July 5, 2011

Logos goes Catholic for a day

by Jesse Johnson

When I opened my Logos program yesterday, I was greeted by a message from the machine: “Logos has launched an initiative to increase our Catholic resources,” and they have done so by hiring a guy, Andrew Jones, who was trained (of course) in medieval history. Jones’ task will be running a Catholic Resources division, and his goal is to bring more RCC books the Logos community.

Let me say a two things about this straight away: I am moderately disappointed in how Logos is doing this, but am slightly happy that they are doing it. Allow me to explain my tension.

I am one of those fundamentalist Christians that believes that the biblical gospel is incompatible with anything that smells like Roman Catholicism. Recently when MacArthur preached on why he thinks it is likely that the antichrist will be a Middle Eastern leader, I was skeptical. Sure his reasoning was sound, but I have already landed; the antichrist will be a Pope, and as dispensational as I am, I don’t have room for two.

To those oversensitive types who think that is harsh, all I have to say is: they started it. I believe that you are saved by faith alone, in Christ alone, and the RCC says anyone who believes that is anathema. If they retract their anathema from me, then I will stop laughing when someone says “Catholics are Christians just like the rest of us…”

Look: the RCC is a chameleon. In the Philippines they venerate an ancient rain goddess. In México they worship an Aztecan image named the Virgin of Guadalupe, and if you tell me they simply honor her and not worship her, I will tell you that you have never been to México City. It is simply natural that in the United States, the RCC takes pains to morph itself into something that looks like American evangelicalism.

And in many instances, they are succeeding. Some American evangelicals honestly believe that there is not much of a difference between the RCC and the gospel Jesus preached. And when you take that mindset and combine it with Dan Brown level scholarship, you get people who think that the first 1500 years of church history is the history of the RCC. It is difficult to imagine a more intentional kind of ignorance.

That is why I am ok with Logos launching their RCC wing. The Catholic Church is crazy. There have been popes that were atheists, Cardinals that mocked the Bible, and rampant immorality for most of RCC history. Popes contradict popes, and many popes contradict themselves. Their doctrine and history is far removed from the truth of the gospel, and it makes the enlightened American who claims all roads lead to Jesus seem like an illiterate.

As always, books fight ignorance. Reading about the RCC is like reading about an immoral train-wreck, but with more citations. I hope that Andrew collates all of the Official Papal Decrees throughout the ages, and organizes them by topic. I hope he gives us a list of the saints and their miracles, as well as a list of Popes and their children. I demand a commentary on Bel the Dragon. If he can provide us the minutes to the meeting where Mary was declared a perpetual virgin, I would buy the package. If he throws in the works of GK Chesterton…well, even better.

But as I said earlier, I am disappointed in how Logos is launching this. I understand they are a bookstore, and not a church. Their job is to make money, not to adhere to a doctrinal statement. So I wish they would have launched this simply as a new division of Logos. Instead, my Logos start-up page greets me with a shout-out to the Second Vatican Council’s claim that the meaning of Scripture is found in history and tradition. Which, if you believe, is actually a strong argument against buying the RCC “scholars” package.

If Logos would have done this in the same manner that Barnes and Noble shelves books, then there would not be much of an uproar. However, Logos is not Barnes and Noble. If you are familiar with Logos, you know that they are a forum-driven community. Like the car company Saturn of yesteryear, Logos does not have customers—they have enthusiasts. Most (95% we are told) of their customers are not RCC, so you have to wonder how wise it was to drop  Andrew’s smiling picture on everyone’s home-screen like a Christmas card. They don’t do that when they hire a new IT guy.

The fact of the matter is that this (along with the comments in their forums) reveals that there are some inside Logos who have drank the RCC holy water, and honestly think that there is not a big difference between Catholicism and Christianity. You would expect that kind of confusion among the untaught (or the deliberately ambiguous), but to find it espoused by those who man the book store is a little stunning. I only hope they read what Andrew drums up for them, and see the difference.

