Throwback Thursday: Is it a sin for a born-again Christian to remain in the Roman Catholic church?

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


Every Christian’s story on how they came to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior is different. Some testimonies are dramatic, others are sweetly simple.

My five sisters and I were raised in Roman Catholicism and attended Catholic grammar school and high school. In all those years we never once read the Bible at school or at home. None of my friends read the Bible, either. I walked away from the church completely as soon as I graduated from high school, but felt compelled to return after my wife and I married and our sons were born. I thought I should be a responsible father and raise our boys in the Catholic religion just as I was raised. In my return to Catholicism, the Lord put it in my head to buy a Bible and I began reading it, voraciously. Uh-oh. While reading the New Testament I kept coming across teachings that opposed what I had been taught as a Catholic. Over a span of a couple of years I left the church and eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone.

As I said, every Christian’s testimony is different. There are some people who are members of Catholicism who accept Christ as Savior, but stay in the church for a period of time. But it’s difficult for me to understand how a person could accept Christ and be born-again and yet stay in a church that teaches a gospel of sacramental grace and merit. How does one reconcile God’s Word with the mass and the eucharist, Mary, the saints, penance, purgatory, the pope, priests, relics, attempting to obey the Ten Commandments to merit Heaven, etc., etc.? It can’t be done. It’s my belief that a person who has genuinely accepted Christ will eventually come out of an institution that anathematizes the Gospel of grace. Sin, fear, and the enemy may slow them down, but, with the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance, they are on their way out.

Above is a six-minute video of the late evangelical theologian, R. C. Sproul, expounding on some of the important differences between Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism and the sin of remaining in Catholicism after a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues.’” – Revelation 18:4

Throwback Thursday: Would somebody PLEASE excommunicate me?!?!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on August 18, 2016 and has been revised.


In the past, I’ve written about some of the circumstances surrounding my “departure” from the Roman Catholic church, but today I’d like to go into a little more detail.

I was baptized into the church as an infant and our family attended mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation. My five older sisters and I were all sent to Catholic grammar school and high school. I received the sacraments of first penance and first communion when I was seven years old and was confirmed at the age of ten. I served as an altar boy from fifth through eighth grade and even desired to eventually enter the priesthood. But along with adolescence came the usual distractions and I lost interest in the church and religion.

After my wife and I married, had our two sons, and moved into our first house, the responsibility of fatherhood weighed upon me and I set about to raise our two boys in the Catholic “faith” (actually, non-faith since Catholicism is works-based). I began attending mass on Sunday at the local church and even arranged for the parish co-pastor priest, Roy Kiggins, to come over and bless our new house. As part of my return to “the faith,” I also went out and bought a Catholic Bible and began reading the New Testament voraciously. In twelve years of Catholic education, we had never read the Bible. I was amazed and dismayed that the Bible contradicted many of the teachings of the Catholic church. I was so distraught that I finally stopped attending mass.

Through God’s Word and the witness of some Christians and Christian materials, I was convicted of my sinfulness by the Holy Spirit and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983. Hallelujah! What joy! What peace! In all those years of religious indoctrination, I had never known Jesus as my Savior. My Catholic family, friends, and classmates didn’t know Christ, either. Catholicism is all about obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules and trying to merit Heaven. There were lots of ritual and formality, but no personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Roman Catholicism is a religion of ritual and ceremonial legalism, which includes extensive record keeping. In parish archives there’s records of baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc. As someone who was genuinely born-again in Christ and had come out of Catholicism, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Does one who leaves the church request an excommunication? My mother-in-law, who had divorced and remarried in the 1950s, had been formally excommunicated from the church (she had received a letter from the diocese) and I desired the same. I wrote a letter to the parish, explaining my new status in Christ and asked to be excommunicated. Co-pastor priest, Ed Palumbos, wrote back saying the Holy Spirit blows where He will and wished me well. Hmph! No excommunication? No anathemas condemning me to the depths of Hell? My, things had certainly changed!

In centuries past, people such as myself who left the RC church and aligned with evangelical Protestantism were condemned as apostates and heretics. What about today? Does the Roman church teach I can still “merit” Heaven since I left the “one, true church” of my own accord? It depends on who you ask, but according to the conservative Catholic source below, if a person abandons the faith “through their own fault” as I did, they will “bear the eternal consequence of doing so.”

