She introduced the others, who proved to be her sisters, to me. Toward the close of a none too lengthy conversation, one of the sisters invited me to Bible school and church. I inquired, "Where? I attended the following Sunday. Truth compels me to say that I was not very much impressed with the Bible class and its study seemed to make no lasting impression, but I was very much impressed with the young lady that may, or may not, account for the lack of impression otherwise.
Anyway, several times thereafter I attended the worship there with her, but the preacher's sermons, to me, seemed to carry little force and less clarity and conviction. In due course, the young lady suggested that we begin to read the Bible together. It was agreed and we began the study of the New Testament. Then in the spring of , while in the home of a certain young man, I listened to a radio sermon which he had seemingly flipped to just in order to employ my time while he took care of some household chore. The sermon was a plain exposition of the Scriptures with frequent reference thereto and it was master-fully delivered.
The young man remained away until the entire sermon had been preached and congregational singing in the form of an invitational hymn had been sung. Then I learned that I had been listening to the broadcast of the regular Sunday morning worship of the Pearl and Bryan Streets Church of Christ in Dallas with preaching being done by C. That was a pioneering venture in religious broadcasting in Dallas or, perhaps, elsewhere for that matter. The fruits of it in magnitude only eternity itself will disclose. My own experience impresses on me its possibilities for others.
I am an advocate not only of the pulpit, for which there is not and can never be a substitute, but also of the press and radio and various new and usable means of visualization which are now being introduced for the promulgation of the gospel. The casual way in which I became a part of the audience of that radio sermon might suggest to many that it was strictly a matter of chance; I do not share that view. Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" Matthew , 8. I was seeking the truth; I had no personal axe to grind religiously and, by this time, I had little interest in attempting to exonerate the religious views of others. In short, I wanted to know what God would have me to do. I believe implicitly in the providence of God; and I, for one, am quite persuaded that the instance of which I now speak is an example of it, for which I give thanks to the Father of lights.
After hearing that sermon, I suggested to the young lady that we attend the services of the church of Christ at Pearl and Bryan Streets in Dallas. She was agreeable. We attended. The truth I learned in our Bible study together was augmented and clarified frequently by what I learned from the pulpit there. That young lady, to whom I owe so much, was formerly Miss Glendelle Myers, but for the past eighteen years she has been Mrs.
Joe Malone. Coming to a knowledge of the truth and recognizing my responsibility before God, I was baptized into Christ on April 22, , by C. Pullias, to whom I owe a profound debt, at Pearl and Bryan, where a congregation meets which I shall ever hold in grateful remembrance. One's conversion is, in its nature, a personal matter and to it we have given some attention; but when I am called upon to speak with regard to "Why I Left The Catholic Church," the motives which prompted my conversion are brought into focus; and those motives, which constitute the "why" with me, far tran-scend mere personal experience and localized circumstance.
Broad principles of truth are unalterably opposed by the Catholic Church. Others are welcome to whatever seems plausible to them, but Catholic error is the "why" with me. Hence, let us examine that error in the light of Truth as it is reflected in the Bible; and as we do, let it be borne in mind that thus I am continuing to establish why I left the Catholic Church. When I speak of examining the church in the light of the Word, the Catholic Church will immediately contend that the church is authority for the Word and not the Word for the church.
Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" John Let those contend that the Catholic Church is authority who will, but, as for me, I am going to accept that authority by which I shall be judged in the last day: the Word of the Lord.
Remember that He said, "All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth" Matthew Jesus said of those whose religion is based on the tradition of men, "This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Again, the Catholic Church relative to the Bible is prone to say, "If you accept the Bible, you must accept us for the Bible has been preserved by us and has come to you through us. Should it even be granted that the Catholic Church were the agency through which the Word was preserved for a season, what would it signify? Further, should one be ready to concede that the Bible was handed to us, in a sense by the Catholic Church, does it follow that we must believe in the Catholic Church in order to accept the Bible?