On a final note…you have to love that the qualification to put together the RCC collection is a degree in medieval history. The reformation has not slowed these people down one bit.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA.
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  • http://www.jonnywhitman.com Jonathan Whitman

    Thanks Jesse! Well put!!

  • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

    Would you mind expanding on some of the things you mentioned here? For example, where does the Catholic Church say that anyone who believes in salvation by faith alone is anathema? My understanding of the Catholic Church’s theology (based on Catechism of the Catholic Church) on that is that works alone can never save you, but faith without works is not true faith by definition. This seems very Biblical to me and very close to what most Protestants would say regarding works.

    It seems to me from reading this that you’ve actually done some research into the Catholic Church and have come to very opposite conclusions, and I’d be interested to see what in your research caused you to draw those conclusions, if you want to share it. I’ve come across plenty of websites that are virulently against the Catholic Church, but they base their claims on misinterpretations of Catholic theology. I have yet to find a website/read a book that is against Catholicism which actually has Catholicism right in the first place! If you know of any (and I’m guessing you probably do) would you mind giving some recommendations?

    • Anonymous

      Council of Trent. Read their (RCC) own traditions and you will see it.

      John MacArthur did a series on the RCC and he quotes their literature, their own apologists, including straight from the Council of Trent. Perhaps you haven’t seen this series yet:

      http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermon+Series/296_Explaining-the-Heresy-of-Catholicism

    • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

      Hi Hannah,

      Thanks for your gracious inquiry. I hope Jesse will also respond — because he’s sure to have better thoughts on this than I do — but I thought I’d note a few things.

      The RCC’s anathema on sola fide comes from the sixth session of the Council of Trent, Chapter XVI, and particularly under the section “On Justification.” A couple of examples:

      - Canon IX: If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification … let him be anathema.
      - Canon XI If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.
      - Canon XII If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.

      Many of these statements can be confusing, because it sounds like they’re just saying “true faith evidences itself in works,” which is exactly what Protestants hold, and is what James 2 — and the rest of the NT — teaches. But the difference is that the RCC believes that the works themselves are evidences of infused righteousness (as opposed to the imputed righteousness of Christ) and themselves are ground for our justification. So, though the RCC doesn’t teach that we’re justified by works alone, they teach that we are not justified by faith alone, and that anyone who does believe that is eternally condemned.

      Interestingly, later on in those canons in the same section of Trent, it says that if I say without doubt that I’m elect, was predestined to obtain salvation, and am certain that I’ll persevere in faith to the end of my life, I’m anathema. As someone who believes in unconditional election and the perseverance of the saints, I’m consigned to hell by the Council of Trent. And if any Catholic was to object to the rulings of the Council, they added a final anathema for you, too (see Canon XXXIII).

      This comment is already too long, so I’ll end by giving two book recommendations. (1) William Webster’s The Church of Rome at the Bar of History is a great examination of the RCC on historical grounds. (2) James White’s The Roman Catholic Controversy.

      • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

        Thank you so much for your reply – it was very helpful. I will check out those books and the links you mentioned.

        It seems that the core issue that you’re describing goes back to the view of righteousness, and whether it is imputed or infused. In other words, the RCC believes that we are actually made righteous, while Protestants believe that we are simply covered by Jesus’ righteousness, and remain unrighteous under that covering. Do I understand this correctly or am I confused?

        • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

          I’d say that’s basically it, though I’d want to clarify that it’s not exactly right that Protestants think we “remain unrighteous,” as if we mean: profess to be like Christ but live like the devil. We are progressively sanctified, i.e., from one degree of glory to another (2Cor 3:18) God brings our practice into conformity with our position. But we will never be fully righteous — like Jesus — until “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2), i.e., until glorification.

          The point is: the forensic righteousness that merits heaven for us will always be an alien righteousness (Christ’s). But one of the evidences (not the causes, or grounds) of that forensic righteousness is increasing practical righteousness wrought in us by the Spirit of God.

          The old Sunday school quip is valid: we’re saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.

