THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
I. GOD essentially the same beliefs as the Bible, affirmation of the Trinity. No problem.
II. JESUS though officially affirming a belief in Jesus, actual Catholic practice has produced a multitude of other Jesuses
(2 Cor. 11:4):
A. The Jesus of the Eucharistic communion host
B. The Jesus who is stern, far off and inaccessible; thus necessitating Mary as our intercessor
1. 1 Timothy. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
2. Hebrews. 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
C. The priest (every priest is another Christ)
1. Hebrews. 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
2. Hebrews. 7:24-5 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
D. The dead Jesus on the crucifix
1. Deuteronomy. 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
2. Deuteronomy. 7:26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.
E. The pope (Holy Father) as Vicar of Christ (Vicarius Christos = "another Christ" or substitute Christ")
1. John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
2. Matthew. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
III. BIBLE though affirming the Bible as the Word of God, the Church claims it created the Bible and thus has the sole right to interpret it infallibly. Leads to the problem of two sources of authority:
A. The Holy Bible (as interpreted by the Vatican)
1. 2 Peter. 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2. 2 Timothy. 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
B. The Magisterial, which consists of two elements:
1. decrees of ecumenical councils or dogmas "infallibly defined" by the pope
2. church tradition-pious customs kept from time immemorial assume the force of canon law
Mark 7:6-9 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Colossians. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
1 Peter. 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
IV. SALVATION not available to those outside the Catholic church. Baptism is essential to salvation, as is faithful attendance at the sacraments, especially the Sunday liturgy. Tied into this dogma is a complex system of religious practices to facilitate the Catholics salvation:
A. The Eucharistic liturgy (Mass) as an unbloody sacrifice for sins. Catholics must eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood in the sacrament to be saved from their sins.
Council of Trent credal formulation: "I profess likewise, in the mass there is offered to God a true, proper, propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead. And that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, these are truly, really and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and the whole substance of the wine into the blood.
Council of Trent, Canon #1: If anyone shall deny that the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore the entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist and shall say that He is only in it as a sign or in a figure, let him be anathema (cursed to hell)."
Hebrews. 10:10-12 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
But if the liturgy does what Catholic doctrine teaches that it does, then Catholics are being asked to participate in an act forbidden by God,
i. both before the Law:
Genesis. 9:3-4: Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
ii. Under the Mosaic Law;
Leviticus. 17:14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
iii. And today in the New Testament age of grace:
Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
2. Additionally, if the liturgy does what it says it does, then it consists of repeating the sacrifice of Calvary and undoing the effects of the resurrection of Jesus!
Hebrews. 6:6-If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
John 19:34-But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
1 Corinthians. 15:50-Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
B. Purgatory as a purification spot for unworthy Catholics. NO CATHOLIC can know where they will go when they die for certain!
1.John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
2. John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
2. John 3:15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
C. Masses, prayers and indulgences for the departed Catholic in purgatory
1.Hebrews. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2.2 Corinthians. 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
3. 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
D. Veneration of and prayer to Mary and dead saintsdulia and hyperdulia technical Catholic theological terms: Dulia: the veneration of saints. Hyperdulia: the super-veneration of Mary. The Greek root of those terms: doulia, means bondage!
1.Ecclesiastes. 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing
2. Isaiah. 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
3. Leviticus. 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
4. Deuteronomy. 18:9-11 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
5. Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
6. Job 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
E. Indulgences for the living through acts of piety:
1. the Rosary
1. Matthew. 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
2. Jeremiah. 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
2. 7 Sacraments and Novenas
1 Corinthians. 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Romans 1:22-23 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
4. Many pious traditions from local areas
Colossians. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
V. THE PAPACY the pope is the literal successor of Peter as bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the universal Church, the Vicar of Christ Jesus personal representative. The pope alone can declare someone a saint, and he has the ability to infallibly define dogma for all Catholics.
A. Catholics interpret Mt.16:18 as applying to Peter as the rock upon which Jesus built His church.
Matthew. 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (PETROS), and upon this rock (PETRA) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
1. However, nowhere is Peter treated like a pope, called a pope, never calls himself a pope, nor does he call himself a PETRA. Rather
1 Peter. 2:6-8 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him (Jesus) shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he (Jesus) is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
2. No Biblical evidence for Peter ever being bishop of Rome or even being in Rome.
(Paul wrote extensive greetings to Roman Christians at the end of Romans (16:1-16) and never even mentioned Peter)
1 Peter. 5:13-14 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
3. Peter never permitted anyone to kiss his feet, or his ring, to call him Your Holiness or "Holy Father" and never gave any "infallible" decrees.
Acts 10:24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
Galatians. 2:11-14 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
4. Nothing in the 1600-year history of the Papacy would lead one to believe that it was a divinely ordained institution.
Deuteronomy. 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
Opening Remarks from Bishop J.C. Ryle:
I wish my readers to remember that the burning of the martyrs is an act that the Church of Rome has never repudiated, apologized for, or repented of, down to the present day.
Never has she repented of her treatment of the Vaudois and the Albigenses; never has she repented of the wholesale murders of the Inquisition; never has she repented of the burning of the English Reformers. We should make note of that fact and let it sink down into our minds. Rome never changes!
From D. Martin Lloyd-Jones:
In one sense you might well think that the Roman Catholic church is the most orthodox church in the world [It] believes that Jesus of Nazareth was the eternal Son of God; it believes in the Virgin Birth; it believes in the Incarnation; it believes in His miracles; [etc.]
But at this point, the subtlety comes in and the difficulty arises. To all that [orthodoxy she "adds," with a damnable plus things which are utterly unscriptural and which, indeed, become a denial of the Scripture. So she lands us eventually in a position in which, if we accept her teaching, we are believing a lie.
