Thirteen Questions Every Roman Catholic Who Claims to be a Student of The Bible Ought to Ask Themselves
So you're a Roman Catholic who prides yourself on your being a student of the Scriptures, and further, you pride yourself in your devotion to the Roman Catholic religion. How on earth can you possibly reconcile these? If you are a Roman Catholic who cares the least little bit about knowing the truth, and allowing it to set you free, then read below, open your mind, and think about these questions.
1. If the Bible is the Word of God and thus worthy of being studied, then what reason is there for considering the man-made doctrines handed down by the Pope and the Magisterium to be above the Bible, whose source is God?
Revelation 22:18-19 says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." This right here is a specific proscription to us to abstain from changing the message found within the Word of God. Yet, changing the message of the Word of God is what the Magisterium and other Roman Catholic bodies has routinely done for the last millenium. As we shall see, there are NUMEROUS examples of Roman Catholic dogma which find no basis whatsoever in Scripture, and often are directly contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible. Instead of being the doctrines of God, these Roman Catholic teachings are the philosophies and vain deceits, the commandments of men taught in place of truth, as Colossians 2:8 speaks of.
2. Why is it that the Roman Catholic leadership has historically tried to surpress Bible reading, even to the point of persecution and proscription?
Why did the Council of Trent (1545-1564) add the Bible (of all things!) to the list of books BANNED from being read by Roman Catholics, without a license from a bishop or inquisitor? Why did that same council declare, "That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license, he shall not receive absolution till he has given it up to his ordinary."? Why did the Roman Catholic religion torture, murder, burn, etc. etc. millions of "heretics" whose only crime was reading the Bible and believing what it says? Why did Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) declare, "It is evidence from experience, that the holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit." Why did Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) sound off "against the publication, distribution, reading, and possession of books of the holy Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue."? In January of 1850, why did Pope Leo XII acknowledge that lay reading and distribution of the Scriptures had "long been condemned by the holy chair."? Why did the Roman Church wait until the 1960s before it would even acknowledge a perfunctory need to examine the Scriptures among its adherents?
What is your church afraid of? Why does your church not want YOU to really study the Scriptures with the intent of searching out the truth? Why does YOUR CHURCH, to this day, feel like it ought to be the one to "explain" the Bible to you, that you "don't need" to search it out for yourself? Maybe the leadership knows that when Catholics truly begin to read the Bible, they realise the falseness of Roman Catholicism and leave in droves?
3. Why is it that even though Exodus 20:4-5 strictly forbids the making of ANY graven image for use in worship, that the Roman Catholic church still practices idolatry on a wide scale?
4. Why is it that, even though Exodus 20:4-5 clearly lists the commandment against making and using idols as one of the Ten Commandments, that the St. Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Bible, on its front inside cover in bold letters, absolutely DELETES that commandment from the list of ten, and splits the tenth commandment into two separate commandments (thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife and thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods) to maintain a list of ten?
5. Why does the Roman Catholic church teach that Mary is an intercessor with Christ for mankind, and further that Mary is indeed a co-redemptrix and can save men's souls?
The doctrine of Mary being a redeemer and worthy of our devotion is NOT a modern phenomenon in the Roman Church. Just look back to the work of St. Louis de Montfort in the 17th century and you'll see that Mary idolatry was well-entrenched centuries ago. I Timothy 2:5 clearly states, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." By what authority did the Church ignore this clear teaching of Scripture so as to propagate Mary worship? Answer - By NO REAL authority, they set themselves up to judge God's Word, and will face eternity in HELL because of it.
6. Why does the Roman Catholic church hold the Mass, in which Christ is re-sacrificed daily, when the Bible says that Christ died once for us, and no longer needs to sacrifice Himself for us?
Hebrews 9:24-26 says, "For Christ is not entered into the holy place 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."
Hebrews 10:12 says, "But this man, after he had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God,"
The Mass is a blasphemous display of idolatry. The wafer is an idol worshipped ignorantly. The priest, who purports to call Christ down from heaven, who does he think he is to be able to call the Son of God at his whim and resacrifice Him? The Bible says that Jesus offered Himself for us ONCE. His sacrifice was sufficient. He doesn't need to be resacrificed, and He ISN'T being resacrificed. When you eat that cracker, it is NOT turning into the body of Christ inside of you, and you are NOT receiving any sort of blessing (sacramental or otherwise) from it. What you are doing is worshipping a false God, another Jesus other than the Son of God. Christ offered Himself once for all, and is now interceding in heaven for TRUE followers of God. Beware the warning given in Isaiah 45:16, "They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are MAKERS of IDOLS." Think about that before you eat your cracker god made out of bread dough.
7. Why is the Pope venerated, bowed to, kissed, and so forth like he is God? Further, why does the Pope take the name of "Vicar of Christ", ("vicar" meaning "substitute, one who takes the place of another"), so setting himself up essentially as God on the earth?
The Pope is no representative of God, and he is certainly NOT any sort of a "vicar" of Christ. Isaiah 42:8 says, "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER, neither my praise to graven images." The Pope tries to usurp the glory that rightfully belongs only to God. In doing so, the Pope brings the wrath of God down upon himself, and condemns himself to an eternity in HELL if he doesn't repent of it and take Christ as his Saviour.
The Pope ought to follow the example of Peter (supposedly the first Pope, but really wasn't) as shown in Acts 10:26. Cornelius fell down and tried to worship Peter, and the Apostle would have none of it, saying, "Stand up; I myself also am a man." Peter wouldn't accept worship, nor should anyone else.
