Biblical Christianity and Other Beliefs
Various Belief Systems and How They
Relate to the Bible
Note to the Reader: The following links on Islam are all off-site. The first, Message for Muslims, is written from a Christian perspective. I have not vetted the entire site. I do not know what flavor of Christianity is behind this site, but it is Christian in orientation. The second site, What makes Islam so different?, is not necessarily Christian. I have not examined it that closely. But it certainly does not seek to defend Islam from justifiable criticism. The third link is to an online translation of "The Holy Qur'an." From the small amount of research I have done, I think this is a fairly accurate translation, not one that paraphrases to avoid offending western sensibilities. WordExplain, of course, does not agree with Islam, and does not recognize Muhammad as a valid prophet of Yahweh (Ex. 3:13-15), the God of the Old Testament, the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 28:10-17; Ex. 3:6).
Message for Muslims: Muslim Evangelism hosted by the Message for Muslims Trust. This site contains sections on The Quran; Hadith; Muhammad; Aspects of Islam; Evangelism; Christology; Apologetics; and Muslim Doctrines.
What makes Islam so different? The actual URL of this site is TheReligionofPeace.com. That is a tongue-in-cheek characterization. This site features About; Terror Attacks; Islam; Muhammad; Quran. It maintains an up-to-date List of Islamic Terror Attacks. For example, according to the site, in the year 2015 "there were 2858 Islamic attacks in 52 countries, in which 27,588 people were killed and 26,136 injured."
Posted May 4, 2020
The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Lutheran Church. This link is included, not because I am a Lutheran or because I agree with everything on the site. In fact, I do not. But this is an excellent link for resource purposes to the belief system of the Lutheran Church, including its Larger Catechism.
WordExplain has linked to the denomination's statement of faith for purposes of resource only. WordExplain does not agree with everything in the church's statement of faith. For example, the opening lines of Article 4. Scripture read as follows:
We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life.
Though the text does not explicitly state this to be so, from my experience with the Mennonite Church, it does not view Scripture as authoritative in matters of science and history. The above quotation makes it fairly clear that the church views the Scripture as authoritative only in the areas of salvation and righteousness, faith and life. WordExplain profoundly disagrees with this stance.
Moreover, the Mennonite Church has adopted the religion of "Climate Justice and "Ecumenical Advocacy, together linked to the presumption of man-made climate change and the evils of colonialism and capitalism. The latter page cites with approval Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si, in which, according to the 2020 National Gathering promotional, "Pope Francis recognized the double injustice of climate change and poverty." Again, WordExplain differs strongly with these presumptions.
The History of Mormonism - (Off-site discussion by Jim Eckman.) (Note: While WordExplain may not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site discussion, it does substantially agree with it.)
New Apostolic Reformation
Presbyterian Church USA (PC USA).
Presbyterian Church (USA) changes its constitution to include gay marriage. This article was written by Sarah Pulliam Bailey on March 17, 2015 in The Washington Post.
PC(USA) relaxes constitutional prohibition of gay and lesbian ordination. Published by the denomination on May 11, 2011.
Presbyterian Church of America. How does the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) differ from the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. (PC USA)? An informative article written by a pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of America located in Lancaster, PA. Obviously the PCA is theologically more conservative than the larger PC USA. Dr. Michael Rogers, the pastor of Westminster, left the PC USA in 1980 when a man was approved as pastor by the denomination's highest court, even though the pastor in question denied the Deity of Christ!
The Gospel of Health and Wealth (On-site discussion)
Is "name it claim it" teaching biblical? (Off-site discussion from gotQuestions.org) (Note: While WordExplain may not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site discussion, it does substantially agree with it.)
Is the Word of Faith movement biblical? (Off-site discussion from gotQuestions.org) (Note: While WordExplain may not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site discussion, it does substantially agree with it.)
Why are there so many televangelist scandals? (Off-site discussion from gotQuestions.org) (Note: While WordExplain may not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site discussion, it does substantially agree with it.)
Their Greed, Your Seed. (Off-site discussion by Jim Allen, Blogos.org) (Note: While WordExplain may not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site discussion, it does substantially agree with it.)
The New Calvinism. Where did all these Calvinists come from? A visual history by Josh Byers and Tim Challies. (Note: WordExplain does not necessarily agree with every point of this off-site article. However the editor deems it worthy of inclusion from an informational point of view.)
The Five Solae of the Protestant Reformation (Offsite Articles. These articles are from a Protestant point of view, but some also give the Catholic response.)
Sola Scriptura. A fairly well-written Wikipedia article.
