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Incredible Creed of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

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By Rev. Dr. Rumble, M.S.C.

The Witnesses of Jehovah constitute one of the most vigorous and spectacular religious propagandist bodies of the present day.  Throughout the world an army of persistent enthusiasts tramp from door to door, urging people to adopt their teachings as a matter of life and death.  They claim to have made over a million converts in recent years, chiefly in America; and they have been written up in the “Saturday Evening Post”, “Collier’s Weekly” and the “Reader’s Digest” as a phenomenon of both national and international importance.

This new sect originated in the U.S.A., to which the world owes Mormonism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventists, Father Divine, and so many other strange religious outbreaks.  Charles Taze Russell, a draper of Pittsburgh, afterwards known as “Pastor” Russell, was the founder of the movement in 1872.  Nathan Homer Knorr, its present head, prefers to say, “We broke in on the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses” in 1872.  And that leads us to the question of names.

EVOLUTION OF A NAME

No modern movement, in its efforts to establish itself, save perhaps that of the Communists, can rival the Witnesses of Jehovah in the technique of masquerading under ever-changing titles.

Russell began by preaching what he termed the “Millennial Dawn,” and his followers soon became known as “Millennial Dawnists.”  Before long, however, Russell had adopted the title, “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society.”  In 1896 this was changed to “The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.”  In 1909 he thought the “People’s Pulpit Association” sounded better, the headquarters of which he established at Brooklyn, New York.  In 1909 he resumed the title “Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.”  In 1914 the work was being carried on as the “International Bible Students’ Association.”

The same tactics were adopted in the publishing of literature.  In 1919 a magazine, “The Golden Age,” appeared.  In 1937 this same magazine was appearing as “Consolation.”  In 1946 its name was changed to “Awake.”  These constant changes compelled those who had refuted the movement under one name to begin all over again; and whilst they were catching up with current fashions, the Russellites were enabled to gain enough recruits to get firmly established.

At last came their present and apparently permanent name.  In 1931 Judge Rutherford decided that henceforth the “Millennial Dawnists” would be known as the “Witnesses of Jehovah.”

Nathan Knorr now tells us that “Jehovah God is the Founder and Organizer of the Witnesses on this earth,” and that He Himself indicated this as “the appropriate designation of His earthly ministers.”  Surely it is strange that Russell himself, the founder of the movement, had no notion of that!” For Russell died in 1916, fifteen years before this discovery was made.  And whence came the discovery?  In 1931, Judge Rutherford came across the text in Isaiah 43:10, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.”

That Isaiah the prophet had the Russellites in mind over 700 years before Christ is an absurd supposition for which not an atom of proof exists.  Anticipating that difficulty, Nathan Knorr protests, “We have not arbitrarily assumed this God-given name.”  Why not?  “Well, we are witnessing, aren’t we!”  is his reply.  “What we are doing proves that the name is applicable to us.”  But to what are these people witnessing?  Certainly not to the truth revealed by God, as we shall see.  If merely witnessing, no matter to what one witnesses, makes one a messenger of God, then Communists, who are witnesses par excellence with their world-wide propaganda on behalf of Marxian Socialism, have more right than the Russellites to pretend to a divine commission.  But Nathan Knorr just by-passes these difficulties.  “God,” he writes, “has always had His witnesses.  Abel first; then a long line through from Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah to John the Baptist.  Taking pre-eminence over all is Christ ‘the faithful and true Witness,’ Who designated others.  “Ye shall be witnesses to Me unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)  Jehovah’s Witnesses are merely the last of this long line of God’s earthly servants.”

There is, of course, no proof whatever that the Witnesses of Jehovah have any connection with the previous witnesses mentioned.  Moreover, their doctrines are a flagrant contradiction of the teachings of those previous witnesses.

CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL

Charles Taze Russell was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1852, the son of a draper who later established his business in Allegheny.  Charles became an earnest worker in the local Congregational Church, but was soon obsessed with an overwhelming horror of hell and the gloomy prospects of the Calvinist theology of that time held out the mass of humanity.  Charles went about chalking up in all kinds of places warnings of hell for unbelievers; and in 1869, at the age of 17, tried to convert an atheist whom he happened to meet.  But the atheist destroyed Russell’s own faith, and he became an infidel also.  Never again would he believe in hell!

Russell, however, although he had given up attending church, could not leave his Bible alone, and soon he discovered that the could believe in the Bible without believing in hell –  for the simple reason, he says, that the Bible does not teach the existence of hell at all.

At the age of 20 he began preaching this “good news,” and with “no hell” as a most attractive plank in his platform, soon gained followers.  He sold the draper’s business he had inherited from his father, and in 1878 assumed the title of “Pastor Russell,” founding a new religion of his own.

He became a prolific writer, at first borrowing his ideas from the works of J. H. Paton, of Michigan, USA, published under the title of “Day Dawn”.  Russell proclaimed these ideas as his own divinely-inspired doctrines, merely substituting the title “Millennial Dawn” for “Day Dawn” to distinguish his system from Paton’s.  Later he changed to the less recognizable Studies in the Scriptures.

Russell claimed to have written more explanatory books on the Bible than the combined writings of Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, and Martin Luther, whom he said to have been the six great messengers of the Church preceding himself.  He began, as did the founders of so many other Adventist sects, with the idea that the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment were near at hand; and then ranged over the whole of Sacred Scripture, claiming an infallibility far beyond that claimed by any Pope, as an interpreter of God’s revelation.  His followers accepted him as the “Seventh Messenger” or “Angel” referred to in Ezekiel 9, and held that he would rank next after St. Paul in the “gallery of fame” as an exponent of the Gospel of Christ, the Great Master.

Yet, what kind of a man was this Charles Taze Russell?  He was certainly an expert at making money, whether in the drapery business until he sold it, or by investments in mines and real estate, or by the selling of his books, and of “miracle wheat.”  Unfortunately, he was legally compelled to restore to the purchases the money he had obtained for his miracle wheat, on the score that it had been dishonestly extracted from them.  But honesty was not Pastor Russell’s predominant virtue.  Under oath in court at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1913, he declared in support of his claims to be an expert Scripture scholar that he knew Greek.  Handed a Greek New Testament, he was forced to admit that he did not know even the Greek alphabet; and that he knew nothing of Hebrew or of Latin, despite his pretensions to a knowledge of those languages also.  Not to know such languages is no crime, of course.  But to make lying pretensions to a knowledge of them is scarcely in keeping with claims to be a prophet of God; whilst to do so under oath is the still worse sin of perjury.

Not less unbecoming in this self-styled prophet was the fact that his wife divorced him in 1897 on charges of adultery with two different women, a stenographer and a housemaid; and that the judge flayed him, after granting the divorce, for his general ill-treatment of his wife.  To avoid payment of the alimony ordered by the court, Russell promptly transferred his property, worth over $240,000, to the “Watch Tower Bible” and “Tract Society.”

Russell died on October 31, 1916, in a Santa Fe train near Pampa, TX on his way to Kansas City; and he is now seldom mentioned by the Witnesses of Jehovah.  This man, once held by his followers to rank next after St. Paul in the “gallery of fame,” has been practically forgotten by the later generation dominated by his successor.

JUDGE J.F. RUTHERFORD

At the time of Russell’s death there was a man named Joseph Franklin Rutherford serving a prison sentence in Atlanta on a charge of sedition during the first world war then raging.” This man, on his release from prison, took over control of the Russellite organization.

Rutherford was born in 1869, and became a lawyer in 1892.  Chosen as attorney for the organization, he was shrewd enough to see its possibilities, and threw in his lot with it.  As president, he wished to be known by the impressive title of “Judge Rutherford,” though he was never officially appointed as a judge.  His forceful personality set the movement definitely on its feet.  He poured out unending books and pamphlets to keep the publishing business going, teaching new doctrines of which Russell had never heard and often quite opposed to what Russell himself had taught.  It was he, as we have seen, who devised in 1931 the new title “Witnesses of Jehovah.”  The prominence he gave to the slogan, “Millions now living will never die,” brought crowds flocking to hear him wherever he was billed to speak.  But, alas, he was not one of the millions fated not to die.

On January 8, 1942, Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford bade goodbye to this world in the palatial villa he had built at San Diego, CA, as an official residence pending the return of the Lord to judge the living and the dead.

NATHAN HOMER KNORR

On Rutherford’s death, Nathan Homer Knorr was elected as president of the Watch Tower Organization.  Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1905, he was converted to the Russellites at the age of 16 through reading some Watch Tower publications.  In 1923, aged 18, he became a full-time preacher on Sundays, working as a packer and shipper at the Brooklyn headquarters on week-days and devoting his evenings to the study of the Bible as interpreted by Russell and Rutherford.  In 1932 he became general manager of the Brooklyn publishing offices; in 1934 was elected to the Board of Directors; and in 1942 was chosen as successor of Judge Rutherford, in whose place he still reigns supreme.

“THE NEW CHRISTIANITY”

The Witnesses of Jehovah conceive it to be their first duty to denounce all other religious bodies.  Rutherford declared that “religion was introduced into the world by the Devil.”  “For more than three years,” he declaimed, “Jesus continued to proclaim the truth and to warn the people against the practice of religion.”  “For religion,” declared Rutherford, “dishonors and reproaches the name of Jehovah God, whilst Christianity honors and vindicates the name of Almighty God.  This is why true Christians are always persecuted by religionists.”

It is clear from this that Rutherford uses the word religion in a sense all his own.  Asked to define it on one occasion, he said, “Religion is any form of worship practiced by creatures in recognition of some real or supposed ‘higher power,’ and which practice finds support or authority only in the teaching handed down by tradition.”  That the doctrines of Russell and Rutherford are but the teachings of men, to be handed down amongst the Witnesses of Jehovah by tradition does not seem to have occurred to him!

Asked to define Christianity he replies, “Christianity means the worship of Almighty God in spirit and in truth, in accord with the commands of God and teachings of Jesus Christ.  None other are Christians.  There is no such thing as “Christian religion,” because religion and Christianity are exactly opposite and diametrically opposed one to the other.”  Which, of course, is absurd.

Christianity is religion, and is the true religion as opposed to all false religions –  including that of the Witnesses of Jehovah, as will be seen in the course of this document.

HATRED OF OTHER CHURCHES

One of the main duties of the Witnesses of Jehovah seems to be to pour out a torrent of abuse against all Christian Churches, particularly against the Catholic Church.  This, of course, is not a new trick.  Every would-be founder of a new religion has had to commence by denouncing all previous religions, else how justify his new departure at all?  In 1860, just 12 years before Russell thought of it, the Seventh Day Adventists had declared that all Churches except that of the Seventh Day Adventists have been deceived by Satan through the agency of the Papacy into the observance of Sunday.  All of them constitute “Babylon,” and are rejected by God. But this is particularly true of the Catholic Church, presided over by “Antichrist” or the “Beast” in the person of the Pope.

Following this same line, Russell had said that, in 1878, God had rejected all existing Churches, constituting the Russellites as His only spokesmen thenceforward.  But Rutherford did not like the implied admission that the Churches were all right till Russell appeared on the scene.  He declared that, after the resurrection of Christ, the Devil at once set to work and built a great empire, the Papacy.  Later, the Devil inspired the creation of various Protestant Churches –  all of them, including even the Seventh Day Adventists.  All priests and all Protestant clergymen are of the Devil, said Rutherford.  They are enemies of God, and are simply “Antichrist.”  Nathan Knorr tells us that “by 1881 growing differences in basic beliefs had created an immense chasm between the Witnesses and the orthodox Churches.”  The “growing” differences were due to the Russellites inventing new and unheard-of doctrines manufactured by themselves during the period from 1878 to 1881.

