Zone1 My departure from Catholicism (very long OP)

As far as Pius goes, even the fact he stayed neutral is damning enough.

The Axis was the kind of unvarnished evil that the Church is supposedly against, and once the war was safely over, they were happy to denounce it.

Imagine if Pius had gotten on Vatican Radio and announced that the Axis was evil and all good Catholics in Germany and Italy should stop fighting for it. True, he'd have been immediately shot, but he'd go straight to heaven, right?

Not only that, but the Catholic Church also organized a lot of the "Rat-lines" that allowed Nazi War criminals like Eichman and Mengele to escape justice by hiding in Argentina.
you've never been pope, much less during a w orld war.

You don't have a clue what Pius XII did. I do

I have actually read up on him. Too bad you don't feel the topic is worthy of your time... yet go on the internet and spew BS anyway expecting people to accept it..

Please
 
Okay, guy, I get it, I went to Catholic School for 12 years and they didn't tell you about the Cadaver Synod or how John XII was a womanizer who was killed by a jealous husband or of course, anything about Pius XII.

The reality is, Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope".

He was in the pocket of Mussolini and Hitler all the way up until when Rome was liberated.
You believe lies.... too lazy to search out the truth.

I'm done w/ you. I can't stand people who don't give a rat's ass about the truth but go on and on as if they alone know it.. disgusting
 
ha ha... too funny

If Satan doesn't exist, how do you know what version of him is correct?

gotcha

That's kind of retarded. I didn't say "version".... I said "image". as in YOUR image. Which means if you were describing Satan to someone who never heard of him before, most of your description would come from Milton or Dante.



you've never been pope, much less during a w orld war.

You don't have a clue what Pius XII did. I do

It's what he didn't do. He didn't take a stand against Evil all around him. He watched as 70 million people were being slaughtered all around him and couldn't call any of it wrong.

You believe lies.... too lazy to search out the truth.

I'm done w/ you. I can't stand people who don't give a rat's ass about the truth but go on and on as if they alone know it.. disgusting

Here's the truth.
The Catholic Church is corrupt as all get out... always has been.
If you seek the truth, you won't find it in a Catholic Church.
 
My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!




VERY LONG, VERY STUPID and VERY BORING.,

No one leaves because "hey these 4553 things just bothered me for a long time:)You had something bothering you and you added all ther rest as self-convincing to justify it.

I know your type intimately. You are a fraud., It is your private high estimation of yourself as holy and wise that trips you up.Shit,if the righ answer on that grocery list of pop theology was any part of the answer NO ONE WOULD BE A CHRISTIAN :)

 
No one leaves because "hey these 4553 things just bothered me for a long time:)You had something bothering you and you added all ther rest as self-convincing to justify it.

I know your type intimately. You are a fraud., It is your private high estimation of yourself as holy and wise that trips you up.Shit,if the righ answer on that grocery list of pop theology was any part of the answer NO ONE WOULD BE A CHRISTIAN :)

I follow the Bible. You can follow the catechism or any other false system. I'll stick with the word of God.
 
My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!






















long indeed …
 
My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!



I was baptized Catholic as well, like you my views have changed a lot as I got older. In my youth I was full of hatred and revenge and briefly was a member of the Church of Satan, but as I got older I quickly grew out of that anger phase in my life and drifted back to Christianity.

What I am now.... I am not sure. I love the Christian Religion as well as have studied Judaism. I have studied Buddhism and enjoy meditating. I enjoyed studying Hinduism. I loved studying Taoism. I have absolutely fallen in love with Islam and professed in front of witnesses my belief in Mohamed. I love reading the Quran, Bible, Torah. I believe in Jesus Christ. I go to church about every Sunday. I sometimes go to Catholic churches, sometimes Lutheran, sometimes Methodist, Sometimes Baptist. I like variety and can't really pin down to one church or denomination, things get too boring that way. I do go to church though every Sunday.
 
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My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!



I'd say you have a profound mental problem and this is proof NOBODY has multi-page doubts.


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The problem with the OP is it is longer than I have time to read.

Please boil it down to a few paragraphs, if you can.
 
Length implies GUILT in most cases.

When asked "Why did you not let that drowning person die?" you can usually reply in a sentence.
 
My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!






















So you don't adhere to the account of Lucifer?
 
Matthew 5:37

37 "All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

Simply say, "No" to the teachings of the Catholic Church. If that is what you truly believe and feel and understand from the inside, then you should be at peace.

Matthew 12:25


“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
 
Long?

