What is Wrong with Catholicism?
by Pastor Don Elmore
August 14, 2011
Fifty years ago, when I graduated from high school, I knew that I didn’t know anything about the Bible. I knew that the church that I had been going to in my younger days was not the right one. I began my search for the true church…Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Christian Science, and many others.
I eventually went to Roman Catholic classes (one a week for about 8 weeks). They taught that their church was the true one, with one of the apostles of Jesus, Simon Peter, their first pope. Here is what they said:
How the Catholic Church Started:
The word ‘catholic’ means universal. Jesus created one universal church for all of mankind. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus with his words spoken in Matthew 16. Jesus asked his disciples ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ The disciples then offered various answers – ‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ But the question that Jesus then asked was crucial: ‘But who do you say that I am?’
The answer provided by Simon Peter set in motion the formation of the Catholic Church by Jesus. ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ With the answer, Jesus established the Catholic Church with Simon Peter designated the first Pope.
The reformation began a splintering of the Church – in so many words, a kingdom divided.
It is much easier to understand Peter’s role of leadership by reading Acts. He is clearly the leader of the Church. One such example, there are others, is Acts 15:7 where Peter addressing the other Apostles clearly states his leadership role: ‘My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that thorough my mouth ...’
Around or about 45 AD, Peter went to Rome and from there led the Catholic Church. As of today, there have been 265 Pope in direct succession to Peter. The position of Pope was established by Christ and the office has been maintained in an apostolic manner since the time of Christ. Although the Church has fragmented since the time of Christ with various leadership centers emerging, the apostolic line of succession in the Church is seated in Rome until this very day. Many throughout time have tried to rationalize away and deny the authority and structure of the Church as established by Jesus. In the heart it is known that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Jesus and has maintained a clear line of apostolic leadership to this very day. The Church has celebrated the sacraments and worshiped the Lord in essentially the same way since the time of Christ …
How Did Your Church Begin?
The Roman Catholic Church (moved to Rome by Peter after he fled Jerusalem) was founded by God-made-man, Jesus Christ. He said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…Feed My lambs; feed My sheep’ (Matt. 16:18, 19; John 21:15, 17). He also said, ‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who gathers not with me scatters’ (Matt. 12:30).
9th Century Marked the First Official Schisms Within the Church.
827: Eastern Schism began by Phatius of Constantinople….The first of many schims.
2000: Over 33,000 Sects ‘scattered’ outside the one church founded by Christ. There was only ONE church founded by Christ and His church still lives today.”
No mention of the Waldenses: Churches started by the Apostles of Jesus who lived in the mountain valleys of the Alps in Italy and France: They hated the Roman Catholic Churches; hated the Mass, hated almost everything that they practiced; the Roman Catholic Church sent their armies and murdered the Waldenses in the most horrific manner. There are books, one of which is Foxes Book of Martyrs, and others which tell of this torturous destruction. The churches were in existence from the time of the apostles to the time of the reformation.
The Roman Catholic Church tried to prevent Wycliffe from translating the Bible into its first English translation. About forty-one years after his burial, the Roman Catholics dug up his body, burnt it and threw the ashes into the nearby river; lovely group.
Pastor Downey sent me the following email about Essene Christianity versus Paulianity. “…I have briefly touched on the topic of how Paul, the self-proclaimed Apostle, violently opposed the original vegetarian Essene Christianity of Jesus, first by killing and imprisoning its leaders, then by infiltrating the movement and leading a schism. The schism led by Paul – a meat-eating version of Christianity – replaced the teachings of Jesus with the teachings of Paul. As briefly described in previous articles, “Paulianity” evolved into the Roman Catholic Church and gave birth to all of what is considered mainstream Christianity today, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant…The choice is simple, yet profound; and every Christian must make it: YAHSHUA (Jesus) or PAUL?”
- Was Peter the first Pope and founder of the Roman Catholic Church– followed by 265 successors?
- Must one believe either Jesus or Paul – the founder of the Roman Catholic Church?
What was the view of early America towards Roman Catholics?
