Catholicism

The Catholic Church, known as the Roman Catholic Church is the world’s largest Christian church. Is Catholicism true Christianity or a Christian Cult?

A cult is a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. A religious body may be defined as a “cult” if its doctrines involve a denial of any of the essential teachings of Christian doctrine such the doctrine of the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit or the doctrine of salvation.

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church is the world’s largest Christian church, and claims over a billion members, representing approximately half of all Christians and one-sixth of the world’s population. The Catholic Church is a communion of the Western Rite (Latin Rite) and 22 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches (called particular churches), comprising 2,795 dioceses in 2008.

The Church’s highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and governance is the Pope, currently Pope Benedict XVI, who holds supreme authority in concert with the College of Bishops, of which he is the head. The Catholic community is made up of an ordained ministry and the laity; members of either group may belong to organized religious communities.

Through supposed apostolic succession, the Church believes itself to be the continuation of the Christian community founded by Jesus in his consecration of Saint Peter. Yet according to the Scriptures Paul wrote:

On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. Galatians 2:7-8

Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles according to Romans 11:13 and Ephesians 3:8 and Peter was the apostle to the Jews. Yet the Gentile Romanists claim that Peter was the first Pope.

Catholic beliefs are based on the deposit of Faith (containing both the Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition) handed down from the time of the Apostles, which are interpreted by the Church’s teaching authority. For example, the church’s teachings concerning the perpetual virginity of Mary supersede the clear biblical evidence that Mary had other children after the birth of the Messiah.

The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony consisted of two segments. The first part, kiddushin, is a betrothal. During the betrothal ceremony, two benedictions are shared and the bridegroom gives the bride an object of value in the presence of at least two witnesses. The bridegroom recites the marriage formula:

“Behold, you are consecrated unto me according to the Law of Moses and Israel.” After the groom said these words, a second benediction is recited. This second blessing is offered to help enable the couple to remain chaste during their engagement.

The second portion of the wedding ceremony is the nissu’in, or marriage proper. The bride and the bridegroom were dressed like royalty for their nuptials. The groom would wear a crown and the bride would often work a circlet of coins from her dowry into her headdress. The rites of marriage were held under a huppa, a wedding canopy. The huppa symbolizes the bride cohabiting with the groom at their home. Benedictions were recited, and later that evening, a processional would move from the bride’s house, where the wedding ceremony took place, to the new home prepared by the groom. The bride’s veil would be removed and then placed upon the shoulders of the groom. A declaration was made of the groom that “the government will be upon his shoulders.” The young maidens in attendance would carry long poles with lighted, oil-soaked rags on top. After consummation of the marriage, there was an exhibition of evidence of the bride’s virginity; a bloodstained sheet or garment of clothing was presented to the assemblage (see Deuteronomy 22:13–17). A bridal week ensued, which included seven days of joyous feasting and merriment (Genesis 29:27).

If Joseph and Mary did not consummate their marriage, they were only betrothed and never married. But the Bible clearly states otherwise:

But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:25

Roman Catholic beliefs distinctive from Protestant beliefs include the special authority of the pope, the ability of deceased saints to intercede on behalf of believers, the concept of Purgatory as a place of afterlife purification before entering Heaven, and the doctrine of transubstantiation – that is, that the bread used in the Eucharist actually becomes the physical body of Christ when blessed by a priest. In Catholicism, the Eucharist is called the Mass. Catholics observe seven sacraments, which are religious rituals believed to be commanded by God and effective in conferring grace on the believer. Catholic priests take vows of celibacy. Other distinctive Catholic practices include veneration of saints, use of the crucifix, and the use of rosary beads in prayer. Catholics also visually remember Christ and the saints in heaven by making statues in their honor.

According to catholic.com, concerning the question of whether or not Catholics worship statues, the following arguments are presented:

God forbade the worship of statues, but he did not forbid the religious use of statues. Instead, he actually commanded their use in religious contexts!

People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold [i.e., two gold statues of angels]; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be” (Ex. 25:18–20).

David gave Solomon the plan “for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all, all the work was to be done according to the plan” (1 Chr. 28:18–19). David’s plan for the temple, which the biblical author tells us was “by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all,” included statues of angels.

My response to this line of reasoning is that the tabernacle in the wilderness and later the Temple in Jerusalem, were patterned after the preexisting heavenly Temple. The Ark of the Covenant with the atonement cover (mercy seat) represented the heavenly throne of God and the statues of the cherubim represented the Living Creatures that surrounded the throne. The problem the Catholic argument is that the statues of the Cherubim were hidden behind the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. No Israelite except the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies and the High Priest only entered once a year on Yom Kippur. Even the High Priest’ view of the Cherubim was obscured on this one day a year, because the altar of incense was lit and placed behind the curtain as was commanded by God.

