A Disconcerted Catholic - 01/12/2004
To whom this may concern:
I was surfing the net and came across your website. Like many other Christian denominations, I wanted to see what your views were on Caholics. Oh, by the way...I am Catholic myself.
I was greatly offended that you have included Catholicism as part of the "cult" section. I am a firm believer that God is a loving, caring, and understanding God. If you think I am wrong, please tell me so.
Anyhow, what I have noticed to be consistent is that all the Christian organizations seem to literally "bash" Catholics. Why is that? Is that something that God would want you to do? Ultimately, we believe in the same God...we just practice differently. The good part is that God placed us on this earth to make our own decision regarding faith. If this were not true,
then would a loving, caring God set us all up for failure.
I have respect for all religions, for I have not encountered any religion that teaches one to willing do harm to others. I just wanted to voice my opinion that I feel your section regarding Catholics is very offensive and not conducive to bringing people together as a whole. Instead, it causes great dissention amongst any potential new church members and actually makes your organization seem pitted against Catholicism, which I recall has the largest following of any Christian based religion.
Thank you for your time and consideration spent on reading this email.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hello, Catholic Friend:
I'm John Schroeder, a former Roman Catholic, and author of Heresies of Catholicism...The Apostate Church." Brother Ben Rast of Contender Ministries asked me to respond to your email in which you expressed concern about categorizing Catholicism as a cult. During my 53 years as a Roman Catholic, I, too, would have been offended had someone so designated "my church." However, since being redeemed by the free, unmerited grace of God, and guaranteed eternal life through the shed blood of Jesus, I must agree with that Classification.
One of the marks of a cult is a supreme leader who claims - but does not have - special powers and favor from God. A second mark is this leader's absolute control over the teachings and doctrines followers must believe, even if the Bible says otherwise. At the AD 1870 First Vatican Council, Bishop Josip Strossmayer, in a speech acknowledged by the Catholic Encyclopedia as having taken place, exposed the papacy as an office created by men, not Jesus. Following is a quote from the conclusion that speech:
"I conclude victoriously, with history, with reason, with logic, with good sense, and with a Christian conscience, that Jesus Christ did not confer any supremacy on St. Petrer and that the bishops of Rome did not become sovereigns of the Church, but only by confiscating one by one all the rights of the episcopate."
History shows that bishop Strossmayer was correct in all of his research and conclusions. Catholic popes are imposters. They demand that Catholics believe many doctrines contradictory to the Holy Bible. For instance, you are forced under pain of sin to believe that Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Christ. But the Word of God says Jesus was her "firstborn," and she had four other sons and at least two daughters, all siblings of our Lord. Historians Josephus and Eusebius confirm what the Bible teaches. You are forced to believe there is a Purgatory, but the Word of God says there is heaven and there is hell. By faith in the finished work of Jesus one goes directly to heaven at the time of death, having received His righteousness. By faith in a religion one goes directly to hell.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me." (Mary can't help.)
"I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosover liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (Whosoever means anyone of faith, not religionists alone.)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoseoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (Belief must be in Christ, not Catholic doctrines.)
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." (Sacramental works don't count. It's a totally free gift.)
"Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us through the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." (He did the dying, all we do is the believing & trusting.)
What appears to you to be Catholic "bashing" is, in reality, aggressive "witnessing" in the hope of shaking Roman Catholics out of the complacency that prevents them from comparing Catholic doctrines with the infallible and unchanging Scriptures. Once a Catholic can be motivated to do what the Bereans did under Paul's preaching, that is, "search the Scriptures," it is not long until they come to realize that the Catholic Jesus is not the Jesus of Scripture, and salvation is not to be found in any of the various religions.
That Roman Catholicism is the largest religion calling itself Christian is not a favorable characteristic. For Jesus Himself said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Mat 7:13,14) Jesus said He is the door (gate), not the pope or Catholicism.
We love Catholics, but we don't like the doctrines that keep their eyes off of Jesus and His finished work. If you are interested in learning more about the numerous erroneous Catholic teachings, I strongly urge you to read Heresies of Catholicism...the Apostate Church." It can be read free of charge in its entirety at the following URL:
Or it can be purchased from www.Amazon.com
If I can be of further use to you in a search for Gospel truth, please feel free to use me in any way you desire.
May God bless you with truth
Yours in Christ,