Friday, May 27, 2011

Are Catholics Christians? From a former priest

Dear Friend,

We have an investigative, new article called “Are Catholics Christians?” While one analyzes Catholicism in the light of biblical faith, one reaches an irrefutable answer; the outcome must also be carefully investigated.

Many Evangelicals will be dismayed that such a question need even be asked. Moreover, the question will be totally abhorrent to those in ecumenical movements as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” and “Christian Churches Together.” Thus, in this article the Christian response to the effects of the incontestable answer are clearly outlined.

I ask that you respond to this important article by your prayers and by forwarding it to others.

I request also that is possible that you place it on your website.

Yours in Jesus Christ and His Gospel of grace,

Richard Bennett


Are Catholics Christians?

By Richard Bennett

The Catholic Church presupposes itself to be Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth; yet, the Catholic Church has been ardently promoting that image, particularly since the close of Vatican Council II in 1965. A primary, non-negotiable goal of Vatican Council II was to lay the groundwork and to establish the rules and parameters for a multifaceted, ecumenical outreach. Evangelical Christians, now called “separated brethren,” rather than “heretics,” are the primary target of Catholic ecumenism. The goal is to draw them into the Roman Catholic fold. Thus, in the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, the word “Christian” occurs more than 100 times in these official teachings. Buzzwords such as “dialogue,” “ecumenism,” and “social justice” are being used under the guise of promoting Christianity to advance the Roman Catholic agenda.

Assurances to Evangelicals Negated

Evangelicals are assured that Catholics who believe in the incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are true Christians, even though they misunderstand some of the “technicalities” regarding salvation. Such reasoning is negated by the fact that Catholicism differs from biblical faith—not only on minor details, but more importantly on what is essential to salvation.

The most dangerous aspect of Catholic Church doctrine is that it appears to be based on the great, indispensable truths of God’s revelation. In reality, however, the blatant fact is that Catholic doctrine denies essential, biblical doctrines by what it affixes to biblical truths. For example, while Catholic doctrine holds that in the Godhead there are three distinct Persons worthy of the same worship, it adds divine adoration for Mary by addressing her in prayer as “the All Holy One.” The exact words of the official statement are, “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All Holy One.” Another example is the fact that the Catholic Church demands that the worship, which is due to the true God, is to be given also to their Communion element. Thus, she officially declares,

“There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind ‘that all the faithful ought to show to this most holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God, as has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be adored any the less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten.’”

These two official teachings of the Church of Rome show that the divine worship due to God alone is being given to Mary and to the communion element.
Then the essential doctrine of man’s redemption by Jesus Christ is totally different in Papal Rome from what it is in the Bible. The Scripture declares that sinners dead in trespasses and sins are “by grace” “saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” This Scripture shows that God directly saves sinners by His grace alone through faith alone. However, the Catholic Church introduces the necessity of her sacraments and consequently states,

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ‘Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.”

The sacraments that are declared to be indispensable negate the biblical doctrine of man’s redemption. With these explicit examples of the Catholic Church’s negation of essential biblical truths, the Papacy’s official doctrine and teaching on all the major topics of biblical truth needs to be carefully examined.

The Basis of Truth

The first topic to address is, “What is the basis of truth?” In other words, what is the norm by which we can know truth? The absolute standard set by the Lord Jesus Christ is the fact that “the scripture cannot be broken.” The Lord also declared the truth of God’s Word by saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” From this statement we understand that God’s Word not only contains the truth, but rather, it is truth itself. The Holy Scripture is the source of the believer’s standard of truth. Since Scripture alone is inspired, it alone is the ultimate authority, and it alone is the final judge of all human tradition and reasoning. Accordingly, the commandment of the Lord states, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Thus, in His written Word, the absolute authority of the Lord God is totally sufficient for all the believer’s needs, as outlined by the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The Lord rebuked the Pharisees because they placed their human tradition on the same level as the written Word of God. Thus, the Pharisees corrupted the people’s understanding by confusing them in regards to God’s Word as the very basis of truth. Jesus declared to them, “[You are] making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered.”

In spite of this clear standard of truth, the Catholic Church declares her own standard of truth. She begins her reasoning with the following words,

“Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other” “And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God, which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.”

