Are Catholics 'Antichrist'?

When one group of Christians can point to another group of Christians and call them "Antichrist," a very dangerous line has been crossed.
by Lorraine E. Espenhain | Source: Catholic.net

"...not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..." {Php. 3:9].


Dear Protestant Brother,


What I am about to write to you, I write to you in love. I have determined in my heart that if this letter would not be written in love, it would not be written at all, for if it is not written in love, my Lord has no part in it.


Although I had been raised as a Roman Catholic, at the age of 21, I was invited by a Protestant evangelical co-worker to attend one of her church services. Being a Pentecostal congregation, it was filled with lots of hype and emotion. This appealed to me very much at that particular time in my life so I decided to leave the Roman Catholic Church in order to worship God among the Protestants. One year later, I met a wonderful Protestant evangelical man who eventually became my husband.


When I was 23 years old, my husband and I attended a huge Protestant evangelical religious conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At one point during the conference, a group of evangelical church leaders formed a panel and invited those in attendance to ask them any questions that they had. 


I happened to be studying the Book of Revelation at that time, and it was filled with symbolism and visions that I simply did not understand. Innocently, I raised my hand, was acknowledged by the panel, and proceeded to ask my question. "Who," I asked,
"is the Great Harlot in the Book of Revelation?"


The group of men conferred with one another for a few moments, whispering and nodding their heads in agreement. Eventually, the spokesman for the panel stood up, leaned into the microphone, and gave his answer before hundreds of people in that room: "
Although there are differences in opinion among some regarding this issue, most biblical scholars believe that the Great Harlot mentioned in the Book of Revelation is the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church."


I can still remember the reaction of the large audience that day. The people all seemed to gasp in one accord. After that, the room became so quiet that you could hear a pin drop, as hundreds of people reflected on the grave words just proclaimed.


For many years after that, I was exposed again and again to teachings which declared that Catholics were not in Christ and in fact, belonged to the Antichrist. Catholics needed to be ‘saved.’ They were on their way to Hell.


After many years went by, I found myself thinking often of my memories growing up as a Catholic and attending Catholic school. What started out as mere nostalgia soon developed into a burning desire to return to the Catholic Church. Because I had been so brainwashed by the Protestant evangelical churches where the Catholic Church was concerned, I resisted and refused to go back, and this vicious, inner struggle lasted for many, many years.


One night, I had a dream. I was standing in the middle of a wilderness in complete darkness. I had no idea where I was or what direction to take. A man came to me out of nowhere and said,
"Take the road that leads to the Catholics. You must take the road which leads to the Catholics."


When I shared this dream with certain people, I was told that the dream came from the evil one, not from God. Why would God lead me back into ‘the very darkness from which I had been mercifully saved?’ A few more years went by. Eventually, however, I decided to return, for the burning within me continued to intensify, and I couldn’t stand it any longer. God wanted me to return to the Catholic Church, and I was determined to find out why.


I can still remember the first time I went to Mass after being away from a Catholic church for almost 20 years. I walked into the sanctuary, dipped my fingers into the holy water, made the sign of the cross, genuflected, and sat down in the pew. I was stiff as a board, wondering what my evangelical friends would think if they knew where I was that morning.


As soon as the Mass began, and I heard the old familiar songs and prayers, tears welled up in my eyes, and I found myself desperately trying to keep my emotions under control. I felt like I had come home. I felt a peace and joy that I had not felt in a long, long time. Most shocking of all, however, was the Presence of the Holy Spirit, which I felt all around me, a Presence which I had been taught did not exist in Catholic churches. I was home. I had ‘taken the road that led to the Catholics,’ and that road led me home.

Eventually, my husband joined me at Mass, felt the same Presence, peace, and joy, and decided to become a Catholic as well.


Since returning to the Roman Catholic Church, I have come to learn that much of what I had been taught by the Protestant evangelical church leaders concerning Catholics is erroneous.


My purpose in writing this ‘letter’, dear brother, is not to discuss the doctrinal differences that exist between Catholics and Protestants. Men have been arguing over these doctrinal differences for hundreds of years, and nothing I could write in this brief letter to you will ever put a stop to it. These differences, unfortunately, are something that only Christ Jesus our Lord will be able to resolve in the glorious day of His return.


My purpose in writing is to set the record straight on what I am convinced is the most important issue of all that stands not only between Catholics and Protestants, but between Protestants and God.  And I pray in Jesus’ Name that your heart will be open to this gentle rebuke.


In Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippian churches, he wrote to them as follows: "...not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..." {Php. 3:9].


This passage of Scripture, by the way, comes directly from my Catholic Bible, a Bible which you proclaim is ‘not of God.’


Catholics do not trust in their own righteousness, as we are often accused of doing. We, too, have placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We, too, believe that our righteousness comes from God. We also believe that this righteousness is dependent upon faith, a faith that must manifest itself in obedience to the Word of God if it is to be deemed valid in the sight of God.


Are there hypocrites who sit in Catholic churches, men and women who believe that all God desires is church attendance and nothing more? Unfortunately, we have them,
and so do you.


Are there doctrinal differences which exist between Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians? Yes. But when it comes to the most important doctrines, we are completely unified. We, too, believe that Jesus is the Son of God Who suffered, died, was buried, and rose on the third day. We, too, believe that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and that He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. Like you, we, too, believe that His Kingdom will have no end.


What I say to you, my Protestant brother, I say to you in love. For almost 20 years, I was taught that Catholics belonged to the Antichrist, and I believed it because I was ignorant of both the Scriptures and the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church.


