23 Comments

A Catholic Funeral – The Dead Burying the Dead

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of an Aunt who died this past week.  And, as is true for any funeral, it was a sad time as yet another life has come to an abrupt end.  Never again will her voice be heard or will she be able to interact with the sons of men for the time granted unto her by God to live on this earth has expired.  And as such there will be no returning to life for the grave will surrender none of its victims to family or friend no matter how many tears they shed or prayers they pray.  It will only be on the Last Day when Christ Jesus, he who has the keys of the grave and death, will call forth to all the dead to come forth even as he did unto Lazarus, some unto the resurrection of life, and some unto the resurrection of damnation (cf. Joh 5:28-29).  My Aunt, as I am nearly certain (barring a last minute conversion), will be called unto the resurrection of damnation.

I make this last statement because my Aunt was, as is the case for the majority of my family, Roman Catholic.  A Roman Catholic who had religion, but not Jesus Christ.  A woman who was baptised with water, but not with the Holy Spirit.  A woman who ate the Eucharist, but did not eat of Jesus’ flesh or drink of his blood.  A woman who had good works, but never recognized that they were as filthy rags.  A woman who though appearing alive was in fact dead; dead in trespasses and sins as all are who are not born of the Spirit of God per his will.

And what so grieved my spirit and incensed me as I sat through the Mass (not participating in any way) and listened to the words of the priest was that from the moment he opened his mouth and spoke his first words until the time when he closed his mouth as her coffin lay over the grave, all he spoke were lies.  Lies that for the one lying in the coffin were meaningless as she heard not a one of them, but for the living were deadly.  Deadly because they acted as yet another hot iron further cauterizing their conscience to believe that as a baptized Roman Catholic they were in no peril, regardless of anything God’s word or one of his servants might say to the contrary.

This is the tragedy for never once were the people in the pews ever challenged to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith (cf. II Cor 13:5).  Of course this can not be so because Catholicism is not the faith of the Bible, but even beyond this, they were not challenged even to see if they were in the Catholic faith.  This being all the things that Catholic apologists love to quote when you are debating with them about how they believe this and that, yet when the rubber hits the road and you hear the words from the priest at a funeral, it is all together another story.  All that matters is that you are a baptized (technically sprinkled) “card-carrying” Catholic and if so, you will have a priest say your funeral who will tell all of your family and friends that you are now in heaven (even though Catholic doctrine says you are in the torments of purgatory).

So rest easy all ye Catholics and do not fret about any sins or repentance for what I have stated above will be true regardless of the life you have lived, the sins you have been in bondage to, the company you have kept, the drunkenness, the fornication, the lust, the pride, the hatred of all things righteous, the deception, the disdain for the Scriptures, and any other evidences of a tree bearing bad fruit (cf. Mat 7:13-27).  Because as long as you were at one time sprinkled as a baby, worry not dear Catholic, for you need not be troubled about anything else and can live like the devil, because there will be a priest who will say Mass at your funeral and he will by the supposed powers vested in him transport you to the feet of Jesus in heavenly bliss.  The same thing of course will be true for your family and friends, even if they never attend Mass, avoid Confession, or are the twice of year Catholics who only attend Mass on Christmas and Easter, for they too will be sent to heaven by your local Catholic priest.  Just make sure you pay him for the Mass.

All of this is exactly what I witnessed at my Aunt’s funeral where according to this priest it was Catholic water baptism, the perennial Catholic ticket to heaven, that made her a child of God.  And it was because of this baptism or infant sprinkling, and that she was deemed a “good” person (cf. Romans 3:12) who did “good” things in her life (cf. Isaiah 64:6) and loved those who loved her (cf. Matthew 5:46-47), that this priest in essence told one and all, rest easy and shed not a tear, for she is now in heaven.  Words ironically coming from a man who never even met my Aunt once and only knew of her from the brief bio (all positive of course) presented to him by her daughter before the Mass.  Amazing, simply amazing and oh how tragic indeed.

Much more was said by the priest that made a mockery of God’s word and what true salvation is but to the people sitting in the pews it was music unto their ears.  Music because it sang sweet words of rest and ease unto them whereby they could continue their present course of life, regardless of how dark it might be, because in the end, it would all work out.

It also was music unto their ears because who among them was not likewise, according to their personal scales of justice, a good person, or who did not likewise do good things and love people around them.  Possibly even trumping my Aunt in these areas as they all compare themselves among themselves (cf. II Cor 10:12).  And so one and all left the funeral with a lift in their gait where possibly any twinges of conscience per the convicting of the Holy Spirit (cf. Joh 16:8) were quenched by the words of this one priest.

