Catholic Church Doctrines And Beliefs
The Catholic Church came into being by men departing from the truth of God’s word in the Bible. The changes occurred in the organization, worship, name, and what God required for one to be saved. In 606 AD, Boniface III was the first to assume the title of universal bishop or pope. It was not until 1870 AD that the Vatican Council proclaimed the pope infallible in all his decisions pertaining to the Catholic Church. Anything man says, that does not come from the Bible, is false doctrine and is vain which will cause one to lose his soul in eternity. Jesus says, "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
One of the doctrines and commandments of men of the Catholic Church is the false doctrine of the “original sin” which they say newborn infants inherit from Adam. But the Bible says, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son.” (Ezekiel 18:20). We do not inherit sin, we commit sin. 1 John 3:4 says, “sin is the transgression of the law”. Infants do not commit sin. In order to get rid of the “original sin” in infants they sprinkle or pour water on them and call it "baptism". Infants do not have any sin and are not candidates for baptism because they cannot believe. In Acts 8:36-37 a question is asked and the answer given, “See here is water, what hinders me from being baptized? Then Philip said, If you believe with all your heart you may”. An infant cannot believe with all his heart and he does not have any sin that needs to be washed away.
And not only that, sprinkling or pouring is not a scriptural baptism. The original Greek word used in the Bible is BAPTIZO which is translated baptize. BAPTIZO only means to immerse and does not mean to sprinkle or pour. The Bible says, "Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there" (John 3:23). The baptism of the Bible requires enough water to bury a person. Also we read in Romans 6:4, "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism". One is not buried in baptism by having a few drops of water sprinkled or water poured on his head. One who has been sprinkled or poured has not been baptized and still has every sin he has ever committed and is still lost. When a person who was sprinkled as an infant becomes accountable and begins to sin, he thinks he does not need to “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Since he himself does not obey the Lord’s command to repent and be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of his sins, he still has every sin he has ever committed and is still lost. Sprinkling or pouring is not baptism at all. Satan has many ways of causing people to be eternally lost.
For an adult to be "saved" in the Catholic Church one must go through a process called RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. RCIA includes a lengthy indoctrination of Catholic doctrine (catechism), which can last as long as several years. When the parish feels the catechumen is ready to be "baptized" (sprinkled) he/she is then scheduled for the Celebration of the Sacrements of Initiation, which takes place on Holy Saturday which is the Saturday before Easter.
The Council of Trent and the Lateran Council of 1215 AD gave the priests the power to forgive sins, but only God can forgive sin. But the Bible says, "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness" (Daniel 9:9). There are many other false doctrines and commandments of men held by the Catholic Church which will only cause people to be eternally lost.
The Catholic Church has made changes in their doctrine and practice without regard to what the Bible says or does not say. Because much of the Catholic Church doctrine and practice differs from God's word as stated in the Bible, the Catholic Church has tried to rid the world of the Bible by burning it and forbidding its members from reading it. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216 AD) forbade people from reading the Bible in their own language. Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241 AD) forbade members from possessing a Bible. Pope Paul IV (1555-9 AD) forbade the possession of translations without permission of the Inquisition. Pope Clement XI (1700-21 AD) condemned the reading of the Bible by the laity. In Catholic countries the Bible is almost an unknown book. If Catholics will read the Bible, they will discover that what they have been told and are practicing is different from what the Bible says. Anything that is more than, less than, or different from what the Bible says is the false doctrine of Satan which is designed to cause people to be eternally lost in Hell.
In about 601 AD Gregory I, of the Catholic Church condemned the use of graven images. But later the Council of Trent in 1545 AD reversed this decision and approved the worship of graven images. But God's word still says in Exodus 20:4-5, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God am a jealous God". Does God's word really mean anything to the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church has entirely removed these two verses of God's word from its version of the Catholic Baltimore Catechism, which is taught in their parochial schools. To embrace Catholicism one must reject God's word in the Bible. Jesus says in John 12:48, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." The Catholic Church does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, but in their own man-made doctrine. 2 John 9 says, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God."
Because of the false doctrine and practices of the Catholic Church, one cannot be a Catholic and go to Heaven, but will end up in the eternal torments of Hell. We read in Revelation 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Live was cast into the lake of fire."
