John MacArthur’s Blog Series – Exposing the Heresies of the Roman Catholic Church

I’m so grateful for the ministry of Pastor John MacArthur (photo right). After returning to the Lord after my long “prodigal” season, He introduced me to several faithful teachers including JMac. John MacArthur is one of the few remaining, nationally-known, evangelical pastors who continues to take an outspoken and uncompromising stand against the spiritually deadly errors of Roman Catholicism. MacArthur’s blog recently featured a six-part series under the banner, “Exposing the Heresies of the Catholic Church.” We’re all bombarded with information choices each day, but I enthusiastically invite curious Catholics and evangelicals to check out all six of the excellent, short articles in this series:

John MacArthur on the Evangelical Attraction to the Catholic Church
by Cameron Buettel
Monday, February 10, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200210

The Heresy of Works Righteousness
by John MacArthur
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200212

The Illegitimacy of the Pope
by John MacArthur
Friday, February 14, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200214

The Idolatry of Mary Worship
by John MacArthur
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200217

The Blasphemy of the Mass
by John MacArthur
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200219

John MacArthur on Why the Reformation Isn’t Over
by Cameron Buettel
Friday, February 21, 2020
https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200221

Thanks to Pastor Jimmy at The Domain for Truth for bringing this series to my attention.

46 thoughts on “John MacArthur’s Blog Series – Exposing the Heresies of the Roman Catholic Church

  1. Answering your question: A busy day ahead of me preparing for our monthly couple’s meeting and also sermon prep for Sunday; this Saturday I will also attend our church potluck so that will take time away from sermon prep

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    1. Sally, you should at least read the first article and watch the accompanying short video. JMac is speaking about souls such as yourself who call for “unity” at the expense of the Gospel.

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  2. Wow, this is great! Just the other day the couple we interviewed that worked for Joyce Meyer told me that they were having RC’s reach out to them. Emily said she was excited to be able to share the Gospel with them. I’m so thankful for outreaches to the RC community!

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    1. Thanks, sister! I’m so grateful for JMac and it’s such a blessing to pass along this information. I’m thankful for all brothers and sisters who resist the spreading deception and continue to reach out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel. We are definitely engaged in spiritual warfare.

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    1. Such a blessing that JMac stands firm on the Gospel. The pressure on him to cave/tone it down over the years must have been substantial. This is a very informative little series.

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      1. Yes the pressure is huge on him and those in his ministry I’ve seen glimpses of the pressure from the world and “Christians” while I was in seminary but I hope they continue to stand strong

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      2. I always think of the “younger” guys coming up – like Stephen J. Nichols at Ligonier, David Robertson, Carl Trueman – who are receptive to ecumenism with Rome.

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  3. Are you telling people that Roman Catholics don’t know the Gospel ?
    Where do you think your abbreviated Protestant Bible came from ?
    You know, your Bible, where the book of Hebrews almost got thrown out too by Martin Luther ? 😄

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    1. Sally, thank you for your questions although your snarky tone is a bit surprising.

      RE: Are you telling people that Roman Catholics don’t know the Gospel ?

      That is correct. Roman Catholics do not know the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. They are taught a pseudo-gospel of sacramental grace and merit, which is NOT good news at all. Having to merit salvation is actually VERY BAD news for the practitioner because it is impossible. From your comments on January 25th, it was clear you were not even aware that the RCC taught that salvation must be merited:

      Sally: “Never once, however, was I taught in any Mass, or by any Catholic person ,that I had to merit my salvation somehow. It should be evident to all Christians that salvation is God’s free gift to us. It is , of course, God’s grace that saves all those who place their faith in Christ. Anyone who is being taught that they have to “work” for their salvation is obviously being misled.”

      But I then had to show you from your own catechism that the RCC certainly does teach merited salvation:

      CCC 2010, “…Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.”
      CCC 2027, “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”

      RE: Where do you think your abbreviated Protestant Bible came from ? You know, your Bible, where the book of Hebrews almost got thrown out too by Martin Luther ?

      The Catholic church claims to have given us the Bible but Rabbinic Judaism of Palestine had already collected all 39 books of the Old Testament 800 years prior to the first church council. Martin Luther? You must surely be aware that Catholic prelates and theologians also debated the canonicity of various books right up until the Council of Trent (1545–63). Two excellent volumes on the Biblical canon are “Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books” (2012) and “The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate” (2013), both by Michael J. Kruger.

