Why I Am Not A Catholic

Popular blogger, pastor and author Tim Challies, gives three strong reasons that he could never be a Roman Catholic. For those who are not so sure that Catholic doctrine is really opposed to Scripture, this is an important read, as we are admonished in 1 Peter 3:15:

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

In Galatians 1:6-8 Paul tells us that anyone who teaches a different gospel is under God’s curse:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

Now listen to Tim give a defense of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ:

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Last week I began a new series titled “Why I Am Not…” and in this series I am exploring some of the things I do not believe as a means to explaining what I do believe. In the last article I explained why I am not atheist and now want to explain why I am not Roman Catholic. The timing of this article is unplanned but rather appropriate. I publish today from Orlando, Florida where I am enjoying some time at Ligonier Ministries, the ministry founded many years ago by Dr. R.C. Sproul. In very important ways the answer to the question “Why am I not Roman Catholic?” is “R.C. Sproul.” But I am getting ahead of myself.

Though my parents were saved into Pentecostalism, they quickly found a home in the Presbyterian tradition and developed deep interests in both church history and Reformed theology. Each of them read extensively in these fields and eagerly taught me what they had learned. In church history they found the long saga of Rome’s battle against Protestants and pre-Protestants while in theology they found her distortion of the gospel. From my early days I was taught that Catholicism is a dangerous perversion of biblical truth and learned the traditional Protestant understanding that its pontiff is the antichrist, the great opponent of God’s people.

As I entered adulthood I felt a growing desire to examine the beliefs I had always assumed to see if I actually held to them independently from my parents. I looked for resources that could guide me and soon came across the works of R.C. Sproul which had largely been written in response to Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Sproul had determined that he would allow the Church to speak for herself through her catechism and official statements and that he would evaluate these through Scripture. He showed a deep, respectful understanding of Catholicism and built a compelling case in which he exposed her most serious problems. Books by James White complemented Sproul’s and under their guidance I came to see that Catholic doctrine really is opposed to Scripture and to the gospel. My convictions about the errors and dangers of Catholicism changed a little bit—I became far less convinced about the connection between pope and antichrist, for example—but overall were sharpened and deepened. I concluded that for a number of reasons I could never be Roman Catholic. Most prominent among them are these three:

I am not Roman Catholic because Rome denies the gospel. Rome has a gospel but not the gospel and, in reality, their gospel damns not saves because it explicitly denies that justification comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Rome accurately understands the Protestant position and unapologetically anathematizes it. To the work of Christ it adds the work of Mary. To the intercession of the Savior it adds the intercession of the saints. To the authority of the Bible it adds the authority of tradition. To the free gift of salvation it adds the necessity of human effort. In place of the finished work of Christ on the cross it demands the ongoing sacrifice of the mass. In place of the permanent imputation of Christ’s righteousness it substitutes the temporary infusion of works righteousness. In so many different ways it explicitly and unapologetically denies truth and promotes error. The Roman Catholic gospel is a false gospel.  Continue reading

See our White Paper on Roman Catholicism

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5 Responses to Why I Am Not A Catholic

  1. Darrel May 27, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Challies has been more of a pompous jerk than anything that comes close to a man of God. This article is just more of the same. Red flags began to wave when I saw his name and a hoard of other flags joined in when he endorsed R C Sproul, a man who is a heretic in his own right. Then the explosions started to sound off as he concludes this powerless dribble saying that there are “saved” catholics who willingly remain in their houses of idolatry and are sanctioned by the Lord for doing so. LIAR! And I thought all along that faith came by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but now we are told by the FALSE PROPHET Tim Challies that a man can be saved by listening to a false gospel that denies Jesus Christ and continues to worship idols (Mary, their pope, etc.) along with the boat load of heresies produced and promoted by the roman system.

    Marsha, why do post this kind of junk and are silent about the many fallacies that are contained in it? Do you really endorse this nonsense from Challies?

    • John February 27, 2021 at 10:24 pm #

      Please pray for wisdom/humility and re-read what you have written here brother.

  2. Faith May 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    There are so many reasons to get out of Catholicism.
    For those raised in it, it is often difficult to see.
    The best place to start is the Bible. Go through the New and then Old Testament and it will be obvious. One thing is they put their own twist to the biblical definitions, pouring totally different meanings into the terms. Then, through the biblical context you see that things like infant baptism are totally unbiblical. And, they have their own whole set of ‘doctrines’ that contradict the Bible. The whole structure of the system itself is unbiblical. It is another gospel altogether, that is why it is so vital to read the bible without the trappings and ‘Catholic colored glasses’ but with a blank slate. Pray to God only, in Jesus’ name, and the Holy Spirit will lead you. Trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. The biggest lie is that you need ‘all this other stuff’ in addition to trusting in Christ alone for salvation. All you have to do is turn to Him, He hears you and needs no mediators. 1 Timothy 2; 5, John 14; 6, Acts 4; 12, Matthew 11; 28
    And use a New King James Version Bible, it truly is the best.
    Soul Refuge is a site that has good information for those coming out of it.
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    God bless you as you seek Him!

    • Friend May 30, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

      A good summary by Challies; however, I also find it very hard to agree with him that there are people sitting in the RCC who are saved. Being saved means we have received the Holy Spirit to convict, teach, comfort us. These people that Challies mentions should be running from the RCC because the Holy Spirit is convicting them of the lies being told by RCC. IF they are saved and staying, then something is dreadfully wrong! Either I am confused on this issue or T.Challies is.

  3. Faith May 31, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    It is interesting to notice that with the cults, they either add something or take something away. In the case of the Catholic church, they added a lot. Many doctrines of the bible are upheld, but then they add things about Mary, they add things about communion and needing them for salvation, they add all sorts of doctrines and practices that are not only unbiblical, but contrary (rather than extra) to it, antibiblical. Instead of ‘In Christ Alone,’ they rely on the church itself for salvation (church cannot save itself, even the true church since the bride cannot save herself) and when they add their trust in something in addition to Christ, that is what ‘kills it.’ That is the big problem there, it is not a pure faith in Christ. Now we know this, but sometimes people see it right away and sometimes it takes a little while for the scales to fall from their eyes. If they are saved, God will lead them out of there and it is usually sooner rather than later. At least that’s all I can figure there. I have heard stories of cases where people got saved out of a thing and it doesn’t all happen overnight when it comes to them ‘getting it’ and ‘getting out,’ but they do. There are many aspects involved and it takes time to take it all in sometimes.
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