The Marian dogmas of Rome, start with Rome’s view of an impotent Jesus, whose atoning cross work was anything but sufficient. Rome’s teaches that the work of Christ merely made “a pathway” for man to justify himself by adding to the work of Christ by performing “required meritorious works” (such as water baptism, charity, religious devotion to Mary, Sacraments, etc.). Rome believes that man assists Christ in the salvific process—thereby denying that the alone cross work of Christ was sufficient.

Rome’s esoteric (self-salvation) system is a system of “and (&)”:

  • Jesus and Mary. 
  •  God’s universal plan & man’s so-called free will. 
  •  Faith + works such as water baptism, sacraments, holding to all the Marian doctrines, fide implicita, that is, an uncritical blind “implicit faith” in the Roman Catholic Church). 
  •  Intercession & prayers to Jesus & Mary & so called saints. 
  •  The cross & perpetual sacrifices of Christ at the Mass. 
  • Biblical doctrine & the Church. 
  •  Scripture & so-called tradition of uninspired men. 
  •  Christ & the Pope, etc.

 

Contrary to the biblical doctrine of Christ, the Christ of Rome is anything, but a powerful Savior. The Roman Christ does not and cannot save alone, instead it is a shared cross work that Rome embraces. Rome asserts a false Christ who did not become perfect man (due to the Transubstantiation)[1] nor did He become the righteousness of all who believe (John 1:14; Phil. 2:7-8; 1 Cor. 1:30-31). Rome’s doctrines greatly oppose so many fundamental biblical teachings, especially on justification and the atonement. For example, Rome’s denial of justification through faith alone, apart from works, leaves the Roman Catholic with no assurance of salvation in this life nor glorification in the afterlife.

 

According to Rome, a so-called “saved” person now could always forfeit his or her justified status by a lack of performance (esp. unconfessed mortal sins). Refuting Rome’s claim, the Bible is rich with passages that teach that justification is a one-time permanent, objective, declaratory act of God pronouncing a sinner not guilty through the instrument of faith. (Rom. 4:6-8; 5:1). A regenerated justified Christian is sealed for eternity. As Christ promised, all the ones the Father gave to Him (John 6:37), “I lose nothing but, raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39, cf. v. 44). In Romans 4:8, Paul states that there is not even a possibility that such a one justified by faith apart from works would have any sin against them. Even more, passages such as John 10:28; Romans 8:1, 28-39; 1 John 5:12; and Hebrews 13:5 clearly affirm the preservation of true believers against Rome’s unbiblical soteriology.    

The Marian Dogma                            

Among the massive documents and books regarding the Marian doctrines of Rome, is the renowned book, The Glories of Mary, written by Alphonsus Liguori, which became one of the most commonly used manuals of Catholic teaching and devotion to the Virgin Mary.[2] Note some samples, which delineate the Roman view of Mary (emphasis added):    

“On account of the merits of Jesus, the great privilege has been granted to Mary to be the mediatrix of our salvation” (169).

“So, says St. Bernard, We have access to Jesus Christ only through Mary. And St. Bernard gives us the reason why the Lord decreed that all men should be saved by the intercession of Mary. . . .” (191-92).

“If you ever wish for another advocate with this mediator, invoke Mary, for she will intercede for you with the Son. . . . He who neglects the service of Mary shall die in sin . . . He who has not recourse to thee, oh Lady, will not reach paradise. . .. That those from whom Mary turns away her face, not only will [they] not be saved, but can have no hope of salvation” (228, 256).

“Mary is called the Gate of Heaven, because no one can enter into heaven, as St. Bonaventure declares, except through Mary” (744).

These are only a few samples of Catholic voices affirming Rome’s distinctive Marian doctrines.

The Catholic Church is a life of embracing and practicing perpetual idolatry in giving Mary what is reserved for God alone—namely, religious worship.

Because of Catholic tradition, Roman apologists err enormously regarding the lexical-semantic of the Greek noun douleia (Latin, dulia, “service”) and the verb douleuō (“to serve”) in a religious context—in both in the OT (LXX) and NT. There is a simple explanation here which does not require a lengthy corrective. To avoid the charge of idolatrous worship to Mary, Rome developed a three-tier scheme in which they distinguish between so-called service or honor given to Saints and Mary, and worship given to God denoted by three Latin terms:

I Dulia from the Greek noun, duleia (“service, slavery, bondage”); from the verb douleuō (“to serve, be enslaved, be in bondage”). Catholics are taught to give dulia, that is, “service” (veneration) to so-called canonized “Saints,” who previously died.

II Hyper-dulia (“super-superior service”) is given to Mary alone.

III. Latria from the Greek noun, latreia .(“the service or worship of God” – Rom. 12:1; Heb. 9:1); from the verb latreuō (“to give religious honor, worship” – Dan. 7:14; Luke 4:8; Phil. 3:3; Heb. 9:14), which is reserved for and given to God alone.

This distinction of three kinds of service/worship is not biblically valid. First, nowhere in Scripture does it teach that faithful Christians should give dulia (Greek, duleia) and especially Rome’s concocted term, hyper-dulia to creatures, in a religious context. Second, this distinction of three kinds of service/worship is biblically wrong. Semantically, to give dulia to anyone in a religious context is the same as giving latria (Greek, latreia)—they both denote worship reserved for God alone.

Hence, by Catholics praying to creatures giving them dulia (religious veneration), bowing before statues of Mary is the very thing God prohibits. Paul strongly expresses this point in Galatians 4:8: “However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves [‘you served,’ from the verb douleuō] to those which by nature are not gods.” Paul was clear: “to serve” (from the verb i.e., to give dulia) anyone other than God in a religious context is biblically wrong—it is simply- idolatry. Paul sees the unconverted pagans as doing this: “When you did not know God”—you were giving dulia to creatures. Regarding idols and false gods, God commands His people in Exodus 20:5: “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” The Hebrew word translated “serve” (NASB, ESV, KJV, etc.) is from abad (“to work, serve”), which is the most usual English translation of the term. In a religious context, however, to serve God is the same as worshiping Him—an action reserved for God alone (Exod. 4:23; 20:5; Mal. 3:18 et al.).

In many OT passages, however, there are more than a few standard versions that translate abad as “worship” at Exod. 3:12; Ps. 2:11; Isa. 19:23; Jer. 35:15 et al. The NIV translates abad as “worship” at Exodus 20:5: “You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (same at Exod. 3:12; Isa. 19:23). In the Septuagint (LXX), abad is frequently translated as latreuō (“to worship, serve”; Exod. 3:12; 20:5; etc.) and also translated as douleuō. In other words, in a religious context, both latreuō and douleuō mean the same thing—to give divine worship.

These Marian doctrines are purely outside of and against Scripture. In fact, aside from a passing reference of the virgin birth of Jesus in Gal. 4:4 (without mentioning Mary by name), after Acts 1:14, Mary is never mentioned again in any NT Epistle. Neither Jesus, nor any of His disciples, nor any NT Apostle prayed to her or referred to her as “Our Queen, “Our Life,” “Our Hope,” “Our Mediatress,” “Our Advocate,” “Our Salvation,” etc.


Notes

[1] Rome’s pagan doctrine of Transubstantiation makes Jesus’ body ubiquitous. In other words, day after day millions of Catholics around the world receive the Eucharist at the Mass, and simultaneously eat the literal body, and ingest the literal blood of Christ, “with his soul and his divinity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1413)  This clearly implies that Jesus’ physical body is ubiquitous—namely, it’s in multiple places at the same time! This contradicts the biblical teaching: “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14); “having been made in the likeness of men.” In this way, Rome deforms, and thus denies the biblical view of the incarnation of the Son.

[2] Historically, the Roman Catholic Church has named only 37 Doctors of the Church (with Irenaeus, A.D. 180, being the last one named).