Please

I am not going to read this and I will tell you why. And I will do so in less than 50,000 words. I am not reading it because I have found the TRUE Church. The reason people leave it, and I know you will disagree, but maybe not write about it above.. is usually because they have defied some fundamental teaching of the Church. A lot of people leave because they wanted to get re-married, to someone other than their true spouse. But the Church wouldn't give an annulment (aka divorce but in the CC you can't divorce AND re-marry if you were validly married). And so people hate the Church for denying them "the one they love" and other such reasons. Well, the Church is either from Christ or it is not. Jesus was either against divorce/re-marriage or He wasn't. So do we choose Christ's Church or do we just go our own way?

Jesus said (paraphrase) that most people go their own way (Mt 7:21 and others). Society is showing us that as well, that people are going their own way. Most people are ditching Jesus and not going to ANY church or purported church at all. Church attendance these days is abysmal

Satan laughs his ass off
My departure from Catholicism

(written October, 2023)


Dear Reader,

This is my explanation for how and why I left Catholicism. It is long because I am sharing a lot of scriptures to support my positions. I am using the English Standard Version due to its ease of reading, although there are some verses in that (and most other English Bible translations) that were MISTRANSLATED and so I will, in those cases, use another Bible to provide an accurate translation.



I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church. I was an altar boy. I attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school. I was later married in the Catholic Church and my son was baptized in the Catholic church. As well, I attended weekly masses for decades as a child and later as an adult. Many of my family members, including my wife, as well as many close friends are Catholic. Like most Catholics, I didn’t really necessarily know or understand the doctrines of Catholicism. For that matter, I was ignorant of much of what the Bible teaches. For years I identified as a Catholic and always believed in Jesus



Around seven or eight years ago (2016?) I watched Pope Francis comment on some political issues. Over the years Francis has commented on a number of political issues, issues for which he is probably unqualified to intelligently discuss. It had always been my understanding that the Pope was supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative on Earth. I wondered; why doesn’t the Pope follow the example of Jesus by sticking to spreading the word of God rather than spreading his own word? I couldn’t help but ask myself if the Pope considered God’s word to be insufficient. Is the Pope’s word on worldly affairs more important than the word of God? The thought occurred to me that, if the Pope wants to be a worldly politician, he should resign and go into politics. The Pope’s repeated forays into worldly political affairs motivated me to take a deeper look at Catholicism and to pick up a Bible.



One thing I discovered from the Bible was that we are commanded to NOT be “of” the world. Here are some supporting scriptures:



1 John 5:19

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.



Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



John 17:14-18

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.



1 John 4:4-6

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.



John 15:19

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.



The last verse really resonates with me. One must ask, who is “of the world” and “loved” by the world? In order to provide examples, I believe that people such as Madonna, Jane Fonda, Barack Obama, Lebron James, etc. are “of the world”. They are certainly loved by the world. If they weren’t “of the world” the world wouldn’t love them. Do you know who else is “of” the world and loved by the world? The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the ONLY faith system in the world that is recognized by the world as being its own sovereign nation. Yep, the only one. For centuries, world leaders have gone to Rome to kiss the Pope’s ring and when the Pope travels to other nations everybody rolls out the red carpet for him and gifts him bouquets of flowers to thunderous applause and adoration from the masses. The Catholic Church has emissaries in many capitols around the world and at the United Nations. Needless to say, it is UNDENIABLE that the Pope and the Catholic Church are loved by the world because they ARE of the world. In recognizing this, I decided to dig deeper.



As you may know, apostles were sent out into the known world to teach the word of God and to start churches. One of the churches founded was located in Rome. That church was widely credited with compiling the world’s first Bible although (strangely enough) they apparently didn’t save a copy of their original Bible. Anyway, I believe the very early church in Rome was genuine and I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the early church in compiling the Bible that is read and studied by Christians around the world.



Then, the false teachers that the Apostle Paul warned about took over the early church. Here are some of Paul’s warnings.



1 Timothy 4:1-4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.





1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



At some point the early church became corrupted and, over the centuries, introduced many doctrines that are NOT Biblical and, in some cases, contradict God’s word. Let’s get into them.



Nearly 1,200 years AFTER Jesus, the Catholic Church determined that Mary communicated to them that she wants them to “serve” her by reciting a bunch of prayers while using a collection of beads known as a “rosary”. The Catholic Church lists “15 promises of the rosary” beginning with this: 1) Those who faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.



