Monday, February 16, 2015

Roman Catholicism



 
The Catechism is the official source for all Roman Catholic doctrine.
 Who is the final authority?

            The Bible maintains that it is the one and only final authority, while Catholicism teaches that three final authorities exist. 1 Tradition 2 Scripture and 3 the Magisterium.  According to Catholic doctrine, church tradition and magisterium are just as much the word of God (page 26).  The obvious question is, what happens when these three final authorities' disagree with each other?  The task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successors of Peter, the Bishop of Rome (page 27).

            Therefore, the Catechism concludes that the one final authority is not the Bible, but the current teaching of the Catholic Church, since she is the only one qualified to provide an authentic interpretation of God's word.  If the Bible, tradition, and the teaching of the Catholic Church are all, in fact, the word of God, then the Bible will concur with this teaching.  Unfortunately for Catholicism, it does not.  In fact, the exact contrary is true.  The word of God is perfect.
Psalms 119:160 (NKJV)
160 The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
Psalms 12:6-7 (NKJV)
6 The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
7 You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
John 17:17, Rev 22:18-19, Rom 16:17-18, Gal 1:8-9, Prov 30:5-6
                                                                        Tradition
Mark 7:7-8 (NKJV)
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."
Colossians 2:8 (NKJV)
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.


1)  Salvation Through the Church

            “The second Vatican council's decree on Ecumenism explains; 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” (Page 215)
The word God says
Romans 10:13 (NKJV)
13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
John 3:36 (NKJV)
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 5:24, John 6:47, Rom 10:9-10, Acts 10:43

According to Paul, Timothy needed faith in Christ to be saved, not a Church.
2 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV)
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


2) Salvation Through Good Works

To be saved, Catholic doctrine requires the continual performance of good works.  “Even though incorporated into the Church, one who doesn't however persevere in charity is not saved.” (Page 222, #837)  These works include Baptism (page 320, #1257), various sacraments, plus many additional works.
But the Bible declares that salvation can not be earned, but is a free and undeserved gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Titus 3:5 (NKJV)
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
Rom 3:28, Gal 3:8, 26
                                                            The Pharisees and good works

The pharisees were convinced that performing good works would earn them salvation, but Jesus set them straight.  In Mark's gospel the pharisees and scribes asked Jesus.
Mark 7:5-9 (NKJV)
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"
6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."
9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

            This is exactly what the Catholic church does by evaluating Church tradition above the Word of God. 
Galatians 2:16 (NKJV)
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Matthew 7:21-22 (NKJV)
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'




3) The Church forgives sins
 
Catholicism teaches that it has the power and authority to forgive peoples sins.  “There is no offense, however serious, that the power to forgive the sins of the baptized (page 257, #986).  “The Church, who through the Bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ.” (page 363-364, #1448)
What the scripture says
Mark 2:7 (NKJV)
7 "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Eph 4:32, Heb 4:16, Ps 32:5, Ps 51:2-4, Col 3:13


4) The one true Church


            “This is the sole church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.” (Page 214 #811)  This “one true Church” doctrine can be traced to one verse. 
Matthew 16:16-18 (NKJV)
16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
            Catholicism contends that the Lord was referring to Peter as the Rock and has since built the entire Catholic religion upon that premise.  But all other scriptures declare that Jesus was referring to himself as the rock, not Peter.
1 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
Ephesians 2:20 (NKJV)
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,
Ps 118:22, Acts 4:10-11, 1 Pet 2:7, Ps 18:31, Deut 32:3-4, Ps 62:1-2, Ps 94:22


                                                            Who is the Head of the Church?

            But the Bible declares that Jesus Christ, not Peter is the head of the church. 
Colossians 1:18 (NKJV)
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Ephesians 1:22 (NKJV)
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,


                                                           

