Friday, November 19, 2021

WHAT ABOUT THE GOOD PRIESTS?

 

The Catholic priesthood has taken some serious hits in the last fifty years or more, and rightly so.  Accusations of sodomy, child molestation, homosexuality, sex abuse and all sorts of inappropriate behavior abound.  And it is not just in the United States.  Many charges have been filed, but it may very well be just the tip of the iceberg.  Time will tell.

But many Catholics believe there are some good priests in the Church, too.   I’ve seen a Catholic bumper sticker out there that says, “I am thankful for the thousands of GOOD priests.”  So why doesn’t everybody focus on them?  Perhaps there are some priests who are morally good (when compared to others), but those who make this claim are missing the whole point of the priesthood argument.  The real question is not, “Are there any good priests?”  The question is, “Does this priesthood even exist today, in God’s eyes?”

Note these analogies:

A person in an insane asylum can claim to be “perfectly normal,” but is he?  A one-hundred pound weakling can believe he is a linebacker for the NFL, but that’s obviously not true.  An unskilled and undisciplined person who is afraid of heights can think he is an astronaut, but reality says otherwise.  All these have one important thing in common: They are all deluded – they are deceived.

Actually, when it comes to the priesthood, a more accurate analogy would be someone claiming to be the emperor of the United States.  But this is an office that does not exist.  Maybe there were emperors in another time in history and/or in other places in the world, but not now and not here in America.  Anyone in the U.S. claiming to be an emperor of this nation is truly deceived.  In this time and place, there are no emperors.  There is no one here with any such title.

Likewise, the office of “ministerial priest” today is not a biblical fact.  This office was definitely a legitimate one in the Old Testament, but it is glaringly absent from the New Testament of that same Bible.  By this fact alone, I think God is telling us something!  In fact, there is abundant biblical evidence that there is no longer that type of priesthood today.  See these links:

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2010/03/priesthood.html

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2016/05/does-exodus-196-support-catholic.html

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2016/06/martignoni-and-korahs-rebellion.html

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2018/07/where-are-all-priests-in-new-testament.html

Of course, Catholics claim that there certainly is an office of “priest” in the New Testament, but one must do all sorts of Scripture torturing to come to this conclusion.  The great majority of their arguments on this topic are addressed in the links above.

I would say that the only “good priest” is the one who recognizes that this title is unbiblical and is willing to forfeit that title in order to honor God and to surrender to the principles of Scripture.

 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S UNITY BETTER THAN THAT OF OTHER CHURCHES?


When Catholics debate issues about Bible teaching with Protestants, they will often say, “That’s just your opinion, and just your interpretation of the passage.  You Protestants can’t really know what the Bible says in many cases, since there are so many differences and divisions when interpreting Scripture within Protestantism.  You guys can’t agree on anything!” 

The Catholic Church claims that they are the one true church, specifically, “the one Church of Christ” which is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium, paragraph 8).

But when Protestants point out the fact that there are many arguments within Catholicism (sometimes even about doctrine), Catholics will backtrack and are forced to admit it, but they’ll say that the Catholic Church is truly unified because it can “officially” settle disputes within its ranks.  They have the pope to do that, and he can do it “infallibly”!

But if that’s true, why do Catholics still have so many arguments with each other?  That fact is undeniable.  In just one recent example, there was an issue about Pope Francis complaining about a prominent Catholic television network (EWTN) that was attacking and insulting him. 

See these links for details:

https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/09/21/pope-francis-says-attacks-and-insults-against-him-are-work-of-the-devil/

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/09/21/pope-francis-ewtn-critics-241472

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/pope-francis-issues-thinly-veiled-criticism-ewtn-comments-gender-ideology

In these articles, the pope claims that he doesn’t mind so much EWTN’s criticism of him – what he claims to be against is this Catholic network attacking the Church.  However, it seems that the problems EWTN has with the Catholic Church revolve largely around what the pope, himself, is allowing in the Church!  After all, as the sole “human head and “Vicar” of the Church, isn’t he the one ultimately responsible for the things going on within the Church?  And isn’t he the one who is supposed to discipline leaders, clarify misunderstandings and establish Catholic teaching?  If Pope Francis is the answer to the problem of disagreements in the Church, then why is there still such major division in Catholic circles today?

It is true that EWTN has had some strong things to say, especially about the liberal-leaning Church leaders, and the way the church is being run.  Some critics are claiming that the pope said that EWTN was a “work of the devil.”

Catholic writer and apologist Dave Armstrong (as well as other pope supporters) claims that Pope Francis did not say EWTN was a “work of the devil,” but that criticizing the Church is.  Maybe the pope meant that, or maybe he didn’t, but isn’t that pretty much the same thing?  If EWTN is attacking the Catholic Church, wouldn’t that also reflect on the pope who runs it?

Furthermore, in his article, Armstrong also names several prominent Catholic people/teachers/publishers with whom he disagrees.  You can find Armstrong’s article here:

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2021/09/pope-francis-did-not-say-ewtn-work-of-the-devil.html

So we can see that this “unique” harmony and unity that the Catholic Church claims to enjoy simply does not exist. 

It’s deceptive to claim a “final human authority” who can settle all disputes, when this pope, himself, is chiefly responsible for causing so many of the divisions within his own Church, including contradicting traditional Catholic beliefs that were deeply held for centuries.

Look, divisions are inevitable (1 Corinthians 11:18-19), especially when such large groups are involved.  We Protestants are not complaining about the Catholic Church because it has divisions; every church has them.  We are simply protesting the hypocrisy and pretension involved on the part of Catholic accusations of Protestant divisions, as though Catholics don’t have them.

This whole issue of divisions is simply a distraction used by Catholics to deny the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” (the Bible alone).  This just means that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith for the Christian church today.  The idea is not complicated.

Protestants assert that the principles of Scripture are clear enough to settle arguments within the body if simple interpretation principles and common sense are used.  See these links:

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2013/07/quick-notes-on-sola-scriptura-part-6.html

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2014/02/there-aremany-important-choices-that-we.html

https://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2009/12/dialogue-on-bible-interpretation.html

Yes, we must strive for unity in the church (John 17:20-21) – but God wants us to have unity in the TRUTH (John 17:17), not just an external, cosmetic type of unity where everyone says the exact same prayer at the same time and everyone uses the same gestures.

A small church that is unified in biblical truth is vastly superior to a billion-member church that is unified in error.  If we really want unbelievers to be drawn by our unity (John 17:22-23), then this unity must be based on scriptural truth.  A “unity” based on error is worse than irrelevant.  True unity may not come easy, but it is better to be honestly divided, than to have an artificial unity.

So, to answer the question first posed in the title of this article, no, Catholicism’s unity is not any better than anyone else’s.

 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

HOW’S THE FUTURE LOOKING?

 

It is becoming quite obvious to almost everyone that we live in a crazy and fallen world.  Even a brief look at the events transpiring in America in the last few years should give us pause and make us ask, “What in the world is going on with this planet?  But it is actually an act of God’s grace to let us see these troubling times and to shake us out of our complacency.  Thanks to these sobering events, it seems that more people are getting interested in spiritual things, one of them being prophecy.

But not all “prophecies” circulating out there are biblical.  I’ve noticed that there seems to be an increase in prophecies, even within some Catholic circles.  Most of these Catholic prophecies are allegedly from Mary, and some from certain mystics or Catholic “saints.”  

Some of the Catholic prophecies I’ve seen deal with the end-times, although the Catholic Church, as a whole, hasn’t normally been very interested in that topic.  I recently heard a devout Catholic share some interesting thoughts on end-time events.  I was both excited, and at the same time, disappointed.  I was excited that a Catholic was interested at all in end-time events, but disappointed in the fact that his rendition of these events was a puzzling mixture of scenes from the book of Revelation and a blurring of different prophecies and events (some biblical) mixed in with some Marian concepts.  It was a distorting of the biblical message into a confusing mishmash of unscriptural ideas.  It was all very interesting, but very faulty.

You see, that’s why we need the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.  All prophecies and all teachings are to be tested against the only infallible source of God-breathed revelation available today, i.e., Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  It doesn’t matter whether these messages come from a priest, a minister, a rabbi, an imam, or an atheist – the Bible overrules them all.  That is, if their message is to be trusted, it must line up with biblical principles.  This is where God invests His authority.

Having said that, it’s not just Catholics who distort prophecy, but I also wish to address the so-called “prophecies” of many Protestants out there, as well.  Many of their predictions about modern-day events have certainly missed the mark, but a number of these “prophets” have not admitted it, and they seem unwilling to repent, but rather, try to “modify” or “adjust” their prophecies so that they appear to still be true. 

In the Old Testament, prophets were honored and feared, but if a prophet’s word did not come true, he was put to death (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).  They had to be awfully careful when bearing the title of prophet and not be so quick to blurt out what they thought might be from God.  The same principle applies today.  If you claim to be a modern-day prophet, and you don’t have a 100% accurate record, then you are a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)!  It’s a good thing we don’t stone false prophets any more, but if we did, there would be a sharp decline in these rich, loud-mouthed charlatans who love to be in front of a camera.  They certainly do true Christianity a disservice.  God is still as disgusted with such prophets today as He was back then.  So don’t think that He approves of you just because He is allowing your ministry to continue.