"What is sola scriptura?" A good article by GotQuestions.org, but it does not address Catholic views as effectively as the Wikipedia article.
"Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)." A good article by Blogos.org, but it does not address Catholic views as effectively as the Wikipedia article.
Sola fide. A fairly well-written Wikipedia article.
"Why is sola fide important?" A good article by GotQuestions.org, but it does not address the Catholic point of view.
"Faith Alone (Sola Fide)". A thoughtful article by Blogos.org. The author cites canons IX, X, and XI of the Sixth Session of The Council of Trent, but did not provide a link, so I have provided one here. Sixth Session: One must scroll down to the "Canon" section -- pp. 45 and 46.
Sola gratia. A very sketchy article, with little value.
Solus Christus. A poorly written article with little value.
Soli Deo gloria. This article, frankly, is of little value, theologically speaking.
Roman Catholicism (Editor's Note: from the viewpoint of WordExplain, the terms "Roman Catholicism" and "Catholicism" are synonymous.)
Items presenting the Viewpoint of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (English).
The New American Bible used by the Catholic Church. (English)
The Catholic Encyclopedia, an online publication of New Advent.
Code of Canon Law. 1. General Norms; 2. The People of God; 3. The Teaching Function of the Church; 4. The Function of the Church; 5. The Temporal Goods of the Church; 6. Sanctions in the Church; 7. Processes.
Documents of the Second Vatican Council.
The Council of Trent. The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848). Scanned by Hanover College students in 1995.
News.VA. The Official Vatican Network. (English)
Vatican.com. News from the perspective of the Vatican. Vatican.com/news
Called to Communion: Reformation meets Rome. Ostensibly an ongoing conversation between former Protestants who have converted to Roman Catholicism and Protestants who are willing to "dialogue." (Editor's note: Let me give the reader a political analogy. "Bipartisanship" in American politics means that Republicans must sacrifice core principles and vote with the Democratic party. [Both parties, by the way, share this definition, although Republicans will not admit it.] Over the course of decades, the political locus inevitably moves leftward. Just so, in a conversation of this nature, "dialogue" means that Protestants will sacrifice core principles and vote with the Catholics. And how else can it be? If, as Catholics insist, truth is to be found not only in the Scriptures, but also in Church Tradition and the ongoing "Magisterium" [teaching authority] of the Catholic Church [82, 84, 85, 100], who is going to change? It will not be, indeed, cannot be, the Catholics.)
Laudato Si' - Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis - "On Care for Our Common Home." Given at St. Peters on May 24, 2015.
Pastor Aeternus: First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ. Section III of the First Vatican Council, 1869 to 1870 under Pope Pius IX.
Chapter I. "On the Institution of the Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter."
Chapter II. "On the Perpetuity of the Primacy of Blessed Peter in the Roman Pontiffs."
Chapter III. "On the Power and Nature of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff."
Chapter IV. "On the Infallible Teaching of the Roman Pontiff."
[JTB: Not one of these four chapters can be proven from Scripture. Especially objectionable is the claim of infallibility in regard to the pope (Chapter IV). It is the Scriptures that are God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17). There is definitively no claim in Scripture that "Church Tradition" is God-breathed, and thus, infallible. That is the invention of mere man. The truth of the matter is that there is definitively no Church Office of Pope to be found in Scripture. Both the office of pope and his presumed infallibility are the inventions of mere man.]
Items Evaluating the Catholic Church
Unam Sanctam: One God, One Faith, One Spiritual Authority. Bull of Pope Boniface VIII promulgated November 18, 1302. The last sentence reads: "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." [JTB: Not one single Scripture can be adduced to support this outrageous, unbiblical, heretical claim.]
Dictatus Papae. Meaning, apparently, "Documents Which the Pope Has Dictated." According to this article, "The Dictatus Papae are a collection of precedents regarding papal authority that the Gregorian reformers insisted on being recognized by temporal rulers and the other bishops of the Church." This document was written, some say, by Pope Gregory himself (1073-1085) during the Investiture Controversy. Others believe someone else, unnamed, wrote it. Regardless, it expressed the views of the "Gregorian reformers." The 27 statements include a number of claims that are, in this author's view, shocking, arrogant, and groundless according to the Scripture. One such statement is number 22: "That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness." Rest assured, there is absolutely no Scripture that affirms this papal mythology. The only true statement in this regard is that of Paul the Apostle, "All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for child-training in the sphere of righteousness, in order that the man of God might be qualified, for every good work having been equipped" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, JTB translation).
