Pagan Christianity?

Pagan Christianity?

Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning?

Why do we «dress up» for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, choirs, and seminaries?

Pagan Christianity? contends that most of today’s church practices have no biblical foundation, and in some cases, hinder people from having a genuine experience with God. With extensive footnotes and documentation, the book shows that the following church practices had little to do with scriptural mandate or apostolic application:

  • Church buildings were initially constructed under the Roman emperor Constantine, around 327. The early Christian church met in homes.
  • The pulpit was a piece of stagecraft borrowed from Greek culture in which professional speakers delivered monologues in public debates. There is no evidence that Jesus, the apostles, or other leaders in the early Church used a pulpit; it seems to have been introduced into Christian circles in the mid-third century.
  • The order of worship originated in the Roman Catholic Mass under the leadership of Pope Gregory in the sixth century.
  • Preaching a sermon to an audience was ushered into the church world late in the second century. Sermons were an extension of the activity of the Greek sophists, who had mastered the art of rhetorical oratory.
  • There were no pastors, as an official or director of a group of believers, until sometime in the second century. That was eventually furthered by the practice of ordination, which was based upon the prevailing Roman custom of appointing men to public office.
  • The biblical approach to «communion» or the «Lord’s Supper,» was truncated late in the second century from a full, festive communal meal without clergy officiating to the presently common habit of having a sip of wine and morsel of bread (or juice and a wafer) under the guidance of a recognized clergyman.

«Pagan Christianity?» also addresses a myriad of other practices, including tax-exempt status for churches, pews, stained glass windows, altar calls, the pastoral prayer, church bulletins, bishops, clergy attire, choirs, tithing, the collection plate, seminary training, infant baptism, the «sinner’s prayer,» and funeral processions, among others.

This volume reveals the startling truth: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is not rooted in the New Testament, …Butt in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.

Barna Group, Ventura, California, USA

You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:7-9

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  1. Reimagining Christianity

    The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at Reimagining Church.org. It’s also available on Amazon.com. Visit Frank Viola at The Blog of Frank Viola

