March's issue will bring me to the point of having written 5 years of articles for the Wisconsin Christian News. What have I accomplished during those five years? Well in the beginning, I felt that people needed to know just what was wrong with the Catholic Church despite their claims to be "the one Holy Church." I have met a variety of responses, such as those comments like "Who are you to judge me?" or "Are we to now listen to pope Ron and forget everyone else?" But the point is that I am not judging individuals as Matthew 7:1 tells us, "Judge not, that you be not judged." However I am doing as Scriptures tell us, "But he who is spiritual judges all things" (1 Corinthians 2:15) or as 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us, "Test all things; hold fast what is good." How hard is it to see what Jesus' word says and to compare that with the belief of someone's religion?
The whole point for this monthly article is to show those that have not taken the time to examine how accurately they've been or have not been in their walk with Jesus Christ. Yes, I do get some pleasant responses of joy and encouragement from others, but the sad part is most people don't even bother checking out my sources but rather follow the same people that are deceiving them. Those negative responses are usually by some very sincere followers of the Catholic faith, of which they are simply but sincerely misguided.
I will give you some of the examples below to illustrate the differences that we've written about.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of grace in which He voluntarily out of his love, took my sins to the cross so that when I am place my faith in that finished work, I then am imputed His righteousness and thus I’ll be free from sin when I die. The Bible says that He did this for "who-so-ever believes" and its a free gift so that anyone that trusts in that would be saved. There are no strings attached for Jesus, right before He died, told us that, "It is finished." Furthermore, there is no other way to get saved. Now knowing this to be true, look at some of the more notable differences below.
A) - The Bible shows us that we cannot merit salvation by what we do for that would no longer be a "gift" but rather a wage. (Romans 9>30-32, 10:2-4, 11:6) So why do so many Catholics think that works are required to help gain salvation? Attend a mass? Go to a priest for confession? Answer - because they think it will help their cause to get to Heaven.
B) - The Bible says that we shall not have any false Gods. Why do Catholics pray to dead relatives, say the rosary, pray to Mary or/and saints? Answer - to get help from them despite the Scripture verse that tells us that there is, "no salvation in any other name but Jesus.* Acts 4:12, and as Hebrews 4:15 tells us, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
C) - The Bible repeatedly tells us that Jesus took care of the sins we commit at Calvary's cross, and as Hebrews 1:3 says, "when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." Yet Catholics will defend the idea of doing penances and needing a place to get the final bit of sin purged from ourselves in Purgatory. A good example of how ridiculous this belief has gotten is how the Pope has recently granted, "plenary indulgences" from the Pontiff, which "the Church says reduce the time spent being "washed" of sin after death. The indulgences will be available from this weekend until Dec 8, 2008." Now why and how can a human reduce time in purgatory, yet they'll say that "they believe in Jesus?" Obviously they're not believing in what He died for as Scriptures tell us clearly above, and in Isaiah 53:5, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed."
D) - The Bible tells us that the sin issue was the point of Calvary. Yet Catholics say that communion is part of the process where we eat and drink His flesh and blood to remove sin. Several problems are here because Hebrews 9:22 says, "..and without shedding of blood there is no remission," and the many other verses that say about His shed blood healing, not communion. Furthermore, in Matthew 15:11,17 it tells us, "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." So if nothing that enters the mouth has any affect on our cleansing, what makes something that one puts in their mouth the key to Heaven? Answer - it doesn't. They also worship the Host as Jesus, a false Jesus for sure!
E) - They do not consider the Bible to be THE authority and thus place mankind over the Word of God. This presents the disturbing thought that "the Bible doesn't have all the answers," or in that type of thinking that leads people to a mindset of relativism with no absolutes to follow.
These are just a few of the obvious differences from Catholicism as compared to true Christianity. Yes, they often speak in the right words, however, their words many times have a entirely different meaning to them.
In closing, I invite readers to ask any question that you may have about your faith, but as Scriptures says, "test all things." The next couple of articles will address more about the Catholic faith and then we will again continue our look at the many other religions.
Matthew 7:13, 14 says: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Please don't just ignore your faith for that is like choosing to deny yourself an eternity with Christ. Jesus cautions us with this statement that is true for today as well: when He said," "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God."
(Matthew 22:29) That is why we write these things at Gospel Light Ministries for His word shows, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14) Three verses later, the Bible answers this question with, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Have a question? Feel free to call or write today.