WHY I AM NOT A CATHOLIC
PART 3 of 3
PROBLEMATIC CLAIMS MADE BY
THE ROMAN CHURCH
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
D. SALVATION REQUIRES
The Church of the Roman Empire
Therefore, pagans who knew nothing about Christ moments before were suddenly, by decree, members and leaders of this new Roman church. Patterned after the Roman government and usurping Christian history as their own, this impostor church, without knowledge of Christian values of love, forgiveness and respect, became the public embodiment of the Christian church.
While Constantine may have wanted to do the right thing he was never properly 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 he, as head of this new church, assumed the responsibility to arbitrate church disputes. It is no surprise that Christian leadership left a lot to be desired.
Meanwhile repentance and forgiveness were preached in secret by legitimate Christians. But the rest of the world, not knowing any better, considered the Roman church “the” Christian church.
In Part 2 we learned why Peter was not the first pope and how the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) misinterpreted “bind/loose.” They do not have the authority to change apostolic teachings as they would have us believe. However, recently they have changed their focus, from bind/loose, “we are allowed to make changes” to “Jesus told us” to make changes.
We mention this because as a youngster I was taught the RCC had the authority to maintain or change (bind/loose) as they wanted to. Today however, they claim that Jesus gave instructions to Peter to change specific doctrines. Peter then passed them on down so, when the time is appropriate, each “Tradition” can be announced to the public.
We also learned of “Tradition,” how leaders have developed misleading doctrines and claim they received them from Jesus who passed them to Peter who passed them down to a time when they were to be released to the public. A convoluted process that fraudulently explains the introduction of new canon that serves the purpose of the Roman church.
To avoid error we prefer to stand with and rely on Holy Scripture rather than the writings of uninspired men. We remember the Man of God (Part 1; 1 Kings 13) and how his demise was the result of listening to someone claiming he had new instructions from God.
Here in Part 3 we present several doctrines that have ostensibly been handed down to be announced at the “appropriate” times. We have noticed the RCC announces a project first, and then tries to find Scripture to prove its authenticity. Sometimes this is difficult, very difficult. We will examine this in detail shortly.
Some cases are directly contradicted by Scripture. Others don’t seem logical or reasonable. However, the Catholic Church has to justify, usually after the fact, variances from the Word of God. To confuse the issue, they claim the revised information was passed down directly from Jesus Christ, so that anyone who complains is complaining about Jesus himself. This eliminates a lot of complaints.
Arguing with the Catholic Church is like duelling with the Devil. They act smarter, more experienced and devious, using illogical reasoning that dumbfounds. Falsely teaching that the kingdom of Christ was built on Peter, they have convinced millions to join their version of Christianity. And the operative word is, “convinced.” This huge worldwide church has taught her 1.2 billion members that everything they say is true. Members are absolutely convinced that this is the One True Church and their new “Traditions,” as convoluted as they are, are from the mouth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Catholic teaching claims this “Holy Mother Church” has authority derived from the apostle Peter and speaks for Jesus Christ. This article offers information that refutes those claims. It would be our hope that the pope and his College of Cardinals would read this and realize their error.
BOTH THE POPE AND CHRIST
Catholic Church Places Itself Above All Others
On 18 November 1302, Pope Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam which is a rather extreme statement on Papal spiritual supremacy. The original document is lost but a version of the text can be found in the registers of Boniface VIII in the Vatican Archives.
The bull ends:
Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
However, Acts 4:10-12 contradicts this-
It could not be more clear – there is no one on earth who can offer salvation. No one named on earth (under heaven) to whom we can seek salvation.
Salvation is not available through any man!
That would certainly include any pope!
EVERYONE HAS BEEN REDEEMED
An interesting statement by Pope Francis I has muddied the waters. During the week of May 20, 2013 he said,
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.”
We are concerned. The teachings of Jesus Christ tell us some will be saved and some discarded, like the wheat from the chaff. But here the spiritual leader of over a billion people tells everyone, even the atheists, they will be redeemed (To deliver from sin and its penalties.).
We agree anyone can be redeemed if he repents and has his sins washed away. But no one is redeemed without first obeying the gospel call.
Jesus Christ expects people to follow him, to become Christian and to do things good people do (loose, allow) and to avoid evil things (bind, forbid).
Action is required. Those who overcome the human proclivity for sin will be rewarded. Those who take no action to be redeemed will spend eternity with all the others who are outside the Kingdom of Heaven and without the fellowship of our loving Father.
After the pope made his statement a Vatican spokesman quickly intervened. Father Thomas Rosica said “people who know the Catholic Church cannot be saved if they refuse to enter or remain in her.”
So they are back where they started – if you have heard of the Catholic Church and refuse her teaching you cannot be saved.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Contradicting Scripture, the Catholic magisterium teaches that the pope speaks for God and we should listen to him. Meanwhile, they pray in front of statues of Mary, St. Christopher or any of the other “saints” of the Catholic Church. They have the pope as an intercessor, and they have the saints as “friends” who also pass on their prayers. Unfortunately, praying in this way nullifies the fact that Jesus is the only mediator we need or have. By introducing additional “intercessors,” they have diluted our reliance on Jesus – something only the Adversary would be pleased with.
There are other conflicts with Scripture.
