Auf wiedersehen!

To all my brothers and sisters in the Lord at WordPress,MS

My wife and I are traveling to Germany tomorrow for a 12-day visit to see our daughter-in-law and grandson. We haven’t seen them in 5 years (long story) so we’re really looking forward to it. They live in a lovely, little village (pictured) in the southwest corner of the country, not far from Landstuhl and Ramstein, for you service vets.

We’re also planning a little side trip to northeast Switzerland. My wife’s grandfather was originally from Zurich and I want to check out some of the historic sites associated with the Reformer, Huldrych Zwingli. On the way to Zurich, I also want to stop at Constance (Konstanz), to visit the house (now a museum) where the early Reformer, Jan Hus, lived before he was condemned to death by the Council of Constance and burnt at the stake in 1415. The building still stands where the Council met. Besides condemning Hus, the bishops also tried to sort out which of the three popes reigning at the same time was “legitimate.”

During our trip, I’ll be checking out WordPress every now and then but I’ll probably be posting very infrequently. Please remember us to the Lord for traveling mercies! Danke schön!

Auf wiedersehen und preisen Gott!

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Priests and ministers: Aren’t they the same thing?

Evangelical churches have their ministers and Roman Catholicism has its priests. ButCATPR aren’t they the same thing, just with different titles?

Evangelical ministers are called to preach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12. Evangelical pastors are to preach and teach God’s Word and to shepherd the Lord’s flock and be examples of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. Scripture says we’re to respect and submit to our pastors in the Lord but we’re certainly not to put them up on pedestals in the place of Jesus Christ. They’re just sinners saved by grace just like the other believers in the congregation.

Catholic priests on the other hand are ordained by the church hierarchy to administer the sacraments that Catholics believe are required for salvation. The Catholic sacerdotal system is an anti-biblical continuation of the Old Testament, Levitical priesthood. Catholicism teaches its priests change bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ to be offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of those who attend mass. Priests forgive sins in confession and administer the last rites to the dying, which Catholics believe absolves the individual of all mortal sin. Priests have the power to bless living and inanimate objects. Catholic parishioners bring their rosaries, statues, scapulars, and other objects to priests for their blessing. It’s believed an object blessed by a priest has powers to ward off evil and effect desirable benefits. The priesthood is central to the Catholic system. There would be no Catholicism without its priests and their powers.

In previous generations, priests were highly revered by the Catholic faithful. It wasn’t unusual for members of the Catholic laity to kiss the hands that changed bread and wine into Jesus. Catholics venerated their priests because they were the gateway to their salvation. Catholicism boldly claims its priests are “alter Christus,” another Christ. The Catholic clergy’s absolute control over the means to salvation was not achieved by happenstance. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it devolved from the preaching of saving faith in Jesus Christ into religious ritual, legalism, and the acquisition of worldly wealth, power, and control.

“St. Francis of Assisi used to say, “If I saw an Angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the Angel.” Besides, the power of the priest surpasses that of the Blessed Virgin Mary; for, although this Divine Mother can pray for us, and by her prayers obtain whatever she wishes, yet she cannot absolve a Christian from even the smallest sin.” – from “The Dignity and Duties of the Priest” by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Some of the luster has faded from the Catholic priesthood beginning in the 1960s and especially after the pedophile scandals over the last twenty years. The church’s celibacy rule for its clergy often attracted the socially awkward and even psychologically ill. Many Catholics now see their priests as fallible, struggling souls just like them rather than someone to be placed on a pedestal. The majority of Catholics ignore their priests’ commands to attend mass every Sunday and confession at least yearly. Recent surveys show only 50% of Catholics are even aware that their church teaches its priests turn bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ.

The Catholic mass is largely about the consecration of the bread and wine, not about preaching and teaching. The sermon portion of the mass, known as the “homily” (Greek for “speaking with”) is generally very short, usually around seven or eight minutes according to Catholic sources, and is often given by a man who is not inclined to speak before crowds. Even so, the message he preaches is not the Good News of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The priest’s message admonishes mass-goers to be faithful to church teaching, participate in the sacraments, and to keep trying to obey the Ten Commandments to merit salvation. That’s an empty message without hope, for no one can possibly obey the Ten Commandments. Disaffected Catholics often complain they “don’t get anything out of the mass” and they would be right. The Catholic system, completely dependent upon its priests, is facing a looming crisis with religious vocations plummeting. In 1975, there were 59,000 priests in the United States but today there’s only around 40,000.

