“I couldn’t get out fast enough, but if it works for you….” Huh?

From Purgatory to Heaven in a Heartbeat: Why a Good Catholic Girl Became aBRA Protestant

By Dorothy Brandt

Stonebridge Publications, 2014, 42 pages

The title of this small, self-published book naturally caught my eye a couple of years ago and it’s been on my Amazon wish list since then. I’m wary of purchasing anything from a self-published author but you never know where good information will turn up. My piekna zona was hospitalized recently so for something to read while visiting her I purchased the book via my Kindle for $0.99.

In this short account Ms. Brandt gives her testimony of being raised in the Catholic religion and trying to be a dutiful member, becoming a charismatic Catholic and accepting Jesus Christ as her Savior, and, finally, finding spiritual fulfillment in the Assemblies of God, Pentecostal denomination.

Ms. Brandt’s conflicted story is a very good example of how many in Evangelicalism view the Roman Catholic church. She acknowledges that Catholicism is a works-based religious system, which caused her great despair as a member because she “tried hard to be good but never could quite measure up.” After joining the charismatic movement, she dug into God’s Word and was convicted of her sin and her need to be saved by Christ. After accepting Christ, she discovered many discrepancies between God’s Word and the teachings of the Catholic church and decided she could no longer remain there.

So, on the one hand, Ms. Brandt seems to understand that no one can be saved by adhering to standard Roman legalism but then turns around and cuts the Catholic church an amazing amount of slack:

“This book is not meant as a put down to them (Brandt’s Catholic parents) or to any Catholic. This is simply a story of how I have come to believe a different way than the Catholic Church teaches. It does not mean that I am right and they are wrong. it just means that I have come to see things differently” (Kindle location 32).

“But they (Brandt’s Catholic family) seem happy as they are and continue to be weekly attenders of Mass. We don’t discuss our beliefs any longer, but I know they love God and are faithful to the light they have received. And because they acknowledge Jesus Christ as God’s Son and the world’s Savior, I know they have a place in heaven” (Kindle location 397).

From her own personal experience, Ms. Brandt understands the Catholic church formally acknowledges Jesus as “Savior” but, in practicality, mandates all of its members must merit THEIR OWN salvation by participating in their clergy-administered sacraments and by obeying the Ten Commandments and church law perfectly. It can’t be both, Ms. Brandt. Either salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone or salvation is by sacramental grace and merit earned through “obedience” to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church tradition.

Ms. Brandt contends that her relatives are “faithful” to their works-righteousness religious system but, as she herself recognizes by her own testimony, no one can “faithfully” obey the Ten Commandments and earn their spiritual justification through the Law. Ms. Brandt understandably hopes her family will be saved but no one is saved by trying to obey the Law. Certainly, there are some Catholics who become so exasperated in their attempt to obey the Law that they throw themselves in desperation at the feet of Jesus and accept Him as Savior in spite of their religion. Let’s pray that’s the case for Ms. Brandt’s relatives.

As I’ve mentioned before, Pentecostals are especially prone to whitewash or overlook Catholicism’s non-Biblical works-based theology because Catholic charismatics also demonstrate the obligatory “gifts of the Spirit.”

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:19-21

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” – Romans 3:19-20

Metaxas sells out the Gospel of grace for thirty pieces of silver

Once I get into work each day I like to put in my earbuds and listen to the daily messageMET from Alistair Begg (truthforlife.org). There are a lot of Evangelical preachers on television and radio/podcast, many bad ones and a few good ones, but none that I enjoy listening to more than Alistair Begg.

The other day Begg commented that if you want to know the current state of Evangelicalism just take a look at the “Christian” books being published these days. How very true. Take a walk through a Christian bookstore or skim through a Christian publisher’s online catalogue and brace yourself. New titles are dominated by the “prosperity gospel” preachers with advice on how to claim your God-given inheritance NOW. Or there are the emergent/seeker church pastors with their ecumenical message of “just love Jesus and your fellow man and don’t get bogged down in doctrinalism.”  Well, I’m all for loving Jesus and humanity but correct teaching was extremely important to Christ and His Apostles. A person can’t really love Jesus until they understand exactly who He is (God the Son), why He came (to save sinners by His atoning death and resurrection), and what is required of them (to repent of sin and accept Him as Savior by faith). Some basic Biblical doctrines must be understood in order to repent of sin, accept Jesus’ gift of salvation, and then love Him as Savior and Lord. Being “in Christ” is not a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s not a religious high. Sure, those that have accepted Christ are overjoyed to be one of His beloved sheep but emotionalism is not the litmus test of salvation. Repenting of sin and accepting Christ in faith are thoughtful, sober responses coming from the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the truth of God’s Holy Word. But in many churches today, good doctrine and teaching are being trumped by subjective “we just love Jesus” emotionalism and religious experientialism.

