This is an excellent article by Richard Bennett, former Catholic priest, called Are You Right With God?
I pray it is a blessing to you!
This is an excellent article by Richard Bennett, former Catholic priest, called Are You Right With God?
I pray it is a blessing to you!
Matthew 19:25-26 When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
There is nothing that you can do to add to your salvation. There are not enough good works in the world that could make you good enough to enter Heaven.
Peter said in two verses of 1 Peter:
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Only God is holy and no one can match His holiness and righteousness. The Bible says:
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Job 15:14 What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psalm 14:1 To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David. The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
What makes you think, dear Catholic, that your “good deeds and works” are good enough for entering Heaven? If you were given 70 years in your life and you were to commit only one sin per day, you would have committed 25,550 sins in your lifetime! So how many sins would keep you out of Heaven? God looks at your self-thought righteousness as filthy compared to His own!
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
If you read prior to Matthew 19:25-26, (verses 16-24) the young man asked Jesus what good thing he would have to do to gain Heaven. Jesus’ reply was to obey the commandments. The young man’s reply was that he kept all the commandments. However, Jesus knew that this young man had a love of the world more than a love for God as he was very rich. So Jesus told him to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow Him. The young man was sad because he was very rich. Jesus went on to say that it was hard for a rich person to go to Heaven because his love for money/the world is greater than his love for God. Then Christ goes on to say more specifically, that salvation by men’s standards is impossible – in other words, there’s nothing man can do to go to Heaven. This is only possible for God because only God can provide salvation – through His Son, Jesus Christ.
There is not one work that you can do that will put you in better placement for Heaven! The only way to Heaven is through Christ and Him alone. Only He was able to gain entrance through His sacrifice – only He was righteous enough – therefore, only He makes your salvation possible. This is His gift to you. Not anything of yours will do it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 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.
You can’t pay for a gift, otherwise it isn’t a gift any longer.
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Are You Right With God?
What devout Catholic does not want to be right with God?
If you are a Catholic, can you say without a doubt that you are right with God at this very moment? Perhaps you are thinking, “Well, I’m following the teachings of the Church on how to be right with God.” Then would you agree that those beliefs should match God’s written Word, the Bible? Perhaps your answer is “No,” or “I am not sure.” Would you like to know, for peace of mind, now … and for eternity?
Whatever your answer, you may be in the position that I was in as a dedicated Roman Catholic priest. After years of study for the priesthood in Ireland and Rome, followed by 22 years as a priest, I was never sure that I was right with God. As a devout Dominican, I always tried to be right with God through following and believing the Catholic Church. I taught those under my care to do the same. As sincere as I was, and as hard as I tried, I never achieved any peace about being right with God.
Finally, I discovered that it’s not only possible to be right with God, but that God wants us to be secure in that position! So, I urge you to do what I did - compare the teachings of the Catholic Church on this vital question with the words of the Holy Bible. Below, we show six important comparisons for you to consider.
IT IS VITAL YOU READ ON
Your eternal destiny – heaven or hell – depends on how you understand and respond to the truths in these topics. If you feel unqualified for such a study, please draw strength from these words of Scripture: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it” (James 1:5). God wants you to know the truth about knowing Him!
NOTE: Under each topic, I present the written Word of God (from the Catholic New American Bible) alongside the official teaching of the Catholic Church, taken from the official Catholic Catechism
destiny – heaven
or hell – depends
on how you
respond to the
truths in these
“God wants you
to know the
BASIS OF TRUTH
God’s Written Word of Truth
from the Bible
The Bible Alone is the Standard for Truth.
Scripture cannot be set aside. John 10:35
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17
…so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written. 1 Corinthians 4:6
Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver.
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
God must be true, though every human being is a liar. Romans 3:4
Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic, from the official Catholic Catechism
Truth is Based on Scripture, Tradition, and the Pope.
Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. CCC Para 80
Sacred Scripture…and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. CCC Para 81
As a result, the [Roman Catholic] Church…does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.
CCC Para 82
The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith – he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. CCC Para 891
THE MEANS OF SALVATION
God’s Written Word of Truth
from the Bible
Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic
from the official Catholic
Salvation is by Grace Alone,
They are justified freely by his
grace through the redemption in
Christ Jesus..Romans 3:24
For by grace you have been saved
through faith, and this is not from
you; it is the gift of God; it is not
from works, so no one may boast.
