Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


The Pope is the Antichrist says the Bible
 
One of the most important figures of the Counter-Reformation, cardinal Roberto Bellarmino (1542Ė1621), acknowledged the consensus of all Protestants that the Pope was the Antichrist when he wrote that Ďall heretics of this era teach similar things, especially Luther, Illyricus, Musculus, Beza, Bullinger...A Christian's Pocket Guide to Papacy by Leonardo De Chirico.

THE ANTICHRIST
 
I do not believe any Bible prophet was able to foresee the future. The belief that they could has caused untold damage with its influence on politics especially in relation to Israel and Babylon. We have seen the harm the belief has resulted in for Iraq and Palestine. Its entirely possible that mad Christian fundamentalist President George Bush may have attacked Iraq more because Saddam Hussein was rebuilding Babylon in contradiction of Bible prophecy than for any other reason. Yet you canít be a true Christian if you disown these vile and bloodthirsty activities. The crafty pope doesnít remind his prospective converts of that!

The Bible warns of a figure called the antichrist.  Antichrist in the Greek means not somebody who is opposed to Christ but who tries to take his place.  Antichrist is to be a nominal Christian and not an outright enemy so he cannot be a Muslim or Pagan or atheist.  Many at and since the Reformation regarded the Pope as the antichrist.
 
The most bizarre fact is that Bible prophecies that condemn the Roman Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon and the pope as one who leads you away from the real Jesus are spot on the mark as regards seeing events that hadnít happened yet though they were written before the Roman Church was founded by Constantine and Pope Damasus I.

Damasus in 370 AD proclaimed the" Apostolic chair" in which "the holy Apostle sitting, taught his successors how to guide the helm of the Church" (Ep ix ad Synod, Orient ap Theodoret V, 10). Damasus also states how "The first See is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman church" and says how Rome received primacy not by the conciliar decisions of the other churches, but from the evangelic voice of the Lord, when He says, "Thou art Peter..." (Decree of Damasus 382).

Damasus was the first pope in the sense of claiming to be indispensible head of the Church and appointed by God so that he is no ordinary leader.
 
Constantine and Damasus pulled a lump of the Church away from its roots forming another Church that claimed identity with the old. I am not saying the Roman Church is the whore of Babylon but that the Bible says it. This would mean that every member of the Roman Church and Anglo-Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who are close in theology to the Roman Church are members of the whore. They are parts of her body. They are evil according to the Bible and whoever befriends them is also accused by this book of being evil (2 John 10,11). It implies that the pope should be opposed like he was the Devil himself for he is the head of the Devilís organisation. He is the ringleader.

DANIEL AND THE LITTLE HORN

The vision of Daniel 7 about four nations is treated by the Book of Revelation as including Rome.  Out of Rome then comes a little horn that stands against God.  It is horn for it is part of a beast.  It has eyes and a mouth to boast.

The little horn is considered by some to refer to Constantine the Great the Roman Emperor who created the evil Christendom machine.  Others think it refers to the papacy.  Either way it still marks the Catholic Church as a force for evil.  If the pope is not the antichrist he is not far from being it. 

The final clue is that the horn has the eyes of a human being.  That odd expression is trying to tell us something.  It obviously thinks it does not have the eyes of a human being but of a god or it could be a person who thinks he is infallible like the pope.
 
2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-13
 
The Bible is believed by millions to predict the coming of the papal antichrist.
 
I am indebted to Is the Papacy Predicted by St Paul? and Roman Catholicism Tested by the Scriptures for this research. I include some ideas of my own.
 
2 Thessalonians 2:1-13 says that the son of perdition and man of sin will sit in the temple of God and behave as God. It says that Paul spoke of these things when he was in Thessalonica. He says the mystery of lawlessness/iniquity is working inwardly and will manifest after the restraining power is ended and Jesus will destroy him at his second coming.

So the Bible speaks of antichrist as being part of a mystery of iniquity. That term can only mean a conspiracy. It reads as if it is a spiritual conspiracy to do evil. In effect the mystery will get others to do its dirty work to keep itself looking clean. That is why it is a mystery.  For many that tells us why Revelation talks about Mystery Babylon the Great - the religion of Rome.
 
All this tells us that the antichrist will not openly defy Christ but will do what only Christ has the right to do. The temple is the Church for the Jerusalem temple was destroyed and the early Christians believed it would be before it happened. Also Paul implied the Church was a temple when he said we are all temples of the Holy Spirit. He said the mystery of evil working for the coming of the man was already in existence and he warned about how soon and unexpectedly Christ would return so he would not have believed that the temple had to be rebuilt before Jesus could come back. The restraining power is the heathen Roman Empire for Paul would have been clear if it meant the power of God. He did not want to name the restraining power because the Romans would not take kindly to being told that the Empire would not be everlasting. The earliest commentators like Tertullian and Irenaeus said it was the Empire he meant. After the heathen Empire collapsed, the papacy arose. Paul referred to the restraining power in a masculine gender as if it were one person and he did the same with the man of sin which answers those who object that the papacy is more than one man but a succession of men. But there is an alternative. The word pope refers to a kind of man. Though many men have been popes they will sometimes be called pope in a collective sense. Perhaps the first pope was the man of sin and will rise again to be destroyed by Jesus when he comes or maybe his spirit somehow survived death to guide the Catholic Church and it will be destroyed as in ruined when Jesus comes back? Though the first pope is the antichrist the others are bad too but still nothing like him. They just safeguard his evil legacy. Paul then predicted the coming of the papal antichrist.
 
