Monday, March 15, 2010

Most Holy Family Monastery are wrong even when they are right

The Dimonds have made some serious gaffes in their attempt to defend the dogma of the absolute necessity of receiving the sacrament of Holy Baptism in water for salvation. They are right to uphold this dogma, though they deny others, but they commit some faults that really do away with their credibility.

It's hard to say which one is worse, but they both are cracks in the foundation of their otherwise correct stance on baptism of desire.


Dimonds' Error Number 1:

First of all, they promote the Dogmatic Letter to Flavian of Pope St. Leo the Great, which was promulgated for the whole Church at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, as having taught that the sacrament in water is absolutely necessary for salvation. But this is wrong, and causes a great deal of confusion when people start asking "well what about all the Fathers and popes who expressed opinions to the contrary between that time and now?"


Truly, the Dimonds have no other choice but to say that if Pope St. Leo taught against BoD in his decree then all those Fathers and popes were in at least material heresy, since they believed something contrary to a dogmatic teaching of the Church, and a famous one at that.

Here is the section that they believe taught against baptism of desire and baptism of blood:

Pope St. Leo the Great, Dogmatic Letter to Flavian, Council of Chalcedon, (as quoted by Peter Dimond): "Let him heed what the blessed apostle Peter preaches, that sanctification by the Spirit is effected by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood (1 Pet. 1:2)… It is He, Jesus Christ, who has come through water and blood, not in water only, but in water and blood. And because the Spirit is truth, it is the Spirit who testifies. For there are three who give testimony – Spirit and water and blood. And the three are one. (1 Jn. 5:4-8) IN OTHER WORDS, THE SPIRIT OF SANCTIFICATION AND THE BLOOD OF REDEMPTION AND THE WATER OF BAPTISM. THESE THREE ARE ONE AND REMAIN INDIVISIBLE. NONE OF THEM IS SEPARABLE FROM ITS LINK WITH THE OTHERS"

Here is the erroneous interpretation of the Dimonds: "Pope St. Leo defines that in Sanctification, the Spirit of Sanctification and the Blood of Redemption cannot be separated from the water of baptism! You must be baptized with water to receive the Spirit of Sanctification and the blood of Redemption, according to this dogma. There can be no Justification by the Spirit and the Blood without the water! This excludes the very concept of baptism of desire and baptism blood, which is that sanctification by the Spirit and the Blood without water is possible."

On the surface then, one might be inclined to believe them. But let's look at the full quotation in question and see how the Dimonds have misread it:

Pope St. Leo the Great, Dogmatic Letter to Flavian (Council of Chalcedon): "Let him heed what the blessed apostle Peter preaches, that sanctification by the Spirit is effected by the sprinkling of Christ's blood; and let him not skip over the same apostle's words, knowing that you have been redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your fathers, not with corruptible gold and silver but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without stain or spot. Nor should he withstand the testimony of blessed John the apostle: and the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, purifies us from every sin; and again, This is the victory which conquers the world, our faith. Who is there who conquers the world save one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God ? It is he, Jesus Christ who has come through water and blood, not in water only, but in water and blood. And because the Spirit is truth, it is the Spirit who testifies. For there are three who give testimony—Spirit and water and blood. And the three are one. In other words, the Spirit of sanctification and the blood of redemption and the water of baptism. These three are one and remain indivisible. None of them is separable from its link with the others. The reason is that it is by this faith that the catholic church lives and grows, by believing that neither the humanity is without true divinity nor the divinity without true humanity."

This teaching from Chalcedon was treating of the Divine and human natures in the hypostatic union. Just as Jesus Christ on the Cross yielded up His human soul and it separated physically from His human body, it has to be said that His Divine Personhood was the link between His soul and body, which although separated (that is the soul from the body and only temporarily) were still connected by the unity of the same Person of the Word.

Pope St. Leo, in promulgating this decree, defended the doctrine of Christ's true humanity and true Divinity, united in one Person. But in mentioning the waters of baptism, did he eliminate the possibility of baptism of desire, as the Dimonds think?