But my advice to Catholics, if you are interested in prophecy, is to make sure you are thoroughly familiar with Scripture first.  Then you can better discern which prophecies line up with the Bible.  Any prophecy allegedly from Mary can be dismissed outright, since we have no biblical reason to believe that she could communicate with us now, anyway.  And hopefully, after familiarizing yourself with Scripture, you will also discern that the Catholic Church is not all that it claims to be, and that you should leave it for a good biblical church.  Please feel free to search the articles in this blog to find many of the “chinks” in the Catholic Church’s “armor.”

So, what about your future?  Your eternal future is bright if you live by the guidance of God’s Word and trust only in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross in order to make it to Heaven.  All other ground is sinking sand (Matthew 7:24-27). 

 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

TIM STAPLES DEFENDS THE “PACHAMAMA POPE”

 

It was a couple of months ago that I posted an article on Pope Francis’ involvement in the Catholic Church’s Amazonian Synod that occurred back in October of 2019.  In that particular meeting, the pope presided in, what I believe can only be seen as acts of idolatry.  People were kneeling and bowing down to wooden objects that are identified by many as Pachamama idols.  On the Vatican grounds, there were a number of Amazonian Catholics who were bowing before, and presenting offerings to, these wooden fertility statues (statues of a naked, pregnant Amazonian woman).  Not only did the pope attend the ceremonies without objections, he even blessed one of the statues and put it on the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.  Much of the Catholic world was horrified.

And the head of the Catholic Church, the supposed “Vicar of Christ” and “Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church” was absolutely fine with all this.  This couldn’t possibly be a stumbling block, right? 

Catholic apologist, speaker, and Director of Catholic Answers Tim Staples weighed in on the Amazon Synod fiasco.  He seems to be surprised that anyone objected to all this.  What could possibly be wrong with a little homage to idols (which are demons) on the grounds of the Vatican and in St. Peter’s Basilica? 

But apparently, it wasn’t a big deal.  According to Staples, it was just an “imprudent application of the communion of saints.”  What is that supposed to mean?  How should all this have been “applied”?

See his article here:

https://timstaples.com/2019/pope-francis-commit-a-sin-of-idolatry-with-pachamama/

Tim calls this charge of idolatry against Pope Francis “absolutely unfounded.”  He quotes the Catholic Catechism and says that idolatry consists in “divinizing” what is not God.  He then goes on to point out that idolatry can be committed with power, pleasure, race, ancestors, etc., including money, and he quotes Jesus saying that we “cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

Of course this is true, but I think that most of us have never, ever seen anyone bow down and pray to their money.  My point is that if we can be guilty of idolatry toward our money (like the rich young ruler was – Luke 18:18-24) WITHOUT bowing down to it, then how much more is it idolatry for those who prostrate themselves before (and give offerings to) anyone or anything that is not God?  The pope is just as guilty for being a part of this.  So, no, Tim – this charge is not “absolutely unfounded.”

Tim says that he was unable to find reference to anyone there who considered Pachamama a goddess.  But if no one present at this meeting thought of her this way, then what was all that bowing, praying, and extreme devotion going on?  It seems that Tim thinks that since these people were “evangelized” (as Catholics), then that changes the meaning of what they were obviously doing (worshipping).  He thinks that they couldn’t possibly be idolizing, since they were “evangelized”!  Even his fellow Catholics sensed that something was seriously wrong with their “evangelization” process.

Tim claims that the Pachamama is just a “cultural symbol.”  But the Old Testament pagans no doubt thought the same thing of their own idols.  Would Tim be ok with cannibals going around killing and eating people, you know, since it was simply their “culture”?  I would hope not.  Simply being “cultural” does not make something right.

At one point, Tim goes on about Pachamama simply being a symbol of wisdom, fertility, and “new life.”  But what’s wrong with fertility and new life?  Nothing, but remember that it seems that in every pagan religion there is some kind of “mother earth goddess” that involves fertility and new life.  That’s exactly what’s wrong with this picture.  Tim should know better, but he is confusing (and conflating) biblical wisdom with pagan concepts of new life and fertility.  Tim is just muddying the water here with far-too-vague language.

Tim Staples then claims that “wisdom” is not a matter of only one interpretation.  There it is, folks.  The old “there’s more than one interpretation” argument.  This is just an excuse, and a weak one, at that.  This is exactly why we have, and need, Sola Scriptura (i.e., the Bible alone as the ultimate source for the church today). 

