Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Charitable Prayers Unwelcome

According to a Reuters article, thoughtfully brought to my attention by the American Papist (link), some Jews are suprised and offended by prayers by Roman Catholics for the "conversion of the Jews."

I'm quite sure that these prayers are meant by many Roman Catholics in a positive way. That is to say, they really sincerely believe that conversion is something that would be benenficial for the Jews. They would not consider themselves "anti-Semites" for making such a prayer, and they shouldn't consider themselves as such.

We too, as Reformed Christians, prayer for the conversion of the Jews, and the conversion of Mormons, Muslims, Ebionites, Gnostics, and Satanists. We pray for them not because of some antipathy or hostility to them, but because we desire their salvation.

We Reformed Christians also pray for the salvation of those within the chuch that are not saved: those who profess Christ's name with their tongue, while their heart is far from him. One group that particularly concerns us is the Roman Catholic Church, because her official teachings point people away from the pure gospel message:

Repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Of course, expressing those sorts of concerns could cause the same reaction in Roman Catholics that their prayer caused to the Jews in the article. It could cause that reaction if we were not clear that there is a fundamental difference between the gospel we preach and the gospel they preach.

Some Roman Catholics will still call us names like "anti-Catholic" (see this example). Nevertheless, such characterizations show that they missed the point of the dialog as much as the Jews missed the point of the Catholic-Jewish dialog.

May God bring to faith and repentance all those who have not repented and trusted in Christ alone, whether they be hypocrites in our midst, Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Ebionites, Gnostics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, or Satanists.



Carrie said...

Well said!

Turretinfan said...

Thanks, Carrie!

Cory Tucholski said...

Personally, I like Dave Armstrong's Anti-Catholic Page. Where else do I get to see my name listed next to greats like John Calvin, R.C. Sproul, and James White? I count it an honor to be on the page! ;)

Anonymous said...

I agree...well said!

Turretinfan said...


Thanks for your comment. To be clear, "hypocrites in our midst" is a separate item from Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Ebionites, Gnostics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, or Satanists.

I'm not trying to call the members of those groups hypocrites: doubtless many (perhaps nearly all) of them are sincere.


Turretinfan said...

Hi Hidden One,

Thanks for your comment (which I have not published).

You mention that you don't mind certain prayers, but what about ones that suggest that you are not saved? Are prayers for the salvation of Catholics unwelcome from your pov?

From some Catholics they are most unwelcome, in fact we are called "anti-Catholics" if we have the temerity to suggest that they might not be saved.