But let’s reason this out. Since the church’s salvation doctrine has “evolved” to the point where the current pope teaches that even “good” atheists are able to merit Heaven, it can’t very well arbitrarily condemn all those who left the ranks as it did in the past. A 2015 Pew Research study found that 52% of all U.S. adults who were raised Catholic have left the church. Excommunication letters for remarried divorcees like my mother-in-law were discontinued at some point in the 1970s. Make no mistake, the Catholic church still has its excommunication canons in its Code of Canon Law, but if it had served excommunication papers on everyone who divorced and remarried or who stopped attending obligatory mass, there wouldn’t have been time or resources for anything else.

Thank you, Lord God, for drawing me out of legalistic religion and opening my eyes to your “Good News” and saving me. Baptism, sacraments, and church membership don’t save. Only accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone leads to salvation.

A regrettably popular hymn and gladly reneging on a bad promise

As I was reading the July 9, 2021 issue of the independent fundamental Baptist newspaper, “The Sword of the Lord,” I came across a short article by former Sword editor, Curtis Hutson, in which he misguidedly praised the hymn, “Faith of Our Fathers.”

I know this hymn is sung in many conservative evangelical churches and you may enjoy it yourself. But most evangelicals aren’t aware of this song’s origins. Wikipedia states, “‘Faith of our Fathers” is a Catholic hymn, written in 1849 by Frederick William Faber in memory of the Catholic martyrs from the time of the establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII and Elizabeth.” The short article doesn’t mention that Frederick William Faber (1814-1863) was a Roman Catholic priest.

The original lyrics written by Faber are as follows:

Faith of our Fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword:
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.

Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Our Fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free:
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for thee!

Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our Fathers! Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to thee:
And through the truth that comes from God
England shall then indeed be free.

Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our Fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife:
And preach thee too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life:

Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Protestant choirmasters took this Catholic hymn and altered the lyrics to make it more palatable to non-Catholics. But I’m not in favor of singing a song originally written by a Catholic priest to glorify Catholic “martyrs.” The popes and Catholic prelates of the Reformation-era and their dutiful magistrates were responsible for martyring exponentially more Protestants than Catholics killed by over-zealous Protestants. During the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572) alone, it’s estimated that 10,000 Huguenot Protestants were murdered by the Catholic majority in France. There are plenty of uplifting hymns written by genuinely born-again evangelical Protestants. We don’t need to borrow any hymns written by works-righteousness Roman Catholic priests.

I used to sing “Faith of Our Fathers” as a young Roman Catholic and I dutifully repeated the words, “We will be true to thee till death.” Well, I definitely reneged on that promise, yet I feel zero remorse. Why? Because the “faith of our fathers” of Roman Catholicism is a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. I found out by reading God’s Word and through the elucidation of the Holy Spirit that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983 and left the Roman Catholic church. No more “faith of our fathers” for me! Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord. I don’t need priests. I don’t need the blasphemous sacrifice of the mass. I don’t need the pope. I don’t need a bogus purgatory, either. I couldn’t merit my salvation for even one day let alone over a lifetime as Catholicism insists its members must do.

Before belting out “Faith of Our Fathers” again, you may want to rethink singing a song that was originally written by a Roman Catholic priest as an anti-Protestant diatribe.

Throwback Thursday: “On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on July 26th, 2015 and has been revised.


On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics
Edited by Richard Bennett and Glenn Diehl
Solid Ground Christian Books, 2015, 301 pp.

5 Stars

In “On the Wings of Grace Alone,” ex-priest, Richard Bennett (, presents another collection of testimonies from ex-Catholics who left their works-righteousness religion and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. In two previous books, Bennett culled together the testimonies of ex-priests (“Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Catholic Priests”) and ex-nuns (“The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories”), but in “On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics” he presents the stories of ex-Catholic laypersons.

Each contributor speaks of being born into a Catholic family and being indoctrinated into the Catholic religion of sacramental grace and merit. Catholicism is a religious treadmill of constantly striving to live in a “state of grace” by participating in the sacraments and adhering to church rules. In Catholicism, tradition is given much greater emphasis over God’s Word. Few Catholics read the Bible. When they finally did examine the Bible, the contributors were surprised to find that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. They all repented of their sin and accepted Christ as their Savior by faith alone and left their works-righteousness religion.