- Commission for New Hampshire, 1680: “We do hereby require and command that liberty of conscience shall be allowed unto all protestants.”
- The Charter of Massachusetts, 1691: “There shall be a liberty of Conscience allowed in the Worship of God to all Christians (Except Papists)…”
- New Jersey Law of 1698: “No persons or persons that profess in God, by Jesus Christ his only Son, shall at any time be any way molested, punished, disturbed, or he called in question for any difference in opinion in matters of religious concernment,…Provided, this shall not extend to any of the Romish religion."
- The Charter of Georgia, 1732: “…and that all such persons, except papists, shall have a free exercise of their religion.”
- Carolina Law of 1697: “Be it therefore Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that all Christians which now are, or hereafter may be in this province (papists only excepted) shall enjoy the full, free and undisturbed liberty of their consciences…”
- In New York in 1700, a law was passed titled “An Act against Jesuits and Popish Priests in New York.” The law provided for the banishment of all Jesuits and Popish priests in the province. And if any were found preaching and teaching others “to say Popish prayers, celebrating mass, granting absolutions, or using any other Romish ceremonies and rites,” they were deemed to be a “disturber of the public peace, and an enemy of the true Christian religion, and shall be adjudged to suffer perpetual imprisonment.”
General Cornwallis at his surrender to George Washington:
“A holy war will now begin in America, and when it is ended America will be supposedly the citadel of freedom, but her millions will be unknowingly loyal subjects of the Crown (of the city of London, not the crown of England). Your churches will be used to teach the Jew’s religion (Roman Catholicism) and in less than two hundred years the whole nation will be working for the divine world government (Revelation 13:1-18). The government that they believe will be divine will be the British Empire (the Jew’s Empire of the City of London). All religions will be permeated by Judaism without even being noticed by the masses, and they will all be under the invisible all-seeing-eye of the Grand Architect of the Universe.” (The Legions of Satan; by Jonathan Williams).
Did Cornwallis make a correct prediction? Let’s go back in history and find out who the Samaritans were:
The Samaritans were largely Babylonian by race. The Bible tells us in 2 Kings 17:24 that most of the Samaritans had been taken to Samaria from Babylon and adjacent areas. Later on, Ezra informs us that others who were mainly of Babylonian stock came to Samaria (Ezra 4:9-10). These people amalgamated their Babylonian religious beliefs with some of the teachings from the Old Testament. But they NEVER DEPARTED basically from their own Babylonian-Chaldean religious teachings.
If anyone doubts that these Samaritans practiced outright paganism under the idea of the true God worship, let him read the extraordinarily clear indictments recorded in the inspired Word of God (2 Kings 17:24-41).
There were originally five Babylonian tribes who had been transported to the area where Northern Israel once lived before Israel’s inglorious defeat and captivity by the Assyrians. When these five tribes moved INTO the vacant land of Samaria, they brought their Babylonian and Assyrian gods with them.
After a short while in their new country, they were ravaged by lions. They interpreted this punishment as coming upon them because they failed to honor the God of the new land – not realizing that there is only ONE GREAT GOD, who is not confined to any one land. These Samaritans didn’t have sense enough to realize that the True God of the land had sent Israel into captivity because of their calf-worship and introduction of the Phoenician religion. They asked the Assyrian king to send back one of the priests of Israel to teach them in order that the plague of lions would be stayed.
The Israelitish priest who was sent to them taught the religion of Northern Israel. Remember that the priests of Northern Israel were NOT Levites. At the time of Jeroboam, the true priests of God were forced to flee to Jerusalem and Judea (2 Chronicles 11:14). Jeroboam set up his own form of religion with the calves at Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 12:28-30). He moved the Holy Days from the seventh to the eighth month. He made priests of the lowest of the people, those who were NOT of Levi (1 Kings 12:31).