I wrote all of the above to write this: Last night I was scanning Google News for interesting stories about Evangelicals and I came across this one regarding popular Evangelical author, speaker, and radio-host, Eric Metaxas. Mr. Metaxas has a new book out entitled, “Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness.” First of all, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I would not refer to any frail human being as “great.” Far too often I have heard pastors refer to some Old and New Testament saints and even contemporary Christians as “great.” Didn’t God say He hated pride most of all? In his book, Metaxas lifts up seven women as examples for veneration. Two of the women happen to be Roman Catholics: “Saint” Joan of Arc and Anjeze Bojaxhiu aka “Blessed” Mother Teresa. See my earlier thoughts on Mother Teresa here. Evangelicals supposedly believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone but both of those women believed in their church’s doctrine of salvation by sacramental grace and merit earned through perfect obedience. The two belief systems are doctrinally incompatible. But like some other ecumenically-minded Evangelicals, Metaxas flushes doctrine down the toilet and lifts up two women who believed and defended merited salvation as inspirational examples.

I’m so saddened by the putrid garbage being peddled by some Evangelical “leaders.” Is the Gospel the good news of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ or is it “obedience” to the Ten Commandments? You cannot mix the two, Mr. Metaxas. You cannot rationally point to two women who attempted to obey their way to Heaven as inspirational examples for Christians!!!!! What’s next from Mr. Metaxas, a book about the greatness of Shirley MacLaine???

“And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” – Romans 11:6

“Old School” critique of Roman Catholicism

Catholicism Against Itself, Volume 1download (2)

By O. C. Lambert

Self-published, 1954, 295 pages

In Catholicism Against Itself the author has gathered an extensive collection of quotes from approved Catholic sources (mainly the church’s own encyclopedia and dictionary), which illustrate the anti-Biblical nature of many Catholic teachings. This book is a treasure chest of information which today’s Catholic apologists would just as soon be left on a dusty library shelf. Catholicism Against Itself is extremely hard to find but the effort will be worth it for the serious student of Rome. Lambert published a companion volume in 1965, which we’ll look at down the road.

Like Boettner’s widely popular “Roman Catholicism” of the same era, Catholicism Against Itself repeatedly warns American Protestants of the Vatican’s desire to gain political control of the United States and suppress freedom of religion in the same fashion as it had in Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Mussolini’s Italy, Pavelic’s Croatia, and widely throughout South America. Those fears might seem quaintly ridiculous from today’s vantage point, especially since the vast majority of American Catholics don’t even bother to attend mass on Sunday anymore, but, as hard as it may be to believe, there are still vestiges of Catholic intolerance in this hemisphere. See here. Yes, Rome has lost most of its political might but the very real danger today is the growing cooperation between some Evangelicals and works-righteousness Catholics resulting in the compromising of the Gospel of grace.

Chapter headings:

I. Simple Outline of Church History

II. Unreliability of Catholic Literature

III. Catholic Attitude Toward the Bible

IV. Roman Catholic Religion Not in Bible

V. Catholic History Series of Forgeries

VI. Foolishness in Lives of Saints

VII. Roman Catholic System Immoral

VIII. Roman Catholicism Neither Apostolic or Scriptural

IX. Roman Catholicism Alias Paganism

X. Catholic Paganism Refutes Itself

XI. Which Will You Have, Catholic Confusion or Bible Certainty

XII. Catholic’s Absurd Claim of Unity Refuted

XIII. Roman Catholicism Un-American – Our Greatest Menace

XIV. You Hear Strange Things About Catholics

See my Books tab for a list of over 270 books which compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word.

Current Synod Reflects Growing Crisis Within Catholicism

The article below provides some excellent insights into the cut-throat, behind-theSYN2 scenes political manueverings at the Vatican’s current Synod on the Family. Credulous Catholics who drink the official church Kool-Aid and who envision Catholicism as a unified monolith might want to skip this piece. But we haven’t seen anything yet. The progressive/liberal wing of the church will continue to push the pope and the intransigent, traditionalist cardinals and bishops right to the edge.

Lord Jesus, thank you for freeing me from the chains of man-made Catholic traditions and religious institutionalism. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and seek an uncompromising Evangelical church in your area. It’s ALL about Jesus, NOT ecclesiastical politics.

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Pope Francis’s First Crisis

By Alexander Still

The New Yorker

October 16, 2015

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/conflict-at-the-vatican

88% of Catholics avoid the “Dark Box” like the plague

The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confessiondbx

By John Cornwell

Basic Books, 2014, 320 pages

Roman Catholicism is a ritualistic, works-based religion, which teaches salvation is earned by partaking in its clerically controlled “sacraments” and by obeying the Ten Commandments. In “The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession,” journalist and former Catholic seminarian, John Cornwell, examines the Catholic sacrament of penance (renamed “reconciliation”). Cornwell traces the history of the confessional and argues that the scandalous sexual abuse of children by pedophillic priests often had its origins in the dark box. The accounts of abuse are nauseating. I felt I needed a shower after reading this book.

The Catholic faithful abandoned confession in droves to the point where now only 2% participate regularly (once a month or more) and only 12% participate at least once a year even though they’ve been taught failure to participate in the sacrament at least annually is a mortal sin. It’s all a sham. While Cornwell does not write from an Evangelical Christian perspective, The Dark Box is valuable for its unflinching elucidation of this abhorrent Catholic practice.

The Catholic clerics of Europe achieved great power and wealth by positioning themselves, often times forcibly, as mediators between God and mankind. But the Good News proclaimed in the Bible is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and salvation comes freely to all those who accept Him as their Savior. No one can be justified before God by trying to keep the law (Gal 3:11). The law only reveals to us that we are sinners in need of the Savior. We don’t need an earthly priest as our mediator. Only Jesus Christ perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments. We must go directly to God and ask Him to save us through the atoning sacrifice of His Son. The thief on the cross did not need a laundry list of rituals and sacraments for salvation. He simply put his faith in Jesus Christ (Luke 23:39-43). Only after we accept Christ and are made righteous in Him can we serve God and obey Him (Ephesians 2:10).

If you ask Catholics why God should allow them into heaven the vast majority will answer that they hope to merit heaven because they have lived a relatively “good” life, betraying an absolute ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A Catholic, cleric or lay person, can never have true spiritual joy because their standing before God is based on how well they adhere to Catholic ritual and obey the Ten Commandments. Catholics believe they lose their salvation every time they break one of the Ten Commandments but if they were honest with themselves and God they would have to admit they constantly commit “mortal” sins in thought, word, and deed or by omission on a daily basis. There’s clearly no salvation down that road.

“Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God.” – Galatians 3:11

” 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

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” – Timothy 2:5

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – I John 1:9

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

Jesus didn’t come to save the (self) righteous, but sinners. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” – I Timothy 1:15

Catholics teach that its priests command Christ to come down from heaven at the mass where they claim to change bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ, offering Him up hundreds of thousands of times daily all over the world, as a continual sacrifice for sin. But the Word of God says sacrifice for sin is finished (John 19:30). The curtain to the Jewish temple’s Holy of Holies was ripped apart from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross to signify that sacrifice was finished and all could to come to God through Christ our sole Mediator (Luke 23:45).

“Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” – Hebrews 7:27

“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” – Hebrews 10:12

Accept Christ as your Savior and hook up with an uncompromising, Evangelical church.

The Immaculate Deception?

The Catholic church likes to present itself as the holy repository and guardian of God’sIC UNCHANGING truths, totally united under the apostolic authority of the pope, but even a casual study of the church’s history will quickly burst that bubble. In my previous blog I discussed the cult of Mary so let’s travel down that same road a bit farther to illustrate how “unchanging” Catholic truths have evolved.

