Right at the outset, I want to say that this is not a mean-spirited attack on Catholic people. I love Catholics. I have Catholic friends. This is an examination or comparison of what the Catholic Church teaches side by side with what the Bible teaches. I pray it would be helpful to those who desire to share the truth in love with their Catholic friends and eye-opening to Catholics who may have not seriously considered these issues previously.
There are many doctrines that Biblical Christianity and Catholics agree upon. For instance, both believe...
- There is one God who exists eternally in three distinct, but co-equal persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, rose bodily from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and will return in glory.
- There is a future resurrection of the bodies of both the righteous and the wicked
- The Old and New Testaments are the inspired and infallible Word of God
- We agree on the sanctity of life and many of the moral issues of our day.
And there are others. We rejoice that we have so much in common with our Catholic friends (and these are good starting points for conversation). But in addition to our agreements, there are…
Below are a few of many areas where the Catholic church differs from the Biblical sound doctrine.
DISAGREEMENT NO. 1 / The Gospel
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:"It is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained." (Pg. 215, #816) The Catholic Church teaches that as a person participates in these sacraments, grace for salvation is dispensed piece by piece from birth to death. (p. 319)
The Bible teaches...
The Bible, over and over, teaches that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone, and not the result of our efforts, baptism, confession to a priest, or any other work of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). Read carefully the following verses.
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [how?] by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28
Jesus Himself said there was only one condition for salvation and that was belief. In John 3:16 He said, “Whoever believes (trust) in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John the Baptist taught that there was only one condition for true life. In John 3:36 he said, “He who believes (trust) in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The apostle John taught that there was only one condition for true life. In 1 John 5:13 he said, “These things I have written to you who believe (trust) in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life…”
Romans 5:10 says “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”
These verses and many others, clearly, refute the Catholic notion that salvation is obtained piece by piece through our ongoing participation in their Seven Sacraments. At the Council of Trent in 1546 the Catholic Church stated something that stands to this day.
Read this carefully: “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone in Christ, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, let him be anathema" [defined by Catholics as being excommunicated]." This is the official teaching of the Catholic Church to this very day. Well, this teaching obviously contradicts the Scriptures and preaches another gospel.
Is it a big deal?
“But even though we, or an angel from Heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9
DISAGREEMENT NO. 2 / Purgatory
The Catholic Church teaches that the souls of believers who have died will suffer for a time of purging that will prepare them to enter Heaven. The purpose of Purgatory, says the Catholic Church, is to cleanse an individual of imperfections, sins and faults. Catholics differ in their opinions as to the nature of the suffering in Purgatory. Most believe that suffering will include the physical pain of burning in fire.
Regarding Purgatory, the official teaching of the Catholic Church says: “If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged, either in this world or in Purgatory, before the gates of Heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.” [Council of Trent]
In other words, “If you think a person can just go straight to Heaven after having their sins forgiven and new life in Christ received, without having to suffer in Purgatory first, let him be anathema! (excommunicated)”
The Bible teaches..
Biblical Christianity believes that the doctrine of Purgatory is a man made invention that denies the sufficiency of what Christ did on the cross for our sins. The Bible teaches that upon death, Christians are immediately ushered into the presence of God in Heaven. Where? Turn with me to Luke 23:43.
If ever there was a person who deserved to go to “Purgatory”––if there was such a thing––it would have been The Thief On The Cross next to Jesus. He was a brand new believer. He had no time to do any good works, be baptized or be “confirmed“ before his death. But where did he go when he died? Jesus said to him: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). (Not Purgatory). Paradise!
For the person who has put their faith in Christ, he too will immediately go into the presence of God in “Paradise” (Rev. 2:7). The apostle Paul knew this and that is why he was able to say "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8)." That is what happens to believers today when they die. They go “home” to be “with the Lord.”
