October 2, 2015

Why You Must Leave the Roman Catholic Church

by Jordan Standridge

While I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response about last week’s article, “Why Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Cannot Be Together,” some seem to not quite grasp the reason for it. After all, they say that they have neighbors or family members who really love Jesus, who attend a Roman Catholic Church. While I have spoken to many Catholics and have yet to meet one who can explain the Gospel, I am sure that at least in America there has to be some believers who Sunday after Sunday are attending RCC’s. If you are one of these people, here are four reasons you need to leave today. Or if you know someone whom you believe to be born again, here are four reasons you need to encourage them to leave.

You are severed from the Church body

The weekly Church gathering is not about evangelism. It’s about worship, fellowship and equipping (Eph 4:11-15). We love for unbelievers to come to one-anotherChurch and see the radical difference between how Christians love one another and how the world loves one another. We love for unbelievers to come to our services and be exposed to the preaching of the Word. But ultimately the Church is literally made up only of the saints. It is foolish to go to a place on Sunday morning, instead of Church, for the purpose of “evangelism”. Sundays are not for evangelism. Let me clarify because many Sundays I do evangelize someone, but ultimately the gathering of the believers has been instituted by Christ for mutual encouragement and serving each other, not to evangelize each other. If you go to a “church” where the majority of the people around you are unsaved then you are disobeying Hebrews 10:24-25. If you are a believer attending a RCC, then Christ wants you to leave and join a church where HE is the head. You have gifts the Holy Spirit has given to you that you need to be using to serve your fellow Christians. The one-another’s are for believers not unbelievers.

You are missing out on expository preaching

I contend that the main avenue Christ uses to sanctify his bride as a whole is through the weekly exposition of the Scripture. God has gifted calvin-preaching_19thc-representation2certain men with the ability and time to study His Word in depth, and has blessed the Church with the Sunday morning gathering of the saints. It is crucial that we are part of a church that preaches through the Bible. It is imperative that we sit under solid teaching. I have never met a priest who preaches through the Bible verse by verse. Paul’s charge to Timothy was to preach the word (2 Tim 4:2) and to rightly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). This simply does not happen in the RCC and any believer who subjects himself to false teaching will be affected by it more than they can affect those around them.

You can’t reform an apostate religion

I sometimes hear that there are genuine believers attending RCC’s, and they are there for the purpose of being a light in a dark place. They agree that Catholicism is a dead religion without the true Gospel, but that they are so concerned for their friends and families that they choose to stay and reform from the inside. I understand this attitude and I truly appreciate the intent and the desire to reach people for Christ, but we have a misunderstanding of what the Church is meant to be when we do this. We also have a inflated view of our ability to do what the apostle Peter and James couldn’t do with Judaism, though it seemed that they tried, and what Luther and Calvin couldn’t do in the Roman Catholic Church and ultimately had to branch off and start new churches.

You are blaspheming God

I pray that this statement will come across with love and with a concerned heart attitude. But if you are attending a mass then you are blaspheming God. As we saw in last week’s post, each time you eat the bread and drink theTheEucharist wine you are saying that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross two-thousand years ago was not sufficient and that Christ must continue to die each and every week. While you may be taking it as a symbol and in thankfulness to your Savior, the RCC is saying that Jesus is still on the cross and must continue dying for last week’s sins. Jesus is not still on the cross. His death was effectual in what was intended. He died Once and for all for sin (I beg you to read carefully Hebrews 10:10-18), and shouted “It Is Finished!” He does not need to continue dying, and the blood he shed that day was sufficient to cover all our sin, past, present and future. When we partake in the RCC communion we are blaspheming Christ by telling Him that His death and resurrection was unsuccessful.

So many people are bothered with posts like these. They feel like it’s unloving and unaccepting to tell someone they are wrong or doing the wrong thing. I beg you to reconsider. I believe it’s unloving to allow your friends and neighbors to continue going to a “church” Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, that is not going to provide for them spiritually and where they will be forced to insult Jesus.

If you wish to learn more about evangelizing Catholics consider these tools.

