Irish Catholic Priest turns from Tradition to Truth

RICHARD BENNETT’S LIFE TESTIMONY

From Tradition to Truth

The Early Years

Born Irish, in a family of eight, my early childhood was fulfilled and happy. My father was a colonel in the Irish Army until he
retired when I was about nine. As a family, we loved to play, sing, and act, all within a military camp in Dublin.

We were a typical Irish Roman Catholic family. My father sometimes knelt down to pray at his bedside in a solemn manner.
My mother would talk to Jesus while sewing, washing dishes, or even smoking a cigarette. Most evenings we would kneel in
the living room to say the Rosary together. No one ever missed Mass on Sundays unless he was seriously ill. By the time I
was about five or six years of age, Jesus Christ was a very real person to me, but so also were Mary and the saints. I can
identify easily with others in traditional Catholic nations in Europe and with Hispanics and Filipinos who put Jesus, Mary,
Joseph, and other saints all in one boiling pot of faith.  

The catechism was drilled into me at the Jesuit School of Belvedere, where I had all my elementary and secondary
education. Like every boy who studies under the Jesuits, I could recite before the age of ten five reasons why God existed
and why the Pope was head of the only true Church. Getting souls out of Purgatory was a serious matter. The often quoted
words, "It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins," were memorized even
though we did not know what these words meant. We were told that the Pope as head of the Church was the most
important man on earth. What he said was law, and the Jesuits were his right-hand men. Even though the Mass was in Latin,
I tried to attend daily because I was intrigued by the deep sense of mystery which surrounded it.

We were told it was the most important way to please God. Praying to saints was encouraged, and we had patron saints for
most aspects of life. I did not make a practise of that, with one exception: St. Anthony, the patron of lost objects, since I
seemed to lose so many things.  

When I was fourteen years old, I sensed a call to be a missionary. This call, however, did not affect the way in which I
conducted my life at that time. Age sixteen to eighteen were the most fulfilled and enjoyable years a youth could have. During
this time, I did quite well both academically and athletically.

I often had to drive my mother to the hospital for treatments. While waiting for her, I found quoted in a book these verses
from Mark 10:29-30, "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an
hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and
in the world to come eternal life." Not having any idea of the true salvation message, I decided that I truly did have a call to
be a missionary.

Trying to earn salvation I left my family and friends in 1956 to join the Dominican Order. I spent eight years studying what it
is to be a monk, the traditions of the Church, philosophy, the theology of Thomas Aquinas, and some of the Bible from a
Catholic standpoint. Whatever personal faith I had was institutionalized and ritualized in the Dominican religious system.
Obedience to the law, both Church and Dominican, was put before me as the means of sanctification. I often spoke to
Ambrose Duffy, our Master of Students, about the law being the means of becoming holy. In addition to becoming "holy," I
wanted also to be sure of eternal salvation. I memorized part of the teaching of Pope Pius XII in which he said, "…the
salvation of many depends on the prayers and sacrifices of the mystical body of Christ offered for this intention." This idea of
gaining salvation through suffering and prayer is also the basic message of Fatima and Lourdes, and I sought to win my own
salvation as well as the salvation of others by such suffering and prayer.

In the Dominican monastery in Tallaght, Dublin, I performed many difficult feats to win souls, such as taking cold showers in
the middle of winter and beating my back with a small steel chain. The Master of Students knew what I was doing, his own
austere life being part of the inspiration that I had received from the Pope’s words. With rigor and determination, I studied,
prayed, did penance, tried to keep the Ten Commandments and the multitude of Dominican rules and traditions.

Outward Pomp — Inner Emptiness

Then in 1963 at the age of twenty-five I was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and went on to finish my course of studies of
Thomas Aquinas at The Angelicum University in Rome. But there I had difficulty with both the outward pomp and the inner
emptiness. Over the years I had formed, from pictures and books, pictures in my mind of the Holy See and the Holy City.
Could this be the same city? At the Angelicum University I was also shocked that hundreds of others who poured into our
morning classes seemed quite disinterested in theology. I noticed Time and Newsweek magazines being read during classes.
Those who were interested in what was being taught seemed only to be looking for either degrees or positions within the
Catholic Church in their homelands.