          It’s hard to believe that falling on one or the other side of these nuanced confessions is the difference between heaven and hell. But it is. These are different gospels.

          • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

            Actually, I grew up Protestant – I recently decided to convert to Catholicism after years of research into both it and various Protestant traditions.

            I guess I fail to see how such subtle nuance could possibly make the two different gospels. It seems to me that what you are saying is basically what the Catholic Church says today, albeit with slightly different words.

          • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

            …what the Catholic Church says today..

            This and other statements you make in later comments give me the impression that you haven’t understood your new religion as much as you ought. There can be no difference between what the Catholic Church says today and what they said in the Council of Trent, because those councils are authoritatively binding. So much so, as I mentioned, that if you disagree that I, as an evangelical, am going to hell for my belief in sola fide, then you’re going to hell right along with me (Canon XXXIII). In other words, if the Catholic Church today differs from the Catholic Church of yesterday, the former is not the Catholic Church, but another schismatic faction or heresy. That’s how magisterial authority works. One of the best contributions that Webster’s book makes is to show how the whole thing is a house of cards, as, for example, two supposedly infallible sources disagree with one another.

            I guess I fail to see how such subtle nuance could possibly make the two different gospels.

            Here’s the difference. One is a religion of human achievement: my adding my works of merit to Christ’s merit in order to finally justify me. And that is bad news, because my works of merit could never be good enough. The other is a religion of divine accomplishment: what I, of myself, could never even contribute to, God has accomplished in my place and gives it to me as a gift. And that is good news.

            That difference is most certainly is an issue of life and death. “Where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin” (Heb 10:18). To say different is to dishonor the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement. That’s the heart of the Gospel.

            Neither you nor I could ever achieve what God requires of us, in whole or in part, with help or without it. God is more holy than for that to be so. But He demonstrates His love for sinners in that what His holiness required, His grace provided in Christ for all those who trust in Him alone for all their righteousness.

            I’m thankful that you clicked over here today. I pray you’ll keep studying, and that you’ll eventually place all your hope of acceptance with God squarely on the righteousness of Christ alone. For He alone is sufficient.

    • Anonymous

      Hannah,

      Mike got the main ones (esp. Canon 9 and 14). But another clear statement is in Canon 30 of the Council of Trent, which says: If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.”

      In other words, if you think you are going to heaven because you have been justified by faith in Jesus, you literally have another thing coming. For Catholics: purgatory. For evangelicals: hell.

      • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

        Actually, the Catholic Church of today does not say that evangelicals are going to hell. Those who grew up in churches separate from the Catholic Church are referred to as “separated brethren” who are recognized as Christian, though the Church thinks they only have part of the truth. The Church tends not to make determinations on who goes to hell nowadays, from what I’ve seen. It’s one of the things I like best about it.

        Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 818. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm

        • Anonymous

          Hannah: did you see the quotes above? They say that if you believe your sins are forgiven based upon your profession of faith you are “anathema.”

          There is more recent RCC teaching about those who believe in God but who are not aware of the RCC (such as Islam) going to Purgatory, but those who know of the RCC and being apart from it (such as evangelicals) being lost. But I think the quotes above should suffice. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense to say, “Evangelicals only have part of the truth, and there is hope for them, but those people who think they are justified by faith alone are anathema.” How can you even hold those two simultaneously?

        • Anonymous

          Read it carefully:
          (from your source) “All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ”. Now… tell me, what does it mean to be justified by faith in baptism to a Catholic and to an Protestant?

          If you did your work researching it well, you know that we, protestants, are justified by faith in Christ. “in Christ” and “in baptism” is not the same thing.

    • Anonymous

      As for books to read on this, my favorites are both mentioned by Mike: Church of Rome and the Bar of History, and The Roman Catholic Controversy.

      From secular sources, my two favorites are William Manchester’s “A World Lit Only By Fire” (one of my all time favorite books), and Chamberlain’s “Bad Popes.”

