Can We Walk As One?

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Page 2: Revised 01-14-2000

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On this page: | My Early Catholic Days | Have Things Changed? | Catholic Pentecostalism | What's the Difference? | Word Magic: A Warning to Evangelicals REVISED | Agreements with Rome | What Rome's Representatives Think of Protestants |

Rome's Doublespeak Rome has a propensity for speaking with a forked tongue. She often makes contradictory claims to provide herself with convenient rabbit holes when backed into a corner. Following are some examples for your information.

[Introduction to Rome's Doublespeak]

[Freedom of Conscience]


[Assurance of Salvation]

My Early Days

Thirty years ago I left the Roman Catholic Church. I did what was, at that time, the almost unthinkable: I bought and read the Bible for myself. Convinced after several years of study that Rome bore faint resemblance to the church of the Bible, I began a search that brought me, at last, to real faith in Jesus Christ. Back in those early years the wall between Rome and Biblical Fundamentalism was thick and high. Challenges from either direction usually bounced off one's own side of that wall. The differences seemed too great to overcome.

Catholics generally thought Protestants to be ignorant, pagan, Bible-thumping fanatics. Protestants generally thought Catholics checked their brains at the church door and left their church's magesterium (teaching authority) to do all the thinking for them. Barriers such as papal infallibility, the priesthood, the confessional, and worship of Mary, stood against barriers such as salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ (Sola Fide) and the absolute authority of the Bible (Sola Scriptura).

Dialog between Rome and Protestant Christianity in those days was limited to each charging the other with being 'non-Christian,' and 'unsaved.' Rome stood firmly on the position that outside the Church of Rome there is no salvation. She still does. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, English translation, Copyright 1994, Pauline, St. Paul Books & Media, ISBN 0-8198-1519-5, Page 224)

Protestantism stood firmly on the position that salvation within the Church of Rome was practically impossible. She now appears divided and irresolute on this barrier. Recently, agreements are being signed between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church and other Evangelical groups that seem to suggest a pending merger amongst them. Such a dramatic change in the more than thirty years I have been observing this particular scene!

As a child, my nuns and priests lost no opportunity to tell me it was a serious sin to so much as enter a Protestant church, and they forbade me from ever attending a Protestant service, including weddings and funerals, because they were 'pagan' and could cause me to 'lose my immortal soul.' When my uncle married his sweetheart, a Protestant, they were denied access to the church and forced to take their vows in the rectory office, without benefit of any church blessings. Further, She was force to sign a pledge to raise her children as Roman Catholics, a humiliating act almost designed to engender hostility in the marriage, should she change her mind.

Raised in what could only be called a Catholic ghetto, I knew very few Protestants. Lucky for me! Why? Because my priests and nuns told me to avoid friendships with Protestants because that could cause me to lose my faith. I really don't know what the Protestant kids thought of being friends with us Catholics. Perhaps some of you browsers can fill me in and I can add the information to this site. You can use the Message Board.

For most of my life the possibility of real dialog between Roman Catholics and Protestants was remote. Each kept to their own side of the wall, save for those intrepid individuals who risked family and community censure by going over the wall to the other side. It was two-way traffic to be sure, but the figures suggest that Rome was, and still is suffering heavily from defections into the Protestant camp - with a disturbingly large number becoming Jehovah's Witnesses (a group that has remarkable similarities to the Church of Rome.)

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Have Things Changed?

A concern for orthodoxy, so evident since the days of the Protestant Reformation, has suffered a serious infection during that past few years. The more than fifty thousand priests that have resigned between the end of Vatican II (1962 - 1965) and 1996 (See CATHOLICISM at the Dawn of the Third Millennium, Thomas P. Rausch, S.J., The Liturgical Press, Copyright 1996, The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., Page 207) and the significant decline in seminary enrollments for the priesthood, suggest that the once monarchial hold of Rome over her people and even her priests, is in a steep decline. When such a number of the front line 'defenders of the Faith' depart from the orthodoxy of Rome, it becomes evident that the very question of orthodoxy may be up for grabs.

Nor is the decline in emphasis on the orthodoxy of one's faith limited to Rome. Protestantism is seeing an unprecedented display of aberrant teaching. One can see it in the hucksters of the 'name-it-and-claim-it' teachings, in the growing number of 'homosexual churches,' in the barking, yelping, pig-squealing 'laughing revival' churches, in the so-called 'healing ministries' that promote new-age techniques of dream interpretation, color therapy, and the like. In short, the focus of Protestantism is shifting from the repentance, salvation, and sanctification of the Bible to a self centered, get-all-you-can-from-God and let's-all-just-feel-good' hedonism. I know this is a bold statement, but it must be said: the Church is being infiltrated by the satanically inspired New Age movement.

Where once sound doctrine was considered essential, today's yardstick has subjective experience at one end and pop-culture 'political-speak' at the other end. Indeed, you may almost take your life in your hand today when you suggest that there are such things as absolute truth, correct approach, or moral values in one's faith. For centuries, it was held that if a thing was the truth it was a truth for all. As new-age thinking infiltrates our churches, truths and moral values become increasingly relative. That is, what is truth for you may not be truth for me. To suggest otherwise is to invite criticism, disdain, and a charge that you are intolerant and your beliefs are divisive, unloving and unchristian.

Buckling under the influence of secular society, an increasing number of churches are taking the position that the only real values are cultural relativism and something called tolerance. The underlying philosophy is that there are no absolute moral values, truth is relative, and every form of faith is valid. Well, almost every form. Our modern society is nearly unanimous in declaring traditional Christianity intolerant and anachronistic. To say that a thing is true and that its opposite must therefore be untrue is to challenge the one remaining sacred cow. "There are no absolute truths!" Cries modern man. "Are you absolutely certain you speak the truth?" Queries the Christian?

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Roman Catholic Pentecostalism

As a new measure of openness and freedom emerged, many Roman Catholics were drawn to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal churches and associated ministries such as the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International and the Women's Aglow Fellowship. As an ever increasing number of Catholics, including priests, had their faith jolted alive, Rome had to do something to prevent further defection into the 'spirit filled' churches. What Rome did was to acknowledge the validity of the movement, change its name from Pentecostal to Charismatic Renewal, and bring it, as if it were a new Roman Catholic invention, under Rome's control.

One result was that during the 1960's and the 1970's, Catholics found themselves praying and worshiping on a small piece of common ground, centered on something called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. They began to learn that as people of faith, they were somewhat alike. Differences were starting to be set aside in favor of working on the common ground together. When the abortion issue surfaced after the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision, Catholics and Protestants found additional common ground on which to stand united.

Today the battle cry seems to be "Let's just love each other! Why bring up differences and cause dissension? Christian unity is something that even Jesus prayed for, isn't it? Let's just share our faith in a positive way and leave the sensitive subjects alone. How can we work together if we keep throwing doctrinal problems in our Roman Catholic/Protestant brother's face?"

To this cry, I reply with my own. "When did 'working together' become more important than sound doctrine? Let's never forget what caused the division in the first place! Let's not try to wash away the blood of thousands of Protestant martyrs who died at the hands of Rome in defense of the simple, pure Word of God. Let's not forget that Jesus Christ, along with his Apostles gave us explicit instructions to retain doctrinal purity, and to reject anyone who tries to teach us 'another gospel.' And let's never forget that the Gospel of Christ was intended to bring controversy and division. Yes, it is exclusive! Yes, it is divisive. Yes, it is intolerant of false teachings! Jesus gave us a challenge and a choice, and warned us that we may even have to lay down our very life for the Truth."

How very different this is from what we see in many of today's churches!

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Rome and Protestantism - What's the Big Difference?

Many today say that Roman Catholics and Protestants are all Christians, so what's the big difference? Don't we all agree on the 'Apostle's Creed?' Can't we just set aside any differences and focus on our common allegiance to that creed? At the risk of censure, I have to say that common acceptance of the Apostle's creed is not sufficient. Why? Because the Apostle's Creed, a brief summary of Christian orthodoxy, does not include a number of critical Christian Doctrines, such as salvation, the deity of Christ, the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, the need for repentance and forgiveness (justification), and so forth. Because the division between Papal Romism and Protestantism is based on these doctrines, the difference is very, very large!

To understand the major differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, we must survey the doctrinal issues raised by Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, and others, who, taken together, were called 'the reformers.' Luther and the others sought, not to create a division in the Roman Catholic Church, but rather to bring about the reform of a number of recognized abuses by that church. Thus did Luther compose a total of ninety-five 'thesis,' or items that needed to be corrected to return the church of Rome to it's original, pure state.

The Church's response was to convene the Council of Trent, which published a large collection of rebuttals, many of which included a curse on all who disagreed. While that council did address a few of the abuses, it primarily defined Roman Catholic belief vis-a-vis the Reformer's belief. This is not the place to itemize either all of Luther's complaints, or all of Rome's responses. It will be enough to identify a few major doctrinal points and compare the views of both sides. It will be up to you, the reader, to decide which views most accurately reflect the Word of God, and, of equal importance, whether or not anything has really changed in the last five hundred years.

So the question remains, "Can two walk together lest they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) The answer is implied in the question. It is "No!" As we examine the areas of agreement being reached between Rome and Protestantism (and other, non-Christian religions too!), we cannot neglect areas of disagreement as well. Only then can you make an informed decision for your own life. To do any less would be a form of intellectual and spiritual suicide. Whichever side you ultimately go with, you should at least be able to explain your reasons.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." (1 Peter 3:15-16)

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Rome's Word Magic: a Warning to EvangelicalsBEWARE THE BEGUILEMENTS OF ROME!

Before we examine some of the recent agreements Rome has made with non-Catholic churches and groups, I want to caution all Evangelicals, all Protestant people, about the little word-game played by the Roman Catholic Church. Ever a master of smoke-and-mirrors, the Church of Rome has the habit of re-defining terms to her own advantage - without bothering to tell you about it ahead of time. This lets Rome enter into discussions of spiritual matters with Protestants in such a way as to lead those Protestants to think they both understand and agree.

This bit of word-magic has now filtered down from the church's Magesterium(1) to the priests and the members of the Church as a whole. Of course, Rome does not bother to explain the distinctions of terms to her own people either. Thus, the typical Roman Catholic person has no idea that, in discussing things such as grace, Rome is ever talking with a forked tongue, out of both sides of the mouth at the same time. Yes, Rome even deceives her own flock to suit her own ends.

Word Magic From the Roman Catholic Church

If you think your government has a corner on "Correct Speak" (i.e., "PC" terms), wait until you see how Rome has had her own dictionary for generations! Never, ever, for any reason at all, believe that you and Rome mean the same thing when using these words!

The word(s) What Rome Means What God Means
Grace A gift from God that is totally under Rome's control; available only via Rome's Sacramental System, and through Mary, and, therefore, only to Catholics. A gift from God available to all, for free.
Born Again Getting baptized into the Roman Catholic Church Repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (1John 5:1; Acts 1:38; Acts 16: 30-32; Romans 10:9; 2Peter 3:9; John 3:16-18, 36; John 5:24)
Confession One of Rome's 7 Sacraments; Penance (good works) is necessary for salvation.(2) Telling your sins to God, and God alone; repentance is necessary for salvation.

Click here for detailed discussion of this topic.

Gained by using Rome's 7 Sacraments, Penance, Rosaries, belief in Pope's pronouncements, Scapulars, Indulgences, etc., and only available through Mary. Gained by faith in, and acceptance of Jesus Christ; a free gift available to all; no strings attached.
Attain to Rome's attempt to circumvent the Scriptures that state that we are saved by grace, not by works. Thus, the Roman Catholic 'attains to' salvation. Its really the same thing as 'earns' or 'works for' salvation, but don't expect your priest to admit it. "Attain to," "Earn," and "Works" mean essentially the same thing.
Penance 1. Penalty assigned by a priest, for sins you confess to him. Can include rote prayers, lighting candles before graven images, 'saying' stations of the cross, or other payment at the priest's whim. 2. Rome's 'sacrament' of (confession of sins). 3. Rome's substitution for Biblical repentance. A big lie. God's Word has nothing to say about penance as the price we pay to atone for our own sins. Good works occur as a result of our salvation - they do not lead to salvation.

Click here for a detailed analysis of Rome's duplicitous double-speak on this topic

A term that has one, and only one meaning, with no synonyms; what we are supposed to give to God alone. Synonyms (which DO exist!) are re-defined as different terms and meanings, which allow the worship of Mary, dead people, and graven images despite God's commandment to the contrary. A term that has many synonyms, including veneration, adoration, etc.; what we are supposed to give to God alone.
Separated Brethren Rome's euphemism for all who disagree with her dogmas and doctrines; translate it "those damned-to-Hell Protestants!" I'm not kidding! The Council of Trent issued about one hundred curses on us Protestants, and they were all confirmed by Vatican II. Fellow-believers in Jesus Christ who have backslidden; we must pray for them and encourage them to return to Christ.
Justification The death and resurrection of Christ made our justification possible, but of itself it is not enough.! We need Mary, the Pope, the Catholic Saints, Indulgences, Priests, Penance, etc., etc. We are justified by Grace, through Faith in Jesus Christ. What He did was more than enough!
Communion Rome uses the term with Protestants, hoping they will think Rome is speaking of the same thing Protestants think of when using the term. Rome's real term here is "Eucharist." The Eucharist is seen as the very real body and blood of Christ. Rome follows the tradition of men in this practice. Her claims of Scriptural proof are unsupportable. The actual practice is much older than the time of Christ, and was 'borrowed' from paganism. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me." Communion, in the Bible, is a memorial of the death of Christ, nothing more, nothing less. Where the Catholic thinks he or she is literally eating his/her God, the Protestant thinks he/she is eating bread and drinking wine or grape juice. Protestants follow the Bible in this practice.
Conscience The thing that Rome tells you to obey, then curses you for obeying if you happen to disagree with her. Go figure! The thing that bears witness that we have either obeyed or disobeyed God (1 John 8:9' Romans 2:15; 9:1; 13:5; 1 Corinthians 8:7 and others.)
Valid/Licit Credit for this bit of word magic goes to surfer Steven I Kellmeyer, who wrote the following:

"You see, there is a difference between valid apostolic succession of Bishops and licit apostolic succession." This was part of his response to a question about the current schism between the Tridentine and the Novus Ordo groups in the RCC. He makes this distinction to disqualify one group of ordained bishops.

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Rome beat Orwell to the Punch!Rome's Doublespeak

The Roman Catholic Church has developed Orwell's doublespeak into a fine art. It is not uncommon to find Rome teaching contradictory, opposite things in different places, or sources. This bit of trickery is what allows Catholic apologists and surfers to make the claims, "You are misrepresenting the Roman Catholic Church! You don't understand what the Roman Catholic Church really teaches!" Said claims often being followed by citations from official Roman Catholic sources that appear to contradict charges against that Church. When you have official declarations on both sides of a coin, you can claim anything you wish!

It took me quite some time to catch on to this little word game. I am embarrassed that I didn't catch on sooner. But, thank God, He did finally allow me to see the game for what it is - and to expose it for those who care enough to consider the evidence. Unfortunately - for Rome - this game puts her into a number of "catch-22" situations.

Doublespeak Examples: [Freedom of Conscience][Infallibility] [Assurance of Salvation]

Doublespeak: Freedom of Conscience

Schitzophrenic Proclmations by Rome!Added 08/08/1999

Freedom of conscience to choose one's own faith has long been an issue with the Roman Catholic Church. For generations, such freedom was not only denied, but was punished with torture, imprisonment, even death. Suddenly, with Vatican Council II, freedom to choose one's religion became alright. However, there is a real 'kicker' here: Vatican Council II also ratified and approved both the decrees of the Council of Trent and Pope St. Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors - both of which condemn freedom of conscience.

Here are some proofs that freedom to choose your religion is forbidden under pain of mortal sin:

Proof 1: The following is considered a serious error, and a mortal sin: "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." (Pope Pius IX Syllabus of errors, Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.)

Proof 2: The following is considered a serious error and a mortal sin: "Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation." (Pope Pius IX Syllabus of Errors: Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846)

Proof 3: The following is considered a serious error and a mortal sin: "The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion." (Pius IX Syllabus of Errors, Dmanatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851).

Proof 4: "I do by this present, freely profess and truly hold this true Catholic faith, without which no one can be saved; and I promise most constantly to retain and confess the same entire and inviolate with God's assistance to the end of my life." (Council of Trent, Profession of the Tridentine Faith, from the Bull of Pope Pius IV, "Injunctum Nobis," November 13, 1564, and "In Sacrosancta," December 8, 1564; Article XII.)

Now, here are some proofs that you do have the freedom to choose your own religion, and that salvation is possible outside the Roman Catholic Church.

Proof A. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Page 223, Article #841)

Proof B: "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience, nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Page 439, Article #1782).

Proof C: "A human being must always obey the certain judgement of his conscience. If he were to deliberately act against it, he would condemn himself." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Page 441, Article 1790)
QUESTION: Are you aware that the decrees against freedom of conscience from the Council of Trent were 'infallibly' declared by Rome?


QUESTION: Are you aware that Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors is an 'infallible' declaration by an 'infallible' Pope? Yes No
QUESTION: Are you aware that Vatican Council II renewed and confirmed all the decrees of the Council of Trent? Yes No
QUESTION: Compare the proofs that freedom of conscience is forbidden with those the permit it. Can you see the inherent contradictions? Yes No
QUESTION: How could Vatican Council II affirm The Council of Trent, and at the same time, make declarations that obviously contradict it? Your Answer?
QUESTION: Can you now see how Rome can tell you that you are wrong when you say "Outside the Roman Catholic Church there is NO salvation," by citing the new Catechism of the Catholic Church - and tell someone else they are wrong to believe that they can be saved outside the Church by citing the Council of Trent? Yes No
QUESTION: I call this deception "doublespeak." What do you call it? Your Answer?

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Doublespeak: Infallibility

Schitzophrenic Proclmations by Rome!Added 08/09/1999

Proof (See table below).

Infallibility is Limited

Infallibility is not Limited
"In its Catholic, doctrinal meaning, infallibility is the end result of divine assistance given the Church whereby she is preserved from the possibility and liability to error in teachings on matters of faith and morals. That infallibility was always present in the church..."

"The doctrine defines that infallibility is: (1) in the pope personally and solely as the successor of St. Peter, (2) in an ecumenical council subject to confirmation by the pope, (3) in the bishops of the Universal Church teaching definitively in union with the pope. (cf. Magesterium of the church.)"

"This is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office. . . . [when] he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Broderick, Editor; Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur; ©1987 - page 292)

"[Pope John Paul II], in an address to the American Bishops on 16 October, 1988 . . . spoke unmistakably, with reference to the moral teachings of the Church which were being scorned in America, of the 'charism of infallibility' that is not only present in the 'solemn definitions of the Roman Pontiff and of ecumenical councils, but similarly in the 'universal ordinary magesterium, which can be regarded as the usual expression of the Church's infallibility.' (cf. Osservatore Romano, 16 October 1988). . . [The] Pope in his statements has only endorsed the de facto infallibility of the doctrine of Humanae vitae, which has always been presupposed in Rome.

Pope John Paul II is now declaring specifically that the ordinary magesterium of the Church must be understood and accepted as "the usual expression of the Church's infallibility."

LIMITS: Must be an 'Ex-Cathdera" (from the chair, or formal) pronouncement; Must be on a matter of faith or morals. LIMITS: None identified; any pronouncement from the Pope is to be considered, de facto infallible!

Compare these two official Roman Catholic pronouncements with care. Notice that if you charge Rome with making an infallible pronouncement, say, on the matter of birth control, she will deny it and point to her Catholic Encyclopedia definition of infallibility. On the other hand, she will tell her people that they must obey Rome's prohibition on birth control because it is a matter of faith and morals, it has been divinely revealed, and proclaimed by the "ordinary magesterium of the Church," which, Pope John Paul II tells us is "the usual expression of the Church's infallibility."
QUESTION: Does Rome limit infallibility to formal (ex-cathedra) pronouncements by the Pope and/or the Magesterium (with his permission) on matters of faith and morals? Yes No
QUESTION: Does Rome also say that "infallibility is not only present in the 'solemn definitions of the Roman Pontiff and of ecumenical councils, but similarly in the 'universal ordinary magesterium, which can be regarded as the usual expression of the Church's infallibility." Yes No
QUESTION: Can you see the direct contradiction between these two official teachings of Rome? Yes No
QUESTION: What do you call it when someone says directly contradictory things - and seems to believe both of them? Your Answer?
QUESTION: How can Catholic people bring themselves to believe such contradictory teachings of their church? Your Answer?

Click here for a detailed analysis of Rome's doctrine of Infallibility.

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Doublespeak: Assurance of Salvation

[Added 09/03/1999]

Your Salvation is Not Assured

Your Salvation Is Assured
"If anyone saith that a man who is born again and justified is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate (saved) let him be anathema (cursed, damned to hell)." Council of Trent, Cannon XV

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: No one has the right to believe he or she has assurance of salvation. If you do believe it, you are automatically consigned to Hell, damnation, loss of salvation.

"A magnificent assurance of salvation is Our Lady's Brown Scapular. The Blessed Virgin Mary promised that 'whoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.' During the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome, Pope Pius XII told a very large audience to wear the brown scapular as a sign of consecration to the immaculate heart of Mary." [The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.]

IN PLAIN ENGLISH: If you wear "Mary's" Brown Scapular, you are assured of salvation.

Compare these two official Roman Catholic pronouncements. They are mutually exclusive: both cannot be right. Yet Rome claims that both are true. Thus, if you tell a Roman Catholic that he or she has no assurance of salvation, they can whip out their amulet and quote the above official Roman Catholic teaching to 'prove' that they do have such assurance. Or, tell the Roman Catholic that he/she can have assurance of salvation, they will deny it, and quote you several cannons from the infallible Council of Trent to 'prove' it.

Click here for a detailed analysis of the Assurance of salvation issue.

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You don't understand that what we meant was not what we said!Stay tuned. More examples of Roman Catholic DOUBLESPEAK are on the way!


[Evangelicals and Catholics Together] [Catholics and Lutherans] [Roman Catholics and Evangelicals]

The Bible says that, just before Jesus Christ returns, a one-world church will arise on earth. This will be a false religion, called the 'great whore' by God. Headquarters for this one-world religious system is identified as being in Rome (Revelation 17:1-18). The city of Rome is the only city in the world that is equally identified as the seat of a very large religion, that of Roman Catholicism. No other city fits the bill! In the same passage we see that this system is allied with a world-wide political system.

Until our generation, the idea of a world-wide religion and a world-wide political system was impossible, unthinkable. Today it is not only possible, but we see all around us signs that these things are about to happen. The 'new world order' idea, (that is, a world-wide political system) is rapidly taking shape. So too is the one-world religion now being formed. For the last quarter-century, Rome has been making superhuman efforts to bring Protestant and Orthodox churches under her control. She has softened the language of her numerous curses on those churches, but has never rescinded them. Rather than call Protestants 'damnable heretics' she now calls them 'separated brethren.'

The general term that covers Rome's efforts to retake control is 'ecumenism.' On the Protestant side, we have groups such as the World Council of Churches, which is also striving to develop a single, common religious organization. Where Rome has donned a new mask from her mask closet to convince others of her good intentions, nearly all of the accommodations, in terms of doctrine, are being made by liberal Protestantism. Its as if Protestants have forgotten what the Reformation was all about.

The overall goal of both the Roman Catholic Church and the liberal Protestant churches is to achieve 'unity.' But when you study their documents, you find they are speaking not of unity, but of uniformity. There is a strong movement today to set aside, or downplay major differences, and establish common ground based solely upon non-doctrinal, politically correct, live-and-let-live policies. Rome's objective is to become the chief honcho, the big enchilada, the top dog of the coming amalgamation of churches. I, for one, believe that she will accomplish that goal.

As examples of this movement toward a world-wide religious system, I offer two current documents that define movement toward uniformity between Rome and Protestantism. First is a document signed by Rome and a number of Evangelical Christians. Second is a recent document of agreement between Rome and the Lutheran Church.

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Evangelicals and Catholics Together?

On March 29, 1994, Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium was published as a statement of unity between the Roman Catholic Church an a number of leading Evangelical Christians, including Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, Og Guiness and Bill Bright. The issues of agreement in this document are mostly of political an human rights.

Perhaps the most obnoxious part of this declaration is the agreement on what it mistakenly calls evangelization. Rather than discuss the content and goals of evangelization (that is, to make known the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not know it), the participants agreed to "Condemn the practice of recruiting people from another community for the purposes of denominational or institutional aggrandizement." This, of course, means that Evangelicals are not to bear witness to Roman Catholics because that would, in the signer's terms, "undermine the Christian Mission."

With one very convoluted document that sets aside all the critical matters of dogma, doctrine and tradition, these popular Evangelicals have sold their Reformation birthright to the Church of Rome for a mess of pottage! And what did they get in return? Nothing. This document was and is a great victory for the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps the didn't notice that their pledge to never evangelize those lost in the labyrinth of Rome because they are "brothers and sisters in Christ," is a tacit acceptance of Rome's 'other gospel' of salvation by baptismal regeneration, the sacramental system, penance, and good works.

For an excellent analysis of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, I recommend Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern, by John F. MacArthur.

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What Rome's Representatives Really Think of ProtestantsANOTHER SHOT AT DECEPTION!

Before you let Rome's sweet-sounding talk about 'separated brethren' lull you to sleep, be sure you take a look at what the Roman Catholic Church really thinks about Protestants - as portrayed by her bishops and apologists. How can we know what Rome thinks? By reading her official documentation, and listening to her approved representatives. Here are two examples to consider: one from an approved Roman Catholic apologist and one from a Roman Catholic bishop.

Karl Keating on Protestants

Karl Keating is one of today's best-known and most respected Roman Catholic apologists. In addition to his published work, he also hosts the radio program, Catholic Answers Live. An apologist is a person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, a policy, or an institution. One can be an unofficial or an official apologist. For example, there are many unofficial apologists who promote or defend the Roman Catholic Church here on the Internet.

An official Roman Catholic apologist on the other hand, is one who has either been formally assigned that task, or whose works have been sanctioned, or approved by the church. Because his work has been approved by Rome, Karl Keating is in the "official apologist" category. This is not to say that every word he writes or speaks in that position has official, full approval of the Roman Catholic Church. To be very precise, what he says has full, official church approval only when he discusses matters of "faith and morals," or matters of church doctrine. All else can be viewed only as his opinion. Unfortunately, in such works there arises an "authority-by-association" phenomenon that is hard to get past. Because Keating speaks for Rome in some matters, he must be considered an approved representative of Rome.

The only problem with such a distinction is that it tends to get lost on the reader. It certainly got lost on me - for decades! You see, I was raised and educated as a Roman Catholic. When it came to books, we were told to look for the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat- marks that indicated a book was free of doctrinal error and suitable for Roman Catholic readers. The implication was that the entire content of such a book was approved by Rome. Until I was brought up short by my Catholic surfer friend Dennis B., no one in the church ever bothered to explain the limitations of those official marks. Chalk it up to the training. That said, let's look at one of Karl's opinions.

Karl Keating, referring to certain Protestant writers and publishers who strive to expose the doctrinal errors of Rome, says that "To be converted (to Christ) by them, one has to be, mentally, a lost cause, the kind of person who would as likely support flat-earthism or preach a diet of yak milk and powdered sparrow eggs." ( Page 54, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by Karl Keating, Copyright 1988, Ignatius Press, ISBN 0-89870-177-5) This is Keating's opinion, clearly stated. The bishop who approved this book let this glaring insult stand without comment.