God’s Word makes only minor mention of Mary so how did devotion to her within Catholicism grow to match and, at times, even eclipse the devotion offered to Jesus Christ? In the early years of Christianity, fringe, heretical groups (e.g., the Collyridians) adapted elements of pagan mother-goddess worship into the worship of Mary. Beginning in the late-300s, aspects of this Mariolatry began to creep into the mainstream church. Because Marian worship had no explicit support in the Bible or in the writings of the early church “fathers,” Marianists spawned their dogmatic extrapolations with the syllogistic argument that since it was possible for God to do thus-and-thus regarding Mary then He “must have.” Biblical texts were manipulated and reinterpreted (e.g., Mary as the new Eve, Mary as a type of Elijah, Mary as Wisdom, Mary as the ark, Mary as God’s beloved spouse, etc.) to support the new Mary-goddess ideology. The common folk eagerly embraced Mother Mary as the “Christian” alternative to their former, beloved pagan mother goddesses. Click here for information on historian Geoffrey Ashe’s book, “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess,” regarding the pagan roots of Mariolatry.

Marian devotion continued to grow within Catholicism and was flourishing by the Middle-Ages. Constantly pushing the envelope, her enthusiastic followers began to claim that Mary was born without sin, just as Christ was. Religious orders routinely opposed each other on a wide variety of doctrinal issues and this growing belief in the “immaculate conception” of Mary was no exception. The Franciscans strongly supported Mary’s immaculate conception while the Dominicans strongly opposed it. Dominicans Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux, who were both eventually canonized as “saints,” denied the belief as did fellow Dominican, “Saint” Catherine of Siena. Now here’s where it gets really interesting. Catherine claimed to have been visited by Christ many times and the church readily acknowledges those visits as authentic and credentials of her sainthood. But in 1377 Catherine asserted Christ had personally informed her Mary was NOT conceived without sin as the Franciscans and the others claimed! Click here for more information.

Over the centuries, opposition faded and popular demand for the official recognition of the doctrine of the immaculate conception reached a feverish pitch and was finally defined as binding dogma by pope Pius IX in 1854. As an official dogma of the church, Catholics are bound to believe Mary was born without sin. Disbelief in the dogma is “mortal” sin and incurs eternal hell fire. Although Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists certainly don’t believe in the immaculate conception, they are okay according to CURRENT church teaching, as long as they are “seeking the true God given the light they have received.”

But I would like to know from a Catholic, who is right about the dogma of Mary’s immaculate conception? Is pope Pius IX correct or is the jesus who visited “Saint” Catherine in 1377 correct? If Catherine’s jesus was wrong about this issue, what else was he wrong about? The church canonized Catherine in 1461 although she did not believe in the dogma of the immaculate conception. So did God send her to hell in 1854 when the doctrine was officially defined? And whatever happened to the jesus who appeared to Catherine in 1377 and told her Mary was not immaculately conceived? Did he appear to other saintly mystics and give them erroneous information, too? Or was that jesus actually right about the immaculate conception and the pope wrong?

Here’s a few more questions for my Catholic friends that we would like answers to:

Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the immaculate conception on December 8, 1854. Suppose a Catholic woman who did not believe in the immaculate conception had died on December 8 without having the opportunity to hear about the pope’s declaration. Did God still hold her responsible and send her to hell? Let’s imagine there was a Catholic man who did not believe in the immaculate conception but had heard about the pope’s proclamation that very same day and was mulling it over but died at 9 p.m. before changing his mind. Did God send him to hell or did He give Catholics until 11:59:59 p.m., Rome time, before making their denial of the dogma a “mortal” sin? Oh, this Catholic rigmarole is so SADLY comical.

My Catholic friend, come out of man-made tradition, legalism, and superstition and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47

“As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:9

Statue of Mary smiles, cries, grows 3″ taller!

Malaysian news agencies are reporting Catholics are flocking to the Church of St. Thomasmaryyyy More in the town of Subang Jaya where it’s alleged a statue of Mary has been smiling, shedding tears, and has grown three remarkable inches taller!

Marian apparitions and miracles are a major part of Catholic lore. For Catholics down through the centuries, the “more-merciful” Mother Mary has often replaced God as the focus of worship and devotion. Instead of acknowledging they are helpless sinners and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior by simple faith, Catholics turn to Mary, the sacraments, sacramentals, and a host of other contrivances in their quest to become holy enough to merit Heaven.