There is no need for a sacrificial priesthood. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and mankind. The New Testament makes it explicitly clear that the priestly sacrificial system was completely fulfilled by Jesus Christ and was done away with. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith. Ask the Lord to help you find an evangelical church in your area that preaches and teaches God’s Word without compromise.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” – Hebrews 10:16-18.


 

The Scandal of the Catholic Priesthood
A sermon from John MacArthur
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-264/the-scandal-of-the-catholic-priesthood

“Are Catholics Christians?!?! That’s SO old-school.”

Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman CatholicismRCS
By R. C. Sproul
Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012, 130 pages

Are Catholics Christians? “Well, that’s an ignorant question right out of the 1950s,” some evangelicals would respond. “Of course they’re Christians! They also believe in God, the depravity of man, and Jesus Christ.” Especially in our post-modern age of tolerance, inclusiveness, ecumenism, and doctrinal carelessness and indifference, it’s seen by some as unacceptable, impolite, and overtly sectarian to exclude anyone who names the name of Christ. Yes, Roman Catholicism also teaches about God, sin, Jesus, faith, and grace, but upon closer examination we find the gospel taught by the Catholic church is NOT the same Gospel taught in the New Testament and preached by evangelicals. For faithful Catholics, the gospel is salvation through their church’s sacraments administered by their priests, and then by “cooperating with grace” and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules rather than the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. That is not a minor, picayune difference. It’s actually the difference between being saved or not. Now, there’s no doubt that some Catholics have genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and are trusting in Him alone, but in doing so they are defying their church’s standard theology.

“None of us can say, …I am already saved.” – Pope Francis, 2015

Over the years, Reformed pastor and theologian, R. C. Sproul, has been vigilant in clarifying the differences between Catholic teaching and the Gospel of grace through faith. He wrote “Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification” (1995) and “Getting the Gospel Right: The Tie That Binds Evangelicals Together” (1999) in response to the ecumenical efforts of Chuck Colson and several other evangelicals to disingenuously bridge the gap between Christians and Catholics, especially in regards to the primary issue of justification/salvation.

In “Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism,” Sproul continues his defense of the Gospel of grace, providing a concise analysis of the major differences between the teachings of Catholics and evangelicals. Chapters examine our opposing views on Scripture, justification, the role of the church, sacraments, the papacy, and Mary. In the past, some evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant critiques of Catholicism were unnecessarily belligerent in tone and did not always accurately present official Catholic teaching. Sproul’s tone is charitable throughout (almost to a fault for this ex-Catholic) and he carefully cites Catholic doctrine as it’s officially defined by Rome. Readers won’t find any “straw man” arguments in this book.

If you’re a Catholic who sincerely seeks to understand the differences between your church’s teaching and the Gospel of grace or if you’re an evangelical who suspects today’s popular slogan, “We all just love Jesus and that overcomes all differences,” may not honor the truths of the Gospel or be helpful to the religious lost, this short book would be an excellent starting point. It’s readily available from Amazon.com.

Mother Angelica, Catholic icon, dies at 92

Catholic apologists love to point to the wide diversity within Protestantism with itsMA large number of denominations and a growing number of non-denominational churches. But while evangelical Christians might disagree on many secondary doctrinal issues, we are united in our belief in the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Unfortunately, several of the mainline Protestant denominations slipped into apostasy and unbelief long ago.

Catholicism likes to present itself as the “one true church,” united in faith behind the pope but the reality is quite different. Catholic belief ranges the full spectrum from the super-liberal to the  ultra-traditionalist. The vast majority of Catholics (76%) do not attend mandatory weekly mass or yearly confession (88%).

Speaking of Catholic traditionalists, I see that Mother Mary Angelica (aka Rita Rizzo) passed away yesterday, Easter Sunday, at the age of 92. She was the driving force in the creation of the EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) Catholic media conglomerate. Her pithy, no-nonsense commentary attracted a devoted following among conservative Catholics. There is little doubt that her admirers will soon be petitioning the church hierarchy to begin the process to elevate Mother Angelica to sainthood.

Many uninformed evangelical Christians might take a quick look at the life of Mother Angelica and conclude, “Of course this woman was a devoted Christian. Despite her quirky and unbiblical Catholic distinctives, she obviously loved the Lord and devoted her entire life to Him.”

