October 28, 2015

Reformation Reminders: Rome & Her Desecration of Christ

by Eric Davis


This Saturday, October 31, commemorates nearly 500 years since one of the greatest movements of God in church history; the Protestant Reformation. Up to the time of the Reformation, much of Europe had been dominated by the reign of Roman Catholicism. To the populace was propagated the idea that salvation was found under Rome and her system alone.

But as the cultural and theological fog cleared in Europe and beyond, God’s people gained a clarity that had been mostly absent for centuries. The Reformers gained this clarity from keeping with a simple principle: sola scritpura, or, Scripture alone. As they searched the word of God, they discovered that Rome deviated radically on the most critical points of biblical Christianity. With one mind, God’s people discerned from Scripture that, tragically, Roman Catholicism was a desecration to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, nothing has changed. To my evangelical and Catholic friends, it’s important that we no longer erroneously say that Roman Catholicism differs from Scripture only on minor points of doctrine and history. As the Reformers saw clearly, and will be demonstrated here, the differences could not be greater.

In keeping with that movement of God by the word of God, here are a few reminders of how Rome is a desecration to Christ:

  1. The Roman Catholic Priesthood.

The existence and doctrine of Rome’s priesthood renders itself illegitimate on several grounds. First, the office of priest was annulled by the finished work of Christ, the great High Priest, to which nothing could be added for justification (Heb. 10:11-14). But this is, in part, the reason that Rome’s priesthood continues: Christ’s propitiatory work is insufficient in itself to render sinful men justified before God. In reference to the priest’s work, Roman Catholic scholar John O’Brien writes:

When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man…The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command. Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vicegerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ…No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another Christ.



Not even the old covenant priesthood dared to use such language as this of their office and role (Heb. 10:2-4). And, Scripture teaches that old priesthood is terminated because it has been fulfilled in Christ’s solo priestly role (Heb. 7:11-14). Christ is the only Christ, who alone holds the priesthood. He certainly does not bow “his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command,” or that of any other sinful man, especially to be “offered up again…for the sins of man.”

Further, Rome asserts in the 22nd session of the Council of Trent, in Canon 2, that, “If anyone says that by those words, Do this for a remembrance of me, Christ did not institute the Apostles priests; or did not ordain that they and other priests should offer His own body and blood, let him be anathema.”

We must conclude with John Calvin: “The Lord has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which a victim is to be offered; He has not consecrated priests to make sacrifice, but servants to distribute the sacred feast” (Institutes IV, xviii, 12).

Rome’s priesthood is quite another thing, and, therefore, a desecration to Christ.

  1. The Roman Catholic Mass.

Similar to the priesthood, Rome’s mass violates the person and finished work of Christ. In its 22nd session, on Doctrine Concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Council of Trent reads:

“If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God; or that to be offered is nothing else than that Christ is given to us to eat, let him be anathema” (Canon 1).

“If anyone says that the sacrifice of the mas is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be anathema” (Canon 3).

In other words, if you believe that Christ’s substitutionary atoning death, in itself, made complete propitiation for sin such that God’s wrath due our sin is satisfied, Rome declares you as under God’s curse. But this clashes with the Christian teaching of the sufficiency of Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice:

“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself” (Heb. 7:27).

“And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:11-12).

Scripture could not be more clear on the adequacy and finality of Christ’s atoning work. Yet, in every mass, Rome asserts that Christ, cannot really be seated anywhere in heaven, but is ready, waiting, and being summoned back down for additional sacrifice to atone for sin. On this teaching alone Rome renders herself a desecration to Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, if anyone calls Rome’s mass into question, he is declared anathema: “If anyone says that the canon of the mass contains errors and is therefore to be abrogated, let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, 22nd session, Doctrine Concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 6).

  1. The Roman Catholic Papacy.

Here is a sampling of Rome’s view of her papacy:

The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered (Paragraph 882, Catholic Catechism).

“Rule independently on any matter without the consent of anyone else, he himself is judged by nobody because there is no higher judge on earth than he” (Ludwig Ott).

supremeHowever, as the head of the Body of Christ, the foundation of the unity of Christ’s church depends on him (Eph 1:22-23, Eph. 4:5). Furthermore, the only individual who is “judged by nobody” and possesses “full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church,” is the head of the church, Jesus Christ. “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23).

Further, Cardinal Gibbons wrote of the papacy: “To be true followers of Christ, all Christians, both among the clergy and laity, must be in communion with the See [center of authority] of Rome, where Peter rules in the person of his successor” (James White, 105).

In the papal bull, Unam Sanctum, Pope Boniface wrote, “Consequently, we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

So, Rome maintains that communion with and submission to the pope is necessary to be a Christian. Such teaching is completely unwarranted from Scripture. If communion, or spiritual relationship, with Rome or Rome’s pontiff, were essential for salvation, we would expect biblical statements like, “in Rome,” or, “in the bishop of Rome,” but we see no such thing. Salvation is in Christ alone.

Further, Rome claims the Apostle Peter as her first pope, thus one would think that, given the importance put on the papacy, there would be explicit mention of teachings as Boniface’s in the Bible. However, the idea of subjection to Peter as Vicar of Christ, or any other individual with such a title, is completely absent from the New Testament. The various times that the Apostle Paul writes to or from Rome (e.g. Romans, the prison epistles, 2 Timothy), subjection to Peter as pontiff is never mentioned, much less mention of Peter at all. The only mention of a Christian’s ecclesiastical subjection to one’s local biblically qualified elders/pastors, and has nothing to do with the “salvation of every human creature.”

Salvation hinges on submission to the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Anyone to whom submission must be given for salvation, biblically, must be called “Lord” (Phil. 2:9-11). Therefore, by the Unam Sanctum bull, and the doctrine of the papacy, Rome functionally places her popes in a place of Lord, whether or not she explicitly uses the term. However, there is one Lord; the term is reserved for the One alone to whom submission for salvation must be given. God the Father has given the title to Christ because salvation hinges on no one else (Phil. 2:9).

A pope may occupy the throne of Rome, but never has he occupied the throne of Christ’s church. Because she places a sinful man in a seat reserved exclusively for him, every day that the papacy exists is another day that Rome desecrates Christ.

  1. The Roman Catholic view of Mary. 

catholic_faithfulMany Catholics will claim that Mary is not worshiped, but merely venerated. However, quotes such as those from Pope John Paul II are telling:

“The history of Christian piety teaches that Mary is the way which leads to Christ.”

“Each of us has to keep in mind the prospect of death. I too take this into consideration constantly, entrusting that decisive moment to the mother of Christ and of the Church, to the mother of my hope.”

Rome suggests that Mary is a recipient of prayer and devotion. She is sinless, having bypassed receiving a sin nature. Therefore, she was not in need of Christ’s saving work, but assists him in saving others.

And, for those who recite the Rosary, the Virgin Mary makes this promise:

Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish. The sinner will be converted; the just will grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are all my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.



Mary would be horrified to know that she, a sinful woman in need of redemption, was venerated to a place which desecrates the Person and work of Christ. She considered Christ her Savior and herself a sinner in need of Christ’s propitiating death, just like all humanity.

  1. The Roman Catholic view of justification.

At this point, tragically, Rome further shows itself to propagate another gospel. For example, the Council of Trent reads:

If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporary punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema (6th session, Canon 30).

In other words, if you believe that a repentant sinner, by faith alone in Christ alone, is declared righteous by God, such that no additional punishment needs to be served for sin, then you are cursed. Yet, that is exactly what Scripture teaches.

The Nail on the Cross“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). The consequence of faith in Christ is justification. The consequence of being declared positionally righteous as Christ is righteous, or justification, is peace with God. No more “debt of temporary punishment.” Nothing additional to be “discharged…in this world or in purgatory.” Why?

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Our entire punishment was placed on Christ. His righteousness is instantly placed on us.

Rome’s gospel is the photo negative of the biblical gospel. Therefore, since she dilutes the power of Christ’s finished work, Rome thereby desecrates him.