Twelfth Ecumenical Council: Lateran IV 1215. In 1213 Pope Innocent III had issued a Papal Bull, Quia Major, calling Christendom to liberate the Holy Land from the Saracens (Muslims). Plans were authorized at the Fourth Lateran Council. The Pope granted to all who participated in any way at their own expense in this crusade "full remission of their sins [of] which they have sincerely repented and orally confessed ...." Moreoever, he promised them, on the day of judgment, "an increase of eternal happiness.".... "Finally, to all who in a spirit of piety aid in bringing to a successful issue this holy undertaking, this holy and general council imparts the benefits of its prayers and blessings that they may advance worthily to salvation. Amen."
JTB: Of course, from a New Testament point of view, there is no evidence that Apostolic Succession is anything more than a human myth. No Pope has the authority to forgive sins. And where in the New Testament is any church leader authorized to send off a "Christian army" to kill Muslims and Jews? Aren't we rather required by the Lord to serve as His witnesses, and to make disciples of all nations rather than killing them (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)? Why would God bless a "Christian" army sent out to murder people under whatever pretext?
Should I Convert to Roman Catholicism?
Elements of Roman Catholicism That Cannot Be Proven from Scripture
Supporting Links and Refutation. (This document incomplete and in progress)
The Roman Catholic Church and the Bible.
The Roman Catholic Church and the Interpretation of the Bible
The Roman Catholic Church and Mary
The Roman Catholic Church and Origins
The Roman Catholic Church's Stance toward Those Who Disagree with Her: The Anathemas as Stated in the Council of Trent
Why I Choose Not to Join the Vatican Church
The Bible and Roman Catholicism. This heading comprises a new series of articles. The first installment was made on November 27, 2017.
The Bible and the Pope. November 27, 2017. Updated December 30, 2017
The Bible and the Vicar of Christ. November 28, 2017
The Bible and Pontifex Maximus. November 29, 2017
The Bible and Catholic Priests. December 4, 2017
The Bible and the Eucharist. Part 1. December 8, 2017
The Bible and the Eucharist. Part 2. December 10, 2017
Peter and the Keys of the Kingdom. December 30, 2017
Richard Bennett, Former Roman Catholic Priest
Richard Bennett Videos
Richard Bennett, for 22 years a Roman Priest, has produced a number of videos touting the sufficiency of God's Word as over against the human dogmas of the Vatican Church from his own unique perspective. These videos can be found on the Links and Resources Page of Berean Beacon.org. I have selected certain videos that are of particular interest to me. The titles are the same as those found on the Links and Resources Page. The links given below are associated with the corresponding video housed on Youtube. A text copy of Bennet's testimony is linked above. It is entitled "From Tradition to Truth." In some respects there is considerably more detail in the text link than in the video feed.
Testimony of a Former Catholic Priest.
Richard Bennett gives his own personal testimony of his experience as a Priest. He eventually became haunted by the lack of correspondence between what Rome believes and what the Bible teaches. The video feed on this personal testimony is sub-par. But the audio feed is quite adequate. This link was placed on WordExplain on June 17, 2016.
Two Former Priests Analyze Catholicism. This link was placed on WordExplain on June 24, 2016.
(The following synopsis by Richard Bennett is taken from the YouTube website at the above location. This video was originally published by BereanBeacon.org on Jul 31, 2013.)
In the context of Henry Nowakowski's life as a Catholic Priest, Richard Bennett questions him concerning the Catholic environment in which he was raised. Richard, himself a former priest, also asks Henry what was the key in his early Catholic upbringing. In the interview, Catholicism is scrutinized as they both discuss Henry's life dedicated in the Catholic priesthood. Henry's seminary training and experience reveals much of the heart of Papal Rome. Very informative also was their joint analysis of the Vatican Council II. However, the highpoint of the interview was Henry Nowakowski's analyses of the contrast of God's sovereignty to Roman Catholic claim to the Pope's infallibility. Many Evangelicals, and we trust some Catholics as well, will be awakened by this video. Responses will be welcomed at, RichardmBennett@yahoo.com by both Henry and Richard. Please make this critical video to others, and kindly forward its URL to your family and friends. Thank you.
Here is the YouTube link, spelled out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aNksLa_LQM
The Roman Catholic Mass by Richard Bennett. This link was placed on WordExplain on July 7,2016.
Paul Flynn, a former Catholic, interviews Richard Bennett, himself a former Catholic priest on Megiddo Radio. The two discuss, in a charitable context, the Vatican's interpretation of the Mass from official Catholic documents, in contrast with what the Bible says.
Here is the YouTube link, spelled out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YW3p6MK3iM