Friday, December 18, 2009

Does Rome Proclaim a False Gospel?

A seemingly simple question. I think a significant chunk of my readers would answer an unequivocal "No," and another chunk would answer a resounding "Yes!" But I've recently encountered some guy (like me, pseudonymous) who uses the nick "Truth Unites ... And Divides" who seems to have extraordinary trouble giving a straight answer to this question (link to discussion).

Rather than answer the question directly, he insisted that I need to imagine how several third parties would answer the question and that take that as his answer. Let's make this easy for TU&D. I'll answer the question directly, and if you can take a minute or two to answer the question directly, using one of the following:

1. Yes, Rome proclaims a false gospel.


2. No, Rome proclaims the Gospel of Christ.


3. There's some third option.


4. I don't know.


5. I can't answer.

My answer is #1. Yes, Rome proclaims a false gospel.

Your turn, readers.

BTW, if Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Tim Keller, or Niel Nielson are reading this blog (which I expect they are not), their answers would be especially appreciated.


Resupra said...

#1 Yes they proclaim a false Gospel (Eph 2:8-10 ; Gal 1:8-9)

Enterprise24 said...

#1 - Absolutely "yes." The gospel according to Rome is no gospel at all.

Alex said...

The Catholic Church is the only Church who truly proclaims the Gospel...then again some folks call me biased.

Turretinfan said...

I'm counting that as 2, Alex. :) It's good to see that folks from both sides are unafraid. Though, so far no one has selected any of the extra options.

Ken said...

# 1 - the Roman Catholic Church proclaims and teaches a false gospel.

Matthew said...

"My answer is #1. Yes, Rome proclaims a false gospel."

Anonymous said...

Whatever I proclaim is false. Whatever God proclaims through me is not!

Christ died on a Cross for the sins of many. I know some will say for the whole world.

He was buried.

He rose again the third day and sits at the Right Hand of God now building His Church, the Many, interceding for the Elect's sake, daily moving closer to that Great Day of the end of these present heavens and earth.

Here's how the Apostle Paul wrote about it:

1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
1Co 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
1Co 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.
1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.


1Co 15:45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1Co 15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Rome proclaims a false gospel.

Paijo Budi said...

"My answer is #1. Rome proclaims a false gospel."

Anonymous said...

You need an option 6. "No more false than the current Protestant gospel."

Carrie said...


louis said...

#1 - false gospel.

Anonymous said...

#1 false gospel, definitely. Any system that adds works to our justification before God is false.


Ryan D. McConnell said...

Absolutely #1. Rome's "gospel" is according to man (Gal. 1:11-12).

bkaycee said...

Romes gospel does not save and is false.

Rome is under the Apostle Paul's condemnation.

Gal 1:8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

rfwhite said...

Yes, Rome proclaims a false gospel.

David Kjos said...

I thought this question was answered quite well nearly 500 years ago. I'll stick with that.

I read the "discussion" linked above. Is it any wonder that clown has been banned at more than one blog?

Turretinfan said...


You may enjoy these statements from 500 years ago (well, nearly) on that subject (link to article from the Backwoods Presbyterian).

I had not heard about the banning of TU&D. Perhaps when he sees that others can give a straight answer to the question, he'll be encouraged to imitate their example.

David Kjos said...

Yes, that's what I'm talking about!

Grigs said...

It all depends on how you define Rome now doesn't it. But for sake of brevity let me be clear: YES YES YES ROME PROCLAIMS OFFICIALLY A FALSE GOSPEL. And any person in the Roman Church is does believe the true Gospel ought to leave now (all 4 persons!). There is still a true church in the sense that there are some regenerated pesons in there in all likelyhood, but officially the dogma of the roman catholic church mertits the wrath of God. Now let me give a side bar, I do believe the roman posistion is a posistion some regenerated persons may hold but one they hear the truth and they continue to resist the gospel of grace I think its fair to presume unregenerate. A simple but justifying faith may include some heresy in my mind but the Holy Spirit will normally work in the person slowly to change it even if by the time of death the posistion is not completely orthodox.

Enterprise24 said...

Grigs - I think you're quite right. The works-righteousness gospel that the Roman leadership spews forth is false and should be condemned. However, there very well may be (and probably are) individuals inside the RCC who are regenerated brothers and sisters in Christ. i'd say they're saved despite the RCC 'gospel,' not b/c of it.

Grigs said...