Jesus is the Rock

            What did Jesus mean when he said to Peter, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.(Matt 16:18).  If one interprets this verse in isolation it may seem that the Roman Catholic church is right, that Christ would build His Church on Peter.  But if one read the verse in context, it is apparent that Jesus is teaching that he himself is the solid rock upon which the Christian faith would rest.
            The context of Matt 16:18 is not about Peter but about Jesus and his identity.  It begins with Jesus asking his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of man is?”(Matt 16:13).  They answer, “Some say John the Baptist; and others Elijah; but still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” (vs 14)
Christ then asked them, “But who do you say I am?”(vs 15) Peter answers, “though art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  The passage concludes with Jesus waring his disciples “that they should tell no one that he was the Christ”(vs 20).
            Jesus made a play on words when he said, “You are Peter(petros-a masculine noun meaning 'boulder' or detached stone), and upon this rock (petra, a feminine noun meaning “bedrock” or a mass of rock).  I will build my church” (Matt 16:18).  The change in words indicates that the rock on which Christ would build his Church is not Peter, but someone far greater.  Every figurative use of the word 'rock' in the Old Testament is a reference to deity.
Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV)
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
Deuteronomy 32:15 (NKJV)
15 "But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, You are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Deuteronomy 32:18 (NKJV)
18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
1 Sam 2:2, 2 Sam 22:32, Ps 18:31, Rom 9:33, 1 Cor 3:11, 10:4, Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:6-8


5) Baptism Saves

            The Catholic church contends that Baptism is necessary for Salvation.  “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for Salvation”(page 320, #1257).  But the Lord does not agree with this statement.  “Through baptism we are free from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, and our incorporated into the Catholic church”(page 312, #1213).
                                                            What the Bible says
John 1:12 (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Catechism says “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte a new creature, and adopted son of God, who has become a partaker of the divine nature, member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (page 322 # 1265  “By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sins and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.” (page 321 # 1263)
                                                            What the Bible says
John 1:12 (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
            Catechism says “Baptism not only purifies from all sins but also make the neophyte a new creature, an adopted son of God who has become a partaker of the divine nature, member of Christ and co heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.”(page 322, #1265)
            “By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.”(page 321, #1263)
                                                            What the Bible Says
Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
1 Corinthians 1:14 (NKJV)
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
Matt 3:2; v:6, Acts 8:36-37
            True baptism should occur after baptism. Acts 16:30-31, 33.  Acts 18:8


6)  The Pope, Vicar of Christ

            Is the Pope the Vicar (substitute) of Christ on the Earth, wielding universal power over the whole Church?  Catechism says “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.”(page 234, #882)

                                                            Who is our Real Teacher?
John 14:26 (NKJV)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13, 14:16, 1 Cor 2:11
            Jesus promised that the infallible teacher would abide with us forever.  John 14:16
The Pope has assumed a position reserved for the Holy Spirit of God.  It is a position no man can fill.  1Cor 2:11-13  If the Pope is Christ's substitute on Earth, there should be many similarities in their lives.  Lets see;
1)      While on Earth, Jesus controlled great wealth.  The Pope controls one of the wealthiest corporations in the world.
2)      Jesus dressed like a common man.  The Pope, on the hand, is never seen but regal apparel.
3)      Jesus lived in simple surroundings, but the Pope views opulence at every turn.
According to God's word, the Pope is not ahead of the true Church of Jesus Christ.  The position is reserved for the Lord Jesus(Eph 5:23).  Concerning the Pope's title of “Holy Father”, Jesus himself instructed us to “Call no man your Father upon the Earth; for one is your Father, which is in Heaven”(Matt 23:9).
Revelation 15:4 (NKJV)
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
Isa 42:8






7)  The Pope, Infallible

According to Catholic doctrine, the Pope is infallible in matters of doctrine, faith and morals.  The catechism says, “the Roman pontiff enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office when as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful- who confirms his brethren in the faith- he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.  This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine revelation itself. (page 233, #89)


8)  The Sacraments Save

            Are the sacraments necessary for salvation?
            “The church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the new covenant are necessary for salvation. (page 292, #1129) 
            What are the sacraments?
There are seven sacrament in the Church. 1 Baptism, 2 Confirmation, 3 Eucharist, 4 Penance, 5 anointing of the sick, 6 holy orders, and 7 matrimony. (page 289, #1113).
            These seven sacraments are nothing more than a series of good works. 

Romans 3:20

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”
Isaiah 64:6 – Filthy rags.

            Since the sacraments are necessary for salvation, and available through the Catholic Church, then obviously, one must be a faithful member of the Catholic Church to be saved.


