Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church
From time to time we like to share articles from a ministry that we find very useful for understanding the culture in Italy which is Roman Catholic. Today we are doing it again. THIS ARTICLE and organization are a great blessing to us because they teach well on the doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Evangelicalism. We believe they can be a great blessing to you as well, our partners in this ministry. This particular article will help you to better grasp the Roman Catholic teaching on baptism and the pope's actual intentions when he uses evangelical verbiage.
What we do at PMc as we serve the Lord in evangelism, discipleship and church planting is nothing unique or new. We simply apply ourselves to the things all faithful Christians have been doing since Jesus first gave the order for His disciples to go (Matt. 28:18-20). The only thing potentially unique about what we do is that we do it in a land that is predominantly Roman Catholic and has never been anything but Roman Catholic. The Reformation that we evangelicals all around the world are a part of since the 1500's, simply put, has still not begun in Italy. Therefore, when we talk about church planting in Italy, for example, we are talking about trench work and dirty work, like agriculture and fishing. One doesn't plant a church here by simply transferring a bunch of believers from one church to another area. There is nothing wrong with that approach; it works great in the USA. The problem still in Italy is that there are so few biblical churches and there is no gospel saturation. It's been this way for centuries. Countless towns and cities of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30,000 and more people across Italy, still today have NO evangelical church... Yet, every single town, city and village in Italy has at least one Roman Catholic church (RCC). The RCC towers are erected high, and their bells ring loud over the land day after day, week after week, year after year, century after century... Evangelicals still make up 1% or less of the population. They are unknown and considered a cult in the mind of the average Italian. Evangelical churches struggle simply to survive and persevere. We (personally speaking) don't know one full-time pastor in the entire country who does not depend on support from outside of Italy in order to do full-time ministry.
So, when we talk about church planting we are referring to the work of missionaries going into the spiritual jungle of Italy, a land plagued and dominated by Roman Catholicism. We go by faith and preach the gospel through evangelism in order to see God the Holy Spirit save by causing spiritual new birth (regeneration) among the lost souls. After a number of souls are saved and gathering around God's word as His people, then a church covenant gets formed and a new church can begin being planted. As apostolic church planters we wait to call the church officially planted until a plurality of elders (nationals) are trained by God's grace to oversee the flock and they are officially recognized as its pastors.
Why do we like to share resources and articles like THIS ONE?
Why is it important for us to pass this on?
I think it's because, living and serving in Italy, we see daily the damage that has been done because of a lack of knowledge on what the RCC actually teaches in contrast to the true biblical Gospel. We're surrounded by millions on their way to eternity in hell and today we at PMc are, by God's grace, among the few laboring and spending ourselves to reach them. Check out the link and be blessed. The ministry these guys do is of utmost importance for evangelicals all around the world.