Unfortunately, the “gospel” taught by Mother Angelica was not the Good News of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. She believed, like all traditional Catholics do, that salvation is by baptism and by participating in the church’s other sacraments and by obeying the Ten Commandments and church rules. She had an especially strong devotion to Mary and believed that Mary’s intercession was vital to salvation. Most people will remember her for leading the praying of the rosary to Mary on EWTN broadcasts. However, Mother Angelica also supported her church’s position that people of all religious faiths could be saved if they “followed the light they were given” and “lived good upright lives.”

Through her media empire, Mother Angelica has led many away from the genuine Gospel of grace through faith to a gospel of sacramental grace and merit earned by “good” works. Catholics are being misled from following the narrow way of Jesus Christ as the only hope of salvation and have, instead, been given a wide-is-the-way religion which mentions God, Jesus, faith, and grace but is actually one of the false, works-righteousness religions going back to Cain.

 

Jesus: Resurrected or still a victim?

Today, millions across the world will commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ fromempty-tomb the grave. What a glorious day that was! Jesus came into the world thirty-three years previous on a mission of love. God the Son became man, lived a perfect life, and offered Himself to the Father on the cross at Calvary as the ultimate sacrifice and payment for our sins. The moment before He died, Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” Sacrifice for sin was over. Forever. The veil in the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem temple was miraculously ripped open from the top down. Jesus had accomplished what the Levitical high priests and sacrificial system had only foreshadowed.

Three days later, Jesus rose from the tomb! His sacrifice had been accepted by the Father. Jesus had conquered sin and death! He offers eternal life to all those who accept Him as Savior by faith. He is the only Mediator, the only High Priest we will ever need.

But in Catholic churches today, a VERY strange thing will take place. Those gathered will be celebrating the resurrection of Christ but they will also claim to be re-sacrificing Him again! Catholics believe at every mass their priests call Jesus down from Heaven to once again become a victim, turning bread wafers and wine into His literal body, blood, soul, and divinity and then offering Him as a sacrifice for sins. Attendees then line up to ingest the wafers and wine, believing they are physically consuming Christ. They believe consuming the consecrated “host” (victim) erases the punishment for small (venial) sins and gives grace to avoid large (mortal) sins. They believe the mass is a literal re-presentation of Jesus’ same sacrifice on Calvary. Today, Catholics celebrate the resurrection of the “Savior” but then go about trying to save themselves, thinking they can obey the Ten Commandments and merit their salvation.

“When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.” – from “Faith of Millions” by Catholic priest, Father John O’Brien

We don’t receive Jesus physically into our mouths and stomachs. We accept Him as Savior spiritually, by faith. There is NO MORE sacrifice for sin. It’s finished. We don’t need human priests as our spiritual go-betweens with God. Jesus is our ONLY Mediator.

Repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior by faith. You cannot make yourself acceptable before God by perfectly obeying the Ten Commandments. We break God’s commands every single day. But Jesus died for your sins. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father waiting to be your Savior and Advocate. He is not on Catholic altars as a broken victim. HE’S RISEN! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:11-14

Pray to Jesus and ask Him to save you. Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Gospel and God’s Word without compromise.

What if the Lord wasn’t my Shepherd?

I’m one of the dwindling number of people who still subscribes to the daily, localRIP newspaper. It’s been an important part of my life since my teen years in the early 70s and I hate to give it up. But I also get my news through a customized Google News search on my Kindle every evening so it’s becoming harder and harder to justify the one-day-behind hard copy at $35 per month.

Anyway, part of my daily routine is to scan the obituaries for people I know. I recognize a name every week or two; an old friend, an acquaintance, a distant relative, someone I worked with. Yesterday, there was an obituary for an old Catholic grammar school and high school classmate. Bill and I were never good friends. He was always a bit of a “rock and roll” rebel, the kind of kid that was always in trouble with the teachers and struggled to get a “C.” But Bill found his niche later in life. He happened to get a job in computers in the same factory I worked at, just when computer technology was starting to ramp up and he rode the crest. He had several children, divorced, and then remarried; the typical, American, middle-class success story.

But Bill died of cancer this week at the age of 59. It’s a bit unsettling when one of your school classmates dies at such a relatively young age. Death is a harsh reality we will all encounter. I see from the obituary that there’ll be no religious services. Bill sat through the very same religious indoctrination as myself. Yes, there was mention of Jesus being the “Savior” but it was all about impersonal ritual, tradition, and obeying the Ten Commandments. The Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone was never presented one time in 12 years of Catholic education.