One day I went for a walk in the Colosseum so that my feet might tread the ground where the blood of so many Christians
had been poured out. I walked to the arena in the Forum. I tried to picture in my mind those men and women who knew
Christ so well that they were joyfully willing to be burned at the stake or devoured alive by beasts because of His
overpowering love. The joy of this experience was marred, however, for as I went back in the bus I was insulted by jeering
youths shouting words meaning "scum or garbage." I sensed their motivation for such insults was not because I stood for
Christ as the early Christians did but because they saw in me the Roman Catholic system. Quickly, I put this contrast out of
my mind, yet what I had been taught about the present glories of Rome now seemed very irrelevant and empty.

One night soon after that, I prayed for two hours in front of the main altar in the church of San Clemente. Remembering my
earlier youthful call to be a missionary and the hundredfold promise of Mark 10:29-30, I decided not to take the theological
degree that had been my ambition since beginning study of the theology of Thomas Aquinas. This was a major decision, but
after long prayer I was sure I had decided correctly.

The priest who was to direct my thesis did not want to accept my decision. In order to make the degree easier, he offered
me a thesis written several years earlier. He said I could useit as my own if only I would do the oral defense. This turned my
stomach. It was similar to what I had seen a few weeks earlier in a city park: elegant prostitutes parading themselves in their
black leather boots. What he was offering was equally sinful. I held to my decision, finishing at the University at the ordinary
academic level, without the degree.  

On returning from Rome, I received official word that I had been assigned to do a three year course at Cork University. I
prayed earnestly about my missionary call. To my surprise, I received orders in late August 1964 to go to Trinidad, West
Indies, as a missionary.

Pride, Fall, And A New Hunger

On October 1, 1964, I arrived in Trinidad, and for seven years I was a successful priest, in Roman Catholic terms, doing all
my duties and getting many people to come to Mass. By 1972 I had become quite involved in the Catholic Charismatic
Movement. Then, at a prayer meeting on March 16th of that year, I thanked the Lord that I was such a good priest and
requested that if it were His will, He humble me that I might be even better. Later that same evening I had a freak accident,
splitting the back of my head and hurting my spine in many places. Without thus coming close to death, I doubt that I would
ever have gotten out of my self- satisfied state. Rote, set prayer showed its emptiness as I cried out to God in my pain.

In the suffering that I went through in the weeks after the accident, I began to find some comfort in direct personal prayer. I
stopped saying the Breviary (the Roman Catholic Church’s official prayer for clergy) and the Rosary and began to pray using
parts of the Bible itself. This was a very slow process. I did not know my way through the Bible and the little I had learned
over the years had taught me more to distrust it rather than to trust it. My training in philosophy and in the theology of
Thomas Aquinas left me helpless, so that coming into the Bible now to find the Lord was like going into a huge dark woods
without a map.

When assigned to a new parish later that year, I found that I was to work side-by-side with a Dominican priest who had
been a brother to me over the years. For more than two years we were to work together, fully seeking God as best we
knew in the parish of Pointe-a-Pierre. We read, studied, prayed, and put into practise what we had been taught in Church
teaching. We built up communities in Gasparillo, Claxton Bay, and Marabella, just to mention the main villages. In a Catholic
religious sense we were very successful. Many people attended Mass. The Catechism was taught in many schools, including
government schools. I continued my personal search into the Bible, but it did not much affect the work we were doing; rather
it showed me how little I really knew about the Lord and His Word. It was at this time that Philippians 3:10 became the cry
of my heart, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…."

About this time the Catholic Charismatic movement was growing, and we introduced it into most of our villages. Because of
this movement, some Canadian Christians came to Trinidad to share with us. I learned much from their messages, especially
about praying for healing. The whole impact of what they said was very experience-oriented but was truly a blessing, insofar,
as it got me deeply into the Bible as an authority source. I began to compare scripture with scripture and even to quote
chapter and verse! One of the texts the Canadians used was Isaiah 53:5, "…and with his stripes we are healed." Yet in
studying Isaiah 53, I discovered that the Bible deals with the problem of sin by means of substitution. Christ died in my place.
It was wrong for me to try to expidite or try to cooperate in paying the price of my sin.  

