Catholicism vs. Christianity
Let’s say we’re going for a run (or walk, if you don’t like running). Maybe we know each other well, or maybe we just met. In a moment of boldness, I tell you that I’m praying for you. You might have just told me that you were nervous about a job/test/life situation or that your family member is sick.
You appreciate the kind gesture and mention you’re Catholic. I smile back at you and tell you that I’m a Christian.
“What’s the difference between Catholics and Christians,” you ask, cocking your head to the side. “Aren’t we all the same?”
Related Post: What does it mean to be a Christian?
The Issue of Authority
To explain my point in it’s entirety, I want to start at the beginning. A true Christian believes that God’s Word, the Bible, is absolute truth. A Catholic believes that the Bible is God’s Word, but they have added to it. There is quite a bit of danger in adding to God’s holy words. The Bible says:
“Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6
Catholics do not believe that we should believe just the Bible, but that as God has given inspiration we should believe what those before us have said and written. So the Bible is the holy words of God, but theological teachings which may be helpful are not words of God.
All of the recited prayers that Catholics say are just traditions of man. When these are given just as much importance as the word of God, Catholics are giving authority to everyday, normal, sinful people.
God created the Bible for our learning and God is all-knowing. There is nothing that He does not know! When He inspired the Bible, he knew the whole timeline of Earth itself and the challenges we face! When Catholics willingly add to the Bible or what they preach, they deny God’s true authority.
Friend, I want this to be very clear to you. I speak because I desire you to know God instead of knowing of God. Come with me, and hear me out on this.
When God created Adam and Eve, He desired for them to have community with one another and Him. In Genesis 3:8a it says,” And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” (NKJV) God literally walked with them in the garden.
He had this access to Adam and Eve; a pure relationship with His creation. That was His intended desire! He desired to know and love us, and in return for us to know and love Him.
So what happened? Eve listened to a lie from the Father of Lies, Satan. In the perfect garden, Adam and Eve were told to not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Maybe you know the rest of the story (Genesis 3), for the cunning serpent deceived Eve and both Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
Sin put a wedge between God and his beloved humans. The relationship that God designed for us was strained, the community severed. But thank God Jesus came, died on the cross, and split the divide between God and humans.
Relationship vs. Religion
Has anyone told you? Have they told you that God loves you, and desires for you to know Him! You don’t get closer to God reciting a chant or confessing to a priest. You don’t get closer to God going to church or “doing good.” There is not a formula to follow.
Invite Jesus into your life, proclaim His ways higher than yours, and believe Him to do big things. God will transform your life and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are! Just like God desired community with Adam and Eve in the garden, He desires your love and a relationship with you.
Religion is empty; it’s words and sounds that fall away. A relationship with God is abundance, fullness, and true satisfaction. Nothing else will satisfy you except a close walk with Jesus.
God is all we need
God moves in mystery; He’s in the loud thunder crack and He’s in the smallest whisper. He is always faithful and shows mercy. God is love, the very definition and the one who should us love in the first place. God knows everything, nothing catches Him by surprise.
And friend, as we run or walk along this path this is how Catholics differ from Christians. Catholics believe a form of Christianity, but not the real thing. They’ve been deceived to believe a shadow of what God speaks in His Holy Word.
I challenge you to read your Bible and see for yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak the truth into your mind, soul and spirit. May you know God, and not just know of God. May Jesus be your closest friend, comforter, savior.
Leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com to discuss this matter more! I’d love to talk to you. Read more about me here.