Catholics and Baptists Together?
|By: Mike Gendron; ©2003|
|Mike Gendron expresses his concern over a recent event in which a Catholic Monsignor was the guest speaker for a Bible Study kickoff event at a large Baptist Church.|
Catholics and Baptists Together?
You may remember the words recorded years ago by Jackie DeShannon. “What the world needs now is love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…not just for some but for everyone.”
Well, after another evangelical church has proven it can no longer discern truth from error, we must sadly sing a new verse: What the church needs now is discernment, it is the only thing that there’s just too little of and not just for some but for everyone.
Senior Pastor Jim Denison of Park Cities Baptist Church invited Monsignor Don Zimmerman of Christ the King Catholic Church to be the guest speaker for the opening session of his men’s Bible study for the fall. While the wolf in sheep’s clothing had the attention of nearly 300 Baptist men, he delivered a message entitled: “Christians, Pagans and Paul“. Unless the priest was speaking on behalf of pagans, who over the centuries have had a profound impact on his church, he was deceptively promoting himself as a Christian. This is just another tragic example of how the evangelical church has selfishly and conveniently forgotten the Reformers, who were brutally tortured and murdered for exposing the fatal flaws of Rome’s gospel.
When I was made aware that a Catholic priest would be teaching Baptist men, I could not help but remember Paul’s warning to pastors. He wrote: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). As I contemplated this admonition I knew I had to warn the pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church. Here is my letter:
- Dear Dr. Denison,
- Please know that I am contacting you because of my deep love and concern for Roman Catholics who have been taught a false gospel by their clergy. I was utterly shocked and perplexed when I read the announcement that Msgr. Don Zimmerman of Christ the King Catholic Church will be speaking at tomorrow morning’s kickoff to the Book of Romans.
- Are you aware of the gospel that he teaches as a member of the Roman Catholic clergy? It is a gospel that is condemned by the authority of God’s word (Gal. 1:6-9)? It is a gospel that leaves its adherents with a false hope of being saved from eternal torment and punishment. It is a gospel that is believed in vain (1 Cor. 15:2).
- As a good friend of the monsignor, have you ever shared the true Gospel of Jesus Christ with him? If so, what was his response? Is he aware there are no more offerings for sin? Is he aware that only the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from sin, not purgatory? Is he aware that to mix works with grace nullifies grace? (Rom. 11:6).
- Are you aware that his church has condemned born-again Christians for trusting in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and His atonement? These infallible dogmas from the Councils of Trent and Vatican II are irreversible and can never be rescinded. Are you aware the Roman Catholic Church has a stated goal of endeavoring to unite all Christians under the power and influence of the Pope? Can you not see that your invitation to the Monsignor to kick off a
- Bible study is playing right into their hands and fueling the fires of ecumenism? Have you considered Paul’s exhortations in 2 Cor. 6:14-18 in light of the Monsignor addressing the men of PCBC? As an under-shepherd of the flock, which the Good Shepherd has entrusted to you, I hope you are aware of your responsibility to not only feed the sheep but also to protect them from wolves in sheep’s clothing.
- Dr. Denison, I hope you receive these questions and comments in the spirit of love and concern as they are intended. My life is dedicated to reaching Roman Catholics for Christ. In fact I offered to meet the monsignor for lunch to discuss the Gospel and he refused. Please respond at your earliest convenience.
- A servant of the King,
- Mike Gendron
Since Dr. Denison did not respond to my letter and since no one in the church was going to keep this false teacher out, and being aware of the associated warnings in Scripture, I knew I had to do something. Motivated by our passion for truth and love for our Lord, my wife Jane and I put on the full armor of God. After petitioning our sovereign King for guidance, wisdom and protection, we went out to warn the men of the “Trojan horse” who would be covertly entering the walls of their church. As we stood outside of Park Cities Baptist Church, founded and sanctified by truth in 1939, we handed out our Gospel tracts entitled Is A Roman Catholic Christian An Oxymoron? The tract clearly reveals that those who adhere to the gospel of Rome are not Christians. Less than 5 minutes after we started, a pastor came out and asked us to get off the church property and cease from handing out our tracts. I politely told him that we would leave the church property but we would continue to hand out the true facts about Roman Catholicism from the street. We shared our grave concern that his church was giving credibility to this purveyor of deceit and also giving validation to a false religion. Since he was still not convinced, we gave him the following Scriptures to consider:
- What has a believer in common with an unbeliever? “Therefore…be separate,” says the Lord” (2 Cor. 6:15, 17).
- You shall not associate with them…for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods (1 Kings 11:2).
- If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame (2 Thess. 3:14).
- If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him (2 John 10).
The pastor took the Scriptures and went back into the church but a few minutes later a security guard showed up to make sure we did not come back onto the church property. After handing out a few hundred tracts, we got in our car to leave and noticed the security guard was quick to write down our license plate number. What an irony! We are not secret agents for the Lord Jesus Christ! We would have gladly given him any information he requested; in fact, earlier we offered him one of our Gospel tracts with our name, address, phone number and web site and he refused to take it, even though he professed to be a Christian.
It is hard enough to live the Christian life fighting Satan, overcoming the world and putting to death the evil deeds of the flesh without also having to engage in doctrinal battles within our own camp. However we must seek to maintain doctrinal purity and remain separate from those who promote another gospel. False gospels cannot be tolerated. Those who preach them must be identified as enemies of Jesus Christ and not introduced as our brothers.
Tragically Evangelicals, who once recognized the sacramental gospel of Rome as false, are now crossing over the line to embrace it and promote it. What a travesty this experience was for those Baptist men, who may have been ignorant of the ungodly rituals and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, to be influenced by church leaders who sought to honor men over God. If this experience has taught these men anything, it is hoped they will be abide in God’s word more faithfully. By doing so, they can be sanctified by the truth and be less tolerant of those who preach or promote another gospel. May God give them discernment and the courage to stand up for the truth.
It is time for the body of Christ to revisit the lives of the apostles and be inspired by their uncompromising mission to spread the Gospel and expose its counterfeits. Might there be an awakening in these last days! Let us pray that God will empower us all with His Spirit to live according to His word as an expression of love of our exalted and glorified Savior.