Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scriptural Support for Infant Baptism: In light of Original Sin

To understand why Catholics (and Lutherans, and some Episcopalians and Methodists, etc...) Batpize infants, 2 things need to be understood: 
1) what the Church believes about Baptism, and
2) the Church's understanding of Original Sin. 

I have posted quotes from the Early Church Fathers about what the earliest Christians believed about Baptism.  But in this article, I will stick strictly to Scripture.

The Catholic position is that Baptism is:
1) a Sacrament which confers on us the Holy Spirit,
2) through which we are made members of Christ, and
3) Baptism saves us. 

Baptism is sacramental (a visible sign, with an invisible grace, instituted by Christ) that confers the Holy Spirit, and washes away sin.

I will sprinkle clean water upon you , and you shall be clean form all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.”  (Ez 36:25-27) 

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord, our God, calls to him.”” (Acts 2:38-39)

“And now why do you wait?  Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling in his name.” (Acts 22:16)

Baptism makes us members of Christ...makes us “Christians” (and fulfills circumcision, gives entrance into the New Covenant)

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1Cor 12:13)

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:27)

In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 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 2:11-12)

Baptism saves us

“...when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clean conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1Pet 3:20-21)

“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”...”After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.”  (Jn 3:5, 22)

“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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20) (Final instruction to the Apostles)

  
Infant Baptism, through the understanding of Original Sin and Circumcision

In Adam, all have sinned; in Christ, all are made righteous.  Original sin is not a sin we “commit”, but a sin we “contract” or “inherit”...a “state” rather than an action (CCC 402-404). The easiest evidence of this is the fact that none of us are born into Paradise...and ALL off us need salvation...and we ALL have to experience physical death.    We are all born in a state of spiritual lacking...spiritual death.  Only in Christ do we have salvation and spiritual life.  This is because of the sin of Adam...we carry that “stain”, so to speak, of Original Sin.  Just as circumcision was the entrance into the Old Covenant (Gn 17:11, 14;  Judith 14:10) so Baptism is entrance into the New Covenant (see above).

Original Sin, all men contract it

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He comes forth like a flower, and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.  And dost thou open thy eyes upon such a one and bring him into judgment with thee?  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?  There is not one.”  (Job 14:1-4)

“What is man that he can be clean?  Or he that is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?”  (Job 15:14)

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me...Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”  (Ps 51:5, 7)

“Do not reproach a man who is turning away from sin; remember that we all deserve punishment.” (Sirach 8:5)

“What then?  Are we Jews any better off?  No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one.””...”since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:9-12, etc...and Rom 3:23)

“12 Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned – 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.  15 But the free gift is not like the trespass.  For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  16 And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin.  For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.  17 If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  18 Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.  19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many may be made righteous.  20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Rom 5:12-21)

“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”  (1Cor 15:21-22)

“One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.” (Heb 7:9-10)

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”  (2Cor 5:17)

In the Bible, we see what Protestants refer to as a “believer's Baptism”...only among adults who are capable of professing their belief.  But it only makes sense that the focus would first be on the adults.  The law of circumcision was given first to adults who were then to circumcise infants.  If circumcision is a foreshadowing of baptism, then it only makes sense to baptize infants.

Circumcision is entrance into the Old Covenant

“You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.  Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring.”  (Gen 17:11-12)  (Note that it is given to adults first, who are able to then take it to children.  And at eight days old, are the infants able to profess a belief in God or to proclaim that they wish to be in God's family?  The parents must profess this on behalf of the children.  And even slaves are not left out...there are no exceptions to this covenant.  We can see examples in the NT as well where a child is healed because of the faith of the father, or a slave healed by the faith of his master, even a paralytic healed because of the faith of his friends.)

“Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” (Gen 17:14)

“When Achior saw all that the God of Israel had done, he believed firmly in God.  So he was circumcised, and joined the house of Israel, remaining so to this day.”  (Judith 14:10)

The old is a foreshadowing of the new

“In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 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 2:11-12)

“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near.” (Heb 10:1)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.”  (Mt 5:7-18)

Baptism is the entrance into the New Covenant 

In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 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 2:11-12)

And there you have it...the Church's teaching on Infant Baptism, through the teacing on Original Sin.  Many thanks to John Martignoni for the Scriptural references.  For a wonderful recorded explanation, please visit www.biblechristiansociety.com where you will find his, and others', talks for FREE! [almost] :)

*all italics within Scripture quotes are my own emphasis*

Sunday, February 15, 2015

ECF Short: Indulgences (by Daniel Marcum)

The Doctrine of Indulgences in the Early Church Fathers

~57 A.D. - St. Paul - “For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough...you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him...I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. … What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:5-10)

~197 A.D. - Tertullian - “Some, not able to find this peace in the Church, have been used to seek it from the imprisoned martyrs. And so you [imprisoned Christians] ought to have it dwelling with you, and to cherish it, and to guard it, that you may be able perhaps to bestow it upon others.” (Ad Martyras Chapter 1)

222 A.D. - Tertullian - “[N]ow you are ascribing this power [of granting indulgences] even to your dear martyrs. As soon as someone of his own accord has taken on the fetters...at once the adulterers are swarming about…[and] prayers are humming in the air... Men and women crowd [them]...beg for [their] blessing...and return from there as [restored to] the community.” (On Modesty Chapter 22)

250 A.D. - St. Cyprian - “[A]ccording to your diligence...designate those by name to whom you desire that peace should be granted. For I hear that certificates [of indulgence] are [too freely] given.” (Letter 10 or 15 Paragraph 4)

And (250 A.D.): “[W]hen some of the lapsed…[demanded] the peace that had been promised to them by the martyrs and confessors...I wrote twice to the clergy...[that] if any who had received a certificate [of indulgence] from the martyrs were departing from this life, having made confession, and received the imposition of hands on them for repentance, they should be remitted to the Lord with the peace promised them by the martyrs.” (Letter 14 or 20 Paragraph 3)

251 A.D. - St. Cyprian - “...Certainly we believe that the merits of the martyrs and the works of the just will be of great avail with the Judge...” (The Lapsed, 17)

314 A.D. - Council of Ancyra - “Concerning [various sinners]...a former decree excluded them [from the Church] until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfil ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees.” (Canon 21)

314 A.D. - Council of Arles - “Concerning those who carry letters from the confessors, be it resolved that, when they have handed over those letters, they receive other letters of reference.” (Canon 10 or 9)

325 A.D. - The First Ecumenical Council - “[Some sinners], after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, [must] be for ten years prostrators. But in all these cases it is necessary to examine well into their purpose and what their repentance appears to be like. For as many as give evidence of their conversions by deeds...when they have fulfilled their appointed time as hearers, may properly communicate in prayers; and after that the bishop may determine yet more favourably concerning them.” (Canon 12)

379 A.D. - St. Basil - “We do not judge [a penance] altogether by the length of time, but by the circumstances of the penance.” (Canonical Epistle to Amphilochius Canon 84)

380 A.D. - St. Gregory of Nyssa - “[F]ornicators [should] be three years wholly ejected from prayer...and [after an additional six year period] admitted [back] to communion; but the [additional six years] may be lessened to them who of their own accord confess, and are earnest penitents.” (Canonical Epistle to Letojus Canon 4)

~390 A.D. - St. Ambrose - “For he is purged as if by certain works of the whole people, and is washed in the tears of the multitude; by the prayers and tears of the multitude he is redeemed from sin, and is cleansed in the inner man. For Christ granted to His Church that one should be redeemed through all, just as His Church was found worthy of the coming of the Lord Jesus so that all might be redeemed through one.” (Penance, 1, 15, 80)

