In one of your articles you state: "But I would like you to note that the core of the argument is that the doctrines of the Bible could be modified to suit local customs -- a long standing Roman Catholic practice."
My entire family is Roman Catholic and I was raised in the Catholic church as well. Currently, I have a few questions regarding certain practices, but with your quote above, are you saying that the Roman Catholic church is in some way or another not legit. Does it really matter if I attend a Catholic Church, Baptist, Methodist, or Christian church? I am so confused that I don't attend any service at all for this very same reason. I follow the Ten Commandments, but no service for now.
I have a few friends who are different religions, (Baptist, Methodists, and Christians). Are any of them any more righteous in God's eyes than others? They are all good people and follow the same Ten Commandments. Please, clarify this a bit for me. Thank you.
How does a person answer the question of legitimacy? What standard should be applied to determine legitimacy?
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
The Roman Catholic church claims to be the one church founded by Jesus Christ. Yet that church is described in detail within the pages of the New Testament. It would then remain a matter of comparing what the New Testament says about the church and comparing it to what the Roman Catholic church is to see if they are the same.
But they are not same. The Roman Catholic church has numerous practices which are not mentioned in the New Testament. The article "What is wrong with the Catholicism?" documents just a few of these differences and the changes that have be constantly taking place in Catholicism.
An important point to consider is that God's teachings do not change. "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10). Any group teaching something different from what the apostles recorded in the New Testament cannot be the church which Jesus founded.
This same point also answers your question whether it makes any difference which church you attend. The answer is clearly "Yes" because none of the groups you listed teach the same thing. They all have their differences between each other and what was taught in the Bible. Yet we were told, "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10). The only way unity can be achieved is when people stay with the same standards of teachings and practice.
Generally when people call another person "good" they often really want to say "good enough." Again, what standard are we going to apply to decide what is good?
Many people use the standard of family. Grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles are cited as justification for continuing to do as they have done. While such people can make good examples for our lives, they cannot give us salvation. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). Their example is only as good as their acceptance and application of what God taught. As much as I love my grandmother, if she doesn't follow what God said, then only what God said is the right answer. This is Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26).
Therefore, the question is never: What has my family done, but what does God what of me? In your own case, your confusion has not sent you seeking out Jesus and his church but to withdraw. There are churches whose sole desire is to live in accordance with God's teachings. This is what you should search out if you want to live a life pleasing to God.