What do the Roman Catholics Teach and Practice?
Good day saints of the Most High God. It is with much heaviness of heart that I find myself having to address the issue concerning false doctrine especially within the ranks of Catholicism as to what they teach and practice. I have in previous messages mentioned false doctrine not only in the Catholic Church but also within the Charismatic Movement. I want to concentrate on the Roman Catholic Church, as to what they teach and practice. Please do not see this as a direct assault on any individuals who are of the Catholic faith. Rather see it as an expose on an institution\system that is man-made, who has built their wealth and power on the backs of their misguided followers through the years gone by. A man-made institution that has killed any person\s especially Christians who has dared to speak out against the wrongdoings of the Roman Catholic Institution. A man-made institution who claims it alone is the true church. God Almighty loves these lost misguided souls who have been misled by this man-made institution all through the ages. God has through the years called upon people to come out from amongst them. Therefore we who know the truth [of God’s Word], must love them enough to tell them the truth; that Jesus and not Mary is the only Way, the only Truth and the Life by which men must be saved, John 14:6. The Word of God clearly warns us what will happen in the end times, Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7; Hebrews 13:9; Colossians 2:22; 1Timothy 4:1.
The Apostle Paul addresses this when he says, “that men will turn away from sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”, 2Timothy 4:3. For the last years we have seen much of what Paul has written to the beloved Timothy happening within the Church of Jesus Christ. But as for the Roman Catholic Church they have taught false doctrine since their very existence. There are close to 1 billion Catholics worldwide. Some are not all practicing their faith, but to say the least the vast majority are devout believers of the Catholic faith. Many see their Catholic traditions as one and the same as those of the Christian faith. Catholicism was founded as an institution with the belief that they are the True and only Church. Christianity was\is built not as an institution but as a witness to Jesus Christ; and it is Christ, and not Christianity that has the power to save and change lives. History tells us that Catholicism arose from the ruins of the so-called Holy Roman Empire. We also know if one has studied the history that it brought itself to power through the glory of Rome by force and deception. And by force [bloodshed] and deception it has kept that power that still enslaves so many millions of unsuspecting people. Millions of people in nations around the world who are enslaved by this institution have absolutely no knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I am going to try and examine the basic tenets of the Catholic teachings\traditions and compare them to the only true and faithful Word of God. The Word of God is not and was not written by men for us to live our lives built on the traditions of our fore-fathers, but rather the Holy Bible is the Word of God to men all over. Matthew Henry says it right, “The truth and reality of the gospel[s] also are foretold by the prophets and penmen of the Old Testament [and New Testament], who spake and wrote under influence, and according to the direction of the Spirit of God”, 2 Peter 1:21.
But what do we mean when we say, Christianity and Catholicism? Do Catholics not consider themselves to be Christians? Yes. But Christianity and Catholicism are not one and the same. You see folks; it is Christ Jesus alone and not Christianity that has the power to change people’s lives. Jesus said of himself, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me”, John 12:32. My friend, when Jesus said all men he meant all men [women and children included]. That means every Jew, every Catholic, and every Muslim, every Hindu, every Protestant, it matters not of which persuasion you are. When Christ says every man he meant just that. And the only requirement is that men believe in Him and serve Him. Catholicism on the other hand, involves two distinct changes from the beliefs and practices of the early Christian Church; a change of government and a change of faith. The Roman Catholic Church as we know it today brought itself to power through the might and glory of Rome, and the use of the name of Christ by deception and force. History relays the events of this deception by force and bloodshed. Under Catholicism the church was understood to be no longer an assembly of “called out one’s” meeting together to worship the Lord as is recorded in the early church of Acts. But it is now rather a group of persons [people’s] under the authority of a so-called succession of apostolic order of bishops. Gone was the personal communion with God through the ever abiding presence of Jesus Christ His Son, “low I am with you always unto the end of the world”, Matthew 29:20. Now the Church has to adhere to a strict outward form and ritual. In other words one can say that the Roman Catholic Church from the outset returned to a form of Old Testament Law way of salvation. This momentous transformation in the concept of the Church involved not just a change of government, but also a change of faith. Communion with God as the early church of Acts came to live by, now became possible only by communion with a bishop and through the performance of certain rites. There is a basic flaw in Roman Catholic teaching concerning the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. The Catholic Church teaches that, “there is but one revelation from God, but it has two sources: the first is the written—which is the Bible, and the second is the traditions of the living church”. Herein lays the obvious contradiction. The Bible has been officially endorsed by the Catholic Church as the inspired and infallible Word of God. But with this endorsement came the adulterous intrusion of the basis for all Roman Catholic error --- tradition. Sadly now the humanly placed traditions of the church not only places this error on parity with the genuine Word of God, but human-traditions are actually given precedence over the Word. The above quote was reaffirmed as recently as the Second Vatican Council. The Roman Catholic Church chooses without fail to accept their human traditions and reject the true Word of God, even with them affirming that the Bible is infallible.
