On Instagram yesterday an ad popped up in my stories feed for Catholic Church Victims Fund. It probably came up on my feed because I use the #Catholics a lot. On their website, they have a questionnaire asking if you’ve been a victim of inappropriate touching “by anyone of authority from the Catholic church”. If you have, you may qualify for a “significant cash settlement”.
Doing a little more digging, I found, Zalkin.com — a law firm specializing in seeking justice for abuse victims.
Now, I don’t want to purposefully do any Catholic bashing because, I think they’re doing a good job on their own in giving Catholic priests a bad name.
These “Catholics” make it difficult to live down the “Hypocrite” name given to Christians. I know that there are other Christian leaders who have been caught in sin. Sin isn’t exclusive for Catholics.
Romans Chapter 2 – Hidden Secrets
In Chapter 1 of Romans, Paul told us what it means to live righteously. Here in Chapter 2, he uncovers dirty little secrets.
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.Romans 2:1-11
Catholic Church leaders Similar to the Jewish Leaders (Pharisees) of Jesus’ Day
I can’t help but compare the Catholic church leaders — from priests, to bishops, to cardinals, to the Pope — to the Pharisees of the 1st century. Jesus told them off clearly.
Jesus even said some religious leaders will go to hell…
“And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”Matthew 8:11-12
Paul continues in Romans 2…
“Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”Romans 2:21-24
You can’t deny there’s been trouble where there shouldn’t have been…
- Pope Francis admits that priests have used nuns as sex slaves.
- Pope Francis apologizes for priests’ sexual abuse (of children)
So, I ask you devout Catholics…
Use your brain! I’m not saying all Catholic priests are bad — it’s just that there’s no way for you to know who are the hypocrites and who are the righteous.
That’s where the Truth and the Discernment benefit of the Holy Spirit comes in….
God Judges Everyone the Same
God wants you to repent — to change your mind about sin.
“Repentance is the first step to salvation.”Pastor Kris Langham, Romans Chapter 2 study in Through the Word
John the Baptist was the First Martyr
Many say that Stephen was the first martyr, but in reality, it was John the Baptist. King Herod hated him — and subsequently had him beheaded — because John called out Herod’s sin. No one likes to be called out, but God does it all the time. It’s up to us to recognize it and turn away from our sins.
Paul ends Chapter 2 with more truth…
For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.Romans 2:28-29
Now let’s replace “circumcision” with baptism as a child. Jewish boys were circumcised at 8 days old. Catholic babies are usually baptized around 6 months old.
For you are not a true [Christian] just because you were born of [Catholic] parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of [infant baptism]. No, a true [Christian] is one whose heart is right with God. And true [baptized person] is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.Romans 2:28-29 Catholicized
Have you Truly Repented of ALL Your Sins?
If you believe that you still have to go to confess your sins to a priest — who is human and tempted by sin also — you have not fully repented of your sins.
Jesus died on the cross not so that we could have religion, but he suffered and died taking ALL our sins away.
On the cross, he defeated sin. On Resurrection day, he defeated death. He did this so we could also defeat sin and death solely by believing in Him. He wants to give us — you and me — eternal life in paradise with Him.
If you want the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily to get to know God. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!
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