An Open Letter to the Roman Catholics
To those who count themselves as Roman Catholics,
I fear for your eternities. Though you use the moniker “Roman Catholic”, I am concerned that you are all Roman and no catholic. Your rules of doctrine have made you susceptible to all kinds of destructive heresies by placing your own traditions and the Vatican above Scripture. In your denial of the Word of God, you have embraced the Papacy. This Papacy – which Christians have been calling the Antichrist since A.D. 1120 – blasphemes God by claiming to be the “Vicar of Christ“, which means “substitute for Christ”. By elevating the Pope to that level, you take part in that blasphemy. Though you appeal to history to defend this, even history is against you when you go as far back as the 6th Canon of Nicaea.
Your elevation of tradition is equally disturbing. Do you not know that Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith? Do you not know that by your traditions, you have made void the word of God? Did you not know that all Scripture is given so that man might be complete and trained for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17)? If you won’t trust me, trust Hippolytus, who your own religion venerates on August 13th. He is a part of your tradition and he proclaimed, “There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source.” (Against Heresies, emphasis added)
Furthermore, in your veneration of saints, you have actually begun to worship them. Though you distinguish between worship and veneration, that has truly become a distinction without a difference. You pray to them for mediation, even though there is but one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Neither Mary nor the saints can mediate for you. Even if you see this as merely asking them to pray for you, how is this not necromancy? How are you not one who inquires of the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)?
The Bible says that no one who blasphemes Him will be held guiltless (Exodus 20:7), all idolaters will have their portion in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8) and that your necromancy is an abomination (Deuteronomy 18:12). These are not the only places in which you stand condemned. All liars will also have their part in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8). If you are greedy, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Though you may not have committed murder, those who hate are murderers, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). You may not have committed adultery, but anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
Though you may appeal to penance, indulgences, purgatory, or confession, know that none of this is Biblical. You already stand condemned by your wicked works, and no good works can save you. All of your works are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), entirely unable to clean you and totally repulsive in the sight of God. By the works of the law, no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight (Romans 3:20). To one who works, his wages are not a gift but his due (Romans 4:4), and our due for sin is death (Romans 3:23). The law can only condemn, and trying to be justified by obeying the law through penance and confession will only further sever you from Christ (Galatians 5:4).
There is good news. We do not have to keep the law, as there was One who perfectly kept the law. God the Son came down to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He was fully God and fully man, and He lived a perfect life that never violated God’s law at any point. We are not able to perfectly keep even the smallest jot of the law, but Jesus perfectly obeyed the law for His entire life. At the end of this life, Jesus voluntarily went to the cross and died on our behalf. His righteousness was accredited to us and our sin was placed upon Him. He who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 2:51). He bore our sins upon that cross (1 Peter 2:24). Three days after He died, Jesus rose from the grave, being eternally victorious over sin and death.
It is by having faith in His accomplished work that we might be saved. For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith. It is not your own doing; it is the gift of God and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). A man will not be justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Christ (Galatians 2:16). We must be justified by faith apart from the works of the law (Romans 3:28). Just note what John Chrysostom, who your religion venerates on September 13th, has to say about Ephesians 2:10. He claimed, “What then is Paul saying? Not that God has forbidden works but that he has forbidden us to be justified by works. No one, Paul says, is justified by works, precisely in order that the grace and benevolence of God may become apparent.” Even your own tradition should steer you towards this idea of salvation by faith alone (as it should the idea of Sola Scriptura).
I do not write this to you out of anger or malice but sincerely hope that you will heed my words. I pray that you may repent and put your faith in Christ alone – not in your works – for your salvation. The Roman Catholic Church has no power to save, but if you turn from it and place your faith in Christ you will be pardoned, not because of your works but because of Christ’s works on your behalf.
In Christ with love, hope, and concern,
Brandon C. Hines