Let’s dig into the beliefs what all Catholics must believe under threat of anathema. There are seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church that all their followers must adhere to.
Baptism: A sacrament which takes away original sin, and makes us Christians, sons of God and the Church. It takes away all voluntary sin committed before receiving it. It remits all punishments merited for sin. It is impossible to be saved without being baptized. Yet the Word of God teaches us that water baptism signifies the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, when He was baptized in water this signified that which He would do in order to secure our salvation, Matthew 3:13-15. We likewise are to be baptized in water, as a public proclamation of our submission to God. Although water-baptism does not save us, it is an outward sign that we have been saved and it is the great symbol that one has given his\her heart and life to Jesus Christ. This water-baptism typifies our death to the old life, with all that was ugly and ungodly being buried, and us being resurrected into a new life in Christ Jesus, Romans 6:4. Water baptism does not save or take away any sin, but rather the Blood and only the Blood of Jesus Christ obtains that salvation and forgiveness, Hebrews 9:1-14.
Confirmation: A sacrament which infuses in us the Holy Spirit with all gifts, and makes us perfect Christians. The Bible does not teach that upon receiving the Holy Spirit that we become perfect Christians. Upon receiving the Lord as our Savior, sanctification becomes our position [status] in Christ, but in no way does this imply that we are now perfect. There is a process of sanctification by which the Holy Spirit through the finished work of Calvary [the Cross] does within our hearts and lives, John 17:19; Acts 26: 18; Romans 15:16; 1Cor 1:2; 6:11; Hebrews 10:10, 14; Jude 1:1. No man-made sacrament or ritual can make a human perfect. It is only through the blood of the slain Lamb of God that we are forgiven and through the Ministry of the Holy Spirit working in us daily to sanctify and bring us to the state of perfection when Christ shall present us to the Father at His appearing.
Eucharist: A sacrament which contains truly, really and substantially the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ under the species or appearances of bread and wine. It gives us the life of the new Adam. This sacrament is in reference to the portion of scripture, John 6:53 + 54. The Roman Catholic position on these scriptures is that the body, blood, the soul and divinity of Christ is transformed into the bread and wine when the priest administers this ritual at their so-called Mass. They are adamant concerning this ritual\sacrament, but what they fail to understand or even consider is that just further on in John 6:63, the Lord Jesus Himself states that, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. In other words Christ is in effect saying that, “If you could literally eat My Flesh, and drink My Blood it would not save your souls”. The word ‘flesh’ used here speaks only of man’s efforts, apart from Christ and the Cross. But the words ‘spirit’ and ‘life’ is God speaking concerning the Holy Spirit who gives Life by and through the finished work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Furthermore Jesus was speaking in the spiritual sense concerning eating and drinking His body and blood. The Christian belief is based on what our Lord Himself tells us concerning His body and His flesh and how we are to use\do this only as “in remembrance of Me”, Luke 22:19. Jesus is saying it clearly folks that we partake of the cup [which is the fruit of the vine] and take of the bread [representing His body given for us on the Cross], figuratively [not literally] in remembrance of Him. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Eucharist is a sin-removing sacrifice, in which the Son of God is sacrificed anew on the Cross. According to Catholic dogma Jesus literally descends into the priest’s hands during the act of transubstantiation, wherein the elements of the host [the wafer] literally are transformed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. This act was defined at the Council of Trent and later adjusted in wording during the Second Vatican Council. The Catholic Church further teaches as dogma that if anyone denies that this is what the Eucharist represents as really happening [truth], and says it only represents Christ in sign or in figure, that person is anathema [accursed, or cursed by God, is excommunicated] Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews should lead us to question Catholic doctrine concerning the continuous sacrifice at the Holy Mass. Paul tells us, “For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher that the heavens; who needeth not daily , as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s; for this He did once, when He offered up Himself”, Hebrews 7:26-27. “But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us”, Hebrews 9:11-12. Folks, Christ sacrificed Himself once for all humanity; it is not necessary to sacrifice Him over and over as the Catholics teach.
