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Why I Left The Catholic ChurchWritten by Moriel Administrator
by Pat Franklin
I wonder if I am the only person to have left the Catholic Church twice.Ã‚Â The first time was as a college student in America in 1964 when I chucked the whole thing overboard and became an agnostic liberal. The second time was many years later in England.Ã‚Â In 1981 we lived in the small town of Alton in Hampshire, and to my amazement, the Lord Jesus came into my life in a most wonderful way. I was changed overnight from being an anti-Christian liberal to being a Bible-believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.Ã‚Â People at the local evangelical free church had been praying for me, but since I hadÃ‚Â been raised as a Catholic, that was the church IÃ‚Â joined.
So, as a brand new, born again believer, bursting with love for the Lord Jesus, I started attending a Catholic church in 1981, at the age of 36.Ã‚Â I went to that church for about a year.Ã‚Â I wasÃ‚Â reading the King James Bible which Alan got when he left school, but I also bought a Catholic Jerusalem Bible (JB) and began reading that, following a Navigators’ Guide which took me through the Bible in a year.Ã‚Â So, in that first year of being a real Christian, I read through the whole Bible, using the Catholic JB version, reading all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments accepted by Catholics and Protestants as inspired scripture, plus some of the other books added in the Catholic Bible.Ã‚Â At the end of that time, I left the Catholic Church "“ because in the pages of their own Catholic Bible I came to realise that the church was riddled with false teaching and that the Lord Jesus wanted me to "Come out of her, my people."
Please examine the evidence with me, which you can read for yourself in the book which I now know is the living Word of God. Try to put your emotions on one side.Ã‚Â Imagine you are doing jury service in a court of law, and you must decide if what you hear is true.Ã‚Â Either the doctrines of the Catholic Church are true or they are not.Ã‚Â I have found that many of the doctrines are false, and I base this on the authority of the Bible.
The sacrifice of the mass
This is the heart of Catholicism.Ã‚Â When I was growing up in St Louis, Missouri, my three sisters, my brother and I had to go to mass every weekday with the rest of the kids at St Andrew’s, our Catholic school. We also had to go every Sunday and every "holy day of obligation" unless we wereÃ‚Â sick.Ã‚Â No exceptions or excuses.Ã‚Â You went to mass on Sunday and holy days or you went to hell; that is what we were taught. Each mass was considered a fresh sacrifice, at which Jesus was sacrificed over and over again in a "mystical" way.Ã‚Â We went again and again, over and over.
Then, as a new believer many years later in England, I read for myself what the Catholic Jerusalem Bible says about the Lord’s sacrifice in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews Chapters 9 and 10.
And he does not have to offer himself again and again"¦Chap 9:25
"¦or else he would have had to suffer over and over againÃ‚Â 9v26
"¦he has made his appearance once and for allÃ‚Â 9v26
"¦Christ too, offers himself only once"¦ 9v28
"¦the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.Ã‚Â Chap 10:10
By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying.Ã‚Â 10v14
In other words, the once-for-all-time sacrifice was accomplished at Calvary, the divine transaction was done, signed and sealed in Jesus’ blood, never to be repeated, let alone performed "mystically" millions of times in churches.Ã‚Â All we have to do is believe in the efficacy of that "once for all" sacrifice.Ã‚Â That’s it "“ just believe, but that would never do for the Catholic Church.Ã‚Â They need a ritual to keep priests performing in public and to keep that church audience turning up again and again, always hoping they are pleasing God.Ã‚Â They are not pleasing God.Ã‚Â He is most displeased, in fact.Ã‚Â He just wants you to believe in Jesus’ one and only sacrifice; then your sins will be completely forgiven, forever, with no need of any man calling himself a "priest".
Man has never liked God’s way. The trouble with God’s way is that it doesn’t leave any room for a powerful and expensive hierarchy to rule over us, claiming to be a special class of people mediating between God and us.Ã‚Â In fact, no one except the Lord Jesus occupies that position.Ã‚Â Only He can mediate.Ã‚Â The priestly class was done away with at the cross of Calvary.Ã‚Â It is finished!
Does this mean we never have to go to church?Ã‚Â No, certainly not.Ã‚Â It means do not go to mass; do not go to a false church which teaches false doctrine.Ã‚Â Find a good church which teaches the Bible every Sunday.Ã‚Â Read and study for yourself at home.Ã‚Â Pray for godly friends who will study the Bible with you.
The way we are saved.
We never talked about being "saved" in the Catholic Church.Ã‚Â We weren’t "saved"; we were Catholics.Ã‚Â We were always taught that only Catholics were going to heaven, though the church denies that now, since it claims to be "ecumenical".Ã‚Â We really had no interest in other denominations then (in the 50s and 60s), and certainly never tried to evangelise the people in them.Ã‚Â We lived in our own, quite populous, Catholic world and we really did not care that, according to our church, all those other people were headed for hell.Ã‚Â We gave money (not much) for "foreign missions" and "pagan babies", but did not care two hoots about the Lutherans next door or the Baptists down the street.
We believed that we became Catholics when we were baptised as babies, and that if we obeyed the 10 Commandments and the rules of the church, we would "“ hopefully - go to heaven, but no Catholic is ever completely sure.Ã‚Â So what did the Catholic’s own Jerusalem Bible reveal to me?Ã‚Â It is not church membership or baptism or keeping the Commandments that saves us, but simple faith in Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life. John 6:47 JB
Those precious words are from the lips of the Lord Jesus, the only One who really knew, and Who left a written record so that we too can know the way to heaven. Only believe in Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, as your Savior, and your place in heaven is assured. That is the clear message of scripture. Can it really be that easy, that simple?Ã‚Â Yes, it can and it is!Ã‚Â Your place in heaven can be reserved this very day, if you put your faith and trust completely in Jesus Christ. But that does not allow for a career system of priests, a massive hierarchy with a big cheese at the top. In fact, if you want a religious career structure, the gospel is a liability!
Christians who simply believe in the Lord Jesus and get together to sing hymns and study the Bible do not need thousands of priests performing ceremonies and battening off them.Ã‚Â There’s certainly no place for a great global power structure with its governmental center at the Vatican. There is no room in it for mansions occupied by bishops (who can humbly point to their "vow of poverty" as their servants carry in the next course) and an enormous palace for the pope.Ã‚Â These people go first class through the world.Ã‚Â They have nothing in common with the real family of God, which is simply a band of brothers and sisters who love the Lord Jesus.
I went to Catholic schools until the age of 18.Ã‚Â I was taught the Ten Commandments, but I didn’t realise that Rome had dared to cut out one of the commandments God gave Moses.Ã‚Â Never had I heard the Second Commandment until I read it in the Jerusalem Bible at the age of 36.Ã‚Â Here it is.
