I disagree. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, it therefore follows that there are works, and sacraments, and a visible leadership (the Pope), and role models (like Paul and Mary).I'm hoping to explain to him the point of the Protest, but we're definitely not there yet. Down in the comments, he asks whether having a liturgy is adding to Jesus, whether belief in consubstantiation is adding to Jesus, and so forth.
The phrase "adding to Jesus" was one Japhy chose to frame his post, but I'd have to say that it doesn't really sum up the Protest very accurately. Having a liturgy isn't "adding to Jesus" in the sense of the Protest any more than singing Amazing Grace is "adding to Jesus" or studying the Bible is "adding to Jesus". The "Christ Alone" of the Protest was not a call to forget the Trinity or stop having role models or have only the Jesus Prayer. It was a reminder that Christ alone is our savior, and that nothing else is needed for salvation except Christ alone.
In this much Rome and all branches of Protestants agree: that, with Christ in us, works necessarily follow. But Rome goes further and states that such works merit the attainment of eternal life (Council of Trent). That is cause for protest; something has been added where Christ alone belongs. Granted that, with Christ in me, I find myself drawn to works of compassion: feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, forgiving as we have been forgiven, and so forth. Any idea how often I fail at those? Plenty. If anyone thinks that on count of such feeble works God owes us eternal life, I beg to differ. Between us and eternal life are always our sins and shortcomings. It is through Christ that we have eternal life, not through our merits.
Or again, in the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam, the church of Rome states
Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.Now I know Roman Catholics are honor-bound to say that's right, but from the outside looking in, that statement looks like proof that Rome has lost the plot about what is really necessary for salvation. It looks like Rome has forgotten what Christ said about the greatest of the apostles: He shall be servant of all, and "The lords of the gentiles lord it over them, but not so with you." Even for someone who grants in principle that Rome had a place of honor among the ancient sees of the united church (pre-Chalcedon), this papal bull demonstrates "lording it over", the opposite of what Christ taught would be the hallmark of Christian leadership. "Absolutely necessary for salvation" to be subject to the Roman Pontiff? That is why the Protest looks at Rome and sees "Jesus plus something else" in a place where it should be Christ alone.
In a way, I sympathize with Rome for some of the insulting and uninformed attacks they receive -- for Jack Chick tracts and that kind of thing. A certain number of the objections to Rome are mean-spirited; others are just misinformed. I think the original point of the Protest would stand a better chance of being heard and considered if some of the throwaway objections against Rome could be discarded once and for all. As it is, the misguided protests only serve to reinforce the Roman idea that there are no valid protests, that there could never be a valid protest.
I once saw a post where a convert (revert?) to Rome had worked through his estimate of the probability that Rome was the true church. I couldn't find it tonight but will gladly trade this sentence for a link if anyone knows where it is. At any rate, if memory serves, the fellow had come up with an estimate that it was in the upper 80%'s probable that Rome was the true church factoring in pro's such as apostolic succession and con's such as the Inquisition. (I'm going to use 87% on the hopes that I'm remembering correctly or close to it. If the original article turns up I'll set the percentages straight.) But I remember reading that post and thinking, if I granted those numbers I would come to a much different conclusion: not that there's an 87% chance that Rome is the true church, but that Rome is 87% of what the true church should be. The point of the protest is that we can do better than a B. There's an 87% chance that Rome gets 100%? How about there's a 100% chance that Rome gets an 87%. And the only way to state your disagreement with Rome is to not be a member. The only way to help the church be what it should be is from without, because Protest on that level is not allowed from within.