Watch Your Teaching! A warning from 43 years ago that was ignored by many

Watch Your Teaching!: A Comparative Study of Roman Catholic and Protestantgarver Teaching Since Vatican Council II
By Stuart P. Garver
Christ’s Mission, 1973, 167 pages

If you are/were a Roman Catholic born during the 1950s or earlier, you can certainly remember the dramatic surface changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Pope John XXIII initiated the council to “open the windows (of the church) and let in some fresh air” of reform. Some of the alterations introduced by the council that I remember the most included the change of the liturgy of the mass from Latin to English, the priest facing the people during the mass instead of the altar, nuns’ habits (outfits) being modernized, the lifting of the ban on meat on non-Lenten Fridays, and some familiar saints being scrubbed from the church’s calendar. But perhaps the most significant change was the church’s switch from its confrontational approach to Protestantism and to the other religions of the world. After the council, Catholicism would take an ecumenical approach, especially with Protestants, with the aim of eventually recovering the “separated brethren.”

In this book, published in 1973, Stuart Garver, director of Christ’s Mission, a ministry to Roman Catholics, evaluates Catholicism in light of the reforms of Vatican II. His conclusion: despite the many superfluous changes to its window dressing, Catholicism’s erroneous doctrines remained largely intact. Most importantly, Rome’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit continued just as before. In the chapters listed below, Garver compares the beliefs of post-Vatican II Catholicism with Biblical Christianity:

  1. The Church
  2. The New People of God (Clergy and Laity)
  3. The Pope
  4. The Priest and the Priesthood
  5. The Sacraments
  6. The Mass
  7. Penance
  8. The Rule of Faith and Practice
  9. Mary
  10. Mixed marriages
  11. Ecumenism
  12. Education
  13. Church and State

Following Vatican II, many Protestants praised Catholicism’s willingness to “dialogue,” but fifty years after the council, it’s crystal clear that while some evangelical Protestants have done quite a bit of accommodating, cooperating, compromising, and outright betraying the Gospel in their efforts to court the pope and Rome, Catholicism remains dedicated to its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit and is resolved in its efforts to eventually recover all Christian “ecclesial communities.” Sadly, many evangelicals are more interested in ecumenical unity based on deadly-shallow theology rather than heeding any warnings to “Watch Your Teaching” and defend correct doctrine.

This informative, short book is still quite relevant for today’s Catholics and evangelicals. Stuart Garver served as executive director of Christ’s Mission from 1960 to 1977. The mission began in 1879 in New York City as a ministry to Catholic priests and ex-priests but eventually shifted its outreach to Roman Catholics in general. It ceased operations in 1984.

Postscript: With this post on “Watch Your Teaching!,” I’ve now reviewed my entire collection of 70 books which compare Roman Catholicism to Biblical Christianity (see below). By listing these books, I don’t necessarily endorse all of their contents. More books and reviews to follow as time and resources permit. See all my posts on books here.


