The Isaiah 53:5 Project published a post titled Are Roman Catholics Christian? a little while back. The text of the short post reads:
“I was recently asked by an atheist who, for his own enjoyment, loves to stir up conflict among believers where there often isn’t any if I thought Roman Catholics were true Christians. So, without intending to cause trouble or offend Catholics who read the blog, here is my answer.
“Catholics are indeed Christians if they have trusted in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. However, if they believe they are saved by God’s grace and their works, then they are not saved–even if they believe their works are done by God’s grace–since they then deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.
“Being a Christian does not mean being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. It means being a member of the body of Christ, which is accomplished by faith and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins. It means you do not add your works to His work. Sincerity doesn’t forgive sins. Membership in a church doesn’t forgive sins. Doing works of penance doesn’t forgive sins. Praying to Mary doesn’t forgive sins. Forgiveness is received in the faithful trust and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
“You must trust Jesus, God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins–not a man-made ritual and certainly not the catholic saints.
“Even though the Roman Catholic Church affirms the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and His physical resurrection, it greatly errors in its doctrine of salvation by adding works to salvation.”
I’d like to comment on the immense ignorance of the implications of the above article.
The performance of good works does not deny the sufficiency of Christ’s Sacrifice. Good works are required for salvation, but works themselves do not save. To use an analogy, a key is required to drive a car, but the key is not the reason the car runs. There is an engine under the hood with all sorts of components that make the car go. While the key is not what gets us driving places in itself, it is needed, or else the car is useless. The same is true for good works.
Catholics do not deny that faith is needed for salvation. “But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, Must believeth that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
Faith is absolutely necessary to get to Heaven. If a Christian did not have faith, then he wouldn’t exactly be a Christian, because he doesn’t believe in Christ. We must believe in God and place our trust in Him.
Faith must be working in charity (Galatians5:6)
Faith without charity, is nothing. Faith is dependent on charity (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
“If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, maranatha.” (1 Cor. 16:22)
“Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7)
“And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
Love is essential! If a man was to place His faith in Christ and yet go through life having hatred for his neighbor, would he end up in Heaven? Not without love. St. Paul says that “there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13). If we are saved by faith only, then why is charity (love) greater than faith?
Love of God and neighbor is a matter of life and death, for even though a person has divine faith as a free commitment to Christ, if he has not charity—and the deeds of charity where need requires and capacity exists—he cannot be saved (Mt 7:22; Jn 15:2; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Gal 5:19-21; Jas 2:17;).
Faith cannot stand on its own. We must cooperate with God’s grace for it to be effective.
To be a true Christian is to be a Catholic. The Catholic Church was started by Christ, and can trace its lineage all the way back to Him. Any other “church” is just the product of mere men; the Catholic Church was began by God.
Do you wish to remain in your man-made traditions, or come home to Christ’s Church?
— Patrick E. Devens, The Catholic Thinker
Source: Are Roman Catholics Christian?