For if, by the transgression of one
person, death came to reign
through that one, how much more
will those who receive the
abundance of grace and of the gift
of justification come to reign in
life through the one person Jesus
I do not nullify the grace of God;
for if justification comes through
the law, then Christ died for
nothing… Galatians 2:21
For Salvation, Grace is a Help
Given Through the Sacraments.
The Church affirms that for
believers the sacraments of the
New Covenant are necessary for
salvation. “Sacramental grace” is
the grace of the Holy Spirit, given
by Christ and proper to each
CCC Para 1129
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
CCC Para 1493
Grace is the help God gives us to
respond to our vocation of
becoming his adopted sons. It
introduces us into the intimacy of
the Trinitarian life.
CCC Para 2021
MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
God’s Written Word of Truth Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic from from the Bible the 1994 Catechism
In Salvation – Jesus Christ Mediates In Salvation – Mary also Mediates
For there is one God. There is also one Taken up to heaven she did not lay mediator between God and the human aside this saving office but by her race, Christ Jesus, himself human. manifold intercession continues to bring 1 Timothy 2:5 us the gifts of eternal salvation…. Jesus Christ…. There is no salvation Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is through anyone else, nor is there any invoked in the [Roman Catholic] other name under heaven given to the Church under the titles of Advocate, human race by which we are to be Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. saved. Acts 4:10,12 CCC Para 969
THE ORIGIN OF FAITH
God’s Written Word of Truth
from the Bible
Salvation is the Gift of God and Comes by the Word of God
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved. Acts 16:31
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
Symeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those that have received a faith of equal value to ours through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1.1
Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic
from the 1994 Catechism
Faith Comes Through the Mother Church
It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. CCC Para 168
Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother… CCC Para 169
“Believing” is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” CCC Para 181
God’s Written Word of Truth Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic
from the Bible from the 1994 Catechism
God Hates Idolatry The Roman Catholic Church Venerates Images
You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on The Christian veneration of images is not the earth below or in the waters beneath the contrary to the first commandment, which earth; you shall not bow down before them proscribes [forbids] idols. Indeed, the honor or worship them. rendered to an image passes to its Exodus 20:4-5 prototype, and whoever venerates an image
venerates the person portrayed in it.
CCC Para 2132
He proclaimed to you his covenant, which he commanded you to keep: the ten commandments, which he wrote on two Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate tablets of stone. You saw no form at all on Word, the seventh ecumenical council at the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb Nicaea ([AD]787) justified…the veneration from the midst of the fire. Be strictly on of icons—of Christ, but also of the Mother your guard, therefore, not to degrade of God, the angels, and all the saints. By yourselves by fashioning an idol to becoming incarnate, the Son of God represent any figure… introduced a new “economy” of images. Deuteronomy 4:13,15-16 CCC Para 2131
GOD: THE ONLY ALL HOLY ONE
God’s Written Word of Truth
from the Bible
God is the Only All Holy One and the Only Source of Holiness.
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” they cried one to the other. “All the earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:3
Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. Revelation 15:4
There is no Holy One like the LORD; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2
I am the LORD, this is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8
Beliefs of a Sincere Catholic from the 1994 Catechism
Mary is Also the All Holy One and the Source of Holiness.
By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy,” the All Holy One. CCC, Para 2677
From the [Roman Catholic] Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all- holy Virgin Mary. CCC Para 2030
The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All Holy” (Panagia) and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature. CCC Para 493
What Difference Does It Make?
Can you say you really know a person when you believe wrong things about that person in all the important areas of his/her life? Hardly! It is even more impossible to truly know God while clinging to teachings that contradict what God says about Himself in the Bible. How can anyone hope to be right with God while believing the wrong things about Him? Many former Catholics have discovered what it takes to be right with God according to God’s Word.
The Bible clearly states, “For our sake [God] made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ was personally All Holy; yet as the substitute for sinners, He became legally responsible for the sins of mankind, accepting God’s punishment of our sins.
God made Christ “to be sin” by transferring our sins to Him, then punishing Him for those sins. The consequence of Christ’s perfect faithfulness to the Father in all that He did on earth – ending in His substitutionary death on the cross – is that Christ’s righteousness is put to the credit of anyone who truly believes in God’s provision for their salvation.
