie the baptism of Pentecost not water baptism

    http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/journal6/bryar.html

    Amazing how God overrides our little doctrines.

  44. ”What utter rubbish. The communion at Pentecostal churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mass,” said Steve.

    Why is it rubbish? Having come from a Catholic background I know only too well the similarities of form. I didn’t say that charismatic versions of RC communion are identical in terms of transubstantiation. I said that the 2 ceremonies are similar in style. I realise that many people gain a good degree of comfort from the ritualistic methods of delivering communion. My point was that this ritual is a thin veneer compared to the richness of a true church feast, during which there would have been a time of remembrance. I pointed you to the verses.

    You do seem to engage with the easy surface targets and not address the deeper underlying issues.

  45. Why is this all so hard?

    Because we want to confine God to our interpretation, prejudices and doctrine.

  46. Why is this all so hard?

    Why couldn’t God have been more specific when He wrote the Bible? Instead of confusing billions of Christians around the world and though the millennia by foxing with words like “This is my body” and “This is my blood” and John 6. God knew that those words would be taken literally and developed into the supposed blasphemous doctrine of the mass.

    God could have avoided all this if He wrote “This bread is a symbol of my body”.

    Sucked in those who took those verses literally. For that you’ll burn.

  47. zeibart, of course there is similarity. The communion has two basic components, bread and wine. Both are consumed to remember the body and blood of Christ. It’s not supposed to be super-elaborate. It’s a mark of our covenant.

    The whole point of discussing the error of transubstantiation is to reveal a controversy in the Roman Church which has no similarity in the evangelical church.

    Bones, to be baptised with the Spirit, a Salvo need sonly be born again. Where is the difficulty with that? Both baptism with the Spirit, and baptism in water are subsequent. The order is not crucial according to scripture.

    Whatever happens the only way a person can be filled with the Spirit is through the new birth, which can only take place through confession of Christ as Lord.

    it actually isn;t hard at all. All you have to do is read your Bible. It’s all there.

    Sadly, for centuries Catholics have had the addition of Traditions, and the absence of scripture to confuse them all the way to the grave.

    And, Bones, three times I have given you the reason Catholics are baptised with the Spirit.

    margot,
    How people speak in tongues in a meeting isn’t any kind of evidence that tongues have ended. I prefer a situation where who three speak and two or three interpret. That was the order on our church. In special meetings we might encourage corporate prayer which would include praying in the Spirit, but there would be no expectation of the ‘unlearned’ or the unsaved entering, so there was no problem with it.

    Speaking in tongues is a Biblical operation of the Spirit amongst believers. It has never ended, and won’t until Jesus comes for the Church.

  48. John 3:5-7
    Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

    Born of the Spirit.

    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.

    The Spirit baptises us into the body, into Christ. We are born of the Spirit, born again.

    Matthew 3:11
    I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    John the Baptiser prophesies that Jesus will baptise with the Spirit and with fire.

    Titus 3:4-7
    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    God pours out the Holy Spirit upon us through Jesus, as John foretold.

    Matthew 28:18-20
    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    Men baptise people into discipleship.

  49. No response to my post on March 13 at 6:48pm.

    It’s obvious that first century Christians believed in transubstantiation.

    The dreaded Romanists could be right on this one.

    Wouldn’t that be terrible.

    And it wasn’t even Constantine’s fault (or the pagans).

  50. ‘It’s obvious that first century Christians believed in transubstantiation.’

    Yes, well some contemporary “christians” believe that having gemstones, “gold dust”, or feathers appear is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, when it is, in fact, a spiritual party trick by deceiving spirits.

    So the truth is that it doesn’t matter what Christians believe – it matters what the Bible says and what the Holy Spirit reveals.

    ‘The dreaded Romanists could be right on this one.’

    The roman catholic “church” is a counterfeit, and it is a demonic spirit that stands behind it. Many people involved in catholicism are in the sway of religious demons.

  51. As the quoted Catholic source in the post says, ‘Very early on, the Church saw the Mass as a mystical reality in which the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is renewed’, which is complete error.

    Please tell me, Bones, how this in any way could be right? Transubstantiation says Christ is sacrificed anew. Why? What would be the purpose? How does this line up with scripture?

    Which part of this error don’t you understand?

    Do you say that every believer should take part in the Mass? To what end?

    Are you saved when you receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour, or do you need another salvation daily at a mass, as this practice implies?

    Where is Christ today? At the right hand of the Father, or in some wafer on earth?

