In the Catechism of the Roman Catholic church on the U.S. Catholic bishop’s site, it writes:
“Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.” http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect1.htm#36
Is the Roman Catholic church correct in saying that it is the mother of all believers? Could this institution based in the Vatican city in Rome truly justify such a lofty claim?
What does the Bible say?
In Galaians 4:26, the apostle Paul writes “but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
According to the Bible it is the Jerusalem above which is our spiritual mother. It is the people of God who are already in heaven. It is not an earthly institution.
Considering that the Roman Catholic church is full of a system of salvation by penance, works and religious loyalty to itself, misleadingly referred to as “faith”, it hardly qualifies for the adjective “free”.
The Jerusalem above is free from sin, and free from legalism. This cannot be said of the Roman Catholic church based in Rome.
I contend that no earthly institution, whether it be the Roman Catholic Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Society, or the so called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), can claim to be the authoritative guardian of truth or exclusive agency of God upon the earth to which all true believers must defer.
God has not entrusted any such group with this role. No, not even any Pentecostal denomination (I am pentecostal by conviction). Instead, we need to look to heaven and to the Word of God for our authority, and realise that the safety we may crave in looking to a council of men for the voice of God in our lives is simply not available to us in that way. Church groups CAN and DO err. The apostle James, arguably the principle leader of the earthly church at Jerusalem (see Acts 15) said in his letter, “We all stumble in many ways”.