  1. The Roman Catholic history of martyring Christ’s people.


Perhaps more than any other religion or people group, Rome has taken the lives of scores of Christians. On the Damascus road, Christ appeared to Saul, that vicious persecutor of the church, and said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). Though Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, it’s as if Saul was persecuting him. When Christ’s people are persecuted, Christ bears their pain with them.

So, when Rome slew faithful Christians such as Jan Huss, Michael Sattler, William Tyndale, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, John Rogers, and some 300 torched by Bloody Mary between 1553-1558, Christ was persecuted along with them. With each Christian martyred, whether known or unknown, in the name of Roman Catholicism over the centuries, Christ was desecrated.

More could be said in regards to the ways, for example, that Rome’s doctrine of saints, purgatory, relics, and her practice of sola ecclesia over sola scriptura, also desecrate the Person and work of Christ. Rome may name the name of Christ, but her Christ is not Scripture’s Christ, and, thus, no Christ at all.

God’s people need to stop including Rome as a legitimate figure in the church of Christ. She is no more to be included than Siddhartha Gautama, Santeria, or Satan.

Thus, with John Owen, we say:

The Church of Rome…clings obstinately to its errors, idolatries, blasphemies and superstitions…Only the faithful preaching of the gospel—with such an example of zeal and holiness in those by whom it is preached…begetting in all who hear such a delight in them that they willingly submit to Christ and trust in him alone for salvation…will halt the insidious advances of Romish apostasy.

And with Charles Spurgeon, we cry:

We anticipate the happy day when the whole world shall be converted to Christ; when the gods of the heathen shall be cast to the moles and the bats; when Romanism shall be exploded…when kings shall bow down before the Prince of Peace, and all nations shall call their Redeemer blessed.

This Reformation season, let us pray for Rome to repent and come under the Lord Jesus. And may the true church continue her battle cry of solo scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus christus, all to soli deo gloria.

Eric Davis

Posts Twitter

Eric is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008. Leslie is his wife of 14 years and mother of their 3 children.
  • wiseopinion

    Please read my question at the end… I admit I know very little of the history of Roman Catholicism. These articles of the Reformation have been very informative and intriguing. I have been challenged to look deeper into both RC and the Reformers. As I was checking some sites I came across a RC thread/board and read something that really did leave me speechless. A jaw dropper for sure. I asked some of my friends who where once RC if they ever heard or even believed what was so shocking to me…they had no idea this was a belief and taught in the RC church. Here are excerpts from one thread: These Protestant heresies arise from the erroneous belief that original Christianity was based on the Bible. It wasn’t. The Church wrote the New Testament, among other writings, and set the criteria for the NT canon.Thank you for saying that!
    It’s a point I make over and over when instructing converts. The Catholic Church is NOT based on the New Testament — we existed for hundreds of years before the formation of the New Testament.
    The New Testament is based on the Catholic Church — we established the Canon based on our traditions.

    Confession to a priest is how the Church implemented Christ’s instructions to the Apostles about forgiving and retaining sins. To ask “Where is it in the New Testament” is like asking “Where are the collection plates, or pews or steeples in the New Testament?” (end)

    Is this really what they believe? I admit this isn’t any more far-fetched than much of what has been shared in this article and other from Cripplegate..but wow…can you please confirm this…or is this thread just a bunch of zealots that have gone far from RC teaching?

    • Jason

      Technically, parts of what you quoted are even accurate. The church did write the New Testament (through Holy Spirit inspiration). The early church, while based upon the scriptures of the law, the prophets, and likely the gospel (though not necessary all accounts in written form), didn’t have the epistles to start for sure, since they were written to the already existing church (though not “hundreds of years” after).

      In the early church, it was recognized that there was all sorts of false teaching and prophecy and that the body as a whole was responsible for testing all of it (1 John 4:1), that even the apostles shouldn’t be trusted unless they were in accord with the truth (Galatians 1:8), that all true believers would know the truth through guidance by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13) and be united in him(Ephesians 4:3), and that even Peter (the RC church’s “first pope”) could be corrected when his example and teachings were not valid(Galatians 2:11).

      The church that wrote the New Testament was lead locally by elders who oversaw (where the word bishop comes from) the local body. Within the first two hundred years, those elders began to gather regionally to discussion doctrines and policies. Eventually, the elders in Rome laid claim to the authority to settle differences within those regional gatherings (likely since Rome was the governmental center at the time already). Now Rome claims Papal Infallibility as the ultimate authority over everyone.

      What we see today was born out of the body delegating more and more of the discernment we were commanded to practice to a few men, and then a few of those, and then a few of those. Now, if the few were perfect (as Christ, the true head of the church is) than it wouldn’t be a problem. We need to let God be true while every man is a liar (Romans 3:4) and not trust in human judgement but in the council of God. It’s common for believers today to quench the discernment of the Spirit when a leader they respect disagrees (instead of gently correcting them with the inspired Word of God). This is not just a RC issue.

      • wiseopinion

        Thank you Jason, this was very helpful and informative. While it may be “technically
        accurate”, the feeling of superiority with arrogance is what stuck out to
        me. But then, I know there are many who
        feel the same way about two of our (Protestant) core beliefs…Scripture Alone
        and John 14:6…”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to
        the Father except through me”….As far as some of the comments about your
        continued warnings being a bit much…I don’t think we hear enough of the flagrant
        (and sometimes not so) heresies, false teachings, misinterpretations and some
        just wacko stuff infiltrating our churches and being preached (??) from the
        pulpits…even from some that were once solid and trusted among evangelicals. I speak not out of a hard or judgmental heart…I
        am truly grieved by the apostasy we are seeing today…the great falling away is
        right before our eyes and so many are being fooled, blinded, exploited and enchanted
        with entertainment and promises that are nowhere to be found in scripture. Some are dear brothers and sisters….

  • Chuck Haddon

    Excellent article, Eric.

  • Another anti Catholic propaganda article! Is your goal to win Catholics for Christ or to scare your fellow Protestants into seriously looking into the claims of the Church?

    As I meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life while praying my Rosary, I will pray for you and all your protestant brothers and sister.

    God bless.

    • fundamentals

      The goal is God’s truth, Matthew. May He open your heart as he did mine.

      • Well you sure have a funny way to arrive at truth, through lying and misrepresentation. Maybe “truth” means something else in Protestant chaos land.

        • Eric Davis

          Hi Matthew – that’s quite a claim. From the above material, could you identify the lies and misrepresentation of the Roman Catholic faith?

          • I could, but I don’t have a whole day to play with anti catholic propaganda. In short, what you do is paste a catholic quote from somewhere, then you provide your interpretation of what this means in a catholic church. Your interpretation is 100% incorrect in every single case.

            A tiny example, in your point #2. you say “Similar to the priesthood, Rome’s mass violates the person and finished work of Christ.” then you state some quote and go on to explain to these poor protestants how the church is wrong. Well your initial assertion and your conclusions are completely wrong and not what the ACTUAL Catholic teaching is.

            In section on Mary you say “Many Catholics will claim that Mary is not worshiped, but merely venerated. However, quotes such as those from Pope John Paul II are telling:” See what you did there. You know we don’t worship Mary that’s stupid but yet you insist of making sure your readers conclude that YES CATHOLICS DO Worship MARY!!! Absolute falsehood.

            EVERY paragraph is exactly like this.

            You are yelling at straw man. It is your INTERPRETATION of what you think the Catholic Church teaches based on your lack of understanding of what you are writing about. You are not really looking into these matters because that’s not your goal. I am not sure what your goal is. Lying for the sake of lying?? This will not win you any Catholics because it is falsehood. I should know, I am Catholic and I am disgusted by your lies. Do you think I will trust you when you speak about Jesus? Why would I?

            This is not the first article by you Pastor Davis where you did the same thing.

          • Eric Davis

            I can see you are exercised about this, friend. I understand that it is a heated issue. The goal here is aligning ourselves w/ the truth of Scripture. Nothing more, nothing less.

