Counterfeit Miracles

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One of the biggest “proofs” Romanists use to validate Roman Catholicism are its miracles. Miracles of saints, icons, rosaries, the Eucharist and the Catholic Mary are used to make up for a lack of convincing answers.

For example, on October 13, 1917, at the Fatima Marian apparition site, 70,000 people witnessed the sun fall from the sky:

Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracle ceased and the sun resumed its normal place in the sky …When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions” (Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven, 1983, pp. 7, 8).

This “solar miracle” has been reported at several Marian apparition sites where the sun seemed to dance, spin or appeared like the communion host, and people looked directly at it without suffering eye damage.

The same happened in Puerto Rico in 1991 before a crowd of 100,000. It also happened in the Philippines in 1993 before a crowd of 300,000.

Similar events were also recorded in places like Medjugorje, Denver, Texas and Bosnia. According to the Queen of heaven, which Roman Catholicism bows to, more miracles are on the way.

In a message received by a seer, she said:

My sign is emerging. God wills it thus. Only my children recognize it, as it reveals itself in secrecy, and they praise the Eternal One for it. Today I cannot reveal my power to the whole world. I must withdraw with my children. In secrecy I will perform miracles on the souls until the number of sacrifices has become full. Then I can reveal myself to the whole world” (Thomas Petrisko, Call of the Ages, Queenship Publication, 1995, 303).

Reading this, from a Biblical point of view, three red flags go up immediately.

First, this spirit entity boasts of being the source of these miracles. The real Mary couldn’t, and in fact, never had such a power.

Second, the purpose of these “miracles” is to gather the whole world at the feet of the Queen of heaven. She has a sense of ownership over Catholics whom she calls “my children,” a statement that the real Mary could never have made.

Third, the entity refers to “many sacrifices” being made unto fullness, but God’s Word makes it clear that only the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is perfect and complete; it can’t and must not be repeated.

The “eternal one” being praised by these miracles is not God but a demonic entity.

Stories of Catholic saints involved miracles too, though most lacked credible eye witnesses. The 17th century saint, Joseph of Cupertine, was said to be able to fly like a bird and see ecstatic visions. He was finally canonized as a patron saint of air travellers.

St. Therese de Lisieux in her biography, Storm of Glory, narrated how she found refuge at the statue of the virgin Mary, which one day became animated and radiated a warmth that “penetrated to the depths” of her soul.

The stigmata miracle – a spontaneous manifestation of bloody wounds on a person’s hands, feet and forehead similar to where Christ was pierced – was experienced by “saints” like Catherine of Siena, John of God, Francis of Assisi, Faustina Kowalska and also one brother Roque from Columbia.

Stigmatists, like Magdalena de la Cruz (1487-1560) were exposed as fakes. In the case of Padre Pio, an Italian monk, the stigmata wounds he allegedly endured for 50 years were said to pay for the sins of the world.

Pio reportedly said many spirits of the dead (and the living) visited him in his monastery cell to thank him for paying for their sins with his sufferings so they could be released from purgatory and go to heaven.

Other monks testified that they heard multitudes of voices talking with Padre Pio at night. Pio’s “stigmata” was later exposed as self-induced with the aid of an acid!

In a certain Catholic video, a stigmatist housewife in Damascus was shown lying on a bed surrounded by Catholic “pilgrims” praying their rosaries. She was screaming with much agony “Take it away! Take it away!”

Suddenly, holes physically appeared on her forehead, hands and feet as if someone was driving physical nails into them and she began to bleed profusely.

If this wasn’t staged, can it be classified as a miracle or demonic torment?

The idea of stigmata rests on the theory that some people can pay for sins like Jesus, but the Bible makes it clear that Christ has paid the full penalty for sin.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7).

There’s nothing left for sinners to pay to receive the full pardon offered by God’s grace. Besides, no man can pay the penalty Jesus paid because it is an infinite penalty. The stigmata is either a self-induced fraud or demonic miracle.

Julia Kim, a Catholic mystic in Korea, claims that the host changes into real flesh in her mouth.

A Catholic church in Venezuela also reported that their host pulsates and squirms within its glass monstrance, like a live human flesh.

Similarly, in 2005, two hosts in a church in Naju were suspended mid-air by themselves and later dropped to the floor and became bloody.

These “miracles” are attempting to accentuate the Catholic belief in transubstantiation and as a result, cannibalism and idolatry. Not a good arrangement.

