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ALERT!!!

 scull-and-baones The Roman Catholic “Church” is Not Christian scull-and-baones1

 

Practically all precepts of the Roman Catholic religion contradict the Bible repeatedly. It is the largest cult in the world and most preachers will not openly say so because it is so large. For Catholics who read this, please remember this: the person that tells you the truth is the one that cares.

For a glimpse of the atrocities committed by the Roman Catholic religion, do a net search on the Inquisition or the Crusades. During the Inquisition, the Catholic religion killed millions. Why? Primarily to suppress any and all opposition to the pope. Side “benefits” included taking the material wealth of its victims and showing the pope’s power. The Catholic Inquisitors tortured, crippled, burned, and imprisioned millions of people. Whatever happened to love your enemies? (Matthew 5:44)

Before we get to specific problems with Catholic doctrine, let’s review how this bloodthirsty organization treated a man who simply wanted to get the Bible into the hands of the common people. In the late 1300s John Wycilf translated the scriptures from the Latin Vulgate. Some 40 odd years after his death, the Catholic religion dug up his bones and burned them calling him an arch-heretick. In the 1500’s William Tyndale sought to translate the Bible into the language of the common people, English. He could not gain approval from the Catholic religon so he worked as an outlaw on the run in Europe, translating the Bible. He was eventually captured, condemned and executed in 1536. It is because of people like these men, Tyndale and Wycliffe, that we have the scriptures today. If the Catholic religion had its way, we’d still be in ignorance about the Bible and enslaved to the pope. Time fails me here to tell of other marytrs like John Hus, John Rogers, etc. who were killed by popish persons.

I’ll list the catholic tradition first and then what the Bible has to say about the matter.

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Call priests father, e.g., Father McKinley.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS –

Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Forbidding the priesthood to marry.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS –

1) It is devilish to forbid God’s people to marry when He has given marriage to be received with thanksgiving.

1 Timothy 4:1 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;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
4:3 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.

2) Peter was married (remember the pope is supposedly continuing the apostolic line through Peter).

Matthew
8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

Mark
1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

Luke
4:38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.

3) Paul, a great apostle, remained single; however he made it very clear that he could marry if he wanted to.

1 Corinthians
9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Mary never had other children after the Lord Jesus. A perpetual virgin.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Mary and Joseph indeed had children. They were the Lord’s half brothers and sisters for their father was Joseph and mother was Mary.

Matthew
13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Mark6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Mary is the queen of heaven.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Worshipping the queen of heaven (which is not the Mary of the Bible) is worshipping another god and it provokes the Lord to anger.

Jeremiah
7:17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Mary is the mother of God.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Mary is the mother of the earthly Jesus, not God. Jesus pre- existed from everlasting as God (see John 1:1). When He came to redeem mankind, He laid aside His glory and was made like unto sinful man so that He could take our punishment (Hebrew 2:9). God has no mother. He has lived from everlasting which means He had no beginning.

Isaiah
43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. [If Mary gave birth to God, she’d be God.]

Psalm
93:2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

Micah
5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler [Jesus] in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Philippians
2:6 Who [Jesus], being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Pope called Holy Father.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – The term Holy Father is only found one time in the entire Bible. It was when Jesus prayed before He and His disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane. He referred to God the Father as Holy Father. It is blasphemy to call a man by God’s name

John
17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Purgatory, nuns, popes.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – None of these is mentioned in the Bible. It is a sin to add to the Bible.

Proverbs
30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
The pope is a man who takes upon himself honor which belongs to no human being. Even the very name by which he allows himself to be called (Holy Father) is highly presumptuous and blasphemous (see above).

One does not need the pope to determine what God’s will is. The Bible says that God has given the Holy Ghost to each believer and that He (the Holy Ghost) guides and leads us into all truth. All a believer needs is the Bible and the Holy Ghost to know the will of the Lord. Popery has been treacherous, but worse, each pope has been the blind leading the blind. Jesus said that both will fall into the ditch. Catholics, come out of this system that cannot save and know Jesus for youself, intimate and up-close.

NOTE: Purgatory is supposedly a place where a person is purified of sins–even popes supposedly go there. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the one that purifies us of our sins. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…. When a person dies their eternal home is sealed–heaven or hell–no in between. Hebrews 9:27 …it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Venerating/worshipping images. Pope bows to statues of Mary, people worship the eucharist and have statues/candles in their homes and churches.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – It is idolatry to venerate images. We are not even supposed to make them.

