Guided by Deceiving Spirits

The strongest evidence for Roman Catholicism summed up in two sentences are: “The Catholic Church is the only true Church on earth because it was founded by Jesus Christ. It is trustworthy because its offices are so divinely guided by the Holy Spirit that they can never go astray.”

This narrative is drawn from the Catholic catechism:

The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit: in the Scriptures he inspired; in the Traditions, to which the Fathers are always timely witnesses; in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists…” (8:2:688)

Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church (par. 4, sec. 892).

This is the typical circular argument of Rome: “We are divinely guided because we say so!” Catholics assert that Protestantism lacks this guidance, hence is not divinely protected from errors unlike the holy Catholic church. But history and current realities, however, present a starkly different picture.

For centuries, the popes, bishops, church fathers, doctors and priests of Rome largely adhered to the historicity of Biblical narratives, reality of Bible prophecy, inspiration and traditional authorship of Scripture. But right from the mid 20th century, a paradigm shift began to emerge among Rome’s hierarchy.

Modern Catholic scholars have embraced modernist and liberal positions that deny the historicity of the Bible, the reality of Bible prophecy, the inspiration and traditional authorship of Scripture. Robert Sungenis, a Catholic apologist, captures how terrible the state of affairs is among Rome’s scholars and clergies:

“I could not recommend any of them to you. To a man (and woman) these teachers believe the Bible is riddled with historical and “religious” errors … For them, the Bible is mainly the work of man, and only a few parts were actually inspired by the Holy Spirit. They do not believe most of the historical narratives in Scripture ever took place (e.g, Adam and Eve, Noah) and they believe much of the Gospels were made up by either the evangelists or the generations that came after them.

“They question the resurrection of Christ, the immaculate conception of Mary, the infallibility of the pope, the existence of the devil or hell, and many other cardinal doctrines of the historic Catholic faith.

“In brief, these lectures are indicative of the sad state of affairs in Catholic academia and scholarship today. Today’s Catholic scholars took over where the Protestant liberals left off at the turn of the 20th century, and they are much worse than the Protestant liberals ever were. They simply do not have the traditional faith of our Fathers and medievals any longer.”

This is the true state of Catholicism today, and it poses a dilemma for its apologists. On the one hand, they defend Rome’s dogmas but on the other, Rome’s hierarchy has relinquished much of its theology.

An average Catholic in the pew is made happy by being told his/her Church has the deposit of truth from the apostles, but the higher ups know better; they know that those deposits have long been emptied onto the sidewalk and the treasury is filled with husks.

Right from the time of Augustine down to the Middle Ages, Rome’s position was that “outside the church there is no salvation.” The Council of Florence (1442) officially declared that “no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

But at the turn of the 20th century, a significant shift took place in Catholic theology from exclusivism to inclusivism:

“In other words, Catholic belief moved from holding “outside the church no salvation” to “without the church no salvation.” During the first half of the twentieth century, Catholic theologians came up with ingenious concepts to include within the church any trace of salvation outside it: saved non-Christians belonged to the “soul” of the church; they were “attached,” “linked,” “related” to the church; they were members “imperfectly,” “tangentially”, “potentially” (Paul Knitter, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 1984, 8:50).

This is at 180 degrees of separation from what the Bible says about the unsaved (Jn. 3:18, 36; Eph. 2:1-2 etc). To maintain their apple cart, popular Catholic apologists are frozen up at different eras. Some in the Victorian period; some in pre-Vatican II whilst others follow wherever the current pope blows.

Their own theologians and scholars are their own enemies and this should make a truth-seeking Catholic ask some pertinent questions.

In the final week of April 2017, the tweets from Pope Francis @pontifex said:

April 26: Let’s promote friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions in order to build a world of peace

April 27: Please pray for my journey tomorrow as a pilgrim of peace to Egypt

April 28: We are called to walk together, in the conviction that the future also depends on the encounter of religions and cultures.

These tweets preceded Pope Francis’ ecumenical visit to a Coptic church and Al-Azhar mosque in Egypt. On April 9 2017, two suicide bombers attacked two Coptic churches, St. George and St. Mark, killing 45 people.

During his visit, Francis embraced the Grand Imam of the Al Azhar mosque, Ahmad al-Tayeb who urged the West (read: Christians) not to hold Islam accountable for the crimes of any small group of followers. If Islamic terrorism is executed by just “a small group” of Muslims why has it persisted in Egypt for centuries?

