No worries, ‘you are a good Catholic’?

While monitoring seismic activity ever since Pope Benedict XVI dropped his cluster bomb on all non-Catholics and their churches recently, I received several great comments to TheScroogeReport’s Wrong Turn: Pope Benedict XVI Detours Salvation Through Catholic Church post.

One of those comments stood out enough to be highlighted here. This comes from Johnny Johnston, a pastor from Calvary Chapel, Santa Cruz, Calif. I think it’s interesting that those most willing to be heard on the subject seem to be coming from the Calvary group – an evangelistic bunch determined to stick to God’s word found in the bible.

Some of those coming to the Pope’s defense are saying that his co-signing of the Catholic-centric document does not mean he was implying the Catholic church is the only way to salvation. However, from all that I’ve heard, it certainly seems to be the point he was making…and if not, why muddy the waters? Let’s make it perfectly clear.

From Johnny Johnston:

The Roman Catholic Catechism says one thing…the Pope and every priest I have spoken to over the years says another. The Roman Catholic Church’s pronouncements are held above Scripture.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”  (John 14:6 and 6:37)

The Pope says no one can be saved apart from the Roman Catholic Church…in direct contradiction to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Years ago, a devout Catholic woman attending a bible study asked me, “How can I be sure I am going to heaven?” I pointed out Romans 10:9,10….“if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

She embraced the good news with her whole heart. I was happy to tell her that she had everlasting life and would go straigt to heaven when she died.

A short time later, this Christian lady died of a brain tumor. At her funeral held in the Catholic church she attended, her priest related that as she lay dying, she spoke to him about being born again. In his own words spoken at the funeral, he said, “you don’t have to be concerned about being born again, you are a good Catholic.”

How tragic! His words were in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus.

The priest, at the family’s request allowed me to say a few words. I related the conversation about how she wanted to be sure she would go to heaven. I was able to quote Romans 10:9, 10 and how she embraced the Gospel.

After the service, a number of the Catholic people attending approached me to repeat what I had said. They had never heard a simple presentation of the Gospel. How tragic! Lifelong Catholic senior citizens, faithful to their church, had never been presented a clear teaching of personal salvation.

I pray that all Catholics will come to understand that Jesus is the way.


– Alexander,


Christian Blog Topsites

3 thoughts on “No worries, ‘you are a good Catholic’?

  1. If the Calvary group is – an evangelistic bunch determined to stick to God’s word found in the bible, why don’t they baptize for the forgiveness of sins? (Acts 2:38)

  2. Re: If the Calvary group is – an evangelistic bunch determined to stick to God’s word found in the bible, why don’t they baptize for the forgiveness of sins? (Acts 2:38)

    I will answer by giving you this from Greg Laurie (a Calvary pastor):

    You cannot become a Christian by compulsion. No one in the world can make you a Christian. No minister or priest can make you a Christian by mere baptism or a sacrament. You cannot be reborn through a ceremony, or by reading a creed, or by standing up or sitting down, or by going forward, or by kneeling at a bench. None of these things, in and of themselves, will make you a Christian.

    “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Being a Christian is not merely following a creed, though it would include that. It is not merely believing certain truths, though it is that, too. It is receiving Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. There has to be a point when you are awakened to your spiritual need and say, “God, I know I’m a sinner. I know I don’t measure up. Your light has crept into the crevices of my life, and you have exposed my spiritual nakedness. You have shown me my vulnerability and my need. At the same time, I know I can’t become a Christian in my own strength. So I am coming to you on your terms. I am turning from my sin. I believe that your Son, Jesus, the Word who created all things, became a man and walked among us. I believe that he died on a cross for my sin. I put my trust in you. I choose to follow you.”

    Now back to me:

    Calvary (and most non-denominational, evangelical churches) do baptisms as a way of proclaiming the step and commitment toward Jesus already made. However, it has nothing to do with salvation…it is just a proclamation…much the same way a ring is for those that are married.

  3. The statement we’re discussing, officially called “RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH” (Google that!) says in part:

    “…The Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them…

    “It follows that these separated churches and Communities…are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation.”

    That does not, as you said, imply that “the Catholic church is the only way to salvation.”

    Really, it helps if you read it, y’know?

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