Why I Left The Catholic Church
by Joseph C. Malone
JOSEPH C. MALONE
Joseph Colby Malone was born on February 14, 1907 in Dallas, Texas, where he was reared and educated. After leaving school he tried the occupations of bank clerk, railway clerk and advertising artist which prepared him for his later task of being a cartoonist for one of the large Dallas papers. His sports cartoons became the most popular feature in the newspaper. His editorial cartoons were also well received. John Nance Garner, as Vice-President of the United States, requested several of his original drawings for his personal collection. Later, Joe Malone began to draw for a newspaper syndicate. One drawing made during this time, a biographical cartoon of Congressman Sam Rayburn as the Speaker of the House, was cast in bronze and presented to the late President Roosevelt. Prior to his baptism into Christ Brother Malone began a study of the Bible which grew intense, and has continued unabated. He was soon used by the Pearl and Bryan congregation as the teacher in the young people's class, and as a substitute in the pulpit. Invitations from other congregations began to be received. On March 9, 1940, Brother Malone became the regular minister of the Peak and East Side congregation in Dallas where he has continued to the present. Eleven hundred people have been added under his ministry.
He now restricts his art work and cartooning to the work of the church. He illustrated the book entitled, "Minute with the Master in Script and Sketch," and drew the now famous cartoon depicting the man, woman and child standing on the New Testament, which drawing has literally circled the globe, and of which some twenty-five million impressions have been made. He drew the headings for many of the religious journals among the churches of Christ. He is noted also for his interesting Chalk talks which are given for the benefit of children in orphan homes, deaf schools, as well as church groups and others.
He is the father of two boys, Avon and David. (Avon is already a promising cartoonist for the Dallas Times Herald, the paper his father formerly served).
Why I Left The Catholic Church
Brethren and respected friends, I count it a profound privilege to have the opportunity to speak to you on the subject which has been assigned to me, "Why I Left the Catholic Church."
In the very beginning, let me stress that when people leave error which has been imbued into their consciousness so very keenly, it is not altogether easy. Further, there was a time, as you might well conclude, when I was adversely sensitive to any attack upon Catholicism. Bearing that in mind and realizing that there are probably those in the audience who stand where I stood, though I intend to speak plainly, I shall strive to show my interest in you and my consideration for you, whoever you might be, by speech that is free from rancor and that which is caustic. I trust that the spirit manifested will not only be discernible but agreeable to you, and that you will respond by lending an attentive ear.
CATHOLICS DISREGARD THE WORD OF GOD
I left the Roman Catholic Church because of its disregard for the Word of God. Should any be inclined to take issue with that statement relative to the attitude of the Catholic Church, let me remind you that the Catholic Church maintains that "the Bible is a dead letter and unable to interpret itself." Yet in the Bible, whether Catholic or not, we read, "The word of God is quick and powerful (living and active), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4: 12). That is Heaven's pronouncement in regard to the matter. Further the Catholic Church asserts, "We do not in any wise presuppose that the books of the New Testament are inspired, but, rather, they are only genuine, authentic documents written by honest men." John, one of the writers of the New Testament, wrote, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow them" (Rev. 14:13). That is either an inspired statement or John was dishonest, and, in either case, the Catholic Church would be in error. Paul, another one of the writers of the New Testament wrote, "If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord" (I Cor. 14:37). The attitude of the Catholic Church is the attitude of Diotrephes, "who loveth to have preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Therefore, if I come, I will bring to remembrance his works which he doeth, prating against us with wicked words" (III John 9, 10). My friends the Bible becomes a "dead letter" to those whose doctrine it condemns; but, in the words of Paul, here is the attitude toward the Bible of those who respect heaven's way. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work" (11 Tim. 3:16, 17).
CATHOLICS CLAIM THAT NEW TESTAMENT IS UNINSPIRED
Not only does the Catholic Church contend that the Bible is a "dead letter" and the New Testament is uninspired, but it maintains that the apostles appointed a "divine, infallible apostolate" to direct us. That, my friends, is essentially the way the Catholic Church endeavors to make room in the realm of religion for papal edicts and the decrees of the Romanish councils. But consider this: "For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken unto us through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard" (Heb. 2:2-3). Those who heard the word were the ones to confirm it, and that is in keeping with the following statement of Peter, "Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection." This was said in regard to one "to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away" (Acts 1: 21, 22 and 25). Can this so-called "divine, infallible apostolate" qualify? And after the word has been spoken and confirmed, what purpose could such an office serve?
GOD'S DIRECTIONS FIXED AND NOT FLEXIBLE
I submit to you that the means of direction from earth to heaven is thereby fixed, complete and final. Listen to the apostle Paul, "I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel: only there are some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema, For if I am now seeking the favor of men, I should not be a servant of Christ. For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1: 6-12). Thus we are caused to better understand why the same apostle declared, "Now these things, brethren, I have transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written " In keeping with that statement is this declaration of John's with its awful consequence, "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God" (II John 9). In closing the Book of God, John said in the last chapter, "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take' away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book" (Rev. 22:18, 19). That statement, as already shown, is consonant with the tenor of the whole New Testament. Hence, this very vital conclusion is sustained: the Word has been spoken and confirmed; it is fixed, complete and final; and there is, therefore, absolutely no place or purpose in God's design for a so-called "divine, infallible apostolate." Please remember this conclusion. It is essential to a proper understanding of what we shall say henceforth. The weight of that conclusion, as it is readily arrived at in the Scriptures, might well account for why the Catholic Church contends that the Bible is a "dead letter."
Now, my friends, perhaps it can be better understood why the Council of Trent in its twenty-fifth session, decreed that a council under the pope should draw up and publish an index of books which were to be prohibited in the church. Among these is the Bible, which is said to have been the first prohibited in the Council of Toloso. In the fourth of the ten rules concerning prohibited books as set forth in the Council of Trent, license to read the Bible is put under control of bishops and inquisitors. He that presumes to "read without such license cannot receive absolution of sins."
WORD OF GOD INJURIOUS TO ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Recently, I had a conversation with a young lady who had been a government engineer and a Catholic. She is now employed in a vital capacity with the American Bible Society, a non-profit organization which has as its purpose the distribution of Bibles and Testaments. Last year, that institution in the pursuit of its noble course distributed throughout the world some twelve million Bibles and twenty-nine million New Testaments, and, remember, without cost to the recipients. Several months ago that young lady went to confession. While there, the priest asked her where she was working. She told him that she was working for the American Bible Society. He said, "You'll have to stop that." She inquired why-adding that she thought it was a wonderful thing to spread God's Word. His answer was that such furthers Protestantism. If the distribution of Bibles and Testaments free from anything other than the Word of God itself furthers Protestantism, what can you say for Catholicism? Could there be any stronger indictment of the Catholic Church as a man-made religious organization than that? Incidentally, you might be interested to know that I baptized that young lady into Christ.
REARED AS A CATHOLIC
My father was a Catholic, and was largely educated by the monks. My mother, who survives him, was not, and is not, a Catholic. However, she permitted him to rear us children as Catholics. We attended a parochial school in the beginning of our formal education. We went to confession, took communion, attended mass and studied the Catechism. But my mother encouraged our study of the Bible, and I recall quite well that often she gave us Bibles as presents and the text would be the King James version. For where I am today, I owe much to her through the grace of God.
DOCTRINE OF DEPRAVITY OF INFANTS CAUSES DISCONTENT
If memory serves me rightly, the first thing that caused me to suspect the fallacy of the Catholic Church, and, consequently, the beginning of the "why" I left that apostate body is this reading which I found in the Bible: Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14). Though but a youth who was otherwise little informed in the Scriptures, I could not reconcile Catholic doctrine of little children being born depraved with the statement of Jesus to the effect that the kingdom of heaven is of such as little children. I've grown some since then, and now, dear friends, let me expound the matter a little further.