Conflict 1: Salvation is in the Roman Church Only
Rome taught that all who did not acknowledge the pope as God’s representative on earth and the Roman Catholic Church as the only true church were damned. Salvation was confined within the teachings of the Roman Church. Every member who disagreed was in line for a heresy trial and perhaps excommunication. Excommunication, to a member, meant the loss of one’s soul. Few were willing to take the chance of speaking against the Church and enduring a burning fiery hell for eternity just to make a point.
The Bible tells us salvation is available nowhere else but through Jesus Christ. But this church misreads Scripture, then claims it correctly interprets it because they “gave us the Bible.” Thus they can conceal any misunderstanding and usurp authority they have no right to possess.
Conflict 2: Salvation by Works.
Faith was not trusting in Christ for salvation, but submission to the pope. Salvation was not by grace through faith in Christ alone, but by faith in the church and good works prescribed by the church.
This is the absolute reverse of Scripture.
Christ did not say, “The pope and I are the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by us.”
I think it is clear – Scripture tells us one thing and the Roman church tells us something else.
One “Tradition” they claim was “overlooked” by Scripture is the concept of purgatory. It was announced via the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence in AD 1031. As with all such latter-day pronouncements, they are careful to explain that, even though a thousand years had expired, the concept had always been “handed down.”
Under Catholic teaching, every sin must be purified either here on earth or after death in a state called purgatory. This is required even though the sinner had confessed and received absolution while alive.
We are told a person is in Purgatory because there are residuals from his sin that have to be purged by fire. One cannot pray to be released from the fiery furnace because you have further payment to make for “forgiven sin.” The penitent, after receiving sacramental absolution from the guilt of sin, must still pay a temporal penalty for the residuals. (Emphasis added)
1 John 1:9
If “all unrighteousness” doesn’t mean “completely,” “entirely,” “wholly,” and/or “totally” we don’t understand the Word of God. Evidently neither does the Catholic magisterium who want us to believe as they do.
As further justification for purification, some Catholics offer:
Catholic theology takes seriously the notion that “nothing unclean shall enter heaven.” From this it is inferred that a less than cleansed soul, even if “covered,” remains a dirty soul and isn’t fit for heaven. It needs to be cleansed or “purged” of its remaining imperfections. The cleansing occurs in purgatory.
Purgatory makes sense? Another example of stating an opinion as fact. It doesn’t make sense, not at all.
Under Catholic teaching we learned that every sin must be purified either here on earth or after death in a state called purgatory. This is required even though the sinner had confessed and received absolution while alive. However this cleansing can be shortened with an indulgence.
“In the Sacrament of Baptism not only is the guilt of sin remitted, but also all the penalties attached to sin. In the Sacrament of Penance the guilt of sin is removed, and with it the eternal punishment due to mortal sin; but there still remains the temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e., in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during his life on earth.”
One cannot pray for his own cleansing but if you donate something to the church you will be totally clean? I hope my Catholic friends understand how that may sound suspicious. “Give me money so you won’t be tortured!”
In any case, they falsely claim the process requires a sinner to satisfy the penalty by fire to avoid being lost eternally. We are incredulous to see this supposedly Christian organization teaching that forgiveness of sin is only partial and additional penance of excruciating pain is required. Only the father of lies would infer God doesn’t tell the whole truth when He tells us He will, “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”.
A complete and official explanation of the various indulgences, who can grant them, and what is necessary to receive an indulgence can be found at:
We also encourage you to read more details on indulgences and a description of the start of the Reformation in the 1500s:
Or, if the sinner has already passed away and is in the flames of purgatory, he can be freed from the temporal penalty by an indulgence, which could be made when a living relative kisses a cross in their name. At that point the person is immediately released.
The RCC fails to notice a large hole in “Jesus’ ” plan. They say one cannot pray to be released from the fiery furnace because you have further payment to make for “forgiven sin.” However, one can be released from the furnace when someone else prays an indulgence. Being immediately released, this “less than cleansed soul” remains dirty and isn’t fit for heaven, but goes directly to heaven anyway.
Apparently the residuals do not need to be purged by fire after all. If every sin must be purified but the indulgence detours past the purification process, what then is the purpose of purgatory?
This contradictory process cannot be from God as He doesn’t get confused. We can only conclude it is contrived by men, men who wish to provide cash for their church treasury. That is greed which leads to fraud. What kind of church leadership would commit fraud on its membership? Certainly not a Christian one.
Let’s see if we understand this. One cannot pray for your own release from purgatory because residual sins need to be purged by fire before you are clean enough to enter heaven. However, if you make a monetary donation to the Roman church you will skip purgatory and go directly to heaven. God Almighty does not have the power to forgive and remove residual sins but the pope will if you make a donation.
Is it any wonder this was the central cause for the Reformation and break from the Catholic Church?
Failure to completely forgive sin is outside Scripture. As we read in 1 John 1:9, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God cleanses us totally and without further “fire.” Thus there is no need for a “purgation” later.
One is added to the kingdom of God when he turns from sin and becomes a Christian, with his sins washed away in baptism. With his robes washed by the blood of Christ, he is fit to enter heaven! A person does not need some other bizarre penalty or intercession. To teach more than the blood of Christ is needed, is a Devil’s lie!
Catholics Justify Purgatory by Scripture
Actually, it’s not that clear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God’s enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (2 Samuel 12:13-14).” (The secondary punishment was the death of the child.)
