The Way and Pharisees Together?

Let me begin by saying that I love Catholics. I love more Catholics than a lot of people may due to my own life of Catholicism. I do not personally condemn any Catholics; that isn’t in my power. All I can do is assume that all men who die apart from Christ will perish and be judged by God, and that by the RCC’s own published teaching, no one who holds to it truly trusts Christ alone as Savior by faith nor is born-again. I take NO JOY in this at all. It scares me and causes me great pain and tears. Please, DISAGREE with me all you want about my interpretation of the bible and RCC teaching, but DO NOT accuse me of hating people, especially Catholics or accuse me of enjoying or taking satisfaction in calling Catholics ‘idolaters’ and warning them they are hell-bound apart from the redemption offered by Christ, (as was I were it not for grace. )

The most loving thing I can do for anyone, including Catholics, is to confess God’s Law and Gospel to them in the hopes they will repent and believe.

One of the primary reasons I left Facebook was that I was tired of ending up in “Christian” fights which inevitably ended badly. The part that bothered me the most was how often my 100-200 characters of text in defense of a position was often understood incorrectly. Not so much that people misunderstood my words, but too often people seemed to read into my intention. There’s nothing quite like sitting at home happily discussing theology with someone with whom you believe you share mutual respect only to be labeled as hateful or angry or even evil after making a few statements of disagreement. With that, please enjoy this “twitter thread.” Note: I know very little about Eric Metaxas other than he seems diligent in defending religious freedom in the political realm and he is an ardent marketer of his own books. 🙂


Ok, so after seeing this, I decided to comment. I read the link he posted with what I read to be a “clear recommendation and endorsement” of the article. I was disappointed to see ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) promoted. I didn’t disagree with the concept that the pope is “important,” but I do disagree with the concept that we share a common faith with Roman Catholics (by their own published doctrine). I don’t want to go into it all. If you want to learn more, read here.


Now this shocked me. Let’s break down what was posted about me. Mind you, as far as I know, Eric knows nothing about me.

Hearing from super-righteous dudes

I guess he could have meant it, but given the context I believe he was being sarcastic and demeaning. I could be wrong.

calling the Pope an “idolator & a blasphemer” makes tweeting SWEET. Thanks for schooling us.

Again, he may have been genuinely thankful for a theology lesson. This was not my impression. Instead my impression was that this highly influential public Christian was immediately resorting to sarcasm and ad hominem attacks against someone he doesn’t know simply for stating my opinion (which is widely understood among ‘evangelicals) that the Pope is, in fact, the head of a false religion, making him BY DEFINITION an idolater and blasphemer.


Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who found Eric’s response to be disappointing. See Dan Phillips’ response.

The irony at this point to me being that Eric seemed to be quickly judging me, while basically judging me for what he deemed to be an unrighteous judgement on my part.


No more responses from Eric from this point on. But now a helpful “baptist” decides to join in.


This is a nice thought. She was trying to help; I can see that. But in the spirit of discussion and seeking Truth, I decided to remind this person that according to the RCC, you cannot call yourself “saved” in this life.

WOW! One of the scariest truths. God DOES know the thoughts and intents of our hearts. But the implication that His Graciousness trumps his justice is the problem here. God is severely gracious, to the point of crushing His Only Son for the sins of believers everywhere. But the implication here is that somehow I WAS NOT BEING GRACIOUS because I believed differently from the published RCC doctrine.

I particularly liked my response. Not to be prideful, but I knew it was a good response because it went straight to the heart of her “poor” argument. For her to insist that I am gracious would be a double standard if not applied to all other parties as well. As expected, this tweet was not answered…

Then she posts a sad article about ecumenism. As the title of this blog alludes to, I cannot imagine Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul or John joining a club called “Christians and Pharisees together” or “The Way and the Judaizers Together.” The point is that the true gospel that saves is more important than any other secondary issue, even abortion, euthanasia and “gay” marriage.

