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* What Do Catholics Really Believe? *

From: MyFaith.com <info@myfaith.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 12:22:14 -0800
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* * *  WHAT DO CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE?   ("Must Read!")
      
- Part One:  What the Church Needs Now is Discernment
- Part Two:  Apostolic or Apostate?
     
{Visit Proclaiming The Gospel @ www.Pro-Gospel.org for more info.}
     
  
- Part One: "What the Church Needs Now is Discernment"
- by Mike Gendron   (Nov. 2003) 
   
You may remember the words recorded years ago by Jackie DeShannon as she
reflected on a world full of hostility. "What the world needs now is love,
it's the only thing that there's just too little of." Today, we lament the
condition of the church which has lost its ability to distinguish between
truth and error. Now we must sing a new verse. "What the church needs now
is discernment, it is the only thing that there's just too little of, and
not just for some but for everyone."
  
Several discouraging events have been brought to my attention in the last
month. Each one shows a lack of discernment and a growing cause for alarm
as this trend continues. We are seeing more and more evangelicals
tolerate, endorse and/or embrace the fatal gospel of Roman Catholicism
 
Baptists and Catholics Together
 
Last month Park Cities Baptist Church invited Monsignor Don Zimmerman of
Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas to be the guest speaker for the
men's Bible study on the book of Romans. I was shocked that the church
leadership would be ignoring Paul's compassionate and emotion-filled
warning to pastors: "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock,
among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church
of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my
departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and
from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to
draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering
that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish
each one with tears" (Acts 20:28-31). Knowing that the monsignor could
cause believers to fall from their steadfastness and pure devotion to
Christ, I had to warn the church leadership (2 Cor. 11:2).
   
In an urgent letter to Senior Pastor Jim Denison, I asked him to consider
several key questions with biblical exhortations: As a good friend of the
monsignor, have you ever shared the true Gospel of Jesus Christ with him?
If so, what was his response? Are you aware that the gospel he preaches is
condemned by the authority of God's word (Gal. 1:6-9)? Is he aware there
are no more offerings for sin and no need for a sacerdotal priesthood? Are
you aware that his church has condemned born-again Christians for trusting
in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and His atonement? Are you aware that
the Catholic Church has a stated goal to unite all Christians under the
power and influence of the Pope? Can you not see that your invitation to
the monsignor is playing right into their hands and fueling the fires of
ecumenism? Have you considered that your responsibility as an
undershepherd is not only to feed the sheep but also to protect them from
such wolves in sheep's clothing?
  
Since I did not receive any response from Dr. Denison, or anyone else from
the church, I knew I had to put my faith in action and contend for the
truth. Having taught seminars at the church on seven previous occasions, I
had more than a casual interest in what was about to happen. Motivated by
my passion for truth and love for my Lord, I asked my wife Jane to join
me. We put on the full armor of God and petitioned our sovereign King for
guidance, wisdom and protection. We then went out to warn the men of the
"Trojan horse" who would be covertly entering the walls of their church.
 
As we stood outside of this Baptist Church, founded and sanctified by
truth in 1939, we handed out our Gospel tract entitled Is A Roman Catholic
Christian An Oxymoron? The tract clearly reveals that those who adhere to
the gospel of Rome are not Christians. Less than five minutes after we
arrived, one of the pastors came out and asked us to cease from handing
out tracts and to get off the church property. I politely told him that we
would leave the church property but we would continue to spread the truth
about the errors of Roman Catholicism from the street. We shared our grave
concern that this church was giving credibility to a purveyor of deceit
and also giving validation to a false religion. We asked how the church
leadership could ignore these commands from Scripture. "If anyone comes to
you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him" (2 John 10). "If
anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of
that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame" (2
Thes 3:14).
   
A few minutes later, a security guard showed up to make sure we stayed off
the church property. After handing out a few hundred tracts, we got in our
car to leave and noticed the security guard was writing down our license
plate number. What an irony! We are not secret agents for the Lord Jesus
Christ! We would have gladly given him any information he requested; in
fact, earlier we offered him one of our Gospel tracts which included our
name, address, phone number and web site, but he refused to take it.
 
Meanwhile, the wolf in sheep's clothing had the attention of nearly 300
Baptist men. He delivered a message entitled: Christians, Pagans and Paul.
Denison, who had been praying with the monsignor since 9/11/01, introduced
him as a brother-in-Christ, thus giving credence to his false gospel. What
a deplorable message of compromise for these Baptist men. Rather than
learning the truth about the ungodly rituals and pagan traditions of the
Roman Catholic Church, these men left the Bible study believing it was a
valid representation of true Christianity.
 