There have been cases of oils, water or sweet fragrance exuding from statues or icons.

Catholic pilgrims once rushed to Our Lady of Velankanni in India in 2012, where “miracle water” was allegedly exuding from the foot of a crucifix.

While they were collecting this “holy water” with joy, a skeptic, Sanal Edamarku, successfully debunked this “miracle” by demonstrating that the water droplets exuding from the feet of “Jesus” at this crucifix came from a drainage in a nearby washroom through capillary action.

Sanal soon became a target of angry Catholics calling for his arrest, for ripping their sacred cow into shreds. While I do not deny the reality of the supernatural in Roman Catholic reports of miracles, a number of them are no more than hoaxes, pranks and mere superstition taken afar.

Indeed, there have been real cases of  statues or icons that supernaturally bled. Personally, I can’t find anything glorifying God in seeing a bunch of statues bleeding like butchered cows.

I remember years ago when a statue of Mary in Anambra State, Nigeria bled, some Catholics said it meant Mary was weeping for “the many sins in the land.”

But why weep blood? Is that not kind of … gory? Besides, our sins are committed against God, not against Mary. So that shoots it down.

There seems to be a common trend in Catholic miracles: a morbid obsession with human flesh, blood, death and suffering. These things do not “pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

In another Catholic video, one woman was interviewed, and she said, “I attached my rosary to the cross hanging outside the home and it actually turned from silver into gold.”

Is this also demonic? To answer this, we need to turn away from subjective experiences and look into the Word of God.

1. In Scripture, when God does a miracle, they are all practical –  the sick got healed, the lame walked, the red sea divided.

God doesn’t do a miracle in a sense of glorifying an object, making a show or dazzling people with euphoria.

Satan and his servants love showbiz and manipulating human emotions e.g by causing fire to descend from the sky “before all men” (Rev. 13:12).

The Catholic “miracles” of the golden rosaries, relics or dancing sun fall into this category.

2. The source. Miracles can either come from God or Satan. Therefore, just because someone experiences a miracle, does not mean that it’s from God.

The magicians of Egypt were able to duplicate 3 out of the 10 plagues God sent upon Egypt through the agency of demonic powers (Ex. 7:11, 22, 8:7).

Satan is able to control the elements like the wind and fire, so making the sun appear to “dance” is pretty easy (Job 1:16, 19).

The Bible says the Antichrist’s coming is through “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9) and we are told about “the spirit of demons that do miracles” (Rev. 16:14).

3. The focus. In the Bible, whenever a miracle came from God, the long result is praise, awe or fear of His majesty:

“The man immediately stood up in front of them… Praising God, he went home” (Lk. 5:25).

“The man was walking, jumping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8).

“The news about this spread throughout the city of Joppa, and as a result many people believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42)

Every true miracle directs people to focus on God or Jesus. It never leads people to pray to Mary, or a dead saint or exalt a human personality. This is exactly what Marian apparitions do.

No one in the Bible ever built a shrine or pilgrimage site to Jesus or the apostles or Mary over a miracle they received

4. The intent. A true miracle does not substantiate errors or endorse superstitions. The Holy Spirit always leads Believers into the truth (Jn. 16:13) and that truth is based on the Bible.

The “miracles” of Rome are intended to endorse falsehoods like purgatory, transubstantiation, rosaries etc.

5. If the miracles of Roman Catholicism legitimize it, then they must also prove other false religions true as well because they too have their own “miracles.”

Hindu literature is full of tales of miracles of “saints” like Nambi Ambar, Jnanadeva, Chaitanya or Manikkavasagar.

Zoroaster was also said to have cured a king of paralysis. There are some modern examples too.

A video footage at the Pu Xian Buddhist mission in Malaysia once showed Buddha statues emitting light, blinking their eyes and moving their mouths.

In early August 2006, thousands of Buddhists in Sri Lanka flocked to their temples to see “miracle rays” which appeared visibly around the statues of Buddha, resulting in a heavy traffic all through Colombo. This event was reported by Sri Lankan newspapers.

On September 21, 1995, thousands of Hindu worshippers in different countries were shocked when they offered milk to their gods and the milk disappeared from their spoons. This same phenomenon occurred in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The statue of the Buddha in Lhasa, Tibet reportedly cries ‘tears of pearls’ in the temple so much that the Lamas are moved. A German reporter took 5 of these pearls to Munich where a Chemist analysed them and said they were “love pearls.”

