A great question often raised during
discussions about Christianity is who wrote the Bible and how and where it was
Another equally valid question is: Do the
teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (a.k.a. RCC, RC Church, Church of Rome,
or Catholic Church) line up with what the Bible proclaims?
Who wrote the Bible?
Some 40 men, under the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit, wrote the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New
Testament. The Vatican accepts an additional seven books, The Apocrypha.
These books are minimally at odds with the
other books, such as in praying for the dead. In 2 Macabees 12:42‑46,
in The Apocrypha, it teaches,
"It is therefore a holy
and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
This is in contrast to Luke 20:38, which says,
"For He is not God of the dead, but of the living."
God's inspiration of the Canon of Scripture is pointed
out by the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:20‑21:
"...know this first of
all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation...but
men moved by the Holy Spirit from God."
Who assembled the Canon?
The Old Testament was closed and accepted by
the Jews from the time of the Septuagint in 275 BC when the Jewish Scriptures
were translated from Hebrew into Greek. Under pre-New Testament law, the
sacrificial blood of animals was required to cover the sins of the people. When
the Messiah arrived on the scene, man's sin was, and still is, removed through
the blood of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament Canon is the result of a
lengthy and complicated process involving numerous councils conducted by the
Roman Catholic Church. The Canon of Scripture was not determined by the councils.
The councils simply gave official status to books that were already widely
accepted as having divine origin.
We must accept that the end result is the
conclusive Word of God. Would the Creator of the universe give us a flawed
Here's the timeline for the bringing together
of the New Testament.
1. 367 AD. Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria
listed 27 books as comprising the New Testament.
2. 393 AD. This list was officially
recognized at the Council of Hippo, North Africa.
3. 397 AD. The list was published at the
Council of Carthage, North Africa.
Here's the "human" criteria used as
to what belonged in the New Testament Canon.
1. Each book had to have a history of
continuous and widespread approval among Christians. The Councils simply gave
it their official stamp of approval.
2. The books either were written by an
apostle of Jesus Christ or demonstrated that they had approval of the apostles
of Jesus Christ.
To be recognized as canonical, or worthy, a
book had to fit in with the other scriptures, and have been of fruitful use
throughout the church up to that time.
Once packaged, Rome urged the
"faithful" to heed the teachings of the Canon.
The RCC forcefully and specifically exhorted
all the Christian faithful to learn about Jesus Christ, by frequent readings of
the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures, the RCC proclaimed, is ignorance
That's clear, but it raises the question as to why the Church of Rome
has strayed so far today from what the inspired Word of God teaches us to do and what to avoid.
Were not the Scriptures closed upon final
assembly? Yes. Some RCC defenders point out that nowhere in the Bible does it
say that there is no more inspired documentation. That begs the question, where
in the Bible does it suggest there is additional inspired material? Nowhere.
Very troubling to the Bible believer is why
Rome has taken such an abrupt left turn in the all-important subject of how a
person attains eternal life.
Let's take a look at some of the things
practiced and promoted today by the Roman Catholic Church as essential for
getting into Heaven, but without biblical basis.
1. Infant baptism.
How does infant baptism help us get to Heaven?
Nowhere does the Bible teach that baptism
makes a person right with God. In fact, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:17,
"Christ did not send me
to baptize, but to preach the gospel."
(Also see Luke 23:40‑43 and Acts 10:44‑48.)
2. Going to church.
How does going to church or being an active
member of a particular church help us attain salvation?
The Bible teaches that the church is not
something that we go to. Rather, the church is the people of God, the worldwide
collective of the Body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22‑23 states,
"He (the Father)...gave
Him (the Son) as head over all things to the church, which is His body (meaning
(Also see 1 Corinthians 12:12‑13 and Colossians 1:18.)
3. Receiving the sacraments.
How does receiving the sacraments,
specifically the Eucharist, contribute to our salvation?
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that a series
of rituals is necessary for our salvation. The biblical purpose of taking bread
and wine is not to help us reach Heaven, but rather, as Jesus said in Luke 22:19,
"This is My body which
is given to you; do this in memory of Me."
(Also see 1 Corinthians 11:23‑26.)
4. Praying the rosary.
In what way does praying the rosary help us attain eternal life?
Jesus teaches us that repeating prayers, like
the rosary, over and over again is of no value.
