I'm a Christian, but I would just like to know what the difference is, or if there is a difference?
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Catholics are almost never Christian. In order for a professing Catholic to be Christian according to biblical standards, one must stray far away from the papacy and the Catholic Church in general. The reason why is because of the idea of works based righteousness. Catholics do not believe that someone is saved by grace through faith alone. This is the issue with Catholics, mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, all of which profess to be legitimately Christian. However, in regard to Catholicism, according to the Church of Rome, Christ did not accomplish a full, finished and completed salvation in his work of atonement. His death on the cross did not deal with the full penalty of man's sin. It merited grace for man which is then channeled to the individual through the Roman Catholic Church and its sacraments. This grace then enables man to do works of righteousness in order to merit justification and eternal life. Catholics also believe that "according to the way God has willed that we be saved the sacraments are necessary for salvation." The aforementioned statement is found NOWHERE in the New Testament, and to the contrary, according to Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." According to the Doctrine of the Council of Trent "If any one saith that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation...and that without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain from God, through faith alone, the grace of justification...let him be anathema." This may explain why (historically speaking) Catholics (especially popes and other high ranking members in the Church) have murdered or persecutedbelievers that were very Christ-like and rebelled against the teachings of the Church after being legitimately born-again and obeying the Holy Spirit. Tyndale, Savonarola, Luther, and Madame Guyon to name a few. Lastly, there is the issue of Catholics praying to dead saints like Peter, Paul, or Mary (who is treated like God among the Catholics) and that the Pope shapes the theology of the Church. These are all anti-biblical and idolatrous. In conclusion, Catholicism and Christianity are two different religions. I used to be Muslim, and before I was saved by the grace of God and inhabited by the Holy Spirit, I lacked every bit of knowledge and understanding about Christ like everyone else in the without the Spirit does (including the popes). Please pray for them. The Lord loves them, and so should we by proclaiming the truth with grace abd love. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxmXiCUXjDI This link above is a link to a sermon that may answer many of your questions. I normally don't listen to John MacArthur because he's really professorial, but I don't know a better sermon for this subject or a more thorough debunking of the myth that Catholics are Christian. God bless. :)
I don't believe anyone intentionally is bashing the Catholic's. It is true there are good and bad people in all religions. Remember Judas? So there were good and bad apostles too. By the way, Jesus came to End Religion so we could follow God's way. That is why they killed Him. I was born and raised Catholic. I had great concerns as a child of going to hell if I didn't do everything right. Going to confession, I would make up things I might have done and give a number as to how many times "since my last confession" I had likely repeated these sins. The Priest would give me my Hail Mary's and Our Fathers to do and I would kneel down at the altar and pray them. I recall at about 10 years old thinking, "okay, so now I'm good for another couple of weeks". It didn't seem right. Something was missing. Why did I have to tell this man in the box my sins? Why did I have to pray to Mary? Who is Jesus? Where does He fit in this picture? There was so much in between me and Him. Rules, rituals, priests, His mother, the saints....why? In my early 20's I reconnected with a girlfriend who was far from anything Christian in younger years, who told me she was now 'born again'. She asked me if I had accepted Jesus. I said that was for the crazy bible thumpers who think they are so much better than the rest. I went on to tell her that someday I would love to be close to Jesus but I was not good enough. (Side Note: I was not a wild girl. I worked, spent much time in prayer and basically your average young person. But I wasn't perfect and my own condemnation held me back.) She told me who Jesus was and that I was just as good as anyone the way I was. She told me I could go directly to Jesus and bypass the Priest. The curtain that separated mankind from God was torn in half the moment Jesus died! From top to bottom where there was no seam. God opened the way for us to Him through His Son. The Catholic Church knew they would lose control of the people and have made the masses dependant upon the church as a way to Heaven. How sad. In thinking through what this girl told me, I pondered on the torture Jesus endured before and throughout His time on the cross. Why would I pray to Mary when she was just a woman like me? Yes a godly woman and one we should emulate, but nevertheless, just a human being. God sent His Son to be ridiculed, tortured, and die for us. Then people pray to Mary and ask her to ask Jesus to ask God to hear our cries to Him. Totally ludicrous. A slap in God's face. When I asked Jesus to be my Saviour, the whole room filled with His presence. I had never felt such love. Totally changed my life. My mother could not understand and would ask me questions as to why I did this. I would tell her about God's word and she would ask where I got these ideas from. I told her the Bible. She said only the priest is allowed to read the bible and interpret it to the people. She now knows better and has come to know Jesus. There are born-again Catholics who are friends of mine who stay in the Catholic Church. I don't understand why as (to me) there is a difference. I want to be as close to Jesus as I can get and the Catholic Church held me back from that. The Catholic people are loved dearly by God. Jesus waits for them to let Him in their hearts. It is not the people, it is the Church that holds them back from a personal relationship with Jesus.
