From Pentecostal Pastor To Roman Catholic
My Love for Christ Led Me Home

catholic.com
Drake McCalister
January 04, 2011

We have addressed quite a number of times of Pentecostal and Charismatic preachers, teachers, evangelists, so-called prophets and so-called apostles that have never read the bible even once cover to cover. That know not the word of God. Neither knowing Jesus Christ or the Father in any personal or meaningful way. Nor have these ever known the voice of the Lord. Yet these teach, preach, prophesy, appear to be blessed by God with a strong following, are financially well of and may even proclaim themselves to be as prophets or apostles.

 

These empty vessels, clouds without rain, and fruitless trees feed from the pigs trough of populist Christian books, watch television preachers, listen to radio preachers, watch or listen to teaching DVDís, use others bible study notes, and commentaries ever searching, ever scraping for something, anything to tickle the ears of their hearers. Deaf, blind and naked, these can only resort upon the words of others to earn their 30 pieces of silver, the price of their betrayal of God the Father, Jesus Christ and all that would hear them believing they are being fed living bread of heaven. Instead these poor souls are fed the toxic and diseased garbage of populist doctrines and traditions of dead men and ministries Ė while their preacher or teacher pretends that these words are their own, and that they have heard them from on high.

What we are speaking of here is not rare or only done by a few bad apples here and there in the ministry, rather this is the rule, this is the way things are done.So that even in the holiest seeming, most anointed seeming Pentecostal and Charismatic churches they are filled with the very sin corruption and perversion that Jesus and John the Baptist decried of the Priests, the Pharisees and the Sadducees of their day.

 

The whole supposed bible believing church whether Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Pentecostal or Charismatic is rotten to its very core. How else then can God call the church the great whore and her daughters? How else can these be the Laodicean age, the end time church of Matthew 24 that is overwhelmed with false teachers, false prophets, all who claim I am Christ Ė literally I am anointed [of God] so much so that if it were even the VERY ELECT would be deceived along with everyone else. Whether we see these things with our natural eye or not Ė whether we can discern these things in the Spirit or not Ė Jesus and the Father have testified of this day from the book of Job to Revelation as to the state of the church and what is at stake for those that are alive in our times.

 

Unlike others we have many hard things to say, things that would indeed offend many that subsist off a diet of eternal security, of the pleasures and riches of this world, of those that willfully disobey the words and commandments of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, of those that press not in with all their heart all their soul and all their strength to know the Lord in all the fullness that might be known in the land of the living.

 

We serve and seek after the Lord Jesus Christ in this manner, not because it is easy, but because none other has the words of eternal life save Him. Jesus Christ is the pearl of great price, that when we find him we sell all we have that we might have him.

 

Of this poor deluded couple, of this blind man that lead the blind, we only can have the greatest sorrow. We sorrow over the people that supposedly lead these to the feet of Jesus Christ.We sorrow of those that prayed and or laid hands on these and told them that they had been baptized with the Holy Ghost.We sorrow over the preachers and teachers that these sat under all these years, and were comforted in their sins and darkness, and led to believe that, that is all their was in God. We sorrow for those who accepted them into bible school or bible collage as being representative of true believers and followers of Jesus Christ.We sorrow for those who taught them during their years in bible school or bible collage and continued to comfort these in their sins and darkness, and led them to believe that they had succeeded Spiritually to the place that they might themselves preach and teach others so that these might come into right relationship with Jesus Christ and the Father. We sorrow for those that gave them their degrees.We especially sorrow for those who ordained this young fool of a Christian giving him license to foist upon the members of that unsuspecting church his shocking spiritual void and emptiness, his shameful lack of knowledge and understanding of the word of God, and his completely reprehensible personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Father through prayer and waiting upon the Lord.

 

Their testimony here is a story of catastrophic failure not just of themselves with Christ but in every step and every set of hands they passed through in their walk as Christians through to their entering into the ministry. Regardless of oneís opinion here of the Foursquare Gospel Church, of Pentecostals or Charismatics that is not at all what is at issue here, because this story happens a hundred times every day of the week in all the churches and denominations that say they are founded solely upon the word of God.

