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Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians?
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Post Re: Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians? TheoloJohn
I think it may be helpful for us to keep in mind that salvation is a process, with both a beginning, a journey, and a final destination. To say that one is "saved" (forever) on the basis of a singular moment of faith is to miss completely the biblical call to unconditional discipleship (following Jesus), which is in fact a perpetual condition of salvation.

Given that fact, I would say that a person can experience initial salvation in a heterodox group (by grace through faith) before coming to a better understanding of God's calling of them out of the darkness of Catholicism, Mormonism, etc., into the marvellous light of the full gospel.

When Paul confronted the Galatians who had been bewitched by the Judaizers, he addressed them tenderly though firmly, pleading with them to not forsake the free life in the Spirit for the enslaved life of legalism. However, for Paul the Christian life was definitely not a lawless one, as Gal. 5 (among many other passages in the New Testament) plainly indicates.
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Post Re: Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians? Rafael D Martinez
texasmav wrote:
If they truly believe that Jesus died for their sins, yet they still follow all of the other Catholic teachings are they saved?
I have my own opinion but I was just curious what others think.


It all depends upon what you mean by what you say. Defining terms makes or breaks understanding and communication. And upon this, I hold, discernment and faithfulness to Christian truth stands .. or falls.

If you are asking, do all sincerely practicing Catholics believe Jesus died for their sins, then there's not one who'd deny that.

Does an affirmation of belief that Jesus died for the sins of the world make you a believer? You're not out of the woods of decision yet:

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)

In other words, simply believing Jesus died for your sins doesn't begin to explain how YOU really are living and what YOU really believe.

Sincere practicing Catholics affirm this through attention to the Catholic Mass believing THAT is where the power of atonement is brought down for all to see, wonder and worship at .. Sincere practicing Catholics then devoutly behold the priest who holds up the wafer and wine of the Mass as the literal body and blood of Christ and who reinforces 2000 years of error by compelling their "amen" to his statement "This is the Body of Christ." Sincere practicing Catholics believe their sins cannot be forgiven outside the authority of the priesthoods ability to absolve their sins through confession, proscribed good works and in some cases, self-mortification from fasting to self-flagellation. Sincere practicing Catholics are fully and passionately committed to embodying this unbiblical travesty of the Gospel through a pious, religious and moral lifestyle they believe is the way to heaven.

If that is "Christian," why then do we not do likewise?

For such people this is how they live out "Jesus dying for their sins." This is not faith. It is works-based righteousness that ignores and tramples over the simple grace of actual TRUST in JESUS for salvation.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

If THAT is what is behind their belief of "Jesus dying for me," they are lost, living in a tragically unfounded belief and need to hear about the Gospel of faith in a living Christ who died ONCE and for ALL, and whose sacrifice THEN does not and cannot be reiterated thousands of times a day around the Catholic world for salvation.

Jesus alone is the way to God .. not Catholic ritual or dogma. To suggest that this false teaching can raise men heavenward is at best naive .. at worst, plain apostacy. It is an insult to the all sufficiency of Christ who ended all human speculation in His eternal Word: "I AM THE WAY .. THE TRUTH .. THE LIFE .. no man comes unto the Father but BY ME."


agape

rafael

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Last edited by Rafael D Martinez on 4/20/06 5:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post Re: Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians? Link
Travis Johnson wrote:
A sincere practicing Jehovah Witness would be denying the deity of Jesus Christ.


I don't see where understanding the deity of Christ is a requirement for salvation in scripture. Consider the fact that Acts does not record Peter bring this up in his presentation of the Gospel to a monotheistic audience in Acts 2.

From what I understand, the official JW doctrine does not really teach the resurrection of Christ, which concerns me a bit more as far as salvation is concerned. How can one be raised with Christ if He does not believe in the resurrection?
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Post Re: Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians? Travis Johnson
Link wrote:
Travis Johnson wrote:
A sincere practicing Jehovah Witness would be denying the deity of Jesus Christ.


I don't see where understanding the deity of Christ is a requirement for salvation in scripture. Consider the fact that Acts does not record Peter bring this up in his presentation of the Gospel to a monotheistic audience in Acts 2.

From what I understand, the official JW doctrine does not really teach the resurrection of Christ, which concerns me a bit more as far as salvation is concerned. How can one be raised with Christ if He does not believe in the resurrection?


This thread is bringing out some interesting answers, a lot has caught me off guard.

