Angels carried Jesus’s house from Nazareth to Europe!?!?

I touched on “relics” and how much they’re venerated within Catholicism a few articles ago and I’d like to share some additional thoughts.

As early Christianity became increasingly institutionalized and began to adopt many of the concepts of paganism, there was a frenzied race to acquire items mentioned in the Bible or the alleged personal effects of Jesus and his family. Centuries before scientific authentication, churches vied against each other for the most valuable “relics.” Making their appearance, sometimes at multiple sites, were pieces of the “true cross,” the crown of thorns, the water pots of Cana, the crib of Jesus, the baby clothes of Jesus, Jesus’s foreskin, Joseph’s carpenter tools, the cup used at the Last Supper, the empty purse of Judas, Pilate’s basin, nails from the cross, Mary’s breast milk, etc., etc. The focus of Catholicism has always been on the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

Perhaps the most audacious claim for a relic (besides Jesus’s foreskin) is the Holy House of Nazareth located in the Basilica at Loreto, Italy (see photos). Catholic tradition claims Mary grew up in this small 13′ by 31′ house and Jesus was raised in it also. According to Catholic apologists angels carried the house from Palestine to Croatia in 1291. Not content with that site they moved the house to Recanti, Italy and finally to Loreto in 1295.

Lest anyone think the grizzled Catholic hierarchy just winks at these ridiculous medieval relics both “Saint” Pope John XXIII and Pope Benedict XVI visited the house signifying their stamp of approval.

Catholic friends, having faith in Jesus as personal Savior is the thing, NOT collecting and venerating bogus religious relics!

gohistoric_16709_z     e4767d09820addbabc34bf9c48ec54a7

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Churches empty as “cafeteria” Catholics growing

The celebration of the “eucharist” is one of the most important rituals of Catholicism. The church teaches that at the mass its ordained priests transform bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. The priest then offers up the consecrated “host” as a sacrifice to God on behalf of the attendees and any others who are specified. Catholics are taught that Bishop-asks-Toledo-St-Joseph-s-to-ponder-move-to-St-Francisphysically ingesting the supposedly literal “body and blood” of Jesus cleanses away “venial” sins from their soul and helps them avoid committing “mortal” sins in the future (Catholic Catechism, 1995, paragraphs 1394 and 1395). But the Bible teaches sacrifice for sin ended with Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, not upon Catholic altars as a broken victim (Hebrews 10:12).

For Catholics, weekly mass is not a choice. Failure to attend even a single Sunday mass or designated “holy day of obligation” results in “mortal” sin. However, a recent study done in preparation for the pope’s upcoming visit to the U.S. reveals only 24% of Catholic adults attend mass every Sunday. The same study shows only 66% of Catholic parents believe having their child receive first communion is important and only 61% believe it is important to them to have their child confirmed.

http://cara.georgetown.edu/staff/webpages/CatholicFamilyResearch.pdf

Previous studies have shown only 12% of Catholics go to confession once a year, another obligatory sacrament, meaning the other whopping 88% of Catholics are content to casually merit another “mortal” sin.

Things sure have changed. Back in 1965, 55% of Catholic adults attended mass every Sunday. But who can blame Catholics for sleeping in Sunday mornings and avoiding the liturgical *hocus pocus when their pope Francis says even atheists will go the Heaven if they are “good”?

http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=51077

In contrast the Bible says there are none who are “good” enough to earn their way to Heaven but that Jesus will redeem all those who accept Him as their Savior.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24.

Thank the Lord for the GOSPEL of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29.

* hocus pocus was derived from “Hoc est corpus meum,” meaning, “This is my body,” the words used by the priest in the old Latin rite to supposedly transform the communion wafer into the body of Christ.

Religion or Jesus?

Nick was a devout Catholic. He was baptized into the church as an infant and attended Catholic grammar school where he listened attentively to the nuns and priests. In first grade he made his first confession and received his first communion. When he was in fifth grade he was confirmed. Nick grew up to be a very religious man. When he was twenty-years-old he resolved that he would attend mass daily and receive communion. He also resolved to go to confessioold-man-walking-146189n every Saturday and ask forgiveness for his “mortal” and even his “venial” sins. Nick was very proud of the fact that he kept up this religious routine for sixty years. A few days after his 80th birthday Nick was on his way to morning mass when he happened to notice a very attractive young woman walking ahead of him who was dressed in a rather revealing outfit. For just a few short moments he lusted heartily after the woman and didn’t notice the approaching car as he crossed the street. Nick, a devout Catholic for his entire long life, was hit by the car and died with the “mortal” sin of adultery on his soul (Matthew 5:28). He would have to spend eternity in Hell according to the Catholic theology because he did not die in a “state of grace.” Catholics are taught they must constantly sustain themselves in a “state of grace” through participating in the sacraments and through good works and “avoiding” sin. Most Catholics, if they’re honest, will acknowledge they haven’t been entirely “good” so they’re hoping they get the chance to wipe the slate clean by receiving the sacrament of Last Rites/Extreme Unction immediately before they die.

