Roman Catholicism is both un-Biblical and un-Baptist, as it denies or distorts Biblical doctrine. The following are a few teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) and some Scriptural teachings and Baptist beliefs that refute them. (Numbers following “CCC” indicate paragraph numbers.)

  1. Roman Catholicism distorts the Word of God by adding extra-Biblical tradition to it. Tradition and Scripture make up a single deposit of the Word of God (CCC, 97). Baptists, on the other hand, believe in the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice (2 Peter 3:16).
  2. Roman Catholicism perverts the gospel by adding requirements for salvation (Galatians 1:6–9). Baptism, sac-raments, good works, law keeping, and the Mass are considered means of grace (CCC, 1129, 1256, 2068). Baptists, however, believe that salvation is through faith (belief) alone in Christ alone, according to the teach-ing of Scripture. It has nothing to do with good works or in faith in (reliance on) “one’s faith” (Galatians 1:6–9).
  3. Roman Catholicism rejects the divine promise of glorification to everyone who is justified (Romans 8:30). Those justified by baptism, who die in mortal sin, descend into Hell (CCC, 1035, 1266). Baptists take Christ at His word: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
  4. Roman Catholicism replaces the sovereign, regenerating work of the Spirit with water baptism (Ephesians 1). Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration (CCC, 1213). Baptists do not view baptism as a means of regeneration but view baptism by immersion as a picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. As Romans 6:4 states, believers are “buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Regeneration is through Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24; 5:1, 2, 9; 10:10).
  5. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia and other documents, Catholic bishops are considered successors to the apostles. However, this concept is false, because the bishops do not meet the qualification of being eye-witnesses of the Lord and His resurrection (Acts 1:21, 22).
  6. The priesthood of Roman Catholicism is illegitimate, since there are no more offerings for sin (Hebrews 10:12). Only validly ordained priests can carry on the work of redemption (CCC, 1405, 1411). Baptists hold strongly to the belief that each born-again believer is a priest with direct access to God through Christ, the High Priest (1 Peter 2:9; Hebrews 9:11).
  7. Roman Catholicism encourages the idolatrous worship of an image or a wafer as Almighty God (Exodus 32). Baptists practice two ordinances: baptism (see #4) and the Lord’s Supper (Communion). We do not believe the bread and “wine” (juice) are or become the body and blood of Christ, only that they picture His body and blood, broken and shed for our sins on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23–29). Worshiping the wafer as if it were Jesus is as idolatrous as worshiping the calf as if it were God.
  8. Roman Catholicism denies Christ’s blood as the only purification for sin (1 John 1:7). Purgatory’s cleansing fire is the final purification (CCC, 1031). We Baptists, on the other hand, believe what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
  9. Roman Catholicism blasphemes God by giving His titles to the pope (John 14:16; 17:11; Ephesians 5:23). The pope wears the titles Holy Father, Head of the Church, and Vicar of Christ. However, Baptists practice the injunction in Matthew 23:9 and 10: “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.”
  10. Roman Catholicism rejects Jesus as the only way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Muslims are part of God’s plan of salvation (CCC, 841). Baptists believe that “there [is no] salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
  11. Roman Catholicism follows doctrines of demons by forbidding marriage to its clergy (1 Timothy 4:1–4). Clergy must publicly manifest their intention of staying celibate (CCC, 1599). Baptists follow the guidelines of 1 Timothy 3 for its clergy, and this passage mentions being a husband and father. It implies purity, not celibacy.
  12. Roman Catholicism encourages prayer to people other than God, in that Catholics ask Mary and the saints to intercede for them (CCC, 2676, 2683). Baptists pray in the name (through the authority) of Jesus Christ alone (Matthew 6:6–13).