"If by grace, it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.." Romans 11:6. "All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

One particular sin of mine was getting annoyed with people, sometimes even angry. Although I asked forgiveness for my
sins, I still did not realize that I was a sinner by the nature which we all inherit from Adam. The scriptural truth is, "As it is
written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10), and "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

(Romans 3:23). The Catholic Church, however, had taught me that the depravity of man, which is called "original sin," had
been washed away by my infant baptism. I still held this belief in my head, but in my heart I knew that my depraved nature
had not yet been conquered by Christ.

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…" (Philippians 3:10) continued to be the cry of my heart. I knew
that it could be only through His power that I could live the Christian life. I posted this text on the dashboard of my car and in
other places. It became the plea that motivated me, and the Lord who is Faithful began to answer.

The Ultimate Question

First, I discovered that God’s Word in the Bible is absolute and without error. I had been taught that the Word is relative and
that its truthfulness in many areas was to be questioned. Now I began to understand that the Bible could, in fact, be trusted.
With the aid of Strong’s Concordance, I began to study the Bible to see what it says about itself. I discovered that the Bible
teaches clearly that it is from God and is absolute in what it says. It is true in its history, in the promises God has made, in its
prophecies, in the moral commands it gives, and in how to live the Christian life. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).

This discovery was made while visiting in Vancouver, B.C., and in Seattle. When I was asked to talk to the prayer group in
St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, I took as my subject the absolute authority of God’s Word. It was the first time that I had
understood such a truth or talked about it. I returned to Vancouver, B.C. and in a large parish Church, before about 400
people, I preached the same message. Bible in hand, I proclaimed that "the absolute and final authority in all matters of faith
and morals is the Bible, God’s own Word."  

Three days later, the archbishop of Vancouver, B.C., James Carney, called me to his office. I was then officially silenced and
forbidden to preach in his archdiocese. I was told that my punishment would have been more severe, were it not for the
letter of recommendation I had received from my own archbishop, Anthony Pantin. Soon afterwards I returned to Trinidad.

Church-Bible Dilemma

While I was still parish priest of Point-a-Pierre, Ambrose Duffy, the man who had so strictly taught me while he was Student
Master, was asked to assist me. The tide had turned. After some initial difficulties, we became close friends. I shared with
him what I was discovering. He listened and commented with great interest and wanted to find out what was motivating me. I
saw in him a channel to my Dominican brothers and even to those in the Archbishop’s house.  

When he died suddenly of a heart attack, I was stricken with grief. In my mind, I had seen Ambrose as the one who could
make sense out of the Church-Bible dilemma with which I so struggled. I had hoped that he would have been able to explain
to me and then to my Dominican brothers the truths with which I wrestled. I preached at his funeral and my despair was very
deep.  

I continued to pray Philippians 3:10, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…." But to learn more about
Him, I had first to learn about myself as a sinner. I saw from the Bible (I Timothy 2:5) that the role I was playing as a priestly
mediator — exactly what the Catholic Church teaches but exactly opposite to what the Bible teaches — was wrong. I really
enjoyed being looked up to by the people and, in a certain sense, being idolized by them. I rationalized my sin by saying that
after all, if this is what the biggest Church in the world teaches, who am I to question it? Still, I struggled with the conflict
within. I began to see the worship of Mary, the saints, and the priests for the sin that it is. But while I was willing to renounce
Mary and the saints as mediators, I could not renounce the priesthood, for in that I had invested my whole life.  

Tug-Of-War Years

Mary, the saints, and the priesthood were just a small part of the huge struggle with which I was working. Who was Lord of
my life, Jesus Christ in His Word or the Roman Church? This ultimate question raged inside me especially during my last six
years as parish priest of Sangre Grande (1979-1985). That the Catholic Church was supreme in all matters of faith and
morals had been dyed into my brain since I was a child. It looked impossible ever to change.  

Rome was not only supreme but always called "Holy Mother." How could I ever go against "Holy Mother," all the more so
since I had an official part in dispensing her sacraments and keeping people faithful to her? In 1981, I actually rededicated
myself to serving the Roman Catholic Church while attending a parish renewal seminar in New Orleans. Yet when I returned
to Trinidad and again became involved in real life problems, I began to return to the authority of God’s Word. Finally the
tension became like a tug-of-war inside me. Sometimes I looked to the Roman Church as being absolute, sometimes to the
authority of the Bible as being final. My stomach suffered much during those years; my emotions were being torn. I ought to
have known the simple truth that one cannot serve two masters. My working position was to place the absolute authority of
the Word of God under the supreme authority of the Roman Church.  

