Over the course of the church's history, it has always had at least two major fights on its hands: heretical teachings within the church that threatened the very essence of the Gospel, and heretical teachings outside of the church that claimed to be the true church, thus threatening again the very essence of the Gospel and the very existence of the church itself.
The church has not weathered these battles well. The rise of Roman Catholicism is proof of that, as the vast majority of the Apostolic Church ceased to be such and became something far different.
Just to pick a few topics, consider that the Apostolic Church taught:
- Salvation by faith alone
- Ephesians 2:8-9:
- The priesthood of each and every believer
- 1 Peter 2:5
You [believers], like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house for a holy and dedicated priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.
- 1 Peter 2:9
- Jesus as the head of the church on Earth and human church leaders are not to lord themselves over others
- Matthew 20:25-28
- Jesus as the only mediator between God and man
- 1 Timothy 2:5-7
- And continued salvation through continued repentant faith
- Romans 11:17-23
Add to this the rejection of the priesthood of each believer, the pope being the "vicar of Christ" and as such the head of the earthly church - ruling as a prince or a king on a throne - the veneration of Mary as a person without sin and a mediator between man and Christ, and continued salvation through works and you can quickly see that we are dealing with two different things.
My friends, that is not Christianity. It is a blend of ancient paganism and what used to be Biblical Christianity. It is not a sheep that sheepishly sets asides its own ideas for what God has said, it is a beast that stubbornly insists on its own ways, no matter what God has said.
So at this point in my post, I'm pretty sure I've got all the Biblical Christians on my side and you're reading this and nodding your head in agreement. But wasn't this about Calvinism needing to die or something like that? Why the diatribe against Roman Catholicism?
But that doesn't mean they are proper Christians. Not by a long shot. That is determined by how we treat the very revelation of God Himself in Scripture, how we faithfully understand and teach the Gospel, how we represent God to the dying world around us. All of these things are at play in the life of any believer. And the one thing as God's messengers we must never do is misrepresent God. In my mind, this is the cardinal sin and flaw of Calvinism: It slanders God's revealed nature and character, and it does so by reinterpreting Scripture in the light of philosophy and the traditions of men in exactly the same way as Roman Catholicism. And I will show that this is easily proven.