The Roman Catholic Church--the Only Church?

Recently I read a hub describing what the word "saint" really means. It is not what we most often think of. This brought a response from an irate Roman Catholic. Those of you that know me know that I will not bend on what the Scripture clearly teaches. There may be areas where we as brothers and sisters in Christ have room for some loving disagreement as no one has all the answers. But yet if we rightly divide the word of truth as Paul admonishes Timothy, true Christians will usually be in agreement in doctrinal matters.

All my "religious" beliefs are based on the Bible, and nothing else. I do not accept man made teaching unless it is verified by the Word of God.It is from that framework that I am writing.

Several major misunderstandings were brought out in some of the comments. It is these misunderstandings that I want to address. I mean no malice nor am I angry with anyone. I simply feel the need to state the facts.

I was asked in one of the comments by what authority do I decide heresy. The simple truth of the matter is I do not decide what is heresy and what is not. God does--period. There really is no need to belabor this question. It is what it is, and if the Scripture is clear on a matter we ought to let well enough alone, and not read into it man made teachings. Who is man anyway that he thinks he can correct God?

Later in the comments it is mentioned, and I quote, "There is only one Christian church. It is the Roman Catholic Church." This is partially true. There is only one church, but it is not the Roman Catholic Church. The true church is made up anyone irregardless of "religion" that has been born again (John 3:3).

We Are the Bride of Christ

Rather than "the universal church" Scripture refers to it as "the Bride of Christ." Without being born again no one can see the Kingdom of God. Salvation never has been nor will it ever be found in a church. It has always been in the person of Jesus Christ. Even in the Old Testament the Messiah was the One sought after for salvation. In our human state we do not seek after God. He is always the pursuer. To trust in a church only leads down the path to hell. That is exactly what satan wants.

The False Teaching of Purgatory

Going on in the comments it is mentioned that I reject the teaching of purgatory. They use Revelation 22:27 as a proof text--"“nothing unclean will enter it, nor any who does abominable things or tells lies”. Funny thing, I could not find Revelation 22:27 in my Bible, but let us carry the thought through anyway as it is Biblical.

Again there are partial truths here although the verse is taken grossly out of context. Nothing unclean can enter Heaven, but I have been made clean by the blood of Christ. It is through His righteousness that I am made clean. It is not of myself. It is by His grace for I surely deserve worse than Purgatory. I deserve to burn in hell forever. And the truth is whether you believe it or not, you do too.

The commenter goes on to mention how I take Ephesians 2:8 to mean that all we have to do is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and then we can do anything we want; live any way we want. First of all, this comment is off topic for the hub that it was related to. Secondly I do not remember salvation by works being mentioned anywhere in the hub. The author did discuss sanctification which certainly covers the need for good works, but not as a means of salvation.

But here is the meat of it. The Bible is clear that we are saved by grace which we hold by faith. And yes, I preach we need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, the commenter leaves out Ephesians 2:10 which says "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works...." If Jesus is my Lord, then He is my master and out of love for the good Master I feel a need to keep His commandments (John 14:15). So works do not save us (Ephesians 2:9), but are a reflection of a changed, washed heart and a new nature living within us. So yes, if someone truly has faith there will be a desire to follow Christ and do good works according to James 2:17, but those works in and of themselves can never save anyone.

I am also accused of refusing anything that is not written in the Bible. Well, I think I already made that statement clear. Yet verses taken out of context like John 21:25 are used to try to persuade me to believe that man has the authority to make up his own rules. I say this kindly, but the organized Roman Catholic Church has been changing and making its own rules for centuries. Truth does not change. Two plus two will always equal four.

The book in question (the Bible) actually does give us the command not to add or take from the Scriptures in.Revelation 22:18, 19. The Old Testament speaks of it as well in Deuteronomy 4:2.

I'm Upset! I'm Mad! I can't Stand It!

The upset commenter also mentioned that I am determined to reject sacred tradition--Yep! If it goes against what the Bible clearly teaches I must reject it.The proof text used for accepting tradition is II Thessalonians 2:15. where Paul says we are to stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that we were taught. Again, a lack of Bible understanding is exposed.

The Greek word Paul uses for the English word traditions is paradosis. The meaning of it being "a precept; specifically the Jewish traditionary law: - ordinance, tradition." The traditions Paul mentioned were not used as a means of obtaining salvation nor were they contrary to the Scriptures that had been written at this time. All churches have some traditions. The question is, are the traditions in accordance with Scripture or against Scripture?