If, however, all Churches are to branded as evil, what of the Witnesses themselves?  They meet this difficulty by denying that they are a “Church” or a “Denomination.”  They say they can find no justification for a “Church” or a “Hierarchy” of any kind in the Bible.  That will impress nobody who has any real knowledge and understanding of the contents of the Bible.  For much is there which the Witnesses of Jehovah say they cannot find, whilst much that they claim to find there is not there at all.  But let us see what they have to say of themselves.

They claim to be but the precursors sent by God to warn men of a “Theocratic Kingdom” at present in the making.  And they alone, of all men in this world, belong to that Theocratic Kingdom.

CIVIC DISLOYALTY

Insisting that they owe their sole loyalty to this Theocratic Kingdom, Witnesses of Jehovah refuse the duties of earthly citizenship.  The world, they say, is divided into tow opposed groups, that of the “Theocratic Kingdom,” and that of “Satan’s Organization.”  “Satan’s Organization” includes all Churches and Governments.  And just as amongst the Churches the Papacy is the “Beast” par excellence, so amongst the nations are America and Great Britain.

“In the formation of the Hague World Court of the League of Nations,” wrote Judge Rutherford, “Great Britain and America took the lead, and this is proof that the Anglo-American Empire is the two-horned beast.”  (Light, Vol. II, p. 98)  The “British Israelites” won’t like that, for they claim to have proved from the Bible that Britain and America form between them the chosen people of God!  But we can leave the British Israelites and the Witnesses of Jehovah to settle that matter between themselves.

In the meantime, consistently with their false principles, the Witnesses refuse to salute the flag of any earthly nation, are conscientious objectors to all forms of military service, and say they will fight only for Jehovah and His people –  which means for their own opinions against all who oppose them.

As a consequence of their refusal to fulfill the New Testament admonition, “Be ye subject, therefore, to every human creature for God’s sake; whether to the king as excelling, or to governors sent by him.  Fear God.  Honor the king” (1st Peter 2:13-17), many Witnesses of Jehovah have been fined or jailed, whilst in Australia and New Zealand during 1940 their organization was declared illegal.  The New Zealand Attorney-General said at the time that they were devoting themselves to “vilification of religion, of their fellow-citizens, of the State and of the Government.”

PERSECUTION COMPLEX

The Witnesses complain that they are persecuted for their religious beliefs, quite inconsistently with their denial that their system constitutes a religion.  But in any case their complaint is unjustified.  Small sects get into trouble only when their practices transgress common decency.  If the Witnesses are constantly running afoul of their communities, it is because they themselves make vile and insulting onslaughts on the religion of others, and delight in utterances of the most outrageous civic disloyalty.

“For conscientious cussedness on the grand scale,” wrote America’s Saturday Evening Post, when dealing with this subject, “no other aggregation of Americans is a match for Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Defiance of what others cherish is their daily meat.  They hate all religions –  and say so from the house-tops.  They hate all Governments with an enthusiasm that is equally unconcealed . . . . For being generally offensive they have been getting their heads cracked, their meetings broken up, their meeting-houses pillaged and themselves thrown in jail.

Nathan Knorr argues that the persistence of the Witnesses in spite of severest persecution, mobbings, beatings, tar and feather outrages, imprisonment and even death, is nothing less than miraculous and a sure proof of their divine mission.  That the fanaticism and obstinacy by which he himself would explain the reckless zeal of Mahomet’s followers could apply to the Witnesses themselves does not seem to have occurred to him.  Certainly the same inducements have been held out to them, a deadly fear of a greater evil happening to them should they quail before lesser fears, and magnificent promises of temporal rewards should they die in the cause of the prophets Russell and Rutherford!

A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION

Strangely at variance with their denunciation of all “organized religion,” “Churches,” “hierarchies” and “clergy,” is their own formation of a highly organized and hierarchal religious society by the Witnesses of Jehovah!

Nathan Knorr, in his official contribution to “Religion in the Twentieth Century”, begins the exposition of his system by asserting that no man is leader of Jehovah’s Witnesses, since “Jehovah God has appointed Christ Jesus as their Leader and commander.”  But he declares that Christ directs affairs through a “visible organization” with headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

The visible head on earth of this visible organization is Nathan Knorr himself.  He is surrounded by a Board of Directors, as the Pope is surrounded by a College of Cardinals.  Throughout the world there are local congregations called “Companies,” which meet in “Kingdom Halls.”  But each “Company” has “organizational servants” to oversee all activities.  Full time field-workers, aided financially by the Society, are called “Pioneers,” and there are over 6500 of these.  Every active Witness of Jehovah, however, is regarded as “a minister ordained and commissioned by God, not by man,” and must go from house to house selling books in the territory assigned to him by his superior officers.

But if all are ordained, consecrated and commissioned by God, what is this but a hierarchy or an organized sacred body of men with a divinely-given and graded authority?  And how can Witnesses of Jehovah pour scorn on religion and on the clergy of other Churches, yet claim exemption from military service on the plea that they are all “ministers of religion,” as they do?  As for “organized religion,” no Church has a more concentrated government than they.  The Year Book for 1940, page 47, lays down the law:

“Every thirty days each and every branch office in operation on the earth . . . makes a report in writing to the president of the Society, setting forth in detail the work accomplished during the month.  At the end of the fiscal year all branch office . . . will submit to the president in writing a report covering the activities of the Society during the year.

BIG BUSINESS

Mention of the “fiscal year” leads to a consideration of the organization’s business activities.

The attack on “organized religion” comes badly from one of the most highly organized religious societies in the world.  In the same way, never was there such a religious racket as that of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which declares all other Churches to be “rackets,” engaged in “big business.”

Pastor Russell founded that Society as a worldwide publishing and distributing agency for his own writings; and Judge Rutherford kept it going for the same purpose.  It has become a great money-making concern.  The publishing house at Brooklyn pours out an amazing stream of books, pamphlets and periodicals.  Since World War I, they have distributed more than 485 millions of these in over 80 different languages.

Judge Rutherford said that these books and pamphlets are sold at “a little more than cost price,” and that the “negligible profits” go to the International Bible Students’ Association.  At an average of a penny profit per sale, over two million pounds would have been raked in.  As the average profit would be fourpence or even perhaps sixpence, 10 million pounds profit over the period mentioned would be nearer the mark.  Wisely, the Year Book says that no financial statements are published, as enemies would use them “to hinder the work of the Society.”

One thing is certain.  Despite its vast income, the Society devotes none of its resources to any public works of charity.  Challenged at the American Radio Commission’s inquiry, Secretary Goux, of the Russellites, admitted that their New York property alone was worth over a million dollars, and that he could not say how much the general holdings of the Corporation were worth.  When Mr. Sirovich, assisting the Commission, asked, “Outside of preaching, have you done anything for the poor devils who find themselves economically deprived of a living, and in starvation and hunger, or penury and want?  Have you taken any of that money to help them?”  Goux replied, “That is not the purpose of this activity.  That is not the purpose of this Association.  The commission entrusted to Jehovah’s Witnesses is to bear testimony among the people.

Bearing this testimony, which means distributing Rutherford’s booklets, are 22,304 travelling salesmen called “Publishers,” going from house to house in their assigned districts.  These people, for the most part, work for nothing, being engaged during the week in ordinary secular employment and devoting all their free time to “field service.”  Nathan Knorr explains, “Sincere persons, converted by literature, engage in the work of distribution. 

New converts, on becoming active workers, are given a card of identification to show they are recognized as “ministers of God.”  It’s a psychological phenomenon that so many credulous people can be so duped and conditioned into becoming voluntary agents in such an enterprise.  But nothing succeeds like success.  In 1919, at Cedar Point, Ohio, USA, 8000 Witnesses met in Convention and “girded themselves for publishing work.”  At the same place, 1921, 20,000 Witnesses acclaimed the slogan, “Advertise, Advertise, Advertise the King and the Kingdom.”  In more prosaic words that meant, “Propagate Rutherford’s teachings and sell his books.”  In 1946, at Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 80,000 Witnesses were filled with similar enthusiasm.

In all this, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society never stands to lose.  Voluntary distributors pay for the books they receive; and if they give them away, do so at their own expense.  Many such distributors return, not only the full price of the books, but additional donations from their own earnings in their secular jobs.

A further technical factor contributing to wide sales is that, as the books are offered for a “donation,” and not “sold,” no hawker’s license is necessary, sales are not taxable, and business may be done on Sundays.  It has all been very shrewdly devised.

Of course people have first to be converted to the new religion before they will work for it with such devotedness; and the religion to which they have been converted we must now examine more closely.

“BIBLE-CHRISTIANS”

The Witnesses of Jehovah claim to be “Bible-Christians.”  Nathan Knorr tells us that “the Bible is God’s inspired Word, handed down for those now living in the last days.”  How he knows it to be God’s Word, who handed it down, and why it is for those now living in the “last days” any more than for those who lived in previous ages, are subjects he prefers not to discuss.  All he says is that Charles Taze Russell found “no Christian denomination teaching what the Bible contains,” and therefore “began a thorough study of the Bible, particularly concerning Christ’s Second Coming and Millennial Reign.”

Unfortunately, Pastor Russell, inspired by God if we can believe his first followers, does not seem to have been very successful.  After his death in 1916, Judge Rutherford took over and promptly began to teach doctrines very different from those of Russell.  Internal dissension in the movement followed.  But, writes Nathan Knorr, “Rutherford and the Directors were overwhelmingly supported. The beaten and disgruntled opposition force withdrew and set up an independent organization,” splitting up “into many little groups of no consequence.”

Judge Rutherford, then, remains the supreme prophet of the movement, and his interpretations of the Bible have become the Witness dogmas.  Whilst the Witnesses say that they rely on what the Bible says, they rely on what Judge Rutherford tells them it says.  To the Broadcasting Commission of 1934 Secretary Goux said, on behalf of the organization, that Rutherford’s explanations of the Bible are not human opinions, but inspired by God.  Papal claims to infallibility are indeed mild in comparison with that!

In his explanations of the Bible, Rutherford followed no accepted principles of interpretation, whilst of critical scholarship he knew absolutely nothing.  To support his theories he took any text he pleased, almost at random, and made it mean whatever he wished!

Still, his disciples insist that they are “Bible-Christians.”  They say that, whilst they do not believe in the “Christian Religion,” they do believe in “Christianity.”  They have a way of speaking all their own, which is very difficult to follow; but it will be enough to show that their system contradicts almost every basic Christian teaching.

“JEHOVAH GOD”

One of the first peculiarities met with in this new religion is the strange use of the expression “Jehovah God.”  Nathan Knorr complains that “the masses of Christendom do not even appreciate the fact that “Jehovah” is God’s name.”

But God certainly has not got a name to distinguish Him from other “gods,” as Nathan Knorr himself is distinguished by his first name from others with the same surname!  Nor is even the word “Jehovah” truly Biblical.  The original authors of the Sacred Book knew nothing of it.  They wrote in Hebrew the word Yahweh, which meant literally He who is.  Yahweh, therefore, was an alternative name for God, not a kind of “Christian name” to identify God from among other divinities. “Jehovah God” is an expression found nowhere in the Bible, and is a combination of words grotesque in the extreme.

Again, Judge Rutherford tells us in his book, “Reconciliation,” that the “constellation of the seven stars forming the Pleiades is the place of the eternal throne of God –  the dwelling place of Jehovah.”  What kind of a God is Rutherford’s who dwells on a star?  And how can the Pleiades, themselves not eternal, constitute the eternal throne?

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity Rutherford categorically denies.  “Never was there a more deceptive doctrine advanced” he writes, “than that of the Trinity.  It could have originated only in one mind, and that the mind of Satan the Devil.” “Reconciliation,” (p. 101).  That Christ Himself commissioned His followers to “baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” carries no weight with Rutherford and his disciples.  They have abandoned Christianity for Unitarianism.  Christ for them is not the Eternal Son of God, nor is the Holy Spirit a Divine Person.  Rutherford says that the Holy Spirit is any power or influence exercised by God.  But Christ spoke of the Holy Spirit as Personal. “But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, He said, “whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things.” (John 14:26)

But let us look al little more closely at Rutherford’s doctrine about Christ.