9)  The Sin of Presumption

            Catholicism maintains that believing you are assured of going to heaven when you die is to commit the sin of presumption.
            “There are two kinds of presumption.  Either man presumes upon his own capacities (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.”  (pg. 507, #2092)
            By taking this position, the Catholic Church once again lines itself up against written scripture. (1 John 5:13). 
            Would a loving God say, “Do as many good works as you can, then keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best when you stand before me someday.”  The Bible declares that those who receive Christ by faith and put their trust in Him can know right now that they have eternal life. 
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:36 (NKJV)
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 5:24, John 10:27-28, John 6:47, 6:40, Phil 1:23, 1 John 2:25, John 3:3, 1:12, Rom 8:17, 1 Pet 1:4, John 14:2

                             It is not presumptuous to take God at His word.  That is called faith.


10)  Infant Baptism

            Infant Baptism is one of the most critical doctrines of the Catholic Church.  “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin; children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought in to the realm of the freedom of the children of God to which all men are called.  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.”  (pg. 319 #1250).

            The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the church.  There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on page 319 #1252.  Here, the Catechism admits that this doctrine is not based upon scripture.  It is a man-made tradition.


11)  Transubstantiation

            During the mass, priests allegedly have the power to supernaturally turn the bread and wine into  the actual and literal body and blood of Jesus Christ.  “The Council of  Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring, 'Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this this holy council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood.'”  This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation (Pg 347, #1276).
            The catechism even specifies when Christ comes in to the Eucharist and how long He stays: “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist.  Christ is Present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.”        (Pg 347, #1327)
            Since Catholicism is teaching members to partake in the literal cannibalism, this doctrine requires serious examination.  Their argument is based on John 6:53-54.
John 6:53-54 (NKJV)
53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Though this one verse does appear to teach cannibalism, if you read the entire passage in context, the meaning becomes clear.  Right before making that statement, Jesus said – John 6:33 – 35.
            This teaching is consistent with the rest of scripture.  Eternal life comes through believing in Jesus Christ, not eating is body.  (John 6:40)
John 6:40 (NKJV)
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

            The church mandates that all Catholics attend mass weekly.  It recognizes some reasons for failure to meet this holy obligation, such as illness, caring for a sick child or parent, or the inability to get to church while traveling.  But deliberate disobedience is a mortal sin.  To be forgiven, a Catholic must confess how many times he missed mass to a priest during the sacrament of penance.  The Church teaches that Catholics are not only morally obligated to go to mass, but that they also are dependent  upon it for their salvation.  This is because of a miraculous event that allegedly occurs at every mass.  During a part of the mass called the consecration, the Church teaches that the bread and wine turn into the actual body and blood of Christ.
             In acknowledgement of this supposed miraculous change, the Catholic Church instructs its people to kneel before the consecrated bread and wine offering up promise, worship, and thanksgiving.  For this reason, Catholics also refer to the consecrated bread and wine as the Eucharist from the Greek word for  “thanksgiving.”
            Roman Catholicism teaches that the mass also helps Catholics get to heaven in that it is a sacrifice for sin.  According to the Church, the mass is a real sacrifice of the cross.  From childhood they are taught that only through the mass can they experience the material presence of Christ, worship Him under the appearance of bread and wine, and receive Him into themselves in Holy communion.


12)  Eucharist: Preserves from Sin

            Does partaking of the Eucharist have the power to cleanse Catholics from past sins and preserve them from future sins? 
            “For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without, at the same time, cleansing us  from past sins and preserving us from future sins.”  (pg. 351 #1393)
            Regarding cleansing from past sins, the Bible declares that all sins are washed away through the blood of Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:7 (NKJV)
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Revelation 1:5 (NKJV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Preserving from Future Sins

            There is no scriptural evidence that eating a piece of bread will preserve anyone form future sins.  Aside from holding people in bondage to the church, there is little else such a practice can accomplish.  Bible says some recommendations to avoid future sins.  Psalm 119:11  “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee,” Psalm 119:11.


13)  Eucharist: Helps the Dead

            “The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified, so that they may be able to enter in to the light and peace of Christ” (pg. 345 #1371).  “In the Eucharist, the church expresses her efficacious communion with the departed.”  (pg. 420 # 1689)

14)  Mary Saves

            Does Mary, the mother of Jesus, play a role in the salvation of mankind?  “Taken up to heaven, she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office, but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.”  (pg. 252 # 969)  “Being obedient, she (Mary) became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”  (pg. 125 # 494)
            Is this doctrine scriptural? 
Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
John 14:6 (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Still the catechism insists “she (Mary) is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son.”  (pg. 303 # 1172)

Isaiah 43:11 (NKJV)
11 I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior.
Hosea 13:4 (NKJV)
4 "Yet I am the Lord your God Ever since the land of Egypt, And you shall know no God but Me; For there is no Savior besides Me.