Paul does mention the evil traditions in his writings to Timothy (I Timothy 4:1-3). He mentions the traditions of forbidding to marry (priests), and abstaining from meats (fish on Fridays). He then links this with seducing spirits and doctrines of devils in verse 1. We certainly must be careful what we accept as coming from God and the only sure thing that we have is the very Word of God, the Bible.

The bottom line is we must be sure of the Truth. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can even consider salvation unless they come God's Way. His Way is through His son, not a church, not by works. nor by any other way, and yes, I am narrow minded enough to know that there is only one way. His name is Jesus.

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Comments 64 comments

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

I totally agree with you and I think if Paul was here today he would be rushing off a letter to the Roman Catholic Church to tell them not only should they not have idols but they should get rid of all those priests that are being hidden by the hierarchy and allowed to stay where they can continue their offenses but not only that are not even brought to justice by the law! I think I see another case of money talks and the Catholic people should not stand for this!


Mickey McNew profile image

Mickey McNew 4 years ago

Very good hub may a say. I'm reminded what Jesus said to the Phariee's , the religious establishment of His time, ...asking them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition"? Matt. 15:3 Traditions caused them to transgress agianst God's word and it still does today!!!!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Pollyannalana,

Thanks for your input.Some very good thoughts that ought to be considered. Truth is truth.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Mickey ,

That is an excellent thought. Tradition doesn't amount to much in God's economy. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 4 years ago from Manila

I admire your courage in depending the truth. It is really so encouraging. Truly we should constantly depend the truth preached in God's Word and hold onto it. Keep up the good works brother. Blessings to you always and to your family. Best regards.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

Thanks again lifegate for another good hub, and for all that you do to defend the truth. Sometimes when I write what I know the Bible says to be true and am raked over the coals by someone, it feels like I'm battling alone. It's good to know that there are some others on Hub pages that the Lord is using to speak the truth of Scripture to a world that certainly needs it. God bless you.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Great Hub LG. You addressed this very scripturally. I have a friend in the Greek Orthodox Church and they say also that they are the only "True" Church. She's pictures of "Saints" all over the house and she prays to them. If you come anywhere near comparing GO to the Catholic

Church GO's get very upset. We have had many friendly debates between our beliefs and have come to agree to disagree. I actually offered to come check out her church and she wouldn't let me until a read a book, which I did not agree with. That's okay. we are till good frineds and I pray for her. She probably prays for me too, ha ha.

Keep defending the faith Pastor. Nice job.


Pastor Mike 4 years ago

Absolutely spot on. I've actually heard Cathlics laugh at Christians for being "sola scriptura" when in fact it's very funny (and alternately sad) to think God needs man's imput to govern His creation. I don't need the ideas of the fly buzzing around my house that either add to or contradict my thoughts in order to run my household. God's Spirit breathed Word is sufficient!!!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Cristina,

Thanks for the visit. You are an encouragement to me. We must defend the faith or the lies will continue to grow. Sadly many Christians could care less. That weakens the position for all of us.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

GodTalk,

Thank you for your stand, Brother. In reference to your hub, you weren't raked over the coals. you addressed the situation with calmness, class, and Scripture. That makes more of an impression than does the arrogance and self righteous pride of the your attacker. If their conscience wasn't pricked, they would not have responded the way they did. Sometimes the edge of the sword hurts. Keep on keeping on!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

LS,

Unfortunately there will always be things to disagree about. One thing I learned in Bible college was that there are things to fuss for, things to fight for, and things to die for. So I need to pick my battles very carefully. In this case I couldn't overlook things. I just feel sorry for the man that wrote the hub--anyway, thanks again for making the stop. I appreciate you.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Pastor Mike,

You're absolutely right! God is all we need. Thanks for making the visit and stop back any time.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida

Thrust, Parry, and Touche. Excellent sword play there bro! I was cheering for you the whole way. I so relate. Your critic sounds an awful lot like my catholic critics, in some cases word for word, I had to laugh. Don't ever put that sword down, keep it sharp and clean. I expect you will be needing it again soon.