CHRIST

One of the most vital questions in the Gospels is, “What think you of Christ?  Whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42)  Christians have ever replied to that with the unhesitating proclamation of faith, “Son of the Living God.” But not so the Witnesses of Jehovah.

These Witnesses agree that Christ existed before He was born into this world, but say that He was himself only a creature –  the first creature made by God and used as an instrument for the creation of all else.  Russell tells us that he was “Michael the Archangel”!  When, millennia after his creation, this creature became man, his nature was completely changed from angelic and spiritual to material and human.  “In obedience to God, he gave up his spirit-being and was born of Mary as a wholly-human being.”  Apparently that was the end of Michael the Archangel, a fact St. John unfortunately forgot when writing his Apocalypse, for there he has Michael still existing side by side with the Christ into whom Russell declared him to have been transformed!

But let us go on.  When Christ died on the Cross, according to the Witnesses, he was merely a man, and his death was the end of him; completely and absolutely the end.  But a “spirit-being” emerged from the tomb to become “a” god, not “the” God; which apparently was better than being merely Michael the Archangel who had existed in the first place.

This doctrine that Christ was three successive and independent beings: Michael the Archangel, the man Jesus, and the semi-divine king of the new world, is certainly not the Christian doctrine, whatever else it may be.  Most intelligent people will rightly estimate it as fantastic nonsense.

And what becomes of the basic fact in the Christian religion –  the resurrection of Christ?  “If Christ be not risen,” says St. Paul, “then is your faith in vain.” (1st Corinthians 15:17)  The Witnesses of Jehovah deny that he is risen.  “The man Christ,” they say, “is dead forever.”  “The Person who died,” Russell tells us, “remained dead, and he will never be seen again in his human nature.”  What became of his body?  Russell says that no one knows.  He suggests that possibly it was dissolved into gases, or super-naturally removed by God to be preserved until He chooses to produce it as a grand memorial or trophy of Christ’s work.  But it will be only a material corpse.

But we are told not to worry.  If Christ is not risen in the long-accepted Christian sense of the word, he was raised a “spirit-being,” receiving immortality and divinity as a gift from God.  It is all very baffling.  If the “person who died remained dead,” who was the person receiving immortality and divinity?  If God created a new being to enjoy those privileges, then that new being wasn’t Christ but somebody else!  Yet Russell goes on to say that Christ, despite his remaining dead, returned to his disciples after the resurrection in separate “body-appearances” specially created for each occasion!

At the ascension, Russell tells us that Jesus, no longer human, was exalted as a “spirit-being” to the divine nature; and that he remains an invisible spirit, having no longer any connection with our human nature.  But if “the person who died remained dead,” Jesus is not merely no longer human –  he is no longer in existence!  Russell may be able to think in such queer ways, but he has no right to pretend that he is giving to his followers anything like the genuine New Testament doctrine.

“THE SECOND COMING”

Let us turn now to what is really the starting-point of the Russellite system.  It is not without significance that it begins at the end and works backways from that, instead of attempting to follow divine revelation in the order in which God gave it.  For Russell, as we have seen, began by concentrating on Christ’s Second Coming and His “Millennial Reign.”  A theory having been decided upon in that regard, all else had to be distorted to fit in with it.

Russell took over from the Adventists the idea that the end of the world was very near at hand.  By a mysterious process of mathematical calculation from the prophecies, he “discovered” that the Second Coming of Christ actually took place in 1874.  If people had not the slightest idea of this, it was because they had been led astray by Acts 1:11: “This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven shall so come, as you have seen Him going.” Russell says that the Apostles did not see Him going, for He went invisibly as a spirit.  And, in 1874, He returned invisibly as a spirit.  But not yet to this earth.  He returned only to the “upper air.”  In 1878, Russell further discovered, the apostles and other members of the “little flock,” a favored few, were raised to meet the Lord, and they are hovering about with Him also in the “upper air.”

In 1914, because that was 2520 years after the defeat of Zedekiah in 606 B.C., there came the “end of the times of the Gentiles.”  In that year, we are told, Satan began to wage a ferocious war against Christ and the saints in the “upper air,” and simultaneously “nation rose against nation” on earth in the first world-war.

Russell firmly believed that 1914 would mean the great final battle of Armageddon, the end of the world as we know it, the descent of Christ from the “upper air,” and His enthronement as King on earth for a Millennium –  after which thousand years the Final Judgment would take place.

When that did not happen, the Witnesses of Jehovah, undismayed by failure, moved the event up several times to 1916, 1918, 1924, 1928, etc., until Judge Rutherford hit on the ingenious explanation that the Second Coming (to the “upper air”) took place as Russell had said in 1874. Christ was enthroned as King (in the “upper air”) in 1914; and in that year, juridically at least, the world as we know it came to an end.  In fact, and literally, the final destruction of all earthly kingdoms and Churches in the great final battle of Armageddon has been postponed –  until the Witnesses of Jehovah have completed their work of proclaiming the good news of Christ’s enthronement and of warning all nations of the impending catastrophe!

Here we see again almost the same tactics as those adopted by the Seventh Day Adventists.  William Miller, the Adventist, had calculated that the Second Coming of Christ would occur on 21 March 1843.  When that failed, he said that 21 March 1844 was the correct date.  He had merely made a slight mistake in his calculations.  When that also failed, he moved the date forward to 22 October 1844.  But, alas, nothing happened.  Then there arose an Adventist named Hiram Edson, who had it “divinely revealed” to him that Christ did come on the last date after all, but not by returning to this world.  On that date, He entered a “heavenly sanctuary” to begin investigating the records of all mankind, to find out who were good and who were evil.  Mrs. Ellen G. White, the accepted prophetess of the movement, then discovered that as soon as Christ has finished auditing the books in the “heavenly sanctuary,” He will descend to earth to execute judgment –  and that will take place any moment now!

Rutherford working on the same lines, refuses to say just when God will decide that the Witnesses of Jehovah have completed their witness-work –  but it will be any moment now!  He even went so far as to insist that it would be within the lifetime of his own generation.  Hence his slogan, “Millions now Living will never Die.”

It is of little use to draw the attention of Witnesses of Jehovah to the series of failures in the predictions of their inspired prophets.  When the end of the world did not come on schedule, and Russell died in 1916 instead of living to see it, as he expected, Rutherford offered his followers the consoling thought that, as Ezekiel was dumb for a year, five month and twenty-six days, so a similar period after the dumbness of Russell in death might elapse before the end.  Twenty-six years elapsed, and then Rutherford himself died in 1942, instead of remaining among the millions who would live to see the end.

But petty details like that cannot avail with the Witnesses of Jehovah against the whole magnificent scheme in which all others are to receive a fearful drubbing whilst they themselves are to be preserved from harm and elevated to eternal bliss as co-rulers of the world with Christ!

ARMAGEDDON

The battle of Armageddon, which Witnesses of Jehovah interpret literally with no allowance for apocalyptic symbolism, will begin any moment now, despite its having been unaccountably delayed for nearly forty years.  The trouble is, apparently, that Satan has not yet had sufficient time to increase all the woes to the intense degree predicted by Scripture for the transition period.

However, the signs of the times obviously indicate that the full measure has been practically attained.  Christ, with His hosts, will soon descend from the “upper air,” and in a great cataclysms the whole world will be cleansed of all wickedness and evil-doers, safety from which will be found only in God’s organization –  that of the Witnesses of Jehovah.  And what then?

THE MILLENNIUM

In the Book of the Revelation (Apocalypse) 20:6, St. John speaks of Christ reigning for “a thousand years.”  The true interpretation of that expression, in keeping with the whole character of the Book, must be symbolically and not literal or numerical.  It means simply “for a long period,” and refers to the whole interval between the birth of Christ into this world and His Second Coming to judge the living and the dead.

Russell and Rutherford, however, won’t have that.  They take the Millennium literally, and declare that the Second Coming of Christ will precede it.  When Christ comes again, it will be reign for exactly a thousand years on this earth; and then will come the Final Judgment.  There is a slight confusion as to dates.  Some Witnesses say that since Christ came again in 1874, the Final Judgment will be in the year 2874; but other say no, and that the period will be from 1914 till 2914.

Russell apparently held that there are to be seven millennia.  The year 1874, according to him, was the exact 6000th year from Adam’s creation.  That geologists have discovered human remains belonging to the Neolithic and Paleolithic Ages, dating back to at least 20,000 years ago, was unknown to him, and would not have worried him had he known of it.  For he allowed no evidence of any kind to interfere with his theories.  There had to be six millennia to correspond with the six “working-days” of creation; and there had to be a seventh as the “Sabbath” of millennia, and the last of them.

Since the Lord has already returned –  invisibly –  He is even now ruling the world in the “Millennial Reign,” and using the Witnesses to publish the fact.  The “Theocratic Kingdom” has arrived.  But the fullness of Christ’s reign cannot come until after Armageddon, the battle between Christ and His enemies, which has been so unaccountably delayed.

After Armageddon, according to Russell, all the dead who have ever lived will be raised to life and be given a second probationary period under much more favorable conditions, with Satan bound and a continual evangelistic campaign to help them to make the right choice.

Even on the basis of 6000 years of history wrongly held by Russell, this would mean over 250 million millions of people on this earth simultaneously, covering it so thickly that not all would be able to sit down together!  Russell’s successors, having had their attention drawn to the absurdity of this, now say that not all who have ever lived will return, but only those “faithful ones” who were not so incorrigibly wicked as to forfeit any claim to a second chance.  The latter will just remain in their state of annihilation.

DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY

The doctrine of annihilation at death leads to the problem of the nature of the human soul.  According to Russell and his followers, man has not “got” a soul; he “is” a soul.  And his soul is his body.  When a man’s body dies, his soul just ceases to be.  There is no spiritual soul, immortal of its very nature.  “Death,” says Russell, “means total annihilation.  There are no souls anywhere awaiting a resurrection.  No human being who has ever lived and died exists any longer.

Russell was not impressed by any of the references in Scripture to the living reality of the Patriarchs and Prophets after death, such as Abraham, Moses, Elias, Samuel and others.  When confronted with the words of Christ to the dying thief, “Amen, I say to thee –  this day thou shalt be with me in paradise,” he said that the proper Greek reading of the text is, “Amen, I say to thee this day –  thou shalt be with me in paradise.” With all the Greek scholars of the world against him, this man who did not know even the Greek alphabet, tells us that the Greek meant that!

But on Russell’s own principles, how can he hold that there will ever be a resurrection of anybody?  There’s nobody to resurrect!  Resurrection does not mean extinction and re-creation.  Completely non-existent beings cannot receive bodies as before.  If the dead are completely out of existence, any newly existent beings will be completely different beings, and not those who previously lived at all!

Yet Nathan Knorr, instead of saying, “Since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in resurrection, they believe man possess an immortal soul,” inconsequently says just the opposite.  He argues that precisely because they believe in resurrection, they do not believe man possess an immortal soul!  However, though we won’t exist to come back, according to the doctrines of the Witnesses of Jehovah, we are all going to come back to have our second chance during the Millennium –  unless, of course, we are among the “millions now living who will never die.”

THE SECOND CHANCE

During the “Millennium,” then, in the “Theocratic Kingdom,” men will again be offered eternal life, on the terms of the New Covenant.  This life is not our only probation.  Despite the fact that nowhere in the Bible is hope held out for any further probation after death; despite the express teaching of Scripture that “it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27); despite the evident finality of Our Lord’s warning, “This night thy soul will be required of thee” (Luke 12:20), the Witnesses tell us that we are to have our lives all over again, and that nothing that took place in this life is going to count.  All will depend on the way we behave under the much better millennial conditions.