            Now, help us understand how, as you brought up, in the mass, the beliefs of bringing Christ down from heaven to be re-sacrificed as a propitiatory sacrifice, no less, for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, is in line with, for example, the teachings from some of those passages in Hebrews on the finality and sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work?

            And, as stated, I understand that Rome does not claim to worship Mary. And that aside, even so, the language used in reference to Mary is blasphemous in itself b/c it exalts her to a position where she plays a role in redemption; something accomplished by Christ alone. Again, see the above quotes from John Paul and the Rosary. These will not do up against Scripture.

            And all that aside, your argument illustrates something interesting about Rome. Her encyclicals, conciliar documents, creeds, papal bulls, etc, use language and words known to man for the communication of their content. Words have meaning, as they are placed logically in sentences with certain syntax and such. We are able to read these sentences and arrive at meaning, just like reading ingredients on a bag of chips or the newspaper or my kids’ homework. However, when it comes to Rome, so often the argument goes something like, “That’s what it says, but you’re not interpreting it correctly.” There is a peculiar mystery present, partly, having to do with the magesterium approach of Rome to interpretation. So, Rome and her adherents, though they have written things like the above in plain language which contradict Scripture, are often having to play the clean up and “well-that’s-not-what-it-really-means” game. Something is amiss with Rome.

          • You want me to explain to you what we Catholics really teach in a comment box of an anti-catholic blog? Where my comments can be easily deleted. No sir, it is your job when you are writing about a topic to do your research. Even the statement in your comment asking me to explain the doctrine contained errors. You wrote the article, you should have researched. Also by simple googling of the quotes you provided there seems to be a large number of articles on similar topics on other anti-catholic sites. Who compiles the quotes for you? You didn’t, you got them from other anti-catholic sites. This is very lazy and contributes to my disgust at this post and others like it.

            As for your comment on communication. You must be aware that there is such a thing as domain language. I am a computer science professional and often I have to express myself in a specific language specifically developed for the domain I’m working in. It uses real words with real meaning in that domain. To the person outside of that domain the words may mean something different.
            The Protestant world is a domain. It uses language developed in that domain. It speaks of the faith using that domain. It developed separately from Rome and in large number of cases it developed specifically to oppose Rome.

            The western Church (Rome) also has a domain language, developed over 2000 years. Our words mean what they mean in that domain. When we speak we use the same words as words from your domain but they may not mean the same things.

            The eastern Church (Easter Catholic, Orthodox) also have a domain language. Reading the Eastern Christian often requires translation into western domain in order to understand what is meant by the words they are using. They are expressing the same faith using very different vocabulary.

            One simple example of this would be the word “faith” the reason Trent condemned “faith alone” is because in a Catholic domain the word “faith” means a specific thing specifically faith always includes the virtues of hope and love. In the protestant domain faith means what ever the interpreter of the bible says it means, which makes it meaningless. When Lutherans got together with Rome and sat down to talk about “faith alone” it turned out we teach the same thing. The problem was translation of domain languages.

            Words have meaning, in the context and domain they are presented in.

            “I forked a process mom and then I killed it’s children” – This is a perfectly correct and reasonable statement when talking about software in Linux system. Outside of that context it appears that I am killing children. See words have meaning in the context they are written in.

          • Matt Mumma

            “Who compiles the quotes for you? You didn’t, you got them from other anti-catholic sites. This is very lazy and contributes to my disgust at this post and others like it.”

            How do you know where he received his quotes? I am not a Roman Catholic but I have the official catechism of the Catholic Church in my office to reference. It is easy to get your hands the Council of Trent as well. If these same statements come up a lot on other blogs and websites, that does not mean that one is just cutting and pasting. These similar quotes show up because they are contrary to Scripture.

            “When Lutherans got together with Rome and sat down to talk about “faith alone” it turned out we teach the same thing.”

            That’s not what happened when Martin Luther got together with Rome in 1521 when he was summoned by Roman Emperor Charles V to appear at the Diet of Worms to recant his statements about faith in Christ. It was pretty clear that there was a distinct difference in belief from what the Church taught.

