Material gathered from Dave Hunt’s book the “Woman Rides The Beast”
The Bible declares repeatedly that salvation is not of works and not by the deeds of the law, yet Rome insists that salvation is indeed through works in obedience to its ‘new law.’ Vatican II declares that ‘preaching the gospel,’ a task of the bishops, is to help all men ‘attain to salvation through faith, baptism, and the observance of the commandments’ instead of salvation by faith alone, as the Bible states. Vatican II declares ‘that God Himself has made known to the human race how men by serving Him can be saved.’
The most important part of ‘serving Him’ and ‘observance of the commandments’ for salvation involves participation in the sacraments, principally baptism and the mass. The long work of salvation is begun through baptism and continues for life through participation in other sacraments, good works, and suffering. The Catholic is never certain of the outcome or how long it will take. One hopes not to die in mortal sin, which sends the soul not to purgatory, but to hell, from which there is no escape.
The Catholic Church affirms that a ‘repentant sinner’ is justified by ‘grace’. That sounds Biblical and deceives many. Though the words may be the same as evangelicals use, the Catholic meaning is entirely different. The church insists that a ‘repentant sinner’ who has been justified by ‘grace’ must still suffer to be ‘purged’ of his sins, either here or in purgatory, and most likely in both. That dogma denies the sufficiency of Christ’s suffering for sin upon the cross. It is a false gospel, which Paul cursed (Galatians 1:8).
Grace cannot be granted on the basis of a mere book keeping entry in Heaven, but by the debt having been paid in full by Christ: ‘being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:24). The Catholic gospel of salvation by works and ritual stands in the fullest opposition to God’s grace. It is, in fact, a rejection of God’s offer of salvation by grace though faith in what Christ has done. It requires that Christ’s sacrifice be supplemented by our works and/or suffering.
The gospel that we must believe to be saved is called ‘the gospel of the grace of God’ (Acts 20:24) because ‘by grace are ye saved.’ Grace by its very nature excludes works. Paul argues: ‘If by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work (Romans 11:6).” One cannot earn, merit, or pay for grace or else it would no longer be grace. Salvation can only be received from God as a gift of his grace by those who admit they neither deserve it nor can do anything to earn or merit it.
To earn salvation, some priests and nuns put stones in their shoes, wear haircloth shirts, and flagellate themselves even today. Go to any Catholic country on church holidays, and see penitents beating themselves, pilgrims crawling upon their knees toward some Marian shrine, others staggering under heavy crosses, and still others hoping to better their chances of salvation by purchasing candles to burn before an image of ‘our lady’ of this or that or some other ‘saint’. In some places, such as the Philippines, a few zealots even have themselves nailed to crosses to hang in agony for a time to pay at least part of the price for their own salvation and for others as well. Far from rebuking these efforts, Rome encourages them.
Catholicism employs many Biblical words [grace, redemption, salvation, etc.], but with an unbiblical meaning. Catholicism affirms that Christ is the only begotten Son of God, one with the Father, who died for our sins, rose the third day, and will return to earth to reign. To that truth, however, have been added dogmas, which pervert the gospel. Ignorant of these additions, many evangelicals think Catholics are Christians and pass that delusion on to others.
The Pope claims to be infallible, and therefore the church through him as its head, also claims infallibility. Ordinary Catholics must not question anything that the Pope or the church have to say concerning faith and morals. The councils and catechisms have for centuries declared the need for such total submission, and they still insist upon it today. Few Catholics know that Popes quarreled and fought with one another, excommunicated one another, and sometimes even killed each other. It is difficult to find even a few Popes after the fifth century who have exhibited the basic Christian virtues. Their lives as recorded in the Catholic encyclopedia read like an unbeliever’s soap opera of lust, madness, mayhem and murder. Nevertheless, all of these master criminals, poisoners, adulterers, and mass murderers are considered to have been infallible when they spoke ex cathedra-that is, when they made dogmatic pronouncements upon faith and morals to the whole church.
