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).