The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present    www.baptistpillar.com

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15


The Baptist and the Catholic

Norman H. Wells

From The Church That Jesus Loved, 1973 (Chapter 7)

Recently, I watched a half hour program on the tele­vision that had been produced to give its viewers a better understanding of the Roman Catholic Church. It is my desire to give a better understanding of the Baptist's position concerning the Roman Catholic Church.


There are some things that Baptists and Catholics of conviction have in definite agreement:


1. Baptists and Catholics believe that an individual's religion is the most important thing in his life and that it permeates every facet of his being.


2. Baptists and Catholics believe that an individual's religion determines his immortal destiny, that is, where he will spend an eternity.


3. Baptists and Catholics believe that Christ esta­blished one church and gave one way of salvation.


4. Baptists and Catholics believe that the church was commissioned to go into all the world carrying the gospel to every creature.


With these things in mind let us consider another obvious fact. Baptists and Catholics stand at opposite ends of so-called Christianity. They are so far apart there can be no compromise. ONE IS RIGHT AND THE OTHER IS WRONG. ONE IS TRUTH AND THE OTHER IS ERROR.


It is just as simple as that! There are only three alternatives


  1. IF BAPTISTS HAVE THE TRUTH THEN CATHOLICISM IS GROSS ERROR.


  1. IF CATHOLICS HAVE THE TRUTH THEN THE BAPTISTS ARE IN GROSS ERROR.


  1. There is, by the world's standard, one other alternative. The world's reason says that BOTH BAPTISTS AND CATHOLICS COULD BE WRONG. The absolute certainty is THAT BOTH OF THEM CANNOT BE RIGHT!


Baptists are absolutely certain that they are right and that they have the truth. Catholics are certain they have the truth. BOTH CAN'T be right.


1. Baptists and Catholics disagree as to the final authority in religion. Baptists accept the Bible and the Bible only. Catholics accept the Bible plus tradition and their church as final authority.


2. Baptists believe that their church is the true church. The Catholics believe their church is the true church.


3. Baptists and Catholics disagree about the problem of sin and man's need of salvation.


4. BAPTISTS AND CATHOLICS DISAGREE ON THE WAY OF SALVATION.


5. Baptists and Catholics disagree about what constitutes a church, church government, officers, the way of worship, etc.


6. Baptists and Catholics disagree about Christian liberty and the relation of the church and the state.


7. Baptists stand vigorously opposed to confirmation, auricular confession, infant baptism, extreme unction, the celibacy of the clergy, the immaculate conception of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the assumption into heaven of Mary, the infallibility of the Pope, the observance of special days and seasons, indulgences, the use and worship of images, the invocation of saints and angels, etc.


In order to show the Baptist position concerning the Catholic, we are going to disregard all the differences except one. Actually all the rest are relatively unimportant in comparison with this one.


BAPTISTS AND CATHOLICS DISAGREE ON THE WAY OF SALVATION.


"What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) The answer to this question is of absolute, supreme importance. About this there must be no mistake. It means the difference between condemnation and salvation, heaven and hell, lost and saved, right and wrong, true and false, etc.


It is not our purpose here to enter into a discussion of the two ways of salvation that are presented. The Baptists present one way and the Catholics another. BOTH CANNOT BE RIGHT!


Catholics and Baptists both agree that God gave one way of salvation. Both claim to have that way. Both cannot be right!


Does it make any difference?


If what Baptists believe will save a soul then that which Catholics believe will not save a soul. If what Catholics believe will save a soul then what Baptists believe will not save a soul. THIS IS THE GREATEST POSSIBLE DIFFERENCE THAT COULD EXIST.


What then, is the Baptist position concerning the Catholic?


1. The Baptist believes that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are false. We accept the fact that the Roman Catholic Church believes that the teachings of the Baptist Church are false.


2. Baptists believe that immortal souls of men hang in the balance. It is our desire to carry the truth of the Gospel to all men, including Roman Catholics. We accept the fact that the Catholic Church desires all men to accept their teachings.


3. The Baptists seek to make use of all legitimate means to propagate their faith and accept the fact that Catholics do the same.


4. The Baptist looks at the Catholic with love and compassion and a desire to bring him to the truth.


5. We believe all the Bible warnings against false prophets, false teachers, damnable doctrines, traditions of men, etc. apply to Catholicism and yet accept the fact that the Catholic applied the same Scriptures to the Baptist.


6. Baptists feel that it is a God-given duty to expose error and those things contrary to the faith and we accept the fact that Catholicism feels the same responsibility.


7. BAPTISTS THANK GOD FOR THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION THAT EXISTS IN THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We are thankful that two opposites such as Baptists and Catholics can both enjoy the freedom to pursue the worship of God as they think is right.


(1) Baptists believe that each denomination should have the right to establish and support their own schools. Baptists believe that the strength of Catholicism rests in its schools. We could wish that Baptists were as well advanced in this field. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BAPTISTS EVER EXPECT CATHOLICS TO HAVE TO GIVE OF THEIR MONEY OR THEIR TAXES IN ANY WAY TO SUPPORT BAPTIST SCHOOLS, CHURCHES OR INSTITUTIONS OF ANY KIND. BAPTISTS STAND UNALTERABLY OPPOSED TO ANY OF THEIR MONEY OR TAXES IN ANY WAY GOING TO SUPPORT CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OR INSTITUTIONS OF ANY KIND.


2) It would be a violation of religious freedom to compel the Catholic, in any way, to support the Baptist or to compel the Baptist to support the Catholic. It would be forcing the Baptist or the Catholic to financially support that which he considers a fatal heresy and opposed to God.


In these United States both Baptist and Catholic (and all other religions) have prospered in freedom. This is a freedom for all men to proclaim religious truth as they see is and to expose error as they see it. It is a freedom that finds the government and the law of the land refusing to favor one religion over another. It is a freedom that has no law that compels anyone to support any religion.


UNDER GOD, LET US KEEP IT THAT WAY!