Do the Pope and Bible Believers Really Have That Much in Common?
In the popular Bible study program, The Alpha Course, near the end of the 13th session, video presenter Nicky Gumbel quotes a high Vatican official stating why Christians should work in unity with Roman Catholicism: “What unites us as Christians, right across the denominations, is infinitely greater than what divides us.”
Bible believers, who know the unbiblical teachings of the pope, know that this is a bold lie. Yet, this deception has become a central theme of Rome’s attempt to woo back the “separated brethren,” the unprotesting “Protestants.” After executing tens of millions of “heretics” over several centuries, Catholic leaders decided to change tactics. The Reformation succeeded in putting a spotlight on the atrocities of the Inquisitions. Satan saw that he must change the tactics he was using through this false “church.” When Hitler failed to establish a new Holy Roman Empire, the Vatican came up with the Vatican Ecumenical Council II. This produced the propaganda that Roman Catholicism had somehow changed to become just another Christian denomination with a little different “worship tradition.” Protestants were no longer heretics, but separated brethren; all “Christians” must work together for “peace and justice,” finding common causes such as abortion, poverty, and world hunger. The old ideas of the pope being the anti-Christ and Catholics needing to be born again were now obsolete. This new tactic, called “ecumenism,” has succeeded in blunting the Protestant efforts at winning Roman Catholics to full assurance of salvation in Christ.
So, why is this Alpha statement a lie? Do Bible believers really have more in common with Roman Catholics than our differences? Author Rick Jones was raised a Roman Catholic and saw firsthand its teachings. In his book, Understanding Roman Catholicism, he examines 37 doctrines held by the pope that directly contradict biblical teachings. Jones points out at the beginning that Bible believers and Catholicism disagree at the very basic level: what is the final authority for truth.
Jones quotes from the official 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church showing that Roman Catholic Tradition and something called the “Magisterium” stand equal with the Bible in authority. In fact, the Magisterium trumps the Bible because it delegates to the “church” the sole right to interpret the Bible.
Thus, when Catholics are told it is okay to read the Bible, they are warned that they won’t understand it because they need the “church” to explain it to them. For example, where Mark 6:3 speaks of Jesus having brothers and sisters, Rome teaches that these were actually cousins or other relatives because Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a perpetual virgin after she gave birth to Jesus. (See also Matt. 13:55 and Galatians 1:19.) This interpretation is necessary because it would not be appropriate for the Virgin Mary goddess to have born other, normal children.
Jones goes on to explain how Roman teaching on salvation is unbiblical since it must come through the “church” and not through Christ alone. And it is not simple salvation by faith, alone, but requires certain good works and rituals.
Couple these with other unbiblical teachings such as purgatory, worship of the wafer god, the pope’s priestcraft hierarchy, infant baptism, prayer to saints, bowing to idols, confession to a priest instead of God, forbidding to marry, and vain repetition in prayer, and there is no way that what we agree on is greater than what we disagree on. Let’s expose this lie every chance we get. Over a billion precious souls are deceived by this masterpiece of Satan. Chick Publications provides a wide range of tracts and books exposing this prostitute church as the great Whore of Revelation 17 and 18.