WHY I AM NOT A CATHOLIC
PART 1 of 3
The purpose of this report is to present the case that the Catholic Church is not as advertised. Most people simply accept her claims without checking for accuracy. We have done that for you. The results will be a surprise to most. Those who are members of the Roman Catholic Church will be shocked and won’t believe it. Their love for their “Holy Mother Church” will not allow them to accept information contrary to what the “good fathers” tell them. So be it.
But for the rest, we hope this serves as a warning that not all is as it seems. The “pious church fathers” are offering a religion steeped in paganism and they alter the meaning of Scripture to comply with their policies and politics.
Much of the divisiveness in the Christian world can be attributed to the Roman Catholic Church assuming authority and control it never had, which forced unwilling converts to accept their version of Christianity.
Should anyone criticize their teaching they simply dismiss most complaints as “Anti-Catholic grumbling” or “He has an axe to grind.” Then their followers look at each other, nod in agreement, and move on, without examining any evidence that might lead to discovering their church has feet of clay. Attacking the messenger rather than the message is a cheap debate tactic often used successfully to avoid the issue.
NOTE: To justify their departures from Scripture, some Catholics claim God has given the pope new information. “God told us” is difficult to refute, unless we consider the Bible the inspired Word of God. We know God is not a liar. We know the inspired writers called for keeping their writings unchanged. Therefore we refute and reject any self-serving claim that God told them to add, change or delete from that which had been written in Holy Scripture.
Enjoy the report. Your knowing the truth will set you free.
I consider myself an ex-Catholic, born into a devout family – both sides, back through our Irish, English, and Eastern-European heritage. At an early age I was “baptized” (sprinkled) into the Catholic Church. My paternal grandmother introduced me to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Blessed Virgin Mary and other accoutrements of the Roman Church. Nevertheless, while I grew up in a Catholic family, I feel blessed to have not been caught up in the emotional entanglements of the “Holy Mother Church.”
Because my parents had divorced when I was quite young, and then each remarried, they were both excommunicated from the Church. At first they were distressed at not being able to attend Mass but learned to live with it. Little did they know that a decent contribution to the Church would have helped persuade the priests that there had been no valid marriage in the first place. In any case, I was never required to attend Mass regularly or study the Catechism.
This is a good thing, because when one learns that the Catholic Church is the “one true church” at an early age, it sticks with you for a lifetime. When one grows up believing Peter was the first pope, and all your friends, family and associates believe the same thing, this is deeply ingrained. Then you are taught “those Protestants” are wrong and are trying to destroy God’s church. “You love God, don’t you? Then accept what the good Father teaches you!” Thus many embrace the Roman Church and refuse to consider there might be a better way.
About twenty years later, my mother’s second husband divorced her. Later he wanted to marry a nice Catholic woman, so he promptly made a donation to the local parish. Soon the good priests took another look and annulled both my mother’s marriages, based on her having been “immature.” This opened the way for him to marry his fiancé’.
The self-righteous Roman Church erased two marriages, eight children and over twenty years of relationships. Amazing. It occurred to me that something was rotten in Vatican City.
The Catholic Church teaches that all marriages are presumed valid until the contrary is proven. My mother’s two marriages were erased based on her being “immature” (she was a teenager the first time, and in her early twenties when she married the second time). But after cleaning up after 8 children, fixing their lunches, drying their sniffles and sending them off to school, one would think she was a good wife and her marriage was successful. But I guess not. Here’s a thought: Mary was a teenager when she married Joseph. Was she immature too?
Be Careful What You Wish For
When my fraternal grandmother retired, she took a job as a housekeeper at a Catholic rectory, which was her dream job. Being a devout Catholic, she looked forward to serving the priests, cooking, cleaning and generally helping them as best she could.
They broke her heart when she saw the cavalier way they treated the parishioners. People would leave items to be blessed by a priest. The priest would tell her to not bother them with such mundane things but wait awhile, and then give it back to the parishioner, saying it had been blessed.
It was clear to me there was something wrong with the way this Church did things. Not being particularly knowledgeable about religion, I was unable to identify anything specific. Arguing with the Catholic Church is like dueling with the Devil. He was smarter and faster than I was and his illogical reasoning dumbfounded me. Consequently I was not equipped to discuss religion. Until now.
The question that begs asking: How can this one man criticize the combined experience of thousands of learned men down through the centuries? The answer: Carefully! I come from a Catholic background but was not deeply indoctrinated into that faith, so yes, I can look at it objectively. On a human level, I would like to agree with all my parents, grandparents and ancestors. However, the facts have led me to a conclusion that totally separates me from the RCC.
Often the opinions of people are predisposed toward what they had first been taught. Then they see only what they had been trained to see. For example, in sports, a controversial decision by the umpire is seen one way by the visiting team and the opposite way by the home team, even though both saw the same event.
