Exposing Roman Catholicism (Part 1)
By: Brian A. Yeager
Last week, we began a series of articles exposing the errors of denominationalism. We began this series by establishing that the Bible shows there is one church (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22-23, and Ephesians 4:4). That one church is the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). We therefore know that all others are not of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 6:46). That shows that these denominations do not have a relationship with God (II John 9), for they are of men (Galatians 1:6-12).
This week we are going to begin singling out various denominations and exposing their errors (Isaiah 8:20 and Ephesians 5:11). We shall not try to be tedious and cover each error within each denomination. The fact that they have no authority from God to exist already is enough to settle any debate about any denomination (Matthew 15:7-9, James 2:10, and Revelation 22:18-19).
The purpose of our study of denominations is twofold. One, we want to help anyone that is in denominationalism recognize their errors (Titus 1:10-14), repent (Acts 26:18-20), and be converted (Acts 3:19). Paul did this very thing when he saw the false worship of God in Athens (Acts 17:16-30). Secondly, we shall prepare saints to give an answer and teach those in these errors (I Peter 3:15).
This week we’ll begin what will be at least three articles dealing with Roman Catholicism. We’re going to begin this series on Roman Catholicism by talking about their “Holy Father”. Now, to those of us who are really Christians, we might think the next statement to be odd for our Father is one and is in Heaven (I Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6 and I John 5:7). However, the father of Roman Catholicism is not the God of Heaven as their “Pope” or “Holy Father” is a man (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope). Many Catholic resources refer to their Pope as their “Holy Father”. One article is titled: “Interesting Facts about His Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI” (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource.php?n=491). This error of Roman Catholicism should be clear to anyone who honestly studies the Scriptures. It is sinful to elevate a man to a form of deity.
It Is Sinful To Elevate A Man To A Form Of Deity
Pictured to the right is “Pope Benedict XVI”, the current “Father”of Roman Catholicism (http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm). If
The words of Christ you just read above are clear enough to expose the fallacy of a Pope. Still yet, we have a great example of what a godly man would do if people elevated him as the Pope is elevated. Notice this example of both Paul and Barnabas: “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them” (Acts 14:8-18).
If I were wrapped up in Roman Catholicism, any of the points above would be clear enough to me that I was in error. Yet, some require more to think about. If God plainly said that a man elevating himself to the position of God made him the son of perdition, would that be enough for a reasonable person? Well, the Lord says just that. Notice: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:3-4).
I studied with a person deceived in Roman Catholicism and showed them these Scriptures. We discussed how the Pope elevates himself to be worshipped, etc. This woman denied it. She said she knew the Pope was the head of the church, but that He was not worshipped. Folks, we have clear evidence in writing and pictures that the “Pope” accepts acts of worship from others to himself.
The Catholic Pope Allows Himself To Be Worshipped
Pictured to the left (below) you see the “Pope” having men kneel before him and one of those men is kissing his ring. I find it interesting that the Roman Catholic Church falsely argues that the first “Pope” was the Apostle Peter (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/index.htm).
The only one in the flesh to ever be worshipped, without that being sinful, was Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:1-4, Matthew 9:18, and Matthew 15:25). Jesus was / is God (Romans 9:5 and Hebrews 1:8-9). To accept worship is to accept that position of deity. Clearly, the “Pope” accepts that position in being called the “Vicar of Christ” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicar_of_Christ).
Bible students know that only God is to be worshipped. Notice the clarity of the Scriptures on this point: “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God… Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve… And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy… And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Exodus 34:14, Matthew 4:10, Revelation 19:10, and Revelation 22:8-9).
Those practicing Roman Catholicism need to understand that they cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13). God expects mankind to serve Him and Him alone (Deuteronomy 6:13, I Kings 22:53, Luke 4:8). The Roman Catholic Church was founded by and is headed by men. To continue in such an erring religion is to commit spiritual suicide (Colossians 2:8 and Colossians 2:18-23). How can anyone with any Bible knowledge fall into the worship of a man as the “Pope”. Listen carefully, the “Pope” may have a bulletproof car, a security force, etc., but the wrath of God will not be soft on this servant of the devil. God will take vengeance on this worker of Satan (Romans 1:18).
Jesus Christ is the head of the true church of Christ (Colossians 1:18). He alone has all authority over His body the church and all else (Ephesians 5:23 and Matthew 28:18-20). So we can certainly conclude this article in saying that the “Pope” is clearly an opponent of our Savior (Matthew 12:30). In fact, you can’t even find the word “Pope” in the Scriptures (Proverbs 30:5-6).
The next article is going to deal with something else that is very clearly a sinful practice of the Roman Catholic Church. That sin is idolatry (Galatians 5:19-21). The Scriptures have a lot to say about idolatry, as we will see in our study in the next article of this series. As in this article, we will not make any charges against the Roman Catholic Church without clear evidence of those practices (John 7:24).
Volume 10 – Issue 2- October 4th, 2009