 

We earnestly pray here that those that God will open the eyes and the ears of those that read these words that somehow they might catch a glimpse of what we are speaking of here.That somehow there would be some measure of apprehending the seriousness of what we face and battle in this day and hour and that what has befallen this young man and his household will not come upon them also.

 

Drake and Crystal McCalister were both Pentecostal pastors in the Foursquare Gospel denomination for thirteen years from 1991-2004. After listening to a Catholic radio program Drake began to study (We note here that he did not say study the bible to test) the claims of the Church. After five years of listening to this Catholic radio program, study (We note a second time that he did not say study the bible to see if those things be so) prayer, and prophetic surprises ??? (We really wonder as to the meaning of this) Drake resigned his pastorate so that he and his wife and three daughters could join a local Catholic Church. Drake now sells cars and is pursuing a Masters in Theology at a Franciscan University.

If you grew up Catholic, it may be difficult for you to relate to those who profess faith in Jesus but whose stomachs turn at the thought of being Catholic. It might seem odd that the Catholic theology youíve grown up with is seen by others as an offense to God. I was one of the stomach turners. There are days that I wake up and I still canít believe Iím Catholic.

I grew up in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, usually referred to as Foursquare. Foursquare is a Pentecostal denomination that began in the 1920s and is not rooted in the Reformation. In fact, we had already rejected many things the Reformers believed. While we did hold to
sola scriptura (By Scripture) and sola fide (By Faith), we did not believe in "once saved always saved," and, as Pentecostals, we believed in miracles and the gifts of the Spirit, which many of the Reformers rejected. You could say we had already "reformed the reform."

Our denomination had a hierarchy of sorts, but each church was free to design its services and internal composition as it saw fit. We were more concerned that peopleís lives were being changed by Jesus than with church structure.
(Would to God that this was the case) In some ways this is goodóthere is little value in a well-oiled machine that doesnít change lives. We were much more experientially formed than theologically formed. We cared about theology, but the life-changing experience with Jesus was what really mattered. (Would to God that this was the case)

I must say that, on the whole, if youíre going to pick a Protestant denomination, Foursquare is a good place to be. It is firm in its moral teachings, and with its focus on living for Jesus, a person will inevitably grow closer and more like Jesus the longer he attends.

Whoís Ever Heard of Catholic Radio?
In my early twenties, I discerned a call to enter into full-time ministry and became a Foursquare pastor. Through my years of ministry, my wife and I learned to hear the voice of God and were willing to do anything and go anywhere that God wanted us to go. (We do believe this manís sincerity in writing these things here. We also see that things went terribly wrong in this young manís life went very wrong long before he made any of these decisions) This led us to plant a new Foursquare congregation in the university district of Seattle, Washington, in 1999. Foursquare doesnít fund you when you start a new congregation, so whatever you bring or raise from outside support is all you have. When I arrived with my wife and three girls, I had no income, three months worth of money in the bank, and great faith that we would reach the people of Seattle with the gospel of Jesus. We knew God would provide. Our desire was to seek first his kingdom and let him take care of the rest (cf. Matt. 6:33), and he always has. (Again we see this poor young manís great sincerity)

During this time we ministered to teens, college students, young adults, and young married families. Each week we would head out to the strip mall by the college and pass out food and clothes to street kids and send groups of two around the block to start up conversations about the gospel. None of us were evangelists by nature; we simply knew that the only way the unsaved would find Jesus would be if we went to them
(This is not exactly true. It was not true in the Gospels or in the book of Acts. Jesus Christ does command every believer be witnesses, to be lights, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. However God is not bound by our success or failure or our obedience of disobedience here.And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor therefore His hand brought salvation unto him). We couldnít expect them to just wander into our church. (Yet in the Gospels and in the book of Acts more than just occasionally God did send unbelievers by dreams and visions and by faith for healing or deliverance, and those hungering for truth to Jesus Christ Himself and the Apostles.We lean to much upon the arm of the flesh in much of what we do)