8. Why does the Roman Catholic church teach that salvation is partly due to man's works, such as baptism, confession, confirmation, taking the Mass, and other sacraments and works? The Bible QUITE CLEARLY teaches that salvation is by GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he hath saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5). See also Ephesians 2:5, 8-9; Galatians 2:16, Acts 13:38-39, Romans 3:20, 23-24; many others. The Bible says explicitly, clearly, and ONLY that justification is by faith, and through God's GIVEN grace.
Works come AFTER salvation, they are the means by which we earn our rewards as believers in heaven, but they are NOT a means of attaining TO heaven. When James says that faith without works is dead, he is speaking about this. Our faith in our Saviour is shown in that we serve Him after we are saved. James nowhere alludes to salvation coming from works, though. Similarly, Paul in Philippians 2:12 says to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". In this passage, the Greek word used for "work out" is katergazomai, meaning to "finish or fashion" something. He is refering to sanctification in this passage, not justification. A true believer is justified by faith in Christ, but then has the responsibility to work out more fully their sanctification by allowing Christ to work in them, renewing them and conforming them to His image. Nowhere does this passage indicate that justification is something to be worked for through man's efforts.
9. Why does the Roman Catholic church teach the doctrine of Purgatory, when such a place is not found ANYWHERE in Scripture, and hence, does not exist?
Remember that verse in Revelation we read earlier about not adding anything to Scripture? Well, purgatory is an addition to Scripture, and adherence to that false doctrine is an abomination before God. Additionally, Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." If a person is saved and in Christ, there is no NEED for them to be "purified" by a few years in purgatory (nor is there a need for their relatives to buy their way out with indulgences, either....)
10. Why does the Roman Catholic church prohibit clergy from marriage, when such a commandments specifically contradicts the Word of God? I Timothy 4:3 states that one sign of religious apostasy would be the forbidding of men to marry.
If clergy aren't supposed to marry, then why, further, does I Timothy 3:4 state "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity," as part of a passage that lists off the qualifications for a man to be a Bishop (Pastor)? How else is a man of God to have children, if not by marriage? Further, why did Peter (supposedly the first Pope, but who never even was in Rome prior to his martyrdom) have a WIFE (see Matthew 8:14, Mark 1:30, and Luke 4:38)? Why also did Paul state that he could have married if he so chose to do so (I Corinthians 9:5)?
11. Why the need for confession to be made to a priest?
The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9). This passage speaks of confessing our sins to GOD. There is absolutely no need to confess sins to a priest, to Mary, to the saints, or any other entity other than God. Teaching otherwise is rubbish! Jesus certainly taught only to pray to the Father (see Matthew 6:9-15)
12. Why does the Catholic church teach the repetition of multitudes of prescribed prayers (many of them to Mary)?
Know ye not that the Word of God says "But when ye pray, use not VAIN REPETITIONS, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." (Matthew 6:7)
13. Why does the Roman Church teach that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome (and therefore the beginning of the false "apostolic succession" handing down power to successive popes), when Peter was never even in Rome until right before he was martyred?
As he concluded his first general epistle, Peter writes, "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son." (I Peter 5:13). Peter clearly identifies his location as being Babylon, not Rome. This further makes sense in that Peter was given the apostleship of the circumcision, the Jews (Galatians 2:8). Now, in Acts 18:2, Luke remarks that all the Jews had been expelled from Rome by Claudius the Emperor. Acts was written in 61 AD, before the book of I Peter, which was in 63 AD. Further, Romans 1:13, 11:13, and 15:15-16 all indicate that Paul was writing that epistle to a church that was at least predominantly, if not entirely, Gentile. Combine these facts, and we see that there would not have been very many, if any, Jews in Rome for Peter to be ministering to as per his God-given apostolic position. However, Babylon likely had a goodly population of Jews, mostly descendents of those who had not returned to Palestine when the Babylonian captivity had concluded. Hence, we see that Peter's apostolic flock would have physically been located in Babylon, not Rome, and that Peter would have been there with them, being the godly man that he was.
Further, the claims that Peter would have been using "Babylon" as a code word for Rome (supposedly out of a desire to avoid a persecution going on at the time) are unlikely. When Peter wrote I Peter, there was no persecution going on in Rome. The Neroan persecution did not begin until after Rome had burned in AD 64, after the writing of Peter's first epistle. There would have been no more need for Peter to use "code words" in refering to Rome, than there would have been for Paul to do so when composing his epistle to the Romans in 57-58 AD.
To the Roman Catholic who may be reading this page, I urge you to not just bury your head in the sand and toe the Magisterium's line. Use the mind God gave you and examine the claims your church makes, and study out the inconsistencies of Catholic dogma.
Further, I urge you to trust Christ as your Saviour and be freed from the burden of guilt and sin! Jesus calls to you, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Throw off the shackles of a works-based salvation that can never be obtained, and enter into the glorious light of salvation which Christ has offered to all who will trust Him in faith! The Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30 asked, "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?", and the answer given by Paul and Silas is the same one that can answer your question today: "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31). Works and sacraments cannot ever save you, but faith in God's grace gift of Jesus always will!
Lastly, leave the pagan ways of the Roman Church! The only way a Christian can grow is to be immersed in the Word of God and to keep themselves from error. "Wherefore, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," (II Corinthians 6:17) The Roman Catholic false religion is most certainly an unclean thing, so don't touch it! Flee it's claws, and enjoy the liberty that comes from knowing Christ as Lord and Saviour!