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Now let’s take a look at Bill. Bill was also raised as a Catholic. He was baptized as an infant and was introduced to the sacraments of reconciliation and the eucharist just like Nick and attended mass regularly growing up. But when Bill was twenty he felt like there had to be more to it than the ritual and constant striving so he bought himself a Bible and began reading the New Testament. He began to understand that he wasn’t a sinner because he sinned like the Catholic church had taught him, but he came to realize that he sinned because he was a sinner. Huge difference!

The message of the Bible was different than what Bill had learned in the Catholic church. The priests and nuns had taught him that by obeying the Ten Commandments and the rules of the Catholic church he would be justified before God. But the Bible said there are none who are “good.” There is no one who can possibly obey the Ten Commandments in thought, word, and deed, except for One.

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12 

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20 

Bill had heard about Jesus for many years but for the first time he really began to comprehend that God sent a Rescuer, a Savior, Jesus Christ, into the world to be the atoning sacrifice for his sins. Although Catholics call Jesus “Savior” they don’t think that they actually need to be saved.

“I have not come to call the (self) righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 

“For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:2-4 

For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 trail_of_the_tithe_2

Bill understood that becoming a Christian wasn’t a matter of baptism, church membership, receiving the sacraments, or being “good.” Rather, becoming a Christian meant acknowledging one’s sinfulness before God and accepting His Son as Savior. Bill humbly prayed to God and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was spiritually reborn for the first time. He realized that “good” works weren’t the means to salvation, they were the fruit of his relationship with Christ.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10.

Bill walked with the Lord for many years and when he died he joined his Lord and the other saints in Heaven, not because of his religion or “good” works but only because of the imputed righteousness of his Savior, Jesus Christ.

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” – Philippians 3:9

Relics?

Every Catholic church has a sacrificial altar and a sacrificing priest. The Bible says sacrifice for sin ended with Christ’s death on the cross but Catholics offer up sacrifice for sins at their masses hundreds of thousands of times each day throughout the world.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” – Hebrews 10:11-12

But do Catholics know that every Catholic church altar contains the relic of a “saint”? So what’s a relic? The Baltimore Catechism says a relic is “the body, or part of the body, of a saint which the Church venerates because of the sanctity of the person while on earth.” Like all “sacramentals” relics are suppose to prepare the faithful to receive sacramental grace and then dispose them to cooperate with that grace so they can merit their way to Heaven.

There are actually three official classes of Catholic relics:

First class – the body or a portion of the body of a saint (bone, flesh, or hair). You’ll only find these in Catholic churches. (See accompanying photo: The hair of “Saint” Claire)relic_stclair

Second class – an item or piece of an item used by a saint (clothing, vestments, personal item). These also can only be found exclusively in the hands of the church.

Third class – an item that touched a first or second class relic or the “shrine” of a saint. The church has done BIG business over the centuries selling these items to the faithful (rosaries, cloths, medals, etc.).

Do Catholics ever stop and wonder whether God approves of their veneration of physical objects? Many Catholics view their third class relics as good luck charms that bring blessings and ward off evil and the church does little to discourage this kind of pagan, anti-Scriptural superstition.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24

Books, books, and more books

Over the past year I’ve been able to compile the long list of books below which compare Roman Catholicism with God’s Word and Evangelical Christianity. Books marked with “AMZ” are available booksdirectly from Amazon.com. Those marked with “TP” are available from Amazon third-party sellers. Except for a couple of important titles I’ve generally stayed away from books written prior to 1900 and from Jesuit-world-conspiracy/Jack Chick types of publications. If I had to recommend only one book for interested Catholics it would be “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy which is easily available from Amazon.

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Aldama, Manuel Garrido. From Roman Priest to Radio Evangelist (1946). TP

Alley, H. R. Thinking of Rome? Think Twice (1958). TP

Allison, Gregg R. Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment (2014). AMZ

Anderson, S. E. Is Rome the True Church? (1960). TP

Ankerberg, John. Fast Facts on Roman Catholicism (2009). AMZ

Ankerberg, John. Protestants and Catholics: Do They Now Agree? (2012). TP

Ankerberg, John. The Facts on Roman Catholicism (2009). AMZ

Armstrong, John H. A View of Rome: A Guide to Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Roman Catholics (1995). TP

Armstrong, John H. Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Unites and Divides Us (1998). TP

Armstrong, John H. The Catholic Mystery: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Modern Catholicism (1999). TP

Arnold, Terry. To Catholics Whom I Love (2006). TP

Ashe, Geoffrey. The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess (2008). AMZ

Baker, Todd D. Exodus from Rome Vol. 1: A Biblical and Historical Critique of Roman Catholicism (2014). AMZ