But this need not be for the Roman Catholic who believes that in spite of their religion, they are sick, for Jesus says, “They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mar 2:17)  Jesus is more than able to save to the uttermost those who come to the Father through him (cf. Heb 7:12) and this he will do unto you.  Yet you must believe that you are sick and a sinner in need of repentance.

If this be you than my encouragement unto you would be for you to call out unto the Lord for him to save you, to forsake vain and dead religion, to  repent from your sins, and believe on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  Because baptism will, in and of itself, bring none into the kingdom of God and those Catholics who are trusting in their baptism and church to save them will be sorely disappointed on that day.  But for those who repudiate the false doctrine of Catholicism and place their hope solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ and not in infant baptism or their church, they will be wonderfully overjoyed on that day.

Finally, let it be clearly stated that the final arbiter of entrance into the kingdom of God is not a priest and his unoffending words of false hope, but rather the two-edged word of God.  Because it will be by this word that all will be judged, not tradition, not smooth sounding words, but solely by the word of God.  For the Lord spoke that, “…if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (Joh 12:47-48)

May all Catholics take these things I have written to heart and today, while you still have breath in your lungs and blood in your veins, seriously consider the words I have written.  For today may in fact be your last day as I can assure you my Aunt but a week ago was in no way thinking that the following week she would be lying dead and lifeless in a casket.  So too the same may be true for you whereby next week it will not be my Aunt lying in a coffin, but you the reader of this paper where then it will be too late.

23 comments on “A Catholic Funeral – The Dead Burying the Dead

  1. It is so tragic that the “churched” are often the nicest people you could ever meet, until you try to point out the true Gospel as laid out in God’s Word. There is no fury quite like that of the self-righteous when challenged to examine themselves! I feel for you, Brother Michael. I am certain the whole event was heart wrenching, not to mention the backlash you will probably receive from family for having the “audacity” to discuss this online in light of Scripture. I hope other Aunts out there will read this, and come to Christ for forgiveness of sins.

  2. Amen to everything you have written.
    I am very sorry for your loss. It must have been very difficult to endure the funeral. God must have given you much grace to sit quietly and listen while all the time wanting to rise up and shout, which, of course, one could not do.
    You said…”they could continue their present course of life, regardless of how dark it might be, because in the end, it would all work out.” Exactly the words written to me by my Catholic brother in response to my sharing the gospel with him a few months ago. He is a devout Roman Catholic and believes that all religions will, in the end, lead to God and eternal life. It must be what the RCC is teaching. Lord, open eyes and hearts to your true gospel.

  3. brother Michael

    would you mind if I posted a link to this at my blog?

    We treat the sinners prayer the same way that the Catholics treat baptism.

  4. Shane – Thanks for asking and you are more than welcome to post a link at your blog.

  5. I read this website every day, but have never posted before. When I read this, I had to comment.

    This one really strikes home, as I could’ve written it myself. My husband and I were gloriously saved out of Catholicism 20+ years ago, but everyone in our families still clings to it. If anything, my parents have gotten more liberal and self-righteous over the years. I continue to pray for them, and put my hope in the One whose arm is not too short to save.

    I have a grandfather who just turned 100 years old. I have witnessed to him, and to my family for years, but it falls on deaf ears. Please pray for him!! His name is John.

    I am filled with fury whenever I hear him or my anyone talk in hushed tones about “wonderful Father ______.”

    I am filled with fury when the priests “give their unoffensive words of false hope,” as was written.

    I am filled with fury at evangelicals who look at me quizzically when I say that my family isn’t saved: “But you said they’re Catholic, of course they’re saved!”

    Thank you so much for posting this, my brother. It helps to remind me that I’m not alone when I feel like screaming.

  6. And I apologize, I forgot to to express my sympathies to you on the loss of your aunt, brother Michael. I lost my (Catholic) aunt, as well, and what you wrote was so true about her funeral, as well.

  7. Excellent post. I have attended many, many Roman Catholic funerals because I am paid to play bagpipes. What you described so perfectly painted the picture of what I have seen and heard repeated over and over again. Some of the more elaborate services (such as a very large gathering for a deceased firefighter) have more priests to pass out the “hosts” during mass, and some of the other stuff gets really mystical and eerie to where I feel really uncomfortable watching.

    It is really sad that, for all their ritual, there is no life-giving message for those left behind. What a difference from the many more Christian services I have attended where the gospel has been clearly presented!

  8. One wonders how many have been lost to the promises of the Catholic church?

  9. What a sobering post. My grandpa was Catholic; I’ll never forget, right before he died, he kept yelling out, ‘pull me out Helen{his sister}, pull me out!’ I don’t think he was referring to ‘purgatory’. We must continue to pray for those caught up so deeply in this religious cult. I praise God for you brother Michael, as you battle for truth against this cult and those caught in its web.

