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Part two of Jean’s expose’ of Catholicism
I want to reiterate that I am not writing to those that will feel that their religion is being attacked and would want to argue with me; rather, I am writing to those that sense that God is not in their church and that they want to know Him, and thus are reaching out for more information and support in their spiritual quest. I will be happy to answer questions and even have discussions with people that want civil and honest discourse on this topic.
I start out with the statement mentioned in part one- that I often read/hear Catholics saying something along the lines of the idea that the Catholic Church was the original church-the church that “was started by Jesus Christ”; i.e. that it was the church that was from the beginning, and thus, is the true church. It’s pointed out that Ignatius, writing at about A.D. 100, referred in his writings to the “catholic church”, and that Eusebius, historian of the church from the early 300’s, also called the church “Catholic” throughout his writings.
However, it must be noted that the translators of these original works, written in greek, are choosing to translate the word catholic instead of “universal”, but the whole reason for the use of the word “universal” was to characterize the body of believers all throughout the world as all being “the church”; and traditionally, the translation “catholic” was chosen over “universal”. From Wikipedia: The word catholic (with lowercase c; derived via Late Latin catholicus, from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos), meaning “universal”) comes from the Greek phrase καθόλου (katholou), meaning “on the whole”, “according to the whole” or “in general”, and is a combination of the Greek words κατά meaning “about” and όλος meaning “whole”. The word in English can mean either “including a wide variety of things; all-embracing” or “of the Roman Catholic faith” . Wikipedia goes on further to state: Of the meaning for Ignatius of this phrase J.H. Srawley wrote (in J. H. Srawley (1900). “Ignatius Epistle to the Smyrnaeans”. Retrieved 2007-06-24):
“This is the earliest occurrence in Christian literature of the phrase ‘the Catholic Church’ (ἡ καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία). The original sense of the word is ‘universal’. Thus Justin Martyr (Dial. 82) speaks of the ‘universal or general resurrection‘, using the words ἡ καθολικὴ ἀνάστασις. Similarly here the Church universal is contrasted with the particular Church of Smyrna. Ignatius means by the Catholic Church ‘the aggregate of all the Christian congregations’ (Swete, Apostles Creed, p. 76)”. So, it’s my understanding that this idea that was put forth at the beginning–that of the “church universal” is not the same church that was instituted in the early 300’s—at Eusebius’ time.
As we all know, for the first 280 years of Christian history, Christianity was banned by the Roman Empire, and Christians were terribly persecuted. This changed after the “conversion” of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine “legalized” Christianity with the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313. Later, in A.D. 325, Constantine called the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify Christianity. Constantine envisioned Christianity as a religion that could unite the Roman Empire, which at that time was beginning to fragment and divide. Thus, he began to give the bishops at Rome more power not only in the church but as a factor in influencing government. “The supremacy of the Roman bishop (the papacy) was created with the support of the Roman emperors. With the city of Rome being the center of government for the Roman Empire, and with the Roman emperors living in Rome, the city of Rome rose to prominence in all facets of life. Constantine and his successors gave their support to the bishop of Rome as the supreme ruler of the church. Of course, it is best for the unity of the Roman Empire that the government and state religion be centered in the same location. While most other bishops (and Christians) resisted the idea of the Roman bishop being supreme, the Roman bishop eventually rose to supremacy, due to the power and influence of the Roman emperors. WHEN THE ROMAN EMPIRE COLLAPSED, THE POPES TOOK ON THE TITLE THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY BELONGED TO THE ROMAN EMPERORS – PONTIFICUS MAXIMUS.” (christianresearchnetwork.org).
Thus, the new Roman “pope” gradually asserted himself as the supreme leader of the whole “universal” church, and thus named “the church” “The Roman Catholic Church”, creating basically a new sect of the church, and developing doctrine and practices that will not be found or supported in any of the gospels or epistles or acts, such as the papacy (or “one guy at the top”), worship/adoration of Mary (or the immaculate conception of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the assumption of Mary, or Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix), petitioning saints in heaven for their help/prayers, apostolic succession, the ordinances of the church functioning as sacraments, the “mass”, infant baptism, confession of sin to a priest, purgatory, indulgences, or the equal authority of church tradition and Scripture, to name just a few. Realistically, this could be considered a “sect” of Christianity, as it was sharply distinct from how the church behaved for the first 300 years, and, of course, not all the congregations considered themselves belonging to this RCC and having to submit to “the pope”. I’m sure that there always remained congregations that were “protestants” from 325 until the famous “reformation movement”.
Central to their claim of papal authority is the Catholic assertion that saint Peter was the first pope, or bishop, of Rome, and a succession of bishops followed him, rightly making them successor popes.
In the next part, I will delve into these claims about Peter and how they stack up against holy scripture.
If you would like to contact Jean you may do so here – email@example.com
Continued in Part 3
If you go to the store to buy Meat, don't run to the Milk section or the Junk Food aisle looking for it!!
The Meat Section is the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Milk Section is likened to those who will not preach on sin and Hell, just a feel good message, the Social gospel.
The Junk Food Isle is the outright false doctrine AKA the prosperity gospel, name it and claim it, the Hebraic Roots movement and other false teachings!!
Feasting on just Milk and Junk will eventually cause you great harm, you can count on it!!
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