Most of my Christian friends have called Catholicism a cult. I have never agreed. But having observed these Catholics attacking me in such a vile manner has opened my eyes to an inherent danger in Catholicism- namely, their disobedience to Christ’s command that we never call a human, ‘Father’ or ‘Rabbi’ or even, ‘Teacher’. Because the Catholic Church chose to disobey this clear command outlined in fine detail in the entire chapter of Matthew 23, they now suffer from a significant percentage of people who idolize the pope. The people who are attacking me actually say that I am ‘blaspheming’ against the Pope! Imagine that. Blaspheming a mere man. How can that be? One can only blaspheme against God! To some, the Pope has become God. This is what comes of disobeying Christ.
These very same people also show a huge deficit in scriptural learning. Many actually say that the Old Testament is no longer valid. And due to this ignorance, they say that God’s specific order to Ezekiel to warn others of their sin is no longer valid. Therefore, in their minds, we are not to ‘judge’ the Pope. And yet, they also refuse to respond to the New Testament scripture where Jesus expressly commands us to not call anyone ‘Father’ except God- where he told us that we are all equal- spiritual brothers. I am convinced that the Catholic’s disobedience on this command is what is causing such a problem today. This Pope, who clearly wishes to lead the world into a new ‘progressive’ notion of Christ, will easily lead hundreds of thousands to their death.
Jesus knew what he was saying. His commands are for a reason. By creating a priesthood, with ever higher orders of priests, they create the illusion that the higher up the priest ladder you go, the holier you are. And thus, the Pope must be a perfect, or near perfect man. One woman said that the Holy Spirit would never allow the Pope to say anything wrong. To her, the Pope is somehow so closely attached the to Holy Spirit that his free will is gone. As if the Holy Spirit and the Pope are one. That is why they say I ‘blaspheme’ against the pope. Because they have put him on a pedestal and are convinced that they are the spiritual plebeians while he is the spiritual king. And because of this belief in his spiritual infallibility, they will follow him anywhere. THIS is why Christ told us to not call anyone ‘Father’ or ‘Rabbi’ or even ‘Teacher’. It gives one man the power to lead millions to their death.
Christ understands the human need to worship. He understands how easily we can be swayed away from true God worship to idol worship. THAT is the danger of disobedience. What may look small to you can result in a grave situation. Jesus dedicated few words to this topic. And perhaps people think, ‘Aw, that can’t be too much of a big deal, right? I mean, it isn’t as bad as embezzling or murder, right?’ Wrong. Putting one man above another in the spiritual realm is a terrible thing and results in human worship. As we are seeing.
The pope is not a good man. I am not a good woman. We are all plagued with dirty sin. The difference between the pope and me is our relative influence on the world. The same Catholics who are berating me now wish to bring up Christ and how he ate with the ‘sinners’. But do you also realize how very, very harsh he was to the priests? He dedicated an entire speech, full of ‘woes’ and the word, ‘hypocrite’ to them! It is the most scathing speech from Jesus I have ever read. I believe the reason he was kind to the ‘regular’ sinners and harsh with the priests is because of the immense influence these men had on society. Jesus knew that the priests were completely aware of their gross hypocrisy and sin- which made them far more culpable than ‘regular’ sinners. One of the sins he laid on the priests was that they would not enter the kingdom of heaven and they would ensure that no one else entered either. He said, ““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Their false teachings prevented others from finding God. It was the intention, within the snake like hearts of the priests, that truly angered Jesus. The ‘regular’ sinners only hurt themselves & so, required compassion. The priests knowingly harmed thousands and so, required severe censor.
Jesus’ command and warning to never call any human, ‘Father’ came directly before he delivered this scathing condemnation on the priests in Matthew 23. They go together- a warning to us and the censor of the priests. To me, the greatest error of the Catholic Church is the disobedience to Christ’s command that we do not set up a spiritual hierarchy of men. It won’t be child molestation that brings down the Catholic Church, it will be THIS disobedience that will do it.
Matt 23: 23-36
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.