If I must repossess the newspaper from the mouth of my neighbor's dog, does it follow that I must believe in my neighbor's dog in order to accept what I read in the paper? Those who accept the Bible and the Bible alone plainly show that they reject all else.
Also, the Catholic Church is very prone to say and she has a host of allies in this matter that the force of any scriptural argument which is brought to bear upon her fallacy is "merely your interpretation. He proceeded to criticize an owl over the open door of a barber shop while the barber went on shaving. The critic pointed out that the fellow that stuffed that owl should have considered a live one.
He said it was hunched over unnaturally, the expression on its face was all wrong, its claws were out of shape and so on and on. Finally, the owl with some to-do, left its perch and flew out the open door. Thus some will profess the Bible to believe and yet deny the very thing they see, and, we might add, others will read the Bible with their father's spectacles upon their heads and see the thing just like their father said. The Catholic Church would have the people think that they cannot understand the Scriptures and that they must rely upon the priest for the proper "interpretation.
Here is the point: let the Bible speak for itself and when you see it in the Book believe it for what it says. Paul said of Timothy, "From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures. If a child can understand it, can't you? Further, if you say that you cannot understand it, you are charging God with requiring of you more than you are able to perform, for we read, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" II Timothy We urge you to follow the example of the Bereans: "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" Acts Now it is greatly to be hoped that we are ready to consider Catholicism in the light of God's Word and in doing so, we will understand why I left it.
Hardly had the second century begun until certain people thought they saw the wisdom of setting one man over an entire congregation and designating that man as priest. All Christians are priests, for Peter plainly states that such compose a "royal priesthood" I Peter , 9. But, as to the oversight of an entire congregation of people, let us see what the scriptures say. In I Timothy we read, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
We might add they rule, "Not as lords over God's heritage, but as examples to the flock" I Peter What is the extent of their rule? In Acts , we learn that elders were ordained in every church. Thus we are caused to know that there is to be a plurality of elders in each individual congregation. Since the elders rule jointly in every local congregation, it is evident that no one man is to appropriate all such authority unto himself. Furthermore, you do not read in the New Testament of any man, or set of men, having more authority under heaven in the church of the living God than do the elders in the church.
That means that, in the matter of organization, there can be nothing larger than the local congregation with the oversight under a plurality of elders. More time passes, and the same people thought it prudent to bring many local congregations in a given district under one head and so the bishop was introduced. The name "bishop" is synonymous with elder in the Scriptures and, as for the office given to the one so designated by the Catholic Church, there is absolutely no grounds in the Bible.
With the passing of additional time, it was thought to be a part of wisdom to bring all the districts in a state or province under one head and so the archbishop was introduced. Both name and office are unscriptural and anti-scriptural. Then in the course of time it was thought wise to bring all the states or provinces in a continent under one head, and so the cardinal was introduced.
With the passing of further time in fact, in A. Should anyone be inclined to call that in question, being mindful as I am that Romanism proposes a certain lineage from the time of Peter, I think this one argument is enough to settle the matter: for the first six centuries there was no ecumenical council called but what was called by an emperor never by a pope!
The decisions of those councils were considered authoritative and nowhere in them was there the slightest or barest allusion to a pope. Why not? If there had been such, quite obviously there would have been acknowledgment of the same. Now we have reached a vital juncture in our consideration. A pope has been appointed. The pope is supposed to be the successor of Peter; and yet, is it not strange that Peter in neither of his epistles recognized the eminence of that office?
Rather he referred to himself as a servant, as an apostle, as a fellow-elder. Further, is it not strange as recorded in Acts 8, when it was desired to have men sent from Jerusalem to Samaria that they might lay hands on certain ones, that Peter and John were sent? Have you ever heard of a pope being sent anywhere? Can you, in the greatest stretch of your imagination, conceive of the present pope being sent on a mission by anyone?
