Many Evangelicals today see the divisions among Christians, the many denominations, and the sometimes heated rhetoric between brothers, and rightly desire to see unity among Christians. Indeed, many modern Evangelicals even want to see unity between Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics.1 While such a desire may seem well-intentioned on the surface, we need to examine whether this is truly the unity that Christ commands His people to have.
Should Protestants and Roman Catholics unite? Is a desire for such unity Biblical? We will discuss 6 reasons why we believe it is not.
In Galatians 1, the Holy Ghost says through Paul,
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6-9)
The following points show that the Roman Church preaches another Gospel, and is more suitably called the Harlot of Babylon than a Church of Jesus Christ.
1. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture
Rome denies the sufficiency of Scripture and supplants it with human tradition. The Scriptures are wholly sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3, 4)
Because the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, by supplying us with all things necessary to be known and believed to be saved, no additional knowledge outside of Scripture is necessary for salvation; indeed, no human tradition can in any way be useful for the salvation of men’s souls. We are to hold firm to the teaching of the Apostles (and the Prophets, and all writers of Scripture) which we have received through Scripture:
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
No other doctrine is permitted (1 Tim. 1:3), and Scripture must be acknowledged as the commandments of the Lord:
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37)
Scripture is not to be added to or taken away from:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5, 6)
Scripture is not only sufficient to supply men with all that is to be believed for salvation, it is also sufficient for our instruction in the worship of God. The Lord explicitly forbids us from adding anything to His worship other than what He Himself has commanded:
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)
And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Numbers 15:39, 40)
The human innovations in Roman worship are more than can be listed here. From the use of images of God and saints, to the multitude of manmade ceremonies, rites, and holy days, to the most despicable and blasphemous Mass, in all these, the imaginations of men’s hearts and man’s traditions are observed, while God’s commandments are rejected. We are reminded of Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees in Mark 7:9, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
The Protestant rule is the Scripture. “To the Scripture the Roman Catholic adds, first, the Apocrypha; second, traditions; third, acts and decisions of the Church, embracing numerous volumes of the Popes’ bulls, ten folio volumes of decretals, thirty-one folio volumes of acts of councils, fifty-one folio volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, or the doings and sayings of the saints; fourth add to these at least thirty-five volumes of the Greek and Latin fathers, in which, he says, is to be found the unanimous consent of the fathers; fifth, to all these one hundred and thirty-five volumes folio add the chaos of unwritten traditions which have floated to us down from the apostolic times. But we must not stop here; for the expositions of every priest and bishop must be added. The truth is, such a rule is no rule; unless an endless and contradictory mass of uncertainties could be a rule. No Romanist can soberly believe, much less learn, his own rule of faith.” (J.A Wylie, The Papacy, p.178-179, quoting Charles Elliot, Delineation of Roman Catholicism)
2. Rome Denies that Salvation is through Faith Alone
Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, glory be to God alone. The Scriptures everywhere so plainly attest to this, and yet Rome so arrogantly denies it. Consider the following passages of Scripture:
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God which isby faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:19-28)
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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:10, 11)
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4: 2-5)
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. (Galatians 2:15-17)
These passages of Scripture prove so clearly that we are saved through faith, and not by works, that no honest or right-thinking man can deny this.
Now why would the apostle so often and so expressly institute an antithesis between faith and works in this matter, if works could concur with faith in any way to the act of justification? Would he not in this particular have occasioned believers to err by removing works absolutely and simply from it, if they contribute anything towards it? Let the various passages in which exclusives are employed be carefully examined and the thing will be clearer than the midday sun: “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28); “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works” (Eph. 2:8); and more clearly, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith [ean mē dia pisteōs] of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16). Here it is certain that the particle (eimē) is adversative and exclusive (as often elsewhere, Mt. 12:4; 24:36; Mk. 13:32; Jn. 17:12; Rev. 9:4; 21:27) from the force of the immediate opposition of faith and works, which mutually displace each other. Nor can the Romanists themselves deny this. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 677)
On the other hand, here is official Roman Catholic doctrine which places a curse on this Biblical teaching. From the Council of Trent:
CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”
CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”
Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”
By placing its anathema on on the Biblical Gospel, Rome has placed itself under the anathema of God Almighty (Galatians 1:8, 9). Let all those who affirm this doctrine be blessed, but let Rome’s curse fall on her own head.
3. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Christ’s Mediation
Our controversy here is with papists who (to establish more strongly their fiction of the invocation of saints) maintain that departed saints perform the office with God of mediators and intercessors for the living. They conciliate to us the favor of God not only by their prayers, but also by their merits. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 385)
By setting up Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix with Christ, Rome explicitly denies the sufficiency of Christ’s mediation on His people’s behalf. As the Scripture says in 1 Tim. 2:5, there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Thus neither Mary nor any other besides Jesus Christ can be a mediator between God and men. Rome also sets up saints as mediators, hence they pray to saints, that the saints might make appeals to God for them.
We wage war against the mediation of saints. First with the express words of Scripture, which ascribe this office to Christ alone: “One God, one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ” (1 Tim. 2:5). Here one Mediator is spoken of (not many) and he Christ (who gave himself as a ransom [antilytron] for us), not any saint or angel. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 386)
Several other texts of Scripture also eradicate the opinion of Rome.
“Second, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation” (1 Jn. 2:1). Here are three arguments: (a) he is called paraklētos or an advocate in the singular (which John would have said falsely if there were more and not one only); (b) this Advocate is expressly called Jesus Christ the righteous so that no other can arrogate this office to himself; (c) he is such an Advocate as to be also the hilasmos or propitiation for sins. And yet no one but Christ did this. The reply is useless that Christ is indeed called an advocate, but not the only one. For although the exclusive particle is not added expressly (diarrēdēn), still it is necessarily included in the epithets added, both of the righteous and the propitiation (hilasmou). Again, if he had recognized many advocates, why did he mention Christ alone and not add others to whom they might have recourse? Here belongs the passage, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6); and “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12).” (Ibid., p. 387-388).
This denial of the perfection of Christ’s mediation is blasphemous and a damnable heresy.