    As Jesus said in John 6:63, ‘the flesh profits nothing’. What does this mean in context with eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus? It is the Spirit who gives life. Jesus’ words are Spirit and they are life.

    That is the mystery revealed.

    Your wikipedia quotes states: Catholics consider it unnecessary to “prove” from texts of Scripture a belief that they see as held by Christians without interruption from the earliest, apostolic times, which is exactly what makes Catholic dogma dangerous. Why, then shouldn’t Arius’ or Montanus’ doctrine be just as valid if the era is all that makes it acceptable? There were clearly errors, according to Christ’s apostles, from the very beginning.

    They consider it unnecessary because it can’t be proven. There is the crux of the matter.

  52. God does declare memorial events….

    “And, thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the LORD. And, the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 12:11-13)

    Now, this was such an important event in the life of Israel, that God wanted it to be memorialized through all time, and to all generations.

    “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” (Ex. 12:14)

    Now, when God says to keep something as a memorial forever, I assume that what He wants is for Israel to keep that feast as a memorial forever. Simple enough.

    Now, what was the occasion of the Lord’s Supper?

    “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.” (Luke 22:7-14)

    Jesus kept the Passover with his apostles. And, when they sat down, they all knew what this feast was meant to memorialize. They were there to remember God’s deliverance from Egypt. “

  53. Many disciples left him on this one – and I really do think we need to look at our views of the Eucharist – who is actually being apostate? The ones who willingly accept the Eucharist as being flesh and blood and willingly eat it – or those who take all the mystery out and call it nothing but bread and wine -in some cases not even wine…very interesting question that – who actually is being apostate?

    That’s right, Greg. Of course we know better how to interpret John 6 than Ignatius who was a student of the Apostle John and who lived at the time John’s Gospel was written. There is no doubt at all that first century Christians believed in transubstantiation. The only argument people can make is they were heretical from the beginning.

    I’m reassessing my belief in this.

    I know that’s a terrible thing to do but Protestants have got this one wrong.

  54. John 6:63 qualifies what went before, Bones. Surely you must read through for the context of what Jesus is saying. He clearly qualifies that the flesh profits nothing.

    The life isn’t in the literal bread – the wheat, or the flour or the water. The bread represents his body. The life, he says, is in the Spirit, and in his words.

    His words are the Manna, the Bread of Life.

    Read it for yourself and see. You can’t stop at 62 and say, ‘There you are, proven!”

    I did’t leave anything out. I gave the conclusion of what preceded. I did so because, in your presentation of John 6, you stopped short. You left out verse 63, and it gave a different meaning to the text.

    Explain for me, then, the purpose of the cross.

    Was it a once and for all occurrence, or does Jesus need to be called down bodily and literally into every person when they take the bread? Is that what Jesus was saying in John 6?

    Or was he saying he is the Bread of Life, the Manna, which Israel consumed in the wilderness, which is a type of the Word which Jesus speaks as the Word made flesh?

    Are you saying that the flesh referred to in John 6:63 is Jesus’s flesh? That doesn’t make sense. You read that passage and Jesus is saying if you eat my flesh you will never die, that if you don’t eat and drink of my flesh and blood there will be no life in you. Oh but Jesus said all that but it means nothing. John 6:63 refers to OUR flesh not Jesus.

  55. I attended a Mass today. Sadly, it was a funeral of a lovely person who departed too early. The service was excellent for being a funeral and really honoured the person and their family, whilst the homily focussed on Lazarus and the resurrection of the dead in Christ. That said, it would be interesting to receive some explanation from those in the Romany know as to whether the following observations are of fundamental salvic importance:

    1. ‘In baptism ******** received the light of Christ, died with Christ, was clothed in Christ who claimed *******in baptism’. (I assume this refers to infant baptism, and therefore errant surely).

    2. In contemplating the wafer – ‘but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’. (This sets 2 problems; that healing is of a separate soul, and happens if Jesus says the words ‘be healed’ or similar each communion).

    3. ‘If you are a communicant of another Church and wish to receive the Blessed Sacrament today you are most welcome to do so’ (Again, I assume Church is the RC church and so communion is an exclusive act).

    4. There was a very clear sense of ‘journeying’ as a disembodied soul from earth to heaven. (I don’t see this as a salvation essential, just very Greek dualism which I don’t think is scriptural).

    As I said a very meaningful service, but a few moments where I couldn’t intone the quotes.

  56. 2. In contemplating the wafer – ‘but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’. (This sets 2 problems; that healing is of a separate soul, and happens if Jesus says the words ‘be healed’ or similar each communion).

    We used to say it in the Anglican Church too right before taking communion. Lord I am not worthy to come under your roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

    3. ‘If you are a communicant of another Church and wish to receive the Blessed Sacrament today you are most welcome to do so’ (Again, I assume Church is the RC church and so communion is an exclusive act).

    That doesn’t make sense. A Catholic doesn’t have to be ask or be invited to take communion in another Catholic Church. Seems to me it was an open invitation to other believers which I’ve heard regularly at other churches.

    Some traditional Catholics are exclusivist, however.

  57. Thanks Bones. What about the RC view on baptism being the act of Christ ‘claiming’ the baby from that point forward. Is this a true RC position? If so, where can this be substantiated in scripture?

  58. 1. ‘In baptism ******** received the light of Christ, died with Christ, was clothed in Christ who claimed *******in baptism’. (I assume this refers to infant baptism, and therefore errant surely).

    Once again not just a RC teaching. Anglicans and Uniting teach the same in their baptism liturgy. Families are given a candle denoting the light of Christ.

    I struggle with infant baptism in any of the churches who do it although Anglican Evangelicals Michael Green and John Stott support it as do Presbyterians. Scripture does tell us that entire households were baptised and infant baptism became very common in the early church.

    The problem comes when churches baptise infants whose families are clearly not devoted to Christ nor to the life of the Church. That is how I see early Christianity different to modern Christianity. It wasn’t a show or the done thing for early Christians but could be a decision of life and death.

    The Lutheran theology on bapttism isn’t much different from RC from what I could tell.

    Luther saw baptism as a sacrament and a “means of grace” through which God creates and strengthens “saving faith” as the “washing of regeneration” in which infants and adults are reborn. Since the creation of faith is exclusively God’s work, it does not depend on the actions of the one baptised, whether infant or adult. Even though baptised infants cannot articulate that faith, Lutherans believe that it is present all the same. Because it is faith alone that receives these divine gifts, Lutherans confess that baptism “works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.” In the special section on infant baptism in his Large Catechism, Luther argues that infant baptism is God-pleasing because persons so baptised were reborn and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

    Given that according to the RC Catechism, RC theology says this about baptism

    1275 Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.

    1276 “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” (⇒ Mt 28:19-20).

    1277 Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.

    1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    1279 The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.

    1280 Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).

    1281 Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

    1282 Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.

    1283 With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God’s mercy and to pray for their salvation.

    1284 In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3O.HTM

    I suppose the question for me is “Does God work in baptism?”

  59. Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized

    Actually that’s a telling statement for me. That tells me that salvation is not bound to the RC Church, which has been a common criticism of it.

    Also answers my questions about Christians like Quakers and Salvos who don’t baptise anyone.

    I also don’t believe that unbaptised infants are in any threat of not going to be with Jesus. Such is His mercy.

  60. Do Catholics believe that Jesus gets resacrificed in the Mass?

    The Institution of the Mass

    Many non-Catholics do not understand the Mass. Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart wrote, “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Mass is an expiatory sacrifice, in which the Son of God is actually sacrificed anew on the cross” (Swaggart, Catholicism and Christianity). The late Loraine Boettner, the dean of anti-Catholic Fundamentalists, said the Mass is a “jumble of medieval superstition.”

    Vatican II puts the Catholic position succinctly:

    “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47).

    Even a modestly informed Catholic can set an inquirer right and direct him to biblical accounts of Jesus’ final night with his disciples. Turning to the text, we read, “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19).

    The Greek here and in the parallel Gospel passages (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22) reads: Touto estin to soma mou. Paul’s version differs slightly: Touto mou estin to soma (1 Cor. 11:24). They all translate as “This is my body.” The verb estin is the equivalent of the English “is” and can mean “is really” or “is figuratively.” The usual meaning of estin is the former (check any Greek grammar book), just as, in English, the verb “is” usually is taken literally.

    Fundamentalists insist that when Christ says, “This is my body,” he is speaking figuratively. But this interpretation is precluded by Paul’s discussion of the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11:23–29 and by the whole tenor of John 6, the chapter where the Eucharist is promised. The Greek word for “body” in John 6:54 is sarx, which means physical flesh, and the word for “eats” (trogon) translates as “gnawing” or “chewing.” This is certainly not the language of metaphor.