Jordan Standridge

Posts Twitter Facebook

Jordan is a pastoral associate at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA, where he leads the college ministry. He is also the founder of The Foundry Bible Immersion. You can find his personal blog at surrender.us.
  • wiseopinion

    Agreed with both articles, but one word jumped off the page to me. RCC is not the only church neglecting or ignoring expository teaching.
    In fact, Dallas Seminary (and not the only one, but the most disappointing to me) has a course on “topical” expository teaching. Topical expository teaching sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    Some would say, well, you use the verses needed for that topic and still employ a careful drawing out of the exact meaning of a passage in its original context to bring out the gist of the message. While that may be true for some and at times, by a very gifted and spirit led man, I’ve not seen it and I am so hungry for it.

    I was blessed to have such excellent expository teaching/preaching in the 80’s after I first became a believer at 28. I thank God for that pastor and the church we attended. Our (husband and I ) beginning with the Lord, our foundation laid those 9 years were/are the bulwark of our continuing faith and growth in the Lord these past 35 years.

    I sit in churches today and feel like I just got a Krispy Kreme Donut of a message. (After literally having an offer of one in the lobby with Starbucks coffee) After singing five 7/11 songs romanticizing only
    His one attribute, love,…we then see a blast of images on the big screen with a drama about the message…a message filled with one or two verses so filled with fluffy cream and iced with a sugary glaze, so that many are too comatose at the end to even take in a message that will sustain them or challenge them for any longer that a few hours. It was all empty, no real spiritual nutrition or meat.

    It absolutely breaks my heart that people are not getting that firm and Bibical foundation anymore. So many lost, and still lost while attending a church that is not truthful. I have been trying to find a
    church that teaches/preaches expository messages. After months of visiting (and looking in their libraries and what they use for Bible studies) I was able to find one, a new little church plant 40 minutes from home.

    My old pastor, who still uses expository teaching/preaching tells me that so many in his flock drive MILES just to hear the true Word of God taught in a way to challenge, inspire, disciple and mature.

    So, it is not just the RCC…it is now infesting many mainline and even evangelical churches…it causes us to seek great discernment (or rather it should) to be able to sift through the deceptions
    that pass for true Biblical teaching these days.

    • Can you show the command in scripture to not preach topical sermons? That may help your argument here.

      • Josh

        Michael, 2 Tim 4:2. “Heralding” means the message is already done (which it is, Heb 1:1-2) and your job is simply to declare it.

        Please bear in mind that there are plenty of other outlets to address topics, outside of the official assembly (which typically occurs on a Sunday morning).

    • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

      Wiseopinion, sadly your description of the modern day church is spot on for so many today. People are content with getting entertained on Sunday morning vs. hearing sound doctrine. I’m glad you found a little church where you will be fed and cared for. Well worth the drive. I believe those of us who desire this are quickly becoming the minority. Pray for your pastor and stay strong. 🙂

  • Jason

    I think if a person’s fellowship only consists of a single weekly meeting
    where only one person is actually taking the time to get into God’s word
    enough to rightly handle it we aren’t where we need to be as a
    church.

  • Dan Phillips

    The title alone is just about enough to make me love and commend this article.

    I’d add this reason: Jesus commands you to be involved in a church, and if all you are doing is attending Roman Catholic gatherings, you are not involved in a church.

    • Kara Brockett

      What makes you think that Catholics are content with just attending Mass? You are seriously misinformed.

  • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

    Jordan, I love your boldness, as well as the point that church is not for evangelism. Christians would never commend a believer to stay in the Mormon Church or JW’s in order to convert others, and yet some think that’s acceptable with Catholicism!

    Thank you to the writers of Cripplegate in helping others to be “led into all truth.”

  • Johnny

    This is good, and you really nailed it with that one point about how priests won’t give a detailed, expository sermon (because if they did actual Scriptural exegesis they’d realize that they are practicing a false religion!)

  • marygiel

    A person whose version of Christianity didn’t exist just few centuries ago. Who claims more power for himself then the pope by thinking his and his alone interpretation of the bible (a book written by Catholics for Catholics) is correct. Who knows nothing about the Church he is criticizing, as is so plain from this article. A person without any connection to historical church. The church Christ himself started not the one that broke away from a break away from a break away of some offshoot of protestatism. And I as a Catholic am supposed to take you seriously? As a Catholic I am in Christ’s Church. I enjoy all the gifts he has to give me. I get to read the bible with all its books. Not the slim version Luther created to suit his new man made doctrine. I’m not thrown by the winds of doctrine like 30 thousand Protestant denomination all claiming that the Holy Spirit has guided them to correct view of the bible. Good luck trying to convince any Catholic to leave their church based on your laughable arguments. I will pray for you today. Pray for me too, even if you think I’m damned to hell for not having the same views as your very recent totally not biblical brand of Christianity.

