Why do Roman Catholics believe what they do?

I'm very concerned about Catholics.  I believe wholeheartedly that the RCC is teaching enough heresy to damn its members.  I don't mean to be offensive with these words, but that is what I believe. The official Roman Catholic teaching about salvation is heretical.  And, it teaches unbiblical, idolatrous things about Mary. Nevertheless, when I quote official RC documents that contradict scripture, the Catholics do whatever they can to continue to believe and defend whatever the 'Mother Church' tells them to believe - no matter what.  For example, the CCC mentions becoming gods (CCC 795) or becoming Christ (CCC 795). 

When I quote official RC documents that contradict scripture, the Catholics do whatever they can to continue to believe and defend whatever the Mother Church tells them - no matter what.  You see, they often just believe whatever the Church tells them.  For example, the CCC mentions becoming gods (CCC 795) or becoming Christ (CCC 795). 

  • CCC 460,  "The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."
  • CCC 795, "Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:  Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church. Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself. Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person. A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

Even though the RCC doesn't officially teach we can become gods, it has statements saying exactly that.  Obviously this is problematic, and the Catholics will invariably offer excuses for what it says by saying it doesn't mean what it actually says.  But, this isn't the subtopic we need to get into now.  Let's take a look at something else: salvation.

  1. " . . . Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life," (CCC 2010).
  2. "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods," (CCC 2027).
  3. "The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: 'The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,'" (CCC, par 2068).

These are obviously problematic.  We do not attain salvation by observing the commandments as the Bible clearly tells us in Rom. 3:28-30; Rom. 4:1-6; Gal. 2:16.  Yet the Catholics continue to believe and defend whatever the Mother Church tells them.  This is indeed sad.  We do not merit grace as is stated in Rom. 11:6.  Grace cannot be merited; otherwise, it isn't grace.

But, it doesn't matter what CARM presents to them because the Catholics will continue to believe and defend whatever the Mother Church tells them . . . whatever the Mother Church tells them . . . whatever the Mother Church tells them.  It is almost a mantra of emotional dedication to the "one true church" that tells them what the truth is.  This is, unfortunately, the exact same phenomena I see with Jehovah's Witnesses when they submit to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.  Whatever the "true church" tells them, they defend . . . because it is the true church.

In the cults, members always defend whatever the Mother Church tells them.  Rationalizations abound and defenses are made, but the clear meaning of scripture is lost to them no matter what true followers of Jesus (not a church) tell them.  Why?  I believe I know.

1 Cor. 2:14, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

Those Catholics who defend the errors of their Mother Church, in contradiction to the Word of God, do so because they are not regenerate.  This is what the Scripture tells us.  It is as simple as that.  They do not have the mind of Christ.  They do not hear his voice (John 10:27-28).  Instead they are blinded.

2 Cor. 4:4, "in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

As with the Catholics, it is certainly possible to appear Christian, to use Christian words and phrases, to do good deeds in the name of Christ, and to appeal to Christ as Savior and still be lost. 

Matt. 7:22-23, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Notice that Jesus condemns those who appeal to their faith and works for salvation.  My heart aches for the Roman Catholics who think and behave like cultists, who defend whatever their Mother Church tells them to believe, who justify the error of works righteousness (CCC 2068, 2027, 2068), who have given themselves over to a Church rather than to Christ, who conduct themselves in a manner consistent with what their Mother Church tells them to do and believe.

 " . . . no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine,--wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold," (Trent, Session 4, "Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of the Sacred Books")

The abdication of the self to a church leads to bondage and damnation.  But, abdication of the self to Jesus always leads to freedom and salvation.

Matt. 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The burden of the Catholics is to believe and follow whatever the Mother Church tells them to believe and do (CCC 862, 883, 896, 939), to merit their own grace (CCC 2010, 2027), and to keep the Ten Commandments and thereby attain salvation (CCC 2068).  Such burdens are heavy and unbiblical, yet the Catholics will defend whatever the Mother Church tells them to believe.

They follow another besides Christ.

1 Tim. 6:3-4, "If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing . . . "



About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.