Being right with God is the gracious act whereby a believing sinner has Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to him! “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God, and it is not from works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ’s resurrection from the grave proved that His mission to make our salvation possible was complete.
Believe on Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sin and eternal life and you will be forever secure. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13); “He who made the promise is trustworthy” (Hebrews 10:23). If you cling to teachings and traditions that contradict and oppose the truth of the Bible, you do so at your eternal peril.
On the other hand, you may do what so many have done before you – turn to God in faith alone for salvation, based on Christ’s death and resurrection. As the Holy Spirit convicts you, express to God your heartfelt belief in Christ’s death on your behalf. Then, having received the gift of eternal life, live your life in praise of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:6) and in continual thanksgiving to Him!
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THE CHURCH OF ROME THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF UNTRUTH
The Church of Rome at its Lateran Council IV in 1215 declared, “There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one is saved…”1 Where rests my salvation? Is it to be found in union with an institution upon earth? Does my symbiotic relation with an ecclesiastical body secure for me a heavenly destination? Perhaps, had the Lateran Council worded their axiom: “…of which no one who is saved is outside of…,” I might not have taken exception to such a dogma, but what they have written, they have written. Ignoring for the moment, arguments to the contrary, how exclusive and necessary is this synthesis with Rome? Rome insists that it is absolutely vital:
Several Popes have also addressed this matter. In Unam sanctam, Pope Boniface VIII taught that “outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins.” Making an even stronger statement in the allocution Singulari quadam, Pope Pius IX declared that “it must, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved.” And Pope Pius XII reinforced this doctrine in the encyclical Humani generis. …Likewise, the Council of Florence taught that “no one remaining outside the Catholic Church…can become partakers of eternal life.” And finally, the First Vatican Council, in a draft never formally adopted because of the Franco-Prussian War, stated that “it is a dogma of the faith that no one can be saved outside the Church.”2
The American Jesuit priest, Leonard Feeney discovered to his dismay, that taking the words of Rome at face value can have dire consequences:
From these authoritative teachings, it would seem clear that there is only one conclusion: anyone who dies without Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church is condemned to hell. For maintaining exactly this conclusion, however, Father Leonard Feeney, S.J., an American Jesuit at Boston College, was first expelled from the Society of Jesus and then excommunicated in the 1940s. After reading the teachings of the Fathers, the Councils and the Popes, Feeney could not see any other possible interpretation than the one for which he was condemned.3
1 The Lateran Council IV A.D. 1215 as quoted in ‘The Church, Community of Salvation’ George H. Tavard; p.181 2 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Peter M. J. Stravinskas; p.894-895 – Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus 3 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Peter M. J. Stravinskas; p. 895 (All emphasis in quotes are mine unless otherwise indicated – ed.)Rome has tried to distance herself from the rabid bite of her dogma. This attempt at a doctrinal reconstruct will only satisfy the “invincibly ignorant.” This church which boasts that she cannot err4, that she and her “sweet Christ on earth” are infallible, reposing in “the teachings of the infallible Magisterium,”5 that she possesses the sole authority to dispense indulgences and to forgive sins on earth, would have us to believe that she does not mean what she has so clearly stated? Witness one of her apologists attempting to soften the blows:
Elsewhere, the Catechism says that “the Church is nothing other than ‘the family of God’” (no.1655). …The earthly household of the Trinity is this universal Family of God, outside of which there is no salvation (CCC, no.846). That’s a strong statement, and it makes some people wince.6
“It makes some people wince”? It ought to! Rome’s apologists prefer to consider such extravagant language as mere suggestions of her “missionary dynamism,” or that humbly “she is necessary for salvation by divine command, not by intrinsic necessity.”7 Now, there is a pretty little dance! Doesn’t a “divine command” make it an “intrinsic necessity”? Apologist Scott Hahn assures his readers of the benign spirit slumbering within the papal dogma, extra ecclesiam nulla est salus:8
But this teaching does not condemn anyone. It simply clarifies the essential meaning of salvation and the Church. Since the essence of salvation is divine family life, the life of divine sonship, to speak of salvation outside of God’s Family, the Church, is to confuse things greatly.9
Oh! I see. It doesn’t really condemn anyone; now there’s a relief. So, when infallible popes have issued dogmatic teachings about corporate faith, such as:
Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped, saving from within herself, asserting that they that are without her shall never be saved.10
We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.11
4 “That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity.” – Dictatus Papae, Pope Gregory VII (1073- 1085) 5 The Biblical Basis for the Papacy, John Salza; p.205 6 First Comes Love:Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity, Scott Hahn; p.121
7 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, p.895 8 “Outside the Church there is no salvation” 9 First Comes Love; Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity, Scott Hahn; p.121 10 The Biblical Basis for the Papacy, John Salza; p.207 (“Pope St. Gregory the Great…Moralia in Iob, XIV:5, c. A.D. 590)
The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside of the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they go into the eternal fire… unless before death they are joined to her…No one…even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.12
The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her (the Catholic Church); and all who are outside her will not be saved.13
It must be held as a matter of faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.14
This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church.15
They were merely attempting to “unconfuse things” for us. Whew!!! I am grateful for Hahn’s assurance… I have to confess that I was getting a tad anxious. I guess those papal rascals were just utilizing emphatic, hyperbolic language within the context of artistic license! “Proclaims… asserting …declare, say, define, and pronounce… that it is absolutely necessary… firmly believes, professes, and preaches… must be held as a matter of faith… they that are without her shall never be saved… but that they go into the eternal fire? The little scamps! They were simply clarifying some “essential meanings.”