ABR


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

Very interesting. On another Hub, I was challenged based on St. Jerome saying Obadiah was the most important book of the Bible. It was clear to me that the person had unresolved issues about the Bible. He told me I shouldn't read commentaries but he quoted the Catholic Encyclopedia. I told him that is like a commentary. Thank you for this excellent Hub.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

ABR,

Thanks for the encouragement. I can respect anybody's opinion even though they may be wrong. It's the pride, self righteousness and arrogance that annoys me--and rightly so. God hates it as well. Proverbs 6:16-19 says this among other things--" These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue..., An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." I'm only repeating what the sword says. Thanks for the visit, Brother.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Diane,

Glad you able to stop by for this one. Can anyone say any book in the Bible is more important. We need all 66. The sad thing is that most Roman Catholics really do not know their Bible. For years they were (and maybe in some instances, still are) taught that only the priest can understand the Bible so they need not study it for themselves--sad, truly sad. Their version of the "Bible has also been changed somewhat, adding to and taking away. You probably already know this, so thanks again for stopping by. Come back soon.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

Yes, I went to Catholic elementary school and had considered becoming Catholic up until the age of 24. Mass was done in Latin at that time. I felt it had a mystery about which made it holy. God wants us to know him individually and intimately.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Diane,

Isn't God great--the way He takes us from ignorance into the Truth, from darkness into His Light.Thanks for your comments here on this hub.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

Oh yes Lifegate!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Great hub and teaching Lifegate. This is bang on to the Word and one which refutes any other claim.

Hugs from Canada


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good to see you, my Friend! Glad you were able to catch this one and glad you're back - at least for now.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota

answered well... My husband comes from a strong Catholic background and family. I have been perceived as leading him astray I fear. Little do they know it was not I who led him but the Lord Jesus Himself that revealed to him the truth of the scriptures concerning the "traditions" and how unscriptural so many of them are.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

I think anytime we go outside of the one on one relationship with God we are in trouble. It is great to be a member of a church because we are to "not forsake the assembly." Christian fellowships helps us to grow in our walk with the Lord.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

TJ,

I'm glad your husband was able to break away. So many don't. Even as God revealed His truth, the other side is that you didn't lead him astray. They did. Maybe in time the rest of the family will see the Truth as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Absolutely Diane,

We need each other to grow and for support. We find that in the church and so much more. Thanks for adding to the discussion.


Don 4 years ago

Thank you for standing on the word of God! I second Mickey's comment about Matt. 15 - we either hold the word of God or tradition. I agree with the post that we hold to what is clear and basic in the Bible and must be generous with other believers in other things (along the line of Romans 14). I also agree that the church is not an organization but the sum of all people saved by faith in Jesus Christ. All of us together are the church of God, the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15).


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for stopping by Don. Yep, it's either tradition or the Word of God. Each of us must decide what we are to follow, but woe to them that make the wrong choice.


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi lifegate... this hub stirs something deep in my childhood as I was one who was raised under the hand of Catholicism. Even after serving as an alter boy and having the family priest as a regular guest in our home after Sunday service I found no life. Back then the entire mass was spoken in Latin with the exception of the sermon.

When I left home I left only with knowing there was a God, but the God I knew was an angry God unless I did everything the right way. It was not until 50 years later did I learn the true meaning of love and freedom in knowing Him.

Awesome hub and thank you for standing firm on your faith Brother...

Hugs from Canada


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Rolly,

Better late than never, or God's timing is not ours, or - glad you found the Truth whenever you found it because that was God's plan all along. And I'm glad you found it too. Keep on keeping on.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

How could I have missed this great hub? Then I remembered I was in the hospital during that time.

There is a great lack of understanding of Scripture, and that just boggles my mind. Are we all reading the same Bible? Sometimes it takes a lot out of me NOT to get into debates and religious arguments with others. There are times I have gone into Scripture to show them what the Word (not me) actually says, and people will still refuse to see. Then I realize that even if you place a ginormous flashing neon- green sign in front of these ignoramuses, they still do not get it and will argue until someone drops. There is no humility, just pride.

The Catholics have an entirely different bible. They do not use the Protestant Bible. However, they don’t even read their Catholic bibles either. They are indoctrinated in their doctrines and traditions, and many will not budge. They are taught that the Catholic Church is the ONLY true church (ha!). The good news is, many have left their Catholic religion (like me) and are now seeing the truth. HalleluYah!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

FD,

Sorry to hear you were in the hospital. Hope everything is okay. Truth is Truth no matter what we may believe of what "religion" we practice. Personally, I don't practice a religion. I practice Jesus Christ. As always, thanks for the visit.


ElleBee 4 years ago

The reason you didn't find revelation 22:27 is because the verse was cited incorrectly. The verse which the commenter cited as 22:27 is actually Revelation 21:26.