As the “Millennium” has already commenced, one would think we should be living under those conditions now!  But things haven’t been running to timetable.  However, as soon as the Witnesses of Jehovah have sufficiently witnessed, Armageddon will be upon us, the resurrection of the dead will take place, and all men will be able to try again.

JUDGMENT

At the end of the Millennium, in 2874 or 2914, will come the Final Judgment.  God will then establish His new world of righteousness, and completely vindicate His name.  Satan, who has been imprisoned for the thousand years, will be let out to spread evil by crafty means.  All will then be tempted and tested.

Those who survive successfully this final testing will be divided into two classes.

The first class, called the “Consecrated Class,” or the “Overcoming Class,” will be a “little flock,” limited to 144,000, as declared in the Book of Revelation.  These will go as spirit-beings to the upper air, to live and reign with Christ the divine in a kingdom not of this world.  They will have “inherent” life, eternal, and emancipated from the necessity of all food and nourishment.  Needless to say, these will all be Witnesses of Jehovah, though which Witnesses of Jehovah will share this “heavenly glory” with Christ is an anxiety to the more than a million present members of the organization!

The second class will consist of all the rest of the saved.  These will be left in that flesh and blood which cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.  This earth will be their eternal home.  “The righteous rule of the heavenly Kingdom,” writes Nathan Knorr, “will descend earthward and effect the answer to the prayer:  Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”  The saved on earth will constitute the “other sheep” as opposed to the “little flock” in the heavenly places.  They will fulfill God’s plan to extend Edenic conditions earth-wide, and have it inhabited by a righteous race of men and women; and in them will be fulfilled God’s promise of the earth to the meek, to be their inheritance.  These will not have “inherent” life, but will live on earth’s food supply in everlasting peace, free from war, oppression, sickness and death.  And they will increase and multiply and populate the earth.  What will result from a constant multiplication of human beings in this world, with no one ever dying, can only be left to the reader’s imagination!

And what of those who do not survive successfully their final testing?  They will be annihilated, together with the Devil and all his angels.  The Witnesses of Jehovah deny all suffering in another life.  The dead, they say, are non-existent; therefore there is no purgatory.  At the Final Judgment, the willfully wicked will be exterminated; therefore there’s no hell.  When the Bible speaks of hell, according to them, it merely means the grave.  Any hell of eternal punishment is just a myth.

SECRET OF SUCCESS

This brief glance at the inconsistent and almost incoherent system of religion invented by Pastor Russell and amplified and altered in many ways by Judge Rutherford, leaves on wondering how it manages to thrive.  Witnesses of Jehovah will say that the fact of its growth surely argues to its truth.  But other sects with totally different doctrines, yet of similar expansion, would have to be admitted as true on that score.  So we must look elsewhere for an explanation.

Firstly, it must not be overlooked that the Witnesses of Jehovah make their appeal chiefly to professing Christians who have drifted from their Churches, and who know little or nothing of Christian doctrine.  When these people hear the Churches they have forsaken denounced, they find quite a consolation in the thought that, not they themselves, but the “Churches” are to blame for their neglect of religion.  Their lingering attachment to a vague Christian sentiment then makes then listen sympathetically to claims by agents of the “International Bible Students’ Association” that what is needed is a return to Bible Christianity.  And they know so little of their religion that they fail to realize how opposed to the teachings of Christ is the mockery of the Bible put before them by the Witnesses in the name of “truth.”

Secondly, among such lapsed Christians, besides ignorance, credulity and superstition are very prevalent.  Figures from the Department of Justice in USA indicate that less than one per cent of the Witnesses of Jehovah have had a secondary education, whilst fifteen per cent have had less than a normal primary education.  Credulity and superstition have moved them to accept on the authority of Charles Taze Russell and Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford what has been put before them.

Thirdly, for this they were disposed by world conditions, their own uneasy conscience, and their innate pride.  One of the greatest assets of the Witnesses of Jehovah has been the failure of scientific progress to produce Utopia.  The world’s poverty and insecurity have made many of the poorer classes clutch at the idea of the early return of Christ, with an ensuing peace and security.  Their own uneasy conscience over the neglect of their duties to God has been consoled by the new doctrine that there is no hell.  Ingersoll, it is true, had denounced the idea of hell.  But he was an infidel, and could scarcely be trusted.  Yet here were teachers from God assuring them in the name of religion that hell does not exist.  Such an assurance could not fail to appeal to such people.

Meantime, the constant repetition of extravagant threats about the fearful fate soon to overtake Christendom, to escape which one had only to become a Witness of Jehovah and devote oneself to selling booklets, had an additional effect.  It is a fact that the atom-bomb scare in America has given a new boost to the Witnesses of Jehovah, many people imagining the end of the world and Armageddon to be really at hand.

Nor must we overlook the subtle appeal to pride and covetousness; the pride of knowing, like the Gnostics of old, esoteric and occult doctrines which the greatest of Christian theologians have failed to grasp; the pride of becoming masters of the world, triumphing like a kind of religious proletariat over the religious capitalists who remained faithful to the spiritual treasures they themselves have forsaken.

These and many other reasons account for conversion to the Witnesses of Jehovah.  Truth certainly does not.

ESTIMATE

What must be our estimate, then, of this new religion?  Can we regard it as other than an absurd, false, blasphemous and extremely dangerous travesty of Christianity?

The absurdity of the whole sorry scheme, so utterly unworthy of an infinitely wise Creator, is surely self-evident.  The predications of Russell and Rutherford, the self-appointed prophets of the movement, have been proved false over and over again, compelling them to have recourse to subterfuge after subterfuge.  For the Creeds of Christendom, embodying the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), we are given a new creed, one of deadly novelties and fallacies.  The doctrines of the Holy Trinity, of the Divinity of Christ, of the Personality of the Holy Spirit, of the bodily resurrection of Christ, and of the Church as established by Him are all blatantly denied.  The New Testament teaching about the Eucharist and the Sacraments is ignored as if it did not so much as exist.  The immortality of the human soul is rejected.

The positive doctrines of this freak religion –  for thus only can it be rightly described –  are ridiculous in the extreme.  What reasonable person could believe that Christ, though He did not rise from the dead, was supplanted by some newly created “spirit-being” who as “a” god, but not “the” God, and who returned to the “upper air” of this world, there to be enthroned as King, in 1874!  Who could believe that there He –  or this substitute being –  is waiting until the Witnesses have witnessed sufficiently to His plans, when he will descend for the great final battle of Armageddon and for a millennial reign of a thousand years on this earth, after which He will turn this earth into an eternal, material paradise!

Spiritually, the whole system is utterly bankrupt.  One will read through the whole flood of literature published by this Russell-Rutherford organization without finding any inculcation of the basic Christian virtues of humility, of repentance of sin, or of charity.  No genuine love of God or of one’s neighbor finds expression there.  There is no emphasis on character-building, on self-conquest, on the necessity of taking up one’s cross and following Christ Our Lord.  The supreme message of this caricature of Christianity is “Read, believe, and sell Russell’s and Rutherford’s books, speak of God as ‘Jehovah’ and of all Churches and Governments as ‘Antichrist’ –  this do, and thou shalt be saved!”

The very doctrine of this system, that people can sin with impunity in this life, cannot but encourage wickedness, immorality and depravity.  “God never punishes, either in this life nor in the next,” declared Russell; despite the fact that the law of retribution is insisted upon all through Sacred Scripture.  However badly people behave in this life, according to the Witnesses of Jehovah, it does not really matter, since our moral choices now have no effect whatever upon our eternal future.  All are annihilated at death, and there’s no purgatory, no hell.  If, as Russell says, all are to be raised again and given a second chance, everything will depend on how we behave then, not on how we behave now.  Witnesses of Jehovah even say that the more wicked a man has been in this life, the more likely he is to make good in the next!  And even if he doesn’t, he will merely be put painlessly out of existence, to experience no future evil consequences whatever of his contemptuous defiance of God.

No one who retains any real respect for Holy Scripture, for God, for Christ, for his fellow-men, for his own human dignity and intelligence, can do anything but reject utterly this counterfeit religion invented by Russell and Rutherford, and so pathetically propagated by their deluded Witnesses of Jehovah.

NIHIL OBSTAT: W. M. Collins, Censor Dioc.

IMPRIMATUR: D. Mannix, Archiepiscopus Melbournensis

Copyright 1974 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.

Originally published by Fathers Rumble and Carty Radio Replies Press, Inc.
St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A.

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Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock

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The Catholic Church Ravaged in the Fourth Century

Saint Athanasius lived in the fourth century during the time of what used to be considered the greatest crisis of faith ever to befall the Catholic Church, the Arian Heresy. (The Arians denied the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ). The vast majority of Churchmen fell into this heresy, so much so that Saint Jerome wrote of the period, “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian”. Athanasius was the Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt for 46 years. He was banned from his diocese at least five times and spent a total of 17 years in exile. He even suffered an unjust excommunication from Pope Liberius (325-366) who was under Arian influence. It is a cold fact of history that Athanasius stood virtually alone against the onslaught of heretical teaching ravaging the Church of his day – begetting the familiar phrase, “Athanasius contra mundum”, that is, “Athanasius against the world”.

The famous convert to the Church, Ven. John Henry Newman, described him as a “principal instrument, after the Apostles, by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world.” Often referred to as the Champion of Orthodoxy, Saint Athanasius was undoubtedly one of the most courageous defenders of the Faith in the entire history of the Church. If anyone can be singled out as a Saint for our times, surely it is Saint Athanasius. The following letter of his could, almost word for word, have been written yesterday.

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”

Other Patristic Testimony To The Abysmal State of the Church at the Time Of The Arian Heresy

A.D. 360: Saint Gregory Nazianzen says about this date: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel (the Church. ed.) by the influence of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interests, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance.

Cappodocia: Saint Basil says about the year 372: “Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in the Faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude, with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven.” Four years after he writes: “Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and assembled in the deserts, – a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snowstorms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part of the wicked Arian leaven.” Again: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”

In our time when impious novelties, liberalism and modernism are ravishing the Church under the pretext of “aggiornamento” (update!), and infidelity to Catholic Tradition is the order of the day, the above statements cannot help but strike the reader as a parallel of our time. As it was then so it is today.

Today we see the loss of faith among many Catholics occasioned by compromises in the Faith, both great and small, which have touched on the very essence of our Faith. Recent surveys and polls show that only 15% of Catholics believe that they have to accept all of the Church’s teachings.

The majority of Church leaders have succumbed to the “spirit of the age”, and faithful Catholics now suffer at the hands of those who should be their protectors.

The Catholic Church survived the Arian crisis, and so it will survive the present one. For our part, it is our duty to remain faithful to the unchangeable teaching and Sacred Tradition of our Holy Catholic Church, and to not compromise our Faith in any way with the present trend of liberalism and modernism sweeping the Catholic Church worldwide.

If the Arian crisis proves anything, if this historical lesson of the fourth century teaches us anything in the twentieth century it is this: Falsehood cannot become truth no matter how many accept it but rather the truth of doctrinal teaching is to be judged by its conformity to Tradition and not by the number or even the authority of those teaching it. It shows to us that a pope can err as a private teacher and so much more the bishops. Another point the Arian crisis brings out is that Catholics true to the traditional faith may have to worship outside the official Churches, their parish churches and even to avoid them as schools of impiety. It proves that Catholics may even have to suffer false denunciation and excommunication for their beliefs as St. Athanasius suffered: today as always we must pray for the Church, the clergy and especially the bishops and our Holy Father the Pope. Only the good Lord knows how long this crisis will last but Our Blessed Mother has given us hope in Her prophecy at Fatima. “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be peace in the world”.

http://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/

God Bless BJS!!

Ecclesiastical Materialism

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Introduction. From the title, one might expect that I would be writing about avarice among the clergy. I am not addressing that at all, however. Recently I received from an old friend, who is a Novus Ordo conservative, a note in which he invited me to come back “to Rome — and the true Church — outside of which there is no salvation.”