This is a valuable collection that will bless Catholics who are searching for Christ, ex-Catholic Christians who have already come out of Rome, and Christians who are interested in the irreconcilable differences between Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity. The theology doesn’t get too deep, but the contrast between Catholicism’s salvation system of sacraments and merit and Biblical salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is the overriding message.

A couple of the contributors were familiar to me. The late Jim Tetlow wrote a couple of books on Romanism (“Messages from Heaven” and “Queen Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All”). Joe Mizzi’s website ( is devoted to reaching Catholics with the Gospel. A few of the testimonies get a bit tangled up in the weeds and could have used some more stringent editing. One person goes into detail arguing for the doctrine of predestination while a couple of others promote the “KJV 1611-only” viewpoint. This is the wrong book for delving into arguments on tertiary beliefs. Those few criticisms aside, this is an excellent collection that will bless the reader.

These days, many evangelical pastors and para-church leaders are jostling in line to embrace the pope and works-righteousness Catholics as fellow Christians so it’s a blessing to see that there are still faithful witnesses, like Richard Bennett,* who distinguish between the Gospel of grace and Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. As the accommodation of error within evangelicalism continues, with pastors praising the pope and Catholic theologians from their pulpits, those who take a stand against Rome will be increasingly marginalized. In addition to the three books mentioned, Bennett also wrote “Catholicism: East of Eden, Insights into Catholicism for the 21st Century.”

I was able to purchase a copy of “On the Wings of Grace Alone” directly from the publisher, Solid Ground Christian Books, at a very favorable, new-book discount. See here.

*Addendum: After fighting the good fight of faith for so many years, Richard Bennett went home to the Lord on September 23, 2019.


Thank you, Lord, for your faithful servant, ex-priest, Richard Bennett!

After I returned to the Lord in 2014 following my very long prodigal “season,” I once again sought out evangelical ministries that specialized in Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics. I had been a Roman Catholic for 27 years, from 1956 until 1983, when, praise God, He saved me by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone! Gospel outreach ministries to Roman Catholics are obviously very dear to my heart, but these days, with the rising tide of ecumenical compromise and betrayal, such ministries face opposition not only from Catholic quarters, but also from evangelical ecumenical Judases.

One of the outreach ministries I came across after my return to the Lord was Berean Beacon founded by Richard Bennett. I recently learned that Richard was called to Heaven by the Lord this past September 23rd. Many Gospel Christians who were saved out of Roman Catholicism will miss Richard dearly.

Richard was born in Ireland in 1938. In 1956, at the age of 18, he entered the Catholic seminary with the goal of becoming a Dominican Catholic priest. In 1963, at the age of 25, he was ordained a priest. The following year, he was sent to the Caribbean island of Trinidad as a missionary priest. By 1972, he had become deeply involved with the growing Catholic Charismatic Movement and was often invited by Pentecostal congregations to speak as a gesture of faux ecumenical unity. Richard was involved in a serious car crash in the same year and during his convalescence he began seriously reading the Bible for the first time. After his recovery, Richard continued planting Catholic churches on the island, but he was increasingly troubled by the differences between Scripture and Catholic doctrine. He was so distressed by the discrepancies between God’s Word and Catholicism that he became physically ill. Richard reached the point where he knew he could no longer be a part of the Roman church. In 1985, he quit the priesthood and left Trinidad for Canada and the United States. A Christian couple in Washington State led him to the Lord and Richard repented of his sin and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Praise God! He subsequently married his wife, Lynn, and the couple served as missionaries in Asia. The Bennetts returned to the U.S. and the Lord put it in Richard’s heart to start Berean Beacon ministry in 1990 as an outreach to Roman Catholics.

I thank the Lord for Richard’s faithful, twenty-nine-year outreach to Catholics with the Gospel of grace. It was clear from photos and videos of recent years that Richard was not in the best of health and yet he sacrificed and continued forward out of love for the lost souls of Catholicism. What would Gospel-compromising, evangelical Judas pastors and para-church leaders who embrace Catholicism as a Christian entity, men like Rick Warren, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, and Stephen Nichols, say about an ex-Catholic priest who devoted the last twenty-nine-years of his life to trying to lead Catholics to Christ and also warn believers of ecumenism with Rome?

