Since we are right on the heals of a new pope, it would be a good time to consider the teachings of Roman Catholicsm. How did this church originate? In the early church, several bishops took up prominent seats in large cities such as Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica and Rome. The Roman leadership became stronger and eventually dominated as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Interestingly, when the Babylonian Empire crumbled, the priests of their nation went to Persia. When Alexander the Great overcame the Persians several centuries later, many of the priests from these two previous empires went to Rome. Hence one can observe the mysterious blend and belief system incorporated into the Catholic Church to this very day. It is a blend of the ancient Babylonian priestcraft, ancient Judaism, church tradition, and the Bible. On the other hand, in the Protestant Church the teachings come primarily from the Bible, and our differences are usually because of our respective interpretations of it. Catholic teachings that are contrary to the Bible, gradually infiltrated the church throughout the Middle Ages. Their watered down, unbiblical doctrine was not a blow out, but a slow leak. Their choke hold was so strong in Europe, that to speak or do anything contrary to the Roman Church often resulted in death. God raised up two firebrands who countered the dominance of popery during this time. One was Martin Luther who nailed his ninety five thesis on the church door in Wittenburg and the rest is history. The other was a political adversary and an immoral man himself, nonetheless, God still used him: Henry the Eighth of England threw off any kind of submission to the pope so he could divorce and remarry. Although Henry himself was guilty of running off, and even killing his wives who produced no heir, the Lord worked through him in order to introduce Protestantism to the British Isles. Other prominent Biblical theologians in Europe soon to follow were Hus, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, Wycliffe, etc., etc. As mentioned, many of the bizarre beliefs of Catholicism can be easily traced to the priests from Babylon. The best comprehensive classic work that exhausts this subject is Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons.” May we examine just a few of the unbiblical teachings of the Catholic Church:
1)The Protestant Church has pastors, deacons and elders, all who are found in the Bible. The Catholic Church has priests, cardinals, popes, monks and nuns, none of whom are scriptural. The Old Testament priest, of course, is replaced by Jesus Christ, who is our Great High Priest.
2)We view Mary as a beautiful and pure woman who God enabled to carry the Messiah in her womb, conceived through the Holy Spirit. Mary was a sinner like all of us, yet she was very pleasing to God. The Catholic Church hails Mary, prays to Mary and worships Mary, even calling her “the mother of God.” They even claim she was without sin! This form of worship goes back to the Babylonian deity Semiramis, Nimrod’s wife/mother. Various other false religions had different names for the same false goddess: Venus, Diana, Aphrodite, Isis, etc., etc. The ancient title given to this pagan theology from which the worship of Mary originated is “The Queen Of Heaven.” So one can easily see where Maryolatry commenced and progressed from.
3)Catholics are taught to address their priests as “Father,” even though Jesus instructed us to call no man father except for the Father who is it heaven.
4)The pope can speak “Ex Cathedra,” meaning his words are even above Bible canon and inspired by God Himself! Yes, they can take the place of and even supercede the scriptures. Protestants believe that the Bible is inspired, but NOT the words of ANY fallen man. What does the Bible say? “Let God be true and every man a liar.”
5)The Catholics teach the so called Seven Saving Sacraments, none of which save. They attempt to make their church the institution of salvation, rather than faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Catholicism is all about ritual, priestcraft and sacraments. The true church is all about Jesus Christ and His atoning blood— John 3:16, 36; 14:6; Acts 4:12.
6)The homilies were read in Latin for centuries so that no one could understand them. If anyone was in possession of a copy of the Word of God, they could be executed! This is but a short thumb nail sketch of some the false teachings of Catholicism. The pattern continues throughout all of their often bizarre and unbiblical dogma.
Having said all of this, it is important to note the tremendous value of the people from the Catholic Church. If I was brought up within such a false religious system, I too would be taught that it is true. I have heard countless times, that Catholics who have left the Catholic Church and joined up with a Christ exalting and Bible based church that is true to the Word, make the strongest of believers! We have had numerous ex Catholics come through our vineyard and I have found this to be true. Praise God for His truth which is found in the written Word the Bible, and in the living Word His Son.
To Him be the glory, Pastor Steve