Not only was the pope’s involvement in all this a big enough insult to many Catholics worldwide, but Francis went a step further.  One year after this Amazonian Synod, on its anniversary, the Vatican Mint issued a coin depicting “Madre Terra” (Mother Earth, Pachamama). 

See here:

https://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/another-nail-in-the-coffin-vatican-produces-pachamama-coin/

Rather than distancing itself from the Pachamama idol, the Vatican commemorates it with a new coin!  It shows that neither the Vatican nor the pope is repentant for what they are involved in.  Although the pope has the authority to stop all this, he is allowing and even promoting it.  Whatever happened to the fear of being a stumbling block (Matthew 18:6-7)?

This is something they could easily leave behind or put aside, but they don’t care that many of their own people are up in arms about this.  It seems that, right or wrong, it’s either the pope’s way or the highway!

Conclusion

How important is Pachamama to the pope?  Consider that, after these idols had been thrown into the Tiber River, he had people go down into the river to retrieve the idols.  To find them, it must have been like a needle in a haystack!  So surely, he has quite an investment in all this.  Very interesting.

In his “Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation,” of 12-02-2020, Pope Francis is asking us to “enter into communion with the forest,” and then “our voices will easily blend with its own and become a prayer.” (Querida Amazonia, paragraph 56)

What kind of globalist, extreme environmentalist mumbo jumbo garbage is that?!  It looks like nature worship to me.

See the document here:

https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/02/12/200212c.html

If what the people were doing in the pictures we saw at the Amazonian Synod isn’t idolatry, then there is no such thing as idolatry!

Apparently, many Catholics do recognize at least some forms of idolatry when they see it.  Good for them.  But I have a question to all Catholics: Isn’t this what many Catholics across the world do when “venerating” Mary?  How is this any different than the idolatry of the Amazonian church?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

BLESSED ASSURANCE

Protestant churches today are not what they used to be.  And I think that it is partially because of our neglect of the great old hymns.  They are simple, yet beautiful and full of meaning.  These hymns were foundational to the great faith of Christians in the past.  But much of today’s “contemporary Christian music” is little more than catchy, repetitious phrases of “loving Jesus,” etc.  There’s nothing wrong with loving Jesus, but the question is, does this kind of music glorify God with its worldly, hypnotic and driving beat and its shallow content?  There is not much substance to many of these contemporary songs, while the old hymns were filled with biblical doctrine.  They didn’t just give you a good feeling, they taught deep scriptural principles.

The following link contains a very good article dealing with contemporary Christian music.  The author rightly states, “Music is to worship God and not to get high on the beat.”  See here:

https://www.thescribesportion.com/todays-christian-music/

One of my personal favorites of the great hymns is Blessed Assurance.  Having been raised Catholic, I don’t ever remember this song being sung in the Catholic Church and I doubt if it ever will be.  The Catholic Church, in general, tends to stay away from the topic of assurance of salvation.  But you see, this old popular hymn is about biblical assurance.  Now, there is a balance to this doctrine of assurance of salvation because it has unsound teachings on either side of it. 

On the one hand, there is Calvinism, which often expresses what some would consider too much assurance, and on the other hand, there are some religions (including Catholicism), which tend to express too little assurance.  The biblical teaching is somewhere in the middle.

But, to their credit, Catholics don’t believe in the hardcore Calvinistic “once saved, always saved” doctrine.  And neither do many Protestants, including myself.  I have a series of articles on this particular topic pointing out some of its errors, which can be seen here:

https://theresurrectionstillspeaks.blogspot.com/2019/08/some-thoughts-on-once-saved-always.html

https://theresurrectionstillspeaks.blogspot.com/2019/09/some-thoughts-on-once-saved-always.html

https://theresurrectionstillspeaks.blogspot.com/2019/10/some-thoughts-on-once-saved-always.html

On the other hand, for biblical salvation, we don’t have to strain and sweat and work ourselves to death in hopes that we will gain enough “points” (good works) to make it into Heaven.  Catholics will say that they don’t do this, but Catholic teachings lean heavily toward such a works-based salvation and therefore, a lack of biblical assurance. 

And why would I say that a lack of assurance follows a “salvation of works”?  The truth is that it is inevitable that a person who is trusting in his works to gain Heaven will, at some point in his life, wonder if he really has enough works.  This question continually haunts the individual who bases his salvation on his good deeds.  It seems that, at some point, he begins to realize that God requires PERFECTION (Matthew 5:48; James 2:10)!  And none of us are perfect, so it is impossible to achieve Heaven through our good works, rituals or sacraments (Romans 4:4-5; Titus 3:5).  The Bible tells us that our only hope is to trust in the Person of Jesus Christ and His work of suffering on the cross.  You can’t substitute anything else for it, and you can’t add anything to the cross to “help” merit salvation.  There are plenty articles on this blog that deal with the relationship between salvation and works, if anyone wants to do a simple topic search.  

