Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bible Book Stores - An Opportunity for Evangelism


This an e mail that was received from "RandyBibleman" as he calls himself, a Christian Bookstore Retailer who sent this e mail to over 500 Christian bookstore owners on a list serv. A Catholic/Christian bookstore owner and friend forwarded me this actual e mail asking me to respond. "Randy Bibleman" was teaching his co-retailers the doctrines of Catholicism.
If this wasn't so sad, it would be funny. You can't make this stuff up! (well, they think we do)

"Roman Catholicism's official position is:
1. A grace plus works salvation.
2. The Bible (their Bible) is the inspired word of God AND so is the
Pope's word when he speaks ex cathedra.
3. Rank & file Roman Catholics cannot understand the Bible unless
their teachers explain it to them (much like Jehovah's Witnesses and
Mormons)
4. Their is no salvation apart from the work of a Roman Catholic
priest.

If Roman Catholicism is christian, then evangelical Christianity is
not! There really is no middle ground.
We choose to avoid books written by authors who profess Christianity
while belonging to organizations which clearly teach that which
denigrates the Word of God and/or salvation by God's grace only and
only through the shed blood of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Better stop selling those DonutMan DVD's and CD's because he's Catholic now!)

A rosary is a device to assist in offering prayers to Mary. This is
anti-Biblical!

"Separated brethren" is a myth. A close examination of this teaching
reveals that non-Catholics have a second chance to get right with God
(that is, join the Roman Catholic Church) while spending the first
part of their afterlife in purgatory."

The thing that struck me the most was the degree of anti-Catholicism that continues to fester among some of our separated brethren based on complete misrepresentation of Catholic doctrine. I hope and pray for his sake that his misunderstandings are based on ignorance and not malice.

This e-mail reminds me of the need to live and speak our faith and always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us. Pray for "RandyBibleman" and I suggest that when you visit your local Christian bookstore, consider it an opportunity for evangelism. Ask them if they carry any of the Pope's encyclicals, Scott Hahn's books or the dreaded and most feared......St Joseph Statues!

Any one care to respond to these "official positions" of the "Roman" Catholic Church?

As an aside:
We are members of the Catholic Church. The "Roman" was added by the Anglicans in the 1800's as a way to distinguish them based on their "branch theory" of catholicism. The Official Position of Rome is that we belong to the Catholic Church, which includes the roman rite, maronite, chaldean etc. All the documents of the Vatican 2 council refer to the Church as the The Catholic Church. Not RC.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy said...

The main (generally Protestant) Bible book store here carries a selection of Catholic materials - books, missals, cards etc - not huge, but definitely improved. The one thing I'd say is that because they are Protestant they perhaps aren't as knowledgeable about the differences in orthodoxy among authors. So while there is Hahn and Ratzinger, for example, there are also a few authors with which I wouldn't even line the proverbial brick relief facility. But we do have also some good Catholic book stores which I also frequent fairly regularly.

I would ask "Randy Bibleman" how he would feel if we took folks like Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, etc. to be representative of evangelical Christianity.

I came to the conclusion that if the Pope was the Antichrist he was doing a pretty lousy job at it since he seemed to act ... so Christ-like.

April 28, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Nancy makes an excellent point about the risk of just picking up any author we stumble upon and taking that as an authoritative position for any church. Some time ago I visited a Catholic bookstore. I confess to having taken up a comfortable seat and spending probably a half hour looking through a book on the Communion of the Saints. I have forgotten who the author was, but I am aware of the danger of looking at anything without a little guidance. I think there is profound ignorance in both communions regarding official positions, but there is no excuse for continued ignorance. I am similarly annoyed when Evangelicals mischaracterise and caricature Reformed, that is "Calvinist," beliefs.

April 28, 2007 7:03 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for the comments Nancy and PA.
BTW, I literally just got finished "scripting" the next basement tapes about "the communion of saints" when I saw and posted PA's comments.
Very cool!
I hope we can do it justice though.

PA says:
" I am aware of the danger of looking at anything without a little guidance." Yes, I too feel that way about podcasting/blogging as well because I fear that I may misrepresent Catholic thought. I keep the catechism near the computer and my bedside (along with Scripture) and refer to it often as you will hear in the podcasts.

April 28, 2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I wonder if Randy Bibleman would like to look the Angel of the Lord in the eye and tell Him..."You're anti-biblical!" And yet, isn't that what he's doing? The Angel of the Lord is much more patient than I... I'm working on it, but as Rich Mullins once said, "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord".... Rich: "I just wanna be about the Lord's business."\

PAX,
susie

April 28, 2007 10:43 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Sometimes, I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of the battle we're in with these people. How did so many manage to get SO well misinformed about the Catholic faith? Why do so many REFUSE to learn about Catholicism from CATHOLICS?