~650 A.D. - St. Cummian writes a book about penance in which he lists several ways a penance can be shortened. Among them, he notes that “twelve three-day periods” of penance can be “the equivalent of a year” of penance. He says that a penitent can shorten his penance if he spends “one hundred days with half a loaf and an allowance of dry bread and water and salt, [and] sing[s] fifty psalms during each night.” Or, the penitent can do “fifty special fasts, with one night intervening.” (Penitential Chapter VIII Canons 25-28)

~679 A.D. - St. Theodore of Tarsus - “Penitents according to the canons ought not to communicate before the conclusion of the penance; we, however, out of pity give permission after a year or six months.” (Penitential Chapter 12 Canon 4)

740 A.D. - St. Egbert of York - “For him who can comply with what the penitential prescribes, well and good; for him who cannot, we give counsel of God's mercy. Instead of one day on bread and water let him sing fifty psalms on his knees or seventy psalms without genuflecting. But if he does not know the psalms and cannot fast, let him, instead of one year on bread and water, give twenty-six solidi in alms, fast till [3:00 pm] on one day of each week and till Vespers on another, and in the three Lents bestow in alms half of what he receives.” (Penitential Chapter 13 Canon 11)

807 A.D. - According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on indulgences, an Irish Synod of this year said that the fast of the second day of the week may be “redeemed” by singing one psalter or by giving one denarius to a poor person. (Canon 24)

1095 A.D. - The Council of Clermont - “Whoever, out of pure devotion and not for the purpose of gaining honor or money, shall go to Jerusalem to liberate the Church of God, let that journey be counted in lieu of all penance.” (Canon 2)

**This list of references to indulgences in the early Church was provided by Mr. Dan Marcum of the History & Apologetics blog. In the preface to his list, he notes:

"I brought [the doctrine of indulgences] up to the time of the first crusade because I think it is well-known that the Church offered indulgences from that point on.

I want to mention two things about my examples here. First, if you think about indulgences, you probably think of one of two things: either gaining an indulgence for yourself, or gaining one for a soul in purgatory. I don't think any of the examples in this article clearly refer to the second thing, except perhaps one quote from St. Cyprian. Perhaps in the future I will make an article with more examples of the latter.

Second, the first couple of examples may not appear to mention indulgences at first glance. I think they fit the definition of an indulgence upon close inspection. An indulgence remits the temporal punishment due to sin that has already been forgiven. An excommunication involves a temporal punishment of sin. In the passage from St. Paul, a man has been excommunicated, and St. Paul appears to remove his penance early, which makes this an indulgence.

In several other early examples of indulgences, Christians who have been convicted of sin are temporarily excommunicated as a penance, and they go to the prisons to see the Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith. They receive certificates from the imprisoned Christians recommending the Church to let the excommunicated Christians back into the fold early, which is a kind of indulgence.
" (D. Marcum)

Many thanks, Dan, for doing the legwork!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Why is there Temporal Punishment for Sin; Didn't Jesus Pay Our Debt?

I was discussing Penance, purgatory, and indulgences (among many other topics) with a friend, and the topic of temporal punishment came up. Temporal punishment happens to be closely linked to indulgences, which happen to be linked to the effects of Sacramental Penance, so it was only natural that it be next in line for discussion.

In case you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven..." (CCC 1471, emphasis mine).

Anyone not familiar with that might respond with, "Whoa! Hold up there on the 'temporal punishment'! What's that all about?" I'll explain what it's all about, but you can also get a good idea by reading the very short Catechism paragraphs 1471-1473, especially in light of the three paragraphs immediately preceding those, and 1478-79. ( HERE's that link.)

Anyway, my friend actually read those, and asked me a question I had never really thought about before. “Why is there temporal punishment for sin?” He immediately followed it with another question: "If Jesus paid the price for our sins, and forgave the sins of people in the Bible without mentioning temporal punishment remaining, how do we know that temporal punishment remains after the forgiveness of sins?"