You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.Ã‚Â Exodus 20:4-5 JB
Our church was full of statues, and my favorite was the life size statue of Mary.Ã‚Â It was especially pretty in "her" month, May, when it was surrounded by flickering candles and bouquets of spring flowers. Then, years later, I read the real Ten Commandments in the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, proclaiming that we were to make no religious images of anything or anyone, and we were forbidden to bow (kneel) down to them.Ã‚Â This is a commandment written in stone by God Himself, a commandment so important that it was placed at No. 2, before stealing, lying, adultery and murder.
"But we don’t actually worship the statues; we just honor the person they represent," say the Catholic teachers.Ã‚Â Can you not hearÃ‚Â the whisper of the serpent in this?Ã‚Â God simply says don’t do it.Ã‚Â We weasel our way around what He clearly commands and do whatever we jolly well want.Ã‚Â It is not good enough.Ã‚Â It won’t wash, as they say in England.Ã‚Â This is serious stuff.Ã‚Â God does not share his glory with another.Ã‚Â Kneeling down to a statue and praying to the dead person it represents is nothing more than idolatry.Ã‚Â There is no other name for it.Ã‚Â That dead person cannot help you, however holy he or she was in life.Ã‚Â Only God can help you, and He is waiting for you to renounce all idolatry and come to Him, the everlasting Father.Ã‚Â He alone can help; He alone can save you.Ã‚Â Mary was a wonderful woman, but she can do nothing for you, except possibly pray for you to stop worshipping her and give your full allegiance to her Son!Ã‚Â Believe in Jesus as your Savior, not Mary.Ã‚Â Jesus is the one who saves us; His is the highest name under heaven.Ã‚Â By no other name can we be saved. He is the only Redeemer.Ã‚Â Mary is not co-redeemer or "mediatrix", as many Catholics claim.Ã‚Â That is sheer blasphemy.
Now is the time and today is the day to rid your home of every statue, "holy" picture, medal, relic, scapular or piece of religious jewellery, like the rings depicting Mary.Ã‚Â Get rid of the St Christophers and any other "˜holy’ paraphernalia, which is really superstitious rubbish.Ã‚Â None of it will do you the slightest good.Ã‚Â In fact it pollutes your home.Ã‚Â Make a clean sweep and throw yourself on God’s mercy, asking him to forgive you for breaking his Second Commandment.Ã‚Â From now on, pray only to God the Father in the Name of Jesus.Ã‚Â And please leave any church which has statues if you want to please God.
I like Peter so much.Ã‚Â I will greatly enjoy the day he stands up and denounces the Catholic Church and all its false teachings about him, and all the popes who have claimed to be in direct line from him.Ã‚Â After all, if the Queen of Sheba is going to stand up at the judgement and condemn the unbelieving Jews of the Lord’s day (Luke 11:31), I suspect Peter might well get his turn to speak.
How do I know that Peter was not the first pope?Ã‚Â For a start, he was not in charge.Ã‚Â When there was trouble in the early church over the question of accepting gentiles, the leaders met in Jerusalem to decide what to do.Ã‚Â Did Peter stand up as the first pope and make an "ex cathedra" infallible pronouncement?Ã‚Â No. He spoke his piece, but so did Paul and Barnabas, andÃ‚Â it was James who stood up with a final decision.Ã‚Â Peter was not even the leader of that group!Ã‚Â If anyone was a "pope", it was James!Ã‚Â (But in fact there was no pope, because Jesus did not set up His church like that at all.) Read it for yourself. Here is the Jerusalem Bible translation telling the outcome of that first council in Jerusalem:
I (James) rule, then, that instead of making things more difficult for pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.Ã‚Â Acts 15:19-20
If you are still wondering if maybe Peter was the big cheese, please look at 1 Peter 5:1-3.
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder "¦ (not a pope) v1
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock"¦ v3 (The pope, on the other hand, often has people kneeling or even prostrating themselves before him, or kissing some expensive ring on his finger.Ã‚Â Peter would have been horrified at this behavior.)
Reading through the Bible for the first time, I was shocked rigid to read that Peter was a married man.Ã‚Â Suddenly, I learned that he had a mother-in-law!Ã‚Â This seems to have escaped me through all my twelve years of Catholic schooling, even though the Catholics claim to read out every bit of the four gospels in the course of every year at mass.Ã‚Â I don’t know if they bury that mother-in-law scripture away on some obscure weekday when no one is likely to be at mass to hear it, but it came as a big surprise to me when I read these words in my Jerusalem Bible:
On leaving the synagogue, he (Jesus) went with James and John straight to the house of Simon (Peter) and Andrew.Ã‚Â Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever"¦ Mark 1:30 JB (my italics for emphasis)
So if Peter was married, why do priests and nuns have to take vows of celibacy?Ã‚Â I found the answer to that as well in the Catholics’ own Bible, the words of which condemn their own church:
The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times there will be some who will desert the faith and choose to listen to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from the devils; and the cause of this is the lies told by hypocrites whose consciences are branded as though with a red hot iron: they will say marriage is forbidden, and lay down rules about abstaining from foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth.Ã‚Â Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided grace is said for it"¦Ã‚Â 1 Timothy 4:1-4 JB (my italics for emphasis)
So there you have it.Ã‚Â Forbidding people to marry is a doctrine of devils, even in the Catholics’ own Bible!Ã‚Â Peter was married.Ã‚Â Paul wrote to Timothy that a demonic system would at some later stage come to power and it would forbid people to marry.
It is so clear.Ã‚Â If only Catholics would read their own Jerusalem Bible, it would open their eyes.Ã‚Â If any Catholics are still reading, I thank God for this, and hope that you will continue to the end of this chapter.
This demonic doctrine of forcing men to be celibate has led to terrible sexual crimes in the Catholic Church. Many of these have been exposed, with courageous men coming forward to testify against the priests who abused them when they were innocent young boys, but only in the freedom of America, and to a smaller extent in Britain and Ireland, has this evil been brought out into the light.Ã‚Â What about all of Catholic Europe?Ã‚Â What of Catholic South America?Ã‚Â I cannot believe that these crimes were limited to Britain and America.Ã‚Â What about Italy and even Rome itself?Ã‚Â Rome is bursting with Catholic clerics.Ã‚Â Are they all lily white?Ã‚Â Such is the stranglehold of the Catholic Church in other countries that men there probably do not dare come forward and tell the truth about abuse suffered by them as children.Ã‚Â The God-given freedom of America, now so weakened, is the only reason that truth has triumphed in at least some cases of sexual abuse of children by priests.Ã‚Â The Catholic hierarchy has always tried to suppress this, and today in countries where the church is pre-eminent, there is aÃ‚Â suspicious silence.
