About

I was baptized into the Catholic church as an infant, had my first confession and received my first communion when I was seven, and was confirmed when I was ten. All of my parents’ six children attended parochial grammar and Catholic high school. I wouldn’t say my family was piously religious by any stretch but we did attend mass every Sunday. I was an altar boy from 5th through 8th grades and even entertained the idea of being a priest someday but lost most of my interest in religion by the time I went to high school. Like most Catholics my “faith” was just a part of my family and cultural baggage. I do remember having a bit of an epiphany in 6th grade when the question occurred to me, “If going to Heaven is a matter of obeying the Ten Commandments and church rules as Catholicism teaches then why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” Little did I know the Holy Spirit was working in my heart even then.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21

After my wife and I were married and our two sons were born I was determined to be a responsible Dad and raise our children in the Catholic faith. I began attending mass again and even bought a Catholic Bible. Catholics aren’t generally encouraged to read the Bible and relatively few do. As I read the New Testament I discovered many discrepancies between God’s Word and Catholicism. I became so disillusioned that I stopped attending mass. As I continued to read the Bible a couple of born-again Christians witnessed to me at work. I found from the Bible that salvation cannot possibly be earned by baptism, church membership, obeying the Ten Commandments, or trying to be “good” as Catholicism teaches, salvation for sinful man is only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

“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

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

My wife and I accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior in 1983 and began attending an independent fundamental Baptist church in the area. We grew somewhat in the Lord after eight years but eventually the legalism of that church took its toll. I became exasperated and walked away from the Lord for 23 years because my trust had been in men rather than God. But thankfully the Lord was merciful and patient with me and kept calling me back to Him.

I returned to the Lord in 2014 but after my long absence I was surprised to see how many Evangelical pastors and para-church leaders were embracing Rome with its “gospel” of sacramental grace and merit. But we’re not discouraged because our foundation is the Lord, not man.

29 thoughts on “About

  1. There’s only one thing that I question about those who say they are Catholic, but swear in Jesus’ and God’s name as part of their everyday language. Just how can that be? Just makes me shudder in sadness.

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    1. I too had joined a fundamental Baptist church for several years. Now, I attend a nondenominational one. But I very much miss singing hymns like they do in the Baptist Churches, as the one I now attend usually has contemporary Christian music.

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      1. Same deal with me. I also now attend a non-denominational church that has Baptist roots. And my church also uses contemporary Christian music only. They are definitely trying to reach the younger crowd (I’m 59) but you would think they would have a hymn now and then for the older crowd. It appears all the “worship”/song leaders are in their 20s.

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    2. Many Catholics will argue that they are able to obey the Law so as to merit Heaven. They do not see themselves as sinners without a single plea of their own. But, of course, they break God’s Laws on a daily basis just like we all do. They will argue they have never killed anyone or cheated on their spouse but Christ pointed out in Matthew 5 that the Law condemns our hearts not just our actions. No one will be justified before a Holy God without Christ.

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      1. There’s only been 1 time in my life when someone had verbally gone ballistic on me that I was talking to someone else about the Bible. He started arguing about how I could believe in the Bible when it says to cut off one’s hand if it makes one sin? Come to find out later, he’s one who makes sure to look for a Catholic church to attend as soon as he arrives to wherever he travels to because he wants to make sure that he attends Mass there. I had to wonder what he thought whenever the reading of the Bible part occurs during Mass. Sigh.

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      2. Yes, I’ve also talked with Catholic friends about the Bible and they have said it is a dangerous book…that the church must interpret it for you. There’s obviously many things in the Bible that disagree with Catholicism.

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      1. Yup, we have to keep our priorities straight. I have a ton of personal emails I really need to respond to that have been building up because I would much rather post messages on the blog. I saw “Palmyra” and I immediately thought you were a Palmyra, NY neighbor – we’re about 25 miles away – and I thought we could have some great discussions on Joseph Smith (he started out in Palmyra) but I see you’re in a much warmer climate.

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      2. Well that is rather funny Tom. My Plamyra is just a church and cemetary and some Chicken farms and a few houses. I did however live in Utah for a while so the name Joseph Smith is not foreign to me. And on the blogging I am doing just the opposite and slowing down writing so I can catch up talking to people and reading their blogs lol. I’ll get back on track next weel though.

