An Examination of Roman Catholicism

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greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
It occurred to me today (in preparation for speaking to some folks about this) that it might be very helpful for people to have a handy chart for easily comparing the Reformed faith with official Roman Catholic teaching on a number of doctrines (comparing the Roman Catholic catechism with the Reformed confessions), and then seeing what Scripture has to say about it. So, references in the Roman side are to paragraph numbers in the RCC Catechism, and the standard abbreviations in the Reformed standards should be easily recognizable. I have concentrated on the most important issues. No doubt there are others I have missed. The format is first the Roman Catholic teaching, then the Reformed teaching, then the Scriptural teaching.

I. On Scripture: while Scripture is inspired by God, tradition and the pope have equal authority. See 891 of the Catechism.

Scripture alone is the infallible rule of faith and practice. See BC, article 7, WCF 1.

2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 John 5:9


II. On Mary: She is Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix (Cat. 969). She continues to intercede for us in heaven.

Jesus is our one and only High Priest. We need no other Mediatrix save Christ. (BC 21, HC 18, WCF 8, LC 36)

Phil. 3:1-9, 1 Cor. 2:1-2, Heb. 7:26-8:6, 9:11-14, 9:25-10:14

III. On justification: happens at baptism (1987, 1992), involves sanctification (1989, 1995), can be lost (1446).

Justification happens at time-point of faith, does not involve sanctification, and cannot be lost (BC 22-24, HC 60, WCF 11, LC 70-73)

1 Peter 3:21, Romans 3-4, 8

IV. Baptism regenerates (1213).

Baptism is a sign and seal of salvation, not salvation itself (BC 34, WCF 28). We are saved by the thing signified (Christ's blood), not by the sign itself.

1 Peter 3:21, Colossians 2:11-13

V. The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation (1373-1378), which results in the worship of the bread and wine.

The Lord is present spiritually only (HC 78-80, WCF 29)

Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22ff., Luke 22:19ff, 1 Cor. 11:24ff.

VI. Purgatory: further purification might be needed after death (1030-1032)

Only two places for souls separated from the body (WCF 32.1)

Luke 23:39-43, 1 Cor. 3:10-15
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
V. The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation (1373-1378), which results in the worship of the bread and wine.

I would have been offended by this statement as a Roman Catholic. RC's, of course, do not believe that they are worshipping bread and wine, but the Lord only. The doctrine is that a real change in substance happens at the consecration: from bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ (Which/Whom is present 'under' the mere appearance of bread and wine). In Aristotelian terms (which are important for understanding so much of Romanist theology) the substance of the Sacrament is Christ Himself, while the bread and wine are just the accidents (non-essential, incidental properties of the Sacrament). Worship is directed to the substance, not the accidents.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
V. The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation (1373-1378), which results in the worship of the bread and wine.

I would have been offended by this statement as a Roman Catholic. RC's, of course, do not believe that they are worshipping bread and wine, but the Lord only. The doctrine is that a real change in substance happens at the consecration: from bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ (Which/Whom is present 'under' the mere appearance of bread and wine). In Aristotelian terms (which are important for understanding so much of Romanist theology) the substance of the Sacrament is Christ Himself, while the bread and wine are just the accidents (non-essential, incidental properties of the Sacrament). Worship is directed to the substance, not the accidents.

I am fully aware of the Roman Catholic sophism that tries to get around the idea that they worship the bread and wine. I am also aware of their total misuse of Aristotle's categories (which were never meant to be used to describe the situation where the substance of one thing could be combined with the accidents of another). The sophisms are utterly unsuccessful, as every single Reformed theologian in history has noted.
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am fully aware of the Roman Catholic sophism that tries to get around the idea that they worship the bread and wine. I am also aware of their total misuse of Aristotle's categories (which were never meant to be used to describe the situation where the substance of one thing could be combined with the accidents of another). The sophisms are utterly unsuccessful, as every single Reformed theologian in history has noted.

Agreed.

I just thought I should point out what I did, because each of your statements of RC doctrine save for the one on the Lord's Supper is one that Roman Catholics would probably find uncontroversial. It stands out.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
It's funny you should mention these things, because Bryan Cross over on my blog is raising these very issues (I doubled the post over on my blog).
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am an ex Roman catholic and now a Reformed Protestant. The veneration of Mary is something that I reject in all respects. I honor her role in the incarnation as unique and wonderful but I felt uncomfortable for a long time even while I was still a practicing Roman Catholic with the veneration of Mary, the rosary, etc., as well as the adoration of the breadwafer outside the Roman mass, which I now as a Reformed Protestant prefer to call the Lord's Supper.

I believe my journey in faith has been an ongoing process and discovery for a long time. I think that process started in college and has been going on through much of my life. I have shared my story with many and I think some understand I did not just wake up one day and say I am going to convert to Protestantism and become a Presbyterian.

My beliefs on sacrament, worship, authority and the church, have led me to conversion of mind and spirit which is why I now profess my Christianity as a Protestant and a Presbyterian. [email protected] sends me a theological thought of the day every day. He is a Reformed Calvinist Presbyterian as I now am. I received one the other day which was on was on "sanctification" and I wrote and thanked him for that theological thought. I told him also.....when I read it I felt it applied to me and described very well what I have felt. John Calvin also a Roman Catholic at one point as I was talked of a "true Protestant conversion" which I can also say I can relate to.
I believe I am a Protestant partly today through Sanctification

[saynk’-tuh-fih-kay‘-shun]

(Latin sanctifare, “to consecrate” or “make holy,” from Greek hagiazo, “to purify”)

Refers to the state or process of being set apart for special use. In Christian theology, is in reference to the change brought about by God in the believer which began at the point of salvation (justification) and continues throughout the life of the believer until the final state of glorification. The word (hagiasmos=sanctifcation/holiness) occurs several times in the NT (e.g., Rom. 6:19,22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 1 Thess. 4:3,4,7; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).

I believe there are many things I can relate to and comprehend perhaps more so than cradle Protestants because of the process of sanctification that I believe God has infused into my life. Roman Catholicism sees and teaches that Reformed Protestants are furthest from the true teachings of the true church. I guess that is why I initially became an Episcopalian for a while after formally leaving Roman Catholicism in 2006. However my studies on Luther led me beyond Luther and the Lutheran theology which I see as more in line with Roman Catholicism when I discovered the writings and teachings of John Calvin and the Reformed Protestant thinkers and theologians.

A Presbyterian friend had sent me the following thought and I also concur now as a Presbyterian Protestant completely with this thought.

Calvin passionately sought for the restoration of the Church Catholic of the Apostles and the Fathers, I wish more Presbyterians laid hold of this. That Presbyterianism is the restoration of and old religion not the innovation of a new religion. Our greatest fault is that we are not connected with the ancient faith as he was.

I responded to the above thought in this way. Amen! I am not anti Roman Catholic. I am today a Reformed Protestant who left the Roman church and became a Presbyterian because I believe Presbyterianism is the restoration of the ancient faith of the true Christian church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles. I renounce the papist Roman teachings which continue to be apostasy and corrupt the Gospel and the truth of the scriptures. I am a staunch Protestant, Presbyterian and a Calvinist because I believe Presbyterianism is the restoration of and old religion not the innovation of a new religion as Roman Catholicism teaches. We Reformed Presbyterian Protestants I also believe are the heirs of the ancient and true faith. I renounce the pope and Roman Catholicism as did John Calvin and all the reformers. I wish more Protestants would understand and accept this fact. I have found that more ex Roman Catholics like myself who have become Reformed Protestants do understand that fact better than many cradle Protestants.

May we all be Sons of the Reformation and continue to proclaim what it means to be Reformed Presbyterian Protestant Christians !!!!

In grace,
Dudley


I have written many papers on the rc doctrine of transubstantiation and why I no longer believe it as well as rc teaching on sacrament, worship and authority. I am willing to share my perspective with all here if you would like.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Good post, Pastor Keister. I thought I would throw in a few more as I have time. (I don't have the RCC in front of me, so these will be referenced to the Council of Trent)

VII. On the sacraments: The sacraments themselves possess a force to physically work grace ex opere operato (See Canons 6,7,8 "On the Sacraments in General)

The sacraments are signs and seals, and work "hyperphysically and morally" as faith receives the substance they signify. (BC 33, WCF 27.3, 29.7)

Rom. 4:11; Acts 10:34-37; Heb. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:21.
 