I believe that Mary was a very holy, humble, faithful, servant, of God. After reading the Bible, I also believe that there is ZERO chance that Mary appeared to anyone to tell them to “serve her” by regurgitating a litany of prayers. For one thing, Jesus commanded that we ONLY serve God.



Luke 4:8

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”



And another…



Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”



Jesus also said…



Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.



Do you, the reader, believe that Mary would actually direct anyone to “serve her”? I don’t. Mary would never ask for such a thing. She would ask that we serve God, as did she.



Luke 1:38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.



As for the rosary, what is one supposed to recite? To me it’s just a bunch of repetitious phrases and empty words. You can look it up for yourself. How to Recite the Rosary



In any event, nothing about the rosary is biblical. The Catholic Church introduced it (or so I understand) around 1221 AD. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever said anything about using a rosary. The practice of reciting the rosary is a man-made doctrine that is NOT from God.



Let’s move on.



Another Catholic doctrine is to pray to Mary or to their “saints”. Who exactly is a “saint”? What does the Bible say?



Revelation 14:12

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.



In other words, ALL faithful Christians are “saints”.



There is no strong biblical evidence for praying to anyone other than to God. Now I’m going to inject my opinion. God created us because he wants a relationship with us. God wants us to follow him and to look to HIM for everything! The Catholic Church doesn’t bring one closer to God, in fact, they lead people away from God by having them “serve” Mary and praying to Mary and to their saints. In other words, the Catholic Church removes and replaces God with someone else, Mary, a saint, a priest, etc.



Here are some scriptures from the Bible regarding prayer.



Phillippians 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



So if praying to Mary and to saints is a good thing, why then didn’t Paul include them in the verse above?



Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.



Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.



1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.



Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers



The reason I’m sharing this psalm is because it demonstrates how David (the author) looked to GOD and to no one else. The Old Testament has many similar verses and the point is that NOBODY who was of God in the Bible EVER prayed to anyone other than God. The only “faith” system that I know of that teaches its followers to pray to someone other than GOD is the Catholic Church.



Let’s dig a little deeper into the Catholic doctrine of praying to and venerating Mary.



The Bible tells us of one instance where a woman praised Mary as “blessed” and Jesus corrected her.



Luke 11:27-28

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”



Yes, Mary was a faithful, humble, servant of God. She was the holy vessel through which God came to us as Jesus. She is to be admired along with God’s other faithful servants. But, she is NOT to be worshipped, exalted, or prayed to. That is reserved for God alone.



Isaiah 42:8

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.



Moving on.



The Catholic Church teaches its followers that they must go to one of their priests to confess their sins and to obtain forgiveness. I remember going to these as a kid. They’d tell me (for example) to pray 10 “our fathers” and 20 “hail Marys”. Again, repetitive phrases and empty words. More to the point, nowhere in the Bible are we told to seek out a church leader to obtain forgiveness. Again, the Catholic Church replaces the believer’s relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Catholic apologists will state that we are told to confess our sins to one another, and they’re right! But that is a far different act than going to “confession” with a Catholic priest. Nothing biblical about that at all.



James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.



Please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s healthy for a person to speak with a church leader about their sins and how to repent from those sins. However, the doctrine of requiring members of the church to sit in a confessional in order to seek forgiveness from God through a priest is UNBIBLICAL and it replaces our relationship to God with a relationship to a priest.



Then there is the Catholic doctrine of calling their priests “father”, despite Jesus telling us NOT to do so!



Matthew 23:8-12

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Catholic apologists have argued that it’s actually ok to call a priest “father” because of the following.



1 Corinthians 4:15

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.



As I said in the beginning of this essay, I would use the English Standard Version (ESV) when citing scripture. I like the ESV for its ease of read. However, I believe that there are a number of significant mistranslations in the ESV as well as most English translations, especially the King James Version.



When translated properly, 1 Corinthians 4:15 actually says “For if you should be having ten thousand escorts in Christ, nevertheless not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, through the evangel, I beget you.” This translation comes from the Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT).



The definition of “beget” can mean to bring a child into existence but it can also mean, as Paul intended in the verse above, to “bring about”.



Bad translations produce Bibles that contradict themselves and produce false doctrines. When encountering apparent contradictions it’s important to research other translations. I usually refer to the aforementioned Concordant Literal New Testament or Young’s Literal Translation.



The Catholic Church could have gotten around Jesus’s commandment to “call no man father” by having us refer to priests as “brother”, just like we refer to nuns as “sister”. So why didn’t they?



