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God's Not Mad at You
“Are Protestants or Catholics going to heaven?

“Are Protestants or Catholics going to heaven?

JANUARY 1, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Are Protestants or Catholics going to heaven?

Steve Brown:
Are Protestants or Catholics going to heaven? The answer to that on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus in the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and suffers. Life’s hard for everyone. So grace is for all of us. But there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So here’s seminary professor and author Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Though, I don’t want to answer it for, we get to it.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you’re getting no, I’m not going to answer it, but you’re going to be in big trouble because I’m not answering that.

Steve Brown:
You’re not saying, and then I’ll get all the bad letters.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right man.

Steve Brown:
I mean, you can’t win, man. You’re gonna, you’re gonna be in trouble no matter what you say.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So we will do better. That’s Pete Alwinson. And I brought him on years ago, because I love him. And because he was my pastor and because he’s brilliant. But I brought him on also to share the guilt and he just copped out on me. I can’t believe this, that is Pete Alwinson. Get his book,Like Father, Like Son. And you’ll be glad you did. It’ll change your life. And he comes in on Fridays and we answer questions from the thousands of questions we get from you guys. You can ask you a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven. You can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And if you can help us financially, please do. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada, both of those organizations check to make sure that we’re ethical in a monetary sense. And so you can know that we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. So if you’re going to help us, do, if you can’t, say a prayer for us and Pete why don’t you pray for us, and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, let’s pray. Father, our great God. It’s good to come to you on this Friday and to stop just for a minute, to remember who you are and who we are. And we honor you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are high and holy and lifted up. And yet you’re imminent. You’re right here with us. You’re nearby, you’re merciful, gracious, kind, powerful and you love your people. And so we honor you and we pray that you would continue your great work in our lives. You know us, you’ve been with us all week. You know what we need, you know the relationships to be established again, the forgiveness that is needed. Father, you know, the truth that we need poured into our lives. And so even this weekend, we pray for our pastors and teachers and priests and leaders and worship directors. Lord, God use all of them to bring us closer into your presence, to worship you. And to enjoy being your children. And so we ask now, even with this Q&A time that you would be honored and glorified and lifted up. Give us truth and may it shape our lives in Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Let’s go to our phone lines first.

Caller 1:
I’d like to know about Roman Catholics, worshiping Mary with the beads. I was told that having Jesus on the Cross in the church and in the pane glass windows is blasphemy. Maybe you could answer those questions if it’s okay for them to worship, Mary.

Steve Brown:
Alright, let me just say a word and then I’m going to let Pete answer it.
First. You got to start with a bottom line reality, and that is, and Martin Luther, who was the guy for Protestantism, said this, we’re great sinners and we have a great savior. You could say that worshiping Mary is blasphemous, but so are a lot of other things. And, there are things I disagree with in the Catholic church, but there are things in Presbyterianism that I have problems with too. We, I was closer to a Catholic priest in Miami, because we believe more in common than I was with my liberal. Presbyterian and Methodist and Baptist pastor friends who didn’t believe hardly anything. And he knew Jesus and led more people to Christ than all of them combined and use the four spiritual laws.

Pete Alwinson:
Isn’t that amazing.

Steve Brown:
Did he get it wrong about Mary? Yeah, but we did too. I mean, we make so little of her. She’s not important. They maybe make too much of her, but that’s not the issue, the issue, and whether or not you leave Christ on a cross in your worship service, or you have a cross that doesn’t want to have a cry because you believe in the resurrection, I don’t think that bothers God at all, and I don’t think it’s blasphemous. Bottom line, everybody who belongs to Jesus, belongs to everybody who belongs to Jesus. And you’ll be surprised the differences that are held within that great context. Grace does not cross T’s and dot I’s. It’s the hug of Jesus, to people who didn’t deserve the hug.

Pete Alwinson:
Wow. Good. Good.

Steve Brown:
Now you have a confession to make?

Pete Alwinson:
Do I need to confess my sin?

Steve Brown:
I’m not going to make you say it,

Pete Alwinson:
I’m going to call you Father Brown. Well, I thought you navigated that really well. I think there’s a difference, what came into my mind as you were speaking was there’s a difference between worship and honoring. We would say from a Biblical perspective, we Protestants have to learn to honor Mary more thanwe have, perhaps in the past. But is she a part of bringing our redemption? We would say, no, Jesus is, there’s only one savior and it’s Jesus. So we honor Mary, but we worship Jesus. That’s what, that helps me. The Christ on the Cross, the Crucifix, I was raised the same way as this man that called in, so I get that, I think a crucifix with Christ on the cross helps sometimes to remember the agony that he went through to pay for my sins.