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dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Regarding sacrament: the Lords Supper vs. the RC mass

I am an ex roman catholic and now a Presbyterian Protestant as I said in my earlier post here. regarding sacraments everything in roman catholicism holds the "believer in bondage

I initially became an Episcopalian in 2006 because I was comfortable with the similarities to the roman church. However I studied the Protestant reformation and I came to believe that the Reformed Protestants are the restoration of the church to its uncorrupted foundations.

I am in faith now a Reformed Protestant theologically and a confessed and communing Presbyterian. I at first attended and joined an OPC congregation for several months after leaving the Episcopal church in February 2007. I joined a Westminster class with the OPC congregation and in the process I came to truly believe there is nothing outrageous in believing that all true Christians are justified by faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone and that the Bible is our only source of authority. To challenge these twin pillars of Christian faith is to challenge the heart of the Gospel. Those who set aside these basic Christian tenets are themselves ‘outrageous’ and stand against the Gospel.

Regarding the Lords Supper do not believe any longer in the rc teaching of transubstantiation and I have come to believe the rc mass is an insult and blasphemy to Christ's once only needed sacrifice on Calvary for all who place their faith in Him alone.

I however experience the presence of the Lord more so now when I commune in my Presbyterian church on the first Sunday of each month when we celebrate His Supper than when I received communion weekly at the rc mass.

I am now a Reformed Presbyterian Protestant and
believe that The Lord's Supper is a memorial: "Do this in remembrance of me." It reminds us specifically of his death. Not his life, not his miracles, not his teachings, but his death he wanted to be remembered above all else.

The Lord's Supper is also a symbol, a representation of Christ's body and blood. The broken bread represents his broken body. The wine which is poured represents his shed blood. He tells us why his body was broken and his blood was shed: "This is my body,This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:26, 28). In this sacrament we see Christ portrayed - dying in our place, paying the penalty of our sins.

As a Protestant I believe The Lord's Supper is also a sign and seal of God's covenant of grace. "This is my blood of the covenant," our Lord declared (Matthew 26:28). He applies this external emblem of his blood to assure us that all who partake by faith shall surely have fulfilled God's promises of grace and salvation.

Finally as a Reformed Protestant The Lord's Supper is a fellowship. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (I Corinthians 10:16 KJV). It is a fellowship of sinners redeemed by grace. It is the sweetest fellowship on earth. There is no table like the Lord's table, rich in nourishment as by faith we feed on Christ, abundant in joyous fellowship in his grace.

However as a Protestant I now say how Christ makes himself present in the Lords Supper is a mystery of the infinite and should not be defined by finite men. The council of Trent made official a theory by some Christians up to the 16th century that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus. They call that transubstantiation. I no longer accept that teaching.

I am am no longer a roman catholic I am now a Presbyterian Protestant and I renounce the false teachings of that church, her pope and I renounce her abominable mass and the catholic wafer God and their magic ritual called transubstantiation My studies on Kxox and also Zwigli have totally changed my position on communion, the Lords Supper. Most students of John Calvin are aware that it was his desire that churches practice weekly communion. Calvin believed that this frequency could be found in both apostolic teaching and example, and that weekly observance was also the practice of the church fathers. Moreover, Calvin saw weekly observance as necessary for uniting the ministry of Word and sacrament.
When I first became a Presbyterian I missed the weekly celebration of the Lords Supper. My congregation and all the Presbyterian congregations I have worshipped with celebrate monthly communion. However I now am of the opinion that the position John Knox advocated in his Order of Geneva (1556) where he proposed monthly communion is a correct practice.

Many of Calvin’s Presbyterian descendants did not adopt Calvin’s desire for weekly celebration. The blame for this is usually placed upon another Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli. Zwingli however suggested quarterly observance: once in the autumn and on Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The Zwiglian practice is more like the way Baptists celebrate the Supper. Modern Presbyterians reject a Zwinglian view of quarterly, and infrequent communion.

I believe now that In the sacrament of the Lords Supper the bread and wine do not embrace the body and blood of Christ, I totally reject the roman catholic teaching of transubstantiation. I now believe that there is little urgency for frequent celebration. I think monthly celebration makes it a bit more special and I now believe that weekly celebration could have a tendency to romanize the supper and it can become more like the papist celebration of the mass.