My wife and I are currently reading through the Book of Psalms and this morning I studied our next psalm, number 89, and came across the following verses:

“Remember how fleeting is my life.
For what futility you have created all humanity!
Who can live and not see death,
or who can escape the power of the grave?” – Psalm 89:47-48

Death is barreling down on all of us like an unstoppable freight train. The Bible says death, both physical and spiritual, is the wages for sin. We all sin against God every day and we all deserve eternal judgement. But God loves us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death, and offers the gift of eternal life and fellowship with God to all who accept Him as Savior by faith.

You can accept Christ or you can reject Him, there’s no middle ground. Cliches fly at funeral home wakes but there’s no “resting in peace” without Christ and there’s no “He’s in a better place now” without Christ.

The Lord is my Shepherd. He guides me. I follow Him. He will never let go of me. He will never leave me. If I did not have my Shepherd, what would I do? Where would I go? What would I hope in? How could I even live my life? Accept Jesus as your Savior today.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26

News clippings

Just about every day I scan the internet for interesting news stories about thenews Catholic church. I collect a lot of reports but I don’t always have the bandwidth to write in length about each of them. So here’s a collection below of important, recent reports, grouped by topic, with some very brief headings written by me:

Catholic conservatives continue to grow increasingly frustrated with pope Francis. Where is this all heading? There’s some traditionalists openly calling for Francis to resign.

The Catholic hierarchy continues in its efforts to recover the “separated brethren.”

The shameful pedophile priest scandal and cover-up continues.

Several days ago, I reported that pope-emeritus, Benedict, was bemoaning the fact that Catholicism planted the seeds of its own decline by declaring at Vatican II and afterward that everyone – Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Protestants, and atheists – could go to Heaven if they were “good” (see here). In response to Benedict’s remarks, an unbeliever wrote an article below asking why anyone would waste another second of their lives in a Catholic church pew if all “good” people are going to Heaven; a question I have asked MANY times in this blog. Evangelicals who embrace Catholicism as a Christian church need to repent and stand up for the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If this atheist can see what’s going on, why are some evangelicals so blind?

Blood will flow

This week, many are eagerly gearing up for Easter Sunday. People who never go toFlagg church any other time of the year will show up on Sunday. There will be ham dinners with family afterwards along with colored eggs and Easter baskets for the children. I’m a Christian who doesn’t adhere to any liturgical calendar. Every day in the Lord is the same to me. Millions of people will commemorate Christ’s resurrection on Easter all over the world although the vast majority have not accepted Him as Savior. Jesus and Easter are part of their cultural, religious heritage but they have no saving relationship with Christ. They don’t see themselves as sinners without a plea and haven’t reached out in faith to the Savior who died for them. If pressed they would probably say they’re basically “good” people who deserve to go to Heaven. As Christians, let’s use the opportunity of Easter to tell our friends and family about the resurrection of our Savior and the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Centuries ago, many Roman Catholics practiced severe forms of self-mortification including self-flagellation, wearing hair shirts and cilices, sleep deprivation, etc. Self-mortification was an act of penance; pain and sufferings were offered up to God as reparations for sin. The cobblestone streets of medieval Europe were often stained with the blood of Catholic flagellant sects. The practice peaked during “Holy Week,” especially on Good Friday. Extreme forms of self-mortification have generally lost favor, although pope John Paul II was known to have whipped himself with a belt regularly as a “spiritual discipline.” Self-flagellation is still very much alive in pockets of Catholic culture. Flagellants stage processions in Mexico and the Philippines during Holy Week. Every year on Good Friday in the Philippines there are Catholic men who have themselves nailed to crosses in imitation of Jesus (see reports below).

God’s Word talks about fasting and denying fleshly desires but nowhere in the Bible are believers instructed to harm themselves. Pain inducing, self-mutilation has its roots in pagan worship:

“At noon Elijah began to taunt (the prophets of Baal). “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely (Baal) is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.” – 1 Kings 18:27-28

I’m so thankful for my Savior. He paid the COMPLETE penalty for our sins on that cross on Calvary. And He rose from the grave conquering sin and death. All we must do is accept Him as Savior. Inflicting pain upon yourself won’t save. Sacraments and church membership won’t save. Going to church once in a while or even every Sunday won’t save. Only the blood of Jesus Christ, shed once for all time on Calvary, has power to save. Our own blood and efforts are powerless. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith today and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” – John 1: 12-13


 

Filipinos flagellate, crucify themselves in Holy Week ritual
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/06/asia/gallery/philippines-penitents/

Acts of love, not pain, make this week holy
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/775159/acts-of-love-not-pain-make-this-week-holy

Ruminating out loud about the coffee stains in my Bible

This morning I was listening to the 12/17/15 podcast of the Calling All Catholics radiocoffee talk show with “Father” Rick Poblocki criticizing people nervy enough to bring water bottles to mass and it got me to thinking.