“Third, the mediation of saints casts disgrace upon Christ, as if he was not alone sufficient and needs to associate others with him in this office (which cannot be said without grievous blasphemy). Nor does it help the matter to say that injury is not done to Christ because the saints receive from Christ the power to intercede and to petition. It is assumed that Christ merited for and willed to confer upon them such a power to intercede and obtain salvation for us (which the Scriptures have never said and cannot be proved by any reasoning). If Christ is a perfect Mediator, who by himself can exactly fulfill all the parts of that office, what need was there to form others for himself?” (Ibid., p. 388).
Rome’s doctrine of the mediation of saints is nothing but a dressing up of pagan superstition with pseudo-Christian terminology.
this dogma savors of heathen superstition and has sprung from the errors of the Gentiles who distinguished their gods into primary and secondary (who were of a lower order [demons] and were mediators between the supreme gods and men). “God,” says Plato, “is not approached by men, but all intercourse and communication between the gods and men is carried on by demons” (Symposium 203 [Loeb, 3:178–79]). Hence they distributed provinces, cities, arts, diseases among the demons and assigned various offices to different ones (just as the adherents of the pope set saints over empires, cities, arts and diseases and acknowledge them as patrons and tutelary gods to whom they may continually have recourse). (Ibid., p. 388.389)
4. Rome Gives the Glory Due to God Alone to Creatures and to Images
she is idolatrous and superstitious, both with respect to the object which she worships and with respect to the mode in which she worships. With respect to the object, inasmuch as besides God (who as alone omniscient, omnipotent and best ought to be the sole object of worship and invocation), she venerates and adores creatures also which are not by nature gods (Gal. 4:8): as the blessed virgin, angels, defunct saints, the consecrated host, the sacrament, the cross, the pope, the relics of Christ and of the saints. With respect to the mode, in the making, worship and adoration of effigies and images, so solemnly prohibited by the law of God. And these things appear not from the private opinions of teachers, but from public sanctions and constant practice. So that nothing here is improperly charged upon them by us. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 124-125)
The Second Commandment states, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thingthat is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Ex. 20:4-6). Thus, worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word, is forbidden and is equated with hating God.
In the first place, one may make no images of God whatsoever; that is, of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
First, this is absolutely forbidden in this commandment and in many other passages. Consider only the following passage: “Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves … lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven” (Deut 4:12, 15-19). Who then, while believing the Word of God, would be so bold to act blatantly contrary to this and make images of God—a practice clearly forbidden?
Secondly, God cannot be depicted and it is therefore God‘s will that such ought not to occur. “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him” (Isa 40:18).
Thirdly, it highly dishonors God. “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:23). The Papists readily imitate this. They depict God the Father in the appearance of a man, that is, of an old man; God the Son in the appearance of a four-footed beast, that is, of a lamb; and God the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a bird, that is, a dove. They thus dishonor God as the heathen do.
Fourthly, it corrupts man. “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves…lest ye corrupt yourselves” (Deut 4:15- 16). For this prompts man to think of God—who is a Spirit, and who must be served in Spirit—in physical terms. (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 3, pp. 109-110)
However, against the precepts of Scripture and the reason of a sane mind, Rome multiplies images of God and saints to be worshipped.
this is confirmed by their daily practice in which it is evident that they prostrate themselves before images, kiss them, burn incense to them, erect altars, offer prayers, make vows, institute sacred festivals and make use of similar parts of adoration and worship. And that no one may suppose that only the people sin in that practice while the principal divines think differently, it is not difficult to show that their views correspond with this practice. Hence Thomas Aquinas wishes the worship of latreia to be given to the cross of Christ, no less than to Christ himself. “Since, therefore, Christ ought to be adored with the adoration of latreia, it follows that his image ought to be adored with the same adoration” (ST, III, Q. 25, Art. 3, p. 2155). (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 52-53 )
To simply observe the gross idolatry and worship of images in Roman worship ought to make any biblically informed conscience cringe. All the justifications of images and the evasions futile; they are simply nullifying the precepts of God so that their traditions can be maintained (Mk. 7:9).
Images are teachers of lies, Hab. 2.18. Wherein do they teach lies? Because they represent God in a bodily shape, whereas he cannot be seen, Deut. iv. 12., ” But saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice.” Quod invisibile est, pingi nun potest, Am Br. God cannot be pictured out by any finger; you cannot picture the soul being a spirit, much less God, Isa. 40.18, “To whom then will ye liken God?” The Papists say, they worship God by the image; which hath a great absurdity in it, for if it be absurd to bow down to the picture of a king, when the king himself is present, then much more to bow down to the image of God, when God himself is present, Jer. 23.24. What is the popish religion, but a bundle of ridiculous ceremonies? (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, p. 258-259)
5. The Antichrist Sits in Rome2
The Scripture prophesies of a time of great apostasy from within the Christian Church, led by the Man of Sin (2 Thes. 2). This Man of Sin can be none other than the Pope of Rome.3 “Question: Who is the Antichrist? Answer: With all Protestants we reply: the Pope of Rome. The papists deny this strongly.” (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 2, p. 44).
Antichrist sits in her, the author of the great apostasy described by the apostle in 2 Thess. 2 who, under the pretext of a vicar, professing himself be in the place of Christ (anti christou), by impiously usurping the authority of the Lord betrays himself to be really Antichrist (antichriston), the rival of him and an opposing and self-exalting enemy (antikeimenon, kai, hyperairomenon) who, sitting in the temple of God as if he were God, exalts himself above all that is called God (to wit, emperors, kings and princes of the earth, and departed saints in heaven) and shows himself that he is God. That all these criteria of Antichrist can be found in the Roman pope can easily be gathered from a comparison of both, as has been proved at length in our Disputation 7, De Necessaria Secessione, Opera (1848), 4:147-77. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)
The spirit of Antichrist was already at work in the time of the Apostles, producing many lesser antichrists. Thus John:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:18-19)
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:2-4)
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7)
As we can see, Antichrist is always characterized by heresy and apostasy. Paul intimates the same thing in 2 Thess 2. This spirit of apostasy is that Mystery of Iniquity which conceives and brings forth Antichrist (opposed to that Mystery of Godliness by which Christ was incarnated into the world). Paul speaks of the Man of Sin the leader of the great apostasy and taking his seat in the temple of God. Preterists say this temple is the physical temple in Jerusalem, but we deny, for this is cannot be maintained. In all of the letter’s of Paul, the temple of God4 refers to the Church. Thus:
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19-21)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?(1 Corinthians 3:16)
The opinion that the temple of apostate Judaism as the temple of God cannot be maintained. By the time of Nero, Israel was long since apostate, and the temple but a lingering shadow of the Old Testament. How can Nero “fall away” (2 Thess. 2) if he never had anything to do with the faith of God to begin with? Thus the opinion of the Jesuits of old and the Preterists of late that Nero was the Man of Sin is without ground to stand on.
