Faced with the inherent apostasy taught by the Catholic Church (see last segment), what should believing Catholics do? I have found that most try to hang in at first, attempting to have some influence on their priest or parish, hoping especially to bring the good news of a personal relationship with Jesus to their fellow Catholics. But it usually does not take long for them to realize that their efforts are not appreciated.
They must then decide whether to remain or leave. If they remain, they compromise what they believe by keeping silent, and they jeopardize their own spiritual growth. If they decide to leave, it is always a painful choice, since to depart means leaving behind dear friends. It also usually results in condemnation by family members.
What then should they do? They should do exactly what any believer should do who is caught up in any apostate religious organization, whether it be a Catholic parish or a Protestant church. They should leave!
The Bible says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership... has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
Catholics claim to accept the Gospel, but their doctrines deny the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus and the salvation of God by grace through faith.
Catholic doctrine depreciates the significance of Jesus. For example, the tremendous importance of His incarnation is diminished by the doctrine of Mary's immaculate conception (the concept that Mary was also born without a sin nature). The all-sufficiency of the Lord's sacrifice on the Cross is dispelled by the doctrine of Transubstantiation, which holds that He is resacrificed daily in the Mass. His current unique role as our High Priest before the throne of God is diluted by the doctrine that Mary serves as our co-redeemer and interceder.
The Jesus of Catholicism is not the Jesus of the Bible. He is a pagan god who denies us access to God the Father unless we atone for our own sins by paying penance in this life and then suffering in purgatory.
The Mary of Catholicism is also not the Mary of the Bible. The Mary of the Bible was a woman of great faith and sterling character. But she was also a sinner who needed a Savior. She acknowledged this herself when, after the birth of Jesus, she sang, "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." Yes Mary was a righteous young woman, but she needed a Savior. The Catholic Mary is just another pagan god.
Catholicism is steeped in idolatry. In their veneration of Mary and the Saints, Catholics commit the worst of all sins against God.
There is a myth that prevails in Christianity which says that all sins are equal. That is not true. All sins are equal only in the sense that any sin condemns us before God. But all sin is not equal in the eyes of God. There are sins that God hates more than others (Proverbs 6:16-19). That is why there are going to be degrees of punishment for the unrighteous (Isaiah 59:16-19, Luke 20:45-47 and Revelation 20:11-15).
The Bible always portrays the worst possible sin as the sin of idolatry (Isaiah 40:18-26, Isaiah 44:9-20 and Ezekiel 6:1-7). That is why the first commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3), and the second says "You shall not make for yourself an idol" (Exodus 20:4).
And that is precisely why the Catholic Church, in its presentation of the Ten Commandments, always deletes the second commandment and then makes up the difference by doubling the last commandment against coveting, making of it two commands: you shall not covet your neighbor's house, and you shall not covet his wife.6 This is blatant scriptural manipulation designed to cover up the sinful idolatry of the Church.
But God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7). His Word says that idolaters will be excluded from Heaven. They will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
The message of the Holy Spirit to those caught up in the spiritual darkness of Catholicism is, "Come out of Babylon!" (Revelation 18:4).
6) The Catholic Encyclopedia (Thomas Nelson, 1987), page 124.