Purgatory is supposedly a place where a person is purified of sins. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the one that purifies us of our sins. Romans 8:1 says "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...." When a person dies their eternal home is sealed--in heaven or hell--no in between. Hebrews 9:27 "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
DISAGREEMENT NO. 3 / Praying for the dead and to the saints
First, let’s consider praying for the dead. The Catholic Church teaches that Christians who are alive on Earth can and should come to the assistance of the souls in Purgatory by intercessory prayers as well as by giving to the poor and other pious works. There is no scriptural support whatsoever for this doctrine. There is not a single example in the Bible of a person praying for a person who has died.
Second, let’s consider praying to Mary and the saints. The Catholic Catechism says:
“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives... They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them [the saints] to intercede for us and for the whole world.” (p. 645, #2683, p. 249, #956) [This is right off the Vatican’s website.]
And so the Catholic Church encourages its followers to pray prayers like this one to Mary.
“O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the gifts which God grants to us miserable sinners; and for this end He has made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, in order that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee: come to my aid, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation, and to thee I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me. For, if thou protect me, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; not from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; not even from Jesus, my judge, because by one prayer from thee He will be appeased. But one thing I fear: that in the hour of temptation I may through negligence fail to call on thee and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, therefore, the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace ever to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.”
Catholics are encouraged by the Catholic Church to pray prayers like this, not to God, but to Mary...This is absolutely contradicted by the Bible.
The Bible says...
“Let your requests be made known to [who?] God." Philippians 4:6
Jesus taught the Jews of His day to pray “Our Father who art in Heaven" (Matthew 6:9).
The apostle Paul writes, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
There are prayers recorded in the Bible from Genesis all the way to the Book of Revelation, and none of them are addressed to a saint, an angel or anyone other than God. Numerous passages in the Old Testament condemn all attempts to communicate with the dead. Those verses include Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 20:6, 27; 1 Samuel 28:5-18; Isaiah 8:19-20. It is idolatry to venerate images. We are not even supposed to make them.
Exodus 20:4 says...Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
Exodus 20:5 says..Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God...
The last time we hear from Mary in the Bible she is praying WITH the disciples, not being prayed to BY the disciples (Acts 1:14). The Bible never exalts Mary above anyone else. Neither should we.
DISAGREEMENT NO. 4 / MARY
The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was immaculately conceived, lived a sinless life, remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, was carried bodily up into Heaven and plays a part in our salvation as a co-redeemer with Christ.
Biblical Christianity rejects all of these teachings. (We believe Mary was a great example for believers in her faith and in her obedience). But there are numerous Scriptures that contradict the traditions the Catholic Church has attached to her.
For example: regarding the Catholic teaching on Mary’s supposed sinlessness:
The Bible clearly contradicts this in Scripture. Mary was described by God as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “highly favored” comes from a single Greek word, which essentially means “much grace.” Mary received God’s grace. Grace is “unmerited favor,” meaning something we receive despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mary needed grace from God just as the rest of us do. Mary herself understood this fact, as she declared in Luke 1:47, “. . . and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. . .” Mary recognized that she needed the Savior. The Bible never says that Mary was anyone but an ordinary human whom God chose to use in an extraordinary way. Yes, Mary was a righteous woman and favored by God (Luke 1:27-28). At the same time, Mary was a sinful human being who needed Jesus Christ as her Savior, just like everyone else (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 1:8).
“There is none righteous, no not one.”Romans 3:10 There is also Mark 10:18 where Jesus said "No one is good except God alone." There is also the passage in Luke 2:22-24, where Mary goes to Jerusalem “to offer a sacrifice…a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” for her sinful condition (fulfilling the requirement put forth in Leviticus 12). A sacrifice would not have been necessary if she had been sinless.
Another example: Salvation is through Mary
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…" Pg. 252, #969
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS —
The Bible nowhere indicates that Mary can hear our prayers or that she can mediate for us with God. Jesus is our only advocate and mediator in heaven (1 Timothy 2:5). If offered worship, adoration, or prayers, Mary would say the same as the angels: “Worship God!” ( Revelation 19:10; 22:9.)
