What does it mean to be "born again."

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In conversations with people the biblical passage refering to a man being "born again" is used to imply that that is the road to salvation. This being "born again" takes the form of public declaration of God as the saviour, "giving ones life to Jesus," etc.,etc. It seems that to these groups that unless it is a public conversion and acceptance you just aren't saved. As Catholics, what is our position on this bible passage and the whole concept of being"born again."

-- Joseph Szmania (JSzmania@aol.com), April 11, 1998


" Being Born Again" is a real catch phrase amoung some Christian denominations. For some it means the moment a person asks Jesus to be 'their personal Lord and Savior' in exactly those words no less! For Catholics it begins with our Baptism and continues throughout our faith journey in life. It is not one particular moment or statement. Think of being 'born again" as a constant striving to do God's Will, not ours.

-- Connie Ostlund (sorka@teleport.com), April 23, 1998.

hello, i would like to make the following contribution and stand to be corrected.

'born again' as is my understanding of the term, generally means when you have had a second chance at something. therefore, i would suggest that it would be a mature realization of Jesus Christ, son of God, as our Redeemer and Saviour, but the operative part of this answer would have to be the MATURE realization and thereby free and willing acceptance to a Divine Being.

-- andrew (gfiltdgib@gibnynex.gi), May 22, 1998.

The passage,John 3 verses 1-8 deals with being born again.As Catholics, we are born of the Spirit in Baptism and then confirmed later in life, and so we conform to Jesus' teaching. However there is the opportunity to be reborn/refreshed/refilled with the Holy Spirit at any stage in our lives-often resulting in an overwhelming emotional experience and realization of Jesus as Lord of our lives and a complete surrender to Him. It is this experience which often happens at a retreat/place of worship which most people refer to as being "born again". In 1 KIngs 19 verses 11-13 the Lord speaks to Elijah, not in the earthquake or the hurricane but in a gentle whisper-directly after having performed a spectacular show of power to thwart the priests of Baal. Being born again is sometimes spectacular and sometimes quiet, depending on our needs and the needs of those around us. Unfortunately ,it can also depend on peer pressure. My personal experience was an overflow of love and being loved as well as surrender and was an emotional experience. My wife, who did the same Life in the Spirit seminar and is also a Catholic Experienced very little. Today, both of us are still more aware of Christ's Lordship over us and of the need for continual surrender on a daily basis. Our different experiences at the time do not seem to obstruct God's plan for us in any way and neither of us feels more "saved" than the other. It is interesting to note that in John 3 , Jesus does NOT say "all who are born again WILL be saved" only that unless you are born again you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. To be born again does NOT mean you are saved, only that you have the opportunity to be saved. Nobody knows that they are saved until they are dead.To suggest otherwise is to beleive you cannot sin or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit once you have been born again. This is only my personal understanding and experience so do not take it as "Gospel Truth" but I hope it helps .

-- Andrew Mifsud (gfiltdgib@gibnynex.gi), May 22, 1998.

Well, this thread is a year old, but I'll put in my two denari. I'm a Protestant who was "born again" on a Catholic retreat I got dragged to. It actually happened to me, and "born again" is the best way to describe it; and it's stood the test of time -- 7 years. My life is completely different now from what it was then. When I went, I had no faith. Then, in an instant, EVERYTHING was different. I had Faith, Bang, just like that. A very humbling exper

-- Bill Smith (f8andbethere@rcn.com), May 13, 1999.

Dear Joseph, being born again refers to a natural event that may occur in human life with truly magical consequences. Natural, because it is something that happens within our mind, and is therefore an integral part of our whole being. Magical, because it changes everythin. A person that born again - after having died, isn't that understood? - will be a new person, very different from the one that had died before. What happens when we die and are born again? You see, we humans live in a reality that we call our world, but only very few of us seem to realize, that this world is a product of our mind. Our reality depends very much on our level of consciousness. Being borne again meens to pass on to the next higher level, or the highest, for that matter, of human consciousness. Therfore, in the process of the mind maturing for a higher consciousness, which is equivalent to a new reality, a new world, the old world collapses along with the former state of consciousness being superseded by the new one. This is what the Bibel means by stressing that nobody will enter the kingdom of god without first dieing and being borne again. I agree, that this may be difficult to grasp, unless we ourselves have gone through the experience of death and rebirth. Luis Gasser

-- luis gasser (l_gasser@hotmail.com), June 11, 1999.