As I read John Knox my position on the Lords Supper and baptism have become more enlightened and my own preference from my roman catholic tradition has now changed in favor of only monthly celebration of communion.

In grace,
Dudley
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
It's great to hear how the Lord has and is working in your life. You are understanding Him better through His Word and living that out.

dudley

Many of Calvin’s Presbyterian descendants did not adopt Calvin’s desire for weekly celebration. The blame for this is usually placed upon another Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli. Zwingli however suggested quarterly observance: once in the autumn and on Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The Zwiglian practice is more like the way Baptists celebrate the Supper. Modern Presbyterians reject a Zwinglian view of quarterly, and infrequent communion.



Dr. GI Williamson, The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes, first edition, p. 219



3. How often does Christ require its [Lord's Supper] observance?

A. Often
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Regarding Justification

I studied the Protestant Reformation with fervor and I became convinced and a believer in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. When I accepted the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and realized that salvation is by grace alone could no longer say I was a Roman Catholic. I renounced the ecclesiastical authorities of the Roman catholic church and I renounced the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Christ’s head of his church on earth. I fully understood that only Christ heads his church. When I renounced the Ecclesiastical structure, I searched and found Calvin, Knox and the Presbyterian denomination. I knew I was a Protestant but not yet a Presbyterian. I wanted to find a Protestant denomination that I believed had the purest form of the Gospel.

It was in that search I became a Presbyterian in faith not only a Protestant.

As a roman catholic I needed to belong to the Roman Church to be saved. I had to do good works and work with much effort and much guilt to save myself. I know now as a Reformed Protestant and a Presbyterian that none of this could save my soul. Salvation was bestowed because of God’s mercy. Salvation by Faith alone...the Protestant doctrine of Justification. I now understand the scripture when it says
In Titus Ch. 2 v. 11, I read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
These words make it very clear that Salvation is by Grace. It is God reaching down to the helpless sinner, revealing to him that He loves him so much that He sent His Son to the cross. There, He took the sinner’s place by becoming his substitute. He paid the penalty for sin that the sinner should have paid.

The following also attests to the Protestant doctrine of Justification. It also attests to me why the Church of Rome is wrong in condemning the Protestant doctrine and distorting the truth. It is why I am now a Protestant and why I renounced the RC church.

In Titus Ch. 3 v. 4 - 5, I read: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”.

The words of Romans Ch. 3 v. 24, summed it all up. They read: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I could now see that God gave Salvation FREELY to sinful man. The sinner was not required to work for it.

I decided to become a Presbyterian because I asked myself "Either the Roman Catholic Church is very right, OR if it’s not, it’s very wrong?" I knew it was wrong and a false teacher of the true Gospel of Christ and there can no in-between on this issue. I always knew that Transubstantiation denied the sovereignty of God. The reformed theology is the only Protestant theology that praises the sovereignty of God and the governmental structure is biblically sound. I believe the Presbyterian Fold is the pure and true Christian church. It’s why I now profess my faith as a Presbyterian. I’m now a Reformed Protestant and a Presbyterian. Some Protestants and I believe some Presbyterians don't understand that we are both Protestant but also Presbyterian. That is very important for Presbyterians to understand. As a former Roman Catholic who searched hard for that truth I cherish it! I am so happy that I have found the truth of salvation. It is why I left the Roman Catholic Church and its distorted teaching of tradition along with the Bible. I renounced the Roman church and its view of the Bishop of Rome as the final authority and head of the church. As a Protestant I believe the Bible is the final Authority. As a Protestant I believe Christ alone is head of his church. As a Presbyterian we are all members of the Priesthood of Christ. It is why I am now an evangelizing Protestant who looks forward to professing my faith publicly as a Presbyterian.

Sincerely and In Grace,
Dudley
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I decided to become a Presbyterian because I asked myself "Either the Roman Catholic Church is very right, OR if it’s not, it’s very wrong?" I knew it was wrong and a false teacher of the true Gospel of Christ and there can no in-between on this issue.

I still feel the same way. Either the Roman Church is what she claims to be, or she is something uniquely... sinister and evil. The lukewarm attitude toward Rome that many professing Christians have, where she is seen as 'just another denomination that's different from us', baffles me (as does, for that matter, the attitude of professing Christians who are aggressively anti-Catholic for all the wrong reasons, such as those we find in liberal denominations).

A good sermon from the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

EIPS - Roman Catholicism

"Let me explain -- and this is where the whole subtlety comes in, where the wiles of the devil come in. In one sense, and if you look at it casually, you might well think that the Roman Catholic Church is the most orthodox Church in the world. If you are considering something like the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ there is no question as to the orthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church believes that Jesus of Nazareth was the eternal Son of God; it believes in the Virgin Birth, it believes in the Incarnation; it believes in His miracles; it believes in His substitutionary work upon the cross and His resurrection physically. There is no question about that. It believes in His ascension, in His heavenly ascension. On the question of the Person of our Lord the Roman Catholic Church is absolutely orthodox -- alas, much more orthodox, one sometimes thinks, than most Protestants. (That is what makes this position so appalling.) In the same way, if you are concerned about the work of our Lord there is no question about her orthodoxy. If you are concerned about 'the principle of grace' as such, it is one of their central tenets. If you are concerned about the divine inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, they hold it and believe it is the Word of God. Again, alas, much more so than most Protestants.

So that, [again], if you merely look at her in that general manner you might well come to the conclusion that this is the most orthodox body in the world.

But at this point the subtlety comes in and the difficulty arises. To all that she 'adds', with a 'damnable plus', things which are utterly unscriptural and which, indeed, become a denial of the Scripture.

So she lands us eventually in a position in which, if we accept her teaching, we are believing a lie! In other words, her dogma is a counterfeit; she is, as the Scripture puts it, 'the whore'.

Now this matter is extremely subtle, but our theme is the 'subtlety', the 'wiles' of the devil. If you really want to know something about subtlety you have to read the literature of the Roman Catholic Church. She can appear to be everything and all things to all men. Her system is so vast and her subtlety is so great that she almost seems to be quite impregnable."
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Dr RC Sproul's book, What is Reformed Theology? is helpful in understanding these points (and distinguishing reformed theology from broad evangelicalism).
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I agrre with Reformed Thomist

Reformed Thomist said:"But at this point the subtlety comes in and the difficulty arises. To all that she 'adds', with a 'damnable plus', things which are utterly unscriptural and which, indeed, become a denial of the Scripture.

So she lands us eventually in a position in which, if we accept her teaching, we are believing a lie! In other words, her dogma is a counterfeit; she is, as the Scripture puts it, 'the whore'."

I agree the truth is "the devil makes a truth look like a lie and a lie look like the truth."

It is why I am a Reformed Protestant and an ex Roman Catholic.

In grace,
Dudley
 

Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
V. The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation (1373-1378), which results in the worship of the bread and wine.

I would have been offended by this statement as a Roman Catholic. RC's, of course, do not believe that they are worshipping bread and wine, but the Lord only. The doctrine is that a real change in substance happens at the consecration: from bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ (Which/Whom is present 'under' the mere appearance of bread and wine). In Aristotelian terms (which are important for understanding so much of Romanist theology) the substance of the Sacrament is Christ Himself, while the bread and wine are just the accidents (non-essential, incidental properties of the Sacrament). Worship is directed to the substance, not the accidents.

I am fully aware of the Roman Catholic sophism that tries to get around the idea that they worship the bread and wine. I am also aware of their total misuse of Aristotle's categories (which were never meant to be used to describe the situation where the substance of one thing could be combined with the accidents of another). The sophisms are utterly unsuccessful, as every single Reformed theologian in history has noted.