Penance: A sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ to forgive the sins committed after baptism. No sin, however great, remains unremitted when this sacrament is properly received. This sacrament according to dogma is taught early to the Catholic believer, “that penance is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ for the salvation of men”. Catholic dogma states unequivocally that Jesus gave His apostles specific power to forgive or retain sins and that this power has resided within the church from that day to the present. Priests still have this power to forgive sins, but to obtain this, sinners must confess to them verbally. The priest then imposes a penance to be performed and grants absolution [remission of sins]. The church teaches that each Catholic must confess his\her sins at least once a year, preferably during Lent. This is essential not only for their salvation, but for membership in good standing in the Catholic Church. During the first twelve centuries of the so-called Christian era the absolution formula employed by the Roman Catholic Church went something like this, “Ablutio criminum, Misereatur tui omnipotens Deus, et dimittat tibi pecatta tua” - “May God omnipotent give you absolution and forgive you”. Thomas Aquinas- A.D.1224-1274 [philosopher, scholar and respected theologian lived in the 13th century] revealed that the Catholic Church replaced the more supplicatory\traditional form mentioned above to the modern form of absolution as used today, “Ego te absolve”- “I forgive you”. Priests now had the authority to personally forgive sin. This occurred about A.D. 1200; 30 years prior since the priests stopped using the traditional\supplicatory form as quoted above, to the more modern term that is used till today by all priests. Confession was made obligatory for all members of the Catholic Church during the Fourth Lateran Council, celebrated in A.D. 1215. From this Fourth Lateran Council on, it is the duty of every Roman Catholic to confess his\her sins to a priest to receive not only absolution but counsel also. This is of course, contrary to New Testament teachings. The apostles did not have the power to forgive sins. Peter sums this up emphatically when he declares, “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sin”, Acts 10: 43. My friend it is only God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ who can forgive sins, no mortal man has been given such authority. For we must understand there is only one mediator between God and man, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus”, 1Timothy 2:5. That is the reason why Christ became the sacrificial offering.
Extreme Unction: A sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the spiritual and corporal relief of the sick. It purifies the different senses anointed, and takes away the sins of which they were the instruments. Isaiah 53 is the detailed description of the sufferings of our Lord as prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah some 1500 years before Christ was born. Isaiah prophesied that, “Surely he has borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”, Isaiah 53:4-5. This is the price that Jesus paid on the Cross so you and I can receive healing for our sickness and diseases and forgiveness for our sins. No sacrament however applied can bring healing or forgiveness to any person. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we obtain forgiveness as declared in Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace”; Colossians 1:14, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of our sins”. Hebrews 9: 13-14 is a clear indication to what the above verses mean. Healing comes to those who seek the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Healer of all our sicknesses and diseases, Matthew 4:24; 12:15; Mark 6:13; Luke 4:40; 6:17+19; Acts 3:11. The following is a guide to what is required when someone is sick. “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”, James 5:14-16. God uses living men and women to pray for the sick – and yes He does answer prayer when it is offered according to His Holy Word as mentioned in the above scriptures. This is a far cry from what the Catholic Church teaches that only ordained priests may pray for the sick, confer grace, pardon sins, etc. But this is done only through that which was accomplished at Calvary.
Orders: A sacrament which gives power to exercise ecclesiastical ministry, and the grace to perform it holily. These orders confer upon the priests two powers: one over the natural body of Jesus Christ and the other over his mystical body, which is the Church. This may be the order of things within the Roman Catholic Church, but these powers given to mortal men are contrary to New Testament teachings. The Catholic Canon 1, p.267 teaches that there is an external priesthood who alone has power to consecrate, offer the true body and blood of the Lord, has the authority to pardon and retain sin. They teach that within the Catholic Church there is a hierarchy that is established by Divine institution, composed of Bishops, Presbyters, and ministers. The Bible teaches that there is only one Head of the Church namely Christ, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the Saviour of the body”. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands”, Ephesians 5:23-24. “And He is the Head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence, Colossians 1:18. Jesus Christ is the only Head and Leader of His Church, that mystical body of believers throughout the ages. The only hierarchy spoken of in the Bible is those called by the Lord who will lead His Church under His authority, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors; and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”, Ephesians 4: 11-12. These different offices of ministry are for the building up of the Church, and the growth and the spiritual wellbeing of all believers who have come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Head of His Church. This was ordained by Divine decree.