And Faithful Daughter is not entirely accurate in saying Catholics have an entirely different Bible, or that Catholics don't use the Protestant Bible. Everything in the Protestant Bible is in the Catholic Bible, as well as the Deuterocanonical books which prior to the Reformation were in ALL Bibles. Catholics have additional Biblical books not a lesser number of Biblical books, and these books had been an established part of the Canon for all Christians before they were removed by Luther during the Reformation. As for whether Catholics read the Bible, it is innacurrate to say that Catholics as a whole don't read their Bibles (though it is true, that they probably don't do so as much as they should) because I know many who do! In Catholic tradition the Bible is read, and individuals also hear the Word of God spoken orally at Mass just as people did for thousands of years, before widespread literacy and publication.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

ElleBee,

Revelation 21:26 doesn't appear to be the verse either - possibly verse 27, but that emphasizes those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and that only occurs through the New Birth or being born-again (John 3:3).

You say, "Catholics have additional Biblical books not a lesser number of Biblical books, and these books had been an established part of the Canon for all Christians before they were removed by Luther during the Reformation."

We are told in Revelation 22:18, 19 as well as in the book of Deuteronomy that nothing is to be added to or taken away from sacred scripture. I question the accuracy of your statement that Luther had removed books from the canon. The canon that is in place today was gathered long before Luther.

Maybe not all Catholics use a different bible,as Faithful Daughter mentioned, but I know first hand that many of them do.

Thanks for your visit.


ElleBee 4 years ago

You are 100% correct that Cahtolics use a "different" Bible as it does include the Deuterocanonical books, which Catholics and Orthodox Christians both recognize as part of the Sacred Scriptures. I'm just emphasizing the fact that everything that is in the Protestant Bible and not a lesser number of books.

And you were correct on my error with the Scripture citation, the verse cited in the other Hub is actually Revelation 21:27, the sentence began in verse 26 and I obviously cited incorrectly. It appears the author of that Hub cited from the New American Bible, however I also looked up the verse in the New International Version and the KJV and found nearly the same verse, with just slight differences in wording.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

ElleBee ,

Thanks for the input and taking time to read!


hammar 4 years ago

The Holy Roman Catholic Church is the only way to our Lord and God Jesus Christ. Through the sacraments and Mass.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

hammar,

As I stated above, I base all my beliefs on the Holy Bible. It does not mention a holy roman catholic church, or the sacraments as you practice them. The only way to God is through His Son and His shed blood at Calvary. Thanks for your comment.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Hammar, with all do respect, when I was a child, I attended St. Bartholomew Catholic School. It was a sin to eat meat on Fridays. I haven't heard it lately. The Bible has not changed.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Diane,

Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation!


graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

It's to bad that mainstream christian are too focused on searching for the"true" church or religion. I found what I was searching for in the Kingdom of God.

Awesome HUB Lifegate. I Voted up


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

graceinus,

Thanks for the visit and the vote. Truly it's not about a "religion", but a personal relationship with the God of the universe through His Son. Thanks again for stopping by!


SwordofManticorE profile image

SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

I only have these two things to say about this hub. The bible suffers more from it exponents than it does from its opponents. What you may believe is herecy, is truth to another, and vice versa.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

SwordofManticorE,

Thanks for stopping by.


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

This hub is like music to my ears. We need more pastors like you lifegate!!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for stopping by Shofarcall. There are all kinds of deadly doctrines out there. This is only one of them, but it is also one of the most dangerous. It blinds its followers with tradition leading them far away from the Truth of God's Word. Glad to have you stop by!


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Bless you for writing the truth when there are those who have a "willy-nilly" doctrine that says "everything is right" AND "everything is wrong" which means nothing. Thank you for speaking the truth no matter what!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Diane,

Glad you were able to stop by! I like your description of "willy-nilly" doctrine. That is exactly what it is. We certainly live in an upside down, backward world. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Same to you Lifegate! Keep speaking the truth as the Holy Spirit leads you!


newenglandsun 3 years ago

It must have been a Roman Catholic who's not formerly educated in much of the official statements of the Roman Catholic Church. First off, the Roman Catholic Church is, in reality, that part of the Catholic Church that follows the Latin (Roman) Rite. Hence the name - Roman Catholic Church. Thus, we also have the Eastern Catholic Churches (Maronite Catholics who are known for their striving orthodoxy, Byzantine Catholics, Armenian Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Ukrainian-Greek Catholics, etc.) who are all in communion with the Pope of Rome but nevertheless are not Roman Catholic Churches since they do not follow the liturgical rite of the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, any Catholic can attend any Catholic Church. And their orthodoxy is affirmed by the Catholic Church. And, last but not least, the Eastern Orthodox Church, although they view Catholics with great suspicion, are actually affirmed by the Catholic Church as a truly orthodox church.

