rhiggs said to 3graces: "Check this out. The pope criticizes the pursuit of wealth. I can't decide what is dripping more, the irony or the gold draped all over his hypocritical body."
I have to admit that was pretty funny and I agree, but lets get the record straight about the Roman Catholic church (RCC).
The Bible says to evaluate everything to see if it's of God by its fruit, good tree = good fruit; a bad tree can never bear good fruit.
We don't even have to address the Catholic Church and the mass pedophiles, and the crusades, inquisition, witch hunts, millions of defectors, etc. to determine the fruit, it is obvious. That doesn't mean there are not truly saved people in the Catholic Church, which there are, but they are saved in spite of the RCC doctrine.
I hope you will agree that being a Christian does not mean being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Scripture, to me, goes against RCC. (Matthew 23:9, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Peter 5:3, John 14:26, 1 Timothy 2:5-6[not priests], Colossians 2:16, 1 John 2:27)
"Even if Peter is the rock in Matthew 16:18, this is meaningless in giving the Roman Catholic Church any authority. Scripture nowhere records Peter being in Rome. Scripture nowhere describes Peter as being supreme over the other apostles. The New Testament does not describe Peter as being the "all authoritative leader" of the early Christian church. Peter was not the first pope, and Peter did not start the Roman Catholic Church. The origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Peter or any other apostle. If Peter truly was the founder of the Roman Catholic Church, it would be in full agreement with what Peter taught (Acts 2, 1 Peter, 2 Peter)." (gotquestions.org)
I agree with Matt when he stated: "Being a member of the body of Christ which is accomplished by faith and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins. It means that you do not add your works to His work. Sincerity doesn't forgive sins. Membership in a church doesn't forgive sins. Doing works of penance doesn't forgive sins. Praying to Mary doesn't forgive sins. Forgiveness is received in the faithful trust and acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. You must trust Jesus, God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins, not a man made ritual and certainly not the catholic saints. Even though Roman Catholic Church affirms the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and His physical resurrection, it greatly errs in its doctrine of salvation by adding works to salvation.
The official Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation is that the grace of God is infused into a baby at baptism -- making him/her justified before God. This justification can be lost through sin and must be regained by repeated participation in the many sacraments found in the Roman Catholic Church. These sacraments increase the measure of grace in the person by which he or she is enabled to do good works which are in turn rewarded with the joy of heaven.
No one can say whether a Roman Catholic is truly a Christian or not since we cannot know people's hearts. But, if anyone, Catholic included, openly denies essential doctrines then he is not saved, and this is the problem. It appears that the Roman Catholic church is denying the essential doctrine of justification by faith."(CARM)
Like I said I believe that there are truly regenerate Christians in the Roman Catholic church.
"But, they are truly Christians in spite of official RCC theology and in spite of the ritualistic offerings of this ancient church which has had too many hands meddling in it through the centuries, gradually moving it away from orthodoxy and into apostasy. Yes apostasy. The Roman Catholic Church is no longer representing true Christianity."
RCC states that it is not the Scriptures, nor tradition, nor the early church fathers, nor anything other than the Church’s Magisterium, personified in the pope, that is the ultimate and final authority and standard of truth. Now does that sound right?