Friday, January 13, 2017

Is Catholicism the Original Faith?

It Is or It Is Not:
Catholicism: The Original Faith??


This article is not intended to question the good intentions or sincerity of anyone who might call themselves a Catholic. But, Biblical Faith requires both SINCERITY AND TRUTH! (Josh 24:14).  It involves an eternally important choice between what God says and what man says. Please honestly consider the following thoughts.

If the modern Catholic faith is the original Christian faith, it would have all the characteristics of the original.  Its teachings would honor God by being identical to the beliefs and practices of the original church revealed in the holy scriptures.  Have the founders and rulers of Catholicism been careful not to reject or go beyond the authority of God's Word?  Or have they taken it upon themselves to add, to take away and to change their church's teaching into something very different from the original?   Is it acceptable for a person of true "faith" to live in denial of the actual inspired teachings of Jesus and the Apostles found in God's Word (The Bible)? 

Leaders of the Roman church profess to believe that the Bible is the inspired Words of God himself.  But, for many centuries Catholics have not been encouraged to study the Word of God without "church" authorized direction. This implies that God spoke words he never meant people to understand on their own. Bible study is a threat to the clergy's monopoly of Bible understanding.  A sincere study of the simple Word of God produces the original faith of the Bible (Romans 10:17).  When an honest person who believes the Bible begins to study, they very quickly see the considerable difference between what they have been taught and the instruction originally given by God. 

Next comes the church officials trying to explain to them why the Bible does not mean what it says or that it is not God's final word.   Can you stand before God in the judgment able to say you have studied and obeyed the Words and Faith He gave to Jesus and the Apostles?  Or is your hope dependent on hundreds of years of "clergy"  who claim to speak for God with equal or greater authority than the scriptures.  If this church is truly speaking for God, there would be no difference between what they teach and what God has taught through Jesus and the Apostles

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:   Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.   But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached (past tense, original teachings) unto you, let him be accursed.   As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (The Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:6-9) 


The Bible Contains All The Truth Needed To  Understand and Follow The Original Faith:


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect (complete), thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The Apostle Paul decreed by true inspiration that, "Faith (the original) cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17).  The Apostle Peter wrote, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…"(1Peter 4:11). The scriptures forbid human additions to or subtractions from God's Word.  "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:5-6:  note also Rev. 22:18,19).  If given the choice to believe what God says or what men have said, a true believer will go with what God has said every time.  "… Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." (Romans 3:3-4).  A true disciple of Jesus is one who continues in God's Words.  Jesus said "… If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:30-32). In reality, the Catholic faith, has become a religion where human tradition and teaching  has far more influence and authority than the Word of God.


True Believers Are To Follow and Stand Up For The Original Faith Revealed In Scripture:

The first Christians were commanded to contend for and preserve the faith "once" delivered.   "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3).  To worship God by human teachings and traditions is vain and unacceptable to God.  "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…" (Mark 7:7-8). 


A Few Major Differences Between the Original Faith And The Catholic Faith: Wrong Head, Wrong Priesthood, Wrong Baptism, Wrong Prayers and Idolatry:

1.        Jesus Is the Only Head of the Original Church, His Body (Not some visible person on the Earth).

Sadly, every time a Catholic accepts what the Pope or traditions say instead of the truth given by Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the scriptures, they are submitting to the wrong head.

"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.   For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."  (Romans 10:2-3) 

"And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.   For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell;" (Colossians 1:18-19) 


2.        The Original Faith Had No (Jewish Style) Priesthood or Clergy which was exalted by different clothing or titles (There were no "reverends", "cardinals", "popes" or "fathers").

The word "reverend" is found only once in the Bible and there it is referring to God     (Psa 111:9).  Every Christian was a "saint" or "holy one"  which means in the original language, "one set apart" for God's purposes. Many "saints" were alive and well in the pages of the Bible.  Every Christian was a minister (servant) and part of a holy priesthood in God's service. Christians did not confess their sins to a "father" to receive forgiveness.

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:" (1 Corinthians 1:2) 

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.   And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.   Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." (Matthew 23:8-10) 

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)


3.        The Original Faith taught only believer baptism (Immersion) for the remission of sins.

Catholic dictionaries and encyclopedias acknowledge that immersion in water of  believers was the baptism originally practiced in Bible times. The Greek word translated baptism in the Bible means immersion.  Belief was always required before baptism in the Bible.  Hundreds of years after the Bible was written, the men in power decreed that sprinkling water on infants was an acceptable baptism. 

Today, the vast majority of those in the Catholic faith have not been baptized into Christ the way  the Holy Spirit has taught and approved in the scriptures.  They have laid aside the Word of God and are trusting and submitting to the teachings of men.  Bible baptism was always immersion. There is not a single example of a nonbeliever being baptized in the scriptures even if their parents believed (no infant baptisms). The vast number of people who were sprinkled as infants, had no knowledge, belief, repentance or personal decision in what they were later told was their baptism. They were not Biblically baptized.


"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) 

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  (Acts 2:37-38) 

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4) 


4.        The Original Faith Taught Believers To Pray Only To The Living God, Not To Deceased Humans.

Like some Pagan religions who offer prayers and even give homage to their deceased ancestors, Catholic teaching has decreed that their members can be blessed by offering prayers to deceased individuals.  Even Jesus' earthly mother has been exalted to near Deity and petitioned for help constantly.  This practice is purely of human origin and completely foreign to Biblical faith.  No Christian in the Bible ever offered prayers to another dead Christian. 

It is sad that something as simple as to whom we must pray could be so corrupted by the teachings of men. Praying to the dead is very different from  Jesus' clear teaching on how to pray (Only to the Father). (Catholic practice of prayer also ignores Jesus' prohibition against vain repetition.)


"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." (Matthew 6:7) 

"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.   And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." (Luke 11:1-2)


5.        The Use Of Statues (Idols) Was Forbidden By The Original Faith:

God's Word specifically forbids His people from creating any carved images in the likeness of man or any other creature for religious purposes. They were not to bow down to them. When they did, God was angry and there were dire consequences.  God condemned the use of carved images in the law of Moses and he also forbids Christian use of idols.  The use of statues is more evidence of pagan influence on the minds of the creators of Catholic practice.  It is also evidence that it is not the original faith which rejected  idolatry.


"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:" (Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 5:8) 

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:14)

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." (1 John 5:21)


Conclusion: Biblical Faith

Please keep in mind we have noted only a few of the differences between the original faith and the Catholic faith.

If faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  If  God's Word is truly inspired and reliable for all teachings and doctrines (2 Tim 3:16,17).  If replacing what the Bible says with what men have invented leads to worshipping God in vain (Mark 7:7-8).  If  Jesus and  the scriptures have the authority they claim to have ("all", Matt 28:18).  If it is essential that we practice the "faith once delivered" (Jude 1:3).  Then the Roman church is not practicing or teaching the original faith  revealed by God in the scriptures.  This church is not teaching its people how to receive the remission of sins in baptism as taught in the scriptures. This church is not holding  exclusively to the true Head of the Bible church. This church is not teaching people exclusively Jesus' instruction on prayer.  How many times does a man made church have to contradict God's Word before people are willing to admit it is not the original?

Catholicism would not be recognized by the first Christians as the faith they originally received from God. They would not recognize its Head, its Priesthood, its Baptism, its Prayers or its Idols.   Every Catholic must decide if they will make a change and obey the Biblical faith or if they will continue to trust their souls to the doctrines and commandments of men.  Catholicism  is or it is not the original.  Since so many of its teachings contradict and reject the original truths in the Bible, it could not be the original. Will you trust God's Word or Man's Word??


Dear Readers:  Will You Allow God's Word To Make You Think?

What we think about God and Faith is  eternally important.  God's Word should be the source of all we believe about God and His will for our lives.  Much of the world's religious belief is not found in the Bible.  It is time for those who are truly seeking God to examine themselves and their beliefs in the light of God's Word.


"Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."  Romans 10:17


There is no truth or hope for mankind without accurate knowledge of God's Word. This series of articles is  intended to help us see truths in God's Word which have been overlooked by  many religions of our time.   We are the church of Christ.  The church you can read about in your Bibles.