I highlighted Matthew 23:12 (above) in which it says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”



We are to exalt, praise, and worship GOD and NOT fellow humans. We must love and respect one another, but we only exalt GOD! The Catholic Church ignores this and exalts the Pope, its cardinals, bishops, priests, Mary, and their “saints”.



How many Catholic churches and schools are named in honor of saints and Mary? Countless. They glorify people rather than God. The translation of “Catholic” is universal. They are essentially calling themselves the “universal church”. If they were serving Jesus, they might call themselves the “Church of Jesus”. But, again, they remove God/Jesus from the equation.



Does the Pope appear to be “humble” in this picture or does it appear that he is being exalted?









Again, it’s my understanding that the Pope is supposed to be Jesus’s personal representative here on Earth, the “Vicar of Christ”. Does it appear that the Pope was emulating Jesus in that picture? There are seemingly countless photos of the Pope appearing in this manner, being exalted by the masses. Did this Pope or any other Pope actually emulate Jesus? I don’t believe so. In fact, the Pope and the Catholic Church seems to be exactly what Jesus (and later Paul) spoke against.



Sometimes I share scriptures more than once because they can and do speak to various doctrines. Here again is Paul’s warning about deviating from the original scriptures.



Colossians 2:8-15

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him



Paul was saying that Jesus paid our debt and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of man-made “hoops” to be saved, as the Catholic Church teaches.



Let’s talk about the Catholic doctrine of “Lent”. It is a man-made doctrine and is NOT from God. The practice of abstaining from certain foods, as Catholics do by avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent, is also NOT from God.



Also, the Catholic practice of forbidding its priests and bishops from marriage is also CONTRARY to God. In fact, as you have and will read, Paul says such teachings are from deceitful spirits and demons. Please allow me to again share the following warnings.



1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...



2 Peter 2:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.



1 Timothy 6:3-5

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.



Galations 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



I “bolded” those verses because it says it all. If someone preaches a different gospel, let them be accursed. Who teaches a different gospel? The Catholic Church.



I encourage the reader to follow Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Pray to God for understanding and discernment. Read the Bible. Follow it rather than the false doctrines of worldly men that are found in Catholicism.



1 John 2:26-27

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.



Jesus warned against listening to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. I can’t help but think of the Catholic Church, whom I am sure Jesus disapproves.



Matthew 16:11-12

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.





Please allow me to share another example of the Catholic Church taking God’s glory while also defying Jesus’s commandment to NOT to refer to religious figures as “father”.



The term “Holy Father” is used ONE time as the Apostle John describes Jesus praying to God the father and referring to him as “Holy Father”.



John 17:11

And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.



The Catholic Church routinely refers to the Pope as the “Holy Father”. I believe that there is only ONE “Holy Father” and that is God. It is unthinkable to me to take that title, uttered by Jesus, and to assign it to a person. It is also unfathomable to me that the Catholic Church, with its army of theologians and supposed Bible experts, would determine that it’s ok to refer to their Pope as “Holy Father”.



I warned the reader that this would be long. There is a lot to dissect and I will undoubtedly leave out a lot! Let’s move on to another doctrine of the Catholic Church. They teach that Jesus referred to the Apostle Peter (Simon) as “the rock” on which he would build his church. Here is the verse:



Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.



In the original Greek “Peter” is “Petros” and “rock” is “petra”.



However, as I will demonstrate to the reader through scripture, Peter is NOT “the” rock but “a” rock. The rock has always been God! Like Mary, Peter was a very faithful servant of God, but he is not and was never the “rock”, or cornerstone, or foundation. Peter himself even said so, describing Jesus as a “cornerstone”.



1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”



1 Peter 2:7-9 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.



Even Paul, Peter’s contemporary, said that the foundation or “the rock” is Jesus.



1 Corinthians 3:11-16 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are many more verses that describe God/Jesus (one in the same) as the “rock”.



1 Samuel 2:2 ESV
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

Psalm 62:6 ESV
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 144:1 ESV
Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ESV
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Psalm 18:46 ESV
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—

Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Isaiah 51:1 ESV
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.

Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Acts 4:11-13 ESV
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


As you can see, CLEARLY, God/Jesus IS “the rock”, not Peter. Notice that, once again, Catholicism replaces God with someone else, in this case, Peter.



Of course, Catholicism teaches “apostolic succession”. What is that, you ask? Essentially, they’re saying that Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his church on Earth and that Peter was the first “Pope” (nowhere in the Bible) and that Jesus granted powers to Peter that would be passed down to future Popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests. I understand it’s based in part on the following verses:



Matthew 18:18-19

18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.