Another scripture which shows that Peter was not a "pope" is Galatians 2:11-21 where Paul argued with Peter over doctrine and delivered a public rebuke to him.Ã‚Â You mean Paul had the temerity to rebuke the first pope?Ã‚Â No, he rebuked Peter, who was a fallible man. Paul says that when Peter went to Antioch "I withstood him" to his face "because he was to be blamed".Ã‚Â Peter had been happy to eat with the gentile believers, until some Judaizers, legalistic Jews, arrived, at which point he stopped associating with the gentile Christians for fear of these men.
But surely Peter was "the rock" when Jesus said: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." (Matthew 16:18)Ã‚Â Jacob Prasch explains that the true meaning of this is that Peter was likened to a small rock or pebble, but Jesus is always the great rock.Ã‚Â Jesus was foreshadowed by the rock in the desert from which the miraculous water flowed to the Israelites.Ã‚Â He is the rock of our salvation.Ã‚Â He is the chief cornerstone.Ã‚Â He is the stone of stumbling, because so many have rejected Him.Ã‚Â Peter, on the other hand, was more of "a chip off the old block," and I don’t mean that irreverently.Ã‚Â We also are chips off that great rock.
Also, when the Lord Jesus made that remark about Peter being a rock, He had just asked his disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?"Ã‚Â It was Peter who had answered correctly: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."Ã‚Â That specific belief (that the Lord Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One, man and also God) is itself the rock, the foundation, on which the Lord Jesus builds His church.Ã‚Â Once we believe that truth, we are on that rock, the strong foundation of knowing Jesus as our Lord and our God.Ã‚Â Like the old hymn says:Ã‚Â "On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand."Ã‚Â There is much more that could be said on this, and I urge all readers to order Jacob Prasch’s audio tape on Matthew 16 from Moriel Ministries (on the web) or get his books from St Matthew Publishing, Gelbart Street, Cambridge, UK.
There are many other scriptures you can find on this subject.Ã‚Â Please look.Ã‚Â Peter was not a pope then, and there should be no pope now.Ã‚Â We are a priesthood of believers and the Lord Jesus is our great high priest. He is the head of His church.Ã‚Â No one stands in His shoes on this earth.Ã‚Â Anyone who claims to do that is an imposter. But we humans just love to put someone up there on a pedestal and gawp in awe at their great "holiness".Ã‚Â How ridiculous we are.Ã‚Â The ancient Israelites just loved their idols and we are no different.Ã‚Â We choose to give glory and honor to a man, when it belongs to God alone.Ã‚Â How I hate to see those adoring crowds standing outside the Vatican, cheering and weeping as the Pope comes out of his palace for a personal appearance and "blesses" them.Ã‚Â He is not God.Ã‚Â He cannot bless a crowd of strangers.Ã‚Â What an insult to our Savior.Ã‚Â Jesus warned us about people who live in palaces"¦
Eat a burger and go to hell
In the same passage quoted earlier (1 Timothy 4 1-4) we have another doctrine of devils "“ forbidding people to eat certain food.Ã‚Â When I was growing up, we as Catholics were forbidden to eat meat on Fridays.Ã‚Â It was a "mortal sin" to do so, a sin which would send us to hell, not just purgatory.Ã‚Â I remember earnest discussions of this in religion class, with teenagers asking the priest things like, did chicken count as meat?Ã‚Â Yes, it did.Ã‚Â We took it very seriously and believed what we were taught.Ã‚Â Never until I left the church did I eat meat on Friday.Ã‚Â Friday it was fish supper in our house, and tuna sandwiches for lunch.Ã‚Â No one ever pointed out the 1 Timothy scriptures, which say that all food is created by God and is acceptable to eat as long as we give Him thanks.Ã‚Â We did not know the Bible, so we blindly followed what the Catholic Church told us.
At some stage, the church did a U turn on this and suddenly it was OK to eat meat on Fridays.Ã‚Â So one week it would send you to hell to eat a burger on a Friday.Ã‚Â The next week the Pope decided it was OK, you wouldn’t go to hell after all.Ã‚Â Talk about losing your credibility!Ã‚Â How could anyone take the Catholic Church seriously after that?Ã‚Â Well, most Catholics did.Ã‚Â Deception is deceptive!Ã‚Â It is hard to see through it when you are in it; it is hard to leave a system which has snared your mind, your very soul, for a long time "“ especially when they threaten you with Hell fire if you leave!Ã‚Â Yes, it is hard to leave the false church, but not impossible!
Are you getting the picture?Ã‚Â We were fed a pack of lies.Ã‚Â God never told us not to eat meat on certain days; in fact He specifically said it was OK to eat anything on any day.Ã‚Â And He specifically put it in His Word that to forbid any food was a doctrine of devils. But we were dissuaded from reading the wonderful book that would have revealed the truth.
I admire Mary very much, but I no longer pray to her.Ã‚Â I no longer would kneel down in front of the pretty statue of her in St Andrew’s Church, which my family attended in St Louis.Ã‚Â And I have news for you, dear Catholics.Ã‚Â She would not want me to do that.Ã‚Â In fact, she would be horrified if she knew someone was praying to her, singing to her, making statues of her, kneeling down to those images, lighting candles to her "“ giving her the glory and honour that belongs to God alone. If she knew about all this, she would certainly be urging the Lord Jesus to get rid of those statues of her!
After I was converted in England, and while I was still attending a Catholic church there, I went back home to St Louis on vacation that year and met my youngest sister Carol, who was also a new convert to real Christianity.Ã‚Â The subject of Mary came up, and Carol snapped:Ã‚Â "Patsy, she was just a woman." Just a woman!Ã‚Â I half held my breath, waiting for lightning to strike.Ã‚Â It sounded blasphemous to me.Ã‚Â But it started me thinking.Ã‚Â Was she just a woman?Ã‚Â Wasn’t she, as the Catholics taught, the Mother of God?Ã‚Â What does the Bible (even the Catholic JB Bible) teach?
Now as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, "Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!"Ã‚Â But he replied, "Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!"Ã‚Â Luke 11 27-28 JB
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he (Jesus) said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.Ã‚Â Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother."Ã‚Â Matthew 12:49-50 JB
He was told, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you."Ã‚Â But he said in answer, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice."Ã‚Â Luke 8:21 JB
Now, does that sound like Jesus wants you to make a statue of His earthly mother (which He expressly forbids in the second commandment anyway)?Ã‚Â Does it sound like He wants you to pray to her or kneel down to her? Of course not.Ã‚Â MyÃ‚Â sister Carol was right; Mary was a normal woman.Ã‚Â I know I will love her when I meet her in heaven, because we have something wonderful in common (our love for the Lord Jesus). She is not some sort of goddess; I will not fall at her feet in worship.Ã‚Â She would be terribly distressed if anyone did such a forbidden thing. I know that she will be very glad and full of praise to God for all those of us who had the gumption to leave the Catholic system and to stop praying to her.Ã‚Â It is a serious and offensive thing to God if you pray to anyone but Him.Ã‚Â Jesus taught us to pray to His Father "“ not to His mother.Ã‚Â Wake up!Ã‚Â Mary is not going to reward you for praying to her; if she has any part to play at all in the judgement, she will be a witness against you.Ã‚Â Her soul magnifies the Lord "“ not herself!
