Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE CHURCH OF ROME ADDS TO GOSPEL AND THUS CONTRADICTS ITS OWN BAN ON DOING THAT

Roman Catholicism says, “The Holy Catholic Church recognises that there has been no new divine revelation since apostolic times (Vatican 2, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation).

The Bible says the gospel as given to the apostles cannot be improved upon.  Hebrews 6:1 reads, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God".  The perfection is not the doctrine but following the doctrine perfectly.  The perfection is about the believer's perfection.  Jude 3 is clear that the teaching of the apostles is the faith once for all given to the Church. The Book of Revelation ends with a declaration that the word of God needs no addition or subtraction. St Augustine, a major source of infallible Catholic tradition, wrote that Jesus told the world through the prophets and the apostles all that he decided the world needed to know (Book Eleven, Chapter 3, City of God). Catholicism is against new revelations which is what she means when she says she never changes – apparitions only highlight what we are already told by the revelation that finished with the apostles. The doctrines many think are additions to the teaching of the apostles are implied by what they preached though it took time for the Church to work them out. For example, the sinless conception of Mary in her mother’s womb was contained implicitly in the revelation given by Jesus (Question 145, Radio Replies, Vol 1). Growth in understanding of a revelation is not adding to it. We recognise the traditions that give true revelation by this harmony with the Bible for there was much false tradition even in the days of the apostles.”

To explode the Roman Catholic claim that her unbiblical doctrines are not new revelations all we have to do is to show that they are not implied by the revelation of the apostles. But this implying is not of much assistance when we have so little that the apostles wrote. Forgers and disciples of the apostles wrote most of the New Testament.

The infallibly proclaimed doctrine that Mary never had original sin is not implied by revelation. The Bible didn’t mention it and tradition didn’t agree about it. There is no evidence that it was taught by the apostles. All the early Fathers took the line that Mary was conceived in original sin for she was born of sex (page 333, Vicars of Christ). And reason said the following. “The Catholic Church says that Jesus needed a sinless mother to be sinless himself. But she didn’t have a sinless mother so what did he need one for? God could have preserved him from it the way the pope said he did Mary.” If Catholics are right to say that Mary must have been sinless when she was full of grace (Luke 1:28) that does not prove that she never carried original sin. Maybe she became immaculate then. But full of grace is the same as being full of the Spirit for a good alternative to the word grace is “having God’s helpful and friendly presence”. Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, was said to have been full of the Spirit and so was the sinful Samson. The term just means that you are taken over by grace at times of your own free will and not that you are perfect all the time.
 
Accordingly, when Pope Pius IX infallibly declared Mary to be sinless at her conception he was guessing. He was not infallible.

The epistle to the Romans says that all have sinned without exception. Rome says that Mary was not put in for she was an obvious exception like Jesus was. In other words, the people of Rome already knew that he did not mean her. But Paul was writing to people who had a bad grasp of Christian doctrine. He had to explicate many basic teachings in his letter. All he had to do was write, “except Mary,” but he didn’t. He makes it clear in Romans 5 that Jesus was sinless so nobody should say that since he did not write, “except Jesus”, that it means Mary could have been excluded. But even without such arguments we can see that it is most likely that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was denied by the early Church. We have no reason to believe that Paul thought Mary was an exception to the infection of original sin. Remember, always go for the simplest explanation. God could have preserved Jesus from original like he allegedly did his mother though she had a sinful ordinary mother and father so nothing in the Bible even implies that she was immaculate. The doctrine does not come from apostolic dogma but is a later invention. It is heresy for the Church has defined or irrevocably set down in stone with her infallibility that she has no authority to create new doctrines.

Some Catholics say that all does not mean literally all when Paul said all sinned for he wrote in Romans 11:26 that all Israel would be saved. That looks good when out of context but in the context Paul said that Israel would be hard of heart against Jesus until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled meaning that all of a future generation of Israel would be saved.

The Church says that she can infallibly decree that Mary was conceived immaculate as long as there is nothing in the Bible that is inconsistent with what she wants to decree (page 104, Church and Infallibility). But this is a dangerous position. You can add on too much too easily.