I don't understand how Acts 2 is germane to our understanding of the person of Christ. JW's absolutely deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Read John 1:1 in the New World Translation. Every mistranslation in that book mangled by Charles Taze Russell is meant to undermine the deity of Christ.

When it comes to the resurrection, because they refute that Jesus is God, they stress that God raised Jesus from the dead.You really cannot be a Jehovah's Witness without renouncing the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

That's a deal breaker. Rafael could shed more on their views of the ressurection of Christ.
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Post Jesus is God: From the beginning .. Rafael D Martinez
Link wrote:
Travis Johnson wrote:
A sincere practicing Jehovah Witness would be denying the deity of Jesus Christ.


I don't see where understanding the deity of Christ is a requirement for salvation in scripture. Consider the fact that Acts does not record Peter bring this up in his presentation of the Gospel to a monotheistic audience in Acts 2.

From what I understand, the official JW doctrine does not really teach the resurrection of Christ, which concerns me a bit more as far as salvation is concerned. How can one be raised with Christ if He does not believe in the resurrection?


Let's take this another step up, Link. Think through this with me.

Can a created spirit being like an angel die for my sins on the Cross?

Can a figurative metaphor that personifies the highest ideal of God shed blood for me?

Can an extraordinarily good man - born of human parents - actually atone for my sins just by being framed and murdered by a jealous status quo?

How about one that was so good that God decided to adopt him as His "Son"?

All of these bogus spiritual conceptions of who the Savior was and IS and IS to Come are what have been circulated among mankind since He ascended. The JW's at some point combine all of these counterfeit views of Christ in their teaching.

And I contend that this is no different an error than that of the Catholic who can affirm every bit of the deity of Christ that we can and who will bow before a piece of bread and call it the mystical flesh of Christ Himself.

That is where your assertion would lead us, Link. If ANY of these options were the possible explanation for who Jesus was, then He could not be divine. That's just plain logic in action. Jesus is God completely apart from human convention or He is as C.S. Lewis has well said "liar or lunatic."

And Link, what of Acts 2:36-37?

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

BOTH Lord AND Christ in ONE .. both eternal servant and King at once, and whose revelation in Peter's sermon blew away the religiosity of the pilgrims and convicted thousands. That truth hooked them and turned them to throw themselves head long into a confession of faith in that Holy One who saw no corruption, whom they knew of .. and whose visitation they missed.

That kind of conviction sounds like something only God can do ..

Of Himself, Jesus said this ..

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58.

The prophet Isaiah foretold and the apostle Matthew clarified ..

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:23

The deity of Christ is well attested to in Scriptures like these and this:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Hebrews 1:1-14

Those who resist grappling with the Bible's revelation of God are in danger of found fighting against him .. those who hold fast to the truth need to be aware of the warning of the author of Hebrews also in verse 15:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip


agape

rafael
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Post Re: I Bothers Me To Think Full Tilt Whitey
Porpoise Driven Neptune wrote:
BV COG wrote:
That me dear great-grandmother who was a Spirit filled Catholic wasn't saved. All those hours she prayed for me to find the Lord meant nothing, right?


If your great-grandmother was a sincere practicing Catholic then she would believe the Church's teaching that she was filled with the Holy Spirit at the point of her baptism as an infant. This is where the term 'Catholic Charismatic Renewal' comes from - any experience subsequent to infant baptism must, by Catholic doctrine, simply be a renewing of the real baptism of the Spirit which is conferred by the priest during water baptism.

Many Catholics are saved & filled with the Holy Spirit because they refuse to accept their own Church's doctrines and so acknowledge their need to be born again. At that point they are, by definition, no longer "sincere practicing Catholics". They either leave the Church, in which case they are not practicing Catholics, or remain in the Church while actually believing in a different mode of salvation, in which case they cannot be sincere in their lip-service to Catholic doctrine.


That is not accurate. Catholicism actually teaches that there must be a work of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation. With regards to teachings by Charismatic and traditional Christian teaching, the Catholic teaching on the Holy Spirit and the teaching of sanctification is actually closer to the Pentecostal theology.
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Post Were Catholics for over a 1000 years lost Gradofcogts
Did only the reformation bring salvation to us today?

What about the many ways people accept Christ in different movements today. Are they lost or saved?

Was Martin Luther really saved? he lived a very loose life and did some very bad things. What about Calvin was he a Christian?

Do you have to go to an altar, shake a preachers hand, go to the counseling room, be water baptized, speak a confession out loud, pray in the garden, or join the church.

I was shocked and thrown in historical theology classes as to how people have through history believed they were or were not saved because of the way they did penance, repentance, or election.
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Post Re: Were Catholics for over a 1000 years lost Rafael D Martinez
Gradofcogts wrote:
Did only the reformation bring salvation to us today?

What about the many ways people accept Christ in different movements today. Are they lost or saved?

Was Martin Luther really saved? he lived a very loose life and did some very bad things. What about Calvin was he a Christian?

Do you have to go to an altar, shake a preachers hand, go to the counseling room, be water baptized, speak a confession out loud, pray in the garden, or join the church.

I was shocked and thrown in historical theology classes as to how people have through history believed they were or were not saved because of the way they did penance, repentance, or election.


Apples and oranges, brother .. The true Gospel of Christ must not be confused with religious culture, but it is. It doesn't mean you should either, or I .. but many do. That's why the Body of Christ is in the wreck it is today. We've sold out eternal truth for passing tradition.

Whatever you'd make of the altar call, Armenius, Wyclif, the Waldensians or the Papacy and how they did things means nothing when compared to the Gospel of Jesus Christ found in Scripture alone.

Thank God for the Reformation light, even their renewal of what it means to have true faith in Him as opposed to the slavery of Catholicism binding "burdens too heavy to be borne," as Jesus said. But would I say everything they taught was suddenly anointed as beyond question. Good Lord, no. Luther's almost feral disdain for the book of James, Calvin's support of an authoritarian religious atmosphere in Reformation-era Geneva and the mysticism of a certain Mr. Swedenborg would be nothing I'd support. But all of these are the fruit of religious people whose zeal was without real knowledge or compassion .. such zeal is as deadly and dangerous as any false ism of the day.


agape

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Post Practicing Catholics PT
Half of my church are "CONVERTED" Catholics. You would be hard pressed to find one that will tell you that practicing Catholics are saved. In order to be a practicing catholic, you would have to believe in the dogmatic tenants of the church, including Mary veneration; all serving as a means of salvation!

I am really fighting the temptation that many on this forum lose...I wish to be short, not write a dissertation.

At the risk of launching into gross length of pen, let me say just a few things.

1. When in Bible college, while attending a ministerial club meeting, we had a Catholic priest come and speak to us on the subject, "How the catholics minister to the sick. Well, he was so boring we simply began to ask questions to which he fumbled around trying to answer,

I asked him this..."You guys believe in the immaculate conception right? (belief that not only Jesus was born without sin, but Mary as well!)

The response was, "yes we do!"

I responded, "Sir please answer this for me then. I am not trying to draw issue with you in asking this, I simply want to know the answer!"

He said, "OK go ahead!"

"If Mary was born immaculately, (sinless), why did she go to the temple to offer up a "sin offering" of two turtle doves? It never records Jesus doing this!

He responded, "well, that's just our tradition!"

I said, "You mean you guys elevate "your tradition ABOVE the Word Of God?

He said, "Yes, pretty much...yes we do!"

All my former catholic members will tell you that when they learned what true salvation was and they received Jesus as Lord, they were very angry at the Catholic church for deceiving them into "False Hope that would have left them without God!

We are endeavoring to develop a ministry to Catholics within our church...I'll tell you one thing...You get saved and filled with the Baptism of Holy Ghost....they make GREAT church Of God members!!!!

All hail King Jesus!

PT
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Post Practicing Catholics PT
Forgot point 2 on last post...

2. It is possible for the practicing Catholic to be saved, however, all of them that I know, and I know a lot of them, most of them are forced to leave sooner or later...either by the church turning against them or they just cannot continue to practice the tenants of the church that border on Paganism, IE. Monstrance worship, Transubstantiation (cannibalistic communion) (my interpretation)...booths of peace (confession booths borrowed from Baal and Ashteroth worship) ETC... ETC...

All hail the King...Jesus!

PT
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Post Re: Are sincere practicing Catholics true christians? Poimen
texasmav wrote:
If they truly believe that Jesus died for their sins, yet they still follow all of the other Catholic teachings are they saved?
I have my own opinion but I was just curious what others think.



with emphasis on the bold above ....

Answer -- Doubtful.
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Post Catholicism is wrong .. Period. Rafael D Martinez
PT wrote:
Half of my church are "CONVERTED" Catholics. You would be hard pressed to find one that will tell you that practicing Catholics are saved. In order to be a practicing catholic, you would have to believe in the dogmatic tenants of the church, including Mary veneration; all serving as a means of salvation!