But what about all the apparitions of Mary appearing to people in some parts of the world?Ã‚Â They are not the real Mary.Ã‚Â Jesus taught us in the parable of Lazarus, the beggar in paradise, and the rich man in hell, that no one can come back from the dead and communicate with the living.Ã‚Â No one "“ not even Mary.Ã‚Â She has died. She is in heaven with Jesus.Ã‚Â So whatever thing people are seeing, it is most definitely not Mary.Ã‚Â It is supernatural, yes, but it is not Mary, and it is not from God.Ã‚Â There is a bad supernatural, you know.Ã‚Â Satan comes as an "angel of light".Ã‚Â If an evil spirit appears to people, it is not going to take on the appearance of a gory corpse dripping blood, with red eyes full of hatred.Ã‚Â People would run screaming!Ã‚Â No, the demons are too smart for that. They are out to deceive us. Instead they appear like a beautiful woman and say that they are Mary, the mother of God.Ã‚Â That draws a huge crowd of gullible and adoring people.Ã‚Â In Ireland they had to build a special airport for all the pilgrims at a place called Knock after the phony "Mary" started appearing there.
Please read the chapter "Can we talk to the dead".Ã‚Â "No" is the simple answer.Ã‚Â Mary is dead.Ã‚Â We cannot communicate with her, nor she with us.Ã‚Â Even if the Catholic claim was correct, that she was "assumed" into heaven without ever dying, they still would be 100% wrong to pray to her or to kneel at her statues or to make pilgrimages to places she is said to be appearing.
As for her being the "mother of God", it is absurd.Ã‚Â God always existed; He did not need a mother. He is a spirit, not flesh and blood. Mary was honored to be the mother of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, when God became man.Ã‚Â But Catholic doctrine perverts this and makes Mary into a goddess, a female deity.Ã‚Â This is totally forbidden in the Bible.Ã‚Â The Catholic Church looks for its doctrines to its "holy fathers", the theologians of the past, whose teachings and traditions are set in stone by the Church of Rome.Ã‚Â The most famous of these, Augustine, wrote in his "Treatise on Faith and Creed" that "in respect of His (Jesus) being God, there was no mother for Him."
Mary is even honoured as the "Queen of Heaven".Ã‚Â If you read the words of Jeremiah the prophet, you will see that "Queen of Heaven" is the pagan title of an idol, a goddess worshipped by tribes in ancient times!Ã‚Â When Israel started worshipping the Queen of Heaven idol by offering it cakes, they were severely punished by God.
The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Jeremiah 7:18
Those people who are so respectful of the false Mary, the phony Mary of the visions and statues, would be mortified to meet the real Jewish Mary and hear what she has to say to them.Ã‚Â Do you think she would thank you for praying to her statue or making a pilgrimage to Lourdes?Ã‚Â Never in a million years.Ã‚Â I think she would say something like this:Ã‚Â "How could you allow yourself to be tricked into honoring me?Ã‚Â Why didn’t you read my Son’s book, so the scriptures could open your eyes?Ã‚Â Why did you try to turn me into a goddess, when the scriptures make it clear that I am simply a woman who needed a Savior - just like everyone else.Ã‚Â Why did you stay in a church with statues, when my Son made it plain that they are forbidden?"
For a thorough examination of the apparitions of Mary and other paranormal activity, get Dave Hunt’s video "Messages from Heaven", ISBN 1-57341-119-1 from NPN Videos.
In my old Catholic church we held "novenas" to Mary, evening services which went on for several nights and for which we thought we gained some sort of "indulgence" "“ time off burning in "purgatory" for our sins.Ã‚Â The main song at these services went like this:Ã‚Â "Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us, pray for us.Ã‚Â Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The whole song is blasphemous, though the Catholics sing it in complete ignorance. Mary was not conceived without sin; we should not be asking her to pray for us; and we do not have "recourse" to her "“ she is not our Redeemer.Ã‚Â She herself said:
"My spirit exults in God my savior."Ã‚Â Luke 1:47 JB
She needed a savior too!Ã‚Â She was born into the sinful race of Adam, just like you and me; she was not "conceived without sin".Ã‚Â Only the Lord Jesus was conceived without sin, the perfect man.Ã‚Â Also, Mary went to the temple with Joseph and offered two turtle doves for her "purification" after the birth of Jesus.Ã‚Â Like everyone else, she was under the Mosaic Law and needed to make sacrifices to God because she too belonged to Adam’s sinful race, just like you and me.
Also, Mary was not a lifelong virgin.Ã‚Â That would have been contrary to God’s revealed will for married people, which is that their bodies belong to each other.Ã‚Â In fact, I believe that if Mary had never had sexual intercourse with Joseph, it would have been detestable to God.Ã‚Â He makes it clear throughout the Bible that marriage is honorable and for Mary and Joseph, both healthy, normal people, to have lived celibate lives as man and wife would have been downright weird.Ã‚Â Instead, they lived a normal married life, but it is clear that Joseph waited until after the birth of Jesus to have marital relations with Mary.Ã‚Â How do we know this?
"¦When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together (had sexual relations)"¦ Matthew 1:18 AVÃ‚Â The Jerusalem Bible changes this to "before they came to live together."
Then Joseph"¦took unto him his wife: And knew her not (had no sexual relations with her) till she had brought forth her firstborn son"¦Matthew 1:24,25Ã‚Â The JB changes this to ""¦he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son"¦"
Furthermore, Joseph and Mary went on to have a large family, giving Jesus four half brothers and at least two half sisters. We know this because when Jesus went to preach in his hometown of Nazareth, the people were scornful, saying:
This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon?Ã‚Â His sisters, too, are they not here with us?Ã‚Â Mark 6:3 JB
In other words, they were an absolutely normal, ordinary family, apart from the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, born when Mary was still a virgin.Ã‚Â The Catholic theologians get round this last scripture by saying that these named people were cousins, not half brothers and sisters, but this is just another fiction to prop up their false view of Mary as some sort of goddess instead of a normal woman.Ã‚Â Even in their own Catholic Bible, they translate the Greek original text as "brother" and "sisters", not "cousins".
Mary had a big family, but that would make her too normal, and the Catholics want a goddess.Ã‚Â This refusal to accept that Mary had a normal sex life, and the implication that she was too pure and holy to have sexual relations with her husband, has confused and damaged the lives of many Catholic women, who fear that sexual intercourse, even in marriage, is a "dirty" thing.