By this apostasy cannot be meant (1) political defection from the Roman Empire, instead of a spiritual and ecclesiastical defection from the faith of Christ. Neither the words nor the adjuncts by which it is described allow this. Not the words because as often as the Scripture of the New Testament uses the word apostasias or the verb aphistēmi, it denotes a defection from the faith (Acts 21:21; 1 Tim. 4:1). Not the adjuncts because it treats of a defection which is connected with miracles of lying and all the seductions of iniquity (2 Thess. 2:9, 10), which the mystery of iniquity works (v. 7), which exertss itself by the efficacy of error, that they who are unwilling to believe the truth may believe a lie (v. 11). Hence it is elsewhere described by defection from the faith, by attention given to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils and by spiritual fornication and adultery (Rev. 17:2, 4); or idolatry, by which the bond of God’s marriage with the church is sundered. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 76)
We believe that the office of the Papacy is the Antichrist, and not only a particular individual Pope. Just as the office of Christ is a perpetual office, so is the office of Antichrist. The fact that the office of Antichrist is occupied by a succession of men is only further proof that it is indeed anti-Christ. Whereas one Man, Jesus Christ, remains for ever in the office of Christ and true head of the Church, many men attempt to usurp Christ’s place as the sole Head of the Church, showing further how contrary the office of the Papacy is to Christ. But this man [Jesus], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (Heb. 7:24)
“Consider, concerning Antichrist, Though we grant it that Antichrist is not an individual person, as Bellarmine and the Papists generally affirm: But the state and succession of men which with one and the self same spirit oppose Christ. 2. That the seat of this great Whore, is not, as some intimate, Constantinople; nor Jerusalem, as others affirm; but Rome that great City, that then reigned over the Kings of the earth, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. And 3. that the Antichrist is not the Turk and Mahometanism in the East, But the Pope and Papism in the West” (Jus Divinum Ministerii Evangelici, Or The Divine Right of the Gospel-Ministry, p. 47)
If the Church of Rome is headed by the Pope, and if the Pope is the Antichrist, then there can be no unity between Christians and Romanists. But the Pope indeed is the Antichrist. Christians acknowledge no head in the Church than Jesus Christ, and what union hath Christ with Antichrist? Can the body of Christ be joined to the body of Antichrist? God forbid!
6. The Church of Rome is Babylon
In the book of Revelation, the Church of Rome is called the Whore of Babylon, as the Jewish Church was often called a whore when she veered off into idolatry. The Church of Rome is the Beast of Revelation 13. Whereas the first Beast is a depiction of the Papal Roman Empire’s political dominion, the second is a depiction of its ecclesiastical dominion. And I beheld, another beast coming out of the earth, which had two horns like the Lamb, but he spake like the dragon. (Rev. 13:11, 1599 GNV)
 The second member of the vision, concerning the ecclesiastical dominion, which in Rome succeeded that which was politic, and is in the power of the corporation of false Prophets, and of the forgers of false doctrine. Wherefore the same body or corporation is called of S. John by the name of false prophet, Rev. 6:13, 19 and 20. The form of this beast is first described in this verse, then his acts, in the verses following, and the whole speech is concluded in the last verse. This beast is by his breed a Son of the earth (as they say) obscurely born, and by little and little creeping up out of his abject estate.
 That is, in show he resembled the Lamb (for what is more mild or more humble than to be the servant of the servants of God) but in deed he played the part of the Dragon, and of the Wolf, Matt. 7:15. For even Satan changeth himself into an Angel of light, 2 Cor. 11:14, and what should his honest disciples and servants do? (1599 Geneva Bible, footnotes on Revelation 13:11)
Rome is well-known as the City on Seven Hills. Thus, the Holy Ghost makes it evident that the Church of Rome is what is spoken of in Revelation. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (Rev 17:9).
“she is the mystical Babylon, from which the pious are commanded to come out (Rev. 18:4) as a most corrupt society diametrically opposed to the mystical Zion, the true church of Christ, and incompatible (asystatos) with it. Both the description of John proves and our opponents themselves do not deny that by Babylon is meant no other than Rome. John’s description (Rev. 17) belongs exactly to her alone, especially as to the two marks by which he distinguishes her: that she is a seven-hilled (eptalophos) city, who “sitteth on seven mountains” (v. 9); and that she obtains power over the kings of the earth (v. 10). It is evident that she is seven-hilled and in the time of John no other except herself was the mistress of the world, the head of the earth and the queen of nations, who on this account was called by the Greeks “the ruling city” (basileuousa polis).” (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)
In conclusion, unity between Protestants and Roman Catholics is impossible. For any Protestant who joins himself to Rome can no longer be called a Christian, let alone a Protestant. And any Romanist who adheres to Protestant doctrine is no Roman Catholic at all, and ought to heed the command of God to come out from the Roman church. If you are one who identifies as Roman Catholic, and you have found yourself in agreement with much of this article, especially the things pertaining to Scripture, the Gospel, and the mediation of Christ, then heed the command of God, and Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities (Rev. 18:4-5). If you are a Christian, and think that unity with Rome is a thing to be desired, then consider these words:
“I would consider very much with myself the greatness of the indignation of God against those that shall in the least comply with Antichristianism when it doth come upon us. In Rev. xiii. 11, there is mention of “a beast that had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (which, I think, is the pope), “and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast;” that is, he exercises a power answerable to the pagan power. And what then? Verse 16, “He caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” No matter what the mark is; but to receive any thing of him, is to receive his mark; either in our foreheads, where we shall show it unto all the world; or in our right hands, more privately, where it may be shown when opportunity serves. What then? Why, in chap. xiv. 6, 7, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” When Antichrist would bring his mark on the foreheads of the people and into their hands, God, by his gospel, calls men from their false worship and idolatry. But what if they do not obey? The 9th and 10th verses tell us a “third angel followed, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb,” etc. Some will be apt to say, “Let us make a fair composition, and use some compliance, to put an end to these disputes.” No; do it at your peril. God saith you shall drink of the wine of his wrath, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and that for ever and ever. And I believe with all my heart and soul that this will be the portion of all the men and women in this nation that shall comply with any return of antichristian idolatry among us; — God shall pour out his indignation upon them.” (John Owen, Sermons of John Owen, Sermon XII, pp. 508-509)
 We use the term Roman Catholic only colloquially. While those in the Roman Church may rightly be called Roman, we think that they are by no means Catholic (i.e., the universal Church maintaining orthodoxy). [Back to article.]
