8 Ways Catholicism Contradicts the Bible
Is Catholicism Biblical?
Are Catholic practices in line with the Bible?
Let’s now compare some Catholic practices to the written “Word of God” that "the Apostle to the Gentiles," Paul, calls “the word of truth,” noting eight examples of how Catholicism Contradicts the Bible.
Coming from a family who were to be devout Catholics, I later became interested in Catholic doctrine and beliefs in the light of the Bible. I never understood why Christianity had hundreds of different denominations, but Catholicism is … quite another religion of its own, straying far from the written word of God.
Many ask, don’t Christianity and Catholicism both believe the Bible is ‘the word of God’?
The fact is that Catholicism takes only parts of the Bible and then misuses other portions of the Bible. Then the RCC Supersedes the Bible by the ‘authority of the Pope’ and Catholic Church Tradition.’ Yet the Bible says of itself as written;
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
I would like to begin by saying that I have the deepest respect for Catholics and Catholicism. Having been to Catholic mass as a youth, I genuinely appreciate the sincerity and reverence some of Catholics have for God. This article is by no means meant to bash or ridicule these people. I am merely trying to point out the contradictions between Catholicism and what the Bible actually says.
– Arthur J Licursi
1) Salvation through religious works
The first and most blatant way Catholicism contradicts the Bible is their doctrine of religious works plus faith to work towards salvation. The first ‘work’ a Catholic must do is to be water baptized. After this, he or she must maintain their salvation by continuous works throughout their life to remain in a state of grace. The question arises, ‘How much good works is enough for Catholics?’ So, in fact, a Catholic can never be quite sure they are eternally securely saved due to their possible lack of good and religious works.
Yet, the Apostle Paul wrote and declares conclusively that our Salvation does not depend upon our works at all, but rather our salvation depends solely upon our faith in Christ alone as our personal Savior;
Ephesians 2:8-9: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God 9 NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5: 5 NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Galatians 3:10-11: 10 For as many as are of [or rely upon doing] the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified [considered innocent] by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live [have eternal life] by faith.
Romans 3:19–20: 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [to Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified [be declared innocent] in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
2) Salvation through ‘water baptism’
Under Catholic teaching “Infant water baptism” supposedly works toward saving infants. This is another way Catholicism contradicts the Bible. There is a baptism that immediately accompanies genuine Biblical salvation that comes “by grace through faith” under Paul’s grace gospel.
- In the Bible, “baptism” in water was a Jewish right pertaining to the Jewish followers of Jesus of Nazareth in His earthly ministry to the nation Israel (Matt: 15:24). It was ‘John the Baptist’s baptism’ that was then the mark of a genuine Jews faith in Jesus as Messiah.
- By contrast, in 1Corinthians 12:13, Paul, as “the Apostle the Gentiles,” writes of a ‘DRY baptism’ whereby grace-believers are ‘dry immersed’ into “the body of Christ,” thus becoming one with Him both in His death and in His resurrection … to eternal life.
Paul wrote: 13 For by one Spirit are we all BAPTIZED [IMMERSED Or SET] INTO ONE BODY [of Christ], whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (KJV)
So, today, during this Gentile age of “the dispensation of the grace of God,” being ‘baptized’ means to be immersed or set into “the body of Christ.” Thus, this a ‘dry spiritual baptism.’ There also are other DRY baptisms in the Bible as seen here;
11 I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [dry], and with fire [dry): Matthew 3:11 (KJV)
The “Holy Ghost” and “fire” are not water. Thus, the Bible word “baptism” must be seen in its context.
Not that Paul wrote; 17 … Christ sent me [Paul] NOT to baptize [in water], but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the PREACHING OF THE CROSS is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
The moment we first we believe the Holy Spirit immediately sets un into union Christ and His Cross-work. This is a spiritual baptism totally apart from any water. Being in union with Christ and His Cross, our “Old Man,” [verse 6 below]” died with Christ, and when Jesus rose from the dead, we rose with Him “in newness of life [verse 4).” This is a spiritual transaction.
