Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

24 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope canonises Junipero Serra

The Pope said faith is alive only when shared Canonising the 18th-century Spanish missionary, Blessed Junipero Serra, Pope Francis insisted a person’s faith …

Read more

31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Do I have to confess to receive a plenary indulgence?

Full Question I understand that the requirements for a plenary indulgence include confession. Is the requirement for confession contingent on having seriou…

Read more

23 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

How do we praise God? Pray like Saint Paul, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Oct 23, 2014 / 05:57 am .- In his homily on Thursday, Pope Francis said no one has the strength to be a Christian without the Holy Spirit, and enc…

Read more

06 Aug 2016 Articles Comments (11)

Why God Can't Command Us to Do Evil

Theists and atheists wield many weapons in the battle over the truth of God’s existence. One such weapon for theists is the moral argument, which asserts moral …

Read more

08 Jul 2015 Articles No comments

The Supreme Court's abuse of its authority

The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the f…

Read more

09 Dec 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Cardinal Peter Turkson: "A great deal is at stake for every country"

During the ongoing COP-21 UN Climate Change Summit in Paris which ends on Friday, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Turkson, s…

Read more

22 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Receiving the Sacraments After Divorce and Remarriage

I recently got a call at Catholic Answers from a woman who had fallen away from the Church many years ago but had come back home after watching EWTN and listeni…

Read more

23 Feb 2016 Americas News No comments

Founder of the EWTN Global Catholic Network remains in "delicate" condition says fellow Nuns

Founder of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, Mother Angelica, remains in a “delicate” condition according to a Feb.22 update from the Nuns at Our Lady of the An…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

Is the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading for the priest only?

Full Question Is the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading for the priest only? Answer Everyone is instruc…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Is the story of the good thief in Luke 23:39–43 proof that baptism isn’t necessary?

Full Question

Is the story of the good thief in Luke 23:39–43 proof that baptism isn’t necessary?

Answer

First, it isn’t clear that baptism had yet been mandated by Jesus before he met the thief. If it had been, we do not know for certain that the thief hadn’t already been baptized. In any case, the thief clearly underwent a conversion at some point during his crucifixion, and it seems evident that he would have desired baptism before his death had he known of its necessity. That would have been sufficient, because the Church recognizes that, in such a case, the desire for baptism brings about the fruits of baptism (CCC 1258).










1 comment

  1. Edward A. Hara Reply

    Most of the answers you give are great, however, you do from time to time post something that is just awful. This is one of those times.

    The reason that the thief on the cross did not need baptism has to do with the covenant of God. The thief was already a child of the covenant and had made covenant with God by circumcision. We know this because he was able to recognize in Jesus the One who was the promised Messiah of the Jewish people. To the Romans and pagans gathered around the Cross, there was no such recognition. By his recognition, the thief was obviously a Jewish male who was in the Kingdom already by dint of circumcision.

    The charge that baptism is not necessary for salvation is usually made by Fundamentalists who consider baptism to be “works salvation” and reject the salvific nature of baptism. One MUST answer this charge, including the question posed here, by reminding them that in order to be in relationship with God, one MUST “cut covenant” with God and enter into His congregation. In the Old Covenant, this was done by circumcision. In the New Covenant, this is done by baptism, baptism having replaced circumcision as the ritual of covenant cutting by which we are entered into the covenant community.

    Moreover, since the Crucifixion took place in the Old Covenant, baptism was not yet the covenant ceremony in place for believers in Christ. The New Covenant didn’t begin until Christ died and the veil covering the Holy of Holies was torn in two, exposing the Ark of the Covenant and profaning the Holy of Holies, making it desecrated and unfit to use ever again. Therefore, since the thief died in the Old Covenant administration, he was not in need of baptism to enter covenant with Christ, since he was circumcised. His act of faith was an act of repentance and renewal of his covenant relationship to God, thus making him fit for Paradise

    Finally, you didn’t tell the questioner how to answer this person. Ask him if we are in the New Covenant. If he says no, then begin an instructive discourse on how Jesus said at the Last Supper “This is my Blood…the Blood of the NEW COVENANT.” (You better know how a covenant works if you are going to go here). Then instruct him that all covenants are made with a covenant cutting ceremony. There is no such thing as a covenant being made without a corresponding ceremony. Point to marriage, which is a covenant between a man and a woman. That is one example. No such thing as a marriage without a ceremony.

    Then ask him what covenant cutting ceremony replaced circumcision if it is not baptism. If he says “Accepting Jesus,” you need to point out that such an answer is Gnosticism because it omits the body as being part of the ritual. We are tripartite beings — body, soul, and spirit. Fundamentalism is modern day Gnosticism because it despises the idea that the body should be involved in any part of Christian ritual. Our bodies are so important and so much a part of our whole being that God is going to raise them on the Last Day. Remind him of them — then go back and ask the question again.

    If you need to better understand how to answer non-Catholics and dismantle their arguments (shameless plug here) get my book

    THE DANCE OF ISAIAH — http://smile.amazon.com/Dance-Isaiah-refutation-Calvinism-regarding/dp/0615556647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418426986&sr=8-1&keywords=the+dance+of+isaiah&pebp=1418427022048

    I was 25 years a non-Catholic (and an anti-Catholic bigot to boot!) and this book comes from my intense study of the covenant which led me Home to the Church.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories