Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 13, 1955

New Tract On Catholicism


"How does Protestantism in general disobey Christ?" is the question two eminent Catholic priests have recently sought to answer in a book entitled "Radio Replies." These two men give authoritative Catholic answer to the questions they propound; and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, regarded by many as "the voice of Catholicism in America" adds weight to their book by giving it his sanction and official endorsement.

In response to the question propounded, these Catholic authorities list six specific objections to Protestantism: (1) "In general it says that Scripture is sufficient guide to salvation, although Scripture says that it is not"; (2) "It denies the authority of the church established by Christ . . ."; (3) "It has no sacrifice of the mass"; (4) "It does not believe in confession"; (5) "It denies Christian teaching on marriage"; and (6) "It rejects purgatory, and very often its advocates refuse to believe in hell."

Brother Bryan Vinson, Jr. has written a 24-page tract, "Which — Catholicism, Protestantism, Christianity?" which discusses each of these objections in detail, and shows the truth on them in contrast to the errors of both Catholicism and Protestantism. It is a common mistake of the Catholics to assume that all non-Catholics are, by virtue of that fact, Protestants. They take the, rather arrogant attitude that Catholicism was and is the one and only true church, that all men are obligated to belong to it, and that "Protestant" is the proper name for anybody and everybody who is not willing to acknowledge Catholic authority.

In Brother Vinson's excellent tract he shows clearly that the church — the Lord's church — existed for centuries before there was any Catholicism or Protestantism, that it is apart from either of them, and that obedience to the gospel of Christ makes one a Christian, simply that and nothing more. He further demonstrates that while the Catholic "Radio Replies" are appropriate and just in their condemnation of most Protestant bodies, they have no weight at all when urged against the true church. The objections which are given are objections to the teachings of Protestantism; and the teachings of Protestantism are by no means identical with the teachings of the Lord's church. So that the sincere and honest soul is not at all obliged to make a choice between Catholicism and Protestantism; he can, if he chooses, be simply a Christian, and neither Catholic nor Protestant.

For some years now the Catholic Church has been rather eager to convince all Americans that there was no alternative for them politically save Communism or Catholicism. They have tried to leave the impression that all non-Catholics were thereby pro-Communists. It is a base lie, as every intelligent American ought to know. There is the road of American Democracy, which is neither Catholic nor Communist; but is opposed with equal fervor to both types of authoritarian dictatorship. The true American rejects political dictatorship in his opposition to Communism; he rejects spiritual dictatorship in his opposition to Catholicism. In much the same manner the faithful follower of Christ rejects both Catholicism and Protestantism, and chooses simply to be a Christian.

We believe the tract by Brother Vinson will be of real help to honest souls who are seeking the truth on these matters. It ought to be placed in the hands of both Catholics and Protestants throughout the land. Churches could wisely invest a few dollars in such literature, putting it into the tract racks which are found in most church vestibules. Cost of the booklet is quite nominal considering its size, its attractive binding, and superior quality stock on which it is printed. A single booklet is 25 cents; ten or more copies to one address are 20 cents each; and in lots of 100 or more the price is $17.50 per one hundred. The booklet may be ordered from Gospel Guardian Company, P. O. Box 980, Lufkin, Texas.

We cannot commend too highly the increasing practice of congregations in making literature such as this available to both members and visitors in their services. Some churches have now come to the point of making tract distribution one of the major items of their budget. This is altogether in the right direction. The printed word will reach thousands upon multiplied thousands who will never hear or study the things presented in a spoken sermon. But with a tract before him, the sincere soul can take his time, check each reference by a Bible, and think his way through the material. While it lacks the human contact and persuasive element of a warm personality, printed material more than compensates by providing opportunity for independent thought. Here the effect will come from presentation of truth, more likely than from the presentation of truth. The effect will be forthcoming from the content of the teaching rather than from the manner of its presentation.

Brother Vinson has given clear, simple, and scripturally documented answers to the Catholic objections. We believe his work will be widely useful to those thousands of honest souls who may chance to read it in the years ahead.

— F. Y. T.