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized INTO JESUS CHRIST were baptized INTO HIS DEATH? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism INTO [Christ’s] DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [with Christ], [so] that the body of sin might be destroyed [rendered powerless], that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin [from sin’s power]. Romans 6:3-7
3) Calling the priest “Father”
Catholics refer to their priests as “Father” as a sign of respect. The priest is looked at as a religious authority. However, this is clearly forbidden by Jesus here in Matthew 23:9:
9 And CALL NO MAN YOUR FATHER upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
4) Praying in ‘repetition’
In Catholicism, members are taught to say “Hail Marys” and other prayers repeatedly in a row. However, the Bible teaches us that we should not do this. Jesus said in Matthew 6:7:
7 But when ye pray, use NOT Vain Repetitions, as the Heathen Do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
5) Praying to the virgin Mary & Saints
The Catholics believe that Mary is a deity who should be worshiped and prayed to. But in Luke 11:27-28, when someone wanted to praise Mary for giving birth to Jesus, Jesus said:
27 it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps [breasts] which thou hast sucked. 28 BUT he [Jesus] said, Yea RATHER, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Pope Paul VI decided at Vatican II, and now the Catholic church teaches, that Mary is the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. That is, they say Mary is “mediator” between God and man! This concept is clearly contradicted by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:5 as well praying to anyone but Jesus / God:
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The resurrected Christ Jesus Alone is our only all-sufficient mediator. He, being sinless, was the only one who could ‘merit’ our salvation. Jesus alone interceded for us, dying for ALL our sins.
Additionally, praying to anyone who is dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible and considered witchcraft and called necromancy. Multiple times the Bible condemns mediums and sorcerers who contact the dead and other spirits. We see this illustrated in Deuteronomy 18:10-11:
10 There shall not be found among you [Israel] any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
6) Everyone who is a genuine Christian is already considered and referred to as a ‘saint,’ which means one who has been sanctified or set apart by God.
The Bible explains that all who have put their faith in Jesus as Savior is already a saint, so there is no difference between such genuine believers and the so-called Catholic saints! Thus, Paul wrote;
Ephesians 1:1: 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are living] at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Romans 1:7: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:2: 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
7) Priests are not Biblical in today’s Age of the Gentile church called “the body of Christ.” Israel of Old had priest and they will be the “priest of God” in the future.
Another reason Catholicism contradicts the Bible is the function of priests. Israel had a Priestly tribe among the 12 tribes of Israel. In Catholicism the priest acts as an intermediary between the person and God. But as we’ve earlier seen in section 5, Christ is the only “mediator between God and men.” Catholics use priests to confess their sins to. Yet, the genuine believer in Christ as Savior already have ALL their sins forgiven the moment they first believe to received Jesus as Savior. Thus, Paul wrote;
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you ALL TRESPASSES; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;” Colossians 2:13-14
The Bible clearly states that our high priest is Jesus Christ Himself, not another man. Hebrews 4:14-16: 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but [Jesus] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Mark 2:7 states: 7 Why doth this man [Jesus who forgave sins] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
In fact, the Bible goes even further to say that those of the Nation Israel are to be “priests of God” in the Kingdom on earth … as seen below. Peter below writes to Israel since Peter is “the Apostle of the circumcision (Israel)” (Gal. 2:8), saying;
1 Peter 2:9: 9 But ye [Israel] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation [Israel], a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Revelation 1:6: 6 And hath made us [Israel] kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10:10 And hast made us [Israel] unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
8) Worshiping Idols and Graven Images
It is very common to enter a Catholic church or cathedral and see numerous images and statues depicting Mary, Jesus, and various “saints.” Not only that, but many Catholics also bow to these statues and even kiss them! This is yet another example of how Catholicism contradicts the Bible by encouraging idolatry.
In Exodus 20:4-5 we see that these images and statues are considered idols:
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
These eight examples are but a few of the contradictions between Catholicism and the revealed word of truth we call the Bible.