Does then Peter, being sent to Samaria, indicate the preeminence which is ordinarily attached to the office of pope? Something more: in the council held in Jerusalem as recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Acts, was it not James, if any one at all, who presided? Was it not James who handed down the finality of the decision? Did not Paul say, "For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. Peter associated with the Gentiles in Antioch before the coming of the Jewish brethren, but when they came, Peter withdrew himself from the Gentiles.
Paul condemned Peter because he would have Gentiles live as did the Jews. Does that indicate the preeminence of Peter? You have heard it said that the Catholic Church never changes. Peter had a wife, as shown in Matthew The Catholic Church would have you think he was the first pope.
Can his successor take a wife? Peter being right, the Catholic Church is wrong. He was certainly not in harmony with it. Let us consider just for a moment this matter of papal lineage. Did you know that, after the papacy was introduced, there was a period of seventy years in which there was no pope at all?
Did you know that for another period of fifty years there were two lines of popes? And did you know that at one time there were three popes? Where does all this leave papal lineage and infallibility? When the pope is declared to be the pope, on his head is placed a three-tiered tiara, or triple crown, which means, according to Romanism, that he is the father of kings and princes, ruler of the world and vicar of Jesus Christ.
The Prompta Bibliotheca, an official Roman Catholic almanac published by the press of Propaganda Fide in Rome, in its article under the heading of "Papa" states: "The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but, as it were, God, and the Vicar of Christ. The Pope is of such lofty dignity that, properly speak-ing, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities. The Pope is of so great authority that he can modify, explain or interpret even divine law.
To him alone pertain infallibility and universality; all men are submitted to his laws, and he can only be judged by God; he ought to wear imperial ornaments; people and kings should kiss his feet; Christians are irrevocably submitted to his orders; they should murder their princes, fathers and children, if he command it; no council can be declared universal without the orders of the Pope; no book can be received as canonical without his authority; finally, no good or evil exists but in what he has condemned or approved. Let us see now if you do not quickly recognize a certain prophetic description which we shall read from the Word of God: "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts him-self above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" II Thessalonians , 4.
Who is the man of sin, the son of perdition? He is the one who, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. If you were required to describe such an impostor, could you possibly do it more completely than is done by that apostate church herself in the description of her head? But let us read from the Bible further beginning with the next verse: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" II Thessalonians You notice that Paul states there was something which restrained, at that time, the revelation of the man of sin, even though the "mystery of iniquity" was already at work, but you will also note the restraining force would be taken out of the way.
Now let us turn to the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. There we read, "And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. On the basis of these various verses from the chapter stated, and bearing in mind the apostle Paul's description of "the man of sin" in the second chapter of II Thessalonians, let us consider a striking parallel as it is reflected in recorded history.
The empire of pagan Rome, like unto a cruel beast, truly wore the name of blasphemy. It was called the Holy Roman Empire. Can an empire be holy which killed the saints and supported with all its strength a worship of force and idolatry? There is blasphemy! As long as pagan Rome was in the ascendancy, her crowned heads claimed divine powers. Sufficient proof of this is seen in the fact that every ecumenical council for the first six centuries was called by an emperor.
The cruelty of pagan Rome shows that she derived her power from the dragon, the devil. When the barbarian hordes swept down from the north in A. The Kingdom of the Medes and the Persians fell to rise no more. Apparently that would be the lot of Rome. But not so! The "deadly wound was healed" and "all the world wondered after the beast. History plainly shows that, as long as pagan Rome was in the ascendancy, papal Rome was held in check. In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine recognized his version of "Christianity" as the true religion; and, by his gifts to the church and at the point of the sword, he gave impetus to that movement which resulted in the ascendancy of papal Rome.