Mary herself sets the example for us, directing her worship, adoration, and praise to God alone:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is His name” (Luke 1:46-49).
Talking about Jesus scriptures says... "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
Another example Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ; never having other children after the Lord Jesus. She remained a perpetual virgin.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
Mary did not have an "immaculate conception". The Bible doesn’t suggest Mary’s birth was anything but a normal human birth. Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Luke 1:34-38), but the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary is unbiblical. Matthew 1:25, speaking of Joseph, declares, “But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.”
The word “until” clearly indicates that Joseph and Mary did have sexual union after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary had several children together after Jesus was born. Jesus had four half-brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). Jesus also had half-sisters, although they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:55-56). God blessed Mary by giving her several children, which in that culture was the clearest indication of God’s blessing on a woman.
Matthew 1:24-25 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not TILL she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Matthew 13:55 13:56 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Another example is the Catholic teaching that Mary is the mother of God.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
The phrase “mother of God” originated with and continues to be used in the Roman Catholic Church. One of the topics at the Council of Ephesus in AD 431 was the use of the Greek term Theotókos, or “God-bearer,” in reference to Mary. That council officially proclaimed Mary as the “mother of God,” and the doctrine was later included in the Catholic catechism. The idea behind calling Mary the “mother of God” is that, since Jesus is God and Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is the mother of God.
The major problem with this logic is that the term “God” implies the totality of Yahweh (God), and we know that Yahweh has no beginning and no end (Psalm 90:2).
1 Timothy 6:15-16 says that God is immortal. Being immortal, God never was “born” and never had a “mother.” The second Person of the Trinity, Jesus, did have a beginning to His earthly ministry when he was conceived in Mary’s womb and was born, (but from eternity past He had always been the Son of God)
Philippians gives us a bit more insight on what transpired when Jesus left heaven to become man. "Who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Philippians 2:6–7 Jesus was already one with the Father, but He set aside His rights as Divinity and took the form of a baby (John 1:1). He went on to live the normal life of a Jewish boy, obeying His earthly parents (Luke 2:51).
A mother by definition precedes her child So to call Mary the “mother of God” gives the misleading implication that Mary preceded and at one time was more powerful than the Lord God Almighty.
It is biblical to say that Mary was the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ during His incarnation on the earth. However, The Lord God Almighty has no mother, since He has no beginning and no end (Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:8). The Lord Jesus Christ existed as God before Mary was ever born--she is not the mother of God.
One time when Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd proclaimed, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed” (Luke 11:27). There was never a better opportunity for Jesus to declare that Mary was indeed worthy of praise and adoration. What was Jesus’ response? “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:28). To Jesus, obedience to God’s Word was more important than being the woman who gave birth to the Savior.
These are just some of the verses that the Catholic Church has overlooked or brushed aside as it has developed its unbiblical view of Mary. The last time we hear from Mary in the Bible she is praying WITH the disciples, not being prayed to BY the disciples (Acts 1:14). The Bible never exalts Mary above anyone else. Neither should we.
DISAGREEMENT NO. 5 / The Bible
Biblical Christanity believes that the Bible is made up of 66 divinely inspired documents that God decided should make up the canon of Scripture.
In 1546 at an event known as the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church added the “Apocrypha." The Apocrypha is a collection of fourteen Jewish writings that were written down between 200 B.C. and A.D. 100. Eleven of those fourteen books were accepted and added by the Catholic Church as God-inspired Scriptures and were placed in the Catholic Bible. If you open a Catholic Bible today you will see books in there with titles like Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, and Baruch.
Not only has the Catholic Church added these books to the Bible, they state:
“If anyone, however, should not accept the said books as sacred and canonical [ i.e. part of the Bible], entire with all their parts…and if both knowingly and deliberately he should condemn the aforesaid tradition let him be anathema." (Cited in Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, by Geisler and MacKenzie, p. 157.)
(There are numerous reasons why the early church and believers down through the centuries have rejected the apocryphal books as authoritative or divinely inspired).
