200 Words: Why I’m Not Roman Catholic

Just read this over at the cripplegate and couldn’t agree more:

If someone were to ask me why I’m not Roman Catholic, this would be my answer in 200 words or less:

I believe the Roman Catholic church has seriously erred in three fundamental areas: in its approach to God, the Bible, and salvation.

1) In its approach to God, Roman Catholicism approves the veneration of (i.e. bowing down before) images and relics, encourages praying to the saints, and promotes Mary to a semi-divine status. All of these constitute varying forms of idolatry, which Scripture condemns (cf.Ex. 20:4–5Lev. 26:1Acts 10:25–26Rev. 22:8–9).

2) In its approach to the Bible, Roman Catholicism elevates church tradition to a place of authority equal to (and in practice higher than) Scripture. The Lord Jesus condemned first-century Judaism as apostate because it likewise elevated the traditions of men above the Word of God (Mark 7:6–8).

3) In its approach to salvation, Roman Catholicism adds various sacramental works to the gospel of grace. In a similar way, the apostle Paul condemned the Judaizers because they added self-righteous works to the gospel (cf. Acts 15:1–11Rom. 11:6Gal. 1:6–9).

These fundamental issues, in addition to a host of other doctrinal problems (e.g. purgatory, the papacy, priestly celibacy, indulgences, the Apocrypha, etc.) lead me to reject Roman Catholicism.

See:

 

2 thoughts on “200 Words: Why I’m Not Roman Catholic

  1. I’m not a catholic and I’m not about promoting catholicism, however I don’t think you really understand some of these doctrines. Veneration is different from idolaty. As for the debate about church and scripture – who defined what scriptures to use? If it wasn’t the church then who? If it was the church, then surely that puts some authority of the church above scripture?

    1. Nate: Thank you for your comment. I agree veneration is by definition different from idolatry but that is not the point. The point is that the Catholic church approves veneration and this has led to idolatrous practices as listed in point #1 above. Are you aware the Catholic church promotes bowing down before a statue of Mary, praying to Mary, believing she delivers us from death, and even atoned for us? Read Exodus 20:5 and ask yourself if bowing down to Mary or any other saint is veneration. Are we really going to play word games? Let’s call it what it is! It is idolatrous and we must flee from it (1 Cor. 10:14).

      As for your second point “who defined what scriptures to use” I cannot get into a full blown discussion of things like canon, inspiration, transmission, etc but would think the answer is obvious for Christians – our faithful and perfect God! He is its author and he inspired it by the Holy Spirit. Inspiration tells us how the bible was transmitted from God to man. The Bible draws its authority and inerrancy from the indisputable fact that it is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). It is important to remember that the Christian church did not canonize any book. The authority of Scriptures is derived in itself not from man, creeds or councils! The Bible claims for itself a position of unique and supreme authority. In doing so it appeals to its own authority for proof because there is no greater authority to which it can appeal! Were the Bible to appeal to our reason to substantiate its authority, it would implicitly show that human reason is a higher authority! So in no way whatsoever does the church have some or any authority above Scripture!

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