Exodus
20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…
* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – The mass. Through transubstantiation, the wafer/host and the wine supposedly become the actual blood and body of Jesus Christ when the priest prays over them.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Jesus died once for sins, never to be repeated. He sits on the right hand of God and does not reappear in the mass as a mass of blood and flesh.

Hebrews
10:12 But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

John
19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

1 Corinthians
11:24 And when he [Jesus] had given thanks, he brake it [bread], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come (not for the forgiveness of sins or to receive Jesus).

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Saved, in part, by good works.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Good works are the fruits that grow out of being saved. They do not make you saved. An apple does not make its tree an apple tree, it was already an apple tree before any apples appeared. When you see the apples; however, you know what kind of tree it is. If a person is saved, he will shew forth good works because he has the spirit of Christ in him. The good works don’t make him saved only the blood of Jesus can do that.

I John
1:7b …the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Acts 16:31b
…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

Romans
3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

What about James 2:20 “faith without works is dead”?

The kind of faith that saves is a faith that shows forth the works of God. Even devils believe in Jesus and tremble (James 2:19). Many people believe in Jesus but they won’t follow Him. They have a faith, but not the kind that saves. If a person has true faith in Jesus, the Holy Ghost dwells in him and will cause good works will show forth in his life. The good works confirm the faith by which the person was saved. James 2:21-23 uses Abraham as an example. Abraham believed God so when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham, out of his faith in God, offered up Isaac.

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – The church is founded on Peter.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Jesus Christ is the foundation of the church. Peter was a man like you and me. Jesus called Peter Satan in Matthew 16:23 when Peter rebuked Jesus dying. When Cornelius tried to worship Peter, Peter responded, “Stand up; I myself also am a man.” (Acts 10:26). The pope needs to remember Acts 10:26 when he has men bowing to him and kissing his hand like he is worthy of worship.

1 Corinthians
3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Matthew
21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected [Jesus], the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

* * * *
CATHOLIC TRADITION – Confessing sins to a priest. Petitioning saints and Mary.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – We are to confess our sins and needs to God alone.

I John
1:9 If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew
6:9, 12 After this manner…pray ye: Our Father… forgive us….

1 Timothy
2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus [not Mary, not saints, not priests, not the pope];

I John 2:1, …And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

* * * *
There are many other scriptures that could have been used here to testify against the doctrines of the catholic religion. There are also many other doctrines of the catholic religion which could have been refuted (e.g. the sacraments, receiving the Holy Ghost, salvation through the catholic religion, penance, rosary, etc.).

* * * *
The Catholic religion has a history of taking the money of poor widows in order to say masses for the dead (which do no good) and collecting the material possessions of nuns. In Italy, the heart of Roman Catholicism, there is an often used saying that goes, “Without money, they don’t sing the mass.” That is really pitiful on several fronts–1) mass is blasphemous and people who trust in it are hell-bound 2) there’s no such thing as purgatory and 3) the gift of God is without price.

Roman Catholicism today is probably the wealthiest government in the world. It owns a good share of America’s hospitals and has healthy real estate interests. The bottom line is, if you want to get right with God, you have to go through His Son, Jesus Christ, not some religious organization. Prayerfully, Tracy.

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/cath.htm

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Baptism (Baptismal Regeneration):

1). Matthew 26:28, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:12, 1 John 1:7, Romans 3:25, Heb. 9:22, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 10:18 (The Blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin not baptismal water). See also Col. 1:14.

2). Luke 2:30, Acts 4:12, Romans 1:16, 1 Thes. 5:9, 2 Timothy 2:10, 2 Timothy 3:15, Heb. 5:9, Heb. 2:10 (Christ is solely necessary for salvation not water. Water can’t remove guilt, which is in the heart.)

3). Acts 15:9 There is the purifying heart by faith without water. See also Titus 3:5 and Heb. 10:20.

4). Romans. 10:9-13, 1 Cor. 1:17, 1 Cor. 1:12 Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation

5). In 1 Cor. 1:17, Paul said he didn’t came to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Paul was a preacher and if he wasn’t called to baptize, then baptism isn’t necessarily required to be saved since sinners before repentance can be baptized and claim to be saved but aren’t. Also baptism alone doesn’t account for sins since Christ’s blood alone does that by you believing on him.

6). 1 Peter 3: 21 Baptism is symbolic for an answer of a good conscience toward God.