In pagan religions the life-giving mother goddess was known by a variety of names and was quite often the primary deity of worship. Catholicism “christianized” this very popular goddess by elevating Mary to semi-deity as the “Mother of the Church” and the “channel of all God’s graces.” See my previous blog here for information on historian Geoffrey Ashe’s book, “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess,” regarding the pagan roots of Mariolatry. Humble Mary’s highly-exaggerated role in Catholicism is in marked contrast to her very minor presence in the New Testament. As for statues, nowhere in the Bible does one of God’s followers bow down before an image or statue of the Lord or anyone else. God strictly forbids it (Exodus 20:4-5, Leviticus 26:1, etc.). Statue worship (aka veneration) was another Catholic accommodation to paganism.

“Salvation is found in no one else (but Jesus Christ), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:27-28

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Virgin Mary ‘miracle’ draws Catholics to Subang Jaya church
BY P. DIVAKARAN
10/14/15
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/10/13/Virgin-Mary-statue-Catholics/

More “Christian” Rabbits’ Feet

We’ve already taken a look at a few Catholic sacramentals in previous blogs such as holyagde water, the scapular, the rosary, and the “saint” Christopher medal. According to the Baltimore Catechism, sacramentals are “anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin.”

Let’s now look at a once very popular sacramental that has fallen a bit out of favor; the Agnus Dei. The Agnus Dei (Latin for “Lamb of God”) is a piece of beeswax taken from a paschal candle blessed by the pope and used previously at the Basilica of St. Peter or in the papal chapels that has been embossed with an image of a lamb bearing a cross or pennant. It is usually encased in a small locket and worn around the neck. Catholic vendors claim those who carry or venerate the blessed Agnus Dei are promised protection from “tempests, lighting, fire, water, malice of demons, adversity, pestilence, sickness, and sudden death.” It also allegedly protects “women bearing children that they may be preserved from all harm and are favored with a happy delivery.”

Church tradition has the Agnus Dei sacramental making its first appearance in the 5th-century, making it one of the oldest of the church’s sacramentals. But there’s actually no written record of the Agnus Dei until the 9th-century. Catholic apologists readily admit the Agnus Dei was a “christianized” replacement for pagan charms and amulets “from which the ruder populace were weaned by the enjoyment of this Christian substitute blessed by prayer.”

The Agnus Dei, like the church’s other sacramentals, is essentially a Catholic rabbit’s foot, allegedly warding off evil and eliciting good fortune.

Relatively few Catholics read the Bible but if they did they might be surprised that there is absolutely no mention of Jesus or His followers ever using religious charms or talismans. Neither were amulets used by the faithful Israelites of the Old Testament. Rather, such objects were always linked to pagan sorcery. As early Christianity transitioned into the institutionalized, official state religion of the Roman Empire it adopted many of the practices of the pagan religion which preceded it. Simple faith in Jesus Christ devolved into ritualism and legalism, all tightly controlled by an increasingly powerful hierarchy.

Can any believer who knows God’s Word with any degree of intimacy possibly imagine the Jesus of the Gospels passing out “blessed” charms and amulets to His followers? Thank you, Father, for freeing me from religious superstition and saving me by Your grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and seek out an Evangelical church where the Gospel of grace is preached.

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” – Deuteronomy 18: 9-12

“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

60% of Catholics: “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.”

This afternoon I was listening to a podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” radio call-inJes show, originally broadcast on March 13, 2015 on the Station of the Cross, WLOF 101.7FM out of Buffalo, New York. “Father” Dave Baker and moderator, Mike Denz, were mulling over Catholicism between phone calls and complaining that 60% of Catholics agree with the survey statement, “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.”

“Fr.” Dave said he introduced a course at his parish to show people how to have a personal relationship with God. He even sets up special sessions of eucharistic adoration for those taking the course so they can “REALLY” get to know God.

What can I say? For centuries Catholics were never taught by their church they needed to have a personal relationship with God. Receiving God meant being baptized and consuming the communion wafer. For Catholics, God was Somebody to be feared. Every detail of their belief system and ritual were meant to assuage a God who demanded and expected perfect obedience. If you wanted some sympathy and mercy you were told to pray to Mary. Most Catholics hoped that when they stood before God their “good” would at least outweigh their bad. But all this Evangelical talk about having a “personal relationship” with God has Catholicism in a dither.