The Catholics have a doctrine which every Catholic must accept "“ the doctrine of the "immaculate conception" "“ meaning the conception of Mary without sin in her mother’s womb.Ã‚Â This would make Mary a perfect, sinless being, which she was not.Ã‚Â Many Catholics mistakenly think the doctrine refers to Jesus’ conception, but it actually refers to Mary’s.Ã‚Â My own mother, a lifelong Catholic, has argued with me that the "immaculate conception" refers to Jesus’ conception and not Mary’s. She actually believes the right thing "“ that only Jesus was conceived without sin, and like many Catholics, is hazy on what her church teaches, which is the lie that Mary was conceived without sin. How the ordinary Catholic is tricked into supporting a lie!Ã‚Â If you convert to Catholicism, you will be given a list of things you have to believe, and the immaculate conception of Mary is one of them.
They even have a "holy day of obligation" in honour of the immaculate conception of Mary and Catholics have to go to mass on that day each year, many of them not even realising what the doctrine is.
We were taught that if you deliberately missed mass on a holy day of obligation, it was a "mortal sin", i.e. a sin which condemned you to hell for eternity "“ unless, of course, you went to confession and got absolution from a priest, in which case you were back on track for heaven.Ã‚Â What nonsense it all is!Ã‚Â It keeps people on a merry-go-round of activity, going to masses, going to confession, trying to keep God appeased.
God isn’t like that.Ã‚Â You don’t need to appease Him, as if He is some angry deity who might hurl you down into hell if you miss a Sunday mass.Ã‚Â He is already appeased "“ by the blood of His Son.Ã‚Â All you have to do is believe "“ and then jump off thatÃ‚Â merry-go-round of Catholic ritual. God makes it abundantly clear in the Bible that rituals save no one.
My heart is just aching for Catholics as I write this.Ã‚Â They love their church so much; they think they are pleasing God.Ã‚Â Instead they are angering God, by stubbornly refusing to search out the truth. If only they would read God’s book, the Bible; if only they would search the scriptures and come to a true understanding of God’s plan.Ã‚Â It is all there, so plain.Ã‚Â God is being patient, and many of us have come out of the Catholic Church, but that door of opportunityÃ‚Â (the opportunity to leave) is going to close one day and you had better be on the right side of the door when it closes.
No, nein, nyet.Ã‚Â Baloney.Ã‚Â Jesus paid it all!Ã‚Â I will not have to burn for my sins in purgatory, not for one nano-second, because there is no such place.Ã‚Â Jacob Prasch teaches that the concept was invented by the Catholic Church as a means of getting money out of people to pay for the building of the vastly expensive cathedral of St. Peter’s in Rome. The Roman priests frightened people with tales of how they would have to burn for years, but if you just paid for some "indulgences" from the Pope, you could shorten your burning time "“ and they could build the Vatican!Ã‚Â Talk about a money spinner!Ã‚Â Who wouldn’t pay, a fortune if necessary, to avoid being burned?
Purgatory is still a useful tool with which Rome controls Catholics.Ã‚Â What a great way to keep people dangling in fear by telling them that even if they are going to heaven, their first stop is in a blazing furnace for an indeterminate number of years to burn off their sins.
In our Catholic school we used to get little "holy cards" with pictures of Jesus, Mary, and others on the front. Very gentile versions of Jesus and Mary, I might add, and Jesus always had long, lank hair, and looked as if He were effeminate, which He certainly was not! On the back of the "holy cards" would be a very short prayer and if you said that prayer, you got so many days off burning in purgatory.Ã‚Â It would usually be 500 days off.Ã‚Â Wow.Ã‚Â That’s a lot of days you wouldn’t have to be tortured in the fire. You could say the prayer very quickly a lot of times, racking up loads of "time off", but of course you never knew how much time you were going to be sentenced to in the first place, so you could never be sure if you said the prayer enough.Ã‚Â Maybe your burning time was millions of days.Ã‚Â Nobody knew and there was no way to check it out.
What a travesty of the gospel!Ã‚Â Jesus said nothing of purgatory.Ã‚Â Paul said to be out of the body was to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).Ã‚Â That is good enough for me. Like everybody else, I still fall into sin at times, but I also know that Jesus is my Savior and when I see Him I will be like Him, sinless, because He will see to it!Ã‚Â He will take care of everything; indeed He already has done so, on a rough cross on the hill of Calvary, where He paid the horrendous price for all my sins, every single one of them.Ã‚Â He has done it all.Ã‚Â His perfect sacrifice is sufficient.Ã‚Â I do not have to pay the penalty for any of my horrible sins, because the price has been paid and the guilty one (me) is acquitted of all blame.Ã‚Â Does that mean I can blithely carry on sinning?Ã‚Â No!Ã‚Â I hate it when I commit a sin. It’s horrible.Ã‚Â I love the Lord and I hate it when I do or say or even think something that offends and grieves my dear, beloved Saviour.Ã‚Â With all my heart I long to please Him and to help other people come to know and love Him.Ã‚Â But no matter what snares of sin we may fall into, the price is paid.Ã‚Â God’s justice is satisfied if we truly believe in the Lord Jesus and have been born of His Spirit.
You will not have to suffer the torment of any flames, if you belong to the Lord.Ã‚Â He has already done the suffering, taking on Himself the punishment for all my sin, and for your sin too if you will trust in Him alone instead of in an organisation like the Catholic Church.
The bread and the wine
As a baby Christian in 1982, I remember telling someone that although I had seen a lot of errors in the Catholic Church, I could never leave it because of communion.Ã‚Â Only the Catholics taught that the bread and wine turned into the "mystical" body and blood of Christ.Ã‚Â The Protestant churches thought it was just a symbolic act and that seemed to me so lightweight in comparison.Ã‚Â I was wrong, and how patient the Lord was with me to gently show me and bring me through even this.
Eventually I learned the truth, which I will try to explain.
In Mark 14 Jesus said: "Take, eat; this is my body."Ã‚Â He was standing there, in His physical body.Ã‚Â Obviously He was using a figure of speech and His apostles understood this.Ã‚Â They knew He did not mean He had worked some magic and the piece of bread was now His actual body.Ã‚Â The bread quite obviously represented His body.
Earlier He had said, "I am the door." (John 10:7)Ã‚Â He did not mean He was an actual wooden door.Ã‚Â Would He have been an oak door, a pine door, or what?Ã‚Â That is ridiculous.Ã‚Â He was using a figure of speech and his hearers knew what He meant.
He had also told them in John 15: "I am the vine."Ã‚Â Was He an actual vine and should we kneel down and worship some grapevine?Ã‚Â Of course not.Ã‚Â It was another figure of speech and everyone recognised that. In John 8:12 He said:Ã‚Â "I am the light of the world" "“ another obvious symbolic reference.
In Luke 22 the Lord says: " This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me."Ã‚Â Later the apostles realised what He had meant; that His body was physically sacrificed for sin and believers were to take the bread and wine regularly to help us all remember Jesus’ sacrifice.Ã‚Â Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it makes us focus on that great event, that sacrifice; it helps us to remember what this great Christian walk is all about.Ã‚Â It causes us to keep the Lord Jesus at the center of our worship; otherwise we would probably get off on all sorts of odd tangents, which some of us do anyway.
In John 6 Jesus tells the disciples that He is the bread of life and "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life"¦for my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed."Ã‚Â They were horrified at this.Ã‚Â This sounded like cannibalism to them, and under the Mosaic Law they were forbidden to ingest any blood at all.Ã‚Â ButÃ‚Â read on. In verse 63 Jesus tells them: ""¦the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."Ã‚Â In other words, He is speaking of something spiritual, something we have to believe - not an actual physical eating of flesh and drinking of blood.Ã‚Â The bread is just bread; the wine is just wine.Ã‚Â They do not magically change into anything.Ã‚Â They help us to remember the Lord’s death until He comes.
But Rome takes the words of Jesus and puts a magical spin on them.Ã‚Â The really cunning part of this is that Rome’s communion doctrine gives the church total power and control over the lives of all Catholics.Ã‚Â Only a priest can say the words that magically change the bread and wine into the body and blood.Ã‚Â That means you have to have a priestly system - lots of priests, bishops and a pope "“ a very powerful system of control.Ã‚Â If you step out of line, they can excommunicate you and refuse to give you communion, and then you will go to hell, according to their teaching.
This was used as a method of controlling whole countries down through history.Ã‚Â If the pope of the day put a country under "interdict", no masses could be said and no one in that country could receive communion.Ã‚Â Therefore anyone who happened to die during that period would go to hell, according to them.Ã‚Â This inspired such fear that kings and countries would have to cave in to whatever the pope demanded.Ã‚Â We were never told about this in the Catholic schools I attended.Ã‚Â It is hidden Catholic history.
No, there is no magical, mystical thing happening to the bread and the wine.Ã‚Â Jesus just gave us a beautiful memorial of His sacrifice for us on Calvary.Ã‚Â "Do this in remembrance of me."Ã‚Â The bread symbolises His body, sacrificed for sin, and His blood, shed for you and me.
When I was growing up as a Catholic, we were never given the wine anyway, so they did not even adhere to their own doctrine. We only had a thin wafer for communion, which was not anything like normal bread, and that was supposed to "count" for the bread and the wine.Ã‚Â The priest drank the wine at the altar.Ã‚Â Now they give out wine as well.Ã‚Â Catholics roll with these changes, with few ever questioning what their leaders dish out in the way of doctrine.Ã‚Â Some of the priests had more than wine by the time they said morning mass.Ã‚Â I remember my grandma and aunts whispering:Ã‚Â "Did you smell the whisky on Father X’s breath when he gave out communion?"
If you are still wondering if the Catholics are right about the bread and wine, the clincher is the occasion on which Jesus spoke His immortal words:Ã‚Â this is My body; this is My blood.Ã‚Â It was at the Passover meal, the meal which remembered Israel’s great deliverance from Egypt.Ã‚Â In that meal a piece of unleavened bread was hidden in a napkin. (Leaven always represents sin in the Bible. Unleavened bread represents Jesus, who had no sin.)Ã‚Â The Passover bread was striped and pierced, as the Lord Jesus was scourged and had nails driven through His body.Ã‚Â At the Passover that unleavened, striped, pierced piece of bread was broken and eaten.
At the Last Supper, Jesus actually took that piece of Passover bread and broke it and, in effect, said:Ã‚Â "This ritual of the Passover meal is all aboutÃ‚Â Me.Ã‚Â This all refers to Me.Ã‚Â This unleavened, striped, pierced bread is a "˜picture’ ofÃ‚Â Me and the sacrifice of My body, which is about to be given for you.Ã‚Â All the Passover symbols refer to Me, and now I am giving you a new symbolic supper for the future when you will remember My death"¦until I come."
The ancient Jews did not realise the deep significance of the Passover meal, which was not only to remember their deliverance, but to point them to Christ. We have no excuse for not understanding.Ã‚Â Their Passover meal which they ate once a year was actually a prophecy and it was completely fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection.Ã‚Â Our meal is the Lord’s Supper, also rich with symbolism, and not taken in sadness, but in mature expectation of His return.
If you are still in any doubt that the Catholic communion is wrong, here is the final clincher -Ã‚Â a priest has to be involved.Ã‚Â No one else can perform the "magic change" of the elements.Ã‚Â In fact the priestly system ended at Calvary.Ã‚Â Jesus cried: "It is finished!" and the thick, heavy curtain in the Jewish Temple was supernatually rent from top to bottom.Ã‚Â No more priests were needed to take blood sacrifices behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies.Ã‚Â It was suddenly open, visible to all, accessible to all.Ã‚Â The day of the priest was at an end.Ã‚Â How dare the hierarchy of Rome re-hang that curtain which barred the way to God, when God Himself has torn it down!Ã‚Â How dare they put a "priest" between our Savior and us! We need no mediator from Rome.Ã‚Â There is one mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.Ã‚Â He has opened the way for us to the Holy of Holies.Ã‚Â How dare any priest claim to stand in His place. The doorway of God is open today to all who believe in Jesus, to all who are cleansed by faith in His blood.Ã‚Â And far from needing a priest to contact God for us, we are all priests according to Peter, who said in 1 Peter 2:9: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood"¦"
At our independent church in England we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday morning.Ã‚Â At one point in the service, whichever man is leading the service reads scriptures relating to communion and says that it is for believers only and we take a moment to examine our consciences.Ã‚Â Then we pass round a plate containing a small loaf of unleavened bread which one of our ladies, Dorothy Gibson, bakes each week. Everyone pinches a bit off and eats it, and unbelievers are supposed to let it pass them by.
Then the "cup", a goblet of wine representing His blood, shed for us, is passed round.
Jesus is our great high priest.Ã‚Â We need no other. The bread and wine help us to remember His sacrifice "“ until He comes.Ã‚Â There is no magic, no mysticism. It is just that simple.Ã‚Â If any bread is left over, sometimes the children might eat it while we are all having a cup of coffee after the service.Ã‚Â Or one of the ladies might take it home and put it out for the birds.Ã‚Â This is not irreverence, because the bread is just flour and water.Ã‚Â It is not the Lord’s actual body.
As Catholics, on the other hand, we worshipped communion wafer "“ a thing made by hands, worshipped as if it were God.Ã‚Â In those days no one was allowed to touch it except the priest, and for some reason I have forgotten, he had to keep his fingers in a strange position while he placed a wafer on our tongues. If one of the wafers dropped to the floor, it was a big deal and had to be specially dealt with by the priest.Ã‚Â If he spilled the wine, oh my, that was an even bigger deal and he had to go through some rigamarole.Ã‚Â You couldn’t just mop it up with a cloth.Ã‚Â That cloth then had to be specially dealt with in some way, and not by just anyone either.Ã‚Â It had to be a priest, I seem to remember.Ã‚Â The whole thing was shrouded in mystery and magic.