    No “figurative presence”

    The literal meaning can’t be avoided except through violence to the text—and through the rejection of the universal understanding of the early Christian centuries. The writings of Paul and John reflect belief in the Real Presence. There is no basis for forcing anything else out of the lines, and no writer tried to do so until the early Middle Ages. Christ did not institute a Figurative Presence. Some Fundamentalists say the word “is” is used because Aramaic, the language Christ spoke, had no word for “represents.” Those who make this feeble claim are behind the times, since, as Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman showed a century ago, Aramaic has about three dozen words that can mean “represents.”

    The Catholic position

    Church teaches that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary, which also is invariably misunderstood by anti-Catholics. The Catholic Church does not teach that the Mass is a re-crucifixion of Christ, who does not suffer and die again in the Mass.

    Yet, it is more than just a memorial service. John A. O’Brien, writing in The Faith of Millions, said, “The manner in which the sacrifices are offered is alone different: On the cross Christ really shed his blood and was really slain; in the Mass, however, there is no real shedding of blood, no real death; but the separate consecration of the bread and of the wine symbolizes the separation of the body and blood of Christ and thus symbolizes his death upon the cross. The Mass is the renewal and perpetuation of the sacrifice of the cross in the sense that it offers [Jesus] anew to God . . . and thus commemorates the sacrifice of the cross, reenacts it symbolically and mystically, and applies the fruits of Christ’s death upon the cross to individual human souls. All the efficacy of the Mass is derived, therefore, from the sacrifice of Calvary” (306).

    “Once for all”

    Catholic Church specifically says Christ does not die again—his death is once for all. It would be something else if the Church were to claim he does die again, but it doesn’t make that claim. Through his intercessory ministry in heaven and through the Mass, Jesus continues to offer himself to his Father as a living sacrifice, and he does so in what the Church specifically states is “an unbloody manner”—one that does not involve a new crucifixion.

    The Language of Appearances

    Loraine Boettner mounts another charge. In chapter eight of Roman Catholicism, when arguing that the meal instituted by Christ was strictly symbolic, he gives a cleverly incomplete quotation. He writes, “Paul too says that the bread remains bread: ‘Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner. . . . But let each man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup’ (1 Cor. 11:27–28).”

    The part of verse 27 represented by the ellipsis is crucial. It reads, “shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Why does Boettner omit this? Because to be guilty of someone’s body and blood is to commit a crime against his body and blood, not just against symbols of them. The omitted words clearly imply the bread and wine become Christ himself.

    Profaning the Eucharist was so serious that the stakes could be life and death. In the next two verses (29–30), Paul states, “For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”

    Boettner’s omitted statements reveal that when Paul uses the term “bread,” he’s using the language of appearances, what scholars call “phenomenological language.” In this form of speech, something is described according to how it appears, rather than according to its fundamental nature. “The sun rose,” is an example of phenomenological language. From our perspective, itappears that the sun rises, though we know that what we see is actually caused by the earth’s rotation.

    Scripture uses phenomenological language regularly—as, for example, when it describes angels appearing in human guise as “men” (Gen. 19:1-11; Luke 24:4–7, 23; Acts 1:10–11). Since the Eucharist still appears as bread and wine, Catholics from Paul’s time on have referred to the consecrated elements using phenomenological language, while recognizing that this is only description according to appearances and that it is actually Jesus who is present.

    We are not merely symbolically commemorating Jesus in the Eucharist, but actually participating in his body and blood, as Paul states, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16).

    The Manner of Melchizedek

    The Old Testament predicted that Christ would offer a true sacrifice to God using the elements of bread and wine. In Genesis 14:18, Melchizedek, the king of Salem (that is, Jerusalem) and a priest, offered sacrifice under the form of bread and wine. Psalm 110 predicted Christ would be a priest “after the order of Melchizedek,” that is, offering a sacrifice in bread and wine. We must look for some sacrifice other than Calvary, since it was not under the form of bread and wine. The Mass meets that need.

    Furthermore, “according to the order of Mel-chizedek” means “in the manner of Melchizedek.” (“Order” does not refer to a religious order, as there was no such thing in Old Testament days.) The only “manner” shown by Melchizedek was the use of bread and wine. A priest sacrifices the items offered—that is the main task of all priests, in all cultures, at all times—so the bread and wine must have been what Melchizedek sacrificed.

    Fundamentalists sometimes say Christ followed the example of Melchizedek at the Last Supper, but that it was a rite that was not to be continued. They undermine their case against the Mass in saying this, since such an admission shows, at least, that the Last Supper was truly sacrificial. The key, though, is that they overlook that Christ said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Clearly, he wasn’t talking about a one-time thing.