7). Acts 8:34-39 Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo meaning immersion not sprinkle. Catholics are sprinkled instead of being immersed for baptism, which is unscriptural.

8). Acts 8:36-37, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 18:8, Acts 2:41, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 6, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:13 In those verses, it shows baptism coming after salvation after one believes on Christ (repentance). Baptism can’t affect a man’s heart since baptism is a water action or work and only Christ alone can do that apart from works. Paul, Cornelius, and the Philippian Jailer are all examples in the book of Acts of using or being presented with baptism after one’s salvation first.

9). Eph. 2:5 By faith ye are saved (Baptism is excluded from the equation). Another analogy is this; the very elderly, crippled, those paralyzed for life, and the very ill can’t be baptized for obvious reasons, yet if they repent; they’re saved without baptism. One is baptized because he/she believes (or is saved) not to get saved.

10). Luke 23:43 The thief on the cross is in heaven without being baptized. See also Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:11, Romans 3:28, Galatians 15:4, Acts 16:30-34. Rituals like baptism or baptizing people will never save but Christ making baptism proceeding after salvation. Therefore, the believer’s baptism is scriptural.

11). Rev. 12:11 The blood of the Lamb (not baptismal water) causes us to overcome this old world. See also Eph. 1:3 saying that you are sealed by the Holy Spirit not by water baptism.

12). Mark 10:13-16 Baptism is unnecessary for salvation, because a simple action can’t account for every sin you’ve committed. If you’re not saved and baptized, you can still sin without being saved until you experienced repentance. Repentance doesn’t require baptism, so baptism isn’t required to be saved.

13). Galatians 3:26-27 You are placed in the body of Christ by spiritual baptism at the moment you are saved then water baptism later.

14). Mt. 28:18-20 Jesus gave the local church the ordinance of water baptism so the believer’s baptism within a church is justified. Note: a church can only issue water baptism for anyone who is saved. Since anybody can be saved with or without a church’s assistance, baptism is not required for salvation again. See also Eph. 1:13-14 saying one becomes an heir to salvation and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit after he/she believes not after he/she is baptized.

15). 1 Cor. 14:1-5 Individuals in the church are speaking in tongues before being baptized. Only saved people can speak in tongues, therefore you can be saved without being baptized, but all Christians should be baptized as an adult in their lifetime as participating in God’s ordinance (also covenant sign with God).

16). Hebrews 13:20 The blood of the everlasting covenant (Christ’s blood) had brought peace not water.

17). John 4:2 This is a great verse. It says that Jesus never baptized anyone but only his disciples. If Jesus mentioned salvation and saved people, why didn’t he baptize? It is because baptism isn’t required for salvation validated once again by Christ’s actions of never baptizing anyone. If Jesus is the giver of salvation and never baptized people for salvation then baptism isn’t needed for salvation. It’s interesting to note that no one from Adam to Christ who was believers was saved by baptism. And baptism regeneration was never doctrine in the early church until Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria at ca. 120 AD. In fact, you can find Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, and others mentioning salvation by grace through faith without works in their literature before 120 AD.

Here are some questions that baptismal regeneration supporters can’t answer conclusively:

-If baptismal regeneration is true, why can afterwards that you can still have a chance to lose your salvation?
-Why is it that many people like the Thief On the Cross, etc were saved before being baptized?
-Why is that there are examples where people received the Holy Spirit before being baptized? Only saved people can receive the Holy Spirit.
-Why did Christ didn’t baptize a soul and Paul only baptized 2 people? Both lead many people to salvation and both even proclaimed people’s salvation with or without baptism.
-Why is it that there are tons of verses to easily show that salvation is by grace through faith involving Christ’s blood (Which I can show easily), yet baptism is mainly used in fewer times at the Bible?
-What saves and it can only be either Christ’s blood or baptismal water. It’s either one and you can’t have it both ways. If Christ’s blood is sufficient enough to save people, why must you believe that baptism saves which isn’t and doesn’t involve Christ’s blood? If Christ’s blood is infinite enough to save all sin and all humans, isn’t that baptismal water is needed as well? Is Christ’s blood not enough?

Please explain.