Ball, Larry. Escape From Paganism: How a Roman Catholic Can Be Saved (2008). AMZ

Banuk, Ron. Mary: Past, Present, and Future (1999). TP

Bennett, Richard. Catholicism: East of Eden (2010). AMZ

Bennett, Richard. Far From Rome, Near to God (2009). AMZ

Bennett, Richard. The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories (1997). TP

Bennett, Richard. On the Wings of Grace Alone (2015). AMZ

Berkouwer, G. C. Recent Developments in Roman Catholic Thought (1958). TP

Berkouwer, G. C. The Conflict with Rome (1958). TP

Berry, Harold J. Roman Catholicism: What is Final Authority? (1970). TP

Boettner, Loraine. Roman Catholicism (various editions). TP

Boettner, Loraine. The Mass (1970). TP

Borders, Ben. Converting the Catholic (1957). TP

Borleis, Harry. The Pope Speaks (1956). TP

Bourdery, Edward. The Origin of the Mass (1953). TP

Brewer, Bartholomew F. Pilgrimage from Rome (1982). TP

Brooks, Keith L. Roman Catholic Doctrine Examined in the Light of Scriptures Only (1968). TP

Burckhardt, Paul E. A Protestant Tells Why: An Appraisal of Catholic Protestant Differences (1966). TP

Burke, William E. Witnessing to Roman Catholics (1968). TP

Carder, James L. Methods of Witnessing to Roman Catholics (1944). TP

Carrara, John. Catholicism under the Searchlight of the Scriptures (1951). TP

Carrara, John. Should Protestants and Roman Catholics Intermarry? (1967). TP

Carson, Herbert. Dawn or Twilight: A Study of Contemporary Roman Catholicism (1976). TP

Carson, Herbert. The Faith of the Vatican: A Fresh Look at Roman Catholicism (1996). AMZ

Castaldo, Christopher A. Holy Ground: Walking With Jesus as a Former Catholic (2009). AMZ

Castaldo, Christopher A. Talking with Catholics about the Gospel: A Guide for Evangelicals (available in March, 2015). AMZ

Clarke, C. Leopold. The Christian Church and the See of Rome (1932). TP

Cloud, David W. Billy Graham and Rome (2006). AMZ

Cloud, David W. Evangelicals and Rome: The Ecumenical One World “Church” (1999). TP

Cloud, David W. Is the Roman Catholic Church Changing? (2013). Available at wayoflife.org

Cloud, David W. Rome and the Bible (1997). TP

Cloud, David W. Was Mother Teresa a True Christian? (2012). Available at wayoflife.org

Coffey, Tony. Answers to Questions Catholics Are Asking (2006). AMZ

Coffey, Tony. Once a Catholic (1993). TP

Colacci, Mario. Christian Marriage Today: A Comparison of Roman Catholic and Protestant Views (1965). TP

Colacci, Mario. The Doctrinal Conflict between Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity (1963). TP

Collins, Mary Ann. Another Side of Catholicism: Insights from a Former Catholic Nun (2004). AMZ

Collins, Mary Ann. Catholic Concerns: Where Does the Road to Rome Lead? (2008). AMZ

Collins, Mary Ann. Freedom from Catholicism (2002). TP

Collins, Mary Ann. Is Catholicism Biblical? A Former Nun Looks at the Evidence (2010). AMZ

Collins, Mary Ann. Searching for Truth: An Autobiography about My Spiritual History (2010). AMZ

Collins, Mary Ann. The Catholic Undertow: A Manual for Former Catholics (2004). TP

Collins, Mary Ann. Unmasking Catholicism: What Hides Behind the Modern Public Image? (2004). AMZ

Conroy, Helen. Forgotten Women in Convents (1960). TP

Cooke, Ronald. The Onslaught against Bible Protestantism: Studies on Romanism (1985). TP

Coulton, George Gordon. Romanism and Truth (1930). TP

Cowan, Steven B. The Reformation Was Not a Mistake! The Areopagus Journal of the Apologetics Resource Center. Vol 4, No. 3 (2012). AMZ

Cowell, Harriet Hamilton. Why a Preacher and Not a Priest: The Story of Evangelist John Carrara (1937). TP

Crouch, Marlene C. Whose Voice Are You Listening To? (2010) AMZ

De Courcy, Philip. Standing Room Only: A Contemporary Expose of the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Agreement (1997). TP

De Semlyen, Michael. All Roads Lead to Rome: The Ecumenical Movement (1993). TP

Dearden, Henry Woodhouse. Modern Romanism Examined (1927). TP

Denbow, Walter H. Ought I to Join the Church of Rome? (1950). TP

Denbow. Walter H. Ought I to Send My Child to a Convent School? (1969). TP

di Domenica, Angelo. A Protestant Primer on Roman Catholicism (1949). TP

Doeswyck, Peter J. Ecumenicalism and Romanism (1961). TP

Doeswyck, Peter J. Ex-Priest Answers Attack by Roman Clergy (1956). TP

Doeswyck, Peter J. Roman Customs and Practices: Their Origin and Development (1963). TP

Dreyer, F. C. H. Roman Catholicism in the Light of Scripture (1960). TP

Eberhardt, Frank A. Roman Catholic Evangelism. Available at goitrc.org.

Eberhardt, Frank A. The Catholicism Explained New Testament. Available at goitrc.org.

Eberhardt, Frank A. I Wanted to Serve God as a Priest (1960). TP

Evans, Charles G. B. Why I Question the Roman Catholic Faith (2013). AMZ

Ewin, Wilson. The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham into the Roman Catholic Church (1992). TP

Ewin, Wilson. You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ (1974). TP

Ewin, Wilson. Under the New World Order: Evangelicals, Catholics, and Israel: Conspiracy of the Ages (1996). TP

Fernandez, J. A. Advance of Romanism in the United States (1956). TP

Fernandez, J. A. What’s the Difference?: The Basic Difference Between Romanism and Protestantism (1952).

Fiedler, Maureen, ed. Rome Has Spoken: A Guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through the Centuries (1998). TP

Filicchia, Ralph. From Catholicism to Christ (1991). TP

Foxe, John. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs (various). AMZ

Fuqua, E. C. Romanism Inspected (1945). TP

Galea, Ray. Nothing in My Hand I Bring: A Catholic’s Journey to Christ (2012). AMZ

Gardner, James. Romanism at Variance with the Bible (1930). TP

Garland, Rick. Unholy Devotion: Rome’s Marian Errors (2014). AMZ

Garver. Stuart P. Watch Your Teaching!: A Comparative Study of Roman Catholic and Protestant Teaching since Vatican Council II (1973). TP

Gary, A. J. What Every Catholic Should Know (2014). AMZ

Gauss, James F. The Catholic Church: Why I Left It (2012). AMZ

Gendron, Mike. Preparing for Eternity (2002). AMZ

Gerstner, John H. A Primer on Roman Catholicism (2003). TP

Gerstner, John H. The Gospel According to Rome (1960). TP

Gilbert, Mark. The Road Once Travelled: Fresh Thoughts on Catholicism (2012). AMZ

Guinness, H. Grattan. Romanism and the Reformation (various).  AMZ

Gustafson, David. Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate (2003). TP

Hampel, Harry. My Deliverance from the Heresies of Rome (1955). TP

Hendrie, Edward. Solving the Mystery of Babylon the Great (2011). AMZ

Hislop, Alexander. The Two Babylons (various). AMZ

Horton, Michael S. Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity (2012). AMZ

Houghton, Sidney M. The Advance of Romanism (1964). TP

Howard, V. E. Roman Catholicism vs. Freedom (1954). TP

Howard-Munro, Lynda. A Rebuttal to Catholic Apologetics (2013). AMZ

Hoyer, Theodore. Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic (1953). TP

Hudson, Henry T. Papal Power: Its Origins and Development (1993). TP

Hunkey, John. How I Became a Non-Catholic (1911). TP

Hunt, Dave. A Woman Rides the Beast (1994). AMZ

Hunter, J. H. The Great Deception (1945). TP

Hurley, Michael. John Wesley’s Letter to a Roman Catholic (1968). TP

Ironside, Henry A. Letters to a Roman Catholic Priest (1989). TP

Ironside, Henry A. The Mass versus the Lord’s Supper (1926). TP

Jackson, Bill. Roman Catholicism and the New Testament: A Study of Roman Catholicism in Light of New Testament Scriptures (1980) TP

Jackson, Bill. The Noble Army of Heretics (1989). TP

Jackson. Bill. A Christian’s Guide to Roman Catholicism (1988). TP

Jay, Les. Catholics are NOT Christians (2007). AMZ

Johnson, Frederick A. Christ and Catholicism (1954). TP

Johnson, Ken. The Gnostic Origins of Roman Catholicism (2013). AMZ

Johnson, O. K. The Shift: Moving from Religion to Relationship (2012). AMZ

Juris, Paul. Blessed Mary (1978). TP

Juris, Paul. The Other Side of Purgatory (1981). TP

Kane, Liz. The Devil’s Greatest Counterfeit: The Roman Catholic Church (1961). TP

Kauffman, Timothy F. Graven Bread: The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary, and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar (1995). TP

Kauffman, Timothy F. Quite Contrary: A Biblical Reconsideration of the Apparitions of Mary (1998). TP

Kauffman, Timothy F., ed. Geese in Their Hoods: Selected Writings on Roman Catholicism by Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1997). TP

Kenny, Anthony. A Path from Rome (1986). TP

Lambert, O. C. Catholicism against Itself, Vols. 1 & 2 (various). TP

Leahy, Fred S. The Roman Antichrist or a Study in II Thessalonians 2:3-8 (1957). TP

