Former Catholic on reaching Catholics

The ‘Mary’ in the Basilica of Mary Major That Pope Francis Prays Before (Photo by Joyce Thiel, June 2013)


Received a newsletter today from a former Catholic turned Protestant, named Mike Gendron, who wrote about reaching Catholics:

Many of the 70 million Catholics in America were born into their religion and have never examined their faith through the lens of Scripture. From infancy they are taught that salvation comes through their church as they merit saving grace through the sacraments and perform religious rituals and good works to be justified and re-justified. Roman Catholicism is often called the “plus” religion because of what it has added to the Gospel of grace. Catholic salvation is based on Jesus plus Mary,… Scripture plus tradition and the blood of Jesus plus purgatory…

As we witness to Catholics, we must persevere with patience to untangle the sticky web of religious indoctrination that holds them captive (Col. 2:8). Let us follow the instructions of Paul and “not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, and correcting opponents with gentleness.” We must pray for God to “grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”, that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who holds them captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

The two most important biblical principles to remember as you witness are to: 1) establish Scripture as the supreme authority for truth (2 Tim. 3:15-17) and 2) proclaim the Lord Jesus as the all-sufficient Savior (Heb. 7:25; Acts 4:12).

I would state that the Church of Rome is also a subtract religion.  It subtracted the gospel of the Kingdom (which Protestants also do not teach), the biblical holy days (which Protestants also do not teach), the true Christian way of life (which Protestants also do not teach), etc.

However, it is true that those in the Church of Rome have added their version of ‘Mary’ into the salvation equation and that is clearly wrong.  Most Protestants do not do that, but even that has been changing with them as the ecumenical movement has gained ground (see also Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!).

While it is important to emphasize to Catholics, and anyone else, the importance of scripture and the need for salvation through Jesus Christ, when discussing religious matters with Catholics, there are a few other points to mention.

One is history.  Catholics believe that since the reforming Protestants came out of the Church of Rome, that Protestantism could not possibly be the original faith.  On that point the Catholics of Rome are completely correct.

So, when discussing theology with Catholics, those in the Church of God sometimes should emphasize that:

  1. The Church of God is NOT Protestant (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism).
  2. The Church of God existed from the beginning with original apostolic teachings and doctrines that those associated with Rome have often changed (see Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?).
  3. That the Church of God in Asia Minor was the predominant Christian church, before a compromising Greco-Roman confederacy formed (see The Ephesus Church Era and The Smyrna Church Era and What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?).  Catholics tend to be surprised to learn that the Apostle John was alive decades after the Apostle Peter died and hence often seem open to the fact that the Apostle John would not have been subservient to early claimed successors of Peter such as Linus.
  4. That many of the early leaders that the Church of Rome considers to be saints today held doctrines that agree more with the Continuing Church of God than the Church of Rome.
  5. That the Church of God, through the Apostle John to Polycarp has had the complete Bible from the beginning (see The Old Testament Canon and The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History).
  6. Many considered to be Catholic saints and leaders have held doctrinal and prophetic beliefs closer to those held by the Continuing Church of God than currently by the Vatican.
  7. That the Church of God can trace followers and beliefs from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 to present (see The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 and Continuing History of the Church of God).

There are also other points, but the above list can serve as good starting points.

Catholics often do not realize that Marian veneration was NOT part of the original apostolic faith (see also Origin of the Marian Dogmas).

Those truly interested in the history of the true Christian church should study the free online booklet Continuing History of the Church of God as well as the articles, etc. we have available, and compare them to what the Bible itself proves.

Some items of related interest may include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Do you understand the ramifications of the ‘Lady of Guadalupe’? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of a new 186 page book (in the print version). And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roma”? This 186 page book provides information and answers. This book is available for USD$9.98 in printed form The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years. It also discusses the concept of church eras. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a version in the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?

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