-Why is it that salvation can come within or without a church’s assistance and baptism is to be only executed by the church, yet you’re not required to submit yourself to a church for salvation?
-Why did Peter say Repent to get salvation first and then baptism after salvation in Acts? If baptism is used for salvation wouldn’t you be baptized first or what is the outline of salvation in terms of repentance and baptism?
-Why did Christ in Mt. 28:19-20 say teach all nations first then baptize second?
-Why did Phillip baptize the Ethiopian eunuch only after he believed on Christ and acknowledged that he is the Son of God?
-Why did historically the Didache (It shows baptism only after days of preperation), Polycarp, Ignatius (he only calls baptism as a spear or helment to your faith), Clement of Rome, and others in the early church didn’t mention a word on baptismal regeneration yet by 150 A.D., it came about by Justin Martyr. Many reformers like John Wycliffe, Waldensians, Anabaptists, etc don’t subscribe to it anyway so why should we?

 
-Why did baptismal regeneration exist from pagan religions before Christianity’s existence, yet for some reason you believe it must be required for Christians? God rejects paganism into the true faith and that’s outlined in the O.T. and N.T.
-Why did no OT person or prophet utilize baptism for salvation yet you believe Christian is to do this in the NT?
-Why is that men and women who had true conversion living godly lives in Christ without being baptized first in their walk? There are tons of examples of that in the world whether you like it or not.
-Why is there no mention of baptism for salvation anywhere in the Bible especially in Jude and James? All references to baptism involve the church and the believer alone nothing more or less.

http://truthseeker247works365.blogspot.com/2006/07/comments-on-purgatory-baptism-and.html

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This chapter from this book is really important to Christians who ask “did the apostles and their direct successors practice baptismal regeneration?”. It is not the best read,,, as it is mostly Quotes from pre-Niceian Church Fathers. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL INFO. There will be more articles coming about the history of baptism, it’s pagan origins and the history of that damnable herasy creeping into the Christian church, thus danming billions of souls as some have claimed., by making salvation,,grace+ water baptism.

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

 

WATER BAPTISM:

A PAGAN AND JEWISH RITE,

BUT NOT CHRISTIAN

PROVEN BY SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY

CONFIRMED BY THE LIVES OF SAINTS

WHO WERE NEVER BAPTIZED WITH WATER 

JAMES H. MOON FALLSINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA Copyrighted, 1902

  

 

 

 

 

WATER BAPTISM AFTER THE APOSTLES’ TIME

By collateral evidence we are led to suppose that several of the apostles were martyred under the Roman Emperor, Nero, about A.D. 64.

The Jews rebelled against the Romans, A.D. 66. At the approach of war, Christians of Jerusalem and Judea removed to Pela, beyond the Jordan.[200] Eusebius says they fled in obedience to a Divine
revelation.[201] These were all Jews, and in their new homes were called Nazarenes or Ebonites.[202]

Jerusalem and the temple were utterly destroyed and the Jews massacred by the Romans, A.D. 70.[203]

Dean Stanley says: “The fall of Jerusalem was the fall of the Jewish world; it was a reason for the close of the apostolic age; a death-blow of the influence of Jewish nationality for a long time to come.”[204]

After the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem, Gentile Antioch appears to have become the seat of church authority.

John was probably the only apostle then living and he, it is thought, was in a distant country.

At Antioch and other places Gentile Christians evidently soon gained the ascendency and discouraged, even Jews from circumcision and other offensive Jewish customs, while water baptism and other usages not repulsive to Gentiles were generally continued and in time modified to
suit taste and convenience.

The early Christians were not united in making these changes; they caused continued discord and division among them as is manifest throughout the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius.

The Nazarenes, Ebonites and some others adhered to circumcision and the customs of Moses as the elders at Jerusalem had insisted that Paul should do and as in the “Hermit Church” of Abyssinia they still continue to do.[205][206]

We find these Nazarenes and Ebonites soon classified as heretics after the Gentiles preponderated.

Water baptism seems not to have been insisted upon at first but in the second century greater importance appears to have been attached to it.[207] Many, however, claimed that only baptism of the Holy Spirit and purity of the heart were necessary because none of the apostles but Paul were baptized with water, and Christ said: “John indeed baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit;”[208] and again, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Justin Martyr[209] said: “What is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and the body alone. Baptize the soul from wrath, envy, &c., and lo! the whole body is clean.” And again: “What need have I of that other baptism who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

While many such expressions occur in the writings of the “Fathers,” there are many more which support sacramentalism. Their testimonies are conflicting.