In his inclusive message, the pope called on Muslims to denounce violations of human dignity and human rights, and expose every form of hatred in the name of religion and to condemn these idolatrous caricatures of God. But such these vices are enshrined in Islam and no amount of pussyfooting with alter them.

You see, Pope Francis is toeing the very politically correct lines as the godless liberal crowd. Barely a month after his visit to Egypt, on May 26 2017, at least 28 Coptic Christians were again killed and dozens more wounded by Muslim jihadists. Nothing changed.

The armies of Allah are completely deaf to jaded ecumenical tropes. After a French Catholic priest was murdered by ISIS members while celebrating Mass in 2015, Pope Francis, instead of denouncing Islamic violence, deliberately gave a carefully worded talk that avoided using the terms “Islam” and “terrorism.” When a journalist questioned him on his politically correctness , Pope Francis replied:

There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must also speak of Catholic violence … and no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent … I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists … We have them. When Fundamentalism comes to kill, it can kill with the language – the Apostle James says this, not me – and even with a knife, no? I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence” (Catholic Online 8/3/2016).

There are a number of howlers in this response, but the most obvious (and annoying) of them was his utilizing an absurd moral equivalence argument to justify Islamic violence. This is simply reprehensible.

Interestingly, after this interview, ISIS publicly replied Pope Francis and others who argue that Islam is a peaceful religion, calling them liars “delivering a false narrative.” They reiterated that Christianity is “a religion of polytheism” and warned that there will be more of their terror attacks.

When one considers the moral and spiritual background of Islam and how the popes have sweetly flattered it for decades, a truthful Catholic must admit that these men are spiritual blind bats influenced by lying and deceiving spirits.

The Magisterium is supposed to be a quality control system divinely guided to safeguard truth – not corrupt, subvert or deny it. But when that institution is found blighted with apostasy, theological detours, moral depravity and outright deception, then it is evidence that it’s not guided by the Spirit of God.

One thing is clear, however, the Holy Spirit of God will never lead a person to deny the cardinal truths of Scripture or pray to a strange god. He “convicts the world of guilt, in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement” (Jn. 16:8).

But a counterfeit spirit makes people smother truth, support sin and avoid calling evil by its name. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, he “guides into all truth” (Jn. 16:13), He doesn’t lead people to embrace false religions like Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism in dubious interfaithism.

The world cannot accept the Holy Spirit “because it neither sees Him nor knows Him” thus, He doesn’t make one seek worldly approval as Rome’s hierarchy constantly does (Jn. 14:17).

You can’t be a friend of God and be loyal to the debased system of the world at the same time. Like some other pseudo-Christian organizations, Roman Catholicism is very much of this world and is under the influence of its spirit. Those who truly want to serve the Lord would have to come out of it.

Chick’s World of Alternative Facts

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For decades, Chick Publications Inc. has gained popularity for attacking deceptive religious systems, hence, one would expect it to have a high degree of intellectual honesty in what it presents to the public. Sadly, that is not the case.

In fact, the Body of Christ needs to scrutinise and fact-check the claims made in their vlogs, books, articles and comics.

Last year, I pointed out a number of egregious errors and deliberate falsehoods in their materials which tragically continue to emanate from that ministry even now that its leadership rein in now in the hands of David Daniels.

The misleading information and flawed arguments in the Battle Cry May/June 2017 article entitled “Pope Decides It’s Okay to Read the Bible?” underscore the fact that KJV onlyism can only be sustained on tissues of lies.

I will be responding to that article. Quotes from it will appear in blue.

In his Sunday message to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, March 5, Pope Francis urged the people to carry their Bible as diligently as they do their smartphones. Protestants, and the civilized world in general, applaud that this dark-age “church” has seen the light. As head of an institution that tried for centuries to stamp out the Bible, this appears like a miracle

As far as I can see, only ignorant Protestants who are easily swayed by sweet words and pageantry will applaud the pope’s message. A part of it on the Vatican’s website reads:

The Word of God: this has the strength to defeat Satan. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible; read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective.

Anyone familiar with Catholic teaching knows that when they talk about “the word of God,” they are referring to an amalgam of the Bible, traditions and teachings of the Magisterium, not Scripture alone.

The statement that “the Bible contains the Word of God” should give a red flag to a true Christian.

While modern Catholics are allowed (and even encouraged) to read the Bible, Rome still keeps it from their hearts by diminishing its authority and insisting that only the Magisterium can interpret it.