This contradiction was symbolized in what I did with the four statues in the Sangre Grande Church. I removed and broke the
statues of St. Francis and St. Martin because the second commandment of God’s Law declares in Exodus 20:4, "Thou shalt
not make unto thee any graven image…." But when some of the people objected to my removal of the statues of the Sacred
Heart and of Mary, I left them standing because the higher authority, i.e., the Roman Catholic Church, said in its law Canon
1188: "The practise of displaying sacred images in the churches for the veneration of the faithful is to remain in force."  

I did not see that what I was trying to do was to make God’s Word subject to man’s word. My Own Fault While I had
learned earlier that God’s Word is absolute, I still went through this agony of trying to maintain the Roman Catholic Church
as holding more authority than God’s Word, even in issues where the Church of Rome was saying the exact opposite to what
was in the Bible.  

How could this be? First of all, it was my own fault. If I had accepted the authority of the Bible as supreme, I would have
been convicted by God’s Word to give up my priestly role as mediator, but that was too precious to me. Second, no one
ever questioned what I did as a priest.  

Christians from overseas came to Mass, saw our sacred oils, holy water, medals, statues, vestments, rituals, and never said a
word! The marvelous style, symbolism, music, and artistic taste of the Roman Church was all very captivating. Incense not
only smells pungent, but to the mind it spells mystery.  

The Turning Point

One day, a woman challenged me (the only Christian ever to challenge me in all my 22 years as a priest), "You Roman
Catholics have a form of godliness, but you deny its power." Those words bothered me for some time because the lights,
banners, folk music, guitars, and drums were dear to me. Probably no priest on the whole island of Trinidad had as colorful
robes, banners, and vestments as I had. Clearly I did not apply what was before my eyes.

In October 1985, God’s grace was greater than the lie that I was trying to live. I went to Barbados to pray over the
compromise that I was forcing myself to live. I felt truly trapped. The Word of God is absolute indeed. I ought to obey it
alone; yet to the very same God I had vowed obedience to the supreme authority of the Catholic Church. In Barbados I
read a book in which was explained the Biblical meaning of Church as "the fellowship of believers." In the New Testament
there is no hint of a hierarchy; "Clergy" lording it over the "laity" is unknown. Rather, it is as the Lord Himself declared "…one
is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (Matthew 23:8).

Now to see and to understand the meaning of church as "fellowship" left me free to let go of the Roman Catholic Church as
supreme authority and depend on Jesus Christ as Lord. It began to dawn on me that in Biblical terms, the Bishops I knew in
the Catholic Church were not Biblical believers. They were for the most part pious men taken up with devotion to Mary and
the Rosary and loyal to Rome, but not one had any idea of the finished work of salvation, that Christ’s work is done, that
salvation is personal and complete. They all preached penance for sin, human suffering, religious deeds, "the way of man"
rather than the Gospel of grace. But by God’s grace I saw that it was not through the Roman Church nor by any kind of
works that one is saved, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of
works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

New Birth at Age 48

I left the Roman Catholic Church when I saw that life in Jesus Christ was not possible while remaining true to Roman
Catholic doctrine. In leaving Trinidad in November 1985, I only reached neighboring Barbados. Staying with an elderly
couple, I prayed to the Lord for a suit and necessary money to reach Canada, for I had only tropical clothing and a few
hundred dollars to my name. Both prayers were answered without making my needs known to anyone except the Lord.

From a tropical temperature of 90 degrees, I landed in snow and ice in Canada. After one month in Vancouver, I came to
the United States of America. I now trusted that He would take care of my many needs, since I was beginning life anew at
48 years of age, practically penniless, without an alien resident card, without a driver’s license, without a recommendation of
any kind, having only the Lord and His Word.

I spent six months with a Christian couple on a farm in Washington State. I explained to my hosts that I had left the Roman
Catholic Church and that I had accepted Jesus Christ and His Word in the Bible as all-sufficient. I had done this, I said,
"absolutely, finally, definitively, and resolutely." Yet far from being impressed by these four adverbs, they wanted to know if
there was any bitterness or hurt inside me. In prayer and in great compassion, they ministered to me, for they themselves had
made the transition and knew how easily one can become embittered. Four days after I arrived in their home, by God’s
grace I began to see in repentance the fruit of salvation. This meant being able not only to ask the Lord’s pardon for my
many years of compromising but also to accept His healing where I had been so deeply hurt. Finally, at age 48, on the
authority of God’s Word alone, by grace alone, I accepted Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross alone. To Him alone
be the glory.  