If the bleeding statues of “Mary” echoes a point, the pearl-weeping statues of Buddhism raises a louder one.

Here in Africa, there are several pagan rites that are used to restrain rainfall, invoke spirits to materialize, heal people by removing live animals from their bodies or gain immunity to bullets or knife cuts.

I have personally witnessed a man who took a sharp knife and cut an orange with very little effort, then turned to his companion and used the knife to slice the back of his head. There was no single cut or mark there.

In New Age or Witchcraft circles, many of the “miracles” Catholics love to brag of do not move them an inch. They experience them all the time.

Of course, all these religions cannot be true since they contradict one another and oppose Bible Christianity. So who is the brain behind their miracles? Satan and his demons!

Miracles or supernatural signs do not guarantee truth. Satan “deceives the whole world” through false religions and uses false miracles accompanying them to blind the people trapped in them to think they are on the true path (Rev. 12:9).

As we move closer to the end of the age, these phenomena would be more common, not only in Catholicism, but also in the world, but those who stand firm on God’s Word, will not be deceived.

The Origins of Purgatory

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The idea of Purgatory was neither taught by Jesus nor His apostles. How it became an integral belief of the Catholic Church today can be seen by looking at its origin, development and purpose over the centuries.

1. Prayers for the Dead

Purgatory belief can be traced to the unbiblical practice of praying for the dead. Writings of some early church fathers contain references to prayers for dead loved ones to have ‘refrigerium’ (refreshment or pleasures of paradise).

Mohrmann Christine in a philological study comments that the term “refrigerium” refers to “heavenly happiness” that “Among the later Christian writers, refrigerium is used in a general way to denote the joys of the world beyond the grave, promised by God to the elect” (Le Goff Jacques, The Birth of Purgatory, University of Chicago, pp. 46-47).

While prayers for the dead can be found in their writings, they do not contain the idea of purgatory as Rome believes it today. William Webster stated that:

“For at least the first two centuries there was no mention of purgatory in the Church. In all writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, there is not a slightest allusion to the idea of purgatory. Rome claims the early Church nevertheless believed in purgatory because it prayed for the dead. This was becoming a common practice by the beginning of the third century but it does not, in itself, prove that the early Church believed in the existence of a purgatory” (Church of Rome at the Bar of History, Banner of Truth, 1997, 114).

2. The “Architects” of Purgatory

The practice of praying for the dead led to belief in a third state between heaven and hell. This doctrine can be majorly linked to 5 church fathers:

(a) Tertullian (A.D. 160-220): He was the earliest church “father” to pray for the dead though he admitted that there is no direct Biblical basis for it.

He wrote: “If you look in Scripture for a formal law governing these and similar practices, you will find none. It is tradition that justifies them, custom that confirms them, and faith that observes them” (De Corona Militis 3:2-3).

Note this statement carefully the next time a Catholic quotes some Bible verses or church fathers to try support purgatory.

In Tertullian’s time, the act of praying for the dead was merely a practice – not a doctrine, let alone a dogma. Tertullian only spoke of this concept after he had joined a heretical group called the Montanists.

(b) Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-220): He was a key proponent of purgatory. During his time, the issue of baptismal regeneration led to much debate and in order to explain where those who sinned after baptism would go, the idea of a place where they can be purified by fire after death was adopted.

(c) Origen (A.D. 185-254): He and Clement of Alexandria were the two main architects of purgatory beliefs. Much of what these men wrote cannot be believed by most Catholics or Protestants today.

They both engaged in allegorical interpretation of the Bible, ignored its literal, historical-grammatical meaning and mixed it with strange ideas.

Through his absurd bible interpretations, Origen denied the existence of Hell; believed that Satan would be saved and also believed in the pre-existence of the human souls. He adopted the idea of an afterlife corrective, punitive cleansing of the soul from Greek philosophy and dualism.

(d) Augustine (A.D. 354-430): He also endorsed prayers for the dead. It seems his thinking was influenced by his mother’s dying wish to be remembered in his prayers.

Though he wrote about salvation by faith, he also popularized the theory of purification after death through sufferings.

(e) Gregory the Great (A. D. 540-604): This bishop of Rome, though ignorant of the Biblical languages, wrote extensively resorting to silly, allegorical twisting of the Bible.

