Christianity came first. In the 300s Emperor Constantine called together Bishops of all the Christian Churches in the Roman Empire and they established the Nicene Creed — known today as the Apostle’s Creed. Later on, the Pope came to be the head of the church and at times, the head of some European countries establishing the Holy Roman Catholic Church. In the 1500s, a Catholic monk named Martin Luther was disillusioned with the Catholic Church and the way it was extorting money from believers and he started the Protestant Reformation. He wasn’t the only one, the Methodists, the Puritans (who became the Pilgrims), the Anabaptists, and others disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church’s man-made doctrines. They felt that their doctrines deviated too far from the Bible.
The Catholic Church over the years has tried to make sense of divine things to make them easier for the people to understand. They invented Purgatory. Purgatory doesn’t exist in the Bible!
Neither is confessing your sins to a priest who then forgives your sins. Only God can forgive your sins and He sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross and rise again so that our sins could be wiped clean and we could conquer death like He did. Nor is saying 5 “Hail Marys” and 4 “Our Fathers” and 2 “Acts of Contrition” as penance. Jesus provided the penance when He died as the Sacrificial Lamb — once and for all!
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.Psalm 103:12
Think about that for a minute. Think about a globe of the earth. You can go north till you reach the North Pole, then you’ll be heading south. But if you go east, you’ll always be going east. And if you go west, you’ll always be going west.
Their rule of not being able to receive communion unless you confess your sins is also not in the Bible. All believers should partake in communion as Jesus called us to do.
‘He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”’Luke 22:19 at the Last Supper
Notice Jesus didn’t say, but first you have to confess all your sins before you can partake.
The Catholic Church also give Mary, the mother of Christ, and the saints the power of being intercessors between us and God. You don’t need them. God sent us Jesus and Jesus is all you need. God hears our prayers. Praying to the saints for help and worshiping statues is idolatry. Read or Listen to: So Many gods.
That Catholics also believe that you can work, pay or pray your way to heaven. Martin Luther realized that was wrong when he read this passage from Romans:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”Romans 1:16-17
“I felt myself reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning…This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.”Martin Luther
So Which Denomination is Right?
I was a Catholic, then I was a Prodigal, then a Progressive then a Halfway Christian. Now, I’m Born Again and I am absolutely SURE of my ticket to Heaven and my place at God’s table. I say find a good bible-based, non-denominational church. One that doesn’t follow doctrines created by man, but the Word of God.
And don’t just take my word for it! Read the Bible for yourself. Below are 2 apps to make it easy.
- From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College
- From Prodigal to Progressive: Surviving Hurricanes
- From Progressive to Born Again Christian: Surviving Unemployment