Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who Needs the Church?

A Catholic Attack on the Authority of the Bible by Msgr. Richard M. McGuiness and Rev. John A. Quill printed by World Apostolate of Fatima

Biblical Response by Dr. Arthur Maricle, Pastor

First Enemy Attack - Many Protestants believe that the sole rule of faith is the Scripture. God's Word, the Bible, is enough for them, since they claim the Bible gave rise to the Church. Therefore they say the Church has no real authority to interpret the Bible. For these people, each individual Christian has a right to interpret the Bible. How do Catholics respond?

The "Scripture alone" and private interpretation doctrines originated with Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. They were unknown for over 1500 years. Before Luther, all Christians believed that the Old Testament gradually grew out of the living Tradition of the Jewish Church as taught by the patriarchs and prophets, and that the New Testament grew out of the living Tradition of the Catholic Church, as contained in the preaching of the Apostles. Before Luther, all believed that the pope and the bishops, the successors of the Apostles (says who?), had, from Christ, the authority to interpret the Scripture authentically.

Biblical Counterattack - "The Church" that these men refer to bears no resemblance to the church founded by Jesus Christ. Their "Church" was not founded by Jesus Christ, as they boldly misrepresent to the world. Their man-made religion was formed in A.D. 325 as a matter of political expediency by the hell-bound Roman emperor, Constantine. It was immediately flooded with pagans who to maintain political favor joined the emperor's new religion through baptism, without repentance and salvation (which comes only through faith in Jesus Christ -- Acts 16:30-31). Whole legions of unregenerate Roman soldiers were marched past Roman priests, who sprinkled them with "holy water" (try to find holy water in the Bible!) and proclaimed them to be Christians.

The heathen who comprised the charter members of this "Church" brought with them their old gods and goddesses. Rome merely absorbed these deities, together with many of their ungodly forms of worship (confession to a priest, human sacrifice -- preserved in Catholicism through the Mass, idols used as "aids to worship", celibacy of the priesthood, etc. and etc.), reassuring the idolatrous masses that their familiar gods and goddesses had been recast in the roles of the Father, Son, Mary, Peter and the original Apostles, the other saints, etc.

Truly it may be said of Catholicism, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." {Titus 1:16} This is not to condemn individual Catholics, the vast majority of whom are unwitting participants in the perpetuation of history's most sinister orgainized blasphemy. while every soul is sinful and needs to be saved -- whether born into a Catholic home, an atheist home, or a Baptist home -- the poor Catholic must overcome a religious system and its attendant culture that saturate his mind with lies and superstition.

But does not Catholicism believe in and worship the same Jesus that we do? NO! "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [Note the complexity and formality inherent in Catholicism, and you will recognize immediately that compared to "the simplicity that is in Christ", it is an anti-Christ religion.] For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." {II Cor. 11:3-4}

Catholicism claims to have not only descended from the apostles, but to be heir of apostolic succession. Seeing her anti-Biblical excesses, one may rightly inquire, "WHOSE APOSTLES?" For indeed there were false apostles deceiving first century Christians, such as there are false apostles deceiving twentieth century Christians. And they who lack the internal reality of holiness may expertly array themselves in the external trappings of holiness to further confound their followers and their potential adversaries. Am I making all this up? Is this pure conjecture on my part? Oh, no. The Holy Spirit left us the warning through the Apostle Paul (who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter -- Romans 11:13). "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." {II Cor. 11:13-15}

The "Church" promoted in this ungodly pamphlet is best described in Revelation 17. It is said there to be "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters, With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." Her colors are purple and scarlet (the official colors of Catholicism), she is said to be "decked with gold and precious stones and pearls" (depicting Rome's incredible wealth), "having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (an apt illustration of the chalice used in the ultimate blasphemy of the mass), and "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (no religious institution can approach Catholicism for sheer blood-thirstiness -- responsible as it is for the slaughter of millions of Bible-believing Christians andother religious/political enemies -- especially the Jews). In verse 7, she is said to sit on 7 mountains; indeed, the city of Rome sits on seven hills.

The Romanism is a spectacular institution there is no question. John himself said, "And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." This worldly greatness only enhances the hypnotic effect she has on her followers and world leaders.

Even an unbiased secular history of Catholicism would reveal vast inconsistencies between itself and any list of spiritual ideals. The "Church", as she calls herself, is horribly fallible, vulnerable, and sinful. In contrast to this, God has given us a Book that is perfect -- by His own testimony, not by the deluded claims of immoral religious demagogues. "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." {Ps. 19:7}

While the church age will pass (speaking of the age of local churches instituted by God, not the bastardization of the word "church" as it is used by Catholic clerics), the Bible will stand forever. "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever." {Is. 40:8} Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away [including the Vatican and the Roman institution],but my words shall not pass away" {Matt. 24:35} "But the word of the Lord endureth forever." {I Pet. 1:25} This last reference was written by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter, whom Catholics falsely accuse of being the first pope (an office which is just one of a vast array of Catholic inventions).

While Roman dictates originate from the Vatican's ecclesiastical hierarchy, which itself is a puppet of Satan, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God. and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..." {II Tim. 3:16} "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." {II Pet. 1:21}

While Catholicism has provided the philosophical justification for multitudes of iniquities (the Inquisition, the brutalization and enslavement of the natives of the New World, the Holocaust, etc. and etc.), the Bible steers men away from sin. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." {Ps. 119:11}

While Catholicism was the cause of the Dark Ages (and it remains a truism even today that the country dominated by Rome is a backward country), the Bible brings light into the soul and society to which it is exposed. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." {Ps. 119:105} "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." {Ps. 119:130} "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." {Proverbs 6:23} It is no coincidence that the Renaissance and the Reformation were parallel historical phenomena. Although the Reformers did not move far enough from the pagan practices of Rome (retaining such despicable, anti-Biblical doctrines as infant baptism), the degree to which they moved toward the Bible and away from Rome was the degree to which their societies enjoyed the benefits of the "enlightenment".

The Catholic authors we are critiquing claim that "the 'Scripture alone' and private interpretation doctrines originated with Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. They were unknown for over fifteen years." This statement is true only to the degree that "Christianity" is limited to Roman Catholicism, which murders many Biblical doctrines and then denies to its members any access to the truth. Is it any wonder that Papist would be unaware that men can read, understand, and interpret the Bible for themselves? In the first century, long before Martin Luther was conceived, God informed His people that while pastors and teachers can help us understand and apply the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit dwelling within the born-again believer is the real teacher. "But ye [common believers in Jesus Christ] have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things...But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." {1 John 2:22, 27}

If Rome is to maintain its grip on millions of souls world-wide, it must keep them dependent upon the "Church". This will explain why in societies where Catholicism was once pre-dominant, it was a capital offense (worthy of death) to be found with a Bible in one's possession. In America, the great religious chameleon must be more subtle, and distribute pamphlets that will intimidate its followers into humble submission to the political machine that calls itself a "Church".

To excuse the gross liberties Catholicism takes with the Scriptures, it must rely on "Sacred Tradition" (which is, of course, a concept utterly foreign to God's Word). As we will see in the issues to follow, almost every reference in the Bible to tradition is negative, and rightly so. Tradition, when misapplied, becomes a deadly excuse to invalidate God's clear and direct commands. And what Satan cannot imitate, he will seek to invalidate.

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