 For a fuller explanation of points 5 and 6 (which are admittedly more controversial than the others), please see Turretin’s Seventh Disputation; The Papacy is the Antichrist: A Demonstration by J.A. Wylie; The Pope of Rome is the Antichrist by Wilhelmus à Brakel; and Synopsis Papismi, that is, A Generall Viewe of Papistry by Andrew Willet. These irrefutably prove that the Papacy is the Antichrist, Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition, as Protestants have so long maintained. [Back to article.]
 The objection that the Man of Sin and Antichrist are not the same is made in vain. For just as in the prophesies concerning Christ, He is often referred to by different titles (Messiah, Immanuel, Israel, David, etc.) , so is the Antichrist. Both the Man of Sin in 2 Thes. 2 and the Antichrist in the epistles of John are characterized by apostasy, and John says that his readers had already heard of this coming Antichrist, therefore he was prophesied elsewhere in Scripture, though by different titles, as John was the only one to use the term Antichrist. [Back to article.]
 “By this one term [In the temple of God] there is a sufficient refutation of the error, nay more, the stupidity of those who reckon the Pope to be Vicar of Christ, on the ground that he has his seat in the Church, in whatever manner he may conduct himself; for Paul places Antichrist nowhere else than in the very sanctuary of God. For this is not a foreign, but a domestic enemy, who opposes Christ under the very name of Christ. But it is asked, how the Church is represented as the den of so many superstitions, while it was destined to be the pillar of the truth? (1 Timothy 3:15.) I answer, that it is thus represented, not on the ground of its retaining all the qualities of the Church, but because it has something of it remaining. I accordingly acknowledge, that that is the temple of God in which the Pope bears rule, but at the same time profaned by innumerable sacrileges.” (John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Thes. 2:4) [Back to article.]
46 thoughts on “6 Reasons Protestants and Roman Catholics Can Never Unite”
Typical Protestant revisionism and denialism and pretending the Bible is the Koran. You wouldn’t even be recognizable as Christians in the ancient Church.
I’m not sure what you’re talking about.
LikeLiked by 2 people
M is completely clueless. Pretending the bible is the Koran? What a ridiculous claim. We might as well say that Catholicism depends on the book of Mormon.
God bless you for this…..
LikeLiked by 2 people
“M” Your response of Protestantism being revisionist is ironic considering that the Roman Catholic man-made rituals and practices resemble NOTHING of the early new testament church practices recorded in Scripture which, by the way, predates the formation of the Catholic church. On another note, Matthew 23:9 says: “Do not call anyone on earth your Father; For One is your Father. He who is in heaven.” Maybe someone ought to let the pope in on that one…
My dear child protestant “did u ever seen or examine your children they will ask you so many things ,many a time they r crying,why??same thing if your mother(catholic) cannot give u a potato chips u will crying,crying,crying… .if your mother can’t give u RIDING BITE or CAR for going and have fun with your friend u will Angry,u will fire your mother n father because u want freedom of your owns will , But GOD unhappy about this.So u stayed in darkness.out of catholic church u will ask so many thing u r the anemy of your own Mother .but she never forget u.
Christ only founded one Church in 33 A.D. even the Orthodox broke with the church over the schism 1054 has since became one with Rome but the schism is still in their hearts. Then you have all the branches of Protestantism that did not even exist before the Reformers 500 years ago or sooner because you have other Protestants that did not agree with the Reformers on scripture and split again making their own church today their are 32000 different Protestant denominations each claiming to be lead by the Holy Spirit and scripture but can not agree on what scripture says. The bible states the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) so they cannot all be right. If you look at the history their is only one that is over 2000 years old and dates back to the time of Christ and that is the Roman Catholic Church. So as a Protestant convert with two Protestant Rev. in my family.
The choice was easy to convert to Roman Catholicism even more so after I realised that the Roman Catholic Church put together the New Testament Canon of scripture as we know it today. Unity in the Church (1 Corinthians 1: 10-17) 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been signified unto me, my brethren, of you, by them that are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul then crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I give God thanks, that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Caius; 15 Lest any should say that you were baptized in my name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanus; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.
Peter and the Papacy | Catholic Answers
LikeLiked by 3 people
The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Western Schism
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Eastern Schism
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Protestantism
The Great Heresies/Catholic Answers
“The true Church is also to be recognized from her origin, which can be traced back under the law of grace to the Apostles; for her doctrine is the truth not recently given, nor now first heard of, but delivered of old by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the entire world. Hence no one can doubt that the impious opinions which heresy invents, opposed as they are to the doctrines taught by the Church from the days of the Apostles to the present time, are very different from the faith of the true Church.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
“It should not be deemed a matter of surprise that the Church, although numbering among her children many sinners, is called holy. For as those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St. Paul. calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and also charged with grosser crimes. The Church is also to be called holy because she is united to her holy Head, as His body; that is, to Christ the Lord, the fountain of all holiness, from whom flow the graces of the Holy Spirit and the riches of the divine bounty… Moreover, the church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice, and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are the efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. The Church, therefore, it is clear, is holy, and holy because she is the body of Christ, by whom she is sanctified, and in whose blood she is washed.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
If the doctrines of Protestantism were true, then you would see the Christian writings in the 12th century on the “sinners prayer”, in the 8th century you would see writings of sola fide or faith alone, in the 3rd century you would see writings of sola scriptura or Bible alone. None exists to this day.
