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Why We Shouldn’t Assume Catholics are Christians



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Historically, Roman Catholicism has been considered by Protestants and Evangelicals to be an expression of faith that distorts the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ. While Protestants hold to a soteriological belief of “grace alone through faith alone,” in contrast, Roman Catholics hold to a sacerdotal view of salvation by faith plus works whereby grace is dispensed through the Church by the intervention of a Sacerdote (priest). For them, salvation cannot be attained apart from the sacraments. Bible-believing Christians shouldn’t assume Catholics are born-again Christians because they trust in their own works as opposed to the finished work of Christ on the cross, for their salvation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Sadly, during this modern time of ecumenical “unity,” many professing Bible-believing Christians have compromised on this. For them, it has become a matter of “individual faith,” and regardless of your religious affiliation, anyone who has that “personal relationship” with Christ can be saved. But there are several errors in this line of reasoning, and it is extremely reckless to assume that Catholics or Orthodox Christians are truly saved. Here’s why.

Denominational Affiliation is an Expression of Beliefs

As stated above, Roman Catholics officially hold to unbiblical doctrines that are opposed to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, they are designed in such a manner to forbid you from believing the true Gospel. One can only assume that a Roman Catholic is a Roman Catholic because he or she believes the Roman Catholic system to be true. While it is possible that a practicing Roman Catholic can be saved, as God can save anybody he pleases, the likelihood of them remaining in the Catholic Church long-term is slim. Upon justification, the Holy Spirit begins sanctification in the new believer, and will ultimately lead the believer to the truth, and out of the false church. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace,” (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is of utmost importance for Bible-believing Christians to call all who are caught up in this false system to repent and leave the Roman Catholic or Orthodox church.

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough

2 Corinthians 11:4
Council of Trent - Pasquale Cati Da Iesi
Council of Trent – Pasquale Cati Da Iesi

Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians Practice Idolatry

Through aberrant doctrines such as transubstantiation, Roman Catholics, and many Orthodox sects, believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and that it is worthy of worship. This is a regular practice in the daily Mass. Further, prayers and worship are regularly offered to Mary and the canonized saints, and relics of past saints and popes are regularly idolized in the church. In every altar in a Roman Catholic church, there will be placed a relic (i.e. bone, vile of blood, or some body part) of a martyr or a canonized saint. This practice of idolatry cannot be overlooked when considering someone to be a brother or sister in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 clearly states that those who practice idolatry will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Catholic Eucharist - Transubstantiation
Transubstantiated Eucharist Placed in Roman Catholic Monstrance for Adoration

Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians Reject Biblical Authority

Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians do not hold to a belief in the final authority of Scripture, rather, Catholics’ authority is in the hierarchical system of priests with the Roman Pontiff at the head, and the Orthodox Church’s authority comes from the seven ecumenical councils. A rejection of biblical authority is a rejection of Christ himself, for the Scriptures say that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-2,14
Open Bible - biblical authority
Word of God – The Christian’s Authority


We cannot compromise the Gospel by assuming that a Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian who professes to be saved is truly saved. Counterfeit systems of Christianity are very good at distorting their identity. They often speak the same language as believers, yet mean something completely different. They are often agreeable to the believer and are experts at practicing cunning.

Even if a Catholic is truly born again, if they refuse to leave their false church, we must treat them as though they are not. By their own profession, confession, and expression of faith, they continue in sin by practicing idolatry and rejecting Christ. We must not allow them to speak in our pulpits or join with them in any spiritual enterprise. We are to avoid them, treat them as unbelievers, and call them to repent.

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But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

1 Corinthians 5:11

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Coram Deo

May I heartily recommend reading the following for instruction.


Time well spent during lockdown.

Charles Barnes Sr.

If only more voices would echo these sentiments. My church has been instructed multiple times that "Christian" does not equal "Catholic" and vice versa.

Joe B

Most people think of Christ's conception as the "Immaculate" conception. It's not what the CC believes. The CC teaches that the immaculate conception was the conception of Mary (their mother of God). Many of the current mainline CC beliefs are less than 200 years old. Makes one wonder about the catholic 'believers' during the previous 1800 years.


Most Protestants also maintain that salvation is by faith plus works. They just do a better job of concealing the works part than do Catholics.

Kelly J Blevins

Yes you don't know any real Christ followers then.

Sharon Puckett

I beg to differ no if u have truly been born again as Jesus said we all must do before we can enter the Kingdom of God.


As a former cradle Catholic, I wholeheartedly agree. I could not be faithful to God’s truth as taught in scripture and Catholic at the same time. It occurred to me that I was trained to believe a false gospel and only was taught Catholic traditions and catechism. Every day I read the Bible and learn more truth that was never shared in 12 years of Catholic schools and years of attending Mass. I thank God for giving me ears to hear and understand. Please help me pray for my lost family and friends. Amen.

John P.

Linda,… for many years I've heard the same complaints from other Catholics who have become believers in the completed work of redemption in Jesus Christ. They all are concerned for their Catholic family and friends, and rightly so. Stay the course, I'll remember you in my prayers.


Linda, I’m also a born into a “cafeteria RC” family, went to Catholic schools, but non of it ever sat right with me. I have SO many RC friends and family who basically think I’m crazy. I recently tried to have a conversation with a friend over his beliefs, and it ended poorly. At some points I got very heated because he was throwing darts of questions in a deflection attack, of which honestly, without looking them up, I couldn’t answer off the top of my head if I wanted to answer correctly. I’ve already repented because I feel so… Read more »

Lissa Weight

I can sincerely identify with you. It is very difficult to speak the word of truth to unbelievers. I spoke to my postman today. It seems he was put off by Christians who scare across as superior. Of course, this would just be his view, but it is hard to tell people that we have committed to the only True God, without adverse reaction. I think say little and pray much. Only recently my friend told me that, on her mother's death bed she remembered that I had said, " The only thing you have to give to God is… Read more »


Praise God!!

I think you make a true statement “say little, pray much”.

Believer in Christ

One merely has to look to the Book of Hebrews to condemn the religion of Roman Catholocism. Jesus as the perfect priest, interceding for us, His believers, confirms the new covenant that has replaced the first covenant. He is a priest in the order of Melchizedek, who made the only sacrifice sufficient for our cleansing from sin. In the Roman Catholic church they have replaced the first covenant, and the sacrifices made daily under a levitical order of priesthood, needed for all men under the law, with an order of priesthood which doesn't even serve the first covenant. It is… Read more »


Amen and well said!

I do believe anyone of RC faith would take offense to that, sadly they don’t see our hearts.😢

John P.

Hello Ali,

A very interesting and touching comment you made. If I may, I would like to recommend a website that can help with your study of the Bible. There is a converted Jew by the name of Arnold Fruchtenbaum who started a ministry 50 plus years ago. He is very qualified and his teaching has helped me more than any other single website (ARIEL.ORG). I hope this can help you.


Thank you so much! Looks interesting!

I might mention Mike Gendron if nobody has heard of him. I only have a recent link here, but he has some himself plus a website I believe.

Lissa WeightLissa

Please please please….a vial of blood

william oldham

The big obstacle to cradle Catholics is that that have the teachings of the Catholic church taught and ingrained in them at six years of age. The church teaches and trains them, and their Catholic parent(s) reinforce it. It takes the power of the gospel to set them free from the domain of darkness. I know-that is my testimony!


It’s true William. God calls us, and we are so eternally blessed for it!

I just get so frustrated when they can’t see. Even though ultimately I know it’s not my job to save them. I just get so upset.😢

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