            You bring up often that “faith alone” is not in the Bible. Just because Eph 2:8-9 does not use the phrase “faith alone” does not mean that it is not by faith alone. It is salvation by faith alone because faith is all that is mentioned. “Not of works…” means that it is faith by itself.

          • If I see multiple blog posts about the same topics, choosing to use the same quotes out of the millions others they could have chosen, it makes me think they all are drawing from the same source. In other articles the quotes that were used were ONLY used in protestant blogs. You could not even find them in any works of the people they quoted. Clearly someone got the quote wrong and it was passed on from one anti-catholic blog to another. That is laziness.

            Just because Eph 2:8-10 does not say faith alone I am not going to presume to know better then the Holy Spirit to say it is by faith alone. Especially since it seemed good to the Holy Spirit to inspire James to say “not by faith alone” Plus I’m perfectly happy with saying faith alone if you mean faith in a catholic sense, which corresponds to what James said.

            Besides faith don’t you need repentance? Can you be saved without repentance? If you can’t then it’s not faith alone now is it.

            It all depends on what “faith” means to you.

            Yes 500 years of anathemas over an issue that turns out to be a non issue due to language, that was sort of my point.

          • Jason

            “You want me to explain to you what we Catholics really teach in a comment box of an anti-catholic blog?”

            It seems unproductive to do anything else. What else would you do? Call names? Make blanket accusations?

            Proverbs 26:4-5 demonstrate a wisdom of not answering except to correct. We can talk all day about what is wrong, but do nothing productive. Instead, talk about how something is wrong.

          • When something is laughably untrue it is easier to let it be and speak for itself. The more Catholics see this the better they will know not to trust the author. I am frankly tired to constantly repeat myself. In other posts my arguments were not only not answered but deleted out right if the author did not feel like addressing the questions I raised.

          • Jason

            So you have just dropped into the comments to tease people whom you believe to be incorrect?

          • Eric Davis


            “You want me to explain to you what we Catholics really teach in a comment box of an anti-catholic blog?”

            Of course I do. That is what the comment section is for. Since you made the claim that the assertions about Mary and the mass were untrue, I am attempting to dialogue about that. This is a perfectly reasonable place/manner to do so. And, if you are going to assert that this article contains lies, then it behooves you to back that up with some sound, biblically-based arguments.

            “Who compiles the quotes for you? You didn’t, you got them from other anti-catholic sites.”

            It would be best to ask questions about things like these prior to making claims about which you are unaware (Prov. 18:13). I did not cut and past from other anti-catholic sites, friend.

            So, feel free to dialogue here about the theological content of the article. Thanks Matthew.

          • This is outside of the topic of this post, but it is related as I don’t trust you. In your last post you never answered my question. Where did you get this quote:

            “The principle heresy of Protestants is that saints may obtain to a certain assurance of their gracious and pardoned state before God” (De justificatione 3.2.3)

            Which you attribute to Cardinal Robert Belarmine. Google this quote, see where it appears. It ONLY appears in other anti-catholic blog posts, dealing with the subject matter you were writing about.

          • Eric Davis

            Matthew – let’s stick to discussing the content of Roman Catholic dogma. And that quote is from Cardinal Belarmine, who lived during the time of the Reformation (1542-1621), and was delcared a Doctor Ecclesiae in 1931. You can find that in the book, Assured by God.

            But what about the other profuse amount of material taken from Roman Catholics? Do you trust that? Are you going to interact with this article?

          • I trust it as much as I can verify it and it’s context. Your interpretation of it I never trust.

          • Matt Mumma

            Cool down a bit. Maybe consider just reading the articles and not responding to them since you seem to be getting worked up on every comment thread.

          • Eric Davis

            Matthew, I appreciate your willingness to interact, especially coming from a Roman Catholic perspective. I’m sure it’s tough. So thank you for commenting. Now, we have provided abundant data from the Roman Catholic side; from a diverse spectrum of Rome’s authorities. Further, we have demonstrated how these contradict the clear teaching of Scripture. And you have not done much to engage theologically on the things in this article, but commented along other lines. Yet, there remains some large theological problems addressed in the points above; points which demonstrate that Roman Catholicism is an entirely different religion than that of the Christian faith. These are serious issues, friends, of the utmost consequences.

