Skip to comments.EWTN - NO PRICE TOO HIGH - Pentecostal minister Alex Jones story
Posted on 03/03/2010 10:14:34 AM PST by NYer
NO PRICE TOO HIGH (1 hr)
The profound conversion story of a Protestant minister who brought his congregation with him into the Catholic Church. The viewer will discover the sacrificial yet triumphant journey of a man of deep integrity and love for Christ.
Wed 3/3/10 10:00 PM ET / 7 PM PT
Sat 3/6/10 5:00 AM ET / 2 AM PT
When Detroit-born Alex Jones became a Pentecostal minister in 1972, there was little question among those who knew him that he was answering God's call to preach.
Now, many of his friends and family have dismissed the 59-year-old pastor as an apostate for embracing the Catholic faith, closing the nondenominational church he organized in 1982, and taking part of his congregation with him.
At this year's April 14 Easter Vigil, Jones, his wife, Donna, and 62 other former members of Detroit's Maranatha Church, was received into the Catholic Church at St. Suzanne's Parish. For Jones, becoming a Catholic will mark the end of a journey that began with the planting of a seed by Catholic apologist and Register columnist Karl Keating. It also will mean the beginning of a new way of life.
Jones first heard Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, at a debate on whether the origins of the Christian church were Protestant or Catholic. At the close, Keating asked, "If something took place, who would you want to believe, those who saw it or those who came thousands of years later and told what happened?"
"Good point," Jones thought, and tucked it away. Five years later, while he was reading about the church fathers, Keating's question resurfaced. Jones began a study of the Church's beginnings, sharing his newfound knowledge with his congregation.
To illustrate what he was talking about, in the spring of 1998 he re-enacted an early worship service, never intending to alter his congregation's worship style. "But once I discovered the foundational truths and saw that Christianity was not the same as I was preaching, some fine-tuning needed to take place."
Soon, Maranatha Church's Sunday service was looking more like a Catholic Mass with Pentecostal overtones. "We said all the prayers with all the rubrics of the Church, all the readings, the Eucharistic prayers. We did it all, and we did it with an African-American style."
Not everyone liked the change, however, and the 200-member congregation began to dwindle. Meanwhile, Jones contacted Detroit's Sacred Heart Seminary and was referred to Steve Ray of Milan, Mich., whose conversion story is told in Crossing the Tiber.
"I set up a lunch with him right away and we pretty much had lunch every month after that," said Ray. He introduced Jones to Dennis Walters, the catechist at Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor, Mich. Walters began giving the Pentecostal pastor and his wife weekly instructions in March, 1999.
Eventually, Jones and his congregation arrived at a crossroads. On June 4, the remaining adult members of Maranatha Church voted 39-19 to begin the process of becoming Catholic. In September, they began studies at St. Suzanne's.
Maranatha closed for good in December. The congregation voted to give Jones severance pay and sell the building, a former Greek Orthodox church, to the First Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
Father Dennis Duggan, St. Suzanne's 53-year-old pastor, said the former Maranatha members and their pastor along with about 10 other candidates comprise the 750-member parish's largest-ever convert class.
UNITY AND DIVERSITY
Although not all parishioners at predominantly white St. Suzanne's have received the group warmly, Father Duggan, who also is white, said he considers the newcomers a gift and an answer to prayer.
"What the Lord seems to have brought together in the two of us Alex and myself is two individuals who have a similar dream about diversity. Detroit is a particularly segregated kind of community, especially on Sunday morning, and here you've got two baptized believers who really believe we ought to be looking different."
Father Duggan hopes eventually to bring Jones onto the parish staff. Already, he has encouraged Jones to join him in teaching at a Wednesday night Bible service. And, he is working on adapting the music at Masses so that it better reflects the parish's new makeup.
The current European worship style at St. Suzanne's has been the most difficult adjustment for the former Maranatha members, Jones said, because they had been accustomed to using contemporary music with the Catholic prayers and rituals. "The cultural adaptation is far more difficult than the theological adaptation," he said.
Jones said the four biggest problems Protestants have with Catholicism are teachings about Mary, purgatory, papal authority, and praying to saints. He resolved three of the four long ago, but struggled the most with Mary, finally accepting the teaching on her just because the church taught it.
"It is so ingrained in Protestants that only God inhabits heaven and to pray to anyone else is idolatry. ... The culture had so placed in my heart that only the Trinity received prayer that it was difficult."
He is writing a paper on the appropriateness of venerating Mary for a class at Detroit's Sacred Heart Seminary, where he is taking prerequisite courses for a master's degree in theology and pastoral studies. He also is writing a book for Ignatius Press and accepting speaking engagements through St. Joseph Communications, West Covina, Calif.
Jones, the father of three married sons and grandfather of six, is leaving the question of whether he becomes a priest up to the Church.
"If the Church discerns that vocation, I will accept it. If not, I will accept that, too. Whatever the Church calls me to do, I will do."
Although he has given up his job, prestige, and the congregation he built to become Catholic, Jones said the hardest loss of all has been the family and friends who rejected him because of his decision.
"To see those that have worshiped with and prayed with me for over 40 years walk away and have no contact with them is sad."
It was especially painful, he said, when his mother, who had helped him start Maranatha, left to go to Detroit's Perfecting Church, where his cousin, gospel singer Marvin Winans, is the pastor.
Neither Winans nor the pastor of the church that bought Maranatha's building would comment on Jones' conversion. Jones also is troubled that those he left behind do not understand his decision.
"To them, I have apostasized into error. And that's painful for me because we all want to be looked at as being right and correct, but now you have the stigma of being mentally unbalanced, changeable, being looked at as though you've just walked away from God."
Jones said when his group was considering converting, prayer groups were formed to stop them. "People fasted and prayed that God would stop us from making this terrible mistake. When we did it, it was as though we had died."
He said Catholics do not fully understand how many Protestants see their church. "There's this thin veneer of amicability, and below that there is great hostility."
But he remains convinced he is doing the right thing.
"How can you say no to truth? I knew that I would lose everything and that in those circles I would never be accepted again, but I had no choice," he said.
"It would be mortal sin for me to know what I know and not act on it. If I returned to my former life, I would be dishonest, untrustworthy, a man who saw truth, knew truth, and turned away from it, and I could just not do that."
"My Name Is Alex Jones" | Steve Ray | Foreword to No Price Too High: A Pentecostal Preacher Becomes a Catholic by Alex Jones (as told to Diane Hanson)
I will never forget the phone call that evening. The unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line said, "You don't know me, but my name is Alex Jones. Of all the men in all the world I need to talk to you."
I was a bit surprised and hesitatingly said, "All right, what can I do for you?"
Alex said, "You converted from Evangelical Protestantism to the Catholic Church, right?"
I said, "Yes I did. "
Then Alex quickly responded, "You are the only one I know of who has done thatso you will understand what I am going through, Can we talk?"
A few days later we met at a Big Boy Restaurant in Detroit. We had a delightful time, and I knew I had discovered a kindred spirit. I was impressed with Alex Jones the first time I laid eyes on him. He had a seriousness about him, but his soberness did not overshadow his sense of adventure and curiosity. I could see the intensity in his eyes, and as we began to talk I saw in him a rare honesty and depth. This was not a frivolous man. It was obvious that he had latched on to something and was not going to let it go.
It was the first of many lunches at Big Boy. We talked for almost three hours. I recounted my own conversion to the Catholic Church as I answered his rapid-fire questions. And they were not your average questions. Alex is a thinker, and he was thinking deeply. I still remember his eyes. They seemed to be dancing with the wonderment of a child, yet with the passion for truth of a sage. He was visibly excited, yet cautious and prudent. He wanted to know, but he was not reckless. He knew the Bible well and wanted everything to line up with the written Word of God. His eyes would darken and his eyebrows furl as he wrestled with new angles on the truth as they conflicted with old religious prejudices. I was watching a transformation take place right before my eyes.
The Lord had pulled back the curtain, and Alex had caught a glimpse of the early Church, and that short vision had set him on a quest. This quest was a dangerous thing for Alex to pursue since it could turn his life upside down and bring to a screeching halt the pastor's life he knew and loved. I warned him several times. "Alex," I said, "I want you to understand the full import of the questions you are asking, and the doors you are opening. It is the most exciting adventure you will ever embark upon, but at the same time, Alex, it can bring great pain and suffering. You stand to gain much, but you also could lose your family, your friends, your livelihood, and the Maranatha Church, which you have pastored all these years. You are at a fork in the road, Alex; move slowly and prayerfully."
We talked on the phone many times and continued our monthly lunches together. He was always bright-eyed and full of questions. After the first few meetings, I knew he had gone too far ever to turn back. He had discovered the Catholic Church, the best-kept secret in the world, and like the parable Jesus told of the priceless pearl, Alex was willing to give up everything to own the treasure for himself No price was too high for Alex once he glimpsed the eternal treasure.
A short time later, Alex invited my wife, Janet, and me to his home to meet his beautiful and intelligent wife, Donna. We were soon to find she also had a deep spirituality. She walked with Jesus as few people do, and she talked and lived as though she and Jesus were close friends. She was also, we discovered, not too fond of the Catholic Church or the direction her husband was taking. We tried to listen and share without pushing. Donna also had the eyes and manners of a person deeply concerned about truth and willing to take a stand for truth no matter what it cost her. And at this point she thought that truth was against the Catholic Church. But we loved her passion for truth and knew that if she continued to oppose the Church with honest questions, she would eventually see the fullness of the faith, and the Bible would open to her as never before.
My wife, Janet, took a liking to Donna. She prayed for her every day and kept in close contact. Had my wife been pushy with Donna it might have been the perfect excuse for Donna to bolt and run, but Janet was calm and patient. She knew that Donna was honest and that the truth would eventually dawn on Donna, and she wanted to be there to guide and coach her along the way.
I will never forget one day when I was reading my e-mails: I called Janet to come quickly. With smiles of joy and tears in our eyes, we read the words from Alex: "Donna wants me to tell you she is Catholic." Donna probably expected that we wouldn't believe it, but we did. Even though her conversion had taken a different course and time frame than Alex', we had seen the transformation coming. In conversations, we had seen the same "dangerous" wonderment and curiosity in her eyesat least dangerous for one who wanted to withstand the Catholic Church. We had known it was just a matter of time. We rejoiced at the words we read in that e-mail. Janet called Donna to congratulate her.
The rest is a matter of history and is well told in the two stories you are about to read in this book. The reader is fortunate to have two heartfelt stories in one. They are very different stories, yet they dovetail so beautifully. God is a master craftsman, and you will see his skill as he worked in this family, knitting two souls together as they traversed the dangerous and unknown paths. God shone his light on their paths, not far into the future, but only the light they needed for each step. Even if God had given them a glimpse of their lives together as Catholics now, they wouldn't have believed it.
We were very emotional at the Easter Vigil Of 200 1. A significant number of members of an African-American Pentecostal congregationfifty-four persons in all (including two who entered later on Easter Sunday)being received into the Catholic Church was not an everyday occurrence. Janet was Donna's sponsor, and I kept my camera flashing. It was joyful and moving. We had grown to love Alex and Donna dearly. To see them enraptured before the altar brought tears to our eyes and the eyes of many others. This was the end of a long journey for them. It had been a journey fraught with pain, loss, suffering, and betrayal. But it had also been a frolicking adventure filled with excitement, the joy of discovery, the making of new friends, and joining in the sumptuous feast of the Church. The journey had been bittersweet. But now on that eventful evening, one journey ended and another began.
Looking back on the whole process, we again marvel at the hand of God working in two wonderful souls. We are filled with joy at the blessings God has poured on them and their family since they set their faces like flint to follow God's lead no matter what the cost. We also marvel in the great blessing these two have been to the Church world wide. They are opening doors for many folks who would have never been open to the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church. With great pleasure, I watch as Alex preaches to large crowds who are deeply moved by his story and wisdom. I join them as they laugh and cry and are moved to deeper commitment and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are about to embark on a great journey. You are about to share their joys and sorrows. Alex and Donna have opened their souls to us and have invited us to share their intellectual, personal, cultural, religious, emotional, and theological struggles. You will be blessed and encouraged. You will be challenged and edified. You will thank God for this brother and sister in the Lord.
Author of Crossing the Tiber
“Jones first heard Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, at a debate on whether the origins of the Christian church were Protestant or Catholic.”
Ummm neither... Stupid premise. Jesus was neither Catholic nor Protestant.
Jesus was a Jew. He established one church - the Catholic Church. Only the Catholic Church can trace its heritage all the way back to its founder, Jesus Christ.
Thanks nice post. I wish they repeat this since I won’t be home this evening to watch it.
You wrote: Only the Catholic Church can trace its heritage all the way back to its founder, Jesus Christ.
Really? Please elaborate.
The problem with the general Protestant view is that they posit that the Apostles had everything right, then at some point (usually having to do with the Emperor Constantine) everything changed and became wrong, then over a thousand years later a group of Europeans suddenly realized that it was all wrong and fixed it.
Aside from the fact that history doesn't work like that, the written record contradicts that view.
Hard to fault that logic.
Now they're following me.
I saw a clip of this guy. He looks talks just like a pentecostal, pacing around the stage like it's all about him. I guess you can take the preacher out of pentecostalism but...
entirely understandable to bump into things when you walk in darkness.
Ridiculous... Jesus laughed at the Sadducee s and Pharisees. He will laugh at the Catholic Church for making such pompous claims. Jesus was interested in what was going on inside the hearts of individuals. He didn’t give a fig for religious power structures. Yes churches are integral to Gods plan on earth. But as soon as a church believes that it is the ONLY path to Christian salvation it becomes silly. The Catholic church is not infallible and has had plenty of weird changes in doctrine over the centuries. Your precious and infallible Pope as reported civic news “In 2006, he prayed toward Mecca with Muslims, betraying his belief that Muslims and Catholics pray to the same God. “ So your church is like any other church. Populated by fallible men.
“The problem with the general Protestant view is that they posit that the Apostles had everything right, then at some point (usually having to do with the Emperor Constantine) everything changed and became wrong, then over a thousand years later a group of Europeans suddenly realized that it was all wrong and fixed it.”
That’s not my protestant view. My view is that men create organizations were process becomes more important than results. Most any organizations that is around to long becomes moribund and rotten. Organizations of men must be periodically purged and destroyed in order to renew. The Catholic church is an irrelevant extinct pterodactyl masquerading as an eagle. Jesus was not about the Catholic Church and the Pope. Jesus was not about a nice building full of pews. The Church is bigger than all that.
It’s funny to even imagine a pentecostal preacher concerned with theology... Very amusing.
There are a lot of people running around in those circles who smart, in addition to being charismatic. Well, as smart as one can be with his mind closed to half the truth.
Literal interpretation of Scripture is highly selective.
But irrelevant? Extinct? There are more Catholics than any other Christian denomination, more than all Protestant denominations put together.
The many Pentecostal preacher and lay people that I’ve known are experientialy oriented and don’t like to read much of the core theology curriculum. That’s also why they are as a church not very well anchored to anything. They just blow with the wind. The Catholic Church would rightly point this out as an example of why you need a large hierarchical church to keep the faith anchored. I see some merit in the concept, but I think that Paul left us plenty of doctrine if one is willing to read it.
Oh, good. I’ll look forward to reading this, and maybe even catch the show on the video archive. I confess I’ve been too cheap to buy the book ;-(.
I suppose. Handy to have a lamp on your path, maybe a light at your feet. Then you don't 'bump into things' like he did.
“Organizations of men do tend to suffer from entropy. Unless, of course, Christ Himself promised that he would build his church on that rock, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it . . .
Literal interpretation of Scripture is highly selective.”
Where you guys lose me is where you interject your man created organization into Christs Church. You are placing half of Christendom, Protestant and Orthodox into the camp of the barbarian, a very Roman thing to do. While I see Catholics as saved by the blood of Christ, you don’t see my acceptance of Christ and my decision to follow him as enough. You are Christ plus. Mormons are Christ plus. I am Christ is enough.
It's a good start. Of interest is the 2000 years of human history in holy pursuit of his teachings, otherwise known as the Tradition and Living Magisterium of the Church.
“2000 years of human history in holy pursuit of his teachings,”
That’s half of the problem.
No, silly. That's the Plan.
You must imagine that Protestants don’t read St. Augustine. You also imagine that protestants have not developed over time a great deal of theology, some of it sitting on the shoulders of Catholic Doctrine. Again, inserting the Catholic church as THE Church and the only rouge to salvation is silly. To assert that Protestants are not saved by the grace of Jesus is as silly as many of my protestant friends who say that Catholics are not Christian. The blood of Christ is sufficient for Catholics and Protestants. To assert otherwise is to diminish Christ.
Perhaps, using your logic, you should become a Muslim, as there are more of them than Romanists (the general understanding of the term “Catholic”). The word catholic simply means universal and would apply to all Christians, regardless of their label, as part of Jesus’ universal church.
Or perhaps a Hindu, as they are just slightly behind the Roman Catholics.
I've personally experienced what can happen when well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) church leaders claim that the Holy Spirit -- without the restraining hand of 2,000 years of authority and tradition -- is telling them what to do. In other words, the Episcopalians. We had had enough of man-led, majority-vote "church", and decided to go where there was some authority and some adult leadership.
I was challenging the assertion that the Church was an extinct pterodactyl.
In fact, Pope Benedict anticipates that the numbers may fall as the Church cleans house. He is probably right. He is not only extremely learned and devout, but also fairly perceptive.
When I was an Episcopalian (for some 47 years), the term "Romanist" was commonly used as an insult (with a little sniff and a sideways glance). You may not know that, in which case your mistake is understandable. Most folks distinguish between "Big C" Catholic and "little C" catholic, without getting into insult territory.
I agree with you that claims of guidance by the Holy Spirit have led to all kinds of silliness in the Protestant arena. I have seen it again and again and it can be stupefying at times. But I promise you choose the sometimes chaotic nature of protestant life than the the hierarchical Catholic life. That also reflects my political libertarian leanings. To the Catholic Church Protestants are heretics and not saved. Unless Catholic doctrine has evolved. It’s really that simple. I reject any organization that says Christ plus.
In addition the Catholic Church is as demonstrably fallible as the Protestant denominations. The difference with Protestants is that when the denomination that you go to falls into error, you can leave. The Catholic Church falls into error and stays that way for centuries and you can’t leave without losing your salvation.
Yes, Jesus established the Roman Catholic Church that one time He visited Italy. Huh?
No, Christ established His Church, which includes all those who have repented and follow Him.
Why do you Roman Catholics have such a hard time fellowshiping with those who follow Christ, who love Him as their Lord and Savior? Why so antagonistic toward Christians. I just can’t figure out your vitriol toward other Christ-followers. Maybe that’s how you get your identity — you’ve become more of a Protestant Protestant, and less of a Christ-follower.
What's confusing is the doctrine "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" - which does NOT mean that you have to be a registered member of the Church to be saved. It just means that those who are saved are saved by the Church - whether they know it or not.
I know that you think that some Catholic doctrine is error - but we don't. Many things that non-Catholics think are doctrine aren't doctrine at all, some are misunderstood, some are simply false slander set about by the likes of He Who Must Not Be Named (you know, the comic book tract guy).
Libertarianism is fine for politics (although it has its problems), but it doesn't work in religion at all. Truth is not a matter of opinion, there is one Truth and we should all be working towards it. "Jesus Christ and Him Crucified."