The fact is that no “tradition” transmits in its entirety the Word of God. This task is solely that of the Holy Spirit. First, in an exclusive sense, the Scriptures are the composition of the Holy Spirit; as stated by the Apostle Peter, “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Spirit is fully fitted for this work because He is “the Spirit of truth.” He has perfect knowledge of the truth because He is God, one with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the written Word to believers. For this reason the Lord Christ Jesus said, “He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Thus, the Holy Spirit perfectly transmits the Word of God in its proper fullness.

Having equated her “Sacred Tradition” with Sacred Scripture, and stating that her tradition transmits the Word of God in its entirety, the Catholic Church reaches its conclusion with the following words,

“As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”

This statement is a formal denial of the sufficiency of Scripture and a repudiation of its unique authority. For a church, claiming to be Christian, to affirm her equal love for tradition as she does Scripture is to make Scripture of no unique value. It is like a husband who declares that he loves his wife and at the same time states that he also loves equally the woman across the street. Such love would be adulterous; so also are Papal Rome’s “equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” Such a declaration is tantamount to a rejection of Scripture and unfaithfulness to the God of Scripture.
Catholicism, however, does have a standard for truth that is taken to be absolute. It is not the unqualified authority of God in His written Word; rather, it is the authority of a man, the Pope of Rome. For Catholics, the ultimate authority lies in the decisions and decrees of the reigning Pope. This is seen in their official teaching which states,

“The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful...he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”

Thus, in practice, the Catholic Church’s basis for doctrine is her Pope and what he states to be truth. In other words, this is claimed truth by decree. How ludicrous the claim is when we realize that some popes were declared to be heretics and thus condemned by Church councils.

Salvation by Grace Alone Denied by Catholic Sacramental System

That salvation is by grace alone must be clearly understood. Unredeemed sinners, of whom all are “dead in trespasses and sins,” can only be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, because salvation is “the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is God who graciously saves by His unmerited free gift. In total contrast to this, salvation in the Catholic Church is said to come about by “grace” that is merely a “help” with the intention that people will respond. Thus, the Catholic Church officially states, “Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life.” In this view, human beings are presumed to be good enough to respond to the help that God gives to them. According to the Catholic Church, grace is not a manifestation of God’s sovereign action in salvation but merely a “help” given to humans that they may respond, should they decide to believe. The Catholic teaching contradicts the very concept of grace. As the Scripture states, “and if by grace, then is it [salvation] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.” God’s sovereign action is what is at stake and not uncertain, human response.

The Catholic concept of “grace” denies God’s sovereign grace. Therefore, the Papacy needed to construct a mechanism by which Catholics can profess that they have received grace. The primary tools of their invention are called the sacraments. Accordingly, the Catholic Church states,

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ‘Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.”

This teaching is appalling. In the Bible, salvation is given to an individual by the absolute power of God’s grace alone – because in God alone is the power to deliver a man spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” to being spiritually alive in Christ. However, the Catholic Church adamantly disagrees with the Bible on this primary issue, for it officially claims “man has only been wounded by sin.” Thus, her Catechism describes God’s grace as a “help” accessible through her sacraments. These sacraments are in turn totally under the control of the Catholic priesthood.

We absolutely praise the Lord God that from Scripture we know His grace is totally His free gift, “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” In salvation, we are accepted not in any institution, or by partaking of any sacrament, but in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

Papal Substitute for Christ Alone as Object of Faith

The object of faith is clearly seen in Scripture as the person of Christ Jesus Himself. Consequently, it is stated, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” This faith is God-given faith, as declared by the Apostle Peter, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

This God-given faith comes by hearing the Word of God as is stated, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The topic of faith is so clear in Scripture that one would doubt that it could be twisted by any church. The Catholic Church, nonetheless, completely changes the concept of faith. Regarding faith, she focuses attention on herself as “the Church,” as the one that first believes. Thus she teaches, “It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith.”

Then she has the audacity to declare that faith comes through the Church because the Church is our Mother. As a result she officially teaches, “Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother…” In the Catholic Church the result is that a person believes in Mother Church and not on the Lord Jesus Christ. Her official words stating this are the following,

“‘Believing’ is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. ‘No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.’”

Therefore, the position for Catholics is that they are compelled to submit to holy Mother Church and accept what she teaches. The Catholic Church basically attempts to replace Jesus Christ as the object of saving faith with a substitute: faith in Mother Church.

