An Open Letter

In the providence of God, two friends, new parents, asked me to be "godfather" to their son. Being quite honored, I agreed. After some discussion with them about certain matters of conscience involved, I sent this letter to my friends. It has been posted on this website as a testimony and example of the Reformed witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, according to "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Pastor Keith Graham, October 1997


Dear H. and L.,

I am so honored that you have asked me to be a special witness as M. is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! It is a blessing to my heart that you see me as one concerned that, as he grows, your son hear the Word of God, by which Christian faith comes (Romans 10:17).

Perhaps it would be wise for me to explain exactly why there are certain things I would be unable in good conscience to affirm at the ceremony, such as that I would help to see that M. is "raised as a Roman Catholic". I will try to be brief and only touch upon a few major issues.

God's Word the holy Bible clearly teaches that although one with genuine Christian faith does good works, those works are never the basis of a person's eternal salvation from sin, death, and hell. The apostle Paul writes, "...when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done., but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace. we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7). Under Roman Catholic teaching, this Gospel truth - the heart of Christian faith - is obscured and even denied.

God's Word also clearly teaches that "there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5; cf. Acts 4:12, letter to the Hebrews, etc.) In Roman Catholicism, Mary the mother of Jesus especially, as well as others, are regarded as ones through whom we can approach God. This is an offense against the Lord Jesus Christ, Who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except by Me" (John 14:6).

Finally, there is the issue of the head of the Church. The Bible proclaims that this is no one other than the risen, living, and reigning Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate (Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18, and other passages). Holding that a mere man is the "vicar of the Son of God", that he is able to speak infallibly for God, and that he is to be recognized by all as the head of the Church is nothing short of blasphemy - it is the doctrine of Antichrist. These very tenets are wickedly held under Roman Catholicism with its papacy.

These things may be hard things to hear, since you may have emotional and social ties to the Roman Catholic religion. Therefore I am glad that, because of your estimation of me as a servant of Christ, I have this opportunity to express such hard things - and I share them with you in love..

I thank God that at such an important time as this in the lives of you my friends, I am able to faithfully bear witness to the Truth.

Most sincerely,


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