“The Catholic Church Teaches A False Gospel And Is Not Christian” … That’s What Some Say

Now that I have your attention with the headline of this article, is the headline "The Catholic Church Teaches A False Gospel And Is Not Christian" TRUE or FALSE?

I'm a Catholic convert from a Pentecostal and Southern Baptist background with some of the Church of Christ sprinkled in. I do not believe the Catholic Church teaches a false Gospel and I do believe that the Catholic Church is a Christian Church. I also believe that faithful Catholics are Christians.

My wife and I have adult daughters and are fortunate that our own parents are still alive. Our parents are Protestant Christians but had ZERO issue with us becoming Catholics. They didn't fear for us falling for a false Gospel and no longer being Christian because we converted to Catholicism.

With the above stated, this article was sparked by a Catholic newsletter that I get via email which you will see more about further down this page from some communication with John Martignoni ( a Catholic Apologist ) and a Brady Tarr ( a Baptist Minister ).

This is an excerpt from the newsletter:

"No Catholic who believes (as anyone who is a true Catholic must) the official and authoritative teachings of the ecumenical councils, the teachings of the Pope, the teachings of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teachings of the magisterium, is a Christian because what they teach is a false Gospel."

"The Catholic Church teaches a false Gospel where justification/the Gospel is not dependent on faith alone, but also on works and sacraments and is therefore a false church."

John Martignoni posed the question... "So, fellow Catholics, what say ye in regard to Minister Brady Tarr's understanding of Catholic teaching?" at the end of his newsletter, so I've decided to use my own article as a response to John's question.

So, fellow Catholics, what say ye in regard to Minister Brady Tarr's understanding of Catholic teaching?

My initial response to John's question is that what Brady Tarr listed about Catholic teaching is what I have found to be typical of those that do not truly understand Catholic teachings or maybe I should say in some cases even want to begin to point out that Catholic teachings are not false but actually true.

It's not uncommon for anti-Catholics who often say they are doing it out of love for Catholics and not really anti-Catholic to cherry pick things to prove their point that Catholic teachings are false and not Biblical.

I'm not going to address all 15 areas that John listed in his newsletter. I'll just pull out a few and give my response.

2) Brady Tarr: "The idea that Christ is called down from heaven, made into bread, and then sacrificed as a victim again as the same sacrifice contradicts the plain position of Scripture that Jesus suffered once for sins." John posed the question "How many Catholics reading this believe this is anywhere close to what the Church teaches?

I think Brady Tarr needs to do a deep dive into the TRUTH of what the Catholic Church teaches. I also believe that he needs to read, re-read, read and re-read John 6 in his Bible. Furthermore, Brady Tarr needs to read how worship was conducted in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries long before the Baptist church began in 1608 founded by John Smyth. And no, the Baptist church doesn't somehow magically jump back to the time of Christ. It started in 1608. PERIOD!

The Eucharist ( Holy Communion ) is the pinnacle of Catholic Mass. It was my understanding of the Eucharist that played a key role in my conversion. I searched for two key things: 1) Was it Biblical? YES! 2) What does the Catholic Church teach is happening vs. what people like Brady Tarr are saying? That is way to long to get into here. But the bottom line is that Brady Tarr is not accurate.

#5 - Brady Tarr: "Mary worship." John posed the question "How many of you guys worship Mary?"

The one about Mary worship gets old. I don't worship Mary, but even as a Protestant, I had great respect and still do for the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I don't personally know any Catholics that worship Mary. Any Catholic who worships Mary is not in line with actual Catholic teachings. The Catholic Church clearly teaches that Mary is NOT divine and that veneration is honor not worship.

Do I honor my on earthly Mother? YES! Is that Biblical that I honor my Mother? YES! Is it Biblical that Christ honor his Mother Mary? YES! Is it Biblical that I should be like Christ? YES! Should I honor Mary and be like Christ? YES!

Just like Mary said in John 2:5 ..."Do whatever he tells you.” That's the role of Mary to point us to Christ who deserves our worship.

6) Brady Tarr: "The act of baptism makes you a new creature and gives you full and complete forgiveness (without faith and repentance)." Yes, that's why so many people just walk into the Church to be baptized, because they don't have faith - they just wanted to get their hair wet.

Hmmm..... Without faith and repentance....
When I went through RCIA ( Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults ), some of us had been validly baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in other Christian faiths and others had not. I remember one individual in particular that came from a Hindu background. Had she been validly baptized before? NO! Did she have faith in Jesus Christ? 100%, sold out, strong faith without a doubt.