What this change does is to enslave an individual to the Roman Catholic Church rather than to make him free in Jesus Christ. To maintain the Catholic Church as the object of faith, the Papacy curses all who believe on Christ by faith alone. Their official words are,

“If anyone says that by the sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred ex opere operato [from the work worked], but that faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient to obtain grace, let him be anathema [cursed].”

Christ’s Sufficient Finished Sacrifice

The unique oneness of Christ’s sacrifice is the fact that it was one offering—once made. The concept “once” is deemed so important that it is asserted seven times by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. The perfection of Christ’s sacrifice is contrasted with the repeated daily sacrifices of the Old Testament.

The truth of the excellence of Christ’s sacrifice is highlighted by the word “once.” For example, the Apostle Paul teaches, “for in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” The Apostle Peter likewise declares, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” The same truth is taught five times in the book of Hebrews with the conclusion, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The majestic truth is found in the Lord’s declaration from the cross, “It is finished.”

In total contrast, the Catholic Church declares that Christ’s sacrifice, which was offered on the cross, is contained and offered in her Mass. Her official words are the following,
“In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.”

Quite unbelievably she states an even worse conclusion. She declares that the sacrifice of Christ is also a sacrifice of the Church offering herself with Him. The official words are, “The Church, which is the Body of Christ, participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire.” It is utterly blasphemous for a church to teach its members to offer themselves with Christ’s sacrifice. The doctrine of participating in Christ’s sacrifice is entirely perverse and immoral. This proposition is an utter lie as it denies the repeated statements of God’s truth in Scripture. The work of redemption is “by Himself,” “without the deeds of the law,” “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” To teach people such a proposition is a dreadful abomination before the Lord God!

The Nature of God as the Only All Holy One

The Bible clearly teaches that God alone is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His Being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Most important is the fact that He is the All Holy One. His holiness is the divine attribute that covers all attributes so that His righteousness is holy, His truth is holy, and His justice is holy. He is each of His attributes, and the overall attribute of holiness is that which separates Him from all beings. His holiness is distinctive and matchless. This is the reason why we need to be saved by Him, the All Holy God. Thus, we read in Scripture, “there is none holy as the Lord.” Again, the Word of the Lord proclaims, “who shall not fear thee O Lord and glorify Thy name for thou only art holy and all nations shall come and worship before thee.”

The Lord God is utterly holy in the words of Scripture, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” In addition to declaring the holiness of God, the official teaching of the Catholic Church declares Mary to be “the All Holy One.” The capital letters are there in print, and there is no disclaimer or footnote to explain differently what is said. The following is stated, “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All Holy One.”

Furthermore, Catholic teaching also officially states, “From the Church he [the Catholic] learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary…” This blasphemous teaching is an attempted theft of the very essence of the divine glory reserved unto God alone. It comes as a shock to see that in this doctrine alone the Papacy has shown its total disregard for the Godhead. We know that Lord God alone is the All Holy One and that He is protective of His glory, opposing all that are hostile to it, “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.”

Idolatry

The Scriptures are absolutely clear in declaring that we are neither to make a graven image nor show any veneration to such images, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything...Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” Then Scripture explains how this is to be understood, “and he [God] declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake...Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure....” Hence, there is to be no similitude (or likeness) of God made by mankind. That which is forbidden in Scripture is the making of any likeness of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church, however, rationalizes that one can indeed practice idolatry. Paragraph 2132 of the 1994 Catechism states,

“The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype, and whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.”

The reason given is that one venerates the person portrayed by the image and not the image itself. Yet, this is exactly what the Bible forbids and why God’s second commandment had forbidden Aaron from making the golden calf. The second reason given by Papal Rome to justify the practice of idolatry, uses an 8th century council, it states the following,

“Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified…the veneration of icons—of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new ‘economy’ of images.”

When the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea decided that the incarnation of Jesus Christ introduced a new “economy” of images, the unstated logic of their decision required them to maintain that God changed His mind regarding the Second Commandment. This reasoning is blasphemous. God does not change His mind. Jesus Christ and the Apostles were equally forceful in condemning idolatry, as were the commandments in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church claims that a “tradition comes from the Holy Spirit” which justifies the making of graven images and these are to be publicly displayed. In its Catechism, Paragraph 1161 states,

“Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.”