…it is also a perfectly well-known Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church, and that those who are contumacious against the authority and the definitions of that same Church, and who are pertinaciously divided from the unity of that Church and from Peter’s successor, the Roman Pontiff, to whom the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior, cannot obtain eternal salvation.16
11 Ibid; p.208 (“Pope Boniface VIII…Bull, Unam Sanctam, A.D. 1302) 12 Ibid; p.208 (“Pope Eugene IV…Bull, Cantate Domino, A.D. 1442 13 Ibid; p.209 (“Pope Gregory XVI… Encyclical, Summo Iugiter Studio, A.D. 1832”) 14 Ibid; p.209 (quoting “Blessed Pope Piux IX…Allocution, Singulari Quadam, A.D. 1854) 15 Ibid; p.209 (Pope Leo XIII… Encyclical, Annum Ingressi Sumus, A.D. 1902) 16 Salvation Outside the Church, Peter M. J. Stravinskas; p.22 (“a stalwart defender of Catholic orthodoxy…Blessed Pope Pius IX making this most nuanced statement in Singulari Quadam”)
That the church of Rome is the mother and mistress of all churches, and to believe her so to be, is necessary to salvation. (Concil. Trid. Sess.7. de Bapt. Can. 3. Et Bulla Pii IV)17
It appears that Hahn has got the melody correct; he is just confused on the words. Like a decrepit and discredited courtesan creeping about the courtyard, Rome dons various disguises; and if needs be, her doctrine can be as supple as a writhing serpent. However, the bloated boasts from her history permit only one interpretation:
The Pope of Rome is Christ’s vicar, and hath the supreme power over the whole church, and without subjection to him as such, there is no salvation. (Concil. Trid. Sess. 6. Decret. De Reform. cap. 1. et Bulla Pii IV.)18
Poor, blind Catholicism, they apparently cannot comprehend, nor are they willing to accept that faith alone in Christ alone saves to the uttermost. Christians do not trust that any “amount of ethical action or (personal) sacrifice” can “aid in securing salvation.” But we do trust in God’s promises, and in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hahn’s prevarications will not do. Pope Leo XII in his Encyclical, Ubi Primum, taught:
We profess that there is no salvation outside of the Church … the Church is the pillar and firmament of truth, as the apostle Paul teaches (1 Tim 3).19
Oddly enough, Hahn noticed the Church of Rome loitering about 1Timothy 3:15 also:
“I asked another theologian, “What for you is the pillar and foundation of truth?” He said, “The Bible, of course!” “Then why does the Bible say in 1Timothy 3:15 that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth?”
“You set me up, Scott!” “I’m the one who feels set up!” “But, Scott, which church?” “How many applicants for the job are there? I mean, how many churches even claim to be the pillar and foundation of truth?” “Does this mean you’re becoming Roman Catholic, Scott?” “I hope not.”20
17 Cardinal Bellarmine’s Notes of the Church Examined and Refuted, A Series of Tracts ; p.103 18 IBID., p.103 19 The Biblical Basis for the Papacy, John Salza; p.208 20 Home Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism, Scott and Kimberly Hahn; p.53-54
Unfortunately, Hahn’s hopes were eventually and utterly dashed, and he did become a Roman Catholic. In this homey little narrative, it is evident that Hahn erringly concluded that it was up to a “church” to lay claim to this verse without necessarily having to live up to it. Forget testing the validity of their claim. It is a fact that Roman Catholics regularly employ 1Timothy 3:15 in an attempt to bludgeon into unconsciousness sola scriptura.