Nearly all Catholicism’s unscriptural doctrines are in the same boat as the Immaculate Conception in so far as we only have the word of the Church in their support and we must make that boat sink in the interest of truth. The first statement of transubstantiation might have been made by Justin Martyr after the NT was completed. How could the doctrine possibly not be an addition when there is no hard evidence of its divine apostolic origin? The Church itself disputes the historicity of John’s gospel which allegedly teaches transubstantiation which means there is no evidence for the divine authority of this gospel apart from the Church saying it is the word of God and how would the Church know for it is not God? The early Church did not have a pope and especially an infallible one or pray to saints. Need I go on?

If the Catholic doctrines were revealed by Jesus they would be in the Bible.

If tradition is really a body of apostolic doctrine and not an addition to the faith taught by Christ through the apostles then why for most of its history has the Church used forged tradition to get money and power? Gregory VII had outright forgeries created and the editions of the early Fathers writings altered ever so subtly to back up his view that the pope was the successor of Peter, that the Church never changed doctrine and that the pope had the right to rule the world (page 83, Vicars of Christ). Many writings of the fathers have only relatively recently shown to be forgeries and just like Mormons with the Book of Mormon some are still seemingly convinced the forgeries are genuine. People will too often just convince themselves that they believe what they want. A realistic forgery could throw Roman tradition off the track forever which is enough to prove that Jesus would not have left the Church in the treacherous hands of tradition. All the Church needs to trick us with is at least two witnesses who say they saw an ancient document from the fathers and then say the document perished in a fire so all that is left is the verbal account of the tradition. Many dogmas were just put in writing by one father so the Church does not even need two. How could the pope be infallible when he has to depend on scholars who might be wrong that such and such a source of doctrine is authentic and transmitted correctly? Are the scholars infallible as well?
 
NOT ECUMENICAL SO NOT INFALLIBLE

The Catholic Faith says that ecumenical councils when invoking the power of infallibility make the right decisions because of God’s protective power.

Roman Catholicism’s ecumenical councils are not infallible though she says they are if they want to be. They are fallible they are not ecumenical.
 
Another reason is that the charism of infallibility does not belong only to the bishops but to the whole Church including Protestants who Rome says are just misled Catholics. Patrick Crowley in Infallibility in the Church says that the idea that only the bishops as a whole are infallible does not reflect early tradition which says the opposite for it holds that the whole Church is infallible and the laity have a share in it (page 3-6,14). True Catholic teaching says that a layperson or a sincere Christian heretic has as much right to vote in General Councils as bishops do. (Don’t worry by the way, the tradition is not that early but it is the oldest.) This means that few of the General Councils represented the Catholic Church and so the rest were invalid for they were only for a segment of the Church. They were invalid for nobody but bishops could become a part of them.
 
The Councils were invalid for the allegedly schismatic and actually schismatic Churches were barred. Since the so-called schism between east and west in the eleventh century there has been no true ecumenical council and none of the decisions given at Catholic ones should be accepted or taken seriously. The fact that the Eastern Church had an uneasy truce with the Western Church and they were never in full union proves that their exclusion from voting at ecumenical councils means the councils they were not participants of are not ecumenical and therefore not binding on the Church.
 
Catholicism is a false religion which means that it is a human institution. If tradition says the whole Church is infallible then it follows that the laity should be appointing and voting for the bishops so that the bishops represent them properly and can be their voice in an ecumenical council. Therefore any council that does not use bishops like this is not infallible. It is possible for the pope to have sufficient control over who becomes a bishop without trampling on the laity.

All rival Churches of Christ have enough in common to make decisions that are agreeable to one another.

Vatican 1 is remembered for the machinations of Pius IX who chose mostly bishops who already accepted papal infallibility to vote for papal infallibility and declare it true and infallible. Vatican 1 was not a truly ecumenical council by any standard. It was not infallible.
 
CONCLUSION

The Roman Catholic Church makes no sense when it claims to be infallible. It is actually claiming to be in the place of God by doing so!
 
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