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.

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43 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.

      Liked by 2 people

      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.

        Liked by 1 person

      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! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 2 people

      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 2 people

  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 2 people

    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.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I just read your testimony that The Good Lord has give you to share! IT IS AWESOME! I had made a comment on one of your posts about being surprised at how many “Protest”ants I had also found when I was brought out of catholicism that were embracing it (not in those exact words 🙂 ) !
    (I HOPE THAT MADE SENSE! LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your website! I found it after a friend who I thought was a born-again sister in the Lord posted “pope” Francis’s “come back to the lord” call and Googling what exactly he’d said etc.

    Quote: “The Church offers us the Lenten practices of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting which Pope Francis calls a “soothing remedy”. Prayer allows us to eradicate “secret lies” and “self-deception,” and we find “the consolation God offers,” he says. Almsgiving frees us from greed; it helps us regard others as brothers and sisters. “How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us!” he says. Fasting “weakens our tendency to violence” reviving “our desire to obey God,” who alone can satisfy our hunger.”

    My friend’s post was a pretty little Facebook post (I’m unable to post pic here, but you can search “do you want to fast this lent” and it’ll come up in images.
    I’m praying before responding as it needs to be “truth with love” speaking, but this kind of thing happens TOO frequently among so-called evangelical, Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ – quoting Theresa of Calcutta, head of the RC religion in Rome, Gandhi, mystics, false teachers etc etc. And it’s spurred me to write against it and pray against it! It won’t be long before people will be stuffing fingers in their ears and not responding that I have a point…but still thinking I’m being unloving and intolerant! Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading your articles, looks like a good amount of relevant topics. My hubby and I got graciously saved by grace thru Faith over 30years ago, out of the RC religion and no way would we ever go back to that prison, nor let anyone (family or friend or otherwise) have any misconception that there is salvation in that false religion. Sorry I’ve gone on, I’m not very concise in writing!

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Cassey! I’m so happy you and your husband accepted Christ as Savior by faith alone and came out of the RCC! Yes, there is much compromise and betrayal of the Gospel by some ecumenical evangelicals these days. This muddying of the Gospel is no help to Catholics who need to accept Christ instead of trusting in their church. God bless you in your efforts and I hope we can keep up a corresondence going forward.

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    1. Thanks but sinful human beings can never be in a sinless “state of grace.” Jesus Christ is the only One to ever lived a sinless life and He offered up His life as payment for the sin debt that we owe. But He rose from the grave, conquering sin and death and He offers the gift of eternal life to all those who repent of their sins and accept Him as Savior by faith alone.
      https://www.gotquestions.org/all-have-sinned.html

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      1. all who repent of their sins?

        sounds like works salvation Tom.

        the truth is that salvation, justification, and sanctification all come through one instrumental cause.

        its in Titus 3:5-7, 1 Cor 6:11, Eph 5:26, Heb 10:22, John 3:5, and everywhere you see “justified by faith”, because faith is connected with water Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

        i know you dont want to believe that. you dont want to believe justification came through a ceremony or rite. but it is so.

        look closely:

        “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
        ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:9 kjv

        what is “the faith of Christ”?

        it is connected with “through the washing of regeneration…”, which justifies us.

        if justification involves a change in the interior man, then protestantism falls apart.

        being imputed the personal
        righteousness of Christ is no regeneration and it is not being born again! it is a fabrication by men who had seared consciences and wanted salvation guaranteed apart from their works, no matter how evil.

        you say that the man who is “good” will not see heaven, but only the one who has faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ to his account.

        guess what? that is nowhere to be found in scripture. instead, Jesus said “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

        Ezekiel 18 says the man who does what is right will live. it also says:

        “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:20‬ ‭

        it does not say that the righteousness of the future savior will be credited to anyone.

        Gods word never changes.

        “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
        ‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

        we were justified through the faith (religion) of Christ which provides Holy Baptism to regenerate us and wash away our sins. Man submits, but God regenerates the soul. the HS is poured out onto us to sanctify us, and YES, putting us in a state of grace.