Below are links to Berean Beacon and to my reviews of Richard’s four books:

Berean Beacon


Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Catholic Priests

The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories of God’s Amazing Grace

Catholicism: East of Eden: Insights into Catholicism for the 21st Century

On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics

What’s in a name?

I’ve posted previously about what prompted me to start blogging back in 2015 (see here). Three and a half years later, I’m still at it, thanks to the Lord.

When I began the blog, I thought about a good name for it, just like every blogger does. My goals for the blog were 1) to compare the doctrines of Catholicism with God’s Word, 2) to reach out to Catholics with the Gospel, and 3) to warn Christians of the ecumenism with Rome that was spreading like cancer within the evangelical church. With those goals in mind, I immediately thought of the name “Ex-Catholic for Christ.” However, a father and son ministry team in the U.K. was already using “Ex-Catholics for Christ,” so I modified the moniker slightly to “excatholic4christ.”

The short name actually contains quite a bit of information:

I was a Catholic, but I am not any longer. I am now for Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

As a Roman Catholic, I was NOT for Jesus Christ. I upheld my church’s gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Christ’s death on the cross didn’t mean much to me personally because I still had to receive the sacraments and merit my own salvation. Despite my church’s talk about “grace” and “faith,” I understood very well, along with my fellow Catholics, that my salvation was dependent on how well I “cooperated with grace.” However, while reading God’s Word, I was confronted with the irreconcilable differences between Scripture and the Catholic church and I was convicted to leave Catholicism. In 1983, I finally repented of my sin and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone.

Hence, I am an ex-Catholic and I am now for Christ and His Gospel.

I very much understand that a title like”excatholic4christ” is not appealing to many people. In our current era, when the concepts of plurality, tolerance, diversity, and political correctness are idolized to the detriment of truth, even among evangelicals, such a moniker is off-putting and even scandalous. There are more than a few so-called “evangelical” pastors (Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, etc.) and para-church leaders who purposely overlook irreconcilable doctrinal differences and enthusiastically embrace Catholicism as a Christian entity, all in the quest for shallow “unity.” After all, Catholics also refer to “grace,” “faith,” and “Jesus the Savior.” The idea of reaching out to Catholics with the Gospel has become “religiously incorrect” in many evangelical circles.

However, Catholics need to hear the Gospel as much now as they did seventy years ago, before Billy Graham and others began their accommodations and compromises with error. Will you love the 70 million lost Catholics in this country by sharing with them the Gospel of grace, educating your pastors about the spiritually deadly errors of Catholicism, and supporting ministries that specialize in outreach to Catholics?

Several times I considered changing the name of the blog to something that would be perceived as less offensive, but thought better of it. I am an ex-Catholic and I am for Christ. I cannot change any of that. As upsetting as it may sound to some, the Catholic church and Catholics are NOT for Christ because they do not teach His Gospel of grace. If a Catholic is saved, they are saved in spite of their church, not because of it, and are on their way to leaving their church as they become more obedient to His Word.

Postscript: I didn’t intend for this post to be an exercise in introspective, self-congratulatory navel-gazing, but only to explain why this blog is named what it is. The Lord God Almighty doesn’t need me or this little blog to achieve His purposes. All praise, glory, and honor to the Lord!

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” – Matthew 10:34-36

What’s stopping me from becoming Catholic? Do you have an hour?

I listen to Catholic talk radio every day, which some may think very strange given the nature of this blog, but I do like to keep up with the latest news and views regarding Roman Catholicism.

One Catholic talk show that I occasionally catch is “Called to Communion” on the EWTN radio network, hosted by apologist, David Anders. The main purpose of the show is to try to persuade Protestants to convert to Catholicism and their slogan is, “What is stopping you from becoming Catholic?,” which is regularly repeated during the advertising slots.

What’s stopping me from becoming Catholic? Actually, I WAS a Catholic from 1956 until 1983 – 27 years. But through the reading of God’s Word, I was able to see the many errors of Catholic doctrine and I left. The Holy Spirit then used Scripture, people, and situations to lead me to Jesus Christ. I repented of my sins and accepted Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983. Praise the Lord for freeing me from the chains of Roman legalism and ritualism!