The first error is a sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”) approach that collapses the Word of God to merely that which has been written, thereby denying the legitimate role of Tradition and the Magisterium. Curiously, such a position, developed during the Protestant Reformation, is not taught in Scripture. For example, in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Saint Paul exhorts his followers to “stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” In 1 Timothy 3:15, Saint Paul further states that the Church is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” Sola scriptura rightly emphasizes that Scripture is God’s Word to us. However, this approach attempts to understand Scripture apart from Mother Church…21
“Not taught in Scripture”??!! The Pope forbid that Hahn or any other Catholic should hold a “position” or a tradition that is not taught in Scripture! I mean, if any church is the champion of basing all doctrine on Scripture, it certainly is Rome. Apologist Mark Shea employed some purple prose to describe his deliverance from the authority of Scripture:
For the nail that crucified my Bible-only belief was the very nail that was at last hammered firmly into “the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tm 3:15). And on that nail now hung all the truth and sanity of the gospel.22
“Nail that crucified my Bible-only belief?” What an odd expression to employ concerning the Word of God. Others before him have also relished a “good” crucifixion. Doubtless, Shea is guilty of a parapraxis. The Papacy has always hated an open Bible in the hands of the common man. Hahn is wrong as usual; sola scriptura is not an “error;” it is a threat.
Cardinal Bellarmine says, “The laity do not receive any benefit from reading the Scriptures, but are betrayed into errors, both in the doctrine of faith and of manners; for many heresies have been occasioned by Scriptures misunderstood.” (De Verb. Dei, ii., 15)23
21 Catholic for a Reason II: Scripture and the Mystery of the Mother of God, Leon J. Suprenant JR., Scott Hahn; p.88&89 22 By What Authority, Mark P. Shea p.158 23 The Christian Miscellany and Family Visitor, Vol. 1, for the year 1846 ; p.163
It would require a large volume to contain even part of the evidence manifested, both by declarations and by acts, of Rome’s persistent policy to suppress all knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures. In the early centuries, and long before printing was invented, all manuscripts containing any translation into the vernacular from the original tongues was [sic] prohibited under the severest penalties. As early as 860 A.D., Pope Nicholas I put Bible reading under the ban. Gregory VII, known in history as Hildebrand, in 1073 continued the ban, and Innocent III, in 1198, issued a decree that all who read the Bible should be put to death. In 1229 the great Council of Toulouse passed a decree forbidding either the possession or the reading of the Bible; and the famous Council of Trent, 1545-63, did the same. …In the reign of the “Bloody Mary” tons of Bibles were used as fuel to burn the martyrs, and it was said that “no burnt offerings could be more pleasing to Almighty God.” Pius VII in 1816 denounced Bibles as “pestilences;” and Leo XII in 1825 as “traps and pitfalls.” Pius VIII in 1830 declared printing presses from which Bible were struck as “centers of pestiferous infection.” Gregory XVI in 1844 condemned Bible Societies, and ordered the priests to tear up all they could lay their hands on. Pius IX surpassed all his predecessors in the employment of abusive language to vilify Bible Societies, and under his authority many were banished from Tuscany for reading the Bible. It was also during his pontificate that Francesco Madai and his wife were imprisoned for ten months and then sent to the galleys for reading the Bible.24
The choice is either an infallible Bible or an infallible church. Sola scriptura is not intimidated at all by the church being the pillar and ground of the truth. In fact, it is the reason that the church is the pillar of the truth. “I mean, how many churches even claim to be the pillar and foundation of truth”??? Are we like Hahn and his cunningly entrapped theologian friend who were left with no viable candidate for 1 Timothy 3:15, save the Church of Rome? Are we to believe that all other denominations and Christian bodies disavow this scripture text? Should Christians hang their heads and weep much, because Rome has decided that no man is worthy to open and read this verse, neither look thereon, except the pope?