It was during this time that the door first opened to the Catholic Church. (This is a very strange and very confused way to view and word this.God opened no door here whatsoever) I happened to turn on the radio and catch Catholic Answers Live on Sacred Heart Radio in Seattle. "Thatís weird," I thought. "Whoís ever heard of Catholic radio? And what do Catholics need with a radio station anyway?" I wasnít necessarily anti-Catholic, but I held the usual Reformation-inspired opinions of the Catholic Church and how blessed we were to be free from Romanism. (He had a belief, an uninformed and unfounded belief. Like almost all bible believing Christians in this day and hour He did not know what he believed and why he believed it.If this were not so no one would be susceptible to the prosperity Gospel, the hyper faith message, discipleship and every wind of doctrine and heresy that is out there) As I listened to the show I was shocked to hear not only a clear presentation of Catholic teaching but also that Catholics still believed in transubstantiation, papal infallibility, and so on. (He only had some words and phrases floating around in his head, unproven and untested words and phrases that equaled as always next to nothing to a child or babe in the Lord just as with a babe or child in the natural)

As the years went on in Seattle, I
would occasionally tune back in to Catholic Answers Live and many other shows on Sacred Heart Radio, mainly for the purpose of understanding what Catholics teach so that I could have a reasoned defense to the contrary. (On this point this young man completely deluded himself, which he now states) The problem was that, time after time, the Catholic explanation of theology was every bit as biblical as my beliefs, (These well spoken well ordered Roman Catholic talks were biblically every bit as confused and convoluted as this young pastors unbiblical unscriptural beliefs. He was so weak in scripture like most believers that he was not able to tell what was scriptural and unscriptural, so in the end truth was settled by the better speakerís delivery skills.How often have I heard believers say of false teachers that what they said sounded so true. They sounded so knowledgeable about the bible, they sounded so sincere, they sounded so professional, what they said was so well worded and so well reasoned. These same things can be said of any professional con man, or anyone taught the art of public speaking or debate as in most politicians and salesmen) albeit in a different way.

Now, because our denomination started in the 1920s, I was oblivious to Church history. For us the Reformation wasnít the good old days; Acts 2 and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues are the good old days. There was virtually nothing done to fill in the gaps between the present and the first-century Church.

But the Catholics I listened to kept claiming that the earliest Christians were Catholic and that their writings from the first few centuries verify that claim.
(What this young man is saying that first turned his head was the Roman Catholics false claim that they bore the torch of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The fact is any claims of authority by the Roman Catholic Church over Christianity was not recognized for the first two centuries by any of the early church fathers from any of the other four main Churches. The Roman Catholic power grab occurred only when the other four major churches were severely beaten down by heresies of the day and persecution, and the final factor was Constantine making Christianity the official religion of Rome and the Roman Church the head of the entire church. By that time the Christian Church had fallen so far that it would have no longer been recognizable to Paul and the other Apostles.The falling away from the faith was reiterated again and again by generation after generation of apostolic fathers between the end of the first century through to the fifth century.To fully grasp this would have taken an incredible amount of reading for this young man Ė Much of which we have done for you in our ancient church writings page.Further the Roman Catholic Church of today in no way resembles the Roman Catholic church of the Third, Fourth, or Fifth centuries.This would require another incredible amount of reading to fully grasp.And then we are not even speaking of the Reformation and the great corruption that occurred there either.This we have also done for our readers as well.As we feel an understanding of Church history is vital to understanding why we are where we are today.) They would regularly present a point of theology that was rooted in Scripture (This is utterly false, Catholicism is founded on the traditions of the Popes and Bishops this is why they so vehemently argue against the bible being the foundation of all church teaching and doctrine. Here we have to say that this man is lying through his teeth here, as he is getting his Masters in Roman Catholic Theology ) and then support it with (Highly selective) quotes from the "early Church Fathers." The speakers were clear that these writings are not inspired, (Utterly false as they claim many of these to be Saints, Popes, Bishops and Doctors of Roman Catholic Doctrine and in many places make out these menís words to be equal to if not superior than scripture as they become venerated Roman Catholic traditions) nor are they on the same level as Scripture, but they do provide us with the historical context to know what the early Christians believed. More importantly, these early Christian writers claimed that these beliefs (Not written or implied anyplace in the Gospels of New Testament) were handed down by the apostles, and some of them were even taught by the apostles. (We would have to say that this young man has studied Roman Catholic Theology in greater depth and harder than he ever studied the bible before and during his time as a pastor)