 

The Fundamental Difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics is this: Rome does not see salvation from start to finish as the work of the triune God alone. Thus, justification before God (salvation) is not through faith alone by God’s grace alone, but, as Rome teaches, salvation comes by faith + the meritorious works that a man must do (including unquestionable devotion to Rome and “worship” to Mary (in the form of “hyperdulia”): 

 

A False Church with No Significant Truths:  4 Chief Reasons

1. Rome is a False Church – Because she and Her Followers, Embrace an Impotent Jesus – Who can neither save infallibly nor permanently, nor can save alone – not without His mother!  (see Mary & Roman Catholicism).

2.Rome is a False Church – Because she deforms and thus rejects the biblical view of the Incarnation of the Son, and rejects the one time sacrifice of Christy as the sole ground of justification (see Roman Catholicism and Transubstantiation).

3. Rome is a False Church – Because she practices epithumiac Idolatry in her Marian doctrines (see Mary & Roman Catholicism).   

4.  Rome is a False Church – Because she rejects the only recognized gospel – Justification through through faith alone.

Trent, VI, Canon 9: If anyone says that the godless are justified by faith alone . . . let him be anathema.” .

Trent, VI, Ch. 7: “For faith, unless hope and charity are added thereto, neither unites one perfectly with Christ nor makes one a living member of his body.”  

 

Contra Rom. 4:6; 5:1; – – and regeneration precedes faith – John 1:13; 1 John 5:1; Acts 13:48.

Paul’s main thesis in Romans: God’s method of justification does not change. He offers Abraham (pre-law) and David (under the law) as his chief examples: “God credits [logizetai] righteousness chōris ergōn (apart from works, Rom. 4:6).

Rome denies that the work of Jesus Christ completely sufficient for salvation. That faith plus meritorious works must be employed for salvation (as Rome teaches) is, according to the Apostle Paul, Christological heresy (cf. Gal. 1:6-8)–it rejects the work of Christ and hence rejects the Person of the Son, Jesus Christ.

The Christ of Rome is Not a Diligent Savior; As Rome believes, He cannot keep baptized Christians In His Hand – they keep falling out – There is NO perseverance or Definite Atonement For anyone.

Rome’s doctrine of Purgatory, for example, is that when a Christian dies without un-forgiven mortal sins, but who retain either un-forgiven daily sins (viz. venial sins) or “temporal punishment” due for sins are “purged” before entering heaven, so as to be made perfect. In other words, they must suffer for these sins in a place of torment (not hell, though) to be, so to speak, “scrubbed up” (viz. purified) before they can dwell with God in heaven.

Thus, the work of Christ, according to Rome, is not completely sufficient to atone and *justify* a sinner–for one must suffer for his or her own atonement in order to become righteous (just) before God.

Though Scripture testifies in passages such as Hebrews 10:10-14

10:10: “By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

10:11: “And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins.”

10:12: “But when this priest had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of God. . . .”

10:14: “For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy.”

 

Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.” .

As with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, we must see Catholics as men and women in need of evangelism. One cannot biblically claim to be truly Christian and reject Christ as the sole means of salvation, justification through faith alone, and engage in creaturely worship.

 

Spanish version here

The Roman Catholic Church greatly opposes many essential biblical teachings include Purgatory (which is a flat out denial of the sufficiency and infallible work of Christ alone); service-worship of Mary (as well as other false Marian doctrines); and esp. Rome’s denial of justification through “faith alone.”

It is unfortunate that many Christian leaders, who are either afraid and/or unaware of the basic teachings of Rome, stay utterly silent on the issue; or, even worst, they endorse the Catholic Church as a legitimate true Christian church! 

 

See Matt 16 18: The Plastic Rock of Rome- On my YouTube page  

 

The “Rock” of Matthew 16:18

This passage is Rome’s basis of the Roman dogma of Papal Succession. Just as the foundation of the false LDS Church raises and falls on Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Romish Catholic Church, rises and falls on the Papal Succession, which is the so-called divine transmission of ultimate spiritual authority from the Apostle Peter through successive Romish Popes.