            Further, you continue to assert that you cannot trust the interpretation presented in the posts; interpretation taken from the plain sense of Scripture. That evidences a serious problem in your soul, friend. For we are not subject to or dependent upon a magesterium for understanding the mind of God through the word of God. The Holy Spirit indwelling us grants us the mind of Christ to ascertain Scripture(1 Cor 2:15-16). That is one of the great blessings of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. However, it seems you’re having trouble with that; there is a breakdown. That, in addition to trusting the gospel of Rome, evidences that you might not be converted to Christ. I would encourage you to look to Christ alone, for a sufficient righteousness with which you can appear acceptable to God. Not the righteousness through faith and sacraments, but Christ’s righteousness alone. Come to him. He loves you and will grant you that sufficient righteousness by faith!

          • Right, I don’t agree with you fallible interpretation of the bible and because of that my soul has problems. You are giving yourself more power then the Popes have. You honestly believe that your own interpretation of the bible is correct, against thousands of other versions of Protestantism teaching the same unbiblical man made doctrine of sola scriptura?

            Once Protestantism unites in one faith in matters of doctrine and morals and church practices I would take your statement seriously. I believe you have some work to do there. Your gospel contradicts another Protestants gospel. Get your own house in order first. There are 9 bible churches in 2 blocks near my house. All preaching different things. You all claim to be lead by the spirit. The Spirit unites. Protestantism divides. Therefore it is not of the Holy Spirit.

            I don’t accept your authority. I don’t accept your interpretation of scripture. Sola scriptura is the biggest failure in the history of man made doctrine. It is self refuting and completely illogical and to any observer of reality of Protestantism it is completely unworkable.

            I accept only the Church Christ started and the church he gave his authority to and that my friend is not you.

          • How exactly do you get your interpretation of 1 for 2:15-16? How do you go from that plain verse to your interpretation that it makes you ascertain Scripture? That a huge stretch. Definitely not that plain reading of the text. You are reading your man made doctrine into the scriptures.

    • Eric Davis

      Hi Matthew – The goal is not to scare, but inform (Eph. 4:14-15). We have looked into Roman Catholicism, which is evident in the handful of articles posted this Reformation season.

      • Yeah, I’ve seen how you have looked into it. Did you get your information from a Chick track? If this is how you “inform” people why would anyone trust you when you preach about Jesus. I sure would not.

    • GinaRD

      Matthew touches on an interesting point in his second sentence. Sometimes I wonder whether the Cripplegate bloggers have ever heard of reverse psychology.

      • Matt Mumma

        That has nothing to do with it. The point of these and other articles is to point to the truth. When believers look into the claims of Romanism, they will see the errors, not be swayed by them. Plus, reverse psychology is really called manipulation. There is no manipulation here.

      • Eric Davis

        Gina – can you help us understand how that comment contributes to better understanding Rome’s doctrine and her defection from Scripture? As stated below, comments are only deleted which are slanderous, unhelpful to furthering the discussion of the theological material, or unrelated.

        • GinaRD

          I will try. My point is simply this: The way that a person writes about an institution’s errors can end up working against the argument that the writer is trying to make. If you make your case against Catholicism every now and then, people may listen. If you hammer away at Catholicism day after day after day after day after day, human nature being what it is, you run the risk of driving people toward it instead of away from it.

          You may disagree with me, but I hope you’ll at least consider the point. I know that I’m always more inclined to listen to a pastor or a writer who makes a case and then goes on discuss something new, than to a pastor or writer who keeps making the same case over and over again. This is doubtless because I have a sinful nature — but then, so does everyone else, so what is true of me may be true of others as well.

          God bless.

    • Matthew: I deleted several of your comments, because taken together, they read like this: 1. This post is wrong about what Catholics believe. 2. I don’t have time to say where they are wrong, because this isn’t the right place for that. 3. More comments repeating points 1 &2. While I”m sure you didn’t mean for this to go in circles, it did, so I closed the circle. If you want to ask a question, feel free as a new comment.