Those who have spent a lifetime earning a position of authority in the Catholic Church are not likely to agree with a dissenting opinion. In centuries past they would have burned the nonconformist at the stake. Today they search the Scriptures for a verse that contains a keyword and use that as “proof” of their position. It matters little whether it confirms their position or not (For an example see “Traditions” in Part 3 of this treatise.)
We rely on the New Testament writers to convince you to see the difference between the huge monolith created in Rome and the church for which Jesus Christ died.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
AA. THE BEGINNING OF THE LORD’S CHURCH
A1. EVOLUTION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (RCC)
A2. BEGINNING OF THE ROMAN CHURCH
A3. THE ROMAN INFLUENCE
FALSE CLAIMS BY THE ROMAN CHURCH:
B. VICAR OF THE SON OF GOD
C. TRADITION EQUALS SCRIPTURE
PROBLEMATIC CLAIMS BY THE ROMAN CHURCH:
D. SALVATION RELIES ON THE POPE, NOT JUST CHRIST
E. PURGATORY AND INDULGENCES
F. CALL NO MAN FATHER
G. DISAGREEMENT AMONG THE EQUALS
H. DID THE CATHOLICS REALLY GIVE US THE BIBLE?
I. IF SO, WHY DID THEY HIDE IT?
J. ANNULMENT vs. DIVORCE
K. THE CRUSADES
L. THE COLLECTION
M. THE MASS
N. THE PRIESTHOOD
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AA. THE BEGINNING OF THE LORD’S CHURCH
Jesus Christ promised to start a church that would last forever. That church began on the first Pentecost, 50 days after his resurrection. The crowd heard the first Christian sermon and realized they had crucified their Messiah. Terrified, they asked, “What must we do?” Peter, using the keys to the kingdom, opened the door to the Lord’s church when he told them they had to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. That day 3000 were saved when they repented, were baptized and their sins were forgiven by God.
It’s All Around You
Today there is controversy over when the kingdom will appear. Some say it is still far into the future, while others say it is here. Many are convinced the kingdom lies somewhere in our future. This is based in part on the Lord’s Prayer, found in Mt. 6 where verse 10 states: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
“If the Lord himself says the kingdom is coming then it is coming!” What is overlooked is that the Lord was teaching the Sermon on the Mount during the beginning of his earthly ministry, about 3 ½ years prior to his death, resurrection and the start of the kingdom. For the people in those days the kingdom was coming. For us, it has been here, growing quietly since the Day of Pentecost.
Let’s see what the apostles had to say about the kingdom during the early days of the church-
The youngest in the crowd might have been between 15 to 20 years old. Given the 70 years allotted to man that would mean the kingdom would appear somewhere in the next 50 years.
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
This indicates sooner rather than later. These statements were made during the ministry of Christ. Let’s look at statements made after the Lord’s church was established.
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
We conclude that the kingdom, the household of God, the kingdom of Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Christ was prophesied before the resurrection of Christ and confirmed following the Day of Pentecost when the church was instituted and continues today. And the Good News is that everyone is invited to join the kingdom of heaven.
The Primitive Church
This phrase is common today, implying today’s church is new, improved, up-to-date and more suited for today’s style of living. However the “Primitive Church” is actually the church as ordained by Christ, established by the apostles and available to anyone seeking redemption and salvation. As they went about building the church they tried to insure its stability by cautioning Christians to not add or change anything already established. Here are several of the many statements scattered throughout the New Testament calling for the preservation of the original content. (We did add emphasis to clearly demonstrate that fact.)
1 Cor 11:1-2
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
We read about the Lord’s church in the New Testament and understand we can be in that church if we simply do what the converts did when they were translated into the kingdom of Christ.
Communicating the Good News Down Through the Ages
We agree with the admonitions to remain faithful, continue stedfastly and keep the ordinances as originally delivered. What we read today and what was read over the centuries must be the same. Salvation cannot be available to everyone if the process changes over time. Hence there are many warnings to not change the writings and to keep them as they were delivered. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church has found ways to circumvent the original instructions by claiming God speaks to the pope and “updates” past instructions or introduces new “Traditions.” We will discuss the false claims of the Roman Church in detail in Part 2.
To some, the Roman version of Christianity is little more than ritualism, pageantry, pomp and ceremony. Such was the attitude of the Pharisees concerning the religion established by the Law of Moses. For them (as with Catholics), show and ritualism were everything; character and conduct were nothing.
Christianity is not pageantry, pomp or ritualism. You may be sure that the people who parade their religion by these things, and by the wearing of magnificent robes and jewelry, have completely failed to understand the goals of Christianity.