As pagan Rome declined, papal Rome ascended. Out of the casket of pagan Rome emerges papal Rome! Thus the second beast makes his presence felt for, "He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence" Revelation And let me say just here that all the pageantry and display and pomp and ostentation of the Roman Catholic Church as is evidenced in her ornately decorated altars, the flowing robes and richly embellished garments of her priests and the tapers and incense all of this constitutes but relics of pagan Rome and speaks convincingly, itself, of the origin of papal Rome.
And yet the uninformed are taken in by such stuff, thinking that it is the mark of the true religion. How unlike the Christ who, in the midst of Roman pageantry, was born in a stable and placed in a manger and who, some two years before his death, said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Thus the "strong delusion" works of which Paul spoke.
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Why cannot people see that, on the very face of it, such pageantry cannot be a part of the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ? We say with the apostle Paul, "I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" II Corinthians Further, this second beast is described thus: "He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. Her outward appearance presents the meekness of a lamb, but her papal bulls and edicts disclose the voice of the dragon.
As many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive the mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. Consider the Inquisition; consider the slaughter of the Huguenots; and even today consider the rank intolerance in Catholic dominated and benighted Spain as she struggles under Franco, the henchman of the pope.
Also think, if you will, of the intolerance in Portugal and reflect upon the cruel suppression of the activity of other religious bodies in many South American countries particularly such countries as Argentina under the papal servant, Peron as the intolerance there has been brought to light time and time again by the protest of those religious bodies in the American press.
What has happened and is happening in other countries would happen here if the Catholic Church were in the ascendancy that is my firm conviction. By their fruits, you shall know them! All of this stems from the idea that the pope should govern the world. Do not be deceived, the Catholic Church still entertains that hope. Hear her own spokesman, Cardinal Gibbons in The Faith of Our Fathers, page "For our part we have every confidence that ere long the clouds which now overshadow the civil throne of the Pope will be removed by the breath of a righteous God, and that his temporal power will be reestablished on a more permanent basis.
Further Paul tells us of the "deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. The Bible contains that Word and yet those in the bondage of Romanism permit themselves to be persuaded that "the Bible is a dead letter and cannot interpret itself. What has been said plainly shows that the Catholic Church bitterly opposes the separation of church and state.
When Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" Matthew , He forever separated the church, on the one hand, from the state, on the other. That period of spiritual degeneration, so aptly called the "Dark Ages," was the awful result of the merger of church and state. Concerning this matter of the separation of church and state, one point which has been brought under very subtle attack is our public school set-up. As you perhaps know, some time ago the United States Supreme Court granted permission by a vote of five to four for parochial school children to be carried on public school buses.
Later, Paul Connell, a lawyer in a school district in Pennsylvania, endeavored to force the local public school board to carry his daughter to a parochial school in a public school bus. The public school board refused. The matter was taken to the county court which sustained the decision of the school board. It was taken in due course to the state supreme court which upheld the former decision. Ultimately it reached the United States Supreme Court which, by its action, gave support to the decision originally arrived at by the school board itself.
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But do you not see the pattern? First permission is received and then compulsion is striven for. Catholics will argue that they pay taxes and, therefore, they are entitled to the use of the public school buses. They are entitled to the use of the public school buses on the same basis that every other taxpayer is: that is, that their children might be carried to some public school.
Everyone welcomes their use of the public school buses on that basis. But when any school and I mean any school teaches a peculiar religious dogma, it forfeits the right to state support and it thereby forfeits the right to the use of public school buses. Indeed so! There are those, some of whom ought to know better, who are urging that the study of the Bible be introduced into the public schools. The public school is a state institution, being supported by public funds. To argue that the Bible be taught therein is to waive the principle laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ concern-ing the separation of church and state.
To contend that the Bible should be taught in public schools is also to waive the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Further, let it be borne in mind that all people who pay taxes support the state schools and if all tax-paying religionists did not have a voice in the particular course proposed for study, could not the slighted taxpayers say with Henry, "Taxation without representation is tyranny!
