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Are Catholics Christians?

Posted by truthtalklive on January 23, 2008

The Pope’s recent edict on the Catholic Church being the “one true church” has created a lot of backlash. What do you think? Are we “lost” or are they? Todays program is a “best-of”‘ so don’t worry about calling in. However, you can still post your comments here.

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24 Responses to “Are Catholics Christians?”

  1. CarGuy37 said

    What kind of question is, “Are we “lost” or are they?” How terribly divisive!

    All I know is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; nobody comes to the Father but through Him. I don’t care if you’re Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, an atheist (or anything else), Jesus is Lord. Believe on Him and you will be saved.

    So to answer the ridiculous question above, “this is not an either-or proposition, but rather whether or not Jesus is your Savior.” If God required perfect theology as a prerequisite for eternal life, than no one would be in Heaven.

  2. jAsOn said

    CarGuy37,

    It isn’t such a terible question, unreasonably provocative…I don’t know, but it is a question that has been asked for nearly 500 years now.

    Divisive, yes b/c the gospel of God’s Word divides believers and unbelievers. As I have said in other threads, the real issues btw Roman Catholics and Protestants are over sola scriptura and sola fide…if one gets the first wrong he will probably err on the second, if one gets the second wrong then he errs to the destruction of his soul.

    To simply ask the question is not necessarily to answer it in the negative. I, as I believe those who ask it, know that there are those who are members of the Roman Catholic Church who are among the redeemed, but I also know that if one dies denying sola fide as presented by the Protestant Reformers, then he dies in Adam and proceeds to Hell.

  3. stephenspivey said

    Catholics, Baptist, Methodist, etc.. are not Christians! All of the above tag lines are just descriptions of how most people choose to worship or in the worst case choose to hide. A name does not describe your relationship with God. It is the piercing call of God in a man’s heart that gives him the saving knowledge of Christ.

    Yes there are certain “Denominations” in the Christian faith that have it wrong! But as God says himself only He knows the heart of a man. We as “CHRISTIANS” need to approach the wrong in a gentle but firm manor. Seek them first by praying… getting in the word… and then talking w/ them.

  4. jAsOn said

    Stephen,

    I agree with some of what you said, but this, “All of the above tag lines are just descriptions of how most people choose to worship or in the worst case choose to hide.”

    Those are not JUST descriptions of different forms of worship, there are a variety of doctrinal differnces in those “tags”, differences which no one should argue are serious enough to cause seperation. Perhaps when you said “worship” you weren’t speaking only of worship format or liturgy, but maybe you were speaking of worship as all the things that make those denominations different, including doctrine?

  5. CarGuy37 said

    …but I also know that if one dies denying sola fide as presented by the Protestant Reformers, then he dies in Adam and proceeds to Hell.

    My exaggerated tone aside, that’s exactly what I was saying.

  6. Ray said

    Doctrine is very important! Remember, there is one thing that grace does NOT cover and that is deception. Mat 7:22. The last days are characterized by deception, that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. We must take Gods Word as our final authority. And any religion that does not, should be avoided. And not only avoided, but contended against to save the souls of men.

  7. Chris Heath said

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Article 2

    Paragraph 1989

    The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel:”Repent, for the Kingdom of heavan is at hand.” Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness of sins,
    but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.

    The Cathlic Church does believe in Justification through faith in Jesus Christ for our Salvation but there must be a converson as the Catechism teaches.

  8. Dan said

    To find the answer one must look to God’s word. What does it show? In the old testament how many different denominations with differing beliefs about God were there in the nation of Israel? ONE; they either served God HIS way or they did not. They were ONE nation united in serving God with one united belief.

    Moses told them, “The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other. If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” – Deut 4:39-40

    Instead of practicing the pure worship of the one true God however, most of the Israelites became apostates, worshipers of idol gods. (Jeremiah 17:13; 19:5) Because of this, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, and many Jews were deported to Babylon. A faithful remnant returned to Jerusalem 70 years later and began building a second temple for God’s worship. But as time passed, the majority of the Jews apostatized and eventually split up into various sects.

    Then the messiah came and thus christianity. Most of the apostate Jews rejected him and his teachings. The first century christians practiced the united, pure worship of the one true God, in keeping with Jesus’ words to a non-Jewish woman, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24.

    True Christianity means united worship of the one God, the Father, through the one Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus told his disciples: “Your Leader is one, the Christ.”—Matthew 23:10.