This message brought to you because God's Word is True and He deserves to be heard.


Tarentum Church of Christ

614 East 9th Avenue

Tarentum, PA 15084

Questions? Contact:  Robert   724 681 2724

Sunday Bible Study:  10am

Sunday Morning Worship:  11am

Sunday Evening Bible Study:  6pm

(Fellowship Meal every 2nd Sunday: No pm study)

Wednesday Evening Bible Study:  7pm

God Bless America!

America Honor God!

Three Facts Which You Must Understand To Be Saved

Three Facts: Which You Must Understand To Be Saved


Check The Origin Of What You Believe:

In our time of information overload, our biggest challenge is sometimes figuring out what is true and what is not true.  This is especially true when it comes to the subject of "religion."  The religious world is composed of lots of decent people trying to do something good.  The problem is they have lots of ideas and beliefs with differ from each other and from God's Word.  What is so confusing is that many are claiming to follow the same God and even the Bible, but they so often contradict one another.  The unbelievers see all this religious division as evidence that the Christian religion is a human invention.  And in a sense, they may be in some situations  correct.  Every one of the hundreds of denominations and their denominational creeds are the creations of men.  They cannot be found in the Bible.  This division does not make Christianity look very divine.  The Bible condemns divisions among Christians. (1 Cor 1:10). The Bible does not approve of  denominations (divisions), nor does it  teach us to become members of these creations.   Something is not right.  We desperately need to separate the facts from the imaginations of men.  


Few Will Find The Narrow Path:

There are not many paths all leading to the same place.  The religious world needs to lay aside all their human ideas and seek God's only path to salvation.  Jesus said it this way:  "Enter ye in at the strait (narrow, difficult) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt 7:13-14).  Did you hear that?  "FEW" will find the narrow way.  Many will travel the wide (broad, popular) way to destruction.  This tract intends to give you some facts that you need to know so you can be among the "few" who find eternal life with the Father in Heaven.


Important Facts We All Need To Know:

Why was this tract prepared for you?  Because there are a few simple undeniable facts that everyone needs to rise above the confusion created by well meaning people.  Facts which we all must understand before it is too late.  Facts which will affect our future and what will happen to us when we die.


Fact # One:  There Is A God! 

Everything around us provides evidence of the simple reality that there must be a God.  Some, who have made up their minds not to believe in God,  worship "Evolution" as their creator.   Evolution is not supported by the overwhelming evidence and is really just a "hypothesis" (this is a  human  idea in need of some  evidence to move it up to the status of "theory").  If you choose to reject the reality of God, you must explain our existence on this Earth some other way.  Unbelievers teach us what they believe by their faith (evolution) and say we are foolish to believe in an intelligent, all powerful supernatural being as our Creator.  Some reject God as our Creator, but using their imaginations are convinced we got here because of some Alien from a place far, far away.  Interesting that they reject the true unseen Creator for other unseen creators (who also must have created themselves through evolution). Paul was talking about this type of faulty reasoning  when he spoke of people who willingly denied the facts. He said they, "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (creation) more than the Creator, who is blessed forever." (Rom 1:25)

Here is what we can know for sure.  In all of our human history and research we have never been able to make something out of nothing.  We have never been able to create something alive out of something which had not been alive previously.  We have not been able to prove that a nonliving thing given billions of years could turn itself into a  living thing.  

Also, while living things can adapt themselves to their environment to some extent, there is no known mechanism in any animal or plant by which they can pass on what they have learned through their Genetics.  For example, I cannot learn that I could swim better if I had webs between my toes and then pass on webbed toes to my children through my DNA.   Evolution contends that this type of thing has to have happened countless times,  over and over for every species of plant and animal.  The odds of this even happening once are astronomical.  The facts do not support "evolution" and "chance" as our creator.

Did the universe and every plant and animal create itself out of nothing completely by chance, or was everything created by an intelligent, powerful, not of this world Being as the Bible teaches.  The facts favor the existence of a supernatural Creator God.  Or you can put your faith in the false human idea that everything made itself.  Known, true science supports an intelligent Creator.  It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Fact # 1: There Is A God!