In the Bible we read, "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36, 37). When the eunuch asked to be baptized, Philip, by the inspiration of God, laid down a provision to be met: "IF thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." Whereupon the eunuch confessed his faith in Christ and was baptized. Now this question: can a baby do that? In Hebrews 11: 6 we read, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." He that comes to God must believe that God is. Can a baby qualify? Now we can readily understand this verse: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41). Who were baptized? They that gladly received his word. Well, that eliminates babies, does it not? Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). That word "and" is a coordinating conjunction. It connects words, phrases or clauses of equal importance. Therefore, belief is just as essential to your salvation as is baptism, and baptism is just as essential to your salvation as is belief. It is a case of two-plus-two-equals-four. It takes everything on the left-hand side of the equation sign to equal that which is on the right-hand side. Therefore, we are not saved by faith only; neither are we saved by baptism only. We are saved by faith plus baptism, and that eliminates babies. Some one may yet ask, "Well, what of babies? What if they die without being baptized?" My friends, you cannot be s-a-v-e-d until you are l-o-s-t; a baby is s-a-f-e. Remember, Jesus said, " Of such is the kingdom of heaven." When one reaches an age at which he or she can understand the gospel of Christ as it concerns the primary steps of obedience; faith, repentance, confession and baptism.
SPRINKLING FOR BAPTISM
Before we pass from the consideration of this subject, let me say that the Catholic Church ordered sprinkling or pouring of water upon one's head as baptism about 1311 A. D. Thirteen centuries after God's order was given to the world the practice of sprinkling for baptism was commanded by the Catholic Church and every religious body under heaven which practices such is merely apeing the Romanish church. Here is God's definition of baptism: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him" (Col. 2:12).
SEEKING FOR THE TRUTH
As my conviction mounted that the Catholic Church was in error, I began to grope for the truth elsewhere. I eliminated certain churches from consideration on the basis that their names seemed, even then to me, to be foreign to the Scriptures and to the church which I was persuaded that Christ had established. It was on such a basis that I eliminated the Baptist and the Methodist churches. Since then I have found there is overwhelming justification for maintaining there is something in a name. How can one read in the Bible that God changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah, and Jacob's name to Israel, and named Jesus and John before their births-and yet contend that the names by which the church is called in the New Testament have no significance! I've learned of other disparities in the religious bodies mentioned as time has passed, but I still maintain that the name being wrong is, in itself, sufficient error.
ATTENDS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
One Sunday afternoon in September, 1928, as I was sketching at the Dallas zoo, three young ladies approached. One of them lived in my neighborhood, and we had attended the same high school. She introduced the others, who proved to be her sisters, to me. Toward the close of a none too lengthy conversation, one of the sisters invited me to Bible school and church. I inquired, "Where?" She named a church of Christ meeting in south Dallas. I attended the following Sunday. Truth compels me to say that I was not very much impressed with the Bible class and its study seemed to make no lasting impression, but I was very much impressed with the young lady-that may, or may not, account for the lack of impression otherwise. Anyway, several times thereafter I attended the worship there with her, but the preacher's sermons, to me, seemed to carry little force and less clarity and conviction. In due course the young lady suggested that we begin to read the Bible together. It was agreed, and we began the study of the New Testament.
Then in the spring of 1929, while in the home of a certain young man, I listened to a radio sermon which he had seemingly flipped to just in order to employ my time while he took care of some household chore. The sermon was a plain exposition of the Scriptures with frequent reference thereto, and it was masterfully delivered. The young man remained away until the entire sermon had been preached and congregational singing in the form of an invitational hymn had been sung. Then I learned that I had been listening to the broadcast of the regular Sunday morning worship of the Pearl and Bryan Streets Church of Christ in Dallas with preaching being done by C. M. Pullias. That was a pioneering venture in religious broadcasting in Dallas or, perhaps, elsewhere for that matter. The fruits of it in magnitude only eternity itself will disclose. My own experience impresses on me its possibilities for others. I am an advocate not only of the pulpit, for which there is not and can never be a substitute, but also of the press and the radio and various new and usable means of visualization which are now being introduced for the promulgation of the gospel. The casual way in which I became a part of the audience of that radio sermon might suggest to many that it was strictly a matter of chance; I do not share that view. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matt. 7: 7, 8). I was seeking the truth; I had no personal axe to grind religiously, and, by this time, I had little interest in attempting to exonerate the religious views of others. In short, I wanted to know what God would have me to do. I believe implicitly in the providence of God; and I, for one, am quite persuaded that the instance of which I now speak is an example of it, for which I give thanks to the Father of lights.
BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST
After hearing that sermon, I suggested to the young lady that we attend the services of the Church of Christ at Pearl and Bryan Streets in Dallas. She was agreeable. We attended. The truth I learned in our Bible study together was augmented and clarified frequently by what I learned from the pulpit there. That young lady, to whom I owe so much, was formerly Miss Glendelle Myers, but for the past eighteen years she has been Mrs. Joe Malone. Coming to a knowledge of the truth and recognizing my responsibility before God, I was baptized into Christ on April 22, 1934 by C. M. Pullias, to whom I owe a profound debt, at Pearl and Bryan, where a congregation meets which I shall ever hold in grateful remembrance.
CATHOLIC ERROR WHY "I" LEFT
One's conversion is, in its nature, a personal matter, and to it we have given some attention; but, my dear friends, when I am called upon to speak with regard to "Why I left the Catholic Church," the motives which prompted my conversion are brought into focus; and those motives, which constitute the "why" with me, far transcend mere personal experience and localized circumstance. Broad principles of truth are unalterably opposed by the Catholic Church. When I expose the error of the Catholic Church and show the danger therein, I am setting forth why I left the Romanish Church. Others are welcome to whatever seems plausible to them, but Catholic error is the "why" with me. Hence, let us examine that error in the light of Truth as it is reflected in the Bible; and, as we do, let it be borne in mind that thus I am continuing to establish why I left the Catholic Church.
CATHOLICS CLAIM THE CHURCH IS AUTHORITY
When I speak of examining the church in the light of the Word, the Catholic Church will immediately contend that the church is authority for the Word, and not the Word for the church. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12: 48). Let those contend that the Catholic Church is authority who will, but, as for me, I am going to accept that authority by which I shall be judged in the last day: the Word of the Lord. Remember that He said, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth." (Matt. 28:18). Jesus said of those whose religion is based on the tradition of men, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." A bit later in the same connection He said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15:8, 9, 13).
DID THE CATHOLICS GIVE US THE BIBLE?
Again, the Catholic Church relative to the Bible is prone to say, "If you accept the Bible, you must accept us for the Bible has been preserved by us and has come to you through us." My friends, the Lord is responsible for the preservation of His Word as He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31). Should it even be granted that the Catholic Church were the agency through which the Word was preserved for a season, what would it signify? Further, should one be ready to concede that the Bible was handed to us, in a sense by the Catholic Church, does it follow that we must believe in the Catholic Church in order to accept the Bible? If I must repossess the newspaper from the mouth of my neighbor's dog, does it follow that I must believe in my neighbor's dog in order to accept what I read in the paper? Those who accept the Bible and the Bible alone, plainly show that they reject all else.
