"Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."" John 14:6
I have written a short post on the Catholic Church (CC) in the past, however, given the level of influence and acceptance that it has among believers, I believe it warrants more attention. It is clear that while the CC worships a god that seems ever so much the same as the One True God, it is nevertheless a false religion. It is embracing all forms of religion in the name of our Lord, and churches and believers everywhere are following it's example. Prominent Christian leaders and teachers are embracing the CC, turning blind eyes to the blatantly anti-Scriptural doctrine that it upholds. All across America pastors and influential ministries are sharing their pulpits with false prophets by allowing Catholic speakers to teach their congregations. By accepting and promoting Roman Catholicism, believers are unwittingly playing a role in the fulfillment of prophecy.
In my first post, I outlined a few crucial doctrinal differences that according to Scripture are nothing short of heresy. The few that I touched upon included the CC's position that the Bible is not the only source of Christ's teaching and that you can earn your salvation through works and prayers. It also believes that salvation only comes through the CC - even if you don't belong to the Church.
The Catechism says, "Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation…. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it. This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and His Church."
The CC teaches what they refer to as baptism of blood and baptism of desire. Baptism of blood is what they call people who die for the faith, and they believe that through that person's death they are baptized (saved) by the Church. Catechism once again addresses this:
“The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament."
also a section about baptism of desire:
“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation”
This doctrine of salvation through the Church is found nowhere in Scripture. It is a false teaching, and I find it disturbing that so many pastors and believers are allowing this religion into our churches. While these reasons alone are already enough to deem Catholicism heretical and a false religion, there is another aspect that I want to discuss in this entry. The issue of ecumenism is thriving in Catholic Church. It is a dangerous mindset, for true believers know that there is only One way to eternal life in heaven, and that is through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross - buried 3 days and having come back to life to defeat sin and death once and for all!
I was reading an article the other day that was discussing the issue of ecumenism, and it quoted a small section of the Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions). The paragraph that had been quoted surprised me with its blatancy, so I looked it up to read the Declaraation in it's entirety. It was alarming to read, seeing as how Christians today are also embracing the same view. However, it also confirmed to me that CC is indeed recognizing other religions as being able to achieve salvation, and that they all worship the same god. (They would use a capital G - God, but I will not, as they do not worship the one true God!) I included a link to the whole declaration above, but I will highlight a few sections that I found remarkably troubling:
Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. (emphasis mine)
The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. (emphasis mine)
Though the Declaration was made in 1965, it is apparently still being held to today. In fact, Pope Francis continues to make ecumenism a leading priority in his "ministry." When speaking to a group of refugees in Italy earlier this year, he encouraged them with these words:
"Sharing our experience in carrying that cross, to expel the illness within our hearts, which embitters our life: it is important that you do this in your meetings. Those that are Christian, with the Bible, and those that are Muslim, with the Quran. The faith that your parents instilled in you will always help you move on.”
While that may make all parties involved get the warm fuzzies now, it is a false hope and is not going to help them in the end. It demonstrates an alarming acceptance of another false religion, and once again defies Scripture. We have seen time and again the Pope joining together with different religions in an effort to bring about unity and peace. Just this month Pope Francis hosted an interfaith "Peace Gathering," that joined together professing Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Druze. The different religions took turns offering prayers and reading from their respective holy books. The video below is a recording of the first time that Islamic prayers have ever been heard at the Vatican.
At one point during the gathering Pope Francis addressed the crowd, saying,
“We have heard a summons, and we must respond. It is the summons to break the spiral of hatred and violence, and to break it by one word alone: the word ‘brother’.”
While this sounds noble, it is simply leading to what I believe is the end goal - a One World Religion. Listen to Dave Hunt's explanation of how the Roman Catholic Church meets the criterion for the woman who rides the beast (Satan), as prophesied in the Bible - particularly Revelation and Daniel.
This video provides a detailed explanation as to why the Roman Catholic Church seems to be the woman sitting on the beast. It is a little long, but it is much more detailed and organized than anything I could put together in my limited amount of time!
Like all of Satan's deceptions, there are aspects that sound good - noble even. If believers are not careful, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the Catholic Church is just another Christian denomination. After all, they refer to themselves as Christians. They read and teach out of the Bible. They believe in the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The "main characters," if you will, are much the same as Biblical Christianity. Yet, what many fail to realize is that the Catholic Church preaches a different gospel. It's there in the nuances, the subtleties that few Christians care to analyze. This has led to an alarming trend of pastors and teachers joining together and promoting Catholicism and her leaders. It may not seem like a big issue, especially since this movement is happening under the guise of unity and peace. However, in Scripture we are told,
Wow! Those are very strong words. Which should tell us just how critical it is that we proclaim false religions for what they are, and to keep ourselves separate from them. It is one thing to lovingly share the Gospel with people, but it is a completely different thing to embrace their false religion in the name of unity. The popular opinion today is that we need to be willing to compromise our "pious ideals" in order to fellowship with, and tolerantly accept, those whose doctrine does not line up with our own - in the name unity and being one body in Christ's love. Problem!! The unity that Christ speaks of is referring to unity among believers, not among different religions. Christians' relationships with things that are not of Christ (including fasle religions) are addressed as well, but not to encourage a brotherhood with them. The opposite is true. Where the mention of the word 'ecumenism' should immediately send up a red flag of warning to us, instead it is being celebrated.
Pope Francis Connects the Vatican With Revelation 17
House Of One