The Raving Theist

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God Squad Review CLXIII

March 12, 2006 | 15 Comments

Are Catholics Christians? A Catholic public school teacher overheard some of her students say that they’re not, and writes to the Squad asking how she can correct this alleged misconception without starting an argument. They opine:

Here it is in its most elemental language: All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholic. Of the roughly 2 billion Christians in the world, roughly half of them are Catholics, and the rest are Orthodox Christians or Protestants. Unfortunately, in common usage today, many Protestants, particularly evangelicals, refer to themselves as Christians to distinguish themselves from Catholics.

The truth is that every person who believes Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God sent to Earth to die for our sins and then to be raised from the dead on the third day is a Christian; everybody else . . . isn’t.

Conveniently, the Squad overlooks the countless Roman Catholic doctrines and practices which are contradicted by the Bible. As religious expert Tony Capoccia notes, they’re equivalent to atheists:

Catholics, by definition are not Christians, for they (the Roman Catholic Church) has a false gospel, which says a person is saved by “doing certain works” (going to Mass, confessions, praying rosaries, Novenas, giving to the poor, helping others, etc.) by which they claim to receive the grace of salvation. But the Bible says one is not saved by “works” but by “faith”.

Mr. John T. (“Jack”) Chick, in Are Roman Catholics Christians?, neatly disposes of the question by citing the ultimate authority:

Jesus hates this false religious system. It has blasphemed His Holy Name, His Holy Word, and has deceived billions of people.

He calls her The Mother of Abominations (Revelations 17:5) and has promised to utterly destroy her, and all those with her.

Does that sound like an endorsement? Certainly, belief in Christ and His resurrection forms some part of Christian belief, but it’s not always enough. Someone who believed that Christ was just one among many deities wouldn’t necessarily qualify — he might be Santerian. Indeed, the Squad itself has argued that belief in just one too many gods can turn one religion into another: Jews who believe in Christ are Christians, not Jews. By the same token, a “Christian” who additionally worships Mary and other idols is Catholic, not Christian.


15 Responses to “God Squad Review CLXIII”

  1. Zeno
    March 13th, 2006 @ 8:30 am

    Ah, a humor column. Any article that quotes Jack Chick as an authority on anything is funny. And Catholics don’t “worship” Mary, although plenty of ignorant Protestants think so. Worshipping anyone besides God is forbidden in Catholic doctrine. You could look it up.

    Catholicism is the oldest form of Christianity and closest to the original faith, despite all the stuff that’s accumulated over the years. While that’s not enough to make me believe any of it, as Christianity it’s Number One.

  2. chemoelectric
    March 13th, 2006 @ 8:56 am

    It works the other way, too. A Jew who doesn’t believe in any deities is called a Brisstian.

  3. hermesten
    March 13th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    The “ignorant Protestants” are the ones running the religious show (see the “Republican Party”), and, at least where I live, the predominant view of those “good Christians” who have collared themselves political power is that Catholics are Idol Worshippers, not Christians. I find it particularly amusing to see such avid Catholic defenders of the “Christian” faithful as Lily, et al, since I am surrounded by Bible Beaters who openly detest Catholics and consider them to be no better than atheists (and some even think they’re worse).

  4. conleythorn
    March 13th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    The Nazarine sect founded by Jesus, and carried on under his brother James, died out about 100 C.E., about the same time as the messiah cult of John the Baptist became defunct. The Catholid Church was a culmination of power struggles among the numerous cults spawned by the Hellenized churches established by Paul. Present-day Pentecostals and other evangelical creeds should probably be called primarily “Paulinist” rather than “Christian,” as they hew to Paul’s teachings more closely than to those of Jesus, notably in the claim that one is saved by faith alone, though Jesus preached emphatically to the contrary. In some sense, of course, we are all Christians of one sort or other, as Europe was ruled by the Church for more than a millennium and western culture is saturated by Christian ideas and ideals. As to the Christology of Catholicism or any other major division of the Christian faith, one version is as silly as any other. -Thorngod

  5. The No God Boy
    March 13th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Christians and Catholics are like the NFL and the USFL. They use the same basic ideas, but the recruiting is totally different. Plus, the catholics have far sillier looking uniforms.

    In the end I wish they would BOTH die out just like the USFL.

  6. docjmcg2
    March 13th, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    It just makes good business sense. Burger King convincing us that McDonalds doesnt make real hamburgers could increase their bottom line. The same goes here

  7. The No God Boy
    March 13th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    You have to love catholics though….I mean they have taken made up nonsense and wrapped it in pagentry that is breathtaking.

    Who could not love the napkin-hats, the smoke pots, water-dildos, wafers, candlesticks, holy water, robes, and especially the relics.

    Its way better than neighborhood theatre and there is one in every neighborhood!!

  8. PanAtheist
    March 13th, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

    Q. “Was Hilter a *real* Christian?”
    A. “No, he was a Catholic!”

  9. conleythorn
    March 13th, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

    Q. Was Jesus a real Christian?
    A. No, but Paul was.

  10. Los Pepes
    March 13th, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

    So here it is, it’s not enough to give the atheists, muslims and jews a hard time, but now they have to fight over who is the most Jesus-alicious!

    Our species has too much time on our hands. This morning on the news out here in Maryland they reported that 75% of the striped bass population (striped bass are to Maryland what steers are to Texas) in the Chesapeake Bay has a fatal “bacterial wasting disease” because of water pollution and farm run-off, but I bet if I went up to the state house all I would hear about is whether gay people, who have been peacefully screwing each other for years, can now do so with a gold band on their fingers while they claim a tax deduction.

    I guess if the jesus is coming back to save us and punish the bad guys, it doesn’t matter if the bay turns into a shit-hole, huh?

  11. Zeno
    March 14th, 2006 @ 1:24 am

    Please, No God Boy! The correct term for water dildo is “aspergillum”! It sounds so much nicer and makes it easier for the congregation to ignore what the priest and altar boys are doing with it after hours.

  12. No God Here
    March 14th, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

    I didn’t know that thing was called an “aspergillum.” That’s just a little too close to “aspergillus” the disease causing mold. Maybe the aspergillum contains aspergillus to infect the minds of Catholics, causing them to believe all of that holy hoopla!

  13. Mia
    March 14th, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

    Well, we believe in sanctification by works of faith, and also by grace- without works, we could not receive grace, and without grace, we could not do works- they are interdependent.

  14. Atlantic
    March 14th, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    Mia, “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion.” (CCC 2010) Grace and works are interdependent (in a sense) only AFTERWARDS.

  15. SBW
    March 15th, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    From the very beginnings of Christianity as a religion there have been various groups that believed various things. There is no original form of Christianity in the truest sense of the word “original”.

    The best definition for who is a Christian is simply “one that is a follower of Christ”. Catholics are no more Christian than the Protestants and vice versa.

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