  10. The first part of this grabbed me…
    And I took down notes and modified it a bit:
    A Roman Catholic who had religion, but not Jesus Christ. 
    A Roman Catholic who was baptized with water, but not with the Holy Spirit. 
    A Roman Catholic who ate the Eucharist, but did not eat of Jesus’ flesh or drink of his blood. 
    A Roman Catholic who had good works, but never recognized that they were as filthy rags. 
    A Roman Catholic who though appearing alive was in fact dead;
    dead in trespasses and sins as all are who are not born of the Spirit of God per his will. 

    Then I substituted RC for Professing Christian, and mad small change…
    — — — — — —- — — — —

    A Professing Christian who had religion, but not Jesus Christ. 
    A Professing Christian who was baptized with water, but not with the Holy Spirit. 
    A Professing Christian who took communion, but did not eat of Jesus’ flesh or drink of his blood. 
    A Professing Christian who had good works, but never recognized that they were as filthy rags. 
    A Professing Christian who though appearing alive was in fact dead;
    dead in trespasses and sins as all are who are not born of the Spirit of God per his will. 

    In either case, there is a lot to see here.

  11. Blessings to all and thanks for the words of consolation and encouragement. Great website ChurchSalt and thanks for your words.

    Praise God Elizabeth for you and your husband’s salvation & deliverance from Romanism; what a blessed thing to hear and no, you are not alone.

    Diane – you are 100% correct as I did indeed want to shout/scream.

    Glenn – indeed it is all mystical and this is part of the grand illusion or smoke and mirrors of Catholicism. I was thinking of this very thing during the funeral as the priest was walking around waving incense over the alter and then the casket. The very same stuff that made me nearly faint when I was an alter boy.

    Thanks unworthy1. All of my grandparents were Catholic also and died as such. Tis indeed sad.

  12. Dear Brother Michael:

    First let me say that I am sorry for your loss. Death is never easy, especially when we know the fate of the loved one.

    Secondly, I wanted to say excellent post. Very candid and very sobering.

    Thirdly, I wanted to express how eerily coincidental your post was. Right now in my drafts I have a similar post (that’s been collecting a little dust) which expresses many of the very same points you made. So much so that it almost makes me think you were looking over my shoulder. It’s entitled The Peddler of False Assurance and I will be posting it in a couple weeks.

    It’s so unfortunate that you and I and many (too many) others can all relate to these sad accounts because we all have a loved one (or more) entangled in the tentacles of the Romish beast that’s dragging them to Hell and when we try to reach our families with the gospel they want nothing to do with it. It’s why I believe that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to Roman Catholics.

    Grace and peace to you Brother Michael, and all of you who have family members trapped in this false religious system.

    - The Pilgrim

    Roman Catholicism is the most evil perversion of Christianity Satan could devise. It is pagan, wicked, and deceptive. It is a works-oriented system that perverts the works of Christ in many blasphemous ways (the papacy being one) and was the reason the Protestant Reformation was necessary. How sad it is that many “evangelicals” today are trying to undo it. - J.D. Watson

  13. brother Michael:
    I also would like to extend my condolences to you over the loss of you Aunt.

    The Lord has graciously allowed me to run sound and lights in my church for numerous memorials over the years. And there is a definite, stark contrast between a memorial for a child of God, whose surviving loved ones are saved, and a memorial for someone whose relatives are not children of God. The anguish and sorrow among the unsaved who grieve the loss of their loved one, as someone they will never see again, versus the joy, and happiness in the midst of loss for those who are assured their loved one is in the presence of the Lord, and who they will see again. But then there is the third situation: the saved, who know the truth, who grieve the loss of those who never followed Christ because they know of their seal eternal state (such as many in my family). Yet even in the midst of this sorrow, the very truth of God’s word brings an inner peace and strength, and is a reminder to continue to pray for our unsaved loved ones, and continue to reach them with the truth.

    Grace and peace to you, brother Michael.

  14. “David W

    But then there is the third situation: the saved, who know the truth, who grieve the loss of those who never followed Christ because they know of their seal eternal state (such as many in my family).”

    That is a sad situation indeed. I guess that is the way it is in all of our families. It makes me want to grab them up and “shake Jesus” into them. I would like to think that a family member would trust what you had to say about their eternal destiny. But they don’t want to hear it. I shared with a cousin at Christmas and she just sat there with a soured look on her face for the rest of the night.

  15. Thank you for this post Brother Michael.
    The false hope of the catholic church propagates to it’s hearers is like a sign that says “Heaven right this way” but it leads to the gates of HELL.
    The pilgrim has posted “Roman Catholicism is the most evil perversion of Christianity Satan could devise.”……” How sad it is that many “evangelicals” today are trying to undo it.”
    I hear many pastors and church goers say if they are catholic then they are saved just like us.