15)  Mary: Saved from Birth

            Catholicism asserts that Mary never sinned and, hence was redeemed (saved) from the moment of her birth.  “By the grace of God, Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.” 
(pg. 124 # 493)  “Espousing the divine will for salvation whole heartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her son.”  (pg. 124 # 494)
            “Mary is the most excellent fruit of redemption, from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.”  (pg. 128 # 508) 
            If you are wondering if this doctrine is taught in God's word, it isn't.  The catechism admits that it is another church tradition.  But the Bible identifies Jesus as the sinless one, not Mary.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

            Mary knew she needed a savior:
Luke 1:46-47 (NKJV)
46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
 
           

When a woman came to Jesus and attempted to exalt Mary, look how the Lord responded. 
Luke 11:27-28 (NKJV)
27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!"
28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

            Christians familiar with the Bible find little resemblance between the Mary of scripture and the Mary for Roman Catholicism.  The real Mary was a faithful servant of God who humbly yielded herself as “bond slave of the Lord.”  (Luke 1:38).  Rome's Mary, on the other hand, possesses god-like attributes and abilities.  Her power, according to Pope Leo XIII, is “all but unlimited.” 
            Pope John Paul, II says that “Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church's victories now and in the future to be linked to her.”  According to the church, Mary is “immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; more beautiful that beauty, more lovely that loveliness; more holy that holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpasses all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the grace of the most Holy Spirit.  God alone accepted Mary as more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim.  To praise her, all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.”  Pope Pius, IX  (ineffabilis Deus)
            In 1854, Pope Pius, IX formally proclaimed the doctrine of Mary's immaculate conception, claiming that God preserved Mary from all stain of inherited sin from Adam from the first instant of her conception.  As a result, she lived a perfectly sinless life.  Then in 1950, Pope Pius, XII defined the doctrine of Mary's assumption, saying that at the end of her earthly life she was taken bodily into heaven. 
            The Catholic Church also honors Mary as the ever 'Virgin Mary.'  Not only did she remain a virgin “until she gave birth” (Matthew 1:25) as the scripture says, but according to the church she retained her virginal state both during the birth and later afterward, though married to Joseph.  The church exalts Mary as the mother of God, mother of the church, and co-Redeemer of mankind.
            “Mary suffered and, as it were, nearly died with her suffering son; for the salvation of mankind she renounced her mother's right and, as far as it depended on her, offered her son to placate divine justice; so we may well say that she, with Christ, redeemed mankind.”  Pope Benedict, XV
                                                                       
                                                                        Inter Sodalicia

            Presently, says the church, Mary sits crowned in heaven as the queen of Heaven and Earth.  There she serves as the “most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her Divine Son.  She is the mother of grace through whom Christ grants all graces to the world.  The church says that “Catholics should entrust all their cares and petitions to Mary, surrendering the hour of their death wholly to her care” Catechism # 2677.


16) Mary remained a Virgin

            The Catechism records that Mary remained a virgin throughout her entire life.  “Mary remained a virgin in conceiving her son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin.”  (pg. 128, #510)  The Bible states that after giving birth to Jesus, Mary bore other children.
           
“Is not this the carpenter's son?  Is not his mother called Mary and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judus?
 Matthew 13:55 (NKJV)
55 Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
Mark 6:3 (NKJV)
3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" And they were offended at Him.
Galatians 1:19 (NKJV)
19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

            Because these verses so clearly contradict Catholic doctrine, the Catechism gives this explanation: “The church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary.  In fact, James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ.”  (Pg. 126, #500)


17)  Mary: The Intercessor

            “Therefore the blessed Virgin as invoked in the church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”  (Pg.252, #969)  Here, four specific titles are given to Mary.  Does she fulfill them?
Advocate

            The Bible declares that, Jesus, not Mary, is the only advocate. 
1 John 2:1 (NKJV)
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Helper

Psalms 54:4 (NKJV)
4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
Hebrews 13:6 (NKJV)
6 So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Benefactress

Here is another tradition of man.
Mediatrix

            The Bible never elevates Mary to the position of Mediatrix, but it does ordain Jesus as the one and only mediator. 
 1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
Hebrews 9:15 (NKJV)
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Intercessor

            The function of both a mediator and an advocate is to intercede on behalf of others.  Catholic tradition assigns this position to Mary, whereas God's word exalts the Lord Jesus Christ as the only intercessor. 
Hebrews 9:24 (NKJV)
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Hebrews 7:12-13 (NKJV)
12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
Rom: 8:34, Rom: 8:27, Eph:2:8, 3:11-12, Rom:5:1-2
So the Catholic tradition strips these four titles away from Jesus and drops them in Mary's lap.


