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Roman Catholic Error

My intentions behind this page is not to cause you to believe that I hate those who attend a Roman Catholic Church. Far from it. I love them in Christ to the point that for those in the RCC and who are not saved, my hearts desire is to see them come to know Christ. I have many friends who are Roman Catholic. I am not against Roman Catholics. But I do find much error in the Roman Catholic religious beliefs, and I am opposed to that, as it is another gospel. It is a false gospel. There is also some commanalities that the Roman Catholic Church attests to with much of evangelical christianity. For this I am somewhat thankful. But I would caution you and also refer you to my article on False Teachers.

Good Doctrines

Along with the rest of the truly Christian church, they believe in:

The Trinity
The Deity of Jesus Christ
The Virgin Birth of Christ
The Sinlessness of Christ
The Atonement on the Cross


The cause of much of their error is acceptance of continuing revelation through the Pope and the Catholic church's traditions, putting them equal to or above Biblical revelation, even though these traditions are in conflict with the Bible.  In 1545, at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church decided that tradition was to be equal in authority to the Bible. Tradition is ok if it lines up with the Bible. However, these do not. In Jesus' day, the religious leaders traditions nullified God's Word. Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. These are some of the extrabiblical beliefs of the RCC, some of which I have addressed below, and some on other pages:

The immaculate conception of Mary.
  • The assumption of Mary.
  • Prayers to Mary and dead saints.
  • Transubstantiation (that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ).
  • The church built on Peter, whom they call the first Pope.
  • Infant baptism.
  • Mary being co-redemptive with Christ.
  • The Mass being necessary for salvation.
  • Canonization of dead saints.
  • Kneeling and praying before images.
  • Salvation coming only through the RCC.
  • Purgatory after death to purge a person of sin.
  • Selling indulgences.
  • Mary worship and adoration.
  • Holy water.
  • Celibate priesthood.
  • The Rosary.
  • Confession to a priest for forgiveness of sin.

  • The False and Misleading Dogma

    1. The Immaculate Conception of Mary (that she was born sinless). This belief was declared by Pope Pius the Ninth on December 8, 1854. This is the teaching that Mary was born without original sin. My answer follows---Catholics believe Jesus could not have been born sinless unless Mary was also born sinless. If that logic were true, then Mary could not have been born sinless unless both her parents were infinitum back to Adam! That gives us millions of sinless people. And where did they come from? Not from Adam and Eve, because all their descendants were sinners. So that doesn't work. Was Mary made "without original sin" by some special act of God, unrevealed in the Scriptures? If so, He could just as easily have done that with Christ -- which He did not do. How was Jesus born sinless then? Because sin is passed through the father, not the mother, and Jesus did not have a descendant of Adam for His Father. The Bible explains it: Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. Paul here teaches that Adam's sin caused all to be sinners, except Christ who was not born of man, but is the seed of the woman. Adam was the figure of Him Who was to come, that is, Christ Himself. Just as the first Adam brought sin to everyone who is born of Adam, the Last Adam (Christ: 1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.) brought righteousness to all who are born again, born the second time, of the Spirit of God. Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Also, please read Luke 1:46-49, where Mary confesses her need of a Saviour, and Matthew 12:46-50 where Christ refuses to give Mary special honor. See Matthew 1:24-25 and Matthew 13:54-56 as evidence that Mary did not remain a virgin after Christ was born, and that she indeed had a houseful of children through natural conception with Joseph. See also Hebrews 13 where God says "...marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled." Sex between a husband and wife in marriage is holy, and there is no sin involved with it.

    2. The Assumption of Mary (that she arose body and soul into Heaven after death). This was declared by Pope Pius the Twelvth in November, 1950.---Nowhere taught in Scripture. The Apostle John, to whom Christ commended His mother while He was on the cross, and who lived about 70 years after the crucifixion, who wrote five books of the New Testament, and in whose house Mary lived until she died, isn't it strange that he never mentioned such a miracle? Because it never happened.

    3. Prayers to Mary and the Saints (there is one Mediator only, Christ).---The Bible is plain about whom to pray to and how. John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Never does the Bible teach we are to ask the dead to pray for us, either now, or in the hour of our death. It says plainly to pray to the Father in Jesus' name, and that Jesus is our living Mediator. We have no mediatrix. Also, it is extremely important to remember God absolutely forbids attempting to communicate with the dead. Catholics think it is no different than asking you or I to pray for them, but you and I are alive. God said: Isa 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? Also Deuteronomy 18:11. God says seek the living instead of the dead.

