Throwback Thursday: We’ve all heard of “good Catholics” but are there “good Christians”?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on November 11, 2016 and has been revised.


Yesterday, I was listening to Catholic talk radio and I heard a phrase that’s quite common within Catholicism: “He’s (or she’s) a good Catholic.”

What is meant by a good Catholic? A good Catholic is someone who obeys all of their church’s requirements. They go to mass and receive the eucharist every Sunday and the holy days of obligation. They go to confession regularly. They are able to recite all of the prescribed prayers by memory. They don’t eat meat on Lenten Fridays. They were married in the church and their spouse is probably Catholic also. Their children were all baptized as infants and if they’re unable to send them to expensive Catholic schools they at least make sure they attend CCD/CCE classes. There’s usually more than a few sacramentals (blessed statues, rosaries, candles, palm fronds, etc.) situated around their home.

Catholics use the term, “good Catholic,” to distinguish practicing members from the majority, non-practicing members who only show up at church for weddings, funerals, Christmas, and Easter; otherwise known as “cultural” or “cafeteria” Catholics.

Calling someone a “good Catholic” is congruent with Catholic belief. Roman Catholicism teaches salvation comes through grace dispensed through its sacraments which allegedly enables the partaker to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules so they can merit their way to Heaven.

“Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2010.

So Catholics who follow the rules are “good” and those who don’t are “bad” or more graciously referred to as “lapsed.” Catholics generally believe that “good” people, good Catholics and good non-Catholics, will merit Heaven.

How does all of this compare with Biblical evangelical Christianity? Do we call someone a “good” Christian? Well, that seems a bit incongruous, doesn’t it? A Christian is someone who realizes they are not good; that they are a sinner in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. After they have accepted Jesus as Savior, a Christian understands that any goodness they possess is from the Lord. There is no good in my flesh. Any good I do is from God. I am not good. I am saved by Jesus Christ.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’” – Luke 18:19

But now I try to please and obey Him because He saved me. My faith is in Jesus Christ and His perfect, imputed righteousness, not in my own sorry efforts.

Catholic friend, you cannot merit your salvation. None of us are good. Only God is good. We all deserve eternal punishment. But Jesus Christ, God the Son, lived a perfect life and died on the cross to pay for your sins. But He rose from the grave, conquering sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all who accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Repent (turn from your rebellion against God) and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone. Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches God’s Word without compromise.

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” – Romans 7:18-25

Throwback Thursday: I’m Catholic and I believe my good outweighs my bad

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on August 3, 2016 and has been revised.


Do you think Roman Catholics believe in the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? Please watch the six-minute video below in which evangelist, Ray Comfort, reaches out to Paul, a typical Roman Catholic who believes in salvation by merit as he has been taught by his church.

There are currently about seventy-million people who identify as Roman Catholics in the United States. If you could ask all of them, “How does a person get to heaven?,” you would get a very wide range of responses, but the most popular answer by far would be something like, “A person’s good must outweigh their bad.” Roman Catholicism teaches Jesus Christ died for sins, but also teaches He established the sacraments to administer grace to Catholics so that they could obey the Ten Commandments and church rules and become increasingly sanctified (holier) so they could possibly merit Heaven at the time of their death. The church also teaches those outside the church can merit Heaven if they “follow the light they are given” and are “good.”

Only a small percentage of Catholics can actually articulate their church’s theology, but the overriding belief is clear – “good” people go to Heaven and “bad” people go to hell. Naturally, most Catholics believe that they’re good enough to get to Heaven. After all, they haven’t killed anyone or cheated on their spouse or live-in partner.

Of course, none of the above is the Gospel found in God’s Word. We’re all sinners and we all deserve eternal punishment. But God loves us so much he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with Him to all those who repent (turn from their rebellion against God) and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone.

Pope Tells “Christians” to NEVER Try to Convert Unbelievers

The Roman Catholic church has always taught, contrary to the Bible, that salvation is attained via sacramental grace and merit. Back in time, the Catholic clergy taught that only baptized Catholics could possibly merit Heaven, but in the modern era, that stance has softened, and the RCC now grants that all “good” and sincere religionists – Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. – can also possibly merit Heaven. Pope Francis has said on several occasions that even “moral” atheists can merit Heaven.