Every sinner who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior has a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. We can confidently call the all-powerful God of the Universe our Father only because the blood of His Son washed ALL of our sins away – past, present, and future. We can stand confidently before God clothed in the perfect righteousness of His Son. Halleluiah!!!

I walk with Him daily as I journey through this life. He knows me intimately. He protects me. He sustains me. He indwells me. He gives me my next breath. He is my Rock. He is my All. I am nothing without Him. I love Him beyond words. He pulled me out of the deep, dark abyss into the bright sunshine. He grabbed me and pulled me out of the icy sea when I had no strength or breath left. He suffered and died for ALL my sins. He took them all upon himself. Oh, my Lord! Not to have a relationship with Him? There could be NOTHING worse.

Kneeling before a bread wafer is NOT a personal relationship with God. Getting more deeply involved with your religion is NOT a relationship with God. You sit in front of a TV screen and passionately cheer on your favorite football team every Sunday but you can’t be bothered about the eternal salvation God offers you freely through Jesus and the opportunity to have the God of the Universe as your Redeemer, Father, Friend, and the Rock of your life???

Accept Jesus as your Savior. Seek out an Evangelical church where the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ is proclaimed. Devour His Word like your three daily meals. Inhale His Word like oxygen!

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” – Galatians 4: 4-7

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me!!!

One of those angry, old, ex-Catholics?

In 1994, Chuck Colson’s and “father” Richard John Neuhaus’s ecumenical “EvangelicalsPack and Catholics Together” project issued its first statement, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” The gist of the declaration was that both camps recognized the other as “Christian” and resolved to join as allies in the culture war against secularism. Several notable Evangelicals supported the statement but perhaps the most surprising signatory was J. I. Packer (pictured), an important Reformed theologian best known for his book, “Knowing God.” Packer’s endorsement of ECT was met with strong criticism from many Evangelicals.

One year later, the ECT leadership released “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission,” a collection of articles defending the ECT statement written by six of the signers including Packer. In his article, Packer argued that his endorsement of ECT was not an approval of the doctrines of Catholicism. He stated, in so many words, that if a Catholic is saved they are saved in spite of their church’s standard theology not as a result of it. But, as I noted in a previous blog, here, as a signatory of ECT, Packer was happy to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

In making reference to his critics Packer wrote:

“The most poignant expressions of these criticisms come from middle-aged and elderly individuals who found Christ and spiritual life in evangelicalism after failing to find either in the Roman Catholicism of their birth and who cannot believe that Protestants who back ECT know what they’re doing (p.156).”

Packer’s statement is condescending at best and insulting at worst. Well, J. I., who best to comment on the quality of a restaurant than one who’s eaten there? Who best to answer whether Christ and spiritual life can be found in Catholicism than ex-Catholics who have accepted Christ and come out of that church with its doctrines of works-righteousness? On the one hand Packer readily admits that salvation cannot be found in the standard theology of the Catholic church but then he turns around and backhands the critics of ECT as being a bunch of bitter, ex-Catholic, old fogeys. Well, J. I. was understandably stung by the well-deserved criticism and lashed out a bit uncharitably.

In some cursory readings I see Packer was always a bit of an ecumenist, being an ardent admirer of C. S. Lewis, which eventually led to his break with David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones! Now there was a man of God who knew the danger of cozying up to Rome and wasn’t afraid to talk about it!  Try and get your hands on copies of Lloyd-Jones’ “Roman Catholicism” and “The Roman Catholic Church.”

It’s been twenty-one years since the first ECT document was published and the fruits of Colson’s, Packer’s and other ecumenists’ efforts are everywhere. It’s a rising tide. A recent survey found that 56% of Evangelical pastors believe the pope is their “brother in Christ.” Praise the Lord for the other 44%! I shouldn’t be surprised at the rising apostasy. The Bible does speak about it a bit. And, no, I shouldn’t be too ANGRY with Packer and other misguided Evangelicals who embrace Rome. I love my Catholic family members, friends, and readers of this blog who endlessly toil to be “good enough” to merit Heaven. Ach! What a rat race they run!

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

I’m clothed with my Savior’s imputed perfect righteousness. Now THAT’S something to REJOICE about! Yep, I can be a HAPPY guy, too! Accept Christ and trust in Him as your Savior, not in your own efforts or the traditions your church.