... All my former catholic members will tell you that when they learned what true salvation was and they received Jesus as Lord, they were very angry at the Catholic church for deceiving them into "False Hope that would have left them without God!

We are endeavoring to develop a ministry to Catholics within our church...I'll tell you one thing...You get saved and filled with the Baptism of Holy Ghost....they make GREAT church Of God members!!!!

All hail King Jesus!

PT


I will never forget the moment when it fully dawned on me, a newly born again believer, just how wrong this whole false religion was. It was for me a turning point in my life.

Raised a Roman Catholic, it was Baptist and then Church of God believers who began to break down my religious ignorance propped up by pride, carnality and ingrained tradition ... by simply sharing the Gospel of a loving God who wanted to save me from my own sinful self. I came to Jesus and begged him to be my Savior in 1981 while I was in the Navy.

Not having any mentors or believers to fully declare the truth to me, God's Spirit took me on a journey in which one by one all of the connections and revelations began to be made clear to me as to how hideously I'd been deceived into following tradition and not God's Word .. and I don't think it was no accident that the last one finally clicked while I was on a whirlwind 2 day tour of the Eternal City, Rome itself while my ship was anchored in the Bay of Naples in the summer of 1982.

I had been in the Vatican Museum and saw all of the unbelievable wealth, ostentation and artwork collected by the papacy over centuries of temporal power. Blow after blow of the truth kept kniving into me. None of you who have not lived such a religiously blinded life can ever appreciate just what kind of white knuckled and soul-shattering agony it is to come to understand how wrong you've been led to live .. and all it means to you, your loved ones, your dead, your past and the present .. and all of the world itself.

It took me, however, a quick side stop at some "famous" church in Rome to look at their own little collection of stuff when I came across a fresco in the ceiling of one of the church naves that froze my blood solid. Done with no expense spared, it was one of those massive works of stunningly painstaking public oil works that were meant to convey to the faithful an illustration of the faith they were to cling to. To my old Roman Catholic sensibilities, it should have been absolutely stunning. It made me sick.

It showed Mary, standing in heaven with the masses of the world all turning their pained eyes to her with hands outstretched in papal benediction. Jesus Christ was not depicted - but Mary herself was carrying a cross, the symbol of redemption, and was illuminated in a great aura of what could only be heavenly glory in which the Spirit as a dove was hovering above her bestowing it. The painting itself was a magnificent and massive portrayal of the power of the painters of the Renaissance at their best when the papacy put them to work to create the imagery they've used ever since to plug their apostasy.

You simply cannot begin to relate to what I'm about to say until you've lived in a culture bent toward worship prompted by artistic props and images and icons and incense and darkened alcoves filled with candles and pews. It was terrible to feel what I did momentarily there. All of my religious training almost drove me to my knees to do a sign of the cross and genuflect .. I could almost feel myself being pulled down to do so (no, it wasn't demons .. it was only that tradition that I'd been steeped in). All I did, however, was stare at it and feel horror and revulsion fill me to the depths of my soul at what that picture really meant in light of the Bible's teaching on the exclusivity of Jesus as Savior alone.

I had been worshipping a goddess and not God.

I had been deceived!

The Catholics I knew and loved all around me were deceived!

This was a blasphemy of the highest order I was staring at, just one lone man, in the vast, hushed marble-pillared opulence of an ancient Roman Catholic church in Rome itself. For the first time in my life, I understood what the term "seat of Satan" really meant and it filled me with a life-changing heaviness and sobriety I've never forgotten and never shaken since. A line had been crossed in my life from which I would never be the same.

Without really realizing it, still awash in the emotion and impact of the moment, I lifted my new Canon AE-1 with me and I had to snap a picture of the thing to remember this day. I still have it - as if I would forget that kind of abomination, which can be routinely seen in Roman Catholic settings globally.

So when my father, who forsook his pagan Catholic religiosity to become a Good Catholic last summer pulled out in his home a vast 6 foot tall image of Our Lady of Guadelupe he's had brought to his Roman Catholic church home to have it venerated, I had to leave the room.

I too want to develop a ministry to Catholics once I get out of the cult busting business .. there's a harvest field out there of unbelievable proportions that the Protestant Church has largely forsaken and almost abandoned .. but in this Laodicean age in which the church is slouching toward the end of times, I'm not surprised.

agape

rafael
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Post There are Christian Catholics Chicago alto
I know a number of Spirit filled Christians who are also still in the Catholic church--in fact, one is a priest. I don't think they agree with all of the teachings of the Catholic church (as many people in the COG don't agree with everything taught), but they feel called to remain in the church.