When we read 2 Samuel, we notice that because he had used the sword of the enemy to kill Uriah the Hittite, David had sinned. But the Lord forgave him. However, because the enemies had blasphemed the Lord as a result of David’s sin, the son of David’s illicit union had to die. Catholics read this as one sin with two punishments and it may well be. Here is an event in Jewish history that is bent to suggest an afterlife of pain and suffering to cleanse a soul of “residuals.” In all honesty, we cannot see justification for purgatory in this example.
Further, Catholic justification for Purgatory can be found in Numbers 20:12. We invite you to read it and find out for yourself how they twist Scripture to suit their purposes. This is a perfect example of how the Roman Catholic Church establishes a doctrine, and then tries to justify it after the fact with Scripture. Their fabricated explanations have nothing to do with what is written.
You will notice Numbers 20 says nothing about God forgiving anything. They did not believe God, so they would not see the Promised Land. That’s it! Nothing about a temporal punishment after the sin has been pardoned. In fact, no sin was pardoned.
When I pointed this out to a Catholic friend he chastised me for having the audacity to challenge the Catholic Church’s version. Only they have the authority to interpret the Bible since they are the ones who edited and gave it to the world. (Not true! See below H. Did the Catholics really give us the Bible?)
We are reminded of Romans 1:28 where those who had forgotten God were given over to a lawless mind, so they could continue doing those things which are not appropriate. Apparently the Catholics are so entrenched in their own version of Christianity that they are unable to recognize their error. They have, in effect, swallowed the Kool-aide! Followers of Jim Jones believed a lie, and it looks like the devout Catholics also believe one lie after another.
Accepting non-Scriptural Evidence
Briefly–there has been a fight and several Jews were killed. On gathering their bodies for burial the dead were found to have amulets sacred to a pagan god, Jamnia. It was clear now why they had been the only Jews to fall – it was forbidden by law for Jews to honor pagan gods.
2 Maccabees 12:42-46
Catholics ask, “Why else would they pray for the dead if purgatory did not exist?”
No, 2 Maccabees 12:42-46 is not “clearly” referring to purgatory.
Just because some Jews prayed for the dead does not mean anything. This would not be the first time a group of Jews did something contrary to the will of God. That mankind is responsible for his actions this side of eternity is a basic tenet of both Old and New Testament teaching. Praying for the dead has always been outside the teachings of God.
We also notice that 2 Maccabees was never a part of the Jewish Bible. While the RCC would like you to think it is part of the Old Testament and inspired writing, the Jews have never recognized it as such. We would not consider it a legitimate source for evidence of Christian doctrine either.
St. Peter’s Basilica – Built on the backs of peasants
The abuses in the selling of indulgences, including lies from priests and the papacy, and deceit by those collecting the money were the main factors that led to the Protestant Reformation. Indulgences also resulted in the creation of what is considered the most beautiful church in the world – St. Peter’s Basilica.
Today Catholics continuously condemn Protestants for their breaking away from the “Holy Mother Church.” But if it had not been for the irregularities surrounding the nature of purgatory we all might be Catholic today.
“The Pope was now granting a plenary indulgence to anyone who contributed towards the construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Since the indulgence was plenary, each donation guaranteed the immediate release of a soul from purgatory and its entrance into heaven. These donations would build Saint Peter’s basilica and empty purgatory.”
Construction of the current building began under Pope Julius II in 1506, Michelangelo, who served as main architect for a while, designed the dome, and Bernini designed the great St. Peter’s Square. Construction was completed in 1615 under Pope Paul V.
The project brought together some of the world’s greatest minds and talent, including Michelangelo, Bramante, Bernini, and Raphael. They worked in concert, along with many others, toward a common goal: creating the most spectacular and inspiring religious site of all time. Its artwork is unsurpassed, making it a pilgrimage even for non-believers.
(Some information was found at:
Today you can visit Rome and the beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica, a monument to the vulgar extortion from peasants that occurred in the middle Ages.
If you can’t make it to Rome we recommend an online pilgrimage to see the beautifully ornate and intricate design, paid for with the sweat and labor of peasant farmers throughout the Roman Empire. Poor people who could ill afford to give money but felt they were saving their loved ones from the pain of purgatory. To view the world’s largest monument to greed at the expense of the poor you can view St. Peter’s Basilica at the following websites:
The Bottom Line On Purgatory
The concept of purgatory is foreign to Christianity and contradicts itself. The Scriptures they cite have nothing to do with a post-death purification process. Their efforts to prove purgatory are feeble attempts to patch together Scripture after the fact when Scripture was never considered in the first place. Thus, it renders itself null and void, not worthy of consideration by Christians. Any organization that teaches God declares you clean, but He doesn’t mean you are fully clean, is suspiciously pagan and definitely anti-Christian. This church concocted a fraudulent process that filled the coffers of the church, but offered nothing but fear and confusion for the soul.
We conclude only the Adversary of God, the Father of Lies, would appreciate a process that confuses human souls by contradicting itself, while raising money for the construction of the massive, ornate and strikingly beautiful monument to greed, St Peter’s Basilica!
“Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven”
Matthew records Christ telling the world to call no man “Father.” The Catholic Church addresses their priests, bishops and Cardinals as “Father.” They call their pope, “Holy Father.” Do they violate the admonition of Mt 23:9 or not?
We need to point out that the word “Father” has two meanings: First, that of a spiritual father. There is only one, our heavenly Father. Second, the human father, a parent who teaches his children as they grow into adulthood.