    • Jordan Standridge

      Mary I appreciate you for stopping by. I have no idea what you even believe And ultimately I have no authority to condemn anyone. Our own lips will condemn us. I guess the question is when you face God one day what will you say to Him when He asks “why should I let you into Heaven?”

      • marygiel

        I would say what every Catholic would say. I would say that I don’t deserve heaven but throw myself at Gods mercy. I would ask God to not look upon my works but on the works and love and blood his Son has given for me and for my sins. Then I would say. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner.

        • Jordan Standridge

          How does someone become a Christian?

          • marygiel

            Let’s ask Peter the first Pope when he was asked the similar question shall we. Act 2:38
            Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

          • Jordan Standridge

            Would you agree with this statement? The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude – C of the C C 1257

          • marygiel

            Of course what the ccc says in 1257 is this:
            The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

            Paragraphs following speak of unbaptised believes and their possibility of salvation. Context meters. Don’t cherry pick quotes. I know it’s a strong Protestant temptation but try not to.
            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

          • Jordan Standridge

            Mary I know it’s hard to have your faith challenged. Everytime I share the Gospel it feels like I’m in a battle. I hope you know that we care about your soul I know it’s difficult to see that in writing but I’ve spent many hours pleading with Catholics to stop trusting in their works for salvation and though you disagree I want you to know that my desire is not to cherry pick quotes but to cut through all the vague language that keeps people stuck in a false works-based system and gets to the gospel. I don’t care to win an argument I care about where people will spend eternity. And that they ask the Lord to save them now before it’s too late. No one will get to ask Christ for mercy in heaven we must bow the knee to him now.

          • marygiel

            I don’t question your intentions. You love God and want to share him with everyone. I share your desire to do that. You however don’t know anything about the Catholic Church. You are essentially lying about what the church teaches and why in order to convince ignorant Catholics of which there are many. No Catholic who knows their faith would leave it for Christianity lite, which is Protestantism. I appreciate your concern for my soul. I ask that you keep me in your prayers. I am a sinner who can always use more people praying for me.

            Just for the record. Catholics don’t believe that works save us. We are saved by the grace of God.

          • Christine

            Your claim that no Catholic who knows their faith leaves the RC church is incorrect. There are Christian apologetics websites from ex-priests like Richard Bennett’s (Google Berean Beacon). I am also an ex-Catholic. I went to RC school for primary and secondary school. I learnt all about the church doctrines and nothing about the Gospel. I knew more about Mary and the saints than I did about Jesus. I knew all the prayers, the rituals, the sacraments. I knew about fear of God, not the love, forgiveness and mercy of the God of the *Bible*.

            The RC church declares anathema on those who believe in faith alone through Jesus Christ alone (therefore contradicts Ephesians 2:8-10). Who will you choose- the God of the Bible- the word of God- or the God of RC church’s doctrines/ traditions?

          • marygiel

            I’m sorry but just like the author of the article above you have no clue what you are talking about. I feel sorry for you that you didn’t find Jesus in the Catholic Church. Did you look for him?

            Catholics don’t contradict Eph 2:8-10. It is exactly what we believe and teach. You should know that if you were a catholic. You can’t say you were a faithful catholic and NOT know that. That’s just silly. Please note that no where in Eph 2:8-10 are the words “alone”, which you mentioned 2 times. That’s pure protestant insertion into text. IT IS NOT THERE. Go ahead read it again for yourself.

            There is only 1 place in the bible where you have the words “faith” and “alone” next to each other, that’s in James 2:24. Maybe you should look it up. (clue for you, there are words “NOT BY” in front of it) Protestants seem to know only 1 verse of the bible Ephesians 2:8-10 has been quoted like 5 times in these comments. You do realize that the bible is bigger then 1 verse right? I would think bible only Christians would know more of the bible.