  • fundamentals

    Thank you for this article. The error and darkness of Roman Catholicism should be addressed and exposed at every opportunity. I was once among their number, but God delivered me, brought me out of it, and caused me to come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is all-sufficient for my salvation. I can never thank Him enough! When I look back to the time when I was entangled in Catholicism, it makes me shudder.

    • Eric Davis


  • Eric Davis

    Unfortunately, comments have to be deleted from time to time. Reminder that this will typically be done when (1) the comment does not keep the discussion progressing (slanderous remarks would fall into this) and (2) the comment was off topic, and so fails to progress the discussion.

  • Karl Heitman

    Thank you so much, Eric, for putting this together. There are nights when I still lay awake thinking about stone-cold, hard-heartedness of millions of Roman Catholics, who blindly follow a blind guide like I used to. What’s also sad and shocking to me is to see so many Evangelicals ignorant of the things you brought out and, as you well, you merely scratched the surface. Grace to you, bro.

    • Eric Davis

      It is sad, indeed, Karl. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jason

    I don’t disagree that the idea of priest as a mediator between God and man is fulfilled completely in Christ. However, according to scripture believers are priests (1 Peter 2:9) under our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-15). We still offer sacrifices, not for sin, but out of worship to God (Romans 12:1). Just a bit of nuance to the discussion of priesthood.

    • Eric Davis

      Hi Jason, thanks for the comment. Was waiting for someone to ask about 1 Pet 2
      Rome’s priesthood is not referring to, as this passage means, all regenerate individuals who (1) enter the heavenly sanctuary by faith alone in Christ’s work for right standing with God and (2) bring God to people by preaching faith in the righteousness of Christ alone for justification before God.

  • tovlogos

    Thanks for the work, Eric — These teachings contain so much support for the disciple, they are invaluable. And so much information goes by the wayside as time passes, these reminders are an invaluable, exegetical shoring up of the body of Christ.

    The theme here: “Roman Catholicism was a desecration to the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Today, nothing has changed. To my evangelical and Catholic friends, it’s important that we no longer erroneously say that Roman Catholicism differs from Scripture only on minor points of doctrine and history,”

    Is very important. There is far too much blurring the line between the two. I cringe every time I hear someone refer to the Catholicism as the biggest Christian institution.

    • Eric Davis

      Agreed, Mark. May we all cringe, and pray for Rome’s repentance.

      • tovlogos


  • Adam

    “Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.” (Mary, mother of Jesus)
    This most certainly is a desecration of Christ. Sounds an awful lot like what Jesus said of Himself in John 3:16 – “..That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
    In this alleged quote by Mary, she takes what belongs to Christ and appropriates it for herself. What merits, exactly, does Mary have that she can make such a claim and then offer it to sinners? I can point to the perfect life of Christ, His perfect sacrifice and resurrection, and trust myself to Him on the basis of this. We can do no such thing with Mary.
    Secondly, why is it that the New Testament is ABSOLUTLEY SILENT concerning the saving merits of Mary? NOT ONCE, in any epistle written to the churches, do the NT writers mention Mary in regards to our salvation, sanctification, and glorification. Yet they do point the church to “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” found in Jesus Christ ALONE. Since the NT writers were guided under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, if Mary had truly possessed merits remotely close to what the RC church claims she does in the way of our salvation and sanctification, the Holy Spirit surely would have made sure to guide the apostles to make mention of her in their epistles so that the church could be edified and sanctified through her.

    • Eric Davis

      Well said, Adam.

  • Pingback: Reformation Reminders: Rome & Her Desecration of Christ()

  • Pingback: Reformation Reminders: Rome & Her Desecration of Christ | The Antipas Chronicles()

  • Pingback: Pope Francis Says Muslims are His Brothers and Sisters | The Cripplegate()

  • Pingback: Påve Francis kallar muslimer ”bröder och systrar” « Harpolekarens blogg()