You might not be aware of this, but your ministry is also being used by God to change lives here on the other side of the globe. I am from the Philippines (Southeast Asia). I myself, like most of my countrymen, am a cradle Catholic. My parents became Christians when I was young child. As a result, I did not grow up to be a good and practicing Catholic. They pulled me out of the Catholic school I was attending. I stopped praying to Mary, to various saints, and angels, a practice which my mother in her previous ignorance taught me to faithfully do. Having been raised then in an evangelical church that hardly proclaims the solas of the Protestant Reformation, I was not prepared for what I would encounter when I entered college.
God was pleased to send me to a “non-sectarian” Roman Catholic university. During my third year, I accidentally found books in one of the shelves of one of our libraries written by men like Scott Hahn, Robert Sungenis, Dave Armstrong, Steve Ray, Jimmy Akin, et. al. I was dumbfounded to read the contents of their books (esp. Ray’s Crossing the Tiber and Sungenis’ Not By Faith Alone). To my dismay, I did not know how to answer their claims. I considered the possibility that my evangelical church’s beliefs and practices were wrong, and that I had abandoned the faith of my infancy. I almost approached one of the priests in our school to “confess” my sins. (I recoil in horror as I remember this.) These Roman Catholics apologists’ argument from the fallibility of private judgment and history, and the fact that most of them were formerly Protestants, seemed convincing at first until I learned of this ministry called A&O Ministries.
It was this ministry that exposed me to the errors of the claims of Rome, and how Biblical the solas of the Protestant Reformation are. As a Christian in a predominantly Roman Catholic country with mostly Roman Catholic relatives and friends, I realized that Rome does not preach the gospel. Much of what is called Roman Catholicism in our country is identified with syncretistic, superstitious and idolatrous beliefs and practices which even the Roman Catholic bishops of the Philippines cannot stop. They are against many of it, but seems to tolerate them. This alone demonstrates the missing mark, church discipline. I also realized how problematic modern evangelicalism has become. Repentance is hardly preached in many of the evangelical churches here. At first, I did not like Dr. White’s emphasis on the doctrines of grace. But gradually, I finally accepted them as Biblical and therefore true. I no longer see the Reformed emphasis on the inability of man, election and atonement, for instance, as minor and divisive since they involve the very gospel itself. It was A&O Ministries and the centrality of the gospel in its endeavors which God used as one of the instruments in bringing me to genuine repentance and faith, having been enslaved by the heresy of antinomianism, and a life of licentiousness. Despite my Christian background, this made me realize all the more that salvation is all of grace. I could be a child of Christian parents, but still on my way to hell. I would never have truly searched for God if he had not caused me to search for Him. Soli Deo Gloria!
Finally, A&O Ministries compelled me to do more study on Reformed Theology, and other topics relating to cults. In this year alone, I was able to meet and fellowship with various brethren coming from Reformed Baptist and conservative Presbyterian backgrounds. (Yes, there are Reformed Baptists and conservative Presbyterians even in this part of the world!) Though I am closer to the Presbyterian view of the sacraments, and church polity, I appreciate the greater fellowship these two groups have achieved in recent years. We truly are united by our commitment to Christ and His gospel. In a country that has become a melting pot of cults (both foreign and local) that deny the Trinity, I find Dr. White’s articles a good starting point in equipping the saints in the defense of historic Christianity. Thank you for all the work you have had and will have. May God bless A&O Ministries all the more in its defense of the gospel. 🙂
Alpha and Omega Ministries is a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. James White, director, is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics for numerous schools.