Mathew 6:7 states,
"And when you are
praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles (non-Jews) do, for
they suppose that they will be heard for their many words."
(Also see Matthew 7:21‑23.)
5. Being devoted to Mary.
How can Mary help us get to Heaven?
The Bible does not teach Christians to devote
themselves to Mary or to seek her as their advocate before God. To the
contrary, it teaches in 1 Timothy 2:5 that
"There is one God, and
one mediator (go between) also between God and men, Christ Jesus."
(Also see Acts 4:12.)
Mary was the chosen earthly mother of the
Lord. In Luke 1:47, Mary says,
"And my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior."
Only a sinner needs a savior, right? By
confessing that Jesus was her Savior, Mary herself erodes another Roman
Catholic fabrication, that she was born without sin. If she was born sin-free
and lived a virginal sin-free life, that essentially puts this special lady on
the same level as the Godhead , which is crackers. What were the last words
Mary is recorded in the Bible as saying? John 2:5 states,
"His mother saith unto
the servants, whatsoever he (Jesus) saith unto you, do it."
She did not suggest that she was a go-between
or that she had power herself.
6. Keeping the commandments.
Are we able to keep the Ten Commandments to God's standard?
The Bible teaches that anyone who does not
keep the Commandments perfectly will be judged unworthy of Heaven. James 2:10
"For whoever keeps the
whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."
(Also see Galatians 3:10‑12; Romans 3:20,23,28;
and Romans 7:7‑12.)
Trying to keep the Commandments is noble, but
the commandments should make us aware that we are sinners because no one is
able to keep them all. The Ten Commandants condemn us rather than save us!
7. Loving your neighbor.
Do we love our neighbor with the kind of love that God requires?
Jesus taught in Matthew 22:39,
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
(Also see Luke 10:25‑37; 1 John 16‑18, and James 1:27.)
So, the answer is no.
8. Doing good works.
How many good works do we have to do in order to earn eternal life?
The Scriptures teach that even the best that
we do is tainted with sin and unworthy of God. Isaiah 64:6 says,
"All our righteous deeds
are like a filthy garment."
(Also see Romans 3:12,23,13,4‑5;
Ephesians 2:8‑9; Titus 3:5; John 6:28‑29.)
9. Dying with unconfessed sin.
How does the condition of our souls at the
moment of death affect our eternal destiny? Jesus said that those who belong to
Him would never be condemned to Hell. John 10:28 states,
"I give eternal life to
them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand."
How Does Anyone Qualify For Heaven?
So how does a Roman Catholic—or anyone else
for that matter—qualify for Heaven?
Well, back to the source, the Bible. It tells us:
1. All of us have and do sin, and that
anyone with sin on them upon death will not be allowed into Heaven.
2. Jesus died and shed His blood for us and
is our advocate before the Father. John 14:6 states,
"I am the way, the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me."
3. We are saved by confessing our sin
directly to God and accepting that the Lord Jesus Christ paid our total sin
debt when he allowed Himself to be crucified and rose again from the dead.
John 3:16 says,
"For God so loved the
world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him,
shall not perish but have everlasting life."
We attain God's eternal pardon by praying in private something like this:
I confess that I, __________, am a sinner,
and that I need forgiveness. I am willing to turn
from my sins. There is nothing that I can do that will erase my sin and permit
a relationship between a Holy God and me. Your Word states that, "Without
the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins."
I believe that Jesus Christ,
your Son, is the promised Messiah and Savior. I believe that Jesus Christ is
God, "manifested in the flesh," who died a substitution death on The
Cross, shedding His own blood to atone for my sins. I believe Christ's
resurrection signifies Your own satisfaction with His sacrifice on my behalf.
Because your Word states that
salvation is available to all who repent and believe, I repent of my sins and
believe on The Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior. I now,
willingly, and wholeheartedly, accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I am
entering into a relationship with Christ, sealed by the Holy Spirit,
who now indwells me. My name is recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life, and Heaven
is my future home.
As a born-again follower of
Christ, I make you Lord of all aspects of my life. "Thanks be unto God for
His unspeakable gift."
In Jesus' Name, Amen
Anything else? Yes, attach some legs to your
faith. Live, talk, and walk as a "born again" or "saved"
Christian. Get baptized as a public marker of your salvation. Attend a church
where, as they say, The Holy Bible is Wholly Taught.
