Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I am in a quandary. I have read quite a few of your booklets on line about the New Age, specifically Yoga. I have also made a substantial purchase because you are right on as far as these subjects go. I am confused as to why you seem to hate Catholics when what I read is just as we believe for the most part. Many of the things you say about the Catholic Faith is just plain incorrect so I am wondering where you get your information as to our beliefs. You have to know that the majority of those who call themselves Catholic today have no idea of what the Catholic Faith teaches since there has been very poor catechesis for the last 50 years! Just look at the politicians who claim to be Catholic and yet vote 100% for abortion “rights” and “homo marriage” as if there is such a thing. I might add that much of what I read on your site is more Catholic than Protestant so I would do a little more homework before writing the books if you want the real Truth which I think you do!
I am not sure who I am writing to but I would like to continue this conversation. I would like to know why you include Catholics in with occult group when we are fighting all of this occult and New Age just as intensely as you are.
In the Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
LTRP Response: We have prayerfully developed a three-part response to this letter to the editor.
Part one is a letter from Lighthouse Trails editor David Dombrowski.
Part two is a short excerpt from Ray Yungen’s book Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith which may give a little understanding to some of the comments made by this woman when she says that what she believes is much like what Lighthouse Trails believes. Ray explains that there are two “types” of Catholics today: the more traditional and conservative one (which seems to describe the woman who wrote us), and the other is the contemplative, mystical Catholic (i.e., the Thomas Merton Catholic, so to speak), which is becoming more and more of the common Catholic (even the present Pope falls in this latter category).
Part three is, “co-incidentally,” an e-mail we received this week from a former nun who gave us permission to post her e-mail which we saw as fitting into this situation.
We are posting the letter to the editor and the three-part response in hopes that other Catholics reading them will find some answers and that evangelical and Protestant Christians reading will also gain some insight.
PART 1: Catholicism and Salvation
My name is David, and I am the chief editor at Lighthouse Trails Publishing. I would like to explain our position on the Catholic Church. First of all, we do love Catholics, and it is our love for Catholics that compels us to speak the truth.
On a personal note, I was born and raised Catholic. Born in 1952, I witnessed both Vatican 1 and 2 and was devout in my practice of weekly confession and Holy Communion; but l left the Catholic Church in my thirties.
Our position on the Catholic Church is no secret, and my reason for leaving it is explained in my article/booklet My Journey Out of Catholicism; but rather than get into that now, I think it would be best to be brief here and to the point.
Our entire ministry hinges on the truth of the Gospel in that spiritual discernment uses the Gospel as a plumb-line to measure whether our spiritual foundations are straight and true. After all, it is how we view and treat the Cross that determines whether or not we have an assurance of salvation that is biblical and true.
I came out of Catholicism because the official position of the Catholic Church, substantiated by both its tradition and the Baltimore Catechism, is that we are saved by our participation in the sacraments. And of all the sacraments, the Eucharist is the key sacrament for this view of salvation. It is the very focal point of the Mass, and without the Mass, there would be no Roman Catholic Church.
But the problem is that the Bible does differ with the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith. Perhaps that would be OK if it were on some minor points, but where salvation is involved, nothing could be more major. Catholicism teaches that one becomes a Christian when baptized as a baby. But Jesus taught that we must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
Catholicism also teaches that we receive Christ by ingesting flesh and blood under the appearance of bread and wine. But Scripture tells us that when Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53), his own disciples were offended (John 6:61). Why were they offended? Well, for one thing, partaking of blood was absolutely forbidden in the Law, while partaking of human blood would have been an absolute abomination—and His disciples knew this. What they did not know was that Jesus was soon to be crucified for the sins of the world, and it is through that sacrifice that we find peace with God.
Jesus went on to explain to His disciples that partaking of His flesh would profit nothing, and in referring to the words He had spoken, He commented “they are spirit” (i.e., a figure of speech) because this all pertained to His sacrifice at Calvary (John 6:63); see also John 3:14-15).
Catholicism also teaches of the insufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary as is fully illustrated by the need to have a daily Mass to atone for sin. Chapters 9 and 10 of Hebrews speak often of the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. Here are some examples:
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:12)
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others. (Hebrews 9:25)
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
Also see Hebrews 10:10-12 and 10:14.