      Back in the Christian camp is a book called “Far From Rome, Near to God,” written by 50 ex RCC priests who were converted. And then there is pretty much any biography of any Christian in Europe between 1100 and 1600 (were there any who were not persecuted by the RCC?). Esp. Ian Murray’s chapter in Heroes on the missionaries to Funchal, and of course Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

      • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

        I’m very cautious about any persecution stories, as once the Protestants got power they persecuted the Catholics quite viciously as well. However, I have read at least parts of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, years ago now. Thank you for the book recommendations – the “Far From Rome, Near To God” one sounds especially interesting.

        • Anonymous

          Sure so-called Christians have been guilty of persecution. But that is not the point. The point is that you can’t say that RCC and evangelicalism are the same thing, when historically the RCC has martyred more Christians than every other group combined. The point isn’t who is nicer. The point is that they are not the same thing.

          Let me ask you a question: If the RCC and protestants persecuted each other, how can you say they are actually the same thing? Have Catholics changed since the 1100′s to today? How come they still persecute Christians in parts of the world? Are they mistaken? Or have evangelicals since become more like Rome? I just want you to see that there is some serious division between the two. It is not just a matter of nuance or fine points of doctrine, but of death and anathemas. Which school has more benevolent leadership is kind of beside the point.

          • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

            I don’t think I ever said that evangelicals and Catholics are the same thing. There are many theological differences. There are other theological differences that seem to me to be more a matter of phrasing. At the core, however, they can both be counted Christian.

            RCC and Protestants persecuted each other because both churches are made up of human people who make horrible mistakes and want to find an “other” to blame. Yet these horrible mistakes were made by people who probably believed with all their hearts that they were doing what God wanted. Also, I don’t think the RCC is persecuting Protestants in any part of the world. Individual RCs may be, but not the Church as a whole.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Jesse for the article. “The reformation has not slowed these people down one bit.”

    It’s interesting that they (RCC) hold back from turning Mary’s co-redemptrix belief (already practiced and believed) into dogma just because it would turn many of their “supporters” (including many in the evangelical camp) away from them. I wonder how they are going to represent that belief in Logos.

    • Anonymous

      That restraint is really only evident in the US. But in most of Europe and Latin America, it would be difficult to elevate Mary any more.

      Which leads to a second point I tried to make above: the whole “Catholics and evangelicals believe the same thing” line is really only heard in the US. In most of the rest of the world, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who confuses the two. Can you imagine having this conversation in Italy?

      • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

        The *official Church doctrine* concerning Mary contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in papal encyclicals is much less extreme than the actual *practice* of many Catholics around the world. I truly believe that some Catholics *do* truly worship Mary, but it is *very* possible to be Catholic without doing so.

        • Anonymous

          You should ask your priests directly about this. Mary is THEIR god. Have you read the dogmas of Mary? Even if you say that you can be a catholic without worshiping Mary, why to be a Catholic then? for the love of the traditions? of ecumenism? of thinking that you will have another change after you die if you go to purgatory? Tell me, what of all those dogmas and Catholic beliefs you don’t agree with? Which ones do you agree with? Do you pray for the dead?

          I am pretty sure that if you tell your priest that you refuse to worship Mary and that you don’t believe in what the RCC says about Mary, he would not be pleased with you, to say the least.

          Also, have you researched the mass? It’s outrageous! Christ in submission to the priest??? His real body and blood shared on their altar, everyday a sacrifice? You must agree with this wrong teaching if you attend mass and participate in their Eucharist.

          • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

            Have you researched the Catholic Church? I recommend starting with a book like Catholicism for Dummies, or, better yet, with the heavyweight – the Catechism of the Catholic Church itself: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

            Your comment revealed so many misconceptions about the Catholic Church that I’m not sure where to start. First of all, Catholics do not worship Mary. They ask Mary to pray for them. Do you ever ask anyone to pray for you? It’s the same concept. They do not worship Mary. For more detail, please see the Catechism.