As with atrocious false doctrine of ontological Transubstantiation, Rome sees Papal Succession in a real and literal way. The Romish doctrine that the Roman Pope carries the authority and infallibility of the biblical Apostles is called by Rome: Ex Cathedra (“from the chair”), which was officially made Dogma not until 1870 at Vatican 1, under Pope Pius IX.[1]

If Rome’s infallible Papal Succession doctrine is biblical, then not only would be supported by exegesis of the text at Matthew 16:18, but it would be historically shown that no Pope speaking officially, that is, “from the Chair” have ever erred. However, on both counts, Rome’s doctrine of Papal Succession fails. For example, there’s been heretical Popes such as Honorius I (625- 638), who after his death, was Anathematized, for embracing Monothelitism (Christ as having “one will”) and then later he was Anathematized for not ending it. And even officially named a heretic and Anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople (680). And Pope Leo II (682- to death 683) endorsed the condemnation of him, as did later Popes. Pope Leo declared that Honorius, “allowed the immaculate faith to be stained” by teaching not “in accord with apostolic tradition.”[2]

Before examining this text in detail, we must consider three important points in Jesus’ response to Peter.

  1. The context is not Peter, rather, the identification of Christ (“Who do you say that I am?” v. 13).
  1. Peter’s Confession (“You are the Christ the Son of living God”) was of a divine origin, thus, not of himself (cf. Phil. 1:29). In Matthew 16:17 we read: “And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
  1. Exegetically and the general consensus of early church, according to Jesus, it was Peter’s Confession that was the “rock,” upon which Jesus will build His church.

Conversely, Rome asserts that the “rock” upon which Jesus will build His church is the Apostle Peter, and not his confession. The Roman interpretation of Matthew 16:18 is false both exegetically and historically, and problematic and unsupported.

Exegetically. The passage reads: kagō de soi legō [‘I also now to you say’] that su ei Petros [“that You are Peter”] and epi tautē tē petra (‘upon this the rock’) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Note the following: as mentioned, the context, which surrounds Jesus’ statement to Peter (v. 18), starts in verses 13-15 with Jesus’ question to His disciples regarding His identity: “But who do you say that I am?” It is Peter’s response (v. 16), that is, His Confession of who Jesus is (“the Christ, the Son of the living God”) that stimulates Jesus’ statement to Peter. Note again verse 17, which indicates Jesus’ confirmation that Peter’s Confession was not derived from Peter himself (not “flesh and bone”)—rather it was revealed by God the Father.

“You” vs the phrase “this the rock.” “I also now to “YOU” [soi] say that “YOU” [su] are Peter” (lit.). The two pronouns “YOU” (soi, and su) are singular second person personal pronouns. Thus, the pronouns are in direct reference—Hence, Jesus is directly addressing Peter. Jesus said to him, not about him. Note the next phrase (lit.), “And upon THIS [epi tautē] the Rock, I will build my church.”

The pronoun THIS (tautē) is a demonstrate pronoun. The demonstrative pronoun “THIS” has a third person significance, that is, indirect address,[3] contra the two second person pronouns (“I also say to you [soi] that you [su] are Peter”; emphasis added). So, Jesus is not directly addressing the Rock, but rather He is directly addressing Peter: “I say to “YOU, that YOU are Peter and upon THIS [not you] the rock I will build My church.”[4]

Question: If Jesus had wanted to directly identify Peter as the rock, why use the demonstrative pronoun “THIS” at all? For Jesus had already used two second person pronouns (soi, su. “you”) to directly address Peter. If Jesus had meant what modern-day Catholics assert, He simply would have stated to Peter: epi su tē petra (‘”upon YOU the rock’, I will build My church” or “You Peter are the rock,” but He did not. Rather, Christ said, “Upon THIS the rock” I will build My church.”

Historically. Many Catholics selectively quote (snippet) Patristics as agreeing with Rome’s view (esp., Origen, Cyprian, and Eusebius, and Augustine, but citing only his early teachings; yet none of these church Fathers held to Rome’s view). In fact, most Roman Catholics are not aware of the historical research done by Roman Catholic Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick regarding the early church’s view of Matthew 16:18. Kenrick prepared a paper on this subject, which was to be delivered to Vatican I (1870). However, it was never delivered, but it was published later, along with other insights.[5] He points out the five interpretations of the identification of the rock in Matthew 16:18, to which important Fathers of antiquity held.  

