Roman Catholic Teaching Contrasted with the Bible (Concise Version)
We are commanded in the Bible, in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, to “Prove (test) all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” The Roman Catholic Church (from hence referred to as “the RCC”) claims that the decisions given by the RCC Councils and the decrees of the Pope on matters of faith and morals are infallible. If the RCC’s teachings are not infallible, it is not Christ’s church. It is then rooted in a lie.
We’ll analyze some RCC practices and beliefs which are incompatible with God’s Word here. First though I’ll note that not everything the RCC believes and does is unbiblical. It could not even be an effective counterfeit if that were so! Some people try to throw out doctrines like the Trinity because the RCC teaches them. Yet the doctrine of the Trinity is illustrated and proven by the Bible. Our goal should be faithful alignment with God’s Word in everything we believe, speak, and do.
(From a Brittanica.com article on the Mass). “According to church teaching, Christ’s sacrifice is not only recalled in the mass, it is made present. In the eucharistic prayer, the church asks God the Father to send the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine on the altar so that by his power they may become the very body and blood that Christ offered on the cross (see transubstantiation). That change having occurred, Christ is offered anew to God the Father, and the church unites with him in that offering.”
The Bible declares on the other hand that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is unique in what it accomplished; and also in that it never will be (nor needs to be) repeated again.
Hebrews 9:24-28: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The Priesthood: The RCC is based entirely on its hierarchy and could not function without its priesthood. You can see that the two established Priesthoods in the Bible are those of Aaron and Melchizedek. These are compared in the Book of Hebrews chapter 7. The Priesthood of Melchizedek Priesthood is reserved for none other than Jesus Christ, as a simple reading of Hebrews chapter 7 shows (and by the description of Melchizedek there it is also obvious that the Old Testament character of Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ). This Priesthood of Melchizedek has now negated the need for the Priesthood of Aaron (aka The Levitical Priesthood), which was a necessary institution for Israel until the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, should be a reality (and the only way to be a member of that Priesthood when it was functioning by God’s appointment was to be a male descendant of Moses’ brother, Aaron). The fact that there are only two established Priesthoods appointed in the Bible, and one is not functioning anymore by God’s appointment, and the other is reserved for Jesus Christ alone, means that any church with a separate group of clergy who allegedly operate as priests is in serious error and invalid.
The Eucharist/Communion: There is no doubt that Jesus established Communion (aka the Lord’s Supper) as an act whereby His church was to remember His death until He comes again. Yet as was seen from the Britannica article above, the RCC considers the Mass to be an actual repeated offering of the body and blood of Christ. The Catholic worshipers are then said to be literally eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharist/Communion bread and wine. This is “receiving Jesus” by the RCC’s definition. Besides the proof from Scripture which we looked at before that Jesus offered His body once and for all for sins, and is in heaven until He comes again; and besides the lack of validity of the RCC Priesthood, it is also important to understand that truly receiving Jesus is not taking the ordinance of Communion.
John 15:1-6: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
John 14:21-24: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
We need to partake of the life of Christ; and independently of Him we cannot live spiritually. We need to die to ourselves and obey His Word in subjection to His authority in order to be justified through His High Priesthood and live to God through His Holy Spirit. No sacrament, nor ritual, nor trip to the altar to “accept Jesus” can replace nor replicate this!
Confession of Sins to a Priest (and this applies to Last Rites and prayers to so-called Saints as well):
Jesus Christ is the only acceptable advocate and intercessor for man before God the Father. We must go to God through Him on His terms with a heart and mind which is totally broken over our sin, utterly contrite and alienated from it so that the principle of gratifying self is renounced and our principal aim is to now please God. We are speaking here in the context of mediation and intercession: We must deal with God directly through Christ in order to get right with Him and stay right with Him. The only valid witness that one is justified before God and reconciled to Him is when He comforts that individual by His Holy Spirit and gives them further leading along the path of righteousness in line with His Word.
1 Timothy 2:4-6: “Who (God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
1 John 2:1-4: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Infant Baptism: This falsely makes people think that they’ve been a Christian “as long as I can remember” or “from when I was a baby.” The Bible does not teach such a thing nor can any example of this be given from the Bible that does not involve much speculation and reading unwarranted conclusions into the text. The basic requirement necessary for Christian baptism to be valid and significant in God’s eyes is something which children, especially infants, do not even have the mental capacity to be able to exercise- a good conscience towards God (see 1 Peter 3:21).
