By Dudley Davis
The following is a summary of why I am now a Reformed Protestant and no longer a Roman Catholic. My decision to leave Roman Catholicism was not an easy one. I will say it took courage to do so; I was turning my back on the faith I had lived by all life. However I acted on my conscience especially after I read the New Testament. As I read the New Testament I began to see that many of the things I was taught to believe as a Roman Catholic were not only not biblically supported, but many were in direct contradiction to the scriptures. Because of those contradictions is why I initially left the Roman Catholic church. However as I studied further the history of the early church and the Reformation of the 16th century I realized that contrary to what I was taught as a Roman Catholic, that Protestantism and the Protestant church communities left the catholic church, meaning universal church founded by Jesus Christ; I began to believe that the opposite was really true. I began to see that Roman Catholicism drifted from the true Gospel and true Church by adding many things that were not supported in scripture and as I said even contradicted the scriptures. I found that the 16th century reformers who were also Roman Catholic like I was really returned the church communities to the Gospel told in the scriptures and the early Church founded by Christ and the apostles.
I began to see fully as did the Reformers who were, like me, also Roman Catholic and studied the scriptures that from a Roman Catholic perspective, the concept of saving faith is far removed from the biblical teaching of commitment to and simple trust in Christ alone for salvation.
As a Reformed Protestant Christian, a Presbyterian, I know now I am saved by God’s unmerited grace. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
When I was a Catholic I was required to work by meriting the graces needed for salvation. The RCC teaches we can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for the attainment of eternal life (CCC 2010).
A Reformed Protestant Christian is saved for good works. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).
On the contrary a Roman Catholic is saved by good works. Roman Catholics are taught that the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation (CCC 1129).
I am no longer a Roman Catholic because I know by reading the scriptures, God’s word; what Rome teaches is contradictory to the scriptures regarding our salvation.
I am a Presbyterian today and a Reformed Protestant because the Reformed faith teaches the truth of salvation according to the Scriptures. The Reformed Protestant faith teaches that Salvation is ALL of Christ. No one may ascribe their repenting and believing (even partly) to their own wisdom, humility sound judgment or good sense … but to Christ alone (1 Cor 1:29, 30). Salvation is of the Lord.
We affirm salvation it is by Christ alone – it’s all of grace. We reject anything beyond this for salvation: Good will, works, obedience and merit add nothing to our just standing before God (Rom 9:16; Gal 3:3; Eph 2:9). Neither these nor anything else can help us attain or maintain our just standing before God. It only as we are joined to Christ by the Holy Spirit that we have a living faith and are declared righteous in His sight – and all our sins, both now and forever are forgiven on account of His name alone.
The Reformed Protestant theology teaches Justification is by faith alone for we cannot merit salvation; if we could Christ would not have had to die on Calvary to save all who believe. However the process of justification coincides with sanctification whereby we do good works because we are Justified in the righteousness of Christ. The point is that we must distinguish between good works and meritorious works, there are no meritorious works we could do to achieve salvation. We are saved by faith alone and because of our faith alone we do good works.
I am today a Reformed Protestant, a member of the Presbyterian church and no longer a Roman Catholic because I know that it is by grace alone we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. I know this is true because the scriptures teach this and they as the Word of God are our only and final authority, not the bishop of Rome, the pope.
As a Protestant I give all glory and honor to God alone and no other. ~ Dudley Davis ~