Matthew 16:19 (right after Jesus told Peter he was a rock)

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Catholic Church has an explanation for their theology of apostolic succession. You can read it about it on their website. I’m providing a link to it below. If you read it, you’ll notice it is, essentially, a “word salad” of a bunch of “mumbo-jumbo” that is nonsensical. They provide some references to scripture but, unlike me, they don’t actually provide the scriptures, they require the reader to go look them up. Of course, they know that the vast majority of people are NOT going to do that. They also know that most Catholics are not very Bible literate and simply listen to and follow whatever their priests parrot to them. The short of it is this; apostolic succession is the “magic ticket” that gives the Catholic Church justification and licensure to create any doctrine they like. What they’re telling their followers is, essentially, dismiss whatever the Bible says and follow them instead because, after all, they are Jesus’s church on Earth and Jesus gave them authority through apostolic succession and so whatever they “bind” on Earth is the way it is, end of subject.



Of course, apostolic succession is NOT Biblical and NOT from God. Anyway, here is the link I promised.






Another claim of the Catholic Church is that a doctrine doesn’t need to be mentioned in the Bible in order for Catholicism to embrace it. They’ll say that the Bible spoke of traditions and oral teachings, and they’re correct.



2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.



1 Corinthians 11:2

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.



However, not all “traditions” are alike or true.



Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



2 Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.



As Paul told us, the scriptures are from God and that we can use them to verify that what another is claiming is consistent with God’s word.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,



Of course, the beauty of “apostolic succession” and “tradition” is that it means, according to the Catholic Church, that they can teach any doctrine they like, regardless of what the Bible says. But, again, Paul told us that the scriptures were “breathed out by God” and that they are “sufficient so that the man of God may be complete”. So why does the Catholic Church, who claims to be Jesus’s church here on Earth, teach a slew of doctrines that are not only NOT found in the aforementioned scriptures but are, in fact, CONTRARY to the scriptures?



2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.



Traditions that CONTRADICT what we are taught in the scriptures (God’s word) must be REJECTED.



And, as I wrote earlier, why does the Catholic Church feel the need to teach a plethora of new doctrines that are nowhere in the Bible? Do they believe that Jesus and his original apostles mistakenly left out all of those “important” doctrines? Paul wrote (which I shared above) that if anyone teaches a different gospel that they are to be ACCURSED.



Let’s move on. I want to remind the reader of something that Pope John Paul II did that really bothered me. It was the time that he kissed a Quran that was given to him while visiting a mosque.









For starters, I don’t agree with a Pope visiting a mosque unless he is there to minister to them, but that’s not why John Paul was visiting. He was visiting to try and foster inter-faith relations. As the reader probably knows, Islam recognizes Jesus only as a prophet. They REJECT that Jesus is God or that Jesus is our savior or that following him will lead to salvation. They teach other things. So, again, why would the Pope, who is supposed to be the “Vicar of Christ”, visit with them? Unless the Pope was there to minister to them, he should have had NOTHING to do with them nor with anyone else that does not believe in Jesus, outside of ministering to them.



2 Corinthians 6:14-17

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”



The Quran is a book of BLASPHEMY and lies that says that Jesus is NOT God, NOT our savior, and NOT the way to salvation. So what did the Pope do? He kissed the Quran. He honored and exalted a book that says that Jesus is NOT God and is NOT the path to salvation. Do you, the reader, believe that Jesus would have kissed that book? Not a chance!



What did that tell me? It told me that the Pope is not who the Catholic Church claims him to be, the “Vicar of Christ”. On a personal level I liked John Paul, but he demonstrated a gross lack of understanding and discernment.



Which brings us to “papal infallibility”. Here is an excerpt from the web page “Catholic Answers” that describes what is papal infallibility.






“Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”



As I said, that was just an excerpt. The reader can go read it in its entirety. However, again, there is no basis for such a concept in the Bible. And, again, it refutes what Jesus said about not exalting mere men onto some sort of pedestal, as discussed earlier. Considering all of the Catholic Churches false doctrines, it is abundantly clear that the Pope is quite fallible! I’m also reminded of the time that Paul admonished Peter, the supposed “first Pope” of the Catholic Church.



Galatians 2:11-14

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”



If the Catholic Church is indeed, THE church of Jesus here on Earth, is it not curious that there is absolutely no mention of a “Pope” anywhere in the New Testament?