            Catholics believe that if you die, having committed a sin with full knowledge of how horrible it was, and have not yet repented, then you are going to hell. That isn’t exactly having “another chance” in purgatory. Purgatory is where you are purified. For more detail, please see the Catechism.

            Yes, I pray for the repose of the souls of the dead. I grew up doing so, in a conservative Episcopalian church.

            I am becoming a Catholic because they are the historical church, and for many many other reasons. I’ve spent years doing research. This is not a decision made lightly or with ignorance. If you wish to truly dialogue with Catholics, I think you should find out what Catholics actually believe, instead of contenting yourself with the popular misconceptions.

          • http://mriccardi.blogspot.com Mike Riccardi

            Hannah, I find your “historical church” comment exceedingly interesting.

            1. For one thing, that’s true if you take it back to about AD 500, but not at all true if you take it all the way back to the Apostolic Fathers, and, of course, the Scriptures themselves. Check these links out for the Fathers on the evangelical principles of sola Scriptura and sola fide.

            2. For another, you consistently make the distinction between the Catholic church today vs. the Catholic church of some earlier time in history. How is that the historical church, then?

            3. If the “historical church” taught in an authoritatively binding, yea, infallible, council that I, a believer in sola fide, am going to hell (along with anyone who denies it), and you deny that, how in the wide world is your view historical?

          • Elainebitt

            I am not sure why your only argumenf is that we havent done any research on catholism, when it has been posted here by others quotes straight from RCC’s own material. But in any case, I can assure you this, you dont know catholicism as you think you do, and even less the reformed faith. The bottom line is not how you personally exercise your faith, but how that said “faith” relates to the Bible, (and by your own admission we know some of it – at least in 3 points – praying to mary and to the dead, and also the belief of purgatory), and it is totally unbiblical. You cannot find support for any of those practices in tbe bible. As has been said, it is another gospel.
            I really dont want to turn this into a debate with you, it profits me nothing. I thank you for the interaction though. May the Lord Jesus Christ reveal Himself to you.

          • Anonymous

            Hannah,

            There are some questions here I think you should answer before you post again. Did you see the sources provided above? Do you agree that they teach that Protestants are anathema? So do you now see that the RCC does indeed teach that Protestants are condemned?

            And Mike’s question: Do you think the RCC has changed any of its doctrinal views between the “historical church” and the church of today?

          • Damon Loomis

            Hannah, a book I would suggest is The Gospel According to Rome which the author, a former Roman Catholic, takes the the Catechism of the Catholic Church and compares the major differences with Scripture. The bottom line in all this is who, or what, is the final authority? If you say anything other than the Holy Scriptures, like the Pope & RCC tradition, you’re on extremely dangerous ground. (see Matthew 7:21-23)
            Damon Loomis

  • Mary Elizabeth Tyler

    Even if someone from within the camp of the RCC, say a large group of parishioners wanted to surmount or amend their faulty doctrine of justified by faith, they would be hard pressed to do so because of the vice grip Papal infallibility holds upon the church. That would be a mighty hurdle for many Catholics to jump. Speaking ex cathedra is the Pope’s right on behalf of the whole church to speak and act in ways that are consistent with its **councils**, and with the collective wisdom of its cardinals and bishops (traditions).

    If their Pope is infallible and acts in accordance with their **councils**, then their doctrine of justification is written in stone, or any doctrine they espouse. You see how dismantling any one of their doctrines would be a challenge? Papal infallibility must first be dealt with a fierce blow before any truth is remotely recognizable.

    Rome has done a complete and consumate replacement of Christ within the church by instituting a system of priesthood that competes with Christ’s sole authority. Rome still offers indulgences. Rome still claims to forgive sin. Rome still claims universal secular and religious sovereignty. Rome still claims sole right to interpret scripture….and ad infinitum.

    The entire priesthood is a house of man-centered cards and if the King is not taken out first, the whole system will not come tumbling down but remain standing.

  • threegirldad

    I understand they [Logos] are a bookstore, and not a church.