This is idolatry plain, simple, and condemned by the Lord God.

The Holy Spirit is forthrightly blasphemed in their claim that He established tradition to justify the use of images. Rather, the Bible makes abundantly clear that God hates idolatry and forbids a representation in art of what is divine (Exodus. 20:4-6). Making images to represent God corrupts those who use them (Deuteronomy 4:13, 15-16). Images teach lies about God (Habakkuk. 2:18-20). God cannot be represented in art and all who practice idolatry are commanded to repent (Acts 17:29-30). The Holy Spirit orders in the New Testament as He did the Old, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (I John. 5:21). Some of the evil fruits of bringing into the worship of Holy God the idolatry that He hates are the many pagan superstitions and traditions of Roman Catholicism. But the worst fruit of the idolatry that Roman Catholicism offers under the guise of being Christian is its false gospel.

The topic of idolatry is of utmost importance as many Bible-believing churches in the present day attempt to justify pictures and videos of Christ. They argue that both we, and those who cannot read, can come to a fuller understanding of the person of Christ from these images. Yet, the Bible clearly states that such images lie. Jesus Christ is the only one with two distinct natures – both divine and human – in one body. Therefore, to attempt to make any kind of an image of Jesus Christ, graven or two dimensional or moving, still falls under the Second Commandment. No image can portray Christ’s divinity, for He “is the brightness of his [God’s] glory and the express image of his person,” “in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

If we are to be biblical, we do not have any pictorial representation or video showing the persons of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The punishment for idolatry is severe, as both the Old Testament and New Testament make clear. The temptation to visualize Christ, the Father, or the Holy Spirit must be repented of, for God is Holy and the truth of Bible is sufficient for all our knowledge of things divine.

Conclusion

As has been shown above, the Roman Catholic Church most certainly is not Christian. Rather, it is an apostate church. The Bible God’s written word is the great authority against the apostasy of the Catholic Church and against her false gospel. The Bible states that by nature, we are all born “dead in trespasses and sins,” and in practice, we rebel against the All Holy God. Therefore, we justly fall under the curse of the Law. Yet, the love of the heavenly Father, through the Gospel of grace, rescues His own from His fiery wrath. By means of the conviction of sin, placed on the human heart by the Holy Spirit, He by His grace alone turns us to Himself in faith alone for the salvation that He alone gives. This salvation is based on Christ’s death and resurrection for His own. As a result we believe on Jesus Christ the Lord alone, “for by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Such grace and love engages our hearts in an ever deepening gratitude so that we proclaim with our whole heart, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

John Paul II: Cult of Personality, part 2

John Paul II: Blessed in the Sight of God? (part 2)

By Richard Bennet

The Faith and Practice of John Paul II


As Pope, John Paul II believed that he had sacraments that were capable of sanctifying the hearts and souls of men and women. In the Code of Canon Law, which he revised and republished, he taught that a person is reborn by the sacrament of baptism. The following words are his words:

“Through baptism men and women are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated in the [Catholic] Church.”

Then, by the physical sacrament of Confirmation, he claimed a spiritual outpouring like that of Pentecost itself. His words are the following,

“The effect of Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. This outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in the grace of Baptism.”

He then claimed that people have their sins forgiven when a Catholic priest utters the words over them, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” These words were, in his estimation, so important that he insisted that to obtain reconciliation with God one must confess all serious sins to a priest. The exact assertion that the Pope authorized was the following,

“One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.”

Pope John Paul II believed that by the words of consecration at a Catholic mass, the bread and wine are literally changed into the body of Christ together with His soul and divinity. His official teaching reads as follows,

“By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.”

This official teaching of John Paul II led the Catholic priest, John O’Brien, to express his thoughts on how the consecration of bread and wine by the priest at Mass works. O’Brien wrote,

“While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once, but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.”

