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The Difference Between Catholicism and Christianity

Question: What is the difference between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity?

Answer: Catholicism and Biblical Christianity are divergent religions. They are built on different foundations, and they propose different ways of salvation.

In principle, Christianity is built solely on the Holy Scriptures, the written Word of God. The Bible is our only infallible rule of faith, being sufficient to give us the sure knowledge of the Gospel for our salvation and holiness.

Roman Catholicism demands submission of the intellect and will to the doctrines taught by the Roman magisterium (the Pope and bishops). It is claimed that the Catholic Church derives its doctrines from the "sacred deposit" found in Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. However the faithful cannot verify these doctrines by referring to the original sources. The Scriptures are inaccessible because only the magisterium is able to establish the authentic meaning. Similarly the contents of Sacred Tradition can only be known through the magisterium. Roman Catholicism is mental and spiritual slavery to the Vatican.

As expected, since the foundations are different, so also are the edifices built upon them. Christianity stands on the Gospel of God's sovereign grace. In love, God predestines His chosen ones to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, their sole mediator. The Son became man and gave His life as a ransom to secure their freedom from sin. Being dead in sin, they are completely unable to convert ourselves or merit God's favour. Therefore God graciously grants His people repentance and faith to turn to Him and trust in Christ Jesus for salvation. Believers are accepted in Christ, solely on the merit of His righteousness and blood, and not because of any goodness or human merit. God also resides in His people by the Holy Spirit, enabling them to obey and glorify the Father, and to guarantee their inheritance in heaven forever.

Rome's "gospel" is not good news at all. The Roman institution, calling itself "The Church", usurps Christ's mediatorial office, proclaiming herself as the "sacrament of salvation." The "Church" dispenses salvation to her faithful in small portions, starting at baptism and continuing throughout life. Forgiveness can only be obtained through the sacrament of penance. The benefits of Christ's sacrifice are accessible through the sacrifice of the Mass. Instead of teaching the faithful to rest in Christ by faith, Catholics are taught to perform religious works to "merit grace" and to do penance to make satisfaction. Even after death, Catholics remains dependent on the "Church" to relieve their suffering in Purgatory by masses and indulgences.

The Roman Catholic Church is a mighty obstacle to anyone seeking salvation, enslaving millions of people to a religious system and preventing them from coming directly to Christ.

The choice is between the Bible and the Roman magisterium; the choice is between salvation by grace through faith in Christ, or through human merit and effort in the Roman religion.

Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes. < BACK TO Q&A