But concerning assurance, the Council of Trent, in its Sixth Session, Canon XVI states:

“If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end, unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema.”  See here:

http://www.thecounciloftrent.com/ch6.htm

Now, we would agree that a person today cannot have infallible certainty (only God has that).  As for as absolute certainty, that could be debated, depending on your definition of “absolute.”  But according to Scripture, we certainly can have a sufficient certainty:

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 – Emphasis added)

The Amplified Bible is more emphatic and says:

“… so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life.”

But the Catholic Church calls this type of assurance “the sin of presumption.”  The largest lay Catholic organization in the country, Catholic Answers, says this about presumption.  They tell us that according to the Baltimore Catechism:

“Q. 1183. What is presumption?

A.   Presumption is a rash expectation of salvation without making proper use of the necessary means to obtain it.”

See here:

https://www.catholic.com/qa/the-sin-of-presumption

And again, Catholic Answers tells us that this is how the old Catholic Encyclopedia defines the sin of presumption:

“It may be defined as the condition of a soul that, because of a badly regulated reliance on God’s mercy and power, hopes for salvation without doing anything to deserve it, or for pardon of his sins without repenting of them.”

See here:

https://www.catholic.com/qa/what-is-the-sin-of-presumption

But I have a problem with both of these quotes.  The Baltimore Catechism quote speaks of the “necessary means” of salvation.  Well, to the Catholic, this includes faith (rightly so), but it also includes works, like baptism and other rituals/sacraments.  But this is not biblical, as I stated earlier.

The old Catholic Encyclopedia quote speaks of doing something to deserve salvation.  We Protestants believe in the repentance mentioned in this quote, but there is nothing we can do to deserve what Jesus did for us.  This is because “… while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

Biblical assurance is not presumption.  We simply must “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end (Hebrews 3:12-14).

Furthermore, according to Roman Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott:

“The reason for the uncertainty of the state of grace lies in this that without a special revelation nobody can with certainty of faith know whether or not he has fulfilled all the conditions which are necessary for the achieving of justification. The impossibility of the certainty of faith, however, by no means excludes a high moral certainty supported by the testimony of conscience.” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 262)  See here:

https://cornellcatholic.org/documents/2020/12/fundamentalsofcatholicdogma.pdf

So according to this theologian, without a direct, supernatural revelation from God, no one can know with certainty whether or not “… he has fulfilled all the conditions” required for salvation.  This, my friend, is enslavement.  This is the haunting uncertainty of a works-based salvation that I just mentioned above.  But not to fear!  Let it be known that there is only ONE biblical condition for salvation – to believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His work on the cross (Acts 16:30-31).  This doesn’t mean that the person shouldn’t be baptized, or that he won’t do any other good works – but it does mean that he will not be trusting in these works for his salvation. 

This is the reason why we can indeed have assurance that we are saved and will go to Heaven: It is dependent on HIS work, not ours.

Yes, it is possible that someone who is saved can fall away (again, see the links above on “once saved, always saved).  But staying saved is about where you keep your trust - it is simply maintaining your trust and faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:3). 

This type of faith is a true and living faith, i.e., one which will produce good works and a deep love for God.  It is not a dead faith, nor is it a blind faith.  It is a simple faith that honors God.  It is the type of faith that God, Himself, has chosen to get His people into Heaven! 

With this type of faith, the playing field is level.  Every human has equal opportunity.  It doesn’t depend on our strength, our wisdom, size, gender, physical state, finances or skill in life.  We are all equal at the cross.  Anyone and everyone can attain this free gift – if he wants it and is willing to surrender to God and to let God change his heart.

With this type of faith, you can indeed have that blessed assurance of which the great old hymn speaks.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

THE POPE’S IDOLATRY AND THE VATICAN’S SILENCE

 

As far as I am aware, Pope Francis has certainly been one of the most controversial popes within this last century.  A simple internet search will show that this is the case.  He has done much to erode the trust of Catholics worldwide, and to confirm the suspicions of Protestants and others.

There are a number of articles on this topic, and the following one cites a fairly recent example of his controversy.  On October 4, 2019, the pope attended the Amazonian Synod during the worship services in the Vatican gardens.  It is said that in this synod, “Pope Francis attended an act of idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess ‘Pachamama.’”  Pachamama is a wooden image depicted as a naked, pregnant Amazonian woman.  He “further participated in this act of idolatrous worship by blessing a wooden image of Pachamama.”