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  2. Hello brother! I just read your comment on Andi’s blog after I finally responded to her question as to why I linked Luke 6:20-26 with Marcus’ video about Joel Osteen and others (link: https://kingdomdaughterblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/watch-responding-to-kirk-franklin-and-joel-olsteen-on-youtube/comment-page-1/#comment-716) It is always refreshing to find another like-minded Christ-follower! If the Lord so moves you, visit the The Lord Is With Us, the blog He has given me to steward – ( link: http://thelordiswithus.com/ ) God bless you.

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  3. Oh, but praise God it is Jesus who builds His Church on the rock of our confession that He is the Christ! As I learned from Watchman Nee and T.Austin-Sparks, the true state of the Church is unity with Christ here in the heavenly realms (think Ephesians and Colossians…); we must not be deceived by what we SEE in the temporary, but be encouraged by what we DON’T SEE but KNOW in the eternal! In simple words, God’s got this, and let’s REST is knowing and believing Him! 😊

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    1. Thanks for your comment. As you know, the NT refers to “saints” many times but NEVER as super Christians who lived completely sanctified lives. That’s a Roman invention. Saints are all those who accepted Christ as Savior and are sanctified in Him. The first papal “canonization” didn’t take place until 993. All those who place their trust completely in Jesus as Savior will be saved, all those who are trusting in their own righteousness will not see God (Luke 18:9-14). Catholics talk about grace and faith but the bottom line according to Catholic teaching is if a person obeyed the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. I wonder why a Catholic would even spend another second in their church when their recent popes have declared everyone in all religions, and even atheists, will merit salvation if they are “good.” But the Bible says no one is good except God (Luke 18:19), which is why Jesus came into the world to die for our sins. If salvation were a matter of being even somewhat “good,” then Christ died in vain (Gal. 2:21). Every religion says you must merit salvation/nirvana via being “good.” Only Christianity says you can’t be good, which is why Jesus died on the cross and offers salvation to all those who accept Him via His imputed, perfect righteousness. Accept Jesus as your Savior. Church membership and sacraments don’t save. Being “good” doesn’t save. Your popes can’t be believed because they say everyone who is “good” will be saved. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the only One who is capable of saving you.

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      1. Hey Tom,

        Thanks for the response! Unfortunately I will not be able to continue the discussion after this post (I am moving overseas in two days), but I will say this: the Church has never taught that we earn salvation; the Council of Trent makes this clear, as do a number of papal pronouncements etc. Rather, we must not spurn God’s grace, which leads us to Him. We can make a shipwreck of our faith, but we will be saved if we persevere in love.

        No one is saved without Jesus; this is the constant teaching of the Church:

        https://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/OUTSID.TXT

        Pax!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I found your blog through a comment you left on Maria’s blog (Pilgrim’s Progress), and was interested in your journey as a baptized ex-Catholic.

    The schism between Catholics and Protestants is of great interest to me. I read blogs similar to yours, but from Protestants who share the same testimony of evangelicals led by the Holy Spirit into communion with the Catholic Church.

    This is all too confusing, but I’m trying to sort it out. I mean, people that I trust who are a lot smarter than me — people who have gone through Seminary and been ordained — have become disillusioned with the apostate trend of the Protestant Church , and embraced the Catholic Church as the true church of God.

    The claim that I hear repeatedly is that the Catholic Church teaches salvation by works, but this isn’t what I have found in my exhaustive research. What I have read and heard from official documents, Bishops, priests and laity is that Catholics believe in justification by faith just as Protestants believe; but as Martin Luther disputed the Book of James (because of James 2:24) Catholics, on the other hand, believe in the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us to produce good fruit.

    That we are not saved by the law, Catholics do not disagree but recognize that the moral law is fulfilled in love. Love is an act of faith, and we are saved just for these good works which sanctify, or perfect us in the image of Christ.

    Jesus said that a branch that bears no fruit is cut off (John 15:1-11) which suggests that our salvation is contingent upon abiding in Christ. The problem with Luther’s sola fide is, taken to the extreme, it has produced a church that is unconfessional, unrepentant and fruitless.

    “Jesus Christ did everything — I don’t have to do anything.”

    Catholic Church doctrine states:

    “We confess together that persons are justified by faith in the gospel “apart from works prescribed by the law” (Rom 3:28). Christ has fulfilled the law and by his death and resurrection has overcome it as a way to salvation. We also confess that God’s commandments retain their validity for the justified and that Christ has by his teaching and example expressed God’s will which is a standard for the conduct of the justified also.”

    Our works, our conduct, our abiding in Christ are the fruit of our faith, the outward manifestation that we have been justified inwardly. Absent this fruit our faith is dead, and there is no salvation. That’s what James taught. That’s what the Catholic Church teaches. And that’s what Martin Luther opposed.