By the beginning of the 2nd century we have words like: Catholic, sacraments, and Eucharist. The Catholic Church follows the Traditions handed down to Her whether written or through word.
Protestants tend to skip over 1,500 years and go right to the Bible, claiming that their doctrines are true, yet no writings for 1,500 can be found. Whereas Catholics can trace their lineage back to the apostles. Common doctrines held by some Evangelical Protestants did not exist before Martin Luther and the Reformation, such as sola scriptura and sola fide.
Catholics do have a personal relationship with Christ we have a true relationship with Him for we have the Eucharist which is His Body blood soul and divinity.
Protestants have a made up relationship.They say read the Bible but under whose guidance? The Holy Spirit? Then why does Calvin and Luther disagree? Why does John Wesley and John Smyth disagree?
Protestants can’t prove their teachings from the early Christians to Martin Luther. They are following a man made religion or a man made view of Jesus. This is why we have so many people who like to protest and start a new community with different views about Jesus and the Apostles teachings.
Christ established ONE church with ONE set of beliefs (Eph. 4:4-5).
He did not establish numerous churches with contradictory beliefs. To see which is in fact the true church we must look to the one that has an unbroken link, historical link to the church of the New Testament. Catholics are able to show such a link.
We trace our leaders, the bishops back through time, bishop by bishop, all the way to the Apostles, and they show that the pope is lineal successor to Peter, who was the first bishop of Rome. Same thing is true of Catholic beliefs and practices.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:17-19
“The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” Lk 10:16
Every time Protestants disagree over scripture interpretation they just found another church, as if Christ is divided. “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ” (1 Cor 1:10-17) A Church Divided Over Leaders
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasb ”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Eph 2:19-22
LikeLiked by 1 person
The Protestant’s doctrine is absolutely true because it is solely of the perfectly eternally true Holy Scripture and is intended to have the true believers center and focus their faith and lives in God and His Holy Scripture by the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Confused Christians say the Bible is all we need, not the Pope, not the Church! But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches us and shows us that the Church came before the Bible. After all, what books did Jesus write? None! Jesus deliberately chose NOT to write. Instead He chose to establish a Church to teach in His name! That church is the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church teaches both the Bible and Church are necessary and one cannot exist without the other. Here are some questions non-Catholics must consider…
(1) The Bible was not put under one cover until 397 AD at the Council of Carthage. It took a monk 10 months to hand copy the Bible. Prior to the Bible being put under one cover, who was the authority figure for the early church? Remember, the Bible did not exist as we know it today. There is NO denying the fact that authority was the church–not the Bible.
(2) How did the early Christians each own a Bible if the printing press wasn’t developed until the 1500’s? Even after the printing press was developed how many Christian could afford to own a Bible?
(3) Why does JESUS state the final authority is the church in Matthew 18:15-17?
(4) Where in the Bible does it state that the “Bible” is the only authority for Christians?
(5) How did the majority of the people who were uneducated read the Bible prior to 1500 and even to this day?
(6) What is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15)?
(7) What books of the Bible did Jesus write?
(8) Where in the Bible does Jesus command the Apostles to write?
(9) How do you know that your interpretation of the Bible is correct?
(10) How did the Bible know what books to include under its cover?
The only logical conclusion is that the Bible as our only guide is unbiblical!! The Church came first!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
When did Jesus establish His Church? Jesus establishes His church when He states the following in Mt. 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Let us look at several verses that state that Jesus established a teaching Church not a Bible reading Church.
(Mt. 28-19) Jesus states – Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
(Mk. 16-15) Jesus states – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and PREACH the gospel to every creature.
(Mk 16-20) – And they went forth, and PREACHED everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
The apostles did not read from the New Testament, which was yet to be written, instead they taught by “word of mouth” and by tradition, as shown in the following verses:
(2 Thes. 2-15) – Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
(2 Tim. 2-2) – And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Where did the Bible come from? The Bible came from the Catholic Church. The New Testament was put under one cover in 397 A.D. this was decided at the Council of Carthage. Prior to this date the different books of the Bible were not under one cover, but they were scattered in different places. So this means, that for over three hundred years the members of the early church were taught be means of tradition because the Bible as we know it did not exist.
Who decided what books belong in the Bible? The Catholic Church thoroughly examined all the books that were in question to be used in the New Testament and it was the Catholic Church that decided what books were inspired and which were not. Catholic monks spent their lives copying scripture over and over again until printing was developed in 1440 AD. So this means that for over 1,400 years the Church taught the members by tradition. Even after the invention of printing, it was far too expensive for every member of a household to own a Bible. John Gutenberg printed the first edition of the Catholic Bible.The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the first major book printed using mass-produced movable type. It marked the start of the “Gutenberg Revolution” and the age of the printed book in the West. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status. Written in Latin, the Catholic Gutenberg Bible is an edition of the Vulgate. It wasn’t until 1534, that Luther’s translation of the Bible appeared.
Where does it say in the Bible that the Bible is the only authority? It doesn’t! Nowhere in the Bible does the Bible say that it is the only source of information available to a Christian. A matter of fact, the Bible states that we must look to the Church for the proper interpretation. After all, the Bible cannot interpret itself, can it? Let look at some verses that show us that private interpretation is frowned upon.
(2 Peter 1-20) – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
(2 Peter 3-16) – As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
(Acts 8-30) – And Philip ran thither to him, and read him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some men should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Then who is the teacher of the Scriptures? The Holy Spirit, acting through the Catholic Church. The reason why there are so many non-Catholic churches is because there are so many different interpretations of the Bible. The Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for such mass confusion. There is not a “universal” Protestant Church. Some Protestants believe in infant baptism while others do not. The Catholic Church, however is universal, we have one belief system, and one leader to guide us.
(Jn 14:26) – Jesus states: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
(John 16:13) – How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.
(Acts 1-8) – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. When decisions had to be made in the early Church, a council, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was gathered to decide crucial questions that needed to be answered.