Thanks for the chart, Lane, this, I'm sure is very helpful for many people. Concerning the point about transubstantiation leading to the worship of the bread and wine this is something we need to reemphasize. The CRCNA has declared the Q/A 80 of the Heidelberg Catechism does not accurately reflect Roman Catholic teaching so they have struck out the parts that say that the mass is a denial of the one true sacrifice of Christ, and accursed idolatry. The whole report is here. I am not sure how this affects you in the CRC Church you labor in. I took a class last year on Creeds and Confessions and this issue came up. I tried to explain that it didn't matter that the RC's said they were worshipping Christ in the bread and not the bread itself, they were still worshipping bread because Christ was not in the bread. I even showed them how the HC understood what idolatry really was; they still didn't get it. I ended up doing a lot of :banghead: needless to say.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Stephen is completely correct. Too many cradle Protestants do not understand the blasphemes rc teaching of transubstantiation and the abomination that is the rc mass because it denies the one time only needed sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and it does teach that the bread wafer is transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus which then they reserve in a tabernacle and worship in a golden monstrance in a service outside the celebration of the Lords Supper. Stephen I applaud you for trying to explain that it didn't matter that the RC's said they were worshipping Christ in the bread and not the bread itself, they were still worshipping bread because Christ was not in the bread. I even showed them how the HC understood what idolatry really was; they still didn't get it.

Watch EWTN and watch the abominable benediction of the wafer in a golden monstrance. Christ is not in the bread we Protestants worship Christ and experience his presence in His Supper, RC are worshipping a piece of bread they believe was turned into Christ by their priest in the Roman mass. John Calvin renounced the teaching and the mass and I also did when I left Roman Catholicism and converted to the reformed Protestant faith.

Dudley
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Defending the Faith

The title of this thread is "Defending the Faith." We who are Reformed Protestants protest the heresies of Roman Catholicism and stand for the truth of the scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation i.e. the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and practice and that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

I will close tonight with a quote from Spurgeon.

"After all, there is a Protestantism still worth contending for, there is a Calvinism still worth proclaiming, and a gospel well worth dying for" (CH Spurgeon)

In Grace.
Dudley
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Leaving Catholicism and becoming a Reformed Protestant

I found the following article on the number of people in the United States who have changed their religious affiliation in the last 10 years. I am one of many ex Roman Catholics who are now Protestant. It is estimated that 15 million former American Roman Catholics are now practicing Protestants. I am today a Reformed Protestant who left the Roman Catholic church in 2006. I initially became an Episcopalian however my studies of Protestantism led me to the Reformed faith. I am now a Presbyterian because I believe Presbyterianism is the restoration of The ancient faith of the true Christian church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles. I renounced the pope and Roman Catholicism as did John Calvin and all the reformers. I wish more cradle Protestants would understand and accept this fact. I have found that more ex Roman Catholics like myself who have become Reformed Protestants do understand that fact better than many cradle Protestants.

Also the Roman church does an enormous job publicizing the conversion stories of Protestants who have become Roman Catholics. The truth is the numbers in that arena are really very small compared to the number of American Roman Catholics who have become Protestant as I have. Go on Goggle and type in Conversion of Roman Catholics to Protestant and the page pops up with all Protestant conversion stories to Roman Catholic. If you type in Dudley Davis reformed Protestant you will see my testimony in several places on the Internet. I believe we Protestants need to do a better job evangelizing the truth.

The following story attests to the facts I have made here.Its titled Leaving Catholicism.

While the ranks of the unaffiliated have grown the most due to changes in religious affiliation, the Catholic Church has lost the most members in the same process; this is the case even though Catholicism's retention rate of childhood members (68%) is far greater than the retention rate of the unaffiliated and is comparable with or better than the retention rates of other religious groups. Those who have left Catholicism outnumber those who have joined the Catholic Church by nearly a four-to-one margin. Overall, one-in-ten American adults (10.1%) have left the Catholic Church after having been raised Catholic, while only 2.6% of adults have become Catholic after having been raised something other than Catholic.

Former Catholics are about evenly divided between those who have become Protestant and those who are now unaffiliated with any religion, with fewer now adhering to other faiths. Among Catholics who have become Protestant, most now belong to evangelical denominations, with fewer associated with mainline Protestant denominations.

The same survey shows that those raised Protestant are still Protestant and only 3% have become Roman Catholics.

Eight-in-ten adults who were raised Protestant are still Protestant, and about two-thirds of this group (or 52% of all those raised Protestant) are still members of the same family of denominations (e.g. Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) in which they were raised. The other third (28% of all those raised Protestant) are now members of a new family of Protestant denominations. However, one-fifth of those raised Protestant have left Protestantism altogether; most of them are now unaffiliated (13%), with smaller numbers having become Catholic (3%) or members of other faiths (4%). This section of the report takes a closer look at the large group of people (15% of the overall population) who have changed faiths within Protestantism (e.g., those who were raised Presbyterian and are now Episcopalian, or those who were raised Methodist and are now Baptist).

