Roman Catholic Baptism -- By: Mal Couch

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 07:20 (Mar 2003)
Article: Roman Catholic Baptism
Author: Mal Couch

Roman Catholic Baptism

Mal Couch

President & Professor of Theology & Languages
Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX

Below is the seventh article in a ten-part series on Catholic Theology and Dogma. Almost all of the material quoted comes from books and articles approved by the Catholic Church. The first article (March 2000) dealt with the Catholic view of the Church. It is hoped that many Catholics will read these articles and arrive at a conviction of the unbiblical nature of Catholic Theology. It is also hoped that Evangelicals reading this material will understand why it’s impossible for Catholics and Evangelicals to join hands in spiritual endeavors. The abbreviations for the references are explained at the end of the article.

The modern teaching of Catholic baptism is almost as mystical and pagan as is the Church of Rome’s practice of the Mass. The Church teaches, “By water and the Holy Spirit, this child is to receive the gift of new life in faith from God Who is Love.” (Inside, 31) When infants are baptized they are marked on the chest with the oil of chrism. The priest says, “We anoint you with the oil of salvation, the balm of Gilead.” (32) The priest continues:

God of wonder and majesty, look now with love upon us and unseal for us the fountain of baptism … give the water of grace of your Son, so that in this sacrament of Baptism all those who have been created in your likeness may be washed over by your love.

[Child], receive the light of Christ. You have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment (baptismal garb) the outward sign of your Christian dignity. (33–35)

Children cannot be saved without Roman Catholic baptism. The Church says, “If the child is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without delay. Under Christian provision, provided he carries out the wishes of a Christian believer and performs the correct baptismal ritual.” (CathCat, 511) In Catholic jargon, this means that the infant must be baptized in an emergency with some form of Catholic ritual in view. A Protestant ritual would not do, unless the ritual is from a “high” Church like Episcopalianism, or the Greek Orthodox Church. Under normal rules, only the Catholic Church can save with its “correct baptismal ritual.”

Since Vatican II, the Church has created a new “Baptismal celebration” for adults, called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The new convert to Catholicism now may receive three sacraments all together—Baptism, Confirmation, and Mass. This was begun mainly for pragmatic reasons, in order to make such ce...

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