1. Neither Jesus nor the New Testament writers ever quoted from the Apocrypha as Scripture.
Though Jesus and the apostles cite the Old Testament nearly 300 times in the pages of the New Testament, they never quote any of the apocryphal books accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.
2. The Jews themselves never accepted the Apocrypha as inspired.
The Jewish people themselves and the leading Jewish teachers of that era recognized that this collection of Jewish writings did not belong in the Hebrew Bible. The first century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, tells us in his writings that the Hebrew Bible was composed of the same books that make up our Old Testament today. Philo, an Alexandrian Jewish teacher, who lived from 20 B.C. to A.D. 40 quoted the Old Testament numerous times from virtually every Old Testament book. And he never once quotes from the Apocrypha.
3. The Apocrypha contains no predictive prophecy to help substantiate its claims.
The Bible over and over substantiates its claim to divine inspiration with hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. In fact, 27% percent of the Bible contains predictive prophecy, and half of them have already been fulfilled. Unlike the books of the Bible, the Apocrypha contains none.
4. The Apocrypha never claims to be the inspired Word of God.
Unlike the Old Testament books that over and over say things, like “thus says the Lord” or “the word of the LORD came unto him” the Apocrypha never says anything like this. Since that is the case, it seems unwise to call the authors of the Apocrypha “prophets” or “spokespersons of God,” when that is something that they themselves did not claim to be.
5. The Apocrypha was rejected by many of the leading early church fathers.
The early church recognized a distinction between the Old Testament and the apocryphal books. Many of them, men such as Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Origen, spoke out against them.
6. Jerome rejected the Apocrypha and left them out of His Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate).
Jerome (who lived from 340-420 A.D.) was the man, who translated, for the first time, the Bible from Greek into Latin. Jerome is considered to be the greatest biblical and Hebrew scholars of the early medieval period. Jerome’s translation (known as the Vulgate) became the Bible translation for centuries to follow. It even became the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church. So if Jerome left them out of his translation, how did the Apocryphal books end up in the Vulgate, the Catholic Bible? The Church inserted them into the Vulgate after he died.
7. The Apocrypha contains numerous non-biblical and heretical doctrines.
- The Apocrypha teaches the erroneous unbiblical doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul, suggesting that the kind of body one now has is determined by the character of his soul in a previous life (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20).
- The Apocrypha teaches prayer for the dead (2 Maccabees 12:41-46)
- The doctrine of Purgatory (that even the righteous must suffer after death for a time before they will be accepted into Heaven).
- The Apocrypha teaches that salvation is available through good works through the giving of alms (Money).
“It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: alms doth deliver from death, and it shall purge away all sin” Tobit 12:9
“For alms deliver from all sin and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness." Tobit 4:11
So for these reasons Biblical Christianity rejects the Apocrypha.
DISAGREEMENT NO. 6 / The Authority of Church Tradition
The Catholic Church teaches that authority for faith and practice rests on two foundations:
A. The Bible (which includes their 11 added apocryphal books that they added to the Bible, the Apocrypha)
B. The Catholic Church (or Sacred church tradition).
Authoritative Church tradition includes the decrees of various councils (meetings of Church leaders) as well as certain sayings of the Popes. The Catholic Church teaches that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra (which literally means “from the chair”) he is absolutely infallible (Perfect / without error)
Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the various Popes have said numerous things in this manner. Those things stand irreversibly to this day, as truths that are equal in authority to the written Word of God. So, when you read something on the Vatican’s official website, or in a Catholic book on theology, you’ll read something that says something like “Such and such is true” and instead of it giving you a Scripture reference for justification for a particular belief, it will just say something like: “Pope Pius XII” because to the Catholic Church that is equal to Biblical revelation.
The Bible teaches..
Biblical Christianity believes that authority for faith and practice rests solely upon one foundation, the sixty-six books of Scripture. This is something that the men who led the reformation ( Martin Luther and others) called sola scriptura, Latin for “Scripture alone.” We believe that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal on all doctrinal and moral matters. Biblical Christianity believes that any tradition or teaching that contradicts the Scripture it is to be rejected, no matter how sacred or old it is!