Remember the Reformation?
 
On another front, I was informed that John Armstrong of Reformation and
Revival Ministry had also made plans to invite a Roman Catholic priest and
theologian to speak at his symposium entitled: Law and Gospel. In an
exchange of e-mails with Armstrong, I expressed how disheartening it is to
know that the one who directs a ministry with "Reformation" in the name
has apparently forgotten the martyrs who were tortured and killed for
refusing to do what he is now doing.
  
Armstrong said the priest, Father Tom Baima, provost of St. Mary of the
Lake Seminary in Chicago is a brother in Christ because "his love for
Christ is present." I asked John, "Are you not aware that the Christ he
loves is not the Christ of Scripture? He loves a Christ that was unable to
purify sinners from all sin, thus the need for purgatory. He worships a
Christ that did not finish the work of redemption, thus the need for his
liturgy. He believes in a Christ that he can call down from heaven each
day to be offered as a victim for the propitiation of God's wrath. His
Christ can be transubstantiated into a wafer that must be eaten to enter
into heaven. His Christ did not atone for all sin, consequently Catholics
must do penance to make satisfaction for their sins. His Christ is not the
only sinless mediator but shares this role with His mother."
  
Armstrong's response to me was warm and cordial but he concluded with: "we
simply do not agree about this issue."
 
Christian Products or Heresy?
 
On still another front, I went into Family Christian Bookstores last month
and was annoyed and disturbed to, once again, see more capitulation and
compromise. This national chain of stores now has a special section for
Roman Catholic books and products which includes rosaries and gifts for
infant baptisms. I picked out books by Scott Hahn and Mother Teresa and
showed the manager how both authors pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The manager's response: "Family Christian Stores are committed to
providing Christian products that serve diverse needs within the whole
body of Christ." I then contacted corporate headquarters to express my
concern. The director's response was: "While Roman Catholicism is not my
denomination, and I personally don't believe so much symbolism is
necessary, I can accept them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Many
Catholics I know are true believers in Jesus Christ and I refuse to divide
the body."
 
Unlikely Sources for Truth
 
On yet another front, a large evangelical tract publisher called me to
critique a tract they were ready to print called: The Road to Heaven
According to the Roman Catholic Faith. The tract had quotes from Pope John
Paul II, The Council of Trent, a Roman Catholic Cardinal and the Catechism
of the Catholic Church. I advised them that the Apostle Paul never quoted
the Judaizers as a credible source for truth about the Gospel. I told him
that his firm should not give credibility to statements from a religion
that opposed and condemned the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
These are just a few tragic examples of how some evangelicals have
selfishly and conveniently overlooked what the Reformation was all about.
Many of the Reformers were brutally tortured and burned at the stake for
exposing the fatal flaws of Rome's gospel - the very gospel that these
evangelicals are now endorsing. These evangelicals have either forgotten
the Reformers who boldly and courageously refused to accommodate error, or
they believe they were foolishly wrong to die for the truth.
  
It is difficult enough to live the victorious Christian life of overcoming
the world, without also having to engage in doctrinal battles within our
own camp. However, we must maintain doctrinal purity and remain separate
from those who preach another gospel. False gospels cannot be tolerated.
Those who preach them must be identified as unbelievers and not introduced
as our brothers-in-Christ. Their lies hold men captive in prisons which
ultimately become their tombs.
 
It is time for Christians to emulate the apostles and be inspired by their
uncompromising mission to spread the Gospel and expose its counterfeits.
Might there be an awakening in these last days! Let us pray that God will
empower us with His Spirit to live according to His word. As an expression
of our love for our glorified Savior, let us actively and earnestly
contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude
3).
   
-----------------------------------
   
- Part Two: "Apostolic or Apostate?"
- by Mike Gendron
    
Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true church founded by Christ, or an
apostate church that has departed from the faith of the apostles? This
question had a very clear-cut answer 400 years ago when the Reformers
departed from the heretical teaching of Popes. Today, however, there are
many evangelicals who are not so sure.
 
Jude warned the church to contend for the faith against apostates who
attempt to steal away disciples. In verse 4 of his epistle, he wrote, "For
certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly
slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our
God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only sovereign
and Lord." Jude identifies the apostates by certain characteristics. They
are ungodly because they supplant God's sovereign authority with an
authority of their own. Apostates turn the grace of God into a commodity
that can be bought, bartered or merited. They pervert the gospel of grace
into a gospel of works. They deny the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ
and give His divine attributes and titles to others. They deny the
sufficiency of the word and work of Christ. It is these impostors who lead
people away from "the faith which was once for all delivered to the
saints." Do any of these characteristics convict the Catholic Church of
being apostate? Let us compare them with teachings from the new Catechism
of the Catholic Church (paragraph numbers are in parenthesis).
  
Apostates teach a different gospel
  
The Catholic Church has nullified the Gospel of grace by adding additional
requirements for salvation. It teaches baptism (1257), church membership
(845), the sacraments (1129), obeying the commandments (2068), good works
(1821) and the sacrifice of the mass (1405) are all necessary for
salvation. This is another gospel, and those who teach it are condemned as
severely as Paul condemned the Judaizers for teaching a false gospel
(Galatians 1:6-9). Catholic priests are needed to dispense salvation
through seven sacraments. From baptism through purgatory, Catholics are
taught they can gain a right standing before God by what they do instead
of believing what God has done for them through Christ. Catholics are
taught they "can merit the graces needed for the attainment of eternal
life" (2027). Each Catholic must attain their own salvation (1477).
 
Apostates deny salvation on the merits of Christ alone
 
The Catholic Church teaches that through indulgences "Catholics can attain
their own salvation and at the same time cooperate in saving their
brothers" (1477). The pope claims to have the power to transfer the merits
of one sinner to another to reduce their punishment for sin. "An
indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sins which the
sinner gains through the Church, which... dispenses from the Vatican
treasury...the prayers and good works of Mary and all the saints"
(1471-79). Rome also "commends almsgiving and works of penance undertaken
on behalf of the dead" (1032). From Scripture we know that "no man can
redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him, the ransom for
life is costly no payment is ever enough" (Psalm 49:7-8).
 
Apostates condemn the Gospel of grace
 
For over 400 years Rome has not only preached a different gospel but also
has condemned anyone whom believes the glorious Gospel of grace. Many
Christians are unaware the Councils of Trent and Vatican II issued over
100 anathema's (condemnations) on anyone who believes salvation is by
grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. All these condemnations
are still in effect today as evidence by these two examples:
 
"If anyone says the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that
nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of
justification, let him be anathema."
 
The Catholic Church, "condemns with anathema those who say that
indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to
grant them."
 
Rome also condemns anyone who believes they are assured of eternal life.
This anathema denies the words of Christ, who said, "I give them eternal
life and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand"
(John 10:28). For those who reject the words of Christ, Jesus said, "there
is a judge for the one who does not accept my words; that very word which
I spoke will condemn him at the last day" (John 12:48). Catholics must
recognize there are more serious consequences for being condemned by the
infallible Word of God than by the fallible teachings of their church.
  
Apostates deny the sufficiency of Christ's atonement
 
Catholic teaching denies that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient to expiate
all the guilt and punishment of sin. Instead they teach a cleansing fire
is needed for "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (1475).
The doctrine of Purgatory is an utter denial of the sufficiency of
Christ's perfect sacrifice for sin, yet Catholics are asked to accept it
as a grace (1473). The pope has the power to bring them out of purgatory,
but refuses to do so, unless indulgences are offered in their name. "All
who die still imperfectly purified undergo purification, so as to achieve
the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (1030).
  
Rome teaches that Catholics can carry their own cross to expiate their
sins and the sins of others (1474-77). What a glaring contradiction this
is. The cross of the sinless and perfect savior is said to be insufficient
to expiate sins, yet the cross of lowly sinners is said to be sufficient
to do what Christ could not do. No priest can tell Catholics how many
indulgences are needed or how long one has to suffer for each sin. This
only perpetuates a religious system that holds Catholics in bondage and at
the mercy of their church indefinitely. However, the writer of Hebrews
declared, "For by one offering He (Jesus) has perfected for all time those
who are sanctified" (10:14), and "after Christ had provided purification
for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the majesty in heaven" (1:3).
 
