Bro. Peter Dimond
Below are two quotes from the early Church. They are relevant to the ‘baptism of desire’ (BOD) issue. As proven in our video, The Best Argument Against Baptism of Desire, the ‘theory’ of BOD holds and teaches that men are justified and saved without the grace of baptism/rebirth (i.e., without receiving the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin and thus without becoming new creations). That means that BOD holds that men are saved without regeneration. As the aforementioned video explains, that’s a FATAL problem for BOD. It definitively proves that it’s a false doctrine of man because the Gospel and Catholic dogma clearly teach that no one can be justified without the grace of rebirth/regeneration/baptism (i.e., the remission of the guilt of sin and all temporal punishment due to sin). In the quotes below, we can see how the Church always taught (and later councils explicitly and infallibly defined) that no one can be freed from the state of original sin without the full and complete washing of regeneration. On the other hand, the most famous advocates of ‘BOD’ (and theologians who taught the idea) admit that it does not provide regeneration. They admit that it does not take away the temporal punishment due to sin, make the recipient a new man, and allow immediate entrance into Heaven. That proves that ‘baptism of desire’ is a false doctrine.
By the way, for those who don’t know: the terms regeneration and rebirth mean the same thing. The Latin word regeneratio (regeneration) is from the verb regenerare. Regenerare is from re (meaning ‘again’) and generare (meaning ‘to beget’). Regenerare means ‘to beget again.’ Regeneration is rebirth. Spiritual regeneration or rebirth takes away everything and creates a new spiritual man (leaving no guilt of sin or temporal punishment due to sin). One must have actual regeneration to be justified or removed from the state of sin.
The Catalog or the Authoritative Statements of the Past Bishops of the Holy See Concerning the Grace of God, under Pope St. Celestine: “… Pope INNOCENT of blessed memory proclaimed and said in his letter * to the Council of Carthage:* “For he [man], having once braved every consequence of free choice, while he used his goods too unadvisedly, fell and was overwhelmed in the depth of his transgression, and found no way by which he was able to rise from it; and beguiled forever by his own liberty he would have lain prostrate by the weight of this ruin, if the coming of Christ had not afterwards lifted him up by virtue of His grace, who through the purification of a new regeneration washed away in the bath of His baptism every past sin.” (Denz. 130)
The Catalog or the Authoritative Statements of the Past Bishops of the Holy See Concerning the Grace of God, under Pope St. Celestine: The same teacher [Pope Innocent] in the epistle to the council of Mileum * proclaims that no one uses his free will well, except through Christ, asserting: * “Note finally, O perverse doctrine of most distorted minds, that liberty itself so deceived the first man, that, while he used his bridle too indulgently, he fell into transgression by presumption. Nor would he have been able to be rescued from this, had not the coming of Christ the Lord reestablished for him the state of pristine liberty by the providence of regeneration.” (Denz. 133)
According to the Catholic Church, man cannot be rescued from the state of Adam except “through the purification of a new regeneration” (per novae regenerationis purificationem) and “by the providence of regeneration” (providentia regenerationis).
Titus 3:5- “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
That’s also why 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Everyone who enters Christ, and leaves the state of sin, receives the new birth.
Council of Trent, Sess. 6, Chap. 3: “But though He died for all, yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His passion is communicated; because as truly as men would not be born unjust, if they were not born through propagation of the seed of Adam, since by that propagation they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own, SO UNLESS THEY WERE BORN AGAIN IN CHRIST THEY WOULD NEVER BE JUSTIFIED, since by that new birth through the merit of His passion the grace by which they become just is bestowed upon them.”
Council of Trent, Sess. 5, Original Sin, # 5: “If any one denies, that, by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only erased, or not imputed; let him be anathema. FOR, IN THOSE WHO ARE BORN AGAIN, there is nothing that God hates; because, there is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, guiltless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; in such a manner that absolutely nothing may delay them from entry into heaven.”
However, according to the false doctrine of ‘baptism of desire,’ men are rescued from the state of Adam without regeneration. Those who obstinately adhere to it and promote it in the face of such facts contradict the Church and the Gospel. When a theological view is the product of the opinions and speculations of men, as ‘baptism of desire’ is, it will have flaws and inconsistencies, including at its very core. That’s why ‘baptism of desire’ has such a gaping hole in its explanation, as this video proves.
(These materials contain much more on these matters, and more will probably be added in the future).
“Baptism of Desire” Buried (video)
The fact that no man can be justified or saved without regeneration is also discussed here: