Thursday, May 29, 2008

Missionaries to Catholics?

A sharp reader did a bit of extra Googling and found Candy's Church and was able to send an e-mail question to her pastor. The question was?

Why is it necessary to “preach” to the Roman Catholics in Peru? The Roman Catholics are Christian already.

Now truthfully, the Peruvian Catholic church is in the midst of struggle anyway, and it looks like Pope Benedict is on it!

Anyway here was the reply our reader received.

Roman Catholics believe in the same Jesus Christ and the same heavenly
Father that we do, but there is one great difference, and that is how you
get to saved and go to Heaven.

The Bible teaches it is not by works of righteousness which we have done but
by His mercy He hath saved us. Titus 3:5 and yet they teach there are seven
sacraments (good Works)that each person has to do in order to get into
heaven. But even after a person does those seven works there is still no
guarantee that he or she will get out of purgatory and go to heaven.

The Bible teaches that it is by Faith that we are saved.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

and Jn. 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting

It is recognizing that we as sinners can do nothing to get ourselves into
heaven, but to trust what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross by dying in
our place.
2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

If you make good works the basis for going to heaven then people who can't
do those good works have to go to hell, and Jesus came and died for nothing,
but if God makes it by Faith anyone can place their faith in Christ and
trust His good works and atoning blood. Then they can do the good works that
God puts in their heart.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto
good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I hope this helps you understand why we also have missionaries to the Roman

Charley O'Daniel

Bro O'Daniel was very kind, but he also has many of the same misperceptions and misinformation that Candy has. We'll hit those next week.

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Maggii said...

Wow, he has no understanding whatsoever of what the Sacrements actually are. They are not 'works" one must do in order to 'get into heaven" ...they are Gifts bestowed on us by God that bring us closer to him.
It's so frustrating to know that people like him preach about things that they really have no understanding of, and promote that misunderstanding. The idea that they are 'preaching' to Catholics with their misinformation is awful.

Tracy said...

Excellent Elena.. I look forward to you posting on this in the future!!

Kelly said...

First, I'd caution anyone who is contacting Candy's pastor to make sure and leave Candy out of it. I think contacting a person's IRL pastor is really skirting a line, there.

But I would say that he has the same sort of fallacy that I've seen Candy and her husband profess.

A. You must have faith in God to be saved.
B. Catholics have faith in God.
C. Therefore, they are not saved because they ALSO believe in salvation by works.

Which means that what he really believes, is in order to be saved you must profess belief in God, and REJECT salvation by works.

Because he outright says Catholics believe in God, so by his theology, we must be saved.

On the other hand, he didn't say that we are an esoteric religion which claims to worship God while really worshiping Dagon, Semaris, and Talmuz. But maybe he thought better of getting into that, in an initial e-mail. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have a really hard time with this "issue".

Saved by grace; ok, I get that. Believe in God and accept Jesus as your savior.

Once one does that, why does it matter if there is anything more? Why does it matter if one BELIEVES there is more? It is supposed to be very simple to be saved, so why is it an issue to others if people "do" more, on top of accepting Jesus?

Maybe I'm not wording that right, but I don't see why it is a topic, ya' know?

Jesus himself was all about helping others. So, given that, whether or not one "needs" to do works to be saved, shouldn't they be doing works anyway? Why can't they go hand in hand? To me, that is extremely simple and easy.

Saying one is simply saved by grace is fine, but what comes next? The way you live your life is relevant; even CB believes this, otherwise she wouldn't be living her life the way she does, professing obedience to her husband, being a homemaker, growing her hair, wearing dresses, and everything else she does. Why would she need to do any of that if one is saved only by grace and nothing else?

Maybe it's because of my lack of religious background, but I have a really hard time understanding why these things even become "issues".

Elena said...

Hi Kelly, whasup? (as my kids would say!)

I don't have an issue with contacting the pastor via e-mail as his church and email address are public and on the internet. He seemed very gracious and took the time to answer our reader with a teacher's spirit! So that's good too.

I think he got to the gist of his (and probably Candy's) problem when he wrote:

If you make good works the basis for going to heaven then people who can't do those good works have to go to hell.

Of course the church never has taught that and doesn't teach it now. In fact even when Limbo was the popular theory du jour, it was a place of profound bliss minus the presence of God, not a place of eternal punishment and damnation! But as I said, I hope to touch on this more next week. My kiddo is graduating today so I'm a little stressed!

Elena said...

Tracy- cute haircut!

Annie C said...

I swear, you look at the way they rail against works and you'd come out thinking that if you accept salvation and then did one single, solitary GOOD thing you are committing works and going to hell.

But since we're all sinners you can continue to sin as much as you like and just impute (I think that's the word used) it all to Christ and you'll be fine.