Now, here’s where I found it interesting. After what I assumed was a mature discussion (in 140 characters or less) where adults were sharing ideas, I see this.
Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

Now, I did not take this as a “random” comment. I took the tweet to mean that Susan was implying that I was angry or wrathful and stirring up strife. At this point, I realized (again) that I was not dealing with someone who

  1. Was committed to searching the scriptures to see what was true about Roman Catholicism.
  2. Was mature enough to discuss actual ideas and thoughts and evaluate them based on their own merit.

Basically, I was on Facebook again. 🙁

Ahhh. The heart of the matter. I have no problem being 100% opposed to the Manhattan Declaration and the entire concept of the ECT. I am NOT ashamed of the GOSPEL for it is the power of God unto salvation [to all men]. Romans 1:16

I ended with this. Once someone begins the Ad Hominem attacks calling you angry because in 140 characters of text they “know,” then the argument is over. I highly doubt this person would believe me that I was not angry…and sadly, I’m afraid she lacks the maturity to have a real biblical argument.

Then hours later, I saw a couple more posts.

I hope you enjoyed the interchange. I am really grateful for Dan stepping in and supporting the biblical viewpoint. I appreciate anyone who wants to discuss Catholic doctrine and the bible. The fact is that if you can see two contradictory statements/viewpoints, you must be able to be honest that they are different. It isn’t “judgmental” to identify differences. It IS judgmental to say that one of the ideas is wrong. This isn’t a bad thing; so don’t let people tell you it is.

For a good article explaining the importance and usefulness of “judging” and refuting the idea that Christians “shouldn’t judge,” click here.

5 Responses to “The Way and Pharisees Together?”

  1. Carl Cunningham says:

    Thanks, both for your thoughts on the interchange and dealing with Catholics in grace and truth. I live in Spain, and being a relative newcomer (6 yrs), I’m only beginning to understand RCC culture. I agree fully that their system as Dan said ‘daily pats 1000s on the head and sends them off to Hell’. However I long to know better how to show grace and love while sharing the Gospel with those I know. (Hoping even to use this papal changeover to form a conversation bridge into the Law and Gospel.) First time I’ve been to your blog, and look forward to listening to your testimony. Cheers!

  2. Michael says:

    Carl – God bless you, brother and thanks for your encouragement. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

  3. Richard says:

    I think what you wrote was very well done. Witnessing to a Catholic is like witnessing to anyone else. If you get into a discussion and debate it most often will end in frustration. Avoid the details, get to the gospel. It is the only hope for anyone. If Christ chooses to save them, He will open their eyes.

  4. Tom Chantry says:

    This is an excellent demonstration of how far evangelicalism has been caught up in the spirit of our age. I call it “Teddy Bear Syndrome.”

    An unbeliever once said to me, meaning to compliment my choice of career, “A lot of people are greatly encouraged by their faith communities.” In other words, he doesn’t think any of it is true, but faith is good for people because it makes them feel better. He may as well have said, “A lot of toddlers are greatly encouraged by their teddy bears.”

    But when you think that way, you can’t do anything more crass than attack the teddy bear. Think about it: who would shake a finger in a toddler’s face and say, “Your teddy bear is not your friend; he’s not even real! Look at him, he’s nothing but a bundle of fluff wrapped up in cloth! Grow up!” That’s rude, and we don’t want to act that way. It’s why most atheists don’t act like Richard Dawkins.

    Sadly, though, many ‘evangelicals’ are adopting the mindset of the world. It just seems wrong somehow to trash someone else’s teddy bear. After all, those faith communities do a lot of good in the world…

  5. Phil says:

    Michael,

    I am shocked at Metaxas’ response. Of course things can be lost via online communication, but it seemed sarcastic to me as well. I think you handled the conversation very well, and stuck to the issue. I agree with you, and think you stayed the course concerning disagreeing with the doctrine of the RCI (Roman Catholic Institution, I don’t hold them as a church, i think you would agree) without hating the people. Many cannot seem to separate the two. We love sinners, and hate idolatry. I think the “spirit” or heart of how you shared was with love and wisdom. I thank God for you and being a man that keeps his hands to the plow by the grace and strength of the Lord!

Leave a Response