Hope you are doing okay. Just reading your personal statement of faith, very cool BTW. Also been reading the excerpts that you have been posting. As a Catholic, just wanted to know if you have a bone to pick with the Catholic church or is the reference in your personal statement a reference to some unscrupulous Popes in the past? Understand that as a Catholic, I do not condone the Inquisition or some of the other atrocities committed on behalf of the Catholic/Christian faith across time. I too believe that no man can bend God to their will or personal agendas, including Papal leaders or Evangelical preachers of protestant denominations or non-denominational affiliations who attach His name to their own agendas.
Ok, this is pretty simple – The Roman Catholic church believes in a number of things that are not biblical, I’m only going to give you the basics here – if you decide to have a discussion with me on it I’ll be happy to talk to you about it in detail.
Salvation for a roman catholic works as follows: faith + works. Once you are “saved” and baptized your sins are totally forgiven – AT THAT POINT! Everything you think or do afterward immediately starts building up on your sin sheet. This list of sins you commit in thought, word, and deed are taught as sin “stains” (also mentioned as the “continuing sins of the heart” or “habitual sins”) and you need to work them off. You can work it off here on Earth by doing good works.
As a Biblical Christian I know that all of my “good works” are as filthy rags – in the Hebrew it spoke of used menstrual cloth – compared to the works of Jesus Christ. I also know that there is no good work in any man and that we are, at the core, desperately wicked. In fact, the only good thing that’s within me is that which Christ put there when I repented of my sins, turned from my sinful life and turned to God alone for my salvation. I don’t need to confess my sins to any man but to Christ alone who is my sole mediator. When I repented of those sins and gave up the life I was living in opposition to God I received a new heart. I wanted to read the Bible, I wanted to fellowship with other believers, I didn’t want to sin anymore as I knew that it was offensive to the God who sacrificed His Son for me because He knew I couldn’t do it on my own.
Let me put it another way – the ten commandments are God’s holy law. It’s his only standard by which you can earn your way into Heaven. This is how it has been since the very beginning but God was kind enough to give it to us in a written form on Mt. Sinai shortly after the Exodus from Egypt. As you look at the 10 commandments you quickly realize that God has a very high scale by which we are to be judged and knowing that, as if they were 10 cannons all pointed at you, failing at one alone will cause you to be damned to Hell. Viewing each we can see how hard it is to get in – Has God always been first in your life? You may not have carved an idol but if you have rejected some of God’s statements because they seemed too harsh or because they didn’t make sense to you and you inserted your own understanding then you’ve created a god of your own making instead of that which the Bible presents. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is called blasphemy – using His name who gave you life and who continues to allow you to live to this day in comfort and free of persecution and you use it to proclaim disgust or hatred. Have you always taken time to rest and think on all that God has given you? Have you always honored your parents and done all that they have asked? It says “do not kill” but Jesus said if you think hatred toward someone without just cause that you’re in danger of judgment. Include adultery here because He also said if you look at a woman with lust you’ve committed adultery with her in your heart. God’s standard is so much greater than we can ever imagine because He even judges the intentions of our hearts. Lying lips are an abomination to a just and holy God. If God is just He MUST punish those who break His law. God has promised that in the last days those who do not embrace Jesus Christ alone will be thrown into the lake of fire. He will have justice and He will be glorified in either your repentance and faith in His Son and His holy sacrifice or in your punishment for denying Him. That’s what makes the atonement through Christ alone so amazing! God knows that we can’t do it on our own and He knows that we can never work it off. We don’t DO sin, we EMBODY it! Even in our most righteous acts, if we are honest about it, we see that we are doing it for our own gratification, glory, or honor!
Worshipping Mary, asking her to intercede for you, praying to the saints – that’s all taking the focus off of Jesus and placing it on false idols. Mary was a blessed woman but she was still just a woman. The “saints” are merely people who God used and, in the “church age” that we’re in now – those who are believers ARE saints. You don’t need anyone to make you a saint and praying to the dead goes nowhere. All the merits of every person done on this planet do nothing for those who are already here and once you die you have the judgment to look forward to. You will either be judged on your works alone if you die in your sins or you will be judged on the righteousness of Christ in whose life you’ve placed your hands.
The roman catholic institution is a religion who says that there is no salvation outside of its walls. That would deny every Christian who believed in Christ alone for their salvation and who refused to bow the knee to the pope as a figurehead of Christ on Earth.
I’m not attacking catholics, but the catholic institution itself. If they dropped mary worship, the saints, the popery, and everything else and simply worshipped God in Christ then I’d have no problem with them. That’s just not going to happen.