There are so many Biblical references to Baptism in the New Testament that when combined with the proper interpretation of the Catholic Church that has been around for 2,000 years vs. my fallible, private interpretation of scripture that changed my mind about how I see water Baptism. Look up every reference you can find about Baptism in the New Testament then read the first few versus before and after the text to help put the verse into context. But then, get yourself out of the way and cross reference what the Catechism and the Catholic Church states about Baptism. Also, go to Catholic.com and do some research. Then, continue to get yourself out of the way and pray about it.

One thing that you will not find is Baptism without faith and repentance gives you full and complete forgiveness. Again, just another misrepresentation.

8) Brady Tarr: "Those who do penance are pardoned for their sin." That's right...Jesus' death on the Cross had nothing to do with it. That's what we believe, isn't it?

Interesting that as a new Catholic of going on 6 months that I have NEVER got that idea from my understanding of Catholic teachings. Let's look at the TRUTH.

Going to Confession...
It is life changing when done with a contrite heart and that's coming from a convert who has done it the protestant way up until 2018.

During confession, I say AN ACT OF CONTRITION to God that goes something like this..."My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy."

Before I leave confession, the prayer of absolution from the Priest goes something like this "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Oh, and "Do Penance," yes, I have had the Priest give me penance to "do" for both confessions that I have had to date and in both cases, it was something simple to put my eyes back on Jesus. The first one was meditating on being at the foot of the Cross of Calvary. Hmmm... Sin separates me from God, reconciliation ( confession ) brings me back to a right relationship with God and the penance I was given to "do" points me to Jesus Christ on the Cross. The Priest never said in either case, once you do your penance, you'll be pardoned from sin.

Finally, my earthly Father once said something along these lines, "If you want to go to a Priest for confession, that's your business. My sins are none of his business. I can just go straight to God. I can just think it and I'm forgiven." I'm not saying that we cannot be forgiven going straight to God and God knows the heart. I also know the TRUE position of the Catholic Church, but what I will say is anyone who doesn't embrace confession does not know what they are missing. There is a reason that it's one of the 7 sacraments.

Remember, I have been on both sides of this. It's not uncommon for a member of a Protestant congregation to visit with his or her Protestant Pastor at the church office. The Pastor may then advise and pray with the member and say something like "Keep praying about this and stay focused on Christ. One way to focus on Christ is to keep your eyes on the Cross of Calvary." Hmmm... the Pastor simply doesn't use the word penance.

In Closing...
Sadly, over and over, I feel like the anti-Catholic stance is often a double standard ( a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups ). Furthermore, like John Martignoni has stated more than once in his newsletter, it comes down to a fallible, individuals private interpretation of scripture.

So on who's authority is the anti-Catholic standing upon? Their answer would likely be something like "The Holy Spirit and the Word of God." But that doesn't work when there are thousands of others saying the same thing about the Holy Spirit and Word of God but coming to a different conclusion.

Some of the other 15 points would either take too long to get into or I just need to stop for now or they are just not worth responding to how ludicrous the position is. For example, 3) Brady Tarr: "Jesus' work was not incomplete after he rose from the dead. It was finished then and it is finished now." Implying, of course, that Catholics teach Jesus' work is incomplete. My Comment: For someone to think that a faithful Catholic doesn't believe that Jesus work on the cross was complete is ludicrous.

Keep reading below the image to see the 15 points from the newsletter...


The information below is copied from John Martignoni, a Catholic Apologist, who runs Bible Christian Society. You can see the full post here: https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/436-open-letter-to-pastor-buddy-gray-and-hunter-street-baptist-church-cont-d - I also recommend that you sign up for John's newsletter  here: https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter

First, he followed basically the same formula in each of his seminars. He would begin by mentioning a particular Catholic topic (e.g., penance, indulgences, Purgatory, the Eucharist, Mary, etc.), then he would cherry pick quotes about this topic from either the Council of Trent, or the Catechism, or both - with little comments from him mixed in - and then he would close with a section titled: "What Does the Bible Say About...," and he would proceed to give Bible quotes that "proved" the Catholic teaching was contrary to the Word of God.

So, in general, he misrepresented every Catholic teaching he discussed as being contrary to the Bible, when actually not a single Catholic teaching, properly understood, is contrary to the Bible, properly understood.

What Minister Tarr was doing, in fact, was not comparing Catholic teaching to what the Bible says, he was comparing it to what Minister Brady Tarr interpreted the Bible to say. Yes, Catholic teaching is contrary to Minister Tarr's fallible, error-ridden, interpretation of the Bible, I agree. However, Catholic teaching is not contrary to what the Bible actually says. Contrary to the Word of Tarr, not contrary to the Word of God.

In addition to the error of comparing Catholic teaching to faulty Bible interpretations, Minister Tarr was indeed misrepresenting what the Catholic Church actually teaches in many instances. Yes, he would quote from Trent or the Catechism, but then he would put his own little spin on those quotes. Here are some examples of what he said about Catholic teaching, and these are direct quotes from the copies of his Powerpoint presentations:

1) Brady Tarr: "[According to the Council of Trent] Faith alone in Jesus is not sufficient preparation for receiving the [Eucharist]."

