A Credulous Convert to Romanism

The Convert’s Guide to Roman Catholicism: Your First Year in the Church
By Keith Nester
Independently published, 2019, 229 pp.

1 Star

Religious proselytes are generally wildly enthusiastic about their newfound “faith.” That includes Muslim converts, Hindu converts, Mormon converts, Watchtower converts, and, yes, Catholic converts. In this book, Catholic convert and YouTuber, Keith Nester, offers words of zealous enthusiasm and encouragement to fellow nominal “Protestant” converts to Roman Catholicism. Nester was a youth minister at a United Methodist Church in Iowa and through a series of circumstances, especially through the efforts of a Catholic business associate, he developed a growing interest in Catholicism and eventually joined the RCC in 2017.

Nester doesn’t go deep into theology in this book, but he does expound upon some of the alleged advantages of Catholicism such as:

  • The RCC’s claim to authority as the “one true church.”
  • Sacred tradition and the magisterium trumping “Sola Scriptura.”
  • Receiving the “actual” Body of Christ (aka eating the faux Jesus wafer), the pinnacle of Catholic “spirituality.”

Nester knows there are many facets of Roman Catholicism that nominal “Protestant” converts will struggle with and he attempts to head off any objections at the pass with an array of positive comments. Addressed are the problematic issues of:

  • Baptismal regeneration
  • Compulsory Sunday mass attendance
  • Constant change of postures at mass – kneeling, standing, and sitting
  • General ineptitude of priests’ homiletics skills compared to those of Protestant ministers
  • Rote liturgical prayers and rituals
  • The sacrifice of the mass cunningly heralded as a “re-presentation” of Jesus’ once-for-all-time sacrifice rather than a repeat of the sacrifice
  • Confession of sins to a priest
  • Annulments and con-validations of marriages
  • Praying the rosary
  • Praying to saints
  • Eucharistic adoration
  • Veneration (aka worship) of Mary

Nester repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly attempts to allay misgivings about Catholicism’s anti-Biblical doctrines by exhorting converts to check their brains at the door. Here are just a few examples, there are many, many more: That’s OK. You will get over that. (p. 49). But that’s OK. (p. 52). That’s OK. (p. 71). It’s OK. (p. 80). The fact is, it’s going to be OK. It’s going to be better than OK. (p. 136). That’s OK. (p.203). It’s OK…just roll with it. (p.209). It will all be fine. (p. 214).

Nester presents a commonly heard analogy of the Catholic church as a “full tool box” to be used in the work of building a life worthy of salvation, while Protestantism is presented as a deficient tool box with many tools missing. However, salvation is not a matter of being a skilled religionist with a full toolbox. According to God’s Word, salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The old mainline Protestant denominations, like Nester’s United Methodist Church, stopped teaching the genuine Gospel decades ago. Nester never was genuinely saved or he wouldn’t be exhorting souls to put on the chains of Catholic legalism.

Nester barely mentions the preeminent difference between Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity: the issue of justification. Catholics believe they are justified by their church’s sacraments and by obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) aka meritorious works. Gospel Christians believe they are justified ONLY by the imputed perfect righteous of Jesus Christ received at the moment of salvation. This is an irreconcilable difference that even the most determined evangelical ecumenical Judas cannot bridge.

Nester bids all “Protestants” considering conversion to Catholicism to joyously follow him aboard the Catholic works-righteousness salvation system. That is akin to lowering a canoe into the Niagara River immediately above the famous falls and exhorting all those on board to joyously paddle against the deadly current with all of their might. As a former Catholic for twenty-seven years, I can testify from first-hand experience that there is no joy in the impossible task of trying to merit salvation.

Reading this book was a sad undertaking. Reject works religion. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.


Addendum

Nester is a Catholic neophyte and, as might be expected, he get’s several Catholic facts wrong. Here’s just a few with my comments added:

“All I needed to find was one (Catholic) doctrine that could be proven false; one time the Church changed an official decree of dogma; or one instance of a pope officially teaching heresy” (p. 59).

From this statement, one might conclude that Nester is not aware of the voluminous critical commentary from conservative Catholics directed at progressive pope Francis, which accuse him of the very things Nester mentions: changing dogma and teaching heresy. In fact, Nester specifically commends to his readers Dr. Taylor Marshall (p. 147), a passionate conservative critic of the Second Vatican Council and of pope Francis (see here). Nester’s claim that the RCC never changed an official doctrine is patently false. As just one example, the Roman church once officially taught that only Catholics could be saved (Papal Bull Unam Sanctum), but changed that doctrine at the Second Vatican Council in 1964 after Catholic leaders succumbed to theological liberalism.

“Pope St. John Paul II…went to confession weekly.” (p. 124).

JPII went to confession daily.

“Marian devotion dates back to the earliest writings of the Church Fathers.” (p. 186).

There is actually no evidence/documentation of Marian veneration/worship until the assimilation of the pagan mother goddess-worshiping Collyridians into the church in the late-4th century.