Fact # Two:  The Bible Is God's Reliable Revelation Of Himself To Mankind!

The Bible itself claims to be inspired by God Himself from beginning to End.  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim 3:16-17).  All we can know about our Creator God is what He has revealed to us.  He has made it clear that He has spoken through selected men guided by the Holy Spirit and especially through His Son Jesus Christ.  "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners (different times and different ways, rj) spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,   Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" (Heb 1:1-2). 

It is only through the scriptures that we can know how to approach and please God.  Knowledge of God's Word is essential to having the faith the Bible requires.  "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb 11:6).

Believing the fact that God exists is a beginning, but brings us no benefit if we refuse to hear and obey those things which He has required of us.  "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  ….So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. " (Rom 10:14-17). To believe Fact # One without accepting Fact # Two reveals that a person refuses to listen to a God, they claim to believe in.  Obedience to God's Word is the only Biblical way to honor and show love to God.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:14,15).  One can never claim to have a good relationship with God if they refuse to study and obey His Words.  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2Tim  2:15).

Many critics challenge the Bible's reliability, but  the evidence verifies that the Bible is of supernatural origins and is truly the Words of God.  Jesus knew the absolute importance of the Bible when He said, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt 4:4).  To ignore the Bible is to reject the God who gave it to us.  Knowing the Bible is essential to knowing the God who has provided the Bible.  This brings us to Fact # Three. 


Fact # Three:  Jesus Is The Way, The Truth and The Life and the Only Way To Be With The Father Forever.

Believing Facts One and Two opens the way to the third most important fact of all time.  The true God has revealed through the scriptures that the only way we may receive eternal life with the Father is to accept and obey His Son Jesus.  A person can never be made acceptable to God if  they refuse to obey His Son.  Jesus plainly said,  "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).   The scriptures tell us that Jesus is the  "author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him"  (Heb 5:9).  God says that many will say they believe in Jesus and even call Him Lord, but because they do not obey Him, they will be rejected (Matt 7:21-23).   Some think that believing there is one God is all that is necessary.  James, by inspiration  says believing  is a good start, but even the demons believe that God  exists (James 2:19). 

Since Adam, all mankind has at some point in their lives rejected God's words and sinned.  Our sin separates us from the Eternal God and eternal life, just as it separated Adam from God.  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).  No amount of effort to be a good person or to do good works can repair that broken relationship with God.  If we ignore the facts noted above we will forever be separated from God and remain in spiritual death.  "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"  (Rom 6:23).   

God has repeatedly declared His love for a world of people who have sinned against Him.  In His amazing mercy, He has prepared a way for a "Few" of those who are lost and separated from Him to come home to Him to live forever.  This offer is to all mankind (John 3:16).  But, the offer of forgiveness is not unconditional.  To be saved, we must carefully seek to know and obey God's plan of salvation.


Do You Have The Facts Straight?

Believing in God is first. Believing the Bible is God's Word is the second step, if you are willing to study and obey the scriptures.  Finally accepting what the Bible says about Jesus is essential to salvation and being with God. God has revealed the path for those who will choose to be saved.  Most people will ignore the facts and believe what they want. A "Few" people will put their trust in God and accept the facts. When God speaks they will seek to obey and remain faithful till they die.  These are the "Few" Jesus was talking about.  If you have questions about these important facts, we can show you what God actually says.  Nothing but the facts!  No person will ever be ashamed or sorry on the judgment day that they took some time to study the facts about how to please God and how to be saved.    R. Johnson

For an example of three thousand of the "Few" responding to God's Word, please Read Acts 2:36-47.  That is how we must all respond to the "FACTS."


Tarentum Church of Christ

614 East 9th Avenue

Tarentum, PA 15084

Questions? Contact:  Robert   724 681 2724

Sunday Bible Study:  10am, 6pm

Sunday Morning Worship:  11am

 (Fellowship Meal every 2rd Sunday: No pm study)

Wednesday Evening Bible Study:  7pm