EXPOSED ERROR CALLED "INTERPRETATION"
Also, the Catholic Church is very prone to say (and she has a host of allies in this matter) that the force of any scriptural argument which is brought to bear upon her fallacy is "merely your interpretation." That reminds me of that classic poem about an owl critic. He proceeded to criticize an owl over the open door of a barber shop while the barber went on shaving. The critic pointed out that the fellow that stuffed that owl should have considered a live one. He said it was hunched over unnaturally, the expression in its face was all wrong, its claws were out of shape and so on and on. Finally, the owl with some to-do, left its perch and flew out the open door. Thus some will profess the Bible to believe and yet deny the very thing they see, and, we might add, others will read the Bible with their father's specs upon their heads and see the thing just like their father said. The Catholic Church would have the people think that they cannot understand the Scriptures and that they must rely upon the priest for the proper "interpretation." Thus millions of people are kept in the bondage of ignorance, and are coached to say, "That's just your interpretation" when some passage from the Bible is brought to consideration in opposition to Catholic error. Here is the point: let the Bible speak for itself, and when you see it m the Book believe it for what it says. Paul said of Timothy, "From a child thou has known the holy scriptures." If a child can understand it, can't you? Further, if you say that you cannot understand it, you are charging God with requiring of you more than you are able to perform, for we read, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15). We urge you to follow the example of the Bereans: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).
Now it is greatly to be hoped that we are ready to consider Catholicism in the light of God's Word, and in doing so, we will understand why I left it.
THE ORIGIN OF CATHOLICISM: ONE-MAN RULE
Hardly had the second century begun, until certain people thought they saw the wisdom of setting one man over an entire congregation and designating that man as priest. All Christians are priests, for Peter plainly states that such compose a "royal priesthood" (I Peter 2:5, 9). But, as to the oversight of an entire congregation of people, let us see what the scriptures say. In I Timothy 5:17 we read, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine." The elders then are to rule in the church. We might add they rule "not as lords over God's heritage, but as examples to the flock" (I Peter 5:3). What is the extent of their rule? In Acts 14:23, we learn that elders were ordained in every church. Thus we are caused to know that there is to be a plurality of elders in each individual congregation. Since the elders rule jointly in every local congregation, it is evident that no one man is to appropriate all such authority unto himself. Furthermore, you do not read in the New Testament of any man, or set of men, having more authority under heaven, in the church of the living God, than do the elders in the church. That means that, in the matter of organization, there can be nothing larger than the local congregation with the oversight under a plurality of elders.
THE ORIGIN OF BISHOP, ARCH-BISHOP, CARDINAL AND POPE
More time passes, and the same people thought it prudent to bring many local congregations in a given district under one head, and so the Bishop was introduced. The name "bishop" is synonymous with elder in the Scriptures, and, as for the office given to the one so designated by the Catholic Church, there is absolutely no grounds in the Bible. With the passing of additional time, it was thought to be a part of wisdom to bring all the districts in a state or province under one head, and so the archbishop was introduced. Both name and office are unscriptural and anti-scriptural. Then in the course of time it was thought wise to bring all the states or provinces in a continent under one head, and so the cardinal was introduced. Both name and office unscriptural and anti-scriptural. With the passing of further time-in fact, in 606 A. D. old emperor Phocus, who was himself a murderer and an adulterer, appointed Boniface III, the first pope. Should anyone be inclined to call that in question, being mindful as I am that Romanism proposes a certain lineage from the time of Peter, I think this one argument is enough to settle the matter: for the first six centuries there was no ecumenical council called but what was called by an emperor-never by a pope! The decisions of those councils were considered authoritative and nowhere in them was there the slightest or barest allusion to a pope. Why not? If there had been such, quite obviously there would have been acknowledgment of the same.
WHY PETER COULD NOT BE A POPE
Now we have reached a vital juncture in our consideration. A pope has been appointed. The pope is supposed to be the successor of Peter; and yet, is it not strange, that Peter in neither of his epistles recognized the eminence of that office? Rather he referred to himself as a servant, as an apostle, as a fellow-elder. Further, is it not strange as recorded in Acts 8, when it was desired to have men sent from Jerusalem to Samaria that they might lay hands on certain ones, that Peter and John were sent? Have you ever heard of a pope being sent anywhere? Can you, beloved, in the greatest stretch of your imagination conceive of the present pope being sent on a mission by anyone? Does then Peter being sent to Samaria indicate the pre-eminence which is ordinarily attached to the office of pope? Something more: in the council held in Jerusalem as recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Acts, was it not James, if any one at all, who presided? Was it not James who handed down the finality of the decision? Did not Paul say, "For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles." Does not Paul in the Galatian letter tell of withstanding Peter to his face, because he stood condemned? Peter associated with the Gentiles in Antioch before the coming of the Jewish brethren, but when they came, Peter withdrew himself from the Gentiles. Paul condemned Peter because he would have Gentiles live as did the Jews. Does that indicate the pre-eminence of Peter? You have heard it said that the Catholic Church never changes. Peter had a wife as shown in Matthew 8:14. The Catholic Church would have you think he was the first pope. Can his successor take a wife? Peter being right, the Catholic Church is wrong. He was certainly not in harmony with it.
TOO MANY POPES
Let us consider just for a moment this matter of papal lineage. Did you know that, after the papacy was introduced, there was a period of seventy years in which there was no pope at all? Did you know that for another period of fifty years there were two lines of popes? And did you know that at one time there were three popes? They were Benedict XIII; Gregory XII, the French pope; and John XXIII, the Italian pope. Where does all this leave papal lineage and infallibility?
THE POPE: RULER OF THE WORLD
When the pope is declared to be the pope, on his head is placed a three tiered tiara, or triple crown, which means, according to Romanism, that he is the father of kings and princes, ruler of the world, and vicar of Jesus Christ. The Prompta Bibliotheca, an official Roman Catholic almanac published by the press of Propaganda Fide in Rome, in its article under the heading of "Papa," states: "The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but, as it were, God, and the Vicar of Christ. The Pope is of such lofty dignity that, properly speaking, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities. He is likewise the Divine Monarch and Supreme Emperor, and King of Kings. The Pope is of so great authority that he can modify, explain or interpret even divine law." Pope Gregory said, "The Pope is the representative of God on earth; he should then govern the world. To him alone, pertain infallibility and universality; all men are submitted to his laws, and he can only be judged by God; he ought to wear imperial ornaments; people and kings should kiss his feet; Christians are irrevocably submitted to his orders; they should murder their princes, fathers and children, if he command it; no council can be declared universal without the orders of the Pope; no book can be received as canonical without his authority; finally, no good or evil exists but in what he has condemned or approved." Now, my friends, I ask: Is there, or has there ever been, in all professed Christendom, a parallel to the foregoing in arrogancy and presumption?
THE POPE IN PROPHECY
Let us see now if you do not quickly recognize a certain prophetic description which we shall read from the Word of God: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (II Thess. 2:3, 4). Who is the man of sin, the son of perdition? He is the one who, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. If you were required to describe such an imposter, could you possibly do it more completely than is done by that apostate church herself in the description of her head?
But let us read from the Bible further beginning with the next verse: "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thess. 2:5-12). You notice that Paul states there was something which restrained, at that time, the revelation of the man of sin, even though the "mystery of iniquity" was already at work, but you will also note that the restraining force would be taken out of the way.
Now let us turn to the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. There we read, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both- speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both great and small, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. .." On the basis of these various verses from the chapter stated, and bearing in mind the apostle Paul's description of "the man of sin" in the second chapter of second Thessalonians, let us consider a striking parallel as it is reflected in recorded history.
