Saturday, June 18, 2016

Christian initiation began when Jesus started teaching His disciples

De Maria
 October 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM
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Hi alan almeida
You said,
Hi De Maria,
Thanks very much for your response. I see at least you have the acumen of responding. Which is good indeed.
Thank you.
In taking verses out of context, I stated John 3:5 because that’s one of the footnotes at the bottom of the CCC,
the Catholic Church relies for scriptural support in respect to baptism. John’s baptism of repentance is found in Mark 1:4Luke 3:3Acts 13:24, and more specifically Acts 19:4.
So i am simply pointing that John 3:5 is out of context because you cannot lead a person to become a Christian because John’s Baptism of Repentance was during the period covering the Gospels.
That would be a misunderstanding of John 3:5, Jesus is describing that which occurs in His Baptism:
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
St. John’s Baptism did not bring the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the name of Jesus, does.
Why?? Simply because during the period covering the Gospels, the Lord had not risen and glorified as yet.
That is true. But Jesus was not explaining St. John’s Baptism, but His own.
Therefore the Holy Ghost was promised only after his Ascension.
Also true.
Christian initiation actually starts in the the Book of Acts and not the Gospels.
That is a mistake. Christian initiation began when Jesus started teaching His disciples. In fact, we can also say that Christian initiation began when St. John began preparing the way for Christ.
That is why St.Paul stated it in Acts 19:4.
Acts 19:4
King James Version (KJV)
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
He mentions that St. John was preparing people to believe in Christ. Which can be understood as a type of Christian initiation. Unless you have a specific and personal understanding of the term “Christian initiation”. For Catholics, it means an introduction to the doctrines and the faith of Jesus Christ.
In fact there has always been a four-fold pattern Jesus and his Apostles always consistently preached a pattern in the entire New Testament. i.e REPENT for you sins, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus, Be BAPTIZED, and RECEIVE the Holy Ghost.
That is the same pattern which the Catholic Church preaches today.
This is the correct pattern we can see on location how the Apostles led inquirers to the Christian faith (Acts 2:38Acts 2:41). In fact Jesus and John the Baptist always pointed to that four-fold pattern but scattered throughout the Gospels, Acts and the Epistles. But in the Book of Hebrews Chapter 6 they surprisingly appear in that order.
Why surprisingly? It is the pattern which has always been taught. It is Protestants who have deviated from that pattern with their so-called “altar calls” and denials of Baptism as the culmination of Christian initiation.
OK so you talk about the RCIA. Does this means those baptized as babies have also have to compulsory undergo RCIA?
Infants follow a different pattern. Throughout the New Testament, we see that Jesus saves children because of the faith of their parents. Example:
Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Jesus saves infants because of the faith of their parents.
Does the RCIA follow the Biblical pattern I’ve covered above?
Also please note that during John’s baptism in Gospel required one to first become a disciple of Christ and then be baptized, by first showing “fruit meets for repentance” – Matthew 3:7-9. Does the RCIA cover this?
Thanks and God Bless you,

Alan Almeida
May God bless you as well,
De Maria
De Maria October 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
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Hi alan,
You said:
Hi De Maria,

A few more things to add … :)
No problem.
The Gospels are too early to rely on for a study on Christian initiation – the reasons i’ve already outlined in my earlier post above.
I hope I’ve disproven that idea in my previous message. But it is also illogical for another reason. Christianity relies upon the knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ. And that knowledge exists mainly in the Gospels.
We cannot also introduce a person to the Christian faith relying on the Epistles and the Book of Revelation either, because they were exhortations to those who were already Christians. So you can now see the Catholic teaching has lost its moorings. :)
All I can see is that those statements of yours make no sense. They are simply opinions of yours which are disproven by the fact that throughout history, the Church has used all those writings to teach the doctrines of Jesus Christ to all who seek righteousness and eternal life.
God Bless you,
And you.
De Maria

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