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Roman Catholicism
"Just Another Expression of Christianity"?

A Mystery Solved

Edited and expanded extracts from the book by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald,
Alpha - the Unofficial Guide: World, (2003), Part Two, Chapter 11


Roman Catholicism: Index of Articles

 

 

Introduction

In our various articles on Rome we examine some of the main elements of the Roman Catholic religion.  We show that, while many of them contradict the Word of God, they adhere very closely to the beliefs and practices of the false and pagan Babylonian religion condemned so often throughout the Scriptures.

 

Babylon

There are many other Babylonian features of the 'faith' of Roman Catholicism such as tonsures [1], relics, the crook or crosier, stigmata, candles and incense [2], vestments [3], scapulars, halos and other sun-based designs [4], kissing one's own hand, monasticism and nunneries [5], skullcaps [6], Romish mitres (which, when viewed side-on, represent fish-heads after the Babylonian fish god, Dagon), pilgrimages, processions and other celebratory public services [7], prayers for the dead... the list seems almost endless.

Recording in his diary the years of training for Roman priesthood, Charles Chiniquy wrote:

"The further we advanced in the study of pagan antiquity, the more we were forced to believe that our religion, instead of being born at the foot of Calvary, was only a pale and awkward imitation of Paganism" [8].

Consider this statement in the light of some scriptures:

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (Galatians 4:9-11).

"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness" (1 Timothy 4:6-7).

As we touched on here, statues and all other religious images - e.g. sculptures, icons [9], and crucifixes [10] - are banned from use by the New Testament Church but are a feature of Babylonian faiths.  It must be said that most Catholics, including most of Rome's 'clergy' have absolutely no idea of these things.  Just as in the Babylonian Mysteries and the esoteric New Age Movement, only those people in the highest echelons of the Catholic religions are taught the true - and sinister - significance of the various rituals and superstitions employed by Rome.  These beliefs and practices, like the ceremonies and rules of Freemasonry (the real meanings of which are likewise kept from lower-level 'initiates'), are pagan - despite the Judeo-Christian window dressing.  The book by Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, listed on our Recommended Materials page, provides fulsome proof of all this [11].

In the sixth century BC the prophet Daniel interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar involving four empires following one another (see the second chapter of the book of Daniel).  Historically, this has indeed happened.  The first empire was the Babylonian, the second the Medo-Persian, the third the Grecian, and the fourth the Roman:

"And the fourth Kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise" (Daniel 2:40).

That description was certainly true of the mighty and vicious Roman Empire.  Note that Rome was likened to iron.  Described in the next verse was a fifth power to follow, also involving the iron of Rome:

"And whereas thou sawest ... iron, ... there shall be in it [i.e. in this final empire] of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron..." (Daniel 2:41).

Sure enough, even after the fall of the pagan Roman Empire, Rome has continued to wield huge power - whether politically or spiritually or both.  The subsequent verses show that the Lord, when He returns, will descend on this fifth empire and will personally destroy it.  See also Jeremiah chapters 50-51 and Revelation chapters 17-18.

 

The Woman

In the book of Revelation the spiritual part of this empire is described.  Just as the true church is likened in Scripture to a pure Bride, so the false church is likened to a woman, but this time to an harlot:

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth ... And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:9,18).

So, a great city - a city which has been great since Christ's day, and one which sits on seven mountains (also translated 'hills' in Luke 23:30).  Only Rome fits this description so accurately - not least because she is the only city in classical literature to be called the "city on seven hills".  (See the introduction to The Two Babylons for more details.)  The book of Revelation tells us of this foul woman:

"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6).