  2. Daniel
    7:25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
    The 10 commandents are written in stone! Jesus said «Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law» (Matthew 5:18). Statements by the Catholic Church about the Sabbath
    “Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Catholic Church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” Rome’s Challenge http://www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline Dec 2003
    “Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 edition), p. 72-73 (16th Edition, p 111; 88th Edition, p. 89).
    “For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.” Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, p. 9, article “To Tell You the Truth.”
    Who Made Sunday Holy?
    “Written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, this Divine code (ten commandments) was received from the Almighty by Moses amid the thunders of Mount Sinai…Christ resumed these Commandments in the double precept of charity–love of God and of the neighbour; He proclaimed them as binding under the New Law in Matthew 19 and in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)…The (Catholic) Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day…He (God) claims one day out of the seven as a memorial to Himself, and this must be kept holy…”The Catholic Encyclopaedia, vol. 4, “The Ten Commandments”, 1908 edition by Robert Appleton Company; and 1999 Online edition by Kevin Knight, Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
    “Question: How prove you that the church had power to command feasts and holydays?
    “Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.
    “Question: Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?
    “Answer: Had she not such power, she could not a done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; -she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day of the week, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism On the Obedience Due to the Church, 3rd edition, Chapter 2, p. 174 (Imprimatur, John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York).
    “Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The day of the Lord’ was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the (Catholic) Church’s sense of its own power…People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.
    “Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday…Now the Church…instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.” Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About, 1927 edition, p. 136.
    “Question – Which is the Sabbath day?
    “Answer – Saturday is the Sabbath day.
    “Question – Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
    “Answer – We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 3rd edition, 1957.
    “Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day – Saturday – for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day’? I answer no!”
    “Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons.” James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Md. (1877-1921), in a signed letter.
    “Question. – How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
    “Answer. – By the very act of changing Sabbath into Sunday which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.
    “Question. – How prove you that?
    “Answer. – Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin: and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power.” An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, composed by Henry Tuberville, p. 58.
    “Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The (Roman Catholic) Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.” John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, 1936 edition, vol. 1, p. 51.
    “Question. What warrant have you for keeping Sunday preferably to the ancient sabbath which was Saturday?
    “Answer. We have for it the authority of the Catholic church and apostolic tradition.
    “Question. Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?
    “Answer. The Scripture commands us to hear the church (St.Matt.18:17; St. Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2 Thess 2:15. But the Scripture does not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath.
    “St John speaks of the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10) but he does not tell us what day of the week that was, much less does he tell us what day was to take the place of the Sabbath ordained in the commandments. St.Luke speaks of the disciples meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. And St. Paul (1 Cor.16:2) orders that on the first day of the week the Corinthians should lay in store what they designated to bestow in charity on the faithful in Judea: but neither the one or the other tells us that this first day of the week was to be henceforth a day of worship, and the Christian Sabbath; so that truly the best authority we have for this ancient custom is the testimony of the church. And therefore those who pretend to be such religious observers of Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same church authority, show that they act more by humor, than by religion; since Sundays and holidays all stand upon the same foundation, namely the ordinance of the (Roman Catholic) church.” Catholic Christian Instructed, 17th edition, p. 272-273.
    “Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the (Roman Catholic) Church, has no good reasons for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath.” John Gilmary Shea, American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883.
    “The Catholic church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday…The Protestant World at its birth found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the (Catholic) Church’s right to change the day, for over three hundred years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant World.” James Cardinal Gibbons in the Catholic Mirror, September 23, 1983.
    Whose Day of Worship is Sunday?
    “They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.
    “The Sunday…is purely a creation of the Catholic Church.”American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883.
    “Sunday…is the law of the Catholic Church alone…” American Sentinel (Catholic), June 1893.
    “Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles…From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.
    “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” Priest Brady, in an address reported in The News, Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 18, 1903.
    Who Do We Reverence and Pay Homage to by Keeping Sunday Holy?
    “From this we may understand how great is the authority of the church in interpreting or explaining to us the commandments of God – an authority which is acknowledged by the universal practice of the whole Christian world, even of those sects which profess to take the holy Scriptures as their sole rule of faith, since they observe as the day of rest not the seventh day of the week demanded by the Bible, but the first day. Which we know is to be kept holy, only from the tradition and teaching of the Catholic church.” Henry Gibson, Catechism Made Easy, #2, 9th edition, vol. 1, p. 341-342.
    “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
    “Sunday is our mark or authority…the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.
    “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (Saturday Sabbath to Sunday) was her act…And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things.” H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.
    “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802. Hover here for a document clip or select for full original image.
    “Protestants…accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change…But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that…In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 15, 1950.
    Conclusion and the Challenge.
    “The (Roman Catholic) Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday.” The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4.
    “Sunday is founded, not of scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday.” Catholic Record, September 17, 1893.
    “Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:
    “1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
    “2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws…
    “It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.” Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Magazine, USA (1975), Chicago, Illinois, “Under the blessing of the Pope Pius XI”
    “I am going to propose a very plain and serious question to those who follow ‘the Bible and the Bible only’ to give their most earnest attention. It is this: Why don’t you keep holy the Sabbath day?…
    “The command of the Almighty God stands clearly written in the Bible in these words: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.’ Exodus 20:8-10…
    “You will answer me, perhaps, that you do keep the Sabbath; for that you abstain from all worldly business and diligently go to church, and say your prayers, and read your Bible at home every Sunday of your lives…
    “But Sunday is not the Sabbath day. Sunday is the first day of the week: the Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week. Almighty God did not give a commandment that men should keep holy one day in seven; but He named His own day, and said distinctly: ‘Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day’; and He assigned a reason for choosing this day rather than any other – a reason which belongs only to the seventh day of the week, and cannot be applied to the rest. He says, ‘For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it’, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 2:1-3. Almighty God ordered that all men should rest from their labor on the seventh day, because He too had rested on that day: He did not rest on Sunday, but on Saturday. On Sunday, which is the first day of the week, He began the work of creation; He did not finish it. It was on Saturday that He ‘ended His work which he had made: and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.’ Genesis 2:2-3…
    “Nothing can be more plain and easy to understand than all this; there is nobody who attempts to deny it. It is acknowledged by everybody that the day which Almighty God appointed to be kept holy was Saturday, not Sunday. Why do you then keep holy the Sunday and not Saturday?
    “You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! But by whom? Who has the authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, ‘Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day’, who shall dare to say, ‘Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day: but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead?’ This is a most important question, which I know not how you answer…
    “You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet, in so important a manner as the observance of one day in seven as the holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding. Who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible, and the Bible only you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.” Excerpts from “Why Don’t You Keep Holy the Sabbath Day?”, pages 3-15 in The Clifton Tract, vol. 4, published by the Roman Catholic Church 1869.
    “The arguments…are firmly grounded on the word of God, and having been closely studied with the Bible in hand, leave no escape for the conscientious Protestant except the abandonment of Sunday worship and the return to Saturday, commanded by their teacher, the Bible, or, unwilling to abandon the tradition of the Catholic Church, which enjoins the keeping of Sunday, and which they have accepted in direct opposition to their teacher, the Bible, consistently accept her (the Catholic Church) in all her teachings. Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicism and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” James Cardinal Gibbons, in Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