(From this point we feel we need not make any more comments, as from this point the writer more or less repeats what he has already stated) At that time, Catholic Answers regularly threw out a challenge not to take their word for any of the positions of the Catholic Church but see for oneself if they are true. I decided to take them up on this challenge, figuring it would be easy. First of all, the Catholic Church sets an impossible standard for itself: infallibility in its dogmatic teachings on matters of faith and morals. All I had to do was prove one doctrine false and the entire system would cease to be without error. Secondly, I was sure that when I found the writings of these "early Church Fathers" and read them in context, they would set the story straight.

But there was a catch. Along with this challenge, there was a caution: Be carefulóyou just might become Catholic. Yeah, right! Impossible.

My Ship Came In
I started with a slow and measured search into Catholic teaching and Church history. This all changed after a most unexpected event. I was invited to speak at a Foursquare high school camp in the summer of 2003. The man who owned the camp was a gracious servant of Jesus and was gifted with what our denomination calls "prophetic insight," meaning that God gave him insight into things of which he had no natural knowledge. I had never met him before, and as we got to know each other that week, he said he might have some insight from the Lord for me. These encounters usually yielded a general word of encouragement that could probably apply to anybody. Nonetheless, I met with him in his office to pray and see if God had any direction for me.

He began to pray and said he could see a picture in his mind. He saw me and my family standing on the ocean shore and in the water was a huge ship. He said on the side of the ship were the words "Queen Mary." (At this point in my study, I didnít know that this is a title for Mary; my interest was concentrated on the huge ship.) He looked straight at me and said, "Iím not sure, but maybe youíre supposed to have something to do with the Catholic Church."

I almost fell out of my chair. I told him about my unexpected encounter with Catholicismóthe radio shows, the early Church Fathers, the challenge. I left the camp thinking that God might use me in some type of bridge ministry between Protestants and Catholics. Of course, I assumed it would be for bringing Catholics out of Catholicism and into the true unity and "fullness" of Protestantism. With my renewed focus, I returned home and aggressively pursued understanding Catholic theology, Church history, and how I could serve God in this capacity. "If Iím going to reach Catholics," I thought, "Iíll need to know what they believe and how they support those beliefs."

Hitting the Wall
As I examined each point of theology, I found that the Catholic Churchís teachings were the most biblical, the most historical, and the most reasonable. I was also surprised to find that Catholics also believed in miracles and the Pentecostal gifts I had grown up with (but with a more sound foundation). I thought, "Oh man! If this is true, I have to become Catholic."

The day finally came where I hit the wall and realized that the teachings of the Catholic Church are true. I realized that Jesus truly did establish a Church and didnít leave the gospel to survive in an "every man for himself" model. In the end, I found that I, like all Bible-based groups, could support my theology from Scripture, but I always had to ignore certain passages to make it fit, and I couldnít provide any support for its existence in the history of the Church. I found that Catholic theology makes sense of the whole of Scripture and that only Catholic theology is attested to from writings before the death of the apostle John to the present day.

I wasnít excited about this discovery, for it would cost me most of what I had invested over thirteen years of pastoral ministry. But my desire was to follow Christ, so I resigned my pastorate in August 2004. Once again my wife and I and three girls were without an income, with three monthsí worth of money to live on and full of faith that God would provide. And he has.

Now that all of us have come home to the Church, we are constantly amazed at the grace that God provides for living a powerful, Spirit-filled life. (Catholic Charismatics) When understood properly, Scripture, liturgy, prayer, and the sacraments are far more capable of shaping our Christian walk than any of the relaxed church structures in which I had grown up. I have found that the structure and liturgies that used to turn my stomach have become a greater source of joy than I could have ever imagined.