Continuing with the defense of the religious use of statues, as stated on catholic.com:

During a plague of serpents sent to punish the Israelites during the Exodus, God told Moses to “make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:8–9).

One had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations.

Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.

If one measured Protestants by the same rule, then by using these “graven” images, they would be practicing the “idolatry” of which they accuse Catholics. But there’s no idolatry going on in these situations. God forbids the worship of images as gods, but he doesn’t ban the making of images. If he had, religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things would be banned. But, as the case of the bronze serpent shows, God does not even forbid the ritual use of religious images.

It is when people begin to adore a statue as a god that the Lord becomes angry. Thus when people did start to worship the bronze serpent as a snake-god (whom they named “Nehushtan”), the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kings 18:4).

Again there is a problem with this line of reasoning. The bronze serpent in the desert was made at the commandment of God for a one-time particular purpose. The reason that Hezekiah had to destroy Nehushtan is because natural man is susceptible to looking for tangible objects to worship.

The commandment is that “You shall not make for yourself a graven image…” Strong’s number 6459 is the Hebrew word: pecel (peh’-sel) meaning an idol — carved (graven) image. The root word is pacal (paw-sal’) meaning to carve, whether wood or stone — grave, hew. Religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things are not carved wood or stone images. But the statues found in Roman Catholic churches are graven images. There were two Cherubim crafted and one bronze serpent made at the command of God. The Cherubim were hidden behind the veil and the bronze serpent was destroyed but there have been millions of statues carved out of wood and stone that adorn Catholic churches around the world.

Idolatry is spiritual harlotry. Spiritual adultery is an abomination unto the LORD.

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird, for all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Revelation 18:1-3

With a mighty voice a glorious angel shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! The kings of the earth had committed adultery with this great city of power and wealth. Great detail is given concerning her punishment for leading the nations astray. But what were her adulteries and where does she reside?

Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” Genesis 10:8-9

The fishermen of the Bible use nets which symbolize godly men who evangelize. While the term hunters, fowlers and those who use snares, traps, arrows, or hooks, describe the wicked. Fishers of men is a term used by Jesus (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17) to describe those who would be used to build the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; for now on you will catch men” (Lk 5:l0b). Speaking of the kingdom Jesus said, “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into a lake and caught all kinds of fish” (Mt 13:47). On the other hand, Satan is described as a fowler (Ps 91:3) and the evil one who shoots flaming arrows or fiery darts (Eph 6:16).

Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch men. Jeremiah 5:26

Nimrod is described as a mighty hunter before the LORD. He is not a mighty hunter for the LORD. Exodus 20:3 reads, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Esau is also described as a skillful hunter. As Esau despised his birthright (Gen 25:34b), so did Nimrod despise the LORD’S command. After the worldwide flood, God reiterated his command to man to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth (Gen 1:28; 9:7). Nimrod was idolized by the people for his skills as a warrior and as a hunter. When wild animals roamed in great numbers, he offered protection, strength and safety. Nimrod led the people astray by having them gather together in cities, instead of filling and subduing the earth as God had commanded. Nimrod name means, “Let us Rebel!”

The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Erech, Akkad and Calneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria where he built Ninevah, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Ninevah and Calah; that is the great city. Genesis 10:10-12

Assyria eventually became a world empire and conquered the Northern Kingdom. In the eighth century B.C., the ten northern tribes of Israel were deported. Over a century later, Babylon became a world empire destroying Jerusalem and the temple. The people of Judah were placed into exile for 70 years. Nimrod built Babel were the ancient Babylonian Mystery religion was birthed. The Mother of Harlots has offspring in every culture.

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4

“Come, let’s make bricks…” These rebellious people who sought to exalt themselves were masons, as were the ancient Egyptians. Free Masonry is not just a social club. It is built upon Kabbalah which originated in Babylon. Masons meet in a Masonic Lodge which is a temple to Lucifer. There are secret rites, satanic symbols and blood oaths. The tower of Babel was a Ziggurat, which is a pyramid-like structure with an exterior zig­zagging staircase. The purpose of a ziggurat was to worship the heavenly hosts – the sun, moon and stars.

Nimrod was worshipped as the sun god and was the founder of the city of Babylon. He married Semiramis who was worshipped as the moon goddess. She became queen who ruled the city of Ninevah. The myth surrounding her was that she left the earth as a dove and was worshipped for fertility, as the goddess of wild birds, as the creator of life; love and sexuality. Their child was Tammuz who was revered as a god of death and resurrection. He represented agricultural death and rebirth. In the summer he departed for the netherworld when vegetation withered because of the intense heat of the Middle East. Worshippers of Tammuz, especially women, would mourn for him with weeping and loud cries. The Ankh, which looks like a circle with a cross beneath it, is not a Christian symbol but an Egyptian symbol for Tammuz.

Ezekiel chapter eight speaks of great idolatry in the temple that caused the Shekinah glory of God to depart from the temple built by Solomon. Among the detestable things found there were Israelite women mourning for Tammuz (Eze 8:14) and men who were bowing down to the sun in the east (Eze 8:16). Disaster came upon the Jews living in Lower and Upper Egypt after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians because the wives of the Jews burned incense to the Queen of Heaven, and made cakes and poured drink offerings to her (Jer 44). Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed and disaster came upon the Jews because they worshipped the sun (Nimrod), the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis) and Tammuz. Incredibly, during the 70 years of exile in Babylon, the Jews named the 4th month of the Hebrew calendar after Tammuz.

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:5-9

When God confused the language of the builders of the Tower of Babel and scattered them throughout the world, the wicked people of the city took their worship of the sun, moon and stars with them. Every pagan culture worships the same heavenly hosts under different names. Semiramis is the name of the moon goddess for the Assyrians. Ashtorah is a moon goddess for the Canaanites. Isis is the Egyptian name. Ishtar is the Babylonian name. Artemis was worshipped by the Greeks and known as Diana by the Romans. Baal (sun worship) was the chief male deity of the Canaanites, Zeus the chief deity of the Greeks and Jupiter the chief deity of the Romans.

Today the ancient Mystery Babylonian religion not only infiltrates into the Eastern mystic religions, but was practiced by apostate Israel and is a major influence in Islam which is the worship of the moon god Allah and in Roman Catholicism which has many elements that symbolize the sun god.

The Holy Roman Emperor Constantine rejected the seventh day Sabbath for the venerable day of the sun. The Roman calendar which names its days and many of its months after pagan gods is a solar calendar. The Whore of Babylon is a worldwide religious practice that leads nations astray into believing they are worshipping the true God when in fact they are committing spiritual adultery by bowing down before idols. This religion is centered in one particular city and has vast wealth.

“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” Revelation 17:9

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 1 Peter 5:13

She refers to your sister church. The great city in Mesopotamia was in ruins and ancient Babylon was mostly a desert in the first century. It is generally agreed that “Babylon” in 1 Peter 5:13 is a cipher for the city of Rome. There was a reason for connecting the Babylonian and Roman empires, because the Roman legions like those of Babylon at an earlier time destroyed the temple and Jerusalem.

The topography or terrain that marks the geographical location of the center of the false religion is noted for its seven hills. The Whore of Babylon is a religious system that is characterized as prostituting itself. Spiritual fornication is idol worship. The Empire of the Caesars had its capital in Rome which was built on seven hills and was well-known for its many statues of its Roman gods and goddesses including the Caesars. Julius Caesar as Rome’s Pontifex Maximus held supreme religious authority in Rome. He was not only the ruler of the state but the high priest of the pagan Roman religion.

The term “Pontifex Maximus” is applied to the high priest of the Roman Catholic Church today. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition: ‘For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise.” Not only does the Pope continue under the titles of the Caesars of Rome but claims to be the Vicar of Christ on earth. The Pope claims to be authorized to act as the substitute or agent of Christ on earth. Jesus himself promised us that He would send the Holy Spirit to act on his behalf and not a fallible man. As Christ Jesus had been the Master, Counselor and Guide to believers, He promised to send the Holy Spirit as His substitute so that He might abide with them forever (John 14:16).

The Roman Catholic Church noted for its widespread display and veneration of the statues of saints is in direct opposition to the commandments of God stated in Exodus 20: 4-5a: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:

Although Romanists claim that they are not worshipping the statues of saints or Mary, the very fact that they bow down to them violates God’s commandment. The location and practices of the Roman Catholic Church seem to make it the ideal candidate as the Whore of Babylon.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6

Roman Catholics claim that they do not worship the statues of saints when they bow before them. But the Word of God commands us not to worship or even bow before a graven image. This religion is one of a works salvation through sacraments and does not have the Bible as its ultimate authority.

The Catholic Catechism claims that the apostles are the original source of Catholic Tradition. They assert, in effect, that the Catholic traditions of papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, prayer to the saints, veneration of images, the assumption of Mary, Mary the queen of heaven, Mary the mediatrix of all grace, etc., were believed and taught by the apostles but were never set down explicitly in writing in the Bible. Rather, these traditions were supposedly believed from apostolic times, and passed down faithfully from one generation to the next orally. Their oral tradition, not the Bible is the ultimate authority for Romanists.

The result of Catholic teaching is that the Bible is represented as being incomplete, just the written portion of the Word of God, and that only by the alleged oral or unwritten “living tradition” will you have the complete fullness of the inspired Word of God. By “living tradition” they mean the teaching authority of the church passed on through the apostles to their successors, which Catholics call the Magisterium or the teaching arm of the Catholic Church.

The traditions of men rather than the Word of God is why the doctrines of the Catholic Church often stand in opposition to clear biblical precepts. In the 5th century A.D., Augustine’s teaching laid the ground work for what is now known as “Replacement Theology”. He taught that the church had become Israel and was now God’s Kingdom on earth. This became the rationale for the “Conquistadors” to conquer and pillage the Americas in the name of the Roman Catholic Church. This was the philosophy that helped establish the so-called, “Holy Roman Empire” over Europe. This resulted in such shameful atrocities as the Crusades and the Inquisitions in “the name of Jesus”. Yet these actions violated the most basic teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Vatican has accumulated vast wealth for over two thousand years from Caesar to the Space Age. It has vast collections of art treasures, property ownership around the world, collections from its parishioners and does not pay taxes. It is located in Rome. It denies salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is full of idols and its traditions are associated with Mithraism.

Celebrating the light and fire caused from striking of flints is an ancient tradition. Mithra is said to be forced out of a rock, wearing the Phyrygian cap holding a dagger and a torch of light. Mithra’s birth is celebrated on the Winter Solstice. Christ was most probably incarnated on the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall, but Catholic tradition has us celebrating his birth on the Winter Solstice when Mithra birth was celebrated.

As he grew, Mithra became strong and courageous, eagerly using these traits to fight evil. One of the key stories attached to Mithra, is that he slew a divine bull so that its body parts could assist mankind. The Greeks and Romans considered Mithra as a sun god. Mithras presides over the changing of the seasons and the movement of the heavens themselves. In the ancient cult Mithras was represented by the constellation Persus, who changes the position of the celestial sphere by ‘slaying’ the constellation Taurus (the Bull). At the spring equinox Mithras moves the earth back into Aries, raising lots of energy and power. Roman Catholicism replaced Passover with Easter. Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month at twilight when the barley harvest is ripe. Easter is calculated using the spring equinox which is venerated by those who worship the solar disc.

Mithraism was popular in the Roman Empire with many Emperors following, not just the populace. It had seven sacraments, the same as the Catholic Church, baptism, and communion with bread and water. The Eucharist hosts were signed with a cross, an ancient phallic symbol which originated in Egypt, and the Egyptian cross (the ankh which represents Tammuz), still shows the original form which included the female symbol. The Roman Catholic Church incorporated pagan traditions into their rituals in order to attract the masses and codify their power, wealth and influence as a Holy Roman Empire.

The Monstrance is used to display a round wafer of bread, called the host, which is used in what is called the Mass, Lord’s Supper, Communion or Eucharistic meal. The Catholic believes this wafer of bread turns into the actual body of Christ when consecrated during the Mass. “During the baroque period, the Monstrance took on a rayed form of a sun-monstrance with a circular window surrounded by a silver or gold frame with rays.” The priest sometimes holds up the sunburst monstrance with the host encased for the congregation to adore and venerate. Virtually any time the monstrance, a pagan sun symbol, is viewed by the congregation, they kneel in submission. The Catholic Church describes itself in its documents as engaged in the act of worshipping the Eucharist, which is also called adoration or veneration.

The use of Christmas trees, holly wreaths, Easter eggs, repetitive prayers using the rosary, black garments worn by the priests and many other traditions are not only unbiblical but pagan in their roots.

Many Jews were slaughtered during the crusades and many millions of saints were killed during the Reformation by Roman Catholics. The Roman Empire and its pagan practices have never ceased to exist. It has just changed form. Many of the Protestant groups consider Catholicism to be a cult, due to beliefs regarding the Pope and Mary as well as a denial of the Bible as the ultimate authority concerning matters of faith and practice and a denial of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

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