Far better that there be no course than to have such a travesty. But the United States Supreme Court has ruled in this very matter and I have here the decision as reported in the United Press dispatch dated Tuesday, March 9, "Washington, March 8th The Supreme Court ruled Monday that religious teaching in public schools, even on a voluntary basis, is unconstitutional.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Hugo L. Black, was based on the separation of church and state as provided in the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Justice Stanley F. Reed was the lone dissenter. Black held that the First Amendment "has erected a wall between church and state which must be kept high and impregnable. It might not be amiss just here to read the language of some of our men of state concerning this very matter.
James G. Blaine presented this article in the House of Representatives as a Constitutional Amendment: "No state shall make any law representing an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by school taxation in any state for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund thereof, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised, or land so devoted, be divided among religious sects or denominations.
Who are the Jesuits? A former Catholic priest has referred to them as "that society of storm troopers and mischief-makers of the Roman Catholic Church. President James A. Garfield said, "Next in importance to freedom and justice, is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. It would be unjust to our people, and dangerous to our institutions, to apply any portion of the revenue of the nation, or of the state to the support of sectarian schools. The separation of the church and state, in everything relating to taxation, should be absolute.
General U. Grant declared, "If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon, but it will be between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other. In this centennial year, the work of strengthening the foundation of the structure laid by our forefathers one hundred years ago, should be begun. Let us all labor for the security of free thought, free speech, free press, and pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color or religion.
Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar appropriated to them shall be applied to the support of any sectarian school; resolve that any child in the land may get a common school education, unmixed with atheistic, pagan or sectarian teachings; keep the church and state forever separate. Abraham Lincoln stated, "As long as God gives me a heart to feel, a brain to think, or a hand to execute my will, I will devote it against that power which has attempted to use the machinery of the courts to destroy the rights and character of an American citizen.
But there is a thing which is very certain; it is, that if the American people could learn what I know of the fierce hatred of the generality of the priests of Rome against our institutions, our schools, our most sacred rights, and our so dearly bought liberties, they would drive them away, tomorrow, from among us, or would shoot them as traitors. The history of the last thousand years tells us that wherever the Church of Rome is not a dagger to pierce the bosom of a free nation, she is a stone to her neck, and a ball to her feet, to paralyze her and prevent her advance in the ways of civilization, science, intelligence, happiness, and liberty.
I do not pretend to be a prophet. But though not a prophet, I see a very dark cloud on our horizon. And that dark cloud is coming from Rome. It is filled with tears of blood. It will rise and increase, till its flanks will be torn by a flash of lightening, followed by a fearful peal of thunder.
Then a cyclone such as the world has never seen, will pass over this country, spreading ruin and desolation from north to south. After it is over, there will be long days of peace and prosperity; for popery, with its Jesuits and merciless Inquisition, will have been forever swept away from our country. Neither I nor you, but our children, will see those things. Chiniquy, author of the book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. Brandt, it was published in the various papers that Lincoln was born a Catholic, baptized by a priest and therefore was to be considered a renegade and an apostate.
Although this was false, Mr. Chiniquy said to Lincoln at the time, "That report is your sentence of death. The book further records that Lincoln's murder was planned in the home of Mrs. Surratt, a Roman Catholic.
Booth, the murderer, was a Roman Catholic. Lloyd, who had the carbine that Booth wanted for "protection," was a Roman Catholic. Mudd, who set Booth's fractured leg, was a Roman Catholic. Garrett, in whose barn Booth tried to hide, was a Roman Catholic. The death of Lincoln was announced by Roman Catholics several hours before it occurred at St.
Joseph, Minnesota, forty miles from a railroad and eighty miles from the nearest telegraph station. This fact is established in history. After being apprehended, Booth said, "I can never repent. God made me the instrument of his punishment. Prominent government officials said, "We have not the least doubt but that the Jesuits were at the bottom of the great iniquity. Chiniquy, Colonel Edwin A.
