Volume. XXIV, No. 18
Sunday, 01 November 2009

Why We Are Still Protestants - Part 1


Why are you still Protestants? Has not Rome been working to accommodate evangelical Christians by shifting their doctrinal positions and practices? Has she not been friendly toward the evangelicals and been willing to work toward ecclesiastical unity between Catholics and the Evangelicals?Indeed, it is true that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) no longer persecutes evangelical Bible believing Christians and is willing to work toward unity through series of dialogues instead of series of torturous inquisitions, but, the official doctrines of RCC have remained the same since Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of University of Wittenberg in 1517. IN light of this fact, evangelical Christians should not cease to be Protestants. The question naturally arises is: How do we know that the RCC has not changed? We shall examine the official teachings of RCC. 
Most of us are aware that Bible Presbyterian Churches, including our church, subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith as the standard of doctrines and practices. As our church constitution states, “The doctrine of the Church shall be in accordance with that system commonly called “the Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.” In view of this, the 196 and 107 questions respectively in the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechism systematically summarizes the beliefs contained in the abovementioned Reformed Confession of faith. And, you should not be surprised to learn that Rome also has her own version of Catechisms (both Larger and Shorter). The Larger Catechism or what Rome calls ‘The Catechism of the Catholic Church’ consists of a staggering 2865 questions, and the shorter Catechism, which is named the ‘Compendium (ie. summary) of the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church’ contains 598 questions,  which was first published in 1992.
(Both full RCC Catechism and the Compendium can be found at: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc/index.htm)
Without a shadow of doubt, both Catholic Church Catechisms are still the official standard of doctrines and beliefs of Rome endorsed by the late Pope John Paul II who said, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the result of very extensive collaboration…the harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the ‘symphony’ of the faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church…is offered to every individual ... who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.”This position of Rome was reaffirmed by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor on3rd April 2006 in a memorial service for the late Pope John Paul. He has said, "I want every Catholic to have this catechism." He also said, “…it is not enough to believe, rather that Catholics must understand why they believe.” Now, you may be very curious to find out what sort of doctrines are still being adopted as the standard of the RCC according to the Roman Catholic Catechism. It is my intention to go through some of these questions found in both Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the RCC to prove that Rome’s position has not changed.
Roman Pontiff:The Head of the Church and Infallible Teacher (Interpreter)?
RCC Catechism (Larger) 882 says, “The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."
RCC Catechism(Compendium)100 says, “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.” This teaching is also confirmed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Church, chap. 3, 22, p. 344 which states, "… the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered".
(Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Church can be found at: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html)
It is true that today the RCCno longer persecutes, tortures and burns those who translate and read the Bible like in the past, but officially they still keep their church members from interpreting the Bible despite Bible studies being held in some RCCs. Why would the RCC stop their church members from interpreting the Bible? Because Rome believes only the Pope is the infallible teacher, thus usurping the role of the Holy Spirit as ‘Vicar of Christ’ in illuminating born again Christians to understanding the Word of God. ‘Dogmatic Constitution on the Church’, chap. 3, 25, p. 349 says,The Roman Pontiff…as supreme pastor and teacher…expound and defend the teaching of the Catholic faith as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the Church’s charism (or spiritual power) of infallibility is present in a singular way". Nothing can be further from the TRUTH. The Scripture clearly says that the Holy Spirit is the Infallible Teacher, not the Pope or bishops who are in communion with him. John 16:13 says, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Church Traditions: Equal to the Holy Scripture?
RCC Catechism (Compendium) 80 states, “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other.” RCC Catechism (Compendium) also 82 states, “….Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.Did not our Lord condemn Pharisees for keeping their traditions over the commandments or the Word of God? Mark 7:9 says, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” But why is it that the RCC elevates traditions as equal to the Scripture in authority? Not only this, it is shocking to learn that according some scholars they reckon that about 75% of the rites and ceremonies that Roman Catholic Church practice today are of pagan origin. If you think this estimate is exaggerated, let’s hear from one of Rome’s own Cardinals. Cardinal Newman, a well known figure in the RCC. In his book The Development of the Christian Religion," he admits, quote: "Temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, holidays and season of devotions, processions, blessing of fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests and monks and nuns), images ... are ALL of pagan origin..." (Page 359).
Pastor Weng

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Sis Suzanne Lim.
Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman.
Ebenezer BPC Mission Trips to Batam Island, 20-24 Jan 2010: Anyone interested in going, please see Ps Weng or Dn David Yeo.
No Reformed Hermenuetics & Apologetic Class this afternoon.
Pastor Weng’s home number is (08) 8276 8451.
Sis Aranka Rejtoe sends her love to all Hopefuls.
Looking Ahead
Baptism, Re-affirmation, Membership Transfer on 25 Oct.
Christmas Concert: Sat, 5 Dec 2009.
Bible-Presbyterian National Youth Camp 8 - 12 Dec, Perth.
Watchnight Service, Thurs, 31 Dec, 7:30 pm
Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore/Lond); Bros Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl), Joseph Selvanayagam (Copenhagen/Adl) & Frank Wong (Adl); Sis Angie Yuen (Adl) and all others who have travelled.
Church activities: Reformed H&A Class; BSAG & Joy Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Sparks4Christ; Choir practices & rehearsals; YAF Bible Study; Working Bees.
Daily mercies, protection, and guidance.
Re-Affirmation of Faith of Bro Raymond Ang, & Membership Transfer of Sis Felicia Tan.
Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong’s mother, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Myung Ki (& her father - S Korea), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; Mrs Maggie Wong (spine surg on 4 Nov); & others in affliction.
Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province); Bible-believers in Cambodia; Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).
Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - family & ministry in Vientiane (Laos) & Siem Pang (Cambodia).
Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim.
IBPFM (USA) - For missionaries & funds
Pastor Weng & family & ministry.
Journey mercies: Bros Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Pt Aug/Adl)
Ministry in New Life BPC (London) - Ps & Sis Ki.
Uni Students Exams & Year 12 students - Bros Joshua Chung, Vabhav Sankey, & Jason Teng.
Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Hui Wei Chua, Tabitha Tan, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.
Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Kim Tan (Melb) & Susan Weng.
God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.



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