  16. Brother Michael,

    Time pending, an intrest in and a keeness to confront rank RCC theology, would you care to join this comment thread;

    I preceive you are a man who knows much of the heretical RCC’s teachings. I dont.

    http://narrowseventhirteen.blogspot.com/2010/01/discussing-calvinism-again.html

  17. Matthew Johnston,
    I’ve added a few comments as you have seen. At this point, I’m shaking the dust off my feet. What I have found with Catholic apologists is that they do not want the truth and will not yield a inch lest the nakedness of Mother Rome be exposed. Hence, it becomes futile and a casting a pearl before swine as all they want to do is trample the Word of God under foot and then rend you.

    There are though, Catholics who are not so hardened and for whom you can enter into civil discussions with. The person on your blog seems to be in the former camp and not the latter where I don’t feel like giving him anything else to trod under foot.

    Blessings to you brother.

  18. Brother Michael,

    Thank you for your input, it is something I am very thankful for. I agree with your point here – and will take that onboard.

    Many blessings to you to brother.

  19. “A woman who was baptised with water, but not with the Holy Spirit. ”

    Wow…. in this one sentence, you have made yourself a judge of souls. Sorry, but that’s the Lord’s job. Not yours.

    I’m glad that I am under His Mercy… and not yours.

  20. No dhydar; first, if one knows not those who are dead, then whom do we preach the gospel to? Would God be merciful to the Pharisees and the Jews whom Jesus and the apostles stove against? Does one simply allow the religious by birth who do not even know the gospel to continue down their wayward path when it is plain for those with eyes to see that they are lost? Does the good shepherd not go after the lost sheep?

    Secondly, if one cannot tell the true gospel from the false then they are in dire straights. Here, I know the true and I know the false where sprinkling as an infant, the last time I checked, is not the true.

    Finally, in accordance with the word of the Lord where he stated that we shall know them by their fruits, I herein declare my aunt was a bad tree bearing bad fruit.

  21. Religion is a seed that man has created to be different in their beliefs from others. When Jesus went around and preached the Gospel he did not announce only Catholics can attend. There was no such thing back then and that goes for any other religion. We have created those things over time. Jesus did not preach in churches made of gold. He walked he way around and preached where ever he could. Baptizing those around him that was willing to follow his word. Baptizing them in the river, the river I said, not holy water. When we are baptized into Jesus Christ it shouldn’t matter if you are 1 week or 50 years old Jesus didn’t care. Just because it didn’t make the Bible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or it wasn’t the word of the Lord. Remember the Bible has been altered for thousands of years and translated by MEN over thousands of years. I am a Christian I was baptized in to the Lutheran faith. I may not make it to church as much as I want to but that doesn’t make me a bad person. I don’t have to go to church to be a christian. I read the Bible and do my best to be a good person. That is what the Lord asks of you. This of course is my opinion. You don’t have to like it but that is okay.

  22. Stacey,
    I too was baptized and confirmed in a Lutheran church when I was in grade school. That did not stop me from living a life of sin, in bondage to sin until God saved me in my mid 40′s. I was saved solely by His grace, not because of anything I’d done. I truly wanted nothing to do with God, even though I’d been baptized and confirmed. But, God drew me to Him in drastic fashion, then He broke me over my sins which caused me to cry out to Him.
    I recently found a good church, non-denominational, which I have been attending for about a month now. Some here are familiar with my pastor, Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel. But, my church attendance isn’t so I can remain saved, it is so I can grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, to learn of the attributes of God so that I may know Him; so I can hear His word preached and come under conviction of sin, or be encouraged by the message. Whatever I need, God brings to me through the preaching of His word.

    I agree with you on your statement concerning religion, God does not call us to be religious, i.e. Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, etc. He calls us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him. Submission to His authority over us as well as forsaking our desires, wants, etc. is what is necessary to be a disciple of Christ; let me not fail to mention the need of repentance.

    I must disagree with you over your assumption that the Bible has been altered; I will use this from http://www.gotquestions.org as it is a short and concise answer- ‘When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, scholars were shocked to see how similar they were to other ancient copies of the Old Testament, even though the Dead Sea Scrolls were hundreds of years older than anything previously discovered. Even many hardened skeptics and critics of the Bible admit that the Bible has been transmitted over the centuries far more accurately than any other ancient document.
    There is absolutely no evidence that the Bible has been revised, edited, or tampered with in any systematic manner.’

    It also concerns me that you say you do your best to be a Christian, is this so you can go to heaven?

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