The Father William Most Collection
Letter to Someone About to Leave the Church - or Who has Left
[Published electronically for use in classes taught by Fr. Most and for private theological study.]
"Dull homilies - no inspiration -- dull Masses -- they mean nothing to me - so I go to the Evangelicals, where they are friendly, and I can see people being converted. I have found Jesus. The Catholic Church did not give Him to me. But I found Him anyway."
Such are the feelings of some today. I underlined feelings, for it is just a matter of feelings. Not a matter of being rational, or having real proofs that the Evangelicals have found the truth.
What if they have miracles every weekend? Do they ever have a tight scientific examination of such things to prove they are real? The Catholic Church at Lourdes, which has been open over a century, where thousands of cures are reported, has checked and approved only a bit over 60 cases. We should demand real proof. Not just feelings.
But feelings are not the bottom line anyway. What proof do these Evangelicals have that they are right? Not a bit. Jesus in Matthew 16 promised the keys of the kingdom to Peter. In John 6 He insisted we must eat His flesh and drink His blood or we will not have eternal life in us. Can an evangelical prove he has authority from Jesus to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus? He could not begin. In John 20 He said: "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them. But cannot someone just ask God to forgive Him? God is very willing to forgive, but God has set His own terms and conditions for forgiveness. To say: I will not pay attention to the conditions you set, I will just ask for it outside them. Can you imagine Him granting it?
All Evangelicals stem in various ways from Martin Luther. Luther wrote, in his Commentary on Psalm 130: "If this article --justification by faith - stands, the church stands. If it falls, the church falls". We have news for him. It never did stand! The poor man never really tried to find out what justification and faith mean.
As to justification: St. Paul said in 1 Cor 13. 12 that in the next life we will see God "face to face." God does not have a face - a soul does not have eyes. It means we will see Him directly, even more directly than I now see you. When I see you I do not take you into my head - I take in an image of you. That works with you, for your are finite or limited, and so is an image. But to come before God - no image will work, He is infinite. So it must be that He joins Himself directly to the human soul without even an image in between. Will He do this if the soul is completely corrupt as Luther taught? In Malachi 3. 2: "He is like a refiner's fire. Who can stand when He appears?" If a soul as corrupt as Luther thought tried to join itself to God, that refiner's fire would burn out the corruption -- and we hope something would be left. Luther thought nothing would be left, we are completely corrupt. He urged us to be corrupt. In his Epistle of August 1, 1521 to his great helper Melanchthon (see it in the American Edition of Luther's Works, vol. 48, p. 282): "Be a sinner and sin boldly. No sin will separate us from the Lamb (Christ) even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day." What a foul person. He thought the Church Christ founded and promised to protect was teaching the wrong way to salvation for most of 15 centuries. Then Christ would be a fake. And to think Christ would send so immoral a man to correct it!
What about faith? Luther jumped to the conclusion that faith just means believing Christ has paid for my sins, or taking Christ as my Savior. But He should have read all of St. Paul. If he did, he would find Paul includes three things in faith: 1) believe what God teaches, 2) be confident in His promises 3) obey. -- But Luther thought that even though faith includes obedience, if he had faith he could disobey 1000 times a day! Can you believe Luther said this? Then look up a large Protestant reference work, the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplement, p. 333. It describes Pauline faith just as we have now done, not the way Luther did. They should have said he was all wrong. They did not have the courage and honesty to say that.
All forms of Protestantism have no rational foundation, they cannot prove any commission from Christ to teach. They cannot even prove which books are part of the Bible. Nor do they have even one scientifically checked miracle. So please do not sell your the inheritance Christ has left you for a mess of pottage - or worse.