It's only just beginning for me... and the thought of the daily battle against this ignorance tires me out!

April 29, 2007 1:05 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

It is just the beginning, Amber but the longer I am Catholic, the more convinced I become of the Truth of the Church (It really starts to grow on you, as it truly is a conversion process of heart and mind) Not that we weren't already Christian, but developing a "Catholic world view" is
slow process with little "Eureka" moments.
The sad aspect of this tiresome battle is that it shouldn't have to be! I spend much time everyday defending the faith against fellow Christians, not unbelievers, (though I don't want to be quick to judge and God knows the true heart of man)
What drives me to enter into the fray again and again is the treasure that I have found, that I want all believers to have access to through the Church. I keep thinking, there is so much beauty and joy that have been undiscovered that Jesus has had for all of us, why not help others understand so they may believe?
The rogerbiblemen of the world are probably not going to change their mind, but then again, 3 years before I returned to the Church, I said "Jesus would not be the head of a bunch of pedophiles." So if I could go from that to being the recipient of several Catholic blog nominations 6 years later, only God knows....Stranger things have happened.

April 29, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Joyful:
I on occasion had that thought before I converted. What if Catholicism is true and I get to heaven and am greeted by the Lord and his Mum and the angels and saints and had to eat my words? It was a passing thought, but it left something stirring.
When I was cleaning out my mother's house after she passed away and was finding all her religious and devotional stuff, rosary beads etc, I said to my brother "What if Mom was right about Catholicism?" He said naw...
Well Lord willing I won't have to look that angel in the eyes ....

April 29, 2007 9:34 AM  
Blogger Prodigal Daughter said...

"...the thought of the daily battle against this ignorance tires me out!"

It is tiring at times. I spend a fair amount of time on www.crossdaily.com chat. It’s a Christian website which claims to be Catholic friendly. I have written to the administrator and he told me I am welcome to create Catholic rooms to discuss what Catholics believe. I usually create a room called “Catholic Chat.” During Lent I called it “Lent.” There are several Catholics who come into the chat on a regular basis. They mostly hang out in the debate room and attempt to combat all of the angry fundamentalists. I don’t do that for two reasons. The first is that I am not very adept at apologetics and the second is that I find it unproductive.

Ever since I took statistics in graduate school I tend to think more sociologically and group people in terms of the “bell curve.” In my mind, there are usually two extremes and then the rest of us fall somewhere in between. The extremes in the chat room that are the angry fundamentalists at one end and kind and gentle people who are sincerely seeking at the other. I view the angry fundamentalists as “the watch dogs of evangelicalism.” They bark and spit their hateful comments about the Church in order to prevent a discussion from occurring. They are sort of like the monsters guarding the castle in CS Lewis’ “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.” who tried to prevent Lucy and gang from rescuing Edmund from the witch. Once Lucy et.al. got past those angry monsters; it was fairly easy to reach their target.

My best approach with these “watch dogs” has been to ignore them. They are not truly seeking or interested. It is a waste of energy to fight with them especially when there are sincere seekers in the room. I focus my attention on those who have honest questions and the watch dogs usually leave. At times I have spent over an hour sharing with people truths they never knew about the Catholic faith and have formed a friendly bond in the process. Many of theses seekers do not “run into” Catholics who can defend their faith and all they ever hear about Catholicism is what the watch dogs tell them. I consider it a wonderful opportunity, and a blessing to be able to dispel some of the misconceptions and share the beauty of our Catholic faith.

April 29, 2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

" If Roman Catholicism is christian, then evangelical Christianity is
not! There really is no middle ground.
We choose to avoid books written by authors who profess Christianity
while belonging to organizations which clearly teach that which
denigrates the Word of God and/or salvation by God's grace only and
only through the shed blood of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ."

This is so sad. Can you imagine Christ's reaction to this infighting amongst His people?

What this man really means to say is: If my understanding of Catholicism is Christian, than evangelical Christianity is not! That would actually be the truth. This sort of straw man argument is really ridiculous. Classic, really. This inculcated ignorance almost doesn't even deserve a response.

But my initial reaction is, why then is he extracting books from our Bible and selling them as his? If he wants nothing to do with the Catholic Church, he needs to reevaluate from where he got his material.

April 30, 2007 9:44 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"If he wants nothing to do with the Catholic Church, he needs to reevaluate from where he got his material.'

Yes, he at least needs to acknowledge his debt to the church "that is not Christianity" for giving him his Bible-7 .

Thanks for the post Beka and happy anniversary to you too!

May 01, 2007 1:18 AM  

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