Is it possible to read another kind of Church into the pages of the Bible? It is indeed, but only if we choose to place ourselves in judgment of all the interpreters of the early Church – the men who received the apostolic succession, and were in a position to know better. This should require a tremendous amount of fear and trembling, if not for the natural reasons,25 then surely for the
24 Romanism a Menace to the Nation, Jeremiah J Crowley; p.109&111 25 Such as the Inquisition? – “To enforce the Index, Papal Rome created the Inquisition. This tribunal tried and condemned every man who, without written Episcopal license, made, or sold or bought, or owned or read, the Bible. Over Europe Pontiff and Emperor combined to extinguish liberty. For centuries, around the Bible war raged between Catholics and Protestants. In Holland alone eighteen thousand martyrs
supernatural reasons. For Jesus said to His first Apostles: “He who rejects you rejects Me.”26
It is not only “possible,” but it is imperative. The truth is that you cannot read Roman Catholicism into or out of the Bible. Hahn states that it is to our detriment if we cast our gaze elsewhere and reject the early “interpreters…the men who received the apostolic succession, and were in a position to know better.” But are the men of any age who claim to hold apostolic credentials to be taken as the final authority? And as years, decades, centuries, and millennia pass should we not prosecute with more vigor our inspection of their interpretations, and their credentials? “Should …fear and tremble”? The true heirs of the apostolic message would not comminate us for our caution, but would commend us for our vigilance.27 By Hahn having insisted upon this caveat, we witness the pure gall and hypocrisy of Scott Hahn, for he has previously chosen to place himself in judgment of “interpreters of the early Church”.28
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 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.29
In this text, does “But though we … preach any other gospel” suggest apostolic infallibility (we) or Scriptural infallibility (gospel)? It should be evident that infallibility is attributed to God and His Word alone. No man is infallible. If any man had undisputed apostolic credentials, it was Paul, and still he includes himself in the “we.” Even Peter was not excluded. Anything added to or other than, the gospel as revealed in Scripture makes it another gospel. The gospel of the New Testament has the foundation of the Old Testament; it is the culmination of all that was promised and taught since Eden and written in the Word of God. Kill the root and you destroy the tree. If any man or angel teaches by addition or subtraction or adulteration another gospel (e.g., the need of a Redemptrix), let him be accursed! The “we” are fallible men; apostles, pastors, teachers, etc.; the “gospel” is the infallible Word of God. The pompous blustering of the Vatican does not grant her popes, councils, and “Church Fathers” carte blanche to teach untested and uncontested any extra-biblical doctrine that they see fit. And how shall I know if they are teaching another gospel unless I first have an inspired and infallible source to test their words. The very nature of the gospel refutes the nonsense of papal infallibility.
suffered. Sieges and battles destroyed millions Spain blazed with papal fires. France was desolated. Germany ran blood. England was aghast before Smithfield fires.” (Christian Life and Faith, Vol.6; p.282) 26 Reasons to Believe, Scott Hahn; p.92 27 Acts 17:11 – 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.
28 See The Deception of Scott Hahn; (Hahn judged and rejected Cyprian, Origen, Cyril, Hilary, Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine, Pope Leo the Great, et. Al who have interpreted “upon this rock” of Matthew 16:18 to mean ‘faith in Christ’ or ‘Christ Himself.’) 29 Galatians 1:8&9
“Is it possible to read another kind of Church into the pages of the Bible? It is indeed… .” Hahn is correct so far. What kind of church is it? It is the true church; one that does not supplant, distort, or pervert the truth; for only such a church can be the pillar of the truth.
What does 1Timothy 3:15 teach us? The focus of this verse is behavior; the Christian’s deportment in the church: that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God. Prior to this verse, Paul had been teaching about the requirements for the offices of the bishop30 and deacon, and the behavior of their wives. Because of the high calling of their offices, certain constraints were placed upon the candidates. Remember, context, context, context:
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…Likewise must the deacons be grave…Even so must their wives be grave… that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God…the pillar and ground of the truth… and without controversy great is the mystery of godliness…
To Timothy, who was an officer of the church, Paul explains certain necessary requirements of demeanor and order, as he told the church at Corinth: giving no offence in any thing that the ministry be not blamed.31 Godliness,32 conversation, behavior, and order that becomes the saints of God, especially in the house of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. This is the vital witness of the assembly of believers. Paul was writing about a local church. So, this is true about each local church and not some monolithic hierarchy. This is the other kind of church, and consequently, it cannot be Rome.
