Category Archives: Apologetics & Evangelism

C.S. Lewis: A Bridge to Rome

June 20, 2015
By J. Saunders

“It is largely due to Lewis, an Anglican, that I converted to the Catholic Church…”1
–Mark Brumley, President of RC Ignatius Press

“Lewis has been credited (or blamed) in recent years with setting numerous people on the road to Rome. Such Catholic converts have included many of the serious scholars and disciples of Lewis, some of whom knew him before he died…”2
–R.A. Benthall, Professor of Literature, Ave Maria College

Statue of C.S. Lewis, BelfastClive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1898 to Protestant parents and, for most of his adult life, was a Tutor at Oxford and a lecturer of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge. He wrote more than thirty books, and his most popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity. At age 32, through the encouragement of his devout Roman Catholic friend and colleague, J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), and after reading The Everlasting Man by Roman Catholic convert, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis converted to Christianity from atheism and returned to his Anglican roots where he remained until his death in 1963. Although Lewis never converted to Roman Catholicism, inwardly he leaned towards certain of its dogmas so that his colleagues considered him to be an Anglo-Catholic.

It is obvious, by the support given C.S. Lewis today by some conservative Christians, great ignorance exists about his life and beliefs. Therefore, we have included several pertinent quotations, individually cited, gleaned from both Lewis’s own writings, and those of his official biographers and personal friends, in order to enlighten and awaken. For, it is an indisputable fact that to those who seek reconciliation with Rome, C.S. Lewis is a bridge.

“Certainly the path he had taken to ‘mere Christianity’ was very largely the Roman road along which guides such as Chesterton and Tolkien, and Patmore and Dante and Newman had led him.”3 Patmore and Dante were Roman Catholic writers. Newman was an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism and subsequently became a Cardinal.

“After more than two decades in the [RC] Church, I have met or learned of scores of far more illustrious Catholic converts who likewise list Lewis on their spiritual resumes.”4

“When I converted [to Catholicism] in my teens, it was largely due to reading Lewis’ Screwtape Letters…G.K. Chesterton and Lewis sort of guided me into the Catholic Church, even though Lewis wasn’t a Catholic.”5

In 1952, C.S. Lewis published his theological work Mere Christianity, which originally began in 1942 as a three-part BBC radio broadcast. As the title suggests, Lewis focused on the mere or common ground he felt existed in Christianity and tried to restate a theology without controversy. The result is a generic Christianity that suits anyone anywhere who can in any way relate to God. Lewis bent over backwards trying to find common ground with all denominations, omitting any doctrine that may be deemed offensive. For this reason, Tolkien disparagingly labelled his friend “Everyman’s Theologian.” Even Mormons find his writings inoffensive.

“He [Lewis] is widely quoted from tried-and-true defenders of Mormon orthodoxy. It just shows the extraordinary acceptability and the usefulness of C.S. Lewis because, of course, most of what he says is perfectly acceptable to Mormons.” 6

Mere Christianity has long been regarded a classic exposition of the Christian faith, yet oddly enough, not one Bible verse is quoted in the first half of the book and only three partial verses in the latter half with no Bible references in the entire book. How can we present Christianity without its foundation – the Word of God?

Mere Christianity is a compilation of four essays, transcripts that were sent to four clergymen to gauge their reaction with regard to its common ground.

“I tried to guard against this [putting forth his Anglican beliefs] by sending the original script of what is now Book II to four clergymen (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic) and asking for their criticism. The Methodist thought I had not said enough about Faith, and the Roman Catholic thought I had gone rather too far about the comparative unimportance of theories in explanation of the Atonement. Otherwise all five of us were agreed.”7

“You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic. This omission is intentional. There is no mystery about my position …the best service I could do was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.”8

Regarding reunification, Lewis said that he “did at least succeed in presenting an agreed, or common, or central, or mere Christianity” and congratulated himself in having helped to bridge the “chasm” between Protestant denominations and Roman Catholicism.

