It is August of 1993, in Chicago. A meeting of the World Parliament of Religions, forerunner of the coming World Church. Do I need tell you which religious group played the leading role in this most Satanic of assemblies? It seemed the whole world was running to Rome in those days.
In 1994, continuing my research into the Roman question, I was introduced to a book that has become quite popular in Protestant leadership circles. It is the story of a leader who converted to the Roman system, Scott Hahn. His book is called Rome Sweet Home.
After I read the book, I was amazed at how solid, even now, some of the arguments sound to me. I had to go immediately to the Word of God, to reassure myself that things hadn’t really changed there. When I was confident that it was Scott, and not the Bible, that was making a change, I spent most of an entire day writing the following letter. I trust it will benefit you, and help you understand once more how clever is the Enemy, how close are his deceptions, and how serious is the matter of personal discipleship, and commitment to seeking out the truth of God’s Word.
An Open Letter to Scott Hahn
In the Name of the Sole Head of the Church, which is His Body, I greet you.
My name is Bob Faulkner. I am a Christian, and a teacher in the Chicago Public School
System. I was originally ordained to the ministry of a Protestant denomination, but am now
supporting myself in the secular world. As a student of the Roman question these past years, a former member of Romanism by choice, and earlier still, a “cradle Catholic,” it was only a matter of time, I guess, before I would read your works.
While fighting my own “reformation” in the 60’s, in Cincinnati, I was thrust from my Protestant denomination, which I had adopted early in my life, after the original Catholic phase.
At question then was the baptism of the Holy Ghost. My pastor in this awkward period of my life was a good friend of your fatherEUR’inEUR’law, who I came to know and respect. I think we met only once, but Dr. Jerry Kirk’s preaching, life, and openness to the things of God, helped mold my own thinking. I am indebted to him.
Wanting to be true only to God and His Word, I too gave up what seemed to be a promising career in the “ministry.” My own denomination said I could not preach any more, and my newly adopted church had problems with some of my theology also.
As I continued walking in my new spiritual experience, I felt I was supposed to open to the Roman Catholic system. It is a tale not unlike your own, of a man aching for truth, willing to follow God anywhere, give up anything.
But as I have written in my testimony, the struggle did not end at the threshold of the Roman door. Continued honesty before God continued to bring me into confrontations. Seven years later the journey ended in a total reversal, when I realized I would never fit in to the curious assortment of collected truths called Rome.
Rome wasn’t sweet, or home, to me. I marvel that it is to you. And I have read every word of your book. Rome’s lambEUR’like, ChristianEUR’like, BibleEUR’like side had lured me in. Ah freedom! Ah, I’m home!
But when the doors shut behind me it slowly occurred to me what I had done. In accepting certain teachings and certain personages within Rome’s system, I closed my eyes to the greater truth: that it is an amalgamation of, not only Christ ‘s Words, but also the words of Thomas Aquinas, the words of the fathers, the words of the Popes, the words of the councils…This system is what the Bible refers to as “Babylon.” It is pure confusion.
Something for everyone. That’s what I was told, and that was the truth. If I couldn’t handle the “Mary” thing, I could fellowship at least with charismatic Catholics. Not into heavy liturgy, go to a guitar mass. Not into statues…and so on.
I trust it will not take you as long as it took me to see that Rome houses an infinite variety of irreconcilable differences. That Rome shows only that part of its makeEUR’up which is digestible at the moment.
Allow me to suggest some Scriptural principles you may have forgotten:
1) Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked…”
When we follow any directive outside what God has already revealed to His apostles, we are on personal ground, always dangerous. Human logic will not avail here, only God’s logic. I give as an example your new feelings about Mary.
I have shown in my book Scarlet Threads the progress through the centuries of the Marian dogmas. This progress you seem to have gone through in just a few years. Every step seems logical to you. It all makes “sense,” as you said several times in your book. But in fact, these dogmas deny the written Word of God, and are therefore only close to the truth, therefore a damnable lie.
Let’s keep it simple, so all can understand: Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned.
Following God’s logic, not our own, we come up with these facts:
everyone has sinned against God (not merely had the sin nature)
God Himself has not sinned. That includes God the Son, Jesus
Mary is not God, in any sense. She is part of “everyone.”
Mary has sinned.
If indeed Mary was a sinner, and needed to be filled with God’s Spirit on Pentecost, and needed a Saviour, as she confessed, all the inflated teachings of her glorification must be false.
Who can come against this Word? Thomas? a church “father”? My personal experience?
Yours? (the experience thing sounds very Protestant to me!)
The argument, also from Scripture, regarding her other sons and daughters, is further proof that Roman teachings are false. Only a dishonest translation of Scripture would use the word “cousin.” Jesus’ own attitude and near silence regarding her is further proof.
But I was saying, with Jeremiah, that our heart deceives us. Our heart, that is, what we want out of life, added to human logic given by men we trust, is almost overwhelming in its appeal.