Lehmann, L. H. Behind the Dictators: A Factual Analysis of the Relationship of Nazi-Fascism and Roman Catholicism (1942). TP

Lehmann, L. H. Ex-Priest and the Riddle of Religion (1932). AMZ

Lehmann, L. H. Ought I Become a Roman Catholic or Remain a Protestant? (1949). TP

Lehmann, L. H. Out of the Labyrinth (1942). TP

Lehmann, L. H. The Soul of a Priest (1933). TP

Lehmann, L. H. Father O’Connor, converted Catholic priest, founder of Christ’s Mission; story of his life and work (1939). TP

Litmer, Greg. Catholicism under the Microscope (2009). AMZ

Lott, Timothy G. Growing Up Catholic: The Pursuit of Truth from Tradition to Satisfaction (2010).  TP

Macaulay, J. C. The Bible and the Roman Church (1946). TP

Macaulay, J. C. The Heresies of Rome (1946). TP

Macek, Hazel. Biblical Views of Catholicism: A Christian Worker’s Guide (2012). TP

Martin, Walter. The Roman Catholic Church in History (1960). TP

Matthews, Paul. Basic Errors of Catholicism (1952). TP

McCarthy, James G. Conversations with Catholics (2002). AMZ

McCarthy, James G. Letters between a Catholic and an Evangelical (2003). AMZ

McCarthy, James G. Roman Catholicism: What You Need to Know (1995). AMZ

McCarthy, James G. Talking with Catholic Friends and Family (2005). TP

McCarthy, James G. The Gospel According to Rome (1995). AMZ

McCarthy, James G. What Every Catholic Should Ask (1999). TP

McCauley, J. D. Trevor. Current Trends in Roman Catholicism (1995). TP

McConell, W. Dunbar. The Menace of Rome: A Call and a Warning (1939). TP

McCormick, Joseph. Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic (1954). TP

McKim, Randolph H. Romanism in the Light of History (2009). AMZ

McKnight, John P. The Papacy: A New Appraisal (1952). TP

McLoughlin, Emmett. American Culture and Catholic Schools (1960). TP

McLoughlin, Emmett. Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church (1964). TP

McLoughlin, Emmett. Letters to an Ex-Priest (1965). TP

McLoughlin, Emmett. People’s Padre (1954). TP

Michaels, Ralph. Share the New Life with a Catholic (1975). TP

Mikhail, Labib. The Virgin Mary in the Light of the Word of God (2011). AMZ

Miller, Charles R. A Dominant Romanism: Its Religious and Political Significance (1959). TP

Miller, Elliot. The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary (1992). TP

Miller, John C. Witnessing to Roman Catholics (1978). TP

Mizzi, Joe. Test All Things: An Invitation to Examine Your Catholic Faith in the Light of Scripture (1999). TP

Montano, Walter M. Behind the Purple Curtain (1950). AMZ

Montano, Walter M. Mixed Marriage: Road to Unhappiness (1956). TP

Munro, W. Fraser. Roman Catholic Tradition and the Protestant Faith (1959). TP

Murrell, Adam. So You Want To Become A Roman Catholic?: 10 Letters You Must Read Before Leaving The Evangelical Faith (2013). TP

Myhill, Charlotte. Three Years a Nun (1974). TP

Noll, Richard. When Catholics Die: Eternal Life or Eternal Damnation? (1999). TP

O’Gorman, Walter Ernest Rupert. A Priest Speaks His Mind: Why He Returned to the Protestant Faith of His Fathers (1954). TP

O’Malley, Kathleen. Childhood Interrupted: Growing Up Under the Cruel Regime of the Sisters of Mercy (2006). AMZ

Oakland, Roger. Another Jesus: The Eucharist Christ and the New Evangelization (2007). AMZ

Padrosa, Luis. Why I Became a Protestant (1953). AMZ

Paisley, Ian. Billy Graham and the Church of Rome: A Startling Exposure (1970). TP

Park, Hendrick. The Roman Catholic Church: A Critical Appraisal (2008) AMZ

Pearson, B. H. My God Just Went By: The Story of the Birth of a Mission in the Heartland of Traditional Roman Catholic Power in Medellin, Columbia (1972). TP

Pearson. B. H. The Monk Who Lived Again (1954). TP

Pentecost, J. Dwight. Romanism in the Light of Scripture (2014). AMZ

Peterson, F. Paul. The Rise and Fall of the Roman Catholic Church (1959). TP

Pezzotta, Anthony. Truth Encounter: Catholicism and the Holy Scriptures (1996). TP

Phillips, Ernest. Rome’s Traffic in Nuns: Embracing the Subject of Conventual Dowries and Mortality (1958). TP