“If I have not directly helped the cause of reunion, I have perhaps made it clear why we ought to be reunited.”9

“The time is always ripe for reunion. Divisions between Christians are a sin and a scandal and Christians ought at all times to be making contributions toward reunion…the result is that letters of agreement reach me from what are ordinarily regarded as the most different kinds of Christians; for instance, I get letters from Jesuits, monks, nuns, also from Quakers and Welsh Dissenters, and so on.”10

In his quest for unity, Lewis had to muddy the waters of doctrinal distinction. For instance, in chapter 19 of his Letters to Malcolm, Lewis suggests that the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation [i.e., the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ], which takes place in the Mass, might be just as valid as the Protestant view of the Lord’s Supper as a memorial.

“There are three things that spread the Christ life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper …anyone who professes to teach you Christian doctrine will, in fact, tell you to use all three, and that is enough for our present purpose.”11

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object to your senses.”12

Equating Mass [“Blessed Sacrament”] and the Lord’s Supper is not a light matter. In the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church, Article 28 describes transubstantiation accordingly: “Transubstantiation…is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture.” Article 31 describes the sacrifices of the Mass as “blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.” Godly men and women – among whom were notable Anglicans – were burned at the stake for refusing to accept this Roman Catholic Sacrament. Lewis’s casual equation is an affront to the many who gave their lives defending the Truth of God.

Joseph Pearce, the highly acclaimed RC biographer, takes Lewis’s position on the Mass one step further in his book C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church, and concludes that Lewis believed that the sacraments play a part in salvation. “Immediately, therefore, Lewis is excluding the Protestant doctrine of sola fide [faith alone] from the ‘merely Christian’” (Pearce 127). The Bible doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone without works cannot be undervalued in its supremacy. For Lewis to deviate here and espouse the sacraments in the work of salvation is a grave matter.

In 1945, Lewis published The Great Divorce, an allegory dealing with another Roman Catholic doctrine: Purgatory. To be fair, however, he did not claim to accept the full RC doctrine of Purgatory, but rather his own aberration:

“Death should not deprive people of a second chance…Lewis frankly admitted believing in Purgatory. To him it was a place for souls already saved but in need of purifying – purging. Lewis felt that our souls demand Purgatory. Who would want to enter heaven foul and dirty? Lewis thought of the dentist’s chair. ‘I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and I am coming round, a voice will say, ‘Rinse your mouth out with this.’ This will be Purgatory.”13

“Lewis could never accept the Roman Catholic practice of praying to the saints…however, he emphatically believed in praying for the dead. He believed that his prayers could somehow bless them. One must remember that Lewis believed in a temporary purgatory for the blessed dead as a kind of entryway to heaven.”14

“Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, ‘It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy?’ Should we not reply, ‘With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I’d rather be cleaned first.’ ‘It may hurt, you know’ – ‘Even so, sir.’”15
“A further strong and enduring Anglo-Catholic influence on Lewis was his longstanding friendship with Sister Penelope of the Convent of the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin.” 16

“As Lewis approached the end of his life there is little doubt that he was continuing the ascent towards the ‘High Church’ principles of Anglo-Catholicism. There is little doubt that the ascent was caused by his assent to those truly Catholic principles that represented not mere but more Christianity (Pearce 143). Believing that he was dying, his Anglo-Catholic friends arranged for an Anglican clergyman to administer extreme unction, or the last rites, the sacrament of anointing with oil when a patient is in extremis…this can be taken as Lewis’s acceptance of the seventh and final sacrament of the Catholic Church.”17

Walter Hooper, Lewis’s personal friend and literary executor to the Lewis estate, was an Anglican clergyman until his conversion to Catholicism in 1988.18 When asked in 1994 whether Lewis would have become Catholic if he had lived longer, Hooper replied, “I think so.” Hooper added that more and more Catholics are buying his books.19

“Lewis, it seems, has been abandoned by his own church but embraced by Catholics and evangelical Protestants…Since Lewis insisted on the sacraments and Creed as being necessary parts of ‘mere Christianity’, it is clear that Protestants have to reach beyond their own beliefs if they are to embrace fully the beliefs of Lewis.”20