RCC justification for the Roman Church calling a Priest “Father” can be found at:
It is 4 pages long with over 2300 words dancing around Scripture to justify something after the fact. (This is a recurring problem for the Catholics: They make a statement and then are forced to find Scripture to justify it after it has been in use.) This article jumps from one point to another and is difficult to follow. Here is an example:
“… a careful examination of the context of Matthew 23 shows that Jesus didn’t intend for his words here to be understood literally. The whole passage reads, “But you are not to be called ‘rabbi,’ for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called ‘masters,’ for you have one master, the Christ” (Matt. 23:8–10).
The first problem is that although Jesus seems to prohibit the use of the term “teacher,” in Matthew 28:19–20, Christ himself appointed certain men to be teachers in his Church: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Notice, the explanation starts out demeaning Jesus’ words, saying he didn’t intend for his words to be understood literally. Jesus is confirming that there is but One God yet he didn’t intend for his words to be taken literally?
Further, they include the previous verse, claiming it completes the “whole passage.” They quote Scripture to show the title “Father” was used throughout the New Testament and could not be what Christ meant when he said we should call no man father. Let’s examine the Scripture they cite–
1 John 2:13-14: I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
The Catholic explanation implies John is talking to spiritual fathers. Maybe some do not bother to verify this claim but we did and find John was talking to parents, young men and little children, i.e. the members of a family. John is NOT referring to the spiritual sons and spiritual children; he is recognizing family members on one hand and the heavenly Father on the other. (You can see how it is capitalized when referring to the spiritual Father and not capitalized when referring to humans. Regrettably the Roman church fails to notice this. Or if they did, they ignored it to their own detriment.)
It is clear that when Jesus tells us to not call anyone “Father,” he means our Spiritual Father. He is not telling us to not call anyone “father” as that would eliminate an important person in everyone’s life. Rather Jesus is telling us to respect our Heavenly Father and to not have others assume His Title. (Considering this conflicts with “Holy Father” this is another example of why Catholics would prefer you not read the Bible.)
They explain first that Jesus did not mean what he said. He then contradicted himself by forbidding the use of “teacher” only to appoint teachers later. Based on Jesus’ alleged confusion, Catholics can use “Father” to refer to priests as spiritual leaders who guides their flock.
While a Rabbi is a teacher he is not in the same class as teachers. To say Jesus was using the word “Rabbi” to mean “teacher” is misleading. Yes, “Rabbi” means “teacher” but it is a higher class. Much as a college professor (PhD) is more qualified than a high school teacher (BA).
The four main cities, Alexandria, Constantinople, Athens and Rome all agreed they were on equal footing as far as authority in the church was concerned. They were in conflict over ultimate leadership of the new religion. That they did not readily accept Rome as leader tells us the issue was in doubt. If the primacy of Rome were clear-cut these other cities would never have made the claim themselves. For Rome to claim primacy simply shows their power and self-indulgence, not any interest in the truth.
The two largest cities, Rome and Constantinople ultimately were left standing as the two major rival political powers, both claiming to be the only lawful successor to the Roman Empire. It was merely a matter of time before one or the other had to be destroyed. The bitter conflict between these two competitors, which ended with the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the fifteenth century, was thus the root cause of the schism between “Christian” East and “Christian” West. Remember, history is written by the victors.
The Bottom Line On This Issue
The disagreement over who was in charge puts doubt as to the veracity of the Catholic claim that Matthew 16 put Peter in charge. It was not so cut and dried if half the Christian population read it differently.
“It was the Catholic Church and no other which selected and listed the inspired Bible or any part of it as inspired Word of God; you can do so only because the Catholic Church says it is.” (The Bible is a Catholic Book, p. 4).
It would seem unnecessary for the Catholic Church to make the boastful claim of giving the Bible to the world when it asserts the Bible is itself a revelation from God. By claiming to be the “publisher”, they weaken the authority of the Bible and supplement it with their fabricated, man-made “Traditions.” If it is true that the Bible is a result of the Catholic Church, doesn’t that make the Catholic Church the author of the Bible? This is exactly what Catholic officials want you to believe; that they can interpret anything anyway they want because they are the author.
Their logic is a classic example of “circular reasoning.” They try to prove the Bible by the church (we can accept the Bible on the authority of the Catholic Church) and prove the church by the Bible (The Roman Catholic Church “has ever grounded her doctrines upon it”). Such circular reasoning proves nothing. Either the New Testament is the ultimate authority for all of mankind or it is not. If the New Testament is the authority for Christians, The Roman Church cannot be that authority; if ultimate Christian authority is the Roman Church, it cannot be the New Testament.
A Veneer of Legitimacy
The claim the Catholic Church makes, that the regional or local Catholic Synods of Hippo, 393 A.D., and Carthage, 397 A.D. and later, Carthage, 419 A.D., gave us the canon of Sacred Scripture is scurrilous and misleading. The Church of Rome used ‘official’ synods and edicts to validate their positions. This gave them a veneer of legitimacy that impressed the masses but offered nothing of value. The 27 books of the New Testament had been known as inspired long before the Catholic Synods voted them in.
This is similar to the council at Nicea that formally declared the divinity of Jesus Christ. He was known as the Son of God and performed miracles long before the council at Nicea voted on his divinity.
The list of books that were included in her canon was simply a list of books that were already regarded as divinely inspired (The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable; InterVarsity Press; p.27).
