Be Ready to Give a Defense

By: Mike Gendron; ©2003
Mike Gendron shares some of the letters he has received challenging his faith in Jesus, and his response to them.

Be Ready To Give A Defense

As Christians, we need to be always ready to give a defense to everyone who asks for the reason of our hope in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Since I am an evangelist working in the white fields for harvest in the Roman Catholic Church, I often receive emotional letters from Catholics who challenge me about my faith in Jesus. Following are several letters from Catholics and the defense I gave them for my faith in Christ Jesus.

I am a Catholic who is well educated with a minor in theology. You know nothing of Catholicism except the lies you have been taught. You are the one who is deceived. Christ founded my Church, a human founded yours. You are unable to interpret the scriptures properly because you are prejudiced by the Protestant Tradition (invented in the 1500’s). The Catholic Church doesn’t teach salvation is by good works or adhering to a religious system. This is a lie that you were told. You may be surprised, but the main function of the pope is to insure that nothing is added or deleted from both the Bible (written Tradition) and Oral Tradition. The Catholic Church is the only church which takes the Bible seriously. I’m sorry that you’ve been so brainwashed with your Protestant traditions that you refuse to submit to the teachings of the Bible. Catholics wrote the Bible. It’s obvious you don’t take the Bible seriously, because if you did, it would bring you into the Catholic Church. Either the Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ or it is the Whore of Babylon. It cannot be somewhere in between. I trust in God, you trust in men. In Christ Jesus and Mary, D.R.

Personal bias and prejudice are difficult to set aside when one’s religious faith is in­volved. Accordingly, we must examine all the facts objectively. We must be careful what we accept as truth. My knowledge of Catholicism comes from its official teachings. From your comments, I wonder if you have read the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. In para­graph 1821 we read, “each one of us should hope…to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ.” According to the Bible, heaven is not a reward but a gift, and it is by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, when you mix works with grace as your Catechism teaches, grace is no longer grace (Romans 11:6). You are correct, Rome has always taught salva­tion by grace alone, but Catholic grace is not true grace. God’s grace is unmerited. It does not flow from the side of Christ, through the hands of Mary, through the sacraments admin­istered by Catholic priests as your church teaches. It is not earned as described in para­graph 2027, “We can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed to attain eternal life.” If the Pope’s main function is to insure nothing is deleted from the Bible, how do you explain his approval to delete the 2nd Commandment of God from page 496 of the new Catechism? When I took the Bible seriously I left the Catholic Church, never to return to a system which deceives its people concerning the most critical issue of their lives—how can sinners be reconciled to a holy God.

There are millions of Christians who interpret scriptures differently than you do. Who is right? Who has the real truth? Saying that you are right & the rest of the world’s Christians are wrong is not acceptable. M.L.

I have never said I am right. In fact I never ask people to believe as I believe, but tobelieve only what God has revealed through His written word. I point people to the Scrip‑tures which are able to make them wise unto salvation. As the Holy Spirit illuminates their minds and hearts they will find the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).

Where in the Catechism does it say that Catholics need the sacraments to get to heaven? I am trying hard to understand your motives for lying. Every time you attack and claim that my church is anti biblical you are showing your ignorance. The bible is the corner stone of our religious education, and our spiritual lives. How would Jesus look upon you and your followers? You are spending your time creating a rift with fellow Christians. Why do you continue to lie about the Catholic Church? I will continue to pray for you and hope that you see the light. I pray that you will stop spreading untruths and hurt and start really doing God’s will. S. S.

Paragraph 1129 of your new Catechism states, “The Church affirms that for believersthe sacraments of the Covenant are necessary for salvation.” In paragraph 1257, it further states: “Baptism is necessary for salvation… the Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude.” Many Catholics do not know what their Catechism teaches. Roman Catholicism is a very complex religion which attempts to control its people with obligatory sacraments and rituals. If you desire to be a disciple of Jesus, do as He says. Abide in His Word! Only then will you know the truth which will set you free from the bondage of deception. Repented sinners are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus [not sacraments]; whom God dis­played publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Romans 3:24-25). Be obedient to the Scriptures and withdraw yourself from the Catholic clergy who teach doctrines contrary to the words of Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Jesus said that He came to build His Church. Which one of the 23,000 Protestant churches do you think He was talking about? Protestants say that they only need the Bible and yet you all believe differently. How is that unity? Dawn

The church Jesus established is made up of all who have been called by the Father and sealed by the Holy Spirit upon repenting and believing the glorious Gospel of grace. They are called saints because He has saved them completely, having obtained their eternal redemption by shedding His blood to purge away their sins. They were baptized by one Spirit into one body, which is the church. The physical building where people worship or their denominational affiliation does not determine membership in the true church. Accord­ingly there are many people within Catholic and Protestant churches who profess Christ but have never experienced the second birth. Everyone born of God believes the same Gos­pel. All believers of Jesus Christ are united in God’s Gospel.

Christians do good works, just like Catholics, so what is the difference? I need to get this issue straight. Faith with no works is “useless” (James 2:20) and “dead” (James 2:17), so why we do God’s work? When are good works not for salvation but as a reason to be further justified? E.C.

The difference is found in Ephesians 2:10. Those who have been born of God will do works God has prepared for them. Prior to being born again and justified, sinners are spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1). Therefore any righteous works are done in the flesh and not in the Spirit and are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). James is addressing those who profess Christ, but their lack of evidence (works) indicate they may not really possess Christ. The Bible teaches that justification = Faith + nothing, whereas Roman Catholicism teaches justification = faith + works. No one can add to Christ’s perfect work of redemption. Any attempt to do so nullifies God’s grace. Once Jesus saves us we do the works God has prepared for us out of love and appreciation and to glorify our Father in heaven. Christians do works because Jesus has saved them. The new Catholic Catechism teaches that Catholics do works to merit their salvation.

Since born-again Christians “evangelize” Catholics, why shouldn’t the Catholic Church also “evangelize” or “steal sheep” away from those Christians who claim to be born-again? If Catholics can become Christians, can Christians become Catholics? E. C.

According to John, chapter 10, when any lost sheep, no matter what church or religion they are in, hears the voice of the Good Shepherd they will follow Him. They hear His voice when His Gospel is proclaimed. The Good Shepherd protects His flock from sheep steal­ers. As long as Christians continue receiving spiritual food from Him through His word, they will never follow the voice of a robber or a thief trying to steal them away. A Catholic can become a Christian when the true shepherd calls, but a Christian following Christ will never follow the voice of a stranger whose deceptive motive is to capture and hold in bondage.

I know that Jesus would not want me bashing other religions, but rather to seek to understand and to love our fellow brothers on earth with respect for what they stand for. Jesus would not want us fighting amongst ourselves, but rather living out his word. Spreading untruths and hurting others by insulting their faith is the work of the devil. E. K.

How well do you know Jesus of the Bible? Have you read that Jesus came to earth “not to bring peace, but a sword… to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother?” (Mat. 10:34-36). Disciples of Jesus will rebuke false religious leaders as He did. Have you read the terrible rebukes Jesus gave to the false teachers in Matthew 23:13-36? Did you know that God hates what is false (Psalm 119:104)? Christians are also to hate what is false (Prov. 13:5) The doctrines of the Mass, purgatory and indulgences are not only false, they rob Christ of His glory and devalue His precious blood which was shed to purify sin. Until you come to the Jesus of the Scriptures with a broken and contrite heart, you may never find the narrow gate that leads to eternal life.

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