Contrary to the opinion of the uninformed, the Roman Catholic Church and her doctrines remain unchanged. If you did not know that, you need to read her official documents such as The

Council of Trent or The New York Catechism. These and other sources are readily available on the Internet. You will read things like this:

“Whosoever shall affirm that men are justified solely by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ…let him be accursed.”21

[Regarding the “immaculate” or “sinless” conception of Mary]
“The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin through baptism.”22

“Taken up to heaven she [Mary] did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”23

These and many other RC beliefs are the antitheses of the Word of God. Therefore, as Lewis downplayed the Mass and other Catholic doctrines in his quest for unity, he not only failed to warn Catholics of their perilous position, he rather did the cause of Truth much harm.

A final unrelated but yet disturbing fact is that Lewis did not believe in the total inerrancy of the Bible.

“Although Lewis never doubted the historicity of an account because the account was miraculous, he believed that Jonah’s whale [sic], Noah’s ark, and Job’s boils were probably inspired stories rather than factual history.”24

“The Old Testament contains fabulous elements. As to the fabulous element in the Old Testament, I very much doubt if you would be wise to chuck it out. Jonah and the Whale [sic], Noah and his Ark, are fabulous; but the court history of King David is probably as reliable as the court history of Louis XIV.”25

So why is Lewis so revered today by Evangelicals?

Considering Lewis’s evident Anglo-Catholic position and the current trend of tolerance among Evangelicals for Roman Catholicism – especially since the signing of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together [ECT] in 1994 – it is not surprising that many Evangelicals today revere him as a foremost Christian thinker and philosopher. In an article commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lewis’ birth, J.I. Packer called him “our patron saint.” Christianity Today [Neo-Evangelical magazine] also reported that Lewis “has come to be the Aquinas, the Augustine, and the Aesop of contemporary Evangelicalism” (Sept. 7, 1998) and the “20th century’s greatest Christian apologist” (April 23, 2001). Focus on the Family made a similar claim in their November 2001 issue.

In 1993, Christianity Today suggested the reason for Lewis’s popularity among Evangelicals: “Lewis’s concentration on the main doctrines of the church [including the Roman Catholic church] coincided with evangelicals’ concern to avoid ecclesiastical separation.” Nicky Gumbel continues this ploy in his Alpha Course, where he quotes Lewis liberally. Given the theological climate of today, it is sad but not surprising.

What is surprising is that sincere, Bible-believing Christians can claim an affinity with C.S. Lewis, whose doctrine and associations are so evidently compromised. There can be only one explanation: there exists among Christians an alarming ignorance of basic Bible doctrine. Lewis himself admitted his own lack of knowledge in doctrine: “I should have been out of my depth in such waters: more in need of help myself than able to help others.”26 Also, in the preface of The Problem of Pain, Lewis confessed how ill-qualified he was to attempt this theological work: “If any real theologian reads these pages he will very easily see that they are the work of a layman and an amateur…any theologian will see easily enough what, and how little, I have read.”27 I wonder if Lewis would not cringe at his exaltation were he alive today.

Even from the early 1960’s, men like the late Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones warned that Lewis had a defective view of salvation and was an opponent of the substitutionary and penal view of the atonement (Christianity Today, Dec. 20, 1963). Unfortunately, the Lewis-loyalty of some Christians overrides their willingness to admit his defective theology. Meanwhile, a whole generation has been infected, and the damage is great.