If the Bible is a Catholic book, why does the Bible not mention the Catholic Church? Why is there no mention of a pope, a cardinal, an archbishop, a parish priest, a nun, or a member of any other Catholic order? If the New Testament was organized by the Catholics, why is auricular confession, indulgences, prayers to the saints, adoration of Mary, veneration of relics and images, infant baptism, the rosary and many other rites and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, left out of it? (They will tell you these are “Traditions,” i.e. doctrines passed from Jesus to Peter and on down until the proper time to announce them.)
The 27 New Testament books had been accepted, were used in worship and universally known to be valid long before any Catholic synod or conclave voted them in.
With so many contradictions to Scripture they must have recognized the Bible as an obstacle to their control of the people. It is no wonder “His Eminence” wouldn’t want parishioners reading the Bible. Making it illegal for anyone to read or have a copy outside the hierarchy of the Roman Church seemed necessary. Anyone having a Bible would be given the death sentence. (Here it is again, the anti-Christian doctrine of killing those with whom you disagree. This from the Church that claimed to abide by the love of Jesus, to forgive their enemies and turn the other cheek. They overlooked Jesus admonition to 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.)
By 600 AD the only authorized version of the Bible was the Latin Vulgate and it was restricted to the clergy of the Roman Church. As the priests were the only people who knew Latin, they had the ultimate authority to interpret its contents. Priests would claim to be able to understand the Word of God and the people had no choice but to believe what they were told by these religious “experts.”
1 Cor 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written , that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
Not to think of men above that which is written. Who claims to speak for God and have the authority to change what was written? If I were Catholic I certainly wouldn’t want anyone reading that verse!!
Matt 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Considering the corruption within the hierarchy of the Roman Church this is another portion of Scripture they would not want anyone to read.
Rather than adhere to their own traditions it would have been better if they had followed the writings of Paul. One of the qualifications for a bishop is that he be married with a family.
1 Tim 3:1-5 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, . . . One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
We know all too well the problems caused by celibate clergy.
The Bottom Line On This Issue
Keeping the Word of God away from the people was the desperate act of an organization guilty of violating many of the Bible’s admonitions.
Jesus restricted divorce and remarriage to one cause: adultery.
Mt 19:8-9 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. <class=”auto-style3”>(Emphasis added)</class=”auto-style3”>
Jesus makes it clear; divorce was never part of God’s plan. Marriage was intended to be a lifetime endeavour. While things may not go happily at all times the love two people have for each other is supposed to smooth out the rough times. Honesty and compassion are part of the equation. Problems are to be worked out between two Christians. Elders could be involved if asked. But marriage was not to be taken lightly as it is of life-long duration.
Unless…, if one party brings the filth of adultery (fornication within marriage is adultery) into the marriage the other is free to divorce and remarry. However this is the only situation where remarriage is permitted.
Notice, divorce itself is not prohibited. But remarriage is strictly prohibited – with that one exception.
The Catholics cannot openly contradict Jesus so they agree divorce/remarriage is only permitted when adultery is involved. However, they were still able to fabricate a convenient process to circumvent the will of God. Since divorce is forbidden, they invented annulment. Jesus never said anything about annulment and what the “Church sanctions on earth will be approved in heaven.” Besides, it could be a good source of income. (We are not saying these were the exact thoughts and plans of the hierarchy, but this is the result of their decisions.)
An annulment is a declaration by a church tribunal (a Catholic church court) that a marriage thought to be valid according to church law, actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union.
The tribunal process seeks to determine if something essential was missing at the moment of consent, that is, the time of the wedding. If so, the Catholic Church can declare that a valid marriage was never actually brought about on the wedding day. (Emphasis added)
A declaration of nullity does not deny that a relationship existed. It simply states that the relationship was missing something that the Catholic Church requires for a valid marriage.
Pope Francis has asked dioceses whenever possible to provide their tribunal services free of charge. Depending upon how much your diocese is able to subsidize the work of its tribunal, you may be asked to pay a nominal fee. You may also be asked to make a donation following the completion of your case. Fees are typically payable over time, and may be reduced or even waived in cases of financial difficulty. (Emphasis added)
If you or your spouse were very young at the time of your Catholic marriage, you may be granted an annulment later on. Although there are marriage classes that Catholics are required to take, if you were only 18 years old when you took these classes and claim you did not understand the full commitment and responsibility of being married, the church may consider your marriage invalid if you now see irreconcilable issues.
This fabricated loophole allows the termination of marriages of almost anyone who desires a permanent separation. It’s not a divorce, it’s an annulment!
Here is an excellent dissertation on the Crusades.
The Influence of the Crusades
The heroic and romantic elements in this attempt to deliver the Holy Places from the Moslems still make it difficult for the Western mind to realize the disastrous character of the movement. Yet the harm it did was so great that some of the bitterest conflicts of our time can be traced back to the mistakes of this well-intentioned but ill-advised enterprise. The chief evil of the Crusades was the belief that military aggression can serve the spread of Christianity and that the sword can sometimes be more efficient than the word in the presentation of the Gospel. They lent support, too, to the idea that the robbery, torture, or murder of someone whose religious beliefs were erroneous was not only permitted but even approved by Christian teaching. The Orthodox East, when it heard about the Crusades, felt apprehensive from the very start. The Byzantine Empire held that her army was entrusted with the sacred duty of defending her frontiers, and that Christian soldiers who laid down their lives in the battle against the infidels and barbarians had made a righteous sacrifice for a cause approved by God. However, this was very different from the idea that Christian monks and soldiers, whose homes and families were not threatened, were justified in taking up arms and killing others in far-away lands, in the name of the Christian religion and for the sake of controlling the land where the Saviour had lived and died.
These doubts and forebodings developed into open hostility when Eastern Christians came under the rule of the Crusaders. War is always a brutal and destructive affair, and the Crusaders did not differ much from other soldiers. When a city was captured its population naturally suffered, and it would have been too much to expect that a careful discrimination would be made between the local Christians and Moslems. Everybody was helpless before the invaders, and one’s life and property were at their mercy. Once the rule of the Crusaders was firmly established it proved of no advantage to the Eastern Christians, even when compared with their bitter experience under the Moslem yoke. In many cases it was even a change for the worse, for their former conquerors had been more tolerant than Christians of the West, and had allowed the Orthodox to continue their Church life unmolested. However, the Crusaders tried to convert the Orthodox to Latin Christianity, confiscating their church buildings, imprisoning their clergy and treating them as though they professed a wholly alien religion.
For the West, the events of the Crusades began in an aura of optimism but ended with disaster and disunity for the Church. After the death of Charlemagne, the military authority of the Franks, which had supported the Papacy, began to decline. The Norman incursions into Italy posed a real threat to the Church. In 1059 the Papacy acknowledged its inability to face any threat from a Norman invasion. How then could the Church reassert its lessening authority over its feudal monarchs and show that it had the necessary strength to cope with internal dissent? At this time a request arrived from the Eastern emperor Alexius Commenius and Pope Urban II for assistance against encroachments by Moslem forces into the Holy Lands. Urban II, at this time in exile, called on the faithful to mount a crusade, appealing to the spirit of faith, to regain the Holy Lands from the sacrilegious hands of Islam while drawing attention to the political benefits of such a venture. Hollister states that “the Crusades to the Holy Lands were the most spectacular and self-conscious act of Western Christian expansionism which represented a fusion of three characteristics of medieval man: piety, pugnacity, and greed” (Hollister, 162).
The Church promised instant sanctity to all participants, a promise of full pardon for one’s sins, and a guarantee of eternal life. Urban and his successors, by granting indulgences, had sanctified this war as a holy war, and by 1096 the habit of “divinizing” these conflicts became so well established that the Pauline metaphor of “fighting for Christ” was well interpreted as military knight service (Heer, 127). Military sacerdotal orders supposedly were based on high ideals of charity, chivalry, and medical care for those wounded in conflict, but too often these qualities were over-ridden by grand and petty political intrigues. By the time of the Fourth Crusade, the papal powers had lost control over these monastic knights, leading to the excommunication of the Templers by Innocent III.
The growing animosity between the Greeks and Crusaders flamed up into open conflict at the end of the twelfth century. In 1185, the Knights captured and sacked Salonika, the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire; they conducted themselves with such complete disregard for the sanctity of Christian Churches that horror and indignation overwhelmed the whole of the Christian East. Contemporary Greek historians describe how the drunken soldiers danced on the alters of Orthodox Churches, how the sacred vessels and reserved sacrament, together with the icons, were made the object of the most revolting abuses, and how the corpses of men, women, and children were profaned by the conquerors. The scenes of deliberate cruelty staggered the Greeks and sacrilege, for the Moslems, their inveterate enemies, had always showed a genuine respect for places of worship.
Copyright ©, Yuri Koszarycz. This (Crusade) file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact. The contents of ORB are copyright © 1995-1
Laura V. Blanchard and Carolyn Schriber except as otherwise indicated herein.
Further distortion of the apostle’s doctrine during the Crusades occurred when the soldiers of the ill-advised Crusades captured Muslims and forced them under water, claiming this was baptism and would save their souls. The result was a nation of people who had been so humiliated that they hated anything associated with Christianity. Even today we see repercussions resulting from these misguided and anti-Christian ventures.
Apparently the Catholic crusaders had never been taught that Christianity is a religion of “volunteers,” people repentant of their sins and seeking salvation. Why is that? We suspect the hierarchy of the Catholic Church knew very little about Christianity. Consequently they were unable to teach it to others.
The Bottom Line On This Issue
The Crusades were a huge mistake. Sending an army to kill people who disagree with you is not the Christian way of doing things. Nor is taking people by force and conducting a sham baptism, claiming they are now Christian and you have saved their soul.
Jesus Christ is looking for volunteers, people willing to set aside the ways of the “world” and follow his commandments. Evidently the people in charge of the Roman Catholic Church did not have this basic understanding of Christianity.
If you have been to a Catholic Mass recently, you have been asked several times during their service for funds, for one cause, or another. But that is not the process God intended.
1 Cor 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (Emphasis added)
In 1 Cor 16:1-2 we see the early church met on Sunday and its members were to set aside funds for the support of needy congregations. Those that had more gave more; those that had less gave less (as God has prospered him). There is no more tithing, i.e., giving 10% of one’s income. Each member gives once a week as he has purposed in his heart and the elders decide how that money will be used.
Most Bible scholars recognize that Christ died once for our sins and is now in heaven at the right hand of God. This is based on:
From this we see the obvious, that Jesus died once and death has no power over him. However, the Catholic Church teaches transubstantiation, i.e., the body and blood of Christ are actually present during their communion and he is crucified at each Mass, literally hundreds of times each year.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
To teach that Christ held up a piece of bread and told people it was his actual body takes a vivid imagination. It was no more his actual body than if I held up a picture and said, “This is me.” It’s not “ME,” but an allegory – a representation of me. Considering the Last Supper, we accept the obvious, and conclude Christ was saying, “This represents my body.”