Having been refurbished both physically and spiritually by this Christian couple together with their family, I was provided a
wife by the Lord, Lynn, born-again in faith, lovely in manner, intelligent in mind. Together we set out for Atlanta, Georgia,
where we both got jobs.

A Real Missionary With A Real Message

In September 1988, we left Atlanta to go as missionaries to Asia. It was a year of deep fruitfulness in the Lord that once I
would never have thought was possible. Men and women came to know the authority of the Bible and the power of Christ’s
death and resurrection. I was amazed at how easy it is for the Lord’s grace to be effective when only the Bible is used to
present Jesus Christ. This contrasted with the cobwebs of church tradition that had so clouded my 21 years in missionary
garments in Trinidad, 21 years without the real message.

To explain the abundant life of which Jesus spoke and which I now enjoy, no better words could be used than those of
Romans 8:1-2: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but
after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." It is not just
that I have been freed from the Roman Catholic system, but that I have become a new creature in Christ. It is by the grace of
God, and nothing but His grace, that I have gone from dead works into new life.

Testimony to the Gospel of Grace

Back in 1972, when some Christians had taught me about the Lord healing our bodies, how much more helpful it would have
been had they explained to me on what authority our sinful nature is made right with God. The Bible clearly shows that Jesus
substituted for us on the cross. I cannot express it better than Isaiah 53:5: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he
was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (This means
that Christ took on himself what I ought to suffer for my sins. Before the Father, I trust in Jesus as my substitute.)  

That was written 750 years before the crucifixion of our Lord. A short time after the sacrifice of the cross, the Bible states in
I Peter 2:24: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto
righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

Because we inherited our sin nature from Adam, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. How can we stand
before a Holy God — except in Christ — and acknowledge that He died where we ought to have died? God gives us the
faith to be born again, making it possible for us to acknowledge Christ as our substitute. It was Christ who paid the price for
our sins: sinless, yet He was crucified. This is the true Gospel message. Is faith enough? Yes, born-again faith is enough. That
faith, born of God, will result in good works including repentance: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto
good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

In repenting, we put aside, through God’s strength, our former way of life and our former sins. It does not mean that we
cannot sin again, but it does mean that our position before God has changed. We are called children of God, for so indeed
we are. If we do sin, it is a relationship problem with the Father which can be resolved, not a problem of losing our position
as a child of God in Christ, for this position is irrevocable. In Hebrews 10:10, the Bible says it so wonderfully: "…we are
sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."  

The finished work of Christ Jesus on the Cross is sufficient and complete. As you trust solely in this finished work, a new life
which is born of the Spirit will be yours — you will be born again.  

The Present Day

My present task: the good work that the Lord has prepared for me to do is as an evangelist situated in the Pacific Northwest
of the U.S.A. What Paul said about his fellow Jews I say about my dearly loved Catholic brothers: my heart’s desire and
prayer to God for Catholics is that they may be saved. I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is
not based in God’s Word but in their church tradition. If you understand the devotion and agony that some of our brothers
and sisters in the Philippines and South America have put into their religion, you may understand my heart’s cry: "Lord, give
us a compassion to understand the pain and torment of the search our brothers and sisters have made to please You. In
understanding pain inside the Catholic hearts, we will have the desire to show them the Good News of Christ’s finished work
on the Cross."

My testimony shows how difficult it was for me as a Catholic to give up Church tradition, but when the Lord demands it in
His Word, we must do it. The "form of godliness" that the Roman Catholic Church has makes it most difficult for a Catholic
to see where the real problem lies. Everyone must determine by what authority we know truth. Rome claims that it is only by
her own authority that truth is known. In her own words, Cannon 212, Section 1, "The Christian faithful, conscious of their
own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare
as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church." (Vatican Council II based, Code of Canon Law promulgated
by Pope John-Paul II, 1983).  

Yet according to the Bible, it is God’s Word itself which is the authority by which truth is known. It was man-made traditions
which caused the Reformers to demand "the Bible only, faith only, grace only, in Christ only, and to God only be the glory."  