I cannot overemphasize the seriousness and importance of what these verses from Hebrews are saying. They remind me of a book I once read titled Far From Rome, Near to God which is a compilation of the testimonies of fifty very devout Catholic priests who later left the priesthood and the Catholic Church because they saw that their ministry was not based on the truth of Scripture. Testimony after testimony, the former priests shared of their being convicted by the Book of Hebrews that the Sacrifice of the Mass was not honoring but dishonoring to the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. The sacrifice at Calvary was a one-time sacrifice never to be repeated.
These priests realized that repeating Jesus’ sacrifice at every Mass was denigrating Jesus’ one-time sacrifice to the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats year after year (Hebrews 10:4).
The main point here is that Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect and complete. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He made the salvation of everyone who trusts in Him perfect and secure. When we wholeheartedly place our trust in the finished work of Christ at Calvary, our place in Heaven is forever secured. That is why the apostle John wrote in his epistle, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” but the Catholic Church denies that we can have this assurance that is available to all who will receive it.
I hope you will consider these things that I have shared.
Sincerely, David Dombrowski
PART 2: Two Branches of the Catholic Church
By Ray Yungen
From a theological viewpoint, there now exist two branches (so to speak) of the Catholic Church—the traditional (as defended by someone like Karl Keating) and the progressive or contemplative* element (as exemplified by Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen).1 And while these two branches (or movements) can be seen at times as contradictory to each other, there are many Catholics who straddle both sides of the fence. At least in part, this is because the Eucharist, which is the essence or focal point of traditional Catholicism, also has a mystical element that appeals to the meditating or New Age Catholic. In summary, the traditional Catholic Church emphasizes sin and how to avoid it with the Mass. It places the emphasis on Mary, the sacraments, and purgatory. Although that branch of the Catholic Church is running strong, ever increasingly, it is the contemplative branch that defines Roman Catholicism. This newer “progressive” branch emphasizes mysticism, panentheism, and interspirituality, which will help propel the apostate church into a new-world order. (from Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith, pp. 95-96)
PART 3: Letter From a Former Nun
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I am a former Roman Catholic nun (10 years) and a few years after I left, I got into Self Realization Fellowship and set up a Hindu altar in my house. About a year after that, I was introduced to the Bible and heard the plan of Salvation from some Christians at work, and on Good Friday morning 1977 I was sitting in front of that Hindu altar and thinking about what those Christians had told me and Christ spoke to me there and I gave my heart to Him right then. He will search us out in the most obscure and strange places, and I am so grateful to Him for never giving up on me and for the many opportunities I now have to share with Catholics and at times with those into New Age.
I can see how there is an avalanche of these errors flooding the churches and am so grateful for the discernment the Holy Spirit gives me about all these things because truly if it were not for the grace of the Lord and the prayers of God’s people, I would have been right there with them.
I would appreciate your prayers as I am constantly having opportunities to share with Catholics.
One of the most interesting conversations I had was with a Catholic woman I met in a store and while talking I told her I had been in the convent and had come to trust in Christ’s sacrifice for me personally. Then she said she just realized a few months ago that Jesus died for her personally and we both rejoiced over that. Then she excitedly told me that her Grandson was about to make his First “Holy” Communion. My response was that she must be so very proud of him and she agreed.
Then I asked her if I could share something with her that I found somewhat curious, and she said “yes,” So I asked her if she believed that Jesus was a perfect Jew and never sinned. She, of course, said “yes.” So I said, “Do you think Jesus would ever want to cause anyone to sin?” She said, “No” Then I said, “So at the Last Supper when Jesus said, ‘This is My Blood’ over the wine in the chalice, do you believe it turned into Jesus blood and that He passed it around for all of His Jewish disciples to drink who were sitting there at the Last Supper?” She said “yes”.
Then I said, “So if Jesus had turned the wine into His blood and passed it around to all of His Jewish followers sitting there with Him and Jews being Kosher were forbidden by God’s law to drink blood, then wouldn’t Jesus have caused all of them to sin by giving them blood to drink?”
She was stunned and said, “I never thought about that.”
Thank you for letting me share and for everything your ministry stands for and accomplishes. Pat