The religion which Christ introduced to the world is living properly in the various relationships in life. This is best expressed by an article provided by Evangelist Paul Nichols:
In the home, Christianity is love, kindness, and the training of children in the way they should go.
In business, Christianity is diligence, honesty and fairness. In society, Christianity is courtesy and helpfulness. In the church, Christianity is faithfulness, humility, love, soberness, righteousness and godliness.
Toward God, Christianity is reverence and obedience. Toward the poor, Christianity is concern and helpfulness. Toward self, Christianity is glorifying God with the body and the spirit.
SALVATION IS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE WORLD
Virtually all who call themselves Christian agree Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. But no one is automatically saved because he was here. There are things we have to do.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Jesus is building a kingdom of people called out from the ways of the world, to do good, to be a good examples in the midst of an evil world, hoping others would be drawn away from a world of liars, cheats, adulterers and thieves. He wants people who used to think of themselves first, but would see their error and enter a kingdom of those who then put the needs of others first. A complete turnaround.
Followers of Christ are to comply with what has come to be known as the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.
For the first few hundred years the congregations met in each other’s homes, often hiding from the authorities. Their simple worship service consisted of five parts: Prayer, praise of the Lord (song or Psalms), a lesson of Christian values, Communion and donations to provide support for the needy saints.
What is required to be added to this new kingdom? We learn what we must do by studying the Scriptures. We know He rewards those who diligently seek him (Heb 11:6).
While there is no “Ten Commandments” type list on becoming a Christian, the book of Acts contains nine distinct conversions that serve as our examples: The 3000 on Pentecost (Acts 2), The Samaritans and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8), Cornelius (Acts 10), Lydia and the Philippian jailer (Acts 16), the Corinthians (Acts 18), the Ephesians (Acts 19). By reading these we can learn how to become Christians ourselves.
The story of Saul of Tarsus’ conversion requires significant detail in parts of three chapters (Acts 9, 22, 26). On his way to Damascus he fell to the ground blinded when a bright light shone from heaven. Christ told him to, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6). Ananias came to him and commanded, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul was baptized and his sins were washed away.
Notice that Saul (who is later called Paul) was not saved on the Damascus road when he believed. If his sins had been forgiven, then Ananias would not have told him to be baptized to wash them away.
Entering the Door of the Kingdom
Chronologically, one must first hear the gospel.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
As with anything else, if you don’t know about it you have to hear about it. After hearing, one must be convinced the gospel has the power to save. This is where faith and belief come in:
… without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Before you become a member of any organization you must believe it is for you. Belief in Christ is the foundation of the Lord’s Church. In Israel there were opposing factions. Before members of those groups become Christian they must first realize that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That is the first step in becoming a Christian.
If you cannot recognize Christ is Lord, you will not be interested in joining His kingdom. But believing in Him starts you down the path to membership.
The moment you realize Christ is Lord you will want to learn more about him. You will soon recognize your sad condition and repent of your past life without God.
Is that all there is? Repentance? Repent and you will not perish? No, that is just one of the several things one must do to find salvation. Hearing was first, faith second, repentance third.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Something else is required. One’s belief must be firm enough for you to stand and be counted. One must be willing to publicly demonstrate his faith by proclaiming the name of Christ.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Does this mean all you need to do is mention “Jesus Christ is Lord!” and you will go to heaven? That’s what it says. Say, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” and Jesus will get you into heaven. You don’t even have to believe.
God forbid! That would be making the same mistake those who follow the Roman Road make – picking a verse and hanging your eternal salvation on it. No, belief, repentance and confession are still required. And more. There are two more actions of great importance.
The next step is to have your sins washed away, to be reborn in the likeness of his death, burial and resurrection.
THE PURPOSE OF BAPTISM
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
1 PET 3:20-22
who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, …
Unlike the Roman Road, which focuses on select verses that point forward (will be saved, should be saved), this actually offers salvation (Baptism now saves you). We need to again point out that the purpose of baptism is to have one’s sins forgiven and forgotten by God. Since God will not enter a relationship with anyone who is sinful, this is the only way a human can expect to enter the presence of a pure and loving God. Having our “robes washed” is available to us by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Just as all Jewish men were required to be circumcised, all Christians are to receive the circumcision done by Christ. Without it you have no hope for salvation. It is the blood of Christ that washes away your sins and your sins are washed when you are immersed in the watery grave of baptism.
The proper form of baptism is immersion, in spite of the widespread use of sprinkling. In fact, the meaning of the Greek word ‘baptizo’ is ‘immersion.’ The verse that makes this all the more clear is:
According to Acts 2:47, those who have their sins washed away are given salvation and God adds them to His church. But there is more…
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Finally, there is one last continuous task: one must remain faithful until death.