The Reason Why I Share

I share these truths with you now so that you can know God’s way of salvation. Our basic fault as Catholics is that we
believe that somehow we can of ourselves respond to the help God gives us to be right in His sight. This presupposition that
many of us have carried for years is aptly defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) #2021, "Grace is the help
God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons…."  

With that mindset, we were unknowingly holding to a teaching that the Bible continually condemns. Such a definition of grace
is man’s careful fabrication, for the Bible consistently declares that the believer’s right standing with God is "without works"
(Romans 4:6), "without the deeds of the Law" (Romans 3:28), "not of works" (Ephesians 2:9), "It is the gift of God,"

(Ephesians 2:8). To attempt to make the believer’s response part of his salvation and to look upon grace as "a help" is to
flatly deny Biblical truth,  

"…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace…" (Romans 11:6). The simple Biblical message
is that "the gift of righteousness" in Christ Jesus is a gift, resting on His all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross, "For if by one
man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall
reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).

So it is as Christ Jesus Himself said, He died in place of the believer, the One for many (Mark 10:45), His life a ransom for
many. As He declared, …this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew
26:28). This is also what Peter proclaimed, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might
bring us to God…" (I Peter 3:18).  

Paul’s preaching is summarized at the end of II Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.." (II Cor. 5:21).  

This fact, dear reader, is presented clearly to you in the Bible. Acceptance of it is now commanded by God, "…Repent ye,
and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).  

The most difficult repentance for us dyed-in-the-wool Catholics is changing our mind from thoughts of "meriting," "earning,"

"being good enough," simply to accepting with empty hands the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus. To refuse to accept what
God commands is the same sin as that of the religious Jews of Paul’s time, "For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
(Romans 10:3)  

Repent and believe the Good News!

Richard Bennett

A native of Ireland he returned there in 1996 on an evangelistic tour. He now lives in Portland Oregon U.S.A. He teaches a
workshop at Multnomah Bible College on "Catholicism in the Light of Biblical Truth." His greatest joy is door-to-door
witnessing . He has produced three series of radio broadcasts. A fourth series is about to begin in the Philippines on
D.W.T.I. and D.V. R .O. radio stations. He is co-editor of this book and founder of the ministry named "Berean Beacon."

 

Richard M. Bennett
Berean Beacon
P.O. Box 192
Del Valle, TX 78617-0192
WebPage: www.bereanbeacon.org
Email: [email protected]

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. 1forall-allfor1 says:

    I too was raised Catholic. Right now I am studying and searching the Bible with a friend. She’s taught me, and I’ve taught her, and we are having a very interesting time of it.
    In our searching I have had to explain why I’m not a Catholic now. And why my family is not happy with me.
    Your testimony is somewhat similar to mine. I was in the Charismatic Renewal. Babies on each arm and wondering how to teach them about God.
    I loved going to Prayer Meetings more than Church. I learned things I never knew before. One day, I read that we could be adopted children of God! That was the day God first talked to me – and yes – He can and did talk to me. He said, “I am the only Father that you ever needed.”
    It took a long time though, and hurt a lot, before I decided I could not raise my children in the church. Espcially after I experienced God’s forgiveness firsthand, without the aid of a Priest. I couldn’t tell my children that Priest is our intercessor. Jesus said we can come to the Father through Him.
    So, I quit. Later my husband quit.
    A new Priest came to town and I agreed to go to a seminar for new converts he was holding, on the condition that he picked me up and afterwards I could have the time I needed to ask questions or vent. Each week he went over a Sacrament, and we disagreed on all of them except the Eucharist. There’s the crunch. But I couldn’t agree with everything else so it wasn’t right for me to stay. (It was a process of 16 years).el
    The more I learn, the more I’m glad I made that choice.
    I know, Richard, that you had an even harder time than I did.
    And I know that the Priest I talked to had to have a hard time after our talks. I also know that my family can’t understand why I quit.
    But, I’M FREE! in Christ Jesus!

    • I can only give glory to God for your testimony! I applaud you for your courage to come out of that system, in obedience to the Lord’s command.

      I pray that your example will serve as encouragement for others to follow you in walking the narrow path after leaving the broad path that leads to destruction!

    • andrews1975 says:

      Did you test the spirit that said to you “I am the only Father that you ever needed.”