Pigott, Adrian. Freedom’s Foe, The Vatican (1956). TP

Pinedo, Moises. What the Bible Says about the Catholic Church (2008). TP

Poynter, J. W. The Church of Rome From Within (1932). TP

Reed, Kevin. Making Shipwreck of the Faith: Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Together (1995). TP

Reilly, Frances. Suffer the Little Children: The Harrowing True Story of a Girl’s Brutal Convent Upbringing (2010). AMZ

Reymond, Robert L. The Reformation’s Conflict with Rome: Why It Must Continue (2001). AMZ

Reynolds, Arthur G. What’s the Difference in Protestant and Roman Catholic Beliefs? (1954). TP

Rhodes, Ron. Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics (2000). AMZ

Rhodes, Ron. The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic (2002). AMZ

Rice, John R. Dear Catholic Friend (2000). TP

Rice, John R. Sermon from a Catholic Bible (1947). TP

Rivera, Mario. Why I Left Roman Catholicism (1960). TP

Robbins, John W. Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church  (2006). TP

Rone, Wendell Holmes. The Baptist Faith and Roman Catholicism (1952). TP

Ross, K. N. Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic (1953). TP

Rothacker, Edward T. Keys to Glory: A Catholic’s Search for God (2008). AMZ

Rowell, J. B. An Open Letter to Pope John. XXIII or XXIV? His Title Questioned. Serious Implications Stated (1959). TP

Rowell, J. B. Historical Research: Bible Baptism – The Roman Church and the Baptists (1960). TP

Rowell, J. B. How to Reach Roman Catholics for Christ (?). TP

Rowell, J. B. Our Protestant Heritage: No Priest But Christ! No Sacrifice But Calvary! No Confessional But the Throne of Grace (1957). TP

Rowell, J. B. Papal Infallibility: It’s Complete Collapse Before a Factual Investigation (1963). TP

Rowell, J. B. Romanism Exposed by Romanism (1965). TP

Rowell, J. B. The Assumption of Mary (1950). TP

Rowell, J. B. The Worship of Mary (1955). TP

Rowell, J. B. Why Millions Do NOT Call the Pope “Holy Father” (?). TP

Sanchez, Daniel R. Sharing the Good News with Our Roman Catholic Friends (2003). AMZ

Sanders, Albert J. Evangelical & Roman Catholic Beliefs Compared (1974). TP

Savas, Patricia Nolan. Gus: A Nun’s Story (1993). TP

Schofield, Joseph R. Escape from Purgatory (1994). TP

Schroeder, John. Heresies of Catholicism: The Apostate Church (2003). AMZ

Scott, C. Anderson. Romanism and the Gospel (1946). TP

Serge, Joe. Two Men from Malta: A Passionate Appeal to Roman Catholics (2007). AMZ

Shepherd, J. E. C. The Babington Plot: Jesuit Intrigue in Elizabethan England (1987). TP

Shields, T. T. The Papacy in the Light of Scripture (1955). TP

Slawin, S. C. Catholic to Christian: An Exploration of Catholicism and One Man’s Journey from Darkness into God’s Wonderful Light (2014). AMZ

Slomski, Peter. Roman Catholicism: The Testimony of History and Scripture (2006). TP

Smith, Casey. The Great Gulf between Catholicism and Christianity (2008). AMZ

Smith, Leopold D. E. The Papacy, Its History and Dogmas (1953). TP

Smith, Samuel. The Claims of Rome (1964). TP

Spence, O. Talmadge. Rome: Crusade or Crucible? (1989). TP

Springer, Harvey H. Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic (1947). TP

Sproul, R. C. Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism (2012). AMZ

Sproul, R. C. Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification (1999). AMZ

Standridge, William C. What’s Happening in the Roman Church (1975). TP

Standridge, William C. Born Again Catholics and the Mass (1980). TP

Stewart, Alexander. The World Menace of Catholic Action (1953). TP

Stilson, Max. How to Deal with Roman Catholics (1966). TP

Stuber, Stanley I. Primer on Roman Catholicism for Protestants: An Appraisal of the Basic Differences between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism (1953). TP

Subilia, Vittorio. The Problem of Catholicism (1964). TP

Sullivan, Wilma. Sister of Mercy (1997). TP

Sumerall, Lester F. Roman Catholicism Slays (1940). TP

Svendsen, Eric D. Evangelical Answers: A Critique of Current Roman Catholic Apologists (1999). AMZ

Svendsen, Eric D. Upon This Slippery Rock: Countering Roman Catholic Claims to Authority (2007). AMZ

Svendsen, Eric D. Who Is My Mother? The Role of the Mother of Jesus in the New Testament and in Roman Catholicism (2007). AMZ

Talaga, Michael. The God I Thought I Knew: My Experience Growing Up Catholic (1999). TP

Tanis, Edward J. What Rome Teaches: A Comparison of Some of the Teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with Holy Scripture (1954). TP