    Early Christianity was not meant to break up into separate sects. In praying to his Father, Christ asked that his disciples might “all be one.” (John 17:21) His disciples were to ‘have love among themselves.’ (John 13:35) This excluded any divisive forming of sects.

    That fact gives the lie to theories expounded by many historians and theologians concerning different types of Christianity. They speak of “Jewish Christianity” (supposedly defended by James, Peter and John) as opposed to “Gentile Christianity” (said to be defended by Paul). They refer to “Johannine [John’s] theology” and “Pauline [Paul’s] theology,” claiming that Christianity would never have spread worldwide if Paul had not completely transformed it. Such theories are set forth by men who either have no faith in Christianity or accept as normal Christendom’s being divided into hundreds of churches and sects. Paul himself fought against any tendency to follow men, and stated: “There should not be divisions among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-15; 3:3-5)

    Under divine inspiration Paul listed “division” and “dissension” among “the works of the flesh” and that “anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.

    It is quite plain that true Christianity cannot be divided into denominations and sects. There cannot be coexistent schools of thought within the Christian congregation. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “ I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of ONE mind, UNITED in thought and purpose.1 Corinthians 1:10.

  9. Angie said

    The catholic faith believes in working for your salvation. We are saved through faith by the cross. This is not what they teach. But you can’t really say all catholics are not Christian. Just as someone can call themselves a Christian and attend a baptist church and not really be a christian. The problem is that every denomination has their own definition of what a christian is. I don’t care what church you attend. If you ask someone if they are a christian, most will say yes but if you ask them what the definition of a christian is, you will get many different answers. A christian is someone that believes in justification by faith by Jesus atoning work on the cross where he died for our sins, was buried and arose forever paying the penalty for our sins. If you don’t believe that, you are not a christian no matter what faith you are. It is not asking Jesus into your heart, repenting of your sins, joining a church or eating a wafer. It is putting your faith in the God of the universe that came to earth as a man, died a brutal death on a cross, was buried three days but arose victorious and is now sitting on the right hand of the Father. It is finished! Your sins are forgiven, past, present and future.

  10. jAsOn said

    Dan,

    Are you actually suggesting there is a “denomination” (Roman CAtholicism perhaps) which has ALL doctrine onwhich they have officially spoken correct, and that all its members are united on these dictrines?

  11. Brother Malachi said

    I’m not sure why my comments aren’t posting to the Darwinism discussion, but I wanted to point out that it’s “INTELLIGENT design” not “INTELLEGENT”

  12. Dan said

    jAsOn asked, “Are you actually suggesting there is a “denomination” (Roman CAtholicism perhaps) which has ALL doctrine onwhich they have officially spoken correct, and that all its members are united on these dictrines?”

    Jason,
    God’s word teaches that unity is a requirement among true christians. Catholicism is out…it’s members cant even agree on basic things like abortion, contraception, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, priesthood celibacy…etc. Can you name a christian denomination that is completely unified, in complete agreement in their beliefs on these things?

  13. Ray said

    Chris heath quoted the catholic catechism. This is a spiritually dangerous practice. It is Gods Word that is the sword of the spirit. To define “Christians” we should look to Gods Word and see who were called “christian” and how did they believe. This clears up any confusion.

  14. jAsOn said

    I agree with you about RCs, and it is true of any denom.

    There is no denom. that has all doctrines correct and whose members live in perfect unity b/c no individual in those denoms have it all right. The passages to which you are refering are imperative and not indicative; perhaps you may be confusing Law and Gospel–the Law being all that God commands, and the Gospel being Christ fullfiling all those commands perfectly and on the behalf of everyone who will believe. Augustines distinction between the visible and invisible church is helpful here.

    Bear in mind that “non-denominational churches” and “independant” churches are also “denominational” in essence. Maybe I just don’t understand the point you were making.

    Ray,

    I don’t agree with the RC catachism b/c I think they are apostate as an institution, but it is not wrong to adopt creeds or confessions or catachisms. The presbyterian church has the Westminster confession of faith, and the Reformed Baptists have the 1689 London Baptist Confession; you see, as soon as you start to interpret God’s Word, you have begun to make a “confession’ about what you think it means. Excluding what RCs may think, Pres and Bapt don’t hold their confessions or catechisms to be as authoritative as the Word, but that they do contain the Word of God…that is why they are helpful.