Trent does indeed say this very thing; however, Minister Tarr doesn't give you the full context. He is trying to make it seem that Catholics give short shrift to faith in Christ. Yet, what he fails to mention is why canon 11 on the Eucharist says such a thing. It's because earlier in the article on the Eucharist, 1 Cor 11 is cited by the Council - where Paul says anyone who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgment on himself. So, canon 11 says that faith alone is not enough, because one must be without mortal sin. One must approach the Eucharist with reverence and holiness. So, does Minister Tarr believe Paul was wrong in 1 Cor 11? Does he believe it is okay to approach the Lord's table in an unworthy manner, as long as you have faith in Jesus? Apparently so.

2) Brady Tarr: "The idea that Christ is called down from heaven, made into bread, and then sacrificed as a victim again as the same sacrifice contradicts the plain position of Scripture that Jesus suffered once for sins." How many Catholics reading this believe this is anywhere close to what the Church teaches?

3) Brady Tarr: "Jesus' work was not incomplete after he rose from the dead. It was finished then and it is finished now." Implying, of course, that Catholics teach Jesus' work is incomplete.

4) Brady Tarr: "Rome, by claiming Mary is the mediatrix of all graces, ends up giving her divine attributes which only God has..."

5) Brady Tarr: "Mary worship." How many of you guys worship Mary?

6) Brady Tarr: "The act of baptism makes you a new creature and gives you full and complete forgiveness (without faith and repentance)." Yes, that's why so many people just walk into the Church to be baptized, because they don't have faith - they just wanted to get their hair wet.

7) Brady Tarr: "Taking the Eucharist for the dead, praying for the dead, giving alms for the dead, and other good works of piety for the dead are considered doing penance to help the dead." "Taking the Eucharist for the dead?" Anyone ever heard of that?

8) Brady Tarr: "Those who do penance are pardoned for their sin." That's right...Jesus' death on the Cross had nothing to do with it. That's what we believe, isn't it?

9) Brady Tarr: "But another purpose mentioned repeatedly in Catholic literature is that of paying or atoning for one's sins."

We do not atone for our sins...Jesus did that. CCC #1992 - "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men." We offer reparation, not atonement, for our sins.

10) Brady Tarr: "[According to Catholic teaching] The only penance that God validates depends on the labors/works of men." Indeed! The merits and grace and sacrifice of Christ have nothing to do with it in Catholic theology...oh, wait a minute...

11) Brady Tarr: "The Catholic practice of 'penance' is unbiblical & contrary to Scripture because it focuses on man's works in order to be forgiven, not the blood of Jesus and the work he accomplishes for Christians."

12) Brady Tarr: "The Bible says a person is justified by faith not works." Implying, of course, that Catholics teach one is justified by their works, and not by faith.

13) Brady Tarr: "Good works are required in order to obtain the grace of justification."

And he then quotes from Canon 9 of the article on Justification from Trent...which, by the way, says nothing at all about good works. Plus, he also leaves out any mention of Canon 1 from that same article on Justification which states: "If any one shall say, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the strength of human nature, or through the teaching of the law, without the divine grace through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema."

14) Brady Tarr: "The Catholic Church is saying that the punishment that Jesus paid on the cross for Christians was/is not sufficient and that his suffering was not enough to pay anyone's debt in full."

15) Brady Tarr: "Because Catholicism is authoritarian, individual Catholics don't need to read the Bible to learn about God or doctrines, but instead, they simply must believe what the church tells them they must believe in order to be a 'good' Catholic."

And that is by no means an exhaustive list of the errors put forth by Minister Brady Tarr.

Finally, in addition to his error-ridden Bible interpretations, and his misrepresentation of Catholic teachings, his presentations were sprinkled with lines like these:

"No Catholic who believes (as anyone who is a true Catholic must) the official and authoritative teachings of the ecumenical councils, the teachings of the Pope, the teachings of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teachings of the magisterium, is a Christian because what they teach is a false gospel."

"The Catholic Church teaches a false gospel where justification/the gospel is not dependent on faith alone, but also on works and sacraments and is therefore a false church."

So, fellow Catholics, what say ye in regard to Minister Brady Tarr's understanding of Catholic teaching?

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More articles to come.....

Not related to Brady Tarr: It's statements like this sentence online that make me stronger in my Catholic Christian faith: "For Catholics who read this--if you will only believe the holy scriptures--the Bible (Authorized Version of 1611)--and nothing else, you can be released from deception today" ( Source ) I linked to the source here because I want to dive into this source more later which will likely lead to more content for me here on Catholic Transformation. Some of the private interpretations of people online is both comical and sad.