This particular article also stated, “On October 7, 2019, the idol of Pachamama was placed in front of the main altar at St. Peter’s and then carried in procession to the Synod Hall.  Pope Francis said prayers in a ceremony involving this image and then joined in this procession.”

Looks like full participation from the pope, to me.  Then the backlash came:

“When the wooden images of this pagan deity were removed from the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, where they had been sacrilegiously placed, and thrown into the Tiber [river] by Catholics outraged by this profanation of the church, Pope Francis, on October 25, apologized for their removal.”

Because of his ecumenical agenda, Francis would rather apologize to (and save face with) his pagan Amazonian members, than he would with the God of the Bible (Exodus 20:1-6; 1Corinthians 10:14).

“Another wooden image of Pachamama was returned to the church.  Thus, a new profanation was initiated.”

The people were not happy about this, but Francis wasn’t finished with his idolatry:

“On October 27, in the closing Mass for the Amazonian Synod, Pope Francis accepted a bowl used in the idolatrous worship of Pachamama and placed it on the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.”

See this link:

https://www.cleansingfire.org/2021/03/the-silence-of-death-at-st-peters-basilica/

But reportedly, the Vatican was silent about all this. 

In an interview with Vatican Media, Paulo Suess, a German priest who served for decades among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, recognized the pope’s sin.  The priest who interviewed Suess acted as though paganism in the Catholic Church was no big deal, and Suess stated:

“Even if that had been a pagan rite, what took place was still a worship service.  A rite always has something to do with worship.  Paganism cannot be dismissed as nothing...” 

The article states that “Vatican Media eventually removed those comments from its interview with the priest, with no note or indication of the redaction.”

Hmmm.  Seems that the Vatican didn’t want this detail in the story to go public.  Even among many Catholics, the pope’s actions did not sit well.  In fact, it caused quite a stir and it was the “subject of fierce social media debate among Catholics.” 

What the people were seeing clearly looked like worship to them:

“Figures used prominently in unexplained and unfamiliar rituals or spiritual expressions, even with persons prostrating themselves in front of the statues, led journalists to ask what connections the figures have to indigenous religious rituals.”

“But at least three times, Vatican officials or synod participants were asked about the statues, and the events in which they were involved.  Questions went mostly unanswered. Vatican officials pointed to organizers of synod events, who pointed back to Vatican officials.”

In other words, they were playing the old “pass the buck” game.  But it got worse:

“… the same commentators began to claim that the figures were indigenous symbols about which asking questions was somehow an expression of prejudice, or even racism… Even in the Vatican press room, one journalist said during a press conference that other reporters, presumably those who had asked questions about the statues, had committed lamentable acts of racism against indigenous persons.  Vatican officials did not refute that charge.”

“Still, one synod participant told CNA [Catholic News Agency] that behind closed doors, some Vatican officials dismissed concerns as either propaganda from ‘anti-Francis Americans’ or overt racism.”

Boy, does this sound like American leftist politics of today, or what!  If you say something they don’t like (or don’t want to answer), you are immediately labeled a racist (even if there is no evidence for that claim).  That’s when you know they have an ulterior motive.

There seemed to be questions about the actual identity of these images, but on October 25, after the statues had been recovered from the river, Francis acknowledged the truth about the Amazonian statues and indeed referred to them as “Pachamama.”  But sensing that his own people were recognizing the obvious idolatry, he tried to counter and stated that the idols had been placed in the Church without “idolatrous intentions.”

See here:

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/42644/analysis-why-pachamama-took-a-dip

Of course, the Vatican tried to downplay these events.  Just one month after this happened Catholic World News wrote a short editor’s note defending the pope:

“Pachamama is not a divinity or idol that is worshiped, but is mother earth, honored as the ‘creation and manifestation of the love of God,’ writes retired Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel.  He recalls that years ago, while in Bolivia for a meeting, he asked a member of the indigenous Aymara people whether his people consider Pachamama and Inti to be gods.  The man replied, “Those who have not received evangelization consider them gods; for those of us who have been evangelized, they are not gods, but God’s best gifts.”  Bishop Arizmendi commented, ‘Wonderful response! … They are manifestations of God’s love, not gods.”

It looks as though the Vatican just does not want to admit to the pope’s idolatry!

See here:

https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=44075

But my response is, how can a demon be a manifestation of God’s love?  And how can this Catholic bishop, a leader in the Church, call the Amazonian man’s reply a “wonderful response”?!!! 

Someone might ask, “But why do you call Pachamama a demon?