Roman Catholicism is the devil's greatest masterpiece! It is such a departure from the Christian faith and the New Testament teaching that her dogma is a counterfeit; she is, as the Scripture puts it, "the whore."
Let me warn you very solemnly that if you rejoice in these [ecumenical] approaches to Rome, you are denying the blood of the martyrs! There are innocent people who are being deluded by this kind of falsity, and it is your business and mind to open their eyes.
Today's Catholics must "accept, without hesitation, and profess all that has been handed down especially by the Sacred Council of Trent."
If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.
[We affirm] that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and [that] bishops shall see to it that the suffrages of the living, that is, the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, alms and other works of piety which they have been accustomed to perform for the faithful depart be piously and devoutly discharged in accordance with the laws of the church
Salvation outside the Catholic Church?
For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.
The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those "who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions" are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt.
Indulgences (earning eternal merit for oneself or departed loved ones through acts of piety or monetary gifts):
[The Roman Catholic church] teaches and commands the the usage of indulgences-a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the Sacred Councils-should be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema [a curse of damnation to hell] those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass:
For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, "the work of our redemption is accomplished."
Worshiping the wafer of bread?
There should be no doubt in anyone's mind "that all the faithful ought to show to this most holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God, as has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be adored any the less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten."
Still sacrificing Jesus today?
The Mass, the Lord's Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated.
The sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of Calvary, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby Christ the high priest by an unbloody immolation offers himself a most acceptable victim to the eternal Father as he did on the cross.
The authority of the Holy Bible?
Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence. But the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church It is clear, therefore, that in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.
But when Christians separated from us [ie. Protestants] affirm the divine authority of the sacred books, they think differently from us about the relationship between the scriptures and the Church. For in the Church, according to Catholic belief, its authentic teaching office has a special place in expounding and preaching the written Word of God.
Let's Be Ecumenical!
Bishops should show affection consideration in their relations with the separated brethren [Protestants] and should urge the faithful also to exercise all kindness and charity in their regard, encouraging ecumenism as it is understood by the Church.
The term "ecumenical movement" indicates the initiatives and activities encouraged and organized, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity.
This Sacred Council urges the faithful to abstain from any frivolous or imprudent zeal, for these can cause harm to true progress toward unity. Their ecumenical activity cannot be other than fully and sincerely Catholic, that is, loyal to the truth we have received from the Apostles and the Fathers, and in harmony with the faith which the Catholic Church has always professed
Confession of Faith:
I accept and hold, in each and every part, all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning Original Sin and Justification.
I profess that in the Mass is offered to God a true, real and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is really, truly and substantially the Body and blood together with the soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place what the Church calls transubstantiation, that is the change of all the substance of bread into the Body and of all substance of wine into the Blood. I confess also that that in received under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ, whole and entire.
I firmly hold that Purgatory exists and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful. Likewise, I hold that the saints, who reign with Jesus Christ, should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us and that their relics are to be venerated.
I profess firmly that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever virgin, as well as of all the saints should be given due honour and veneration. I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant Indulgences, and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people.
The pope sits as Christ in the Vatican.
This is the only church instituted by Christ for the salvation of mankind All are bound to belong to the Church, which Christ established, to share in His merits and thus attain life everlasting Those who know the Church of Christ cannot be saved outside her fold. The only Church of the present day which can prove her claim to be the divine Church established by Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church.
[The Roman Catholic church is] the only true Church the custodian and interpreter of Revelation Man can obtain a knowledge of God's Word [only] from the Catholic church and through its duly constituted channels.
When he has once mastered this principle of Divine Authority [residing in the church], the Inquirer is prepared to accept whatever the Divine Church teaches on Faith, Morals, and the Means of grace.
the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the church alone.
But by divine institution, it is exclusive task of these pastors alone, the successors of Peter and the other Apostles, to teach the faithful authentically, that is with the authority of Christ.
We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the successor of Peter when he speaks ex cathedra as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, an infallibility which the whole Episcopate enjoys when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium.
Bishop J.C. Ryle, WHY WERE OUR REFORMERS BURNED?, Leeds, England, Maranatha Revival Crusade, 1982, p.18.
2.D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Evangelical Press, Grand Rapids, MI, one in a series of "Pastoral Booklets," pp.1-4.
3. ibid., pp.1-4, 16.
4. Rev. Peter Geiermannn, C.SS.R., THE CONVERT'S CATECHISM OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Tan, 1977, Imprimatur Joseph E. Ritter, S.T.D., Archbishop of St. Louis,p.103.
5. THE CANONS AND DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, translated and introduced by Rev. H.J. Schroeder, O.P., Tan, 1978, p.46.
6. ibid., p.214.
7. VATICAN II: THE CONCILIAR AND POST CONCILIAR DOCUMENTS, Austin Flannery, O.P., ed. Costello Publishing, 1975, p.456.
13. John A. Harden, SJ, THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM, Doubleday & Co., 1975, pp.465-466.
14. VATICAN II, op.cit., p.755-756.
15. ibid., p.468.
16. ibid., p.573.
17. ibid., p.457.
18. ibid., p.470.
19. Geiermannn., pp.101-104.
20. John A. Harden, SJ, MODERN CATHOLIC DICTIONARY, 1980, p.561.
21. Geiermannn, pp.25-27.
22. ibid., p.14, 19, 27, 34, 36.
23. ibid., p. VI.
24. Austin Flannery, O.P., ed., VATICAN COUNCIL II, Costello Publishing, 1984, vol.I, p.755.
25. ibid., vol. II, 1982, p.430.
26. ibid., p.392.
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