While recent scandals and abuse within the Catholic Church have caused record numbers of Catholics to leave the Church, many feel there are even deeper issues within Catholicism
PITTSBURGH, PA, April 18, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — A recent article found on the USNews.com website details a Gallup survey that shows over one-third of Catholics are questioning their commitment to the church as the result of the ongoing abuse scandals. Ongoing scandals however are not the only reason Christians consider leaving the Catholic Church. A compelling and powerful testimony by Sister Olga can be found on Dan Corner’s Evangelical Outreach website at https://evangelicaloutreach.org. The testimony, given by Sister Olga, reads in part:
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus. I’m here to give my testimony of how I came to leave the Catholic Church. I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana which is a very Catholic city. Both sides of my family were Catholic. When I was 6, for a year, we lived with my grandparents who were very devout Roman Catholics. My grandfather had a special prayer bench in his bedroom where he knelt to say the rosary. They had a big poster of the pope hanging over the TV set in the family room. We went to mass regularly.
I performed all the sacraments: did the first communion, went to catechism, made my confirmation at age 13, and even performed a novena to Saint Martha when I was 9. A novena is a special intention prayer where you get your request granted after praying for 9 consecutive Tuesdays. For 9 Tuesdays, I went to the Shrine of Saint Jude, and there, I knelt in front of a statue of Mary or one of the female saints. My special request was that my dead great grandmother receive early dismissal from purgatory in order to get to heaven sooner.
I loved the seemingly mystical aspects of Roman Catholicism, and even as a child, I sensed the sort of magic of Catholicism because, at the gift shop in the church where I made the novena, I asked if they sold Tarot cards which are used for fortune telling. I was very drawn to the mysticism of Catholicism — the crystal rosaries and glass prayer beads, the candles, the pretty prayer cards of saints, the holy water, the bells, the incense, the stained glass windows, and all the other trappings. I used to believe that the water when blessed by the priest really had some kind of special power. When I was a child, one of my favorite parts of the mass was when the priest would ring the little bell, and then walk down the aisle, followed by 2 alter boys, and swing an incense burner on a chain while the smoke rose up, after which he sprinkled the holy water walking down the aisle.
As a child I prayed to the dead saints, Mary and also to my dead great grandmother. In New Orleans, we would host the rosary at my grandmother’s house during hurricane season. Our Lady of Prompt Succor was prayed to help ward off hurricanes. When I lost an item, my mother told me to pray to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. Later on in life, when I was starting to seek God and had not yet come out of Catholicism, I was going through a rough time, and a Catholic friend sent me a prayer card of St. Jude, the patron saint of impossible cases. I prayed to St. Jude to help me with my handicapped child. I should have asked God instead.
When I was in my early 40’s, I started to seriously seek God after decades of indifference. Since I grew up Catholic, I returned to the Catholic Church where I was still drawn to the buildings, the stained glass windows and statues which I had always found intriguing. I remember meeting with the priest before joining the church, and I told him I was interested in reading the Bible. He did not seem enthusiastic about me reading scripture on my own, and he warned me to be careful about what I read, that I do not want to read the wrong thing. The priest telling me I should avoid reading on my own did not sit well with me, but made me suspicious. I was also coming under conviction by the Holy Spirit that the focus of my faith should be Jesus and NOT Mary since Jesus is Lord.
I was searching for a more real faith and relationship with God, something that could be lived out every day, and not just on Sundays or holidays. I had heard or read about graven images and idolatry, and I thought about those scriptural truths as I contemplated the statues, candles and images of saints. At this particular time of my spiritual journey, I was starting to see the serious error in the plan of salvation embraced and taught by Catholicism. I started reading the Bible for myself, which declares a saving faith to be exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ which submits to him and which does the will of God (Acts 20:21; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 5:24a; Luke 8:21; 11:28; Mt. 7:21; etc.). Such a saving faith excludes faith in Mary, the sacraments and being a Catholic.
I had heard of the Fatima Visions, which reinforced the primacy of Mary and the rosary in the Catholic plan of salvation. According to Catholic doctrine concerning these visions, Mary said, “I (Mary) will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God” (p.26 of the booklet, Lucia Speaks on the Message of Fatima). Furthermore, the personage representing herself as Our Lady of Fatima said, “I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me” (pp.46-47).
