I was born into the Catholic faith but did not arrive to a “surrender my life to Jesus Christ” moment until I was 21. I always did think I was Christian but I was in for a rude awakening. I can attest that most Catholics stay in the religion because it is all they know having been raised in the faith since infancy.
Catholics know Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation but the doctrines of the faith mar Jesus’ “SOLE” redemptive atonement for our sins. Most people in the faith believe they can get to heaven by the merit of their good works. If it were so, then Jesus’ death on the Cross was in vain and that false misconception means that we would have no need for a Savior at all, if that were really the case. He died for everyone’s past, present, and future sins, all atoned for, hence no one should misconstrue this statement that it is okay to sin.
A misguided Catholic does not believe in the fact that God has already stated in the Bible that whosoever truly believes in the Son shall enter heaven. If you ask one whether they will go to heaven or not, the general answer would be “Only God is the judge. No one can truly know,” but this dilemma is easily solved if the professing believer actually took the time to read the Bible for his/herself.
I had a serious rift with my dad one day then I went to church shortly after. I wanted to take the communion which later on made me come to a realization that the Catholic dogma of not being able to take the rite of communion without first confessing my sins to a priest not only made me feel distant from God with thoughts of “Why do I need to confess my sins to a priest when I can ask for forgiveness directly to God?” No priest can forgive my sins with 2 Our Father’s & 3 Hail Mary’s. I didn’t transgress against the priest. I transgressed against God.
I truly believe there are Born Again believers and have sympathy for people who truly love and have given their lives to Jesus Christ but is still mired in erroneous Catholic dogma. I was there myself. Below are the ones I can come up with at the top of my head with Scripture to back it up.
1) Calling the Pope and priests father – Matthew 23:9, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”
This means we only have one spiritual father. This passage does not refer to biological father. I don’t get how priests rationalize being called “Father” does not directly contradict Scripture when it is so crystal clear about this specific spiritual title.
2) Mary as a Mediatrix (Catholic terminology) – 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”
Mary in her apparitions claim that she is the Mediatrix and praying to her will guarantee World Peace. Nowhere in Scripture does it support that supernatural claim. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that we are to pray to Mary, but to none other than God Himself, in Jesus’ name.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3*They forbid people to marry and *order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
1 Timothy 4:1-5
The verse where I put the asterisk fits the bill. Priests can’t marry, and good Catechism-abiding Catholics can’t eat meat on Fridays during the Lenten season. I understand fasting is good but it is not mandatory but solely upon the person’s will if they are moved to do it.
Catholics profess to be Christians but they would rather be known as Catholics first rather than Christians as if the word Catholic holds more weight over the word “Christian”.
Any Catholic who claims to know Jesus Christ but has not sincerely acknowledged His lordship over his/her life is NOT a Christian. Knowledge of Christ and acknowledging Christ as your personal Savior which consists of surrendering one’s life to Christ are two completely different things. The Holy Spirit resides in a person simultaneously the moment they accept and acknowledge Jesus as Savior by their own decision, and Catholic dogma contradicts that with their infant baptism. Accepting Christ as your Savior is a decision which cannot be made for you by your ancestors. If it were, God can’t really hold one accountable for their own choice since it was already made for them.
If you happen to be Catholic and you are reading this, I know it can be offensive but it is Truth that ties to your soul’s eternal fate. Challenge your Catholic belief by sincerely asking God to reveal the truth to you and He will not disappoint.
I can go on and on about the erroneous beliefs and dogma of Catholicism which is totally the antithesis of what a true Christian believes (although they share the basics, the deep doctrines of Catholicism nullify the basics), but my parting statement is if you truly surrender your life to Jesus Christ and ask Him to open your eyes, I can say that the grip of the Catholic tradition will come off as it did me. At first, it was hard for me to let it go since it was everything I knew, but God slowly transitioned me to a fellowship of Christian believers who teaches biblical doctrine and not manmade tradition.
[Image Credits: nbcnews. Picture recently updated to reflect the current pope]