(Acts 15:1-2) – When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them should go to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this questions (this verse shows that Council did not use scripture to settle this difference)
(Acts 16:4) – As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem so the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.
Protestants think Catholics act as if the Bible means nothing! Not so! The Bible is very important to the Catholic faith. The Catholic Mass is saturated with scripture. Catholics believe that the Bible is very necessary along with the teachings of the church-one cannot exist without the other.
Remember even Billy Graham said, “If it weren’t for Catholic’s the bible would not exist”. Most of the 38,000 Protestant prayer groups, not Church’s have existed less then 100 years. Not Catholicism. It was started by Jesus command in the year 33 A.D. on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon it.
Even Wikipedia knows that the Catholic Church is the only church that is over 2000 years old and has Jesus Christ himself as founder. It is the will of man and history is to the reason why we have so meany churches today, not the will of God. God himself only founded one church and that was the Catholic Church man founded the rest. Look up schism, Reformation, and Reformers. All Protestant churches loosely based there interpretation of scripture on the Reformers therefore they reach following a man made religion. The Catholic Church has scripture and Apostolic Tradition that has been passed down straight from Christ and the Apostles themselves to present day. Catholic Church / Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church
Reblogged this on Datum Amore Ad Defendendum.
JESUS==================== JESUS===================ONE WAY============JESUS=========I AM THE WAY================== JESUS================I AM THE TRUTH=============NO ONE ON ONE NO ONE I REPEAT NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME====== I REPEAT== ======== BUT BY
ONE WAY =====JESUS (song) JESUS IS THE CENTER OF MY LIFE IN YOUR PRESENCE!!! I SEE THE CROSS!!! IN CHRIST ALONE!!! HOW GREAT THOU ART!!! NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!!!
NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!!!! DARLING OF HEAVEN!!! CRUCIFIED!!! FOR YOU & ME HALLELUJAH!!! AMEN!!!
LETS ALL PRAISE HIM & HIM JESUS CHRIST, OUR ONLY DARLING OF HEAVEN, GAVE (CROSS) BLOOD & LIVING WATERS GUSHING WATERS FLOWING OUT FOR YOU & ME!!!! LETS ALL RECEIVE HIS SHALOM
BLESSINGS!!! ALL AS ONE UNITED BEING IN CHRIST JESUS!!! LOVING SAVIOR!!!
Okay, I’m not even Roman Catholic but…
1. They deny the exclusivity of scripture, not its sufficiency. Bread and water are sufficient to survive, but just as God did not intend us to all be ascetic in our consumption of food, neither did he intend this Protestant (mostly Reformed) asceticism that starves the faith.
2. Yes, they do. So does scripture. If all that was necessary was faith then you would not live to walk in good works.
3. Again the question is not sufficiency, it is exclusivity. Roman Catholics and Orthodox agree that the only intercession needed is Christ’s, yet even you would agree that we are to pray for one another and John Knox believed those in heaven pray for us on earth as well. He called these two things the “dignity of participation.” God doesn’t need our participation, but it is good for us and good for each other to be builded up this way.
4. This is a base misunderstanding. The veneration (dulia) that we give to icons and Saints is part of the worship (latria) we afford to God. You would agree it is worshipful of God to respect our parents, and steals no glory from Him, yes? The same concept applies.
5 and 6 are conjecture and “above all else we affirm that there is no private interpretation of prophecy.” <— Supposedly sola scriptura and you don't even take Peter's advice.
LikeLiked by 2 people
[…] an example, my attention was recently brought to this article on Purely Presbyterian: 6 Reasons Protestants and Roman Catholics Can Never Unite. The reasons given in this post would be accepted by many Protestants as a reason to not […]
[…] my last post, here are my responses to the other 4 reasons why Catholics and Protestants supposedly cannot at all reunite. I think type A unity, explained in the last post, is a minimum requirement to […]
Better than you anyway
Rome is a cult no different than Watchtower or Mormonism. The free gospel of Christ is replaced with the bondage to works.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That’s a factual comment.
This article has caused a little bit of a stir. There have even been some articles written in response to it. I would respond to those, but I don’t really have the time to.
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] many modern Evangelicals even want to see unity between Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics.1 While such a desire may seem well-intentioned on the surface, we need to examine whether this is […]
It is bullshit,because love is universe. Please read 1 Corinthian 13.
It’s difficult see how there can be unity between Catholics and Protestant Christian denominations after reading the article itself and the comments. It would seem that we can’t even agree on the origins and importance of the bible itself.
We need to bear in mind (with an open mind) the things that Jesus himself taught. ie: call no man Father for you have one Father in Heaven (therefore don’t call priests father) You are to be a Royal Priesthood (meaning ALL Christians) so having priests(RC) or even ministers (other denominations) is not what Jesus wanted/wants. He also says that his words will be written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit….this does not take away the role of teachers in the Church anymore than parents in a family or educators in general but it questions the need to compile the ‘Bible’ into a collection of 66 books at all (to limit what God wants to say to us)
The Faith and works problem should also not be an issue as we are to be like Christ and do the things we see the Father do…the works of him who sent Christ. ‘No man comes to the Father (God) unless it is through me( Jesus) which means not through the Pope nor the Archbishop of Canterbury nor any other man. Jesus says ‘my grace is sufficient for you…my grace, not scripture’.
Two last things to think about : ‘the scriptures’ in Jesus time was the law (which he fulfilled without taking away from it’s importance in showing us that we have fallen short of the glory of God)) and scripture also referred to the teachings of the Jewish Rabbis which would now include the Talmud …..but Jesus does away with all that because the is the ‘Living Word’ we miss this when we substituted theology and dead text for a living relationship with a living God. To my mind the greatest sticking point to unity between Catholics and Protestants in the worship of Mary the mother of Jesus. Firstly she was a virgin when Jesus was conceived in her but afterwards she lost her virginity and had several more children with Joseph by normal reproductive means…so she lost her virginity and therefore can not be called Virgin Mary any longer. To elevate Jesus’s mother to the same level/status as Jesus the son of God is the worst of all idolatry and to my mind dishonouring to Mary as a simple decent girl who believed God in the face of the obvious repercussions that came against her socially and spiritually. Read the Gospels for yourselves and see how Jesus dealt with religious leaders and teachers of the law in his time on earth …then apply it to both Catholic and Protestant churches today as a kind of Litmus test…. imagine what he would say to them now. In one sense they are both already unified in many errors …and although Luthers edicts did a lot to restore correct thinking in Christianity the reformation didn’t go far enough, it didn’t strip enough of the religious shackles off the Christian believer and may well have substituted the Holy Bible for the Holy Mother as an object of Idol worship. God is always bigger than the boxes we would like to put him in and his love transcends all barriers including doctrines and religion. We all ready have unity for we are ALL sinners in need of his saving grace and healing love.
