Question of the Week: Are Romans Catholics genuine Christians?
Verses: Acts 4:12
The simple answer to this question is yes and no. The genuineness of someone’s faith is best determined on a person by person basis. If an individual who is apart of the Roman Catholic Church believes they are saved, you need to ask them the same question you would ask any other Christian to test the genuineness of their faith. You need to ask whether they believe they are saved by their works or by the finished work of Jesus on the cross. The Roman Catholic Church’s book of Canon Law states all of the traditions laid down at the Counsel of Trent are necessary for salvation. Fortunately an ever growing number of people in the Catholic church know very little about their church’s history and don’t believe that as valid doctrine. This shows their understanding and personal acceptance of salvation was in Jesus and not in an organization. Most people in the Catholic church are apart of it because it’s where their families have always gone and where they are most comfortable in their worship of God. The only things you need to clarify beyond salvation is; whether or not they believe that membership in the Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, If they believe the idea that Jesus’ suffering on the cross is perpetuated through the mass, and if they believe the sacraments of Communion become the literal body and blood of Jesus. These doctrines, among many others, are unscriptural and would be considered cultic in their nature since they draw a person’s source of trust, truth, and salvation away from God and into their ideas about the topic. However, we make an even bigger mistake if we assume because someone attends a particular type of church that they automatically understand and adhere to the false teachings found therein. A genuine Christian can be found even in the churches with the most obvious of false teachers and doctrines, but they likely won’t stay there for long as their desire to grow closer to God continues to be hindered in that kind of fellowship. Are Catholics Christians? It depends on the type of Catholic you’re talking to. As long as they understand their source of salvation is in Christ alone and their understanding of Christian truth comes from the Bible and not their church’s additions to it, they can be called your brother or sister in the Lord.
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