OUT OF PAGANISM GREW THE PAPACY
The empire of pagan Rome, like unto a cruel beast, truly wore the name of blasphemy. It was called the Holy Roman Empire. Can an empire be holy which killed the saints and supported with all its strength a worship of force and idolatry? There is blasphemy! As long as pagan Rome was in the ascendancy, her crowned heads claimed divine powers. Sufficient proof of this is seen in the fact that every ecumenical council for the first six centuries was called by an emperor. The cruelty of pagan Rome shows that she derived her power from the dragon, the devil. When the barbarian hordes swept down from the north in 476 A. D., the empire seemingly was "wounded to death." Babylon fell to rise no more. The Kingdom of the Medes and the Persians fell to rise no more.
Apparently that would be the lot of Rome. But not so! The "deadly wound was healed," and "all the world wondered after the beast." Paul declared that the "man of sin" would not be revealed until that which restrained was taken away. History plainly shows that, as long as pagan Rome was in the ascendancy, papal Rome was held in check. In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine recognized his version of "Christianity" as the true religion; and, by his gifts to the church and at the point of the sword, he gave impetus to that movement which resulted in the ascendancy of papal Rome. As pagan Rome declined, papal Rome ascended. Out of the casket of pagan Rome, emerges papal Rome! Thus the second beast makes his presence felt for "he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him." And let me say just here that all the pageantry and display, and pomp and ostentation of the Roman Catholic Church as is evidenced in her ornately decorated altars, the flowing robes and richly embellished garments of her priests, and the tapers and incense-all of this, constitutes but relics of pagan Rome and speaks convincingly, itself, of the origin of papal Rome. And yet the uninformed are taken in by such stuff, thinking that it is the mark of the true religion. How unlike the Christ who, in the midst of Roman pageantry, was born in a stable and placed in a manger, and who, some two years before his death, said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." And how unlike Peter who said, "Silver and gold have I none" is that one who sits pompously in the midst of the vast wealth of the Vatican while without her walls the impoverished Italians beg for bread; and yet many of them continue to pay allegiance to that imposter who in no small degree is responsible for their said plight. Thus the "strong delusion" works of which Paul spoke. Why cannot people see that, on the very face of it, such pageantry cannot be a part of the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ? We say with the apostle Paul, "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11:3).
THE INTOLERANCE OF CATHOLICISM
Further, this second beast is described thus: "he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." How fitly that describes the Roman Catholic Church! Her outward appearance presents the meekness of a lamb, but her papal bulls and edicts disclose the voice of the dragon. "He doeth great wonders and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by means of those miracles which he had power to do" Or, as Paul states in describing the man of sin, "whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." The so-called "miracles" of the Catholic Church, such as those of the scapular, are sufficiently familiar to most of you to continue this striking parallel.
"As many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive the mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." Romanism is intolerant when and where that church has the ascendancy. Consider the Inquisition; consider the slaughter of the Huguenots; and even today, my friends, consider the rank intolerance in Catholic dominated and benighted Spain as she struggles under Franco, the henchman of the pope. Also, think, if you will, of the intolerance in Portugal, and reflect upon the cruel suppression of the activity of other religious bodies in many South American countries particularly such countries as Argentina under the papal servant, Peron-as the intolerance there has been brought to light time and time again by the protest of those religious bodies in the American press.
CATHOLICISM SEEKS POLITICAL SUPREMACY
What has happened and is happening in other countries would happen here if the Catholic Church were in the ascendancy-that is my firm conviction. By their fruits, ye shall know them! All of this stems from the idea that the pope should govern the world. Do not be deceived, the Catholic Church still entertains that hope. Hear her own spokesman, Cardinal Gibbons in "The Faith of Our Fathers," page 150: "For our part we have every confidence that ere long the clouds which now overshadow the civil throne of the Pope will be removed by the breath of a righteous God, and that his temporal power will be re-established on a more permanent basis." (This quotation is taken from the 83rd revised edition of the above book, published in 1917). Further Paul tells us of the "deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." Jesus tells us that God's Word is truth (John 17: 17). The Bible contains that Word, and yet those in the bondage of Romanism permit themselves to be persuaded that "the Bible is a dead letter and cannot interpret itself." "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thess. 2:10-12).
CATHOLICISM OPPOSES SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
What has been said plainly shows that the Catholic Church bitterly opposes the separation of Church and State. When Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Ceasar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's," (Matt. 22:21), He forever separated the church on the one hand from the state on the other. That period of spiritual degeneration so aptly called the "Dark Ages" was the awful result of the merger of church and state.
Concerning this matter of the separation of church and state, one point which has been brought under very subtle attack is our public school set-up. As you perhaps know, some time ago the United States Supreme Court granted permission by a vote of five to four for parochial school children to be carried on public school busses. Later, a certain Paul Connell, a lawyer in a certain school district in Pennsylvania, endeavored to force the local public school board to carry his daughter to a parochial school in a public school bus. The public school board refused. The matter was taken to the county court which sustained the decision of the school board. It was taken in due course to the state supreme court which upheld the former decision. Ultimately it reached the United States Supreme Court which, by its action, gave support to the decision originally arrived at by the school board itself. But do you not see the pattern? First permission is received, and then compulsion is striven for. Catholics will argue that they pay taxes and, therefore, they are entitled to the use of the public school busses. They are entitled to the use of the public school busses on the same basis that every other taxpayer is: that is, that their children might be carried to some public school. Everyone welcomes their use of the public school busses on that basis. But when any school-and I mean any school-teaches a peculiar religious dogma, it forfeits the right to state support, and it thereby forfeits the right to the use of public school busses. Indeed so!
THE BIBLE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
There are those, some of whom ought to know better, who are urging that the study of the Bible be introduced into the public schools. The public school is a state institution, being supported by public funds. To argue that the Bible be taught therein is to wave aside the principle laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ concerning the separation of Church and state. To contend that the Bible should be taught in public schools is also to wave aside the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Further, let it be borne in mind that all people who pay taxes support the state schools and if all tax-paying religionists did not have a voice in the particular course proposed for study, could not the slighted taxpayers say with Patrick Henry, "Taxation without representation is tyranny!" And if, on the other hand, all religionists did have a voice in the course of study, tell me what kind of course would it be? Far better that there be no course than to have such a travesty. But the United States Supreme Court has ruled in this very matter, and I have here the decision as reported in the United Press dispatch dated Tuesday, March 9, 1948: "Washington March 8th-The Supreme Court ruled Monday that religious teaching in public schools, even on a voluntary basis, is unconstitutional." The 8-to-1 decision was made in a case challenging the voluntary religious instruction system used in the Champaign, Ill., public schools. The majority opinion, written by Justice Hugo L. Black was based on the separation of church and state as provided in the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Justice Stanley F. Reed was the lone dissenter. Black held that the First Amendment "has erected a wall between church and state which must be kept high and impregnable." He added that the Champaign plan "falls squarely under the ban of the First Amendment."
It might not be amiss just here to read the language of some of our men of state concerning this very matter.
JAMES G. BLAINE OPPOSES UNION OF CHURCH AND STATE
James G. Blaine presented this article in the House of Representatives as a Constitutional Amendment: "No state shall make any law representing an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by school taxation in any state for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund thereof, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised, or land so devoted, be divided among religious sects or denominations." It was stated by Senator Blair, as a matter of history, on the 15th day of February, 1888, that the defeat of this amendment was brought about by the Jesuits. Who are the Jesuits? A former Catholic priest has referred to them as "that society of storm troopers and. mischief-makers of the Roman Catholic Church."
PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD'S STATEMENT
President James A. Garfield said, "Next in importance to freedom and justice, is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. It would be unjust to our people, and dangerous to our institutions, to apply any portion of the revenue of the nation, or of the state to the support of sectarian schools. The separation of the church and state, in everything relating to taxation, should be absolute."
GENERAL GRANT SEES CONFLICT
General U. S. Grant declared, "If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but it will be between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other. In this centennial year, the work of strengthening the foundation of the structure laid by our forefathers one hundred years ago, should be begun. Let us all labor for the security of free thought, free speech, free press, and pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar appropriated to them shall be applied to the support of any sectarian school; resolve that any child in the land may get a common school education, unmixed with atheistic, pagan or sectarian teachings; keep the church and state forever separate."
ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Abraham Lincoln stated, "As long as God gives me a heart to feel, a brain to think, or a hand to execute my will, I will devote it against that power which has attempted to use the machinery of the courts to destroy the rights and character of an American citizen. But there is a thing which is very certain; it is, that if the American people could learn what I know of the fierce hatred of the generality of the priests of Rome against our institutions, our schools, our most sacred rights, and our so dearly bought liberties, they would drive them away, tomorrow, from among us, or would shoot them as traitors. The history of the last thousand years tells us that wherever the Church of Rome is not a dagger to pierce the bosom of a free nation, she is a stone to her neck, and a ball to her feet, to paralyze her and prevent her advance in the ways of civilization, science, intelligence, happiness, and liberty. I do not pretend to be a prophet. But though not a prophet, I see a very dark cloud on our horizon. And that dark cloud is coming from Rome. It is filled with tears of blood. It will rise and increase, till its flanks will be torn by a flash of lightning, followed by a fearful peal of thunder. Then a cyclone such as the world has never seen, will pass over this country, spreading ruin and desolation from north to south. After it is over, there will be long days of peace and prosperity; for popery, with its Jesuits and merciless Inquisition, will have been forever swept away from our country. Neither I nor you, but our children, will see those things." The beloved Lincoln made the statement just given at the conclusion of the trial of Mr. Chiniquy, author of the book, "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome."
According to the book, "America or Rome, Christ or the Pope" by John L. Brandt, it was published in the various papers that Lincoln was born a Catholic, baptized by a priest, and therefore was to be considered a renegade and an apostate. Although this was false, Mr. Chiniquy said to Lincoln at the time, "That report is your sentence of death."
The book further records that Lincoln's murder was planned in the home of Mrs. Surratt, a Roman Catholic. Booth, the murderer, was a Roman Catholic. Mr. Lloyd, who had the carbine that Booth wanted for "protection," was a Roman Catholic. Dr. Mudd, who set Booth's fractured leg, was a Roman Catholic. Garrett, in whose barn Booth tried to hide, was a Roman Catholic. John H. Surratt, who was hiding under the banners of the Pope when he was detected, was a Roman Catholic. The death of Lincoln was announced by Roman Catholics, several hours before it occurred, at St. Joseph, Minn., forty miles from a railroad and eighty miles from the nearest telegraph station. This fact is established in history.
After being apprehended, Booth said, "I can never repent. God made me the instrument of his punishment."
Prominent government officials said, "We have not the least doubt but that the Jesuits were at the bottom of the great iniquity." Mr. Chiniquy, Colonel Edwin A. Sherman and General Harris, friends of Lincoln, investigated the matter, and unequivocally affirmed that Rome was the instigator of Lincoln's assassination.
THE BULWARK OF DEMOCRACY
My friends, I realize that I have dwelt at considerable length on this matter of the separation of Church and state but I consider it most vital, and I am persuaded that the great principle involved is, in this great nation of ours, being subjected to constant and insidious attack. As for our public schools, I salute them as the bulwark of democracy. The Catholic Church charges that our public schools are Godless and inept. I answer, by their fruits ye shall know them. Contrast the United States, the land of freedom and great achievement, with her public school system and high literacy standard with those countries burdened with Catholic education: benighted Spain and Portugal, backward Ireland, prostrate Italy, debauched France, and the groping countries of South America. There you have sufficient answer! If we would maintain democracy as we know it, let us maintain our public school system as it is!
CATHOLIC HOLY WATER
Now, my friends, let us proceed with our consideration of Romanish doctrine, and thus continue to establish the disregard for God's Word as reflected therein, and thereby further set forth why I left the Catholic Church. The introduction of "Holy Water" could easily have been the first departure from simple New Testament teaching. Where, pray tell me, do you read in the gospel of Christ of Holy Water? Peter tells us that God has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), but God has not given to us anything that pertains to Holy Water. Therefore Holy Water is no part of life or godliness. Furthermore, let it be constantly borne in mind that, as already established, the revelation of God as it concerns our duty to Him is fixed, final, and complete. As Jude would say, it has been "once delivered unto the saints." Hence, beloved, to teach or practice something not authorized therein is to fall under the indictment pronounced by John in these words: "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God " (II John 9). So a little Holy Water become a violation of a great principle.
THE LATIN MASS
And then there is the Latin Mass. Wherever you go upon the earth-in this country, Canada, England, France, Germany, the countries of South America or Africa or Asia-the mass is said in Latin, a dead language. Yet the apostle Paul declared, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." (I Cor. 14:14-19). Let the Roman Catholic Church contend that the world-wide Latin mass is a mark of her universality and a sign of her cohesion; the truth remains that it is a flat violation of the teaching of the apostle Paul which has just been given. Thus, again, the Catholic Church disregards the Word of God.
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
Let us now take a look at the Sacrament of Penance. According to this point of Catholic doctrine, which is everywhere embraced, acknowledged and studied by Catholics, when men sin they incur the wrath of God, and when they repent and receive the Sacrament of Absolution, they are forgiven-but not altogether! The Council of Trent sets forth: "If any man shall say that the whole penalty is always remitted by God, together with the guilt, and that the only satisfaction of penitents is faith whereby they embrace that Christ has made satisfaction for them: let him be accursed." Thus the Catholic Church teaches that there are two punishments for sin, the eternal and the temporal. Now, by the Sacrament of Penance, the eternal punishment is remitted, but the temporal punishment remains due. Man must do something to appease the wrath of God regarding the temporal punishment. The priest determines what is sufficient to satisfy God in this matter. In Peter Dens' Theology, a long list of suggested works of satisfaction practiced in the Romanish Church are given: fasting, rising earlier, enduring cold, praying, reciting litanies, reading the penitential psalms, hearing masses, visiting churches, wearing sackcloth, making gift of food, clothes, money, and so on. Let us see the gross offence to God's Word in this. First, it makes God's forgiveness incomplete. But hear the Lord in the matter: "Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1: 18).
Second, it makes Christ only a partial Savior-the ministry of the priest is altogether essential; he must determine what more is necessary in order to satisfy God. But we read of Christ: "Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25). Get it, my friends! Christ is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him!
Finally, as already stated, it makes the priest an absolutely necessary mediator, and in this we see the design of the Catholic Church to bind the people to herself through her system of priests and sacraments which they alone can administer. But hear the apostle Paul in this matter: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Tim. 2:5). There is one mediator; that mediator is Jesus Christ-and that eliminates the Catholic priest from God's order.
CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY
Let us now have a look at the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. The first council that mentions the subject of purgatory is the Council of Florence in 1438 A. D. It decreed, "If any true penitents shall depart this life in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for faults of commission and omission, their-souls are purified after death, by the pains of purgatory." In the Douay Catechism, we read: "Whither go such as die in venial sin, or not having fully satisfied the punishment due to their mortal sin? The answer: To purgatory, till they have made full satisfaction for them, and then to heaven. What is purgatory? The answer: A place of punishment in the other life where souls suffer for a time, before they can go to heaven."