This was the only good prophecy that Paul made. God would want it to be fulfilled in the early centuries of the Church for the sake of believers to convince them that Paul was a prophet. Therefore the prophecy can only mean the pope. And even more so when it was distributed through the Roman Empire (page 11, Is the Papacy Predicted by St Paul?). I am not saying Paul really knew the future but I am saying he made good guesses that if his religion survived and thrived it would rule the Empire from Rome and he supposed that by then it would have become apostate.
 
Cardinal Manning stated that the pope claims to be the subject of no secular ruler and claims to be the supreme judge and director of the consciences of all men be they kings or obscure peasants and to be the last and supreme judge of what is right and wrong and that it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the pope and this is approved by the clergy (Question 490, Radio Replies 3).
 
The Bible teaches the doctrine of the rapture or as some call it the translation. According to this interesting doctrine, the true members of Godís Church will disappear from the earth before the great tribulation (the final world war accompanied by plague and corruption) and the second coming of Jesus and the grace of conversion will be cut off so that there will be no Church on the earth except false Christian ones. The saved dead will disappear from their graves. The doctrine is certainly biblical as you will see from the Rogma Bible Course. You can find this course on the Internet by doing a search for Rogma. It is taught at 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. The rapture is secret. Though a trumpet sounds and Jesus appears, he stays in the air for he will not come to the earth until the second coming, unbelievers will not know why bodies disappeared from graves and why living people among them vanished for these things will only be heard and seen by those who are caught up to meet Jesus in the air. Nowhere is it said that unbelievers will see Jesus then nor is there any need for them to see him and he is up in the air. The doctrine of the papacy is incompatible with it for it requires that there always be a bishop of Rome to lead the Church. But if the pope vanishes into thin air which he will do if he is a real Christian the Roman Catholic Church cannot function.  The rapture tells us that the true Church is invisible not visible as Roman Catholicism says so it says since Rome claims to be the true Church it is not the true Church for it is a visible Church. If the true Church is invisible then a papacy is an encumbrance and a contradiction of its invisibility. The rapture doctrine denies the doctrine of Purgatory for it says when Jesus comes his own will immediately become citizens of the bliss of Heaven forever. So that is another fatal blow it directs at the legitimacy of the papacy for Purgatory is one of its biggest dogmas. It clearly indicates that since the papacy says it will always be on the earth that the popes after the rapture will certainly be antichrists.

The fact that Roman Catholicism is such a huge empire and it claims to be the Church of Christ contradicting the New Testament which states that Christianity is to be a minority religion with few members proves that it is an antichrist and the man who leads it is not appointed by God but a barrier between God and humankind. Christ said that we must try to get through the narrow gate for most will be left outside of it. Catholics might say that he meant that only a few had the truth then but it is no longer true but they donít believe this at all for they say God gives everybody enough truth to be saved so that they might come to him despite having a distorted image of him so that nobody has an excuse. A narrow gate implies a restriction God has set up, if you donít have the pure gospel of Jesus but a distortion there will be no salvation. Jesus might have told the disciples to teach all nations and make disciples of them which is a command. This however gives no support to the view that success in evangelisation indicates having the true gospel. Jesus only said try to convert all but he didnít say this should be outstandingly successful. Success in evangelisation would indicate that the faith preached is anti-god for the Bible teaches that we are born hating God and usually die in the same condition (Romans 3) though many of his enemies do a good job of convincing themselves that they are true servants of God.
 
CONCLUSION
 
The Bible identifies the pope as the Antichrist. This warns that his doctrines are dangerous. Protestants must be persuaded of this so that their efforts to ruin the credibility of the Roman Catholic faith may have greater success. Protestantism is more open to sceptical influence than Catholicism which is why it is better to promote it as the lesser evil.
 