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
It is indeed sad when someone turns away from their sinful nature, finds salvation then returns to their lost state. Here is what Peter said about that:
2 Peter 2:20-22
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Our Lord would like his followers to be firm in their effort to overcome the pollution of the world and to recognize the beauty of the kingdom of Christ. After all, many are called but few are chosen. If you are one of those chosen why would you toss it away? Sadly, some do return to the world of drinking and fornicating, hoarding and lying.
These are the six actions necessary to assure our salvation. These are not six strange requests. They are reasonable, providing a sequence leading towards a sensible conclusion. For example, you hear about something good, you investigate, you become a member and you share the news with your friends. You keep paying your dues as long as you remain interested. Pretty straightforward. Just like hearing about salvation, believing the story, wanting to change so you can be eligible, having your sins washed away. Then God adds your name to the Book of Life Soon you tell your friends so they can be saved as well and you remain faithful the rest of your days.
A1. EVOLUTION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Christ warned us of false teachers
Where there is Christianity there is the Adversary! Wherever God wants peace and love there is a force waiting to bring conflict and hatred, confusion and deception. In Matt 7:15 Jesus warned us of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. We can envision pleasant, pious leaders who are guided, not by Christ but by the father of lies.
In Matt 24:24 Christ warned of false prophets who will show great signs and wonders, so that they will deceive the very elect.
The Holy Ghost warns us of the Catholic Church!
1 Tim 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (Emphasis added)
We know of no other religious organization that both forbids its members (Priests, nuns) from marrying and commands its members to abstain from meats. (For a thousand years before Vatican II, Catholics were required to abstain from meat every Friday, as a form of penance in honor of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross on Good Friday.)
The Christian Church vs. The Roman Church
In spite of their claim that their church started with Peter in the first century, the Roman Church didn’t begin until 380 AD when Christianity was made the official state religion of the entire Roman Empire. On the surface this seemed like a good thing. But actually it brought in people that had no business being “Christian leaders.”
Backed by the authority of the Emperor, who held the title “Pontifex Maximus,” (Highest Priest or Supreme Pontiff ) and his army, the tentacles of the Roman Church soon spread far and wide. It was directed by pagan leaders who brought in rituals, statues and images, Lent, “Confirmation,” holy water, candles, fancy robes, abstaining from meat and other inexplicable religious oddities. Meanwhile the common people had no option but to follow what they had been told. Roman influence reached everywhere, bringing fear and death to many nations.
Let’s examine how the Roman Church grew to such prominence…
The growth of the Roman Church was a gradual step-by-step enterprise, with changes and “Traditions” added along the way. The cornerstone of this new church was when Emperor Constantine (227-337 AD) suddenly made Christianity legal (Edict of Milan, 313 AD) and one of the official religions of the Roman Empire.
Up to that time, the Christians had been persecuted unmercifully. History tells us how the Christians were thrown to the lions in the Roman Coliseum. Many died while being ripped apart, still proclaiming Christ as Lord. You can read about some of them in Fox’s Book of Martyrs:
When Christianity was made the official state religion, political maneuvering caused the established Christians to be shuffled aside while unskilled pagan leaders assumed leadership positions in the new so-called “Christian” organization. Coming from paganism, they brought into the Church the images, the oblations and ritualism that had been part of the old system. This new Roman Church made statements that were accepted by the majority of brand new members who knew no better. Minutes earlier they had been pagans, now they were, by decree, “Christian.”
THE COUNTERFEIT CHURCH IS BORN
While he may have wanted to do the right thing, Constantine was never baptized. Never having received the gift of the Holy Spirit he was no more a Christian than his pagan father and those before him. While he had no interest in theological matters, as head of this new church he assumed the authority to settle church disputes. It is no surprise that his Christian leadership left a lot to be desired.
Moments earlier the pagan temples had been the center of idol worship, drinking of blood and other pagan practices. Now they are “Christian Churches” open to the citizens who simply wanted to obey the new law. Without knowing what he was doing, Constantine made “Christianity” a mandatory religion when it is intended to be a destination for volunteers – people wanting to leave the sinful lifestyle and be added to the Lord’s peaceful kingdom. Unfortunately this new “official” church was nothing like the church Christ died for. This was a group of people who followed Constantine, not followers of Christ. What we have is the birth of the Roman Catholic Church.
Incidentally, Constantine offers one of the worst examples of what a person can do – hearing the truth but failing to obey. Constantine advocated Christianity but avoided becoming a Christian while remaining, as Emperor, The High Priest of Paganism. Roman coins of the period portrayed the image of the sun god despite the Emperor’s alleged conversion to Christianity. The way he balanced both religions was hypocritical; it’s as if he were saying, “I think you might be the Christ but I will also worship pagan gods, just in case.” Hardly the kind of decisive attitude one would expect from the leader of the Lord’s church. But there he was, the self-appointed head of the Roman version of Christianity.