      1 John 4:1-6 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

      Not everything spiritual is from God.

      With regards to the Eucharist have a look at the following video on YouTube from a once aethist scientist:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbg_dhI4XCs

      Praise be to God.

  2. TruthTudor says:

    The way to life is all about truth… My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said” I am the way,the truth, and the life.

    I have never met a born again catholic that did not leave the catholic church.

    Richard now understands the Truth and is teaching it.. I pray he is able to reach other cathloics with his message.

    It would be great to see a post from catholics who have been born again and why they stay in the catholic church.. Once you are born of the Spirit the spirit of truth lives in your heart so why is there so much comprimising of it???

    • I was raised in a Catholic home. Sin was all around us as children growing up but the rosary was said faithfully and the only time we missed mass was if we were dead. Fear I believe is the biggest reason why saved Catholics stay in their church. Fear and a lack of faith and trust in God and His Word. I grew up with the understanding that the God I knew was a punishing God and He was angry at me because I was a sinner. I could not go to God for that very reason. I was so filthy with sin that God could not stand me. I needed a mediator. In most cases Mary was my mediatrix according to Catholic doctrine. It wasn’t until I understood that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that who so ever believed on Him (Jesus) would not perish but have life everlasting. When I began to read the word of God I noticed that the doctrines and traditions of the church did not line up with what God said. I was frightened because I had been told that the devil will try to sway us from our Catholic faith. I prayed to God to reveal His truth to me. He did. God’s word set me free. He said you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. The chains of bondage to fear literally fell off me. I felt so free in Christ. No longer did I have to worry if I was doing enough, or being good enough or making sure I went to enough masses and said enough rosary’s. I knew that because of Calvary and what Jesus went through for me that when I asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me of sin in my life and accepted the provision of pardon He offered me through His Son I was forgiven, born again, and saved and God my Father loved me. Not because of me but because of His Son who lives in me. I left the Roman Catholic system. Found a bible believing church (believe it or not they are getting harder and harder to find now days). He can do the same for you. Just ask Him. He’ll change you from the inside out. Trust God not a system. They say religion is man’s way to God. Jesus is God’s way. There’s a big difference in the two.

      • andrews1975 says:

        “until I understood that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that who so ever believed on Him (Jesus) would not perish but have life everlasting.”

        Amen, but is this statement in John 3:16 supposed to be taken by itself as the complete salvation story? This also goes for Galatians 3:11; Galatians 3:24; Romans 3:28; Romans 10 9:10; Acts 16 30:31 etc

        When asked what good deed must I do to receive eternal life? Did Jesus answer with “No, no, you have it all wrong you don’t have to do any good deeds?” or did he say “Just believe in me and you will have eternal life?”

        No, he replied Matthew 19:17 “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments” Faith alone?

        He also said in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of Heaven but he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.” Faith alone?

        The word ALONE is not contained in Galatians 3:11; Galatians 3:24; Romans 3:28; Romans 10 9:10; Acts 16 30:31, in fact the only time faith and alone are mentioned together is in James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

        All bible believing Christians should believe in faith and works. Are we walking in the works prepared in advance for us by our Father? Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

        Praise be to God.

        • Well Bro Andrews ,

          Much of what modern day Protestants & Evangelicals believe
          is based on the writings of Martin Luther and a few others
          which in turn are based on (Saint) Paul’s letter to the Romans.

          Their argument / beilef always is,”By faith alone ,…….”

          James says , “Faith alone is dead ,……..”

          Christians of other denominations find it easy to cite Scripture
          and pick holes in Catholic beliefs and practices.

          But the Evangelicals are generally , “here today , …..gone tomorrow”.
          There is a huge emphasis on tithing and money.
          You dont find that in the Catholic Church.

          Despite being saved , I continue to remain in the Catholic Church
          for multiple reasons , including the ones mentioned above ,…..

          It is good that you brought this up.

          Cheers

          Vikki

          • The Catholics have their unbiblical alternative to tithing called “indulgences”.

            James said faith without works is dead. He didn’t say works got you to Heaven. You can never earn salvation. He was simply stating that for one who has faith in God, good works will naturally result.