Colossians 2:8-10 says "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Any “tradition” that conflicts with the absolute Word of God, as contained in the Scripture, is to be rejected (Acts 17:11; Isa. 8:20)
Listen to Jesus rebuke the Pharisees here for voiding the Word of God with their traditions...
"Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God"-- then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:1-9
This is a why Biblical Christianity reject many of the Catholic traditions. They often contradict the Word of God, and of course God does not contradict Himself. Did you realize that many of the traditions of the Catholic Church have no ties to the apostles or to Jesus? Many of them were developed long after the apostles. Below are a few of many Roman Catholic Church doctrines and when they came into being:
Prayer only to the creator John 14:13
Prayers to Mary and the Saints year 600
Jesus the only foundation 1 Cor.3:11
Pope is made the foundation year 610
Call no man father Matthew 23:9
Pope is called Holy Father year 610
Don't worship men Acts 10:26
Kissing of the Pope feet year 709
Salvavation by faith Romans 5:1
Sales of Indulgences year 1190
The Supper (symbolic) do in remembrance Luke 22:19
Transubstantiation year 1215
Jesus condemns tradition Mark 7:7-13
Tradition Equal to the Bible year 1545
Do not add to the Bible Revelation 22:18
The Apocrifa is added to the Bible year 1546
Only the Creator is Infallible Matthew 19:17
Papal infallibility year 1870
While Jesus’ words in Mark 7:9 were directed towards the Pharisees, they unfortunately can accurately describe the Roman Catholic Church, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
DISAGREEMENT NO. 7 Transubstantiation /The mass/ Eucharist
"What is transubstantiation?
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that once an ordained priest blesses the bread of the Lord's Supper, it is transformed into the actual flesh of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of bread); and when he blesses the wine, it is transformed into the actual blood of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of wine). Is such a concept biblical?
There are some Scriptures that, if interpreted strictly literally, would lead to the “real presence” of Christ in the bread and wine. Examples are John 6:32-58; Matthew 26:26; Luke 22:17-23; and 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. The passage pointed to most frequently is John 6:32-58 and especially verses 53-57, “Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life … For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him … so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’”
So then how should one understand what Jesus means when He says they must eat Him and drink Him? The most sensible and logical conclusion for any honest and open-minded person to come to would be to understand this as being figuratively or symbolically. Roman Catholics interpret this passage literally and apply its message to the Lord’s Supper, which they title the “Eucharist” or “Mass.” Those who reject the idea of transubstantiation interpret Jesus’ words figuratively or symbolically.
How can we know which interpretation is correct?
Thankfully, Jesus made it exceedingly obvious what He meant. John 6:63 declares, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” Jesus specifically stated that His words are “spirit.”
Other examples are: Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst" (John 4:14); "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever" (John 6:51) also "I am the door" (John 10:7) These verses are never taken literally… but are understood figuratively.
Jesus was using physical concepts, eating and drinking, to teach spiritual truth. Just as consuming physical food and drink sustains our physical bodies, so are our spiritual lives saved and built up by spiritually receiving Him, by grace through faith. Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood are symbols of fully and completely receiving Him in our lives.
The Scriptures declare that the Lord's Supper is a memorial to the body and blood of Christ (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25), not the actual consumption of His physical body and blood.
The most serious reason transubstantiation should be rejected is that it is viewed by the Roman Catholic Church as a "re-sacrifice" of Jesus Christ for our sins, or as a “re-offering / re-presentation” of His sacrifice. This is directly in contradiction to what Scripture says, that Jesus died "once for all" and does not need to be sacrificed again.
Hebrews 7:27 declares, "Unlike the other high priests, He (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins ONCE for All when He offered Himself."
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us::
9:25 NOR YET THAT HE SHOULD OFFER HIMSELF AGAIN, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: BUT NOW ONCE IN THE END OF THE WORLD HATH HE APPEARED TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.