  3. David why are you so infatuated with the sabbath. «Man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath was made for man.» I think we should all give up church and spend the sabbath doing what Jesus did; healing, helping and the doing of good works in the honor of his name.

  4. We actually might see a change for the better in this cold, and uncaring religious world

  5. I don’t feel that David is consumed with the Sabbath, but it does sound as though he is preoccupied with «truth.» I believe it was Jesus that said, «You shall KNOW the truth and the truth will make you free.» Not a sermon…just a thought!

  6. Charles has a point… as does Lukw. David went on waaay to long! The truth is VERY important to me too; but I would have shorten it quite a lot so not as to «sermonize› as Charles pointed out. Because those that are sheep.. going with the rest of the lemmings… DON»T really care! They LOVE their traditions! IRREGARDLESS of their origins!

    and as Lukw pointed out.. ACTIONS speak louder than mere words! There many out there that SAY they are religious…BUT are all too ready to hate, or be intolerant. or doing as they please. Instead of doing as Jesus/Yeshua did!

    Now speaking of Jesus/Yeshua.. did he CHANGE the Sabbath?? NOPE!!
    DID any of his apostles change it ? NOPE!

    SOOO if we were to truly do as HE did…HIS actions!

    WE would also observe the 7th Day Sabbath. too! (just not the OTHER sabbaths/rest-days/ holy-days {holidays} of Judaism!)
    😉

  7. Paul in 2nd Corinthians 3 explained that though the giving of the Ten Commandments, written on tables of stone, was glorious; the gift of the spirit was much more glorious! He calls the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments «The ministration of condemnation and death!»

    While the New Testament, written in our hearts on tables of flesh, is the ministration of the spirit and life!

    Christ fulfilled The Law and gave only two commandments: Love God, and Love your neighbor as yourself 🙂

    Paul went on to talk about Sabbaths and holy days in Romans 14, «One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.»

    I am persuaded that we are all Priests of God and as such can consider every day Holy unto the Lord! We are free to celebrate every day as a Sabbath, or any day as the Sabbath…or none!

  8. Gerry McDonnell :

    Jesus said his Church would be «the light of the world.» He then noted that «a city set on a hill cannot be hid» (Matt. 5:14). This means his Church is a visible organization. It must have characteristics that clearly identify it and that distinguish it from other churches. Jesus promised, «I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it» (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return.

    Among the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began in 1517. (Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots.)

    Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. This is unequalled by any institution in history.

    Even the oldest government is new compared to the papacy, and the churches that send out door-to-door missionaries are young compared to the Catholic Church. Many of these churches began as recently as the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Some even began during your own lifetime. None of them can claim to be the Church Jesus established.

    The Catholic Church has existed for nearly 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members— even some of its leaders—have been unwise, corrupt, or prone to heresy.

    Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church in the world (and the largest, with a billion members: one sixth of the human race), and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.
    The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813–822)
    Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches (Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and so on). The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church.

    His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2).

    Although some Catholics dissent from officially-taught doctrines, the Church’s official teachers—the pope and the bishops united with him—have never changed any doctrine. Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.

    The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8, CCC 823–829)
    By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23).

    But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26).

    The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10, CCC 830–856)
    Jesus’ Church is called catholic («universal» in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of «all nations» (Matt. 28:19–20).

    For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28).

    Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to «make disciples of all nations» (Matt. 28:19).

    The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, «the Catholic Church,» at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.