18)  Mary: Recipient of Prayer

            Catholic doctrine commands members to pray to the Virgin Mary: “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All Holy One – Mary.  She welcomes us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in Paradise.” (Pg. 644, # 2677)
            It is imperative that you know whether these statements are from God or merely traditions of men.  Therefore, we will examine each statement.
1)      Asking Mary to pray for us.  A tradition of men, not found in the Bible.
2)      Mother of Mercy: another fabricated tradition of men.
3)      Mary is the All Holy One: a tradition of men.
4)      Mary welcomes us at death.  Another big lie.
5)      Mary leads us to Jesus. - Tradition.


19)  Mary Queen Over All Things

            “Finally the immaculate Virgin, reserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul in to heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things.”  (Pg. 252, # 966)  Scripture not only never teaches such a doctrine, it condemns it.  In Jeremiah 44:9, we read about the worship of a false goddess known as the “Queen of heaven,” a practice which made God furious. 
Jeremiah 7:18 (NKJV)
18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.
Jeremiah 44:17 (NKJV)
17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.

            Pagan religion worshiped “Queen of Heaven,” and Catholicism has handed down the same pagan ritual.  The Bible only exalts God Almighty.  God receives glory through Jesus Christ.  The Bible declares that God receives glory through Jesus Christ.  In the New Testament, the name “Jesus” appears 943 times.  The name 'Christ' appears 533 times, while the words 'Lord Jesus' appear 115 times.  The name Mary appears only a handful of times, and is never referred to as a queen of anything.


20)  The Mass


            If the Catechism is to be believed, then each time the mass is performed, Christ's work on the cross is made present and the work of our redemption is carried out.  “In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.”  (Pg. 344, # 1367).
            But the Bible reveals that the work of redemption was a one time act which was completed when Jesus died on the cross. 
Hebrews 9:26 (NKJV)
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 10:10 (NKJV)
10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:12 (NKJV)
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
Heb: 9:12, 7:27

            Yet the Catechism is adamant that: “Every time this mystery is celebrated, 'the work of our redemption is carried on.'”  (Pg. 354, # 1405).
Hebrews 9:28 (NKJV)
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

            Catechism states, “the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice.”  (Pg. 344, # 1367).  To associate the rituals of the Catholic church with Christ's work on the cross is ludicrous and sacrilegious.  The Catholic church played no part in the work that made redemption possible and it deserves no credit.


21)  Purgatory

            Catechism teaches that after death, some people are sent to a place called purgatory for further purification before entering heaven.  “All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”  (Pg. 2658, # 1030).
            “The church gives the name purgatory to this final purification of the elect.” 
(Pg. 268-269, # 1031).


22)  Praying to Saints

            “The witnesses who have preceded us into the Kingdom, especially those whom the church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives – they contemplate God, praise Him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth.  Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan.  We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”  (Pg. 645, # 2683).
            Catholicism discarded the scriptural definition of a 'saint' and devised a new one.


23)  Praying for the Dead

            Can the living help the dead by praying for them?  According to Catholic doctrine, they can: “communion with the dead.  In full consciousness of this communication of the whole mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the church in its Pilgrim members, from the earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and because it is a  holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins she offers her suffrages for them.  Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.”
(Pg. 250, # 958).
            Three statements here contradict the Bible.  Let's look at each. 
1)      “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead.”  According to God's word, it is neither holy nor wholesome to pray for the dead.  Christians are instructed to pray for the living, but not one example exists of true Christians praying for the dead.
2)      Praying for the dead can help loose them from their sins.  Here is a tradition built upon another tradition.  According to scripture one must be loosed from their sins before death, not after death.
3)      Our prayers make their intercession for us effective.  Like building blocks, they keep piling tradition on top of tradition, all without any scriptural foundation.  “Making their intercession for us effective.”  The obvious question is: why do we need others interceding for us:  Isn't it enough to have God the Son interceding for us:  Does the creator of the universe need the help of mortal men and women to persuade the Father on our behalf?

