Return to Catholicism?

Why have people been returning to Catholicism? For some they see Catholicism, which they once left, just as good as the non-Catholic sects they have afterwards experienced. When all you’ve known is a dead form of false religion, all would be equal. Sadly, many non-Catholic congregations are just like this and therefore no better than Catholicism itself.


Ecumenical Movement


Probably, the main reason why most return to Catholicism is because they were adversely affected by the vast Ecumenical Movement and widespread compromise with Catholic leaders. After all, with many of the non-Catholic protestant ministers endorsing Catholicism by praising/honoring their ministers and religious system, many unwary souls have been stumbled. Here is what one such person wrote who returned to Catholicism: 

I trust that you are sincere in what you believe but you are sorely in error. I say that to you as a returned Catholic who spent 13 years worshiping and studying the scriptures amongst Protestant brothers and sisters. Now perhaps I may not be your typical Catholic but many who are received into the church as adults come from bible believing traditions, how do you account for that?


In just 2 weeks thousands of Christians from other denominations and perhaps even your very own flock will become practicing Roman Catholics, this happens every year at the Easter Vigil. Among there [sic] number will be former ordained Protestant Ministers. The reason for this is that many Christians are tired of egotistical non-Catholic Christian traditions. They find that the Catholic Church although not perfect is the closest thing to the early Church.


Compromise and Ignorance


He asked a question about people from Bible-believing backgrounds going into the so-called Church (his concept of the Roman Catholic Institution) and how this can be accounted for. The answer, in part, is that such is the result of so many years of Catholicism being embraced by non-Catholics as just another Christian sect and general ignorance of the Scriptures. Especially when compromise comes from some of the most respected and influential religious TV and radio people of our day this has taken its lamentable toll.


Today’s Poor Leaders


There is no way to know how many have been faltered by the world famous evangelist Billy Graham alone or Pat Robertson of the 700 Club or Jack Van Impe. Those three alone might have influenced millions to embrace Catholicism and maybe for the first time. (Only God knows for sure.) When people see Catholic leaders, including the Pope, being treated as informed Christians or respectfully quoted as one might do a prophet of God from the past, the ill-informed get deceived. Hank Hanegraaff, the deceased Walter Martin, Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Bill McCartney, the founder of Promise Keepers and an untold number of local ministers who swap their pulpits with Catholic priests have certainly added to that number in swaying the vast majority to accept the traditions and practices of Catholicism as Christian.


One protestant pastor, who has a doctor degree, recently mentioned that he knew of a born again Catholic Church in his area. His basis for that statement was merely that they had a Bible study there. Imagine that! Folks, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and other such groups also have Bible studies.


Charismatic Catholics


Among the Pentecostal Protestant groups, the Charismatic Catholics who supposedly talk in tongues and prophesy have often been accepted as Spirit-filled brethren, even though their embraced doctrine is that they were born again at infant baptism, they should attend Mass, believe in Purgatory and Mary is their life, sweetness and hope. (Some even prophesy thus saith Mary!) Charismatic Catholics say Praise the Lord and Hallelujah, but that certainly is no endorsement of salvation or of being Spirit-filled.


Early Church Fathers?


Another common error projected by some, such as the above email writer, is that Catholicism is the closest thing to the early Church. Of course, all sects claiming to represent the teachings of the Lord Jesus and his apostles would claim the same, but since Catholicism flatly rejects the Bible alone as authoritative, their basis for such a statement has caught many off guard—that is, the so-called church fathers. The sad thing about such is that even some non-Catholics have also been magnifying such writings for all church doctrine and practices over recent years.


Apparently, many don’t know that these so-called church fathers contradicted themselves, as well as Scripture at times. Some had very weird beliefs about certain things, such as Origen. Hence, basic logic declares they are not dependable for doctrine, as Catholicism and some Protestant groups cite them for.


Suppressed Pope Facts


Even certain Popes have contradicted and condemned other Popes and basic Christian practice. For example, Pope Leo II pronounced Honorius I a heretic. Pope Innocent III commanded against reading the Bible in the common language of the people. Pope Clement XI opposed Bible reading, through a Bull.


In contrast to these, 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says: 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


The earliest Christians, the ones mentioned in the New Testament (NT), reasoned from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2) as a basis for their doctrines and taught that Christian doctrine is to come from Scripture alone. Hence, Paul told Timothy to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2).


Furthermore, doctrinal apostasy started to set in early, even while the original apostles were still alive, which is apparent from the books of Galatians and Jude especially, and certain other sections of the NT (such as Acts 15; etc.). Hence, the earliest written record of what Christians taught and practiced, beyond the NT, can not be fully relied upon. We must stick to the 27 books of the Bible alone to avoid deception about the Christian life. When we do this a return to Catholicism is clearly without justification.


Dan and Cheryl Corner
Evangelical Outreach
PO Box 265, Washington, PA 15301


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