What’s stopping me from returning to the chains of Roman Catholicsm? Argh! What a question! It’s an impossibility! I would choose death over going back to Roman blindness. Who would willingly leave spiritual life and freedom in Jesus Christ for spiritual death and chains? A genuine believer could never even consider such a choice. Does not compute.

Here’s a list of Catholic doctrines/practices in brief that prevent me and should prevent anyone else from considering Roman Catholicism.

  • The teaching of salvation by sacramental grace and merit rather than Biblical salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
  • No assurance of salvation because it is merit-based.
  • Priests. Priestly sacrifice was done away with by Jesus Christ. There were no priests in the New Testament church.
  • Transubstantiation. Priests claim to change bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.
  • Worshipping consecrated bread wafers.
  • Veneration/worship of relics.
  • The sacrifice of the mass. Sacrifice for sin was finished by Jesus Christ.
  • Purgatory.
  • Indulgences.
  • Confessing sins to a priest.
  • The promotion of extreme forms of self-mortification, including self-inflicted physical pain, as forms of penance and discipline.
  • Venerating/worshiping Mary and the saints.
  • Praying to Mary and the saints.
  • Rampant idolatrous statuary in every Catholic church.
  • Rote prayers.
  • Sacramentals – holy water, candles, rosaries, crucifixes, scapulars, etc. – used as good luck charms.
  • Prohibition of non-abortifacient contraceptives.
  • Papal infallibility (although many conservative Catholics now consider Francis to be a fallible heretic).
  • Church traditions taking precedence over or even contradicting God’s Word.
  • A dizzying labyrinth of 1752 Canon Laws and 2865 numbered paragraphs in Catholicism’s official catechism.
  • The annulment of marriages as if they never took place.
  • The church as an institution rather than the spiritual body of believers. Through most of its history, the Catholic church was focused on wordly wealth and power and the absolute control of its membership, often through intimidation and even violence.
  • The separation and elevation of the clergy over the laity, including the rule of celibacy (which attracts and promotes sexual perversion), and the great pride in their competing religious orders, S.J., O.C.D., O.F.M., O.P., etc., etc..
  • Doctrinal turnaround. Catholics were once condemned to hell for eating meat on non-Lenten Fridays and attending a Protestant church service.
  • The obsession with calendrical solemnities, feasts, and memorials as if God ranks one day over another.
  • The designation of certain sites as holy shrines that allegedly endow visitors with blessings.
  • The ostentatious riches, pomp, and ceremony that permeate Catholicism while Jesus Christ had nowhere to lay His head.
  • In stark contrast to its thick catalogue of exacting laws and rituals that it imposes upon its membership, Rome decrees that non-Catholics of all religions and even atheists may merit Heaven if they ambiguously “follow the light they are given.” That is NOT Christianity!

What’s stopping me from becoming a Catholic? The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word! Praise God Almighty for leading me out of Catholic prison to salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!

Postscript: I have attended several “services” at Catholic churches over the last 34 years – weddings and funerals of family and friends – and my soul was so grieved by the anti-Biblical lies. David Anders tries to persuade Protestants to join Catholicism, while his church is leaking members like a sieve according to its own statistics. Only 20 percent of Catholics attend obligatory mass every Sunday!

Leaving Catholicism for Christ “way down under”

Stepping Out in Faith: Former Catholics Tell Their StoriesSOF
Edited by Mark Gilbert
Matthias Media, 2012, 124 pages

This is a short, very readable collection of testimonies from eleven people who left Roman Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

There’s not a lot of heavy-duty theology here. Most of the folks tell a similar, short tale of growing up within legalistic, cultural Catholicism, being invited to a Bible study and noticing the differences between God’s Word and their religion, and responding to the Gospel.

All of the contributors noted that Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments and church law, which left them exasperated. Through God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit they came to understand the GOOD NEWS! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone and accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Gilbert and the ten other writers are Australians so there’s an interesting “down under” twist to the stories. Also, most of the writers heard the Gospel for the first time in Bible studies sponsored by the Anglican church in Australia. Gilbert is an Anglican minister. I had assumed the Anglican/Episcopal church was largely dead but evidently there are pockets where the Gospel is still given out and received. Surprise! These eleven Anglicans are more zealous in their defense of the Gospel of grace than a few Baptists I know.