WORKS CONSULTED
 
A GREAT LEGACY, Rev RJ Coates, Irish Church Mission, Dublin
A PATH FROM ROME, Anthony Kenny Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1985
A ROMAN CATECHISM WITH A REPLY THERETO, John Wesley Protestant Truth Society, London
A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1994
ALL ONE BODY Ė WHY DONíT WE AGREE? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
AN ACCOUNT OF ARCHBISHOP JAMES USHER 1581-1656, ND Emerson MA PhD, Townsend Street, Dublin
APOSTOLICAL SUCCESSION, James Heron, Outlook Press, Belfast
BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND CHURCH DOCTRINE, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
BUT THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY SO, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London 1966
BY FAITH ALONE, RC Sproul, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1995
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
CATHOLICISM AND CHRISTIANITY, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
CHRISTIANS GUIDE TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Bill Jackson, Colonial Baptist Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1988
CITY OF GOD, St Augustine, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1986
DAWN OR TWILIGHT? HM Carson, IVP, Leicester, 1976
DEAR CATHOLIC FRIEND, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1989
DIFFICULTIES, Mgr Ronald Knox and Sir Arnold Lunn, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1958
DOCUMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979
EVANGELICAL CATHOLICS A NEW PHENOMENON, Stanley Mawhinney, Christian Ministries Incorporated, Dundrum, Dublin, 1992
FUTURIST OR HISTORICIST? Basil C Mowll, Protestant Truth Society, London
HANDBOOK TO THE CONTROVERSY WITH ROME, Karl Von Hase, Vols 1 and 2, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
HOW SURE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS? Colin Badger, Wayside Press, Canada
INFALLIBILITY IN THE CHURCH, Patrick Crowley, CTS, London, 1982
IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH A BIBLE CHURCH? John Hamrogue, C.SS.R, Liguori, Missouri, 1983
IS THERE SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH? Fr J Bainvel SJ, TAN, Illiniois, 1979
LETTERS TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, H A Ironside, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1982
LION CONCISE BOOK OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT, Tony Lane, Lion, Herts, 1984
OUGHT I TO SEND MY CHILD TO A CONVENT SCHOOL? Rev Walter H Denbow, Protestant Truth Society, London, 1969
POPE FICTION Patrick Madrid Basilica Press, San Diego, 1999
REVELATION ITS GRAND CLIMAX AT HAND! Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1988
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS, Charles Gore MA, Longmans, London, 1894
ROMAN CATHOLIC OBJECTIONS ANSWERED, Rev H O Lindsay, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin
ROMAN CATHOLIC TEACHING CONTRASTED WITH BIBLE TEACHING, Bernard Burt, The Bible Student Press, Coventry
ROMAN CATHOLICISM TESTED BY THE SCRIPTURES, John A Coleman, New Litho Pty. Ltd, Victoria, 1987
ROMAN CATHOLICISM WHAT IS FINAL AUTHORITY? Harold J Berry, Back to the Bible, Nebraska, 1974
ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Lorraine Boettner, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1962
ROMANISM AT VARIANCE WITH THE BIBLE, Rev James Gardner, Protestant Truth Society, London, 1987
ROME HAS SPOKEN, A GUIDE TO FORGOTTEN PAPAL STATEMENTS AND HOW THEY HAVE CHANGED THROUGH THE CENTURIES, Maureen Fiedler and Linda Rabben (Editors), Crossroad Publishing, New York, 1998
ROME THE GREAT PRIVATE INTERPRETATOR, Peter S Ruckman Penascola Bible Press, Palatka, Florida, 1969
SALVATION, THE BIBLE AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM, William Webster, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1990
SECRETS OF ROMANISM, Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
THE ADVANCE OF ROMANISM, S M Houghton, Cotswold Bible Witness, 1964
THE BEASTS AND THE LITTLE HORN, Rev George S Hitchcock DD, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1911
THE BIBLE OR THE CHURCH? Ken Camplin, Printland Publishers, India, 1996
THE BIBLE REFUTES ROMANISM Philip H Rand Protestant Truth Society, London
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER, Paul Whitcomb TAN, Illinois, 1986
THE CHURCH AND INFALLIBILITY, BC Butler, The Catholic Book Club, London, undated
THE CHURCH OF ROME AND THE WORD OF GOD, Rev Eric C Last, Protestant Truth Society, London
THE DEVELOPMENTS OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM, John A Bain MA, Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh and London, undated
THE INCREDIBLE CREED OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, Dr L Rumble MSC, Catholic Truth Society, London, undated
THE POWER AND THE GLORY, Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II's Vatican, David Yallop, Constable, London, 2007
THE PRIMITIVE FAITH AND ROMAN CATHOLIC DEVELOPMENTS, Rev John A F Gregg BD, APCK, Dublin, 1928
THE RICHES OF ROME AND THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST Robert D Browne, Protestant Truth Society, London
THE STUDENTíS CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
THE TRUE CHURCH AND THE FALSE, The National Union of Protestants, Suffolk
THE VATICAN PAPERS, Nino Lo Bello, New English Library, Kent, 1982
TRADITIONAL DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH EXAMINED, Rev CCJ Butlin, Protestant Truth Society, London
TREASURES FROM GODíS STOREHOUSE, Dr Bill Jackson, Colonial Baptist Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1991
VICARS OF CHRIST, Peter De Rosa, Corgi Books, London, 1993
WHAT HAPPENED! Francisco Lacueva, Evangelical Protestant Society, Belfast
WHY I AM NOT A ROMAN CATHOLIC, Rev Canon McCormick DD, Protestant Truth Society, London, 1968
YOU CAN LEAD ROMAN CATHOLICS TO CHRIST, Wilson Ewin, New England Mission, Nashua 1980
 
The WWW
 
www.biblelight.net/keating.htm
A Challenge to Catholic Apologist Karl Keating