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      1. Re: You must surely be aware that Catholic prelates and theologians also debated the canonicity of various books right up until the Council of Trent (1545–63).

        Tom, I am almost sure she doesn’t. If all she has ever read are apologetics material by Romanists, then they would have told her that everything was settled at Carthage and Hippo in the 4th century and everything was fine and dandy until Luther came along.

        In fact the sad part is most Evangelicals, even pastors, also believe this myth out of ignorance.

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      2. Thanks, SB. I was actually being a bit facetious with that statement because from past correspondence it’s evident she is not well-versed in Catholic church history or doctrine.

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      3. Re: I was actually being a bit facetious with that statement because from past correspondence it’s evident she is not well-versed in Catholic church history or doctrine.

        Unfortunately, your statement reflects the sombre reality within the Evangelical churches. I can almost guarantee you that most have not heard of Erasmus. This stuff is just not taught.

        I ended up teaching a class on the history of the canon to a bible study group at work full of mature Christians. Not a single one of them knew that the first ever dogmatic declaration of the canon in Christendom, was at Trent in 1546 AD.

        In fact the material that the group used (I didn’t choose it), perpetuated the myth of the supposed 4th century closure at Carthage and Hippo.

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      4. RE: Carthage and Hippo.

        Yup, when I used to listen to Catholic apologist, David Anders, he used to regularly reference Carthage and Hippo as the point when the Catholic canon was set in stone.

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      5. Re: Carthage and Hippo

        Apart from Carthage and Hippo not being ecumenical, they were not even the first councils accepting a canon list (Laodecia did so about -30 to 40 years before).

        What Trent canonized was Jerome’s vulgate, and eliminating his distinction between the Hebrew canon and the apocrypha.

        Carthage and Hippo accepted the LXX, which contained 1 Esdras ( Esdras ‘A’ or Greek Esdras), which Jerome designated and put in the appendix as 3 Ezra 2 Esdras in the LXX became 1 Ezra and 2 Ezra in the Vulgate, which is our Ezra and Nehemiah. So the canon of Trent is not even identical to that of Carthage and Hippo.

        David Anders is either dishonest or perpetuating dishonest info out of ignorance, neither of which reflects well on him

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    2. I guess by that standard, Cardinal Cajetan and Erasmus threw out 2 John, 3 John, James, Hebrews, Jude, 2 Peter.

      It’s always nice to debate canon issues with Romanists. 🙂

      Bruce Metzger: At the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation there was an awakening of earlier uncertainties concerning the authenticity of several books of the New Testament. Jacob Thomas de Vio (1469—1534), called Gaetano (‘Cajetan’) from his birthplace, Gaeta, produced a series of Biblical commentaries that contain much enlightened criticism of an unexpectedly ‘modern’ kind. In dealing with the antilegomena of the New Testament, he denied the Pauline origin of the Epistle to the Hebrews. He likewise expressed doubts concerning the apostolic authorship of the Epistles of James, of Jude, and the second and third of John. In the case of 2 Peter, however, he refused to be swayed by earlier doubts, and defended the Epistle’s authenticity. We do not know what he thought of the Apocalypse, for he declined to deal with this book, confessing that he was unable to penetrate its mysteries.

      Similar to the views of Cardinal Cajetan were the reservations expressed by the great humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam (d. 1536). In the comments that he placed at the beginning of each of the New Testament books in his edition of the Greek Testament (Basle, 1516), he boldly denies that Paul wrote Hebrews and doubts that the Epistle of James was written by James the apostle. The traditional authorship of 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude is freely questioned. As for the Book of Revelation, its style prevents one from attributing it to the author of the Fourth Gospel. In the course of time, however, Erasmus found that his outspokenness was unwelcome to the Church, and he became somewhat more reserved in expressing his views. Thus, in response to the censures imposed by the Theological Faculty in Paris, he declared: ‘If the Church were to declare the titles they [the several New Testament books] bear to be as canonical as their contents, then I would condemn my doubts, for the opinion formulated by the Church has more value in my eyes than human reasons, whatever they may be’. The Canon of the New Testament, Its Origin, Development, and Significance, Claredon Press, Oxford, 1989, Pg 240-241

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      1. Thanks for these good references! Yes, I had Erasmus in mind as one of the Catholic theologians who questioned the canonicity of some of the NT books.