One of the first Bible truths I came across was John 14:6, where Jesus stated, “I am THE way, truth and life; no one comes to the father except through me.” THE way means the sole or the only way, and thereby excludes any other way. It is also written that there is only ONE mediator between God and man and that is the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
Nonetheless, the popes endorse the Fatima visions and all their content. The issue is not whether or not a vision or miracle took place, but what is the source of the miracle and vision. There are 2 sources of miracles and supernatural occurrences. If a vision or experience leads you closer to the God of the Bible in obedience, then the miracle is from God. If the message of the vision or experience contradicts scripture and leads you away from what is written in the Word of God, then the source of the vision is the devil. The Devil can duplicate a feeling of peace, which he does during transcendental meditation and when taking the communion wafer. I used to get the warm and fuzzies after the host would melt in my mouth. I realize now that this was a seducing spirit and a devilish sign and wonder; it was a counterfeit peace as scripture mentions:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. (Rev 16:14)
In the book of Exodus, we learn that some of God’s miracles were duplicated by Satan’s power channeled through the Egyptian sorcerers — their wooden staffs became snakes (Ex. 7:10-11); water was changed into blood (Ex. 7:20-22) and frogs came out of the water and covered the land. (Ex. 8:6-7)
Besides the worship of Mary, there is the belief that the Eucharist is the literal body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. The verse that has been severely misunderstood by Catholics is John 6:53, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you”. When John 6:53 was spoken, the Lord’s Supper had not yet occurred. In John’s gospel, the Last Supper isn’t recorded until chapter 13 and without any emphasis at all on communion. If Jn. 6:53 really referred to the communion wafer, then no one could have eternal life without the wafer from the time these words were spoken until the practice of communion actually began. In reality, to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ means to believe (John 6:47) and we see this also in John 6:68-69, where Peter said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God”.
Furthermore, if John 6:53 is to be literally understood, then one is actually eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus during a Catholic mass. According to the doctrine of transubstantiation, the inherent properties of the thing will change; that is, the communion wafer will taste like human flesh and blood. Refer to John 2:7-11 where Jesus changed the water into wine; after that genuine transubstantiation occurred, the inherent properties of the water changed, and it no longer tasted like water but wine. Such biblical truth opposes the Catholic doctrine that the communion wafer is transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
Catholics pray the Hail Holy Queen prayer at the end of the rosary, in which they proclaim Mary to be our life, sweetness and hope as well as our most gracious advocate. Yet, according to the Bible, Jesus is our life (Col. 3:4), our sweetness (Mt. 11:29) and our hope (1 Tim. 1:1). He is also our gracious advocate (1 Jn. 2:1, KJV). Praying to (or through) Mary, the saints, dead relatives, kissing statues or images, and genuflecting in the aisle in front of the alter before entering the pew (a form of worship) are all idolatrous acts. This idolatry (worship, veneration of another) is serious in God’s sight. God on his throne in Revelation 21:7-8 said, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death”.
The “Hail Mary” prayer says, “Pray for us at the hour of our death”. At the hour of our death, we should pray for ourselves and pray to Jesus – not Mary. (Acts 7:59) Furthermore, asking Mary to intercede for us is attributing to her omniscience which is a characteristic of God alone. Attributing God’s characteristics to a creature is idolatry. Mary is unable to hear prayers, and she is not to be exalted over giving birth to Jesus, as Catholicism has done.
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed RATHER are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50).
As a final word to Catholics, do not just trust what the priests, the pope, or your family tell you about eternal life and how to get to God. Read the New Testament for yourself. Jesus told the religious leaders of his day that their traditions of men voided his word. The traditions of the veneration of Mary, rosary, communion wafer, sacraments, etc., are all in contradiction of the Bible. You will be shocked to find that Mary is not the way to Jesus or the Father, that she is not the mediatrix and dispenser of all graces, and that she is not the sinless Queen of Heaven or the mother of God. (In the Bible you will see that Mary has no role in our salvation.)
Jesus is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters. Do not be deceived by the devil’s lies. God will greet you with open arms and will be glad to have you and welcome you into his family IF you come to him humbly on HIS TERMS. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest for your soul”. (Mt. 11:28-29) He never said, “Go to my mother”. If you are sick, you go to the doctor, not his mother. Again, read your Bible, and disregard the teachings and traditions of men. God bless you.
For the entire testimony, visit https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org.
Ex Catholic Dan Corner is available for media interviews, including debates, and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected], by phone at 724-632-3210 or by mail at PO Box 265, Washington, PA, 15301. His websites are https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org (EOMIN.org) and http://www.AlcanceEvangelistico.org (DBN-MIN.net) and http://www.EternalLifeBlog.com.
After graduating from college, Dan Corner got saved by reading the Bible. For over four decades, he has diligently served the Lord Jesus. Dan Corner’s pastoral, apologetic, counter cult and street evangelism experiences have equipped him to contend for the faith and win souls to Jesus from many backgrounds.
He is an ordained minister and director of Evangelical Outreach who pastored for almost seven years and has authored hundreds of Christian articles, answered thousands of emails and letters and has written several books of vital importance in our day.
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