The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
10 biblical reasons why I cannot be a Roman Catholic.
Am I a Catholic? Well, yes and no.
If by Catholic you mean ‘universal’ in the sense of belonging to the universal church of Christ, then yes, I sure am a full-blooded Catholic.
But if by Catholic you mean ‘Roman Catholic’ in the sense of following the dogmatic decrees of the Vatican, then no, I am not a Catholic at all.
In this brief article I would like to outline ten of the most important reasons as to why I am not a Roman Catholic.
01.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in Mariology
Mary was a wonderful woman of faith. I have no qualms about that. But I do have problems with a host of Roman Catholic Mariological doctrines that are nowhere to be found in Holy Writ.
Where does the New Testament ever talk about Mary as the impeccable “Mother of the Church” or “Mediator” or talk about her ascension to heaven or her saving influence upon believers or how she can be evoked in prayer? These are nothing more than human inventions that deny the centrality of Christ in the Bible.
02.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the Pope
My only Holy Father is the Lord God Almighty. Not the Pope! The only Head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ. Not the Pope! The only Guide for God’s pilgrim people on earth is the Holy Spirit. Not the Pope! The only One who can speak infallibly is the Most High God. Not the Pope! It’s that simple.
03.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in idolatry
I consider bowing oneself down before any idol, image, painting, statue or deceased saint to be an abomination. It is a clear violation of both the second commandment and the New Testament truth that God alone is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth. The Lord alone is my God and Him alone will I serve!
04.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in Purgatory
The Bible talks about heaven and hell. It doesn’t say a thing about the man-made concept of Purgatory which came into being in the Medieval Age. Not only is it a top-class marketing technique and a means of offering false hope to sinners but it also spits in the face of the perfect atoning work of Jesus Christ.
How could any disciple believe anything that calls into question the blessed work of the Son of God?
05.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in Transubstantiation
Another blasphemy that is wholly unworthy of the Gospel is the doctrine of Transubstantiation. What does it teach? It affirms that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of the Jesus so that Christ sacrifices Himself for sin in every Mass. Such a theology denies the faultless and flawless work of Christ carried out once and for all (Hebrews 7:27).
06.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the clergy/ lay division
The Roman Catholic hierarchical system distorts the New Testament emphasis upon the priesthood of all believers. By no means are the clergy holier or more sanctified than run-of-the-mill saints. They are simply engaged in a specific sphere of public ministry.
Being used by God does not depend upon one being behind a pulpit. All of God’s people are to be used by the Lord no matter what sphere of life they may find themselves in. They are all holy because they all partake of the same Spirit. As Luther once put it: “A shoemaker who makes shoes for the glory of God is a holy minister of the Gospel”.
07.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the Apocrypha
The apocryphal books were never accepted as authoritatively inspired by Judaism or the Christian Church. They were added unto the canon in the sixteenth century by the infamous Council of Trent.
Now, that does not mean that the content of the Apocrypha cannot edify us in the faith; but we should always keep in mind that those books are plagued with historical inaccuracies and strange doctrines that contradict the plain teaching of Scripture (prayers for the dead; prayers unto angels and saints; indulgences, etc.).
08.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the seven sacraments
I do not believe that the administration of the sacraments via the ordained priesthood guarantees the effectual application of grace to their recipients. The grace of God the Father is applied to human beings by means of the ministries of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Yes, it is indeed true that I celebrate the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; but not because they guarantee God’s grace but because they are the sign that the grace of God has already been given. Furthermore, they were both expressly commanded by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).
09.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in mortal or venial sins.
The New Testament makes no sharp distinction between big sins and small sins. Sin is sin (be it major or minor). Every act of disobedience deserves punishment. The only sin which can never be forgiven –according to the blessed Saviour Himself- is blasphemy against the Spirit of God.
10.- I’m not a Roman Catholic because I believe in the biblical Gospel
In sum, I can condense all of my opposition to Roman Catholicism into one simple term: the biblical Gospel, that is, the Gospel of the free grace of God; the Gospel of the immaculate work of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Gospel of the regenerating power of the Spirit of the Lord. This Gospel of God is non-negotiable.
So, if I have to choose between Roman Catholicism and the glory of God as it is revealed in the Gospel, I opt for the glory of God.
And now, let me ask you the very same question: which would you choose?