Postscripts

MANY books have been recently published from conservative Catholic authors, such as this one, exhorting nominal Protestants to convert to Catholicism. In contrast, there are relatively few books published in recent years from evangelical authors encouraging Roman Catholics to leave their works religion and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. Evangelicals have been brainwashed by Rome-friendly accommodators (i.e., Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, J.I. Packer, etc.) into believing such efforts are distasteful and impede the cause of “Christian unity.”

Since the Roman Catholic church officially teaches that adherents of all religions and even atheists may also merit their salvation, a type of semi-Universalism, the sectarian zealousness of Nester and other conservative/traditionalist, militant-Catholics is an incongruity.

31 thoughts on “A Credulous Convert to Romanism

    1. Thanks, Crissy! Yes, there is little or no Gospel being preached in many nominal “Protestant” churches. Many of the remaining churches that do preach the genuine Gospel are becoming less and less discerning regarding the RCC’s false gospel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s one thing for this guy to apostasize to Rome. It’s another thing for him to teach people to apostasize to a different gospel. For that he is placed under an anathema (Gal 1:8-9).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For people like Nester, this scripture passage comes to mind:

        The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
        2 Thessalonians 2:9‭-‬12 ESV

        We should pray for his soul, pray that he repents and turns away from that false gospel.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for the relevant Scripture passage.

        RE: We should pray for his soul, pray that he repents and turns away from that false gospel.

        Yes, let’s pray for Keith Nester’s salvation today.

        Like

    1. Thank you, David! Yes, it’s sad to see Nester deceived by Rome’s false gospel and then see his enthusiastic invitation to others to merit their salvation within the RCC.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Will read this later but wow what an interesting holiday you mentioned today is. It reminds me somewhat of Laotian New Year where people throw water at each other…have you done this with your wife? I can picture my wife not being too happy with this “holiday” lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been celebrating Dyngus Day with my wife for many years. She might think I lost my affection for her if I ignored Dyngus Day tradition. She went out this afternoon to get some physical therapy followed by the inevitable shopping spree. In the meantime I rigged up the kitchen sink sprayer with rubber bands wrapped tightly around the control button. When she turns on the faucet she will get dowsed like a Polish woman on the streets of Warsaw. 🇵🇱💦💧💦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha, ha. My wife returned home and one of the first things she did was go to the sink and turn on the water. She was thoroughly drenched. She was super angry until I said, Happy Dyngus Day! She changed her clothes but forgot about my contraption and sprayed herself again! Ha, ha, ha! Dyngus Day is always a good time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup. Dyngus Day is one of those profound mysteries. On no other day of the year could you play such a “trick” on your wife and get an affectionate response in return. Slapped, yes, but affection, no. Scientists could research this for years and never get to the bottom of it. lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good review. I’m always mystified by new converts to anything feeling they have write a book right away. This is true also of famous Evangelical converts feeling the need to be starting a church right away, etc. the amount of “that’s ok” you mentioned is rather annoying to read about, waving a hand to serious challenges and issues isn’t a good practice. Good that you point out blatant error the guy has. Keep these kind of review coming

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! Yup this book was heavy on enthusiasm, but light on knowledge of Catholic doctrine. I thought it was comically ironic that he recommended Francis-hater Taylor Marshall to his readers. Are new converts to join the Catholicism of progressive Francis or the Catholicism of traditionalist Marshall? Neo-RC conservative Nester avoids saying anything negative about Francis because that would undermine two of the RCC’s foundational principles, papal authority and infallibility. Thanks for the support and encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, brother! Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” is sitting four feet from the couch in my book stack and I’m gradually “girding up my loins” before I begin a forty-week rebuttal series.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, another long apologetics series. I’ll get started one of these weeks. I’m reminded that six years ago, the young pastor of our Southern Baptist church HIGHLY recommended Peter Kreeft to the congregation from the pulpit. I think we left that week or the following.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Re: favorable remarks

        I have come across a Pastor like that but not to the point where he would recommend someone like Kreeft. A lot of the people in that congregation aren’t that friendly to Romanism. One small group leader lumped Romanism as a “so called Christian religion” together with JWs and Mormons.

        That pastor though, wrote a blog post chastising ex-Romanists in the congregation for “vitriol” towards Rome, even going so far as to defend Rome by claiming that the Jews “used” the apocrypha, and praising the liturgy of the mass and transubstantiation as a way to take communion seriously.

        I swiftly wrote to rebuke him for false teaching and he backed down.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks. J.I. Packer wrote a defense of his endorsement of “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” ecumenical accord that came out in 1994 in which he attacked ex-Catholic evangelicals who criticized him. After all, what did they know about Roman Catholicism? I’m being facetious. Packer and these other ecumenical Judases are for Rome what Vladimir Lenin used to call Polezni Durak, “useful idiot.”

        Like

      5. Yep. Many people when looking at the definition of love in 1 Cor 13, forget to read v6, love does not rejoice at wrong doing, it rejoices with the truth. Even in John 17 which is frequently quoted by ecumenists, they forget v17 “sanctify them in the truth”.

        Liked by 1 person

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