Matrimony: A sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ to sanctify the union between husband and wife. The Roman Catholic Church Canon 1.p 297, declares that if anyone says that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelical law, instituted by Christ our Lord , but invented by men in the Church, and that it does not confer grace, let him\her be anathema. Yes the marriage union is between a man and a woman as God Almighty decreed right in the beginning with our fist parents Adam and Eve. Although a man and woman have to go through the legality that is required by the laws of the land, it is the spiritual union between these two individuals as they commit themselves to the Lord. If the husband and wife live a life dedicated to the Lord and follow in His footsteps and do according to what His Word teaches namely, Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 3:9; 1Peter 3:1, such a union is spiritual in the eyes of God. The legal-piece of paper does nothing but bring hardship as far as taxes, and debt are concerned. My friend unequivocally God is more interested in the spiritual union of a man and woman.
Ok, let’s turn our attention to Mary. I want to quote from an extract from Ripaldes’ Catechism. “Who is our Lady the Virgin Mary? She is a lady full of virtue and grace, who is the mother of God, and is in heaven. Our Lady the Virgin Mary is the only descendant of the sinner Adam, who was conceived without spot of sin, p.126. Here are some quotes from Ligouris’ book, “The Glories of Mary”. This is a very popular Roman Catholic book, and many editions have been published over the years. It is fully approved by the Catholic Church. The following quotations are from the 6th edition, Paris, 1883. “Mary is the only hope of sinners [p.69] No one can be as suitable as Mary to detain with her hand the sword of divine justice, preventing it from striking sinners. Before Mary came to the world, God lamented that there was no one to detain Him in the punishment of sinners, but the Virgin having been born, she appeases Him, p.72. We will be heard and saved sooner by going to Mary, and invoking her holy name, than that of Jesus our Savior. We will find salvation sooner going to the mother than going to the Son, p.82. Many things asked of God and not received are asked and received by Mary, p.82. All obey the precepts of Mary, even God, p.115. The salvation of all consists in being favored and protected by Mary. He whom the most holy Virgin protects is saved; he whom she does not protect is lost, p.107. Whatever Mary says, the Son does p.118. Mary is called the door of heaven, because no one can enter that happy mansion who does not enter in by Mary, who is the door, p.99. Jesus Christ said….no one can come to me, unless my Mother first draws him by her prayers, p.105. It is impossible for a devotee of Mary, who faithfully waits upon her, and commends him\herself, to be condemned, p.147. He who does not serve the Virgin will die in sin; he who does not go to thee, Lady, will not get to heaven, p.148. Mary says: He that comes to me, and hears what I tell him, will not be lost, p.149. So this is what the Catholics believe and teach concerning Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Queen of Heaven, and the mother of God. And that is why so many millions have gone to a lost eternity.
The Bible, the True and infallible Word of God teaches us, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came in the flesh to die upon a rugged Cross and shed His precious blood for our redemption and forgiveness. The following scriptures confirm that it is Christ alone who is our propitiation for sins, John 1:14+29; Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31; 13:38; Acts 10:42; Hebrews 9:9-14; 10:4-18; 1John 2:2; Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:7; 2Corinthians 5:18-21. Jesus is the hope for all sinners and not Mary. It is by and through Jesus Christ alone that man can be saved and not Mary. Salvation is through and by Christ alone and not Mary. Jesus was the One who hung on the Cross and not Mary. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, John 14:6. It does not say Mary is the way, truth and life. It says that Jesus Christ is the way, truth and the life. Furthermore the Bible tells us that if you serve Jesus Christ and Him alone, and listen to His words can and will one be saved, John 12:47-50. It does not say that we must listen to the word of Mary. The Catholic people pray to Mary as mediatory, mediatrix. They claim that Mary is co-Redeemer with Christ. This is what a former Catholic priest wrote after his conversion to Christ: “I can personally testify to the fact that the Jesus Christ I knew and loved, and served as a Roman Catholic is not the same Jesus Christ I know and love, and serve today. The Jesus I once knew was a wafer and a cup of wine…and He had a mother called Mary who stood between Him and me. I couldn’t get through to Him except through her, and He couldn’t get through to me except through her. In other words, my religion back then was tantamount to, let’s say—Buddhism or the Moslem religion. There was no difference, objectively speaking, between me as a Catholic priest, and a Moslem priest”. Catholics feel that Mary occupies a unique and influential position as a result of her role as Christ’s human mother. They are taught that they can safely entrust all their problems to her. She provides the spiritual