    4. Transubstantiation (that the wine and bread become the body and blood of Christ).---The body of Christ was offered once and once only, according to the Book of Hebrews; not every time Communion is celebrated. The bread and the fruit of the vine are sysmbols and shadows of the reality. Christ's Atonement was the reality. These are remembrances, as the Lord Himself stated. A Catholic friend wrote and questioned my accuracy on this belief. For corroboration, I offer the following:

    The Press Register on December 20, 1997, page 3-D, reports a war of words between Mother Angelica, president of the Eternal Word Television Network, and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. He had issued a pastoral letter which she had criticized on TV. Portions of the newspaper article follow: She also questioned Mahony's understanding of the consecration of bread and wine. Catholics, according to the doctrine of transubstantiation, believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist become the body and blood of Jesus through the act of transubstantiation.

    "The cardinal of California is teaching that it is bread and wine before the Eucharist and after the Eucharist," Mother Angelica said during a live broadcast last month. "I am afraid my obedience in that diocese would be absolutely zero. And I hope everybody else's in that diocese would be zero."

    Mahony immediately fired a letter to Mother Angelica calling her comments "absolutely preposterous." He noted that he made specific reference to the doctrine of the Eucharist in a footnote at the beginning of his pastoral letter.

    Referring to her statements regarding Mahony's views of consecration, the prelate said, "To hold such a view is nothing short of heresy in our Catholic Church. For you to state publicly on television that I do not believe in the Real Presence is astounding and reprehensible." So both of them have agreed on the doctrine of transubstantiation; that is, that the body and blood of Christ is really present in the bread and wine, which is not true; Christ was offered only once (Hebrews) and the bread and wine are symbols only, a "remembrance" as Christ said in the Gospels. This is the reason a Bible believing Christian cannot take Communion with a Catholic brother. It would seriously compromise the beliefs of both.

    5. The idea of Peter being the Rock and the Head of the Church.--- This amazes me, Christ is the Rock all through the Bible. Peter is "petros", a small stone, but Christ is "petra", a ledge of rock, a large rock. Christ is the Head of the Church, not the Pope, and individual believers are represented as His Body, the True Church. How can Peter be the Head of Christ's Body? Impossible. Christ is the Head of His own Body. Peter is called the apostle to the circumcision (the Jews) and Paul is the apostle to the uncircumcision (all the rest of us). Peter went to the Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles. And Peter was not even the head of the Jewish church! On the one occaision he did preach to Gentiles at Cornelius' house, James and the other Jewish believers called him on the carpet to admonish him, thereby showing Peter was not the boss.

    6. Infant Baptism---This is not Biblical. Baptism signifies the New Birth through the Holy Spirit. Babies are not called upon to repent and receive Christ. That is a requirement of one who has reached a level of maturity, determined by God, to be able to see their need of a Saviour. One is not born again until his will has been surrendered to God's will, and a babe is not capable of making any such decision.

    7. The idea of Mary being co-redemptive with Christ---There is fresh controversy on this subject today, with about four million people petitioning Pople John Paul II to declare this the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Leo XII affirmed this doctrine in 1891. He said: "From that great treasure of graces the Lord has brought, nothing according to the will of God comes to us except through Mary", and "No one can approach Christ except through the Mother". Mary is not the mother of God; she is the mother of the man, Jesus Christ. As God, He is without human Father or Mother, and without beginning or ending of days. When He was on the cross, He told Mary to look at John and said, "Behold, your son". He told John to look at Mary and said, "Behold, your mother". He was telling her that He was no longer her son, that John would be her son in His place. He was going back to Heaven and taking His rightful position as God.

    8. Salvation being obtainable through the RCC alone---A friend sent this from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:  169 "Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the church, she is our mother.  'We believe in the church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the church as if she were the author of our salvation.'"  They admit God authors salvation, but that it is only obtained through the RCC.  Jesus said we must be born again to be saved, and here they say the church is the mother of that new birth, which is blatantly contrary to Scripture.  The Bible says the New Jerusalem is the mother of us all, not the church.  The church is the Bride of Christ, therefore, the Bride would then be its own mother, were this true.  Ludicrous.

    9. Purgatory---Quoting from the Cathechism:  1030 "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 joys of heaven."  But the Bible says we are complete in Christ.--Colossians 2:10.  Nothing can add to the perfect sacrifice Christ made in our behalf.  I am the righteousness of God in Christ already, not someday.  His blood has cleansed me from all sin, not some, but all.  1031 "The church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.  The church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent....   Luke the 16th chapter tells plainly what happens to the saved and unsaved.  At death, they enter Paradise or Hell immediately.  This is not a parable, but a true story, and the teachings of fallible men on councils cannot change the Word of God.   1032  "This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:  'Therefore (Judas Maccabeus) made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin'".  Here they quote from a book that is not part of the Bible.  It is too late to pray when the person has died and entered eternity.

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