Fair enough, the Battle Cry article ends with this fact, but the meandering before it deserves some attention.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side of the story. The Bible that he is talking about is a very different Bible from the one which dozens tried to obliterate. But it wasn’t that the popes wanted to do away with all Bibles, they just had to stop one Bible. Even during the Inquisition the popes had their own approved Bible

Notice how the writer quickly deflects to the issue of Bible translations. He is pitting the Latin Vulgate (approved by the pope) with “one Bible” that dozens of popes wanted to stamp out. From other Chick works, we know he’s referring to the old Latin bible.

In the book, Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? (by David Daniels) we are told:

Catholic Rome got the reins of government and began destroying God’s words in Old Latin” (p. 54).

This alternative history is uncritically lapped up by many KJO patrons, but there is no historical evidence that dozens of popes obliterated the Old Latin bible. These are stuff some people make up in their own heads and have the temerity to publish them as truth.

For most of Christian history, there has been a struggle over which Bible should be used. When the Revelation 17-18 counterfeit church was burning all the Bibles, (and Bible believers) during the Inquisition, they also had a counterfeit Bible they were promoting. Of course, “promoting” is hardly the right word when their “Bible” was chained to the pulpit and written in Latin, a language few could read

All through church history, Christians have always had preference for certain Bible translations – from the Septuagint to the Vulgate to the KJV.

The real struggle started when the Catholic religion decreed that only the Latin Vulgate version was divine – a cultic idea curiously similar to KJV onlyists’ claims about the KJV.

Just as the people had to learn Latin to know God’s Word at the time, today, everyone would have to learn English to know His Word as KJOs insist.

Earlier, we read that popes “just had to stop one Bible” but now we are told they were “burning all the Bibles.” How did one Bible became all the Bibles?

We need to ask: which Bible translation was the “only true Bible” during the Inquisition (between 12th-16th century)? It couldn’t have been the Old Latin versions (Italic, African and European) because their texts differ markedly from the Received text from which the KJV was translated. Bruce Metzger observed:

The textual affinities of the Old Latin versions are unmistakably with the Western type of text … On the whole, the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text and the European the smaller” (The Early Versions, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, 325).

God’s counterattack was the invention of the printing press. Soon, copies of the right Bible began to flood the Western World. But his enemy did not give up easily. Satan’s plan B was to “fix” the supposedly “archaic language” of the real Bible. If it could be subtly altered to begin to match the counterfeit, maybe no one would notice. The astounding success of that plan is why the Pope can now urge his people to read the Bible

The first movable printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1450.

Between 1450 and 1611 when ‘the right Bible’ began to flood the West, which Bible translation was the ‘only real one’ and why was it replaced?

We need to know why the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bishop or Geneva Bible versions were fake but the King James version was real.

Perhaps bereft of tangible arguments, the writer invokes “Satan’s plan B” to explain why the KJV translation wasn’t (and still isn’t) regarded as perfect.

In fact, the KJV used many outdated (and by modern usage, embarrassing) English terms e.g “cockatrice” for viper; “apothecary” for perfumer; “shambles” for meat markets; “unicorn” for wild ox; “dumb ass” instead of mute donkey; “bastard” instead of illegitimate; “spoil” instead of plunder; “Elias” for Elijah, “Eliseus” for Elisha and “Osee” instead of Hosea.

The purpose of every legitimate Bible translation is to render God’s Word in the simplest, clearest way possible such that even an uneducated person can understand it. Since the KJV failed in this regard, it necessitated a better English translation.

Furthermore, the Latin Vulgate (“the counterfeit”) had much influence on the KJV. Frederick Scrivener points out at least 60 places where the NT of the KJV follows the reading of the Latin Vulgate without a single Greek text as support (The New Testament in Greek, 1881, ix).

Bible scholars, W. E. Plater and H. J. White stated that even the vocabulary of the KJV repeats words directly lifted from the Vulgate e.g “publican,” “charity,” “Calvary” (A Grammar of the Vulgate, Oxford University Press, 1926, p. 4).

It is disingenuous for Chick’s team to demonize the Vulgate whilst idolizing the KJV.

Using modern research techniques, linguist David W. Daniels has uncovered the details of this epic war on God’s words

Unfortunately, much of the details Daniels presents are closer to tabloid sensationalism than established facts.

The footnotes and bibliography of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? indicate that his information on Bible transmission were largely sourced from Chick materials, along with the questionable works of other KJOs like William Grady, David Otis Fuller, Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman.

Such self-quoting, “circle-the-bunkers” technique is an insult to credible research.

The move to “fix” the Bible involved forming “Bible societies,” bringing together linguists, translators, publishers and sophisticated marketing. Satan used the opportunity to infiltrate those “societies” with unbelievers and men dedicated to his agenda

How did the writer know these details? Interestingly, Daniels and Chick believed the KJV translators were also infiltrated by Jesuits. This idea came from Dr. Alberto Rivera’s “testimony” in the Crusaders’ comics:

Among the group of men chosen by King James to translate the King James Bible in 1611, was a heavy concentration of undercover Jesuits posing as members of the Church of England. God, in His sovereign grace, preserved His written word, and they were not able to change it as they had planned” (The Force, 1983, p. 14).

Now if God could preserve His Word in spite of heavy Jesuit concentration among KJV translators, why didn’t He do the same for other Bible translations before and since then?

You see, a section of KJOs believe that the KJV is a perfect translation because its translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore anyone suggesting that it’s flawed or clamours for a better translation  is part of Satan’s folks! How convenient.

Rather than updating the language, a whole new basic Greek text was formed. Instead of using the thousands of manuscripts supporting the real Bible, a few new ones were faked as “oldest and best.” And coincidentally, their readings often supported the unbiblical doctrines of the counterfeit church…

1. This false, KJO Manichean binary of a ‘preserved’ Received text versus the ‘corrupted’ new Greek text needs to be disassembled.

Between 17th-19th century, several Protestant scholars collected several critical Greek texts other than Erasmus’ Received text.

Theodore de Beza (1519-1605), John Calvin’s successor, collected critical Greek texts.

John Mill (1645-1707) also collected and published Greek texts. Sir Richard Bentley (1662-1742) was the first to propose a revised Greek text.

Johann Bengel (1687-1751) critically studied Greek texts and was the first to classify them into Alexandrian and Byzantine.

About the only scholar from that period, John Martin Scholz, who published a text similar to the Received text, was a Catholic theologian.

2. Erasmus’ Greek text wasn’t based on “thousands of manuscripts.” He used 10 manuscripts, none of which were earlier than the 10th century.

The discovery of more ancient and larger number of manuscripts prompted newer English versions. Their differences with the KJV affect no vital doctrine.

3. According to Dr. James George Carleton, the KJV has taken some 2,803 readings, besides 140 marginal reading from the Catholic Rheims translation (The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible, Clarendon Press, 1902, p. 259).

This shouldn’t be shocking since the KJV translators were 17th century Anglicans, not 20th century independent, fundamentalist Baptists.

Today, that bogus text, known as the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies Greek Text, is nearly universally accepted by translators of modern Bible versions …

Fake manuscripts like the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were “discovered” by men like Constantin Tischendorf. From them, Westcott and Hort prepared their Greek New Testament that became the foundation text for most modern versions

Never mind, the only reason the Nestle-Aland Greek text is termed “bogus” by KJOs is because it’s not Erasmus’ Catholic Greek text.

Bible manuscripts stand on their own merits, not by who possessed them, otherwise, the Byzantine Mss. used for the Received text would also be “fake” since they came from Eastern Orthodoxy.

The efforts of the above named scholars were geared towards producing a non-Catholic critical Greek text, and many of them were theologically conservative. Tischendorf, for example, was a Plymouth Brethren.

Many conservative Christian scholars in the 19th and 20th century preferred the revised critical texts over Erasmus’ Catholic-inclined Received text.

The next step was a broad marketing campaign to “sell” the church on the new Bibles. Part of that was an intensive effort to discredit the real Bible in English … This hugely successful effort has effectively persuaded churches, denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries to “speak evil” of the KJV in favor of the altered Bibles

This scenario was illustrated by Jack Chick on page 134 of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? book.

The Pope asks his Jesuit general, “How is the Master Plan coming, General?” He replies, “We’ve funneled billions into the ‘new’ versions. No one will know which one to believe! Very soon the King James will be the most despised Bible on earth!

To Christians with a ‘Daddy-there-is-a-Jesuit-in-my-pyjamas’ paranoid mindset, this is all the evidence they need to stay away from any other Bible version.

But a reasonable Christian questions the source of such a shallow rhetoric. I have said this before: without conspiracy theories, KJV onlyism cannot stand.

Notice also the writer’s use of emotional terms like “discredit” or “speak evil” for any criticism of the KJV.

This article offers one a glimpse into the pervasive shift in the KJV only camp: a shift from the gospel message to conspiracy tales; from fact to fiction; from faith to suspicion and a Christ-centered life to an obsession with a 17th century Bible version.

The outgrowth? Persons bereft of character and truth – who ironically see themselves as “better” Christians approved by God because they use the King James bible.

