5 Reasons Roman Catholicism Is Not Christianity

ss-130313-pope-francis-tease.photoblog600The number of those who are not Roman Catholics (RCs) due to conviction grows thin these days.  Sure there are many who aren’t RC for various other reasons: music preference, driving distance, the toll genuflecting takes on the knees, and some even take a strange pleasure in the tradition of bashing the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).

Conviction or Convenience?  Something tells me that Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli would have made their lives much more convenient had they ignored their convictions, and adopted the ecumenism of today.  But what is it that made the RCC worth separating from?  And do these differences still exist or matter in this day?

Here are at least 5 reasons why Roman Catholicism must still be considered an apostate church, that has rejected the Gospel, and is devoid of the Spirit of God:

Note: These are not the only five, nor are they the only important ones.

1) Another Gospel

This is obviously the most important, not based on whether it is the cause (i.e. the Mass) or result (i.e. Sola Scriptura) of any of the following reasons, but because it is the most important for the soul of any living human.  The Gospel is, as the Apostle said, “of first importance;” and so it is of most important on this list.  The Gospel is not simply most important in the sense that it ought to be listed first, but it is of most importance in all of human life… and God’s glory.   To Paul, it was of such importance that any person who presented “another Gospel,” he said was to be “accursed” (that is, anathema; Galatians 1:8).

If, therefore, it can be shown that Rome teaches a “contrary Gospel” to what Paul preached, then it follows that it ought to be “accursed” and rejected.  Paul’s words do not coddle to modern-American sentiments, nor to the ecumenism plaguing the church, instead the purity of the Gospel is placed over any common ground on social issues or similar views of the Trinity and Jesus’s deity (Paul was speaking about Judaizers, who believed those things too…).

Let’s contrast Scripture with the Council of Trent (and remember, none of what Trent said has ever been officially repealed by the RCC, in fact large parts of it are cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for defense):

The Council of Trent, Session 6:

Canon IX: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.” 

Scripture: “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness…It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26); “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace”  (Romans 4:5&16).

Canon XI: “If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema.”

Scripture: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (Romans 4:7-8); “…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:19-21).

Canon XXIV: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

Scripture: “…He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…” (Titus 3:5); “…by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Gal 5:5-6).

Canon XXX: “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.”

Scripture: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1); “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10:12&14).

Let me put this to you bluntly.  In anathematizing all of these things, the Council of Trent–and the RCC–anathematized the apostle Paul, and therefore anathematizing themselves.  The RCC still holds to the mass, they still believe in baptismal regeneration, confession to priests, purgatory, indulgences, and infused righteousness.  But the Protestant church is forgetting these things, acting like there is more important issues, and trampling on the Gospel of Christ!  Open your eyes…please.

2) The Mass

The Mass is the manifestation of Rome’s gospel.  Because Rome denies that Justification is a one-time declaration of our right standing with God based on the finished work of Jesus Christ, the mass is introduced as a mechanism by which a person can reappeal, over and over, to the merits purchased by Christ in His passion (CCC: 2020).  The Mass centers around the Eucharist–actually, technically speaking, the Mass is just another name for the Eucharist–(where the bread and wine are transfigured into the body and blood of Jesus Christ).

What has to be understood is that Rome believes the Mass to be a reenactment, or re-presenting, of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (CCC: 1366); in other words, Christ is re-sacrificied in every Mass.  However, they also believe that a person can receive the Mass thousands of times throughout their life, and still go to the afterlife not fully purified, because as has already been stated, they do not believe in a one-time righteousness, but a righteousness based on their works and purity at the end of their life (any impurities still left over will be dealt with in purgatory).  In other words, the righteousness is infused into them: “Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves his from grace sins” (CCC: 1416).

If it is true that the Mass is the same as approaching the Cross of Calvary, and a person can approach it a thousand times and yet remain impure, then it is at odds with the Scriptures and the teaching of the Gospel (see above), and this should be clear to any thinking Christian.  Here are some verses for your consideration (notice the italics):

Hebrews 7:27:  “He [Jesus] has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”

Hebrews 9:28:  “…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

Hebrews 10:12&14:  “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

John 19:30:  “It is finished!”