All of these acts of Jeroboam were outright violations of God’s law. It was from the time of Jeroboam down to the time of Israel’s captivity, that the majority of Israel was NOT worshipping the True God at all! Jerusalem and God’s temple had been repudiated, and paganism had been introduced on a grand scale. When these transplanted Babylonians who were being afflicted by lions in Samaria asked for a priest of the former people – THEY GOT ONE! But that priest was one of the former calf-worshipping priests of the rebel Israelites. He was almost as pagan as the Babylonians themselves! A true Levite would not be a priest to these non-covenant people.
This priest of Israel taught the Babylonians (now called Samaritans) to adopt the former worship of the Northern Israelites. The priest taught them to revere the God of Israel as the “God of the Land.” Thus, these Samaritans finally took upon themselves the NAME: The People of the true God; but their religion was outright paganism – a mixture of Israelitish calf-worship and Babylonianism – just as Simon Magus later was eager to appropriate Christ’s NAME, but continue his pagan abominations!
Notice what God says about the final condition of these Samaritans:
“So these nations feared the Lord [calling themselves God’s people], AND served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their father [the Babylonians], so do they unto this day" (2 Kings 17:41). These people called themselves the worshippers of the True God, but were actually Babylonian idolaters.
Simon Magus grew up in this mixed-up society. The Samaritans called themselves the people of the True God, but religiously were practicing Babylonians. Simon himself was a priest of these people (Magus = priest). Thus, we see how Simon Magus managed to startle the Roman world with his plan to bring in one universal religion under the idea of Christianity.
Simon Magus, after his rejection by Peter, began to fashion his own “Christian” church – a church of which HE was head – a church designed to completely overthrow the True Church of God. His idea was to blend together Babylonian teaching with some of the teachings of Christ – especially to take the name of Christ – and thus create ONE UNIVERSAL CHURCH! But a church with Babylonianism as its basis—“mystery Babylon.”
Harnack, a church historian who wrote a 7 book encyclopedia, states that Simon Magus “proclaimed a doctrine in which the Jewish faith was strangely and grotesquely mixed with BABYLONIAN myths, together with some Greek additions. The mysterious worship…in consequence of the widened horizon and the deepening religious feeling, finally the wild SYNCRETISM [that is, blending together of religious beliefs], whose aim WAS A UNIVERSAL RELIGION, all contributed to gain adherents for Simon” (Vol. 1; p. 244).
The PRIMACY of the Roman Catholic Church depends upon one fundamental doctrine: the claim that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and the founder of the Roman Church. The teaching of Catholic historians tells us that Simon Peter went to Rome at the same time as Simon Magus (in 45 AD) in order to thwart his evils. This was during the reign of Claudius. After successfully combating the Magus, they tell us, Peter assumed the Roman bishopric and ruled it until the Neronian persecutions of 68 A.D., during which Peter was supposed to have been crucified upside down on Vatican hill. This is the basic story and Catholic writers never shirk in attempting to defend it. Some of them say that this general account is one of the most provable of historical events.
But is it? The records of the True Church of God – the writings of the New Testament – absolutely refute the Roman Catholic claim.
There are more than a dozen New Testament Scriptures which completely disprove the claim that Peter was in Rome from the time of Claudius until Nero. These Biblical points speak for themselves and ANY ONE of them is sufficient to prove the ridiculousness of the Catholic claim. For there were two (2) Simon Peters!
- Galatians 2:7-8: “The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles)….” Christ’s commission to Peter. This is often very embarrassing to Catholics, because Christ commissioned Peter to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED (House of Judah), not to uncircumcised Gentiles (House of Israel). It was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles. And who was it that wrote the Epistle to the ROMANS? It wasn’t Peter! It was the apostle Paul!
- “And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision” (Galatians 2:9).
- Romans 15:16: “I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable.” Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter.
- Romans 1:11: “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.” We are told by Paul himself that it was he – not Peter – who was going to officially found the Roman Church. The Church at Rome had not been ESTABLISHED officially even by 55 or 56 A.D. However, the Catholics would have us believe that Peter had done this some 10 years before – in the reign of Claudius. What nonsense!