As to the nature of the punishment, Peter Dens states that it is two-fold: one of loss and one of sense. The punishment of loss is merely a delay of the beatific confession; and the punishment of sense in purgatory is caused by material fire. Bellarmine maintains that the punishments of purgatory are more severe, grievous and bitter than the greatest punishments of this world. Damien, along with others, teaches the inhabitants of purgatory pass rapidly and painfully in baths ranging from cool to tepid, from torrid to frigid, from freezing to boiling. Thurcal tells us that, among other things, the sufferers have to pass over a bridge studded with sharp nails with points upturned; the souls have to walk barefoot on this rough road, and many ease their feet by using their hands; others roll with the whole body on the perforating nails, until, at last, bloodily pierced, they complete their way over the painful course.
Thus, in due course, they escape to heaven. Such are some of the visions of purgatory depicted by some of the Romanish theological writers. Such tales are as silly as pagan mythology.
In fact, Plato, Homer and Virgil taught the same doctrine. Protestants of today have so exposed these absurd notions that Roman Catholics are sometimes hesitant to acknowledge such a portrayal of purgatory. Yet the time was when the pope, the cardinals and their co-workers upheld such rigidly, and to deny it was a mark of heresy. Their modern writers still maintain the punishment is extremely severe and is caused by material fire.
WHERE IS PURGATORY?
As to where purgatory is, Catholic authors cannot decide. Gregory the Great thought it to be in the earth's center, and he considered the eruptions of Vesuvius and Aetna as flames arising from it. Bellarmine thought purgatory between heaven and earth with the demons of the air. Damien with others concluded it might be in some flaming cavern or icy stream. The truth, my friends, is, of course, that there is no such place. It is but the figment of Catholicism, and is used to fatten her purse and bind the people to the ministry of her priests as we shall see in our consideration of indulgences, invented to release the sufferers from the imagined purgatory and transport them to paradise. Beloved, the Word of God very plainly teaches that our eternal destiny is sealed at the time of our physical death. Paul declares, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5: 10). We shall be judged by what we do in the body, and James sets forth that "the body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26). Hence, when we die in the body our eternal judgment and destiny are sealed! This, of course, is absolutely fatal to the theory of purgatory, a supposed place of further cleansing.
A GREAT GULF FIXED
Listen to Jesus, whose native home is the other world, as He gives us the account of the rich man and Lazarus. "It came to pass, that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivest thy good things, and. likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." Now take notice: "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence" (Luke 16:22-26). After death, there is a great gulf fixed between them which cannot be crossed, and-mark it!-that is before the final judgment, for later the rich man pleads that Lazarus might be sent to his father's house in order to testify to his five brethren. Remember, too the account reads, "... The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hades he lift up his eyes. .." That is the sequence. So, we see that after death there is a great gulf fixed that cannot be crossed. What purpose, then, can purgatory serve? It is not strange that Catholicism rejects the Bible; to accept the Bible would be to destroy Catholicism.
INDULGENCES THE KEY TO PURGATORY
As soon as the Catholic Church had invented purgatory, she devised means of affording a fictitious key, namely indulgences, to unlock the door of that fictitious prison called purgatory. The Catholic Church tells us that "an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment of our sins, which the Church grants us outside the sacrament of penance. Can indulgences be made use of to the souls in purgatory? Yes, all indulgences which the Pope has indicated for that purpose." Pope Leo X stated, "We have thought proper to signify to you that the Bishop of Rome is able to grant to the faithful in Christ, indulgence either in this life or in purgatory-out of the superabundant merits of Christ and his saints." The bishop may grant indulgences in his diocese, and the archbishop throughout the whole province, but the pope is the supreme dispenser of indulgences. An indulgence may be received by a man before he enters purgatory, and so be happy. Or, an individual might operate retroactively in regard to certain works of alms, prayers and the like performed by someone for another. For example, a Catholic, with sympathy for his relatives in purgatory, might obtain an indulgence in the form of commutation of their sentence in that fiery region, securing in such a case an indulgence of a certain number of days or years.
According to a Catholic book of devotion, this brief petition, "Sweet heart of Mary, save me!" gives three hundred days indulgence every time it is repeated. From the infallibly authorized Book of the Scapular, we take note that: To those who wear the scapular during life, Mary makes this promise: "I, their glorious mother, on the Saturday after death, will descend to purgatory and deliver those whom I shall find there, and take them up to the holy mountain of eternal life."
To visit a Carmelite church on Saturday procures eighty-seven years of indulgence, and the remission of two-sevenths of all sins; to wear a blue scapular gives full indulgence, cancels all sins, and gives a free ticket to paradise.
AMERICA SPENDS TEN MILLION IN INDULGENCES
Indulgences have been used to prompt crusaders to rise up against those who have opposed Catholicism; they have been used to purchase the remission of sins, and to deliver souls from purgatory. Mr. Chiniquy, in chapter twenty-five of his book "Fifty Years in Rome," states that more than ten million dollars are expended annually in North America to help souls out of purgatory. At the time of writing, he stated that masses were said in Canada at twenty-five cents each, and in many parts of United States at one dollar each, and that it was, therefore, a common practice for the bishops in the United States to have masses said in Canada for the departed souls, and thereby make seventy-five cents on each mass. For many years it was a common practice for the bishops of Canada to send to Paris to have masses said at five cents each by the poorer priests there, thus saving twenty cents on each mass they were paid to celebrate.
LUTHER ARISES AGAINST INDULGENCES
When Martin Luther was serving as a priest in Whittenberg, Germany, Johan Tetzel, a Dominican priest, came through that region selling indulgences and telling the people that if they would buy those indulgences and couple with them severe penance, they would have the remission of their sins. That seems to be the incident that prompted Luther to put his ninety-five objections to the Catholic Church on the door of the church building, and then defy the whole Catholic hierarchy, pope included, to debate the merit of his objections. I might add that the money thus obtained by Tetzel was going to complete the building of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. There was no scruple about this business of selling indulgences. Tetzel went so far as to proclaim that he had saved more souls from hell by his indulgences than the apostle Peter had converted to Christianity by his preaching. If that is not making merchandise of religion, pray tell me, what is it? Coming to a knowledge of the truth and being honest with myself, I could not stay in the Catholic Church. That is why I left.
THE DOCTRINE OF EXTREME UNCTION
The Catholic Church practices what she terms "extreme unction." She describes it thus: "Extreme unction is a sacrament in which by the anointing with holy oil and by the prayers of the priest, the sick receive the grace of God for the good of their souls, and often also their bodies ... It (extreme unction) increases sanctifying grace; it remits venial sins, and those mortal sins which a sick person repents of; it strengthens the soul in its sufferings and temptations; it often relieves the pains of sick persons, and sometimes restores him to health.. . We should receive extreme unction when we are in danger of death from sickness." This is a shining example of Catholic arrogance and presumption. Not only is there no mention whatever of such a practice in God's Word, but for the first eleven hundred years of this Christian era, there is no record of its ever being practiced among the people of earth. In the Converted Catholic Magazine of several months ago, there was an article, if I mistake not, having to do with the grave misgivings on the one hand or the fears on the other of Catholic youth engaged in World War II, who on the eve of actual combat reflected on the impossibility of Catholic chaplains being everywhere present to administer extreme unction. Protestant youth understand that there is one mediator, Jesus Christ, and that He is truly omni-present, and, hence, they are not concerned about the feigned mediation of one who, like themselves, has feet of clay.
