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All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)
Confiteordeo ^ | John David Young

Posted on 02/19/2008 11:55:18 AM PST by NYer

I know that I was not the first Protestant to learn the truth about the Catholic Church; I am sure that this is a story you could probably hear from countless other people, changing only the names and places. I know that many have walked the road that I have; that road which leads home, to Rome!

I was born in 1975 to two God-fearing Southern Baptists in Dallas, Texas. My father had grown up Methodist, but became Baptist when he married my mother in 1968. From what my father has said, his family was mostly Methodist. His father and his paternal grandfather were both Thirty-Third Degree Masons. My father's paternal grandfather's father was even the founding pastor of the First Methodist Church of Dallas. Though I have heard the history of my father's family, I myself knew only a very few of them. A great majority of my mother's family was Baptist, with a smattering of Methodists here and there. I am fairly certain of one thing, however: there were no Catholics.

Since a very young age, I can remember going to church and Sunday school on Sunday mornings to listen to the preacher and my Sunday school teachers talk about Jesus, and how He would save us from the fires of Hell. Every Sunday morning, my parents and I would sing in church and listen to the sermons. Though we didn't usually attend the Sunday evening services, I knew that once a month on a Sunday evening, an event called The Lord's Supper would happen. At this Lord's Supper, the preacher would begin passing around large round trays made of chrome. One of the trays had tiny crackers on it, and the other one had little cups of grape juice. I can remember that before I was baptized I wanted to take part in this event, but my parents would not let me. They did not explain why I shouldn't, other than I hadn't been baptized yet. Just as it is in the Catholic Church, Baptism is an initiation of sorts into the active life of the church community. (Of course, to a Catholic, it is that and much more. I would not know this until much later.) A few years went by, and when I was about eight years old, I decided that I wanted to be "saved" and get baptized. To get "saved," you would pray a little prayer like, "Dear Jesus, please come into my heart and forgive me of all of my sins. I ask you to become my personal Lord and Savior. All these things I pray in Jesus' name. Amen." From a Baptist viewpoint, being baptized is only a symbol, and nothing more. In other words, for a Baptist, baptism isn't really necessary for salvation. After I got baptized, I was able to partake in the Lord's Supper. I asked my father what the Lord's Supper meant, and he said that it represented the body and the blood of Jesus. That is to say, it represented the sacrifice that He made for us on the Cross. My father then read the passage from a King James Bible that told about the establishment of what we called The Lord's Supper: "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20, KJV)" I asked why it was that we only did this once a month, and even then at the evening service (most people went to the morning service). My father thought about it for a minute, then he said that the Catholics do it every Sunday at all of their services. (In actuality, most Catholic churches have at least one Mass every day except Good Friday; Catholics are bound to attend Mass only on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.) He said that perhaps we do it less often so as not to imitate them. As you can imagine, I did not understand this for what it was. The Baptists, and many other Protestant groups, were concerned that the "Lord's Supper" would become the focus of the church service rather than the sermon. Though there are some Protestant churches that have communion every Sunday, none of them place the same importance on the Eucharist that the Catholic Church does.

My father had nothing personal against Catholics; in fact, of all the people in my family, he probably liked them more than anyone else in our family did. My mother had a problem with the Catholic Church, but if you asked her why, she really couldn't tell you. She would give the same rote answers that many Protestants had been giving for centuries. "They worship the Pope, Mary, and the Saints." "They think a person can forgive their sins rather than God." She couldn't explain why she believed these things, or in the case of the last statement, she couldn't explain why a person couldn't say that your sins are forgiven. When I finally asked her why she thought a person could not forgive sins after the Bible said that Christ gave that power to the Apostles, she said she'd just rather confess directly to God. I believe that the real reason that she did not like Catholicism was because her father did not like it. I really believe that was the main reason. For some reason, my maternal grandfather (whom we have always called "Smittie") has a fairly wide streak of anti-Catholicism in him. Even as a child, I remembered him complaining every time the Pope was on television or in the newspaper. Whenever we were at a restaurant or shopping and we saw someone with a large family (four or five kids or more), he would often joke that they must be Catholic. The ironic thing about his dislike of the Church is that virtually all of his friends (excepting those from his church) since he became an adult were Catholic. I don't think that he had anything personal against individual Catholics; it was the Church that bothered him. Smittie was in England during World War II, and he found many friends there, all Catholic. He always spoke highly of them. He missed them all very much, too; all but a few of them had been killed in the war and those few survivors had died since. To this day, I do not know what makes Smittie think that the Church is somehow diabolical or at the very least, misled. I've often wondered if it had something to do with his association with Freemasonry. By the way, he is a Third Degree Mason (Master Mason), though he has not been an active Mason for many years.

Now you can see where I came from. A Southern Baptist upbringing with lots of anti-Catholic influence from just about everyone in my family and my church, with the possible exception of my father. If, when I was in high school, someone had told me that I would one day become Catholic, I would have literally laughed in his face. By the time I was fifteen, I had truly learned to have contempt for the Catholic Church. Not Catholic people, you understand, just the beliefs of and possibly the clergy of the Church. I figured that most Catholics were simply misled, and too ignorant to realize it. After all, "everyone knows" that Catholics are forbidden to read the Bible, right?! [a common Protestant myth]

I entered high school and turned fifteen at about the same time, and high school was a much bigger place than the middle school where I had attended. I decided to get involved in some of the clubs in school to make friends, and one of the clubs was called Raiders for Christ (the Raiders was the school mascot). This club was made up of mostly Protestant and "Evangelical" Christians of various denominations. In the meetings, we talked about "witnessing" to people, getting "saved," and how we should carry our Bible around as a good example to others. I decided that I would try to talk to people in classes and invite them to church with me. From some people, I got a fairly good response. Some would say they had already been "saved," and currently attended another church. Some would say that they had been "saved" and that they felt that church was not necessary because they read the Bible often anyway. I had no problem with these people. However, I ran into some that caused problems. As you can guess, these were the Catholics.

Many Catholics that I met did not know their faith very well, but they did go to Mass every Sunday. I derided them for not knowing why they believed the things that they believed. I said that it was apparent that the Catholic Church was based on blind faith and that reason was nowhere to be found. I told several people that if they did not renounce the Catholic Church and accept Christ as their "personal Lord and Savior," that they would most certainly go to Hell. I'm sure that these people did not appreciate what I was saying, and I am quite thankful that they were more charitable to me than I was to them. One particular Catholic with whom I made friends was a teacher at the school. In fact, she was one of the sponsors of an extra-curricular organization of which I was a member for three years. She knew her faith VERY well, and for that I am glad. I admit, however, it was quite frustrating at times. After all, I couldn't win a debate with her. While she did not convert me to Catholicism, she did put me on the right track. I quit harassing the Catholics so much and tried to see them as fellow Christians rather than "the enemy."

I graduated from high school, still a Baptist, though not a particularly devout one anymore. I didn't go to church very often, and I had begun to lose faith; not so much in God as in being Baptist. I felt that there were contradictions between what the Bible says and what the Baptists teach. For instance, Baptists teach that once you are "saved," you are always "saved." That is practically a dogma of the Baptist Church, as well as some other Protestant churches: "once saved, always saved." The problem here, is that there is no support in the Bible for this position. Scripture does refute this position: "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12, KJV)" (If you notice, I quote from the King James Version of the Bible because it is the universally accepted version of the Bible in Protestant churches.) Considering that a favorite saying of the Baptists was "No creed but the Bible," you can see why I was beginning to be skeptical. Here are some more (though certainly not all) doctrinal paradoxes:

The Baptist Myth

What the (King James) Bible Says

"Alcoholic beverages are inherently bad."

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:23, KJV)"

"So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. (John 4:46, KJV)"

"Dancing is bad."

"And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14, KJV)"

"Salvation (being saved? occurs in an instant."

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phillipians 2:12, KJV)"

"We only need Scripture, not traditions."

(This is an attack on the Catholic belief in Sacred Tradition. It is a pillar of the Protestant Reformation known as Sola Scriptura)

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6, KJV)"

"Everyone can interpret Scripture for him/herself."

(In other words, we don’t need an authoritative body like the Magisterium, or teaching office, of the Catholic Church to interpret for us.)

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20, KJV)"

"Faith alone, not works, will get you saved."

(This is one of the other main principles of the Protestant Reformation: it is called Sola Fide)

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, KJV)"

 

The list is seemingly endless, so I’ll stop here. As you can see, many of the beliefs of both the Protestant Reformation in general as well as the Southern Baptist Convention were at odds with the Bible. And not just any Bible, but even the one that the Protestants so cherished! (Rest assured, these verses are not much different in a Catholic Bible.)

At any rate, I was nineteen years old, and attending a major public university. I was exposed to many things that I had never been around before, mostly because my parents were somewhat over-protective of me. I felt quite far from God during my first year in college. Toward the end of my freshman year, my girlfriend from high school, whom I had been dating for over three years, and I broke up. I started dating a younger Catholic girl who lived in the Dallas area. Her uncle was actually a bishop in the northeastern United States. She was not particularly devout, but at the time, it didn’t matter to me. Actually, I figured that if we ended up together it would be easy to convert her to Protestantism and away from the Catholic Church. After we had been dating for about a month, her sister was graduating from high school, so I went to see her sister’s baccalaureate Mass. I had never been to a Mass before; I had been inside a Catholic church maybe once or twice before in my whole life. When I got home that night, I cried because I thought that since she was Catholic, she would be doomed to Hell if I couldn’t help her "see the light". However, the more I thought about what I had seen, the more intrigued I became.

First of all, the Mass was not what I had been told that it was: a pagan ceremony. To those of you reading this who are Catholic, this may seem humorous, but many Protestants, especially those leaning toward "fundamentalism," seem to think that Catholics are pagans or Satan worshippers or something along those lines. I don’t know where this myth got started, but I would sure love to put it to rest. For those of you not familiar with the Mass, here is the basic structure:


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian
KEYWORDS: baptist; convert
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Continued here
1 posted on 02/19/2008 11:55:23 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Enjoy!


2 posted on 02/19/2008 11:55:53 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: WileyPink
First of all, the Mass was not what I had been told that it was: a pagan ceremony. To those of you reading this who are Catholic, this may seem humorous, but many Protestants, especially those leaning toward "fundamentalism," seem to think that Catholics are pagans or Satan worshippers or something along those lines. I don’t know where this myth got started, but I would sure love to put it to rest.

Take the cue, Wiley, and stop posting erroneous information about the Catholic Church. And, for sake of providing corroborating witness to that statement, here is Dr. Scott Hahn, another convert, on the topic of the Mass.


Scott Hahn¹s The Lamb's Supper - The Mass as Heaven on Earth.
Foreword by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.
Part One - The Gift of the Mass

Hahn begins by describing the first mass he ever attended.

"There I stood, a man incognito, a Protestant minister in plainclothes, slipping into the back of a Catholic chapel in Milwaukee to witness my first Mass. Curiosity had driven me there, and I still didn't feel sure that it was healthy curiosity. Studying the writings of the earliest Christians, I'd found countless references to "the liturgy," "the Eucharist," "the sacrifice." For those first Christians, the Bible - the book I loved above all - was incomprehensible apart from the event that today's Catholics called "the Mass."

"I wanted to understand the early Christians; yet I'd had no experience of Liturgy. So I persuaded myself to go and see, as a sort of academic exercise, but vowing all along that I would neither kneel nor take part in idolatry."

I took my seat in the shadows, in a pew at the very back of that basement chapel. Before me were a goodly number of worshipers, men and women of all ages. Their genuflections impressed me, as did their apparent concentration in prayer. Then a bell rang, and they all stood as the priest emerged from a door beside the altar.

Unsure of myself, I remained seated. For years, as an evangelical Calvinist, I'd been trained to believe that the Mass was the ultimate sacrilege a human could commit. The Mass, I had been taught, was a ritual that purported to "resacrifice Jesus Christ." So I would remain an observer. I would stay seated, with my Bible open beside me.

As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn't just beside me. It was before me - in the words of the Mass! One line was from Isaiah, another from Psalms, another from Paul. The experience was overwhelming. I wanted to stop everything and shout, "Hey, can I explain what's happening from Scripture? This is great!" Still, I maintained my observer status. I remained on the sidelines until I heard the priest pronounce the words of consecration: "This is My body . . . This is the cup of My blood."

Then I felt all my doubt drain away. As I saw the priest raise that white host, I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: "My Lord and my God. That's really you!"

I was what you might call a basket case from that point. I couldn't imagine a greater excitement than what those words had worked upon me. Yet the experience was intensified just a moment later, when I heard the congregation recite: "Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God," and the priest respond, "This is the Lamb of God . . ." as he raised the host. In less than a minute, the phrase "Lamb of God" had rung out four times. From long years of studying the Bible, I immediately knew where I was. I was in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus is called the Lamb no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. I was at the marriage feast that John describes at the end of that very last book of the Bible. I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb. I wasn't ready for this, though - I was at Mass!


We are all praying for you, Wiley!

3 posted on 02/19/2008 12:00:03 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer; WileyPink
All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)[John David Young]br> Allen Hunt, Methodist Minister ...Journeys Home (Catholic, Re: Real Presence)
The Challenges and Graces of Conversion [Chris Findley]
An Open Letter...from Bishop John Lipscomb [Another TEC Bishop Goes Papist]
Unlocking the Convert's Heart [Marcus Grodi]

His Open Arms Welcomed Me [ Paul Thigpen}
Why I'm Catholic (Sola Scriptura leads atheist to Catholic Church)
From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story) Rodney Beason
Good-bye To All That (Another Episcopalian gets ready to swim the Tiber)
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church

Bishop Steenson’s Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying

Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)
The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)

Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Rusty Tisdale (former Pentecostal)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]
THE ORTHODOX REVIVAL IN RUSSIA

Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)
12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts

John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]

From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church
Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism

From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)

Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge
Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
FORMER PENTECOSTAL RELATES MIRACLE THAT OCCURRED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert

4 posted on 02/19/2008 12:20:41 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Do you know how to do anything except post links and try to have other’s caucus threads pulled?


5 posted on 02/19/2008 12:29:17 PM PST by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6b)
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To: NYer
We are all praying for you, Wiley!

Don't pray for me to your gods and mary and your pope or your dead saints!

In my opinion, the catholic church is of Satan and the pope is the antichrist.

Tell you what, while you're at it, why not sprinkle some water on me. I sure that will do as much good as praying for me to the dead gods and people that you are praying to.

In Christ...Alone!

6 posted on 02/19/2008 12:33:11 PM PST by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6b)
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To: WileyPink

The links are relevant. I pray that you read one.


7 posted on 02/19/2008 12:33:51 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
The links are relevant. I pray that you read one.

Let me give you a relevant link... BibleGateway!

8 posted on 02/19/2008 12:38:44 PM PST by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6b)
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To: NYer
Here are some more (though certainly not all) doctrinal paradoxes

Would that all christians would read the Bible as thoughtfully!

9 posted on 02/19/2008 12:41:16 PM PST by TheDon
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To: WileyPink

Thank you, but I use three. esword, ewtn and This is the Faith dATABASES.


10 posted on 02/19/2008 12:42:07 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: TheDon

I forgot another database — usccb.


11 posted on 02/19/2008 12:43:18 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: WileyPink; NYer; Salvation
Don't pray for me to your gods and mary and your pope or your dead saints!

So, you don't believe that Catholics pray to God?

By what authority are you, as a Christian, exempt from following the Biblical instructions found in Luke 2:48?

In my opinion, the catholic church is of Satan and the pope is the antichrist.

Does this make Catholics satanic?

Tell you what, while you're at it, why not sprinkle some water on me.

Are you saying that Baptism is not found in the Bible?

12 posted on 02/19/2008 12:45:56 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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For this is the declaration, which you have heard from the beginning, that you should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked: and his brother's just. Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.

In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. In this we know that we are of the truth: and in his sight shall persuade our hearts. For if our heart reprehend us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Dearly beloved, if our heart do not reprehend us, we have confidence towards God: And whatsoever we shall ask, we shall receive of him: because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as he hath given commandment unto us. And he that keepeth his commandments, abideth in him, and he in him. And in this we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

- 1 John 3: 11-24

13 posted on 02/19/2008 12:52:34 PM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: wagglebee
Are you saying that Baptism is not found in the Bible?

I quite sure that I can find many things that your priest do that are not in the Bible!

In Christ...Alone!

14 posted on 02/19/2008 12:56:54 PM PST by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6b)
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To: WileyPink; drstevej; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; jboot; ...

SOME SOVERIEGN GRACE PERSPECTIVE FOR THE ROAD FROM ROME!

NO LINKS BRETHREN,READ AND BE BLESSED!

Arminianism: The Road to Rome!
by Augustus Toplady


Whose Voice Do You Hear?
“My sheep, saith Christ, hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish. O, most worthy Scriptures! which ought to compel us to have a faithful remembrance, and to note the tenor thereof; which is, the sheep of Christ shall never perish.
“Doth Christ mean part of his elect, or all, think you? I do hold, and affirm, and also faithfully believe, that he meant all his elect, and not part, as some do full ungodly affirm. I confess and believe assuredly, that there shall never any of them perish: for I have good authority so to say; be- cause Christ is my author, and saith, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Ergo, it is not possible that they can be so deceived, that they shall ever finally perish, or be damned: wherefore, whosoever doth affirm that there may be any (i.e. any of the elect) lost, doth affirm that Christ hath a torn body.”1

The above valuable letter of recantation is thus inscribed: “A Letter to the Congregation of Free-willers, by One that had been of that Persuasion, but come off, and now a Prisoner for Religion:” which superscription will hereafter, in its due place, supply us with a remark of more than slight importance.

John Wesley, A Friend of Rome?
To occupy the place of argument, it has been alleged that “Mr. Wesley is an old man;” and the Church of Rome is still older than he. Is that any reason why the enormities, either of the mother or the son, should pass unchastised?
It has also been suggested, that “Mr. Wesley is a very laborious man:” not more laborious, I presume, than a certain active being, who is said to go to and fro in the earth, and walk up and down in it:2 nor yet more laborious, I should imagine, than certain ancient Sectarians, concerning whom it was long ago said, “Woe unto you Scribes, hypocrites; for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte:”3 nor, by any means, so usefully laborious, as a certain diligent member of the community, respecting whose variety of occupations the public have lately received the following intelligence: “The truth of the following instance of industry may be depended on: a poor man with a large family, now cries milk, every morning, in Lothbury, and the neighbourhood of the Royal Exchange; at eleven, he wheels about a barrow of potatoes; at one, he cleans shoes at the Change; after dinner, cries milk again; in the evening, sells sprats; and at night, finishes the measure of his labour as a watchman.”4

The Quarrel is With the Wolf
Mr. Sellon, moreover, reminds me (p. 128.) that, “while the shepherds are quarrelling, the wolf gets into the sheep fold;” not impossible: but it so happens, that the present quarrel is not among “the shepherds,” but with the “wolf” himself; which “quarrel” is warranted by every maxim of pastoral meekness and fidelity.
I am further told, that, while I am “berating the Arminians, Rome and the devil laugh in their sleeves.” Admitting that Mr. Sellon might derive this anecdote from the fountain head, the parties themselves, yet, as neither they nor he are very conspicuous for veracity, I construe the intelligence by the rule of reverse, though authenticated by the deposition of their right trusty and well-beloved cousin and counsellor.

Once more: I am charged with “excessive superciliousness, and majesty of pride:” and why not charged with having seven heads and ten horns, and a tail as long as a bell-rope? After all, what has my pride, or my humility, to do with the argument in hand? Whether I am haughty, or meek, is of no more consequence either to that, or to the public, than whether I am tall or short: however, I am, at this very time, giving one proof, that my “majesty of pride” can stoop; that even to ventilate the impertinences of Mr. Sellon.

Arminianism at Home in Rome
But, however frivolous his cavils, the principles for which he contends are of the most pernicious nature and tendency. I must repeat, what already seems to have given him so much offence, that Arminianism “came from Rome, and leads thither again.” Julian, bishop of Eclana a contemporary and disciple of Pelagius, was one of those who endeavoured, with much art, to gild the doctrines of that heresiarch, in order to render them more sightly and palatable. The Pelagian system, thus varnished and paliated, soon began to acquire the softer name of Semipelagianism. Let us take a view of it, as drawn to our hands by the celebrated Mr. Bower, who himself, in the main, a professed Pelagian, and therefore less likely to present us with an unfavourable portrait of the system he generally approved. Among the principles of that sect, this learned writer enumerates the following:
“The notion of election and reprobation, independent on our merits or demerits, is maintaining a fatal necessity, is the bane of all virtue, and serves only to render good men remiss in working out their salvation, and to drive sinners to despair.

“The decrees of election and reprobation are posterior to, and in consequence of, our good or evil works, as foreseen by God from all eternity.”5

Is not this too the very language of modern Arminianism? Do not the partizans of that scheme argue on the same identical terms? Should it be said, “True, this proves that Arminianism is Pelagianism revived; but it does not prove, that the doctrines of Arminianism are originally Popish:” a moment’s cool attention will make it plain that they are. Let us again hear Mr. Bower, who, after the passage just quoted, immediately adds, “on these two last propositions, the Jesuits found their whole system of grace and free-will; agreeing therein with the Semipelagians, against the Jansenists and St. Augustine.”6 The Jesuits were moulded into a regular body, towards the middle of the sixteenth century: toward the close of the same century, Arminius began to infest the Protestant churches. It needs therefore no great penetration, to discern from what source he drew his poison. His journey to Rome (though Monsicur Bayle affects to make light of the inferences which were at that very time deduced from it) was not for nothing. If, however, any are disposed to believe, that Arminius imbibed his doctrines from the Socinians in Poland, with whom, it is certain, he was on terms of intimate friendship, I have no objection to splitting the difference: he might import some of his tenets from the Racovian brethren, and yet be indebted, for others, to the disciples of Loyola.

Papists and Predestination
Certain it is, that Arminius himself was sensible, how greatly the doctrine of predestination widens the distance between Protestantism and Popery. “There is no point of doctrines (says he) which the Papists, the Anabaptists, and the (new) Lutherans more fiercely oppose, nor by means of which they heap more discredit on the reformed churches, and bring the reformed system itself into more odium; for they (i.e. the Papists, & etc.) assert, that no fouler blasphemy against God can be thought or expressed, than is contained in the doctrine of predestination.”7 For which reason, he advises the reformed world to discard predestination from their creed, in order that they may live on more brotherly terms with the Papists, the Anabaptists, and such like.
The Arminian writers make no scruple to seize and retail each other’s arguments, as common property. Hence, Samuel Hoord copies from Van Harmin the self same observation which I have now cited. “Predestination (says Samuel) is an opinion odious to the Papists, opening their foul mouths, against our Church and religion:”8 consequently, our adopting the opposite doctrines of universal grace and freewill, would, by bringing us so many degrees nearer to the Papists, conduce to shut their mouths, and make them regard us, so far at least, as their own orthodox and dearly beloved brethren: whence it follows, that, as Arminianism came from Rome, so “it leads thither again.”

The Jesuits and Predestination
If the joint verdict of Arminius himself, and of his English proselyte Hoord, will not turn the scale, let us add the testimony of a professed Jesuit, by way of making up full weight. When archbishop Laud’s papers were exam- ined, a letter was found among them, thus endorsed with that prelate’s own hand: “March, 1628. A Jesuit’s Letter, sent to the Rector at Bruxels, about the ensuing Parliament.” The design of this letter was to give the Superior of the Jesuits, then resident at Brussels, an account of the posture of civil and ecclesiastical affairs in England; an extract from it I shall here subjoin: “Father Rector, let not the damp of astonishment seize upon your ardent and zealous soul, in apprehending the sodaine and unexpected calling of a Parliament. We have now many strings to our bow. We have planted that soveraigne drugge Arminianisme, which we hope will purge the Protestants from their heresie; and it flourisheth and beares fruit in due season. For the better prevention of the Puritanes, the Arminians have already locked up the Duke’s (of Buckingham) eares; and we have those of our owne religion, which stand continually at the Duke’s chamber, to see who goes in and out: we cannot be too circumspect and carefull in this regard. I am, at this time, transported with joy, to see how happily all instruments and means, as well great as lesser, co-operate unto our purposes. But, to return unto the maine fabricke:—OUR FOUNDATION IS ARMINIANISME. The Arminians and projectors, as it appeares in the premises, affect mutation. This we second and enforce by probable arguments.”9
The Sovereign Drug Arminianism
The “Sovereign drug, Arminianism,” which said the Jesuit, “we (i.e. we Papists) have planted” in England, did indeed bid fair “to purge our Protestant Church effectually. How merrily Popery and Arminianism, at that time, danced hand in hand, may be learned from Tindal: “The churches were adorned with paintings, images, altar-pieces, & etc. and, instead of communion tables, alters were set up, and bowings to them and the sacramental elements enjoined. The predestinarian doctrines were forbid, not only to be preached, but to be printed; and the Arminian sense of the Articles was encouraged and propagated.”10 The Jesuit, therefore, did not exult without cause. The “sovereign drug,” so lately “planted,” did indeed take deep root downward, and bring forth fruit upward, under the cherishing auspices of Charles and Laud. Heylyn, too, acknowledges, that the state of things was truly described by another Jesuit of that age, who wrote: “Protestantism waxeth weary of itself. The doctrine (by the Arminians, who then sat at the helm) is altered in many things, for which their progenitors forsook the Church of Rome: as limbus patrum; prayer for the dead, and possibility of keeping God’s com- mandments; and the accounting of Calvinism to be heresy at least, if not treason.”11
Arminianism From the Pit
The maintaining of these positions, by the Court divines, was an “alteration” indeed; which the abandoned Heylyn ascribes to “the ingenuity and moderation found in some professors of our religion.” If we sum up the evidence that has been given, we shall find its amount to be, that Arminianism came from the Church of Rome, and leads back again to the pit whence it was digged.
For further study: Christopher Ness, An Antidote Against Arminianism; J. Warne, Arminianism: The Back Door to Popery; John Knox, On Predestination in Works vol. 5; John Owen, A Display of Arminianism; Pink, The Sovereignty of God; Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will; C. Van Til, The Defense of the Faith; Gary North, 75 Bible Questions Your Instructors Pray You Won’t Ask; W. MacLean, Arminianism Another Gospel; and Spurgeon’s Sovereign Grace Sermons. This newsletter is an ex- cerpt from The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady (Sprinkle Publ., [1794] 1987, pp. 54-55).

5 SOLAS!


15 posted on 02/19/2008 12:58:17 PM PST by alpha-8-25-02 ("SAVED BY GRACE AND GRACE ALONE")
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To: WileyPink
I quite sure that I can find many things that your priest do that are not in the Bible!

Name ONE.

And I notice you failed to answer any of my other questions, why is that?

16 posted on 02/19/2008 12:58:52 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Salvation

thanks,


17 posted on 02/19/2008 12:59:02 PM PST by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: NYer

Thanks


18 posted on 02/19/2008 1:18:10 PM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: NYer

God never intended for “religion” to be part of His plan!
It’s a heart/faith matter.
It was man who started to squabble as to who was right regarding scripture.
I was raised catholic, gave my life to Christ in a Baptist church and attend a non-denominational church.
If something in my spirit checks me during or after hearing my Pastors teaching, I confirm or deny it by reading the scriptures - period.


19 posted on 02/19/2008 1:18:14 PM PST by Cowboy in Christ
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To: Salvation; NYer

Thanks for the links, makes nice reference material.

Keep up the great work, as long as they are complaining you are doing your work!


20 posted on 02/19/2008 1:19:23 PM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: WileyPink; Salvation; NYer; xzins; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg; Pyro7480; PetroniusMaximus; Coleus; ...
Don't pray for me to your gods and mary and your pope or your dead saints!

In my opinion, the catholic church is of Satan and the pope is the antichrist.

Tell you what, while you're at it, why not sprinkle some water on me. I sure that will do as much good as praying for me to the dead gods and people that you are praying to.

You know I must say that I have been in a great many debates on here with my Protestant brothers in Christ. There are a number of Evangelicals with whom I am in complete agreement on every issue except certain differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. They know where I stand and I know where they stand. I have zero doubts that they are true Christians and that their Salvation is assured and I would like to think that they feel the same about me.

However, in all of our debates, I have NEVER seen any of them use the type of rhetoric I see here, because if I did, I would have a very difficult time even being cordial with them on other threads. I've seen people join FR, both Catholic and Protestant, who are so militantly myopic that they soon ostracize themselves even from those who agree with them and I must say that it is pathetic to watch.

21 posted on 02/19/2008 1:24:06 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: WileyPink
In my opinion, the catholic church is of Satan and the pope is the antichrist.

And what is the source of this opinion?

22 posted on 02/19/2008 1:38:35 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: wagglebee; Salvation
Hey, y'all, I have a sincere question ... it's not a "gotcha" question or anything, because I'm sure Catholics have thought through it and have a reasonable answer.

I was reading the Hahn's book, "Rome Sweet Home," and the question occurred to me ... how do Catholics explain Mary and the saints being able to hear and respond to thousands of prayers at one time?

With Christ Himself, it is not an issue, because of His divine nature ... but how about our brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven ... how can they listen to tens of thousands of prayers at once?

23 posted on 02/19/2008 1:43:17 PM PST by Oliver Optic
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To: Cowboy in Christ
It was man who started to squabble as to who was right regarding scripture.

Dear Catholic friend (yes, you are still Catholic),

Is the Bible the "pillar of truth" in the Christian religion? No. According to the Bible Itself, the Church is the "pillar of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), not the Bible.

Is private interpretation of the Bible condoned in the Bible Itself? No, it is not (2 Peter 1:20). Was individual interpretation of Scripture practiced by the early Christians or the Jews? Again, "NO" (Acts 8:29-35). The assertion that individuals can correctly interpret Scripture is false. Even the "founder" of Sola Scriptura (Martin Luther), near the end of his life, was afraid that "any milkmaid who could read" would found a new Christian denomination based on his or her "interpretation" of the Bible. Hence, there are now 20,000+ denominations and growing!

Can there be more than one interpretation of the Bible? No. The word "truth" is used several times in the New Testament. However, the plural version of the word "truth" never appears in Scripture. Therefore, there can only be one Truth. So how can there be over 20,000 non-Catholic Christian denominations all claiming to have the "Truth" (i.e., the correct interpretation of the Bible)? For that matter, aren't ALL non-Catholic Christians as individuals claiming "infallibility" when it comes to interpreting the Bible? Catholics only believe in the infallibility of the Papacy as an office. Which is more believable - one office holding infallibility or 400 million non-Catholic Christians who can't agree on the interpretation of Scripture all claiming "infallibility?" Now, in the case of Catholics, the Church which Christ founded and is with forever (Matthew 28:20) interprets the Bible, as guided by the Holy Spirit, (Mark 13:11) for the "sheep" (the faithful). The Church (not individuals) interpret Scripture. In Catholicism, Scripture is there for meditation, prayer and inspiration, not for individual interpretation to formulate doctrine or dogma.

Is the Bible the sole "teaching from God?" No. The Bible Itself states that their are "oral" teachings and traditions that are to be carried on to the present-day (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:24-25). These teachings are what the Catholic Church considers "Sacred Apostolic Tradition."

Did the early Christians have the Bible as we know it? No. The Bible as a whole was not compiled until the late 4th century and then it was compiled by a Catholic saint (St. Jerome) at the request of a Catholic pope (St. Damasus I). So how were the early Christians saved if they did not possess the entire written "Word of God" to follow His teachings? Well, naturally, they were the Body of Christ and were taught through "oral" teachings by the Church, not by writings.

Is the Bible to be taken literally - "word for word?" No. The Bible doesn't state anywhere that It should be taken literally. The Bible was written by different authors with different literary styles at different times in history and in different languages. Therefore, the writings should be interpreted with these circumstances in mind. The Bible is a religious book, not a scientific or a history "textbook."

Does the Bible state It is the sole or final authority of Christianity? No. Neither this statement nor anything even close to it appears anywhere in the New Testament. In fact, Christ said that the Church is to resolve disputes among Christians, not Scripture (Matthew 18:17).

Dear friend, you are always welcome home!

24 posted on 02/19/2008 1:47:42 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer; WileyPink

Depending on which list is used there have been somewhere around 267 popes in just under 2000 years.

If the pope were the “antichrist,” that would mean that every seven and a half years on average this “antichrist” would die and be replaced with another “antichrist.”

This should create a great dilemma for the YOPIOS crowd when you consider that the Bible never hints of “succcessive” antichrists and that NONE of the New Testament descriptions of an antichrist (denying the divinity of Jesus, denying that Jesus is the Son of God, denying that He came in the flesh, claiming to be Christ, etc.) has EVER been ascribed to ANY pope even by the most hateful anti-Catholics.


25 posted on 02/19/2008 1:51:20 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: WileyPink

Right on, Wiley.

Spurgeon said it well when he said:

“With what indignation must the Lord look down upon that
apostate harlot, called the Romish Church, when, in all her
sanctuaries, there are pictures and images, relics and statues, and poor beguiled beings are even taught to bow before a piece of bread.

I have seen thousands adore the wafer, hundreds bow
before the image of the Virgin, scores at prayer before
a crucifix, and companies of men and women adoring a
rotten bone or a rusty nail, because said to be the relic
of a saint.

Let us, above all, never have any complicity with this
communion of devils, this gathering together of the sons
of Belial: and since our God is a jealous God, let us not
provoke him by any affinity, gentleness, fellowship, or unity with this Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the earth.

Renounce, my brethren, every ceremony which has not
Scripture for its warrant, and every doctrine which is not
established by the plain testimony of the Word of God.”


26 posted on 02/19/2008 1:51:34 PM PST by ItsOurTimeNow ("Never get involved in a land war in Asia.")
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To: Oliver Optic
how do Catholics explain Mary and the saints being able to hear and respond to thousands of prayers at one time?

Just because they are no longer "of this world" does not mean they don't "talk" to God. The saints in heaven are not "separated" by death from the community of the Church (Romans 8:38-39) as we are all one Body in Christ (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12) and Christ "abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10 ). Therefore, the saints in Heaven can pray for us just as anyone here on Earth can. In fact, better, as they are presently in His Presence. The Virgin Mary asking God to help you should "carry more weight" so to speak than having your best friend on this earth praying for you. In fact, Christ's first public miracle was performed upon the "intercession" of His own mother (John 2:2-11).

27 posted on 02/19/2008 1:53:57 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: wagglebee; WileyPink
You know I must say that I have been in a great many debates on here with my Protestant brothers in Christ. There are a number of Evangelicals with whom I am in complete agreement on every issue except certain differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. They know where I stand and I know where they stand. I have zero doubts that they are true Christians and that their Salvation is assured and I would like to think that they feel the same about me.

I'm a Protestant in the Reformation tradition - Presbyterian to the core. What WileyPink posted makes me sick to my stomach. Any Protestant who thinks Catholics are satanic (or vice versa, for that matter) simply hasn't spent enough time around truly different religions.

I would submit this question: When the bullets are flying, would you rather have a Catholic (or a Protestant, for the Catholics reading this) in the foxhole with you, or a Muslim? Whose prayers would you rather have going up next to yours - a fellow Christian's or a Hindu's?

28 posted on 02/19/2008 1:56:12 PM PST by Terabitten (Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets - E-Frat '94. Unity and Pride!)
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To: NYer
Right, I understand the Catholic teaching that far ... but my question is, how can Mary or the saints simultaneously hear my prayers and the prayers of ten thousand other people at the exact same moment.

As I say, I'm sure Catholics have an answer for this ... but as I was reading the Hahns' book and trying to explain to my wife the Catholic teaching on praying to Mary and the saints, I wasn't sure what the answer was.

29 posted on 02/19/2008 1:58:24 PM PST by Oliver Optic
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To: wagglebee

“You know I must say that I have been in a great many debates on here with my Protestant brothers in Christ. There are a number of Evangelicals with whom I am in complete agreement on every issue except certain differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. They know where I stand and I know where they stand. I have zero doubts that they are true Christians and that their Salvation is assured and I would like to think that they feel the same about me.”

I certainly hope that is more true than I often see here.

It seems standard OP on FR much of the time for alot of vitriol to be directed both at Catholics and Mormons (please excuse if you have great objections to the latter especially). And I mean vitriol. While I don’t see enough threads, I have yet to see that heavy and endemic vitriol hurled in other Christian directions.

As a Lutheran who was raised by a Catholic, and still is pretty wishy-washy either way, I have alot of respect for the latter. In fact Lutheranism being the 1st Protestant church still holds to alot of ways of the Catholics. So I guess maybe my opinion doesn’t count.

Bottom line, I just don’t see the need for all the hatred. I can see disagreements, but I don’t understand people acting as if Catholics were Buddhists or (gasp) Moslems.


30 posted on 02/19/2008 2:02:04 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
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To: NYer
Now if we could just get him to convert from Democrat to Republican - too bad people more easily change their religion than their political party.
31 posted on 02/19/2008 2:04:06 PM PST by 11th Commandment (Elect Conservatives- if you don't vote for McCain, at least work to elect conservatives!)
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To: Terabitten
I don’t know..... which one is a better shot?
32 posted on 02/19/2008 2:07:49 PM PST by allmendream ("A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal."NapoleonD)
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To: alpha-8-25-02

A false convert joins an apostate church. He’s no better for it and the SBC is no worse.


33 posted on 02/19/2008 2:12:26 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: alpha-8-25-02
5 SOLAS!

That's correct.


34 posted on 02/19/2008 2:15:13 PM PST by rdb3 (Upward, onward, and beyond.)
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To: alpha-8-25-02

I almost posted this to another forum until I read this:

It has also been suggested, that “Mr. Wesley is a very laborious man:” not more laborious, I presume, than a certain active being, who is said to go to and fro in the earth, and walk up and down in it:2 nor yet more laborious, I should imagine, than certain ancient Sectarians, concerning whom it was long ago said, “Woe unto you Scribes, hypocrites; for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte:”

I cannot support anyone who would compare John Wesley to Satan. How shameful.

Oh, that Calvinists might have the theology of a Calvin and the heart of a Whitfield.


35 posted on 02/19/2008 2:18:53 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: Terabitten; WileyPink
Thanks, Terabitten.

Something else Mr. Pink might want to consider is that nobody can seriously debate the proposition that Western European civilization is laid upon a Catholic foundation. (And if you wish, that Catholic foundation is laid upon a classical Greco-Roman foundation.)

To claim that the Catholic Church is Satanic and all Popes are antichrist is effectively to claim that the roots of Western culture and civilization are Satanic. (Can a Godly culture be built on a Satanic foundation?)

It's to claim that the church that first translated the Scriptures out of Greek and Hebrew is Satanic.

It's to claim that the church that preserved those Scriptures until the late Middle Ages -- as even Luther himself testified! -- is Satanic.

It's to claim that the culture that brought about the first stirrings of human freedom in modern times, things like the Swiss confederation and the Magna Carta, is Satanic.

It's to claim that the culture that invented modern musical notation, without which we would have neither the cantatas of Bach nor the hymns of Wesley, is Satanic.

It's to claim that the culture that invented movable type, without which the Reformation would not have happened, is Satanic.

And all of that gives Satan way more credit than he deserves, IMO. He's neither that good, nor that creative.

36 posted on 02/19/2008 2:25:25 PM PST by Campion
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To: alpha-8-25-02

I see now that Toplady was a contemporary of Wesley, so that might explain the passion. After all, Charles Wesley at the time was spouting “Calvin was the first born son of the devil”. I’m sure they all have time to reflect on this now in God’s presence where no doubt Wesley is being schooled by Whitfield, Calvin, Augustine and the Apostle Paul. ;-)

Seeing how the Methodist church has turned out, Whitfield and Wesley both probably regret that the Methodist Calvinists didn’t take over the denomination.


37 posted on 02/19/2008 2:26:03 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: Terabitten
I'm a Protestant in the Reformation tradition - Presbyterian to the core. What WileyPink posted makes me sick to my stomach. Any Protestant who thinks Catholics are satanic (or vice versa, for that matter) simply hasn't spent enough time around truly different religions.

I would submit this question: When the bullets are flying, would you rather have a Catholic (or a Protestant, for the Catholics reading this) in the foxhole with you, or a Muslim? Whose prayers would you rather have going up next to yours - a fellow Christian's or a Hindu's?

I don't totally agree with his sentiments and I don't doubt that there are truly born again believers within the Catholic system, but surely you don't mean to suggest that the Romanist church is not apostate? If you do, then how can you call yourself Reformed? What was the point of the Reformation?

Surely, some of the statements made by the Reformers themselves were just as bad as those made by WileyPink.

38 posted on 02/19/2008 2:31:07 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: streetpreacher
I cannot support anyone who would compare John Wesley to Satan. How shameful.

Is it any less shameful, or more charitable, to compare the Pope to Satan?

Ps 133:1. John 17:20-23. 1 Cor 1:10.

Division and discord displease God.

Consider whether the sort of "unity" displayed on this thread is really the unity for which Christ prayed in John 17.

39 posted on 02/19/2008 2:34:54 PM PST by Campion
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To: wagglebee; WileyPink; Salvation; NYer; xzins; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg; Pyro7480; ...
the catholic church is of Satan and the pope is the antichrist.

I do not believe that the RCatholic Church is of Satan and that the Pope is the antichrist.

I never have, and I consider it a poor reading of scripture to come to such a conclusion.

Mystery Babylon will find power in Rome, but it will be a new, Occultic, Post-Christian pagan perversion of the Bride of Christ.

The anti-Christ will be an individual and not an office.

40 posted on 02/19/2008 2:53:20 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: NYer; Dr. Eckleburg; wmfights; fortheDeclaration; HarleyD; All; Alamo-Girl
FWIW . . .

Conversions to anything (including Pentecostalism/charismania from anything tend to occur during a period of hightened period of existential/ spiritual/ emotional/ psychodynamic trauma, stress, intense searching.

Given that the particulars are always arguable vis a vis Scripture, tradition, reason, . . . whatever . . . it's clear to me that

1. Personality and where that personality is at that moment in time vis a vis the groups/ideologies on offer . . . will, to a very significant percentage, determine the degree of a perceived match/fit.

2. Folks tend to gravitate toward those groups [and I think it is more group vs ideology--that is--I think particular individuals and groups reaching out in warmth and love make an ideology FIT vs the other way around] . . . folks tend to gravitate toward groups which contribute strongly to their FEELING WARMLY SUPPORTED, ENGULFED, NURTURED, PROTECTED AND PARTICULARLY . . . TO FEEL FINALLY "RIGHT" in all "right's" implications.

3. God uses all such for His purposes. Sometimes folks GET IT and end up in a closer relationship with God--virtually regardless of the group gone TO. Other times, folks end up merely addicted, idolizing yet another group and ideology in a long string of grabbed objects in a long wandering.

Certainly this is true for the 100's of thousands, even millions leaving the RC edifice in South America for various flavors of Pentecostalism/ charismania etc. Though I think it could be strongly argued in those cases that

Leaving a group (the RC edifice) where there was a clear, evident "FORM OF GODLINESS BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF" for much more GOD FOCUSED, much closer, down to earth, warmer DEMONSTRATIONS of the power of God to meet individuals where they are hurting--devoid of rigid, narrow ritual . . . often devoid of human junk at all.

God's DEMONSTRATED anointing and power will always OUT-TRUMP ideology, ritual, magicsterical, !!!!TRADITION!!!!, arguments, rubber Bibles, rubber histories, rubber logic and whatever else dares to compete. The coming years will abundantly demonstrate this as never before, imho.

Nevertheless, there are "rice Christians" and potential rice Christians the world over . . . who jump one ship because humans and too often the enemy of their souls have convinced them that a different group offers a better deal; a better God-deal; a better chance to be loved, supported, protected . . . a better chance to BE RIGHT . . . usually because mommy and daddy didn't convince them tbey were quite right enough HUMAN-WISE the first 6-8 years of life. This will continue to be true for folks leaving Pentecostalism for Calvinism, for the RC edifice . . . for whatever . . . as it will be for SOME folks leaving such other groups for Pentecostalism and Charismania.

Always pretending that it's a function of a long string of carefully rationalized LOGICAL, TRADITIONAL, EVIDENTIAL constructs and questionable 'truths' and benchmarks . . . is . . . at best . . . dubious, imho.

Certainly some groups are more Scriptural AND WALK CLOSER TO GOD THAN OTHERS. THIS IS TRUE WITHIN EACH DENOMINATION/ 'RELIGIOUS CLUB' AS MUCH AS IT IS BETWEEN GROUPS. We like to pretend that our particular chosen RELIGIOUS CLUB has a corner on truth. And, philosophically, theoretically, ostensibly, logically, positionally, . . . that may be true, TO A DEGREE ON SOME SET OF ISSUES.

However, in practice . . . the rubber meets the road for most individuals and groups more or less the same as for other individuals and groups. The walking the talk is greatly lacking in ALL RELIGIOUS CLUBS--INCLUDING THE RC EDIFICE . . . sometimes seemingly especially the RC edifice. And the lack of walking the talk as Peter or John or Paul did . . . with healings and deliverances accordingly . . . is the same for all . . . human junk. Refusing to make GOD AND HIS WAYS SUFFICIENT PRIORITY to have His Health, Wholeness and Provision--routinely.

Folks do what they want to do when they want to do it instead of what God wants when God wants it. Folks fail to pray and fast sufficiently, including, me. Folks fail to put God and His ways utterly first in all their doings, too often, including me--though by His Grace, I'm much better than I used to be. Consequently, the anointing leaves; the miracles are lacking.

All this is true REGARDLESS of FORMER ANOINTINGS AND CALLINGS. This is true REGARDLESS of !!!TRADITIONs!!!; regardless of RELIGIOUS TIDY LITTLE BOXED lineages; regardless of rubber logic; rubber histories; rubber Bibles; regardless of how many grandpaws were preachers; regardless of what GOD HIMSELF HAS DONE IN THE PAST through a given individual or group or collection of groups.

The only conclusion I can come to is . . . ONGOINGLY SEEKING GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST . . . AND ONGOINGLY DOING HIS WILL FIRST AND FOREMOST . . . ARE GREATLY HIGHER PRIORITIES TO GOD than the brand name on the RELIGIOUS CLUB DOOR.

BTW, this color blue is brought to you through the courtesy of Mad Dawg . . . who requested it . . . wellllll . . . not quite . . . but sort of . . . I understand he was missing it. Tee hee.

BTW, pontificating rationalizations to the contrary are likely to elicit lots of GTTMs.

41 posted on 02/19/2008 2:54:09 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: NYer; Salvation

Thanks for the conversion stories. Becoming a convert after my marriage to a Catholic - I’m continually learning as I go through life. The conversion stories are powerful stories for me, personally.

I’ve gone through some tough times spiritually lately, so these are very timely for me.


42 posted on 02/19/2008 2:59:38 PM PST by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: Cowboy in Christ

Is that you, Paul? How are Suzy and the kids?


43 posted on 02/19/2008 3:06:20 PM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: NYer
The author misrepresents the beliefs of Southern Baptists as bad he claims that Southern Baptists misrepresent Catholic beliefs. I doubt seriously that he was ever a Southern Baptist or if he was, he knew as little of his own faith as he claimed in his youth that Catholics knew of their faith.
44 posted on 02/19/2008 3:07:43 PM PST by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: WileyPink

Amen, Wiley.


45 posted on 02/19/2008 3:23:41 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: alpha-8-25-02
AMEN, Alpha!

All of grace; none of debt.

46 posted on 02/19/2008 3:29:17 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: alpha-8-25-02; WileyPink; drstevej; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; ...

“Arminianism at Home in Rome”

Couple that with...

Predeterminism at Home in Mecca.


47 posted on 02/19/2008 3:44:49 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Terabitten

Thank you for your kind words. Nearly ALL Catholics and Protestants I know realize that our shared beliefs far outweigh our differences. And from a secular standpoint, the conservative movement would be dead without the unity of Catholics and Evangelicals.


48 posted on 02/19/2008 3:52:36 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: NYer

Best wishes to this young man. His discussion of what his family members believed about Catholicism, and their association with Catholics, sounds very much like what my parents describe from their childhood in the 1930s and 40’s. For all the talk about the “good old days,” it really seems like there were a lot of poorly catechized Catholics out there - and priests who were mean, drunk, or both. Not that this situation is unique to Catholicism as a denomination, or to that particular time period.


49 posted on 02/19/2008 3:59:46 PM PST by Tax-chick (If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't shoot! It might be a lemur!)
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To: Oliver Optic
how can Mary or the saints simultaneously hear my prayers and the prayers of ten thousand other people at the exact same moment.

God bless you .... you are equating the supernatural with the natural. This is perfectly normal.

If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life.

This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us.

The problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer to the saints follows.

50 posted on 02/19/2008 4:04:52 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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