What Saith the Scripture?
An Earnest Appeal to Roman Catholics
Or, Roman Catholicism Examined in Light of the Scriptures
"We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her"
by Tom Stewart
The Apostle Peter boldly proclaimed to the high priests, who had only recently crucified Christ, that salvation comes only from Jesus Christ of Nazareth. "Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). If all would agree that Salvation comes only by the grace of God through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary-- "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)-- then adherence to or rejection of the Church of Rome would simply be a test of Christian nobility, i.e., searching the Scriptures for proof to go out or stay in. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).
Further, if anyone resorts to the investigation of Scripture, then a cardinal rule must be observed. You must be willing to obey the Scriptures. Jesus said, "If any man will do His [the Father's] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:17). This cannot be an unreasonable rule, for Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the very Word that "was made flesh" (John 1:14), that we must obey. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians 2:13).
I propose to demonstrate from Scripture that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian religion, and that the Church of Rome is not a Christian Church. And, if so, then it would only be reasonable for all those who truly name the "Name of Christ" (2Timothy 2:19) to separate themselves from this "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). Thus, the warning of the Revelation would fall upon your ears to come out of Babylon the Great. "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (18:4).
Rome Saith, But What Saith the Scripture?
On October 11th 1992, Pope John Paul II affixed his signature to "The Catechism of the Catholic Church"-- http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/ccc.html --for the express purpose that we may be enlightened to "what the Catholic Church believes" (from the Papal introduction). "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:37). The following is an attempt to compile quotations from "The Catechism of the Catholic Church" (initial Latin version: 1992; English translation: 1994), which will be appended by the word "Catechism" and its paragraph number, both enclosed in parentheses, e.g., "Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence" (Catechism, 82). All other comments will be mine, as I attempt to expound the appropriate Scriptures. "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:1).
Rome Saith: Tradition Equal to Scripture
"Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence" (Catechism, 82).
Tradition is a fine thing-- unless it negates or contradicts the Word of God. The LORD Jesus Christ made strong objection to the religious Pharisees of His day for setting aside God's plain commands through their traditions, i.e., "Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye" (Mark 7:13). But, some may object-- the Apostle Paul enjoined the Thessalonians to withdraw from those who walked disorderly "and not after the tradition which he received of us" (2Thessalonians 3:6). This is true, but it would only be proper to note that the same Apostle illuminated his readers in the same epistle that those traditions came from the Word of God that the Holy Spirit had delivered to him. "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2Thessalonians 2:15). And unmistakingly, that inspired writer of Holy Writ realized that his writings were not simply on the level of the writings of mere clerics and ecclesiastics, but they were the very Word of God. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1Thessalonians 2:13).
Rome Saith: Interpretation of the Word of God Belongs Solely to the Pope
"The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him" (Catechism, 100).
The Magisterium of the Church of Rome-- the Pope and the bishops-- cannot substitute for the Spirit of the Living God, Whose function is to interpret and teach the Word of God to the individual Believer. "20 But ye have an Unction [Greek, chrisma; literally, Anointing, i.e., the Holy Spirit] from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the Anointing [literally, Unction, i.e., the Holy Spirit] which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as It hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John 2:20,27). Even a very good human instructor should not nor cannot replace the Teaching Majesty of the Blessed Comforter. Did not the Saviour, Who is The Only Way, The Only Truth, and The Only Life (John 14:6), give in Covenant His Paraklete to teach, support, and abide in every Believer? "16 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter [Greek, parakletos], that He may abide with you for ever; 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:16,26). Beware of any who substitute another teacher for the Blessed Spirit-- they will teach you another Gospel. "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:9).
Rome Saith: Headship of the Pope Over All the Flock
"The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock" (Catechism, 881).
It is altogether accurate to say that the Pope is the head of the Church of Rome, i.e., Roman Catholicism; but, Jesus Christ alone, Who is the "Chief Shepherd" (1Peter 5:4), is the sole and preeminent "Head of the... Church" (Ephesians 5:23). "17 And He [Jesus Christ] is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 18 And He is the Head of the Body, the Church: Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn From the Dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:17-18). The Apostle Peter, whose name Petros in the Greek means stone or rock, was promised by the Head of the Church that "upon this Rock [Greek, petra or large rock; which plays upon Peter's name, but alludes to Jesus Christ, the 'Spiritual Rock' (1Corinthians 10:4)] I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). However, Simon Peter was only one of many stones to compose the foundation of Christ's Church. "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone" (Ephesians 2:20).