The church of God is not the truth, it is not even the source of truth. Sanctify them through thy Word, thy Word is truth33, and I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life34. So, the true church is the pillar and ground of the Bible; it is the pillar and ground of Jesus Christ. Simply stated, it is that body of saints, that unity of believers to whom Christ says, “thou … hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”35
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.36
30 (“Must be …the husband of one wife,” contrary to Catholic teaching – in fact, forbidding to marry, is called a doctrine of devils, 1 Timothy 4:1-3), 31 2 Corinthians 6:3 32 1 Timothy 2:2&3 – “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” 2:10 – “which becometh women professing godliness…”
33 John 17:17 34 John 14:6 35 Revelation 3:8 36 Acts 4:12
Having established her Co-Redemptrix Mary37, a plethora of saints and their merits, the necessity of submission to the Church of Rome and her Pontiff, Rome has denied the name of Christ, sophistry notwithstanding. By her so-called “Sacred,” yet unholy Tradition supplanting Scripture, Rome has not kept the Word of God. She is not the Church of Christ; she is not the pillar and ground of the truth. The word that is translated “ground” or “foundation,” according to Vine, is the Greek word, hedroioma. It means, “a support, bulwark, stay (from hedraios, steadfast, firm).” Alfred Cookman in his book entitled “The City of God,” wrote concerning this text:
The words which we render “pillar, and ground,” are nearly identical in meaning; or they may be interpreted so as simply to give intensity to the word pillar, as a very strong pillar, and unfailing pillar, a pillar that cannot be moved; so strong are its foundations and so strongly is it built.
The Greek word translated “and” is kai, which is sometimes interpreted as “even.” Thus it can be translated, “the pillar, even the unfailing pillar, of the truth.” The Bible is the truth, and so certainly, sincerely, and resolutely as the church supports and upholds that truth, and only then, is she the bulwark of the faith once delivered to the saints.38 Rome betrayed that trust so long ago. Without even so much as a precedent to be found in Scripture for the bulk of her doctrine, except in the negative sense, she foists her ungodly Traditions upon her devotees. She attempts to pass off refurbished paganism as apostolic customs. She again enthrones the Queen of heaven;39 she commands the worship of images:
In the Roman catechism, authorized by the council of Trent, the parish priest is required to instruct the people as follows: – “Not only that it is lawful to have images in the church, and to give honour and worship unto them (forasmuch as the honour which is done unto them, is referred unto the things which they represent,) but also that this hath still been done to the great good of the faithful; and that the images of saints are put in churches, as well that they may be worshipped, as that we, being admonished by their example, might conform ourselves to their life and manners.”
With regard to the nature of the worship which is offered to images, we are taught that, “it must not only be confessed that the faithful in the church do adore before the images, (as some peradventure would cautelously* speak,) but also adore the image itself, without what scruple you will: yea, they do reverence it with the
37 “St. Germanus says, ‘O Mary, thou art all-powerful to save sinners. Thy advocacy is all-sufficient, for thou are the life of life.’ …St. Anselm says, ‘It is impossible for any one to be saved who loves not thee, O Mary, and no less impossible for any one to perish who honours thee.’ St. Bonaventure says, ‘Whoever neglects Mary, must die in their sins;’ and again, ‘Those who neglect Mary in this life, can never enter into the kingdom of God.’” (A Dictionary of Miracles, Ebenezer Cobham Brewer; p.524)
38 Jude 1:3 39 Jeremiah 7:18
same worship wherewith they do the thing that is represented thereby. Wherefore, if that ought to be adored with latria, or divine worship, this also is to be adored with latria; if with dulia or hyperdulia, this likewise is to be adored with the same kind of worship. …seeing Christ is adored with the adoration of latria, or divine worship, that his image is to be adored with the adoration of latria.”40
Contrary to Hahn’s fatuous aspersion, sola scriptura does not “collapse the Word of God”; it enthrones the Word of God as the final and ultimate authority for the church. And apart from his wishful thinking, there is no “legitimate role of Tradition and the Magisterium.” They are the bastard children of Rome’s dalliance with paganism. God’s church is called upon to defend the truth against the wiles of the devil and the false doctrine that purports to come from Christ or His apostles. As the pillar and ground of the truth, she must be well able to stand scrutiny. Every office and act should exhibit godliness, and not merely mimic it: “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”41 We live in an age, the Catholic age, where the appearance of godliness is no more than a stunt contrived by human ingenuity, and not the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a time when the effort of diplomacy, not the knowledge of doctrine, has caused men to let down their guard and seek peace with Rome. The present religious soil is composed more of superstition than faith, and is therefore conducive to the seeds of Romish pretentions. Paul foresaw the dark shadows that the evil pretenders would cast upon the Church’s path. He was aware that with fraudulent links they would claim the authority of the apostles, and speak contrary things.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.42
Paul, therefore, committed these brethren, not to an “infallible Magisterium, or a Church, or a pope,” but to God, and to the Word of His grace.