"In the study of revelation East and West have followed different methods, and have developed differently their understanding and confession of God's truth. It is hardly surprising, then, if from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting. Where the authentic theological traditions of the Eastern Church are concerned, we must recognize the admirable way in which they have their roots in Holy Scripture, and how they are nurtured and given expression in the life of the liturgy. They derive their strength too from the living tradition of the apostles and from the works of the Fathers and spiritual writers of the Eastern Churches. Thus they promote the right ordering of Christian life and, indeed, pave the way to a full vision of Christian truth." (Unitatis Redintegrato)

"In this perspective an expression which I have frequently employed finds its deepest meaning: the Church must breathe with her two lungs! In the first millennium of the history of Christianity, this expression refers primarily to the relationship between Byzantium and Rome. From the time of the Baptism of Rus' it comes to have an even wider application: evangelization spread to a much vaster area, so that it now includes the entire Church." (Pope John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint)

According to one Roman Catholic - "There you have it: I sinned by leaving the One, True Church for the One, True Church, equally beautiful and equally flawed, then I sinned again by going in reverse."

http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2012/05/why-i-left-...

BTW, not many know about Eastern Catholic Churches.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Oh, and the verse they were looking at is actually Revelation 21:27. I lean toward Byzantine Catholicism. Right now, finishing up my final few weeks at an Evangelical Covenant Church. I hate the Biblicism that the Evangelical Church has brought on. In my mind, God has always been a higher authority than any leather-bound book. I believe the traditions fortify what we already know about the Bible and help serve as our interpreters.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

1 Timothy 4:1-3 - Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (RSV Catholic Edition)

Note: the Catholic Church does not forbid marriage. The Latin Rite for the most part, holds priestly celibacy as a discipline but Eastern Rite Churches are more flexible. Also it says abstaining from foods. This is not referring to forty day lent. This is referring to a statement that eating certain foods is always bad. Gnostics and Judaizers were refuted here.

Your interpretation of James 2 makes the Devil a Saint and misses out on James's entire argument. Your understanding of what works are in the Catholic teaching are incorrect. If I recall correctly, the Council of Trent clarifies that Christ always does the good works in us. We allow him to. Your interpretation of Deuteronomy 4:2 closes the canon way early. Your interpretation of Revelation 22:18-19 is also incorrect, since it only deals with that book, not the Bible.

By the way, Sirach was removed by the Protestant reformers.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi newenglandsun,

I noticed your opening statement which said, "It must have been a Roman Catholic who's not formerly educated in much of the official statements of the Roman Catholic Church." That may be true. I don't know the background of the individual. I do know first-hand that the belief that the Catholic Church is the only true church permeates the Catholic Church. After spending years in Philadelphia (98% catholic) it was obvious what they believed. Trying to get them to see that Jesus Christ is the only Way was nearly impossible because of their misguided trust in the church. Thanks for stopping by.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

What do they mean when they say "the Catholic Church is the only true Church"? I don't hear too many Catholics familiar with the statements on Eastern Churches on the Byzantium-Rome split saying that the Eastern Orthodox are a false Church. Also, in the context of Catholics vs. Protestants, Catholics would be the only true Church out of the two. They have adhered to the Traditions and historic teachings of Christianity most faithfully.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

In short if I am not a member of the Catholic church I am excluded from God's favor. Not sure if that means I'll go to hell, but I know it means I won't go to heaven in their thinking.

In your thinking, what must someone do to get to heaven?


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Not really.

""The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."" (CCC 838)

It's not that I'm a religious pluralist who sees multiple ways to Heaven but I do believe that even sincere truth-seekers who never were given an opportunity to believe in Jesus in their life might actually make it to Heaven. I would not be shocked to see philosophers like Confucius, Sidharta Gautama, Lao Tsu, Muhammad, Aristotle, and Plato in Heaven. I think that in order to be saved, a person has to be a sincere truth-seeker. Also, Catholics are forbidden to speculate on who's in and who's out.

If you're interested in religious pluralism, I was watching this lecture of an Eastern Orthodox theologian named James Cutsinger today that I thought was really interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvknUgy3u3c


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Pope Francis I said this about atheists (and I assume all non-Christians as well) recently:

http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=5107...