I really didn't have an answer to those. On one hand, I wasn't sure how Jesus paying the price for our sins meant that there was no temporal consequence for sins we commit.  I also wasn't so sure that Christ didn't mention it. But on the other hand, I didn't know how to address his real concern: "Why is there temporal punishment for sin?"

This is the moment when Christians can truly shine. In a moment of ignorance about a topic, Christians have great tools that we all too often fail to use. One of those tools sound like this, "I don't know how to answer that. But, I will research it, find the answer, and get back to you soon." Thanks be to God, He gave me the grace to say exactly that, and then I started taking the questions to other folks who might have more insight than I had.

In the meantime, I offered him a few questions that might help us both find the answer that we BOTH were now seeking:

  • Do some (any, most) Christians still have an unhealthy attachment to worldly things, even after being saved? Do we still tend to sin despite accepting Christ as our Savior?
  • If salvation had come to Zaccheus' house, why was he still going to recompense the victims of his wrong-doings? (Lk 19:1-9)
  • If the Judge will have died for our sins and forgiven us all our debts, why would He still expect us to recompense our adversaries? (Lk 12:58-59; Mt 5:25-26)
  • If I break my neighbor's window, and ask his forgiveness, isn't his window still broken until someone fixes it? Whose responsibility is it to fix the window?

As I should have predicted, he was more studious than I was and, before I had an answer, he had already let me know that he had studied it more and could see the relevance of the real world examples. But there was a follow-up question regarding private/personal sins which don't have the immediate appearance of harming anyone. "[A person] thinking impure thoughts", for example, which don't appear to harm anyone. "What punishment would remain to right the wrong (after Jesus had paid the debt for our sins)?"

And that is when it hit me. Having just asked several helpful folks who gave me several pieces of helpful insight, it finally made sense to me. The consequences of sin don't simply go away when we are forgiven. Yes, our life with Christ is healed, but other real consequences remain and must be addressed.

First, I think it is helpful to understand “temporal punishment” as a “consequence of sin”. The need to fix a broken window, for example: though it has been forgiven, there still exists a consequence, or punishment. There is a need to make reparation (fix the window).

This consequence is what is left over after the apology; it is the fixing of the effects of the sin, so to speak. These effects can be material, but are also spiritual--every action in this world affects the spiritual world as well. EVERY sin is a sin against God, even if no other person is involved. A man lusting by himself DOES act against someone else - GOD, against whom the sin is being committed. It also harms the man, spiritually. And, according to Christ, the man is committing adultery. So he is sinning against his spouse (if he is married) and against the woman who is occupying his mind. We cannot sin without affecting our relationship with God, because sin is a choice to act against God’s Will. And we cannot sin without affecting the other members of the Body of Christ (each other) because we are all intimately connected in that One Body. A hurt back doesn't just affect the back, right? No, it affects balance, the ability to walk straight, the nerves stemming from the back to other parts of the body, our ability to tolerate annoyances (when dealing with severe pain), etc. There is no such thing as a sin “which does not harm anyone”. It ALWAYS harms, at the very least, the spirit of the person committing it, and is ALWAYS an act against God’s Will.  Doesn't this put a whole new perspective on Christ's question to Paul:  "Why do you persecute ME?", Christ asked.  He didn't ask why Paul persecuted His Church.  Paul's actions were against Christ's very Person.

Christ paid a debt we cannot pay.  He died for our sins so that we might be saved. But the effects of sin against brother and sister, or even self, still need to be repaired.  And discipline is needed so that we learn to avoid sin in the future.  If there was no need for this, why did Paul say, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church ..." (Colossians 1:24)?
-What was “lacking”? And why is Paul “suffering for [our] sake” if Christ paid the debt for our sins?

When we commit a sin and we seek forgiveness, we may be forgiven. But that doesn't erase the consequences of what we've done.

“Why is there temporal punishment for sin?” Because our sins have real consequences, and punishment teaches us discipline to avoid future sins. Even “saved” Christians struggle with temptations to sin (cff. Rom 7:15; 2Cor 12:7). Read Hebrews 12, the whole chapter, but especially v. 4-6: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—‘My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts’”.

Check out Psalm 118: 17-19, the whole book of Wisdom, the [how many?!] accounts of the Israelites making reparations for their evildoings against God. God is quick to forgive when asked, but there is always reparation to be made to right the wrong. Lv 5:5-6 and Num 5:5-10 show this really well.  In 2Sam 12 and 24, we see David sinning, repenting, being forgiven, having a penance to make reparation, and offering a sacrifice to God. Remember, Christ came to fulfill, not abolish, the Old Covenant and Prophets. Today, the sacrifice we offer to God is that once-for-all Sacrifice which Christ offered for us.
-But why should that mean that we no longer have to do the other penitential acts of repenting, asking forgiveness, and making reparation? 

In the NT we see St. Paul taking vows, shaving his head, and buffeting his body (Acts 18:18, 21:17-24; 1Cor 9:25-27).
-Why? Doesn’t Paul know that Christ paid the debt for his sin? Why is Paul doing these acts?

But more than that, Christ, Himself, teaches us to make amends before approaching the Altar (Lk 12:58-59; Mt 5:25-26; Lk 19:1-9).
-Why? If Jesus paid the price for our sins, and forgave sins of people in the Bible, why is He teaching us to make reparations? Why is Zaccheus still going to recompense his victims if “salvation has come to [his] house”?

"If Jesus paid the price for our sins, and forgave sins of people in the Bible without mentioning temporal punishment remaining, how do we know that temporal punishment remains after the forgiveness of sins?" According to Scripture, it looks like Jesus DID mention temporal punishment (consequences) remaining (Lk 12 and Mt 5). The OT certainly shows this to us, and we know that the OT was not abolished, but fulfilled, and that Paul carried on the penitential acts on behalf of the Church via his own body, for what was “lacking in the afflictions of Christ”.

"What punishment would remain to right the wrong [even a private one] after Jesus had paid the debt for our sins?" The real consequences of that sin, whether physical or spiritual, remain. Whether it be a broken window that must now be repaired; or someone’s reputation that we wrongfully tarnished and needs to be restored; or the teens who fornicated and were forgiven, but the girl is still pregnant with a baby who will need parents to raise it; or the wounded spirit of a man who committed a sin all by himself and now has a damaged relationship with God, Whose Will the man willingly acted against; the real consequences of his forgiven sin remain and need to be repaired.


Here is what the Church has always taught:
[It is for the purpose of making one an image of Christ, which requires detachment from sin, and to help us remain free from sin. ]


The Baltimore Catechism Part 3
 
  • Q. 629. What punishments are due to actual sins?
  • A. Two punishments are due to actual sins: one, called the eternal, is inflicted in hell; and the other, called the temporal, is inflicted in this world or in purgatory. The Sacrament of Penance remits or frees us from the eternal punishment and generally only from part of the temporal. Prayer, good works and indulgences in this world and the sufferings of purgatory in the next remit the remainder of the temporal punishment.
  • Q. 804. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
  • A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.
  • Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
  • A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.
 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
 
The punishments of sin
 
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.
 
1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man"(Eph 4:22,24).
 
 

I would like to thank Dr. David Anders of the “Called to Communion” radio show (1pm-2pm central time on EWTN Radio) and the folks from the Bible Christian Society facebook page, and the folks on the Catholic Answers forums who helped me understand temporal punishment, and how to give an answer to a friend that he and I both needed.

Photo courtesy of Briana Manthei  :) 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Scripture Short - Church is Infallible

“…if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” (1Tim 3:15)


“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (Jn 16:13)


“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (Jn 14:26)


“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16)


“As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1Jn 2:27)


“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials:” (Acts 15:28)


“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)