In his work, Morals on the Book of Job, he twists the names of people, things and even syllables in the book of Job giving them mystic meanings. He claimed Job represents Christ: his wife represents the carnal nature; his 7 sons represents the apostles; his 3 daughters represents the faithful laity who worship the Trinity; his friends, the heretics and Job’s 7,000 sheep, the faithful Christians!

(Note that Gregory the Great rejected the canonicity of the apocryphal books of Maccabees).

His ideas of purgatory emerged in his dialogue with a Roman archdeacon named Peter in his work, The Dialogues. In it, he described “in incredible marvels and visions of the state of departed souls.” However, he admits transmitting hearsay, that he didn’t see these alleged visions himself (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. III).

3. The Fruit of Purgatory

For about 500 years after Gregory cooked up purgatory, it didn’t become an official doctrine. In the Medieval era, it made way for all manner of extortion and outright deception.

The fifth century Irish “saint” Patrick was said to have been frustrated by his people’s refusal to believe in purgatory, so he “prayed that God would help him convert the people.” Then Christ allegedly showed him a pit in the ground which is said to lead to purgatory.

Some people were let in into the pit and came up to tell others terrible tales of hell (Biebler Ludwig, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 1960, 93:137-44).

This “entrance to hell” remained for centuries. After investigations, the pit was called a grievous fraud and finally closed on October 25, 1632. (It seems purgatory and hell were not distinguished from each other at that time).

By the 19th century, the specific site of this pit is no more certain.

Some scholars declared that sparse documentations from 5th century Ireland support this tale and that “St.” Patrick never visited Lough Derg where the “purgatory pit” allegedly was. It was a 12th century horror tale cooked up to fill the pews of the Catholic church (The Medieval Pilgrimage to St. Patrick’s Purgatory, 1988, 8-9).

The Catholic crusaders were promised that they would bypass purgatory if they died in those wars. This also led to Indulgences – remission of temporal punishment through certain conditions laid down by the Church – which generated great wealth for Rome by selling the people a bogus ticket to heaven.

In 1170, Pope Alexander III decreed that no one could make a valid will except in the presence of a priest. Anyone who disobeyed this law was to be excommunicated – a decree feared more than death in those days.

Since the priest was often the last person to be with the dying (to administer the “last rites”), one can be certain that this ploy was meant to enrich Rome.

During the time of Martin Luther, the pope needed money for the construction of St. Peter’s in Rome, so he sent a Dominican monk, Johann Tetzel, to sell indulgences to the people.

Tetzel would carry with him a picture of the devil tormenting souls in purgatory and repeat the statement written on the money box: “As soon as the money in the casket rings, the troubled soul from Purgatory springs.” It worked like magic and the coffers became full (Martin Luther, Wider Hans Worst, 1541, 538).

Even today, Catholics who have no one who could say Masses for them after death fear being forgotten in purgatory, so they join the Purgatorial Society and donate to them yearly so they will say Masses for them after death. That’s Rome’s “insurance policy.”

4. The Purpose

Not only did purgatory bring Rome influence and loyalty, it also boosted papal control over nations. A Catholic historian explains:

“It had been said before that the power of God’s vicar extended over two realms, the earthly and the heavenly … From the end of the thirteenth century a third realm was added, the empire [rule] over which was assigned to the Pope by the theologians of the Curia- Purgatory” (Ignaz von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council, 1869, 186-7).

Medieval Gnostic works such as Apocalypse of Peter or Paul, which presented a view of the afterlife in tune with Greek paganism had also shaped the views of the people.

These were the factors that influenced the Council of Florence of 1439 to make purgatory an official dogma. The council of Trent and modern catechism rely on this Council of Florence in defining purgatory.

5. Pagan origins

Purgatory was already known in paganism before its adoption into Catholicism.

Virgil, a pagan Latin poet who lived between 70-19 B.C. divided the departed souls into three different places in his writings: Elysium for the very good, Tartarus for the very bad and Erebus for the indifferent or moderately good (Bell’s New Pantheon Historical Dictionary, John Bell, Charles Thornthwaite, 1790, Vol. I, 379).

Greek philosopher, Plato (427-347 BC) spoke of Orphic teachers in his day “who flock to the rich man’s door, and try to persuade him that they have a power at their command, which they procure from heaven and which enables them by sacrifices and incantation … to amend for any crime committed by the individual himself … Their mysteries deliver us from the torments of the other world, while the neglect of them is punished by an awful doom” (Homer Smith, Man and His Gods, Brown and Co., 1952, 127).