“Protestants who tend to equate Christianity with their Protestant version of it will find
in Lewis no ally. Which brings us back to Lewis and Catholicism. It is a curious phenomenon, demanding explanation, that so many people influenced by Lewis…have embraced more than ‘mere Christianity’; they have become Catholics, crediting Lewis with helping them to cross the threshold.”28

In conclusion, since the “mere” message of C.S. Lewis is able to confuse people to the extent that they actually convert to Catholicism, that in itself would suggest an urgent need for born-again Christians to wake up to the tragic reality that the Lewis message is hindering Roman Catholics from coming to Christ alone for salvation [John 14:6Rom. 6:23Eph. 2:8]. Even some fundamentalists are treading the same precarious ground, and the evident shift is nowhere seen more clearly than in the Christian seminaries and bookstores of our nations. Today, the market is full of writers following in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis. If Christians continue to set aside the solid foundation of the Word of God for the shifting sands of the philosophies of men, how will Roman Catholics and other needy people be rescued without the right lifeline?

Every Christian book and author needs to be measured against the yardstick of Scripture, for no matter how popular or convincing they may seem, “if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”29 “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”30

C.H. Spurgeon wisely said, “Those who compromise with Christ’s enemies may be reckoned with them.”31 We cannot accept the peripherals when the fundamentals are in error. May God grant us discernment in these confused times.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth…”32

J. Saunders
Whitefield Christian Collegiate Institute
Toronto, Ontario
June 2008

“Berean Beacon” Ministry Webpage: http://www.bereanbeacon.org

Permission is given by the author to copy this article if it is done in its entirety without any changes.

Permission is also given post this article in its entirety on Internet WebPages.

Works Cited
Brumley, Mark. The Relevance and Challenge of C.S. Lewis. http://www.ignatiusinsight.com, November 29, 2005.
Gormley, Beatrice. C.S. Lewis: Christian and Storyteller. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998.
Hooper, Walter. C.S. Lewis: Readings for Meditation and Reflection. San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 1992.
Janes, Burton. Beyond Aslan: Essays on C.S. Lewis. Gainsville: Bridge-Logos, 2006.
Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1982.
Lewis, C.S. Surprised by Joy. London: Collins, 1955.
Lewis, C.S. The Grand Miracle. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1970.
Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 2000.
Lewis, C.S. The Weight of Glory. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973.
Lindskoog, Kathryn. C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian. 4th Edition. Chicago: Cornerstone Press, 1997.
Pearce, Joseph. C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003.
Purtill, Richard. C.S. Lewis’s Case for Christianity: An Interview with Richard Purtill by Gord Wilson, http://www.ignatiusinsight.com, 2005.

1 M.Brumley, The Relevance and Challenge of C.S. Lewis, (www.ignatiusinsight.com), Nov. 29, 2005.
2 R.A. Benthall, Ave Maria College, Michigan quoted in C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church by Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press, 2003, p.xv.
3 J. Pearce, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), p.41.
4 M. Brumley, The Relevance and Challenge of C.S. Lewis, (www.ignatiusinsight.com), Nov. 29, 2005.
5 R. Purtill, C.S. Lewis’ Case for the Christian Faith, (www.ignatusinsight.com), 2005.
6 D. LeBlanc. Mere Mormonism.(Christianity Today, Feb. 7, 2000).
7 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1982), p. 11.

8 Ibid., pp.6-7.
9 Ibid., p.12.
10 C.S. Lewis, The Grand Miracle, and Other Selected Essays on Theology and Ethics from God in the Dock, (Random House, 1970), p. 35.
11 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1982), pp. 108-09.
12 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (London: HarperCollins, 1977), pp.109.

13 K. Lindskoog, C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian, 4th ed., (Chicago: Cornerstone Press, 1997), p. 105.
14 Ibid., p.135 (based on Lewis’s Letters to Malcolm, London: Collins, p. 15, 107-110).
15 C.S. Lewis, Letters of Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. (New York: Harcourt, 1963), pp.108-9.
16 J. Pearce, C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), p. 132.
17 Ibid., p.147.
18 Ibid., p.167.
19 Ibid., p.167.
20 Ibid., p.168.

21 Council of Trent, Section 6(www.enwikipedia.org/wiki/Council ).
22 Catholic Encyclopedia (www.newadvent.org).
23 Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 969 (www.vatican.va/archive/catechism.htm ).
24 K.Lindskoog, C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian, 4th ed., (Chicago: Cornerstone Press, 1997), p. 199.
25 C.S. Lewis, The Grand Miracle, (New York: Random House, 1970), p. 32.