Last month, Francis met with a group of Italian high school students and advised the (c)hristians among them to NOT to try to convert* those of other faiths. Below are some quotes from Francis’ remarks:

  • [Speaking of having Jewish and Muslim friends]: “We are all the same, all children of God.”
  • “It didn’t occur to me, and it doesn’t have to be like, saying to a boy or a girl: ‘You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come, be converted!'”
  • “We are not in the times of the crusades.”
  • “In front of an unbeliever the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never.”
  • “But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing.”
  • “If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus.”
  • “The Church does not grow by proselytism.”

None of the above is surprising in light of Catholicism’s wide-is-the-way teaching that EVERYONE is a child of God. Contrary to what the pope claims, God’s Word declares that only those who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone and are born again spiritually in Christ become God’s children:

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12

Should we believe the pope or God’s Word?

Let’s see what evangelist, Ray Comfort, has to say about the pope’s un-Biblicalness in the 15-minute video below:

For more information, see the news article here.

*Please, no angry letters. I readily agree that it’s the Holy Spirit Who converts, not Christians, who merely sow the Gospel seed. I’m only conveying the pope’s words.

Ray Comfort reaches out to a lost Roman Catholic with the Gospel

In the 8-minute video below, evangelist Ray Comfort confronts a young Roman Catholic woman and her belief in her works-righteousness religion and offers her the Biblical Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Approach, approach, approach

The Lord has commissioned all believers to tell lost people about the Good News! of salvation in Jesus Christ, however, most people these days are averse to anyone talking to them about “religion.” “You have your beliefs and I have mine” and “Never discuss religion or politics” are society’s widely-held standards when it comes to conversations about spiritual matters. Despite that, we are still charged to reach out to people with the Gospel. But how do we do it?

Methods of spreading the Gospel range from “friendship evangelism,” where the Christian invests in a relationship with someone and witnesses/shares their faith over time as trust builds, to standing on a street corner with a bullhorn yelling at passersby to “turn (to Christ) or burn.”  The approach we choose is going to be different depending on the person/s and circumstances.

Thirty-six years ago, the Lord led me out of Roman Catholicism to salvation by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. For the past four-plus years, I’ve been publishing posts on this blog pleading with Catholics to accept Christ as Savior and to come out of the Roman church with its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. My other mission is to warn Christians of ecumenism with Rome. In my posts, I don’t pull any punches when it comes to the RCC’s spiritually deadly teachings and its bloody, oppressive history. The information I present is sorely needed in this era of compromise and accommodation. Praise God for men like James White, Mike Gendron, and Leonardo De Chirico who faithfully confront the deadly errors of Catholic doctrine. But should I take the same approach when witnessing to a nominal Roman Catholic in a personal conversation?

A nominal Catholic family member came over to our house for dinner several weeks ago and the conversation eventually turned to spiritual matters. As the discussion continued, my wife became more and more animated and began bringing up such topics as the pope being an anti-Christ and the RCC being the Whore of Babylon as mentioned in Revelation 17 and 18. She also began expounding on how pope Francis had ominously joined the Hitler Youth as a teen, although it was actually pope Benedict XVI who had been involuntarily conscripted into the Hitler-Jugend. It was clear that the conversation had moved entirely away from the Good News! into details that, although mostly true, were not helpful in that circumstance and were even counter-productive. This later led to a discussion between my wife and I over the proper approach in that situation. God bless my wife, an extrovert, who shares Jesus more readily than I do. I certainly agree that there are conversations with some particular people where going deep into doctrinal differences and historical evidences would be appropriate, but with most people in most situations, we should focus on the Gospel basics:

  • We are all sinners.
  • We all deserve eternal punishment.
  • God the Father loved us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, God the Son, to die on the cross to pay the punishment for our sins.
  • Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and offers the gift of salvation to all those who repent of their sin and trust in Him as their Savior by faith alone.

