How to think like a Roman Catholic.

The following is an illustrated lesson to help you understand how the average Roman Catholic thinks on the matter of idolatry. I have provided several images which will allow you to better understand how a Romanist processes information.

But before we begin, and so you can fully grasp this lesson, you must carefully read the following passages from Leviticus 26:1 and Exodus 20:4-5 (respectively):

“You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”

Now, let’s begin.

To see if you think like a Roman Catholic, what is your response to each of the the following pictures (the “proper” Romanist responses are indicated below each image).

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

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Veneration.

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Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

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Veneration.

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Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

To see if you’ve been successfully conditioned to think like a Roman Catholic, we’ll conclude with one last picture.

Examine the following photograph carefully. The worshipers in the picture are from India, a country dominated with the worship of countless idols of Hindu gods made from stone and wood. So, are the people in this picture merely offering veneration, or are they pagan idol worshipers violating God’s prohibition of such activity found in Leviticus 26:1 and Exodus 20:4-5?

The answer: They are Roman Catholics, so therefore, their actions are only that of veneration.

If you answered this correctly, you are thinking like a Romanist, if you answered incorrectly you either need to start again at the beginning of this post, or you’re simply one of those fundamentalists who takes God’s prohibition against idolatry literally and seriously.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

The blasphemy of Rome’s priesthood.

Reminiscent of The Pharisees

“The priest speaks, and Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.”

- “Father” John O’Brien

The Faith of Millions

“Jesus died to institute the priesthood. Had he not died, where should we find the victim that the priests now offer? It was not necessary for the Redeemer to die in order to save the world; a drop of his blood, a single tear, or prayer, was sufficient to procure salvation for all . . . but to institute the priesthood, the death of Jesus Christ was necessary.”

- Alphonsus Ligouri

The Dignity and Duties of the Priest

Quotes (923).

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that infants are forgiven of original sin when a priest pours water over the baby in the sacrament of baptism. There are two serious problems with this practice. First, there is no occurrence of infant baptism in the New Testament, and second, one must believe in Jesus in order to be forgiven. Clearly a baby cannot respond in faith to the Gospel and thus be forgiven.

-          Mike Gendron

They just don’t get it.

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:2-4

They just don’t get it.

The false religions and cults simply cannot grasp the simplicity of the gospel message. This is evidenced anytime you have a conversation with one of them about sin, grace, faith, and justification.

You can go round and round in debate with a member of one of these organizations and you often walk away with a headache because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

They have been so indoctrinated to believe their respective organization’s interpretations of biblical texts that when someone presents them with the proper interpretation of biblical texts (using Scripture to interpret Scripture) they simply reject it.

It is so sad to watch the deceived continue in their deception, especially when they are leading others down the same broad path.

It’s like trying to convince a fish that it’s wet; the fish has known nothing but wet, so it cannot even fathom what dry is.

Recently the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by my home and dropped off an advertisement with my wife for an upcoming event. They won’t stay to talk (our house has been flagged for almost five years now) but they will occasionally still drop off literature . . . and run.

In their latest dump-and-run literature drop they gave my wife a flier for their upcoming commemoration of the anniversary of Jesus’ death. Here’s the opening line from that advertisement:

“John the Baptizer stated that Jesus ‘takes away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) This drew attention to Jesus’ role in saving obedient mankind.”

Jesus saved the obedient? 

See how subtle their deception is?

The obedient don’t need a Savior. Jesus Himself said He came for the sinner, not the righteous (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17).

This declaration by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is predicated on the erroneous assumption that our obedience is a prerequisite for Christ to be able save us. This is classic Watchtower Organization rhetoric and is essentially the doctrine of all cults and false religions: Believing you must do your part and cooperate with God to help Him or enable Him to save you.

They just don’t get it.

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe obedience is required as a means or requirement of salvation (which anyone who knows Watchtower doctrine can attest that this is indeed their position) then they better be obedient to all the Law without ever sinning once from cradle to grave, otherwise they will be found guilty of breaking all the Law (James 2:10):

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

But what’s even more damning to those seeking salvation via the conduit of obedience is the fact that they are under a curse for doing the very thing they think will save them (Galatians 3:10):

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”

What Jehovah’s Witnesses (and Mormons, and Roman Catholics, and Muslims, etc.) fail to understand is that regeneration comes before obedience, not the other way around. Romans 8:6-8 makes our inability very clear:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

It’s a classic case of putting of the cart before the horse.

They just don’t get it.

It’s only after we’ve been saved, regenerated, made alive in Christ, been born again, that our works and obedience are pleasing and acceptable to God 

Our obedience is borne out of a love and desire to please the One who purchased us with His own blood, not out of us trying to appease Him and merit His favor like the pagans try do for their idols.

Our obedience, and the good works we do after being saved, come from God and are prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). This is why our behavior should reflect our conversion (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20, Ephesians 4:1) and why the absence of which should cause us to question whether or not we’ve been genuinely converted.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

Simply put, regeneration precedes obedience (John 14:15, John 14:21-24, 1 John 3:24).

