Some time ago, I wrote an article separating Catholics from Christians. I received a lot of questions and criticism for separating the two. Here are the reasons why:-
Salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by baptismal regeneration and is maintained through the Catholic sacraments unless a wilful act of sin is committed that breaks the state of sanctifying grace. The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace which is received through simple faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that good works are the result of a change of the heart wrought in salvation (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17) and the fruit of that new life in Christ (John 15).
Assurance of salvation: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation cannot be guaranteed or assured. 1 John 5:13 states that the letter of 1 John was written for the purpose of assuring believers of the CERTAINTY of their salvation.
Purgatory: There is nowhere in the Bible where it mentions the opportunity to cleanse the soul of the sins committed while alive, in this “holding place”. This one has got to be one of the biggest lies taught in Catholic doctrine.
Good Works: The Roman Catholic Church states that Christians are saved by meritorious works (beginning with baptism) and that salvation is maintained by good works (receiving the sacraments, confession of sin to a priest, etc.) The Bible states that Christians are saved by grace through faith, totally apart from works (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:10-11; Romans 3:19-24).
Baptism: In the New Testament baptism is ALWAYS practiced AFTER saving faith in Christ. Baptism is not the means of salvation; it is faith in the Gospel that saves (1 Corinthians 1:14-18; Romans 10:13-17). Christ on the cross told the repentant criminal that that day they’d be together in paradise. That thief was saved because he believed, not because he was baptised in water.
Prayer: The Roman Catholic Church teaches Catholics to not only pray to God, but also to petition Mary and the saints for their prayers. Contrary to this, we are taught in Scripture to only pray to God (Matthew 6:9; Luke 18:1-7). In fact, praying to anyone else besides God is idolatry, be it Mary, the dead saints or anyone. Prayer has to be to God alone. By the way, you don’t have to dead to be ordained a saint, all believers, dead or alive are saints, and not just the dead Pope.
Priesthood: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a distinction between the clergy and the “lay people,” whereas the New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9).
Sacraments: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that a believer is infused with grace upon reception of the sacraments. Such teaching is nowhere found in Scripture.
Confession: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that unless a believer is hindered, the only way to receive the forgiveness of sins is by confessing them to a priest. Contrary to this, Scripture teaches that confession of sins is to be made to God (1 John 1:9).
Mary: The Roman Catholic Church teaches, among other things, that Mary is the Queen of Heaven, a perpetual virgin, and the co-redemptress who ascended into heaven. In Scripture, she is portrayed as an obedient, believing servant of God, who became the mother of Jesus. None of the other attributes mentioned by the Roman Catholic Church have any basis in the Bible.
The idea of Mary being the co-redemptress and another mediator between God and man is not only extra-biblical (found only outside of Scripture), but is also unbiblical (contrary to Scripture). Acts 4:12 declares that Jesus is the only redeemer. 1 Timothy 2:5 proclaims that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. Christ alone is able to save, he doesn’t need an assistant!
I know Catholics preach Christ as well but this is how I view spiritual teachings, with this equation:-
A billion truths+ a trillion truths+ 0.001 lie = LIE
So it doesn’t matter how much truth there is to it, I little contaminates the whole thing.
By the way, there are some Catholics who are saved, but they continue to attend Catholics services because of the music, truth be told, the hymns there have wonderful melody.