We truly believed that theÃ‚Â "elements" of the bread and wine were "mystically" changed into the real body and blood of Jesus by the words of the priest.Ã‚Â The Jewish Bible teacher Jacob Prasch explains that this teaching was set down in the Middle Ages by 13th Century Catholic Thomas Aquinas, who followed the writings of the pagan Greek philosopher Aristotle.Ã‚Â Thomas Aquinas defined the Catholic doctrine of "transubstantiation" on the basis of Aristotle’s understanding of physics and chemistry, which have now been debunked.Ã‚Â Aristotle, a pagan philosopher, lived one thousand years before Aquinas, in about 300 BC.Ã‚Â Aristotle’s view of physics was based on "accidents" and "elements".Ã‚Â He thought the "accidents", the things we could see, feel, smell, etc, could remain the same while the "elements" were changed.Ã‚Â So, a pen could still look like a pen, but be miraculously changed into a cigar if the "elements" were changed (just try and smoke it, though, as Jacob remarks). The accidents-elements philosophy is obviously ridiculous and makes no sense, particularly in the light of modern scientific knowledge, but that was the thinking in those days, and that was the basis for the Catholic doctrine of simple bread and wine magically changing into Christ’s body and blood, while still looking exactly like bread and wine
Though we now know that Aristotle was way off beam, his theories are alive and well in the Catholic Church today.
One day the Catholic hierarchy will be most severely judged by God for misleading Catholic people who genuinely want to serve Him. Teachers will face a stricter judgement than the rest of us, according to the Bible, and the Catholic teachers will certainly be judged for their false doctrines, foisted upon people who are told they must not question church dogma.Ã‚Â I would not be in their shoes for anything on that terrible day when the books are opened.
As for the ones who claim to wear "the shoes of the fisherman" (claiming to stand in Peter’s place as "pope"), they will face the strictest judgement of all, I suppose, and probably find their places reserved in the hottest part of Hell.Ã‚Â None of those "indulgences" will do them any good.
Bible teacher Dr J Vernon McGee liked to say that the truth was usually very simple, like a straight stick. There is only one way to draw a straight stick: dead straight.Ã‚Â But he said there are a million ways to draw a crooked stick.Ã‚Â Deception is like that crooked stick.Ã‚Â It can take so many forms, twisting the truth into fantastical shapes which bear no relation to what God intended.Ã‚Â And the Church of Rome is like that - a very crooked stick based on a monstrous concoction of half truths, lies and erroneous doctrines which bind innocent people and prevent them from escaping by keeping them shackled with fear, the fear of leaving what we were always told was "the one, true church".
If you love the Lord Jesus, but are still in that Roman travesty of the true church, God has a word for you:Ã‚Â "Come out of her, my people."
Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues, for her sins are piled up to heaven"¦Ã‚Â Rev 18:4
The rich and the poor
Catholics living in the affluent countries of the West have little conception of Third World Catholicism. Western Catholicism wears a friendly face and it tolerates other religions because it has no choice (it tolerated nothing when it ruled Europe in the Dark Ages).
But in the Catholicism of the developing world you can find something of the true spirit of Rome.Ã‚Â Statues are carried through the streets on "feast days", decked in jewels in some cases, while beggars sit on the church steps.Ã‚Â It never occurs to anyone to sell the jewels and buy food for the beggars outside the church.Ã‚Â That is what the Lord Jesus would do.Ã‚Â The Catholic Church would not dream of it.
Consider the experience of one woman from a South American country.Ã‚Â This is a true story. She was number 12 in a Catholic family of 14 children.Ã‚Â They were very poor and she started working at the age of seven.Ã‚Â In her country you were either poor or rich, there was no in between.Ã‚Â This lady turned against the Catholic Church at age 13 when sheÃ‚Â realized that the priest was not going to look in on them to see if they had any food.Ã‚Â He lived in a beautiful mansion with servants and had extensive gardens tended by gardeners.Ã‚Â She slept in a twin bed with three others.Ã‚Â Praise the Lord, that lady is now out of the clutches of the Catholic Church and worshipping the Lord in spirit and truth in a Bible believing church, and, by the way, she is no longer poor!
Consider the lives of the priests.Ã‚Â They have total financial security and live for the most part in houses far better than many Catholics.Ã‚Â If the economy takes a nosedive, they will not go without. The bishops live in palatial houses.Ã‚Â The churches themselves are like palaces quite often, though the people in surrounding streets might be poor as churchmice.Ã‚Â For this Christ died?Ã‚Â Never in a million years!
The Bible itself
The Catholic Church kept its iron grip on people through the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages by a ruthless suppression of the Bible.Ã‚Â If people couldn’t read it, they would never find out the truth, and the church would keep its power over their lives and money.Ã‚Â Then the Protestant Reformation came along and the Bible became available in English and other languages. Many thousands of Catholics were freed from superstition and fear when they learned the truth "“ that salvation is a free gift and in no way dependent on church membership. So how did the Catholic Church survive this?Ã‚Â They simply discouraged people from reading the Bible, and Catholics fell for this.Ã‚Â If you did read the Bible, you were a fanatic, or a "Bible thumper".
NoÃ‚Â Catholic I ever knew when I was growing up read a Bible.Ã‚Â We would have been very suspicious of them if they had.Ã‚Â We would have thought they were "getting too religious".Ã‚Â The only Bibles we could countenance were big coffee table versions bought not to read (heavens no!), but to use the fancy front pages to write down names of babies as they were born into the family.Ã‚Â Those Bibles were OK, in fact we really admired families who possessed such a beautiful book, but we didn’t have one.
These days, charismatic Catholics do actually read the Bible, but many remain in the Roman church, while going to charismatic prayer groups and "days of renewal" to get a spiritual buzz.Ã‚Â It is as if they are held by an octopus, with many tentacles binding them hand and foot so that they cannot break free. Why do they not understand and act on the clear message of scripture?Ã‚Â Time is marching on and one day it will be too late.Ã‚Â Being a Catholic won’t save you. Only faith in Christ can save you. You must be born again, and that means you will have a love of the truth "“ which will lead you out of that false church.Ã‚Â If you have been born again, and yet stubbornly refuse to come out of the Catholic Church, I wonder what you will give as an explanation when you stand before the Bema judgement seat of Christ, where rewards for service are handed out.Ã‚Â What did you do for Christ on earth?Ã‚Â Well, you propped up a false church which preached a false gospel.Ã‚Â Any reward for that?Ã‚Â I don’t think so.Ã‚Â Well, you tried to be God’s "secret agent" in that church.Ã‚Â Oh, really?Ã‚Â But you say you still went to mass and took communion?Ã‚Â You never stood up and told the people that the mass was an abomination because there was only one sacrifice, not many?Ã‚Â You never warned the people that they were going to hell for believing another gospel, a different gospel instead of the simple gospel that saves us?Ã‚Â You never stood up and warned people that the statues in your church were forbidden by God in His Second Commandment?Ã‚Â You never told them that the bread and wine were really only symbols, not some magical, mystical thing?Ã‚Â You never told them that they shouldn’t pray to Mary?