9:28 So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many
10:12 But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up His Spirit.
11:24 And when he [Jesus] had given thanks, he brake it [bread], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered on the cross; He is no longer suffering and he is most certainly not what Roman Catholicism calls "The Victim" that is sacrificed over and over again in the Roman Catholic mass performed by the Roman Catholic priesthood. Therefore, Christ's sacrifice does not need to be re-offered. Instead, Christ's sacrifice is to be received by faith (John 1:12; 3:16). Eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood are symbols of fully receiving His sacrifice on our behalf, by grace through faith, Done in remembrance of His once for all sacrifice.
DISAGREEMENT NO. 8 The Pope
The Catholic Church says: "The Roman Pontiff (Pope)… enjoys this infallibility (perfection) in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals… This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine revelation itself."( Pg. 235, #891)
The Catholic Church teaches that when the Pope speaks ex cathedra (which literally means “from the chair”) he is absolutely infallible (without error) Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the various Popes have said numerous things in this manner. Those things stand irreversibly to this day, as truths that are equal in authority to the written Word of God. So, when you read something on the Vatican’s official website, or in a Catholic book on theology, you’ll read something that says something like “Such and such is true” and instead of it giving you a Scripture reference for justification for a particular belief, it will just say something like: “Pope Pius XII” because to the Catholic Church that is equal to Biblical revelation. The Pope is called "Holy Father" The term "Holy Father" is only found one time in the entire Bible. It was when Jesus prayed before he and his disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane. He referred to God the Father as Holy Father. It is blasphemy to call a man by God's name.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
In the Bible there are no popes or priests to rule over the church. Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5; 8:1; 9:11), and all true Christians make up the church and a spiritual priesthood (I Pet. 2:5). Jesus Christ has sanctified (set apart) all Christians who trust on Him alone (Heb. 10:10-11), so all priests today are unnecessary and unscriptural.
The pope is a man who takes upon himself honor which belongs to no human being. Even the very name by which he allows himself to be called (Holy Father) is highly presumptuous and blasphemous .
Rom 3:10 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one."
Rom 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
The Catholic church teaches that Peter was the first Pope and the earthly head of the church, but the Bible never says this once. The case for Peter being the first bishop of the church in Rome is very weak. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome, greets more than two dozen people by name at the end of his letter (Romans 16), but not Peter. That would be a strange omission if Peter was living in Rome, and especially if he was the overseer of the church there. Popes do not marry, although Peter did (Mat. 8:14; I Cor. 9:5). In Peter's first epistle he stated that he was simply "an apostle of Jesus Christ," not a Pope (I Pet. 1:1). But even if it could be shown that Peter was the first bishop there, that does not mean that he had ultimate ruling authority over the entire church, that he or his successors were infallible( without error), or that Peter would support the unbiblical teachings that poured out of the church in Rome in the centuries that followed. Peter was a man like you and me. Jesus called Peter "Satan" in Matthew 16:23 when Peter rebuked Jesus dying. When Cornelius tried to worship Peter, Peter responded, "Stand up; I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:26). The pope needs to remember Acts 10:26 when he has men bowing to him and kissing his hand like he is worthy of worship.
Jesus Christ is our all in all. The truth is that the only foundation is Jesus. The only rock of truth is Jesus Christ and we are to keep our eyes on Him. We are to look to no one else as the foundation, the source, or the hope on which the church is built. The Church is built upon Jesus--not Peter.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected [Jesus], the same has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?
My Catholic friend, Are you tired of the works' requirement? The scriptures proclaim that the “Reality is found in Jesus Christ.” When Paul said this to the Colossians, he was drawing a line between the shadow of death-dealing religion and the authentic substance of a life-giving Savior. Religion says it’s about you, but the gospel of grace declares it’s all about him. Religion says “Do, do, do,” but the good news declares “It’s done, done, done!” For too long the world has been bound by the never-ending demands of religion. True freedom is found in knowing the One whose yoke is easy and light!