Catherine's Curiosity Corner

Buy the truth and sell it not. Prov. 23:23

Pouring / Sprinkling / Immersion?

Infants / Adults?

"If only one instance could be given in which the Church ceased to teach a doctrine of faith which had been previously held, that single instance would be the death blow of her claim of infallibility."
(The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 61). 
Most denominations in the world today practice baptism by sprinkling, pouring or some such method other than immersion.  Some do not feel it is necessary to salvation at all, and others believe it is for all, and especially for babies.  This change from immersion to pouring had it's beginnings many centuries ago in the Catholic church.  God never gave the Catholic church or any other denomination the right to change His revealed Law! 
The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is a burial in water, not a pouring of water. Our English word "baptism" is from the Greek word "baptisma" and means "immersion, submersion and emergence" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 96), "to dip, immerse, submerge" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 94).

Through the Catholic doctrine of infallibility, it changes God's laws and its people ignorantly and blindly accept them. Following are some examples of such changes in the Catholic Church:
"Baptism took place by immersion in ancient times." (New Interpretation of the Mass, p. 120).

"Catholics admit that immersion brings out more fully the meaning of the sacrament, and that for twelve centuries it was the common practice." (Question Box, p. 240).

"Baptism used to be given by placing the person to be baptized completely in the water: it was done in this way in the Catholic Church for 1200 years." (Adult Catechism, pp. 56-57).

"The church at one time practiced immersion. This was up to the thirteenth century. The Council of Ravenna, in 1311, changed the form from immersion to pouring." (Our Faith and the Facts, p. 399).

The book, My Catholic Faith, on page 270 gives the present day practice of the Catholic Church on baptism. It says, "How would you give baptism? I would give baptism by pouring ordinary water on the forehead of the person to be baptized..."

Consider the act of baptism as suggested by the baptism of Jesus. (Mark 1:9-10). Furthermore, examine the manner in which the eunuch of Ethiopia was baptized. (Acts 8:38-39). The apostle Paul said, "And you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead." (Col. 2:12). In Rom. 6:4, Paul said, "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Consequently, it is abundantly clear that the baptism which God ordained is a burial or immersion in water.

A simple question, "Who gave the Catholic Church the authority to change what the Lord ordained?" We are taught in God's holy Word that we must follow the laws of the Lord without change or variation (Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 22:18-19). When we follow the traditions and doctrines of men, our religion becomes vain (Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:8; Titus 1:13-14). The Bible plainly reveals that there would come a great "falling away" (2 Thess. 2:1-12) or "departing from the faith" (1 Tim. 4:1-5). In the last day many sincere religious people will be rejected because they worked iniquity or acted without law (Matt. 7:22-23).

Catholic officials readily admit that infant baptism cannot be proven by the Bible. Notice the following:

"There is no express mention of the baptism of infants in the New Testament" (Question Box, p. 23).
"It is difficult to give strict proof from the scriptures in favor of it" (Catholic Dictionary, p. 61).
"Ecclesiastical custom with regard to the administration of Baptism has undergone a change in the course of history. Whereas the early Church baptized adults only, the baptism of children soon became the usual practice." (Pastoral Medicine, pp. 32-33).

"Where in the fourth and fifth centuries the doctrine of original sin became better known, the practice of infant baptism progressed rapidly." (Legislation on the Sacraments in the New Code of Canon Law, p. 72).

With the Pope revealing in 2007 that the church and it's theologians have re-visited it's position on original sin, finding it not to be true, this has got to be a blow to their claim to "infallibility." Of course, with their new revelation on the subject of original sin, they claim that it was never fully believed or taught in the first place. Ask any practicing Catholic if they believed it to be something they were taught to believe - they will of course say yes. And despite their reversal on the subject, they continue to encourage early baptism of all infants born to Catholics.

The baptizing of infants originated from the false idea that babies inherit the sin of Adam--termed, "original sin." In defining different kinds of sins, the book, My Catholic Faith, on page 50 says, "Original sin is the kind of sin that we inherit from Adam." There is nothing in the Bible which teaches that men inherit the sin of Adam, or that men are born in a state of sin. However, the bible says that a person becomes a sinner when he commits sin, and he commits sin when he transgresses Gods' law. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4; see also James 1:13-15). A baby cannot be a sinner because he has not transgressed God's law. The prophet Ezekiel said, "The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." (Ezek. 18:20; Catholic Confraternity Version). Hence, sin is not transferred from one generation or person to another. All men are sinners, not because they have inherited sin, but because "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23).

An infant is not a subject of the baptism ordained by God in His Holy Word. First, a candidate for baptism must be a hearer of the Word of God (John 6:45). In the great commission, the Lord said, "Going therefore teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matt. 28:19-20; Catholic Rheims Version). Furthermore, one must believe the gospel before being baptized. Again, Christ said, "Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mark 16:16). Another 10:17; Acts 2:22, 37; 15:7). He must be taught and he must learn the will of God. Jesus said, "It is written in the Prophets, 'And they all shall be taught of God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and has learned, comes to Me."  (Jn 6:45) Another prerequisite to baptism is repentance. Peter said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..." (Acts 2:38). A verbal confession of Christ is also necessary before baptism. "For if thou confess with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10:9; see also Acts 8:37). Consequently, infants cannot be subjects for baptism because they cannot: (1) be taught of God, (2) believe, (3) repent, (4) confess. Those who baptize infants today are doing so against God's will. John said, "Anyone who transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, has not God; he who abides in the doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9).

In view of the foregoing, consider the ridiculousness of the following "official" claims:

"Has the Catholic Church ever changed its teaching? No, for 2000 years the Church has taught the same things which Jesus taught." (Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 57).

"It is a historical fact the Catholic Church, from the twentieth century back to the first, has not once ceased to teach a doctrine on faith or morals previously held, and with the same interpretation; the church has proved itself infallible." (My Catholic Church, p. 145).

Furthermore, please carefully consider the following quote from a Catholic source:

"If only one instance could be given in which the Church ceased to teach a doctrine of faith which had been previously held, that single instance would be the death blow of her claim of infallibility." (The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 61).

Thus, by our above examples of the Catholic Church ceasing to teach and practice doctrines of faith which had been previously held, we have struck the death blow to her claim of infallibility.

Dear reader, surely you can see that the Catholic Church is not infallible. The Lord Jesus did not make His church infallible. He did not promise to protect it from error (2 Pet. 2:1-2; Acts 20:29-30); instead, there was to come a great departure from the truth (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Thess. 2:2-12). The examples of the Israelites falling away serve as an example to warn God's people under the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:5-11). Some of the early churches failed to heed such warnings and went into error (Rev. 2 & 3). Furthermore, an understanding of the true relationship of the church to Christ reveals that the church is not infallible. The early churches had to earnestly contend for the faith, and to continually be on guard against error arising from within. The doctrine of infallibility causes the Catholic Church to fail in this. We conclude this first part of our study, therefore, by affirming that the Catholic Church is not infallible, but is the great apostasy foretold in the Bible, and is a church which neither recognizes nor corrects its errors.



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