- Romans 15:20: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, LEST I SHOULD BUILD UPON ANOTHER MAN’S FOUNDATION” We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at Rome, but he emphatically tells us that his policy was NEVER to build upon another man’ foundation. If Peter had “founded” the Roman Church some ten years before this statement, this represents a real affront to Peter. This statement alone is proof that Peter had never been in Rome before this time to “found” any church.
- Romans 16: At the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals, but never mentions Peter once! Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. Why didn’t he mention Peter? Peter simply wasn’t there! It was made up mainly of captured British royalty.
- Acts 28:15: “When THE BRETHREN [of Rome] heard of us, they came to meet us.” Some four years after Paul wrote Romans, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar. When the Christian community in Rome heard of Paul’s arrival, they all went to meet him. Again, there is not a single mention of Peter among them. This would have been extraordinary had Peter been in Rome, for Luke always mentions by name important Apostles in his narration of Acts. But he says nothing of Peter’s meeting with Paul. Why? Because Peter was not in Rome!
- When Paul finally arrived at Rome, the first thing he did was to summon “the chief of the Jews together” (Acts 28:17) to whom he “expounded and testified the kingdom of God (v. 23). But what is amazing is that these chief Jewish elders claimed they knew very little even about the basic teachings of Christ. All they knew was that “as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against” (v. 22). Then Paul began to explain to them the basic teachings of Christ on the Kingdom of God. Some believed – the majority didn’t. Now, what does all this mean? It means that if Peter, who was himself a strongly partisan Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin (kingdom of Judah) had been preaching constantly in Rome for 14 long years before this time, AND WAS STILL THERE – how could these Judean leaders have known so little about even the basic truths of Christianity? This again is clear proof Peter had not been in Rome prior to 59 A.D.
- After the rejection of the Judean elders, Paul remained in his own hired house for two years. During that time he wrote Epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, and Philemon. And while Paul mentions others as being in Rome during that period, he nowhere mentions Peter. The obvious reason is – the Apostle to the circumcision wasn’t there!
- With the expiration of Paul’s two years imprisonment, he was released. But about four years later (near 65 A.D.), he was again sent back a prisoner to Rome. This time he had to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die. “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men [in Rome] forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16). This means, if we believe the Catholics, that Peter forsook Paul, for they tell us Peter was very much present at Rome during this time! Peter once denied Christ, but that was before he was converted. To believe that Peter was in Rome during Paul’s trial is untenable!
- 2 Timothy 4:11: “Only Luke is with me.” The Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in Rome in 65 A.D. – even though Catholics say he was. The truth becomes very plain: Paul wrote TO Rome; he had been IN Rome; and at the end wrote at least four epistles FROM Rome; and not only does he NEVER mention Peter, but at the last moment says: “Only Luke is with me.” Peter, therefore, was never Bishop of Rome!
Where was Peter?
- Acts 12:3: In 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at Jerusalem.
- Acts 15: In 49 A.D., Peter was still in Jerusalem, this time attending the Jerusalem Council.
- Galatians 2:11-21: 51 A.D., Peter was in Antioch of Syria where he got into differences with Paul because he wouldn’t sit or eat with Gentiles [House of Israel]. Strange that the “Roman bishop” would have nothing to do with the House of Israel (Romans) in 51 A.D.
- 1 Peter 5:13: “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus my son.” In 66 A.D., we find him in the city of Babylon among the Judeans Remember that Peter was the Apostle to the CIRCUMCISED. Why was he in Babylon? Because history shows that there were as many Judeans in the Mesopotamian areas in Christ’s time as there were in Palestine. It is no wonder we find him in the East.
At the times the Catholics believe Peter was in Rome, the Bible clearly shows he was elsewhere. The evidence is abundant and conclusive. By paying attention to God’s own words, no one need be deceived. Peter was NEVER the Bishop of Rome!
There are some that report that Peter was twice in Rome:
- In 45 AD for a brief time
- In 68 AD for his execution.
But even if Peter was in Rome for these two short occasions, he could not be its Pope for the reasons given already. And there is one more issue that I would like to discuss before I am finished—where in scripture does it say that Peter is the person who is at the “pearly gates” who decides on who gets in and stays out?