Conquerors of the Laity

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For years, the Roman Catholic system has been experiencing a shortage of men entering the priesthood. Pope Francis is now considering the possibility of ordaining married men as priests, especially in rural areas.

Granted, the media exposure of priestly sexual abuse spanning decades has demythologised the gnomic claim of priestly celibacy as a “brilliant jewel” which “radiantly proclaims the reign of God.” As if self-restraint can be wished on clerics by an ink on paper, the Code of Canon Law says:

Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity” (III: 277:1).

For the first 4 centuries of the church, most Christian leaders were married. Even popes were married up until the 9th century. In 1018, Pope Benedict VIII forbade marriage for priests and the First Lateran Council in 1123 finally prohibited it.

After the Council of Trent, the penalty for priests or nuns who violates the canon law on marriage is excommunication. How Rome will now overturn its own “infallible” decree after 10 long centuries remains an amazing spectacle to behold.

I had a Catholic friend who led a dissolute life of sex and booze even though he was a seminarian at the time. We lost contact for several years but when I saw him on Facebook recently, he was now a priest at a parish in Delta State. As we chatted, I quizzed him, “I hope you’ve stopped those stuff you used to do back then right? I know you’d be better now that you’re a priest.” He laughed “Better? I’m worse! Back in those days I was still a good guy, but now I’m doing worse stuff!”

Such an admission to an outsider like me is like a diamond in a coalmine. Celibacy is not the only root of the depravity and corruption in the Catholic clergy – power is another. A maxim says: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

It’s not as if priests, nuns or popes are inherently more prone to promiscuity than others. Many of them started out with high morals and spiritual aspirations – however unbiblical their system is – but it was the privilege, power and authority which Rome’s hierarchical system conferred on them that perverted and destroyed them. Nothing destroys an unregenerate individual faster than a position of power. Even spiritually immature Christians find it hard to stay afloat the cesspool of power.

Catholic historian, Ignaz von Dollinger, in The Pope and the Council, wrote about a legend in which Constantine burnt written accusations against the bishops when it was laid before him, saying that “the bishops were gods, and no man could dare to judge them.”

This absolutist code still pervades Rome’s hierarchy, and all forms of abuse hinge around power and control. This is the key behind the prevalence of sexual abuse within Catholicism. The authoritarianism wielded by the clergy not only absolves them of their crimes but also renders their victims utterly powerless to stand against them.

Even Rome’s ecclesiastical titles reflect this currency of power. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Instead of addressing patriarchs as ‘Vostra Beautitudine,’ archbishops as ‘Your Grace,’ bishops as ‘My Lord,’ abbots as ‘Gracious Lord,’ one may without any breach of etiquette salute all equally as Monsignor.

The word “monsignor” means “my Lord” and “arch” means “master,” so archbishop and arch priest literally mean master bishop and master priest which dubiously elevates them to the same footing as Jesus: “You call me Master and Lord, and rightly so.” (Jn. 13:13). But He warned: “for you have only one Master and you are all brothers” (Mt. 23:8).

The Pope is called “Most Holy Father,” but the title “Holy Father” appears only once in the Bible and it’s used for God (Jn. 17:11). Why should this title be attributed to an earthly creature? We are warned against using the religious title of “father” because it diverts the reference people should have for God/Jesus to imperfect and sinful men (Mt. 23:9).

Notably, the Catholic priest is called “another Christ” (sacerdotus alter Christus). This god-like pedestal on which priests and popes are placed gives them much power over Catholics and this religious absolutism was precisely what Jesus denounced among the Pharisees. They had their religious garbs, special seats, religious showbiz and rites which gave them so much control over the people (Mt. 23:1-12).

Christ’s death has torn apart the veil of the temple. No need to go to God through human priests again. Every Christian is now a priest and Jesus is our High Priest. All who have been washed from their sins by Christ’s blood are “priests unto God” and are “a royal priesthood” (Rev. 1:6, 1 Pt. 2:9). Rome dare not teach this truth because she will lose her hold on the laity.

The Bible commands church leaders: “Do not lord it over the group [congregation] which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). But as the centuries went by, false leaders began to lord it over the people, teaching them that they needed a priest to listen to their sins and absolve them, sprinkle them, give them last rites and say Masses for them.

A powerful system of priestcraft soon developed and Jesus, the true High Priest, became clouded from their view by dark veils of man-made traditions. Any system of priesthood – whether professing to be Christian or not – that is contrary to the priesthood of all believers which the New Testament teaches is an abomination before God.