Way, way back when I was growing up Catholic (in the era of Beaver, Wally, June, and Ward), severe reverence and piety were absolute rules for Sunday church attendance. My Dad wore his best suits along with a mandatory tie. He would remain dressed up for the entire rest of the day, yes, even wearing his suit jacket if we went on a picnic on a hot Sunday afternoon in July.

As I’ve related previously, I started reading the Bible (a relative rarity among Catholics) in the early 80s, left Catholicism, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983. My wife and I attended an independent fundamental Baptist church from 1983 to 1991 where a jacket and tie were still Sunday de rigueur for men and no one would think about bringing a coffee cup into a Sunday or Wednesday service.

I became exasperated with the legalism of the IFB church and I walked away from the Lord for 23 years. When I returned to the Lord in 2014, we began attending a small, Southern Baptist church, which was much more relaxed. The young pastor wore a suit jacket but no tie and usually had on jeans and sneakers. Several of the attendees wore jeans and a few brought water bottles and coffee into service. My, things had changed! The SBC pastor was also a little too relaxed when it came to doctrine so we left that church for the non-denominational church we now attend. At this church, they have an elaborate coffee and donuts bar set up right outside the “sanctuary” entrance. Quite a few people bring coffee and a donut into the worship service. Just about every guy in attendance wears jeans. A flannel shirt and jeans seems to be the unofficial uniform of the pastor and associate pastors.

Of course, dressing down isn’t peculiar to church services, it’s become the norm for our society. Many people would not attend a church service if they had to dress in a jacket and tie. There are only a few occasions – weddings and funerals – where dressy attire is still considered to be mandatory. Does God really care whether we show up to worship services in a suit or jeans? Jesus was a poor rabbi and certainly didn’t own the equivalent of a Hickey Freeman suit. Does God get upset if we’re chomping on a donut and sipping a coffee while the pastor is preaching? Some people are of the opinion we should show the Lord at least the same amount of respect during a worship service that we would show to a human dignitary at some formal, secular function. Others argue back that God doesn’t care about formality and ritual. He’s looking for followers who honor Him in their hearts, not on the exterior. In days gone by, most people dressed to the hilt for Sunday services, and many never even knew the Lord.

How would Jesus handle it? Hmmm. I think all believers can say with absolute confidence that Jesus revered and worshipped the Father all day, every day, in all that He did. I’m thinking He most likely participated in worship at the community synagogue and at the temple with singular devotion, without a cup or snack in His hand. That’s right, we’re no longer under the Law that Jesus followed to perfection, but Christ worshipped and revered the Father with a singular focus and intent out of love. Maybe I’ve gotten a little too relaxed. I’ve personally enjoyed many cups of java during services but, after writing this, I don’t think I’ll do that any longer. But I don’t judge anyone else when it comes to Sunday outfits or refreshments during services. Those are things each believer needs to settle in their own heart.

Any thoughts? Yup, I realize there are MUCH more pressing topics so I’ll blame it all on Rick’s rant.

 

“The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic”

The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholicrr
By Ron Rhodes
Harvest House Publishers, 2002, 128 pages

In this short book, evangelical apologist, Ron Rhodes, examines Roman Catholicism in comparison to God’s Word and suggests ten topics of conversation when witnessing to Catholics:

  1. The apocryphal books are helpful historically but they do not belong in the Bible.
  2. The Bible alone is authoritative, not tradition.
  3. Peter was a great apostle, but he was not the first pope.
  4. The pope, the bishops, and the magisterium are fallible.
  5. Mary was the mother of Jesus, nothing more.
  6. Justification is instantaneous, once-for-all, and entirely by grace.
  7. The sacrament of the mass does not appease God.
  8. The sacrament of penance does not absolve sins.
  9. There is no purgatory, nor is it needed.
  10. Jesus has changed my life forever.

The Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone is radically different from the gospel Catholics have been taught. They have been told by their church that salvation comes through participating in its sacraments and then by obeying the Ten Commandments and church rules.

This little book is a valuable resource for evangelicals wishing to learn about what Roman Catholicism teaches without having to read a long tome and for Catholics who wish to learn more about the Gospel of grace. It can be ordered from Amazon.com for $9.99.

Ron Rhodes’ website can be found here.

Books about Catholicism from Harvest House Publishers can be found here.