I may not understand how they can remain in a church with such serious Scriptural fallacies, but I do know these people are born-again, Bible believing, heaven bound, saved by grace, Christians.
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Post Catholicism is wrong. Period Rafael D Martinez
I will never forget the moment when it fully dawned on me, a newly born again believer, just how wrong this whole false religion was. It was for me a turning point in my life.

Raised a Roman Catholic, it was Baptist and then Church of God believers who began to break down my religious ignorance propped up by pride, carnality and ingrained tradition ... by simply sharing the Gospel of a loving God who wanted to save me from my own sinful self. I came to Jesus and begged him to be my Savior in 1981 while I was in the Navy.

Not having any mentors or believers to fully declare the truth to me, God's Spirit took me on a journey in which one by one all of the connections and revelations began to be made clear to me as to how hideously I'd been deceived into following tradition and not God's Word .. and I don't think it was no accident that the last one finally clicked while I was on a whirlwind 2 day tour of the Eternal City, Rome itself while my ship was anchored in the Bay of Naples in the summer of 1982.

I had been in the Vatican Museum and saw all of the unbelievable wealth, ostentation and artwork collected by the papacy over centuries of temporal power. Blow after blow of the truth kept kniving into me. None of you who have not lived such a religiously blinded life can ever appreciate just what kind of white knuckled and soul-shattering agony it is to come to understand how wrong you've been led to live .. and all it means to you, your loved ones, your dead, your past and the present .. and all of the world itself.

It took me, however, a quick side stop at some "famous" church in Rome to look at their own little collection of stuff when I came across a fresco in the ceiling of one of the church naves that froze my blood solid. Done with no expense spared, it was one of those massive works of stunningly painstaking public oil works that were meant to convey to the faithful an illustration of the faith they were to cling to. To my old Roman Catholic sensibilities, it should have been absolutely stunning. It made me sick.



It showed Mary, standing in heaven with the masses of the world all turning their pained eyes to her with hands outstretched in papal benediction. Jesus Christ was not depicted - but Mary herself was carrying a cross, the symbol of redemption, and was illuminated in a great aura of what could only be heavenly glory in which the Spirit as a dove was hovering above her bestowing it. The painting itself was a magnificent and massive portrayal of the power of the painters of the Renaissance at their best when the papacy put them to work to create the imagery they've used ever since to plug their apostasy.

You simply cannot begin to relate to what I'm about to say until you've lived in a culture bent toward worship prompted by artistic props and images and icons and incense and darkened alcoves filled with candles and pews. It was terrible to feel what I did momentarily there. All of my religious training almost drove me to my knees to do a sign of the cross and genuflect .. I could almost feel myself being pulled down to do so (no, it wasn't demons .. it was only that tradition that I'd been steeped in). All I did, however, was stare at it and feel horror and revulsion fill me to the depths of my soul at what that picture really meant in light of the Bible's teaching on the exclusivity of Jesus as Savior alone.

I had been worshipping a goddess and not God.

I had been deceived!

The Catholics I knew and loved all around me were deceived!

This was a blasphemy of the highest order I was staring at, just one lone man, in the vast, hushed marble-pillared opulence of an ancient Roman Catholic church in Rome itself. For the first time in my life, I understood what the term "seat of Satan" really meant and it filled me with a life-changing heaviness and sobriety I've never forgotten and never shaken since. A line had been crossed in my life from which I would never be the same.

Without really realizing it, still awash in the emotion and impact of the moment, I lifted my new Canon AE-1 with me and I had to snap a picture of the thing to remember this day. I still have it - as if I would forget that kind of abomination, which can be routinely seen in Roman Catholic settings globally.

So when my father, who forsook his pagan Catholic religiosity to become a Good Catholic last summer pulled out in his home a vast 6 foot tall image of Our Lady of Guadelupe he's had brought to his Roman Catholic church home to have it venerated, I had to leave the room.

I too want to develop a ministry to Catholics once I get out of the cult busting business .. there's a harvest field out there of unbelievable proportions that the Protestant Church has largely forsaken and almost abandoned .. but in this Laodicean age in which the church is slouching toward the end of times, I'm not surprised.

agape

rafael[/quote]
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