Can Bible Believing Christians And Catholics Truly Walk Together?
By Steve Lumbley
“In recent years we have seen a concerted effort on the part of many protestant leaders to minimize the doctrinal differences between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism. People like James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Pat Robertson of CBN, and Paul Crouch of TBN have assured their followers that the Catholic Church has changed. Many of these men have either signed or endorsed the heretical Evangelicals and Catholics Together document that attempts to unite these two groups on the basis of certain beliefs held in common.
We have been told that we have nothing to fear from Rome and that the leopard has changed his spots. Today’s Catholic Church, they say has nothing in common with the church that carried out the inquisition and sponsored the crusades. Sadly, most Bible believing Christians today know nothing of the history of the reformation or the facts that led many of our forefathers to flee from Catholicism.
I was reminded recently that serious doctrinal differences remain between Protestants and Catholics by a story from the Catholic News Agency. It seems that two Catholic Priests in Phoenix Arizona has been excommunicated for their establishment of and leadership in an “opposing ecclesial community.”
According to the story:
Monsignor Dale Fushek, and Father Mark Dippre…… founded the non-denominational Praise and Worship Center, which meets Sundays at the Fiesta Fountains Recreation Center in Mesa.
Their meetings regularly draw 250 to 300 people. The priests’ 90-minute services begin at 10 am each Sunday and feature much music but do not include sacraments. Reportedly, the priests have repeatedly said their services are not to be considered “Catholic” in any way.
“They always claim that they are not doing something in opposition to any denomination, but they are always holding their worship services at a time that coincides with a lot of Catholic Masses.” Jim Dwyer, a Diocese of Phoenix spokesman, told the East Valley Tribune.
It is also interesting to note that Monsignor Fushek is awaiting trial on seven misdemeanor counts including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, indecent exposure and assault. But these allegations are not the reason he is being excommunicated. His crime according to the church is that he is part of a worship service that does not hold to Catholic doctrine.
A spokesperson for the diocese said that Phoenix Bishop Olmsted “continues to express “grave concern” for Catholics who may be “misled or confused” by the priests’ actions. The statement encouraged Catholics not to attend or support the Praise and Worship Center and reminded Catholics that “the ultimate form of praise and worship is and always will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
“There is no substitution for the graces received at Mass and no prayer more edifying,” the diocese said.
There you have it in black and white. The official position of the Catholic Church remains that there is no grace (i.e., no salvation) outside the ritual of the Mass.
Bible believing Christians need to understand that Catholic’s are being deceptive when they claim that salvation is by grace alone. They do believe in salvation by grace but in their view, grace can only be dispensed by and through the Roman Catholic Church.
When Peter preached to the crowd on the day of Pentecost it says that the hearers were “pricked in their heart” and asked Peter “what shall we do” to be saved.
What did Peter tell them? Did he say ‘receive the sacraments of grace from an ordained ecclesiastical priest and you shall be saved’ No, he said this:
…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:38-39
That is the requirement for salvation. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. That promise remains in effect today for Peter said that the promise of salvation by faith in the name of Jesus was given to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off. Even those of us who were “far off” in time can rely on that promise.
This is no minor doctrinal difference. It goes to the very heart of the gospel message. Is salvation truly a gift of God by faith or is it dispensed by and through and ecclesiastical hierarchy of men?
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1Timothy 2:5
The Bible tells us that there is only one mediator between God and man and that mediator is Jesus Christ. It is not a priest, a Bishop, or a Pope. It is not even a pastor, an apostle, or a prophet. It is only Through Christ Himself that grace may be found leading to eternal life. Those who deny this truth deny the faith.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2Peter 2:1
The idea that the grace of God may only be apportioned by a priest of the Roman church is a damnable heresy which causes men to deny the Lord that bought them.
If you have bought into this lie, thinking that the Catholic Church is just another denomination I would urge you to reconsider. The Church of Rome has not changed. They still deny Christ and insist that grace can only come through their ritual of the Mass which sacrifices Christ anew every day. Their ultimate purpose is to bring all Protestants back into their harlot church. Don’t let any man mislead you. No true Christian can walk with those who fail to hold to the most basic foundations of the faith.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
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