Such heretical teaching denies the very nature of the Incarnation. Christ Jesus became incarnate a single time, and forever, and it is never to be repeated. If what John Paul II and John O’Brien believed were true, then in the same Mass “Christ” would be de-incarnated, once the communi-cant had physically absorbed the elements and they no longer contained “Christ.” What a horrific insult this teaching is, for it both assails the Lord and deceives people.
John Paul II even claimed that power effectively flowed from the Communion element itself. Thus, his official teaching was the following, “By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins.” Consequently, John Paul II taught his people to look to “it,” a physical thing, as a means of conveying God’s grace, teaching a person to look to a physical thing as if it had supernatural power. Such a teaching comes under the eternal curse of perverting the Gospel of Christ. To propose an oral ingesting of Christ’s flesh is bad enough; however, what John Paul II taught is much worse. He declared that it “preserves us from future mortal sins.” These enticing words of human philosophy teach the age-old practice of looking to a physical substance in order to procure life.

What makes the doctrine all the more repulsive is that this very teaching, which speaks of preserving from serious sin, is itself a blasphemous sin. John Paul II’s beliefs and practices were in fact spiritually lethal hazards. He presented physical things as if they were powers themselves and necessary for salvation. Thus, it was that John Paul II proposed his church’s physical sacra-ments as the inherent means of obtaining the grace of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, his official teaching declared,

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ‘Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.”

Inculcating dependence on these physical sacraments instead of direct faith on the Lord Christ Jesus was the scheme of John Paul II. It deflected faith from the person of Christ to rituals that are claimed to be powers. He explicitly called them “powers” as he stated, “Sacraments are ‘powers that come forth’ from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving.”

True Christians see God’s power proclaimed in “the gospel of Christ… the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” each one “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Thus, John Paul II’s faith and practice were not those of a person that is blessed in the sight of God, indeed, quite the opposite.

The Character of John Paul II

The character of John Paul II was presented as resplendent in humility and compassion, earnestly going about to bring peace and unity to the world. Underneath the fa├žade, however, was an iron fisted hold on people in terms of law. Like Pope Gregory VII in the eleventh century, John Paul II determined to build an empire by meticulous laws. He was adamant in his efforts to update the laws of the Catholic Church. Since the days of Gregory VII, Popes have seen the necessity of making inflexible church laws before attempting to control their subjects and others by compulsion, if necessary. Thus, it was in 1983 that John Paul II revised the 1917 Code of Canon Law. He added laws to those already existing, such as the following,

“The Church has an innate and proper right to coerce offending members of the Christian faithful by means of penal sanctions.”

Examination of his extra laws shows them to be even more totalitarian than those of the past. For example, in clearer terms than any cult, John Paul II decreed the necessity of suppressing one’s God-given faculties of the mind and will. His law stated,

“A religious respect of intellect and will, even if not the assent of faith, is to be paid to the teaching which the Supreme Pontiff...”

The consequences of not submitting were spelled out in his laws, “The following are to be pun-ished with a just penalty: 1. a person who…teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pon-tiff….” Specific penalties are also decreed by John Paul II, “The law can establish other expiatory penalties which deprive a believer of some spiritual or temporal good and are consistent with the supernatural end of the Church.”

Imposes Greater Control over Catholic Church

John Paul II knew right well how to enforce his will in law. In few other activities was his genius more conspicuous than in this. There were no checks and balances to his absolute power and authority. In the official commentary on his Canon Law is the following,

“The Church’s governmental system is vastly different from the notion of a balance of powers. In fact, the three functions are situated in the same office.... Unlike the American system, ecclesiastical law does not arise from the will of the governed, nor does the Church’s juridical structure rely on a system of checks and balances to maintain its effectiveness...The Code promotes this system through a hierarchical structure that is more vertical than horizontal. Ultimately, the highest judge, the pope, is also the highest legislator and administrator....”

The imposition of John Paul II will was clearly seen in an article in the Catholic World Report called, “Rome Has SpokenAgain.” The article stated the following,