There were two gods of ancient Rome which were pre-eminently worshipped as PETER-gods:
- JU-PETER (Zeus-Peter)
- JANUS, called PATER or PETER
Janus was an ancient prince who reigned in the infancy of the world. He brought men from a rude and savage life to a mild and rational system. HE was the first to build cities and the first to establish government over men. After his death he was deified. There can be no mistaking who this JANUS was! This title was just another of the many name of NIMROD. This ancient prince, who was violently killed, was later deified by the pagan religions. Because of his high authority, he was called a PATOR or PETER.
- Have you ever heard or told a joke—of Saint Peter at the “pearly gates of heaven”? Is that really the Apostle Peter? Or is it Janus?
- Janus was pre-eminent in interpreting the times—especially prophecy. He is pictured as being double-faced. This was a symbol of his endeavor to change men from barbarism to civilization – that is, bring them to the civilization of NIMROD. One of JANUS’ roles, after his deification as a god was the continuation of his sacred task of “civilizing” men.
- Janus was given “keys”. Janus was to the ancient Romans the “keeper of the gates of heaven and earth.” “He is represented with a key in one hand as emblematic of his presiding over GATES and highways.” How shocking! The pagan Romans was calling their Janus a PETER hundreds of years before the birth of the Apostle Peter. It was this JANUS who was in charge of the “pearly gates”! The very word JANUS means “gates,” that is, the one in charge of the GATES. The Catholic Church claims Peter gave to it the keys of the gates of heaven and that no one will enter into God’s presence unless that church opens the gates. The very word “cardinal” means “hinge.” The Cardinals of the Roman Church are the HINGES upon which the GATE – the Pope – is able to turn.
- JANUS controlled the calendar by his priest – the first month of the year was named after him to show his control over the years. So today, we still have JANU-ary as the first month. The Catholic Church, like the priests of Janus, feels it has the same authority over the calendar today—Christ—mass and Easter, for example. The Protestant churches refused to celebrate these days and didn’t for many years—Christ-mass is one of the means of getting the daughters to return to the mother.
No wonder the Roman Catholic Church claims to sit in PETER’S CHAIR and that the chief temple of the world is today called SAINT PETER’S. That Church has accepted the practices and symbols of the oldest pagan religion on earth: PETER-worship—the religion of Nimrod. This pagan religion was believed and practiced before Christ ever told the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles that they were to have the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Satan counterfeited God’s true religion centuries before Christ came! This was Satan’s attempt to smother God’s true religion with a counterfeit that to the untrained eye looks genuine. He did this principally through Simon Magus (Pater) who amalgamated all the pagan religions into one UNIVERSAL religion and called the system “Christianity.”
The Bible tells us to come completely out of this false religious system masquerading under the name of Christianity. We are to get back to the faith once delivered to the saints. We can thank God for His goodness in giving to His Church the TRUTH.
Roman Catholic version:
“On the night of his death on the cross Peter’s followers BURIED his body. As in the case of Jesus on the hill of Calvary it was wrapped in linen and secretly taken to a PAGAN BURIAL GROUND on the Via Cornelia, behind that stone structure of the arena. This PAGAN CEMETERY lay on a knoll called VATICANUS: the Latin world “vatis” means a “prophet” or “soothsayer”. (The Bible as History, Keller, p. 368).
What an admission! Simon Peter was buried in a Pagan Burial Ground.
I believe it was Simon Magus (Peter); the Roman Catholics believe it was Simon Peter.
While the book of Acts gives us the KEY which shows the beginnings of the false religious system under Simon Magus, it does not describe its activities in any great detail. The Acts, however, performs its purpose in exposing who started the whole mess. God leaves it to the epistles, Revelation, and also the Gospel of John to describe the heresy IN DETAIL. We are certainly NOT left in doubt concerning its abominable teachings.
The have been the persecutors of the True Church of Jesus Christ:
- Wycliff, the translator of the Bible into English
- Those who are against their universal methods.
Who will you serve; the God of Israel or the universal gods?