Imagine the President of Ford Motor Company telling you, “I think Ford is one of the best cars today! But I also respect Chevrolet and Dodge. They make fine motor cars too.” If the board of directors at Ford heard that he wouldn’t be President long. Constantine didn’t have to worry about a board of directors. He could run the religions of the Roman Empire in any manner he saw fit.
However, as one of the last acts of his life, he did opt for baptism. One of the worst things one can do is to hear the word, believe it but put off becoming a Christian to continue in a sinful life until the last minute. This is a fraud and God will not be mocked.
Tradition tells us as his allotted time expired and he lay dying on his death bed, it was too late to go to the river or to another large body of water. So he, as supreme pontiff, approved the sprinkling of water and called it baptism. Baptism (Grk: baptizo) has always meant immersion. While there have been many departures from Scripture, this may be the most grievous.
Why? Because sprinkling is a diabolical lie. By altering the very entrance into Christianity he prevented Catholics down through the ages from having their sins washed away in the watery grave of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus they are turned away at the very entrance to the kingdom of Christ.
The Man of God
Further, to say that God gave the Roman Church authority to update Biblical teaching is to assume something not in evidence. We are reminded of the story in 1 Kings 13 of the Man of God who was instructed to go on a mission from Judah to Bethel and return directly home without stopping, even for food or water.
During his return trip an old prophet came after him and invited him back to his house for sustenance. But the man of God refused, telling of his instructions to return without stopping. The old prophet then said he was also a prophet, and an angel had spoken to him by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ But the old prophet was lying.
The man of God believed him, ignored his original instructions and went back with the old prophet and did eat bread and drank water. Soon the word of the Lord came to him and told him that because he had not kept the Lord God’s commandment, his carcass would not be buried with his ancestors.
When he continued his journey back to Judah, he was slain by a lion and his carcass was left on the side of the road. People passed by and the news was told to the old prophet who brought the man’s body back to Bethel, and buried it far from Judah.
When we are given instructions from God and told to keep them we cannot alter them just because someone tells us God has provided new, updated instructions.
We read the Old Testament because we can learn …
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The Bible has dozens of statements imploring readers to believe and not change anything, to keep the ordinances as delivered. But the Catholic Church claims the Pope has received instructions from God to alter or add to the doctrines already delivered. We remember the old prophet who said he had received instructions contrary to what had been previously delivered. This is a perfect example and why we refuse to accept papal fables.
One Act Has Long Term Consequences
Suppose someone tells you that you can have your sins forgiven if you replicate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by being immersed in water. Do not accept any changes. Then someone comes along and tells you God has approved making sprinkling the same as immersion. Do you accept that or not? Your eternal salvation rests on your answer.
As noted earlier, baptism is the door to Christianity. Immersion replicates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sprinkling cannot do that. Thus Constantine placed a detour sign on the doorway to God’s Kingdom. Millions over the centuries who wanted to become Christians had no hope after taking the detour. He misled those who would be the very elect.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Emphasis added)
The Bible teaches immersion; Catholics teach sprinkling.
Sprinkling did not come into general use until after the eighth century when it was legalized by Pope Stephen III. It was approved as a matter of “necessity” but what is overlooked is the necessity to follow the teachings of Christ.
While the Bible is adamant about not changing what was written by the apostles, the Catholic Church teaches that she has been given verbal instructions from Jesus Himself to make “revisions.” Catholics are told that a series of changes had been told to Peter by Jesus Christ and passed down over the centuries as “tradition,” and accepted as the truth. One of these is that sprinkling can represent baptism.
By delaying his baptism until he was on his death bed Constantine only paid lip service to the gospel. The Bible tells us, “Now is the time for salvation,” (2 Cor 6:2) not after hearing the truth, ignoring it for a life of sin and then engaging in a last-minute bogus use of water.
To further compound the error, baptism of infants was made compulsory. Setting aside the issue of how infants cannot fulfill any of the steps necessary to be added to the church, let’s focus on the fact that members of the Catholic Church grow to adulthood thinking they have had their sins washed away. This is due to the leaders of the Roman church who have told them, “Relax, you were baptized when you were an infant.” The very entrance into the Lord’s church has now been slammed shut and anyone following these pious wolves in sheep’s clothing is lost.