I am a Catholic and I want to answer to all those who have attacked Catholicism. Please, first of all apply to your own lives what Jesus said (read Matthew 7:3-5:) 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." The Catholic church is by far the religious organization that provides help to children, elder, and to the needy. Even adding up what all other religions do, they do not reach what the Catholic church does. So they work by FAITH and by WORKS, as the bible as a whole divine book mentions (not cherry picking "just by faith"). In ALL religions there are good and bad people. That apply to Catholics, to Protestants, to Mormons, to Jews, to Buddhist, to Islamics, etc. Do you remember pastor Jimmy Bakker and Tammy Faye TPL sex scandal and the 158 million dollars stolen from their flock? Remember those protestant married pastors who were caught requesting services from prostitutes?. In November 2006, escort and masseur Mike Jones alleged that pastor Ted Haggard (a "new born Christian") had paid him for sex for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. A few days later Haggard resigned from all of his leadership positions. Read also about Jimmy Swaggart twice caught with prostitutes after being forgiven by his flock!. Do you also remember those Catholic priests who were pedophiles?. Do you remember those pastors who "healed" people but were cheating and all was a lie (read about "Peter Popoff miracle spring water"). Do you know how many times the Jehovah Witness have failed interpreting the Bible about the end times prophesies, and have changed the interpretations of the prophesies again and again in the last decades?. How about the Mormons and the "translations" of ancient "Lost Book of Abraham"? A totally discovered lie!. Read about it!. Very same things can be said about Judaic, Islamic, Buddhist, Bahai etc. Rabbis, teachers, imans, preachers, etc. They all have a lot of sinful affairs. So, before attacking any other religion, take the plank out of your eye!
The word 'catholic' (from Casper above) means universal and when applied to faith means the entire body of the Christian church. The problem begins when the 'c' is capitalized to become the Roman Catholic Church which means something entirely different. I had many Catholic friends growing up and was shocked by the way their church treated them. The Methodist and Baptist churches in Michigan taught 'saved by grace through faith' and works was (is) determined by the direction of the Spirit within us. My friends suffered needlessly from guilt and remorse over their 'sins' as determined by their priest and nuns in their church and school and I was glad to be a Christian not judged by the Catholic church. Michael Hill (above) gives a great explanation of the difference.
Many differences exist with the Roman Catholic Church but what it hinges on is justification. In the moment of salvation has your cup been filled up with grace but it is up to you to keep it topped off by your good works lest you spend thousands of years completing enough works to earn your way into heaven? Was the sacrifice Christ made on the cross sufficient or does he have to be taken out of heaven and literally killed at the hand of the priest time and time again to cover your sins from the day before? Thanks above for making the distinction between catholic and Catholic.