    Interesting contrast between Logos and BibleWorks on that score (scroll down to the UPDATE section).

    And speaking of being a bookstore rather than a church: “95% of our existing customers are combative, exclusivist jerks” sure seems like a peculiar marketing campaign. But hey — I’m just one of those computer dweebs…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2010471 Jason Hauser

    Great post Jesse. I hope there is more buzz on this issue throughout the online forums. As a former Catholic my heart breaks both for the billion plus deceived Catholics out there and the growing number of undiscerning evangelicals that don’t understand the issue.

    Starting tomorrow there will be the first of a series of free weekly Logos training webinars on this very issue. They are going to be hosted by a former Catholic who is also a former Logos employee who shares in this concern. The title of the webinars is:

    “Using Logos 4 to Study the Differences Between Catholic & Protestant Doctrines”

    You can register for free here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/529122158

    It’s a great opportunity to both learn about the issue at hand AND learn how to continue your study of it using your Logos library and it’s FREE.

    Spread the word…

  • http://twitter.com/standridgejl Jordan Standridge

    thanks Jesse!
    today I was asking a co-worker his testimony, and he said he was just recently saved, so I asked him if his parents were Christians, and he said quote, “No, they’re Catholics.” it was music to my half-Italian ears!” although I’m very sad for his parents, I am also very happy that he understands the gospel, and will evangelize them, and not let them think that they are saved, when they are not. I hope discussions like these will help Americans see the truth behind the devil’s masterpiece that is the Roman catholic church.

  • http://aborrowedlight.wordpress.com/ MarkO

    Hannah,
    R.C. Sproul pins the tail on the donkey with latin precision in the T4G 2010 session he gave by video. I found it very helpful. Here is the link: http://t4g.org/media/2010/04/the-defense-and-confirmation-of-the-gospel-what-i-have-learned-in-50-years-session-ii-2/

    • Mary Elizabeth Tyler

      MarkO:

      R.C. Sproul talks about synthetic justification that the Reformers advocated and analytical justification adopted by Rome in his book “What is Reformed Theology.” It is very good.

      I also saw the video you posted a while back, and have to say he is one man who has never been one to back down from controversy when it comes to defending the faith from Rome’s corrupt doctrines.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Mary for the book suggestion. =)

  • http://aborrowedlight.wordpress.com/ MarkO

    another thot: Michelangelo a member of the Spirituali while working underneath the Pope’s nose came to understand, as he wrote in a letter, “que la gratia divina no si por comprare” (that divine grace could not be purchased). I lived in South America for several years and saw first hand how the RCC still uses it power to lead their people along with a purchased salvation.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure which South American country you are referring to, but in Brazil the “official” religion is Catholicism. You are born a Catholic like it or not. Their devotions to Mary and the saints are huge! Plus, the superstition that goes along with it, it’s a real money maker. For example, if/when you loose something (wallet, car keys, anything) you say a prayer to a certain saint asking for the item to be found in return for some money (a vow), and when you find it you have to go and pay for that vow at your local church – yes, usually money. At new years you have to jump over some basil leaves and carry a saint card in your wallet with the leaves, to give you luck. You put a saint george (not sure it’s this one) by your front door to protect you, you pray to angels… oh, I could go on and on.

      • http://aborrowedlight.wordpress.com/ MarkO

        Elaine – I was speaking of Ecuador in particular, but I have had exposure to other SA countries as well. Americans (I guess you would understand) do not realize how deep Catholicism is woven into the ethos of the culture.

        • Anonymous

          I agree Mark. I really like what Jesse said: “the whole “Catholics and evangelicals believe the same thing” line is really only heard in the US. In most of the rest of the world, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who confuses the two. Can you imagine having this conversation in Italy?” You can switch “Italy” for many of South American countries.

  • Armando

    Thanks for this Cripplegate Web. I like what you are publishing. I made ​​some Spanish translations of your articles and I have posted on my blog

  • D Standridge

    Thank you Jesse and all those posting.