“‘The Pope Moves to Stamp Out Liberal Debate on Heated Issues,’ headlined the New York Times in a front-page story, warning darkly of possible ‘just punishment’ for dissenters…In another front-page story, the Washington Post introduced its coverage with a headline reading, ‘Papal Letter is Divisive, Critics Say’, nor did the Post fail to add the obligatory subheadline about how ‘Dissent on Dogma Risks Punishment....’”
Then in order to push forward John Paul II’s ecumenical agenda to snare Evangelicals, Lutherans and Anglicans into accepting Catholicism as a valid form of Christianity, the Vatican announced that an apology was to be made for the Inquisition. However, during a Mass on March 12, 2000 in which this was to be done, John Paul II merely asked pardon for wrongs committed in the past by members of the Church. The fact is, as he right well knew, that individual members of the Catholic Church did not order the systematic murder of believers and confiscation of their private property during the 605 years of the Inquisition. Rather, as Lord Acton, who was himself a Catholic, observed, it was “the Popes in particular that caused and instigated the sufferings and persecutions, involving themselves in detail even in the minute ways that believers were to be tortured.” Thus, while John Paul II appeared to be eminently pious, when one studies his laws, decrees, verdicts and deeds; he was a despot with dictatorial power.

Solemn warnings are given in Scripture concerning such veneer that conceals devious people, “… false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” As a consequence from just what is documented here, it becomes clear that the character of John Paul II was not that of a person exalted in God’s sight, and not one who knew Him. Rather, he is one to be exposed that others might not fall into the deceptions and traps which he perpetrated on the Catholic world, the Evangelical world and any who would pay attention to him.

Accursed before the Lord God

It is quite evident that John Paul II was not and is not blessed in the sight of God. What then was he? In his own estimation, he saw himself as the absolutely supreme authority. Accordingly on October 8th 2000, under his assumed title of Vicar of Christ, he consecrated the world and the new millennium to “Mary Most Holy.” By such a blasphemous act, he made mockery of the First Commandment. By these and other blasphemous official acts, John Paul II demonstrated who indeed he was. Overtly and unequivocally, he fulfilled the Thessalonians text definition of “the man of sin.” The same John Paul, who assumed to himself the titles of “Holy Father” and “Vicar of Christ,” fulfilled in an unqualified sense the definition of the Antichrist given by the Apostle John, “who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” John Paul II in taking these designations denied both the Father and the Son and again showed who he was. Even in his Catechism he took to himself Christ’s office of supreme and universal power over the whole Church. Thus he decreed,

“For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”

John Paul was the worst enemy of Christ who, under the pretense of service to Him, presumed to undermine His unique offices by blatantly attempting to usurp His position and power. Most se-rious of all is the fact that John Paul stated unequivocally that there is “an abundant exchange of all good things,” in so-called “communion with the dead.” In the same paragraph he elabo-rates, “In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others.” This in fact is a straight denial of the Gospel of Christ. There is no known record of John Paul II’s recantation of any of this. Yet the Lord’s written word, which John Paul had in his possession as part of his authority base, proclaims. “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” This must be the utterly grave and somber conclusion of the matter: before the tribunal of God’s absolute Word, John Paul II has shown himself to be accursed by his own words. With the deepest con-cern, therefore, we reach out with the true Gospel to those who live their lives under the damna-ble teaching that this man had propagated.

Bible Believers’ Response

We carefully analyze John Paul’s beliefs and practices because the Lord commands us “to contend for the faith once given to the saints.” Our stand for the true biblical faith is to be with “compassion, making a difference.” As the Lord told us, “in the world you will have tribula-tion; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” In Him we are commanded that “hav-ing done all, to stand… stand therefore.” We, therefore, have total assurance that the Lord God is with us. The certainty of the final triumph should animate our effort and encourage us in our struggle. With great confidence we do look for fruit from the work done in His name as He in-structs us, “this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.” In the midst of spectacu-lar pageantry to surround the beatification of John Paul II, the Lord will save just as He did in the midst of the splendor of the Pope’s visit to the UK in September 2010.

Let the Gospel trumpet sound! On the authority of Scripture, let it be known that sinners are justified by grace only, through faith only, in Christ Jesus only! And to God only be the glory! The clear resounding cry is the command of the Lord Himself, “This is the work of God that you believe on him whom He has sent.” “Repent and believe the gospel.” Where there is true faith and love of the Lord, there is in the midst of all afflictions a joy unspeakable and full of glory. God is the only Holy Father, the All Holy One. His holiness is the distinguishing factor in all His essential characteristics. This is the reason why we need to be in right standing before the one and only All Holy God on the terms He prescribes. Turn to God in faith alone, in Christ alone, for the salvation that He alone gives by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, based on Christ’s death and resurrection for His own. Believe on Him alone, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” ♦



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