Now I would like to touch on some other Catholic doctrines that I believe are false.



One doctrine that the Church teaches is purgatory. From their Catechsim:



III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030
All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608


1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611




One can look online and find Catholic apologists explaining the doctrine of purgatory. Purgatory is supposed to be purifying process for the faithful. I don’t share their belief and here is why. We are told that those of us who believe in Christ purify ourselves. Also, Paul tells us that when Jesus returns, the faithful who are still living will be instantly transformed into perfection. There is no lengthy purification process for the faithful. Their transformation is instantaneous.



1 John 3:3

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53



Moving on with more discussion of purgatory, it’s claimed that Martin Luther left the Church over, among other things, the Church’s selling of “indulgences” so that people could escape purgatory and go straight to Heaven. There are Catholic apologists who refute that allegation and claim such practices never existed. What does the Catholic Church teach today regarding indulgences? Take a look:






"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:




That’s just an excerpt that I provided for the reader’s convenience. The Catechism includes many more acts of work that one must perform to receive the indulgence. Not only is all of this unbiblical, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ.



Mark 11:25

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.



1 John 9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.



Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven



Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.



There are many verses that discuss forgiveness. Nowhere does it say that the accused should perform “works” in order to receive forgiveness. Believe in Christ, confess your sins, and ask for forgiveness and it is forgiven. End of story.



I am inclined to believe the claims that the Church once sold “indulgences” to people who were taught that they could buy their way out of some post-life punishment, such as a lengthy and painful purification process called purgatory. Let me make it simple. Good people go to Heaven when they die and are instantly transformed into perfection. Bad people go to a place/process euphemistically referred to as the “Lake of Fire”. The Bible and most people call it “Hell”, which is very much misunderstood by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christians.



Here’s what the Catechism says about Hell:



1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.



It is clear to me that people do get sent to the “Lake of Fire”, hereafter called “LOF”. It’s also clear that the LOF is a place that anyone in their right mind wants to avoid! Undoubtedly, it is a most unpleasant place. However, it is unpleasant for the purpose of restoration. The term “LOF” essentially describes a refiner’s crucible. The purpose of the LOF is to cleanse and purify the lost people who did not look to Jesus as described in 1 John 3:3 (And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure).



What most do NOT understand is that God is a refiner. Here is a plethora of scriptures that relate to refining so that you, the reader, can read and realize for yourself that God is, indeed, a refiner!



1 John 3:3 esv

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.



Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy.



Malachi 3:2-3 esv

But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.



Mark 9:49

For everyone will be salted with fire.



Hebrews 1:3 ESV

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,



Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”



1 Peter 1:7 esv

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Isaiah 1:25 esv

I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.



Isaiah 48:10 esv

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction



Psalm 66:10 esv

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.



Proverbs 17:3 esv

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.



Job 23:10 esv

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.



Jeremiah 9:7 esv

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



Jeremiah 6:29 esv

The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.



Proverbs 25:4 esv

Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel



Revelation 19:20 YLT

and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone



2 Corinthians 3:18 esv

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Revelation 20:10 YLT and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [are] the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.



Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.



1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.



Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.



Ezekiel 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

(Note: The Book of Ezekiel was written five or six hundred years before Christ appeared. Again, notice how various authors of scripture all say the same things. That is because of God!)



Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.



Revelation 14:10 He also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.



Isaiah 6:6-7 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”



Jeremiah 9:7.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?



1 Corinthians 15:52

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.



God is indeed a refiner. What is he refining? US! The LOF is reserved for those who, for reasons we may not understand at this time, rejected Jesus and lived wicked lives. However, they will not remain there forever. How do I know this. Because the Bible says so!



At the culmination of the ages, ALL who ever lived will repent and cheerfully follow and serve Jesus. What are these “ages”? Allow me to share with you below various scriptures that refer to age or time. Please notice that I use the CLNT translation with some verses instead of the ESV, which translates “eonian” to “eternal”. That is a significant mistranslation. The actual meaning of eonian or “aion” (Koine Greek) is an unspecified period of time, often a “long” time but it can mean forever, depending on the context. There is one constant truth about the ages; they all have a beginning and an end. Here are numerous verses that relate to age or time to help the reader understand that God works on us through ages.



1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.



Luke 18:30 CLNT

30 who may not by all means be getting back manyfold in this era, and in the coming eon, life eonian."



1 Corinthians 2:7

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.



Ephesians 1:21

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.



Ephesians 2:7

So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.