The Ever-Changing Roman Catholic Doctrines
The Roman Catholic Church, which claims to be
the authoritative source of given truth and headed by the Pope, has been in a
constant state of change since its papal inception. Here
is a partial list of non-biblical added Roman Catholic practices, with
the dates when they were instituted.
1. Infant baptism for the remission of original sin (300 AD).
2. Prayers for the dead (300 AD).
3. Making the sign of the cross (300 AD).
4. Symbol of the cross for the church (312 AD).
5. Worship of angels (375 AD).
6. Worship of saints (375 AD).
7. Mass instituted (394 AD).
8. Worship of Mary (431 AD).
9. Priests dressing differently from laymen (500 AD).
10. Last Rites (526 AD).
11. Doctrine of Purgatory (593 AD).
12. Services conducted in Latin (600 AD).
13. Prayers to Mary (600 AD).
14. The popes from St. Linus
who held the papal post 67-76 AD. There have been 263 popes since then.
15. Kissing of the Pope's foot (709 AD).
16. Worshipping of images and relics (786 AD).
17. Use of Holy Water (850 AD).
18. Canonization of dead saints (995 AD). (You may now pray to them.)
19. Celibacy of the priesthood (1079 AD).
20. Rosary (prayer beads) instituted (1090 AD).
21. Transubstantiation—wafer becomes the literal flesh of Jesus Christ (1215 AD).
22. Adoration of the wafer (1220 AD).
23. Bible is forbidden to the laymen (1229 AD).
24. Communion cup forbidden to be touched during Holy Communion (1414 AD).
25. The Ave Maria (Hail to Mary) approved (1508 AD).
26. Tradition granted equal authority with the Bible (1545 AD).
27. Apocryphal books placed in the Bible (1546 AD).
28. Immaculate conception of Mary (1854 AD).
29. Infallibility of the Pope declared
(1870 AD). Most Roman Catholics do not realize that the popes excommunicated
each other, argued, fought, and even killed each other.
30. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1935 AD).
31. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church (1965 AD).
Are the above non-biblical doctrines hard and fast laws of the Roman Catholic Church? Yes.
The late Cardinal Heenan said in January,
1964, that "the Catholic Church has no intention of altering the smallest
point of its doctrine." (Universe, 24‑Jan‑1964.)
Other Official Non-Biblical Changes
The extracts below from official Roman Catholic Church statements
fly in the face of the late Cardinal's declaration. The RCC has spun its own
interpretation, which in many cases is a wide wander from the truth and is a direct
violation of Revelations 22:18‑19, the fourth- and third-last verses of
the last book in the Bible. They say,
"18 For I testify unto
every man that heareth the words of this book. If any man shall add unto
these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
19 And if any man shall take away
from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of
the book of life, and out of the holy city, and the things which are written in
The Roman Catholic Church tramples this warning with the following proclamations.
1. The Bible and Tradition.
"Both Scripture and tradition
should be accepted of devotion and reverence. Sacred tradition and Holy
Scripture form a single sacred deposit of the Word of God entrusted to the
Church." (Vatican II; Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.) Man-made!
2. Papal Infallibility.
"We believe in the infallibility
enjoyed by the Successor of Peter when he speaks ex cathedra as shepherd and
teacher of all the faithful." ("Credo of the People of God,"
Pope Paul VI. Published by the Catholic Truth Society, page 11, 30‑Jun‑1968.)
"The bread and wine cease to exist
after the consecration. From then on, therefore, the Body and Blood of the Lord
Jesus, under the sacramental appearance of bread and wine, are truly presented
before us for our adoration." ("Credo of the People of God,"
page 13.) Man-made!
4. The Mass.
"The Mass...is indeed the Sacrifice
of Calvary realized on our altars." ("Credo of the People of
God," page 12.) Man-made!
5. Mary Worship.
"She (the Virgin Mary) is the
shrine of the Holy Spirit. This gift of outstanding grace makes her outstrip by
far all other creatures in excellence whether they are in heaven or on earth.
All Christ's faithful must issue urgent pleas to the Mother of God and Mother
of men." (Vatican II; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.) "Mary's
mediation continues in the history of the Church and the world...and the Church
expresses her faith in this truth by invoking Mary under the titles of
Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix." (Pope John Paul II Encyclical,
"Redemptoris Mater," page 87, 25‑Mar‑1987.) Man-made!