26 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1982), p.7.
27 C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (San Francisco: HarperCollins,1996), p.xii.
28 M.Brumley, The Relevance and Challenge of C.S. Lewis, (www.ignatiusinsight.com), Nov. 29, 2005.

29 Isaiah 8:20
30 Galatians 1:9
31 C.H. Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook (Chicago: Moody Press), June 12 entry.
32 II Timothy 4:3-4

Link to original: http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles-on-christian-living/2015/6/20/cs-lewis-a-bridge-to-rome

Purgatorial Presuppositions

Triablogue on arguments for the existence of purgatory:

http://triablogue.blogspot.ca/2017/04/purgatorial-presuppositions.html

Sola Scriptura and Appeals to Authority

Triablogue on Catholicism’s self-refuting argument for the Magisterium:

http://triablogue.blogspot.ca/2017/05/by-what-authority.html

Witnessing to Catholics


HT: https://xmassh8trsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/witnessing-to-catholics/

Were The Wycliffites Seditious?

WycliffeYeamesLollards 01Wyclif Giving ‘The Poor Priests’ His Translation of the Bible

Some of the Catholics may tell you, that the followers of Wickliffe were a seditious people; that they threatened to overthrow the civil institutions of the country; that all law and order were set at defiance by them; and that this was the cause of their persecution. This is false in fact—it is historically false.

If the followers of Wickliffe, or Lollards, as they were called, were disturbers of the peace; if their lives were seditious, disorderly, and rebellious, why were they not indicted, under some statute of the realm, made and provided to take cognizance of such crimes? Why were they not even accused of such crimes? Was the meek, mild, and learned John Wickliffe, accused or indicted for disturbing the peace? Was it for disturbing the peace, that his venerable bones were disinterred thirty years after being deposited in the cold grave? Was it for disturbing the peace, and for riotous proceedings, his bones were subsequently burned, and their ashes thrown into the next river? Was it for disturbing the peace, the learned and brave Cobham was hung in iron chains, by the middle.

No such accusation has ever been brought against these great and good men, or against thousands who suffered with them. They were accused only of heresy. Papists were their accusers; Papists were their judges; and Papists were their executioners.

~William Hogan, Popery! As it Was and as it Is, Crusade Against the Albigenses

He Prayed God to Forgive His Enemies

The burning of Sir John Cobham, Lord Oldcastle, a Lollard an Wellcome V0041775
On the death of martyr Lord Cobham, a Wycliffite/Lollard, showing the difference between how the RCC treats its enemies and how Protestants respond to that treatment:

“On the day appointed,” says Bale, “he was brought out of the Tower with his arms bound behind him, having a very cheerful countenance. Then he was laid upon a hurdle as though he had been a most heinous traitor to the crown, and so drawn forth into St. Giles’s field, where they had set up a new gallows. When he arrived at the place of execution, and taken from the hurdle, he fell down devoutly on his knees, and prayed God to forgive his enemies. Then he stood up and beheld the multitude, exhorting them, in the most godly manner, to follow the laws of God, written in the Scriptures, and to beware of such teachers as they see contrary to Christ, in their conversation and living, with many other special councils. Then was he hanged up there, by the middle, in chains of iron, and so consumed alive in the fire, praising the name of the Lord, so long as life lasted. In the end he commended his soul into the hands of God, and so, most Christianly, departed home, his body being resolved to ashes.”

Thus was a nobleman, and a noble Christian, most barbarously put to death for believing that the Bible contained God’s truth; and therein differing from the Roman church, which teaches that the traditions of the fathers, and dreams of monks, are of equal authority.