24)  Statutes

            The Catechism requires all Catholics to “venerate” statues or images of Christ, Mary and others.  “Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ.  Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore.  Through sacred salvation, it is he whom we adore.  Through sacred images of the holy mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.”  (Pg. 307, # 1192).
            When God gave the ten commandments, the sacred one was: “Thou shall not make unto thee any graven images, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” 
Exodus 20:4 (NKJV)
4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
Deuteronomy 16:22 (NKJV)
22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the Lord your God hates.
Deuteronomy 4:15-16 (NKJV)
15 "Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,
16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,
Deut: 4:23, Ex 20:5, 1 Cor: 10:19-20, Lev 19:4,  1 Cor: 5:11, Eph 5:5-6
            This doctrine came from the “holy Fathers” and “tradition of the Catholic church.”  Read also Psalm 135:15 – 16.


25)  Confirmation

            Confirmation, besides being one of the sacraments necessary for salvation, also provides Catholics with other benefits, says the Catechism: “confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly in to Christ, strengthen our bond with the church..”  (Pg. 333, # 1316).
            Supposedly, confirmation incorporates Catholics more firmly in to Christ.  But the Bible teaches no such doctrine.  According to God's word, you are either in Christ or you are not.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

            The practical result of the confirmation is that this ritual brings people in to deeper bondage to the Catholic church.  The Catechism admits this: “For by the sacrament of confirmation, (the baptized) are more perfectly bound to the church.”  (Pg. 326, # 1285).  But why would anyone need or want to be bound to the rules of the Catholic church, considering that Jesus came to set people free.
John 8:36 (NKJV)
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Matthew 15:9 (NKJV)
9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "

            Who will you believe – the word of God, or the commandment of men?


26)  Confessing Sins to a Priest

            Regarding the forgiveness of sins, two critical doctrines must be examined.  First, all sins must be confessed to a priest: “one who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.”  (Pg. 374, # 1493).  “Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of penance.”  (Pg. 365, # 1456).  “It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament.”  (Pg. 357, # 1424)
            Catholicism orders members to confess their sins to a man, but the Bible reveals that those who have been born into God's family can go straight to God's throne to receive forgiveness for their sins.


Psalms 32:5 (NKJV)
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Ps 51: 2-3, Heb 10:19

           
                                                            The “First Popes” example

            In the book of Acts, a man named Simon came to the alleged first pope, Peter, and wanted to buy the Power of the Holy Spirit.  How did Peter respond to this sin?  Did he suggest that Simon make a confession to him right there?  No, Peter told him to repent and confess his sin to God and ask God to forgive him. 
Acts 8:18-22 (NKJV)
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19 saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

            The second part of this doctrine suggests that Catholic priests have the power to forgive sins.  “Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.” (Pg. 374, # 1495).  See also pg. 364, # 1448.  Here, too, Catholic doctrine opposes God's word. 
Mark 2:7 (NKJV)
7 "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

            “Catholicism teaches that the priest is a mediator between God and men.”  (Pg. 365, # 1456).  But the Bible recognizes only one mediator.  
1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,


27) Indulgences

            Through indulgences, the sins of Roman Catholics, both those who are alive and those in purgatory, can supposedly be forgiven: “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in purgatory.”  (Pg. 374, # 1498). 
            Here is the Catechism's definition of an indulgence: “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is daily disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the Saints.”  (Pg. 370, # 1471).


28) Interpreting God's Word

            Are Catholics able to interpret God's word for themselves?  “The task of interpreting the word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the magisterium of the church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”  (Pg. 30, # 100).
            When Paul and Silas preached in Berea, the people “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Acts 17:11 (NKJV)
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

            In other words, they interpreted the scriptures for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Mark 12:24 (NKJV)
24 Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?
2 Peter 1:20 (NKJV)
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
2 Tim 2:15, John 5:39

            The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit, not a group of men, will interpret scripture.
John 14:26 (NKJV)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13 (NKJV)
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
1 Cor 2:12-13, Ps 119:11, Proverbs 7:2-3
 
Warning. 
1 John 2:26-27 (NKJV)
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.










