How to view Roman Catholic believers

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
So in summary, we should talk with them as we would any person and maybe start with the things we agree on (Trinity, sinless life, death, and resurrection of Christ, inerrancy of scripture) and then move to scriptures about justification that make it impossible to remain a Roman Catholic?

I am trying to plan my next conversation with a RC family member and want to have a plan.
Stay on the Gospel itself, and explain to them just how we can know for sure that we are saved and right now have eternal life in Christ, as no sincere Catholic can say that this is their experience.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
As I always say on this: the Roman Catholic Church is not Christian but there exists some within the Roman Catholic Church who are saved *in spite* of their tradition’s teachings. Those who truly and devoutly follow Rome’s teachings I cannot say have a valid profession of faith regardless of their baptism.
The baptism Rome can give to someone is not following the true Gospel.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I think you have to take each person on an individual basis. However many true believers there are in the RC church they did not become Christians by following the teachings of their church.

Whilst conservative RCs may still hold the traditional beliefs about Mary, purgatory, papal infallibility, the mass etc most do not really believe it but people are just too scared to let go of what they perceive to be the flimsiest of lifelines "just in case"

In terms of books, none better than the book of Hebrews.
The persons who are saved in the Church of Rome are saved despite their bad theology, as their Church teaches and holds to a false Gospel.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
This is something I've never thought of. Having recognized Roman Catholicism's invalidity, were Luther and Calvin ever re-baptized?
That is why most of our Ex Catholics were rebaptized, as they themselves never saw the baptism as being valid, as it came to them from Rome.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
They clearly abandoned the gospel, yet Paul speaks to them as though they are baptized Christians.
They held to the real gospel message, and were in danger though of trying to go back under Law keeping as a requirement to being really now saved.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
They held to the real gospel message, and were in danger though of trying to go back under Law keeping as a requirement to being really now saved.

Paul says things like "you have fallen from grace" and "if an angel or anyone preaches any other gospel." This is language of those who didn't hold the gospel, yet that didn't negate their baptism-giving authority.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
A member of my church is a woman in her early 60s who left the RCC a couple decades ago for Protestantism. About 18 months ago, this woman invited her sister, who is a fairly committed but "ignorant" Catholic, to come to our church. She showed up with her husband - a lapsed Catholic. A few days after their visit, the sister was at home and she fell down some stairs, breaking her leg to the point that she had to have fairly significant surgery. I visited her in the hospital a couple times and then at their home - bringing them some excellent chili on one occasion. That I met with them non-judgmentally, and treated them with love and concern, was so touching to him that he's had both he and his wife (the sister of my church member) in our church every Sunday since then. In the past 7-8 months they've come A LONG way and a few weeks ago I overheard her telling another woman that she "thinks" she's becoming a Presbyterian. That was pretty cool. They're both asking lots of questions, especially in light of our current Reformation series.

It is my policy to "view" RCC adherents in accordance with their level of commitment and knowledge. I've met some who are really knowledgable about what the RCC teaches, they repudiate the Solas, etc. These really are the minority, but with these I view them as definitely unsaved, and I treat them like cultists.

Then there are those who may be committed to attending, they self-identify as Catholics, but they really don't understand what Rome teaches, and frankly, they don't really even understand that there's a difference between what Rome and Protestants teach concerning the Gospel, etc. These I view much more charitably, as "misguided brethren" - not saying that I believe they ARE saved, I'm saying I treat them like people to be taught and corrected and assume the best until they prove recalcitrant. Still, I don't consider them as having been baptized, because again, the sacraments are pointers to the Word, and the RCC doesn't have the Gospel.

A third group of Catholics are nominal only - maybe they were raised in it, but now their only affiliation is when they have a kid and need him baptized, or something like that. These I view and treat as worldlings to be evangelized.

By treating the sister of my member, along with her husband, like those in the 2nd category, I won a hearing and by God's grace they appear to be moving in the right direction.

Just my two cents...
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
A member of my church is a woman in her early 60s who left the RCC a couple decades ago for Protestantism. About 18 months ago, this woman invited her sister, who is a fairly committed but "ignorant" Catholic, to come to our church. She showed up with her husband - a lapsed Catholic. A few days after their visit, the sister was at home and she fell down some stairs, breaking her leg to the point that she had to have fairly significant surgery. I visited her in the hospital a couple times and then at their home - bringing them some excellent chili on one occasion. That I met with them non-judgmentally, and treated them with love and concern, was so touching to him that he's had both he and his wife (the sister of my church member) in our church every Sunday since then. In the past 7-8 months they've come A LONG way and a few weeks ago I overheard her telling another woman that she "thinks" she's becoming a Presbyterian. That was pretty cool. They're both asking lots of questions, especially in light of our current Reformation series.