~William Hogan, Popery! As it Was and as it Is, Crusade Against the Albigenses

The Protestant Church Blesses All

Luther, Melanchthon, Pomeranus and Crucicer Wellcome V0048412

Others may say that Protestants, too, have been intolerant, and guilty of many cruelties, in the propagation of their religion. This is freely admitted: but there is this wide difference between the two religions. The Popish creed inculcates persecution and utter extermination of all who do not believe in its doctrines; while on the contrary, the creed of the latter has never, and does not now, inculcate any other doctrine, than Jesus Christ, and him crucified. In plain English, the Romish church curses all who differ from her; while the Protestant church blesses all, though they may be in error, and sincerely prays for their conversion. The spirit of the latter breathes nothing but love, joy, peace, and good will to mankind; that of the former, malice, hatred, ill will, and persecution.

~William Hogan, Popery! As it Was and as it Is, Popish Bishops and Priests Absolve Allegiance to Protestant Governments

Are Some Catholics Christians?

Shrine to the Virgin Mary

Are Some Roman Catholics Christians?

By Shaun Willcock

One often hears people within evangelical churches say, “Yes, Roman Catholicism is a false, antichristian religion, and most Roman Catholics are unregenerate; but there are some, at least, who are true Christians, and who remain within the institution, either out of ignorance, or from a desire to serve the Lord from within the system, instead of from the outside.”

Those who speak thus are in serious error. That there are some Roman Catholics who are true Christians is an utter impossibility. And professing Christians who make such statements as the one above, are either abysmally ignorant of Roman Catholicism, or they are abysmally ignorant of the Bible itself.

Either the Roman Catholic institution is Christian, or it is not. There are those within evangelical circles who claim that it is. That Romanism is Christian is manifestly absurd, and it is not the purpose of this article to address the matter. Instead, this is addressed to those who, while admitting that Romanism is not Christian, believe that some Romanists are Christians.

If Romanism is not Christian, then it follows, as certainly as day follows night, that no Roman Catholic is a true Christian. It is impossible.

A Roman Catholic believes that Mary has an important part to play in the salvation of sinners; a true Christian knows that she plays no part whatsoever. A Roman Catholic believes that to `receive Christ,’ one must actually eat him in the `mass’; a true Christian knows that Christ is received by faith. A Roman Catholic believes that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was insufficient, and that the `sacrifice of the mass’ is necessary too; a true Christian knows that his Lord’s death on the cross was sufficient, and that no further sacrifice is needed. A Roman Catholic believes that, in baptism, one is regenerated and becomes a child of God; a true Christian knows that regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit alone, and that baptism does not regenerate. A Roman Catholic believes that praying to idols is both right and important; a true Christian knows this is idolatry. And so the list could go on. No Roman Catholic is a true Christian; for he denies the true Gospel by his doctrines and practices.

If a person says, “I’m a Roman Catholic, but I don’t believe those things,” he is not a true Roman Catholic; for these are vital doctrines of Roman Catholicism.

If a person says, “I’m a Roman Catholic; I believe in the teachings of Rome, and I’m a true Christian,” he is a Roman Catholic, but certainly not a Christian. For no Christian believes such vile heresy and blasphemy.

Hinduism is not Christian (and on this, both Hindus and Christians would be agreed). Can a Hindu, when he is enlightened by the Holy Spirit to see that he is a lost sinner, and that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of sinners, so that he repents of his sins, and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for his everlasting salvation–can such a person, I ask, be both a Hindu and a Christian at the same time? Every Christian knows the answer: it is impossible! He who is “in Christ” (2 Cor.5:17), a new creature, having “put on Christ” (Gal.3:27), having been “joined unto the Lord” (1 Cor.6:17), is no longer a Hindu; he is a child of God!

And so it is with the Muslim who is converted to Christ, or the Buddhist, or the Mormon, or the Moonie. There is no such being on earth as a `Muslim Christian,’ or a `Buddhist Christian.’ For, “what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor.6:15).