Testa, S. L. Is Romanism In the Bible? (1959). TP

Testa, S. L. The Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Mass (2010). AMZ

Testa, S. L. The Truth About Catholics, Protestants, and Jews (1967). TP

Tetlow, Jim. Messages from Heaven (2009). AMZ

Tetlow, Jim. Queen of All (2009). AMZ

Thompson, James J. Fleeing the Whore of Babylon (1986). TP

Thornwell, J. H. Sacramental Sorcery: The Invalidity of Roman Catholic Baptism (2006). TP

Trumper, Peter. The Mass: Should a Christian Attend It? (1980). TP

Urick, Steve. The Truth About Roman Catholicism: What Every Catholic Needs to Know (2014). AMZ

Vanhuysse, T. Gift of Grace: Roman Catholic Teaching in Light of the Bible (1993). TP

Viator. Catholicism Judged by the Bible (1959). TP

Vidal, Cesar. The Myth of Mary (1995). TP

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Vinet, Lucien. I Was a Priest (1949). TP

Walsh, Mary Ellen. The Wine of Roman Babylon (1945). TP

Warfield, Benjamin. Counterfeit Miracles (1972). AMZ

Webber, Muriel. Let’s Look at Lourdes and Fatima Too! (1968). TP

Webster, William. Roman Catholic Tradition: Claims and Contradiction (1999). AMZ

Webster, William. Salvation: The Bible and Roman Catholicism (1991). AMZ

Webster, William. Saving Faith: How Does Rome Define It? (1995). TP

Webster, William. The Church of Rome at the Bar of History (1997). AMZ

Webster, William. The Matthew 16 Controversy: Peter and the Rock (1996). AMZ

Wells, H. G. Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (1944). TP

Whately, E. Jane. Roman Claims and Bible Warrants (1930). TP

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White, James R. Mary: Another Redeemer? (1998). TP

White, James R. The Fatal Flaw (1990). TP

White, James R. The Roman Catholic Controversy (1996). AMZ

Wilder, John Bunyan. The Other Side of Rome (1959). TP

Wilder, John Bunyan. The Shadow of Rome (1960). TP

Williams, Walter Dakin. Nails of Protest. A Critical Comparison of Modern Protestant and Catholic Belief (1955). TP

Wood, Leland Foster. If I Marry a Roman Catholic (1952). TP

Woods, Henry M. Our Priceless Heritage: A Study of Christian Doctrine in Contrast with Romanism (various). TP

Wright, Charles H. H. Roman Catholicism (1931). TP

Zacchello, Joseph. Secrets of Romanism (various editions). TP

Zacchello, Joseph. The Ins and Outs of Romanism (1949). TP

Zins, Robert M. On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome (1998). TP

Zins, Robert M. Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2010). TP

Zodhiates, Spiros. The Song of the Virgin (1974). TP

Swooning Catherine

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) is one of Roman Catholicism’s most highly venerated saints. In 1970 she was proclaimed a “Doctor of the Church,” an honor bestowed upon only thirty-three individuals to date.St.-Catherine-of-Siena2

The Middle Ages saw a flourishing of monasticism and mysticism. The thinking was that acts of penitential self-denial and self-mortification equated to climbing a ladder to spiritual perfection. Severe fasting and self-imposed sleep deprivation often brought on swoons of beatific ecstasy and visions. The Bible says that if anyone claims to have been visited by Jesus prior to His second coming they are a liar (Matthew 24) but Catherine, a Dominican nun, claimed that Christ visited her often, eventually joining with her in a “mystical marriage” and that he presented her with a wedding ring consisting of his infant prepuce (circumcised foreskin) which only she could see. But how could Catherine have had Jesus’s foreskin when both the Charroux Abbey in France and the small church in the fortress village of Calcata in Italy claimed possession of the actual “Holy” Prepuce? If that wasn’t enough, in an extreme act of self-mortification Catherine drank the pus from a cancerous lesion of a patient in her care. She was also an anorexic who often forced herself to vomit the little food she ate.

In today’s society a person like Catherine would be correctly diagnosed as mentally ill but her church rewarded her extreme “piety” and devotion to the popes of her day by proclaiming her a “saint” in 1461.

Thank the Lord for salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things (like the pope, Mary, “saints,” and bogus prepuces) rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

Book Review: “On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics,” Solid Ground Christian Books, 2015

Ex-priest, Richard Bennett (bereanbeacon.org), presents another collection of testimonies from ex-Catholics who left their works-righteousness religion and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. In two previous books Bennett Wings-of-Grace-Alone-663x1024culled the testimonies of ex-priests (Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Catholic Priests) and ex-nuns (The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories) but On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics mostly presents the stories of laypeople.