About the beginning of the third century we find water baptism first called a sacrament by Tertulian and about the same time he complains that many tried to destroy it. Plainly, as water baptism was exalted, opposition increased.[210]

The sect called Ascoondrutes rejected all symbols and sacraments on the principle that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal nor divine mysteries by things visible.[211]

Schaff says[212]: Many Jews and Gentiles were baptized only with water; not with Holy Spirit and fire of the Gospel, and smuggled their old religious notions and practices into the church.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine, professedly became a Christian, while he virtually remained a heathen; A.D. 312.[213]

Christians were few in number before Constantine, but now pagans flocked to the church and sat in its councils.

“Constantine married the Christian church to the heathen world.” He virtually united church and state. He convened the council of Nice and they formed a creed A.D. 325.

Many protested against this council and its decisions but the mass supported the Emperor and the creed.

Among obscure dissenters whom the ruling church called heretics may we expect thereafter to find the nearest approach to Christianity as Jesus taught it upon the Mount and elsewhere.

Mosheim says: No sooner had Constantine abolished the superstition of his ancestors than magnificent churches were erected for the Christians, which were richly adorned with pictures and images and bore striking resemblances to the Pagan temples both within and without.[214]

The simplicity of the Gospel was clouded by the prodigious number of rites and ceremonies which the bishops invented to embellish it.[215]

They imagined the Pagans would receive Christianity with more facility when they saw the rites and ceremonies to which they were accustomed adopted in the church. So the religion of the Christians was made to conform very nearly to that of the Pagans in external appearance.[216]

The vice and insolent tyranny of many of the priesthood soon became notorious.[217]

Neander says: Such individuals of the laity as were distinguished by their piety from the great mass of nominal Christians and from the worldly minded of the clergy often suffered persecution from the
latter.[218]

The name of Andeus stand prominent among the many dissenters who protested against the corruptions of the ruling church at this time.[219]

Isolated companies of devout Christians under various names rejected the Sacraments. They were called Lampetians, Adelphians, Estatians, Marcionites, Euchites, Massalians and Enthusiasts.[220]

Mosheim says: Enthusiasts who discarded the Sacraments and were rather wrong headed than vicious lived among the Greeks and Assyrians for many ages. They were known by the general and invidious name of Massalians or Euchites. A foot-note says: This sect arose under the Emperor
Constantius about the year 361.[221]

We have numerous accounts of Christians who were prominent in the dominant church of the fourth century who deferred water baptism to middle life or old age and many were never so baptized altho’ born of Christian parents.[222]

About A.D. 660 another Constantine came forward as a reform preacher under inspiration said to have been received in reading the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul.[223]

His followers were sometimes called Macedonians but were generally known as Paulicians altho’ they preferred to be called Christians.

It appears that these Paulicians existed centuries before under the other names given them by their enemies and that the drooping sect was revived by the powerful preaching of Constantine.

Neander says[224] the Paulicians wholy rejected the outward observance of the Sacraments and maintained that by multiplication of external rites and ceremonies in the dominant church the true life of religion had declined. That it was not Christ’s intention to institute water baptism as a perpetual ordinance and that by baptism he meant only baptism of the Holy Spirit and that he communicates himself by the living waters for the thorough cleansing of the whole human nature; that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ consists in coming into vital union with him.

In the ninth century one hundred thousand Paulicians were martyred at once in Armenia, accused of heresy and denying the Sacraments.[225]

For the same offence untold numbers were put to death during previous and subsequent centuries and in widely distant countries.[226]

Their enemies represent that these Paulicians were loving, spiritual and peaceful, and diligent in reading and circulating the Scriptures, but they were heretics and not worthy to live.

Were not these dissenting martyrs a remnant or seed of the living church and their baptized enemies the real heretics?

The history of these inhuman persecutions reveals a sad condition of the dominant church and its ruling clergy of the ninth century.

Some Ecclesiastics who presided over a flourishing theological institution at Orleans, claimed to have been awakened by the writings of
St. Augustine and St. Paul, particularly the later. Many of the nobility and others of eminent piety and benevolence became their adherents.[227]

They rejected external worship, rites and ceremonies and placed religion in the internal contemplation of God and the elevation of the soul.

They rejected water baptism and held to a baptism of the Spirit, also to a Spiritual Eucharist by which all who had received spiritual baptism would be refreshed and find their spiritual needs completely satisfied.

Thirteen leaders of this sect were burned A.D. 1022. When urged to recant they replied, “We have a higher law, one written by the Holy Spirit in the inner man.”

Mosheim says they soared above the comprehension of the age in which they lived.