2 Timothy 1:9

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,



Hebrews 6:5

And have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,



Mark 10:30 CLNT

30 who should not be getting back a hundredfold now, in this era, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming eon, life eonian.



Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,



Titus 1:2 CLNT

2 in expectation of life eonian, which God, Who does not lie, promises before times eonian,



Hebrews 9:26

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.



Luke 20:34

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.



Here is an excerpt from a lengthy online article which explains how the ancient Greeks used the word “eonian” or “aion”. The reader can do their own research and find similar articles that essentially say the same thing. One can also find those that falsely claim that the use “eonian” and “aion” does actually mean “eternal” or “forever”, but they are wrong and the scriptures prove it and I will provide those scriptures momentarily.



Eternal or Eonian? Part Five (The Greek Adjective Aiónios)



"Since aion meant 'age,' aionios means, properly, 'belonging to an age,' or 'age-long,' and anyone who asserts that it must mean 'endless' defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant 'eternity,' which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek—aionios could still mean only 'belonging to eternity' and not 'lasting through it.'"



Here are scriptures that demonstrate that ALL who ever lived will, eventually, be with God in his kingdom.



1 Corinthians 15:22-28

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God[c] has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.



1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.



1 Timothy 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.



Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever[PM1]



Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.



1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.



Romans 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.



John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself.”



Revelation 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”



2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.



John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.



Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.



Luke 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God



Philippians 2:10-11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.



2 Samuel 14:14

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.



Ephesians 1:10

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.



John 1:29

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"



The scriptures are CLEAR. Jesus saves ALL who ever lived! Some will be sent to the LOF, but it’s not “eternal” or “forever”. Please pay special attention to the verses from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explicitly says that, through Jesus, ALL will be made alive! Paul then says that Jesus must reign until ALL of his enemies are “under his feet”. Once ALL are “under his feet”, Jesus will then give the completed church/kingdom to God the Father and that will conclude the ages or as Paul described it, “the end” (of the ages).



But what does it mean to be “under his feet”? In the days of Paul, emperors and kings sat on elevated thrones and so all that served them (or came to them) were “under their feet”. What Paul is describing, of course, is that ALL will cheerfully serve Jesus!



Also notice that when Paul says “Jesus must rule until…” What that describes is Jesus waiting. So why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting on those in the LOF to repent and to accept him as their lord and savior. If Jesus was simply going to cast them away FOREVER like garbage, why would he need to wait? He wouldn’t need to wait. There would be no “until”. Jesus would just throw them into the proverbial trash dump called “Hell” and that would be the end of it. But that’s clearly not what happens as demonstrated by the plethora of scriptures that I shared and the fact that Jesus is described as waiting in 1 Corinthians 15.



Let’s look at another writing of Paul’s that discusses “under his feet”.



Hebrews 2:5-9

5
For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.



Let’s also remember what David wrote in the following psalm.



Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”



The Bible tells us that NOBODY can follow Jesus unless God the Father permits them to do so. In the psalm above, God is telling Jesus that he will, eventually, make all of his enemies a “footstool”, which means they will ALL follow and serve Jesus! Here are some verses that demonstrate that nobody can follow Jesus unless God permits.



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



In Romans 11:25, Paul is telling us that God has “hardened” many of Israel’s Jews so that they will NOT (yet) believe in Jesus. Here is the proverbial $64,000 question, why would God prevent anybody from believing in and following Jesus? I will share what I have gleaned in a bit but let’s get back to the doctrine that Jesus will save ALL who ever lived. Do you believe that God would create people, prevent them from being able to believe in and follow Jesus, and then punish them forever? Does that make sense? Of course not. There is a reason that God does NOT permit ALL to follow Jesus in this age and I will share with you my belief on why that is once I am finished discussing the doctrine that Jesus saves all.



Many will cite verses from the King James Version and many other English translations that promise “everlasting” punishment in the LOF for the wicked. Many will cite Matthew 25:46. For this one let’s go with the KJV.



Matthew 25:46 KJV

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



And then I’ll ask them to turn their KJV to some of the verses that I shared above, such as 1 Timothy 4:10 from the KJV



1 Timothy 4:10 KJV

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.



And so I ask them, which of those two verses in the KJV is true and which is false? They say polar-opposite things. They can’t both be true. You see, bad translations lead to various Bible authors contradicting themselves which then leads to FALSE doctrines, such as “forever” punishment. For verses in the KJV, ESV, etc., that refer to “eternal”, “everlasting”, etc., I refer to the CLNT, the YLT, and others.



