The kingdom of God - 4B - Tradition and the leaven of the Pharisees

SERMON TOPIC: The kingdom of God - 4B - Tradition and the leaven of the Pharisees

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 17 February 2008


Sermon synopsis: The fourth parable of 'The Leaven' covers the period from approximately 600 - 1500 AD or the 'Papal Church' where widespread corruption spreads throughout the kingdom.
In this study we'll cover:
1) The leaven of the Pharisees
- Tradition
- Restriction of Scriptures
- Mariology
- The rosary
- Transubstantiation & the mass
- 'Baptism' by sprinkling
- Confession and Indulgences
- Salvation only in the Roman Church
- Other superstitious inventions
We also look at the growing importance of tradition in the church, the rise of Islam, the Crusades & the early reformers.
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The 7 parables of the kingdom - Part 4B

The Seven Parables of the Kingdom


The Sower

The kingdom is sown and experiences rapid growth – the enemy seeks to steal the seed or destroy the crop through persecution.


The Wheat and Weeds

The enemy sows a counterfeit seed. Persecution intensifies.


The Mustard Seed

Exponential growth of the kingdom, but the enemy infiltrates from within.


The Leaven

Widespread corruption spreads throughout the kingdom.






The Sower

AD 30 – 100

Apostolic Church


The Wheat and Weeds

AD 100 – 300

Persecuted Church


The Mustard Seed

AD 300 – 600

State Church (Constantine)


The Leaven

AD 600 – 1500

Papal Church (Roman Catholic)



1 Cor 5:6,8


Luke 12:12

False teaching





Matt 16:11

Legalism, tradition

Liberalism & political mongering

Political & social gospel

Sexual promiscuity and pagan worship


The church

Gal 5:7



Rev 2:20-23, Rev 17

The parable of the woman & leaven

Matt 13:33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The 4th kingdom age – Papal - Leaven

In this study we’ll cover:

The leaven of the Pharisees


Restriction of Scriptures


The rosary

Transubstantiation & the mass

‘Baptism’ by sprinkling

Confession & Indulgences

Salvation only in the Roman Church

Other superstitious inventions

The spread of Christianity & the rise of Islam

Early Reformers

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

The leaven

of the Pharisees

Tradition (sayings of popes and councils) came to be granted equal authority to Scripture. This led to many extra-Biblical practices creeping into the church over time.

The Council of Trent 1 in 1545 made this overemphasis on tradition “official” as part of it’s counter-reformation strategy. As many observances were in the Church that could not be defended by Scripture, it was necessary to put tradition on an equal par with the Bible, in order to try and justify and legitimize these practices.


The Council of Trent

1 The Council of Trent was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. Considered one of the Church’s most important councils it was convened in response to the Protestant Reformation. It specified current Catholic doctrines on salvation, the sacraments, and the Biblical canon.

The Pharisees had done the same by giving their tradition the same weight as Scripture. Paul recalls how, as a Pharisee, before his conversion he “was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers”. (Gal 1:14)

Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for the importance they placed on tradition, calling their inventions “but rules taught by men”.

Mark 7:1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?” 6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ”‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”


Jesus accused them of nullifying the Scripture by their traditions:

Mark 7:9 And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.


Jesus appealed to Scripture, not to tradition, when he clashed with the Pharisees over the question of the Sabbatical requirements of the OT.

Matt 12:2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” 3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?”

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, Jesus quoted Scripture every time, not Rabbinical tradition, to counter Satan. He said “it is written…”.


People in this period who read the Bible (like the Waldenses, Lollards and Hussites) became troublesome as it was difficult to counter their Scripturally based arguments. Probably to prevent people from discovering that many Church teachings were not supported by the plain reading of Scripture:

Hildebrand [r. 1073-85] 1 ordered Bohemians not to read the Bible. Innocent III [r. 1198-1216] forbade people reading the Bible in their own language. Gregory IX [r. 1227-41] forbade laymen possessing the Bible, and suppressed translations. Translations among the Albigenses and Waldenses were burned, and people burned for having them. 2

The Council of Verona [1184] pronounced fearsome anathemas upon the poor men of Lyons who presumed to preach the Gospel without ordination, and to dare to translate the Scriptures from Latin into the vernacular. As a result, the Waldensians were hunted down by agents of the Inquisition and many thousands were imprisoned, tortured and put to death. 3

1 aka Pope Gregory VII 2 Halley’s Bible Handbook – and still after this period “Paul IV [r. 1555-59] prohibited the possession of translations without permission of the Inquisition. The Jesuits induced Clement XI [r. 1700-21] to condemn the reading of the Bible by the laity. Leo XII [r. 1823-29], Pius VIII [r. 1829-30], Gregory XVI [r. 1831-46] and Pius IX [r. 1846-78], all condemned Bible Societies.” 3 (Dr. Peter Hammond)

Restriction of Scriptures

Latin was the language of the Romans and ultimately became widespread throughout the Roman Empire. Thus, when Jerome translated the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into Latin (the Vulgate), this benefited most 5th century Christians.