What does ‘Represent’ represent?
We see the bread and fruit of the vine (pure grape juice) as representing Christ’s body and blood as we remember his death, burial and sacrifice on the first day of every week. We do this in remembrance of him.
Keep in mind, the Catholics claim to have given us the Bible, and any interpretation is theirs because they are responsible for it. If they say when Christ was holding the bread that he was holding his body, and that this was not an allegory, that means they are the authority on the subject and no one is to question their proclamations. No one!
Of course, where baptism is concerned it is okay to say sprinkling represents immersion because they interpret the meaning of Scripture. Apparently when and where “represents” is used lies in the eye of the one who thinks he gave us the Bible.
The Bottom Line On This Issue
Whenever there is a contradiction between man and Scripture we opt for the Word of God as delivered by the apostles, rather than any pseudo religion claiming the authority to add or take away or make changes because “God told us it was okay.” (See ‘Man of God’ in 1 Kings 13 for an example of what happens when one ignores the original Word of God and accepts an “updated” version from someone claiming to have spoken with God recently.)
The Bible only lists two church offices: elder/bishop and deacon. It doesn’t mention cardinal or pope. It does mention priest…
Rev 1: 5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Emphasis added)
1 Pet 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood , to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (Emphasis added)
1 Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (Emphasis added)
In the Old Testament God appointed the family of Levi to execute the duties of the priesthood, performing all functions of maintenance and preparation for and conducting the worship service. Anyone else, besides a Levite who performed any of these duties would be put to death (Numbers 1:48-53).
In the Church of Christ deacons usually perform the preparation functions but all men are priests and can act as deacons and teachers, depending on their personal capabilities. Some are speakers, some are singers, some can lead prayers and others can mow the lawn.
I Would Avoid the Catholic Church
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
We pray to God but Jesus receives the prayer and, when we use his name, indicating we are one of his, he passes our prayer on to our Heavenly Father. Jesus is our mediator, the mediator for those in his church. For those not in his church …
John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
If you pray for a promotion and get, it you can thank God. But atheists get promoted as well. So was it God or just your good work and reputation that earned you the promotion? If your child recovered from an illness was it because you prayed or because the doctor administered the right drugs? People who never prayed a day in their lives recover from illnesses.
Since He only hears prayers that were passed to Him by His son Jesus Christ we want to make sure we are on Jesus’ list – the Book of Life that lists those who were saved by God after answering the gospel call.
To Whom Do We Pray
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matt 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions , as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Certain bus tours of Jerusalem visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Annually tens of thousands of devout Catholics make a pilgrimage to venerate what they have been told is the actual burial tomb of Christ and the place where he died, Calvary.
The history of the location is tortuous down through the centuries. History tells us how the Romans totally destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Having destroyed everything, the Temple and all public and private buildings the Romans fulfilled Jesus prophecy recorded in Mt. 24:2b There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Then, in A.D. 326 the mother of Emperor Constantine, Helena, visited the ruins of Jerusalem. According to legend she poked a stick in the ground and announced she had found the burial site of Christ. While this may seem incredibly convenient who is going to question the dear mother of the Emperor?
Any proof of the tale of Constantine’s mother finding the location of Calvary by placing a stick in the ground is lost to antiquity. However, the location of Calvary and the tomb of Christ is fixed in the lore of Catholicism, and is enhanced by the fact that much of the outer wall masonry from Constantine’s construction has survived.
However this site was selected, its accuracy is doubtful. From the Bible we see Calvary was located outside the city. Apparently this was to protect the citizens from the stench and agony of the dying.
But when one notes the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we have to scratch our heads in wonder. Looking at a map of Jerusalem (or Google Earth) we see the location of the Church is now inside the city.
History shows us the city walls were expanded by King Agrippa in 41-44 AD which then enclosed the site of the Holy Sepulchre so it was, as now, within the city walls.
The wall around the Old City is generally square but if the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is correct the walls at one time must have made a right turn, then a left turn. Not a really good idea if one is building a wall to defend a city. This would place Calvary outside the walls but the wall would be downhill from any possible attackers which is poor planning indeed.
Today we see the walls are all located on ground about 30 feet higher. This forces potential attackers to struggle uphill which places them at a decided disadvantage – a strategy any decent planner would use. For that reason we doubt the expansion of the wall by King Agrippa was in this area. The Damascus Gate is probably where it has always been, on the north side, closest to Damascus, and any expansion was elsewhere.
If the location of Calvary and the tomb of Christ are to be where Catholics say they are the designers of the wall were not familiar with military tactics. Or, perhaps the location where millions of good Catholics go to worship is incorrect? Before we criticize this location we should be able to provide a better one.
THE GARDEN TOMB
He noted it was outside the city, on the road leading from the Damascus Gate.
The Bible records (John 19) Jesus being crucified outside the city of Jerusalem near a gate of the city along a major thoroughfare, that in the place where He was crucified there was a garden and in the garden a tomb. The tomb is described as being a tomb cut out of rock, belonging to a wealthy man by the name of Joseph of Arimathea. It had a weeping chamber, a burial chamber and it was sealed with a rolling stone.
Ultimately, millions of Catholic pilgrims venture to the Holy Sepulchre to worship at the exact spot where … an old woman stuck a stick in the ground.
