Catholicism the true church - 08/11/2003
Why do many Catholic's believe that the Roman Catholic church is the only "true" church? Because Jesus himself told Peter to start His church; Peter, the first Pope, started the Catholic church. The Catholic doctrine is as Jesus himself wanted. There are many beliefs that Catholics hold different than Protestants, and all of the Catholic beliefs are founded in the scriptures, but the main belief is the same, that Jesus is the son of God, he died for our sins, and only those that believe in Him can be saved. Therefore, whether Catholic or Protestant we are saved. However, I don't know how kindly God will look upon those that call Jesus' church a cult. I guess that is between you and your maker.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Peggy. Thanks for writing to Contender Ministries. You said "Jesus himself told Peter to start His church; Peter, the first Pope, started the Catholic church." In Matthew 16:16, Peter gave the primary Christian confession of faith, and was praised by Jesus for doing so in verses 17-19. In verse 18, Jesus said, "upon this rock I will build my church..." That's not the same as telling Peter to start His church. Nowhere in the Bible is Peter referred to as "Pope", and in fact, the first church was founded on prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:20), not popes and priests. You say the Catholic doctrine is as Jesus wanted. Where in the gospels does Jesus teach about purgatory, or the intercession of Mary or the saints, or seven sacraments being necessary for justification? If all the Catholic beliefs are founded in the scriptures, please share the scripture references. The truth is, the bulk of Roman Catholic doctrine is based on oral and written tradition outside of the context of the Bible. Roman Catholicism developed in the third and fourth centuries, not the first. When you said, "Jesus is the son of God, he died for our sins, and only those that believe in Him can be saved," you were absolutely correct. But that's not what Pope John Paul II said. A Reuters News Service article, dated December 6, 2000, states "Tempering a controversial Vatican declaration on salvation, Pope John Paul II said Wednesday that all who live a just life will be saved even if they do not believe in Jesus Christ...." This is contrary to scripture, yet Roman Catholic doctrine holds the Pope to be infallible! In Acts 17:11, we read that the Bereans were of more noble character, because they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was true. I encourage you to act in this noble way as well. Search the Bible to see if what Rome decrees is true. Test what I've just told you against scripture. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom. May God bless you!
Ben and Jennifer Rast