Blithely ignoring the commandment to immerse those who wish to be baptized, Constantine altered the very entrance into Christianity. Unwilling to contradict him, the Roman church then contrived a solution by claiming sprinkling “represents” baptism. (I owe you $500 but I send you a check for $5 and say, “It represents $500!” How would you feel? How do you think God feels when his instructions are shortchanged?) To justify this, the Roman Church later claimed “tradition.” (See Part 2 – Tradition Equals Scripture)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
God will not be mocked! The very word “baptize” means “immersion.” If you are not prepared to do things the way Jesus commanded them, be prepared to answer for your failures. Why call him Lord and not follow his instructions? (Luke 6:46)
A2. THE BEGINNING OF THE COUNTERFEIT CHURCH
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels
The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the church started by Christ and proudly displays the uninterrupted line of leaders, from Peter to Pope Francis I. If this is true, why am I not a Catholic? Because it is not true! The Roman Catholic Church really started some 300 years after the early church; they used the power and authority of the Roman Empire to force-feed people into believing they were Christians. The leaders, not being familiar with true Christianity, taught false doctrines, and altered the meaning of Scripture to justify their flawed interpretations. Today, without the power of the government to support them, they are pious, warm, lovable frauds.
Let me be clear, our criticism is not with the individual members of the Catholic Church. Our argument is with the leadership, the pompous priests, bishops, cardinals and Pope who wear their fancy robes, offer their rings to be kissed and pontificate from their ostentatious cathedrals. All this to enhance their own positions at the expense of the lost souls who follow their lead.
Proof in Dispute
Catholics point to Matthew 16 as the record of Jesus appointing Peter as the cornerstone of his church. However the foundation of the Lord’s church is not Peter.
Christ said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.” He didn’t say, “I will build my church on you.” The meaning of the name “Peter” is translated as a stone or pebble. But the rock or foundation of the church was Peter’s belief and identification of Jesus as the Son of God. Common sense tells us the very first thing one needs to do to become a Christian is to understand and believe Jesus is the Son of God.
One needs to have confidence that Jesus is Lord before anything else is possible. With faith you can begin your pilgrimage to heaven. Without faith in Christ nothing else is possible.
Catholics look at it differently and have built a religion estimated at 1.2 billion strong – all built on lies, misinterpretations and doctrines of spiritual death.
Strengthened by the power and authority of the Roman government, the emperors assumed total control over the fledgling religion. This was done in spite of Scriptures calling for a plurality of elders in every congregation, with each elder having just as much authority as his fellow elders.
Eventually, anyone who criticized their canon was labeled a heretic and the penalty ranged from excommunication to being burned alive at the stake. This in spite of the fact that Christ taught, “turn the other cheek” and asked his Father to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” He certainly did not teach to torture and kill those who disagreed with him.
We are reminded of the words of our Saviour, as recorded by the apostle John, in
‘yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service’. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Here are other statements made by Jesus, whom they claim to follow:
- Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matt 5:5;
- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt 5:7;
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matt 5:9;
- But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44;
- And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:41-44;
Compare this with the Catholic hierarchy who condemned people to horribly painful deaths. They burned people alive for not accepting their beliefs! If there was no other reason for denouncing the Roman Catholic hierarchy this would be enough.
The “Holy Mother Church” (as they call themselves) demanded strict obedience. Non-compliance resulted in the death or maiming of the poor soul who wanted nothing more than the truth. How did this come about? Can we really call these people Christians?
A3. THE ROMAN INFLUENCE
He does not tell them to kill the infidels. He does not tell his disciples to burn people alive for not accepting his gospel. He tells them to leave and simply shake the dust from their feet as a sign of contempt for those who refuse the truth. This policy, being less confrontational, also leads to the possible future conversion of the individual. If he is killed, he can hardly come to the truth later.
The Lord has much patience with us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). It’s pretty hard to come to the truth, repent and accept the offer of salvation if you are dead!
Over the next twelve hundred years Catholicism spread throughout Europe as the Roman Army conquered one nation after another. Rather than through the teachings of Jesus, this church grew as the result of military power.
In 1940, French statesman Baron DePonnat stated, “Roman Catholicism was born in blood, has wallowed in blood, and has quenched its thirst in blood, and it is in letters of blood that its true history is written.”
Indeed, the history of papal Rome has been one of brutal torture, slaughter of innocents, mass murder, rape, homosexuality, adultery, incest, drunkenness and selling religious offices, including the papacy itself. It is doubtful they even knew of the Golden Rule, much less tried to follow it. Below is a partial list of events in papal Rome’s bloody history.
But first we repeat an appropriate prophesy: John 16:2b-3
‘yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service’. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
1096 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter half the Jews in Worms, Germany.
1098 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter almost all of the inhabitants of the city of Antioch.
1208 – 1226 During the Albigensian Crusades in southern France, Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter approximately 20,000 citizens of Beziers, France on July 22, 1209. Both Albigensian Christians and Catholics were slain. By the time the Roman Catholic armies finished their “crusade,” almost the entire population of southern France (mostly Albigensian Christians) has been exterminated. During the six centuries of papal Inquisition that began in the 13th century, millions upon millions were killed. Some say up to 50 million people were executed!
