Skip to comments.All Roads Lead To Rome (A Southern Baptist's Journey into the Catholic Church)
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 dont 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 Ill 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 didnt 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 sisters 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 couldnt 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 dont 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:
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 dont 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.
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!
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 Steensons 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]
Do you know how to do anything except post links and try to have other’s caucus threads pulled?
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.
The links are relevant. I pray that you read one.
Let me give you a relevant link... BibleGateway!
Would that all christians would read the Bible as thoughtfully!
Thank you, but I use three. esword, ewtn and This is the Faith dATABASES.
I forgot another database — usccb.
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?
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
I quite sure that I can find many things that your priest do that are not in the Bible!
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.,  1987, pp. 54-55).
And I notice you failed to answer any of my other questions, why is that?
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.
Thanks for the links, makes nice reference material.
Keep up the great work, as long as they are complaining you are doing your work!
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