And just as a `Muslim Christian’ does not exist, and cannot exist, anywhere on earth, so a `Roman Catholic Christian’ does not, and cannot, exist. For the Papal religion is a false, antichristian religion. The difference between Romanism and, for example, Hinduism, is that Romanism employs Christian terminology, such as `Church,’ or `Bible,’ or even the word `Christian.’ But both are pagan; both are unscriptural. Just because Romanism speaks of God, and Christ, and sin, and salvation, and the Church, this does not make it Christian, any more than calling the Mormon religion the `Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ makes it Christian!

One is either a Roman Catholic, or a Christian. One cannot be both.

That a Roman Catholic can be a true Christian, is completely contrary to the Word of God. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (Rev.18:4,5). “Her,” in this portion of God’s Word, is the Great Whore, Babylon the Great–the Roman Catholic system. Note the words, “MY people.” This is addressed to God’s people; the redeemed. When the Lord draws a Roman Catholic unto himself, he calls him out of Romanism. For he who says, “Come unto me” (Matt.11:28), says also, “Come out of her.” He who comes unto Christ, being drawn by God the Father, cannot remain within that vile, antichristian religion of Popery. Billy Graham and other blind leaders of the blind are saying, “Come unto Christ, then go back to Roman Catholicism,” but that is not what the Lord says! COME UNTO CHRIST, COME OUT OF BABYLON–that is the language of Scripture. It is a command, not an option. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn.14:15). Does the one who remains within Roman Catholicism, claiming that the Lord “told me to stay and witness from the inside,” truly love him? No; he reveals that he has never been drawn to Christ; he has never been savingly joined to him. The Lord has commanded, “COME OUT!” He who stays in, reveals the truth about his supposed `conversion.’

The Lord calls no-one to `stay and witness from the inside’! Anyone converted to Christ from a false religion is called out of it (2 Cor.6:14-18; Eph.5:11; Heb.13:13). The Lord would have to deny his own Word if he led someone to stay within a false religion; and that is impossible. Those who claim that he does such a thing, either do not know Roman Catholicism, or they do not know Christ and his Gospel.

And take note, too, of the words of Rev.18:5, where it says that “God hath remembered her iniquities.” To the TRUE child of God he says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb.8:12). Since God remembers the iniquities of those within the Great Whore, it follows that those within her are NOT true Christians. Their sins are remembered!

The command to “come out,” to separate from the temple of idols, is also found in 2 Cor.6:17,18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” The true sons and daughters of God are the separated ones. By this they give evidence that they are the children of God. No true Christian is under any obligation to receive, as a brother, one who professes to be a Christian while remaining within `Babylon.’

The Scripture says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom.8:14). Every believer has received the Holy Spirit. He does not lead the believer deeper into error! For anyone to believe that a true Christian can be a Roman Catholic, they would have to believe that the Holy Spirit failed to lead that person away from gross error! That is simply impossible.

I have said emphatically that no Romanist is a Christian. This, however, is not to deny what does at times happen: a Romanist is converted to Christ (and at that point ceases to be a Romanist); but, being a new “babe,” he may, if not properly instructed, attend the services of the Roman Catholic religion for a while, out of ignorance. For, as a new convert, knowing almost nothing as yet of the Word of God, a “newborn babe,” and knowing the Christian-sounding terminology of Romanism (and often misled by professing evangelicals who speak of Romanism as if it were part of the body of Christ), he may, in confusion, continue to attend for a time.

But the Holy Spirit will not leave him there! It will not be long before his eyes are opened to its errors and blasphemies, and he obeys the Lord’s command and comes out! To deny this, is to deny that the Holy Spirit is at work in sanctification and separation. This is a fact so certain, that, if a person is still attending the Roman Catholic institution long after his supposed `conversion,’ he was quite clearly NEVER converted to Jesus Christ. For the Lord he professes to serve is blasphemed at every mass, is mocked by every prayer addressed to Mary by the people there, is denied by every false doctrine that drops from the priest’s lips. The blasphemies of Romanism are so obvious in every service, that any child of God, being taught by the Holy Spirit, will spend very little time there before he separates from it.