The apostle Paul, himself, calls idols demons/devils:

“But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  Are we stronger than He?”  (1 Corinthians 10:20-22) 

Not only that, but according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Pachamama is an Andean deity (a god/goddess), especially in Peru and Bolivia, where she is worshipped as “the goddess of the Earth.”  It goes on to say, “Through the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has accepted some indigenous rituals and customs by assimilation [i.e., taking in and fully understanding information or ideas], mainly through combined Catholic and traditional celebrations that continue to be an important part of life in rural and urban settings.” 

See here:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pachamama

In other words, the Catholic Church purposely allows the pagan aspects to be blended into their Catholicism for the sake of Amazonian “tradition.”

Furthermore, according to World History Encyclopedia, on the Inca religion, Pachamama was considered a “lesser” deity, although still important.  She was considered the “earth goddess.”  See here:

https://www.worldhistory.org/Inca_Religion/

And interestingly, all this stuff that the pope did ties in with the “Mother Earth” movement, nature worship, and the “going green” mentality that leftists are pushing today.  Just an observation.

Conclusion

So there is no escaping the fact that Pachamama is an idol, a false god.  And it has no business in ANY church that claims to be Christian.  Many of the Catholics recognized this fact.  So, kudos to those Catholics who did recognize the pope’s idolatry concerning Pachamama – but what about Mary?  Why can’t Catholics see their own prayers to (and prostration before) Mary and other “saints” as idolatry?  What’s the difference?  Yes, what the pope did was wrong, but the “devotion” given to Mary by many Catholics is, I would say, not less than those Amazonians’ devotion to Pachamama.  If the Amazonians can’t worship as they do, then the pope and other Catholics can’t either.  If what the Amazonians do is worship, then how much more is it worship when the same things (and more) are done by Catholics toward Mary?  We would do well to stick to the biblical examples of worship for everyone.

One of the previous articles that I mentioned above says that the synod’s working document proclaims that “Jesus was a person of dialogue and encounter.”

As if to say that Jesus would not have been offended by the pope’s actions.  They seem to think that rather than condemning those involved, Jesus would have encouraged dialogue and promoted diversity with them, instead.

But why do you think that Jesus was turning over the money changers’ tables in righteous anger (Mark 11:15-17; John 2:13-16)?  It was because of the idolatry of the Jewish leaders, concerning their love of money (e.g., Luke 16:14).  Neither Jesus nor the early church was tolerant toward idols.

So, the problem here is not just a bad pope whose cohorts in the Vatican are covering his every evil deed – it is the fact that the Catholic Church is an unbiblical religious system in which he is the head.  This is a hard pill to swallow for members of the Catholic Church, but hopefully, many Catholics’ eyes will be opened after this.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

“ROME WILL LOSE THE FAITH”

 

There are some deep rumblings of unrest within the Catholic Church, even in its higher levels.  A recent conference at the Vatican is causing a stir.  Some Catholics see this meeting as a bad sign.

The public was recently informed about the Fifth International Vatican Conference that was held at the Vatican on May 6-8, 2021, and it was titled “Exploring the Mind, Body and Soul.  Unite to Prevent and Unite to Cure.  A Global Health Care Initiative: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health.” 

And there was certainly an interesting and controversial lineup of speakers for this meeting.

Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano put out a declaration on April 21, 2021, before the meeting occurred.  Vigano was obviously not impressed with the theme of the meeting or the speakers, and he had some very strong statements about this conference.   

The Lineup

He noted that the lineup of speakers included “the infamous Anthony Fauci, whose scandalous conflicts of interest did not prevent him from taking over the management of the pandemic in the United States.”  Also speaking would be Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton), whom Vigano claims to be “a follower of the Church of Satan and a staunch abortion advocate.”  New Age guru Deepak Chopra was also scheduled, along with extremist environmentalist Jane Goodall, the CEO’s of Pfizer and Moderna (COVID 19 vaccine producers), and some Big Tech representatives, as well as a number of left-wing media persons, and others – over 100 speakers in all.

Vigano Speaks Out

But again, Archbishop Vigano was certainly not happy with this cast of characters.  He apparently has a hard time understanding how the pope could bring together such a group into the Vatican. 

He lashes out at the current Catholic hierarchy and he states:

“This conference… is the umpteenth scandalous confirmation of a disturbing departure of the current Hierarchy, and, in particular, its highest Roman members, from Catholic Orthodoxy.  The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium.”

Wow!  That’s quite an indictment against his own church.  Again, he comes out swinging:

“The result is the superimposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry and any perversion of the intellect and will.  The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest throne [i.e., the pope].”