29) Catholic Prayer

            “Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: “in order to pray, one must have the will to pray.  Nor is it enough to know what the scripture reveals about prayer: one must also learn how to pray.  Through a living transmission (sacred tradition) within the believing and praying church, the Holy Spirit teaches the children how to pray.”  (Pg. 637, #2650).
            The Catechism quote makes two remarkably controversial statements:
1)      Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse.  According to the Bible, it can! 
Psalms 3:4 (NKJV)
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
Psalms 30:2 (NKJV)
2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.
Ps 120:1, Ps 62:8

Rather than spontaneous outpouring, Catholic prayers are an endless repetition of written words.  Jesus forbids this method of praying.
 Matthew 6:7 (NKJV)
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

      2)  The second part of the Catechism statement proclaims that the scriptures can't teach you how to       pray.  For that you must have the Catholic church.
                                   

29)  Penance

            Another series of good works which Catholicism requires is known as penance.  “Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.  Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must 'make satisfaction for' or 'expiate' his sins.  This satisfaction is also called penance.”  (Pg. 366, # 1459).
            As we have already covered, Christ paid the full price for our sins at Calvary.  To believe that good works are necessary to recover one's full spiritual health is to deny God's word.  Hebrews 10:17-18 (NKJV)
17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Galatians 2:16 (NKJV)
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Gal 2:21







30) Celibacy

            “All the ordained ministers of the Latin church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.”  (Pg. 395, # 1579).  What the Bible says...
1 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV)
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
 1 Timothy 3:6 (NKJV)
6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

Warning against celibacy is given in 1 Timothy 4:1-3.  Few Catholics realize that Peter, the “first pope,” was a married man. 
1 Timothy 4:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.


31)  Last Rites

            The final doctrine is also the last ritual many Catholics perform – Viaticum, also known as the Last Rite.  “As the sacrament of Christ's passover the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the 'viaticum' for 'passing over' to eternal life.”  (Pg. 379, # 1517).
            This ritual includes anointing the dying person.  The belief that this anointing “completes our conformity to the death and resurrection of Christ” is another tradition of men.  Since this ritual can only be performed by a priest or other catholic leader, it keeps members in bondage to the catholic religion right up until the moment of their death.
            “Only priests (bishops and Presbyters) are ministers of the Anointing of the siex.” 
(Pg. 379, # 1516).







Quotes taken from the following works:

1)      Understanding Roman Catholicism  by Rick Jones
2)      Conversation With Catholics  by James G. McCarthy
3)      Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic  by C.V. Vadvana


THE TIME WHEN EVIL CUSTOMS CREPT INTO
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH


  1. 2nd century AD – The leaders of the church started being called Priests.  The sacrifice bu the priests started. 
  2. AD 300 – The prayer for the dead was started.  The cross was established in the church.
  3. AD 320 – Practice of praying with lighted candles started.
  4. AD 350 – Pope Julian declared celebration of the X'mas Day on the 25th of December.
  5. AD 375 – Worshiping the dead saints and figurines of the saints started.
  6. AD 431 – In the Ephesus Council, Mary was declared as Mother of Gad.
  7. AD 500 – The priests stated wearing special robes (Kappah).
  8. AD 526 – Performing the last rites started.
  9. AD 610 – Bonifus III was called the first 'Pope'.
  10. AD 786 – Bowing before the Cross, figurines and sacred remnants was approved officially by the church.
  11. AD 1079 – Pope Gregory VII officially banned marriage for the priests.
  12. AD 1090 – The use of rosary started.
  13. AD 1200 – The Seven Holy Ceremonies were instituted.
  14. AD 1215 – The ceremony of confession was started.
  15. AD 1215 – Pope Innocent III declared the theory of Transubstantiation of the Bread and the Wine.
  16. AD 1229 – In the Valentia Council, reading of the Bible by laymen was banned and the Bible was included among the restricted books.
  17. AD 1414 – By the Constance Council wine was banned for the laymen.
  18. AD 1439 – In the Florence Council, teaching about purgatory was declared a doctrine.
  19. AD 1545 – The Apocrypha was included in the Bible in the Trent Council.
  20. AD 1854 – The Holy Origin of Mary was accepted as a doctrine.
  21. AD 1870 – The first Vatican Synod declared the Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith.
AD 1950 – Pope Pius XII declared the bodily translation of Mary as an official doctrine.