    I am just working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, but when you strip away the peculiarities of the Catholic Church it seems to rise above the apostasy of the Protestant Church.

    (For the record, I am not a member of any church but the body of Christ.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comments. Catholics and evangelical Christians share some doctrines but differ on many others, the most important being how a person appropriates the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Catholicism states salvation is via the grace “infused” into the supplicant through its sacraments, enabling the Catholic to “cooperate with grace” and merit salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments. So, Catholics will say salvation is by grace but also admit obedience to the Law is required. That is not good news. In fact, that’s very bad news. Every Catholic must hope they do not have one single “mortal” sin on their soul right up until the moment of their death. They have no joy or peace in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They are trusting in their own ability to obey the Law, an impossibility, rather than in Christ.

      In contrast, Bible Christians attest to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. We are the publicans of Luke 18:9-14. We are sinners with absolutely no plea of our own except for the perfect righteousness of the Savior who died in our place. I sin every day either in thought, word, deed, or omission. Woe is me if I had to obey the Law to earn admission to Heaven as Catholics are taught. Yes, after we have accepted Christ as Savior, and only then, do we follow Him in obedience, and that only imperfectly. But our miserable efforts could never be our justification before a Holy God as Catholicism teaches. Evangelicals don’t stumble over James 2. A person who has genuinely accepted Christ and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will manifest works of charity.

      You mention “the apostasy of the Protestant church,” demonstrating quite a bit of a presuppositional attitude. Unlike Catholics, I’m not interested in defending a religious institution, but only the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith. People are attracted to institutions for their history (though not always complimentary), ritual, pageantry, worldly wisdom, etc., but the Holy Spirit has done His greatest work in the hearts of repentant sinners rather than within the walls of hierarchical institutions that gloried in wealth, power, and control for century after century. I’m so grateful for the Reformers but they would be the first to tell you they were only sinners saved by grace. Yes, mainline Protestantism has fallen into apostasy but the apostasy of Rome is beyond compare. Yes, some who claimed to once have been evangelicals have joined with Rome but I don’t believe anyone who genuinely knows Christ as Savior would trade forgiveness for chains. For every alleged former evangelical who has embraced Rome and is promoted by EWTN there are former priests and nuns who have come out of Catholicism and embraced Christ.

      Below is one of my recent posts that discusses the opposing views of Catholicism’s “infusion” of grace through its sacraments, allegedly enabling the Catholic to obey the Law and merit Heaven, versus the “imputation” of Christ’s perfect righteousness to the repentant sinner who accepts Him as Savior; to sinners without a single plea of their own.

      If you are seriously interested in the differences between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity, and I hope you are, I recommend “The Gospel According to Rome” by James McCarthy. It’s readily available at Amazon. I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts after you’ve read it.

      https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/yes-i-am-in-christ-no-youre-not-in-christ-yes-i-am/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m reading Michael Hesemann’s recent work on Mary of Nazareth and he devotes an entire chapter to the Loreto House and Legend. It seems a Byzantine ruler of the House of Angeloi (angels) had the house removed and brought to Italy. A certain prelate had the house dropped on his otherwise insignificant diocese. Makes sense. The Vatican has never committed to the legend and there’s documentary proof about the stones having been removed before the invading Turks. The materials of the house are clearly from the Holy Land, along with the style of hewn rock, etc. The house dimensions fit perfectly onto the original site. Very detailed discussion. You can read a few pages for free at books.google.com Hope you find your way back – beyond the legends which centuries of popular piety and even superstition have created, there’s usually a substantial kernel of truth. In any event, I wish you all the best nevertheless.

    Robert Shea
    St. Louis

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    1. Hi Robert, RE:”Hope you find your way back – beyond the legends which centuries of popular piety and even superstition have created, there’s usually a substantial kernel of truth”…

      The Catholic church does get some things right – orthodox Christology is one – but the kernels of truth are buried beneath a mountain of man-made tradition, superstition, ritual, and, yes, even idolatry. Simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ became lost. Catholics focus on such physical, temporal things as the Loreto house, the shroud of Turin, liturgy, sacramentals, church buildings, etc. rather than admitting their bankrupt spiritual condition and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

      I would never return to the chains of a works religion that teaches even atheists are able to merit salvation by being “good.” That’s not Christianity. No one is good but God. Accept Christ and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches God’s Word without compromise.

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