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Vatican - Catholics = Only True Church

It is quite sad that once again, even in this year, the Vatican makes a papal approved declaration that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ.

One would have thought by now that even Rome would have come to understand that the work of the Holy Spirit is known only unto God. Jesus said that the Spirit, like the wind, moves where He will and no mortal can know His every movement.

Yet Rome appears to know more than the Holy Spirit.

The truth is in the Bible itself. Wherever one is born again of the Holy Spirit, that one has come into the Kingdom of heaven. That is according to the Head of the Church itself, Christ Jesus. (Read the Gospel of John, chapter 3).

Therefore, any human being who has confessed his sins to Christ, received divine forgiveness in the gift of saving grace, becomes a part of the worldwide, eternal church. There is no man-made label that can define the Christian or the church. God defines the Christian by bestowing salvation upon the repentant heart.

Yet, per AP, “The Vatican issued a document restating its belief that the Catholic Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ.

“The 16-page document was prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a doctrinal watchdog that Pope Benedict used to head.

“Formulated as five questions and answers, the document is titled ‘Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.’”

Those outside the Catholic Church are regarded by Rome as “ecclesial communities,” whatever that means. But one thing is clear: those two words do not mean being a part of the one true church for only the Roman Catholic Church is that, per Rome.

Once again, non-Catholics are regarded as second-class. They cannot be considered a part of the full force of Christian truth. They are not admitted to the sacramental table in a Catholic sanctuary. Yet the table belongs to Christ, not any church. Therefore, anyone confessing Christ as Redeemer should be welcomed at His table. He is the host, no religious body. However, Rome considers it otherwise.

When Christians worldwide are being threatened by all sorts of demonic forces, all the more every true believer should stand alongside every other true believer, regardless of denominational label. Now this papal statement divides us all the more.

However, I have a hunch that those who genuinely live for Christ, regardless of the tag, know that all committed disciples of the cross are brothers and sisters in Christ. Even numberless Catholics will not regard the papal declaration as pleasant to read. In other words, they have gone further than their institution in understanding the scriptural definition of “church” and “Christian.”

The Early Church was not the Roman Catholic Church. It was simply “the called out ones.” It was called in the Acts of the Apostles “The Way.” These were born again disciples who had no tag but “Christ slaves.”

James was the leader of the Early Church in Jerusalem, according to the Acts of the Apostles.

So the church continued as a primitive, dynamic force witnessing to Christ’s death and resurrection. It was not until the Roman Empire began to disintegrate that the entity known as the Roman Church came into existence. Therefore, if one goes back to the start, at the Day of Pentecost the church was born of the Holy Spirit, no tags attached.

What is even sadder is that the pope regards non-Catholics as “defective.”

Does the Holy Spirit regard such devout disciples of Christ defective? Obviously not for the Holy Spirit daily blesses these followers with His saving grace, peace and divine guidance. There is no defect as far as the throne of God is concerned. Why then should Rome consider non-Catholics “defective”? It is Rome that is defective in its lack of understanding the Word of God.

Protestants in particular cannot be regarded even as any type of “church,” per Rome.

"’These ecclesial communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood … cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense,’ the document said.

“The document is similar to one written in 2000 by the Pope — who was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the time — that sparked an angry reaction from Protestant groups.”

As a Protestant Christian, I am not so much angry as sad.

I pray for the Pope to see the biblical truth on this matter. I pray for the Roman Catholic Church constituents to be spiritually more mature than Rome in this regard. I pray for all believers throughout this world to band together and forfeit such argumentative nonsense that does nothing but further the work of the devil.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joseph_Swank
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