CATHOLICISM ONLY AUTHORITY FOR INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
The Roman Catholic Church practices, and thus teaches, the use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship. I want to say tonight that everyone who makes up this attentive audience and who is a member of a religious body using mechanical instruments of music in its worship has no higher authority for the use of the same than the Romanish Church. The New Testament teaches us to make melody in our hearts (Eph. 5: 19) with the fruit of our lips (Heb. 13: 15). It further teaches us that this melody, our singing, is to be with the spirit and the understanding (I Cor. 14:15). Can an insensate, mechanical instrument of music qualify? You may read your New Testament very, very carefully and you will not find the remotest hint of authority for the use of them. What does that mean? It means that whoever practices it in the worship goes beyond the authority of Christ, and John states that he "hath not God" (II John 9). Of course, instrumental music is not wrong in itself; if that were true, it would be wrong anywhere at anytime. But remember this one thing, it is wrong to introduce it into what is professed to be Christian worship when God has not commanded us to do so. We cannot infringe on the silence of the scriptures. When Pope Vitalian II introduced instrumental music into the worship in 666 A. D., it created such a furor that it had to be removed for about a hundred years. The matter of objection thereto, and division as a result thereof, has always followed in its wake. Indeed so!
CONFESSING SINS TO PRIESTS
Let me speak briefly of auricular confession and the arrogant contention that the priest can forgive sin. There is a curtained recess or box which is called the confessional in every Catholic Church. The penitent Catholic on bended knee there meets the seated Catholic priest; and, as the priest questions, the penitent recites his various misdeeds since they last met. This is called "auricular" because it is made into the auris, or ear, of the priest. It is but one of not a few abominable practices introduced during the medieval period. In fact, learned Romanists do not deny that auricular confession became a practice of the Catholic Church at the council of Lateran, 1215 A. D. Pope Innocent III, of the merciless Inquisition, was its founder. Catholics, generally, do not know that. Here is one reason why they do not: the Council of Trent declared, "Whoever shall say that the mode of secretly confessing to a priest alone, which the Catholic Church has always observed from the beginning and still observes, is foreign to the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention: let him be accursed..." My friends, here is God's way: first, for the alien sinner-when in Acts 2, the believing Jews cried out, "What shall we do?" Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." No command here to confess to any priest, or any other man, for the purpose of obtaining absolution.
Now concerning God's way for those in the church: when Simon, after his baptism as recorded in Acts 8, had committed a grievous sin, Peter directed him as follows: "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 8:21-23). Peter did not direct him to confess his sins to a priest in order to obtain absolution. James, in giving instructions to those in the church, said, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for the other, that ye may be healed" (James 5: 16). My friends, that states, "Confess your faults one to another;" it does not say to a priest.
CORRUPTING INFLUENCES OF THE AURICULAR CONFESSION
Now concerning another aspect of such a practice, Mr. Chiniquy, an ex-priest of good authority, says: "I have heard the confession of more than two hundred priests, and to say the truth, as God knows it, I must declare that only twenty-one had not to weep over the secret sins committed through the irresistibly corrupting influences of auricular confession. I am now more than seventy-seven years old, and in a short time I shall be in my grave. I shall have to give an account of what I now say. Well, it is in the presence of my Great Judge, with my tomb before my eyes, that I declare to the world that very few-yes, very few-priests escape from falling into the pit of the most horrible moral depravity the world has ever known, through the confession of females."
DO CATHOLICS TEACH THAT PRIESTS CAN FORGIVE SINS?
Let us look, just for a moment, at this question, "Does the Catholic Church really teach that the priests can forgive sin?" In Deharbe's Catechism, page 150, we read, "Question: Does the priest really forgive sins, or does he only declare them forgiven? Answer: The priest really and truly forgives sins through the power given him by Christ." How is the little child, or ignorant adult, or the one educated in a Catholic school going to recognize how much the Scriptures are perverted in that statement? To forgive sins is God's prerogative, and He has never delegated it to any priest! "He as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Such blasphemy!
"CALL NO MAN FATHER"
While speaking of the usurpation of that which belongs to God, let us consider the fact that the priest is called "Father." Jesus said, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matt. 23:8, 9). The usual Catholic quibble is, "You call your paternal parent `father'." Yes, and Jesus speaks of the earthly parent in that manner, but here it plainly has a religious designation as the context shows.
LORD'S SUPPER BECOMES LITERAL BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS
Now let us briefly consider the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The Council of Trent declared, "Whosoever shall deny that in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist are contained, truly, really and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore, the entire Christ; but shall say that he is in it only as in a sign, or figure of virtue: let him be accursed." From one of the Catholic Mission Books comes this: "Question: How and when are the bread and wine changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ? Answer: This change is wrought by virtue of the words of consecration pronounced by the Priest during the Holy Mass." Thus the Catholic Church teaches that the priest has the power to change the bread and wine into the very body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ; and then, permit us to add, the priest proceeds, along with his fellow-communicants, to eat the very Lord whom he professes to have thus brought into being. This absurd doctrine and practice was, no doubt what prompted Crotus, the Jew, to say, "Christians eat their God." The cannibal never eats the object of his superstition, but the Roman Catholic eats the object of his adoration. Mr. Chiniquy, the ex-priest, declares, "The world in its darkest age of paganism has never witnessed such a system of idolatry, so debasing, impious, ridiculous and diabolical in its consequences as the Church of Rome teaches in the dogma of transubstantiation. It seems impossible that man can consent to worship a God whom the rats can eat.. ."
In instituting the Lord's supper, Jesus took bread and said of it, "This is my body." When our Lord made that statement, He was very much in the flesh of his body and the blood was coursing through his veins. Yet He used the present tense of the verb in declaring, "This IS my body." Now this question: if the bread thus became the very body of Christ, what became of the One whose hand held that bread? Remember, He has but one body. Jesus also said, "I am the door" and I am the true vine," yet none of us have any difficulty understanding that Christ is not a literal door or vine. Why then should anyone have difficulty in understanding that Christ, in the body, said of a piece of bread, "This is my body" that He did not literally become that piece of bread? Paul tells us, "That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me" (I Cor. 11:23, 24). Notice, "This do in remembrance of me (Christ)." Now can the bread be, at the one and the same time, the memorial and the thing memorialized? Paul tells us that the Lord's Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ until He shall come (I Cor. 11: 26).
Usually the Catholic will strive to justify his position by turning to the sixth chapter of John and reading, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed" (John 6:53, 55). Where is the Lord's Supper mentioned in that chapter? That was spoken before He instituted the Supper. To take a text from the context becomes a pretext. Continue to read the chapter and Jesus gives this meaning: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (verse 63). In Deharbe's Large Catechism, we read: "Have we to drink of the chalice, to receive the blood of Christ? No, for under the appearance of bread, we receive also the Blood of Christ, since we receive His living body." Let the very words of Jesus refute that Catholic teaching, "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it..." (Matt. 26:27). And then we read in Mark 14:23, "And they all drank of it."
DOCTRINE OF CELIBACY
Let us view for a short while the Catholic doctrine of celibacy. The Council of Trent decreed: "Whoever shall say that the clergy constituted in sacred order, or regulars, who have solemnly professed chastity, may contract marriage and that the contract is valid: let him be accursed ... Whoever shall say that the marriage state is to be preferred to the state of virginity, or celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to retain virginity, or celibacy, than to be joined in marriage: let him be accursed."
The Catholic Church imposes celibacy on the pope, the cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops, the priests and the nuns. Yet God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him" (Gen. 2:18). We read in Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is honorable in all..."
