LET THE BIBLE SPEAK
When one reads his New Testament, he realizes that the early church was simply
organized with each congregation an independent unit with elders, deacons, and
other members. There was no clergy, no denominations, no missionary societies,
No pomp, no circumstance, no ritual, just plain worship in spirit and in truth
(John 4:24) characterized New Testament Christians. Their worship consisted of
heartfelt prayers, singing without musical instruments, and the Lord's Supper
observed by every member, every Lord's Day. Each one gave liberally of his
means and the assembly was taught the Word of God.
Soon, however, man became dissatisfied with the New Testament pattern and
digression set in. The result was the apostate Roman Catholic Church.
Such an apostasy was a matter of New Testament prophecy (2 Thessalonians
2:7-12; Acts 20:28-31). It began within the eldership with one man being
designated as bishop over a congregation, then later over several
congregations. Finally, there came to be a bishop over the Eastern Church and
one over the Western Church with the Western Bishop gaining the most power.
This Roman Bishop claimed to be the pope or "papa" over all Christians.
Other changes were taking place as well. The gospel preacher evolved into a
priest. The Lord's Supper became the Eucharist and mass. Repentance became
penance. By the third century, hereditary sin and infant baptism were added.
One departure led to another as man lost respect for the New Testament pattern.
SOME CLAIMS OF CATHOLICISM
Catholics claim that on any matter of doctrine the teaching of the church is
final. The seat of authority for the Catholic Church is the pope.
The New Testament teaches that Christ has all authority (Matt. 28.18-20). The
authority of Christ is now vested in the Scriptures, not in any church (2
Timothy 3:16-17, 2 John 9, Ephesians 3:4, Rev. 20:12).
- Catholics teach that Peter was the first Pope and head of the church.
The New Testament teaches in regard to Matthew 16:18 that upon Peter's
confession, as a rock, Christ would build His Church. Jesus is always pictured
in the New Testament as the foundation of the Church (1 Corinthians 3:11), not
Peter. Peter was married (Maithew 8:14). This certainly doesn't fit with what
is taught today in regard to celibacy. Paul wrote a letter to Rome without
ever hinting that Peter was there ruling as universal pope over the church.
- Catholicism teaches seven sacraments: (1) baptism, (2) confirmation, (3) holy
Eucharist, (4) penance, (5) ordination, (6) extreme unction, and (7) marriage.
- Concerning baptism, Catholics teach that it can be done by sprinkling, pouring,
or immersion and is to be administered to all, infants included, to get rid of
original, Adamic sin.
The New Testament teaches that baptism is a burial (Romans 6:3-5). No infant is
capable of meeting these New Testament conditions for accepting Christ: (a) the
ability to hear and learn (John 6.44-45), (b) to believe (Mark 16:15-16), (c)
to repent (Acts 2:38), and to confess Him (Matthew 10:32-33). The New
Testament does not teach original sin (Ezekiel 18:19-23), but rather teaches
that sin is something each responsible person commits (1 John 3:4).
- Concerning confirmation, Catholics teach that at about seven years of age a
child should be confirmed and in this act the Holy Ghost imparts gifts of
wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the
There is not One instance in the New Testament of the sacrament of confirmation
being given to ANY ONE, children included. Confirmation is a good word and
used in the scriptures in the sense of brethren encouraging other brethren
- There are four dogmas connected with the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist: (1)
The dogma of the real presence which holds that the body and blood of Christ
are actually present in the supper. (2) The question arises as to how and when
this happens and Catholics have developed the doctrine of transubstantiation as
an explanation, saying that when the priest consecrates the emblem, the change
occurs (3) Sacrifice of the mass is the consecration of the bread and wine into
the body and blood of God, by the priest (4) In communion under one kind, they
teach that Christ is contained whole and entire in each element and that it is
only necessary to partake of the bread to partake of the whole Saviour.
We simply ask, "Where does the New Testament teach any of this???" The answer
is "NOWHERE!!!" The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the suffering and
second coming of Christ (I Corinthians 11.26). The elements are the unleavened
bread and the fruit of the vine. These elements, when eaten and drunk
intelligently, bring to the Christian's mind the blessing that comes from
obedience to the Lord.
- Catholics attempt to provide for the forgiveness of sins committed after
Baptism through the sacrament of penance which includes: (1) contrition, (2)
confession, (3) satisfaction, and (4) absolution. Contrition is defined
correctly to mean "godly sorrow," but confession is to be made to a Catholic
priest. Catholics teach that there is a temporal penalty that must be paid
after the sin has been forgiven by the priest and this is the practice that
gave rise to the selling of indulgences.
The New Testament clearly shows that redemption cannot be bought with silver or
gold (I Peter 1:18). God's plan of pardon for the child of God that sins is
that he repent and pray God that the thought of his heart may be forgiven him
(Acts 8:22). In addition, he must be willing to confess his wrong doing to God
(I John 1.9) and to one another (James 5:16).
- The sacrament of ordination is the sacrament by which means men become a part
of the priesthood in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics admit that their
hierarchical system is not described in the New Testament and that it borrowed
from Old Testament and pagan practices.
The New Testament teaches that each local congregation is overseen by men
called elders (I Timothy 3:1-7, Philippians 1:1). The New Testament also teaches
that every member of the church is a priest (1 Peter 2:5,9, Revelation 1:6)
who can approach God directly for himself through the great high priest, Jesus
Christ (Hebrews 3:1).
- Extreme unction is a sacrament in which the sick, by the anointing with holy
oil and the prayers of the priest, are supposed to receive spiritual succor and
even corporal strength when such is conducive to salvation. The unction is
called "extreme" because it is the last of the unction's administered by the
The passage used by them in support of this is James 5:14-15. But James says
in this passage that what was done by these New Testament elders (not priests)
was to heal the sick (not the dying) during the time in the New Testament
Church when some who were miraculously endowed could indeed bring about healings.
- In order to control the marriage union, the Catholic Church has made marriage a
While marriage is ordained by God (Genesis 2:24), it existed long before the
church and is not a sacrament. Catholics are also in error when they teach
that there is never any reason for remarriage. Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 that
in the case of fornication that the innocent party could remarry.
Dear reader, you can go back over cultism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism
all the way back to the church of the New Testament. Here the Scriptures are
your final authority. Here you worship and live as the Scriptures teach. Here
you are not a part of any cult or Catholic or Protestant denomination. Here
you obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) by doing precisely what people did
in New Testament times. (cf. Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 9, Acts 10, Acts 16, Acts
Worship with those who are of like mind (Hebrews 10.25) and together, following
the word of the Lord, you will comprise the church of the Lord, and by faithful
Christian living heaven will be your home.
Also see "We were Catholics"