Stoic philosophers taught that there was a place of fire after death that was for enlightenment and the purging of the soul from the corruptions of material life before one could enter spiritual peace. They called it Empurosis (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 22, 660).

Hindus and Buddhists “also believe in heavens and hells where souls who are not immediately reborn spend time. They then spend some temporary time there. These are in effect the equivalent of purgatory because they are temporary states in the soul’s long progress towards eventual salvation” (Encyclopedia Americana 23:19).

Zoroastrians also believe that there are 12 stages of purification after death before they are fit for heaven.

Catherine Beyer in her article, Purity and Fire in Zoroastrianism, stated that Zoroastrians believe that “all souls will be submitted to fire and molten metal to purify them of wickedness. Godly souls will pass through them unharmed while the souls of the corrupt will burn in anguish.”

In contrast to these pagan systems, the Bible doesn’t support the idea of an afterlife “third state”. Jesus’ consistently spoke of the evil and the good (Mt. 5:45) the narrow way and broad way (Mt. 7:13-14), the wise and foolish virgins (Mt. 25:2) the sheep and the goat (Mt. 25:32) without any reference to a “third” or “neutral” group, because there is no “third state.”

There are only two eternal destinations beyond the grave – Heaven and Hell.

The Relics of Rome

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Photo source: Catholic Answers

You don’t need to study the teachings of Roman Catholicism too deeply to be repelled by the stench of death and deception that permeate its practices. There is nothing more creepy and absurd than entering an old style traditional Roman Catholic church filled with skeletons and bones of “saints” and the like.

I once watched a documentary in which a monk took a researcher to the basement of a Catholic monastery, explaining to her the significance of relics to the Catholic faith.

The basement was literally filled with human skulls from the ceiling to the floor.

According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, a relic is “the material remains of a saint or holy person after his death, as well as objects sanctified by contact with his body.”

In utter desperation, modern Catholic apologists try to find a Biblical basis for this practice by citing some Bible passages which actually violate the Catholic definition of relics.

A scholar pointed out that the few Bible texts that Catholic apologists have cobbled together “have to be so grossly isolated, so completely removed from any meaningful context, so as to provide automatic refutation upon the most basic contemplation.”

For example, they cite 2 Kings 13:21

Once while the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

This passage shows that the people didn’t believe the bones of Elisha had any power whatsoever; they dumped the man’s body on the bones because they sighted their Moabite enemies approaching. It was a one-time miracle by the power of God.

God sovereignly used Elisha’s bones as a vehicle of raising the dead, just as He used ravens to feed Elijah (1Kings 17:6) and a fish to swallow Jonah (Jon. 1:17). There was nothing “magical” about the ravens or fishes.

Notably, this was the only instance where Elisha’s bones worked a miracle, and the Israelites didn’t venerate his bones – even in their days of apostasy.

Let Catholics today throw their corpses on the bones of Padre Pio or Fr. Michael Tansi and let’s watch their dead rise.

Other passages cited are the instances where people touched the cloak of Jesus (Mt. 14:35-36); Peter’s shadow healing the sick and handkerchiefs or aprons from Paul which healed people (Acts 5:15, 19:12).

These aren’t relics since Jesus and the apostles were not dead before these miracles occurred and nowhere in Scripture did Christians venerate these materials.

This is where the “Christian” mask of Catholicism falls off to reveal a sinister side. It’s hard to spin the pictures of people bowing in front of corpses and skulls, blood or hearts of “saints,” lighting candles and fingering rosaries.

Even if you know little of the Bible, such scenarios (especially in Catholic dominated countries) are enough for you to start questioning this religious system.

Some relics, like the Shroud of Turin, the alleged crib of Jesus exhibited on Christmas day or the cup allegedly used at the last supper (“the Holy Grail”) come with sensational thrills; others are just plain outrageous.

For example, several Catholic churches have claimed to have Mary’s hair (some red, some brown, some blonde, some black!); the bottle of milk on which Jesus was suckled; Mary’s skirts; Joseph’s carpenter tools; Jesus’ crown of thorns; the water pots from which water turned to wine, and even Jesus’ foreskin allegedly discovered by the monks of Charroux who claimed it yielded drops of blood.

Interestingly, Catholic churches in Coulombs (France) and St. John’s in Rome have also claimed to have Jesus’ foreskin in their possession! (John Wilder, The Other Side of Rome, 1959, Grand Rapids, p. 54).