“It just means that those who are saved are saved by the Church - whether they know it or not. “
I can live with that!
I agree with you also that Libertarianism has it’s problems in politics. No doubt. It is the tension that exist in a society that values ordered freedom. The same tension exists in the Church. Trust me I cringe at a very great deal of what passes for Christianity. The feel good mega churches like Joel Osteen, the insanity of the Pentecostals. The vapid and toothless Anglican Church.
My Sunday school class has been talking about what is Truth. Capital T truth for the last month. Pontus Pilot famously asks of Jesus “What is Truth?” That question will forever haunt humans as we try to ascertain the only Truth that is God. Our Truth filtered by human understanding. As your Church rightly teaches, man can not apprehend the nature of God.
So we humans are tossed upon this whirling rock and tasked with finding God, as he reached out for us. So what is Truth. It is God. But we as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve cannot apprehend God. So, Truth eludes us. We receive but a glimmer, a distorted shimmer of truth, as through looking through the heat shimmering off a highway on a hot day.
” To the Catholic Church Protestants are heretics and not saved”
No. Not at all. If you have been baptised in the Name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit whether you are Methodist, Baptist, Anglican or what have you. Baptism must be in the form of the Triune God.
The Catholic Church belives in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
“818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers.
All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272 819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth”273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”276
Apoligies for any insult taken, the term was used to distinguish those who adhere to Rome from those who simply adhere to Jesus.
Of course there are those within the ranks of Roman Catholicism who are saved by the grace of God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and I am not implying otherwise.
There is an obvious (at least to me) difference between the visible church (those in pews or who wear “Christian” labels) and true believers who follow Jesus, both within Roman Catholicism and among those who reject Roman Catholicism.
By the way, the church (or the “C”hurch) doesn’t save anybody, only Jesus can do that.
No vitriol, my friend. Perhaps the language barrier is more challenging to penetrate. Peter was directly commissioned to head up the Church. He established the Church at Antioch and made his way to Rome where he was martyred. Paul was also martyred in Rome.
Why do you Roman Catholics have such a hard time fellowshiping with those who follow Christ, who love Him as their Lord and Savior?
We love our Lord and proclaim Him through these discussions. We are equally confounded as to how so many christians can believe that all churches are equal. According to Scripture, Christ wanted us to be one (John 17:22-23). We are all as a Church to be of one mind and to think the same (Philippians 2:2; Romans 15:5). There is only to be one "faith" (Ephesians 4:3-6), not many. For the Church is Christ's Body and Christ only had one Body, not many. 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"?
Regarding “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” I think you are being less that truthful regarding the import of this doctrine. From a couple of your “infallible” popes:
The other two infallible declarations are as follows: There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved. Pope Innocent III, ex cathedra, (Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).
We declare, say , define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).
Since I am not subject to the Roman Pontiff, in your view, I am NOT a Christian.
Or are you saying that even though I reject the teachings of Rome and “Catholic” popes, the Roman Catholic Church has saved me through my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord, and the acceptance of His death on the cross for my sin?
What is it? Am I a Christian (in your view) or am I not?
So please elaborate, my friend.
I reject the Roman Catholic Church, particularly its extra-biblical and anti-biblical teachings, and I reject the pope as the “head” of the church, though I do not reject my brothers and sisters in Christ who are Roman Catholic.
Do you accept me as a true believer in Jesus Christ, saved and going to heaven, through my repentance from sin, and faith in the death of Jesus in my place and His resurrection from the dead?
Joyful welcome .
John 17:21 That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.
Luke 11:17 But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall.
You wrote, “We are equally confounded as to how so many christians can believe that all churches are equal.” I don’t think anyone believes that. They’re not all equal.
I’m glad to see you pointing out that there is one faith. That is true. And Christ is its Protector, not the Roman Catholic Church.
Welcome, Pastor and Mrs. Jones, and those in your congregation to decided to join the Catholic Church. I pray you continue to be fulfilled in your decision.
We see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face.
It’s been a quite a while since the articles were published. I’m pretty sure former-pastor Jones is a Permanent Deacon now.
“He will laugh at the Catholic Church for making such pompous claims.”
It’s scriptural. Christ established His Church. What rationale do any of us have to question otherwise? If there’s another church with a better claim, I’d like to hear it.
Otherwise, it’s not pompous at all.
“I reject the Roman Catholic Church, particularly its extra-biblical and anti-biblical teachings, and I reject the pope as the head of the church, though I do not reject my brothers and sisters in Christ who are Roman Catholic.”
What teachings do you believer are extra-biblical?
“Do you accept me as a true believer in Jesus Christ, saved and going to heaven, through my repentance from sin, and faith in the death of Jesus in my place and His resurrection from the dead?”
That, is not my position to gage. That is Christ. You answer to him and not us.
It is interesting that (so far) you have to answer for your fellow Catholics, as they have (so far) declined to answer a simple question for themselves.
At least the popes I quoted made their position(s) clear, excluding me from the ranks of the “saved.”
Perhaps I can put it theoretically, so you won’t have to “judge” me personally, just make your doctrinal position clear:
If a person accepts that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins, and accepts Him into their life as Savior, continuing to follow His teachings in the Bible, while rejecting the Roman Catholic Church as the only true church and the authority of the pope are they saved?
If you can’t answer that question, then I guess you either don’t have an understanding of, or a position on, “EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS”(No Salvation Outside the Church) or are unwilling to disclose it.
Not extra but anti Biblical Teachings of the Catholic (Roman) Church:
1. The perpetual virginity of Mary (who had other children besides Jesus).
2. Salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by baptismal regeneration and is maintained through the Catholic sacraments unless a willful act of sin is committed that breaks the state of sanctifying grace.
The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace which is received through simple faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that good works are the result of a change of the heart wrought in salvation (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17) and the fruit of that new life in Christ (John 15).
“extra ecclesiam nulla salus
“For they who without their own fault do not know of the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but yet seek God with sincere heart, and try, under the influence of grace, to carry out His will in practice, known to them through the dictate of conscience, can attain eternal salvation.”
From Lumen Gentium.
Have a look at this, and read all the way through.
He certainly did establish “His” Church. However, that has nothing to do with a very fallible human organization. Would you care for me to make a list of the ridiculous actions of your man made organization over the centuries? Selling Papal indulgences, the Renaissance Popes and all the hilarity that in sued. The fact is that the Catholic Church is an organization run by men for men. I know that Protestant denominations have had similar abuses. The difference is they don’t claim to be the only church with fealty to the Vicar of Christ on Earth.
“If a person accepts that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins, and accepts Him into their life as Savior, continuing to follow His teachings in the Bible, while rejecting the Roman Catholic Church as the only true church and the authority of the pope are they saved?”
Let’s go back to Romans.
“When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves.”
What’s important here? To do the will of your father in heaven. Yes, it is important to say that you love God, but you must do the will of God the Father.
As for opposing his Church, I don’t see why that would be to your credit. Catholics are not saved by condemning Protestants, why then would Protestants be saved for condemning the Church. There is only one Church, and Christ is his head. Those who would strive against the Church, strive against Him.
“1. The perpetual virginity of Mary (who had other children besides Jesus).”
Frankly a relatively minor issue. Scripture talks of kinsmen.
“2. Salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by baptismal regeneration and is maintained through the Catholic sacraments unless a willful act of sin is committed that breaks the state of sanctifying grace.”
Yeah, that’s pretty much it. “You must be born again of Water and the Spirit”. Christ is pretty clear about this. I’m not aware of any Christians that do not baptise their members.
“The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace which is received through simple faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that good works are the result of a change of the heart wrought in salvation (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17) and the fruit of that new life in Christ (John 15).”
We are taught that Faith and Works are necessary, that we are saved by the Grace of God, through Faith in Christ. As Christ says, Good trees bear good fruit.
This is very clear to see on FR.