    The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20, CCC 857–865)
    The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2).

    These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself.
    Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim.
    Man’s ingenuity cannot account for this. The Church has remained one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—not through man’s effort, but because God preserves the Church he established (Matt. 16:18, 28:20).

    He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exod. 13:21). Today he guides us through his Catholic Church.

    The Bible, sacred Tradition, and the writings of the earliest Christians testify that the Church teaches with Jesus’ authority. In this age of countless competing religions, each clamouring for attention, one voice rises above the din: the Catholic Church, which the Bible calls «the pillar and foundation of truth» (1 Tim. 3:15).
    Not a single Church Father interpreted Sacred Scripture in isolation from the traditional faith of the Church; rather, the Fathers applied Tradition as a rule to interpret Scripture. The only ancient teachers who interpreted Scripture apart from Tradition were the early heretics.

    Before the NT was collated and canonized, there were those who would only admit the OT Scripture and reject the oral Christian tradition.
    St. Ignatius writes: «And I exhort you to do nothing out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ. When I heard some saying, If I do not find it in the ancient Scriptures, I will not believe the Gospel; on my saying to them, It is written, they answered me That remains to be proved. But to me Jesus Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by Him, are undefiled monuments of antiquity.»
    Epistle to the Philadelphians 8:2
    St. Ignatius contrasts the authority of this Scriptures-only mentality with the Christian tradition. According to St. Ignatius, one interprets the OT Scripture within the framework of the Christian Gospel.

    Some Gnostics not only attempted to falsify the canon of Scripture (such as Marcion) but appealed exclusively to the same and rejected tradition. Eusebius preserves this citation which describes the behavior of those who follow Theodotus, a Unitarian:

    «They have treated the Divine Scriptures recklessly and without fear. They have set aside the rule of the ancient faith; and Christ they have not known. They do not endeavour to learn what the Divine Scriptures declare, but strive laboriously after any form of syllogism which may be devised to sustain their impiety. And if any one brings before them a passage of Divine Scripture, they see whether a conjunctive or disjunctive form of syllogism can be made from it.»
    Church History, V: 28:13
    These Unitarians relied on Scripture alone and rejected the tradition of the Church. Tertullian of Carthage discovered the futility of interpreting Scripture outside of the framework of the Church and her Tradition.

    Tertullian writes:
    «Our appeal, therefore, must not be made to the Scriptures; nor must controversy be admitted on points in which victory will either be impossible, or uncertain, or not certain enough. But even if a discussion from the Scriptures should not turn out in such a way as to place both sides on a par, (yet) the natural order of things would require that this point should be first proposed, which is now the only one which we must discuss: ‹With whom lies that very faith to which the Scriptures belong. From what and through whom, and when, and to whom, has been handed down that rule, by which men become Christians?» For wherever it shall be manifest that the true Christian rule and faith shall be, there will likewise be the true Scriptures and expositions thereof, and all the Christian traditions.»
    Prescription Against the Heretics, 19

    Likewise, St. Athanasius makes the same claim regarding the Arians. According to St. Athanasius the Arians read Scripture according to their own private lights and rejected the traditions of the Church. This is a recurring theme in the writings of the Church Fathers. According to Athanasius, the Arians› rejection of the Church tradition resulted in their divisions and heresy:

  9. The sabbath was to be observed under the Old Law Covenant. It ceased to exist when Jesus died on the Cross because he fulfilled the Law Covenant. Therefore, the Sabbath is not relevant today.

  10. Greetings Ronald,

    The Sabbath was to be observed under the Old Law Covenant. The Sabbath ceased to exist when Jesus died…

    Amen!

  11. Worshiping on Saturday or Sunday is not relevant to one’s salvation, hence a ‹disputable matter› not worthy of arguing over. Second, Peter was never ‹ordained or inaugurated› as «Pope». What Jesus was talking about when He said that He would build His church on the ‹rock› was the Rock of Revelation. Peter received revelation from God the Father, Jehovah or YHWY about who Jesus was. Jesus told Peter that only the Father could have given him that revelation, then went on to call that «revelation» a rock, upon which Jesus would build His church.

    After Jesus ascended into heaven, He called Saul and gave Him the revelation of the gospel of grace for the Gentiles (you and I). Jesus has been building His church, not the Roman Catholic church upon this ‹rock› of revelation ever since.