Yes, we are all sinners, and yes none of us is perfect, and yes salvation is free through grace and all of that. But sheesh, is doing helping to do the work of Christ, you know the helping other's part, out of gratitude if nothing else really such a bad thing?

Unashamed said...

I can't speak for what's going on in Peru, but I know that in some Latin American countries (Nicaragua, El Salvador, etc.) there has been a problem with pagan teachings, animism and other non-Christian doctrines that have made their way into the church their and have perverted the Gospel. These folks may identify themselves as "Catholics" but they no longer hold to the historic Catholic faith. In such a case, these folks must be evangelized all over again and have the pure Gospel restored to them. I see nothing wrong with this kind of missionary work. Something to think about.

Elena said...

Pope Benedict assigned a pretty traditional, orthodox bishop to Peru. I think it's too soon to tell what the effect of his presence there will be.

Tracy said...

Thanks Elena, I'm actually trying to grow it out, I'm sick of it being so short:) Can't believe your son is graduating.. how thrilling for you!!

Sue Bee said...

A pastor at a very small church in Oklahoma, one day out-of-the-blue gets an email from a total stranger asking why they preach to Roman Catholics in Peru.

He's got to be scratching his head.

I agree with Kelly, it is skirting a line.

Anonymous said...

Sue Bee, I'd be willing to bet it is not as out of the blue as you believe. Asking, and answering, questions is one of the main way people communicate. I am sure he receives many kinds of questions on a regular basis. And, considering his church has a web site promoting their doctrine, I bet he receives more questions than many others.

Asking, and answering, questions is not skirting the line. It is sharing information. It is trying to find out where someone stands. It is about information. We are not really processing information anymore if we stop asking questions and learning.

To people here, steep in the whole situation with CB, it may seem to cross a line. But, in reality, I'd be willing to bet a week's salary that any and all church's receive questions similar to that on a regular basis. People ask questions before joining, people ask questions to confirm things, to compare, to is really not so out of the ordinary and I don't think this particular pastor thought anything of it.

Of course I could be wrong, but I really don't think so. He was gracious and kind in his response; that really doesn't indicate that he thought anything of the question other than it being an inquiry.

Tracy said...

I don't see a problem with contacting a pastor if they have a website; of course I don't think Candy's name should be mentioned or anything like that to him. But, to just ask an honest question is not a problem. My Parish has a website with my Priests email and he answers hundreds of questions from parish members as well as people who are not Catholic and he doesn't think anything of it:)

Sal said...

"So- how's that not works?" is one of the better Socratic apologetics questions.
If you can make them acknowlege that we both work from the same motives: a desire to please God and to aid our fellow man, a lot of the apparent problem fades away.

Congrats to your son, Elena.

Unashamed said...

I went back to have a look at Candy's post about her church. She has a picture of the church posted and she mentioned that it is an Independent Baptist church but I couldn't find the name of the church or the website any where. Which means that somebody had to do some digging to find it out. Which I think, quite frankly, is creepy, like stalker-creepy.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Deana, a New Catholic Convert (Confirmed and in Full Communion with the Catholic Church 11/04/07 - former Fundamentalist/Evangelical for 20 + Years)

Anyway: He Posted Salvation is by Faith and quotes

"Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Funny Though-- They Always Leave out What Kind Of Faith It Takes.

They Usually Always Forget to mention/ or add James 2:14-18

14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

OF Course I could Post a whole Number of other Scriptures too. Works are simply a demonstration of our Faith. They don't save us by themselves, but they cooperate with Faith. We do works because of our Faith. If works aren't a product of your Faith then your Faith is Useless. We are Saved by Grace Alone through Faith. We are not Saved by Faith Alone.

PS: It is not hard to find the Church mentioned. The Church's slogan is "a country church in the heart of the city." Type that into google and it comes right up.

Blondie said...

Candy's latest post:

A Woman Rides the Beast

I'm still reading this book, but I'm almost done. GET THIS BOOK. It is VITAL, VITAL, VITAL. You can purchase a used copy starting at only $2.88. This book should be mandatory reading for all Christians. You can purchase a used copy from here. It is a long book. The middle portion of the book is hardest to get through. The beginning portion and ending portions are amazing. Push through the middle portions, as it'll help put history into perspective.

Anonymous said...

There is a good rebuttal of Dave Hunts --A Woman Rides the Beast.. on Catholic Answers. I have read more in depth rebuttals, but this hits the high points and problems with Dave Hunt's work and why his arguments don't work.

Anonymous said...

The whole url didn't print-- this is the whole URL

Blondie said...

Thanks for posting that link Deanna. Dave Hunt's book is so full of nonsense it's hard to believe anyone would take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

Not that, again - or is it still?