Yup, it is often very helpful while witnessing to also point out that all religions, including pseudo-Christian sects, teach that a person must merit their salvation, while Bible Christianity proclaims a person can only be saved by trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. But getting wrapped around the axle over secondary doctrinal differences, church history, and eschatology in most outreach conversations can easily take the focus off of Jesus Christ and the Good News! Angry debates over secondaries and non-essentials can also needlessly aggravate and turn off the listener. “Yeah, but didn’t Jesus angrily confront people?,” some believers may ask. Yes, we read in the four Gospels that Jesus certainly confronted false teachers, sometimes in righteous anger, but He reached out to the masses with grace, love, and compassion in conjunction with truth.

The Gospel will offend. No doubt about it. Most people don’t want to hear that they’re sinners on their way to hell and in desperate need of the Savior, but that’s what they need to know. We need to make sure our approach with most people is focused on mankind’s sin predicament and the Good News! of Jesus Christ, the Savior, and not on theological, historical, and eschatological rabbit holes that take the focus off of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

Comments are welcome!

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16

Honking the horn: Being helpful or being rude?

Most people would describe me as a VERY laid-back, easygoing personality. But when I get behind the wheel of my, ahem, sporty, 2016 Volkswagen Jetta, I get a little crazy. For some reason, in the privacy of my car, I become less patient and more ornery with others. Well, for one thing, the stakes are much higher when you’re speeding along at 60 mph and the driver in front of you does something really stupid that endangers both of your lives. Still, I’m trying to be more patient and forgiving of others as we share the roads and expressways. I have not always been the perfect driver, either.

In contrast to me, my wife is a very bubbly personality who always tries to be effusively nice to people. Well, maybe not always.  🙂  Anyway, my wife and I have an ongoing dispute over one of my specific driving habits. Here’s the scenario: I’m cheerfully driving down the road with my wife in the passenger seat, but must slow down as I approach a red light at an intersection. There’s one car ahead of me also waiting at the red light. The traffic light finally turns green, but the car ahead of me is not moving. I give it a few quick seconds, but then beep the horn to alert the driver ahead of me to stop looking down at their smart phone and start driving. I don’t overdo the honking. Just one quick, respectful beep to catch the preoccupied driver’s attention

In the above scenario, my “happy” wife invariably becomes quite incensed with me because I was “rudely” honking at the other driver. She thinks it is much kinder and nicer to just sit there and wait patiently until the distracted driver has a chance to look up and see for themselves that the traffic light has turned green. I have explained to my wife countless times that, in the above scenario, I have an obligation to the cars waiting behind me to get the stopped driver moving. This is a situation where being too patient and too “kind” could lead to bad consequences. It would be rude to the drivers behind me not to help them rightfully advance through the intersection before the light turns red again. A frustrated driver in such a situation could easily become aggravated and take dangerous risks. Also, what about oncoming drivers who are desiring to make a left turn at the intersection, but are waiting for the distracted driver who remains stopped at the green light? Should they go ahead and turn and risk a collision? No explanation satisfies my wife. To her, honking at an inattentive driver is just plain rude and wrong and she will reflexively scold me every time I do it.

Yes, sometimes being married is work, no getting around it.

Certainly, the Lord commands us to be kind, patient, and forgiving. Road rage is sin, no two ways about it. But as Christians, we also have an obligation to our fellow drivers to “wake them up” and alert them to the circumstances if they’re not paying attention. Hmm, I see there’s also many spiritual applications that can be plumbed from this “gripe.”

“Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:15-16

A Loving Warning to All Catholics


In this short, 7+ minute video, evangelist Ray Comfort reaches out to a Roman Catholic college student with the Gospel of grace. Every Roman Catholic would benefit by watching this video. In addition, every evangelical who mistakenly believes the Roman Catholic church preaches the Gospel would also benefit by watching.

I posted another video of Ray witnessing to a Roman Catholic back on July 2nd. Watch it here.

Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical

Over the years, I’ve engaged with many Roman Catholics and ecumenically-minded evangelicals who took umbrage at my outreach to Roman Catholics with the Gospel of grace.

One incensed, ecumenically-minded, evangelical blogger smugly put it to me this way:

“Going to a Catholic church doesn’t make anybody a non-Christian, just like sitting in a pew at a Baptist church doesn’t make anybody a Christian.”