It is my policy to "view" RCC adherents in accordance with their level of commitment and knowledge. I've met some who are really knowledgable about what the RCC teaches, they repudiate the Solas, etc. These really are the minority, but with these I view them as definitely unsaved, and I treat them like cultists.

Then there are those who may be committed to attending, they self-identify as Catholics, but they really don't understand what Rome teaches, and frankly, they don't really even understand that there's a difference between what Rome and Protestants teach concerning the Gospel, etc. These I view much more charitably, as "misguided brethren" - not saying that I believe they ARE saved, I'm saying I treat them like people to be taught and corrected and assume the best until they prove recalcitrant. Still, I don't consider them as having been baptized, because again, the sacraments are pointers to the Word, and the RCC doesn't have the Gospel.

A third group of Catholics are nominal only - maybe they were raised in it, but now their only affiliation is when they have a kid and need him baptized, or something like that. These I view and treat as worldlings to be evangelized.

By treating the sister of my member, along with her husband, like those in the 2nd category, I won a hearing and by God's grace they appear to be moving in the right direction.

Just my two cents...

Great story, Ben! Give pertinent updates.....
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't know of any Protestant church who re-baptizes Roman Catholic persons, but we would re-baptize a person who came out of Mormonism or Jehovahism. For that reason, we would say the baptism of the Roman Catholic church is valid. The Pentecostal folks have bad theology also but I wouldn't condemn them all to hell. What we do see are denominations who hold to bad theology, but within those denominations some of God's children can be found. Even within reformed churches there can be found faulty theology, but that doesn't condemn these people to hell. God is very merciful and patient. Thankfully, our salvation is dependent upon Christ alone and not the extent of our wisdom upon matters of God.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
For what reason?
Sometimes I don't express myself well....I'll try again and give a quote from the OPC website which explains this better than I do.

We re-baptize people who come out of Mormonism/Jehovahism but we do not re-baptize people who come out of Catholicism. Why do we re-baptize those who come out of Mormonism/Jehovahism? Because they are heretics and do not believe in the divine nature of Christ. Catholics do believe Christ is divine.

"It is generally the practice of the OPC to accept Roman Catholic baptism as fulfilling the requirement for baptism. The reasoning behind this practice is that the sanctity of the ordinance does not depend on the character of the person performing the baptism. The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it this way: "The grace exhibited which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit and the word of institution" (27:3). Also see Matthew 10:8, in which Jesus gave authority to the 12 disciples to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, etc. Judas was one of them and doubtless performed these wonders. Yet he was an apostate. (See John 12:12 and Acts 1:25.) These miraculous works in Jesus' name were not negated by Judas' defection." ~OPC website.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't know of any Protestant church who re-baptizes Roman Catholic persons, but we would re-baptize a person who came out of Mormonism or Jehovahism. For that reason, we would say the baptism of the Roman Catholic church is valid. The Pentecostal folks have bad theology also but I wouldn't condemn them all to hell. What we do see are denominations who hold to bad theology, but within those denominations some of God's children can be found. Even within reformed churches there can be found faulty theology, but that doesn't condemn these people to hell. God is very merciful and patient. Thankfully, our salvation is dependent upon Christ alone and not the extent of our wisdom upon matters of God.
We have rebaptized many former Catholics in our Baptist Church, as that is a requirement for not salvation, but to been accepted in as a church member.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Sometimes I don't express myself well....I'll try again and give a quote from the OPC website which explains this better than I do.

We re-baptize people who come out of Mormonism/Jehovahism but we do not re-baptize people who come out of Catholicism. Why do we re-baptize those who come out of Mormonism/Jehovahism? Because they are heretics and do not believe in the divine nature of Christ. Catholics do believe Christ is divine.

