Error: “Everybody was Catholic Until the Reformation”

95-theses

Question: Has the church of Our Lord always been “catholic?”
Answer: Yes

Question: Has the church of Our Lord always been “Catholic?”
Answer: No

Now, don’t accuse me of speaking out of both sides of my mouth. It is a matter of splitting a hair that needs to be split. There is a world of difference between little-‘c’ “catholic” and Big-‘C’ “Catholic.” Allow me to explain.

The word “catholic’ simply means “universal.” Or “worldwide.” The church—the TRUE church—is the joining together of all those who believe in and worship the Lord Jesus Christ and whom He has bought with His blood. Acts 20:28“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. It is my intention to show, as faithfully to the truth as possible, that the assertion that “No other churches existed except the Roman Catholic Church until the Reformation” is a false assertion which is based on a faulty knowledge of history.

Let me make one other thing known: it is not my intention to “bash” individual members of the Roman system. I’m sure these people believe with all their heart that Rome is the seat of all power in the church, and that Mary is answering their prayers. Just like Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is from God Himself and that Joseph Smith was His prophet. Just like Muslims believe they are going to “Paradise” if their “good deeds” and alms outweigh their “bad things.” So please do keep that in mind.

The Roman Catholic Church has taken it upon herself to misappropriate the word ‘catholic’ and apply it to herself. So, whenever you read one of the Early Church Fathers (ECFs) use the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos, catholic, universal), Rome says, “See? They were Catholic” (BIG-‘C’). But here’s their problem: the ECFs were using καθολικός in the “universal” sense—NOT the “Romish” sense. Another word they have appropriated is “Tradition.” Any time they see the word “Tradition” used by Augustine or Gregory of Nyssa or Cyprian—they take it to mean the “Traditions” that Rome has adopted. Therefore, they tell their followers, “See? These men taught that people back then should follow the old traditions! ” This, too, is faulty reasoning. Because what Rome has done is take a word that looked back in time and applied it to things they have added to Scripture (more on sola scriptura may come at a later date, but not here). All that being said, let’s begin by looking back at the founding of Christ’s church.

If you ask Rome, they will tell you that the headship of the church was given to Peter, in Matthew 16:18, when Jesus told Simon Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” However, in calling His disciples, Jesus never tells any of them that they will be the “visible head” of His church—unless you subscribe to the Romish misinterpretation of His words in Matthew 16:18. So when it all boils down, the validity of the Roman Catholic Church rests upon two things:

(1) The interpretation of a single verse of Scripture; and
(2) Whether or not one regards the ECFs as being of equal authority as Scripture.

I will answer these in reverse order. Are the writings of the Early Church Fathers (e.g., Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Eusebius) of equal authority with the Bible? The answer to this question is, emphatically, “No!” How can I say that? For this reason: what was Jesus’ number one reason for His opposition to the Pharisees? Simple: they had allowed the “Tradition” of rabbinical writings (e.g., the Midrash) to supersede the word of the Tanakh—the God-breathed Scriptures. Many times, during the Sermon on the Mount, we read that Jesus told the people, “You have heard it said…but I say…” He was telling the Pharisees that instead of interpreting the Scriptures according to their traditions, they should be interpreting their traditions according to the Scriptures. Likewise, we could say of Roman doctrine, “You say……but the Bible says……” Since the Vatican does, indeed, interpret the Scriptures according to their “Traditions” instead of interpreting their “Traditions” according to Scripture. Anytime we give more weight to the ideas of men than we do to Scripture, the result is going to be messy.

Now, to answer (1). I could list all kinds of quotes that Rome uses to try and bolster their claim. I doubt, however, that we have enough bandwidth to contain the quotes themselves, nor the full quotes that show how Rome has taken them out of context. But, I will begin with what may be the most famous out-of-context quote, that of Augustine: “Rome has spoken; the case is closed” (it is sometimes rendered in other, but similar, forms). But is that what Augustine actually said? Answer: “No!” From an article by James White on this very issue:

[Karl] Keating puts these words in quotes, indicating that Augustine actually said this. He places it in the context of Papal Infallibility. It is clearly his intention to communicate to his readers that Augustine 1) said these words, and 2) was speaking about the subject in his sermon. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Augustine never said what Keating quotes. In fact, here is the actual Latin text of the final section of Sermon 131 from Migne, PL 38:734:

Jam enim de hac causa duo concilia missa sunt ad sedem apostolicam; inde etiam rescripta venerunt; causa finita est: Utinam aliquando finiatur error.

Translated, it reads,

. . . for already on this matter two councils have sent to the Apostolic See, whence also rescripts (reports) have come. The cause is finished, would that the error may terminate likewise.

The quote from Augustine comes from a sermon he wrote opposing Pelagianism. Long story short, what he was saying was that the church had condemned this error. And how did they conclude that the error had been refuted? By appealing to Scripture. Augustine was NOT saying that all authority rested in the bishop of Rome. He was saying “The cause is finished, would that the error may terminate likewise.” As Dr. White states it,

“It is obvious, beyond question, that Augustine’s point is that Pelagianism is a refuted error. It is not refuted because the bishop of Rome has refuted it. It is refuted because it is opposed to Scripture. Two councils have concluded this, and the bishop of Rome has agreed.”

Before we leave Augustine, there is one more quote from him I must share. Rome likes to say that Augustine was the chief defender of Roman Catholic teaching, especially equating Peter with “the Rock” upon Christ was to build His church. Read the following to see if this is true  (emphases mine):

In a passage in this book, I [Augustine] said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. (The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations, Chapter 20.1). [from The Church Fathers’ Interpretation of the Rock of Matthew 16:18 by William Webster]

I could go on, but I think you get the general idea. Rome picks out part of a quote that is part of a much larger picture—a quote that is not meant to be interpreted the way Rome says it is—and automatically, it becomes part of “sacred Tradition,” and is used by RCC apologists as a “smoking gun” concerning Petrine primacy.

However, this idea—that Peter alone had the power to “bind and loose”—is, in fact, contrary to Scripture. For Jesus gave this right to the other apostles as well. Consider His words in Matthew 18:18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” The same promise, made to all 12—not just Peter! And not made to any of their successors. Years and years of “Tradition” and volume after volume of apologetic work cannot wipe out the clear words of our Lord, contained in the Scriptures!

So, was there, indeed, a succession of bishops in Rome? Answer: yes…..kind of. One cannot say for certain whether the “succession” of the bishops of Rome has been unbroken, considering the many schisms, divisions, and turmoil that has surrounded the office. Peter was followed by Linus, who was followed by Anancletus, who was followed by Clement…etc. There is no denying this historical fact. However, it is is never equated with the “visible head of the (big-’C’) Catholic church” until Damasus I in about 366 AD. It was this Damasus who was the first to use a title such as “Pope” in reference to the bishop of Rome. However, this was read back into the Scripture—it was not brought out of them. Although this view (and all the other dogmas) may be held by the current “bishop of Rome” (Benedict XVI at the time of this writing, if he is indeed the worthy holder of such title)—this is not the view that was held by the early church until being promulgated a great while after the founding of the true church. As Dr. White points out in a debate with RCC apologist Fr. John Mary (emphases mine):

[Rome holds] a succession of names, not a succession of teaching or truth. Not only does such a succession beg the questions raised by such historical events as the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (14th century) and the Great Papal Schism, but it ignores the fact that while President Clinton, for example, stands in the succession of Presidents, one would not wish to assert that his views, and his “teachings,” are in any way reflective of someone such as Abraham Lincoln. The mere historical “connection” guarantees nothing regarding fidelity to the truth itself.

For example, any idea about the sinlessness of Mary is absent from the writings of such men as Irenaeus, Tertullian, or even Origen. The belief in the bodily assumption of Mary? (emphases mine):

“The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries. Even though these are apocryphal they bear witness to the faith of the generation in which they were written despite their legendary clothing” (Ludwig Ott, Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 209-210).

In fact, the doctrine of Purgatory did not develop until about 590 AD under Pope Gregory the Great (emphases mine):

The concept became much more widespread around 600 A.D. due to the fanaticism of Pope Gregory the Great. He developed the doctrine through visions and revelations of a Purgatorial fire. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (CE), Pope Gregory said Catholics “will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames,” and “the pain [is] more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life.” Centuries later, at the Council of Florence (1431), it was pronounced an infallible dogma. It was later reaffirmed by the Council of Trent (1564). The dogma is based largely on Catholic tradition from extra- biblical writings and oral history…The Council of Trent dares to declare that “God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction and will punish sin…The sinner, failing to do penance in this life, may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God.” (Session 15, Can. XI). Those Catholic Bishops had the audacity to declare that the suffering and death of God’s perfect man and man’s perfect substitute was not sufficient to satisfy divine justice for sin.

And for those of you who are good little students and have memorized your Nicene Creed: is there any mention of Marian devotion? Devotion to the Pope? Anything in there about “We believe in Jesus Christ His only Begotten, and the sinlessness of His mother?” No. Why? Because these were doctrines that were not even known even in 325 AD, except by a handful of people here and there, and which had not been adopted by the universal church! To say that what the Romish church teaches now is what the small-‘c’ catholic church has always believed is refuted by a simple study of history. So here goes.

Constantine became emperor in 306 AD, decreed tolerance of Christians in 313 AD, and “converted to Christianity” in about 318 AD. In 316 AD, he established the precedence of the Roman emperor deciding Christian doctrinal matters, essentially setting himself up as the first Pontifex Maximus (a title derived from Roman pagan priests). The Donatist Controversy was his first taste of ecclesiastical judgment, and was one of the earliest schisms in the church. This happened in 316 AD in North Africa. Caecilianus had been elected bishop of Carthage in 311 AD. However, it was later found out that one of the priests who voted for his ordination was a traditor (see definition here).  A split ensued, with one side favoring Caecilianus, and the other favoring a fellow named Donatus. The root cause of the split was whether a sacrament (such as ordination), on its own, even when performed by one who is not in good standing with the church is a valid ordination (ex opere operato, “On account of the work that is worked”). Or, is that ordination void because of the one performing it (ex opere operantis, “on account of the work of the worker”).

The Donatists held to the position of ex opere operantis, while the Caecilians believed in ex opere operato. Eventually, Rome sided with the Caecilians, with Constantine giving the final verdict after three councils. This was, for all intents and purposes, one of the roots of the Roman Catholic Church. The fact that the Donatists were opposed to a “State Church” may have been one reason that the emperor was less than sympathetic to their cause, and also led to the conflation of Emperor and Pope. The doctrine of ex opere operato is still a central tenet of the giving of sacraments in the Catholic church. Paragraph 1128 of the Catholic Catechism (emphasis mine):

This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: “by the very fact of the action’s being performed”), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that “the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.” From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

So, you can see that in its early years, the whole, universal church was not united, solidly, in lock-step, under the banner of Rome. There were many other schisms (e.g., the Quartodeciman Controversy) that took place as well, the tales of which fill volumes. And keep in mind, whenever there was a split, it was NOT a “vertical separation,” i.e., it was not a matter of breaking from Rome’s “authority.” It was a “horizontal” separation, one side went one way, Rome went the other.

For those that will still say that “Everybody was Catholic before the Reformation,” I will point you to another sect that was established by a disciple of Christ. The Coptic Church was founded by Mark in Alexandria, Egypt. It was the subject of the next schism in the church, as they broke ranks with Rome officially after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. One of the reasons for calling the Council of Chalcedon was to rule on the Nestorian heresy. By this point in time, the See of Rome had the favor of the emperor, and thus had been flexing its political clout over the other Sees. This usurpation of power was very troubling to Dioscorus, bishop of Alexandria, who did not believe that secular emperors should meddle in the affairs of the church. Add to the fact that Leo I, Bishop of Rome, was desirous that the Roman See should be the seat of ecclesiastical authority (above even Constantinople, which had been its equal for many years), and Leo’s close ties to Emperor Marcianus, and you can understand why Dioscorus was at a disadvantage. It was Leo I, by the way, who was the first to make dogmatic the doctrine of “papal primacy”–the teaching that the Bishop of Rome was endowed with the same “keys” and authority as the apostle Peter and was head of the whole, worldwide, (little-’c’) catholic church.

The next few hundred years were a time of some confusion; there was a great deal of debating and establishing doctrines. It was also the time when the Romish church began to exercise its newly-found political power. As Roman Catholicism spread, and as popes became more powerful and influential in secular matters, they got more power-hungry, and sought to stifle any and all opposition to their authority. To that end, they “infallibly” interpreted the Scriptures as saying that they should torture and kill anybody who did not bow to them. This lust for power—and hatred of any who opposed them—led to what we know as “The Inquisition,” when people were arrested, dragged off to stand before popes and councils and bishops, and ordered to recant their “heretical” views. If they did not recant, they were sent to “examiners” who would inflict the same kind of cruelty on these people that the Roman soldiers inflicted upon our Lord.

It was because of this use of force that the RCC grew and spread across Europe. And why very few people spoke up and spoke out against Rome. Which in turn caused it to spread even more quickly. Soon—as had happened in the years prior to and immediately after the earthly life of Christ—all of Europe was under the thumb of Rome. And it is for this reason we don’t have a whole lot of theological works being produced which teach anything other than Roman Catholicism–because if a person wrote such a work, something was going to get burned: either (a) the work, or (b) the person (just ask William Tyndale).

But, in 1054 AD, something big happened. It was at this time that the Eastern Orthodox Church split from Rome. Constantinople and Rome could not agree on who was the true leader of the church, and The Great Schism saw the emergence of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

But now wait a minute!! I thought it was Martin Luther that caused everybody to leave Rome! I thought “Everybody was Catholic until the Reformation! What your garden-variety anti-Protestant loves to go around declaring is that the whole church, all around the world, was unified until 1517. If that was the case, then will the anti-Protestants stand and say that the Eastern Orthodox Church, at the time it split from Rome, was indeed part of the “One True Church?”

Moving on. During the 1100’s, the Waldensians came along, only to be refused permission to preach by the Third Lateran Council. (This is not meant to be an endorsement, on my part, of Waldensian teaching. I do not agree with all they taught. It is for purely historical purposes I include them. You can read some about them here.). Much of what the Waldensians taught was not in line with many of Rome’s teachings, and if they were caught teaching such things–well, nearly 80 of them were burned at the stake in one city (Strasbourg, France) alone.

Then in the 1300’s, a fellow named John Wycliffe dared to defy Roman “law” and translate the Bible out of the Latin and into English. Wycliffe managed to live a long life and die a natural death. And for his efforts, Pope Martin V ordered Wycliffe’s body dug up, burned, at the ashes dumped into the River Swift. During the 1400’s, a fellow named Jan Hus came along, becoming a forerunner to men like Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, etc. Then William Tyndale further defied Rome and translated the Greek and Hebrew into English–for which he was strangled and burned. But, remember, it was Martin Luther who was the first one to stand up to Rome! [/sarcasm]

Then in 1378, there was even a division as to whether the seat of (big-’C’) Catholic authority was seated in Rome or in Avignon, France. This “Western Schism” lasted for over 40 years. Hardly a time of “unity” within the Roman “Catholic” Church.

So, as you can see, the claim that “Until the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was the ONLY church” is patently false. It has no basis in truth, and is a lie that Rome is only too happy to allow to spread. It is not a truth that Martin Luther was the first who came along and tipped the apple cart and broke off to make some “new religion.” There were many times during history when churches and Sees divided from Rome over doctrine, authority, etc. My many thanks to the men that have been used so greatly by God to teach us about the true history of the church of our Lord. Men like James White, William Webster, James Swan, Mike Gendron, and so many others to whom we owe so great a debt. May we always thank God in our every remembrance of them (Philippians 1:3-4).

33 thoughts on “Error: “Everybody was Catholic Until the Reformation”

  1. Many thanks for posting this fine summary! Before I got tossed off of FreeRepublic for “Catholic Bashing” ( http://brogdensmuse.menofhonorministry.org/Apologetics/Troll.htm ) I was engaged in much discourse with RCC watchdogs about such myths and, thanks be unto God, read much of history to find out “the rest of the story”.

    ‘Tis most interesting to see how the Roman church has trained people to respond to “unapproved sources” and “personal interpretations”.

    Truth is the antidote!

  2. I wonder if there is a point in time when what we know supersedes what we believe and the words we use to define our beliefs start to take on the meanings of the new way of thinking about it.

    Few realize the connection of Catholic meaning universal, rather that catholic is something specific.

    Would it be possible to re-imagine a universal faith today?

  3. Bob,

    I think your words have moved beyond my ability to understand you :-) What?

    BTW, Catholic = “something specific” and catholic = universal.

  4. Very well done, Thank you for taking the time to invest in the research.
    I too enjoy reading and listening to James White. He is one man I would not want to debate.

  5. Soon Beng says:

    A good summary. Thanks for that.

    Just one niggle: In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said: “You have heard that it is said…” then He follows with “but I say to you…” There’s no “it is written…” there (I think He uses that line during the temptation in the desert, not during the sermon on the mount).

    Of course, Jesus being who He is (John 1:1), it’s the same thing anyway… ;)

  6. Soon Beng,

    No, I would like to thank you for clarifying that. Just when I thought I had proofread it for the last time… Anyway, I have edited the portion in question to more closely reflect the truth of what the Scriptures say:

    Many times, during the Sermon on the Mount, we read that Jesus told the people, “You have heard it said…but I say…” He was telling the Pharisees that instead of interpreting the Scriptures according to their traditions, they should be interpreting their traditions according to the Scriptures. Likewise, we could say of Roman doctrine, “You say……but the Bible says……” Since the Vatican does, indeed, interpret the Scriptures according to their “Traditions” instead of interpreting their “Traditions” according to Scripture. Anytime we give more weight to the ideas of men than we do to Scripture, the result is going to be messy.

  7. Fourpointer:

    Outstanding. Thank you so much for your research and the time you put into this post. It will definitely be in DefCon’s A.C.E. page (coming soon).

    And if anyone is interested in more about whether or not Peter was the first pope, I highly recommend the post Was the Apostle Peter the first pope? I believe it is a conclusive rebuttal to this false Romish teaching, and in just 17 quick bullet points puts away their argument forever.

    - The Pilgrim

  8. Daniel Schultz says:

    Your article on Church history regarding the name “Catholic” is fraudulent.

    The early Catholic fathers taught:

    Transubstantiation

    Baptismal regeneration

    That not everything can be got from Scripture alone

    That the truth is passed on through loyalty to Apostolic succession, especially that of the succession to Peter at Rome.

    And the other Catholic doctrines. I can prove this if you want. If you want to remain in your significantly anti-Christian ideology, that’s up to you.
    —Dan Schultz

  9. Jeff H says:

    But Dan…

    “Catholic doctrines” EQUALS “anti-Christian ideology”,
    because it robs Jesus Christ of the glory that is His.

    “That not everything can be got from Scripture alone”
    And THAT is the evil root of your (and Rome’s) error.

    Why would I want to trust the confused, oft-self-conflicting utterances of sinful men (popes, etc), when I have a PERFECT, God-breathed, two-edged Sword (God’s Word) as a Testimony to what my Lord did to rescue me from the wrath of God, which I had rightfully earned?

    Do not be foolish enough to believe that your filthy rags of work righteousness could POSSIBLY add to the perfect work that Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross.

    Remember, our Lord Jesus Himself declared “Tetelestai” (“It is finished”).

    He did not say “It is finished… except for saying a few hail marys and doing a stint in ‘purgatory’”.

    That is blasphemous, Dan.

    Get out from under Rome, before Jesus turns to you and says, “Depart from me…. I never knew you.”

    - Jeff H

  10. brother Michael says:

    Daniel,
    I recommend a book I am currently reading for you to better understand the history of the papacy and the religion of Roman Catholicism. It is by JA Wylie and can be found here:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/history/wylie/papacy.htm.

    I trust you will investigate this matter and not answer it before truly studying it out and hearing the matter (Prov 18:13). For this is of grave importance where your salvation hangs in the balance.

    Likewise, no one here is preaching salvation in “protestantism” vs. the Romanist claim that it is the “… [Roman] Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.” [Para 816]

    Rather, we preach Christ crucified as the means of salvation through faith in his authored and finished work. Because nothing else will save; no religious system, no sacramental faithfulness, no monastic piety, no Mass attendance, charitable givings or pilgrimages. Only faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ whereby his righteousness is imputed to the believer.

    “But now the righteousness of God without the law [i.e. works] is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Rom 3:21-28)

  11. Charles says:

    Thank you for this study on “Catholic” and “catholic”. I would like to know where can I get further information or sources to validate this blog?

    We do know the Bible is without error, but written works by men are not. I am in disagreement with the Catholic understanding on biblical matters, but a Catholic could direct to sources that would refute “Protestant” sources just as quickly.*L*

    Which history books would be a valuable resource to affirm or deny any claims about Catholic history besides blogs? Thanks and God Bless!

  12. Charles,

    I would first point you to a lengthy and in-depth series on the history of the church (from the apostles right up through the Reformation) by Dr. James R. White. (You can find them in RealPlayer format here, or you can download them as mp3′s here) Just so you know: Each lesson is about a half-hour long (apparently recorded on audio cassette, since they cut off right at about 30:00), and the quality is not the best. But as far as accuracy and content, very much worth the effort. He does go into some areas that you may have to learn more about on your own, but it is a solid foundation on which to build.

    Speaking of Dr. White, you can go to his website (Alpha and Omega Ministries) and find many articles refuting Roman Catholicism with many references.

    Hope that helps!

  13. Shelly says:

    You have a bit of confusion on your understanding of what and why Catholics believe and do the things they do. But just know, its all because we love Jesus, period. Everything leads to Jesus in the Catholic Church if you understand it properly. It’s all about him – Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and what he taught us.

    The peace of the Lord be with you!

  14. David T says:

    Shelly ~

    If we are having a bit of confusion on the Catholic Church, please show us your evidence where we are wrong. Problem is, I don’t think you can. Some who read this site & contribute to this site are ex-Catholics (I myself have never been one but I have studied the Catholic Church and have found much error from the Romanish foundations).

  15. brother Michael says:

    Shelly,
    I would have to second what DavidT wrote. Catholics always seem to make this groundless accusation whenever their doctrine is put under the lens of God’s word.

    Personally, I was part of a multi-generational Catholic family, was baptized, catechetized, confirmed, an alter boy, educated through High School and married in Catholicism so confusion about what is taught is most assuredly not an issue here. Neither is it, as DavidT pointed out with the others who write and comment on this site who have either walked in similar shoes as mine, or have put in abundant time studying Rome’s doctrines.

    We would love to dialog with you if you are interested in testing all things and holding fast to that which is good.

  16. It’s all about him – Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and what he taught us.

    Shelly, if you were to actually follow those things that Jesus taught, you would forsake your religion and follow Him instead.

  17. Ben says:

    It is very disappointing to read such a lame article from a brother in Christ. I am painfully aware that we are divided on many subjects and that our testimony as Christians is very much hindered by the division between believers. But it seems to me that a fruitful dialogue should be based on actual facts and not slanders and approximations. The article is long and I do not have time to respond to each point. Suffice to say; read the fathers of the Church for yourselves and find out if their theology is protestant or not.
    By the way, a little biblical quiz: where in the Bible do you find that the Bible is only authority for the faith?
    In Jesus
    Ben

  18. Tomek K. says:

    Ben,
    A little biblical quiz:
    Where in the Bible do you find: Trinity. I can find.
    Where in the Bible do you find: The Bible is only authority for the faith. I can find.
    Where in the Bible do you find: The Pope is the head of the Church. ???
    What? Is pope the Christ?
    Because Jesus Christ is the only head of the Church (Ephe.4:15, 5:23; Col. 1:18) than pope can only be “Alter Christi” (“in place of Christ”) – and translation of this into Greek will be – antichristos. Well known term. Is Pope the head of your church (or maybe one of two?:)? Not Christ? Then on what basis do you think we are brothers in Christ?

    Read the fathers of the Church for yourselves and find out if their theology is: Catholic? Protestant? Answer: Neither one.

    And one more little question.
    Are you presenting your private opinions or:
    a) you are Pope speaking ex-cathedra,
    b) you are quoting word-for-word from newest edition of Complete Autorised Holy Tradition (where we can buy this wonderful book?),
    c) you are quoting word-for-word infallible statements of the Magisterium.

    I live in Poland all my life. Over 90% of people in Poland are Catholic. Most of them know almost nothing about their church. And they are not interested in it. They are sure, that they are going to heaven, because they are not so bad.
    You really think they are Christians? Because they were baptized?

  19. I wrote an article on the subject being discussed here and for anyone interested they may find it here:http://brakelite.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/christian-history/
    I do disagree somewhat with the article on the Waldensians. That Valdes was the first Waldensian is not true. The Waldenses first came to prominence much earlier than the 11th century. It was in the 3rd and 4th centuries that the people living in and around Milan began to protest the inroads of paganism into the church, particularly at Rome. They were so named because of the valleys (Vallenses Valleys of Northern Italy east of the Cottian Alps around Milan) from which many of them hailed, and to where they sought refuge when persecuted.
    For anyone interested in church history I cannot recommend any book with greater encouragement than B G Wilkinsons book, Truth Triumphant. It can be downlaoded from http://www.champs-of-truth.com/reform/
    ____________________________________________________

    Just to digress a little. On Nov. 11 last year the Vatican released Verbum Domini, a reflection on the 2008 Twelfth/Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of bishops, which professed to be devoted to “The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church”. In this ‘post-synodal apostolic exhortation’ Benedict has raised the ante against evangelical protestant churches worldwide with an affirmation of 4 planks of Roman dogma that prove that Rome has not changed nor turned from her heretical and apostate position.
    1. The church is not based on the Bible alone. (Catholic reasoning informs her faithful that the church brought forth the Bible, as opposed to Protestant teaching that the Bible brought forth the church.)
    2. The Church must interpret the Bible for the lay people.
    3. Roman Catholic salvation is based on the church, priesthood, and the Eucharist.
    4. Those who take the Bible as the sole foundation for their faith are fundamentalist fanatics. (see Benedicts speech in Paris on 12th September 2008).

    Friends, be very very clear. Rome still entertains the ambition of being a global dictatorship through her New World order, and sadly, men like Warren are bringing countless numbers back into the clutches of the Antichrist. The harlot’s daughters are returning to mother.

  20. wwwww says:

    if purgatory was invented in 590, they why where there prayers for dead guys in the catacombs of rome in the second and third centuries

  21. quad-W roman watchdog: people have been deceived about praying and being baptized for the dead since before the New Testament was complete. The fact that some deceived folk practiced demonic doctrines do not prove they are right.

  22. wwwww says:

    i am not catholic… i just iam here to show that it wasnt just invented by Popes…I would what you discribe as a acts 28 hyper-dispensationalist,and a hyper calvinist who tries to go to a eastern orthodox church,but they wont let me because i refuse to give up my strange theological views

  23. Manfred,

    That would actually be “Quint-w” rather than “quad”. I think you missed a ‘w’.
    :)

    wwwwwwwwwwww,

    a acts 28 hyper-dispensationalist,and a hyper calvinist who tries to go to a eastern orthodox church,but they wont let me because i refuse to give up my strange theological views

    Um…yeah…whatever that means, you betcha!

  24. wwwww says:

    it means i am a grade-A heretic, rejected by every church,faith,creed,and religion known to man,woman, and children from now until the end of time

  25. quintW – Being rejected by “every church,faith,creed,and religion known to man,woman, and children from now until the end of time” means you reject yourself! Being rejected by man’s religion is not what makes one a heretic. Denying the biblical Truths about Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of His life and death to make atonement for our sin is what makes one a true heretic.

    Proper use of mixed case letters will make your possibly heretical statements easier to read.

  26. wwwww says:

    Yes but God hath harden my heart like he did to Pharaoh,ive been blinded so i could not understand the gospel, also i did a bit of studing and it turns out the Westbro Baptist Church was right for once, in Protestant theology,before the 1930s or so very few priests,bishops, and pastors taught the idea that God loves everyone, instead they focused on Gods HATRED,FURY, ANGER, WRATH, and RAGE, that the hatred of God is greater than the fury of a billion expolding supernovas! Hyper-Calvinism was pretty rampent during those days! Infact, the famous John Gill, and John Edwards where hypercalvinists!
    So it would actually seem like i stick closer to classical american theology than most americans!But the fact that Hyper-calvinism is rejected by like plague is what makes me a heretic,and I produly wear that label! But at the same time I believe God has predestined me for the dark, bottomless pits of hell, where there will be gashing of teeth,and it also is probably REALLY hot

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