Well, that argument is a logical fallacy. Yes, we certainly agree that just by attending church services or by being a member of a particular religious denomination or church doesn’t make anyone a Christian. According to the Bible, God’s Word, an individual becomes a Christian only when they repent of (turn from) their sinful rebellion against God and accept (trust in) Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. A person must be born-again, spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ, in order to become a Christian.

Many of the old mainline Protestant denominations drifted into modernism many decades ago and no longer teach that the Bible is God’s Word and no longer preach the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. People who still bother to attend those dead churches are not going to hear the Gospel. But thankfully, there are still many conservative-evangelical Baptist, Presbyterian, old-school Lutheran, and non-denominational churches where the genuine Gospel of grace is preached. At least unsaved people who attend those churches will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. They must then decide whether to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior or not.

In the case of Roman Catholic churches, the Gospel is NEVER preached in ANY of them. Roman Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Catholics are taught by their priests that they must receive graces from the church’s sacraments, so that they can successfully obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!), in order to hopefully merit their salvation at the moment of their death. That is a false gospel, NOT the genuine Gospel!

There are certainly some individuals who still identify as Roman Catholic who have genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone after hearing the Gospel of grace from a Christian friend, by reading a Gospel tract, by hearing a Christian preacher on television or radio, or by reading God’s Word themselves and responding in faith. But their salvation in Jesus Christ by faith alone is always, always, always in spite of their church’s teachings and not because of them. As they grow in Christ and His Word, the Holy Spirit will draw them out of the false (c)hristianity of Catholicism.

So, my indignant, ecumenically-minded, evangelical friend, I totally agree with you that sitting in a church pew Sunday after Sunday makes no one a Christian, BUT that doesn’t preclude the fact that the 1.3 billion souls who sit in the pews of Catholic churches around the world NEVER get to hear the genuine Gospel of grace from their church’s pulpit. Many evangelicals today just don’t know a lot about the particular teachings of the Catholic church and wrongly interpret Gospel outreach to Catholics as sectarian intolerance.

Reblog: AfterThought Episode 6 – Interview with Tom from ExCatholic4Christ: Part 1 — Biblical Beginnings

I’ve had the blessing of dialoguing with sister Lauren at Biblical Beginnings for quite a long time. Her postings and friendship have been a true blessing in my life.

Lauren has started a podcast in conjunction with her blog and she recently offered me the opportunity to speak about evangelical outreach to Roman Catholics and the dangers of ecumenism with Rome. She posted part one of our interview this past Monday and part two will follow tomorrow. The link to part one of the interview is below:

I’m very grateful to Lauren for giving me the opportunity to speak on these topics that are so important and very dear to my heart. I encourage everyone to check out Lauren’s blog, Biblical Beginnings, and her podcasts. She already has six episodes completed. Lauren does an excellent job using this new podcast technology and she was an excellent interviewer.

Thank you, Lauren, for all that you do in serving the Lord!


Today, dear ones, I dropped episode 6 of Afterthought! I’m so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Tom from ExCatholic4Christ. In this first part of this two part interview Tom shares his testimony, and explains the difference between Roman Catholicism and Christianity. He also details how ecumenism began, and progressed, in the mid […]

via AfterThought Episode 6 – Interview with Tom from ExCatholic4Christ: Part 1 — Biblical Beginnings

Session from recent Former Catholics for Christ Conference: “The Marriage Feast” by Cecil Andrews

Last week, I posted one of the talks given at the recent Former Catholics for Christ Conference; “Evangelizing Catholics” by Mike Gendron. See here. Today, I’m posting another sermon from the conference; “The Marriage Feast,” given by Cecil Andrews which was presented on Sunday evening, May 19th.

This sermon by brother Andrews isn’t specifically about the Roman Catholic lost, but is a general evangelistic sermon about the marriage feast of the Lord that everyone is bid to come to, but few accept the invitation (Matthew 22:1-14).



The website for Take Heed Ministries, Cecil Andrews’ apologetics ministry, can be accessed below:

Take Heed Ministries


Postscript: Praise God! Great news! I was able to find videos of all eight sessions of the Former Catholics for Christ Conference and will be posting them soon.