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:

https://afterthoughtbybiblicalbeginnings.podbean.com/e/afterthought-episode-6-interview-with-tom-from-excatholic4christ-discussing-ecumenism-part-1/

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!

capture30

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

Home

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.

Session from recent Former Catholics for Christ Conference: “Evangelizing Catholics” by Mike Gendron

As I mentioned before, I was very pleased when I learned about the Former Catholics for Christ Conference, which was held this past May 17-19 at Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois. The conference featured eight sessions over the three days with four guest speakers; Rob Zins, Mike Gendron, Tim Kauffman, and Cecil Andrews. I have often referred to the ministries of each of these faithful servants of the Lord over the years.

I was hoping that some of the sessions would eventually be released as podcasts and I discovered two of them are available via Southern View Chapel’s website.

Below is the MP3 audio of Mike Gendron’s 48-minute talk, “Evangelizing Catholics,” which was presented on Sunday morning, May 19th.

 

In this talk, brother Gendron provides some excellent practical advice on how to witness to our Roman Catholic family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

The website for Proclaiming the Gospel, Mike Gendron’s Gospel outreach ministry to Roman Catholics, can be accessed below:

Proclaiming the Gospel
https://www.proclaimingthegospel.org/site/default.asp?sec_id=180014816

Next week, I will be posting a sermon, “The Marriage Feast,” given by Cecil Andrews at the conference.

Tens of thousands of Rochesterian commuters are confronted by “Jesus Saves” billboard every day.

I took the above enlarged photo with my iPhone through the windshield of my car as I was driving home from work last week. I was driving around 60 mph at the time and took the photo with one hand. Definitely don’t try this at home! Forgive the poor quality.  Yes, I even photoshopped it as best I could.

Okay, so what about that “Jesus Saves” billboard in the photo?

Rochester, New York sits smack dab in the middle of the anti-Bible Belt. Ninety-five percent of the people here are either Roman Catholics, mainline (modernist) “Protestants,” or atheists/agnostics. We certainly don’t see a lot of “Jesus Saves” signs around here.

The huge “Jesus Saves” billboard sits aside Route 490 eastbound near the city center. It’s been there for a couple of months. Route 490 is the major east-west expressway in our county. Average daily traffic (ADT) on 490 at this location is about 100,000 cars per day. That’s A LOT of people reading “Jesus Saves” each day.

The Lord uses many people and things to draw souls to Him. I pray He uses this billboard on 490 to get people thinking about salvation in Christ. The smaller print on the billboard references John 3:16 and says it’s sponsored by The Shepherds Fold Church in Scottsville, New York. I checked the church’s website and I see it’s Pentecostal and teaches the prosperity gospel. Argh! Definitely not a church I would recommend. But I do pray the Lord uses the mammoth sign to get passing motorists to think about Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Postscript: I remember before I accepted Jesus that I used to scoff at any “Jesus Saves” signs that I saw. My buddies and I would always be tempted to append “…Green Stamps” to any “Jesus Saves” signs or posters we encountered. If you’re younger than, say, fifty, I’m confident you have no idea what S&H Green Stamps were.