Jon Gary Williams
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Article 16 - False Doctrines of Roman Catholicism

False Doctrines of Roman Catholicism

Jon Gary Williams

"The Roman Catholic church is the church we read about in the book of Acts."
a. History shows the Catholic Church actually came into existence hundreds of years after the Lord's one church was established early in the first century. After a period of "apostasy" (falling away) as described in the New Testament, the slowly-developing Catholic Church came into view at the beginning of the seventh century, with Boniface III as the first man to universally be called "Pope."

b. The name "Roman Catholic" is actually a self-contradiction ("Roman" referring to the local, and "Catholic" referring to the universal).

"The Catholic Church, not the Bible, is the supreme authority."
a. The claim is that when the pope speaks on matters of "faith and morals," he is infallible.

b. The Bible itself contains all religious authority. (II Tim. 3:16,17)

"In the original church there was an office of 'pope' "
a. The New Testament scriptures show nothing of such an office.

b. History shows that for many centuries years after Christ lived on earth there was no stated Pope.

"The official headquarters of the church is in Rome."
a. The church has no earthly head or headquarters.

b. Christ is its only head and He is in heaven. (Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18)

"Peter was the first pope"
a. This is a total fabrication. The first pope governed in Rome, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, but there is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.

b. Peter was and continued to be a married man, eliminating him from the so-called clergy. (Matt. 8:14; I Cor. 9:5)

"Mary never had other children and remained a virgin." 
a. The Catholic doctrine of the "Virgin Mary" requires that she remain a virgin.

b. Jesus had brothers and sisters. (Matt. 13:55,56; Mk. 6:3)

"Mary is an object of prayer -- the 'mediatrix' between God and man."
a. In the Rosary, Mary is prayed to 53 times and is referred as "Hail Holy Queen." 

b. God is the object of prayer. (Matt. 6:9; Rom. 1:8)

c. Jesus is the only "mediator" between God and man. (I Tim. 2:5) Jesus is our only "advocate." (I John 2:1)

"All babies are born guilty of Adam's sin." (referred to as "original" or "Adamic" sin.)
a. Sin is not passed from one generation to another. (Ezek. 18:20 )

b. Death is passed on from Adam, but not sin. (Rom. 5:12) 

"Babies are to be baptized."
a. Babies are not guilty of sin and are already fit for heaven. (Lk. 18:16)

b. Candidates for baptism are to believe in Christ (Jn. 3:16), repent of sins (Acts 17:30) and confess their faith (Rom. 10:9). Babies can do none of these. 

"Sprinkling is baptism."
a. The Greek word "baptism" means immersion.

b. The Bible plainly calls baptism a burial. (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12)

"The words 'priest' and 'father' are religious titles of the clergy."
a. "Priests" as religious leaders were a part of the Old Testament, but never is this term used in New Testament Christianity.  

b.  Jesus said the religious title of "Father" should not be used. (Matt. 23:9)

"The 'clergy' cannot be married." (The doctrine of celibacy.)
a. This is a doctrine invented by man.

It falls in the category of false teaching. (I Tim. 4:3)

"Miraculous healings still occur."
a. The Catholic Church has claimed thousands of such "miracles."

b. Miracles such as this ceased with the passing of the miraculous age.  (I Cor. 13:8-10)

"People are to confess their sins to a priest, who can forgive them."
a. Christians are to confess their sins to one another.  (Jms. 5:16)

b. Only God can forgive sins. (Ps. 51:1,2; Mk. 2:5-7 )

"In the Eucharist (Lord's supper), the bread and fruit of the vine become the actual body and blood of Christ."
a. When Jesus said, "This is my body...this is my blood" (Matt. 26:26-28), he used a metaphor, saying that these elements represented his body and blood.

b. When Jesus spoke these words, his blood was flowing through his body and, therefore, the elements could not have been his literal body and blood.

"Catholics are to pray (repeat) the rosary."
a. True Christianity has no such rituals -- it is not found in the New Testament.

b. This illustrates the materialistic nature of Catholicism.  

"Only the Catholic Church can interpret the scriptures."
The claim is made that the true meaning of the Bible can be attained only from God's official interpreter, the Catholic Church."  (A Catechism For Adults, p.10)

a. The Bible is meant to be understood by each person. (Eph. 5:17)

b. The scriptures were given by God so that, "the man of God (the individual) may be complete, furnished completely to every good work."  (II Tim. 3:16,17)