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and the kingdom of God is at hand;
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5 More Problems With Roman Catholic Theology  

 

By: Shane Idleman


I recently had the privilege of meeting a priest of a large parish in Southern California. The purpose of our conversation was to discuss the role of tradition in light of Scripture. Granted, some tradition is beneficial if it lines up with Scripture.

I have Catholic friends who are devoted to God; they are pillars in our community. I attended a Catholic High School and loved the faculty. I desire peace with all men, but the Bible also encourages me to boldly and confidently present a scriptural basis for truth.

1. There cannot be two absolute authorities.

In the same way that we cannot believe both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we cannot believe the Bible and many traditions that are not grounded in Scripture but actually contradict it. Jesus said we can make the Word of God of no effect by our traditions (cf. Mark 7:13).

The church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) - it comes under the truth; it's not equal to it. We believe in apostolic succession in that we believe what the first apostles believed. The word Protestant comes from the word "protest." Protestants want the church to return to the authority of Scripture alone.

2. Adoration of Mary.

When the government and the church united toward the end of the 4th century, the departure from biblical truth increased. Mary was eventually hailed as co-redeemer and mediator; her perpetual virginity and immaculate conception are still upheld.

Granted, not all Catholics view Mary as a co-redeemer, but the study of Mariology suggests otherwise. Antipater of Bostra, a father of the Council of Ephesus, wrote this about Mary, "Hail, you who acceptably intercede as Mediatrix for mankind."

The Catholic doctrines of "Perpetual Virginity" and "Immaculate Conception" teach that Mary maintained her virginity and was conceived without sin. But the Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (cf. Rom. 3:23). This teaching elevates Mary.

Historical Christianity teaches that Mary was highly favored, but she does not play a role in redemption, nor should we pray to her. We believe that Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (cf. John 14:6).

3. The Papacy, Priests, Communion and Christ.

The Bible says we do not need an additional mediator or priest because Jesus is our only mediator (cf. Heb. 4:15). Salvation comes through Christ alone: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).

Scripture is the final authority, but Catholicism promotes submission to the teachings of the Pope, bishops and traditions that often contradict Scripture. Followers are encouraged to lean on papal interpretation for the answers. Confirming this, the priest I interviewed said decrees from the papacy are equal with Scripture.

As an altar boy, I believed that only the priest could administer communion as "alter Christus" (another Christ), but the Bible says this can be done by any believer (cf. Mark 14:22-25). Peter taught the priesthood of all believers (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5).

The purpose of communion is to examine our lives and remember Christ's death. The Bible does not teach transubstantiation: the belief that the bread and wine used in communion physically change into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus as an ongoing sacrifice. The controversial text in John 6:50 about consuming Christ's body and blood refers to partaking and belonging to Him. Jesus said earlier in that discourse not to labor "for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you" (John 6:27).

The priests in the Old Testament were encouraged to marry, but Catholicism encourages celibacy. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says that in latter times some will depart from the faith by forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from certain foods.

God calls qualified men (elders) to lead the church in submission to Christ, not one central power (cf. 1 Tim. 3). One of the qualifications of a leader is to be the husband of one wife and to lead his home well.

4. Purged in purgatory.

Many remain dependent on the church to relieve suffering in purgatory. According to Catholicism, purgatory is a temporary place where the soul is purged (purified) in preparation for heaven. Although sins are forgiven periodically through confession and penance, the punishment still remains. But the Bible says Christ is an all-sufficient Savior - He paid the full price on the cross. Suggesting we need purging after death contradicts Christ's finished work on the cross (cf. Heb. 10:14).

The priest I interviewed suggested purgatory is the best way to deal with shame and guilt. But Acts 3:19 states otherwise, "Repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Peace is a byproduct of repentance - having Christ as Lord and Savior. No additional penalty or purging remains. He paid the full price.

5. Salvation by works.

Through taking the sacraments, infant baptism, church membership, praying to Mary and the saints, confessing to a priest and so on, does the church promote salvation through works?