A millennium later, the percentage of Christians who spoke Latin was greatly reduced. However it had become expedient to oppose Scripture translations in the native tongues of the people, as this ensured that they could not read the Bible and get ‘led astray’.

Contrast this with the apostles who wrote the NT books in Greek, even though it was a second language for them. (Greek was then the predominant language in the known world.) They didn’t consider it necessary to write to people in foreign languages and make them dependant on someone else’s interpretation of the NT writings.

Statue of Jerome at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Restriction of Scriptures

The Index of Forbidden Books of Pope Pius IV in 1559 states, “Since experience teaches that, if the reading of the Holy Bible in the vernacular is permitted generally without discrimination, more damage than advantage will result because of the boldness of men, the judgment of the bishops and inquisitors is to serve as guide in this regard. Bishops and inquisitors may, in accord with the counsel of the local priest and confessor, allow Catholic translations of the Bible to be read by those of whom they realize that such reading will not lead to the detriment but to the increase of faith and piety. The permission is to be given in writing. Whoever reads or has such a translation in his possession without this permission cannot be absolved from his sins until he has turned in these Bibles.” 1 & 2

1 James Townley, Illustrations of Biblical Literature 2 In marked contrast, Vatican II (1962-1965) stated: “Easy access to sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful… Since the word of God should be available at all times, the Church with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books.” This is commendable despite the fact that Pope Gregory VII (c. 1020–1085) claimed that the Roman church has never erred, nor can it ever err.

Restriction of Scriptures

People were persecuted for reading the Scripture and then questioning the church’s teaching. But the Bereans were commended for this practice!

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

Jesus rebuked the Sadducees for their ignorance of Scripture:

You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matt 22:29)

Paul instructed Timothy on the power of Scripture:

“… from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:15-16)

Scriptures: Biblical perspective

Immaculate Conception & Mary Sinless

The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic dogma, the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus without any stain of original sin, in her mother’s womb… It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin. 1

… the doctrine of her “holy” or “immaculate” conception was first formulated in a tract by Eadmer, companion and biographer of the better-known St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (1033-1109), and later popularized by the archbishop’s nephew, Anselm the Younger. 1

1 Wikipedia

Thomas Aquinas 1 (1225-1274) wrote, “Since Mary would not have been a worthy mother of God if she had ever sinned, we assert without qualification that Mary never committed a sinful act, fatal or non-fatal: You are wholly beautiful, my love, and without blemish…” 2

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. 3

However the existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church’s belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its definition as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

1 Aquinas, the famous medieval scholar, believed that Mary was sinless, but didn’t believe in her Immaculate Conception. 2 Summa Theologica IIIa:27.4. 3 Wikipedia

Mary Sinless: Tradition?

This belief progressed from Unknown (1st – 11th C), to Uncertain (12th C) to Dogma (19th C). Let’s look at the 1st millennium of Church history.

Justin Martyr: “After you had crucified the only sinless and just Man” 1

Irenaeus (2nd C) says of Mary, “For more being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” 2

Clement of Alexandria: “He (Jesus) alone is judge, because He alone is sinless.” 3

Tertullian (3rd C): “God alone is without sin. The only man who is without sin is Christ; for Christ is also God”. 4

Ambrose held that Jesus was the only immaculately conceived human. 5

Augustine (4th & 5th C): “He, Christ alone, being made man but remaining God never had any sin, nor did he take of the flesh of sin. Though He took flesh of the sin of his mother.” 6

Bishop of Rome, Leo 1 (440): “The Lord Jesus Christ alone among the sons of men was born immaculate”. 7

1 Dialogue With Trypho 2 Against Heresies 3 The Instructor 4 The Soul 5 Cited in Augustine, On The Grace Of Christ, And On Original Sin 6 P. 61, tom. x. Benedict Ed. Paris, 1630 7 Sermon 24 in Nativ. Dom.