Each contributor speaks of being born into a Catholic family and being indoctrinated into the Catholic religion of sacramental grace and merit. Catholicism is a religious treadmill of constantly striving to live in a “state of grace” by participating in the sacraments and adhering to church rules. In Catholicism, tradition is given much greater precedence over God’s Word. Few Catholics read the Bible. When they examined the Bible the contributors were surprised to find that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. They all accepted Christ and left their works-righteousness religion.

This is a valuable collection that will bless Catholics who are searching for Christ and for Christians who have already come out of Rome. The theology doesn’t get too deep but the contrast between Catholicism’s salvation by merit and Biblical salvation through Christ alone is the overriding message. A couple of the contributors were familiar to me. The late Jim Tetlow wrote a couple of books on Romanism (“Messages from Heaven” and “Queen of All”). Joe Mizzi’s website (justforcatholics.org) is devoted to reaching Catholics. A few of the testimonies get a bit lost in the weeds and could have used some editing. One argues too adamantly for the doctrine of predestination while a couple of others push the “KJV-only” viewpoint.

These days many Evangelical pastors and parachurch leaders are jostling in line to embrace the pope and works-righteousness Catholics as fellow Christians so it’s a blessing to see that there are still a few witnesses like Richard Bennett who distinguish between the Gospel of grace and the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit. As the Evangelical apostasy continues with pastors praising the pope and Catholic theologians from the pulpit those who take a stand against Rome will be increasingly marginalized. Bennett also wrote Catholicism: East of Eden, Insights into Catholicism for the 21st Century.

I was able to purchase a copy of “On the Wings of Grace Alone” directly from the publisher, Solid Ground Christian Books (solid-ground-books.com), at a very favorable new-book discount.

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“Saint” Mother Teresa?

Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu – Mother Teresa – died in 1997 but her extremely popular legacy continues. The Catholic nun is recognized for her work among the poor of India and elsewhere. Even Evangelical Christians cite Mother Teresa as an example of a modern-day “saint.” Southern Baptist, Rick Warren, “America’s Pastor,” wrote the introduction to Time Magazine’s 51Xi0O8eqhL._SX378_BO1,204,203,200_tribute to Teresa, “Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint.” At a get-together of some of the men from my former church several months ago one of the attendees used Mother Teresa as an example of a “great” Christian.

But Mother Teresa’s own words betray that she was a Universalist who trusted in merit rather than Jesus Christ for her salvation.

“There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls – 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers.”

“There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation.”

Asked what she said to terminally ill Hindu patients to prepare them for death and eternity, Mother Teresa replied, “We tell them to pray to their Bhagwan, to their gods.”

Yes, Mother Teresa devoted her life to “helping” the poor but she was also an ambassador of a heretical works-righteousness religious system that teaches all men, even atheists, will merit Heaven if they lead “good” lives.

Scapulars and the “Sabbatine Privilege”

Catholic tradition teaches that the “Blessed Virgin Mary” appeared to “Saint” Simon Stock, a friar of the Carmelite Order, in Cambridge, England in 1251 and “recommended” the Brown Scapular to him. Purportedly Mary promibrownscapularsed that “whoever dies clothed in this habit (scapular) shall not suffer the fires of Hell.” Supposedly Pope John XXII (1244-1334) ratified this promise with the apocryphal “Sabbatine Privilege.” Seeking to gain the advantages of the promise without having to wear the cumbersome Carmelite apron, supporters created a convenient “devotional” version consisting of two small pieces of brown cloth joined together by two bands and worn over the shoulders.

Multiple Popes have endorsed the scapular. Most recently Pope John Paul II stated, “The scapular is essentially a habit which evokes the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this life and in the passage to the fullness of eternal glory.” The Blessed Virgin Mary purportedly further endorsed the wearing of the scapular at her alleged appearances at Fatima, Portugal.

The scapular sacramental represents another example of Catholic superstition. Rather than repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, Catholics place their hope in objects and ritual. They think that wearing this pagan good luck charm will earn them a place in Heaven. I can remember scapulars being left around the house by my sisters as I was growing up although I never wore one. The nuns often passed them out at parochial school. However, there’s no doubt that the wearing of scapulars among Catholics has decreased in popularity since those times.

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Holy Water?

Catholic worship relies heavily on “sacramentals,” material objects or prayers that are believed to be “sacred signs” that prepare a person to receive sacramental grace and dispose that person to cooperate with that grace. 000TheMagicVineHolyWater2013.jpg.w180h240Examples would include crucifixes, medals, scapulars, rosaries, ashes, palms, images, statues, candles, stations of the cross, and novenas.

“Holy water” is another sacramental widely used in Catholic worship. Catholics believe water blessed by a priest wards off evil. Catholics dip their finger/s into the holy water font at church and bless themselves by making the sign of the cross by touching their forehead, lower chest, and both shoulders. Some Catholics even have holy water fonts in their homes.

There is no mention of sacramentals in the Bible. They have their roots in pagan superstition and were allowed to creep into the early church.