Be Not Deceived

Greensboro, NC

In 1991 an amazing thing happened. I went from being an enemy of God (Col. 1:21) who was
dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2: 1), to being made alive and called a son of God (I
John 3:1). It was not easy for me to make such a decision. I was moved by the conviction
and weight of my own sin and compelled by the undeniable truth of Scripture. I say it was
not easy because to believe the gospel of the grace of God I had to deny twenty-five years
of devotion and service to the Roman Catholic church.

I was born, raised, and educated in the Catholic faith. I was baptized and confirmed. I
was an alter boy and acolyte. I was spiritual director of the youth group and youth
representative to the parish council. I taught the equivalent of Sunday School and
confirmation class as well. I had no desire to leave the Roman Church and I was convinced
she was the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1991 a number of crisis events occurred in my life. My sister was in a horrible
accident, my father had a heart attack, I nearly totaled my car, all this on top of the
most devastating of all-my fiancee left me with no warning. In a fit of depression and
thoughts of suicide I turned to the Church. I prayed for Mary to intervene, I lit candles,
and I gave money to the church. I said a Novena, I went to confession, I sang songs of
adoration to Mary and gazed upon the crucifix in prayer for hours. As a last resort I
began to read the Bible. In short, I began to see the truth. I was struck with the reality
of my spiritual death, the worthlessness of my good works, and my need of a Savior. In due
course I was born again.

In 1996 another amazing thing is happening. Some evangelical leaders are telling me that I
had no need of a conversion. They say, as a devout Roman Catholic in good standing, I was
already part of the Body of Christ. Interestingly, as a Catholic I would never say I was
eternally saved (cp I John 5:13). It was a sin to do so. But now these evangelical leaders
are trying to convince me that I already had eternal life by the blood of Christ. Now if
this was true, the men who shared the Gospel with me when I sought them out with my
questions were sinning by drawing me away from the salvation doctrines of Rome!

This whole ecumenical movement baffles me. A young man who was trusting his good life, the
prayers of the saints, the sacrifice of the mass, the prayers of Mary, the cleansing of
Purgatory, the sacraments, and the church to get him to heaven is now labeled a
"vociferous ex-Catholic" and a "bigot" by large Christian
organizations, merely because he placed his trust solely in the once-for-all, finished
work of Christ at Calvary and desires other Catholics to know this salvation as well. I
can not explain this except to say that either these evangelical leaders are ignorant of
Romanism, or they are tools of the Devil. I pray the former is true.

All the truth of the Gospel-new birth, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, sonship,
liberty in Christ-is being compromised on the altar of ecumenism. We have decided that a
church which has declared the one, true Gospel of grace to be accursed of God (Council of
Trent Session VI: Canon XXIV is somehow united in the same Gospel. I praise God that there
are Christians who still preach the only Gospel that can save. In the name of love and
truth let us oppose any system that denies the faith "once for all delivered to the

Let us never forget the suffering of those who were tortured and executed for simply
preaching the same Gospel we preach today. A Gospel which Rome still calls
"accursed," but a Gospel we know to be "the power of God unto
salvation." (Rom. 1: 16)