Contrary to what Roman Catholics are taught, the Papal office did not originate with Peter. Bishop of Lyons [178-200], provided a list of the first 12 bishops of Rome. Linus was the first. Peter’s name does not appear. Eusebius of Calsaria, the father of church history, never mentions Peter as bishop of Rome. He simply says that Peter came to Rome ‘about the end of his days’ and was crucified there. Paul, in writing his epistle to the Romans, greets many people by name, but not Peter. The simple truth is that the Roman Catholic Church itself, with all of its archives, cannot verify an accurate and complete list of the Popes. The alleged ‘unbroken line of succession back to Peter’ is therefore a mere fiction.
A further example can be found when, in 896, Pope Stephan VII had the corpse of the previous Pope Formosus [891-896] exhumed eight months after burial. Dressed in his former Papal vestments and propped on a throne in the council chamber, the cadaver of Formosus was ‘tried’ and found guilty of having crowned as emperor one of Charlemagne’s many illegitimate descendants. (In fact, there have been a number of Popes who were themselves the illegitimate sons of previous Popes. They were thus illicit claimants to the alleged throne of Peter and therefore hardly capable of passing on their successors apostolic authority.) Having been condemned by Pope Stephen VII, the former Pope Formosus’s corpse was stripped, the three fingers of benediction on the right hand were hacked off, and the remains thrown to the mob outside, who dragged them through the streets and threw them in the Tiber river. Pope Stephen VII then declared all of Formosus’s ordinations invalid, creating a most serious problem which haunts the Roman Catholic church to this day. Namely, there is still the question of which priests, bishops, et al, down to the present time may be in the line of those ordained by Formosus and are therefore without genuine apostolic authority. Pope Paul IV declared ‘By the plenitude of Papal power’ that all of the acts of heretical Popes were null and void. That infallible declaration leaves ‘apostolic succession’ in ruins.
The Roman Catholic Church is by far the wealthiest institution on earth, most of Rome’s wealth has been acquired through the sale of salvation. Untold billions of dollars have been paid to the Church by those who thought they were purchasing heaven on the installment plan for themselves or for their loved ones. The practice continues to this day. While it is less obvious here in the United States, this practice of purchasing salvation is rather blatant in places where Catholicism is in control. No greater deception or abomination could be perpetrated. Christ and his disciples lived in poverty. He told his followers not to lay up treasure on this earth but in heaven. The Roman Catholic Church has disobeyed that command and has accumulated a plethora of riches without equal, of which the Roman Pontiff is the supreme administrator and steward.
Pagan Rome made sport of throwing Christians to the lions, burning, and otherwise killing thousands of Christians and not a few Jews. Yet ‘Christian’ Rome slaughtered many times that number of both Christians and Jews. Besides those victims of the inquisition, there were the Huguenots, Albigeses, Waldenses, and other Christians who were massacred, tortured, and burned at the stake by the hundreds of thousands, simply because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church with its corruption and heretical dogmatic practices. Unable to ignore their consciences, these victims tried to follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles independent of Rome, and for that crime they were maligned, hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and slain. Try to imagine being suddenly arrested in the middle of the night and taken to an unknown location kept secret from family and friends. You are not told the charges against you, nor the identity of your accusers, who remain unknown and thus immune from any examination to discover whether they are telling the truth. Whatever the accusation, it is accepted as fact and you are guilty without trial. The ‘trial’ will be by the most ingeniously painful torture that continues until you confess to that unnamed crime or heresy of which you have been accused. Imagine the torment of dislocated joints, torn and seared flesh, internal injuries, broken bones on the rack and other devices, mended by doctors so they could be torn asunder again by fresh torture. Still, no matter what you confess, it never fits the secret accusation, so the torture continues until at last you expire from the unbearable trauma. Such was the fate of millions. These were real people: mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters-all with hopes and dreams, passions and feelings, and many with a faith that could not be broken by torture or fire. Remember that this terror, this evil of such grand proportion that it is unimaginable today, was carried on for centuries in the name of Christ by the command of those who claimed to be the vicars of Christ. They are still honored with that title by this church, which has never admitted that the inquisitions were wrong. She has not repented or apologized, and she dares to pose today as the supreme teacher and example of morals and truth. Remember also that the doctrines which supported the inquisitions remain in force within the Roman Catholic Church even at the present time.