Obviously these verses are just blatant, but the verses that I could apply to this whole topic are endless (i.e. Isa 53, Eph 1:11-14, etc).  The Mass is simply an abomination, it is an offense to the Gospel, it is a trampling of the one-time sacrifice of Christ offered for his people, and it places all of salvation in the hands of the priest and the RCC.  This is why being excommunicated from the Church of Rome was the equivalent to being cast out of God’s salvation, because for someone not to be participating in the Mass means that they are not participating in the death and resurrection of Christ.  It is another Gospel…

3) The Papacy

The Pope and the idea of apostolic succession is merely the later creation of a church that wandered further and further from the truth.  The first Pope is hardly discernible, and any person attempting to link any connection with the first Pope (Peter) will find the position unsubstantiated by any evidence.

For the first reason to reject the idea of the Pope, one only has to look to his official names (and Pope is not an official title); they are: the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

Maybe something can be said for all of these titles, but one in particular should grate on the ears of any Bible believing individual: the Vicar of Jesus Christ.

“The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’  ‘For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered'” (CCC: 882).

Who else does that sounds like?  Or whose job description does that sound a lot like?  Who is the “Vicar of Jesus Christ” on earth?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit?  I personally cannot even imagine giving the type of adoration to another Christian man, that RCs give to the Pope.

The second reason to reject this office, is because of its insistence that Scripture ought only to be interpreted infallibly by the Pope and the Magisterium (that is the Pope and councils) of the church.  There is no reason to go into the numerous contradictions of the several Popes and councils, it is well documented.  But more harmful is the way in which it subverts the Scriptures, because no person can actually challenge the Roman church, thus making the example of the Bereans judging the Apostle’s words by the Scripture seem pretty nonsensical (Acts 17:11).  The doctrine of the Papacy undermines the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, which affects the Gospel, thus it is one of the reasons Roman Catholicism is not Christianity.

This is one of the crucial reasons that the Reformation took place in the first place…try not to forget it.

4) The Rejection of Sola Scriptura

I’m not going to try and give a defense of Sola Scriptura here.  Instead I want to provide a list of the many doctrines that are the product of its rejection, with the infallible teaching of the church.  Any self-respecting Protestant will agree that these doctrines ought to be rejected and resisted…it is not Christian!

Indulgences:

“Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless they are granted for the living as well as for the dead only on determined conditions.  To acquire them, it is indeed required on the one hand that prescribed works by performed, and on the other that the faithful have the necessary dispositions, that is to say, that they love God, detest sin, place their trust in the merits of Christ and believe firmly in the great assistance they derive from the Communion of Saints” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Ch. 4:10).

“To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill three conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.  It is further required that all attachment to sin, even to venial sin, be absent” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, n. 7).

“The condition of praying for the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions is fully satisfied by reciting one ‘Our Father’ and one ‘Hail Mary’; nevertheless the individual faithful are free to recite any other prayer according to their own piety and devotion toward the Supreme Pontiff” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, n. 10)

Purgatory:

“In purgatory, in fact, the souls of those ‘who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but before satisfying with worthy fruits of penance for sins committed and for omissions are cleansed after death with purgatorial punishments” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Ch. 1:3).“The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.  The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent” (CCC: 1031).

Immaculate Conception:

“Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, ‘full of grace’ through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception” (CCC: 491).

Bodily Assumption:

“By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Munificentissimus Deus).

Baptismal Regeneration:

“The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism.  The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth” (CCC:1250).

“By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin” (CCC: 1263).

5) Mary

Finally on this list, is the worship of Mary.  They won’t admit that it is worship, but to those who understand the Scriptures, we know that prayer–in and of itself–is an act of worship.  Prayer admits dependence, faith, and praise to the object of it…and Mary is the object of RCs many rosary prayers.

Here’s what the Catholic Catechism has to say about Mary, I’ll leave it for your consideration:

“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.  Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside the saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC: 969).

I submit to you, that anyone who believe Mary to be their Mediatrix…does not know the Gospel.  And any organization that has it enshrined in their doctrine does not possess the Gospel of Christ, therefore they are not to be thought Christian.  Protestants need to abandon this idea that the RCC is Chrisitan simply because it is Trinitarian, pro-life, and happens to like Jesus.  Christianity is the Gospel!  The RCC is apostate, and its followers are enslaved to a false system…they need the Gospel.

SDG,

Jon

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~ by TSL on March 24, 2013.

 
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