Many Christians today view the church as an organization rather than the body of believers all over the world who are born-again and united because of their position in Christ.
Although the catholic church represented most of Christianity in the dark ages, it does not mean that it was the true church. It just shows how far man had gone and how deceived they were. It wasn’t until the great Reformation that mankind was led back to the Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, as a result, the born-again believers’ church began to once again be patterned after the first century church. I love this picture above! It represents what the church truly is. The Bible spoke of the church in someone’s home, the church in a city, etc. The church represented all those people who repented and accepted Christ as the Saviour of mankind.
The catholic church does not have any history prior to the third century. One would surely be kept busy trying to track their history back prior to 300 AD. So when one wants to look at true, accurate history of how the true church began, it is best to start in the Word of God and read about the church’s beginnings. Starting at the beginning is the best place to start. The Bible is used by historians and archeological PhD’s to date their findings. It is an accepted history book and, I might add, is used by the unbelieving world as well as the believing world. The Bible’s historical accuracy is unsurpassed.
As we study Catholic history, we find that their foundational dogmas began in the third century and were added to bit by bit. You won’t find any verses in the Bible on purgatory. The catholic says they are found in the apocryphal books but these books were not accepted as Scripture; not only by Protestants, but also by Jewish scribes, due to their many factual and historical errors. You won’t find any of evidence of praying to Mary (or the saints) either. But you WILL find verses stating that prayer is to be made to the Father and that only Christ is the Mediator. These catholic doctrines were introduced 300 years after the born-again body of believers, the true church, was initially formed! If most of the catholic religion’s foundation is based on dogma, don’t you think it would be important for them to at least be mentioned in the Bible?
Much of catholic doctrine has its foundations in pagan beliefs. For example, the Queen of Heaven (Mary’s title) was derived from Babylon. In fact, the Babylonian pagans not only worshipped the Queen of Heaven but they genuflected to her and they had a supreme pontiff. Thus the title “pope” came into being. The Bible mentions the queen of heaven four times. None of the verses speak of this as a good thing. In fact, God says it provoked Him to anger!
~Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
~Jeremiah 44:17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
~Jeremiah 44:18 But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
~Jeremiah 44:19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?
~Jeremiah 44:25 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
Tomorrow, we will cover a couple of other dogmas that are not based on the Scriptures but yet are a definite foundation of the catholic church.