The Word of God’s grace is the gospel to all. Salvation was effected upon the cross of Jesus Christ; no man can, nor need add to it. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a
40 The Protestant, Essays on Principle Points of Controversy, Vol. 1, William McGavin ; page 356-357 (*Cautelously – Old English, can mean, “with caution or prudently”, or it can mean “deceitfully.”) 41 2 Timothy 3:5 42 Acts 20:29-32
furnace of earth, purified seven times.43 It is worse than a cruel hoax to tell sinners that the gospel “is not fully expressed apart from Sacred Tradition.”44 It is a heinous lie. It robs Catholics of the simply and glorious truth of faith alone in Christ alone. And it robs Christ of the glory that is His alone. Christ endured the wrath of Almighty God poured out at Golgotha, and has procured salvation to uttermost for all who repent of their sins and believe on Him. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.45 Good works therefore are the fruit of our salvation, and not the purchase of it. Will you not turn from your sins and come unto Jesus?
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot, To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, Thy love unknown Hath broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Randall Paquette can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
God’s plan of salvation is not complicated. There are no set of rules or processes which lead us to Him. There are no college degrees necessary. If little children can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, then it must be simple.
However, Catholicism is not so simple. There are rules and there are processes … and that’s all fine if those rules and processes are actually scriptural. But if they can’t be found in the Bible and are there because the “church fathers” implemented them, they are guilty of their minds being corrupted from the simplicity that is found in Christ.
There is never an assurance of salvation through the Catholic church. I know because I was one of those Catholics who lived my life in fear of not being sure of where I would spend eternity. I “hoped” I would go to Heaven but I was never certain that I would go there. A Catholic is never certain of gaining Heaven. They have a hope but they do not have a certainty. Their church leaders have managed to bury the simplicity of salvation under layer upon layer of works and “do’s and don’ts”!
Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Christ’s plan of salvation is simple. Anyone can come to a saving knowledge of Him through the Scriptures.
~Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The Bible contains all the truths we need – from the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the way God wants us to live. All of it is truth.
~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
God considers His words to be above His own name!
~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
It’s not complicated – there are no penances – there are no sacraments that one must keep – Christ’s salvation is simple – it’s free – and His words are truth! Seek Him through His word!
Taken from: http://whateverycatholicshouldknow.com/wecsk/apocrypha.htm
|The Apocrypha is the name used for the extra-biblical writings that are contained in the Catholic Bible. They are the books of Tobit, Judith, I and II Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch. They also entail chapters added to the book of Daniel, chapter 13, the story “Susanna” and chapter 14 the account of “Bel and the Dragon”, and “The Song of the Three Young Men” inserted into the third chapter. The book of Esther is also expanded by 107 verses. By inserting these additions into the Bible, the Catholic Church has contaminated and adulterated the Written Word of God as our sole authority. This fits well within the Roman Catholic system because the Catholic Church does not rest in the written Word as its final authority. The Bible is perfect and perfectly fitted for our salvation for which it was designed. In adding more books and verses to the perfect Word of God, the Catholic Church is endangering the souls of men and women.|
Taken from: http://whateverycatholicshouldknow.com/wecsk/scripture_or_tradition.htm
|In the New Testament, it is the written Word of God, and that alone, to which the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles refer as the final authority. The Lord identified truth with the written Word. Jesus said, sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) The Apostle Paul declared the total sufficiency of Scripture when he said, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessthat the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy 3:16-17). The Catholic Church, however, is forthright in stating with certainty that truth does not rest in Scripture alone but in Scripture and Catholic tradition. Please consider this difference while asking yourself this question: on what authority will I place my trust? The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible are instructions that lead in different direction with all together opposing destinations.|