You cite the 2nd commandment. Then why do you keep Sunday instead of Saturday Sabbath? Protestants keep Sunday as you pay homage to the Catholic church. The 10 commandments said.. Remember the Seventh day to keep it Holy.. not Sunday
As it is of the law of nature that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him (Exod 20:8, 10-11; Isa 56:2, 4, 6-7): which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week (Gen 2:2-3; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2), which in Scripture is called the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10), and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath (Exod 20:8, 10 with Mat 5:17-18).
Here is an article about that: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/05/09/edwards-sabbath/
Yall think we’re going to accept the doctrine of Purgatory?
I have read this and i would like to suggest something. Yes the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church clame to be 2000 years old. Yes the New testament was complied nearly 300 uears after Christ assendes. But what if we are all wronf and the true believers are Messianic Jews. The old testement has been around longer. Yeshua came to fufill the law not do away with it. If that is the case then all of the christian seremonies are wrong. In the Torah God told us what feast days He wanted observed. No were in the bible do you find the celebration of Christmas or Easter. So again could it be that Messianic Jewsn have it right? If its a matter of History and how old something is. The Apostles were celebrating jewish feasts, the early church met in houses but were still foing to Shabbat worship on the seventh day.
I offer an historical perspective on the history of the Roman Catholic Church. it was built on the conviction and martyrdom of its early believers. But over time, its successors who ruled from Rome lost all sense of righteousness.
The greed of the Church is beyond dispute. By the late middle ages, it owned one-third of all the land in Europe. Some of it was acquired by inquisitions where a wealthy family in particular might be targeted by Church spies as “heretical”. Those accused were subjected to torture which made the Nazi death camps look like picnics. The inquisitors specialized in psychological and physical brutality of incredible savagery. Those accused had no right to cross-examine the witnesses used against them. Once found guilty, the victim was often burned at the stake and his property taken by the Church. While the Protestant Church is not entirely innocent of such dealings, the magnitude of its sins pales by comparison.
By the time of Martin Luther, the Roman Church was steeped in cronyism where power was often distributed among friends and family members. It maintained the practice of indulgences which allowed the wealthy to literally buy its way out of sin, something not so available to the poor. The vast land holdings of the Church, the overall wealth and lavish lifestyle of the Vatican, its favoritism toward its financial backers and the feudal nobility, can be argued was a Church wedded to secular power, and not the spiritual.
The conquest of the New World, in which hundreds of thousands of Indians were either massacred or condemned to slavery, was done with the blessing of the Roman Church. In the twentieth century, Latin America was faced with the problem of future population explosions. Did the Church approve and espouse birth control which would have been in those nations’ interest? No, it did what was in its interest. And that was to outlaw contraception in order to swell the ranks of its followers. Good for the Church, but not mankind. The consequence was exacerbated poverty.
Finally, the longstanding and widespread outrage of Catholic priests sodomizing children. The lawful and righteous course would have been to have the violators arrested and put on trial. But the Church did the opposite. It whitewashed and hid the ongoing criminality to preservie its false sense of honor.
As a Protestant and student of history, it’s no understatement to condemn the Catholic Church as Babylon and pagan. It departed from scripture at whim. It multiplied injustice, rather than stamping it out. It was devoted to its own selfish comfort at the exponse of others. It was an institution bent on asserting its control over men, making use of war, torture and spiritual threats to achieve that end. When you view the Church on the basis of its historical legacy, it is an institution of sheer evil.
The Catholic Church further compromises its integrity by the tradition of confession, that if a man confesses his sins, there is foregiveness. Nothing could be more accomodating to the Don Corleones of this world. By contrast, Protestants do not view God as so forgiving. Sin cannot be washed away by mere admission to it. God is seen as vengeful upon the injust. You cannot beg and pray your way out of punishment. In my opinion, this view of the Almighty favors more righteous behaviour. The true Protestant walks a tighter, more righteous path because his fear of God’s punishment inspires him to do so. By contrast, the Catholic Church promotes bad behaviour by providing the confessional weasel hole for the unrighteous to flee into. It is a recipe for corruption.
You have a perverse mind, looking upon truth and seeing the opposite. No, the Confessional provides no endorsement to sin; rather, it is Protestantism’s doing away with the Confessional that encourages sin! It takes considerable humility to confess one’s sins to another human being, who does not know them. Confessing directly to God is nothing, for God already knows your sins. This notion of forgiveness of sin without Confession is blasphemous, and antithetical to the Gospel, for it is written, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” Yet the efficacy of Confession is conditioned on repentance. If Don Corleone goes to Confession, the priest must command him to cease and desist his crimes, and if he does not give a firm commitment to abandon his life of crime effective immediately, the priest must withhold absolution. Yet, you who deny that Confession and repentance is sufficient to obtain forgiveness of sins teach a salvation by works and not by faith. You exchange the righteousness of Christ for that of the Pharisees.
And birth control? The Church approves of the only Bible-approved means of birth control: self-control, whether for a time or for life. You condemn us for condemning sorcery, as the Scriptures command us to. Filthy hypocrite! The unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God! Even Martin Luther called Onan “an incorrigible scoundrel” because he took his brother’s wife and used her for pleasure, but perversely spilled his seed on the ground rather than raise up offspring for his brother. If people feel their nation is overpopulated, let them take vows of celibacy, making themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. It is right and noble to take a vow of celibacy, but let all considering doing so count the cost, for once you take it, it is binding for life, for God will not hold guiltless him who takes His Name in vain. Save yourself from this wicked and perverse generation that swears marriage oaths before God, but pollutes the marriage bed with contraceptives, which the Bible calls sorcery.
