Backwoods, hillbilly, anti-Catholic fundamentalist?

My old blogging routine was to post articles Monday thru Saturday, but when I returned back to work in early-January I cut back to only four days per week. A recent cold meant A LOT of couch duty and time to ruminate and write some extra posts. So, in order to relieve the “glut,” I’ve decided to publish today and Friday.

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I was a Roman Catholic for my first twenty-seven years, until 1983 when I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone. The Lord then put it in my heart to earnestly study my former religion and the many incompatible, irreconcilable doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity. Over the past five-and-a-half years of blogging, I’ve published many posts examining those differences. The prime difference between Catholicism and Gospel Christianity is in regards to how a person is saved. The Catholic church teaches that salvation is obtained by participating in its sacraments, whereby graces are allegedly received, supposedly enabling the Catholic to better obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!), in order to hopefully merit eternal life at the moment of death. Gospel Christians believe in salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The theologies are diametrically opposed and cannot be reconciled. One is right and one is wrong. They cannot both be right.

One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen over the past thirty-eight years is how Gospel Christians have increasingly embraced my former religion, the false Roman Catholic church, as a Christian entity. Sixty-years ago, evangelicals rightly knew that the Roman church taught a false gospel. Since then, accommodators and compromisers within have chipped away at theological discernment. A consensus emerged and grew that proclaimed that, although the RCC had some quirky, un-Biblical beliefs, they got the basic Gospel right because they also talk about Jesus, “grace,” and “faith.” The rising tide of secularism motivated many undiscerning believers to dismiss doctrinal distinctives and to embrace Roman Catholics as “brothers in Christ” in an effort to present a semi-united “Christian” front in the culture/morality wars. Some evangelicals were also attracted to Catholic “intellectualism” and the false church’s ornate ritualism and ceremony.

These days, it appears* that the majority of those who identify as “evangelical” embrace “practicing” Roman Catholics as fellow-Christians. The consensus is that those who do not support ecumenism with Rome are akin to embarrassing, repugnant, anti-intellectual, backwoods, bigoted, unsophisticated, hillbilly fundamentalists of a bygone era. But Rome has not changed any of its major doctrines since 1960 and Catholics unabashedly admit that their church teaches salvation by (sacramental) grace and works. So what is the problem? Why did evangelicals cave when it came to Roman Catholicism, but still resolutely (at least for now) reject the Latter Day Saints and the Watchtower Society as false churches? Accommodating evangelical apologists (e.g., Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Josh McDowell, etc.) readily admit that Roman Catholicism teaches a heterodox view of justification, but still dichotomously embrace it as a Christian entity. For ecumenical evangelicals, it is easier on their psyche to hold to a totally incongruous view (i.e., works-righteousness Catholicism is Christian) rather than swim against the tide and be thought of as an anti-Catholic fundamentalist.

In summary, a general consensus developed within evangelicalism over the past sixty years that says that Roman Catholicism teaches the genuine Gospel or something “close enough” EVEN DESPITE the RCC’s own unapologetic testimony to the contrary and despite evangelical theologians’ and apologists’ acknowledgement that Rome’s version of justification (baptismal regeneration, works righteousness) is heterodox and does not lead to salvation.

Because I point out that Rome teaches a false gospel, many evangelicals who visit my blog are embarrassed by my content, which doesn’t agree with the popular consensus/paradigm. In their eyes, I am a bigoted, anti-Catholic fundamentalist. They have been conditioned to be repulsed by those who say anything critical of Roman Catholicism. Warning Catholics and Christians of Rome’s false gospel is now viewed as distasteful and something akin to forcing people to sit at the back of the bus.

“If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” – Council of Trent, Canon 14

“None of us can say…I am already saved.” – pope Francis, December 11, 2015

What Does the Roman Catholic Church Believe About Justification? by R.C. Sproul

*A 2015 Lifeway Research survey revealed only 23 percent of evangelical Christian pastors disagreed with the statement that the pope is a fellow Christian and a “brother in Christ” (see here).

32 thoughts on “Backwoods, hillbilly, anti-Catholic fundamentalist?

  1. I’m not at all embarrassed by your content. What gives you the most credibility is that you spent 27 years as a Roman Catholic and know what you are talking about. Evangelicals should accept that, as they should my comments on Judaism, seeing how I was raised Jewish.

    Forge on, Tom, you’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. David, thank you for your support and encouragement in the Lord! Ecumenism is one of the dangerous rising tides within “evangelicalism.” Yes, it’s sadly amusing when evangelicals argue with me, an ex-Catholic, about the legitimacy of the RCC.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good post brother, I’d like to find those Hillbillies! The Lord made these truths evident for you to proclaim. You may not see it but many who scorn what believers say often reconsider later in life as the Holy Spirit works a controversy in their hearts.
    Ecumenicalism fills that fleshly longing to belong instead of being separated and to find strength in numbers instead of the Lord. As the heat of opposition rises, more ‘Christians’ will compromise. There is less to lose with such backing. That is, if you consider losing God’s favor and presence a small thing.
    Thank you Tom, press on in the Lord!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth, and ‘Amen’ to your good thoughts. I know many people don’t understand a lot about theology and pretty much will embrace anyone who names the Lord, but then there are those pastors and theologians who have pretty good inkling that Rome’s gospel is “off,” but go with the flow anyway because they don’t want to be relegated to the fundamentalist fringes.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Mandy! Yup, it’s a bit frustrating to escape from a burning building only to have outsiders declare it’s perfectly safe.

      Thanks! I’m going to mix in couch duty with some in-house, to-do-list chores to keep my bride happy. What do you have planned for this rainy day?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow is it raining here today! So good for the trees, praise God!

        Good for you for wanting to keep Corinne happy!!!!!!!! I want to lay low today. There’s been a lot of stuff going on ministry wise for me and I just need to rest. Even when I don’t blog for a bit, I am still writing and doing things for others, church, mentees. My former Hebrew professor is also my mentor so I am her research assistant as well as her assignment guinea pig. I LOVE it and I am thankful that she trusts me!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it came out of one of our discussions of how ecumenists like William Lane Craig would rather juggle a theological dichotomy than be viewed as an anachronistic anti-Catholic.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! Nope, the number of views yesterday was about the same. I’m averaging about 150 views per day. I imagine most evangelicals would find this post about their lack of discernment re: the RCC as distasteful as a full bore critique of the RCC.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing some of your history with us, Tom. And thank you for your ministry. I really appreciate it.
    You mention how the huge differences in salvific theology were rightly acknowledged 60 years ago. I know that you are aware that for years before that many had no problem seeing the differences as well. Few had stronger words against “Romanism” than Charles Spurgeon. I have more sermons of his than anyone else and he was very clear about his position, as you are, on the subject.
    May God continue to bless your efforts to educate us on the errant teachings of the Roman Catholic “Church.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chris, thank you for your support and encouragement in the Lord! Spurgeon’s spirit-anointed sermons are still very popular among evangelicals, but I assume with great confidence that many leapfrog over his uncompromising remarks regarding Catholicism as embarrassing manifestations of unenlightened 19th-century Protestant sectarianism.

      Below is a link to a brief review I wrote back in 2015 about a collection of Spurgeon’s writings regarding Roman Catholicism:

      https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/charles-spurgeon-and-roman-catholicism/

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Most Evangelicals are ignorant of the diabolical doctrines of Romanism. I stand with you and will continue to expose the false teachings of Rome .

    Ephesians 5:6‭-‬11
    Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We should never have to apologize for finding the truth God has lead us to. Especially when we are saved from any religiousity which many are carried into as a younng child to learn and are told this is how we believe. Praise God for His saving grace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blessings
    Julia

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post Tom! We are living in a time when pastors and those who follow them blindly cannot (or will not) discern between the true Gospel and a false one! We may be few who shout a warning compared to the multitudes that are marching to Rome, but the Lord will use us nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

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