The coveted Keys of the Church for binding and loosing have been the foundational claim of the Papacy, but Jesus Christ is represented in the Revelation as having higher claim to those Keys, i.e., possessing the "keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18). Certainly, the LORD Jesus Christ promised the Apostle Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, which would be the authority of the Gospel-- the "power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). Jesus said to Peter, "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 loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven" (Matthew 16:19). However, not only was Peter given those highly valuable Gospel Keys-- of powerful prayer and witness-- but the rest of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) possesses them as well. Addressing His disciples, the LORD Jesus Christ said, "18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on Earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:18-20).
The supremacy of the Pope over all things Christian is foundational to Roman Catholicism. But, "what saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3). "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 3:11). Plainly, Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23), is also the Foundation of the Church, which is also His Body (1:23). The united testimony of Scripture points to a supernatural structure for Christ's Church, and not mere human invention. Commenting on man's rejection of Himself, Jesus said, "Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The Stone which the builders [i.e., unbelieving man] rejected , the same is become the Head of the Corner: this is the LORD's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matthew 21:42). The Roman Catholic Church has dethroned the Blessed Son of God and set up the Roman Pontiff as supreme over the Universal Church. "I am come in My Father's Name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:43).
Rome Saith: Papal Infallibility in Faith and Morals
"Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals" (Catechism, 890).
As "shepherd of the whole flock" (Catechism, 881), the Roman Pontiff claims "infallibility in matters of faith and morals" (Catechism, 890). But, where do "faith and morals" not reach? If a Christian is one who lives "by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4), then the totality of life must be governed by "faith and morals". So the Papal See lays claim to infallibility in governing the life of the "whole flock". This claim of infallible governing of "faith and morals" of the "whole flock" befits an antichrist, for only Jesus Christ can rightfully say, "All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth" (Matthew 28:18); thus, the LORD Jesus Christ alone is the Infallible "LORD of Heaven and Earth" (Acts 17:24)-- and, not the Pope. "Little children, it is the Last Time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the Last Time" (1John 2:18). The "charism of infallibility" (Catechism, 890) of the Pope is a usurpation of the chrisma (Greek, unction or anointing) promised to every Believer. "But ye have an unction [Greek, charisma] from the Holy One, and ye know all things" (2:20). "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8).
Rome Saith: Papal Infallibility Extends Over Scripture
"This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself" (Catechism, 891).
It would be sufficient to condemn the Papacy for its brazen claim of "infallibility in matters of faith and morals" (Catechism, 890) concerning the "whole flock" (Catechism, 881), but to extend that claim of infallibility "as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself" (Catechism, 891) is certainly blasphemous, i.e., impious and evil speech against God. "And he [the Antichrist] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His Name, and His Tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven" (Revelation 13:6). The Word of God is no less than the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. "And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God" (19:13). For the Pope to claim infallibility over the "divine Revelation itself" (Catechism, 891) is paramount to claiming dominion and supremacy over Jesus Christ, the Son of God-- "which in His times He shall shew, Who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords" (1Timothy 6:15). Unlike the feeble, human tools that built the Vatican, God's Word can raise up or pull down without the slightest intervention of man. "Is not My Word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 23:29). Is it any wonder that the Reformers called the Pope Antichrist? "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2Thessalonians 2:4).
Rome Saith: Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
"That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin" (Catechism, 491).
It is a cherished fact of Scripture that Mary, the human mother of Jesus of Nazareth, conceived the child Jesus without benefit of a human father, i.e., the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). This had long ago been predicted by the Scriptures. "Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). But, to claim that Mary was "preserved immune from all stain of original sin" (Catechism, 491), demands that we must set aside the Scriptures that affirm that "all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). The complete moral depravity of the sinner is a fact of Scripture. "10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:10,23). Though Pope Pious IX (1854) claimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Scripture-- and even Mary-- said he is wrong. "46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the LORD, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:46-47). Mary confessed in her Magnificat that God was her Saviour, making her, at some time, a sinner; and thus, not "preserved immune from all stain of original sin" (Catechism, 491). "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (1John 1:10).
Rome Saith: Ever-Virginity of Mary
"The liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the 'Ever-virgin'" (Catechism, 499).