The Lord’s One Church
The fact that the Lord has only one church is unpopular with many people who want to belong to the Catholic Church. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church". The word "church" is singular, meaning one and only one and the word "My" is possessive, meaning it belongs to the Lord. The Lord began His one church more than 1900 years ago. Ephesians 1:22-23 says that God gave Christ "to be head over all things to the church, which is His body." So the church is the spiritual body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:4-6 we read, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." The Bible says there is only one God even though there are many false gods in this world. The Bible also says the Lord has only one body or church even though there are many false counterfeit bodies or churches in this world. The Catholic Church is only one of the many counterfeit churches in the world today. Christ is only going to save His one church (Ephesians 5:23), and not any of the many counterfeit churches. Christ "loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus Christ did not die for or establish the Catholic Church which has no scriptural authority to exist.
How does one become a member of the Lord’s one true church? Jesus says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). One must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. We have seen from the Bible that baptism, which is authorized by God, is immersion and not sprinkling or pouring. Once people are saved, the Bible says, "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). The Lord adds only the saved to His church. The Lord does not add any saved person to the counterfeit Catholic Church. Since those in the Catholic Church do not believe the Lord’s requirement, that baptism (immersion) is necessary for salvation, they remain unsaved. And since the Lord does not add unsaved people to His church, the unsaved have to become a member of the Catholic Church.
The one church that Christ purchased with His own blood belongs to Him and the name it wears must honor Him. We read in Romans 16:16, "The churches of Christ greet you". This name, "churches of Christ, glorifies and honors Christ who died for it and built it. Even by the name, "Catholic Church" they do not claim to be the Lord’s church. Christ has only promised to save His one church, His one body. Ephesians 5:23 says, "Christ is the head of the church and he is the Saviour of the body". Christ is the only head of His church, not the pope.
What is going to happen to all of the many different illegitimate counterfeit churches, including the Catholic Church, that men have started? Jesus says, "Every plant My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted" (Matthew 15:13). Since Jesus did not build the Catholic Church or any denominational church, they all stand under His condemnation. Today, there are many people laboring in vain in their man made churches. God’s word says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalms 127:1). It does one no good to belong to and worship in the Catholic Church. One is wasting his time and will lose his soul in eternity !! Jesus says, "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7). Vain worship is useless and will cause one to be eternally lost in Hell.
If people really want to go to Heaven, they must come out of their counterfeit denominations and be baptized (immersed) for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38) so they can be saved (Mark 16:16). Then the Lord will add the saved to His one church (Acts 2:47), the church of Christ (Romans 16:16), where they can worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Jesus promises "Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Let’s make going to Heaven our number one priority in this life.
Satan does not want anyone to be saved. The Bible speaks of Satan as the one "who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). Satan rejoices at all of the religious confusion and division that is going on in the world today. Satan works ceaselessly to cause people to follow their false denominational doctrines instead of the Bible only. Anything that is more than, less than, or different from what the Bible says is false doctrine which is designed by Satan to cause people to be eternally lost in the torments of Hell. Satan has been very successful in fooling people today, just as he fooled Eve in the Garden of Eden with his lies.
Each person determines in this life as to where he will spend eternity. Where will you go when this life is over, eternal life in Heaven or eternal punishment in Hell? Do you know for sure? We must make sure because we will not be given another chance to make things right. The Bible says to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 21:15). Tomorrow may be too late. Satan wants us to wait because he wants us to be eternally lost. God’s word says, "Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
To learn more about what the Bible says about the Lord's one true church, I recommend you study through "Are You A Member Of The Lord's One True Church?" at www.netbiblestudy.net/church If you would like to study more I would recommend a Bible study I have on the internet entitled: "Are You Really Sure Of Your Eternal Salvation?" at www.netbiblestudy.net After this study I would recommend that you study: "Are You Worshipping God In Spirit And In Truth?" at www.netbiblestudy.net/worship
Do you really want to go to Heaven? If I can help you locate a congregation of the church of Christ where you can be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of your sins and be saved, then email me your city, state, and ZipCode to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help locate one for you. After you have obeyed the Lord in baptism you could continue to worship there.
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