The entire structure of the Roman Church is built on forgeries, spurious epistles, spurious sermons, spurious miracles, spurious relics, spurious councils, and spurious papal bulls. The Catholic Encyclopedia admits the existence of thousands of forgeries and divides the works of nearly every Father into (1) genuine, (2) dubious, and (3) spurious. Roman inventions as Peter’s martyrdom at Rome (2nd cent.), Assumption of Mary (6th cent.), Temporal power of the bishop of Rome (8th cent.), Primacy of Rome (11th cent.), Seven Sacraments (13th cent.), etc., can only be proved by forgeries. Example: Cyprian (d. 258), like his predecessor, Tertullian, ridiculed the pagan system of a Supreme Pontiff, a Pope (pater patrum, bishop of bishops), a primacy, etc. Where his oldest MSS read: “The other apostles were indeed what Peter was: endowed with the same share of honor and jurisdiction,” we now have texts which read: “The other apostles were indeed what Peter was, but the Primacy is given to Peter.” The Catholic Encyclopedia comments that this conflated form is, of course, spurious (C. E. 4, 585).
Catholic theologians claim that with the development of the primacy in the Middle Ages, the papal letters grew enormously in number (C.E. 6, 202). “There can be no doubt that during a great part of the Middle Ages papal and other documents were fabricated in a very unscrupulous fashion” (C.E. 3, 57). Speaking of the thousands of miraculous relics of Rome, the same scholars admit that “the majority of which no doubt were fraudulent,” a “multitude of unquestionably spurious relics” (C.E. 12, 737). The same scholars admit the following Roman frauds: the origin of the Rosary and the apparition of Mary to St. Dominic, the Scapular and the apparition of Mary to Simon Stock, the Santa Scala, the legends and relics of Veronica, the Holy Lance, and St. Longinus, the Robe, the Sabbatine Privilege, etc. Yet these same scholars are bound to confess that the written Word of God is not superior to these Roman traditions. The life stories and writings of the early popes are spurious, as the Catholic Encyclopedia often admits under their names. The earliest Roman rituals (8th cent.) are spurious, falsely attributed to Popes Leo, Gelasius, and Gregory (Migne P.L. 55 & 74 & 78).
When scholars speak of an authentic work they do not imply that the text has come to us in its original form. Manuscripts were seldom copied for the sake of preservation, but rather for use as textbooks. Obsolete teachings and expressions were altered, while so-called “heretical” teachings were allowed to become extinct.
As early as the fifth century Augustine accused and convicted Pope Zosiums for having falsified the 5th canon of the Council of Nice (Mansi 4, 515; Migne, P. L. 50, 422). Canon laws of the Roman Church are based on “The Apostolic Constitutions,” a 4th century forgery purported to be a collection of apostolic writings collected by Clement I. When Protestants exposed this fraud, the fallible Church of Rome admitted the errors: “The Apostolic Constitutions were held generally in high esteem and served as the basis for much ecclesiastical legislation . . .As late as 1563. . .it was contended that it was the genuine work of the apostles” (C.E. 1, 636). Framing “divine” laws and falsifying the Word of God is not the work of innocent Christian leaders. Example: “We, the twelve Apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge these Divine Constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being present with us Paul, the chosen vessel, our fellow apostle, and James the Bishop and the rest of the Elders and the seven Deacons” (Migne, P.G. 1, 1070).
“The Donation of Constantine” was originally an 8th-century forgery which gave the pope temporal power and possessions, and regal honors and privileges. Pope Sylvester (1000 A.D.) declared it a forgery. Pope Leo IV (1054) rewrote the text and used it to prove his primacy. . .As early as the fifteenth century its falsity was known. Yet, the document was further used to authenticate the papacy.
The Apostolic Constitutions, The Donation of Constantine, The Clementine Forgeries, The Liber Pontificals (Biographical book of the popes), The Decretals of Pseudo-Isidore, and hundreds of other works are either spurious or have been mutilated. It is upon these that the bulk of Roman traditions originated. Catholic scholars admit one forgery after the other, but the Council of Trent upheld these forgeries as genuine “traditions” to which the written Word of God is not superior. Roman Catholic theologians even admit that they themselves falsified the sacred books of other religions in order to win converts. As neither the majority of the people nor the lower clergy could read or write in the early Middle Ages, it is clear that the Roman hierarchy itself corrupted and falsified the true traditions. It is clear that Rome’s traditions did not originate from the lips of Christ or the apostles!
Adapted from an article entitled “Medieval Forgeries.”
Like many before me, I cried out to God from a crushed and weary heart: “If you are real, please show me the truth!” Life had become meaningless. God knew how much I had tried to do the right thing and be the right person during my 30 years. But, after doing all my church required to the best of my ability, and having finally exhausted all of my own schemes, plans, and resources, I was faced with the reality that I was lost. I had no hope of pleasing God, of being saved. Naturally, I began to wonder if there even is a God. But, if there is, then how was I to find Him?