That Joseph, the husband of Mary, was not the father of Jesus, is abundantly clear from Scripture. "24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His Name JESUS" (Matthew 1:24-25). And, that the Son of God was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, is duly recorded in Scripture. "18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:18-20). However, Jesus of Nazareth had brothers and sisters, i.e., indicating that Mary ceased from her virginity to have other children. "Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him" (Mark 6:3). Scripture clearly states that Mary ceased to be a virgin, i.e., had sexual relations with her husband Joseph, after Jesus was born. "And [Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her Firstborn Son" (Matthew 1:25). Therefore, suffice it to say that the dogma of the Ever-Virginity of Mary can only be an human invention, and not the testimony of Scripture. "Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7).
Rome Saith: Fullness of Salvation Only Through the Catholic Church
"Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it" (Catechism, 846).
It is revealing that Salvation would be denied to those who knowingly refuse to enter or remain in the Catholic Church, i.e., the Protestants, for Salvation comes in the Person and Name of Jesus Christ alone, and not from the Catholic Church-- or any other human organization. "Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name [of Jesus] under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Whenever any man reveals to us our necessity to attach ourselves to any human organization to receive Salvation-- BEWARE! "Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter" (Isaiah 56:11). True, these are strong words; but, how strong can words be to represent those who hinder their people from entering the Kingdom of God? "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered" (Luke 11:52). Hence, Rome's claim that "they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, refuse either to enter it or to remain in it" (Catechism, 846) is a blasphemous lie. "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved" (2Thessalonians 2:10).
You may ask, "Who then can be saved?" (Luke 18:26). I would answer, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). The LORD Jesus Christ said, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). Possibly, four of the most famous expressions of the Gospel are:
The Apostle Paul was inspired of the Spirit of God to record what many have later called "The Romans Road of Salvation"-- because it references to the New Testament Book of Romans.
[Note: the assurance of your Salvation is granted only
if you walk in obedience. "3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, if
we keep His Commandments. 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments,
is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:3-4).]
Charles G. Finney, a well known American evangelist of the 1800's, said that "willingness to obey Christ is to be a Christian". In other words, "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1:19), for "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power" (Psalm 110:3). Whatever thing you withhold from the LORD , you must give up-- or perish. "21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come and follow Me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions" (Matthew 19:21-22).
And, lest any imagine that Salvation lies simply in the human will-- perish the thought! Salvation is the "gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). God sovereignly bestows "repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth" (2Timothy 2:25). It is the mercy of God that He has not judged us already, for "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Even while it is still today, "Harden not your hearts" (3:8). We neither understand nor value God Our Saviour (1Timothy 1:1) enough. "And without controversy great is the Mystery Of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (3:16). Hasten, for "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10). And, "as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Rome Saith: Purgatory Necessary After Death for Final Purification
"All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (Catechism, 1030).
"The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect" (Catechism, 1031).
Scripture testifies that to be absent from the body, i.e., dead, is to be present with the LORD. "6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the LORD: 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the LORD" (2Corinthians 5:6,8). No intermediate place of purgatory for purification is mentioned in Scripture. The Master told of Heaven and Hell as the destination of the departed, giving no Scriptural foundation for Purgatory. "22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom" (Luke 16:22-23). Instead, the Scriptures warn of the necessity of preparation for Heaven prior to departure from this life. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD" (Hebrews 12:14).
Only judgment follows death. "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The purification that makes man fit for Heaven was accomplished solely by the sacrifice by the Son of God on the Cross. "We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (10:10). If we obstinately refuse to trust the LORD Jesus Christ's sacrifice as the sole foundation of our forgiveness and acceptance with God, then we shall not escape God's judgment. "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on Earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from Heaven" (12:25). Neither sacraments nor purgatory, but the blood of Christ can purge and make us fit to stand before the Living God. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?" (9:14).
Rome Saith: Transubstantiation Changes the Bread and Wine Into Christ
"By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation" (Catechism, 1376).
"The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice... In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner" (Catechism, 1367).
The Church of Rome represents the Mass as the bloodless equivalent of the atonement of the LORD Jesus Christ on the Cross. But, did not the Son of Man say, "17 I lay down My Life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of Myself" (John 10:17-18)? How then can a mere priest profess to lay down the life of the Only Begotten Son of God in the Mass when Christ has never given him license to do such? "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting" (Isaiah 1:13).