In the summer of 1946, a young lady, who was a Catholic and who was preparing to become a nun, attended the last service of a meeting in which I was preaching in Stratford, Oklahoma. Afterwards, she asked to talk with me. During our conversation, I pointed out that, if she became a nun as she planned, she was going to pervert the course that God would have her follow, and then I quoted this statement made by the apostle Paul, "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully" (I Tim. 5:14). I am happy to say that, after some two hours of our considering the Bible versus Catholicism, I had the very great pleasure of baptizing that young lady into Christ.
CONCUBINAGE IN CATHOLICISM
In the Moral Theology of Ligori, Volume 8, page 444, we read: "A bishop, however poor he may be, cannot appropriate to pecuniary fines, without license of the Apostolical See. But he ought to apply them to pious uses. Much less can he apply those fines to anything else but pious uses, which the Council of Trent has laid upon non-resident clergymen, or upon those clergymen who keep concubines." Think of it! If a clergyman of the Catholic Church marries, he is excommunicated, but if he keeps a concubine, he merely is subject to a fine. Indeed it is a strong delusion that can ensnare people in a religion that teaches such! It is no wonder that the St. Louis Republican of June 20th, 1887 printed a letter from Bishop Hogan of the Catholic Diocese of St. Joseph in which he gives a list of twenty-two priests received into his diocese the fifteen years prior to 1876 whom he was compelled to dismiss on account of immoralities. About the middle of the past century, Bishop Vandeveld, of Chicago, said of the conduct of priests in his diocese: They are all either notorious drunkards, or given to public or secret concubinage."
Finally, concerning this matter of forbidding to marry, listen to this language from the Bible: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared as with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (I Tim. 4:1-3) . If ever God in His Word points the finger of inspiration at a religious body and brands it an apostasy, He does in this instance. Which body? That one which forbids to marry and commands to abstain from meats. But with Catholicism, the Bible is a dead letter. No wonder!
POPE BECOMES INFALLIBLE IN 1870
The Roman Catholic Church had considerable difficulty deciding that her pope is infallible, and the matter required much time. In fact, it was not until the Vatican Council in 1870 that the infallibility of the pope was adopted. Here is the result of that council's vote on the matter: 451 for, 88 against, 62 would accept if modified, and 70 did not vote at all! On the basis of that, a fallible cardinal becomes infallible, in the administration of his office, when appointed pope. Who can believe such? And remember, this was adopted more than eighteen hundred years after Christ had given to the world His fixed, final and complete revelation of what constitutes acceptable service to Almighty God.
IMAGES IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The use of relics and images by the Roman Catholic Church is common knowledge. Suffice it to spend but a few moments on the matter. About 601, Gregory the Great condemned the use of images in the strongest terms. He very highly commended the Bishop of Marseilles for breaking the images to pieces. Yet at the Council of Trent, 1545 A. D. a decree was pronounced, and is authoritative today, to the effect that "images were to be retained and due honor and veneration to be given them as representing those whose likenesses those images bear." Thomas Aquinas said, "The same reverence is to be paid to the image of Christ, as to Christ himself."
Did you ever see a Catholic statue supposed to be a likeness of the adult Christ in which his hair was not shown as long-dropping, perhaps, to the shoulders? The apostle Paul declares that even nature teaches that it is a shame for a man to have long hair (I Cor. 11: 14). Do you think that Jesus would violate that declaration which He moved Paul to record? Did you ever see a statue of Jesus in which He was not portrayed as being beautiful in body? Yet Isaiah said of Him, "when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2). I have said the foregoing in order to point up this statement: no one knows how Jesus looked in the flesh, and I submit to you that here is sufficient grounds for withholding such from man, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God " (Ex. 20:4, 5). It is no strange thing that the Catholic Church has entirely eliminated the wording of this second commandment of the Decalogue from its versions of the Catholic Baltimore Catechism, taught in all its parochial schools. The Bible becomes a dead letter to that religion which it condemns.
Life Magazine, reporting the ceremonies in Ottawa, Canada, in June 1947 at the Marian Congress, pointed out that a great procession of devout people knelt and kissed the foot of the giant statue of Mary "until the paint wore off its toes." Pictures in L'Europeo, an Italian newspaper, of April 5, 1947 shows that devout Catholics in Naples continue to crawl at full length on their stomachs before the images of their Madonnas and lick the ground with their tongues on their way to the statues. Some years ago, the New York Department of Health was compelled to put a stop to this practice among the Italian people in the Bronx, because it resulted in so many cases of tetanus. Such idolatry!
THE WORSHIP OF MARY-THE GODDESS OF HEAVEN
Catholics pray to Mary, to their saints and here is a prayer, found in the Breviary for the 14th of September, addressed to the cross as if it were living: "0 cross, more splendid than the stars, illustrious throughout the World, much beloved by men, more holy than all things, who alone was worthy to bear the treasure of the world, bearing sweet wood, sweet nails, a sweet burden, save this present multitude assembled this day in thy praise."
As for prayers to Mary, in a book published by the Excelsior Publishing House, New York, 1891 and which book is entitled "Glories of Mary" and which was approved by the Archbishop of New York, on page 84 we read, "Sinners receive pardon only through the intercession of Mary." In the rosary, Catholics call on our Father some fourteen times and upon Mary some fifty-three times. The Bible teaches that "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Col. 3:17).
Nowhere in God's Word are we taught to pray unto anyone other than God, and nowhere in His Word are we taught to pray through anyone other than Christ, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
MOTHER OF GOD
Catholics exalt Mary thus: "Thou art called the Mediatrix of all grace, the Refuge of afflicted hearts, the Advocate of desperate causes, the unfailing succor of all in need. It is through Thy maternal Heart that all benefits come to us. Filled with confidence in Thy Immaculate Heart which we venerate and love, we come to Thee with our pressing needs and many supplications..."
The Catholic Church addresses Mary as the "Mother of God" even though the first four words in the Bible declare that it is not so. On occasion, Catholics pray "five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys;" and, at such a time, they pray the same prayers through five times in undelayed succession. But listen to Jesus, "When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking" (Matt. 6:7).
According to a recent issue of the Time Magazine, next year, on the occasion, I believe, of the present pope's fiftieth anniversary of entry into the priesthood, the Catholic Church is going to proclaim the ascension of Mary as a tenet of Catholicism! And Catholics will accept it! Thus Catholicism, like paganism, has her high priestess! Now listen to the Bible: "And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he (Jesus) said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:27, 28).
HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GAINS ADHERENTS
The Catholic Church gains her adherents through three principal channels: (1) immigration-those who come to our shores are largely Catholic; (2) the offspring of Catholics, usually educated in parochial schools; (3) the offspring born to a Catholic and non-Catholic union-the Catholic Church requires that children born to such a union be reared as Catholics. How can a man or woman find such attraction in one of the opposite sex as to be willing to consign their unborn children to such an apostasy?
Thus, my friends, I have set forth why I left the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church disregards the Word of God and is not the church of the New Testament. I believe that I have established that in the light of truth. I thank God that I am a member of the church of Christ, which takes its stand upon the Bible.
Beloved, Jezebel, with her idolatry, is at work in the land. We see bowed forms before her in the press and on the screen. This is no time for week-kneed Protestantism; this is a time for courageous, concerted action in behalf of truth. Cast out that evil influence, as was Jezebel of old! How? Exalt and spread the Bible's influence. No one can embrace Catholicism without rejecting the Bible. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.
-Joe Malone, Why I Left, ed. Guy V. Caskey & Thomas L. Campbell - Taken from a series of nine speeches of the Vickery Boulevard, Ft. Worth, Texas, Lectureship of October 25 to 29 and November 1 to 4, 1948. c.1949. pages 180-221