  15. Ray said

    Hi Jason,
    Thanks for your reply. I didn’t say it was wrong to have a creed or catechism. In keeping with the topic, my point was that we should not be looking to catechisms to define whether Catholicism is “Christian” or not. We instead ought to look to Gods Word and see if the practices and beliefs, soundly and biblically line up. In doing so, one would clearly see Catholicism does not, thus could and should not be considered Biblical Christianity. Of course, for those of us that were raised in such a religion, delivered from it and brought into biblical Christianity, we know the difference. It is very simple if we just use our bibles.

  16. jAsOn said

    Ray,

    I see that we agree…but for those on the outside, the official documents of the institution (confessions, creeds, and catachisms) are what we have to judge its beliefs, I think that is why it was brought up.

  17. kwesi said

    I guess I fall into the same category with one of the previous post about sola fide and sola scriptura; however the twist that I add is that of solus Christus-the work of Christ alone. The significant theme is that Christ alone fulfilled the law of God, and became the propitiation for all of humanity. The fact that Martin Luther, a student of catholicism, highlighted things that he felt had been either ignored or mishandled, is an indication that something about the Catholic church was not right. From the perspective of a fellow protestor, I believe that there are churches that are supposedly Christ centered that allow the politics of positions, non-biblical traditions, and scandal, to overshadow who should be the center of their worship experience, and that is Jesus Christ. Whenever the traditions of men are considered equal to the scriptures, then there is a problem. Colossians 2:8 says, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Shalom

  18. JAsOn of 23 Jan says that “sola fide” has been around for 500 years, and that if one dies without believing in this sola fide then one will go to hell.

    But excuse me, where and when did Jesus Christ say this before He died.

    Also this-500 years would mean that from the death of Jesus Christ to 1500 or so “NO ONE BELIEVED IN SOLA FIDE”, and therefore every who died would have gone to hell, including the Mother of Jesus and the Apostles.

    On the basis of this, I would have to say that Sola Fide must be FALSE because Jesus Christ would have had to renege on His promise to send the Holy Spirit.

    Fearfully, does this mean that Sola Fide is the “unforgivable sin” that Jesus spoke about?

  19. Anonymous said

    Nick,

    I don’t think you understood. The Reformation, officially begining in 1517 with Luther, was defined by the five “solas”: sola scriptura, sola fide, sola grtia, sola Christus, & sola Dei gloria.

    Of coarse there were those who believed that men are saved by grace in Christ alone, though faith alone, but this was largely overshadowed in the middle-ages by the progressively unorthodox teachings of the ROman Catholic Church.

    Christ proclaimed the gospel through the comeing of the Kingdom, which He inaugerated by His incarnation, and God used Paul and the other Apostles to deliver His specific Word to us, and it is very clear that the NT teaches justification by grace, through faith alone. Once an institution (RC) starts to reject the idea that only the OT & NT have ultimate authority to teach is what God has said without error, then the gospel itself will soon be lost, as history testifies.

  20. Anonymous said

    That last post to Nick was posted by jAsOn…I wasn’t signed in.

  21. ADB said

    Late getting into this, but Jason made very perceptive points regarding confessions/creeds etc. Everyone has a creed or confession who believes certain things. I’ve heard some say “no creed but Christ,” but to say that really means you don’t believe anything about Christ, or believe nothing strongly enough to put it on paper. The value of writing them down is that it preserves and codifies what you believe scripture teaches. To say that creeds and confessions are illegitimate is to say that the vast, vast majority of Christians through the years have been wrong- Nicene Creed, Apostles Creed, Westminster Catechism, Augsburg Confession, London Confession, Anglican Articles of Religion, Wesley’s 24 Articles of Religion- without even thinking of any creeds of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. The preserving of confessions is very healthy as long as it is recognized that they merely reflect and codify what Scripture teaches, without being equal to scripture as a source of authority.

    Best wishes

  22. jAsOn said

    Thnaks ADB,

    Your points are also well recieved.

  23. F. L. A. said

    HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY EVERYBODY!

  24. Anonymous said

    the only thing i can tell you ALL! is there is no other GOD! only but O N E! JESUS CHRIST! OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!!!!.. BELIEVE IT! OR NOT, IT IS THE TRUTH!.. JOHN 1:1. 1TIMOTHY 3:16. 1TIMOTHY 4:10. TITUS 2:13-15. 2 peter 1:1. 1john 5:20. revelation 19:13.

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