Tuesday, February 12, 2013


With the sudden announcement of his retirement, Pope Benedict XVI has the entire world "abuzz."  All of a sudden, the majority of conservative evangelicals have begun referencing the prophecies of Saint Malachy, as though they might have been inspired by God!  For years, as long as I can remember, conservative Protestants have declared that a person cannot be both born again and a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  Now, because the prophecies fit within our Eschatology, we believe Malachy might have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Of course, some are quick to remind everyone that God spoke through a burning bush and a beast of burden, so we should not be surprised if He could speak through "a Catholic."  It is almost laughable!

Having been a Catholic, who is now a born again believer, I cringe when I hear or read venomous comments about my former church.  I fully understand the criticisms of the false teachings of the Vatican, but I would suggest that by proclaiming there are no born again Catholics, we might be mistakenly setting imaginary limits on the saving work of Almighty God.  Saul of Tarsus was saved, and became perhaps the greatest spokesperson for Christ in all of history.  And yet, as a born again believer, he still saw himself as a Jew (Acts 21:39; 22:3; etc.).

To support their belief that there are no born again believers within the Roman Catholic Church, many have quoted 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, which says, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."  And they have a valid point.  However, most do not hold this same standard for Jewish converts, known as Messianic Jews.  Why is it so hard to believe there are "Messianic Catholics?" 

It is true that Roman Catholicism errs greatly in adding works to the Gospel, thereby making it a false Gospel (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 1:6-9).  I agree that Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Infant Baptism, the Immaculate Conception, the "worship" of saints, that only those to whom the Church declares sainthood are saints, that priests are mediators between a man and God, etc. are unscriptural!  But in spite of these heresies, the true Gospel is preached on occasion, and souls are saved.  Their belief in the Trinity, in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for sin, in His return to rule for eternity as the Son of God, etc., cannot be denied. 

When a Roman Catholic becomes a born again believer, they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  They become the servants of Jesus Christ.  When God decides it is time for them to leave the church, He will let them know.  In the mean time, they are to share their new-found faith where they are.
1 Corinthians 7:17-24  - - -  Romans 14:4-12

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