The COVID Connection

Vigano is also disgusted with the image this conference was using to promote their cause.  Concerning the focus of the conference on the COVID issue, Vigano stated:

 “Even the image chosen to promote the conference is extremely eloquent: a close-up of Michelangelo’s fresco of creation on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, in which the hand of God the Father reaches out towards the hand of Adam, but with both hands covered by disposable surgical gloves, recalling the regulations of the new ‘health liturgy’ and implying that even the Lord Himself might spread the virus.”

Vigano calls the image “blasphemous,” and rightly so.  According to Vigano, “… the COVID religion proposes the vaccine… as the only means of salvation.” 

Many, many people don’t trust the vaccine and simply do not want it.  Speaking personally, I find it very interesting how the far left is pushing this “cure” so hard.  There is something strange about all this.  Some companies are offering small gifts as incentives to take the shot.  But I’ve even heard of one company that is offering a chance to win a million dollars if they get vaccinated!  Why do the people need to be bribed to get such a “great cure”?  Isn’t this a bit suspicious?  There must be a reason for such an incredible push to take this vaccine even though there is a 99.98, or so, percent chance of survival without it.  Furthermore, we don’t know the lasting effects of this medicine.  Mark my word, something sinister is going on behind the push for this vaccine.

For Money?

Vigano continues his critique:

“One wonders if Bergoglio’s [Pope Francis’] zeal for the dissemination of the gene serum is not also motivated by base economic reasons, as compensation for the losses suffered by the Vatican and the dioceses following the lockdown and the collapse of attendance by the faithful…”

In other words, according to Vigano, one reason the pope may be taking advantage of this opportunity in joining this globalist agenda is to recover from the recent church attendance slump where the money just wasn’t coming in as usual.  Time will tell.

She Said What?

The archbishop continues his criticism of this group and he states:

“At La Salette, Our Lady [Mary] warned us: ‘Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist.’”

Lose the faith?  Become the seat of the antichrist?!!!  Wow!  This is heavy stuff, coming from a Catholic source!  And it actually lines up with biblical eschatology (end-time events)!

Pope Francis has been a very controversial pope, and many Catholics are not comfortable with his reign.  And people like Archbishop Vigano are making their voices heard. 

See here:

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/declaration-of-abp-carlo-maria-vigano-with-regard-to-the-fifth-international-vatican-conference

The Danger of Apostasy

Vigano also calls for “… a firm and courageous denunciation of this apostasy and its authors.”

Well, sorry, Archbishop Vigano, but the church of Rome has fallen into apostasy long, long ago.  The early church of Rome was actually spiritually healthy during the period of their great persecution.  But I believe that the church got into trouble in the early 300’s, ironically, when Emperor Constantine and his successors stopped the persecution and allowed (and encouraged) the church to merge with paganism.  Some scholars see the typology of this particular early church “marrying” the world at this point.  In fact, the word “Pergamos” (Revelation 2:12) in Greek means “married to the tower,” with the tower symbolizing power (and the world, in general).  So, in Revelation, Jesus Christ rebukes that particular church (in the city of Pergamos – Revelation 2:14-16) which had metaphorically “married the world” and entangled with paganism.  Many churches today are guilty of the same thing.

This archbishop (to his credit) can sense the trouble brewing concerning Pope Francis, but I truly wish he could also discern the truth concerning the many official teachings of his church that are false.  Hopefully, all this uproar will cause Catholics to pause and question the leanings of their ecumenical leadership and their church’s fearful destiny (Revelation 18) in the end times.  I pray to God that many Catholics see this and turn to the Bible and its true gospel.

Conclusion

The Roman Catholic Church never was the one true church – but not because of pedophilia, sodomy, homosexuality, rape, cover-ups or any other scandal -these were just symptoms of the real problem, which is that they rejected several key biblical principles, but mainly, they have shunned the gospel of grace, which is salvation apart from the merit of works.  And that deviation from such an important doctrine has caused a slippery slope into apostasy.

But Catholics may respond by saying, “The Catholic Church is not the only church experiencing scandals, greed, ungodly leadership, etc. - Protestants can and do sometimes have the same issues.”  That’s true, but they do it because they, too, deny key biblical principles.  They have that in common with Catholics, and they will not escape condemnation just because they are Protestants.

Moving away from such biblical principles is always the first step toward the downfall of any church group that claims to be Christian, be it Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise (Isaiah 8:20; Hebrews 4:14).

Will the Church of Rome lose the faith, as Archbishop Vigano suggests?  Indeed, it already has, and tragically, it will bring many down with it.

Don’t just blindly trust these (or any) leaders.  Measure everything they say and do by the Scriptures (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).