Of course we deny that salvation is by faith alone: The Bible says salvation is NOT by faith alone. It is written, “See that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
Neither can you accuse us of adding books to the Bible, for we, not you, have the authority to declare what is and is not Scripture, for it is written, “You know how to behave in the House of the Living God, which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.” You are therefore guilty of subtracting from the Scriptures, because you deny the inspiration of the Deuterocanonical Books.
You yourself make a mockery of the charge of equating the saints with Christ, because you pray for one another, and thereby act as mediators. If you do not, you sin all the more, because you show a lack of love, and it is written, “If any man says he loves God, but hates his brother, he is a liar.” And the Lord Himself said, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in their midst.”
The Pope is not the Antichrist, for it is written, “Who is antichrist but one who denies that Christ Jesus came in the Flesh?” The Popes have always adamantly insisted upon the reality of the Incarnation.
Concerning images, indeed, no image was revealed at Horeb, but our covenant was not ratified at Horeb, but rather at Calvary. We most definitely did see an image at Calvary: Christ and Him Crucified!
The problem with so much of this is that it ignores basic words in the bible and puts its own interpretation on it. Take for example where scripture mentions the ‘word’ for instruction or ‘tradition’. The evangelicals say it means the ‘word’ as written down in scripture but there was a strong oral tradition in the early church and not everything that was preached on under the power of the Holy Spirit was necessarily written down. It is the same with tradition. (It says in the gospels that there was so much that Jesus did and said that it was not possible to record it all). In any case the Holy Spirit is so important not only for revelation and understanding of the scriptures in the Bible but also for interpretation of scripture. One of the weakest protestant arguments that Luther came up with was sola scriptura which is by scripture alone. The problem with this is the scripture without the Holy Spirit can be a dead letter and can be interpreted differently or incorrectly. In reality what you have isn’t the Bible as final authority but the person who interprets it, hence all the different denominations.
Papist tradition contradicts scripture.
why six when one is more than sufficient :-)
This article is very interesting
Which law did Roman Catholic change (Daniel 7:25) then since they are the Antichrist/beast
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
[…] Preložené z: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/07/29/6-reasons-protestants/ […]
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very good article and I agree with all 6 points of why Protestants and Roman Catholics could never unite. I am a former Roman catholic and have been a Presbyterian now for almost 10 years. I have renounced all Roman catholic teachings which contradict the scriptures. I am now convinced and believe it is by Grace alone we are saved,and that grace opens us to have faith alone in Christ alone which is the true message of the Gospel of salvation. It is Scripture alone which is our only and final authority, not the pope of Rome or any man, only Jesus Christ heads His church. I believe all praise and glory belongs to God alone and not Mary or the Roman Catholic saints. I am now completely Protestant in doctrine and conviction. I also think The Roman Catholic view of Justification and the Protestant view is a strong dividing line between being RC and Protestant.I also now believe that the way that I understand the Gospel is that we are saved by faith alone apart from any works. I think that is the way that the Gospel needs to be preached and understood. In my notes I wrote a paper last year on the subject called “The Roman Catholic view of Justification and the Protestant view is a strong dividing line between being RC and being Protestant”
I realize now as an ex Roman catholic that I was brainwashed with teachings which were not biblical and defied the true message of salvation. I found tonight the following list of verses about being saved by faith. I took note that faith and works are contrasted. In other words, we are saved by faith “not by works” and “apart from works”, etc. The point is that there are only two options. We are saved by faith alone or we are not. Since we have faith and works (both conceptually and in practice), then we are either saved by faith alone or by faith and works. There is no other option.
If we see that the scriptures exclude works in any form as a means of our salvation, then logically, we are saved by faith alone. I took a look at what the Bible says about faith and works. Last year we did a study of Romans in our bible class. Saved by faith alone is all throughout Romans. Roman Catholicism uses as the argument for faith and works James statement in James 2:24 I also looked again at James’ statement about “faith alone” which was always used by the RCC as an argument against the Protestant doctrine of Justification by faith alone and I will state what I believe is the misinterpretation Rome gives or implies with James.
Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”
Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
Gal. 3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9 Not by works, lest any man should boast.”
Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Again, works/Law is contrasted with faith repeatedly and we are told that we are not justified by works in any way. Therefore, we are made right with God by faith, not by faith and our works; hence, faith alone. James 2:24, not by faith alone…..or the misinterpretation Rome gives. The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross. This faith alone saves us. However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us not to show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ). In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith, a faith that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement, a public confession of the mind, and is not heart-felt. It is empty of life and action. He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions). Then he shows that type of faith isn’t any different from the faith of demons (verse 19). Finally, he gives examples of living faith that has words followed by actions. Works follow true faith and demonstrate that faith to our fellow man, but not to God. In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:20). But, he is not contradicting the verses above that says salvation/justification is by faith alone.
The Roman catholic church so sadly distorts the true message of salvation. I can now say as John says: “I confess that through my faith in Jesus Christ I have full assurance of salvation” (1 John 5:11-13). I know now “I am saved” not that I will be saved. I have renounced all the false teachings of Roman Catholicism which contradict the scriptures and I have renounced my former Roman catholic faith completely and the distorted gospel she teaches of faith and works which had lead me to almost loosing faith altogether. Like the Reformers who were at one time like me also Roman catholic , I also renounce the pope of Rome for I believe only Jesus Christ heads His church. As a Reformed Protestant I subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith as my guide to what we believe as Reformed Protestants to what the scriptures teach. I left the Roman catholic church in 2006 and searched all major Protestant denominations for 4 years; in 2010 I made a decision to become a Presbyterian. I made made my affirmation of faith as a Presbyterian before the congregation on October 24th 2010 , the Sunday before Reformation Sunday. I am happy today and have peace of mind as a Reformed Protestant and a member of the Presbyterian Church. I thank God that by His grace alone and by reading the scriptures my eyes were opened to the truth. ~ Dudley A Davis Jr.
[…] English: 6 Reasons Protestants and Roman Catholics Can Never Unite […]