Mary Sinless: Tradition?

Bishop of Rome, Gelasius (492): “The unclean seed includes Mary. The one being from Adam who is sinless is Jesus” and “It belongs alone to the immaculate lamb to have no sin at all.” 1

Gregory the Great (6th C): “For he (Christ) alone was truly born holy”. 2

On it’s popularization in the 12th century, the Immaculate Conception “… was rejected by … Bernard of Clairvaux, Alexander of Hales, and … Bonaventure (who, teaching at Paris, called it ‘this foreign doctrine,’ indicating its association with England)…” 3

Even after the introduction of this heresy, the belief in it was not unanimous in the Roman church:

Pope Innocent III (1216): “She (Eve) was produced without sin, but she brought forth in sin, she (Mary) was produced in sin, but she brought forth without sin.” 4

Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534) wrote, “If the Scriptures be duly considered, and the saying of the doctors ancient and modern, who have been most devoted to the glorious Virgin, it is plain from their words that she was conceived in sin”. 5

1 Gellasii Papae dicta, Paris 2 Quoted in “The Secrets of Romanism” 3 Wikipedia 4 De festo Assump., sermon 2 5 De Loc Theo.

Mary Sinless: Tradition?

The Bible teaches that all people are sinners.

Romans 3:23 … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Rom 3:10 … There is no one righteous, not even one…

1 John 1:8,10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us… If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Luke records the song of Mary as, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)

Definition: Savior… refers to a person who helps people achieve Salvation, or saves them from something (Wikipedia).

Having God as your Savior implies that you are a sinner.

The ‘logic’ behind believing in the Immaculate Conception and Mary’s sinlessness was - that in order for Jesus to be sinless, his mother had to be sinless too. This is flawed reasoning. Following the argument to its logical conclusion you should then say that - in order for Mary to be sinless, her mother had to be sinless too, and so on all the way back to Eve.

Mary Sinless: Biblical perspective

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was sinless:

2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

1 Pet 1:19 … but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

1 Pet 2:21-22 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

Nowhere does the Bible make this claim of Mary. Again this is an extra-Biblical doctrine based on (late) tradition.

Jesus was sinless because He was God in flesh. How then could Mary manage this unless she too was divine?

Mary Sinless: Biblical perspective

The Assumption of Mary is the belief that she ascended bodily into heaven without dying.

The entire silence of the apostles and the primitive church teachers respecting the departure of Mary stirred idle curiosity to all sorts of inventions, until a translation like Enoch’s and Elijah’s was attributed to her. 1

Two apocryphal Greek writings de transitu Mariae, of the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century, and afterward pseudo- Dionysius the Areopagite and Gregory of Tours (595), for the first time contain the legend that the soul of the mother of God was transported to the heavenly paradise by Christ and His angels… 1

Former Catholic Nun, Mary Ann Collins, writes, “In 495 AD, Pope Gelasius issued a decree which rejected this teaching as heresy and its proponents as heretics. In the 6th century, Pope Hormisdas also condemned as heretics those authors who taught the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. Here we have ‘infallible’ popes declaring a doctrine to be a heresy.” 2

1 Philip Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church” 2 www.CatholicConcerns.Com

Assumption of Mary

According to Wikipedia, “Queen of Heaven is a Roman title used in antiquity for the Ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis. The term later was used in Roman Catholicism as one of many titles given to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Iconographically the similarities between the seated Isis holding or suckling the child Horus and the seated Mary and the baby Jesus are apparent. 1

1 Wikipedia

Mary worship: Queen of heaven

Wikipedia - On the right is Our Mother of Perpetual Help, a famous medieval icon of Mary and Jesus; on the left is a bronze statue of Isis nursing Horus dating from the Ptolemaic era of Egypt.

The title “Queen of heaven” is only used in the Bible regarding a pagan deity.

Jer 44:15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present… said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven … 19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes like her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”

Mary – Queen of heaven?

Mary worship: Queen of heaven

God says, “I will not give my glory to another…” (Isa 42:8)

Archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom (c.347– c.407) said, “Sinners receive pardon by the intercession of Mary alone.”

The Bible says that there is “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. (1 Tim 2:5)

French abbot, Bernard Of Clairvaux (1090-1153) said, “Holy Scripture was written to Mary, about Mary, and on account of Mary”.

Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Medieval scholastic theologian, Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1221–1274) said, “No one ever finds Christ but with and through Mary. Whoever seeks Christ apart from Mary seeks Him in vain.”

Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”. (John 6:44)

Interestingly Mary only gave one instruction recorded in Scripture. Speaking of Jesus she said, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

Mary worship: Biblical perspective

Catholic sources identify the rosary as a 13th to 15th century invention.

There are differing views on the exact history of the rosary. Some histories of the rosary attribute its origin to Saint Dominic through the Blessed Virgin Mary.1 Our Lady of the Rosary is the title received by the Marian apparition to Saint Dominic in 1208 in the church of Prouille in which the Virgin Mary gave the rosary to him. However, other sources dispute this attribution and suggest that its roots were in the preaching of Alan de Rupe between 1470-1475…2 (Wikipedia)

1 Catherine Beebe, St. Dominic and the Rosary 2 Catholic Encyclopedia

The rosary

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, ‘rose garden’), is a traditional popular Roman Catholic devotion and also an Anglo-Catholic devotion. The term denotes both a set of prayer beads used in the devotion and the devotional prayer itself, which combines vocal (or silent) prayer and meditation centered around sequences of reciting the Lord’s Prayer followed by ten recitations of the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer and a single recitation of ‘Glory Be to the Father’; each of these sequences is known as a decade. 1

BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE: Jesus explicitly forbade this when he said, “And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matt 6:7) 2 1 Wikipedia 2 American Standard Version

The rosary

Transubstantiation is the belief that the bread and wine taken at Mass literally change into the body and blood of Christ.

Augustine taught, “What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice [wine] the blood of Christ.” 1

In 831 Paschasius Radbertus (800-865), a devout, but superstitious, monk from France, wrote a treatise “On the Body and Blood of the Lord”, in which he argued that Christ was literally present in the Lord’s Supper and is communicated to the believer through the mouth. This bodily presence of Christ in the elements is identical with Christ’s historical body which is miraculously recreated by an ordained priest at that moment in the mass when the host is elevated and the words, “This is my body… this is my blood,” are spoken.

1 Sermons 272


At the time, the monk Ratramnus opposed this view and wrote a book explaining how the bread and wine are symbolic exhibitions of Christ’s physical body which is present in heaven. There is a real spiritual presence of Christ in the elements which conveys virtue and power to the believing Christian, nevertheless the elements remain bread and wine. John 6:63 was used as a proof text demonstrating it was not a literal presence.

John Scotus Erigena (c. 810-877), one of greatest theologians of early middle ages, helps pave way for scholasticism. Involved in eucharistic controversy with Radbertus and maintains in the supper we partake of the Lord “mentally not dentally.” 1

Centuries later the controversy flared up again through the teachings of Berengar (1000-1088), head of the Cathedral School at Tours, France. He strongly criticized the authority of the Catholic Church and came to the conclusion that the doctrine of transubstantiation was “a vulgar superstition contrary to the Scriptures, to the fathers, and to reason… an absurdity and an insane folly of the populace.” 2

1 Christian History Institute 2 “The Lord’s Supper - An Historical Overview” by Al Maxey


At the Synod of Tours (1059) under Pope Nicholas II, Berengar, fearing death, recanted and admitted that a person actually chewed the very body of Christ with one’s teeth, and then he threw his books into the fire. Upon returning to France he immediately began speaking out again against the Catholic Church.1

At the Lateran Council of 1215, transubstantiation was defined as ‘de fide’ (the faith). The Roman Catholic Council of Trent in the mid-16th century supported the view of Radbertus and placed the book of Ratramnus on the “Index Librorum Prohibitorum”, the official list of prohibited books. 2

Eventually this superstition led to the forbidding of laymen to drink the cup (Council of Constance, 1414) for fear that they might spill the actual blood of Christ.


Index Librorum Prohibitorum

1 “The Lord’s Supper - An Historical Overview” by Al Maxey 2 files/ medievalchurch/

The Biblical justification for this heresy comes from the following passages:

Mark 14:22 … Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world… 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

The latter passage actually has nothing to do with the communion as Jesus is simply teaching in similar fashion to His “I am the gate” or “I am the light” (etc) sermons.


Interpreting Scripture with Scripture, it’s clear that Jesus is using metaphors here, as in the following passages:

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world”

Is Jesus a light bulb?

John 10:7 “I am the gate for the sheep”

Is Jesus wood?

John 15:1 “I am the true vine”

Is Jesus a plant?

John 6:51 “I am the living bread”

So surely Jesus did not mean that he was a literal loaf of bread?