How about that, my born-again Christian surfers? If you accepted Christ as a result of reading material from Chick Publications, Jack Chick, or Tony Alamo, Rome's great apologist considers you a lost cause, flat-earther, yak milk drinking zero. Compare that to Rome's 'separated brethren' dissimulation! Keating, by the way, seems to have a penchant for being insulting to all who differ with him. And notice too that Keating seems to prefer attacking the reason why you were born again, not the fact that you were born again. It almost appears that, in his view, accepting Christ is a secondary consideration. Never mind praising God that you became a child of God - let's just attack your reasons, motivations, and what led you there. Did you catch the fact that Mr. Keating considers you a 'lost cause' even though you have been accepted by God through faith in Christ?

In the above quote, Keating is aiming his rancor at Protestant writers Jack Chick and Tony Alamo, at the publishing firm of Chick Publications, and at those who were saved as a result of their efforts. I know some folks who have been led to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as a result of these men's work. For myself, some of the books available from Chick Publications have deepened my understanding of my faith - and of the Roman Catholic Church as well. I may not have been saved as a result of reading their material, but I have been influenced by it. Thus do I include myself in the group being mocked. To be insulted in this manner by Karl Keating is irritating, even though I realize that resorting to insults is the tactic of one who has no valid argument to offer. Catholicism and Fundamentalism is chock-full of such insults and vituperation.
Which brings me to a brief 'aside.' Catholic surfers tell me that Keating's book 'destroys' fundamentalism. They take that book very seriously. So let us have a look at what Karl Keating says in that book - something that, if you accept him as a good representative of Rome, will lead you to view his book with suspicion. Keating writes:

"But it stands to reason that most people who suddenly think they have an urge to write about their change of beliefs just want to vent their frustrations or justify their actions. Their books should be read and used with discretion, and they should not be used at all as explanations of the beliefs of their old religion if the book betrays the least hint of rancor. (Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Page 33)

Keating directs this comment at former Roman Catholic priests, along with the well-known Protestant apologist Lorraine Boettner. If you wish to be absolutely, letter-of-the-law precise, you could say that Keating's comment, being aimed at a specific group of writers, cannot be applied to any other group of writers, including himself. To do so is to miss the point entirely. The truth is that Keating postulates rancor as the reason to "read with discretion." This is the key idea, not the particular authors at the other end of his sword. Keating's 'test' can be applied to any author.

His comment It is a not-too-subtle attempt to get you to avoid reading certain authors. But Keating's warning backfires almost immediately as one gets further into Catholicism and Fundamentalism. You can find numerous passages in which Keating reveals considerable 'rancor' himself! The paragraph above is but one example of his penchant for insulting those he cannot really refute. Keating show a special rage against Lorraine Boettner and his book, Roman Catholicism - one of the best exposures of the Church of Rome that exists.

Thus do I say to Roman Catholic surfers, "Take Keating's advice! Once you see for yourself the depths of rancor to which Keating falls, 'read his book with discretion,' and do not use it at all as explanations of the beliefs of his religion."

A Note To Surfers Influenced by Chick Publications

Were you influenced by material from Chick Publications to turn your heart to Jesus Christ? If so, I invite you to post your comments on our Message Board. There is a thread running there on this topic. Do you consider yourself a 'mental lost cause?' Do you really drink yak milk and eat powdered sparrow eggs? Tell us how Keating's indictment of you strikes you. Thanks.

A Bishop on Protestants

Making reference to the growth of Evangelical Protestant churches in Mexico, a modern Archbishop of Rome writes that, "The sects (Protestant churches) are like flies." (Archbishop G. Prigione, Apostolic delegate to Mexico in People of God, May, 1992, a popular Roman Catholic circular.)HOW ROME SEES PROTESTANTS!

How does that make you feel, dear Protestant surfers? Rome thinks of you as a fly! Flies are irritating little buggers that breed in garbage and feces, and spread disease. There is little doubt that Rome considers the assortment of 'separated brethren' (her euphemism for all who disagree with her, and who are the object of this bishop's insult ) as a sort of disease. What does one do when infested with flies? Right - you got it!

Suggested Internet Reading on Ecumenism

David W. Cloud has written a very good evaluation of Roman Catholics and Evangelicals by Norman Ghastlier and Ralph MacKenzie, copyright 1995. I suggest that you surf over to Dave's home page and check it out.

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