UP Catholic 11 13 2015 E Edition Page 7

W e recently received a rather interesting ques- tion from one of our avid readers. This reader happens to be a devout Evangelical Christian who is searching not for pro- paganda or opinion, but for the truth of divine revelation. Praised be Jesus Christ. The question is, Why is a Cath- olic baptism different than a Christian baptism? First of all, #1213 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Chris- tian life, the gateway to life in the spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacra- ments. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are in- corporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word. What an amaz- ingly concise explanation of what we Catholics believe about baptism! We could go through all of these effects of Catholic baptism and show their basis in the Scriptures, but we would like to focus on one thing. Most Evangelical Christians believe that baptism is nothing but a public manifestation that one has surren- dered oneself to the lordship of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as ones personal Lord and Savior. The argu- ment goes that whenever baptism is administered in the New Testament, it is always preceded by an act of faith on the part of the believer. The logical conclusion is that small children (when most Catholics are baptized) cant make an act of faith and so cant be baptized. Now this may sound plausi- ble, but it is not Biblical. It is true that baptism is always linked to faith in the New Testament, but we Catholics have never broken that connection. When presenting a child for baptism, the parents and godpar- ents make a profession of faith in the name of the child and prom- ise to raise the child in the same faith. After baptism, the child becomes a member of the people of God, the Church. Heres a question: how in the Old Testament did a male become a member of the people of God? Thats rightcircumcision. In Genesis 17:12, God told Abraham that every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised. Guess what? In Colos- sians 2: 11-12 St. Paul asserts that baptism replaces circumcision. In other words, baptism is the new way institut- ed by Christ to become a member of the family of God, the new Israel (cf. Gal. 6: 16). Of course, when God told Abraham to circumcise every eight-day-old male, Abraham himself and every other male in his household over eight days old were circumcised at once. After that, the only males who needed to be circumcised were new- born males. In the same way, in the very beginning of Christianity on the day of Pentecost adults were baptized, but very soon entire households were being baptized (Acts 16: 15, 33; 1 Cor. 1: 16). We see an affirmation of this in the teaching and practice of the early Church before legalization of Christi- anity under Emperor Constantine. For instance, St. Hippolytus (c. AD 215) in # 21 of his Apostolic Tradition wrote: Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them. Many more examples could be given. From this we see that baptism is not just a manifestation of a previous act of faith as most Evangelical Christians teach, but Baptism is the God-given means of entering the new People of Godthe Church. Catholic baptism is Christian baptism. We pray that this brief discussion of the sacrament of baptism (by which a creature of God becomes a child of God and a member of the Mystical Body of Christ) will help our readers to appre- ciate their great dignity as children of God and also inspire them to go out to the highways and byways of their lives to invite whomever they find to be- come a member of the family of God! Editor's note: This question and answer column is written for The U.P. Catholic by four priests of the Diocese of Marquette. Selected questions will be answered through the column, not individually. If you have a question you'd like to be considered for an upcoming issue, please submit it by email to news@dioceseofmarquette. org or by U.S. Mail to Ask our Priests, c/o The U.P. Catholic, 1004 Harbor Hills Dr., Marquette MI 49855. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC ASK OUR PRIESTS November 13, 2015 7 If you know of an incident of the sexual abuse of a minor by anyone in Church service including a member of the clergy, a religious, a lay employee or volunteer, we encourage you to come forward so that we can take action to protect others and help those who have been harmed to find healing. We are open to and respect your complaint; you are important. We want to make this process as safe as possible. Victims Assistance Coordinators bsf bwbjmbcmf up ifmq uiptf xip ibwf cffo ibsnfe uispvhi uif ejggjdvmu boe tpnfujnft qbjogvm qspdftt pg ifbmjoh boe ipqf How to begin the process ... Dbmm pof pg uif Wjdujnt Bttjtubodf Dppsejobupst Tufqifo Mzopuu bu Ejbof Uszbo bu or write: Wjdujnt Bttjtubodf Dppsejobups d p Dbuipmjd Tpdjbm Tfswjdft pg uif VQ Mvejohupo Tu Tvjuf Ftdbobcb NJ Qmfbtf nbsl uif mfuufs Qfstpobm boe Dpogjefoujbm boe joejdbuf jo zpvs mfuufs ipx zpv xjti up cf dpoubdufe cz qipof ps cz mfuufs Xf bmxbzt fodpvsbhf zpv up sfqpsu uif jodjefou up mpdbm djwjm bvuipsjujft The Diocese of Marquette reports all allegations to the appropriate civil authorities. St Louis Women's Club Bazaar & Rummage Sale Saturday Nov 14th 9am to 2pm 264 Silver Creek Road, Harvey Crafts, bake sale, silent auction, Rada knives, 18" doll clothes, jewelry, various vendors Luncheon begins @ 11:00 p.m. Qbsnftbo dijdlfo sfe spbtufe qpubupft dpso ipnfnbef csfbe qvnqljo qjf trvbsft COOPER OFFICE EQUIPMENT Full Copier Line From Tabletop To Networkable Digital Laser Systems (906) 228-6929 Phone 800-432-7682 Fax 800-908-8542 Purchase & Lease Options Authorized KONICA Printers-Copiers Dealer Ask our priests: Why is a Catholic baptism different than a Christian baptism?

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