            You asked me to make a choice between God of the bible or God of RC. I will ask you the same. Do you chose Jesus who started a Church which is his body as Paul keeps drilling into early church or do you chose your own version of Jesus as you read from the bible that you cherry pick to your own traditional bend. And don’t tell me you don’t have a “tradition” Everyone reads the bible with a tradition. Yours happens to be protestant tradition of men. Mine happens to be the Tradition that Paul talks about (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
            Are you “in Christ Jesus” (cf. also Rom 8: 1, 2, 39; 12: 5; 16: 3, 7, 10; I Cor 1: 2, 3 etc.)
            Are you part of his body the Church? (1 Cor 12:12-31; Col 1:18; 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13)
            Do you eat his flesh and drink his blood? John 6:56

            Do you confess your sins? James 5:16, John 20:23

            I can go on..

            Protestants cherry pick bible passages. That’s why there are over 30000 versions of Protestantism, all claiming to read the bible correctly. All coming up with different conclusions. Protestant Christianity is not biblical, it makes a joke out of the bible. All it does is sowing division.

            I don’t expect you to change your mind. You are set in your traditions. All I ask is that you do not misrepresent what the Catholic Church teaches. I’m essentially asking you not to LIE. You know who the father of lies is right?

            As for your “appologetic” websites and ex preists, i’ve looked at them and they are as ignorant as the author here. It is like you all get your information from the same sources, I’m guessing James Mccarthy and James White? People who make it their job to lie about the Church. Please… Don’t insult my intelligence. You want to know what the Church teaches ask a Catholic or look it up from a Catholic source.

            http://chnetwork.org/category/conversion-stories/

            Here a link to coming home network. Over 81 pages 10 videos per page of Protestant ministers discovering they have been lied to about the Catholic Church and leaving the Christianity lite for the fullness of Faith.

            I’m sure you will just ignore everything I’ve written but in case you don’t, I hope you will return home to the Catholic Church, the ONLY Church Christ started. His body.

            God Love You.

          • Kara Brockett

            Mary,

            I left my evangelical background and became a Roman Catholic for all the reasons you explained here. It was encountering people like you that first turned me on to the plan Christ created for His Church! Don’t be discouraged. I fought the truth for many years, but Christ is gracious. I had many questions that my evangelical ministers certainly could not handle. We have a cloud of Christ-loving witnesses who have interpreted and explained the Scriptures with such grace. I thank God for giving me St. Aquinas as my first teacher in the Catholic tradition. I have never looked back and never been happier. Ignorance never wins over truth.

          • SeekandYeShallFind

            It seems you love the RCC more than you love the Savior, Jesus. Your trust is in the organization, not Jesus. My heart goes out to you. Please read the Bible, pray first.

          • marygiel

            Which one of the bible passages that I quoted did make you feel like I trust organization more then Jesus?
            It seems you have no answers to anything I have written so you say I love RCC more then Jesus.

            Look I’m going to use the same logic you just used on me:

            It seems you love a book more then you love the Savior, Jesus. Your trust is in a book, not Jesus. My heart goes out to you. Please join Jesus in his Body and then read his book that he wrote for His body to teach His body the Church.

            See it is easy. Address my arguments don’t make assumptions as to what I love more.

            You can’t love Jesus without loving his body which is His Church.

          • SeekandYeShallFind

            Not making assumptions. I am very sad for you. The grip that organization has on you is very sad to witness/read. I watched on TV the gathering of thousands around their idol, they marched, they walked, they were in awe. Then disaster fell on them, as they began to trample each other around their idol. It happened in Mecca. I then turned the channel and saw similar marching, walking, idolatry around the other idol of the RCC. Very sad to witness. I am not being mean, unkind, hateful… I don’t know you, but my heart goes out to you. Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the life’…not a man called Francis or others in his position at that organization.

          • marygiel

            Making more assumptions I see. I can tell that this conversation is going nowhere. You have your assumptions about me and are not willing to engage in a respectful dialog.
            Just for the record do you consider all gatherings of people idolatry? Football game?

          • J

            In fairness, the pope is rather simply the bishop of Rome, which is a point that Francis chose to make quite strongly at the beginning of his papacy. The bishop of Rome does not usurp the place of Christ as head of the church, and it’s important to know that his is by no means intended to be, or in most cases understood as, a cult of personality.

            There’s a book called “The Catholic Imagination” which deals mostly with sociology and draws a distinction between popular Catholic and Protestant worldviews and imaginations, perhaps most importantly contrasting the dialectical and analogical, which, the author contends, are necessary balances for one another.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Is the pope the head of the catholic church?

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            J, may I ask you a question?