    No where in the Bible are we to call any brother «Father» or are we to have any mediator between us and God except the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no Biblical basis for Pope-hood! Man appointing man into an office!

    I am a recovering Catholic. I thank God that I met Jesus and His word has come alive in me, and now that I know the truth, the truth has set me free. Free from religiosity. Free from Churchianity! Free from man-made rules and doctrines! Free to worship in spirit and truth!

    I pray that my Catholic brothers and sisters would read their Bibles, that the Lord would remove the scales from their eyes like He did for Saul of Tarsus, and that they would also be set free, in Jesus mighty name!

  12. Amen Bruce! Revelation Knowledge is the Foundation of Christ’s Church. Concerning The Gospel, Paul clearly stated, «I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.»

    If we will listen, God will reveal His Will to us, through Jesus Christ, in every aspect of our lives 🙂

    These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. The anointing which you have received of him lives in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall live in him. 1st John 2:26-27

    I am a recovered Demon-national Minister myself…Praise God for setting us free!

  13. We are not the bride of Christ, the Bible is quite clear that we are the body of Christ. Read Revelations 21 for a more in depth look at the bride of Christ. Read the whole Ephesians on Wives and Husbands, it is a comparison, we are not being thought of as a bride, or, rather, a wife.

  14. You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:7-9

    Guess who Jesus is talking to… the pharisees!!

  15. I enjoyed all the comments and some were more relevent than other’s yet, it takes one who seeks the mystries of the Lord in sincerity not out of curiousity to no avail to know the truth first you must be born again of the spirit. And one who is willing to have a pure heart and a sound mind must have a compassionate nature like Yeshua Hamashiach’s who died and rose again on the third day that we might have life and have it more abundanlty. I pray that those who are seeking the word will continue to learn the truth and not live in error. Be wise and seek the knowledge and wisdom of Yehweh and He will strengthen you to know the truth as you open your eyes to see and your ears to hear. Be fervent to seek those things that are lovely and above. Again, I really enjoyed those who really showed their concern in posting truth! May Yehweh increase your knowledge and wisdom the more!! Thank you so much for expressint the truth of the sabbath and the convert from Catholic to receiving the Lord, Yehweh through his Son Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) bless you brother. Its a good thing and a great day to be converted anyday into the body of Yeshua for we know we have eternal life, to be free from religiosity and Churchanity!

  16. Amen Twila!

  17. I am a Johnny-come-lately to this post. If I remember right, Jesus, Peter, John, and Paul all taught in Synagogues and in the temple. Timothy was also a pastor when he received his letters from Paul. God knows our heart and understands we are human. In «all things» do glory to God. Jesus told us not to judge, so why do we keep doing it?

    Remember, Satan is the master of confusion and hypocrisy.

    Worship God with all your heart, soul, and mind. He loves us even if we go overboard in worshiping Him.

  18. Christendom with all it»s many many branches & denominations…THE WHEAT & THE TARES, all claiming to be true followers of the Christian faith, Oh, what a HEADACHE but I am so happy that The Angels of the Most High God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, the holy Angels of the
    God & Father of my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth will be the harvesters of the true believers of The Church that Jesus said He not man, would build!!!…Until then it’s my hope & prayer that we will be lead by the Holy Spirit, who is The Spirit of TRUTH!!!!…Father God is not the author of CONFUSION, SATAN IS!!!!…Thank you FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE MY 2 CENTS!!!!

  19. I have truly enjoyed all of the comments, Bruce,and Twila,their is Amen to both statements,when we are not wrap up with Churchanity and religiously, we will be able to open our Bible and see what it has to say,and not stand in the wisdom of man,but the revelation of Jesus Christ.We must be Born Again,John 3:3,when we can’t see the truth of the word,because the veil is still untaken away..2Cor 3:14. I believe God’s true Church is the invisible Church which is Jesus Christ himself,and we become born of water and spirit,John 3:5,God’s true Church is not the Roman Catholic,We must strive together for the faith of the Gospel. I was caught up in Churchanity, but when I want to know Jesus,it makes a world of difference,we will know the truth and it will make us free. John 8:32. MinisterMark may you be bless,and may you keep giving the word.

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