His invitation, although made with all good intentions, nevertheless prompted me to write this response. What he means is that I should give up my repudiation of Vatican II and its subsequent reforms, submit to the local bishop, and be somehow “regularized” within the structures of the Novus Ordo.

First response. My first response is the following. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is one true Church of Christ, and only one, which is the Roman Catholic Church. The Novus Ordo teaches that the Church of Christ merely “subsists in” the Catholic Church. (Lumen Gentium)

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that outside of the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation. The Novus Ordo teaches that outside the Roman Catholic Church there is salvation, namely that non-Catholic religions are means of salvation. (Decree on Ecumenism, Catechesi Tradendæ of John Paul II)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns religious liberty. The Novus Ordo teaches religious liberty. (Decree on Religious Liberty)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns the idea that the college of bishops has supreme jurisdiction over the whole Church. The Novus Ordo teaches this condemned doctrine, known as collegiality. (Lumen Gentium)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns adultery and fornication in all cases. The Novus Ordo teaches that these are morally acceptable in certain cases. (Amoris Lætitia)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns as a mortal sin of sacrilege the giving the Holy Eucharist to non- Catholics. The Novus Ordo approves of it. (1983 Code of Canon Law)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns the use of birth control devices as mortally sinful and intrinsically evil. The Novus Ordo permits birth control devices for prostitutes. (Ratzinger, “Benedict XVI,” in a published interview)

What I have responded above is only a smattering of the myriad dogmatic, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary contradictions between the Roman
Catholic Church and what we call the Novus Ordo. We could provide the endless list of heresies and blasphemies of Bergoglio. But these things are well known.

The four marks of the Church. I will add to this first response the four marks of the Church.

(1) The Roman Catholic Church is one in faith, that is, in order to be Catholic all must profess the same dogmatic and moral teachings which are taught by the Roman Catholic Church. The Novus Ordo has no unity of faith, and as we have seen, has no continuity with the Catholic past in any of the essential aspects of the Church’s unity.

(2) The Roman Catholic Church is catholic, that is, universal, since it preaches a single doctrine to the whole world. Since the Novus Ordo lacks unity in doctrine, and lacks continuity with the Church’s past in matters of doctrine, it cannot have the mark of catholicity. For catholicity presupposes unity.

(3) The Roman Catholic Church is holy. The Novus Ordo is unholy, because it condones evil disciplines, preaches condemned doctrines and heresies, leads people into error and sin, and promotes the evil New Mass, promotes abominable ecumenical acts with non-Catholic religions, and condones sacrilegious liturgical practices.

(4) The Roman Catholic Church is apostolic. The Novus Ordo has abandoned apostolic doctrine and discipline, and teaches and does what is contrary to this sacred apostolic deposit.

Come back to what?

My friend’s invitation makes it sound as if the Catholic religion is intact in the institutions he wants me to embrace. It is as if it is the year 1950, and that I have wandered off into schism because of my pride. If this were true, I would return immediately. But there is an elephant in the room.

The elephant is this: The Novus Ordo is innovation, is heresy, is alien to the religion revealed by God and taught by the Roman Catholic Church.

It is as much a break with the past as the heresy of Martin Luther was. What is different, however, between Martin Luther and the Novus Ordo? There is this significant difference: Martin Luther was excommunicated and subsequently founded his own church.

The Novus Ordites have never been excommunicated, and have never founded their own church. This difference is the key to understanding the present problems in the Catholic
Church.

Ecclesiastical materialism. Now I will explain ecclesiastical materialism. The Roman Catholic Church has a visible aspect and an invisible aspect. What is visible is the external profession of faith, the administration of the sacraments, and the visible government. What is invisible is the grace and assistance of the Holy Ghost which infuses the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, the authority to govern, and the indelible character on the soul in Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

The Holy Ghost, furthermore, assists the Church by an invisible influence in its promulgation of doctrine, morals, liturgy, and discipline, in such a way that these things are free from error. It is this invisible assistance which guarantees the infallibility and indefectibility of the Church.

All of these qualities are invisible, but are nonetheless what make the Catholic Church the one, true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation. These invisible qualities have made the Catholic Church for two thousand years the unchanging, permanent, always consistent and coherent institution of divine truth in a sinful, ignorant, and ever-fluctuating world.

Even the administration of the sacraments has an external and internal aspect. The external aspect is the visible rite itself. The internal aspect is the validity of the sacrament, whereby it confers the grace it signifies. It is therefore possible that the external rite be observed and administered, even though, through some internal and invisible defect, the sacrament is not valid.

In our discussion here, we are saying that what is left of the authority of the Church in the Novus Ordo is merely the material or visible aspect of authority, that is, persons designated to receive authority. What is lacking to them is the divine authority, and the divine assistance which necessarily accompanies it. Body and soul. Just as the soul is the life of the body, so it is authority which gives life, so to speak, to the person who is designated to be pope or bishop. It is to say that a mere election or appointment is not sufficient. The authority must come to him from Christ, the Invisible Head of the Church, in order that he be a true pope or a true bishop.

This authority is transferred only on condition that the designated person have the intention of promoting the objective and proper ends of the institution over which he is placed. It is for this reason that the president-elect of the United States does not obtain power in November
when he is merely elected, but in January when he is inaugurated, and only on condition of swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He must swear that he intends to lead the country to its objective and proper ends. Were he to fail to so swear, he would fail to obtain the power, and would remain a president-elect, a president only materially, until such time as the Congress removed the election from him.

What has happened to the Church since 1958.

What we are facing in the Novus Ordo is this: Modernists, by remaining secretive for decades, managed to obtain by the normal and legal process of appointment and designation, a position in the Church to which authority is normally connected. So John XXIII was elected pope in 1958. By a defect, however, the authority, which is invisible and which is given byChrist the Head of the Church, was never transferred to John XXIII and his successors. What was this defect? It is that they intended to pervert the Church, and to lead it in a direction contrary to its nature and purpose given to it by God. In a word, they wanted to
transform the structures and institutions of the Roman Catholic Church into a huge vehicle of their
Modernism. This evil intention is what has blocked the flow of authority from Christ into them. Without this authority they remain non-popes, false popes.

The bishops who have embraced this perversion of Catholicism are also false bishops for the same reason.
That the authority of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Ghost are lacking can be seen from the
Hiroshima effect of Vatican II.

The Novus Ordo religion — essentially Modernism — has wrecked all of the institutions of the Catholic Church. What is left is only a lifeless shell of these institutions. There are the same physical buildings. There are the same institutions of government. There is still a functioning Vatican. There is still a diocesan bishop. There is still a chancery. There are pastors appointed. There are functioning parishes. There are rectors of seminaries, the few that are left.

What we are seeing here, however, is merely a carcass of the Church’s authority. It is something like a dead whale which has washed up on the shore. These institutions, both the buildings and the government, constitute, from a purely material and
visible point a view, a continuity with the past. Internally and invisibly, however, they are full of doctrinal, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary
corruption. The stench of death rises from them, that is, the stench of heresy and all of its effects.

Everything is infected with gangrene: the Mass, the rites of the sacraments, the catechism, doctrine, morals, attitudes. We see the effects of this infection, as well, in the emptying of the seminaries, convents and religious houses of all kinds, in the breathtaking decline of religious belief and practice, especially among the young, in the nauseating and disgusting conduct of the clergy, even to the point of sodomitic orgies in the Vatican, enhanced with both drugs and liquor, which recently took place, and was reported in the major newspapers, e.g., the London Times.

The Novus Ordo popes, consequently, are mere “cadavers” of real popes, inasmuch as they sit in the chair of Peter, wear the uniform of a pope, but have no power from Christ to teach, rule and sanctify in His name.

My second response. My second response, therefore, is that the Novus Ordo conservatives are ecclesiastical materialists. They can see only the continuity of lifeless institutions from pre- to post-Vatican II, and from that they conclude that salvation consists in adhering to these lifeless institutions. They see only the material side of the Church, its visible
side, and turn a blind eye to the absence of the invisibles of the Church, especially the assistance of the Holy Ghost in keeping the Church free from error and defection. The Novus Ordo religion is one big error and defection. The fact that error and defection can be found in it is an infallible sign that the invisible assistance of the Holy Ghost is not with the Modernist “popes” and “bishops.” They have no authority to rule, no matter if they are maintaining the buildings and governmental institutions of the Church.

An analogy. To illustrate my point, I will make an analogy to a hijacked airplane. Imagine a scene in which terrorists, who have come through the ranks of the airline as uniformed, licensed, and authorized pilots, one day show their true colors by announcing that the airplane will be flown into the side of a building. They slit the throats of anyone who tries to
stop them. From the outside, the plane is flying as normal. Inside there is chaos, terror, and horror. The Novus Ordo conservative could be compared to the passenger who would say: “For as long as we are still flying, and the pilots are authorized and uniformed pilots, and the airline logo is still on the plane, there is nothing to fear.”

The sedevacantists are those who have done something to stop the evil pilots, and who have had the common sense to declare that if the pilots intend the ruination of the aircraft and its passengers, they do not have the authority to pilot the plane. These sedevacantists are considered “extreme” and “misled” by the passengers who are consoled — indeed blinded — by the purely external signs of the normal functioning of the plane. These are the Novus Ordo conservatives. A carcass of authority.

The Novus Ordo conservative looks merely at the carcass of authority
and government, which is really the only thing left intact since Vatican II, and from it concludes to the identity of the pre- and post-Vatican II religion. He fails to understand that if the invisible qualities of the Church do not vivify the visible institutions of the Church, then these institutions are dead in the practical order.

The Catholic Church, as the Church founded by Christ and assisted by the Spirit of Truth, always retains these institutions of the papacy and episcopacy and her faithful are always attached to them. Therefore in this present hijacking of these institutions, the Church does not lose her power to teach, to rule, and to sanctify, for these pertain to her divine constitution. Just as the solution to the hijacked airline is to wrest the control of the aircraft from those who would pervert its function and destination, so the solution for the Church is to wrest control of these sacred institutions from the Modernists so that once again the government of the Church may
function normally.

In order to wrest control, however, it is first necessary to identify the hijacker and to proclaim what is common sense: that he who intends the destruction of the aircraft and its passengers does not have the authority to pilot the aircraft. Likewise the Modernist, though sitting in a papal or episcopal throne, does not have the authority to pilot the Church.

The worst thing anyone could do in such a case is to reassure Catholics that because we find these Modernists sitting in the papal throne or episcopal throne, then for that reason they must have the authority to rule the Church. It is as absurd as to say that because the hijacking pilots are seated in the cockpit, they have the authority to pilot the plane and we must obey them.

The Novus Ordo conservative, in remaining loyal to the Modernist “authorities,” stymies and paralyzes
a proper and efficacious reaction to the problem in the Church. He invites everyone to rally to the Modernists, and to spurn and condemn the sedevacantists as schismatics. If the four Novus Ordo cardinals who presented the Dubia to Francis had the courage to declare him a non-pope, for reason of heresy, the Catholic Church would be on the road to recovery. Instead, they were careful to tell Francis that they were not sedevacantists. Cardinal Burke, one of the Dubia cardinals, stated in an interview in December that if Francis were a public heretic, he would no longer be the pope.

Leave Rome? Who has left Rome? It is not to leave Rome, the one true Church, to be faithful to Catholic doctrine, liturgy and discipline. It is not to leave Rome to denounce as Modernism, the worst heresy to assail the Church according to Saint Pius X, the aberrations of Vatican II in doctrine, liturgy, and discipline. It is not to leave Rome to declare that those who deviate from the true faith cannot rule the Catholic Church.

It is to leave Rome, however, to embrace the new religion of Vatican II, and to associate with the authority of Christ those who have devastated, in a matter of fifty-nine years, counting from 1958, the magnificent Catholic Church, built up for centuries by true popes and bishops with the assistance of the Spirit of Truth. For Rome is the Church, and the Church is the Faith.