            If I understand correctly, the catholic church has it’s core foundation in their belief of an apostolic succession starting with Peter, right? So why is it that even Augustine understood the Rock to be Christ, not Peter, when he said,

            “In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ (The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine).

            If an entire belief system is built upon the misinterpretation of a scripture, is there reason for concern? Do we accept that Christ is the Rock, as stated throughout the Old and New Testaments or do we turn to a magisterium of men who claim such authority?

            And again, please reserve your response to the verse, not a defense of what you have taught regarding your need for catholic authority.

          • J

            You certainly may ask, but I’m afraid my answer has to be limited to a moderately lengthy article concerning the meaning of the word “rock” and its various translations. It comes from a sort of Catholic apologetics website, and may present itself at first somewhat defensively, as it relates the author’s personal experience and uses the word “anti-Catholic.” I personally, for what it’s worth, am not a member of the Catholic Church.

            A perhaps interesting contrast to this, also, is Eastern Orthodoxy in general, which is 8/10 the same as the Latin church, without giving primacy to the pope and omitting doctrine concerning purgatory. To be ever so briefly divergent, its concept of “theosis” is one you may find interesting. The more one knows, the easier it becomes to engage in a meaningful discussion, after all, and if nothing else you may take something of personal value from it.

            http://www.catholic.com/tracts/peter-the-rock

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            J, I read your link carefully, but sadly both the author and the seventh day adventist missed the meaning of the verse and reduced it to a rock/pebble word debate vs. coming to a clear understanding that the Rock was Christ, as Augustine understood.

            I also found it interesting that the author admitted to having very little knowledge of the Bible. And yet he had been well prepared to defend the apostolic succession from what he had learned in the catholic church. Interesting.

            Again, if catholicism is built on the foundation of a misinterpretation of scripture, doesn’t it perhaps make sense to go back to God’s Word for answers, trusting Him to guide you vs. men who claim that sole authority?

          • J

            This sort of clarifies the position of the previous article.

            http://www.catholic.com/tracts/peter-and-the-papacy

            The essential point being that while JC is the “chief cornerstone, ” the foundation for the body of the church established would be the man Peter.

          • J

            And one more, I think this was the one I was looking for originally.

            http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/peter’s-authority

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            J, I read both links and I have to admit I cringed at their statement, “Then before Jesus returns to heaven, he commands Peter to take charge of his pastoral ministry. Now Peter will undertake the role of Good Shepherd in Christ’s place.”

            Good heavens! The verses they twisted to justify that were horrible. Talk about emptying Christ of His power! Jesus didn’t go to heaven and delegate the roles of Rock, Shepherd and Steward to Peter! He went to heaven with the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit who would teach us, guide us and comfort us. Jesus remains our Rock, Shepherd and Steward eternally through the Holy Spirit! To think men could fill that role is pure arrogance. I feel like I just read from the Watchtower magazine! Same lie, different suit.

            That’s the danger of the catholic church. Catholics accuse Protestants of arrogance because we claim to understand our Bibles through the help of the Holy Spirit (like Jesus said we would) and you remain bound to catholic answer links that you are told to refer to and accept without question. Don’t you find it concerning that the magisterium has trained you to defend the apostolic succession more than training you to defend the scriptures? Then again, that would result in getting objections nailed to their door. Can’t have that again.

          • Kara Brockett

            If you read the last thread about Catholics, there is a beautiful tangent on the Church’s doctrines concerning Muslims, among other things. There is no real interest for truth. It is far easier to make “straw men” arguments. It’s also super amusing how they only respond to certain things. No one ever bothered responding to these verses:

            2 Thess 2:15 “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

            1 Corinthians 11:1-2 “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.”

            Acts 8:30-31 “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. ”

            Did Christ only leave His Church with infallible Scriptures, or did he also give his Church the authority to determine the Scriptures and interpret them.

            They are left with only their individual authority. It’s spiritual anarchy.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Kara, the traditions Paul was referring to were regarding the apostles understanding of Christ in the Old Testament, as the NT was not yet compiled. Later Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians would contain those traditions and would make up some of our New Testament.

            This is further proved by the verse you cited where Philip explained to the eunuch that Isaiah was speaking about Christ when he read Isaiah talking about Christ being led to the slaughter.