Steve Brown:
Well, do you really have a rosary?

Pete Alwinson:
I really do. I was in Israel and I was just about ready to get on the bus and this guy says, you know, three bucks, three bucks, and I bought one for three bucks or something like that, you know?

Steve Brown:
That reminded you.

Pete Alwinson:
And it was made, it’s made out of olive wood and it’s got Christ on it. And, and when I pray, I have it there on my desk. I don’t, I don’t probably use rosary anywhere near like a Catholic should. I’m not a Catholic, but it does remind me of, of the, of the, of the brutality of his sacrifice. And I, I tend to downplay the longer I follow Jesus. I tend to downplay my sins. I’m not that bad. Oh, my stuff, he didn’t have to pay for my stuff. It was other stuff. It was Steve Brown stuff, but,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
you know, so, so no, it was my sins. And so I, I don’t think it’s heretical. We all, Catholics and Protestants both believe in the resurrection.

Steve Brown:
And listen, we are living in a post-Christian time and we’re hated, Christians are hated.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I mean, it’s unbelievable the things that are said and done, to reflect that hatred. We don’t, we cannot spend our time fighting with each other. We’re either gonna hang separately or we’re going to hang together.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And it’s important that we hang together.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And that doesn’t mean you don’t have convictions or you don’t express those convictions, but everybody who belongs to Jesus belongs to everybody who belongs to the Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
I love that line.

Steve Brown:
I do too.

Pete Alwinson:
And what I want to say is what our world in this increasingly polarized society does not know how to do. They do not know how to debate and disagree in a civil way.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
We Christians can model that, by the grace of God.

Steve Brown:
Good statement. Alright, this is yours. I think that my experience with my earthly father may have messed up my perspective of my heavenly Father. I Want, and by the way he capitalizes Want. I Want to trust my heavenly Father, but deep inside, I know that I fall short in really, really trusting, believing and knowing that God is always, again capitalized, Good. What can I do about that?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man. I, I love the honesty, and that’s really your you’re right, that’s where I live and breathe and have my being, because you know, that, that, that happened to me. And I think, we don’t know if this is a male or a female.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
But we can have a mother wound or a father wound, but father wounds seem to be more prevalent

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
in American culture, in all of culture, because Satan goes after, he went after Adam. He goes after the men, take the man down, you hurt the women, children, churches and the culture. You hurt everybody. And so, what can we do about that? Well, I, I, you know,

Steve Brown:
Read your book first.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, there there’s that. Like Father, Like Son: How Knowing God As Father Changes Men. It’s, it is for men, but women can benefit, but Steve you’re, you know, the focus that Key Life and you have had, on grace is what really is the saving grace in this issue. Because as we really get grace in its radical nature into the forefront of our mind and sinking deeper and deeper into our heart, it begins to change these things. And, um, and

Steve Brown:
It’s a process?

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a process. It takes a lot of time and I grieved, I had to grieve my father wound for years. In even starting the church down here, I’d meet with a young man and I’d say what was different about him? I mean, we’re about to say age, but he’s making better decisions. He seems more confident. And I found out that the difference was really, that he had a really good earthly father experience and I didn’t. And that his father shaped him in a big way. Well, connecting with you and understanding grace, helps redeem that change our hearts and our minds to understand how good God is.

Steve Brown:
So it’s a lot of making sure that we know what the Scripture says and applying it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
In other words, taking truth, and going to battle with lies with the truth.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And not, not viewing God through the lens or the filter, of our father, earthly fathers. Even the best earthly father is still,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
way inferior to God, the Father.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
So we have to take those glasses off, but I think a lot of people, the reason why that’s hard to do, is they have never really grieved the wounds that they have, and they don’t realize what their earthly parents or father in particular have done. And so they just superimpose that on God.

Steve Brown:
So, when somebody says, I can’t call God father, cause I think of my earthly father, they need to do what you just said.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. And Martin Luther, he could hardly call God father, because of that very reason.

Steve Brown:
I didn’t know that?

Pete Alwinson:
His earthly father struggled so much.

Steve Brown:
Okay. Good question. Good answer too. Guys we’re out of time. Well, we have a little and we could sing for you or something, but we only have five seconds. So it’d be a short song and I’ve just used it up. We got to go. First Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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