No. And here is why: The Dimonds say that baptism of desire necessarily has no water. Well the problem for them is that it says that "none of them is separable from it's LINK with the others". What kind of link? Physical, whereby one must physically receive water? Let's see what the consequences of that line of thinking are:

Pope St. Leo: "Let him heed what the blessed apostle Peter preaches, that sanctification by the Spirit is effected by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood..."

Alright, so if they are PHYSICALLY linked, then a person must needs receive ACTUAL PHYSICAL BLOOD sprinkled upon him at Baptism! Is this what the Church has been doing? Obviously not. So we cannot say that the spirit and the water and the blood are being described by the pope as PHYSICALLY linked.

How about spiritually? Remember that "God is a spirit," (St. John 4:24) and it is His Divinity that was the link between Christ's soul and body after His death. In other words, His body and soul were spiritually linked even though separated, as Pope St. Leo undeniably taught.

How is it then that an early Church Father who believed in baptism of desire may have escaped the charge of heresy if he had been confronted with the dogmatic letter to Flavian? Simple. He could very simply have said: "I do not say there is no water, but that the water is spiritual and is received spiritually, even as the blood is."

Furthermore, the statement "these three are one" can also be understood to mean "these three AGREE in one testimony".

Pope St. Leo the Great did not dogmatically eliminate the possibility of baptism of desire. It was not until the Council of Vienne in AD 1311-1312 that this took place, with the following decree:

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312, ex cathedra: "All are faithfully to profess that there is one baptism which regenerates all those baptized in Christ, just as there is one God and one faith'. We believe that when baptism is administered in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit, it is a perfect means of salvation for both adults and children."

There is one baptism and it regenerates ALL those who are baptized in Christ. This baptism is the SACRAMENTAL BAPTISM, which, if it regenerates one person, it regenerates them ALL as it was defined. And this sacramental baptism is administered with physical water. Therefore ALL those baptized in Christ are baptized in physical water.

It is VERY important to note that St. Thomas Aquinas could not possibly have ever seen this decree. Why? He died about 37 or 38 years before it existed. St. Thomas, who taught baptism of desire - NOT HERETICAL (even materially), but merely erroneous (like Pope John XXII was when he taught his erroneous doctrine concerning the Beatific Vision).


Dimonds' Error Number 2:

The "or" means "and" error. The Dimonds are incorrect in saying that Trent, Session 6, Chapter 4's "or" (aut, a disjunction) also means "and" (a conjunction). Their assertion is just like saying that "without" and "except through" mean the same thing (please review this article).

The summation is as follows: If, in the decree mentioned, the "or" were to also mean "and", then the decree DOES allow for baptism of desire. Therefore the Dimonds have made illogical fools of themselves, as anyone familiar with boolean logic will readily see.

How does that work? Simple. The decree from Trent specifies (as the Dimonds will have to admit) not the conditions under which justification may take place, but rather the conditions under which it CANNOT BE EFFECTED, or has NO POWER (non potest).

The decree says: "this translation to the state of justification cannot be effected (non potest) without the laver of regeneration or the desire thereof"

Quite simply this means that the conditions necessary for justification to be impossible are the LACK of either the laver, OR (aut) the desire for it, i.e the proper dispositions necessary before baptism can be profitably received unto salvation, as the subsequent chapters in Trent, Session 6 make abundantly clear.

But if the decree were to say "this translation to the state of justification cannot be effected (non potest) without the laver of regeneration AND the desire thereof", then all of a sudden we are looking at a completely DIFFERENT DECREE, which states that justification is IMPOSSIBLE ONLY WHEN BOTH ARE MISSING.

Now we know that if both are missing justification is impossible, so that much is correct. BUT the Dimonds seem to have overlooked their error in logic, because from the above statement using "and" it does not logically follow that BOTH MUST BE PRESENT for justification to be effected.

For example, if I wanted to be baptized, but I never got baptized, am I without the laver of regeneration AND the desire for it? NO! I am only without the laver, so if "or" really means "and" as the Dimonds illogically state, then I can indeed be justified, since the conditions for non potest, namely being without BOTH the laver AND the desire, have not been met.

So OR means OR and AND means AND, but OR does not mean AND and OR, because that completely throws out the rules of basic logic, which have specific equations that deal very differently and distinctly with disjunctions (or) and conjunctions (and).