As a Catholic growing up in the 40’s and 50’s, I believed that anyone who wasn’t Catholic would go to hell. I believed it was a mortal sin (deserving of hell) to miss mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, or to eat meat on Friday. Confession terrified me. The priest in the confessional seemed distant and mysterious. I was never sure if I’d remembered all of my sins. The question plagued me, what if I died before I was able to confess my sins to a priest? My spiritual life was characterized by fear and intimidation. The Catholic God was an unknowable, unapproachable being who demanded absolute loyalty and obedience to all the rules and regulations of Catholicism. As the years passed, it became obvious to me that I was a hopeless, wretched sinner and pleasing God was impossible. I resigned myself to trying to live a decent and upright life, hoping to avoid hell. My only hope was to suffer the punishment for my sins in purgatory where after a lengthy time of suffering I could eventually gain heaven and maybe be allowed into the presence of God.
I married a Mormon who, like myself, believed he was in the “one, true church” and would be “saved,” or with God if he obeyed everything his church required. Both of us felt certain of “converting” the other.
Living in Utah put more pressure on me to join the Mormon Church than for him to consider Catholicism. This increased our troubles at home. I was almost persuaded to proceed. But, certain questions kept surfacing, “How could I know for sure which is the one, true church? What if there is another church—that is the one, true church?”
God heard my heart-cry. He began to reveal the truth to me through an Avon lady who knocked on my door. This Christian invited me to her small Bible study. She began with a Scripture memorization program. The first verse was: John 14:6: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
As a Catholic, I had prayed the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary” often, but I didn’t know much about Jesus. For me, He was either a baby in a manger or a dead man hanging on a cross. I had never read the Bible. I didn’t even own a Bible. I was always led to believe that these things were too difficult for the average person to understand and to study them on my own, forbidden.
My agony over the one, true church ended with John 14:6! Jesus Himself is the way, not a man-made organization! Man attempts to control through religious intimidation and impossible requirements. Yet it is God’s plan that we allow Jesus Christ to control our lives.
As I learned more of the Bible, I realized that teachings such as the papacy and the mass are an insult to the Lord Jesus Christ. I learned that my Catholic baptism had nothing to do with salvation. It is only by grace through faith in the finished sacrifice of Jesus that one is saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). I discovered that God accepts me just the way I am and will live His life within me and fellowship with me as I open the door of my life to Him (Revelation 3:20).
My eyes were opened to my separation from God because of my sin. I was headed for hell! I was spiritually dead (Colossians 2:13). The complicated, legalistic, fearful Catholic way of salvation through baptism, the mass, confession, prayers to Mary and the saints, good works, and purgatory cannot give assurance of a right standing with God, even to the faithful. Biblical salvation, however, is free to all who believe and come to God with sincere and repentant hearts, who trust in and receive Him as Lord and Saviour. At the very moment that I trusted Him, the chains of fear, loneliness, hopelessness, emptiness, and my sin-burden began to fall away. The Holy Spirit performed His work of salvation in my life. I was aware of His presence in my life and had complete assurance of His love, acceptance, and complete forgiveness. Because of the promises in His Word I have assurance of eternal life—not the hell I deserve!
My story is that of every other Biblical Christian: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to hope of eternal life.”
Infants To Receive Communion
Soon it will be common to see infants and toddlers going to Communion in some Catholic churches. Starting this Easter, any child baptized in the Ukraninian Catholic Diocese of Stamford will receive all three sacraments of initiation–baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist — at the same time. The Eucharist will be received as a “drop of the precious blood of our Lord either on the tip of the spoon or on the tip of the little finger of the priest.”
Interreligious Meeting Set
The Vatican has announced that it is hosting a major interreligious meeting in Rome in late 1999 in an effort to bring believers closer together for the year 2000. The meeting will include large assemblies, small-group meetings, a day of pilgrimage, and concluding with day of prayer. The theme will be “On the Threshold of the Third Millennium: Cooperation Among Various Religions.” John Paul II has suggested interreligious meetings to prepare for the coming millennium, especially involving Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Pets Blessed At Cathedral
At the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in upper Manhattan more than 1000 people waited in line with their pets for the annual blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis Assisi. They were brought on leashes, in cages, baskets, or buckets and dressed in sweaters, hats, and collars made of flowers. Included were dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, rats, turtles, a camel, and an elephant
$5 Million Abuse Settlement
The Dallas Diocese announced settlement of one of two sexual abuse lawsuits. The other ($118,000,000) may force the diocese into bankruptcy.
“Your articles in CHALLENGER are most interesting and informative. I read every issue. Keep up the good work. I am witnessing to a young man and have given him your literature.” (OK)
“We have just read your testimony in ‘Far From Rome, Near To God.’ We left the Catholic Church in 1995 and serve God in Wroclaw now. We have problems with Catholic people, so your testimony is a big blessing and help to us. Please pray for us.” (Poland)
“I am in touch with another fellow who has corresponded with you. He is from Wroclaw. We will try to help him as much as we can. The other fellow is still in a monastery. We have now started the first Independent Baptist Church in Poland and the Bible School. We have 15 students from Poland, Russia, Belorus Ukraine, Luthuaina, and Latvia. Let me know when you are available to come and minister to us. We would love to have you again.” (Missionary, Jan Tolwinski, POLAND)
“I am a seventeen year old Roman Catholic Christian. I would like to understand what you see wrong with the Catholic Church.” (NJ) EDITOR: It is always a joy to learn of young people who are not afraid to study God’s Word and compare it with the teachings of Romanism. Please pray that this dear one will be diligent in his search for truth.
“I finally understand the whole point of your movement. Profit. You and these other organizations are promoting badly written books that are poorly researched. No respectable publications would give you the time of day! Create anti-Catholicism and you will have a market. It is simple! You guys are no better than the Jehovahs. Get real! Get a life!” (Internet) EDITOR: Please pray Acts 26:18 for people like this. We try to keep in touch with them. God has purpose in allowing each one to contact us. It is our desire to minister the truths of Scripture and our prayer that there will be much fruit in due season.
“We praise the Lord for the change in Roberto. He was so imbued with Catholic doctrine that his personality had become deranged. Doctors said there was nothing to be done for him. He had tried every possible doctor and psychologist but was letting himself die. He visited me and we faced all his problems with the Bible in hand: Roman Catholic idolatry, which destroys the genetic capacities in man by substituting itself for God, was faced and conquered. Now he comes to services regularly, plays the guitar and sings hymns to the Lord. He has spoken in church, witnesses, and has found an important job. The Lord has done great things for him.” (Ex-Priest, Franco Maggiotto, ITALY) EDITOR: There are several other ex-priests that the Lord has used to raise up ministries to Catholics. Greg Adams (Canada), Richard Bennett (Oregon), Herman Heggar (Holland), Franco Maggiotto (Italy), Tony Pezzotta (Philippines), Cipriano Valdeí (San Diego), Bob Bush (Modesto) are ones we try to encourage and keep in touch with. Please pray for them all.
The God of all comfort has been especially gracious to us of late. We have reminded ourselves over and over of His wisdom and His love to us. Romans 8:28 and Isaiah 26:3 come to our minds many times during each day. All this because the Lord saw fit to take our daughter-in-law, Debra Sue, in an auto accident on March 11. She and Steve had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Both we and her sister had shared many Bible verses and prayed with Debra Sue and Steve just days before. They had also been reading the Bible and praying together daily. This, of course, was a horrible shock to both families. Please pray especially for Steve and Debra Sue’s parents. Her dad has terminal cancer and this is a tough time for their family. Our special appreciation for all who knew and were able to attend the service, send flowers or cards, and pray for all to whom this loss is so painful.
Mission To Catholics is truly blessed to have John and Marian Swearingen on staff. They have been busy doing many various jobs around the property and soon will be helping out in the office. After two and a half years, the Gartins will be leaving us to devote full-time to a ministry of evangelism. Norm and Amber have made a tremendous effort to redo all of the MTC tracts for printing on the Risograph. Amber has carried quite a load in the office while her dad has been working on a new computer program to simplify our record-keeping and mailing list. Sharon was always a blessing in the kitchen whenever we had seminars. They have promised to continue helping with the printing at least until we learn how to do it and Norm will continue managing the E-mail and Web page. They would certainly appreciate your prayers for them as they move on to this new ministry.
Mission To Catholics is in need of two more full-time workers to help with the ministry here. We need a grounds-keeper and an office-manager. Please join us in praying that the Lord will send just the right people to help carry the load. This is a self-supported missionary position—on-premises housing provided. Anyone interested, may call the office at 619-698-1823. In the meantime, we will be staying close to our base here in San Diego.
Since the last Challenger, we have hosted a number of friends, missionaries, and pastors. Bart had cataract surgery and is rejoicing in his new vision. We also flew north for meetings. We are continually amazed at all that the Lord allows us to get accomplished. What a blessing to serve Him! The more we read, the more convinced we are that these are ominous days. Signs of His coming are everywhere! Time is of the essence. We must not linger, but be about our Father’s business. There are many who will respond to the Gospel if we will only communicate it. Tracts are one of the most productive ways to reach souls. Please make the effort to select several good tracts to keep with you at all times and ask the Lord to lay on your heart those to whom they should be given. Pray for opportunities. Pray for conviction. Pray for much fruit in due season. Maranatha!
3/1P – Filipino-American Baptist Church @ Chula Vista CA
3/15A – Bible Baptist Church @ Vallejo CA
3/15P – Orchard Ave Baptist Church @ Vacaville CA
4/19A – Bethany Baptist Church @ Grand Rapids OH
4/19P – First Baptist of Stryker @ Stryker OH
4/20 – Emmanuel Baptist Christian School @ Toledo OH
4/22 – Dillon Road Baptist Church @ Fostoria OH
4/23A – Toledo Christian School @ Toledo OH
4/23P – Toledo Bible Institute (Southside) @ Toledo OH
4/24 – Southside Baptist Church @ Toledo OH
4/26 – Southside Baptist Church @ Toledo OH
5/11-19 – Hosting Beth Eden Youth from Denver CO