"It is generally the practice of the OPC to accept Roman Catholic baptism as fulfilling the requirement for baptism. The reasoning behind this practice is that the sanctity of the ordinance does not depend on the character of the person performing the baptism. The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it this way: "The grace exhibited which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit and the word of institution" (27:3). Also see Matthew 10:8, in which Jesus gave authority to the 12 disciples to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, etc. Judas was one of them and doubtless performed these wonders. Yet he was an apostate. (See John 12:12 and Acts 1:25.) These miraculous works in Jesus' name were not negated by Judas' defection." ~OPC website.
And yet the Gospel that the Church of Rome teaches its members is just as heretical as the one JW/Mormons get taught, as none really are saved by that Gospel..
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
If the mere invoking of the Trinitarian formula is sufficient, then LDS baptisms are valid. It isn't sufficient to balk and say "well the RCC is Trinitarian" ... because Baptism is not a sign and seal of the Doctrine of the Trinity. It is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace - pointing to The Gospel. If the Gospel content is absent, then whatever words are uttered before the act are moot. Further, while the Doctrine of the Trinity is essential, let's not forget that the doctrine that Holy Scripture calls a matter of "first importance" - the only doctrine given this designation by Scripture - is the Gospel. Sure the Gospel assumes the Trinity, but that doesn't negate the fact that in terms of confession, the Gospel is the absolutely sine qua non of Christianity. No Gospel, no Church, whatever else they may believe. It really is that simple. Resist allowing the Trinitarian Formula to become, functionally, a mere incantation.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
If the mere invoking of the Trinitarian formula is sufficient, then LDS baptisms are valid. It isn't sufficient to balk and say "well the RCC is Trinitarian" ... because Baptism is not a sign and seal of the Doctrine of the Trinity. It is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace - pointing to The Gospel. If the Gospel content is absent, then whatever words are uttered before the act are moot. Further, while the Doctrine of the Trinity is essential, let's not forget that the doctrine that Holy Scripture calls a matter of "first importance" - the only doctrine given this designation by Scripture - is the Gospel. Sure the Gospel assumes the Trinity, but that doesn't negate the fact that in terms of confession, the Gospel is the absolutely sine qua non of Christianity. No Gospel, no Church, whatever else they may believe. It really is that simple. Resist allowing the Trinitarian Formula to become, functionally, a mere incantation.

Surly this is a tad more "complicated" that what you expressed, in that we the Reformed Presbyterian churches grew out of the RC church unlike the cults of the JW's or LDS. :)
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
Surly this is a tad more "complicated" that what you expressed, in that we the Reformed Presbyterian churches grew out of the RC church unlike the cults of the JW's or LDS. :)

It's not really more complex: whether one begins in apostasy or finds their way there, the result is the same. The RCC is no better off than the other cults. In fact, their judgment is likely more severe.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
If the mere invoking of the Trinitarian formula is sufficient, then LDS baptisms are valid.

While the thesis doesn't stand or fall with this, the content of the Trinitarian claim is different, since their Jesus is a created dude who was born from a sex god.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
It's not really more complex: whether one begins in apostasy or finds their way there, the result is the same. The RCC is no better off than the other cults. In fact, their judgment is likely more severe.

I am sympathetic though I wish to not be known as a schismatic which is what happens if one insists on rebaptizing RC's.
 

Romans5eight

Puritan Board Freshman
I think we should hold out hope that there are Christ's sheep among flocks ran by wolves. In the time of the Refomation this was more true than today considering we have every resource at our fingertips. I don't believe adult literate Roman Catholics who have access to the scriptures and every historical resource have much of an excuse.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I think we should hold out hope that there are Christ's sheep among flocks ran by wolves. In the time of the Refomation this was more true than today considering we have every resource at our fingertips. I don't believe adult literate Roman Catholics who have access to the scriptures and every historical resource have much of an excuse.

What I have been hearing is that in many RC churches there is protestant preaching going on. I have heard it myself in the past, and I tend to call this "Folk Catholicism". The Lord works in mysterious ways which I have witnessed time and time again.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
If the mere invoking of the Trinitarian formula is sufficient, then LDS baptisms are valid. It isn't sufficient to balk and say "well the RCC is Trinitarian" ... because Baptism is not a sign and seal of the Doctrine of the Trinity. It is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace - pointing to The Gospel. If the Gospel content is absent, then whatever words are uttered before the act are moot. Further, while the Doctrine of the Trinity is essential, let's not forget that the doctrine that Holy Scripture calls a matter of "first importance" - the only doctrine given this designation by Scripture - is the Gospel. Sure the Gospel assumes the Trinity, but that doesn't negate the fact that in terms of confession, the Gospel is the absolutely sine qua non of Christianity. No Gospel, no Church, whatever else they may believe. It really is that simple. Resist allowing the Trinitarian Formula to become, functionally, a mere incantation.
You articulated my understanding on this issue better than I ever could.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I think we should hold out hope that there are Christ's sheep among flocks ran by wolves. In the time of the Refomation this was more true than today considering we have every resource at our fingertips. I don't believe adult literate Roman Catholics who have access to the scriptures and every historical resource have much of an excuse.
I do not think that any would see that no Catholics can get saved, but that when they are, its salvation the same way as any of us were, and not the way Rome teaches.
 
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