The Pope: The Bible never mentions any kind of Pope-figure whom people must acknowledge in order to be faithful Christians. It’s interesting that the New Testament would be silent about such a monumental position of authority if God ordained such. In his epistles of 1 Peter and 2 Peter, Peter would never call himself more than an Apostle (1 Peter 1:1) and an elder (1 Peter 5:1). We also see many clear-cut differences between the Apostle Peter and the RCC Pope. Peter had no silver and gold (Acts 3:6) unlike the RCC Pope, who has plenty of silver and gold (that’s an understatement)! Peter forbade a man from bowing to him (Acts 10:25-26), while the RCC Pope doesn’t do this. Peter was married to a wife (Mark 1:30, 1 Corinthians 9:5), while the Pope is absolutely forbidden from being married at all. Another reason then that the RCC could not be Christ’s church is that the RCC does not follow Peter’s teachings and example in his faithfulness to Christ.
Priestly Celibacy: Another way the RCC contradicts the Bible is in forbidding marriage to its leadership. In the Bible God never forbade marriage to the leaders of His people. In 1 Corinthians chapter 7 the Apostle Paul made it very clear that every man and woman is permitted to marry (see 1 Corinthians 7:1-9). And in that context, the Bible actually calls forbidding marriage a doctrine of devils (see 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Paul would go on to cite Peter and the other Apostles as a precedent of the right that Gospel ministers have to marry (see 1 Corinthians 9:5). As we’ve seen, the RCC forbids the Pope to marry, yet the man it claims was the first Pope was married himself! This alone should cause any Roman Catholic who cares what the Bible says to question the RCC’s claim of being the church that Chris instituted.
Praying to Mary, devotion to Mary, etc: There is absolutely no precedent for this in Scripture. Again, 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Mary gave the best counsel to the servants at the wedding in Cana in John 2:5, “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Matthew 12:46-50 proves that Mary’s relationship to Jesus as His faithful disciple is better than her relationship to Him as His earthly mother. This refutes the concept that Mary is a matriarchal figure to Christ in heaven (The mother of God); and thus it proves the concept that Mary is a mediatrix between man and Christ as a deceitful thing. Like all praying to Saints that the RCC endorses, this is idolatry, since it is assigning powers to mere humans which belong to God alone (even though most Catholics will not admit to worshiping Mary, they might as well be by the powers which the RCC credits to her).
Bowing before images, veneration of statues, etc: The RCC may not require such things of all its members, but it sure permits and encourages such. They will not confess to worshiping these things in bowing before them in veneration, yet God said in Scripture that to represent Him by a statue or an image is a form of idolatry; and He said that bowing down before images is idolatry. It is no wonder that the RCC eliminates the 2nd commandment which essentially states this, and substitutes for it by dividing the 10th commandment about not coveting that which is your neighbor’s into two.
No matter how upright a Roman Catholic may seem, they are at the very least involved in a system which practices idolatry and promotes an alternate justification system to the one which God appointed in the Bible.
Ultimately, in contrasting the RCC teaching with the Bible’s teaching, we see that the RCC is an alternative authority to Christ which offers an alternate pattern of justification before God to His. Many already know that the term “anti” can refer to being in the place of; opposition by substitution. There is only one Gospel which can save. This is why it is not improper to call the whole RCC system anti-christ, as it is also not improper to call the Pope who represents it anti-christ.
The Sufficiency of Scripture: Matthew 4:3-4: “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Can someone live by every word of God while being in the Roman Catholic Church?
Deuteronomy 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
Isaiah 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.”
Jesus is not just the only way to the Father (like John 14:6 says), but there are also many false ways to Jesus which will end in destruction, leaving those who take them rejected by Him and outside of His kingdom (Matthew 7:13-27, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, etc). Whether you are currently Roman Catholic or not, the Bible says that you must be born-again through a living faith in Jesus Christ; and it exhorts all to seek the Lord while He may be found, abandoning their own way and own thoughts which oppose the truth of His Word. And if you are part of the RCC or any religious system opposed to God’s Word, fleeing that system is something you must do in order to walk in the light of God’s Word. And many Scriptures, such as 1 John 1:7, make clear we must walk in the light of God’s Word to receive forgiveness through Christ’s blood.
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]