For example, if a computer programmer wrote a program that said:

justification(int, int)
    {
    if not(laver and desire)
    return no justification;
    else
    return justification;
    }

...he would quickly find that his program would allow justification in three cases:
1) with both (which is correct)
2) with only laver (obviously false, since nobody is ever justified against his will, even if given baptism forcibly)
3) with only desire (also false)

...because the condition in the if statement would only be met when both laver and desire are false.  But when OR means OR, both are needed because the condition is met if either the one OR the other is false.

So will the Dimonds please either quit refuting their own positions with self contradictory apologetics and stop teaching their heresies and abjure from them, OR at least go into retirement, seclusion and dwindle away into obscurity?

I will pray for the former.

Update:  I have taken the liberty of writing a (very simple, even quick and dirty) "Trent Session 6, Chapter 4" computer program to demonstrate the logic explained above.  There are two programs, one using OR, which is correct, and one using the false logic of the Dimonds, using AND.  You may download them here:

Program with OR
Program with AND

Source Code in C



// this one uses the correct "OR"
#include
#include


int main()
{
    int iLaver, iDesire, iJustification, iQuit = 0;
    while (iQuit == 0)
{
    system("cls");
    printf("Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter 4: \"[T]his translation, since the promul-");
    printf("\ngation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration,");
    printf("\nor the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water");
    printf("\nand the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.\"");


    printf("\n\n\nThe logical statement above is reducible to the following:");
    printf("\n\tIf not(laver or regeneration), no justification");
    printf("\nNote: this chapter of Trent refers to those with use of reason, and not infants.\n");
    printf("\n\nEnter parameters to see the logical outcomes of various scenarios\n");
    printf("Does the subject desire baptism? Enter 1 for yes, 0 for no. ");
    scanf("%d", &iDesire);


    printf("Does the subject actually receive baptism? Enter 1 for yes, 0 for no. ");
    scanf("%d", &iLaver);


    printf("\n\nThank you.  Here are the results.  According to the logical stament dog-");
    printf("\nmatically defined at the Council of Trent and your parameters, this soul's laver");
    printf("value was %d, and desire value was %d, and thus this soul has ", iLaver, iDesire);




    if (!iLaver || !iDesire)        //this is the if statement that makes or breaks the justification of a soul.
    printf("NOT been justified.");
    else printf("been justified.");


    printf("\n\nQuit or enter new paramters?\n(Enter 1 to quit, or 0 to begin again) ");
    scanf("%d", &iQuit);
}


    return 0;
}








//this one uses the incorrect "AND", which the Dimonds illogically propose



#include
#include


int main()
{
    int iLaver, iDesire, iJustification, iQuit = 0;
    while (iQuit == 0)
{
    system("cls");
    printf("Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter 4: \"[T]his translation, since the promul-");
    printf("\ngation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration,");
    printf("\nAND the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water");
    printf("\nand the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.\"");


    printf("\n\n\nThe logical statement above is reducible to the following:");
    printf("\n\tIf not(laver AND regeneration), no justification");
    printf("\nNote: this chapter of Trent refers to those with use of reason, and not infants.\n");
    printf("\n\nEnter parameters to see the logical outcomes of various scenarios,");
    printf("\nremembering that this program deliberately uses the incorrect \"AND\"");
    printf("\n\"translation\" of the Latin word \"sine\", which is acceptable to the Dimonds,");
    printf("\nbut will be shown to be illogical and self refuting.");
    printf("\n\nDoes the subject desire baptism? Enter 1 for yes, 0 for no. ");
    scanf("%d", &iDesire);


    printf("Does the subject actually receive baptism? Enter 1 for yes, 0 for no. ");
    scanf("%d", &iLaver);


    printf("\n\nThank you.  Here are the results.  This soul's laver value was %d, and desire", iLaver);
    printf("\nvalue was %d. According to the Dimonds' \"logic\", this soul has", iDesire);


    if (!iLaver && !iDesire)        //this is the if statement that makes or breaks the justification of a soul.  Notice it now says && (AND) instead of || (OR).
    printf("n't been justified.");
    else printf(" been justified.");


    printf("\n\nQuit or enter new paramters?\n(Enter 1 to quit, or 0 to begin again) ");
    scanf("%d", &iQuit);
}


    return 0;
}







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