        “none are righteous, no not one.”

        now the Baptized man is righteous, because scripture and the Church have said so.

        but he must keep his purity intact. Jesus said “if you would enter into life, keep the Commandments.”

        He wasnt telling a lie or being sarcastic. God doesnt confuse men, but tells them the truth.

        Jesus kept the law, to be the
        perfect sinless sacrifice to the Father to merit grace for men. Jesus was obedient not for his law-keeping account to be imputed to anyone, but obedient unto DEATH so many could be justified through Him. the obedience is not many acts, but ONE act:

        “In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous.”
        ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:18-19‬ ‭NABRE‬‬

        “he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
        ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:8

        the obedience is death. not law-keeping so that record could be credited to men.

        God will not be mocked, Tom. What a man sows so shall he reap, and that will never change.

        you will say, “man cannot keep the commandments”. perfectly? no.
        but John the apostle made a distinction of deadly and non-deadly sin.

        you said the Catholic has no hope and lives in a constant state of worry about falling into a mortal sin and dying that way.

        there have been Catholics like that. overly scrupulous men and woman who couldnt trust Gods mercy and had no faith in the power of the sacraments which Jesus himself gave the Church. Jesus gave
        the apostles the authority to forgive sin (after Baptism). John 20:23.

        this is already known to you. why do you deny it then? because any protestant MUST deny it who thinks salvation is by faith alone.

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      2. I’m sadly amused by militant Catholics such as yourself who expend so much energy defending their church as you’ve done with this long comment when the RCC declares that people of all religions and even atheists may also merit Heaven if they are “good” and “sincere.” 80% of your membership don’t attend obligatory weekly mass and 90% don’t participate in mandatory yearly confession, but why should they bother when their pope says atheists are good to go if they follow their conscience? Catholicism is (c)hristianity without Jesus Christ. Your “faith” is faith in your religious institution and its sacramentalism, not in Christ. You deny righteousness through Christ and seek to establish your own righteousness. Romans 10:3

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  8. Hello Tom, good mornin. It’s been a long while since we’ve visited, and I have a question that only you can answer.

    I enjoyed you sentiments expressed here in this article! 👍
    In particular, the truth that salvation is obtained only by grace through faith. (Amen! I heartily agree).

    However, in some cases I’ve encountered people who claim salvation is only by grace through faith, but will also believe (but won’t always say) that one must repent of their sins in addition to faith to be justified before God.

    I personally believe that good works will follow justification, but the Holy Ghost working within a person isn’t necessarily expressed in the same way for every person. And a circumcised heart is what I look for as verification that a sinner has become a saint, has crossed over from spiritual death, to spiritual life. But “repentance of sins” is not a component or requirement of someone’s justification before God. We can’t do that perfectly, (perfection is required to enter God’s Kingdom), and moreover, non Christians can stop the identical sins that a Christian can stop. Therefore stopping a sin/sins can’t verify that someone’s become a Christian necessarily, (A.A. for example).

    So that’s my take on the subject, (albeit imperfect, I’m a work in progress).

    What is your perspective my friend?

    Have a blessed day. 😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good Saturday Morning, Lee. We have discussed this issue of repentance several times. I believe you’re still interpreting repentance from sins/sinfulness/disobedience/rebelliousness against God as some kind of self-reform pledge to stop sinning in much the same way as Rome defines “doing penance.” But repenting of sins/sinfulness/disobedience actually means turning from rebellion against God to trusting in Christ. Everyone who has ever trusted in Christ has turned (repented) from their sinful rebellion and placed their trust in Christ. That obviously doesn’t mean they’re never going to sin again, it only means they are in agreement with God about their sinfulness and their need of the Savior. I’m providing the link below to an article which discusses the topic.
      https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2009/08/31/repentance-is-from-sin/

      Have a blessed day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with your thoughts here buddy.

        Repentance (as it relates to our justification): is turning from not believing on Jesus/false religion … To believing on Jesus exclusively as one’s Saviour.

        I guess I forgot our previous visit about this.

        And good mornin to you!😀

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