In 1982 this writer had the pleasure of visiting both sites and, unlike the Holy Sepulchre, the Garden Tomb fits in every respect to what was recorded by eye witnesses. Should you plan a trip to Jerusalem we encourage you to visit the Garden Tomb and read the information they make available.
When the tomb was first examined it was found to have chisel marks indicating the hard work of men cutting out the tomb from solid rock. (This would imply a rich man’s slaves had done the work.) It was also packed full of bodies from about 2000 years ago. One of them had a small wooden board that said, “(name), buried with his Lord.” Apparently an early Christian was aware Jesus had been buried in this tomb and wanted to be buried there as well.
They have emptied the tomb since then and you can see the two chambers. If this is the actual tomb of Jesus it is just as it appeared that first Easter Sunday when, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”
(Some information for this was found at the website for the Garden Tomb. We encourage you to view-
The Bottom Line On This Issue
I am not a Catholic because the Roman Catholic Church was born amid pagan principles and matured while embracing doctrines of devils. This is a church that began when everyone (pagans, atheists and Christians) in the Roman Empire was decreed automatic membership. This is a story of power, deceit, greed, and bloodshed. It started, not with the gospel of Jesus, but by the decree of an emperor.
Constantine was never baptized and had little patience with theological wrangling. Nevertheless, as Emperor of the Roman Empire he assumed the authority to arbitrate church disputes. He never had the Spirit of God and the spirit of man is insufficient to rule the kingdom of Christ.
We reject the allegation that Peter was the Vicar of Christ. To say the leadership of the church would be on one man is wrong. Then to say he could hear the voice of God while ignoring the written Word of God is an abomination. Additionally, to say he had successors who also spoke with God is ludicrous.
The RCC simply states Peter was the first pope as a fact and boldly goes on from there. Also, there is absolutely no evidence to support the belief that Peter’s alleged position could be passed to anyone.
The foundation of the Lord’s church is the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. The keys to the church are sincere repentance, and having one’s sins washed away in baptism. Continuing, one must accept the teachings of Christ. We must become as a new person, doing away with lying, cheating, stealing, killing, etc. We cannot be concerned with minor inconveniences and we must be able to turn away from real or imagined slights. Finally, one must be faithful unto death – faithful to Christ, not to any man.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED
Meanwhile, with the new “Church of the Roman Empire” polluted by pagans, innocent Christians were forced to meet in secret, usually in each other’s homes.
Early Catholic policies, such as burning people at the stake and dunking adversaries in water while claiming you are saving their souls tells us all we need to know. Death by burning is a particularly painful process yet it was the official policy of this church. If there were no other reason for denouncing the Roman Church that would be enough. They came nowhere near serving as an example of Christ’s teaching of love and respect for others.
Modern Catholic policies, such as “Tradition” adding to Scripture; accepting annulment instead of divorce; and bowing before statues proves to us their failure as a Christian religion. All of this is validated by men acting as pious, gentle sheep while inwardly they are ravenous wolves destroying men’s souls. It makes us look elsewhere when seeking a church started by the Prince of Peace.
The Papacy Is Pointless
The history of the popes includes rape, homosexuality, murder, adultery, incest, drunkenness and selling religious offices. The master of the Roman world, “chosen by God,” sanctioned the destruction of non-Christian temples and sanctuaries. (Compare this with how you feel today about ISIS destroying ancient temples.); the burning of heretical writings; and the exile or execution of obstinate polytheists and all who refused to believe, or at least who pretend to believe, in this unholy “Church of the Roman Empire.”
Thus they can teach purgatory, for example, then offer various verses that mention sin in one form or another and tell us it confirms purgatory. In “proving” purgatory, none of the verses they cited actually has anything to do with a post-death purification process. But the good “fathers,” the cardinals and “Holy Father” convince the “faithful” congregants that what they teach is confirmed by Holy Scripture.
It seems to this writer that the convoluted process is misleading. We wonder where something as complicated and anti-Christian as this could originate?
The people are taught to accept the new canon because “Jesus taught it to the ‘Holy Roman Church’ and we believe Jesus.” Who would teach such a thing? Who would create a complicated lie, convincing people they are following Jesus when in fact they are separating themselves from Christ by accepting a strange new doctrine? Who indeed!
This pompous, pagan church evolved over the centuries into a giant, unyielding structure that devoured souls while proclaiming itself the earthly representative of God. They gave people false hope by telling them their sins were forgiven, which misled billions of souls. Billions who believed them, “drank the Kool-Aid” and accepted their pagan beliefs.
Finally, in the 1500s, there was a revolt and the Reformation took place with many leaving the RCC and starting their own church, generally patterned after the church they just left. We would have preferred if there had been a Restoration of the original church and not a wealth of new churches competing against each other for the souls of mankind. At least they left the Roman Catholic Church.
During this three part series we tried to show why leaving, or not joining in the first place, is the proper thing to do.
We proved this massive house of evil has feet of clay, devouring souls while claiming they speak with God.
Meanwhile, continuing from the first century, members of the Lord’s church, the Church of the Firstborn, the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Christ, were meeting in secret, worshiping God in the pattern recorded by the apostles. As members of the Lord’s church we offer this dissertation on Catholicism as a testament to the errors mankind has made and the truth one can find in God’s Holy Scripture.
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you have any comments or if you see a factual error, contact the author: BRAD COOK