Some relics seem to be for people far removed from the world of reality e.g a relic of a piece of broiled fish Peter offered Jesus at the Last Supper which John Calvin (1509-64) sarcastically referenced, that such a fish “must have been wondrously well salted, if it has been kept for such a long series of ages.”

The shrine of the Holy House of Loretto in Italy is a case in point. This building is alleged to be the very house the virgin Mary lived in Jerusalem. So how did it get to Italy? The Catholic Encyclopedia (13:454) explains:

Angels conveyed this House from Palestine to the town Tersato in Illyria in the year of salvation 1291 … Three years later, at the beginning of the pontificate of Boniface VIII, it was carried again by the ministry of angels and placed in a wood … where, having changed its station thrice in the course of a year, at length, by the will of God it took up its permanent position on this spot…”

Perhaps in the next five decades, these “angels” would also transport this shrine to Mexico.

The relics of the cross on which Jesus was crucified were so scattered all over Europe at a time that Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) wrote that one could build an entire ship out of all of the “genuine fragments of the cross.”

Yet, the cross of Christ was carried by a single individual. Are we to believe that single cross multiplied into millions?

St. Paulinus actually admitted that the cross “never grew smaller in size, no matter how many pieces were detached from it” (Cath. Ency. 4:524). You see, once you veer out of truth, there is no limit to your delusion.

The Israelites fell into this same trap. God had earlier instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent as a vehicle of healing those bitten by venomous serpents (Num. 21:9).

This foreshadowed the work of Christ on the cross to undo the deed of the serpent (Jn. 3:14-15). But many years after the bronze serpent has fulfilled its purpose, the apostate Jews still kept it with them for veneration. This made it an abominable object before God and it was finally destroyed by King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4).

The origins of relics can be traced to ancient paganism. The Catholic Encyclopedia rightly admits that the use of “some objects notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint” was in existence “before the propagation of Christianity” and “the veneration of relics, in fact, is to some extent a primitive instinct associated with many other religious systems besides that of Christianity” (12: 734).

This use or veneration of relics dates back to the same false worship that God denounced all through His Word. Many of these pagan cults have certain sites regarded as “holy” because a portion of their god is said to be buried there.

In Hindu myths, Shiva was said to have carried the corpse of his wife, Sati “around the world on his shoulder until the other gods, to put an end to his mourning, dismembered the corpse. The spot where each pieces of her body fell to the ground became sacred places of pilgrimage called pithas.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1979, Vol. VIII, 913).

Ancient Egypt “was covered with sepulchres of its martyred god: and many a leg and arm and skull, all vouched to be genuine, were exhibited in the rival burying places for the adoration of the Egyptian faithful.” (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Brothers, 1959, 179).

It must have been due to this exposure to Egyptian paganism that God didn’t disclose to the Israelites where He buried Moses. If apostate Israel could worship an object Moses had made, how much more his bones if they had them!

The New Catholic Encyclopedia (XII, 234-5) says:

It is thus in vain to seek a justification for the cult of relics in the Old Testament; nor is there much attention paid to relics in the New Testament … [The church “father”] Origen seems to have regarded the practice as a pagan sign of respect.

Apart from the pagan roots of relics, there is also a business side to it. The Catholic church generates much money from relics and pilgrimages. For centuries, bone business was big business.

In 750 A.D., it was recorded that long lines of wagons constantly came to Rome bringing immense quantities of skulls and skeletons which were sorted, labelled, and sold by the popes.

A marble slab at the Church of St. Prassade states that in 817, Pope Pascal had the bodies of 2,300 martyrs transferred from the cemeteries to this church (H. B. Cotterhill, Medieval Italy, 1915, 71, 391).

Just as in the occult, bone relics are also used to “consecrate” Catholic altars or church buildings. The castle church of Wittenberg where Luther nailed his 95 theses had 19,000 saintly relics!

The Council of Trent declares that venerating the bodies of dead “martyrs” is compulsory for Catholics because through them, “many benefits are bestowed by God on men.”

In Bible Christianity, however, there is no place for blessings funnelled through dead bones and rotten flesh because Jesus has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). The Gospel offers life to all who accept it by faith.

True worship is “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). We don’t need a physical object in order to relate with God. The inconsistencies, idolatry and deceptions that relics are based on evince neither godliness nor truth.