But what saith God? Are the apostles to be the foundation stones or not? What indeed, Scott Hahn, is to be the foundation of all truth? Why does Scripture declare that the church is that foundation? Paul, in Ephesians, tells us that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus the chief cornerstone.
So what Jesus says and is, what the apostles and prophets have handed down to us, that is the foundation of truth! The deposit of faith was given to chosen witnesses. It was handed down first orally, then in written form. The deposit is for all to see and hear who have eyes and ears. No secret Gnostic like hidden wisdom for the elite! The Book thus formed is the most documented, verifiable Book of all time.
Away then with the smokescreen arguments against sola scriptura! Show me one bona fide Catholic scholar who denies the truth of the written Word of God. I ask you, if that Book be true, does not “logic” demand that anything opposed to it is false? If that Book be silent on an issue, is there need of any mortal to speak?
I ask further, Can the church flourish with only that Book as its guide? Certainly there are Protestant churches that have added their creeds, decrees, catechisms, and constitutions. Shame on them! God has given us what we need! He knows how to speak. He has spoken! All who speak further are, I believe, damned liars, for, cannot the warning at the end of Revelation be appended to any word from Almighty God?
Talk to me not of Luther or Calvin or even Williams or Wesley, who were kinder and gentler and truer specimens of “Protestant.” Talk to me of Jesus, His apostles, His foundation.
Let me be even untrue to my own feelings and constantly changing opinions. Let me say with faith, “Thy Word is Truth.” And let it be settled.
Another Scriptural foundation that you may have forgotten comes to us from Hebrews 11: 2) they looked for a city whose builder and maker is God.
When I first checked out Rome, I confess I was looking for an earthly city, a “lo here” or “lo there”, a place to go to, a group to identify with, the perfect church. Looking for something physically identifiable will lead you to the city of man.
To find the city of man it is necessary to have human eyes, to see where the large crowds are; human ears to hear the purely human logic; human taste to imbibe a physical Christ; human senses to enjoy the music and odors and incenses of human liturgy.
Of all the cities of man, there has never been one as resplendent as Rome. For over 2000 years she has been a reminder of the other of earth’s cities, whose sister she is, Babylon. One who wants to see the crowds, touch the power, hear common sense, eat flesh, drink blood, must go to Rome, the city of man.
But confuse her not with the city of God. The new Jerusalem. The better, the heavenly country. The homeland sweet indeed which is not for now, but later. The home which we obtain by confessing that here we are pilgrims. The city that has foundations, yea apostolic foundations! whose Builder and Maker is God.
What is the pilgrim church like, anyway? Rich, high and mighty, settled? Oh no! Gather around me a people who love Jesus and His Word only! Give me even one whose heart is as my own. There is the church! There is Christ! And the one who is ahead of me in this walk, there is my elder! What else do I need, I ask you to show me from Scripture.
Place me with those people, few though they be, in a dungeon, in a catacomb, in a cellar, in a field. Give us only Jesus and His Word, our cup is full. Bring us no incense but the prayers of the saints (the ones on earth, thank you). Give us no food but every Word of God. Give us no logic but the logic of the love of God, we will survive and prosper.
Thus has it ever been when God’s people were cast out from the religious establishments
of men, as they shall ever be. Tortured by emperors, Popes, councils, and their hirelings, the
prevailing government, the true Church has still thrived.
The Church is not in her kingdom form yet. Oh we shall rule. I look forward to that day. But no Scripture even hints that we are to rule anything but our own spirit in this present day. The church today is merely the ekklesia, the ones called out. May God remove our blindness and help us see the true nature of His Body throughout the world.
And away with the lie, “Where Peter is, there is the church”! Such blasphemy! Where Christ is, there is the Church! Christ needs none of our organizations, liturgical observances, days, months, rules, apparel. Christ needs only the human heart.
I must say that your book caused me much pain. First I began reliving my own struggle, and I remembered the very logic which you described so well. I hurt also for your wife Kimberly, torn from all she loved and cared for to go to something so far inferior. I hurt because I was caught off guard and realized I needed to study, pray. Your book demanded an answer or a following.
I chose to answer.
As you well said, the Catholic Church is either of God or it is diabolical. Most in these days do not want to go so far as to call it diabolical. Although I cannot judge the hearts of individual Catholics, I can say without hesitation that anything in the Roman system not founded firmly in His revealed Word is demonic, pure and simple.
I guess you know that many many people are coming out of Rome. Not all of them are forsaking the Lord and His Word, Scott. Surely this has pricked your conscience, hasn’t it? How can people like my friend Richard Bennett in Portland, Oregon, leave the Church after 22 years in the priesthood? Have you taken an exit poll, Scott, and had the courage to ask them why they are leaving? They don’t seem to think Rome is a sweet home, either.