"Only through the Catholic Church,
the universal aid to salvation, can the means of salvation be reached in all
their fullness." (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, page 11.) Man-made!
Rome's Nine Commandments
Why did Rome delete the Second Commandment in
the Roman Catholic Bible? This commandment forbids praying to statues and icons.
That Commandment (Exodus 20:4‑5) states:
"Thou shalt not make to
thee a graven thing (image), nor the likeness of any thing that
is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are
in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore (bow down to) them, nor
serve them: For I the LORD thy God, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them
that hate me."
What did Rome do? She split God's Tenth
Commandment into two separate ones! Rome views coveting a neighbor's wife as
one commandment, and coveting everything else as a second commandment.
A Bible believer should not worship (bow before,
kneel to, pray to, pray through, light candles to, or expect sins to be
forgiven by or through) their crosses or churchy icons. We should not attempt
to get some dead person to do something for us, such as find lost objects, or
do some impossible task. Crosses, etc., are merely symbols that identify a
person as being a Christian.
Is there a single Scripture that tells us to
confess our sins through Mary, through apostles, or to dead "saints?"
No. What does it say in Luke 20:38?
"For He is not God of
the dead, but of the living, to Him are all alive."
1 Timothy 2:5 states,
"For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
Was Peter the First Pope?
Is the System of Papal Authority Scriptural?
The Roman Catholic Church points to Matthew 16:13‑19
as biblical evidence for Peter being handed the keys to Heaven and thus launching Him as the first pope.
The passage reads,
"13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his
disciples, saying, 'Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?'
14 And they said, 'Some
say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, 'But whom say ye that I am?'
16 And Simon Peter
answered and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
17 And Jesus answered
and said unto him, 'Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: For
flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.'
18 And I say also unto
thee, 'That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto
thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' "
There is ample evidence to suggest that The Roman Catholic Church interprets this
passage wrongly. The Bible speaks here of Peter's confession, not his
coronation. The Roman Catholic Church ignores and rejects the traditional
Rock of both the New and Old Testaments and substitutes Peter instead.
Jesus told Peter that upon this Rock (Jesus) He would build His
(my) church. The Church of Rome replaces the Bible's Rock of Salvation
with blasphemous plans of salvation of its own invention.
Isn't it curious why the Lord Jesus Christ
made no celebrated reference to Peter—or to Mary—prior to His returning to
Heaven? If they were to be elevated above others for special honor, wouldn't He
have clearly reminded His followers to take heed? Of course He would have. But
he didn't. His silence speaks volumes, and again points out that Jesus is the
one and only way, with no other between or alongside.
Was Peter Ever the Ruler of Any Church?
While the RCC trumpets
that Peter was the first Pope, there is no evidence that Peter was even the top
banana in Jerusalem after Christ returned to Heaven.
The pastor and leader of the Church at
Jerusalem was James, the Lord's brother (Acts 12:17, 15:13‑21, 21:18; Galatians 2:9).
Noted first-century Jewish historian Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews, Book XX, 9:1, confirms this Scriptural
account of James where James' martyrdom is described.
Josephus apparently never heard of Simon
Peter, but he wrote all about James as the faithful pastor and leader of the
Christian Church in Jerusalem.
Notice in Acts 8:14 that Peter is "sent" by the
Apostles along with John to Samaria. Peter is not doing the sending; somebody
else is. If Peter was in charge, he would be directing the show.
In Acts 15:14‑21, at the Jerusalem
conference, after Peter made his speech and Paul and Barnabas made their
speeches, it is James who delivers the final verdict.
Peter was not in charge then, so why should he
be considered as a mighty rock for elevation to papal level. It makes zero
sense. It all boils down to Roman Catholicism versus the
Bible, as opposed to Roman Catholicism and the Bible.
We have listed here much Bible add-on
"new truth" promoted very wrongly by the Church of Rome. Is there
more to come? Why not? Rome adds, subtracts, dismisses, and ignores much
of the foundational teachings of the Holy Bible, while at the same time,
promoting the Bible as God-breathed truth. It makes no sense.
The Vatican runs a tight ship and insists on
strict adherence to its dogma with threats of ex-communications and lengthy
shifts in a non-biblical purgatory with its handy checkbook exits. The
concept of purgatory and prayers for the dead are not found in the Bible.