In full, I believe that one must be a sincere-hearted truth-seeker to make it to Heaven. Since I can't read other people's hearts, I really can't say who's in and who's out although I'd say my older sister who is an atheist and has deposited an angry, wrathful god into the trash-can is actually in a much better position when it comes to salvation than my fundamentalist, extended family. She's also a lesbian by the way.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

As I mentioned in the hub, my only authority is the Bible. I must let it speak for itself. Salvation is only through a person, not a baptism or the eucharist. The person is Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:21 - "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

John 3:3 - " Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 8:32 - "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 14:6 -"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Acts 4:12 - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Ephesians 2:8, 9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Titus 3:5 - "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us"

I Peter 1:18, 19 - "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: "

You say, " . . . I believe that one must be a sincere-hearted truth-seeker to make it to Heaven." One can believe and be sincerely wrong. Jesus mentions "truth". Truth is not dependent upon one's beliefs, but rather by unchangeable, fixed principles. 2+2 will always equal 4 no matter what one believes. There are spiritual truths as well. Jesus is truth, and He is the only way to have our sins forgiven. Narrow-minded? Absolutely! Jesus told us the way is narrow - " Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14)

Can we know for sure that God has accepted us? - ""These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . . (I John 5:13)

John 6:37 - " All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."


newenglandsun 3 years ago

I am not rejecting the historic position that Jesus is the only way. Those verses that you cited are all taken out of context. I don't think I can see you as a genuine truth-seeker right now. Most people hate what they think the Catholic Church is. Please understand what our teaching on salvation is.

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/why-does-th...

The interesting thing is that in sola fide salvation, Heaven is closed off to even those who were more sincere in their quest for truth than a lot of fundamentalist Christians. I was watching Mark Driscoll preach today and yell at his church how they are in danger and I think that Driscoll's the one in danger of closing himself off to God. Yes, a lot of religions do in fact lead to a saving truth. This does not mean they are entirely true. Hinduism has teachings similar to theosis. So I cannot say that a Hindu is unsaved. The works are done in us by God's grace. According to Matthew 25, not all who are saved necessarily know that God is working in us.

Matthew 1:21 teaches universal atonement which what was affirmed by Pope Francis I. John 3:3 is speaking to Nicodemus and is telling us that when we know what the truth is, we need to turn around from our old lifestyles and follow him. John 8:32 is spoken to Pharisees who knew the truth and yet still chose to reject it. John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 affirm that Jesus is the universal savior and does not denounce the historic Christian position that even those who don't believe in him but seek truth have a chance to be saved. Titus 3:5 and Ephesians 2:8-9 affirm the Catholic position that we are saved through the works that Christ has done in us. Same with 1 Pet. 1:18-19. John 3:16 explains that belief is also linked with obedience. John 6:37 does not state who was given to Jesus.

So in truth, your Biblicism has led you to rejecting texts in the Bible that really don't support your position. You're more like a Bible-worshipper. And that is idolatry to make the Bible God.


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lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Not one of the verses listed above by you are in context. Yes, I'm a Biblicist as you call it. It's not that I worship the Book, but realize that every word in it is from God, and I take it at face value.

I've noticed that in all of your comments on all of my hubs refer to a man-made teaching of one sort or another. That's where we differ. I put no confidence in men, only in my God. Thanks for y our input.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Yes, you put your confidence in the "God-breathed" teaching that "happy is the one who smashes your babies against the rocks" (Ps. 137:9). That's why you should never take the Bible at face-value. Because all you end up with is verse-wars and instead of seeing God, you see yourself.


newenglandsun 3 years ago

Paul agrees with my view on soteriology, by the way.

Romans 2:6-7 - For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; (RSV Catholic Edition)


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

We obviously see things differently. You're right. I'm not a truth seeker. I have a personal relationship with the truth. His name is Jesus Christ. There is really no reason to continue this conversation. But thank you for your input. I'm praying that you too might someday find peace in Jesus Christ I Timothy 3:7


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

Hi lifegate, peace be with you always my friend. I respect all religions and I agree that everyone see things differently and each religion may have different interpretation. I think this is the reason why there is always disagreement. Anyway, what I think the most important thing is our actions and whats in our hearts. Best to you always my friend and looking forward to read more of your hubs...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi JPSO138,

Thanks for stopping by. The only problem is that all religions cannot be true as they differ and contradict each other. It's not a matter of what we believe to be true, but do we believe the Truth. Jesus Christ is not a religion, but a person - the Saviour of all who will accept Him for who He is. Glad you made the trip here, and hope to hear from you again!

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