Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Catholics or Christians?”



A few weeks ago you answered a question about inter-faith marriages.  You listed four possible outcomes to the described situation; three of which you labeled as "BAD" and only one as "GOOD."

The first two outcomes are below:

  1. She eventually converts and obeys the gospel, becomes a christian, and is saved (GOOD).
  2. You eventually convert and obey the Catholic church, and you are both lost (BAD).

Your response implies that Catholics are not Christians and that Catholics are not saved.  I realize that there is only one truth, but many denominations obey the gospel.  Truth is not limited to one denomination.

Where in the Bible do you find that there is only one church that is "properly" Christian?

Sincerely, Accepting Our Differences

Dear Accepting Our Differences,

Where in the Bible do you see there being more than one church that is properly Christian? The burden of proof lies upon those who wish to add churches to God's design. Paul said there was only one church, one doctrine, and one God (Eph 4:4-5). Jesus always referred to His church, not His churches (Matt 16:18). Jesus is head of the church – one head, one body (Eph 5:23). The truth is nobody even fathomed the idea of anything but one church in the first century.

When you write that ‘truth is not limited to one denomination’, you treat that assertion as an established fact… when in reality the opposite is true. Multiple religions are condemned in the New Testament. Any practices other than New Testament practices are condemned (2 Thess 2:15). Christians are warned against warping, altering, and perverting God’s established teachings for His church (Gal 1:6-9, Rev 22:18-19). Furthermore, we are promised that many will claim to have served Christ in this life and will be turned away as false Christians on the Judgment Day (Matt 7:21-23).

The practices of the New Testament church are laid out simply in the New Testament. Any congregation that wants to serve Christ need merely look at the church of the Bible and mimic its behavior (see our post here for further details on finding a faithful church). If a congregation wants to ensure its place as part of Christ’s body, it must submit to Christ’s teachings alone. There can be no man-made creeds, no human ideas and theologies, no statements of faith – just the Bible.

The Catholic church is not the same as Christ’s church, therefore Catholics are not Christians. The Catholic church accepts the pope as it’s head, placing his authority above the Bible. Their practices fit perfectly with Paul’s definition of what false religion looks like: forbidding marriages and abstaining from certain foods (1 Tim 4:1-3). Catholic priests expect to be called ‘father’, a practice in direct contradiction to the Scripture (Matt 23:9). The church of the Bible looks nothing like the Catholic church – you cannot be both a Catholic and a Christian.