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Who Abandoned the Apostolic Faith?

Question: You have abandoned the Roman Catholic Church. This is what the Bible says about you: "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 2:19).

Answer: The author of those words is the apostle John; "went out from us" refer to some nominal disciples who had departed from the fellowship, teaching and practice of the apostolic church. To whom then should this warning be applied today? Who is believing and acting like they did in the apostolic church? Evangelical Christians or Roman Catholics?

Have we evangelicals departed from the apostolic faith? We confess our sins directly to God as Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer. We consider the Lord's Supper a memorial, as Jesus explained; and believe that His sacrifice is finished and that there are no more offerings for sins. We rely on Jesus' shed blood for cleansing from sin. We pray to God only; we make and bow down before no graven image. We consider the Lord Jesus as our one and only mediator, and call on His name alone for salvation, calling Jesus our life and hope.

Or have you Roman Catholics departed from the apostolic faith to follow the late inventions of human traditions? You confess your sins privately to a priest even though the early Christians did not. You change the meaning of the Eucharist from a memorial feast into a daily and propitiatory sacrifice for sin. You seek to expiate your sins by your penances and purgatorial pains. You pray to dead saints and bow down before graven images, contrary to the second commandment. You consider Mary, a creature, the Mediatrix of your salvation, and call her, a creature, your life and hope.

Clearly, some "went out" from the apostolic faith and practice. The Word of God judges between us.

Dr Joseph Mizzi