Welcome to another article on bad anti-Catholic arguments! This particular argument was a real comment we received on one of our social media platforms. It highlights another example of an anti-Catholic (and probably ex-Catholic) critic pouring out their disdain for the Church.
The reason for this article and others like it is to demonstrate how uneducated and misinformed anti-Catholic arguments are by their very nature. In addition, the many mistaken claims will be corrected revealing gaping mistakes and common misconceptions. The following is a man’s comment truncated down to the main points coming from a much longer rant. Our answer will follow.
Anti-Catholic comment: “Catholics are going to Hell. The Bible is absolutely clear that we are saved by faith. No amount of “good works” (including giving to the poor, attending church services, praying to Mary or the saints, rosary beads, candles, confession, the sacraments, and numerous other rituals demanded by the Roman Catholic authorities) will satisfy the wrath of God against sinners. These will not save you poor Catholics. Furthermore, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it teaches that eternal life is attained by faith, baptism, and keeping the commandments.
Here are some of the Bible verses that show faith alone is the only Christian doctrine and disprove what your demonic Catholic Church believes: Rom. 3:28-30; Rom. 4:3-5 (Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness); Rom. 5:1, Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:16, and others). We are saved by faith alone and not faith and works.
This demonic Catholic religion arrogantly added 7 books to the Bible at the Council of Trent 1500 YEARS LATER which were NEVER considered Scripture and often contradict the Bible. Repent or you will not be saved.”
The Catholic response: Thank for your comment. You stated that, “No amount of good works can save us, and then you listed what you perceive to be good works including: giving to the poor, attending church services, praying to Mary and the saints, rosary beads, candles, confession, baptism, and more.”
Giving to the poor? You do not believe that giving to the poor is necessary? This is ironic since Jesus Himself specifically stated that it was. The Bible clearly teaches that giving to the poor is necessary for salvation as part of faith, and that you will not attain heaven without it.
Look at Matthew 25:31-46 which depicts Judgement Day and specifically shows people who are saved and not saved. What was the criteria? Good works: feeding the poor, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, and so on. Likewise, the people who did not perform these good works ended up in hell. Jesus said to them,
“Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.”
So you see, both Jesus and the Bible contradict your position and show that good works and living out your faith is necessary for salvation. It is also why the Bible states elsewhere that we will be judged by our works, and not faith alone: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were all judged, each one according to his works (Rev. 20:14).
Here is what we agree on: Jesus is the only way to heaven, and salvation cannot be earned. No amount of good works can earn salvation, yet they are necessary to accompany faith. In short: We are saved by faith in Christ and by being obedient to Him and His commandments. Faith and obedience.
While we believe good works are necessary to live out your faith and show your love for Jesus, the Catholic Church does not believe that one can earn your salvation through works. That is not the purpose of good works. Nobody can earn their salvation. Yet, as Scripture teaches, good works are necessary.
You MUST follow the commandments: Similar to what we just said, you stated multiple times that we do not need to follow the commandments. Yet again, that is the exact opposite of what the Bible actually teaches, proving the Catholic religion to be right again. Listen to what the Bible says:
1 John 2:3-4 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Mt. 19:16-17 – Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But *if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”*
You quote Romans out of context several times, but more importantly, the book of Romans never once uses the words “faith alone” but only faith apart from works of the law (Rom. 3:28) which included the Old Testament rituals and ceremonies, like circumcision. Many Jews thought they were saved merely by circumcision or certain rituals, or just be being Jewish. The Bible teaches that these works can’t save us, but yet, works done in Christ’s grace and in faith are necessary. We will be judged by our faith and works.
Romans 2 states: “In accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his works,* eternal life to those who by *patient perseverance in doing good* seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who *works what is good,* to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Sacraments: You said that neither baptism nor the other sacraments will save us. Yet, Jesus Himself instituted the sacraments which we must therefore obey. The sacraments themselves do not save, but Jesus saves us through them. You stated Baptism doesn’t save us, and yet again, the bible teaches the exact opposite.
1 Peter 3:17-21 says that “Baptism saves you.” Read that again. Baptism saves you!” Again, it is not that Baptism apart from Christ saves anyone, but Jesus working through Baptism to bring us new life (Rom. 6:1-11). Mk 16:16 also states, “He who believes and is baptized, will be saved.” And there are other verses too.
The Eucharist is another Sacrament that Christ works through, and as it says in Jn. 6:51-56, if we do not receive the Eucharist or receive the body and blood of Christ, we have no salvation. His words. Not ours. Confession, which you mentioned, may be found in Jn. 20:21-23. I made a short video on this. Anointing of the Sick: James 5:16.
Candles and the Rosary: Candles? Where did that come from? No Catholic believes that candles save them or are meritorious in any way.
The Rosary itself is a meditation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus where we reflect on Him and try to imitate His virtues. It’s a prayer, and prayer does aid in salvation. Likewise, meditating on Jesus is good. But why do Catholics pray to Mary in the Rosary? A good question, and I have answered it in a YouTube video I made which can be found here.
Thank you for reading. I hope you have found these short answers helpful. Feel free to check out my YouTube Channel for many more questions and many more answers, or perhaps, some of our other blog articles that answer anti-Catholic objections.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts below. God bless.