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      2. How do you make an assumption that I am a “Romanist” ? Have I ever identified myself as such ? I do believe, that any “Christian” attacking another “Christian” in a public forum, is not doing what our Lord asks of us, and that is, to reach the lost, and build the Kingdom of God.
        Jesus does not ask for “uniformity”, since we are all individuals, with different temperaments, but he does require unity from us.
        For those individuals who post blog posts deliberately designed to provoke division, I simply kindly ask : “What is your motivation for doing this?” 🤗

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      3. Sally, I know your comment is directed to SB, but I would like to reply. Your own Catholic church makes divisive distinctions. The RCC accepts the baptisms of most denominations, but not the baptisms of the Mormons or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why not? The RCC deems the LDS and JWs as heretical because of a variety of major doctrines. Gospel Christians deem the LDS, JWs, AND the RCC as heretical because in addition to some other doctrines they ALL teach merited salvation. From your own line of reasoning, you need to start calling your RCC diocesan office and petition them to embrace the LDS and JWs for the sake of “unity.”

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      4. Tom, you should also call your Diocese and ask, whether , according to Canon law, one can be an “exCatholic”. It sounds like you are a lapsed Catholic, for sure, but just get clarification on the term you are using.
        Have a great day, brother ! Blessings from sister Sally.😁

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      5. Sally, I’m actually very interested in your thoughts on your church’s denial of the LDS and JW’s as Christians? It would seem that the RCC is in the business of making the kinds of doctrinal distinctions that you criticize others of.

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      6. Sally, you still have not addressed my question regarding the RCC’s denial of the LDS and JWs as Christian denominations. The action of the RCC is not in accord with your strong support of “unity.” Do you accept the JWs and LDS as Christians since they also call Jesus Lord?

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      7. Hi Tom
        I actually have not thought about this, and do not know God’s stance on various groups. I know really not very much about these groups.
        Here is my statement of faith. I have held it since the age of 4. It hasn’t changed.

        Jesus loves me, this I know,
        For the Bible tells me so.
        Little ones to Him belong,
        We are weak, but he is strong.
        And, He loves everyone. 🤗😁😄

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      8. RE: I actually have not thought about this, and do not know God’s stance on various groups. I know really not very much about these groups.

        It’s not really up to you. As a member of the RCC you must accept the church’s formal decision that the LDS and JWs are heretical and non-Christian.

        RE: Here is my statement of faith. I have held it since the age of 4. It hasn’t changed.

        Well, we all might as well all flush our Bibles down the toilet with that thinking. Remember John 4:22? “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.” The Samaritan woman had a concept of God but the wrong concept. Jesus corrected her. Doctrine matters. You can’t help (love) a drowning person unless you throw them a life preserver (truth). Your “truthless” love helps no one. Since your faith admittedly operates sans doctrine, we really can’t have anything approaching a discussion

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      9. Sally, I wish you the eternal peace of Christ that comes with salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

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      10. Sally, do you happen to know if the Roman Church has ever retracted these?

        Boniface VIII : ………….This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven” etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII , November 18, 1302, Unam Sanctam

        The Council of Florence (1441) Bull Cantata Domino: It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic [read Roman] Church. See Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), #714, p. 230.

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      11. Sally, let’s see what scripture says?

        1 Cor 5:11-13
        11 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.12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

        Eph 5:6-11
         6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

        2 John
        9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

        Given the bad fruits of the Roman Church with a rotten and corrupted leadership, do you think God intends for us to be united at all costs?

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    1. Crissy, I agree that it is now very unpopular to stand up for the Gospel truth and expose error as JMac does in this recent series. I am blessed to be able to pass along these important articles.

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  4. To SB
    The Catholic Churrch teaches that protestants are “our separated bretheren”, part of the body of Christ, and headed for heaven, through their faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are all beloved Chidren of God, and heirs with Christ.
    And for sure, our beloved Father in heaven would be delighted if his sons and daughters would agree to work together to bring Christ’s message of love and salvation to a hurting world. 😄

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    1. Sally, do you deny and denounce the dogmatic declarations I posted from Boniface VIII and the Council of Florence? Yes or No?

      Has the Roman Church retracted those? Yes or No?

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