  1. All Christians were the living stones. This view was held by very few Fathers. Origen, who is a common source of Patristic Tradition, states: “If we also say “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” then we also become Peter . . . for whoever assimilates to Christ, becomes rock. Does Christ give the keys of the kingdom to Peter alone, whereas other blessed people cannot receive them?” (Origen, Commentary on Matthew).

 

  1. All the Apostles—eight Fathers (cf. Cyprian).

 

  1. Christ as the Rock—sixteen Fathers (Eusebius, early Augustine). Eusebius of Caesarea (D. 263-339), in his view (i.e., the rock as Christ), he links this interpretation with the parallel rock and foundation statements of 1 Corinthians 3:11 and 10:4.

 

  1. Peter as the Rock—only seventeen Fathers!

 

  1. The rock upon which the Church was built was the Faith that Peter confessed—forty-four Fathers! including the most significant Fathers (e.g., Basil of Seleucia, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Hilary,[6] Jerome, Augustine who stated (later in life) in his Retractions:

Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” There’s the rock for you, – there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer.

 Thus, only twenty percent of the Fathers held to Rome’s now canonized “infallible” “Petrine Rock” interpretation of Matthew 16:18. That is far from being the norm of the early church. So, Kendrick himself concluded: “If we are bound to follow the majority of the fathers in this thing, then we are bound to hold for certain that the ‘rock’ should be understood the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith.”

As Roman Catholic apologist, H. Burn-Murdock actually admitted: “None of the writings of the first two centuries describe St. Peter as a bishop of Rome.”[7] In fact, no one before Bishop Callistus (A.D. 223) ever used Matthew 16:18 to support the primacy of the Roman Bishop (i.e., “Pope” as Rome calls it)—no one.

 Lastly, consider the following points that seriously challenge Rome’s position of the so-called Primacy of Peter and him being the first Pope of Rome:

  1. There is no biblical evidence indicating that Peter had supremacy over all the other apostles.
  1. Peter never once considered that he was Pope, Pontiff; Vicar of Christ, Holy Father, or Head of the whole Christian Church, nor did any of the other apostles make such as claim.
  1. Peter outwardly denied the Lord (out of fear) and Peter was rebuked by the Apostle Paul for being prejudice against the Gentiles (cf. Gal. 2:11-12).
  1. At the first church council in Jerusalem (not Rome), it was James and not Peter who was the leading speaker and decision maker, for James authoritatively declared Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles.” Moreover, the letter that was sent out regarding the judgment never mentions Peter (cf. v. 23).
  1. At the end of Romans (A.D. 57), Paul sends his greetings to at least twenty-six people, but Peter is not even mentioned! Why? Surely, if Peter had “recognized supremacy” over Rome and all the apostles, we would expect Paul to have greeted him first!
  1. Peter was a married man, unlike the Roman Popes (cf. Matt. 8:14; 1 Cor. 9:5).

 

NOTES

[1] Ex Cathedra: Any doctrines of “faith or morals” promulgated by the Pope – in his capacity as Successor to St. Peter, speaking from the Chair or Seat of his Episcopal authority in Rome is infallible, he cannot error. The Holy Spirit protects him from erring. The Nature of Infallibility was Stated in Session 4, Constitution on the Church 4, Vat 1.

[2] Philip Schaff, “The Heresy of Honorius” in the History of the Christian Church, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library; First Published: 1882).

[3] Although demonstrative pronouns (“this, that”) do not grammatically have “person,” it can express an indirect significance similar to a third person pronoun. It can express a thing (“this”) other than a direct reference.  

[4] In Greek, Petros means, “piece of rock”; while petra, means, “large stone, rock, mass.” However, I do not see this distinction as a strong argument against Rome’s view.    

[5] Cf. An Inside View at Vatican I, ed. Leonard Woolsey Bacon (New York: American Tract Society, 1871).

[6] Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity (Book II): “Thus our one immovable foundation, our one blissful rock of faith, is the confession from Peter’s mouth, Thou art the Son of the living God” (On the Trinity).

[7] H. Burn-Murdock, The Development of the Papacy (1954), 130f.