In grace
Dudley
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation

The administrator of this forum said:
V. The Lord's Supper: transubstantiation (1373-1378), which results in the worship of the bread and wine.

The Lord is present spiritually only (HC 78-80, WCF 29)

Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22ff., Luke 22:19ff, 1 Cor. 11:24ff.

I have been contributing on the reformed blog site Reclaiming the Mind "Why I don't buy the rc teaching of transubstantiation in John 6" I am now a practicing and communing Presbyterian.

I am now a practicing and communing Presbyterian. However I have on numerous occasions in the last few years while exploring all Protestant denominations after leaving the Roman catholic church joined with a local Methodist congregation who welcome all believers to the Lords Supper and Table. What I like about Wesleyan theology is while I now see the heresy of the Roman catholic teaching of transubstantiation and see the rc mass as a blasphemy against Christ's sacrifice on Calvary I think I like the Methodist view that Holy Communion is a type of sacrifice. It is a re-presentation, not a repetition, of the sacrifice of Christ. Hebrews 9:26 makes clear that "he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself." Christ's atoning life, death, and resurrection make divine grace available to us. We also present ourselves as sacrifice in union with Christ (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5) to be used by God in the work of redemption, reconciliation, and justice. In the Great Thanksgiving, the church prays: "We offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us . . ." (UMH; page 10).

We Presbyterians know that John Calvin, founder of our Reformed tradition, recognized that the Roman Catholics were correct when they said that in the Eucharist we genuinely encounter Jesus, but mistaken when they said this happens because the elements of bread and wine are physically changed into Christ's body and blood. He noted that while no physical change takes place in the bread and wine it is incorrect in supposing that the absence of physical change means nothing is happening. I believe now as a Presbyterian Protestant that the physical nature of the bread and the wine does not change. And yet Jesus is genuinely present here, as he promised, through the Holy spirit and because of our faith to sustain and strengthen his people. And we receive him into our inmost being in reliance on and in obedience to that promise. we however eat the bread and drink the wine or juice to commemorate his atoning sacrifice on Calvary. We do not worship the bread wafer after the service of the Lords Supper which I now think is an abomination.

I think there are still many Christians including Roman Catholics still open to dialogue on an acceptable common understanding of the sacrament of the Lords Supper.

If anyone has a moment I would like to know what you think about this. Christ did pray that we all be one and it is a shame that the meal and supper and sacrament and ordinance He established and left for us continues to be a dividing point. I totally renounce the rc catholic teaching of transubsantiation but perhaps we Reformed Protestants can help create a dialogue to lead others to the truth.
 

August

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, I found this very helpful.

The number one thing I run up against with RC's is: "Sola Scriptura is not in the Bible" and they refuse to listen past that objection. This is normally based on a misunderstanding of what Sola Scriptura means, but nonetheless I'd be thrilled to have a good concise answer to that. Can anyone suggest an answer?
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks, I found this very helpful.

The number one thing I run up against with RC's is: "Sola Scriptura is not in the Bible" and they refuse to listen past that objection. This is normally based on a misunderstanding of what Sola Scriptura means, but nonetheless I'd be thrilled to have a good concise answer to that. Can anyone suggest an answer?

Hello! Sola Scriptura means that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith. What's the basis for that? Scripture claims that it is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and no other authority can claim that for itself. Tradition may be helfpul at times, but it's not God-breathed. And neither is the Magisterium. After the death of the apostles, the only God-breathed authority we have is the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments. In our time, the fact remains that only Scripture is God breathed and is therefore the only infallible rule of faith.

This debate between Dr. James White (Protestant) and Patrick Madrid (Roman Catholic) on this topic might be of help to you.

Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?

-----Added 8/22/2009 at 12:47:03 EST-----

I hope that helps. :)
 

ReformedTarheel

Puritan Board Freshman
Very good thread. There are a number of other areas that could be mentioned concerning the pope and the individual priests (particularly their role in supposedly absolving our sins), but a very good primer.
 
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