Catholicism teaches that good works help to maintain our righteousness before God. But the Bible says that we are justified because of Christ's work on the cross. There is nothing additional to work for. We "work out" our salvation with fear and trembling (cf. Phil. 2:12b), but we don't "work for" it, nor do we maintain it.

When my mother was 12 years old and Catholic, she lost her father in a car accident. She recounts nightmares of struggling to pull her father from hell. Did he die in a state of sin without confession and penance? Was his fate sealed? The Bible says if we confess our sins to God that He will forgive us and purify us (cf. 1 John 1:9).

Many speak of feeling tremendous guilt and anxiety for this very reason - did they do enough? The Bible is clear: As believers, we can stand before God because our sin debt is paid in full - no intercessor, mediator, penance or work can add to Christ's complete work. Repentance, obedience and full surrender is what He asks.

True peace comes from a true relationship with Christ. Do you have peace? Do you truly know Him? "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

Protestant or Catholic, you don't want to live your life with a question mark here.


 


   


Questions

The Big Question

Does God Exist?

What Is The Bible?

Is The Bible True?

Who Is Jesus?

Is Jesus In Every Book Of The Bible?

Is Jesus God?

Did Jesus Fulfill Any Prophecies?

Did God Create You?

What About Reincarnation?

Are You Going To Heaven?

What Is The Truth About Hell?

What are the Essentials of the Faith?

Who Will You Believe?

Want To Find A Good Church?

Looking For A Church In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

Which Bible Translation Is Right For Me?

What is the TULIP, and is it Biblical?

What are the Five Solas, and are they Biblical?

 

Objections

"All Religions Lead To God"

"Never Talk About Religion Or Politics"

"Judge Not..."

"The Bible Is Full Of Contradictions"

"A Powerful God Wouldn't Allow So Much Evil..."

"The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites"

"What About Those Who Never Hear About Jesus?"

"A God of Love vs. A God of Wrath"

"A Loving God Wouldn't Send People To Hell"

"You're Only A Christian Because You..."

"As Long As You're Sincere In What You Believe"

"How Do You Know Which Religion Is Right?"

"God Would Never Forgive Someone Like Me"

"I Can't Believe In Miracles"

"Unanswered Prayer Shows God Doesn't Exist"

"What's With All The Different Denominations?"

"Jesus Was Just a Copycat of Pagan Myths"

"What About The Crusades?"

"What About Slavery In The Bible?"

"What About Evolution?"

"What About Homosexuality?"

"Jesus Didn't Say Anything About Homosexuality"

"What About Abortion?"

 

Other Stuff

   Other Beliefs

     Judaism

     Roman Catholicism

     Islam

     Jehovah's Witnesses

     Mormonism

     Seventh-Day Adventism

     Buddhism

     Hinduism

     Baha'i

     New Age

     Christian Science

     Scientology

     Freemasonry

     Oneness Pentecostals

     Unitarian Universalism

     Rastafarianism

     Wicca

     Satanism

What I Believe

Theological Terms and Definitions

Belief Comparison Chart

An Eschatological Overview (End Times)

Good Quotes

Paul Washer Quotes

20 Logical Fallacies

17 Questions Every Christian Should Think About

My Prayer - I Have A Problem...

More Than A Holiday

Honest Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses

Honest Questions For Mormons

Questions For Skeptics

10 Reasons To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa

A View From The Life Boat

A Collection of Helpful Bible Passages

A Story About A Boy Named Mikey

Thoughts On The Doctrine Of Definite Atonement

Questions To Ask A Child Before Their Baptism

A Critique Of An Origin-Of-Life Article

No Hope In The Pope

Terrorism - What You Can Do About It

The Impact Of A Blind Elderly Woman

Evidence For The Resurrection - W.O.M.E.N.

Quotes About Sin

17 Ways To Fight Sin In Your Life

 

Apologetics / Evangelism

What Is Apologetics?

Why Should We Do Apologetics?

What Is Presuppositional Apologetics? 

What Do You KNOW? 

What Is Evangelism? 

Why Should We Evangelize? 

Are Christian Doing A Good Job Of Evangelizing? 

7 Reasons People Don't Share Their Faith

The Question Of Evangelism - Words Or Works? 

Is The World In Which We Live In Today Tolerant? 

Preaching What We Practice and Talking The Walk

Man vs. God Centered Evangelism

 

Around the Web

44 Reasons Why Evolution is Just a Fairy Tale

The Scientific Case Against Evolution

Evolution: The Anti-Science

A Letter From An Atheist

Are You A Good Person?

Is This Your Life?

What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

What's Wrong With The Sinner's Prayer?

An Important Aspect of Baptism

Must We Believe Jesus Is God?

Turn or Burn

Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church

10 Reasons Not To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart

10 Principles For New Christians

10 Pitfalls Of The Foolish Apologist

Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions

The Secret About How Some Christians Witness

Preaching God's Love In Acts?

The Gospel In Every Book Of The Bible

7 Key Differences Bewteen Protestant And Catholic Doctrine

A Different Perspective On Halloween

10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye

The Question After A Tragedy - WHY?

The Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoughts About Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner

A Pastor's Response To The Marriage Debate

Sin By Any Other Name Is Still Sin

Should a Woman Be a Pastor or Elder?

Wives, Submit To Your Husbands?

The Shack - Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

Universalism - A Problem for Everyone

5 Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 More Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 Truths We're Keeping From Our Youth Groups

Charlottesville, Racism and God's Word

8 Signs Your Christianity is Too Comfortable

Maybe Elvis Was Just a Carnal Christian?

Is God Calling Me to Be a Pastor?

 

Audio / Video

    Original Sermon Jams

     Born Again - Paul Washer

     Does Jesus Know You? - Paul Washer

     We Got An A! - Paul Washer

     A Boy On The Street - R.C. Sproul

     Fearless - R.C. Sproul

     Hypocrites - R.C. Sproul

     Smiling Faces - R.C. Sproul

     Authorized Personnel Only - Tony Evans

     Drive-thru - Tony Evans

     One Flesh - Tony Evans

     Sex - Tony Evans

     The Satisfier - Tony Evans

     Who to Serve? - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     The Voice of Truth - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Transformed - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Where is the Love? - Pastor Ben Maxie

     He Claimed to be God - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Love is a Behavior - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Examine It for Yourself - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Perfect Love - Pastor Ben Maxie

     We Need Preachers - Mike Bongo

     The Sovereignty of God in Evangelism - Mike Bongo 

     I'm Ready - Mike Bongo

     Our Day in Court - Mike Bongo

     Examine Yourself - Mike Bongo

     Exclusivity - Mike Bongo

     Our World - Mike Bongo

     The Great Exchange - Mike Bongo 

     True God - Mike Bongo

    The One Minute Apologist

     Intolerance - Greg Koukl

     Legislating Morality - Frank Turek

     Intelligent Design and Creation - Bill Dembski

     Tolerance is Unbiblical - Josh McDowell

     Homosexual Forgiveness - Michael Brown

     What Must I Do To Be Saved? - Hank Hannegraaff

     Is Jesus A Copycat Savior? - J. Warner Wallace

     The Resurrection - Gary Habernas

     Contradictions In The Bible - Mike Licona

     Is It About Winning Arguments? - Mary Jo Sharp

     Does Christianity Oppress Women? - Dianna Newman

     Is Evil An Argument For God? - Brett Kunkle

   WWUTT (When We Understand The Text)

     Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner?

     Thou Shalt Not Judge?

     God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle?

     Do We Have To Prove That God Exists?

     Preach The Gospel, If Necessary Use Words?

     You Don't Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian?

     I Stand At The Door And Knock?

     God Has Already Chosen Who Will Be Saved?

     Spare The Rod, Spoil the Child?

     The Bible Says Slavery is Okay?

     Are Catholics Saved?

     God Foreknew Who Would Be Saved?

     Does The Bible Say Homosexuality is A Sin?

     Alter Calls And The Sinner's Prayer?

     Worse Than An Unbeliever?

    Kids Section

     The Gospel

     David Platt On Sharing the Gospel With Children

     For The Children: Are You Saved? - Paul Washer

     2 Amazing 11 Year Old Boys

   Other Audio / Video

     Rescue The Perishing

     Emeal Zwayne's Dialogue With A Homosexual

     The Big Questions of Life - Voddie Baucham

   Explore God

     Is There A God?

     Can We Know God Personally?

     Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering?

     Is Jesus Really God?

     Are Christians Judgmental?

   The Bible Project

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 1 of 2 

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 2 of 2 

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Leviticus Overview

     The Book of Numbers Overview

     The Book of Deuteronomy Overview

     The Book of Joshua Overview

     The Book of Judges Overview

     The Book of Ruth Overview

     The Book of 1 Samuel Overview

     The Book of 2 Samuel Overview

     The Books of 1 and 2 Kings Overview

     The Book of Job Overview

     The Book of Psalms Overview

     The Book of Proverbs Overview

     The Book of Song of Songs Overview

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Hosea Overview

     The Book of Joel Overview

     The Book of Amos Overview

     The Book of Obadiah Overview

     The Book of Jonah Overview

     The Book of Micah Overview

     The Book of Nahum Overview

     The Book of Habakkuk Overview

     The Book of Zephaniah Overview 

Street Conversations

Street Conversations Disclaimer

Street Conversations - George & Paul

Street Conversations - Don

Street Conversations - VeeJay

Street Conversations - Joe

Street Conversations - Ralph 

Street Conversations - Charles

Street Conversations - Ed

Street Conversations - Ken

Street Conversations - Jessica

Street Conversations - Ida

Street Conversations - Earl & Evadel 

Street Conversations - Jim  

Street Conversations - Raheem

Street Conversations - Raheem part 2

Street Conversations - My Mom

Street Conversations - Eddie

Street Conversations - Renee

Street Conversations - Ron

Street Conversations - Rash

Street Conversations - Preacher

Street Conversations - Luis

Street Conversations - Keith

Street Conversations - Hippy

Street Conversations - Rich

Street Conversations - Hippy part 2

Street Conversations - Butch

Street Conversations - Scott

Street Conversations - Marcos

Street Conversations - Will & James

Street Conversations - Alexander and Valerie

Street Conversations - Jerry and Steve

Street Conversations - Blake

Street Conversations - Elteresa

Street Conversations - Pete

Street Conversations - George

Street Conversations - Jacob

Street Conversations - Nolan

Street Conversations - Fred and Frank

Street Conversations - Phillip

 

Me      

My Baptism

Parable Of The Talents  

Survey Says  

A Hard Lesson  

Talking About Jesus  

The Perfect Gift  

A Faith Worth Thinking About  

Stand Strong  

Peace At Christmas  

Resolutions From Revelation  

Takin' The Gospel To The Streets  

Responding Rightly To The Gospel Of Grace  

A Defense That Honors God And His Word  

Encouragement In Corinth

Why Are You Here?  

The Dash

Surrendering To Win

The Gospel

The Laborers Are Few; Therefore...

Love Has No Labels - A Response

Faith That Works

Atheists: They Don't Exist

YOU Must Be NEW

Making a Difference - Outreach and Evangelism  

Luke - A Careful Investigation to be Sure  

Be Kind! Yeah, But Why?

A Close Encounter of the Divine Kind

The Formula For Forgiveness

The Parable of the Soils

Jesus in the Storm

Dealing with Difficult Disciples

Propitiation

Repent or Perish!

Demanding Discipleship 

 

 

The views and opinions of this website are the sole opinion of the author, not Living Water Community Church, its staff, congregation, or leadership.

 

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