No, it just won’t wash.Ã‚Â You have got to come out of the Catholic Church, if you are a real Christian.Ã‚Â On the other hand, if you don’t really care much what Jesus wants you to do, and you don’t care if the other Catholics go to hell or not, and you really aren’t bothered about heavenly rewards, well then, carry on propping up that false religion and supporting tiers of religious career people right on up to the Pope of Rome.Ã‚Â But don’t expect the rest of us to accept you as a brother or a sister, because I just don’t see how any real child of God could stay for long in that dark church, once they have had all this clearly explained to them.
The Catholic Church took over persecuting true Christians when the Roman Empire disintegrated.Ã‚Â No one knows how many millions of God’s people have been tortured and burnt at stakes by Catholic priests and monks who thought they were doing God’s work. The records of their evil deeds are reportedly all kept in the Vatican vaults.Ã‚Â And those deeds are certainly recorded in Heaven, kept safe for the day when our Father has the books opened.
"Ethnic cleansing" did not start in our day.Ã‚Â The popes did a very effective job of "cleansing" Europe of true Christians.Ã‚Â That is why almost all of Europe today is nominally Catholic.Ã‚Â Those who believed the simple gospel and refused to accept Catholic doctrine were "“ for hundreds of years "“ massacred, hunted down, burned at stakes, tortured to death in dungeons.Ã‚Â Survivors like the Hugenots (French Protestants) and the Pilgrim Fathers had to flee to other lands. We learned at our Catholic school that America had been settled in part by people fleeing religious persecution in Europe.Ã‚Â They omitted to say that it was the Catholic Church and the Church of England (Anglicans "“ Episcopalians) that was doing the persecuting!Ã‚Â We would have been horrified to learn that our own church had been hounding, torturing and killing good people who believed in the Lord Jesus.Ã‚Â Horrified!Ã‚Â So we were never told; it was hidden history, the hidden, shameful, blood-stained history of our own church.Ã‚Â To this day, I do not believe any Catholic school teaches the truth about history.
You think the Church of Rome has become all nice and friendly since those dread times?Ã‚Â It wears a civilised mask today, but behind that mask is the same cold face of a hierarchy that hates the simple gospel, and that hierarchy is biding its time.Ã‚Â Pope John Paul II, the pope who was so beloved by millions, reportedly called evangelical Bible-believing Christians "ravening wolves" while on a visit to South America.Ã‚Â He kissed the Koran to ingratiate the muslims and he called the Dalai Lama (who claims to be divine) his friend.Ã‚Â And you think the Lord will pat you on the head for continuing to support that Roman institution?Ã‚Â Think again.
"I could never leave my church"
"I could never leave my (bad) church - all my friends and family are in it."Ã‚Â I have heard this from a lot of non-Catholics too, a feeble excuse for staying in a rotten church.Ã‚Â Please read Luke 14: 26.Ã‚Â You put friends above truth?Ã‚Â You put family ties above what God so clearly requires of you?Ã‚Â You think God is never going to bless you with another friend or that He is incapable of giving you a new family?Ã‚Â Ask Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, a great Bible teacher.Ã‚Â He gave up everything, including hisÃ‚Â family, for Christ.Ã‚Â You think the Lord allows that sort of sacrifice to go unremarked?Ã‚Â Arnold has a family now that spans many countries, and I hope he counts us among that company of people who respect him and look upon him as a dearly beloved brother to whom our door is always open.
Trust the Savior, dear Catholic people.Ã‚Â He will look after you!Ã‚Â He will never leave you or forsake you.
The narrow gate
Strive "“ energetically try with all your might - to enter in at the narrow gate, for many will try to get in and will not be able to, the Lord warns us in Luke 13:24.Ã‚Â You can go through that gate of true conversion and salvation - if you simply believe in the Lord Jesus.Ã‚Â If you add anything to the Bible’s teaching of Him, it is like carrying a big suitcase with you as you try to barge through that narrow gate.Ã‚Â You cannot fit through.Ã‚Â Nothing will get you through that gate except faith in Jesus Christ alone.Ã‚Â The Catholic Church adds tons of baggage on to that, all of which you are expected to believe.Ã‚Â You will not get through that narrow door carrying even one piece of baggage.Ã‚Â Yet you can slip right through that gate as a repentant sinner, seeking forgiveness from the Lord Jesus.Ã‚Â Try to take the Pope with you, and all the other false doctrines, and you do not get through at all.
I could go on and on, but there is not space.Ã‚Â Please get Dave Hunt’s book, "The Woman Rides the Beast" for an exhaustive examination of the Church of Rome.Ã‚Â And get his video "Messages From Heaven" about the Mary apparitions (ISBN 1-57341-119-1). You will have to order his material, as the "Christian" bookshops find it much too controversial.Ã‚Â Get on the list for Dave’s free newsletter by writing to: The Berean Call,Ã‚Â PO Box 7019, Bend, Oregon, 97708, USA. Or go to his Berean Call website. If you are an ex-Catholic in the USA, how about joining Dave’s Ex-Catholics for Christ (ECFC)?
As for those who think that I hate Catholics, how wrong they are.Ã‚Â I love them enough to tell them the truth.Ã‚Â What I deplore isÃ‚Â that so many people who genuinely want to please God are deceived by the lying spirit behind Roman Catholicism. Catholicism is like an ugly, dangerous snake hiding behind a beautiful woman (the phony Mary).Ã‚Â When some Catholics die, they think they are going into the arms of Mary and Jesus, but it is as if instead, the phony Mary image fades and the monstrous snake leaps out and says:Ã‚Â "Gotcha!Ã‚Â You were fool enough to believe my lies. You thought being a Catholic would save you "“ just what I wanted you to think. Ha, ha, ha! Now it is too late; you will burn forever in Hell because you believed my lies."
Also, I was taught by nuns and priests for many years.Ã‚Â They were for the most part deeply serious people who wanted to please God and had given their lives, as they thought, in His service.Ã‚Â I feel so sorry for them; they were deceived when they could have been truly serving God in a way that would please Him.
So, dear Catholic people, God’s command to you is plain:Ã‚Â "Come out of her, my people!"Ã‚Â If you belong to Him, you have got to come out.Ã‚Â He will look after you, if you have the courage to leave.Ã‚Â He promises He will never, never, never leave you or forsake you.Ã‚Â Believe me, He has a family on this earth and you will find true brothers and sisters.Ã‚Â I know.Ã‚Â It took awhile, but I’ve found some of them!Ã‚Â Even if I had found none, not even one, I would still rejoice to be out of that ungodly institution and walking in truth.
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