Nesbitt needs to understand why Roman Catholic Mass is offensive to Bible-believing Protestants
letter of the day: religious differences
I read with interest what the leader of the UUP, Mike Nesbitt, said concerning the Roman Catholic Mass. Mr Nesbitt said that he "does not understand the issue over Protestants attending Catholic Mass".
I wonder, does Mr Nesbitt know what the Roman Catholic Church believes when it comes to their teaching on the Mass? If he did, then he would fully understand why Bible-believing Protestants are offended at such blasphemous acts.
In the Roman Catholic Catechism, the question is asked: "Is the Holy Mass one and the same sacrifice with that of the Cross?" (Q279). The answer states: "The Holy Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered himself, a bleeding victim on the Cross to his heavenly Father, continues to offer himself in an unbloody manner on the altar, through the ministry of his Priests."
In other words, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that, in the Mass, Christ is literally sacrificed again.
Therefore, every time the Mass is celebrated, Christ is offered as a bleeding sacrifice over and over and over again - according to the Catholic Church.
However, the Bible teaches something completely different.
And here is where Protestants fundamentally disagree with the Catholic Church.
In Hebrews (10:12) it says, concerning the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross: "But this man (speaking of Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.''
Protestants, therefore, believe that the Bible teaches that Christ's sacrifice for sins on the cross was a once and for all, never to be repeated sacrifice; that Christ's work of redemption is complete.
After the Saviour died and rose again, He ascended back up to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of His Father. Therefore, although Mr Nesbitt might not have an issue with, or be offended by, attendance at Mass, to many of us it is grossly offensive.
Bethel Free Presbyterian Church
Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh