What You Won't Find In A Christian Bookstore

Several weeks ago I began watching a whole series of videos on the Roman Catholic Inquisition; one of the most evil manifestations of religious control ever seen on this planet (and yet not the only one). The Inquisition lasted well over 600 years and (by many scholar’s estimates) brought about the torture and murder of nearly 50 million people overall (perhaps as many as 75 million or more); many of whom were Jesus-following, Bible-believing Christians whose only crime was they did not accept the supreme authority of the Pope and the notion that salvation can only be had through the religious organization known as the Roman Catholic Church. This is a staggering number to consider… and yet a number that many religious folks refuse to accept as true.

 

When I heard this number (50 million), I remembered that, recently, I had also listened to some debates between a prominent atheist and a Christian professor concerning the subject of the many atrocities committed in the name of religion over the centuries (a subject that atheists often love to bring up to show how terrible religion is). In defense of the positive effects of religion in society, the Christian professor argued that the number of millions (allegedly killed during the Inquisition period) is severely exaggerated and entirely false and that, in reality, recent studies have shown that the total number of people killed by the Inquisition (both of the Spanish and Medieval) was less than 7,000!  I also have close friends that have commented to me on this subject and argued against the multi-million estimation.  They agree that the Inquisition was a terrible thing, but that the number and span of atrocities have been exaggerated greatly by secularist individuals seeking to bolster support for their animosity against any recognizable Christian influence in the world.

 

Not being a fan of hype myself, my own examination has led me (thus far) to the opinion that the Christian professor (in the debate I made reference to) is entirely (though unfortunately) wrong in his estimation of events. Or at least he is not widely considering all the evidence. Perhaps this reflects his own personal bias and attempt to marginalize any negative connotation about religion.  While such a motive would be understandable, that doesn’t make it right and the sad fact is, I believe he is seriously wrong.  As if 7,000 people were not enough to give example of the evil that religion can sometimes deviate to, there is also plenty to warrant the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church is clearly an ungodly and even demonic institution – whose leadership for centuries authorized the most brutal of torture and death all in the name of Jesus Christ. It leaves me wondering how anyone could regard the absolute horror of the Inquisition (in addition to all the disgusting violence done in the name of Jesus over the centuries by religious groups) and still submit themselves to it and think these institutions as being godly and righteous.

 

My intent in highlighting this information is not simply to demonize the Roman Catholic Institution (and certainly not the many well-intentioned people who ascribe to this religious system in ignorance of Gospel revelation).  As a matter of fact, I would rather highlight the detail that what were are really talking about here is the defective result of too much religion!  This is sadly what happens when men (whatever their religious affiliation) take advantage of people’s faith in God and make virtual kingdoms of their own by which they intend to set themselves up as authorities, rulers, experts, professionals and elitists – thus also inserting themselves between God and men as mediators and, ultimately, anti-Christs!  This deception is widespread; encompassing far more than the Roman Catholic organization.  But, for the moment, my thoughts are focused on the great horrors of the Inquisition.

 

First of all, I discovered that the “new findings” that have come out with the lower numbers are actually released by the very organization that committed the atrocities of the Inquisition! That’s right! Several years ago the Vatican allowed limited access to the secret files of the Inquisition… Note, I say, LIMITED ACCESS! And note I say “SECRET” files.  Why limited and why secret?  What do they continue to hide? Furthermore, the first statements suggesting that not as many as previously thought were killed during the Inquisition was released by Catholic authorities. Other non-Catholic groups have since examined the history and come to similar conclusions, but this remains a hotly debated subject.

 

When I look at the issue, I think there is a whole lot more than simply the technical “Inquisition” itself to consider. The horrors committed upon people by organized religion (through such entities as the Roman Catholic Church) reach far beyond just the Inquisition itself. One thing to consider is the fact that the Catholic authorities most regularly turned people over to civil authorities to be put to death, thus these (they could claim) were not “technically” murdered by the Church… to which I say, “Yeah right!” Even if not every person was murdered, countless numbers were brutally tortured at the command of Popes, Bishops, Pastors and Priests! One thing I found interesting is that, during many of the torture sessions, the authorities of the Church would place a veil over the crucifix of Jesus, so as to prohibit the eyes of Christ from witnessing the actions done in His name! Unbelievable stupidity (not to mention the use of Christ himself as an idol)!

 

The torture and slaughter of people by religious authorities dates back as far as 315, which is when Christianity first was “legalized”. That’s an interesting thought all on its own. Legalism indeed kills! When you read about so-called Christian priests in the fourth and fifth centuries who were known as heroes for murdering “infidels and pagans” and even children… or how about the events that took place on command of pope Innocent III (greatest single pre-nazi mass murderer in history) in 1209? Bezirs (today France) 7/22/1209 destroyed, ALL the inhabitants were slaughtered. Victims (including Catholics refusing to turn over their heretic neighbors and friends) estimated between 20,000-70,000 people… In Carcassonne, 8/15/1209, thousands were slain at the order of the Pope. Other cities followed. Over the next 20 years, nearly all the Cathars (probably half the population of the Languedoc, today southern France) were exterminated (about a million people)… or how about the “Christian” mobs who, under the leadership of a Christian minister, tor a woman to pieces with glass fragments… or the peasants of Steding (Germany) who were unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes: between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children were slain as a result! How about 15th century Poland, where 1019 churches and 17,987 villages were plundered by Knights of the Order? The Crusades alone claimed nearly 20 million victims! In the era of witch hunting (1484-1750) according to modern scholars several hundred thousand (about 80% of them female) were burned at the stake or hanged.  There are many documents stating that the number of people killed for witchcraft accusations numbers in the millions, though actual numbers are virtually impossible to calculate since many records have been lost, destroyed or kept secret by the Catholic Church.  The same Christian professor I mentioned earlier argued that these numbers are also severely exaggerated.  He mentioned the Salem Witch Trials actually burned no one at the stake.  Nineteen were hung and as many as thirteen people may have died in prison.  He pointed out what a small number this was, compared to what many people have the false impression of.  Fine…  However, this information completely ignores the thousands (perhaps literal millions) that were tortured, imprisoned unto death and brutally killed worldwide for the same accusation.  Highlighting the most popular occasion does not dismiss the huge atrocity in actual overall committance.

 

As a follower of Jesus, it is sad to have to acknowledge the facts that many “secular folks” point to considering the horrible things done in Christ’s name over the years.  I wish it were not the case.  It is understandable to me why so many are angered because of the testimony and example they have observed by those who claim to be part of the “Jesus camp”.  What I can at least say in response though is that those who have committed and even defended these acts DO NOT represent actual Christianity at all!  They are frauds, liars, deceived and damned.  What is ironic is that I think even most people who claim to want nothing to do with church-world or God, very often still speak favorably of Jesus!  They know He was kind and good… that He preached and demonstrated God’s love… and they even know that He was less than fond of the religious crowd; turning moneychangers tables on end!  They know He forgave sinners, healed the sick, and then gave His own life for the sake of others (even though they treated Him as a criminal).  How strange that they would not look at the evidence they already appear to have grasp of and make the conclusion that Jesus is worthy of following and that modern Christianity (where it so frequently fails to follow Christ) is not worthy of following (and I know plenty of church folks that would get offended at me saying that).  I hope that many more people will begin to examine the differences between so-called Christianity and Christ himself and come to see that being a Jesus follower really has nothing at all to do with attending a church or joining the “Christian religion”.  Isn’t it simple really?  I wish more people could see that it is.

When I look at the number of horrific events actuated in the name of Jesus over the centuries, it makes me mad and makes me want to herald the love and truth of Christ all the more.  These numbers of “Christian crimes” go on (and I have only scratched the surface)… All of these at the hand of “Holy Mother Church” and “grandma religion”.  And don’t even get me started talking about Hitler and his warped religious ideals and even ties to Rome and the slaughter of the Jews. Rome has had its fingers in the torture and murder of both saints and sinners alike for centuries and, I believe, they still do – although it had become far more disguised in recent years.
I’ve listened to how Catholic (and even Protestants defending Catholic) leaders try to wiggle out of the blame on these things (like the Inquisition). They say things like, “Oh it was a very different time and justice was perceived much differently than today.” Or they say, “Considering the context of the time, these punishments were not considered extreme back then.” Oh really? Tell that to the guy who was hung on a wall and had his skin ripped off down to his waste in the attempt to force a confession. Or those that had their tongues ripped out by the roots… Or their limbs tore out of their sockets. Tell that to those who were boiled alive in oil, or burned at the stake, or had their heads crushed in a vice, or their genitals punctured by various devices, or their eyes gouged out, or their intestines ripped out while conscious. Give me a break! Anyone who cannot see the clear evil that has been actuated by organized religion in the person of the Roman Catholic Church is so severely blind and deceived I have no words to describe.

 

Several years back, the Pope “apologized” for the Inquisition… However, the blame was not placed directly on the Popes but applied generically to the darkness and ignorance of the time period. What is most important to understand is that, for the Catholic, the Pope is the Vicar of Jesus Christ (the substitute on earth). He is the very voice and glory of God on earth. His very title is “The Holy Father”. He takes upon himself the name of God and the authority of Christ and assumes rulership over all of Christendom. He is not seen as a mere man! This is incredibly important because for a Catholic to admit that Pope after Pope sinned and did not actuate the true commands of God, means a breakdown of their entire faith system. So the Pope’s apology is no apology at all.

 

What’s even more interesting and curious is that the current Pope, Benedict XVI, was the head of the Inquisition before he became Pope! What, you say? How can that be? The Inquisition ended many long years ago… NO! It did not. It was merely re-named and re-commissioned! This is absolute verifiable fact. Please, look it up! Here is a direct quote from Wikipedia:

 

“In 1908 the name of the Congregation became “The Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office”, which in 1965 further changed to “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, as retained to the present day. The Pope appoints a cardinal to preside over the Congregation, which usually includes ten other cardinals, as well as a prelate and two assistants, all chosen from the Dominican Order. The “Holy Office” also has an international group of consultants, experienced scholars in theology and canon law, who advise it on specific questions.”

 

“On 25 November 1981, Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the “Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office”, the historical Inquisition.”

 

Isn’t that interesting? Well, as I said previously, I’m really not even scratching the surface with all of this, but the reason I’m sharing this today is that watching all of this got me thinking… Though there are many who proudly identify themselves as “Protestants” today and reject the Catholic doctrines, still many of the leaders in these Protestant organizations have a view of the Church of Jesus Christ that is not organic to the Scripture, but birthed in Rome and in gross deception! These believe that the Church is an organization governed (nay, ruled) by men; that it can be identified by specially designated buildings and dogmas.  They revel in legalism and liturgy.  They see the Church as an Institution of Religion rather than simply the family of God. They hold that a person must submit to religious authority in order to be “spiritually covered” by God and recognized as a “Christian”. While many of them would still say that the Church is not just a building but the family of God, yet their actions prove they believe that Christianity does not properly exist without their control (and I dare argue that they really believe it does not even need the Holy Spirit at all to be maintained). Anyone who does not regularly attend their services, or worship at their altars, or sing their songs, or pay tithes, or submit to their authority are essentially outcast as dissenters, rebels, backsliders, sinners, and lost. They are often ostracized, ridiculed, and rejected completely. They are sometimes even treated as demon possessed, cursed, or those who have been turned over to Satan. I have heard these terms and tags used myself. I have seen how condescending and arrogant these so-called Christian leaders behave concerning those who choose not to associate by their directives. The only difference between the Inquisition of Rome and so many of these modern day man-made churches is that these folks are not physically tortured or killed for their faith… yet, make no mistake, they are tortured emotionally in many ways; slandered, misrepresented, disrespected, and not treated with the Love of Christ.

 

All of this to say, I would be careful to not simply place judgment on the Roman Catholic Church for their crimes against humanity and especially God’s people throughout history… There are many others, separate from affiliation with Rome, that are equally void of truth and possess no love of Christ and no understanding of what the Lord’s Church truly is. As I watched these videos several weeks ago, and talked with my wife afterwards about it all, I sat there in disbelief that so many people would yet choose to identify themselves by some religious organization than to be a free child of Jesus. The Gospel is so lovely and simple. Just believe and follow Christ. God extends His amazing grace and love, and still people embrace a harlot church system, full of lies and sin.  Can you tell that my dander is up just a little bit today?

 

I was impressed by the stories in one of the major videos I watched (that was not produced by a Christian organization), which told of many Christian people who dared believe that salvation was possible without organized religion; without Popes and Priests, without a bunch of legalistic rituals and tithing taxes… They sought to follow Jesus simply day by day and they loved their neighbors and lived happily and full of joy. It was religion that took this away from them and tried to control them. Yet for all of the force exerted by this sinister religious monster upon the whole world, the Gospel still continued to shine brightly and these followers of Jesus were not swayed (even though some of the most horrific tortures were executed upon them). It was as though God gave them a special grace and supernatural strength to endure the harshest of suffering and even to find joy in the midst of the most horrific suffering! Truly they believed what Jesus had told them:

 

Luke 12:4 – And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them which kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

 

What joy it is to know we are free indeed because of Christ Jesus! What joy to know that no church, or false authority figure, or legalistic religious system can extinguish the fire of relationship with Jesus we hold fast to! We are truly blessed to not have to suffer in this day as many before us have had to; yet, we should count our blessings and remember to pray for those who do not know the joy and freedom we have. There are, even today, many Christians in other parts of the world, that are imprisoned and killed for their faith still. They need our prayers, and we ought to remember that there, but for God’s grace, go us as well… and may yet as these days grower darker still.

 

Let us continue to walk in this freedom and while we walk with wisdom, knowing the truth from lies – our eyes being awake from deception, let us not ever be arrogant but continue to walk in humility and love toward all others and pray that God’s grace and truth would ignite the flame of faith, leading them to repentance and set them free.

 

 

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16 Responses to God good… Religion still bad!

  • Would the mad guy in the coffee shop in ‘can more’ have catholic inquisition tortured chaired the loud deaf ‘obnoxious’ evangelical?
    …..It comes down to good people, and their common Rule, come what may. ***** //clairvauxmanifesto.com/2012/06/07/opaque/ *****

    God Good. Some Religion Still Good = //newclairvaux.org/

    Always Good like a good WildGood book = //clairvauxmanifesto.com/

    “….Back to the white board: Say you bring your own brand of coffee into that same coffee shop, and you do it everyday because you like their free wifi, but you’re committed to your coffee. You don’t drink coffee, fine. Is it an ethical dilemma to take your own popcorn into the movies because you’re not going to pay another ten bucks for five cents worth of product? You’re not into movies, fine… pick a product, how about banking? Or another product, your non-profit and religious institutions of choice, the people and places you fund regularly and/or randomly.

    What if we became more transparent about everything? What kind of circle would you want to actively participate in, where your entire life, your books, dreams, ideas, decisions, were out on the table, for all those at the table with you, who are, by the way, doing the same thing you’re doing… too huge a risk, it’ll never happen? What are the controls? What are the variables? Where is the escape clause? Is there coercion and manipulation? Is there health and vitality? How to measure success or failure? How are community and prosperity properly developed?” ‘Opaque?’ author quote.

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  • I do think the Catholic Church is rotten to the core – you only have to witness all the scandals that come out of the Vatican. Of course its easy for us to be the Pharisee who thanked God that he was more righteous. The reformer, Zwingli (a contemporary of Luther), committed awful crimes against the Anabaptists who saw God’s word as their only authority. Oliver Cromwell was a militant anti Catholic and to this day Catholics have suffered discrimination in Northern Ireland. Sadly you uncover a tendency that Christians have to shy away from truth when it doesn’t suit them. They are so committed to their own version of the truth that they shut their eyes, stop their ears and shout down those who they view as apostates. We should all be heretics longing to be won over by the real truth that is only in Jesus himself.

    For me, the great lights in this sorry mess are the Anabaptists who suffered greatly at the hands of the established church. I am particularly fond of Menno Simons who gives his name to the Mennonites. He consulted Luther and other reformers who, soon after rejecting the Catholic church, fell into error and orthodoxy. He was left to find his own way and reminds me so much of the Apostle Paul. But for all its hypocrisy, the Catholic church is being forced to admit its failings even if its apologies ring hollow.

    Unfortunately we see a modern inquisition in the established Evangelical church with its hatred of socialists, liberals, gays, Muslims, Palestinians and even atheists. I do believe that much of the conflict in the Middle East lies heavy on the shoulders of the evangelical Christians. When you put a fundamentalist Christian, Muslim and Atheist together its very difficult to tell them apart.

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  • Well said Chris! Have you, by chance, seen the movie called “The Radicals”, which is about the early Anabaptist movement? It’s low-budget and put out by the Mennonite Church, but I found it very inspiring. It’s interesting how Luther always gets the credit as being the reformation hero, but these guys were truly no-compromise and yet were essentially rejected by Luther as being too radical. There are some great lines in the movie, even though the movie itself is a little slow-paced with only marginal acting talent.

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  • I must check that film out. I have the complete works of Menno Simons and I enjoy reading it. Who said that to love the world is to be at enmity with God? That must be the essential difference between Luther and Simons. I have to admit I would rather be Luther reading Simons than the other way round. But I know that wouldn’t put me in a minority.

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  • Hey guys. Listen, I alone out here 1oo againt 1. Read my comments here: //www.truthforfree.com/?p=684 What are your helpfull thoughts on thid matter to this homeless
    missionary husband?

       0 likes

  • Ecclesiastes 1:9
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    The Catholic church is and always has been a branch of the MYSTERY RELIGIONS mentioned in:

    Rev 17:5
    And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    If you dig deep enough into the origins of the religion you’ll find that it nothing short of paganism hiding behind a mask of Christ.

    As far as I’m concerned Protestantism is just a branch of Catholicism with a slightly different views of how they should maintain control over their (so called) flocks.

    Power and money seem to be the focus of both (not Christ). Maintained through bi-laws and liturgies. They have no need for grace when they can get what they want through manipulation and murder.Just the opposite of what Christ taught:

    Luke 22:25-26
    25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
    26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

    We are told in Rev. 18-4 to “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins” but it seems very few heed this warning.

    True Christianity is not a religion and never will be. In all actuality, it was religion that killed our Lord.
    Christ came to give life not to take it away because someone didn’t surrender all to a single or group of megalomaniacs.
    Religion does nothing more more than carry on the lie told to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5) “ye shall be as gods”.
    To be a god over the masses by having power and control over them. To be venerated above all others.
    Go to a church some Sunday morning and sit (if you can) through the (so called) service. Who gets the focus? Who gets the glory? Despite who may be talked about in the (so called) sermon Christ is really not the center of your attention. Who is? The one speaking of course. He (or she) says stand and everyone stands.He (or she)says sit and everyone sits. How about telling everyone to roll over and play dead? They go on to tell you that you have to listen to them and do what they say because that’s the way God has set things up.
    Religion as a whole is just another deception of satan whether it be organized or not. It is also nothing but a poor replacement for Christ and leads to nothing short of death no matter which end of the sword you are at.

    As a side note, the prefix “anti” not only means against but also means to be in place of or to take the place of. So if the Pope is (suppose to be)the Vicar of Christ isn’t it safe to say that he is an antichrist? What about all those mini-popes in protestant churches?

    Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t hate the people that follow these insanities. It is their ways I despise with a passion.
    Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

    May God bless you all

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  • Thanks for your post Robert. I feel the same way bro. And I also might add that I also get frustrated quite often with so many of these groups who leave behind church world only to emphasize other religious fads and flights of religious fancy, be they “house church” or “cell groups” or “living room gatherings” or “honor the sacred name of the Lord by phonetically pronouncing it in Hebrew correctly so that they don’t accidentally wind up worshiping a Pagan version of the Messiah (as if He weren’t God-enough to discern our hearts in the process). Ugh! So much religious stupidity!

    It’s also not that I have any problem at all with gathering (in fact I enjoy spending time with my family in the Lord); Rather it’s the focus placed on the gathering. People who love God, believe the Gospel, and desire fellowship don’t need a weekly program to accomplish this. When I want to converse with my friends and my family in God, I call them, or I go visit them, or I make dinner plans, etc. It’s very simple. I don’t need a pattern or a special building or anything like that. This also isn’t to say that organization, in and of itself, is evil… It’s just that, so often it degenerates into the same old stale religious routine. I have flushed all anxiety about “how to meet” or “what to do about church” from my life. I know that I am part of the body of Christ, regardless of man-organized meetings, liturgies, religious meeting places and programs. For this reason, I can even visit an organization or not visit one whenever I wish, or whenever the Holy Spirit directs me. No more do I talk about “getting plugged in” or “finding a covering” or any of that silly talk. Like you, I full agree that organized religion is the devil’s playground and your point about anti-Christ is spot on as well. There was a time when I would have gasped if I heard someone talk the way I now do or you do. LOL I LOVE being free to walk with the Lord and not live all snagged up on religious concerns. I cannot describe the joy of this friendship with my Father in heaven and how He daily causes me to truly grow spiritually.

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  • Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. The Jews obviously had a problem rendering anything to Caesar as he stood for everything that was evil and oppressive. But Jesus was quite pragmatic just as he said “The poor you will always have with you”. He acknowledged that it was an evil world out there but didn’t lose sleep over it. The church has and does commit the most heinous crimes but all human institutions tend towards corruption. Its not surprising that churches become corrupt because that is the nature of things. I believe that the Babylon in Revelation refers to the world of commerce as it trades in lives and cares little for the consequence. To pin it on the Catholic church is a little far fetched (even if fair). But what we see in organised religion is merely an extension of human sin and while we should not be afraid to call a spade a spade we are not fit to pass judgement.

    What we are free to do is to challenge fellow believers over their behaviour, citing the Word of God and appealing to them as brothers and sisters. I find it disingenuous to despise the way of others when they are sincere and ernest. I’ve read some wonderful Catholic teaching and have come to respect some of that heritage. I even suspect that God uses that church to challenge our own hypocrisy and pride. I find it easier to criticise the word of faith movement because it isn’t a denomination or a lifestyle (per se) but a heresy.

    I personally believe it is good to be in the habit of meeting as a church. There is always the danger of going though the motions and becoming ‘religious’ and while ‘covering’ does sound rather scary it is good that we can cover each other’s backs. Whether we like it or not we are creatures of habit and getting into good habits means doing things when we don’t even feel like doing them. Being completely independent means you answer to no one else and that in itself is a danger. There is also the temptation to cherry pick your meetings and associates. Families are the most wonderful and dysfunctional of all human societies. Churches are similar and we should not throw the baby out with the bath water.

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  • “finding a covering”

    Now there’s a term I haven’t heard for a while. The mantra to keep in subjection the good folk who attend “church”. Some 30 and more years ago I remember the doctrine of covering used to be used often to ensure that someone of higher authority was over you, but more recently it seems to have been toned down by most. For instance a woman could not speak without a man/pastor/church as her covering.

    Its use, amongst other things, was to maintain authority in the church. Some churches made a big deal of it while for others it was just something in the background. But in all cases it was heresy, because the doctrine substituted someone for Jesus even if it was a pastor or the Pope

    A wise woman said to me soon after being saved that our relationship with Jesus and God was direct and we have the Holy Spirit living in us. So HOW DARE any man claim to be our (spiritual) covering.

    Of course it is wise to listen to counsel, to have others watching out for us. That isn’t the covering doctrine, that sensible, and in the end it is God who watches over us and Him alone that we have to answer to in the end. As far as keeping to the true teachings in scripture, it takes due diligence and listening to the Holy Spirit to do that. Listening to “your covering” can lead you astray easy enough. Just look at all the denominations who disagree with each other.

    I was talking to my daughter and her husband the other day about religions and noted that the Catholic Church was created (Christianity Legalised) for the Roman Emperor to bolster the dwindling Army and Empire. It was a military/power decision and the resulting organised church has been motivated by that since. And the protestant churches broke away because of one major doctrinal disagreement, grace over works. Over time other differences have been identified and adopted, but basically the protest churches are just that churches that protested over a number of doctrines.

    One example I gave was that of “communion”, the fleck of bread and sip of “wine” (juice) that is typically used in most churches (Pentecostal or not). The only difference is that protestant churches mostly don’t believe that its mass but only symbols. One exception is the High Anglican church which still/used to celebrate Mass. But the ritual is very similar and totally ignores the teaching in the scriptures where it is described as a “love Feast”. Even if translations differ they still have the fact that people were getting drunk, etc. Its a feast were the saints get together and break bread together, eat and drink remembering what Jesus did for us. The last supper is an example that could be used. And its the not discerning what Jesus did for us, the breaking of his flesh and spilling of his blood, why some are sickly and weak. If I hear another sermon on how it is discerning sin in our lives, I’ll scream. Its discerning the redemptive power in the death of Christ, and not to focus on ourselves in a selfish way.

    If one looks at a protestant church rituals they can see the roots of most of them in the Catholic religion.

    The only time that Christianity saw massive growth was in the times that it was not organised by man, the first 3 centuries. Even with the fear of death it grew, Christianity was in effect a revolution that started with the death of its leader, and once it saw itself in power (thru the roman emperor) it died. Mind you there have been plenty of accounts of christians who never joined the man made religions. They assembled together, but not as churches would have us believe.

    I must say it is refreshing to hear of others who feel that religious “church” attendance is not scriptural.

    Good to see you married a Aussie Dave. 🙂

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  • What a great post. You are right about ‘covering’. It is an insidious and poisonous error. But it was most prominent in ‘disorganised’ religion. This must tell us that the antichrist isn’t necessarily a pope or an institutional church but anyone who usurps Christ’s authority. It could be a husband, father or even friend. Those who oppose us, have different views or who worship in another way can challenge our own precious heresies but its those who ‘cover’ us and undermine our faculty for critical thinking who are most dangerous. I may have said this before but I would feel safer in some Catholic churches than in many pentecostal and charismatic churches.

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  • “What a great post”

    Thanks for the encouragement Chris, you posts are rather good too BTW

    You’re right though, covering is more of an error than heresy, the heresy is when its combined with its cousin of “Sheppard-ship” (where the person has to ask their “covering” permission to do anything important like jobs, dating etc.)

    The Covering error was big in many AOG churches in the 60’s – 80’s and only mentioned occasionally in other AOG churches. Fortunately the one I attended in the 70’s rarely mentioned except for their ladies meetings which ran “under the covering” of the pastor. Other churches seemed to follow suit.

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  • What a breath of fresh air, reading the above. Thank you all!
    Just one proviso I’d like to make on the Anabaptists, though, inspired though the majority definitely were, sadly there were, as with any movement, heretical and extreme splinter groups who brought dishonour to the Name of Jesus… We’d do well to heed the warnings their example provides.
    This is a really good potted history of their movement:
    //thirdmill.org/newfiles/jac_arnold/CH.Arnold.RMT.10.html

    I guess it just goes to show that any of us can go off the rails if we depart from a balanced view of scripture and let our old sin nature get the better of us. Lord have mercy on all of us who are seeking to go the lonely Way and protect us from deception, be it in the Roman Catholic pyramid, or any other man-organised pyramid.

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  • I think we are all liable to go off the rails once we see ourselves as the guardians of truth. The most dangerous churches of our time are those who hold to the inerrancy of the Bible. The Catholic church has always held that it is the true church and that has been its greatest error. Its sad that those who are opposed to Catholicism are called Protestants. Only this morning I was reading that we are called to “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” And that was from a man who had previously hounded Christians to their death and subsequently was flogged and stoned for preaching the Gospel. We are to be as shrewd as foxes and innocent as doves.

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  • Right. Just this morning I started reading the contents page of a book I’ve been sent in which most of it is so true and right and deep, but the final three chapters seem to have been written out of a reaction to excess in the pentecostal/charismatic movement and subsequently throw a large portion of scriptural truth out of the window. It’s so sad – but, as you rightly say, not one of us has all the truth and it only goes to show how much we need to humble oursleves and learn from one another.

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  • What, do you think the famous Pilgrims “fleeing from the English King to have freedom to worship God” came here just to eat turkey and share the land with the Natives?
    One word to that, GENOCIDE. Good day

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  • @Carlos……… Huh?

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