A few years later a similar sect was discovered in the districts of Arras and Liege. They held individual holiness and practical piety to be necessary and that outward baptism and outward Sacrament were
nothing. This they affirmed was the doctrine of Christ and his apostles.[228]

About A.D. 1046 a sect was suppressed at Turin which was favored by the nobility and widely diffused among the clergy and laity. They claimed to have one priest without the tonsure. He daily visited their brethren scattered throughout the world and when God bestowed him on them they
received from him with great devotion forgiveness of sin. They acknowledged no other priest and no other sacrament but his absolution.[229]

Who–we ask–is this priest without the tonsure, who daily visits the world-wide brethern?

Is it not Jesus who was made a priest, “not after the law of a carnal commandment, but by the power of an endless life?”[230]

A sect called Bogomiles, who rejected outward baptism and acknowledged only spiritual communion, was discovered in Constantinople, many of them in the families connected with the court. Their leader was burned A.D. 1119, others were imprisoned, yet they spread secretly over the Greek empire.[231]

Mosheim says: The Eastern churches continued to be infested with such fanatics in the twelfth century, and the Latin sects were still more numerous than the Greeks.[232]

The Catherists were a numerous faction in Bulgaria and spread almost all over Europe under various names who all agreed in rejecting baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

“Brethern and sisters of the free Spirit” took their denomination from the words of St. Paul (Rom. 8, 2-14). They were called Begards, Beghines, Turpines, etc. They rejected baptism and the Supper as no
longer useful to them and held to inward and spiritual worship. They spread rapidly in Italy, France and Germany. They were mostly poor people and lived upon alms while upon their missionary Journeys. Great numbers of plain, pious people, rich and poor, embraced their teaching
and forsook the dominant church.[233]

The Inquisition checked their career with its usual record of cruelty and blood, yet they continued to feed the fires of persecution for more than two centuries, until near the time of the reformation.

In the south of France dissenters called Albigenses became more numerous than the dominant church. They were condemned by four councils, but still continued to increase until about A.D. 1215, when they were exterminated by a long and horrible war and the Inquisition.[234]

These Albigenses were distinguished generally by their strict and blameless lives, by their abhorrence of oaths, war and punishment by death, and for their hospitality and beneficence. They accepted baptism spiritually and rejected the sacraments.

Can we believe that the church which led to the extermination of these Albigenses, the Paulicians, and many others, was ever established by that loving Saviour who spent his life in doing good to the souls and bodies of men?

Does it not answer more nearly the description given of Mystery Babylon who was drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus? Who would not gladly forget a succession which claims to run back through such a church as this?[235]

In some parts of France dissenters similar to the Albigenses were called Bulgarians, in Italy they were called Paterens and in Germany were called Catherists, and in derision were called “Good Men.” How is it that these dissenters, by the testimony of their enemies, appear to have lived better and holier lives without the sacraments than their persecutors did with them?

What is the testimony of observation in our day?[236] Are those beatitudes which Jesus pronounced upon the Mount better observed by those who have seven sacraments than they are by Protestants who have only two? And, are they better observed under two sacraments than they are by the Quakers, and some other Christians who have none? If this is the case, it is strong support to the belief that Christ ordained the sacraments. But if the reverse is found to be the existing condition, then a suspicion may arise that these sacraments are not divine, but are human impositions and that they divert from the Divine. Therefore, may it be that some of our best Christians get along quite as well or
better without them.

Neither the word sacrament nor any synonym thereof occurs in the New Testament, nor in the writings of the “Fathers,” until the third century. There were no sacraments then as there are now, therefore no necessity for such a name.

Sacrament was a Pagan name for a military oath and was ruled into its present position by apostate Christians.

The apostles and first Christians evidently continued to eat the Passover Supper, because their fathers had done so for ages in memory of Israel passing over the Red Sea out of Egypt, and not from any command of Christ. Otherwise they would with still more persistence have continued to wash each other’s feet, which Jesus commanded with language and actions far more solemn, impressive and imperative.[237]

The Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius inform us that water baptism was a prolific cause of bitter discord and division among the early Christians. It still sorrowfully distracts the loving children of our
one Father and impedes the spread of his kingdom in the earth.

These lamentable conditions must inevitably continue until such shadows are dissolved by divine brightness in that day which we rejoice to believe is now dawning.

FOOTNOTES:

http://www.archive.org/stream/waterbaptism17222gut/17222.txt

RELEVANT POST. Water salvation/baptismal regeneration r  The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

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