You Don't Understand Roman Catholicism

Updated July 29, 2015 (first published June 9, 1996; updated March 9, 2002) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

priest with wine
From time to time, I receive letters from Roman Catholics who claim that I should retract my writings on the subject of the Roman Catholic Church because, they allege, I don’t understand Roman Catholicism. These people usually tell me that to understand Roman Catholicism properly I must read some Catholic apologist such as Karl Keating or Keith Fournier or Peter Kreeft or Scott Hahn or Patrick Madrid.

I have been answering this charge for decades, since Jesuit priests first made it to me in South Asia in the early 1980s.

The following is my reply to this accusation.


These contain the voice of authoritative Roman Catholicism. Karl Keating, Keith Fournier, Peter Kreeft, and Scott Hahn are Roman Catholics, and they have their own opinions and interpretations about Roman Catholicism, but they are not authoritative voices for the Roman Catholic Church.

When I have wanted to know what genuine Roman Catholicism is, I have gone directly to the top. I built a large library of Roman Catholic books, and I have studied them. I have visited Catholic churches and attended mass in at least fifteen countries on three continents and have talked with Catholics in many parts of the world. I have been to Rome three times. I have visited some of the largest Catholic shrines in other parts of the world.

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The Pelican

July 28, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

The pelican is another one of God’s amazing creatures. It is a large waterfowl that comes in seven or eight varieties. It has webbed feet, large wings, a long bill, and a bag of skin below its beak called a gular pouch. It varies in size from about six pounds to 30. Its wonderfully-designed skeleton weighs less than 10% of its body weight.

The pelican cannot straighten its neck, because its eighth vertebra is joined with the seventh and ninth.

Pelicans live in every continent except Antarctica and build their nests in colonies.

The brown pelican fishes by plunge-diving headfirst into the water. The accompanying photo taken from a bridge in Florida captures a brown pelican in a dive. Its sharp eyes can see the fish from 60-70 feet in the air, in spite of the glare of the water, and it has the amazing ability to time its plunge and judge its angle perfectly to capture prey. It hits the water with such force that fish under the surface are momentarily stunned, and when its bill touches the water, the pelican pushes its legs and wings back to create more force (Elise Willitt, “The Biogeography of the California Brown Pelican,” San Francisco State University, 2001). There are air sacs under the bird’s skin to cushion the impact, to help it swim back to the surface, and to help keep it afloat. The pelican’s bill is sensitive and helps the bird locate fish in murky water.

The most distinctive feature is its pouch. A famous limerick says, “A wonderful bird is the pelican, his bill can hold more than his ‘belican,’” referring to the fact that its pouch holds about three gallons of water, whereas its stomach can hold only one gallon. The amazing bird uses the pouch as a net to catch fish. After scooping up its prey, it contracts the pouch to empty the water, then jerks its head back to slide the prey down its throat. A hook at the end of its upper bill helps it grip slippery food. The second photo accompanying this article shows a pelican swallowing a fish.

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 16, Issue 30

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.

Dino Bird Fossil
ANOTHER ALLEGED DINO-BIRD (Friday Church News Notes, July 24, 2015,, 866-295-4143) - The University of Edinburgh and the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences have announced the discovery of the latest candidate for the missing link in bird evolution. Zhenyuanlong (zhenyuan’s dragon) is the name of a fossilized “winged dinosaur.” The 6-foot creature is said to have looked “exactly like a turkey or a vulture.” It had “real wings” with vaned feathers on its short arms and tail, but didn’t fly. The interpretation of the artifact is given an evolutionary twist, not because of the evidence itself, but because that is the presumption in the minds of the scientists. Lead researcher Dr. Steve Brusatte says, “So maybe [wings] did not evolve for flight--perhaps they evolved as a display structure, or to protect eggs in the nest. Or maybe this animal was starting to move around in the trees and was able to glide” (“Dinosaur find: Velociraptor ancestor was ‘winged dragon,’” BBC News, July 17, 2015). This is pure presumption. It is nothing but guesswork. There is zero evidence that wings and flight “evolved.” For a “dinosaur” to evolve into a bird would require massive additions of perfectly-ordered information in the DNA to create new, breathtakingly-complex structures, and evolution has never proposed a creative mechanism that could produce such change. “Natural selection,” at best, can only select within the framework of existing genetic information. As for mutations, they are genetic errors. They are neutral at best and are often highly destructive. Mutations do not build layer upon layer of complex, perfectly-ordered genetic code. Whatever “Zhenyuanlong” was, it was not something that evolved. There are a bewildering variety of flying creatures (birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects) as well as winged creatures that don’t fly (e.g., emu, ostrich), and Zhenyuanlong fit somewhere within these categories.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD DIRECTOR DESCRIBES SALE OF BABY BODY PARTS IN UNDERCOVER VIDEO (Friday Church News Notes, July 24, 2015,, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Exposed: Planned Parenthood,” Christian News Network, July 14, 2015, and “Planned Parenthood Downplays Video,” Christian News Network, July 15, 2015: “A video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress shows a top Planned Parenthood director explaining in graphic detail how the abortion giant harvests and sells baby body parts and organs nationwide--a practice that is a felony under federal law. The Center for Medical Progress released the video as the next in its ‘Human Capital’ investigative series, as it researches the organization’s illegal sales..

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Alpha Course Building One-World Church

Enlarged July 23, 2015 (first published February 10, 1998) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,;)

The Alpha Course is supported by influential contemporary musicians such as Stuart Townend, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin.

Alpha is an interdenominational evangelistic program that has grown phenomenally since its inception in the early 1990s. More than 18 million people have participated in the program in 169 countries, and the materials have been translated into 112 languages.

It was birthed at the charismatic Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican church in London, England, and the developer, Nicky Gumbel, said that he experienced “massive electricity going through” his body in 1994 when the “revival” broke out at the parish. One person was thrown across the room and lay on the floor howling and laughing, another lay on the floor with his feet in the air, laughing like a hyena, while others were “drunk.”

The Alpha Course includes a “Holy Spirit Day” with the objective of bringing the participants into a charismatic experience, including “tongues.” Gumble says tongues speaking begins with a limited vocabulary and “develops” (
Questions of Life, p. 147), but of course we see nothing like this in Scripture. The apostles did not have to attend a class on tongues speaking!

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The America My Grandchildren Will Never Know

July 22, 2015 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

The following is republished by permission of Don Boys from

Grandfather and Grandson
There is a natural tendency as one gets older to become nostalgic about the past. In reality, things were usually not as bad or as good as we imagine them. Even with that understanding, I maintain that America is only a shadow of its former self and my grandchildren will live and die without knowing the nation that once was.

My grandchildren will never know the America I knew as a boy in a small West Virginia town, and they are poorer because of that.

Realizing that America was and is a multicultural nation and there have always been good guys and bad guys in our midst, there were some things generally true. Innocence is one of the first things that comes to mind. We had confidence in our leaders and were shocked when a crook was revealed. We trusted and respected anyone in uniform, even the mailman.
I remember an America where our teachers were obeyed, respected, and maybe feared. We knew that if we received a paddling at school, we would get one at home. That was before the graduates of Columbia took control of the educational system. My three most respected and loved teachers were the ones who were the most demanding.

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