This year, Pope Francis called for unity between Catholics and Protestants in a Charismatic Evangelical Conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland. At the end of the meeting, Copeland and the congregation blessed the pope and prayed in tongues over him.
Is unity possible?
The scripture says that the word of God does divide like a two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus Himself caused division “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34). When the disciples stood for the truth, there was a division in the church. Even the Lord called for division “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4).
There is a big theological gap between Catholics and Protestants. Martin Luther, the reformer, presented 95 different points of protest. Here are a few:
4-The Bible says that Christ offered His sacrifice once and for all (Hebrews 10:10; 7:27; 9:28). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the priest sacrifices Christ on the alter whenever he conducts Mass.
5-The Bible says that all believers are saints (Revelation 14:12; Ephesians 1:1). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that saints are a special cast within the Christian community.
7-The Bible teaches that we should call no religious leader “father” (Mathew 23:9). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that we should call any priest and the Pope “father”.
8-The Bible says not to pray in vain repetition (Matthew 6:7). The Roman Catholic Church teaches you can pray “Hail Mary” and “Our father” in vain repetition.
9-The Bible says to confess our sins to God alone and that only God can forgive sins (1 John 1:9). The Roman Catholic Church says you must confess your sins to the priest.
10-The Bible says that just before baptism a person should be taught the gospel, believe and repent (Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that little infants must be baptized and if they die before baptism, they will be consigned to hell.
Further, the teachings of Purgatory, Limbo, prayers to the dead are nowhere to be found in the Bible.
There are great theological differences between Catholics and Protestants. Millions of Protestants died to protect these truths and shed their blood to defend what the Bible teaches.
Jesus prayed for the unity of His disciples “that they may be one” (John 17:11). But then, He clarified that this unity must be built on the truth and His word “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17).
Real unity is possible only when Christians unite in the truth.