All of these discussions always revert to a single question: Do the reforms of Vatican II constitute a new religion, different from the Catholic religion? If
they do, then the position of the sedevacantists is correct. For it is impossible that the Church, assisted
by the Holy Ghost, could promulgate to the whole world a false religion. If, on the other hand, they do not constitute a new religion, if indeed there is continuity of true doctrine, liturgy and discipline, then the sedevacantist is wrong and the Novus Ordo conservative is right. So it is pointless to talk about anything else unless this single burning question is answered.

His Excellency Bishop Donald Sandborn Most Holy Trinity Seminary

God Bless BJS!!

​Of those who Continue in Sin, trusting in the Mercy of God 

Taken from the book entitled The Sinner’s Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada 





Besides those who defer their conversion till the hour of death, there are others who persevere in sin, trusting in the mercy of God and the merits of His Passion. We must now disabuse them of this illusion. You say that God’s mercy is great, since He died on the cross for the salvation of sinners. It is indeed great, and a striking proof of its greatness is the fact that He bears with the blasphemy and malice of those who so presume upon the merits of His death as to make His cross, which was intended to destroy the kingdom of evil, a reason for multiplying sin. Had you a thousand lives you would owe them all to Him, yet you rob Him of that one life which you have and for which He died. 
This crime was more bitter to Our Saviour than death itself. For it He reproaches us by the mouth of His prophet, though He does not complain of His sufferings: “The wicked have wrought upon my back; they have extended their iniquity.” (Ps. 128:3). Who taught you to reason that because God was good you could sin with impunity? Such is not the teaching of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, those who listen to His voice reason thus: God is good; therefore, I must serve Him, obey Him, and love Him above all things. God is good; therefore, I will turn to Him with all my heart; I will hope for pardon, notwithstanding the number and enormity of my sins. God is good; therefore, I must be good if I would imitate Him. God is good; therefore, it would be base ingratitude in me to offend Him by sin. Thus, the greater you represent God’s goodness the more heinous are your crimes against Him. Nor will these offenses remain unpunished, for God’s justice, which protects His mercy, cannot permit your sinful abuse of it to remain unavenged. This is not a new pretext; the world has long made use of it. In ancient times it distinguished the false from the true prophets. While the latter announced to the people, in God’s name, the justice with which He would punish their iniquities, the former, speaking in their own name, promised them mercy which was but a false peace and security.
You say God’s mercy is great; but if you presume upon it you show that you have never studied the greatness of His justice. Had you done so you would cry out to the Lord with the psalmist: “Who knoweth the power of thy anger, and for thy fear who can number thy wrath?” (Ps. 89:11-12). But to dissipate your illusion, let me ask you to contemplate this justice in the only way in which we may have any knowledge of it – that is, in its effects here below. Besides the result we are seeking, we shall reap another excellent advantage by exciting in our hearts the fear of God, which, in the opinion of the saints, is the treasure and defence of the soul. Without the fear of God the soul is like a ship without ballast; the winds of human or divine favor may sweep it to destruction. Notwithstanding that she may be richly laden with virtue, she is in continual danger of being wrecked on the rocks of temptation, if she be not stayed by this ballast of the fear of God. Therefore, not only those who have just entered God’s service, but those who have long been of His household, should continue in this salutary fear; the former by reason of their past transgressions, the latter on account of their weakness, which exposes them to danger at every moment. This holy fear is the effect of grace, and is preserved in the soul by frequent meditation.

To aid you in this reflection we shall here propose a few of the practical proofs of the greatness of God’s justice. The first work of God’s justice was the reprobation of the angels. “All the ways of God are mercy and justice” (Cf. Ps. 24:10), says David; but until the fall of the angels, divine justice had not been manifested. It had been shut up in the bosom of God like a sword in the scabbard, like that sword of which Ezechiel speaks with alarm, foretelling the ruin it will cause. (Cf. Ezech. 21). This first sin drew the sword of justice from its scabbard, and terrible was the destruction it wrought. Contemplate its effects; raise your eyes and behold one of the most brilliant beings of God’s house, a resplendent image of the divine beauty, flung with lightning-like rapidity from a glorious throne in Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell, for one thought of pride. (Cf. Lk, 10:18). The prince of heavenly spirits becomes the chief of devils. His beauty and glory are changed into deformity and ignominy. God’s favorite subject is changed into His bitterest enemy, and will continue such for all eternity. With what awe this must have filled the angels, who knew the greatness of his fall! With what astonishment they repeat the words of Isaias: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning”? (Is. 14:12).

Consider also the fall of man, which would have been no less terrible than that of the angels, if it had not been repaired. Behold in it the cause of all the miseries we suffer on earth: original and actual sin, suffering of body and mind, death, and the ruin of numberless souls who have been lost forever. Terrible are the calamities it brought upon us; and even greater would be our misfortunes had not Christ, by His death, bound the power of sin and redeemed us from its slavery. How rigorous, therefore, was the justice of God in thus punishing man’s rebellion; but how great was His goodness in restoring him to His friendship! In addition to the penalties imposed on the human race for the sin of Adam, new and repeated punishments have at different times been inflicted upon mankind for the crimes they have committed. In the time of Noe, the whole world was destroyed by the deluge. (Cf. Gen. 7). Fire and brimstone from Heaven consumed the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Cf. Gen. 19). The earth opened and swallowed alive into Hell Core, Dathan, and Abiron for resisting the authority of Moses. (Cf. Num. 16). Nadab and Abiu, sons of Aaron, were destroyed by a sudden flame from the sanctuary because they offered strange fire in the sacrifice. (Cf. Lev. 10). Neither their priestly character, nor the sanctity of their father, nor the intimacy with God of their uncle, Moses, could obtain for them any remission for their fault. Recall the example of Ananias and Sapphira, struck dead by God for telling a lie. (Cf. Acts 5). 
But the strongest proof of the rigor of God’s justice was the satisfaction required for sin, which was nothing less than the death of His only-begotten Son. Think of this Price of man’s Redemption, and you will begin to realize what sin is and how the justice of God regards it. Think, too, of the eternity of Hell, and judge of the rigor of that justice which inflicts such punishment. This justice terrifies you, but it is no less certain than the mercy in which you trust. Yes, through endless ages, God will look upon the indescribable torments of the damned, but they will excite in Him no compassion; they will not move Him to limit their sufferings or give them any hope of relief. Oh! Mysterious depths of divine justice! Who can reflect upon them and not tremble? Another subject to which I would call your serious attention is the state of the world. Reflect on this, and you will begin to realize the rigors of God’s justice. As an increase in virtue is the effect and reward of virtue, so likewise an increase in sin is the effect and punishment of sin. Indeed, it is one of the greatest chastisements that can be inflicted on us, when we are permitted, through blindness and passion, to rush headlong down the broad road of vice, adding sin to sin every day and hour of our lives. This is but just; for when man once mortally sins he loses all right to any help from God. It is owing solely to the divine mercy when he is converted.
Look, therefore, over the world, and behold the greatness of its iniquity. Think of the millions who are living in infidelity and heresy. Think how many calling themselves Christians are daily betraying their name by their scandalous lives. Why is this sad condition permitted? Ah! It is owing to man’s crimes. God is disobeyed, insulted, and mocked by the majority of men, and His long-suffering justice, being wearied by their wickedness, permits them to go on in their mad career. St. Augustine is an illustrious example of this. “I was plunged,” he says, “in iniquity, and Thy anger was aroused against me, but I knew it not. I was deaf to the noise which the chains of my sins made. But this ignorance, this deafness, were the punishments of my pride.” Reflect on this. Men act freely when they sin, for no man is forced to do wrong. But when they have fallen they cannot rise without the divine assistance.

Now, God owes this to no man. It is His gratuitous gift when He restores the sinner to His favor. Hence He but exercises His justice when He permits him to remain in his misery, and even to fall lower. When, therefore, we behold so much iniquity, have we not reason to feel that God’s justice permits men to become so blinded and hardened? I say permits, for man is the cause of his own miseries; God urges him only to what is good. If, then, you perceive in yourself any mark of such divine anger, be not without fear. Remember that you need no help but your own passions and the devil’s temptations to carry you along the broad road to destruction. Stop while you have time. Implore the divine mercy to aid you in retracing your steps till you discover that narrow way which leads to everlasting life. Having found it, walk manfully in it, ever mindful of the justice of God, and of the terrible truth that while thousands throng the road to death, there are few who find the way of life. Tremble for your salvation, and, while always maintaining an unshaken hope, have no less fear of Hell. 
You have no reason to expect that God should treat you differently from other men. Bear in mind the law of His justice, as it has been explained, and so live that you may never expose yourself to its terrible effects here and hereafter. Be not the victim of a vain confidence which you may flatter yourself is hope, while it is naught but presumption. Rather, in the words of the Eternal Wisdom, “Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin. And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great; he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins. For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.” (Ecclus. 5:5-7). If, then, we must tremble even for sin which has been remitted, how is it that you do not fear to add daily to your crimes? And mark well these words: “His wrath looketh upon sinners”; for as the eyes of His mercy are upon the good, so are the eyes of His anger upon the wicked. And this agrees with what David says in one of the psalms: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers. But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Ps. 33:16-17). “The hand of God,” says the inspired author of the book of Esdras, “is upon all them that seek him in goodness; and his power and strength and wrath upon all them that forsake him.” (1Esd. 8:22). Be reconciled, therefore, with God; amend your life; and then you can confidently hope for the mercy promised to His faithful servants. “Hope in the Lord and do that which is good,” we are told by the psalmist; “offer the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 36:3 and 4:6). This is hope; any other confidence is presumption. The ark of the true Church will not save its unworthy members from the deluge of their iniquities, nor can you reap any benefit from the mercy of God if you seek His protection in order to sin with impunity. “Men go to Hell,” says St. Augustine, “through hope, as well as through despair: through a presumptuous hope during life, and through despair at the hour of death.” (De Verbo Dei, Serm. 147).

I entreat you, therefore, O sinner, to abandon your false hope, and let God’s justice inspire you with a fear proportioned to the confidence which His mercy excites in you. For, as St. Bernard tells us, “God has two feet, one of justice and the other of mercy. We must embrace both, lest justice separated from mercy should cause us to despair, or mercy without justice should excite in us presumption.” (In Cantica, Serm. 80)

I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

​One Body in Christ: Communion of Saints

 

The illustration shows the continuous communication in the three portions of the Church spiritually united in Jesus Christ. The members on earth send up prayers to the angels and saints for themselves and for the poor souls in purgatory. They in turn are helped by the intercession of the saints and angels, and by the graces obtained thereby. The poor souls pray for the members on earth.

    Why is the Catholic Church called the Mystical Body of Christ? –The Catholic Church is called the Mystical Body of Christ, because its members are united by supernatural bonds with one another and with Christ, their Head, thus resembling the members and head of the living human body.

  1. The term “Mystical Body of Christ” is derived from St. Paul’s metaphor: “He is the head of his body, the Church” (Col. 1:18) . Again: “You are the body of Christ, member for member” (1 Cor. 12:27). “We, the many, are one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5).Jesus Himself used a similar symbol: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither” (John 15:5-6). 
  2. In the Mystical Body, Christ as Head wills to be helped by His Body. Thus He rules the Church, but does so indirectly, through the hierarchy, human authority.In a similar manner the human head, to live, has need of the rest of the body. The hierarchy is the material on which is formed the Image of Christ, God. The acts, ceremonies, ritual, liturgy of the Church,-all these are outward signs of the inward reality of the union of the members with one another and with their Head, Christ; they are visible manifestations of a common supernatural life in the Godhead. 
  3. Among the members of the Mystical Body of Christ there exists an interdependence; so that although each one has his own individual function, yet he does not live for himself alone, but for the entire Body. Every good he does perfects the Body, of which he is a part.Similarly, the eye, or the foot, or the arm of a man is useless existing alone and apart from the rest of his body. Here is an example of the interdependence among members of the Church: Suppose a Catholic prays to recover from a grievous illness, and he does not recover; there is no evident answer to his prayers. Yet, do they go to waste? God lets no good work “go to waste”; the merits of the prayers are not lost for the Mystical Body. 
  4. Because of the interdependence among the members, and between members and Head, of the Mystical Body, there follows a continuouscontribution and distribution of merits and graces, profiting all towards eternal life. This supernatural fellowship, this mystical union and interdependence, is presented to us in the Apostles’ Creed in the doctrine of the Communion of Saints.
    What is meant by “the Communion of Saints” in the Apostles’ Creed? –By “the Communion of Saints” is meant the union of the faithful on earth, the blessed in heaven, and the souls in purgatory, with Christ as their Head.There is only one Mystical Body, only one Church. But this Church has three aspects: the Church Triumphant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Militant.

  1. The saints and angels in heaven compose the Church triumphant,because they have gained the crown of victory. The souls in purgatory compose the Church suffering, because they still have to expiate for their sins before they can enter heaven. The faithful on earth compose the Church militant, because they have to struggle ceaselessly against the enemies of their souls.The Church triumphant, the Church suffering and the Church militant compose one Church united in Christ, members of a body whose head is Christ: “So we, the many, are one body in Christ, but severally members one of another’ (Rom. 12:5). 
  2. All the members of the Church are of one family, and share in the spiritual treasures of the Church. However, not all members of the Church Militant fully enjoy the benefits of the communion of saints, but only those in a state of grace.“Dead members” do not lose all the benefits of the communion of saints, for the Church prays publicly for them, and particular members in the state of grace often send up petitions for them. Thus they may receive the grace to repent and recover sanctifying grace. Hence a Catholic who still belongs to the Church, although a great sinner, may have more hope of being converted than one who cuts himself off from the Church.
    How do the members of the Communion of Saints help one another? –The members of the Communion of Saints help one another by prayer and intercession, and by the merits of their good works. 

  1. The faithful on earth can help one another by practicing supernatural charity and, especially, by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.St. Peter was freed from prison by the prayers of the faithful. St. Stephen’s prayer obtained the conversion of St. Paul. The prayers of St. Monica led to the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. This is why today, on all occasions, Catholics ask for each other’s prayers, and pray for those in need. They give the spiritual alms of prayers continually, even when they cannot perform the corporal works. 
  2. The faithful on earth, through the communion of saints, can relieve the sufferings of the souls in purgatory by prayer, fasting, and other good works, by indulgences, and by Masses offered for them.St. Augustine says: “Prayer is the key by which we open the gates of heaven to the suffering souls.” In the Memento after the consecration at every Mass, a special petition is made for the souls of the faithful departed. The poor souls cannot merit anything; they depend upon their brothers in Christ on earth and in heaven to help them attain their eternal home as soon as possible. 
  3. The souls in purgatory pray to the angels and saints, and pray for the living.They cannot merit anything, either for themselves or for the living, but they intercede for us. 
  4. Through the communion of saints, the blessed in heaven can help those in purgatory and on earth by praying for them. The faithful on earth should honor the blessed in heaven and pray to them, because they are worthy of honor and as friends of God will help the faithful on earth.This is why we pray to the saints and angels that they may intercede for us before God, Whom they see face to face. “Rendering thanks to God the Father, who has made us worthy to share the lot of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). 
  5. The doctrine of the communion of saints is one of the most consolingdogmas of the Church. When our loved ones die, they are not separated from us forever. Whether in heaven or purgatory, they still love us and pray for us.We should be happy to call saints and angels our brothers. We should implore their intercession, not only for ourselves, but also for our other brothers, the poor souls in purgatory.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​Protestant Churches

 

Upon Martin Luther’s refusal to retract his declarations on the teachings of the Church, he was excommunicated. But Luther proudly tore up the papal bull of excommunication, and burned it. The fire that incident started has not yet burned down.

    Who are Protestants? –In general, Protestants are adherents of the religious organizations that broke off from the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century, or of any religious body formed from them. 

  1. The term “Protestant” was first given to those who protested against the decree of the second Diet of Speyer in 1529. Later the term was applied to all reformers, all opposing the doctrines of the Church.Even today the term is included in the new formula of the Declaration of Faith that the ruler of England must make at the coronation, saying: “I declare that I am a faithful Protestant.” 
  2. In the sixteenth century the Protestant revolt took place, this beginning of a multitude of heresies, this sad event that has divided Christendom for centuries. Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk of Erfurt, taking offense at what he believed was a lack of appreciation for him at Rome, combated the teaching of the Church on indulgences, in the year 1517.The Pope commanded Luther to retract his teachings upon his refusal, he was excommunicated, in 1520. His heretical teachings spread like wildfire over Germany, occasioning religious wars; peace came only with the Peace of Augsburg, in 1555.
    1.  

    2. The Council of Trent met (1545-1563) to set forth in a clear manner the errors of the Protestants, by explaining the true doctrine of the Church on those points. At that time, religious training had relaxed; many did not know the true doctrines.Among the errors of Luther were these: that there is no supreme teaching power in the Church; that temporal rulers have the right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters; that the Bible is the sole guide to faith: that every man should interpret the Bible according to his own mind; that faith is sufficient for salvation; that the priesthood does not imprint a special character on the soul of a man, and that everybody is or can be a priest, as a result; that Penance is not a sacrament, but a mere invention of the Church; that the Mass gives no special grace; that there is no purgatory, etc. 
    3. In the beginning, Protestantism spread rapidly. Whole countries, led by their rulers, adopted its doctrines. In Switzerland Zwingli and Calvin, and in England Henry VIII, about this time increased the defections from the Church. But soon there were other kinds of Protestantism.Today the divisions and subdivisions of Protestantism are too well known to need comment. Great numbers of Protestants are returning to the faith of their fathers. Meanwhile, as the divisions subdivide, the Church continues to grow.

For more on Protestantism and a defense of common errors please visit http://www.protestanterrors.com

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​Schism and Heresy

 

Our Lord said; “Everyone therefore who hears these my words and acts upon them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, and the floods come, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock. And everyone who hears these my words and does not act upon them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house on sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and was utterly ruined” (Matt. 7:24-27). Non-Catholic churches are the “house upon sand”; they rise up and fall. The Catholic Church is the “house upon rock”; it will last forever.

    What is schism; and what is heresy? –Schism is the refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope; heresy is the formal denial or doubt by a baptized person of any revealed truth of the Catholic Faith.Apostasy is the total rejection of his Faith by a baptized Christian. With heresy and schism, and supported by persecution, it has caused divisions in the True Church, and the rise of other churches. 

  1. Christ predicted divisions in the Church, and the rise of other churches. From the time of the Apostles new denominations have sprung up, and have divided and subdivided, to form other denominations. With other churches that are non-Christian, the Christian denominations have opposed the Apostolic Church.“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24) 
  2. After some time, separated as it is from the authority of the Pope,. a schismatical church is led into errors in doctrine. Today schismatical churches deny the infallibility of the Pope.
    What were the most important schisms and heresies that have tried to destroy the Church? –Of the numerous schisms and heresies, the following may be mentioned: 

  1. Arius was a priest of Alexandria who taught that Jesus Christ was not God. The heresy of Arius spread rapidly, and was supported by the Roman emperors. He was condemned by the First General Council of the Church at Nicea, in the year 325; the Council declared the divinity of Christ.In a few centuries the Arian sect was divided and swept away by other errors. Today we know Arius only by name: he has passed on, but the Church he fought still lives, upholding Christ’s divinity.Another heretic of the early days was Macedonius, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. His theories were condemned by the Council of Constantinople in the year 381.In the fifth century Pelagius denied original sin, and declared grace not necessary for salvation. The doctrines were condemned by the synods of Milevi and Carthage, and the decision ratified by the Pope.

    Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, in the fifth century taught the doctrine that Jesus Christ was two persons: a man and God the Son; only the man Jesus was born of Mary and died on the cross. As a consequence the Nestorians rejected the title “Mother of God” for the Blessed Virgin. The Third Council in Ephesus, 431, condemned the heresies.

    As a form of extreme reaction from Nestorianism, the Monophysites, held that Jesus Christ had only one nature, his divinity totally engulfing his humanity. Dioscoros, Patriarch of Alexandria, was the chief propagator of the heresy, which was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

    In an effort to call back the Monophysites to the Church, the heresy of Monothelitism arose. The chief doctrine was that Christ had a single will; the heresy was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 681.

    In the year 727, the Greek emperor Leo forbade all veneration to images on the ground that such veneration was idolatry. The heresy spread, and mobs entered churches to break images, to burn and destroy priceless works of art. Great harm was done to the people and their faith, before this heresy, called Iconoclasm (image-breaking) , died out. The Council of Nicea in 787 defined the true doctrine of the Church.

     

  2. The greatest schism suffered by the Christian Church was that of the East, resulting in the establishment of the Orthodox Eastern Church. The Eastern emperors, desiring more power in the Church, tried to make the patriarchs of Constantinople independent of Rome. Finally, Photius, with the support of the emperor, held a council of Eastern bishops in the year 867, and broke from Rome.The cause of the schism was not doctrinal, but rather political and material,-jealousy between the East and the West. It has resulted in the separation from Rome of 145 million people with valid priesthood and sacraments. In the United States there are a number of schismatical churches, among them the Greek Orthodox, and the Russian Church.
       

    1. After minor schisms and misunderstandings between East and West in 1054 there was a final break by Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, continuing today.Today the Orthodox Eastern Church remains in schism, but does not spread. It is a withered branch, having cut itself off from the parent tree. 
    2. The Orthodox Eastern Church denies the Catholic dognia that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. It also teaches that the souls of the just will not attain complete happiness till the end of the world, when they will be joined to their bodies; and that the souls of the wicked will not suffer complete torture in hell until that last day. These are heresies against the doctrines of the Church.Thus it can be seen that today the Orthodox Eastern Church is not merely schismatical, but truly heretical; for it holds primary doctrines in a different light. But it has valid orders. 

     

  3. In the 12th century Albigensianism arose in southern France. It upheld dualism: two opposing creative principles, the good creating the spiritual world, and the evil creating the material world.The Albigenses went to excesses, recommending suicide, forbidding marriage, asserting that Our Lord did not have a human body, denying the resurrection of the body. The heresy was condemned by the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215. 
  4. As an offshoot of Albigensianism, Waldensianism spread throughout Spain, Lombardy, Bohemia, and neighboring countries. The heresy continued until the outbreak of Protestantism, when it merged with this.The Waldenses denied the existence of Purgatory, combatted indulgences, asserted that laymen could preach and absolve, oaths were unlawful, sinful priests had no valid power of ministry, etc.But out of evil God has often drawn good. Each schism and heresy has led to profound study in the Church, study of Scholars to discover the correct interpretation of doctrine under dispute. In this way light came from darkness. As wise St. Augustine said: “Those who err in doctrine only serve to show forth more clearly the soundness of those who believe aright.” 
  5. In the fourteenth century, Wycliff in England taught that the Bible was the sole rule of faith, that there was no freedom of the will, that confession was useless, that the Pope had no primacy.Adopting the theories of Wycliff, Huss in Bohemia spread the errors. Political considerations complicated the heresy; fighting broke out, lasting years.Comments by Roger Owen(RMO):NOTE: The greatest schism of the Catholic Church occurred at Vatican II in the 1960s that hijacked almost all those who were once truly Catholic. The primary heresies introduced by Vatican II and afterwards are: false religious freedom/liberty, collegiality, there is salvation outside the Church implying that differences in doctrine do not matter in attaining salvation, false ecumenism, implying with the use of the word “subsists” that separated churches subsist in the Catholic Church and that the Church Christ founded is NOT one and the same as the Catholic Church, but two separa ies, a new definition of the Mass ignoring Christ’s Real Presence and excessively focusing on His mystical presence, natural family planning (NFP) practiced erroneously, and sex education in the schools instead of by the parents in the home.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​The Catholic Church:Catholicity and Apostolicity

 

The apostolicity of the Church receives additional proof from the fact that today it still administers the very same seven sacraments administered by the Apostles. Non-Catholic churches have abandoned most of the sacraments, but the Catholic Church preserves and administers them all. Among the sacraments thus preserved are (1) Confirmation, and (2) Extreme Unction. St. Peter and St. John administered the first (Acts 8:14-17). St. James wrote about the second (Jas. 5:14,15).