    “Do this in remembrance of me” can also be translated as “Offer this as my memorial sacrifice.” The Greek term for “remembrance” is anamnesis, and every time it occurs in the Protestant Bible (whether in the New Testament or the Greek Old Testament), it occurs in a sacrificial context. For example, it appears in the Greek translation of Numbers 10:10: “On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; they shall serve you for remembrance [anamnesis] before your God: I am the Lord your God.” Thus the Eucharist is a remembrance, a memorial offering we present to God to plead the merits of Christ on the cross.

    Fundamentalists disbelieve claims about the antiquity of the Mass’s sacrificial.aspects, even if they think the Mass, in the form of a mere commemorative meal, goes all the way back to the Last Supper. Many say the Mass as a sacrifice was not taught until the Middle Ages, alleging Innocent III was the first pope to teach the doctrine.

    But he merely insisted on a doctrine that had been held from the first but was being publicly doubted in his time. He formalized, but did not invent, the notion that the Mass is a sacrifice. Jimmy Swaggart, for one, goes further back than do many Fundamentalists, claiming, “By the third century the idea of sacrifice had begun to intrude.” Still other Fundamentalists say Cyprian of Carthage, who died in 258, was the first to make noises about a sacrifice.

    But Irenaeus, writing Against Heresies in the second century, beat out Cyprian when he wrote of the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and Irenaeus was beaten out by Clement of Rome, who wrote, in the first century, about those “from the episcopate who blamelessly and holily have offered its sacrifices” (Letter to the Corinthians 44:1).

    Furthermore, Clement was beaten out by the Didache (a Syrian liturgical manual written around A.D. 70), which stated, “On the Lord’s Day . . . gather together, break bread and offer the Eucharist, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure. Let no one who has a quarrel with his neighbor join you until he is reconciled, lest our sacrifice be defiled. For this is that which was proclaimed by the Lord: ‘In every place and time let there be offered to me a clean sacrifice. For I am a great king,’ says the Lord, ‘and my name is wonderful among the gentiles’ [cf. Mal. 1:11]” (14:1–3).

    It isn’t possible to get closer to New Testament times than this, because Clement and the author of the Didache were writing during New Testament times. After all, at least one apostle, John, was still alive.

    A misreading

    Fundamentalists are particularly upset about the Catholic notion that the sacrifice on Calvary is somehow continued through the centuries by the Mass. They think Catholics are trying to have it both ways. The Church on the one hand says that Calvary is “perpetuated,” which seems to mean the same act of killing, the same letting of blood, is repeated again and again. This violates the “once for all” idea. On the other hand, what Catholics call a sacrifice seems to have no relation to biblical sacrifices, since it doesn’t look the same; after all, no splotches of blood are to be found on Catholic altars.

    “We must, of course, take strong exception to such pretended sacrifice,” Boettner instructs. “We cannot regard it as anything other than a deception, a mockery, and an abomination before God. The so-called sacrifice of the Mass certainly is not identical with that on Calvary, regardless of what the priests may say. There is in the Mass no real Christ, no suffering, and no bleeding. And a bloodless sacrifice is ineffectual. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that ‘apart from shedding of blood there is no remission’ of sin (9:22); and John says, ‘The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin’ (1 John 1:7). Since admittedly there is no blood in the Mass, it simply cannot be a sacrifice for sin” (174).

    Boettner misreads chapter nine of Hebrews, which begins with an examination of the Old Covenant. Moses is described as taking the blood of calves and goats and using it in the purification of the tabernacle (Heb. 9:19–21; see Ex. 24:6–8 for the origins of this). Under the Old Law, a repeated blood sacrifice was necessary for the remission of sins. Under the Christian dispensation, blood (Christ’s) is shed only once, but it is continually offered to the Father.

    “But how can that be?” ask Fundamentalists. They have to keep in mind that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). What Jesus did in the past is present to God now, and God can make the sacrifice of Calvary present to us at Mass. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).

    Jesus does not offer himself to God as a bloody, dying sacrifice in the Mass, but as we offer ourselves, a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). As this passage indicates, the offering of sacrifice does not require death or the shedding of blood. If it did, we could not offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. Jesus, having shed his blood once for all on the cross, now offers himself to God in a continual, unbloody manner as a holy, living sacrifice on our behalf.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-institution-of-the-mass

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