Here are the reasons why I am not a Roman Catholic:
1. I believe in Justification by Faith Alone through Christ Alone. No additions, no subtractions and I preach this undiluted.
2. I believe in Sola Scriptura. I do not reject tradition as so many in the Protestant world do thinking that each man is a hermeneutical island all to himself. I embrace tradition but it is always in submission to God’s revealed Word which is set forth in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. The rejection of tradition is a novelty of the Radical Reformation and something that the Magisterial Reformers (Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli) condemned.
3. While I think Episcopal governance is a good system of church order (Reformed folk are practical Episcopalians since every Presbytery has a Big Dog) I reject the authority of a magisterium and singular bishop who speaks ex cathedra. The only infallible source of revelation is the Bible.
4. I reject as unscriptural Mary’s office as Co-Mediatrix and the perpetual See and Pontiff of Rome.
5. I believe that the sacraments do not operate mechanically and automatically ex opere operato but that the benefits that are offered are appropriated by faith. They do not work automatically simply because they are performed. In the case of a child, this faith will appropriate the benefits of baptism over time as faith grows (seed faith). This is just good old-time Calvinism.
All this being said, I want state that I believe the church should visibly be one and I believe that one day in time and space it will be one (John 17:20-21). Since I believe this I strive to be as united to the visible church as possible so I dialogue with, work with, and have pastoral friends across denominational boundaries as long as they affirm Nicene orthodoxy.
So, why do I wear a collar and a robe (something that most Lutherans, Presbyterians and Anglicans do)? Because I am not a businessman and I am not a surfer, two of the more popular pastoral “uniforms”, I am a clergyman. I believe a pastor should look like a pastor.