It is a fact of history that Rome has caused more Bible-believing Christians to be martyred than has any other organization.  It is ironic that it was Roman soldiers, answering to their King the Pontifex Maximus, who crucified Christ, and it has been soldiers of the Roman church, answering to their king the Pontifex Maximus, who have killed to many of Christ's followers since.  (It will come as no surprise that many Romish Bible versions do what they can to obscure the identity of the woman - e.g. by removing the word "martyrs" in the above verse.  For fuller details of Rome's unimaginably brutal acts toward the saints 'in the name of Christ' throughout the centuries since, see Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Note too, that Rome's clergy and choirs are clothed in the colours of purple and scarlet, and that the mitres and ceremonial outfits of the 'Pope' and his cardinals and bishops are ornately and expensively decorated.  Consider than, this description of the false church:

"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls" (Revelation 17:4a).

In Isaiah 14:4, Babylon is described as "the golden city".  Does not this description line up with Rome whose palace and buildings are so decked?  We have seen how Rome is spiritually akin to Babylon.  Now we see that even the outward appearance is comparable.  To prove that this woman, whom we have identified as Rome, is indeed spiritual Babylon we learn:

"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT" (Revelation 17:5a).

To conclude, Scripture prophesied the power of Rome and identified her as as the head of the false church; the spiritual version of Babylon.  Her religion, like that of the New Age movement, is simply the Babylonian religion in different garb.  As such, her God is the false god of Babylon, not the God of Israel.  More evidence, from both the Bible, and elsewhere, is available from the books, DVDs etc, in the Babylon: Mystery Religion section of our Recommended Materials page.

 

Captivating

Rome is very clever.  Despite her obvious heresies, she wears a mask of piety to hide the truth about them.  The problem with this constant show of apparent purity is that it does not assuage the deep guilt felt by people who do not have the spirit of Christ, who are therefore not regenerate, and who know full well that their lives do not match up to the holy talk and holy rituals of their church.  Rome thus works hard to numb that nagging doubt about the false gospel she preaches, and that uneasy feeling that the true God is not really present.

To take a congregation's mind off the confusing, unbiblical, Godless nature of its meetings, Rome simply puts on an extravagant show with exquisite buildings [12] and great processions and gorgeous outfits and solemn, convoluted ceremonies and rituals.

The early Church had none of the physical frills and adornments to be found in the Roman Catholic Church.  Hence Rome has to refer to the early Church (in a rather patronizing way), as the 'primitive' Church...

"[T]he primitive church [13] allowed many things to pass unheeded, which, after Christianity had grown stronger, and when religion was increasing, were corrected by subtle examination..." ['Pope' Gregory VII] [14].

"In the Primitive Church everything was done in a simpler and grosser way than in the modern Church ... [in which] all things are done more worthily ... [T]he apostles ... omitted what the modern church has fulfilled" [15].

Yet it was this 'Primitive' Church that turned the world upside-down (and without needing to resort to violence or extortion).  It certainly wasn't spiritually primitive.  It was chronologically closest to the Lord Jesus and His teachings.  It witnessed Christ's death and resurrection, and it experienced Pentecost firsthand.  It had the "simplicity that is in Christ", and it lived "in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom" - and it was effective...

It was single-minded about, and devoted to, the Word of God - and thus to loving the Lord and each believer (Colossians 1:2-9).  Hence it had God's blessing so it needed nothing else.  Its power was in its purity.  Many in it were even able to cope with horrendous persecution - particularly that which came from the Roman Emperors.

What sort of 'development' is it that goes from the apostles' "simpler and grosser" Church in the first century, which produced such a huge spiritual awakening, to the "more worthy" Church of Roman Catholicism two thousand years later that has used every sin imaginable in order to further its worldly empire?  There is no scripture that says we should not be like the first century church; in fact we should seek to emulate the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia who (though materially poor) were spiritually rich (Revelation chapters 2-3).  They held fast to the Word, were faithful in persecution (even unto death), and were loved by our Lord.

 

Endnotes

[1]  Tonsures are an obvious violation of Leviticus 19:27.  Used by Romanists for hundreds of years, this haircut originated "as the practice of pagan religious cults of ancient times who did so honouring one of their gods" (James Burton Coffman, Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments), quoted in Terry Watkins, Tattoos and the Bible, http://www.av1611.org/tattoos/bible.html as at 16 March 2013.