Allison, Gregg Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment Crossway 2014
Allison, Gregg and Chris Castaldo The Unfinished Reformation Zondervan 2016
Ashe, Geoffrey The Virgin Routledge 1976
Bennett, Richard Catholicism: East of Eden Berean Beacon Press 2005
Bennett, Richard Far from Rome, Near to God The Banner of Truth Trust 2009
Bennett, Richard The Truth Set Us Free Solid Ground Christian Books 2010
Bennett, Richard On the Wings of Grace Alone Solid Ground Christian Books 2015
Boettner, Loraine Roman Catholicism Presbyterian & Reformed 1983
Brewer, Bartholomew Pilgrimage from Rome Bob Jones University Press 1982
Caddock, John Brennan Manning’s “New Monks” & Their Dangerous Contemplative Monasticism Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2013
Castaldo, Chris Holy Ground Zondervan 2009
Castaldo, Chris Talking with Catholics about the Gospel: A Guide for Evangelicals Zondervan 2015
Chiniquy, Charles The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional Chick Publications 1979
Conroy, Helen Forgotten Women in Convents Christ’s Mission 1960
De Chirico, Leonardo A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy: Its origin and role in the 21st century Christian Focus 2014
Dombrowski, David My Journey Out Of Catholicism Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2013
Garrett, James Leo Baptists and Roman Catholicism Broadman Press 1965
Garver, Stuart P. Watch Your Teaching! Christ’s Mission 1973
Geisler, Norman and Ralph MacKenzie Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences Baker Book House 1995
Gilbert, Mark Stepping Out in Faith Matthias Media 2012
Hendrie, Edward Murder, Rape, and Torture in a Catholic Nunnery Great Mountain Publishing 2015
Hislop, Alexander The Two Babylons Loizeaux Brothers 1959
Horton, Michael Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity White Horse Inn Publishers 2012
Hunt, Dave A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days Harvest House Publishers 1994
Jones, Rick Understanding Roman Catholicism Chick Publications 1995
Kauffman, Timothy F. Geese in Their Hoods: Selected Writings on Roman Catholicism by Charles Spurgeon White Horse Publications 1997
Lambert, O.C. Roman Catholicism Against Itself, Vol. 1 Published by author 1954
Lambert, O.C. Roman Catholicism Against Itself, Vol. 2 Published by author 1965
Lehmann, L. H. Out of the Labyrinth Chick Publications 1982
Longenecker, Dwight and David Gustafson Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate Brazos Press 2003
Lott, Tim Growing Up Catholic Abundant Publishing Company 2007
Lutzer, Erwin Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation Baker Books 2016
MacArthur, John Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern Crossway 1994
Marie, Ann A Former Nun Speaks Candidly Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2016
Martin, Walter The Roman Catholic Church in History Christian Research Institute 1960
McCarthy, James Roman Catholicism: What You Need To Know Harvest House Publishers 1995
McCarthy, James The Gospel According to Rome Harvest House Publishers 1995
McCarthy, James What Every Catholic Should Ask Harvest House Publishers 1999
McCarthy, James Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical Harvest House Publishers 2003
McCarthy, James Talking with Catholic Friends and Family Harvest House Publishers 2005
Miller, Elliot and Kenneth Samples The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary Baker Book House 1992
Montano, Walter M. Behind the Purple Curtain Cowman Publications 1950
Moyer, Robert Was Peter the First Pope? Sword of the Lord Publishers 2005
Oakland, Roger The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus Christ Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2013
Oakland, Roger The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2013
Oakland, Roger Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2015
Oakland, Roger The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2015
Oakland, Roger Another Jesus? The Eucharistic Christ and the New Evangelization Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2007
Paris, Edmond The Secret History of the Jesuits Chick Publications 1983
Reed, Kevin Making Shipwreck of the Faith: Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Together Protestant Heritage Press 1995
Rhodes, Ron The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic Harvest House Publishers 2002
Rice, John Dear Catholic Friend Sword of the Lord Publishers ?
Rice, John Sermon from a Catholic Bible Sword of the Lord Publishers ?
Rone, Wendell Holmes The Baptist Faith and Roman Catholicism Kingsport Press 1952
Schreiner, Thomas Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification Zondervan 2015
Shepherd, Margaret My Life in the Convent Book and Bible House 1946
Sproul, R. C. Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification Baker Books 1995
Sproul, R. C. Getting the Gospel Right Baker Books 1999
Sproul, R. C. Are We Together? Reformation Trust Publishing 2012
Svendsen, Eric Evangelical Answers: A Critique of Current Roman Catholic Apologists Reformation Press 1999
Tetlow, Jim Messages from Heaven Eternal Productions 2002
Tetlow, Jim Queen of All Eternal Productions 2006
Webster, William The Church of Rome at the Bar of History Banner of Truth 1997
White, James The Roman Catholic Controversy Bethany House Publishers 1996
White, James Mary – Another Redeemer? Bethany House Publishers 1998
Woodrow, Ralph Babylon Mystery Religion Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Association 1981
Yungen, Ray Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection Lighthouse Trails Publishing 2015
Zachello, Joseph Secrets of Romanism Loizeaux Brothers 1983
Zins, Robert Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! White Horse Publications 1995
Zins, Robert On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome White Horse Publications 1998

9 thoughts on “Watch Your Teaching! A warning from 43 years ago that was ignored by many

      1. You know this made me think back…did we first encounter each other’s blog because of a book on Catholicism? Well, maybe not direct but it was Schriener’s “Faith Alone” book wasn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, I think that was it. I wasn’t at all pleased with the following book in the series, “God’s Glory Alone,” but I see the next book is now available, “God’s Word Alone.”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I hope the author ties it into Reformation history. The author of God’s Glory Alone, David VanDrunen, somehow forgot to do that or it wasn’t important to him. Imagine a book about one of the 5 Solas of the Reformation, which never once mentions Catholicism’s heretical teachings on veneration/worship; e.g., veneration of the pope, saints, Mary, relics, cardinals, priests, etc. That was VanDrunen’s God’s Glory Alone.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister! I’m just an unworthy servant who imperfectly does what he’s been equipped and commanded to do by the Lord. But your encouragement is appreciated! Your posts, including your recent short videos on the Reformation, are a great encouragement to me!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s