We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Roman Catholic Baptism Is Unbiblical

The Catholic teaching on Baptism begins with the idea that the very act of baptism “erases original sin,” and that it is required for one’s salvation. This is why babies must be baptized as soon as possible. Some quotes from the Catechism demonstrate this teaching:

Para. 1250 “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.”

Para. 1257 “…The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude…”

Para. 1261 “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God… Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.”

Another interesting aspect of Catholic baptism is noted in Para. 1237 of the catechism: “Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate.”

Of course none of this is found in Scripture. Baptism is what the Christians do because they have become Christians by being justified by faith in Christ; it is an outward, public sign of the person’s confession. There is nothing about baptism that saves a person who has not placed their faith in the atoning work of Christ. One is forced to ask why Christ never baptized anyone, and why Paul baptized only a few, if baptism was required for salvation? Faith in Christ alone is what saves us from sin (John 3:16, 36; John 5:24; John 6:47; John 20:31; Acts 16:31; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 3:22,25; Rom. 10:9; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9, 16; et al).

And, of course, there is no biblical teaching for the idea that exorcisms should be pronounced at the time one is baptized.

Baptism saves no one, and that is what the Bible teaches.


Anonymous said...

Good post,

And the Catholic's view baptism as a sacrament that "gets one in" so to speak but for the rest of their lives they must receive more sacraments if they want to retain their salvation. For instance, mortal sins are those sins that kill the grace of God in the heart of the sinner and thus, one loses their salvation by committing mortal sin. They must then receive more sacraments to get their salvation back. And at the end of their lives if they do not attain perfection, they must go to purgatory, then after thousands of years they can get into heaven after they pay for their sins.

It gets more and more complicated, but Catholicism is a works based religion.

Committed Christian

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hello CC,

Yep, and I will be posting more of that sort of stuff. I'm working on the Catholic section of my apologetics course I'm writing for homeschool high schoolers - something I was asked to do and it's keeping me very busy!

Anonymous said...

i was told once, long ago by a dear catholic friend that baptizing babies was done because it was born with the stain of the mothers sins that she commited while pregnant. either way, totally bizare, and totally unbiblical. I tried to lead her in the right direction, but she would not be moved. this was also the same person who told me that they put night-lights in the baby's room to keep the demons away. sad.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I addressed your false teachings on that other blog. you will not be posted here with the same false doctrines.

Gary said...

If you are an orthodox Christian, and have labored for some time trying to convince a Baptist or evangelical family member or friend of the strong evidence that the Early Church did baptize infants, you will frequently get this response:

"Ok, so what. The church in Corinth was practicing baptisms for the dead during the Apostle Paul's lifetime! This fact demonstrates that just because the Early Church may have practiced Infant Baptism does not mean that it was taught by the Apostles or that it is Scriptural."

True. Very true.

However, there is something in this Baptist/evangelical Christian's statement that is very telling:

1. Baptism for the Dead caused a controversy in the Early Church. We have written record of this controversy.

2. There is zero evidence that there was any controversy regarding the apostolic origin of Infant Baptism. Even Tertullian did not dispute the apostolic origin of Infant Baptism.

The next response from these Christians will usually be this:

"The Catholics destroyed all evidence of the controversy over Infant Baptism."

Really? Can you show us any evidence of this mass evidence burning by the Catholics? And why would the Catholics destroy all evidence of dissenting views on Infant Baptism but did not destroy the evidence of much worse heresies: Arianism, Gnosticism, Pelagianism, etc. etc.

The Baptist/evangelical argument against Infant Baptism...does not hold water!


Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Interesting that you chose to post an article from you site as a comment. I notice that you are the same Gary I didn’t post six months ago because of your false teaching. I suppose you thought you’d try again hoping I’d forget?

You made a lot of assertions, but gave no evidence to support the unbiblical idea of infant baptism. Every baptism in the Bible follows the hearing of the gospel and placing one’s faith in Christ. An infant cannot do that. You also posted arguments which were not made here; i.e., you raised straw men.

(And why you chose to even bother with the subject of baptism for the dead is beyond my understanding. Baptism for the dead is also unbiblical, by the way. Notice Paul said “They” baptize for the dead and he was speaking to Christians. He didn’t say “WE” baptize for the dead. He was just making a point.)

There is absolutely no evidence of the Apostles teaching infant baptism. Infant baptism accomplishes absolutely nothing. The baby isn’t saved by it, it doesn’t mark him as a believer, etc.

Jesse said...

If baptizing babies was biblically permissible, then what is stopping us from forcing atheists or people from different religions from getting baptized at gunpoint?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Catholics have essentially done that throughout history.

Jesse said...

Hey Glenn,

I know this is irrelevant to your posts, but where did you address this "Gary" guy's comments? What false teachings did you respond to? I noticed that you published a comment by that person after refusing to publish from that same person months before.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Gary's comment which was not published six months earlier was nothing more than teaching Catholicism, and I don't allow false teachings as comments -- normally. Sometimes I allow it to demonstrate how bad the false teachings can get, but most of the time I just don't want to bother with it and get into a discussion where the comment gets to continue posting false teachings.

As for what other blog was it that I addressed his comments, I have no idea -- that was 5 1/2 years ago! But I do know what he was preaching was the necessity of infant baptism, but I don't remember what blog it was on. But from what I said, I had already addressed his claim on another blog and he decided to make the same argument here and I wasn't going to allow it. Moving to another post won't change my response.

In this particular instance I decided to post the comment so my readers could see this false teaching and how to respond to it. Apparently I had read his blog to see what he taught and recognized his comment as being an article from his blog.