[2]  Biblical Judaism obviously required candles and incense too, but the way they are used by Rome shows that their derivation is from Babylon rather than the Old Testament.  No Christian service should use them.  'Candlemass', for example, derives from Babylon.

[3]  Compare with Luke 20:46. 

[4]  Babylon saw its primary god as the sun god, hence Rome's 'monstrances' (referred to here) are made to look like the sun.  Halos added to images of Christ have allowed generations of pagans to bow to this design while making gullible Romanists think they are reverencing Christ rather than the sun device behind.  The 'Celtic cross' is a cross with a sun device behind it and serves the same purpose.

[5]  It is widely believed that monks from a genuine part of the true church despite scriptures like Jude 1:19a and 1 Corinthians 5:10b.

[6]  When used by men during public prayer, as they are, skullcaps patently contravene 1 Corinthians 11:4 & 7.

[7]  The gathering together of groups of churches for a 'celebration' are very popular, but can only be supported on the basis of symbolic 'Old Testament' law, not on New Testament principles.

[8]  Charles Chiniquy, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, (Protestant Truth Society, 1885), p48.

[9]  Some crafts were certainly part of the Old Testament arrangements, but they were physical prefigures of spiritual truths revealed in the New Testament.  (All aspects of the Temple design etc pointed to Christ who has fulfilled them, and any 'images' were specifically commanded by God and kept only to the holiest parts of the Temple - well away from the eyes of the people.  The Temple is now gone, as are the related items.)  Images of God have always been banned in Scripture, but all religious 'designs' are banned fro the Church (Deuteronomy 16:22; 2 Kings 23:24, etc.).

[10]  The crucifix is a model of a cross with a graven image of the Lord Jesus still hanging from it.  Rome is known to most people as a home for the crucifix.  We are certainly to meditate on what Christ did for us on the cross - indeed, how can we fail to worship Him for the enormity of that sacrifice for us - but He did not stay there, which the graven image of the crucifix suggests; He rose from the dead, and we must not be tempted to gaze upon or grasp hold of or revere in any way whatsoever a crucifix (or even an empty cross, which symbolises the resurrection).  The Holy Spirit will always point us to the risen Lord Jesus now seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven (see Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3 and 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; etc.).

[11]  Rome even uses the term 'Mystagogy' - meaning 'to initiate into the Mysteries'.  Compare this with the "simplicity that is in Christ" of which Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 11:3.  Although Paul did speak of Christian 'Mysteries', he was primarily referring to those things which were mysteries before Christ's incarnation and which are now revealed.  They 'Mystery' that Rome controls is what Paul referred to as the "Mystery of Iniquity" (2 Thessalonians 2:7).  Rome uses the word 'Mystagogy' to help overcome the fact that her teachings are thoroughly confusing and wildly contradictory (whereas the God of the Bible is not the author of confusion - 1 Corinthians 14:33).

[12]  The New Testament church did not erect special buildings - let alone showy and expensive ones.  Creation already shows God's glory far better than any man-made building could.  These unbiblical edifices are actually built to the glory of organizations like Rome - and to 'cow' the flock into submission to them.

[13]  Obviously, the word "primitive" can simply mean "original", but it is usually interpreted as meaning immature or underdeveloped (which is the meaning Rome forces on it).  For clarity it is perhaps best to use phrases such as "the early church" or "the Acts church" or "the First Century church" or "the New Testament church".  

[14]  Quoted in Margaret Deanesly, The Lollard Bible, (Cambridge University press, 1920), p24.

[15]  The response of the Catholic theologians at the Council of Constance (1414-18) to Hussite pleas for the laity to receive communion in 'both kinds', in H. Kaminksy, A History of the Hussite Revolution, (California University Press, 1967), p117.

 

Elizabeth McDonald
March 2013

 

 

 

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