Apostates deny Christ's sacrifice is finished
 
The Catholic Church teaches the sacrifice of Jesus must continue daily on
its altars for the reparation of the sins of the living and the dead
(1414). This is done so that sins may be expiated and the wrath of God may
be appeased. Although Scriptures teach the Lord's supper is a memorial,
Rome declares it is a real sacrifice and asserts Jesus is immolated
(killed) as a sacrificial victim each time the Mass is offered. "The
sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single
sacrifice" (1367). Rome claims the priest has the power to call Jesus down
from heaven, and transubstantiate a wafer into his physical body, blood,
soul and divinity. After almighty God has been reduced to a lifeless,
inanimate piece of bread the priest lifts it up to be worshipped. The
priest then re-presents Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to the Father. This
practice is strongly rebuked by Scripture. Paul wrote "we know that since
Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again...the death he died
he died to sin once for all" (Romans 6:9-10). In anticipation that
apostates would declare Christ is present when He is not, Jesus warned us,
if anyone says to you, "look here is the Christ, or there He is do not
believe it" (Matthew 24:23). When Jesus "offered for all time one
sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God...there is no
longer any sacrifice for sin" (Hebrews 10: 12,18). To deny the words of
our blood stained Savior, who said "It is finished" is to reject the
essential doctrine of the Gospel (John 19:31). For if the work of
redemption is not finished then all humanity remains condemned to hell and
dead in their sins.
  
Apostates deny the sufficiency and authority God's Word
 
Rome declares that Scripture along with "tradition must be accepted and
honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." Pagan traditions
and practices began tainting the doctrinal purity of the early church when
it ignored the rebuke of Jesus concerning tradition. Jesus firmly
denounced religious leaders for allowing their traditions to nullify the
Word of God (Mark 7:6-13). Apostates show a lack of awe and reverence of
God's sovereign power by supplanting His authority with an authority of
their own. They do this by removing, adding, and altering the inspired
Word of God.
 
Catholic Bishops have removed the 2nd commandment of God in their new
Catechism (page 496). It is no wonder Rome removed the commandment, which
forbids the making and worshipping of statues. There are huge profits that
have been made from the sale of statues. In the 16th century Rome added
the Apocrypha to its canon of inspired books in an attempt to justify its
doctrine of Purgatory. Rome should take heed of the warnings God gives to
those who add to His word. "Do not add to his words or he will rebuke you
and prove you a liar" (Prov. 30:5-6).
 
Apostates demand submission to mediators other than Christ
 
Catholics must submit to the pope who "by reason of his office as Vicar of
Christ, has full supreme and universal power over the whole church, a
power he can exercise unhindered" (882). They must also submit to The
Magesterium, which is said to be the infallible teaching authority of the
Church. Catholics are taught they cannot receive forgiveness for mortal
sins unless they confess to yet another mediator, a priest. Catholics also
seek Mary as a mediator who has been elevated to Mediatrix, Co-redeemer,
and Advocate by Rome. Yet Scripture reveals Jesus is the only mediator
between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus alone is holy, blameless, pure,
set apart from sinners, and exalted above the heavens (Hebrews 7:26).
 
Is the Roman Catholic Church guilty of apostasy? The evidence is
overwhelming. The truth must be told in love with courage and conviction.
The eternal destiny of millions of precious souls hangs in the balance.
The Catholic Church has fallen away from the faith of the apostles and
gone the way of apostates.
 
How are Christians to respond? Toward individual Catholics we must obey
the Scriptures, and call them out of their apostate churches (Revelation
18:4). We must proclaim the true Gospel and make disciples of them! Toward
the religious system that holds Catholics in bondage, we must expose their
unfruitful deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). We must correct and rebuke
their false teaching (2 Tim 4:2) and contend for the faith (Jude 3). And
finally we must avoid those who oppose sound doctrine (Romans 16:17). This
means refusing to join hands with apostates "to advance the mission of
Christ." It means rebuking the ecumenical thrust for unity at the expense
of truth. We must obey the Scriptures for the glory and purpose of Christ.
May He be exalted and praised in all that we do!
      
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- BE SURE TO PASS ON A COPY TO YOUR PASTOR, FRIENDS & RELATIVES!   
- USE THESE LINKS TO READ OR PRINT THESE ARTICLES IN PDF FORMAT:
     
www.myfaith.com/Apostolic-or-Apostate--an-article-by-Mike-Gendron.pdf
www.myfaith.com/Church-Needs-Discernment--an-article-by-Mike-Gendron.pdf 
   
--------------------------------------------------
       
- Articles by Mike Gendron of Proclaiming The Gospel, a ministry focused
on helping Christians understand the differences between biblical
Christianity and Roman Catholicism, while also equipping Christians to
reach Catholics with the Gospel of Christ.
     
- Visit www.Pro-Gospel.org for other articles, books, audios and videos,
or to find out about scheduling Mike Gendron to speak at your church or
event.
       
    
--------------------------------------------------
   
God bless! 
www.MyFaith.com
 


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Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2003 16:19:25 GMT

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