Sherman and General Harris, friends of Lincoln, investigated the matter and unequivocally affirmed that Rome was the instigator of Lincoln's assassination. I realize that I have dwelt at considerable length on this matter of the separation of church and state but I consider it most vital and I am persuaded that the great principle involved is, in this great nation of ours, being subjected to constant and insidious attack.
As for our public schools, I salute them as the bulwark of democracy. The Catholic Church charges that our public schools are Godless and inept. I answer, by their fruits you shall know them. Contrast the United States, the land of freedom and great achievement, with her public school system and high literacy standard with those countries burdened with Catholic education: benighted Spain and Portugal, backward Ireland, prostrate Italy, debauched France and the groping countries of South America.
There you have sufficient answer! If we would maintain democracy as we know it, let us maintain our public school system as it is! Now let us proceed with our consideration of Romanist doctrine and thus continue to establish the disregard for God's Word as reflected therein, and thereby further set forth why I left the Catholic Church. The introduction of "Holy Water" could easily have been the first departure from simple New Testament teaching.
Where, pray tell me, do you read in the gospel of Christ of Holy Water? Peter tells us that God has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness II Peter , but God has not given to us anything that pertains to Holy Water. There-fore Holy Water is no part of life or Godliness. Furthermore, let it be constantly borne in mind that, as already established, the revelation of God as it concerns our duty to Him is fixed, final and complete. As Jude would say, it has been "once delivered unto the saints. So a little Holy Water becomes a violation of a great principle.
And then there is the Latin Mass. Wherever you go upon the earth in this country, Canada, England, France, Germany, the countries of South America or Africa or Asia the mass is said in Latin, a dead language. Yet the apostle Paul declared, "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding.
I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say 'Amen' at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue" I Corinthians Let the Roman Catholic Church contend that the world-wide Latin mass is a mark of her universality and a sign of her cohesion; the truth remains that it is a flat violation of the teaching of the apostle Paul which has just been given.
Thus, again, the Catholic Church disregards the Word of God. Let us now take a look at the Sacrament of Penance. According to this point of Catholic doctrine, which is everywhere embraced, acknowledged and studied by Catholics, when men sin they incur the wrath of God and when they repent and receive the Sacrament of Absolution, they are forgiven but not altogether! The Council of Trent sets forth: "If any man shall say that the whole penalty is always remitted by God, together with the guilt, and that the only satisfaction of penitents is faith whereby they embrace that Christ has made satisfaction for them: let him be accursed.
Now, by the Sacrament of Penance, the eternal punishment is remitted, but the temporal punishment remains due. Man must do something to appease the wrath of God regarding the temporal punishment. The priest determines what is sufficient to satisfy God in this matter. In Peter Dens' Theology, a long list of suggested works of satisfaction practiced in the Romanist Church are given: fasting, rising earlier, enduring cold, praying, reciting litanies, reading the penitential psalms, hearing masses, visiting churches, wearing sackcloth, making gift of food, clothes, money and so on.
Let us see the gross offense to God's Word in this. First, it makes God's forgiveness incomplete. But hear the Lord in the matter: "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool" Isaiah Second, it makes Christ only a partial Savior the ministry of the priest is altogether essential; he must determine what more is necessary in order to satisfy God. But we read of Christ: "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make inter-cession for them" Hebrews Get it, my friends!
Christ is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him! Finally, as already stated, it makes the priest an absolutely necessary mediator and in this we see the design of the Catholic Church to bind the people to herself through her system of priests and sacraments which they alone can administer. There is one mediator; that mediator is Jesus Christ and that eliminates the Catholic priest from God's order. Let us now have a look at the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. The first council that mentions the subject of purgatory is the Council of Florence in A.
It decreed, "If any true penitents shall depart this life in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for faults of commission and omission, their souls are purified after death, by the pains of purgatory. The answer: To purgatory, till they have made full satisfaction for them, and then to heaven. What is purgatory? The answer: A place of punish-ment in the other life where souls suffer for a time, before they can go to heaven.