I said that, from the time of his conversion, one who was previously a Papist, ceases to be a Papist. This is true, even if he subsequently attends the services of the Roman Catholic institution for a short while out of ignorance. That person, sitting in the pew beside all those Papists, listening to the priest, is not himself a Papist any more. He is a new babe in Christ, confused and uninstructed. Oh, what a tragedy that so many professing `believers,’ ignorant of the nature of Popery, and blinded by the ecumenical overtures of the Great Whore, cannot assist that new convert in any way! And what a responsibility rests upon TRUE believers to see to it that, when a Papist is converted, he is taught to observe all things, whatsoever Christ has commanded (Matt.28:20)!

Yes, if truly saved, the Holy Spirit will soon lead them out; but how much better if they never had to set foot in a Roman Catholic service again, because some faithful Christian showed them immediately, from the Word of God, that they must separate! I remember one woman, an ex-Romanist herself but, I fear, not savingly joined to Christ, writing to me and saying that we should not tell Roman Catholics who come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that they must leave the institution. Evidently she felt that this would alienate and upset them. Indeed it will upset those not given eyes to see–but those ordained to eternal life will receive it.

The Lord draws every Roman Catholic whom he saves, out of the institution. Any who remain within it, claiming all the while to be saved, are deceivers, and have themselves been deceived. The evil of the Romish religion is too obvious to an enlightened soul. And the glorious testimonies of the many who have been delivered from that bondage, attest to this fact. No true Christian could worship the wafer, or Mary, or idols; confess to a priest; believe that priests can forgive sins; etc. For when the Lord opened his heart to attend the Gospel (Acts 16:14), he “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess.1:9); he was enabled by grace to see that Christ is the only Saviour and Mediator (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim.2:5); he was taught by God’s Spirit that the Lord alone can forgive sins (Matt.6:12; Acts 13:38). If never taught these truths by the Holy Spirit, he was never saved. No saved soul goes on in Roman Catholicism. To do so would be to deny Christ, and his Gospel.

And therefore I say to all professing believers who claim that some Roman Catholics are Christians: you either do not know Roman Catholicism, or you do not know Christ and his Gospel. If you do not know Romanism, that is bad: for then you will fail to proclaim the truth to those lost souls within that evil system. You need to become well-acquainted with this greatest of all false religions, or you will never effectively proclaim Christ to those in bondage to it. If, however, you know not Christ and his Gospel, that is even worse: you yourself are then deceived, even while claiming to be enlightened. If you, with a good knowledge of Romanism, can maintain that there are Romanists who are true Christians, I fear for your own soul; you clearly do not know Christ or his Gospel. I exhort you to “search the scriptures” (Jn.5:39); for the “Gospel” you have embraced is not the Gospel of Christ.

And to those Roman Catholics who claim to be “born again,” “saved,” etc., even though you remain in the Roman Catholic institution, I say this: you have been deceived. You are still dead in trespasses and sins (Eph.2:1). Repent! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! And come out of Babylon!

Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel. He lives in South Africa and runs Bible Based Ministries. For other pamphlets (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, tapes, news articles, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, please send your details.

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He Who Argues With Catholic Priests

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“He who argues with Catholic priests must have had his education with them; he must be of them and from among them. He must know, from experience, that they will stop at no falsehood where the good of the church is concerned; he must know that they will scruple at no forgery when they desire to establish any point of doctrine, fundamental or not fundamental, which is taught by their church; he must be aware that it is a standing rule with Popish priests, in all their controversies with Protestants, to admit nothing and deny every thing, and that, if still driven into difficulty, they will still have recourse to the archives of the church, where they keep piles of decretals, canons, rescripts, bulls, excommunications, interdicts, &c, ready for all such emergencies; some of them dated from three hundred to a thousand years before they were written or even thought of; showing more clearly, perhaps, than anything else, the extreme ignorance of mankind between the third and ninth centuries, when most of these forgeries were palmed upon the world.”

Source: Popery! As it Was and as it Is by William Hogan, Synopsis of Popery As it Was and As it Is

A Roman Miracle! (A Poem)