You will also notice that many verses describing the LOF as burning with brimstone or sulfur. What is the significance of those words? Brimstone and sulfur are REFINING agents used to remove “dross” and other impure substances from precious metals. You’ll also see the use of the word “torment” which means “to test” as used in most of the scriptures.



Besides, do you really believe that God would create people only to condemn them to a forever punishment? Is Jesus similar to Uday Hussein or Heinrich Himmler or how about the serial killer from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, infamous for torturing young men to death? Is Jesus like them? Nonsense! The doctrine of “forever” punishment is FALSE and the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations need to stop teaching that heresy!



On another note, I’ve been accused or preaching universalism. That’s not true; I am preaching CHRISTIANITY! The ONLY path to salvation and to God is through JESUS! And, as the scriptures aptly demonstrate, Jesus came to save ALL!



I believe that there is a very fundamental misunderstanding within Catholicism and Christianity about Satan, the “fallen” angels, and demons. So let’s talk about those entities.



The first thing that you should understand is that Satan is doing EXACTLY what God created him to do, which is, to test/torment us. Many apologists claim that Satan and 1/3 of the angels “rebelled” against God. If they “rebelled”, it’s only because God transformed them in order that they would do so. Even then, Satan has a set or parameters in which he must operate. For example, Satan sought permission from God to torment Job.



Job 1:6-12

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.



Please understand, NOTHING is outside of God’s control. If God permits something to happen it is because there is a lesson that can be learned by mankind. That is the purpose of Satan and his evil minions, to educate and refine us! We are being prepared to live forever in God’s kingdom! This life experience is, I believe, a collective experience for ALL people. The lessons learned by others will be our lessons too in the hereafter. Otherwise, how would an aborted baby learn about life in this sinful world, where we are partially separated from God?



I believe that God permits us to be lost – for a period of time. Why? So that we, collectively, can learn what it’s like to live in a world not ruled by God. As the Bible tells us, this world is ruled by Satan, at least until this age ends with the return of Christ. Thereafter we will live in the age of the Millenium with Jesus here on Earth. The wicked will remain in the grave while the faithful are rewarded. At the end of the Millenium, the wicked too will be resurrected.



As I said, Satan, the other “fallen” angels, and demons exist because they are serving God’s purpose. And what again is their purpose? To torment/test us. They do “bad” things to us just as they did to Eve in the garden and to Job. We are ALL Job, in the sense that we are ALL being persecuted with sickness, loss, etc. It is a part of our purification process in preparation for living forever in God’s kingdom!



Think about this. Revelation 20:3 tells us that Satan will be locked away for the Millenium while Jesus rules this world. But then it says that Satan “must” be released. Why “must” Satan be released? The only plausible answer that I can glean is because Satan’s return to Earth is an important and necessary part of our education and refinement. If Satan is NOT released, our education and refinement will be INCOMPLETE!



Revelation 20:3 CLNT

3 And he casts him into the submerged chaos and locks it, and seals it over him (lest he should still be deceiving the nations) until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time.



One question I have asked, but haven’t answered, is why God does not permit all people to follow Jesus NOW. Again…



John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.



Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



Romans 11:25

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.



My guess is that God prevents some from coming to know Jesus so that our earthly lessons can be complete. That cannot happen IF God allowed everybody to follow Jesus NOW.



God made a covenant with Abraham and so the Jews are God’s “chosen people”. It seems ironic but, based on Romans 11:25 (above), Gentiles will believe in Jesus before the Jews, his “chosen” people. Weird, right? Please notice that Paul said that Jews will be “hardened” against Jesus UNTIL (there’s that word again!) the “FULLNESS” of the gentiles follows Jesus. What does “fullness” mean? In this context, it means EVERYBODY but the Jews.



In closing, I am a member of Jesus’s church here on Earth. Everybody that believes in and faithfully follows Jesus is a member of his church. We the people ARE THE CHURCH! Jesus’s church is NOT some worldly institution based in Rome nor at some megachurch. We the people are the church!






















When I go into an empty Protestant church, it feels like any room in any building. Empty. Devoid of anything special. When I go into a Catholic Church, it's completely different. Reverent. Silent. Potent. You can feel something profound is there. When I've attended a protestant church service, especially before it starts, the people are talking out loud, laughing, calling across the room, like it's a social hall. I don't feel the presence of God, except in that these are probably good people. But it's the same as if I were at a picnic with them.