            And to answer your question, did Christ only leave His church with infallible scriptures? The answer is no, He also left us with His Holy Spirit so that we don’t have to follow fallible men in order to understand it. Praise God for that indescribable gift!

        • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

          But Mary, that is such a different picture of what the Bible says it will be like for believers when they step into heaven.

          What you described as saying falls more into what sinners do when they repent and trust in Christ for salvation NOW. And in turn God fills them with His Holy Spirit so they have that assurance, as Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as, “Being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see.” In other words, the mercy is extended here so we can be confident there.

          Listen to how it’s described in Ephesians 3:12, “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” How? Because His Holy Spirit has given us that assurance. Not based on anything we have done, but because of His mercy. Likewise Ephesians 1:13 says, “Having believed in Him, you were marked with the Holy Spirit, who is a deposit GUARANTEEING our inheritance.”

          Peter described receiving that Holy Spirit as, “being filled with an indescribable and glorious joy for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8, 9)

          The question is, do you have that joy of assurance that the Bible teaches us we can have?

          • marygiel

            The problem with what you write is that you chose to ignore the parts of the bible that do not fit your Calvin coloured glasses through which you read the bible. You are using the traditions of men (Calvin) to understand the bible. You ignore the passages that speak of salvation as a process. You ignore passages that talk about loosing ones salvation and perseverance. You chose Calvin over Christ.

            He who endures to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13)

            Regarding the issue of whether Christians have an “absolute” assurance of salvation, regardless of their actions, consider this warning Paul gave: “See then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22; see also Heb. 10:26–29, 2 Pet. 2:20–21).

            I pummel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27)

            See it’s easy to give few quotes and bases a whole new brand of Christianity around it ignoring the rest. Very Protestant thing to do.

          • Jordan Standridge

            Thanks for your detailed answer Mary. I truly appreciate your openness to talk about this. It all comes down to your statement that salvation is a process. Ephesians 2:1-10 is a passage that shows God causes people to be instantly born again verses 4-7 literally says that, although formally you were dead in your trespasses and sins God has caused us to be made alive in Christ and has already guaranteed us a place in heaven. Ultimately if salvation is a process then we are saying that we must do things in order to be saved, in other words we must earn it. This goes against Ephesians 2:8-9. That’s why I say that ultimately there are only two religions in the world. Those who say that salvation is a process and those who say that salvation is all of God and instantaneous I explain that in this article thecripplegate.com/evangelism-tip-two-religions/ another article that many Catholics have found helpful is gotquestions.org/Catholic-Christian.html
            Our desire isn’t to hurt you we truly care about your soul.

          • marygiel

            It’s not me saying that salvation is a process.
            As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).

            That’s what the bible says. You may not like it. You may point back to Eph 2:1-10 but you are simply ignoring the word of God. You may explain away the passages that don’t fit your view but your explaining away is not the word of God. It is your reading your theology into the word of God. The very thing Peter warned us about.

            Remember Calvin is not Christ. Don’t put Calvins crazy ideas above Christ. No one belived what you teach prior to Calvin. Did Christ abandon his church for 1500 years before Calvin? Can you explain to me how an illiterate person in the year 879 who could not even dream of owning a bible since they were crazy expensive before printing press was invented, how would that person learn about Jesus?

            Christ gave us a Church.
            The Church gave us the bible.
            Protestants took the bible and threw away the church. And the moment they did that they started to split. And split. And split and split.

            My desire is not to hurt you. I also care for your soul. I want you to have everything that Christ gave us. The fullness of truth in his Church.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Mary, your statement that I have chosen Calvin over Christ is very insulting to me, especially since I have never even read Calvin. I have however read the Bible for 18 years and just wanted to share with you some verses that offer hope. Sorry if I offended you.

          • marygiel

            I apologize. I most certainly did not mean to insult you. What I meant is that your theology closely resembles Calvin.
            The truth is no one reads the bible without prior ideas. We all read the bible through some tradition. A baptist will read the bible as baptist. A Lutheran as Lutheran. Calvinist as Calvinist. Each reading something different. That’s all I meant. No where in the bible does it say that all you need is the bible. That’s unbiblical. Yet all Protestants teach it.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Perhaps then I’m not of the norm. I read through the Bible by myself, asking God to help me understand it. No church. No traditions. Just a sinner kneeling by a chair, hoping to find answers. In His kindness, He gave me those answers, as well as giving me salvation. So for me His Word is precious and through it I learned that Christ is all I need.

