by Theodore Wright.
When I was new believer in Jesus in 1983, I attended a Pentecostal church the first Sunday after I was saved. That evening, an old friend of mine named Liz visited my home. I knew her from the past when she lived 5 hours away when she, her brother and I were all teenagers. She mentioned she became the assistant youth group leader at a Roman Catholic Charismatic church in the nearby town and invited me. Seeing that God recently spoke to me by His Spirit, I was curious to know more about the working of the Holy Spirit.
I did not know the difference between Protestant and Catholic churches. I knew, though, that both kinds of churches believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus being bodily risen from dead was the convincing factor that brought me to trusting faith in Him to be saved. Going to another church that did not have this belief did not appear to me suitable to the Lord. Various churches most commonly believe this. Already I knew about the false beliefs of the cults and major false religions because I examined these before I was saved.
To me, though, I thought that the Catholic churches and Protestant churches were major divisions of the same religious faith. I initially did not see a difficulty going to these different churches. As time went on, I found out about the differences. On this page here, I will first off discuss my experience among Roman Catholics before describing later my experience among Protestants…
When I first attended the Catholic Charismatic youth group, everyone was Catholic except for one guy named Dominic who two months previously converted to become a Protestant. I told everyone that just within the week I had received Jesus as my Savior. I did not know this at the time but Dominic thought to himself that it would be difficult for me there. He spent time discipling me in the Lord in those days and we developed a friendship.
At the group, there was one young woman who kept calling me a Protestant since I was not a Catholic. At the time, I neither considered myself a Protestant nor a Catholic. I simply believed in Jesus as a Christian. As time went on, my beliefs in Jesus became more fully defined.
When I went to Boston to see the Boston Pops Orchestra during the summer, I was camped outside with Catholic friends. While I was reading the New Testament, for the first time might I add, I read a Bible verse that came to my attention. I said, “Liz, I just read this Bible verse for the first time. Listen to this… 1st Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. I asked her, “How come Roman Catholics pray to Mary?” She told me, “If you’re a woman it is easier to pray to woman than it is to pray to a man.” I replied, “Oh, I see.” However,
As time went on attending the Roman Catholic church, I found more Bible verses where the Bible said one thing and Roman Catholic teaching said another. So repeated, I would list these Bible verses in the back of my Bible. Furthermore, I also found that not all Roman Catholics believed the same doctrine, even regarding the basics about salvation. I was growing to believe that the Roman Catholic church was more and more of a backslidden church as time went on. I did not believe everyone was saved there, however for different reasons, I did not believe everyone was saved in Protestant churches either, therefore, I continued on there.
Have you ever heard of the “Movie Line Mass”? I hadn’t even understood what the Mass was yet at this time. Neither up till then had I ever participated in any Catholic Mass. What happened was, a number of the Roman Catholic youth of the group with our leaders went to see Star Wars Episode 6 at the movie theater when it came out in 1983. Liz told me that when she went up for the Mass in church she was given extras of the consecrated hosts. She told me she did not know what to do with them so she just put them in her pocket.
Then, in the movie line, she held high the host to place one in my mouth. I was at a loss to know what to do, so I said to Liz, “I can’t do this now! It’s sacrilegious!” Looking back on this, I believe this was a Roman Catholic attempt to convert me to Catholicism and get me to partake in salvation from their perspective. After all, though I did not know this as yet, participating in the Roman Mass is a requirement for salvation from their own point of view. Somewhat zealous of them to try this with me, don’t you think? So what was it like for you when you were initially offered your first Roman Catholic Mass?
Two months after I got saved, Dominic left the Roman Catholic church while I kept going. However, two months more after that I heard in the Roman Catholic church something about their teaching about the Mass, so I decided to take this subject with Dominic. He quickly brought up the topic himself and mentioned that the Roman Catholic church taught that the bread and wine in the Roman Catholic Mass is taught in that church to be the actual physical body and blood of Christ. I thought on this and said, “You can’t worship God in spirit and in truth and believe you are eating Him. That’s idolatry!” It was then, four months after I was saved that I stopped attending worship and religious practices in the Roman Catholic Church. I became known exclusively as a Protestant.
Actually, I was not particular happy finding out about this. I felt rather sick for three days. At my work, I kept accidentally dropping files. Then, a Christian friend asked me, “Ted, what is the matter?” I really did not have time to talk so I gave him a simple answer at the moment and said, “I just found out that the job of evangelism is a lot larger than I originally anticipated.” Later I told him, “We have to tell these people!” I then knew how important it was to reach Roman Catholics with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thus, I began a continued study to understand the mysteries of Roman Catholicism which I had not grown up with. I met a large number of Bible-believing Christians who were formally Roman Catholic. Including the one who was primary sharing the gospel with me. Jesus Christ was doing wonderful things in her life. Before I was saved, members of my family and I visited her church. It was a Roman Catholic Church with the priest doing a Latin Mass. Not long afterwards, she too, also left that church and went to a Bible-believing church.
Later, I was asked the question by various people if I believed there were any real believers in Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Church. I told them that the answer was YES, because the BIBLE PROVES THIS! People were astonished at my answer and curious to know where in the Bible this proof existed. I told them it is in Revelation 18:4 which reads, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” It says, “come out of her my people“. Yes, there are some of God’s people attending the Roman Catholic church. If they continue to stay there, however, they will receive of the same plagues that will come upon this church, being brought down by its idolatry.
The “her” mentioned here began to be described in the Bible in Revelation chapter 17:4-6, which reads…
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
The Roman Catholic churches are infamously purple and scarlet, it amasses the wealth of gold and other valued stones and other items. It has imitated religious practices of pagans throughout the worlds. It is not only compromises herself as a harlot religiously but is a mother of it and other detestable practices. Although other religions have put to death martyrs, the Roman Catholic church has killed from tens to hundreds of millions. I, and vastly many others throughout the centuries, have found no doubt to this.
By the way, that list of Bible verses that I used to write in the back of my Bible, I extended the list then published it on the web in 1998.