Just How Should The Roman Catholic Church Be Modernized

During a recent programme on Spanish television people in the studio were asked whether the Roman Catholic Church should be modernized, and it appears that the majority were in favour.

But, in my opinion, the question should be more specific, more clearly defined. As an evangelical pastor, if modernisation means that the RC Church should approve abortion, and the type of anti -contraception pills, which are really not anti-conception but that destroy the ovule after conception. If it means approval of sex apart from within the bond of marriage, approval of euthanasia, and that homosexuality is a normal lifestyle and further that same sex couples should be able to make a religious commitment in church; then I would clearly say no!

Because each of these things as well as many others - adultery, bigamy, fornication in general and other things accepted by the western world go completely against what is commanded in God’s Word.

Before I go on to say more about the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings let me make this statement as an evangelical pastor - Truth cannot be modernised, it is not pragmatic, it is not in any way merely relative and if it is altered it becomes a lie.

However, what the Roman Catholic Church needs to do is to seriously consider getting rid of much of its ritualistic scaffolding, artistically beautiful as it may appear to some, and replace it with anointed worship and anointed teaching from God’s Word because without the third person of the Holy Trinity however well everything may be organised it is a dead letter.

As the Bible says: "having the form of godliness but denying its power" - 2 Timothy 3: 5

A common statement of the R. C. Church is - ‘As the Church has always taught", but much of what is taught is not the teachings once and for all given by the apostles, and much of what the R.C. Church declares as infallible is in fact erroneous -

The Mass - is declared to be a true sacrifice performed by priests thousands of times a day around the world, while the New Testament clearly states in the book of Hebrews, speaking of the Old Testament priests of Israel -

"Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Jesus Christ) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy" - Hebrews 10: 11 to 14

"We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" - Hebrews 10: 10

"Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy " - Hebrews 10: 14 emphasises my point.

The priesthood - When the New Testament speaks of priests it is either referring to the priests of Israel or of Jesus Christ himself who is our high priest in heaven, it never speaks of a separate body of men that are apart from the rest of believers. The true doctrine of the church is the priesthood of all believers. The apostle Peter in his first general epistle to the churches clearly states -

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" - 1 Peter 2: 9

There is no sacrificing priesthood in the New Testament, but all believers in Jesus Christ are called to the priestly task of worship and good works, and to declare that if a person will confess his or her sins and believe and follow the Lord that person is saved and that his or her confession will be registered in heaven.

Above all in these turbulent and uncertain days when it is increasingly difficult to analysis coherently all that is taking place in the world, Christendom needs to return to the teachings of the New Testament which Luke summarised at the beginning of the book of Acts -

They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer - Acts 2: 42

The need is to preach that Christianity means a radical change in outlook and a radical change of lifestyle; Jesus himself put it this way -

No-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again - you should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again - John 3: 3 & 7

The apostle Peter in his first epistle refers to this radical change that true conversion brings -

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in his great mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" - 1 Peter 1: 3

Have you experienced this? If not confess your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life by the Holy Spirit and you will be saved.

In my next article I hope to write about baptism, how we should pray to God, and the importance of communion or the Lord’s Supper.

God bless you!!!
Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess
Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd