A response to Matt Slick.
Are Catholics True Christians? A grate number of protestants from every denomination argue that Catholics aren’t Christians. They contend that major catholic doctrines contradict Bible teaching. One of those folks is Matt Slick, who has been posting several articles on his website aiming to prove that catholic doctrine is unbiblical and unsound. Today I want to challenge Mr. Slick erroneous position.
Mr. Slick starts with the assertion that Catholics are not Christians, then he adds:
“Christianity is properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible. It is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus, you’re a Christian.”
Already from the beginning we see where the argument and the definition are headed, and what underneath assumes: Sola Scriptura.
Even thou I agree partly with the statement that: “Christianity is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus you’re a Christian”. I don’t agree that Christianity is only and properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible. Because then who gets to be the final arbiter, when everybody appeals to Scripture as his last authority?
Because by that token anybody can say “Christianity is properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible” I conclude that my doctrines are properly defined, therefore I’m a true Christian.
So, you can’t use the Bible and your personal subjective authority to conclude other people are not Christian, that’s circular and faulty, even if you can nail down biblically some important Cristian doctrines or “the essential doctrines”.
So, Are Catholics true Christians?
Let’s examine and see if Catholicism violets these “essential doctrines” proposed by Mr. Matt in order to “fill the requirement” to be cataloged as a true Christian church.
There is only one God, and you are to serve no other gods (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8).
The Catechism teaches: “Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who ‘transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God” (CCC 2114).
Let’s see the others:
Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).
“Taking up St. John’s expression, “The Word became flesh”, the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. In a hymn cited by St. Paul, the Church sings the mystery of the Incarnation: (CCC 461).
Our Lord rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).
“This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who “came from the Father” can return to the Father: Christ Jesus.538 “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.” (CCC 661).
Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4).
But not alone: (Rom 2:6-8; Eph 2:10; Gal 3:27; James 2:24)
“The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through Baptism: (CCC 1987)
The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).
“We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus. “The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross.” (CCC 638)
God is a Trinity (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14).
“Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”53 Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son, and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.” (CCC 232)
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:25).
“From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed.” (CCC 496).
As we have seen so far: Catholicism filled these requirements and even more, I’m not lying to you: the Catholic church is the only Church that can fill all the requirements of the true Christian Church.
So there you have it. The other topics Mr. Slick brings up trying to prove his point and make you think that the Catholic church is not part of true Christianity are:
Mary is the Mediatrix (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 969)
Mary made atonement for the sins of man (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, page 213) Mary is the subject of preaching and worship (Vatican Council II, p. 420)
Salvation by grace through faith alone.
These will be tackled on future posts, so stay tuned.
To conclude this post, I just wanted to apply Mr. Slick’s reasoning to the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone, because I think it also applies when you change a couple of words:
“Salvation is properly defined by certain texts that are revealed in the Bible. It is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus, you’re a saved.”