    There is no doubt that there is so much confusion for many as to the condition of Roman Catholics. Are they confused brothers and sisters in Christ or are they a group of people that need to be evangelized?

    Answering the question is not only important for clarity but for those involved it is a matter of life and death! There is no doubt that earthly churches have pronounced anathemas to each other with human terrestrial authority.

    Paul clearly pronounced a God driven anathema in the book of Galatians – There is only one Gospel that is clearly based on faith alone – grace alone – Christ alone. Paul says clearly that anyone, even an angel should be accursed if they preach a different Gospel.

    The Roman Catholic Church it was already clearly stated that because they base themselves on tradition can look like the church or religion of the land very easily, but they do have basic beliefs that are clearly stated in their Catechism.

    The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude C of the C C 1257

    Baptism…makes the neophyte “a new creature” an adopted son of God C of the C C 1265

    By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin C of the C C 1263

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation C of the C C 846

    The Church affirms that for the believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation C of the C C 1129

    All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven C of the C C 1030

    The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Concils of Florence and Trent C of the C C 1031

    It is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life… On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory C of the C C 1472

    These beliefs from the Roman Catechism clearly show that true Biblical believers and Roman Catholics do NOT believe the same thing. We cannot all be right. Where you get your authority from will make the difference! That is why the cry of the reformation id Sola Scriptura.

    No one is saved because their religion is better, but because they have trusted in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation and have believed exclusively in what Christ said – the only source we have for truth is the Word of God.

    We need to evangelize Roman Catholics having compassion for their souls.

  • http://twitter.com/bluebonnetreads Hannah

    I want to apologize. My intent in my comments was to discuss, with grace, these various topics, but I’m afraid I’ve missed the mark and possibly even come across as trollish. If I gave offense at any time, please forgive me.

    You all have given me so much to think about, and for that I am truly grateful. You have also reminded me that there is always more to learn, and humbled me through that. I appreciate that even more. I obviously needed it. So, again, thank you all.

    • Anonymous

      Hannah,
      That is very gracious of you, and I can assure you that you did not come across as a troll. So thanks for interacting here. There are a few questions that people (including me) have asked you above. If you want to take time and think about those, go for it. Comment threads here close after 7 days, but you can always email me at jarbitro@gmail.com. If you want to interact more on this particular thread, just pick up by answering the questions for you that are here.

      Thanks Hannah

      • Mary Elizabeth Tyler

        Dear Hannah:

        I agree, how gracious of you. Please listen to these wonderful men of God, they are here to help you. The Pope is not infallible. No mere fallen, sinful creature, has any right to usurp God’s authority and claim infallibility. That right there should be a warning sign. It is the very thing that breeds cults.

        I will keep you in my prayers.

        Love,
        Mary

    • http://aborrowedlight.wordpress.com/ MarkO

      Hannah,
      just so you know for my part – I appreciated your tone (as much as that might be possible in non-vocal communication). I did not sense asperity in your earlier thots. You are inquiring as should we all.

      I told a Reformed preacher once that I think we should always keep a small part of our brain in doubt about God’s true existence. He didn’t like that. I don’t think he got my point – - doubt is a tool to lead us to truth, therefore questions, the application of doubt, can lead us to truth. Now, some of my most deeply held beliefs about God, Scripture and Gospel truth have come out of periods of deep doubt AND searching in God’s Word.

      For me, the reason I have not pursued Catholicism is because I have learned through the Gospels that Christ’s death on the Cross is totally and eternally sufficient. I have found quiet and full peace in knowing that nothing needs to be added to His work on the Cross. No saint or even Mary (as humanly useful or good as they might have been – and many were) can add anything to His full atonement on the Cross. In this – His perfect righteous life and perfect work on the Cross (double imputation) – I have found incalculable peace.

      That is one reason I love this song:
      The Power of the Cross
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGCISQQ7Zo

      Thanks for pariticpating in this blog.
      MarkO

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