key to salvation of the soul and to receiving miraculous answers to prayers concerning more earthly matters. Catholics are taught although they will deny this fact, that Mary is to be afforded equal worship to God—and even higher than the angels and saints. Is Mary the Mother of God? No she is not. Mary was the earthly vessel, and served a biological function that was necessary to bring about a unique situation. The Holy Spirit impregnated her so to speak in a supernatural way, Matthew 1:18+20; Luke 1:27+35. The pre-existent Son of God was to take on human form. As He walked the earth in human form He was very God and also very man. His ‘deity\divinity’ had always been. Mary was essential to harbor His developing human form [nine months]. But she had nothing whatsoever to do with Christ’s Godhood. Mary was therefore, only the mother of the human Jesus, the man. She was not and never will be the mother of God the Creator of all things. God has no mother, so if one understands the Incarnation, one understands that God, while never ceasing to be God, became completely man. Jesus Himself said this of the incarnation, “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared for me”, Hebrews 10:5. God Almighty prepared a body for His Son. Of course He would be born as all human beings are born, but with one tremendous difference, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”, Isaiah 7:14. The Word declares that, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”, 1Timothy 2:5. There is no clearer indication than this scripture that Jesus Christ is the only mediator that stands between God and all men everywhere. The reasoning and false teaching that by the Catholic system Mary must be approached rather than her Son Jesus Christ have sent untold millions to their graves without any knowledge of Christ as the only Redeemer of the world. And my friend the powers to be within the Catholic Institution who have misled these untold numbers of souls will give and account before the Judgment Seat of God one day. All consistent Roman Catholics serve the creature more than the Creator, without them realizing that Jesus alone and not Mary is the hope of all sinners. Their confidence is in rites and ceremonies, images, saints, and men, and not in the Savior. Catholics deny that they worship Mary, that she only aids them in their worship of God. In ascribing the Immaculate Conception to Mary, the Catholic Church has, declared her divine and thus renders her worship that should be reserved only for deity. But by their constant reference to Mary, they afford her worship. Yes, friends, Catholics do worship Mary. Sadly most Catholics do not understand the worship of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore the real focus of their worship is Mary. Their perception of worshipping God is the worship of God through Mary. Everything must go through Mary to God-and everything must come from God through Mary. The devout Roman Catholics in Central America are idolaters, but the Bible tells us clearly that no idolater shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, 1Corinthians 6:9-10. Revelation 21:8 declares that all who do such shall have their part in the lake of fire. The Roman Catholic Church positively denies the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for salvation, and constantly and persistently puts good works and human merits in place of faith and the merits of Jesus Christ as the only means for salvation. Romanists are not taught the perfection of Christ’s work; they are taught that they must supplement the work of Christ by their own meritorious works. The priest comes between them and God, even though God says in His Word that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Catholics place the creature before the Creator, making Mary the intercessor rather than Jesus Christ, Romans 1:25; 1Timothy2:5. In actual fact they are robbing the sacrifice of Christ of it’s atoning merits and power to save, all who believe, Hebrews 7:15, 25-28. The Catholic Church denies the possibility of anyone asking for and receiving the assurance of pardon and eternal salvation in this life, which fact they declare can only be known when one stands in God’s presence, when pardon will be given on merit. They totally disregard the truths of, John 3: 16, 36; Ephesians 5:9; Romans 10:13.
In closing this message I want to add the following quote from a former Catholic priest, F.G. Penzotti [missionary and agent of the American Bible Society in South and Central America] that the majority of Roman Catholics have not the slightest idea of the efficient, finished and only necessary redemptive work of Christ. Neither their priest nor the devotees know or experience it. On the sickness and death of Pope Leo X111, the Virgin Mary was invoked, asking the blessings of the priests, seeing shadows and phantoms, and having to be tranquilized by worldly men. On this note I say, “Take away Christ, and what have we left but dry formalities and ceremonies which never did and never can take away sin”. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me”. Meaning, put Mary, good works, or some creature in the place of Christ, and you cannot come unto the Father.
May God awaken His children everywhere to sound the alarm concerning the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, so that all those of the faith will come to a saving knowledge of Christ as the only hope of sinners?