As to the nature of the punishment, Peter Dens states that it is two-fold: one of loss and one of sense. The punishment of loss is merely a delay of the beatific confession and the punishment of sense in purgatory is caused by material fire. Bellarmine maintains that the punishments of purgatory are more severe, grievous and bitter than the greatest punishments of this world. Damien, along with others, teaches the inhabitants of purgatory pass rapidly and painfully in baths ranging from cool to tepid, from torrid to frigid, from freezing to boiling.
Thurcal tells us that, among other things, the sufferers have to pass over a bridge studded with sharp nails with points upturned; the souls have to walk barefoot on this rough road and many ease their feet by using their hands; others roll with the whole body on the perforating nails until, at last, bloodily pierced, they complete their way over the painful course. Thus, in due course, they escape to heaven. Such are some of the visions of purgatory depicted by some of the Romanist theological writers.
Such tales are as silly as pagan mythology. In fact, Plato, Homer and Virgil taught the same doctrine. Protestants of today have so exposed these absurd notions that Roman Catholics are sometimes hesi-tant to acknowledge such a portrayal of purgatory. Yet the time was when the pope, the cardinals and their coworkers upheld such rigidly and to deny it was a mark of heresy. Their modern writers still maintain the punishment is extremely severe and is caused by material fire. As to where purgatory is, Catholic authors cannot decide. Gregory the Great thought it to be in the earth's center and he considered the eruptions of Vesuvius and Aetna as flames arising from it.
Bellarmine thought purgatory between heaven and earth with the demons of the air.
Damien with others concluded it might be in some flaming cavern or icy stream. The truth is, of course, that there is no such place. It is but the figment of Catholicism and is used to fatten her purse and bind the people to the ministry of her priests as we shall see in our consideration of indulgences, invented to release the sufferers from the imagined purgatory and transport them to paradise. Beloved, the Word of God very plainly teaches that our eternal destiny is sealed at the time of our physical death.
Paul declares, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" II Corinthians We shall be judged by what we do in the body and James sets forth that "the body without the spirit is dead" James Hence, when we die in the body our eternal judgment and destiny are sealed! This, of course, is absolutely fatal to the theory of purgatory, a supposed place of further cleansing.
Listen to Jesus, whose native home is the other world, as He gives us the account of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abra-ham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
After death, there is a great gulf fixed between them which cannot be crossed, and mark it! Remember, too, the account reads, ". And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes. So, we see that after death there is a great gulf fixed that cannot be crossed. What purpose, then, can purgatory serve? It is not strange that Catholicism rejects the Bible; to accept the Bible would be to destroy Catholicism.
As soon as the Catholic Church had invented purgatory, she devised means of affording a fictitious key, namely indulgences, to unlock the door of that fictitious prison called purgatory. The Catholic Church tells us that "an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment of our sins, which the Church grants us outside the sacrament of penance. Can indulgences be made use of to the souls in purgatory?
Yes, all indulgences which the Pope has indicated for that purpose. An indulgence may be received by a man before he enters purgatory and so be happy. Or, an individual might operate retroactively in regard to certain works of alms, prayers and the like performed by someone for another. For example, a Catholic with sympathy for his relatives in purgatory might obtain an indulgence in the form of commutation of their sentence in that fiery region, securing in such a case an indulgence of a certain number of days or years. According to a Catholic book of devotion, this brief petition, "Sweet heart of Mary, save me!
From the infallibly authorized Book of the Scapular, we take note that: To those who wear the scapular during life, Mary makes this promise; "I, their glorious mother, on the Saturday after death, will descend to purgatory and deliver those whom I shall find there, and take them up to the holy mountain of eternal life. Indulgences have been used to prompt crusaders to rise up against those who have opposed Catholicism; they have been used to purchase the remission of sins and to deliver souls from purgatory.