Doesn't the purgatory idea clearly suggest that Jesus really didn't finish the
job of paying our sin debt? See John 19:30 and 1 Peter 2:24. Purgatory
was invented as a money maker for the RCC. The sale of indulgences continue at
a brisk pace to this day.
Mainstream Roman Catholic Church teaching
misses the mark more than just marginally on how to get to Heaven. It surely
will fall under the severe judgment of God when the smoke clears here on Earth.
And to think the Church of Rome has a billion
subscribers walking lockstep to its dogma with its wafer-thin biblical
A rather bizarre area of Roman Catholic
doctrine is its confusing position on saints. Our source, the Bible, does not
provide a Hall-of-Fame list of saints, nor does it suggest that any of God's creations
should be celebrated or prayed to. The Bible tells us that anyone who has
placed his trust in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation is a saint. We do not earn saint-hood status, nor is it a
superhero title that earthly man has the right to bestow.
How does the Apostle Paul address the church in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 1:1?
"Paul, an apostle of
Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of
God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia."
Notice that Paul's remarks are directed to all the saints—meaning believers—in the city.
A visit to the Catholic Online site, the Saints & Angels
section reveals a lofty lineup of Vatican-selected saints in a manner that almost amuses.
There's a monster list of Vatican saints, with sub categories such as "Popular
Saints," "Patron Saints," "Saint of the Day," and
Remember, a while back, when that popular
salt-shaker-sized Saint Christopher icon was affixed to the dashboards of many
of the faithful? Roman Catholics were urged to pray to him for travel safety.
He was the Patron Saint of Travel. Where did he go?
Again we go to Catholic Online: It reports,
"In 1969, the Church took a long
look at all the saints on its calendar to see if there was historical evidence
that each saint existed and lived a life of holiness. In taking that long look,
the Church discovered that there was little proof that many "saints,"
including some very popular ones, ever lived. Christopher was one of the names
that was determined to have a basis mostly in legend. Therefore, Christopher
(and others) were dropped from the universal calendar."
What, what?!? That means that the many
millions who prayed and thanked Saint Christopher for traveling mercies prayed
to someone who never existed or at best was based on a legend. Another lurch in
the ever-shifting truth of the Roman Catholic Church! Where was the outrage
from the sheep? The answer is that no one had the guts to march into the
Vatican and yell, "FRAUD!"
Is Roman Catholicism a Cult?
This might sound ridiculous, but a solid case
could be made for declaring the RCC a cult, alongside the Mormons and Jehovah's
Witnesses. The commonly held definition of a cult is simply a belief system.
But more correctly, a cult is a group led by a
dictatorial leader who demands unquestioning adherence to his doctrines, which
are generally taken from the Scripture out of context.
This is true of the Roman Catholic Church. The
RCC is headed by the pope who, at times, claim to speak for almighty God. Papal
edicts must be obeyed, without question.
A trickle-down quasi political/religious
system allows bishops, etc., to oversea and spoon out lesser-important churchy
decisions to its adherence.
The Church of Rome has a conveniently built-in
loophole for many of its unscriptural teachings by rejecting the Bible as being
the final authority of God's truth.
Protestants, by and large, hold that the Bible
is the one-and-only truth source, the Word of God.
The Church of Rome and other "cults"
pluck off some or a lot of the Bible, then add to it.
What About the Protestants?
Because of the tough stance here against the
doctrines of the Church of Rome, am I suggesting the Protestants have it right?
The word denomination is not in the Bible, so
therefore is moot. In the Bible, followers of Jesus Christ are called Christians,
not Roman Catholics or Protestants.
However, it is abundantly clear that many
(likely most) mainstream Protestant denominations miss the boat, as well, with
respect to how to get to Heaven.
Many Protestant pastors, do not—emphasize do not—preach clear Bible teachings, nor do
they warn of a judgmental God and eternal Heaven and Hell awaiting us all
Instead of biblical emphasis on the urgency to
get right with God on his terms now, too often thin social soup is
served up to the pew dwellers.
Yes, Satan is doing a brisk business through
many of our "churches" today, where a sin-thin message—which began in the Garden of Eden
when Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan's sly lie—is being lapped up by gullible sheep.
May God bless and lead us all.