 

    Why is the Church catholic or universal? –The Catholic Church is catholic or universal because, destined to last for all time, it never fails to fulfill the divine commandment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God.“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 

  1. The very name of the Church is Catholic, that is, universal. Even its critics admit that it is catholic. It has existed in all ages since the time of Christ, and teaches all peoples of every nation the same faith.It was St. Ignatius (50-107 A.D.) appointed Bishop of Antioch by Saint Peter, who first used the Greek word Katholicos, meaning “universal,” when referring to the Church founded by Christ; this he did in order to distinguish the True Church, already being preached throughout the world, from heretical churches that had arisen.In the fourth century certain sectarians protested against the True Church, yet still called themselves Christians. And so Catholics began to call themselves “Catholic.” In that same century St. Augustine said: “All heretics wish to call themselves Catholics; yet if you ask any of them to direct you to a Catholic church, he will not direct you to his own!”Wherever we go, whether in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, or Australia, we shall find the Catholic Church established. Everywhere it teaches the same doctrines taught in the United States; everywhere it is ruled by the same Head recognized in the United States: the Pope.

    When we say the Church is Catholic or universal, we understand that wherever it exists it must have the mark of unity. Otherwise it would not be the same body, but many separate bodies. Some heretical churches have branches in different countries, but they are really different bodies, because they change doctrines under different conditions.

     

  2. The Church everywhere teaches all the doctrines that Christ commanded His Apostles to teach.In the Catholic Church is fulfilled the prophecy of Malachy: “From the rising of the sun to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Mal. 1:11). 
  3. The True Church must be so organized that it can admit all men into its communion. This the Catholic Church does. Christ founded the Church for all men, not only for a selected few, He died for all men, and wishes the fruits of His death to do good to all men. At present only the Catholic Church is to be found all over the world, ministering to all races and peoples, to all classes of the population, poor or rich, wise or ignorant, saint or sinner. The Catholic Church is the only Church for Everyman.Most denominations are national; all are localized. For example: in Germany the Kaiser used to be the head of the Lutheran Church; in Russia the Czar used to be head of the Russian Church. The Queen of England is head of the Anglican Church.
     

  1. Why is the Catholic Church apostolic? –The Catholic Church is apostolic because it was founded by Christ on the Apostles, and, according to His divine will, has always been governed by their lawful successors.Apostolicity is easily proved by the facts of history. If a church cannot trace back its history lawfully in an unbroken line step by step to the Apostles, it is not the True Church. 
  2. Pope Pius XII, our present Pope, is the direct successor of St. Peter.He is the lawful successor of the Pope who preceded him; and thus each Pope lawfully succeeded the one before him, until we reach St. Peter, the first Pope, chosen by Christ Himself. 
  3. All the sees founded by the Apostles perished or were interrupted, except the See of Peter alone. Where Peter is, there is the True Church founded by Our Lord.Those denominations that broke away from the Church thus lost their connection with the Apostles. They were all begun by individuals who could never have had any authority from either Christ or the Apostles. Most of them came some 1500 years too late. 
  4. Non-Catholic denominations claim that they did not begin new churches, but merely “reformed” the old one. In answer we ask, Did the True Church exist at the time of the founding of these new churches, or not?If it did not, then Christ’s promise to be with His Church always had failed; His Church had died, and no human reform could possibly have resurrected it. If it did exist, then those who invented new doctrines were not reforming it, but founding new churches. 
  5. In the same way, the Church derives all its holy orders, doctrines, and mission from the Apostles. It is “built upon the foundation of the Apostles,” of which Christ is the corner-stone (Eph. 2:20). It holds intact the doctrineand traditions of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to teach.St. Paul says: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema!” (Gal. 1:8). A church which at any time denies an apostolic doctrine, discards the sacrament of Holy Orders, or breaks away from obedience to the Pope, ceases to be apostolic. It becomes a dead branch broken off from the parent vine which is Christ Himself: “I am the vine: you are the branches” (John 15:5). 

    Catholics Do Not Believe:

    That the Pope is God and can do no wrong;
    That anybody or anything may be
        worshipped or adored besides the True God;
    That the Blessed Virgin is equal to God;
    That images may be worshipped;
    That indulgences give permission to
        commit sin;
    That a Mass can be bought;
    That forgiveness of sin can be bought;
    That sin can be forgiven without true sorrow;
    That scapulars, medals, crucifixes, and
        other sacramentals can give graces without
        proper dispositions on the part of the user;
    That non-Catholics will all be damned;
    That all Catholics will go to heaven;
    That the Bible is the only rule of faith;
    That anybody may interpret the Bible;
    That Our Lord Jesus Christ established many Churches;
    That outward piety is profitable without charity of the spirit;
    That all religions are the same.
     


    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

    The One True Church

    Principal Christian Religious Bodies in the U.S.

     

    NAME PLACE OF ORIGIN FOUNDER YEAR
    CATHOLIC CHURCH
    _____________________________
    Eastern Orthodox (19 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Lutheran (21 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Mennonite (15 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Protestant Episcopal
    _____________________________
    Presbyterian (10 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Congregational
    _____________________________
    Bapist (24 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Unitarian
    _____________________________
    Friends or Ouakers (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Reformed Churches (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Baptist, German (4 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Methodist (22 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Universalists
    _____________________________
    United Brethren (2 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Evangelical
    _____________________________
    Churches of Christ
    _____________________________
    Latter-Day Saints (7 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Adventist (5 bodies)
    _____________________________
    Salvation Army
    _____________________________
    Christian Scientists
    _____________________________
    Assemblies of God
    _____________________________
    Church of the Nazarene
    _____________________________
    Evangelical, Reformed
     
    JERUSALEM
    _____________
    Near East
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    Switzerland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Scotland
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Amsterdam
    _____________
    London
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Holland
    _____________
    Germany
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    New Jersey
    _____________
    Maryland
    _____________
    Pennsylvania
    _____________
    Kentucky
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    New York
    _____________
    England
    _____________
    Massachusetts
    _____________
    Arkansas
    _____________
    U.S.
    _____________
    Ohio
     
    JESUS CHRIST
    ___________________________
    Schism from Catholic Church
    ___________________________
    Martin Luther
    ___________________________
    Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock
    ___________________________
    Henry VIII
    ___________________________
    John Knox
    ___________________________
    Robert Browne
    ___________________________
    John Smyth
    ___________________________
    John Biddle
    ___________________________
    George Fox
    ___________________________
    Assembly
    ___________________________
    A. Mack
    ___________________________
    John and Charles Wesley
    ___________________________
    John Murray
    ___________________________
    Otterbein and Boehm
    ___________________________
    Jacob Albright
    ___________________________
    Thos. and Alex. Campbell
    ___________________________
    Joseph Smith
    ___________________________
    William Miller
    ___________________________
    William Booth
    ___________________________
    Mary Baker Eddy
    ___________________________
    General Meeting
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
    ___________________________
    Union at General Assembly
     
    33
    _______
    1054
    _______
    1517
    _______
    1525
    _______
    1534
    _______
    1560
    _______
    1583
    _______
    1600
    _______
    1645
    _______
    1647
    _______
    17th c.
    _______
    1708
    _______
    1739
    _______
    1770
    _______
    1800
    _______
    1803
    _______
    1827
    _______
    1830
    _______
    1831
    _______
    1865
    _______
    1879
    _______
    1914
    _______
    1919
    _______
    1934
     

     

    There are over 200 different Protestant bodies existing in the United States alone. In the above list a few of the best-known are enumerated, in comparison with the Catholic Church. This comparative list indicates this fact: none of these denominations can ever become the True Church founded by Christ, Son of God. It is well known that many heretics, at the hour of death, return to the Catholic Church. But what Catholic at that hour has ever denied his religion to seek admission into a sect? As the heretic Melancthon wrote to his Catholic mother: “The Protestant is the best faith to live in, but the Catholic Faith is the best one to die in.”

     

      What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. 

    1. Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments. 
    2. The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”.
      How is the Church enabled to lead men to salvation? –The Church is enabled to lead men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, who gives it life. 

    1. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ.The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles to enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify them, so that they could preach the Gospel and spread the Church all over the world. On the Feast of Pentecost, in remembrance of God the Holy Ghost, we celebrate a mystery which is forever renewed in the Church and in our souls: the mystery of the indwelling of God, the reign of the law of love which succeeded the law of bondage and fear (Rom. 8: 15). 
    2. The Holy Ghost guides the rulers of the Church, especially the Pope, and helps them in their duties.Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles had been timid and afraid. After His coming they went forth to teach, whatever hardships carne; they remembered and understood all the teaching of Christ. 
    3. The Holy Ghost preserves the Church from all error in its teaching; in times of danger, He raises up able defenders of its doctrines.St. Athanasius defended the Church in the time of the Arian heretics; Pope Gregory VII during a period of great disorder; St. Dominic, during the time of the Albigenses; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, after the Protestant outbreak. 
    4. The Holy Ghost raises up Saints in the Church throughout all generations.The members of the Church strive to imitate its Divine Founder, and in all countries and all times it has produced saints, canonized and uncanonized, martyrs, confessors, hidden souls that burn with the love of God and their fellowmen.
      Are not all religions the same? –No for truth and error are not the same; faith and unbelief are not the same. 

    1. God is not divided. He revealed only one religion. We either believe that religion, or do not believe it. There is no middle way. “He who is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30)Anything that is not the whole truth is not truth. Christ said: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).No one will assert that glass is as good as diamonds, nor that brass is as good as gold. No one claims that an imitation is just as good as the authentic thing. More unreasonable then would it be to claim that a religion established by a man is as good as that founded by the Incarnate God. 
    2. From the very beginning of mankind there has been one true religion. From Adam to the coming of Christ this religion was preserved by the patriarchs, prophets, and others chosen by God to keep the knowledge of the promised Redeemer intact.Before the coming of Christ, this true religion was not universal, but limited to one people, the Jews, the,“chosen people.” All other nations had degenerated and worshipped idols, false gods. In spite of the imperfections of the old religion preserved among the Jews; it was always the true religion, the one true religion. It forshadowed the coming of the perfect religion, that established by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who then abrogated the Jewish Faith, the Old Law, in favor of the New Faith, the New Law. 
    3. It is absurd to suppose that God does not care whether men denounce His Son as an impostor and blasphemer, or worship Him as God.Why should Christ, and after Him the Apostles, and after them a long line of believers, have suffered so much and resisted persecution so firmly, if it were of no importance what a man believed? The Apostle said, “There is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
      How can we prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church? –We can prove that the only true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, because: 

    1. Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ; that is, Unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity. As a matter of fact, only the Catholic Church claims to have all these four marks of the True Church, the marks so evidently set by Christ. 
    2. The history of the Catholic Church gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness, so showing the world that it is under the special protection of God. The Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years, against every variety and number of formidable enemies. The Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks, and from schism and heresy within its own ranks, yet still lives.In spite of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, the Catholic Church has continued to live and to carry out its purpose, as its Founder promised. The indestructibility of the Church, as has been proved by history, is alone enough to mark it as divine. God alone could have preserved it so long. The Church is the only institution which has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost 2000 years. After every attack against it, it rises, the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!