            And “works” aren’t saying the number of rosaries prescribed by the local priest. Where is the rosary even once found in the Bible? Mary is mentioned in one chapter outside the gospels stating she and the brothers of Jesus were present during a prayer session. After this brief mention in Acts 1 she is never again mentioned, yet the Catholic church makes her the focus of their religion above Christ Himself.

    • Christian2000 says:

      Hi Guys…….

      Its better we all Christians preach the Gospel of Jesus to those who have never heard of Jesus…..Weak fights against themselfs… be martyr for Christ……There are Billions yet who do not know who Christ is……. Leave judgement to Christ….Do not Judge or else you will be Judged!!!!

      Cheers !!!

    • andrews1975 says:

      “I have never met a born again catholic that did not leave the catholic church.”

      You have now.

      Praise be to God.

  3. Margaret O'Connor says:

    Jesus gave the keys of Heaven and responsibility of the creating his Church to St Peter as the first Pope. The Pope is the Head of the Church.

    Jesus sent His apostles out into the world to set up his Church and to administer his Sacraments. The most practical way to do this is within a church where a congregation can gather together as a family to celebrate the Mass and to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus as jesus told them to do at the Last Supper. The church, statues, flowers, outside trimmings are just a mark of respect for the spiritual celebration.

    If the Catholic Church is not the way for Richard Bennett that is his choice. The Catholic Church with the Pope as the Head is the Way for millions of others.

    • Hey Margaret ,

      If the Pope were Christ’s true representative on earth , why did he say something against the muslims and then issue an apology
      facing Mecca ?

      Come on , smell the coffee.
      The Pope is as human as you or me.
      If he were Christ’s true representative , he would have been
      more guarded about his words , ….or he would not apologised a few days after his goof-up.

      In any case , he did not say anything about loving your enemies , …..the way Jesus would have.

      🙂

      Wake up , Margaret.
      Dont believe all what Rome tom-toms.

      I’m Catholic too.

      Vikki

    • TruthTudor says:

      WOW

      How can people be so blind??? Pick up a Bible and read what Jesus Christ has said. “Narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it…

      If the Pope is the Head and the way and has many followers it makes me wonder where it is leading…… Richard Bennett seems to be on the right road…

  4. Wilfred John says:

    Dear Brother Richard Bennett,
    May God Bless you!I still remember you as a Catholic priest who had a most profound influence on my life and on the lives of my family.I would say that you helped me to become a Catholic priest by your wonderful outreach and sterling qualities. I have had no regrets and I still remember you with fondness.Your struggles and your eventual decision I note with sympathy.I hope you can find it in your heart to remember me with kindness and still pray for me.
    Fr. Wilfred John,
    Catholic priest.
    Trinidad and Tobago.

  5. marcia tallman says:

    all praise, honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ! for His wonderful saving power to deliver from many things, including dead religion and man made church traditions. He had and has a wonderful plan for you, to be a witness and salt and light to those who are still stuck in religion. Your testimony is wonderful, may the Blessed Holy Spirit continue to use your witness and life to point people to His marvelous saving power to deliver and save. The Lord continue to bless you mightily.

  6. This is a wonderful testimony.May God use you to win souls for Him.

  7. Paula,
    Thanks for your heart for catholics. The problem with them is, they are brainwashed to believe that they are right and ther rest are wrong. The only thing is to reason with what they believe using the bible and how they fall short IF THEY ARE TO GO TO HEAVEN BY WORKS. Get them through Ten Commandment and reason with them if they have ever broken one! Only that one will require payment! And then they will see why Jesus died for us. Do this by prayer knowing that the god of this world have blinded them that they will not see the light of the Gospel

    The two Books by Mark Cahill are my favorite on the field:
    1. One heart beat away
    2. One thing you can’t do in heaven

    God bless you and enable you to effectively win them for Jesus!
    Stephen
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Tit 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live sober

  8. paula simon says:

    i have many family members, how do you open the door to witness to catholics, i try testamonies but its like talking to a brick wall

    • Try talking to them about the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Show them about the promise of the Father, in the Scriptures. Tell them your experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Many sincere Catholics will hunger for such an experience, once they hear about it. In the process of asking for the Holy Spirit, he or she will get saved.

  9. IneedJesusso says:

    This really is lovely to hear, and helpful to us all to be reminded of how Christ so lovingly died for us, so that through his precious blood we may be saved.

  10. Heather Nelson says:

    Thank you for this article!

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