Let us consider the beginning.

Imagine endless empty space that goes on into infinity non-existence no awareness EVIL.

If we consider the old saying life finds away. GOD came into being by his own will to be, the awareness. Born out of the non-existence the EVIL.

Imagine an awareness hovering in endless space or Darkness as HE would see it.

After a time his thoughts become collective and he begins to think. He is aware of himself and begins to wonder if there were another. After searching for countless billions of years, the loneliness consumes him into obsession with finding another. But there is no other but him. He splits into two separate entities (schizoid only for real) that are equal and opposite in nature. Light - that which creates (Life - the future). Darkness(SHE : Spirit that inhabits the Darkness- The past) - Destroys makes desolate. Each has the same goal to end the loneliness only they have diametrically opposite positions on how to go about it. Chaos vs. Order, Light vs. Darkness, Life vs. Death, Existence vs. non-existence or Good vs. Evil. GOD is the awareness of being before the Darkness. We stand between the Darkness and the Light. Our true purpose is to Be. For that is the will of GOD - to be because HE is. Ja'El they said. When GOD comes again if he comes into Darkness the Earth will be cleansed with the fire of GOD (His true form). If GOD comes into the Light he will make the Earth a new with the Tree and the River of Life. All things are possible if we believe. The power of the Holy Spirit is promised to us by Jesus Christ.

That is why no one has seen GOD because he became separate from himself. The two have to be united into their new form. They want to come and live us,their children and the Angles of Light and Darkness. We are the key to setting them Free from the loneliness forever. Revelation chap 17 Behold the Beast that was (EVIL or non-existence reined in the beginning there was no awareness) and is not (Evil- the tendency towards non-existence cannot exist in pure form) and yet is (If we lose our sense of awareness the EVIL will return and nothing will exist)

The River of Life is man's final salvation. The fruit of Tree of Life is for the Fallen Angles Consummation, Turn from Darkness back to the awareness of GOD. The Leaves are for the Healing of the Nations. The sword of Power blocks our way to it and blinds us from The one who was (The True GOD, the past) The one who is (Man the children of GOD, the present) The one who will be (Christ - the son of man, the future). We will become like the others and they will become like us. The evolution.

The way is through Awareness - GOD's will to be. Understanding is Knowing the Truth Understanding is Accepting the Truth The Truth leads to Understanding which leads to Awareness which strengthens our will to Be.

The Truth is put before us but, they do everything they can to keep us from Understanding it.

We have to show them that we are not children anymore. That we have learned to Understand the Truth. And the Truth shall set us all Free. They are counting on us and we can't let them down. But it is ultimately up to them to change - Free will.

Mystery? Who are you? Man who stands between the Darkness and the Light. What do you want? Freedom Why are you here? To bring order to chaos. Where are you going? The Future

The End of Time - The New Beginning

-- Darian Borne (shadows@vmbc.net), December 01, 2000.


If you wish to converse with Mr. Borne, please go to the thread he started (and to which I responded). It is called, "I'm looking for intelligent opinions not blind lashings Thank you." He posted the same message to start that thread. Please do not respond to him here.


-- (free@long.last), December 02, 2000.

Hi. I understand that born again means :

1. St. John 3v1-8 - Born of water and of the Spirit. Water being baptism by immersion in water and baptism of the Spirit evidenced by speaking in another tongue as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts2v4). Jesus used the analogy that the wind blows where it will but no man knoweth where the sound is from...so is they that are born of the Spirit...u hear the sound but u can't figure out where it's coming from... that is speaking in tongues.

We were told that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem (Baptism in His name and repentance in His name). This was evidenced in Acts 2v38, Acts 19v1-5.

In Romans 6v1-10 it says we must liken unto his burial in water baptism...in His death by repentance of sins and rise again by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

So i think born again is repenting of your sins (death), being baptised in his name (buried[immersion...we should be buried as he was]) and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking tongues (resurrection).

Joe. Joe.

-- Joe Crow (joecrow1978@hotmail.com), December 06, 2001.

Hello, Joe.
This is a Catholic conversation forum. If you are not Catholic, please say so when you reply.

I think that you must not be Catholic, because you have mentioned a couple of things that are not in agreement with our doctrine:
(1) Baptism in water may be, but need not be, by immersion.
(2) Being "born again" does not include "speaking in tongues" (a gift that a Christian is not required to possess).

God bless you.

-- (jfgecik@hotmail.com), December 06, 2001.

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