Do you know what you are saying, beloved, when you call your Catholic brother ‘antichrist?’ Do you know what this word means? The word ‘antichrist’ comes from the Greek word anticristos, which means against Christ. Those who are antichrist are opposed to Christ and are against Him.


If you would attend a Mass, you would see that it is completely centered around the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not worship a foreign god. Yet, you say that we oppose Christ. We cling to the same Gospel that you do, trusting in it just as much for our salvation as you do yours. Yet, you say that we are against our Beloved. When you call us antichrist, this is what you proclaim.


As one who is in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am convinced that God the Father accepts all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ and who worship Him in Spirit and in truth. When He looks upon His sons and daughters, He sees Christ, not Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists, or any other denomination. Denominations have their origin in man, my brother, not God’s Spirit, which calls for complete unity in His Church. 


Have you forgotten the words which Christ Jesus our Lord prayed to the Father before He went to the cross to suffer for our sins? "Holy Father," He prayed,
"protect those Whom You have given to me by the power of your Name, the Name you gave Me - so that they may be one as We are one." [Jn 17:11].


Christ cried for unity, my brother, a unity which will never be as long as you insist on proclaiming that we belong to the Antichrist and you belong to Christ.


Who are you to judge Christ’s servants? Who are you to say this one is in Christ, and this one is not? 


Have you forgotten Christ’s warning to those who accused him of being of another Spirit? People were being healed by the power of the Most High. The blind were receiving their sight, the deaf were able to hear, cripples were walking, lepers were being cleansed, and even the dead were being raised. And yet, when the Pharisees saw these things, they accused our Lord of receiving his power from Satan.


The Son of God was accused of being of another spirit, because He did not approach God and faith in the same manner that the Pharisees did. What did Jesus say to them?
"Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." [Lk 12:10].


Be careful, my brother, when you say that a Catholic belongs to the antichrist, for I believe that you are treading upon very dangerous ground. What you say about us, you say about the Spirit Who dwells in us. If we are of another spirit, then you are saying the same of Christ, who dwells in us, whether you want to accept this truth or not. When you proclaim these things, you repeat the folly of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, who accused Him also of belonging to another spirit.


Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Do not call anything unclean which God has made clean." Yet, you refuse to see us as ‘clean.’ 


When you cast judgments upon another group of Christians because they do not believe exactly as you do, it is you yourself who stand in danger of being judged. When you can look at one who has been clothed in the righteousness of Christ, condemn him, and call him ‘unclean’ because he does not worship in the same way as you, it is you who are in danger of being condemned.


Doctrinal differences have existed from the very beginning, and unfortunately, they are here to stay until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. At that time, it is Christ who will straighten out that which is wrong and that which is right. He is the Judge; not man. 


But when one group of Christians can point to another group of Christians and say, "They belong to the Antichrist," a very dangerous line has been crossed.


Long ago, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian churches in which he stated the following: "No one can say,’ Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit." [1 Co 12:3]. If Catholics were antichrist, as you believe them to be, they would not be able to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ, for it is only by His Spirit that men can come to believe. 


Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus was sitting with His disciples. One of His disciples, John, said to Him, "Teacher, we saw a man driving out demons in Your Name, and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."   He was not one of us.   He doesn’t travel in our circles, say the same prayers that we pray, sing the same songs that we sing, or do the same things that we do.  Therefore, he is not one of us.   What was Jesus’ response?   Jesus turned to His servant, who gently needed to be corrected in his attitude and tendency toward exclusion, and uttered the following words:
"Whoever is not against Me is for Me." [Mk 9:40]. 


1.1 billion people in the world who identify themselves as Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that apart from Him there is no salvation. Yet, you have said of them,
"They are not one of us; they are against Christ. They are of another spirit."



I caution you in love, my Protestant brother, to take heed of Christ’s warning to the Pharisees who accused Him also of being of another Spirit, a spirit that was against and opposed to God. His warning to them is meant for all of us, a warning that bears repeating again and again, because the message does not appear to be getting through.


Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When you say that the Spirit in a Catholic is the spirit of Antichrist, are you not in danger of committing this blasphemy?


Take heed, my brother. Be careful of calling ‘unclean’ that which Christ has made clean. Be careful of calling those who are in Christ ‘antichrist’ simply because they do not agree 100% with the things that you believe. 


I implore you, in fear of the Most High God, to hold your tongue, defer all judgment, and place it into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, where it rightfully and truly belongs.


I am of Christ, and He is of God. What you say about me because I am Catholic, you have said about Him and His Spirit, for that Spirit dwells in me...


... and I in Him.

 



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Comments

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Published by: Marian Knight
Date: 2013-06-24 23:47:29
thank you for your gentle wittness to Truth.

Published by: ma daphine
Date: 2013-02-25 10:23:14
God is the final judge

Published by: Kerri Gallion
Date: 2011-11-30 12:19:38
I really am learning a lot reading your articles. We are Protestant who have just started attending Mass. I ask you and all others of the Catholic faith to forgive us for ever judging you. I repent now, before our Father in heaven, and ask him to please forgive us for we did not know what we were doing.

Published by: Kawana
Date: 2011-04-26 01:58:43
Bless you, Bless you, Bless you!

Published by: Sharon Dee
Date: 2011-04-09 02:48:46
Thank you Sister, For sharing your experienced and knowledge. This help a lot to those Catholic who is confused (who is not fully aware of the Scriptures and the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church) and being convinced by other christian group. thank you and gob bless us all

Published by: Antonius
Date: 2011-04-04 06:45:54
Amen!

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