@Enterprise24, Well of course I am right! I honestly believe that I am right about all things I have opinions on. You know the Roman church is false because they do not have me as their pope. On a completely other topic have any of you read the latest blog post by Carl Trueman?

Anonymous said...

Grigs and Enterprise24, if "..rfwhite.." is Dr. James White, the commentor in here, too, he does a very good job of establishing that there just may be Elects' within the RCC over at another blog I frequent. Dr. White is teaching on middle knowledge and other things in these hour long productions being made available to the public thanks in part to Pastor J. Sampson.

He talks about evangelism is something we do by proclaiming the Gospel, not knowing "who" is Elect and "who" is not Elect.

We proclaim the Gospel. God opens the ears of those for Whom Christ died.

I am so glad for that as I was born into a religious RCC family!

In fact, while attending college I clearly remember denying that Jesus was more than just a good teacher with some moral values I wasn't interested in anyway! :(

All that to my shame.

In any event, I thought to respond to both of your comments above!

Also, Grigs, I too speak as though I am 100% right on every matter with this caveat, I am never the final Word on anything I say and neither are you! :)

We all will come before Him and give an accounting of every idle word, every deed, no matter how good or evil and every allegiance we have ever made in this life!

So, go ahead, be 100% right in all your ways as I believe you believe that the Day of the Lord comes quickly:::>

1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Turretinfan said...

rfwhite is Dr. R.F. White, not Dr. J.R. White.

Grigs said...

«Also, Grigs, I too speak as though I am 100% right on every matter with this caveat, I am never the final Word on anything I say and neither are you! :)»

I cleary was not being serious. The comment about Trueman should have given that away

Matthew D. Schultz said...

#1. Yes.

I would also be interested in what Tim Keller has to say on the issue. I benefited greatly from his preaching when I lived in NYC and have a great deal of respect for his opinions.

Andrew Suttles said...


There's nothing particularly "good" about the "good" news proclaimed by Rome.

How can men sell what Christ purchased with his blood?

Turretinfan said...

By the way, the reason I singled out "Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Tim Keller, or Niel Nielson" (or quadrupled out?) was not because I mean them any disrespect, but precisely because I trust they could give me a straight answer to the question - one way or another. I trust the TU&D would be more influenced by them speaking clearly to this point than he is by my speaking clearly to this point.

Enterprise24 said...

I, too, was born into the RCC. They certainly preach of God, of Christ, of the death and resurrection of Christ, etc. In factual terms, all the elements of the gospel are taught by the RCC. The factual elements are, however, taught in such a way that obscures the truth of salvation by grace through faith.

This is why I say that there are folks in the Roman Church that are certainly saved, whom God has opened their eyes to the truth of the gospel whose elements they have been taught by Church authorities.

John Bugay said...

False gospel.

Anonymous said...

#1 - false gospel.

When talking to people who view Rome as merely another valid "faith tradition" in Christendom, my 10-second rejoiner is to point out that Rome says you're going to hell if you don't believe in the Marian dogmas (a "mortal" sin). That usually gets the listener to reconsider the validity of Rome's gospel.

Μωσεύς said...


bkaycee said...

Rome teaches Faith and Works. Clearly not a gospel at all.

AND Rome's definition of "Faith" is not what prots understand Faith to be.

Coram Deo said...


I came across the following quote over at DefCon. How do Romanist lay apologists deal with this issue?

In Him,

The deeper you dig into the mire of Catholicism the more gems you discover. Here is one I would like to share with you about how all the “layman” Catholic apologists of YouTube fame, the Web and elsewhere should be “bound in the fetters of excommunication” as they are violating one of their papal decrees. A decree that is still on the books that forbids public and private disputatations (i.e. debates) with heretics on the Catholic faith. This law of the Catholic land being given by decree of Alexander IV (1254-1261) in “Sextus Decretalium”, Lib. V, c. ii. We read:

We furthermore forbid any lay person to engage in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith. Whosoever shall act contrary to this decree, let him be bound in the fetters of excommunication. [Online source]

So, the next time you are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints with a Roman Catholic, you might want to point this little tidbit out to them and see how they react.

bkaycee said...

We furthermore forbid any lay person to engage in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith. Whosoever shall act contrary to this decree, let him be bound in the fetters of excommunication.

Might I suggest the following rebutals?

1. "The Pope was commenting as a private theologian, not Ex Cathedra."

2. "The Pope was speaking Aramaic at the time and there are no latin words for, forbid, engage, Catholic, and fetters in Aramaic."

3. "The Pope, being the Vicar of Christ can make up the rules for the Faithful ("whatever you bind on earth, etc..") and subsequent Popes can rescind previous rulings" allowing laymen to dispute.

John Bugay said...

BK: your "rebuttals" are both lame and dishonest.

The concept of "speaking as a private theologian" was a much later invention to cover for the "errors" that popes had made.

But nevertheless, the popes themselves do not consider that they are writing things that they expect "the faithful" will later disregard. Consider this little beauty from Pius XII:

"Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians."

Turretinfan said...

I'm pretty sure BKC was lampooning the RCs, not actually trying to speak for them.

I'll start a new post on this topic, though.

John Bugay said...

TF -- I'm sorry, I didn't immediately detect the lampoon.

(It was a very accurate lampoon).

Jordan Srnec said...


I read some of the Catechism before answering. It seems like on an interpretive issue to me. I can't find a wholly other Gospel, but they speak a different dialect of "Christianese".

How many Protestants can say "baptism now saves you ... through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" like Peter did? My problems with the Catholic church have more to do with their ecclesiology and authority than with their soteriology, which from my reading I do not gather that many Protestants understand. In other words, although I could not (now) become Catholic, I do not see why becoming one should force me to acknowledge a different Gospel than the one I do now, which is that salvation is entirely of God, through His mercy and grace, in accordance with his justice, reconciled at the cross through Christ's perfect sacrifice, by which the wages of the sins of the elect were paid, and that the elect are brought by the call of the Spirit to faith and trust in nothing else than this.

bkaycee said...

Yes, a lampoon, recalling other lame Roman excuses for inconvenient facts.

You could'nt hear the sarcasm in my voice? :)

John Bugay said...

Voice? Oh yeah, LOL.

Anders Branderud said...

Resuprawrote: ” #1 Yes they proclaim a false Gospel (Eph 2:8-10 ; Gal 1:8-9)”
Enterprise24 wrote: “however, taught in such a way that obscures the truth of salvation by grace through faith.”

I want to comment on the foregiveness.
(le-havdil) How to live in order to enable the Creator in His loving kindness to provide His foregivness is outlined in Tan’’kh ( the Jewish Bible) ; and was also taught by the first century Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth (the Mashiakh; the Messiah) (His teachings are found here: Netzarim.)

Tan’’kh – for example Yekhëzqeil (Hezekiel) 18 – promises foregivness to those who do their sincerest to keep the mitzwot (commandments) in Torah. The Creator cannot lie and He does not change (Malakhi 3:6)! According to Tehilim (“Psalms”) 103 the Creator gives His foregivness to those who do their sincerest to keep His berit (“covenant”; the pre-conditions to be included in the berit is according to the Jewish Bible to do ones sincerest to keep Torah). No human can keep Torah perfectly. There is a provision. Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh lived and kept Torah with the sincerest of his heart, died innocently and became a sacrifice. Because of this the Creator can give His foregiveness to everyone doing his/her sincerest to keep His instructions found in Torah, and to everyone turning away from their Torah-breaches to instead starting to do their sincerest to keep the instructions in Torah.

Anders Branderud

Turretinfan said...


Paul's epistle to the Galatians should be an adequate response to you.


Enterprise24 said...

Anders: So b/c Jesus did a good job at obeying the Law, we now have to do a good job at obeying the Law, with a sincere heart, to go to heaven? No offense, but that logic is ridiculous.

I agree with Turretin: Galatians shoots down your works-based salvation right quick. Also consider Romans 4:

"13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. 16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)."

Obeying the Law, even with a sincere heart, only brings the wrath of God to bear on our souls. Faith through Jesus Christ brings us into heirship, not obedience to the Law.

lojahw said...

#3 The RCC teaches the Gospel as taught by Christ and the Apostles, but sometimes it does not.

In as much as the RCC catechism teaches the ancient symbol of faith, the Nicene Creed, the RCC is true to the Gospel.

The below, however, proclaims a different Gospel:

“We declare, say, define and pronounce, that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam).

Since RC’s are commanded to accept everything their “Magisterium” teaches, they are conflicted.


ChaferDTS said...

Yes Roman Catholicism as of the Council of Trent teaches and affirms a false gospel. Trent is when the Church of Rome offically rejected the gospel as understood from Scripture by the Reformers.