          • marygiel

            And yet he gave millions of other Protestants completely different answers. God does not lie so I must assume that some people that read the bible and think they get the right answers are just seeing what they want to see.

            Why do you believe the bible? How do you know it’s the word of God? Christ did not write a book for us. He gave us a Church. How can you be sure that the books in the bible belong there? Who gave you the authority to interpret what the bible says?

            Protestantism is so very strange.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Well let me ask you this. Surely you claim to have the Holy Spirit, right? How do you know for sure? Your tradition says you have it, but what does it feel like? How has He changed you? When was the moment you knew you were born of spirit?

          • marygiel

            I don’t claim to interpret the bible. I trust in Christ and the promise he made to be with his church until the end of times. I trust Christ when he gave his authority to his apostles and their successors. I trust this Church. The church which decided what belongs in the bible. The church which fought off all heresies in the early days of Christianity. The church which declared the dogmas you take for granted like the Trinity. I believe in the bible because I trust the authority of Christ’s Church. The Catholic Church. Christ didn’t give me the teaching office. He gave it to his apples and their successors. So if I read the bible and my fallible interpretation doesn’t match up to what the church has always tought for 2000 years then I know I’m wrong.

            How has Holy Spirit changed me is beyond words. I’m in Christ family. Member of his body. I am fed by his body and blood. Jesus is in me. In my heart in my thought in everything I do. There is no closer union with God on earth then to be in his Church which is his body. Being showered by his graces.

            I read the bible with the freedom that Protestants simply don’t understand. I don’t have to worry that I may get something wrong. I am not alone. Christ gave his spirit to the Church. The only church that was here 2000 years ago. The Catholic Church. The church from which Protestants broke away.

            I am sad that some Protestants spread lies about Christ church like this article does. It’s insulting and unchristian if done knowing that what they write is not true.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Mary, it is apparent that you have a tremendous loyalty and love for the catholic church. Even your understanding of the Holy Spirit appears to be limited to the sacraments. There’s nothing I can say to that, except I would wish that you spoke of Christ with that same loyalty and zeal.

            And yes, I admit we protestants are a strange group. We actually believe James when he told us to, “ask God for wisdom and He would give generously without finding fault.”
            We actually believe Jesus when He said that the Holy Spirit, “would teach us and guide us into all truth.” We believe Paul when he said we are, “saved by grace, through faith and this not of ourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so no man can boast.” And we believe Jesus when he said we have one Father in heaven and we are all brothers. We believe His word is precious and sufficient.

            So thanks for the conversation. My prayer will be that someday you can find a quiet place and open God’s Word and ask Him to help you understand it. I have found that that is a prayer he likes to answer. God bless.

          • J

            See if you can locate a book entitled “In His Spirit” by Richard J. Hauser. As the title suggests, its subject matter deals principally with the third person of the trinity. The author is a priest, and it may present some interesting insight into a Catholic perspective that you may not otherwise find.

            “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly may also be of some interest.

          • marygiel

            No thank you. I don’t read books by anti catholics who don’t know anything about the subject they are writing.

            You may pick up a book by Scott Hanh “Rome Sweet Home”

            God bless.

          • J

            The books in question are anything but anti-Catholic – my comment and book recommendations was directed to Jane, as it was her post to which mine was in reply.

            But you would probably enjoy them as well.

          • marygiel

            Nothing I say will convince you I understand. You were told lies about my church for who knows how long. I didn’t even mentioned sacraments yet you say I did. You are projecting your lack of knowledge of Catholic things.

            Do you also believe James when he says not by faith alone we are saved? Do you also believe Jesus when he says you must eat his body and drink his blood? Do you also believe Paul when he says that the church is the pillar of truth (hmm I wonder which church). It is so easy to cherry pick passages. That’s not wisdom.

            I will ask you one more question. I asked before but will ask again. How would a person in the year 879 come to know Jesus?

            The bible was impossibly expensive and only few could afford it. Most ppl did not read. How did they come to know Christ? Or did God abandoned them until bible only Christians showed up in 1500’s. ?