But, did not Christ say, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53)? It is plain that the LORD Jesus spoke of Spiritual Life-- Eternal Life-- which has no physical manifestation, except the symbolism enjoined in the LORD's Supper. "26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. 27 And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28). Therefore, to eat and drink of Christ is to enter into intimate communion with the Heavenly Bridegroom by simply trusting Him. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
The act of creation is the sole domain of God, and not of man nor priests. "For thus saith the LORD that created the Heavens; God Himself that formed the Earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18). Only a thief would attempt to steal the creative prerogative of God. "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me" (Malachi 3:8). But, God has covenanted with Himself to keep back His judgment until He returns the Second Time. "14 Until the appearing of our LORD Jesus Christ: 15 Which in His times He shall shew, who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords" (1Timothy 6:14-15). Then, He will judge the attempted theft of His creative right, i.e., He will bring the papal and priestly creators of the Catholic Mass to judgment. "When the LORD Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ" (2Thessalonians 1:7-8).
Rome Saith: All Mortal Sins Must Be Confessed to a Priest
"One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience" (Catechism, 1493).
"All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession" (Catechism, 1456).
The pattern of Scripture is to make confession to the Offended Party, and all sin is against God. "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest" (Psalm 51:4). For this reason, we are enjoined to make confession to God for the forgiveness of sins. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9). Certainly, man ought to be given confession, if he is the party that has been offended. "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother" (Matthew 18:15). Confessing your sins to one another is warranted, if the offending party is to return to praying ground. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).
That phrase, "must confess to a priest" (Catechism, 1493) of Rome, viciously rips at the heart of True Christianity, for the Truly God and Yet Truly Man Christ Jesus is alone our High Priest and Mediator. "For there is one God, and One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1Timothy 2:5). Any who would attempt to supplant Christ's role as our Confessor, is Against Christ-- which would make them an antichrist. "Even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the Last Time" (1John 2:18). The LORD Jesus alone is our Mediator, "Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). If Christ alone accepts our confession, then we are received by God-- regardless of priests that may still reject us. "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
"One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church" (Catechism, 1493) implies that the reconciliation is a desirable thing, but that belies the Truth. For the Earnest Believer, reconciliation with the Church of Rome is unwanted and abhorred. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2Corinthians 6:14). Better that we make our confession to God, for only then will our peace be great. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Rome Saith: Justification of the Veneration of Icons
"The seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons" (Catechism, 2131).
The icons of Roman Catholicism are the idolatry forbidden in the Ten Commandments. "4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a Jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me" (Exodus 20:4-5). The papal veneration of icons is the giving of reverence, adoration, and respect that rightly belongs to the Almighty. And, the LORD God is adamant about His refusal to give His glory to the images and relics of Catholicism. "I am the LORD: that is My Name: and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My Praise to graven images" (Isaiah 42:8).
The Jealous God rejects all who reject His Word concerning the "veneration of icons" (Catechism, 2131). "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee" (1Samuel 15:23). It is a light thing to contradict man, but it is monumental to reject God's Word concerning idolatry. "Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (15:22). This rejection must culminate in the destruction of not simply the idols, but Babylon herself. "Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces" (Jeremiah 50:2).
Has the Creator given you "eyes to see, and ears to hear" (Deuteronomy 29:4) the abominations of the Church of Rome? If Rome could have been reformed, we would have healed her. But, she would not-- and is not healed-- so forsake her. "We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her" (Jeremiah 51:9). The vast system of lies that forms the foundation of Roman Catholicism astounds the gaze of even the True Believer, and it is quite understandable that the Apostle John "wondered with great admiration [or, wonder]" (Revelation 17:6), when he was shown MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (17:5). Satan, the Father of Lies (John 8:44), demands homage from his people, much as Christ expects of His Church; therefore, the lies of the Church of Rome become him. "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1Timothy 4:2). Can such a judgment be too harsh for an institution which has forced itself upon the world as the SOLE repository of Christian Salvation-- and, thereby damned untold multitudes? "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double" (Revelation 18:6). Your departure from Rome, as well as those who may follow your example, will reward your former master. "22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 22-23).
As with any system of sin and error, the command of God is clear: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2Corinthians 6:17). Rome is a fearful master that comes to you as an "angel of light" (2Corinthians 11:14), but "inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15). It is no more your part to reform Catholicism than it is for the "leopard [to change] his spots" (Jeremiah 13:23). Yours is to "flee from the wrath to come" (Luke 3:7) by separating yourself from Roman Catholicism. Flee in faith to the person of Jesus Christ, "as unto a faithful Creator" (1Peter 4:19), in Whom you should abide. "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1Peter 2:25). The beloved Apostle Peter can only rejoice that you would refuse the Babylonish system of the Bishop of Rome. "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15)-- Rome OR Christ!
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