What obedience did Abraham offer to become righteous before God (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3)? What obedience did John the Baptist declare to those coming to be baptized (Matthew 3:2)? What obedience did Christ declare upon the start of His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:17) or later in His ministry (Luke 13:5)? What obedience did the thief on the cross exhibit to be with Jesus that very day in paradise (Luke 23:39-43)? What obedience did Paul tell the Philippian jailer he needed to perform to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)?

The false faiths that dot the landscape of Christianity like pock marks all invalidate the word of God for the sake of their traditions (Matthew 15:6), and their works-righteousness gospel is in complete contradiction to Jesus’ teaching of the means of the free gift of God’s grace and mercy as cited in His example of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. You cannot read those words of our Lord and still believe that your obedience (or anything for that matter) merits you any favor in God’s eyes. If you still believe otherwise, then you make Christ’s brutal, bloody, and barbaric sacrifice null and void because it was all done in vain. 

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. Galatians 2:21

See also: Why Don’t They Get it?

Roman Catholicism’s competition in Mexico.

I recently read an article about cults in Mexico that I found absolutely fascinating. It seems that the Roman Catholic organization is experiencing some competition in one of their stronghold nations.

Here’s a quote from the article about the growing worship of fictional drug-trafficking saint, Jesús Malverde:

“The emotional pressures, the tensions of living in a time of crisis lead people to look for symbolic figures that can help them face danger,” says José Luis González, a professor at Mexico’s National School of Anthropology and History who specializes in popular religions. Among the helper figures are Afro-Cuban deities that have recently found their way to new shores and outlaws that have been transformed into miracle workers, like a mythical bandit from northern Mexico called Jesús Malverde. There are even saints from the New Testament repurposed for achieving not salvation but success. In this expanding spiritual universe, the worship of a skeleton dressed in long robes and carrying a scythe—La Santa Muerte—is possibly the fastest growing and, at first glance at least, the most extravagant of the new cults.

There’s a reason for God’s prohibition against graven images and the bowing down to them. Our hearts are truly idol factories and here’s an example of how one such idol was created:

Eligio had been working as a driver in 1976 when he was knifed and shot in a holdup and left for dead. He prayed to Malverde, whose only monument at the time was a pile of rocks where his grave was said to be, promising to erect a proper shrine in Malverde’s honor if the saintly bandit saved his life. When he survived, he kept his word. González appears to have understood that people would grasp Malverde’s real importance only if there were an image of him they could worship, but unfortunately no photograph of Malverde existed—and, in fact, no evidence at all that he’d ever lived. In the 1980s González asked an artisan in the neighborhood to create a plaster bust: “Make him sort of like Pedro Infante and sort of like Carlos Mariscal,” Infante being a famous movie star from Sinaloa and Mariscal a local politician.

And then there’s the skeletal idol of death known as La Santa Muerte reminiscent of the Grim Reaper:

Antonio explains what gives La Santa Muerte her powerful attraction: “La Muerte is always beside you—even if it’s just a little postage stamp that you put up above your cot, you know that she’s not going to move, that she’ll never leave.” . . . El Niño and Antonio say just that La Santa Muerte will grant your prayers—but only in exchange for payment, and that payment must be proportional to the size of the miracle requested, and the punishment for not meeting one’s debt to her is terrible.

I find it ironic that the official position of the Roman Catholic organization is in opposition to the worship of Jesús Malverde and La Santa Muerte when they are one of the worst offenders of idol worship around and seem to have no problem when the idol being worshiped is one that they’ve created.

Mexicans who retain a strong connection to the Roman Catholic faith might turn instead to St. Jude Thaddeus. At a time when no-win situations abound, he is experiencing a rise in popularity comparable only to that of La Santa Muerte, perhaps because he is known in the Catholic Church as the patron saint of desperate causes. . . . St. Jude’s official feast day is October 28, and thousands of his followers feel inspired to come and pray to him on that day every month. Sixteen Masses are celebrated in the parish from dawn to evening, and worshippers crawl to the statue of the saint on their knees, praying for help, protection, and survival.

But let me caution you, before we look down on these souls in Mexico who are steeped in idol worship, let us not forget that we in America are equally as guilty of this sin; our idols just come in different forms (cars, sports, money, status, possessions, self, etc.).

To read the entire National Geographic article (and to view more pictures) visit National Geographic online.

Quotes (845)

Catholics are taught to believe a miracle has occurred when the inner essence of the host (wafer) is changed into the body and blood of Christ even though it still looks and tastes like a wafer. Can you think of any miracle in the Bible that never appeared to happen?

- Mike Gendron

Quotes (831)

The Apostle Paul commended the Berean Church for using Scriptures to verify the truthfulness of his teaching. It is clear that since an apostle, who penned over half the New Testament was tested by the Bible, all religious teachers must come under the same scrutiny. Have you checked the teachings of your religious leaders with the Bible?

-          Mike Gendron