Below are a couple of other books from Matthias Media dealing with Roman Catholicism:

  • The Road Once Travelled: Fresh Thoughts on Catholicism (2010) by Mark Gilbert
  • Nothing In My Hand I Bring: Understanding the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant beliefs (2007) by Ray Gallea

See their online catalog here.

In my Books tab I’ve compiled a list of over 280 books which compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word. See here.



Why would someone leave Catholicism’s “well-balanced meal” for Evangelical “junk food”?

In the article below, Catholic writer, Patti Maguire Armstrong, sadly ponders why a friend

Patti Maguire Armstrong

and her family have left the “one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” for an Evangelical church. She bemoans that her friend chose the “feel-good” vibrancy of the Evangelical fellowship over the Catholic liturgy with it’s “Real Presence.” She concludes that her friend has chosen evangelical “cotton candy” over Catholicism’s “well-balanced meal.”

My! It’s too bad mealy-mouthed Evangelical pastors don’t stand up for the Gospel of grace the way Catholic apologists stand up for their gospel of merit.

American Catholics like Ms. Armstrong obviously struggle to comprehend why members are leaving their church in droves. Three million left in the last seven years and more than a few joined Evangelical churches. Why?

Let me tell you why I left Catholicism and it wasn’t because I was seeking a “warm-fuzzy” fellowship experience. It was ALL about Jesus and NOT about membership in a religious institution.

Like most Catholic teenagers I walked away from the church because I thought religion wasn’t “cool.” I returned after I became a father and felt obligated to raise my children in the Catholic faith. For some Godly reason I also purchased a Catholic Bible and began reading it voraciously. Catholics aren’t generally encouraged to read the Bible and I soon found out why. What I was learning from Scripture contrasted with the Catholic religion so I stopped attending mass. The Lord continued to use His Word and several Christian individuals and resources to bring me to a point where I understood His Gospel:

  • We are all sinners.
  • Sinners deserve hell.
  • God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins.
  • Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death.
  • The Lord offers forgiveness from sins and eternal life with Him to all those who accept Jesus as their Savior.

I hesitated and hesitated but I FINALLY prayed to Jesus and asked Him to save me and be my Lord. All my sins – past, present, and future – have been paid for by my Savior. I could NEVER be “good enough” to merit salvation as the Catholic church teaches. My Savior covered me with His perfect righteousness. I have no plea of my own. My Lord isn’t a consecrated bread wafer sitting upon an altar. He indwells me. He guides me. He corrects me. He is my Shepherd. He is my Father. He is my Friend. He is my Rock. Armstrong appeals to history and tradition. I appeal to the simple Gospel of the early church as found in the New Testament.

I’m sure there are some who left Catholicism for a warm and welcoming “fellowship” as Armstrong speculates. But many of us left the legalism, ritualism, and religious formalism of Catholicism for the GOOD NEWS of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. I hope that was the case for Ms. Armstrong’s friend who wasn’t able to clearly articulate the Gospel according to this account. Or maybe Armstrong’s friend was afraid to present the Gospel. Or maybe Armstrong wasn’t listening.

Ms. Armstrong continues to toil away, attempting to earn her salvation like all “good” Catholics. She feels sorry for her friend but she is the one who needs the Savior.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

“Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16


Ex-Catholics Seek Happiness Without the Holy Eucharist

By Patti Maguire Armstrong

National Catholic Register


Half Of Former Catholics Have Forsaken Religion Altogether

It’s no surprise that so many American Catholics have given up on the Catholic church.cathwhere Trying to merit your way to Heaven by obeying a mile-long list of rules and regulations, as the Catholic church teaches, just leads to exasperation. Praise the Lord that at least 14% of these former Catholics are now attending Evangelical churches and hearing the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.


Half Of Former Catholics Have Forsaken Religion Altogether

by Antonia Blumberg, The Huffington Post

September 13, 2015

Roughly half of Americans raised in Catholic households have left the church at some point — and most of them have stayed away for good, according to a recent report by Pew Research Center.

These “former Catholics” make up 15 percent of the U.S. population, according to another recent survey by Public Religion Research Institute. These Americans are largely abandoning religion altogether after leaving the Catholic Church, while others find new homes in Protestant denominations and non-Christians faiths…(continued).