September 27, 2007

Why I Left The Catholic Church (IV)

So far this week, my reasons have been:

Sola Scriptura – The Bible Alone
Near Worship / Extreme Veneration Of Mary
Praying To Saints Or Mary As Other Intercessors

All Biblical reasons, and all stemming from the first one. The Catholic church accepts oral tradition and early church father writings (other than the apostles) as authoritative for their religion and traditions that currently exist. But the reason I will talk about today I believe comes from the fact that the Catholic church has just flat out gotten its Biblical interpretation wrong.

#4 – I Do Not Believe In The Importance Placed Upon Priests And The Pope In The Catholic Church

As a Catholic, the most important human figures in your religion are your local parish priest, the Bishop of your dioceses, the Cardinal for your geography, and the Pope. You'll often hear a priest referred to as "Father so-and-so". He is the local pastor of the church. He is commanded by order of the Vatican to remain celibate. He is the main religious figure in the parish.

There's only one big thing wrong with that. These two passages (Hebrews 7 ; 1 Peter 2) clearly teach that Jesus is our only high priest now and that each of us as Christians are considered a royal priesthood and are to act as such. And too many times, and I speak not of ignorance here because I grew up in this environment, Catholics look at the priest as religious and themselves as not. There is a great disconnect because they think the priest is the PEZ dispenser of all things religious and they are merely receivers of that dispensation. To use a good British phrase here – RUBBISH.

Because Jesus is our high priest, we no longer need any other human to serve the priestly functions for us. Jesus perfectly and continually fills the roles of Priest, Prophet, and King. We need no human priest to absolve us of our sins. Jesus does that. We need no priest to go to God for us. We have access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no separation anymore between laity and clergy. As a Christian, we are all clergy. We are all priests. We are to be the conduits of all things Jesus unto the world. And too many times in Catholicism, that is left up to the parish priest. (To read more on the priesthood of the believer – click here or Google "Priesthood Of The Believer" and read to your heart's content both sides of the issue)

And the emphasis of the importance of the priest is drawn from the near cult status of the Pope. And I'll tell you, nothing is more controversial than the Pope when you're challenging Catholicism. He is the final authority on all things religious in the Catholic church. Did you see the news coverage of when they selected the new Pope a few years ago. Tell me that isn't scary. He can speak ex-cathedra which means that what he says is somehow spiritually "infallible" and can't be wrong by decree of God. Catholics view him as the only legitimate heir to the apostolic authority coming from the line of Peter (more on that in a minute). He is the rock star of the Catholic faith. So the question is "Is it Biblical?" My answer: NO

I believe Catholics have completely interpreted this passage wrong. It is obvious that Jesus was not referring to Peter here, but to Himself. Apostolic authority and succession ended when John died on the Isle of Patmos. Papal infallibility is wrong and evil. The pope is just a man, fallible and fallen as me. He is no more spiritual or nor more important than me or anyone else. He is just as much in need of a Savior as I am and he can be wrong. To raise someone to the status that the Catholic church has elevated the Pope is IMO idolatry. It's wrong. It's dangerous. It's unbiblical. And it's a major reason why I will not ever return to the Catholic church. To read more on Papal infallibility – click here. For another good comprehensive read – click here.

Tomorrow, I'll wrap up. There are many other reasons, but these have been my top four. You'll want to read tomorrow's post…


Anonymous said...

Dear Marc,
I enjoy your passion for our Savior Jesus Christ. However have you forgotten to tie in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Your heart will tell you differently than from the books that you are coping from. The Real Presance spans the entire and complete Gospel message of Christ, if you take away the priest you take away the Real Presance. Hence, you have negated the message of the Gospel of John.

Anonymous said...

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."

How can you negate the Petrine Mystry when it is so clear revealed in the Gospel of John, by John himself?

Marc Backes said...


You'll have to fogive me but I fail to really see how John 21 establishes a "Petrine" mystery or somehow validates and establishes Peter as the beginning of Papal succession...

When John 21 is taken in context, it's pretty clear that Jesus is making clear the Resurrection and John himself says that his gospel was written "so that you may believe"..

To establish and entire church order or "papal" succession off of John 21 is a serious reach...

Anonymous said...

I'll bet your "protestant conversion" is a reaction to a sin you commited that you could not reconcile. Hence in order to not reconcile this sin, you decided a "rules change" was in order. It was actually easier for you seperate yourself from your parents and the faith of entire generations of your family. In a way to hide from Christ's call for you to be and live in holiness.

Anonymous said...

.... I'll bet your "protestant conversion" is a reaction to a sin you committed that you could not reconcile.....:

Holy Cow--is this guy watching too much Dr. Phil, Oprah or EWTN?? If that isn't the most pompously arrogant, insulting and Pharisaic, comment I've read lately... I know nicer athiests than this RCC-er! A sad legacy of the "one, true" culture club. Sad.