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            Mary, the questions you ask tell me you have no understanding of the Holy Spirit that was given at Pentecost and has endured throughout the ages. Where Christ is preached, God will always save, despite error, pride and hierarchy! The longevity of the the so-called catholic church was not a guarantee of it’s purity. That’s the funny thing about truth, men suppress it, even when they have it. The corruption began early and has continued on today. Thank God for Martin Luther, who took that expensive Bible, weighed it against the corrupt magisterium and made it his goal to get it into the hands of the common man so they could hear truth in its purity, without the corruption of men and without a magisterium claiming to have exclusive rights to interpret it.

            Catholics close their ears to the atrocities in the history of the church because the magisterium has convinced them that YOU NEED THEM. You need them to get to Christ, you need them to interpret the Bible, you need them to intercede for you. Those are lies you have accepted despite what Christ has said in his word.

            And all built on the lie of apostolic succession that God would build His church on a man vs. Christ. What arrogance. The church has been built on Peter’s confession of faith in Jesus Christ, not Peter the man! Even Augustine came to understand that!

            The head of the catholic church is the pope. The head of the church that Christ established is Christ.

          • J

            To be fair, I believe she likely interpreted your earlier comment to be expressing an understanding based solely from church rhetoric concerning the sacraments. There is often a disconnect between denominations, and if she is involved with a particular church body it may not be one that retains sacraments – most, per my understanding, omit all save for baptism. Lutheranism, Anglicanism, perhaps Methodism (but don’t quote me on the latter) make use of sacraments, though with a decidedly different attached meaning.

            As Mr. Hahn mentions in his book, which is good to suggest, and in my opinion worthy of an inspection for any curious of the account of a minister turned Catholic convert, the Catholic church is not a denomination among denominations – if only for contentious views concerning the real presence and its implications. Certain protestant traditions will view it — the Eucharist, adoration, genuflection and prostrations, etc. – as being outright blasphemous, idolatry, and it’s important to take this into account.

            Rather than be defensive and offer arguments and counter arguments all around, I feel the best recourse is promotion of a deeper understanding of all parties involved, with real dialogue and respect on all sides, though this being the comments section of a blog article hinders that approach to a degree.

          • J

            If I may interject – I don’t believe saying that one “has” the holy spirit is necessarily the best way of expressing that sentiment. I should think it less of something to be possessed – the word “has” implying ownership, like having a coat – and more something that has been made part and parcel to oneself. God’s spirit joining yours. Of course, I don’t want to get hung up on words, and in common speaking we talk in terms of possession concerning parts of our bodies, like “having eyes, ” but I do feel it to be an important distinction nonetheless.

            On another note, we cannot know another’s interior life. Many Catholics surely have profound interior experience and many Protestants surely do not, and vice versa.

          • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

            “If anyone does not ‘have’ the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”(Romans 8:9)

          • marygiel

            Oh and I’m not offended by anything you said.
            The article is offensive because it’s full of lies however.

  • E S Gonzalez

    I appreciate you and your articles. Thank you!
    Curious though, what of the protestant churches that have communion service less frequently (ie, monthly)? Is that the same thing? Could you explain the difference? That part of your post really struck me.
    Also could you or one of the other writers tackle the Sabbath day?
    While I’m not at risk of jumping SDA, when speaking with acquaintances who are, I really can’t biblically defend “Sunday-keeping.” Moreover, I’m told that the RCC is primarily responsible for the Saturday-to-Sunday shift, which (if true) makes me all the more concerned. I sometimes wonder if the day matters so much the importance of resting in the Lord on ANY one of the days of the week. After all, what about our ER doc disciples, law enforcement disciples, first responder disciples, pastors, etc. who may frequently have to work either or both of those weekend days?
    I just want to be true to the Word on this and not led by tradition or convenience.
    Thanks!

  • Jordan Standridge

    I appreciate everyone who participated in the comments here. This post was mainly directed at people who believe in the five solas of the reformation including Faith Alone but yet still remain in the Roman Catholic Church they may even describe themselves as “closet evangelicals” but stay for the purpose of evangelism, it was also directed at their friends who already attend evangelical churches but dont warn them or encourage them to leave. Like we discovered in the comments we are at an impass. Salvation is either instantaneous or it is a merit-based process. My prayer is that everyone I encounter would not trust in themselves, or jesus+themselves, but entirely on Jesus and his perfect work. An article I wrote on this is http://thecripplegate.com/evangelism-tip-two-religions/ please read this article and ask yourself in whose resume are you trusting?

  • Pingback: Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 10-6-15 | Michelle Lesley()