I wonder why she considers it vital for others to read; it's been proven false by enough people. I will never, for the life of me, understand people who shut their minds off and lock them. I would think learning would be a lifelong process, and I would think everyone would want that process.

Apparently, I am wrong. I don't understand it, but I must be.

Blondie said...

Which means that somebody had to do some digging to find it out. Which I think, quite frankly, is creepy, like stalker-creepy.

Actually Candy shared a nickname for her church in the first sentence of her post. If you google that nickname only a handful of websites come up, and one of them is the church. It really wouldn't take a lot of digging.

Just to be clear, I am NOT the one who found the church and wrote the letter, but after a couple of these comments I just googled that to see what would happen.

What is creepy is tracking down someone's hometown and address, and posting a satellite map of it on your blog.

Blondie said...

I still feel searching for someone's church and searching for someone's home address are two very different things. But I can see your point.

Elena said...

I don't consider it stalking. A reader googled the phrase and found the church. As they have it on their site I imagine it's something they don't mind the search engines finding. Their publication of name, address, phone number, and e-mail address is public and readily available as well.

Elena said...

In this case I think the intent is everything. The reader who sent me the pastor's response was sharing a view of his theology, his thoughts, his opinion on Missionaries to Catholics. The pastor very graciously and I thought from his perspective quit thoroughly and honestly shared his views. None of this was done with the intent of being malicious or causing harm or distress.

Candy's intent was to deliberately and maliciously hurt me. She did apologize for that and I am still willing to give her the benefit of a doubt that perhaps she is moving in a new direction. I remain steadfastly, (albeit perhaps naively) optimistic.

Elena said...

The reference to Catholics in Peru is still up.

My impression is that this was nothing more than a quick and simple google of a phrase Candy provided and then asking a simple question. I don't see anything immoral, illegal or questionable about it. Google is used to search for words and phrases millions of times a day. The pastor very quickly, thoroughly and graciously answered. He obviously did not mind.

We have not provided a link, a mapquest map or a picture of the church and instead have focused on the substance of the letter (more of that to come).

Frankly that is what I would much rather focus on - the apologetics and exegesis of differences and points of agreement.

Erika S. said...

Elena- Congrats on your boys graduation. How exciting for you all.

Tracy – I really like your hair short. It looks so cute.

I am living in Okinawa, Japan, and I know that a Baptist Church here on the Island sends missionaries to the Philippines, which is 81% Catholic. A woman I know went and spoke these words "we would ask them if they knew Jesus Christ to which most replied yes I am a good Catholic at which point we would tell them the Gospel and get them saved and baptized right away."

This type of thing is going on all over the place.
I have not been posting articles lately because of all of this bigotry against Catholics. It has left such a bad taste in my mouth for people that I have not trusted myself to write unemotionally.

A recent experience I had was when I was invited over to a friends house for "devotions" with a group of neighborhood women, all went pretty well except that every time I brought up a Catholic way such as confession, baptism, what have you, I was told that that was not biblical. I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to make a scene, but boy oh boy could you imagine if I was attacking their faith, saying that this or that was not biblical, which is basically what they were doing to me. I felt like I was in competition to see who loved Jesus more. The thing that kills me is that most of the ladies at this meeting have been Christians for about 5 yrs and I have been a Christian since my Baptism at 6 months which means I have got them by 35 1/2 years but they still felt the need to bring up what was wrong with Catholics. I am just tired of all this. I am hoping that this and other websites are helping people understand Catholic belief because from my personal experience I see no improvement not even the willingness to listen.

Sue Bee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elena said...

Ok Sue I get it.

The Peru comment was on Candy's site. The Pastor confirmed this in his response without batting an eye.

This wasn't about revenge. It wasn't about getting even. I'm not sure the reader was even aware of Candy's past offense.

You know, Candy and I are both big girls. I post things about things that probably "outed" me years ago when I decided I didn't want to hide behind a pseudonym. If I felt something was important enough to be written, I should be brave enough to stand behind it, and I try to do that. Candy writes semi-anonymously. For the longest time there was a link to her husband's site that included their last name. She wrote about going to the Oklahoma State Capital and she wrote about her church. As she frequently tells us, she worked for IBM, she knows her way around the internet, she's not stupid. In this case some smart reader put it together and found her church. Shouldn't be a big surprise.

The intent however is to hear from Bro. O'Daniel and get his take on Catholicism, which he was very happy to supply. That's the point of this post.

Interestingly Sue, by continuing to focus on "gasp" breaching Candy's supposed confidentiality, you and unashamed have shone a bright light on it! Way to go!

Since discussion on the actual comments doesn't seem to be forthcoming, I think this discussion is done.