We need to point out that modern Catholic apologists deny the numbers were anywhere near that. According to Catholic Answers at Catholic.com, “But the numbers are wildly exaggerated in both the secular and Protestant imagination. No one knows exactly how many people were executed via the Inquisition, but the best historians agree that the number is in the thousands, probably not even reaching 10,000—certainly not millions or even hundreds of thousands.”
1236 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter Jews in the Anjou and Poitou regions of western France. The Catholic crusaders trample to death under their horses 3000 Jews who refuse baptism.
April 26, 1349 Roman Catholic mobs burn to death all Jews in Germersheim, Germany.
1348 – 1349 The Jews are blamed for the bubonic plague. Author Dave Hunt tells us, “Accused of causing the ‘Black Death’ Jews were rounded up [by Roman Catholic mobs] and hanged, burned, and drowned by the thousands in revenge.”
1389 Roman Catholic mobs murder 3000 Jews in Prague when they refuse to be baptized.
1481 – 1483 In his The History of the Inquisition of Spain, Juan Antonio Llorente declares: 31,912 persons died in fire.
August 24, 1572 King Charles IX of France orders the assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris that results in the massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France.
These cold, heartless murderers executed up to 50 million people because they would not convert to the Catholic version of Christianity. Is it any wonder the Muslims and Jews today refuse to consider that Jesus is Lord? To them Catholics are Christians and therefore Christians are vile, evil creatures.
Remember this from Mt 5:16? “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus wants his people to be good examples to the world. Instead, we see evil men claiming to be Christian.
For another argument against the Catholic Church:
The Growth Continues
From the tenuous foundation of one edict after another, the Catholic Church grew into the monolith we see today. Can we seriously say the Catholic Church is the same Christian church started by Christ and reported in the New Testament? Pagan and secular influences have created a massive organization, filled with intrigue and corruption far outside the boundaries of true Christianity.
(Even today behind the scenes corruption exists. In 2012, Mr. Paolo Gabriele, who had served as the Pope’s butler for six years, reported misdeeds that were flourishing within the Vatican’s administration and alleged financial mismanagement at its chief financial institutions.)
The many occasions of child abuse were kept secret for as long as possible. Bishops transferred pedophile priests to other diocese, to prevent the church from being embarrassed, without providing the children affected with any sort of psychological help. This is a plan far distant from that of a legitimate Christian organization. Can we say this Roman Church is the light of the world, the city on the hill?
Though never entirely eliminated, early pious Christians lost possession of their church buildings and were forbidden to even assemble. Nevertheless, legitimate Christians, recognizing a serious digression away from the teachings of Christ, went into hiding, illegally meeting in each other’s home instead of joining vulgar and ostentatious worship services.
As the years went by, church leaders augmented by the power of the Roman government, assumed more and more control over the souls of their followers, while altering and adding strange practices to Christian doctrine. Burning candles, praying vain, repetitive prayers in front of idols, changing baptism from immersion to sprinkling (“It represents baptism”) and introducing “confirmation,” were just some of the departures from that which was taught by the apostles. They unilaterally gave themselves the authority to speak for God, forgive sins, heal the sick, drive out devils and, most sadly, condemned their banished members to a fiery agony for all of eternity. This anti-Christian monolith enjoyed a thousand year reign during “The Dark Ages” and “Middle Ages,” from 400 AD to 1400 AD.
One of the “Traditions” that helped fuel the Reformation was “Purgatory” and its associated “Indulgences.” They were accepted by leading Catholics who never argued with the hierarchy, but were ridiculed by other Catholics, such as Martin Luther.
Today, Catholics criticize the flood of Protestant churches. They point to the plethora of churches as an example of why people should have limited access to the Bible. Too many people misread Scripture and start their own digressive church. Nevertheless, if the Catholic Church had not been so corrupt and hypocritical, there would have been no desire to overthrow their leadership. An error the Catholics made was in claiming new doctrines were long-held “Traditions.” An error the Protestants made was in seeking to reform the Roman teachings when they should have obliterated everything about them and restored the early church.
Priestly marriage and concubines existed throughout the Middle Ages. University of Chicago Professor Andrew Greely, writing about the medieval parish priest, states, “At most times and places he also had a wife (or a concubine) and children of his own…” Greely further observes that local bishops made no attempt to curb such practices and frequently had concubines of their own. Some dioceses even imposed a tax on priests with wives and children.
Today we can compare Scripture with their actions and see the difference between how Christians should act, and how the Catholic papacy acted. As the leading proponent of “Christian” teaching, they gave the Christian religion a very black eye.