Chiniquy, in chapter twenty-five of his book Fifty Years in Rome, states that more than ten million dollars are expended annually in North America to help souls out of purgatory. At the time of writing, he stated that masses were said in Canada at twenty-five cents each and in many parts of United States at one dollar each, and that it was, therefore, a common practice for the bishops in the United States to have masses said in Canada for the departed souls and thereby make seventy-five cents on each mass. For many years it was a common practice for the bishops of Canada to send to Paris to have masses said at five cents each by the poorer priests there, thus saving twenty cents on each mass they were paid to celebrate.
When Martin Luther was serving as a priest in Whittenberg, Germany, Johan Tetzel, a Dominican priest, came through that region selling indulgences and telling the people that if they would buy those indulgences and couple with them severe penance, they would have the remission of their sins. That seems to be the incident that prompted Luther to put his ninety-five objections to the Catholic Church on the door of the church building and then defy the whole Catholic hierarchy, pope included, to debate the merit of his objections.
I might add that the money thus obtained by Tetzel was going to complete the building of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. There was no scruple about this business of selling indulgences. Tetzel went so far as to proclaim that he had saved more souls from hell by his indulgences than the apostle Peter had converted to Christianity by his preaching. If that is not making merchandise of religion, pray tell me, what is it? Coming to a knowledge of the truth and being honest with myself, I could not stay in the Catholic Church.
That is why I left. The Catholic Church practices what she terms "extreme unction. It [extreme unction] in-creases sanctifying grace; it remits venial sins, and those mortal sins which a sick person repents of; it strengthens the soul in its sufferings and temptations; it often relieves the pains of sick persons, and sometimes restores him to health. We should receive extreme unction when we are in danger of death from sickness.
Not only is there no mention whatever of such a practice in God's Word, but for the first eleven hundred years of this Christian era there is no record of its ever being practiced among the people of earth. In the Converted Catholic Magazine of several months ago, there was an article, if I mistake not, having to do with the grave misgivings on the one hand or the fears on the other of Catholic youth engaged in World War II, who on the eve of actual combat reflected on the impossibility of Catholic chaplains being everywhere present to administer extreme unction.
Protestant youth understand that there is one mediator, Jesus Christ, and that He is truly omnipresent and, hence, they are not concerned about the feigned mediation of one who, like themselves, has feet of clay. The Roman Catholic Church practices and thus teaches, the use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship. Everyone who is a member of a religious body using mechanical instruments of music in its worship has no higher authority for the use of the same than the Romanist Church.
The New Testament teaches us to make melody in our hearts Ephesians with the fruit of our lips Hebrews It further teaches us that this melody, our singing, is to be with the spirit and the under-standing I Corinthians Can an insensate, mechanical instrument of music qualify? You may read your New Testament very, very carefully and you will not find the remotest hint of authority for the use of them. What does that mean? It means that whoever practices it in the worship goes beyond the authority of Christ and John states that he "does not have God" II John 9.
Of course, instrumental music is not wrong in itself; if that were true, it would be wrong anywhere at anytime.
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But remember this one thing, it is wrong to introduce it into what is professed to be Christian worship when God has not commanded us to do so. We cannot infringe on the silence of the scriptures. And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north.
Salvation from the Perspective of the Early Church Fathers
I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High. But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit. The Church affirms that Satan was once a good angel and that he and many other angels freely chose to reject God. Their choice was final and definite.
Satan has no chance of repentance. This is because angels were given an extraordinary intellect, not clouded in any way. So Lucifer knew exactly what he was doing when he chose to rebel against God and he knew all the implications of it. This rebellion was accomplished at the beginning of time , shortly after the creation of the angels, before the creation of men.
This can be deduced simply by the fact that Satan was already present at the Garden of Eden. Traditionally speaking, all of the angels in the world were created at one instance at the very beginning of creation. Book 11, Chapter 9, emphasis added.