In a literal sense, Catholic means orthodox christian, so we all Christian who follow Jesus as our Creator God, son of the Father who loves us so much He allowed His Son to become a man to die as a sacrificial lamb. The first Christians were Jewish. St Paul argued with St Peter that all, Jew and Gentile, were welcome in the new mystery of this new church this Bride of Christ. These were the Followers of Christ, of The Way. That didn't last long. After about 300 years of persecution, mostly from the military Roman Empire, a Caesar Constantine called an amnesty and removed the ban on these new monotheistic communities. The follower of Christ became accepted by society and the persecution ended. It became fasionable to be a Christian. You didn't even have to take it too seriously or think about risking your life to follow in The Way. There are of course many varieties of organised Christian churches, the Orthodox Catholic churches of countries like Russia, Greece and Egypt, and of course the Catholic church of the Roman Empire founded by Emperor Theodocious in 380AD. Each of these are usually led by a Pope in what is called an Episcopal or hierarchical structure. Many years later in mid 16thC some Priests, in particular Luther, rebelled when he witnessed the licentious lifestyle of the Pope and the corrupted practices of selling indulgences (free passes to get into heaven quicker). He was labelled a protester, kicked out of the church and thus was formed the protestant church. This was called the Reformation, and it was accompanied by a move of the Holy Spirit reforming science, governments, and culture. Especially the "coincidental" invention of the printing press meant that the Bible, so long in Latin and only read by educated priests, could now be put into the hands of all men who could read English. That was a powerful democratisation of the authority to know and interpret scripture by the common man. The Protestants mocked the Catholic Church by calling them the Roman Church, and other things like Papists. There are many wide and varied orders within the catholic church from liberal to strict, perhaps a wider variety than among protestants, but it is the protestants who feel free to argue and disagree with the management... this is why they just split up again and again, so since the Reformation the non-catholic christian churches have been a history of dissention, division and rebellious independence. We are all Christians if we accept that Jesus is God and is the Son of our Father God
True Christians are followers of CHRIST & CHRIST only. Catholics are Orthodox Christians, they give preference first for what Bishops and pope teaches and they will not even refer scriptures, but strong in faith. Right now LORD is calling them also, because of the elect. Surely revival should happen..... Let's all join and pray for their salvation
There is a difference, and the difference does matter. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, John 3:16. Catholics also believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But unlike the Christian church who believes Jesus is the only way to God and salvation, John 14:6. Catholics believe that the pope is “Vicar of Jesus Christ" which means the pope stand in the place of Jesus Christ and possess His authority in the church.
if Catholicism is Christianity why have there been people in history that, after having read the Bible, disagreed so vehemently with what the Catholic Church was doing/preaching that they were willing to be killed?
there are many differences between catholic & protestant faiths. there are many difference between protestant & protestant faiths. " all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved; even to them that believe on His name". Jesus' body is perfect positionally, but not as yet perfect until we see our precious Savior. then we will become like He is. we will never be God, but we will be married to Him (praise God) & will be like Him in glory. let's pray for others, & believe the Lord to touch their heart. there are many who do not understand these differences, but love Jesus with all their hearts. Jesus take away all our self-righteousness & love one another through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus left us with men capable of teaching all he commanded them to others. Some teachings were passed down orally, some were written down. C.f. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 The three components to clearly knowing the truth about God are: 1. An official teaching body. 2. Teachings that were orally transmitted. 3. Teachings that were written down. Catholics accept #1, #2 and #3. Anglicans reject #1 but accepts #2 and #3. Protestants reject #1 and #2, and only accept #3.
As a life long Catholic, I do not recognize what people are describing as the Roman Catholic church. On the issue of salvation, Catholic teaching is clear. If we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ (in what he taught and did (suffered, died, and rose from the dead)), we are saved. This next part is the important part that many non-Catholics usually don't understand. IF the repentance and belief in Jesus are both authentic and very real, there WILL be works of love as a natural outgrowth of being filled with the grace of God. If there aren't works of love, then something was not real or authentic with the repentance and belief in Jesus. Like our Protestant friends, we believe they will not be saved. There really isn't that much difference between the Catholic position (correctly understood) and the Protestant position on salvation. This next part is also important. Remember what Jesus said, "not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven but those who "DO the will of my Father". Elsewhere, Jesus said "Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. "For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me." "Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’" And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Clearly, Jesus emphasized the importance of works and taught what could happen if there is a lack of works. Peace.
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