As the very public and visible standard-bearer of the “Christian” church, the papacy brought disrespect and dishonor on Christianity and ruined the reputation of Christ. While producing anti-Christian doctrine, she asserted that her authority was from Peter, the first “vicar of Christ.” They claim to have the power of God Almighty, and in doing so, they struck fear in the hearts of the people who accepted everything the priests, cardinals and Supreme Pontiff told them.
Rather than be a beacon to the world, the Roman Catholic Church was a disgrace and failure as an example of Christianity. It is no wonder Muslims have such disdain for Christians. It is no wonder Jews have no interest in believing that Christ is the Messiah if his followers are such hateful people.
And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.
TWO CORNERSTONES OF THE ROMAN CHURCH
The Catholic Church often misinterpreted Scripture but there are two significant instances that were used as an excuse to assume power far beyond what was intended. First, they think the cornerstone of the Church is a man, Peter.
Second, they thought they had license to both establish and revoke ordinances that had been delivered by the apostles. That was based on poor research of Mt 18:18.
We need to mention, in recent conversations with devout Catholics we find their focus has changed from “we have the authority to change as we see fit” to “God passed down instructions to us to make changes when the time is right.” Sometimes it is hard to keep track of the players without a scorecard.
The apostles were not given the right to make their own rules; rather, they were to teach the world what is taught from heaven. These two major errors on which this Church was built are refuted in more detail in Part 2.
REVIEW OF PART 1
Jesus built a kingdom of people called out from the ways of the world, kind and gentle people to be good examples in the midst a world of liars, cheats, adulterers, thieves and murderers.
For the first few hundred years, the congregations met in each other’s homes, often hiding from the authorities. Their simple worship service consisted of five parts: Prayer, praise of the Lord (song or Psalms), a lesson of Christian values, Communion and donations to support less fortunate congregations.
Later, when Emperor Constantine usurped control of their new religion, the Christians continued to hide from authorities to avoid accepting the pagan practices incorporated in the new pseudo Christian church.
Christians had to hide because the government expected everyone to worship as they did as part of the officially recognized “Christian” church. All other religions were unlawful, and the original church was in that category.
The Roman church evolved over the years, assuming authority it never had. Anyone who criticized their canon was labeled a heretic and the penalty ranged from excommunication to being burned alive at the stake! Quite a contrast with what our Lord Jesus Christ taught.
Jesus Christ warned us of false teachers, and the Holy Ghost warned of several errors that we find in the Catholic Church. And John, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recorded Christ’s warning that the time will come when people will kill thinking they are doing God’s service. (Is it any wonder they didn’t want people reading the Bible?)
In 313 AD Christianity was made one of the official religions of the Roman empire.
In 380 AD, out of political as well as religious necessity, Emperor Theodosius I tried to produce a unity of faith throughout the empire. Christianity was made the single official religion and everyone in the empire became members. With the sudden influx of pagans, doctrines and creeds were tilted away from the pure religion of Christ.
The institution of the papacy did not begin with Peter but developed over the years. Peter was never a pope. He was an apostle and elder who never assumed authority over people, but was a dedicated man who worked to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 379 AD the concept of the apostolic see was introduced and the Bishop of Thessalonica was possibly the first pope. Pope Leo I was the first to claim authority over all of Christendom. Some point to Gregory I as the first Bishop of Rome in 590 AD. Then the title was applied to all the Bishops of Rome, both past and future. They did include Peter although he was never an official “Bishop” of Rome. He was an elder so technically he was a Bishop in Rome.
At some point the claim was made that Peter was the first pope and special powers and authority were handed down from him to his successors. We pointed out that Jesus did not offer the leadership to Peter and nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that, if Peter had authority, that it could be handed down to anyone.
Jesus did not die for a church that killed people. He died for a church that would bring a new and better life to a lost and dying world. He died for a church that would teach people to put away their evil ways of lying, cheating, stealing, murder, etc. However, with the Roman influence, the pseudo-church tortured and murdered people, and destroyed the temples and sanctuaries of their enemies. Quite a difference.
Rather than be a beacon to the world, the Roman Catholic Church has been a disgrace and failure as an example of Christianity. It is no wonder many in the world have such disdain for Christ when his followers were such hateful people. Today the Roman Catholic Church has been stripped of its power and turned into a “toothless lion,” a pious, warm and friendly organization unable to call on an army to intimidate and slay non-believers.
Fortunately the Church that Christ died for has come down through the centuries, calling all people who are willing to repent and become pious Christians. For us it is the entrance into eternal communion with our loving Creator. His kingdom started in Jerusalem during the Roman occupation, as foretold in the Old Testament, will move to heaven and will be there for all of eternity.——————————————-