A metaphor is a figure of speech like a simile, but without the use of the word ‘like’. Using similes, Jesus could have said “I am like a light / gate / vine / bread”.

Thus in the context of John 6:55, when Jesus says, “my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink”, he is speaking using metaphors i.e. my flesh is like real food and my blood is like real drink.

Transubstantiation: Biblical perspective

“For my flesh is real food” – compare this with the following 2 passages where Jesus talks of ‘food’ and ‘bread’:

John 4:31-34 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

Matt 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

In addition, the context of John 6 clearly states that Jesus words were symbolic (spiritual) and not literal (flesh).

John 6:60-63 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” … Jesus said to them, “… The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

As with His parables, Jesus was using physical concepts, eating and drinking, to teach spiritual truth. Just as consuming physical food and drink sustains our physical bodies, so are our spiritual lives are sustained and built up by spiritually receiving Him.

Transubstantiation: Biblical perspective

With this view that the elements were somehow more than mere bread & wine, came the sacrificial view of the Lord’s Supper. This view maintains that since the elements actually become the body & blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is therefore an actual re-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Lord’s Supper had the power, when eaten, to forgive sins. This would later come to be called the Sacrifice of the Mass (or, just ‘Mass’).

That is the sense of a clause from the Council of Trent: 1 “If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema”.

1 Sess. XXII, can. 1

The Mass – reinstituted sacrifice

The Mass is a repeated re-sacrifice of Jesus offered to God, but there is no more need for sacrifice because Jesus was sacrificed “once for all”:

Heb 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Scriptures declare that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial to the body and blood of Christ, not the actual consumption of His physical body and blood. Luke writes, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ ” (Luke 22:19 - see also 1 Cor 11:24-25)

The Mass – Biblical perspective

Tertullian, in the end of the 2nd century, writes, “The act of baptism itself belongs to the flesh, because we are immersed in water.” 1

Ambrose (4th C), expounding the baptismal death in Romans 6:3, says, “The death, therefore, is a figurative, not a real bodily death, for when you are immersing you present a likeness of death and burial.” 2

Jerome (5th C), in his notes on Ephesians 4:5, says, “We are immersed three times to receive the one baptism of Christ.” 3

Bishop of Rome, Leo the Great, speaking of baptism in the 5th century, says, “Trine immersion is an imitation of the three days’ burial (of Christ), and the Emersion out of the waters is a figure (of the Saviour) rising from the grave.” 4

1 In aqua mergimur. Do Baptismo, cap. 7, pars ii. p. 37. Lipsia, 1839. 2 Cum enim mergis, mortis suscepis et sepultarae similitudinem. Do Sacramentis, lib. ii. cap.7. 3 Ter mergimur, tome ix. p. 109. Basle, 1516. 4 Trina demersio, ep. 16, vol. liv. p. 699, Patrl. Lat.

Baptism by sprinkling

In the late 6th century, although infant baptism was also being practiced, it was still by immersion and not sprinkling. Gregory, bishop of Rome writes in 591, “Now we, in immersing thrice, signify the sacraments of the three days’ sepulture; so that, when the infant is a third time lifted out of the water, the resurrection after a space of three days may be expressed… neither so is there any objection to immersing the person to be baptized in the water once…” 1

In the 11th century Lanfranc,2 commenting on Philippians 3:10, says, “Being made conformable unto his death in baptism, for as Christ lay for three days in the sepulchre, so let there be a trine immersion in baptism.” 3

1 Book I, Epistle XLIII 2 Lanfranc helped win the pope’s approval for the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. His friendship with William led him to England in 1070, where he became Archbishop of Canterbury. 3 Sic in baptismate trina sit

Baptism by sprinkling

Bernard Of Clairvaux, the most prominent ecclesiastic in France in the 12th century, in his sermon on the Lord’s Supper, says, “Baptism is the first of all the sacraments, in which we are planted together in the likeness of his (Christ’s) death. Hence trine immersion represents the three days we are about to celebrate.” 1

Until the beginning of the 13th century immersion was the mode of baptism of all Western Christendom, except in cases of sickness, and it was a common practice long afterwards in many parts of the papal dominions; it was the general usage in England until after the Reformation, and it was frequently observed down to the middle of the 17th century. There is a record of the immersion of Arthur and Margaret, the brother and sister of Henry VIII, and there is no doubt that immersion was the mode of baptism that prevailed all over his kingdom in Henry’s day. 2

1 Trina mersio 2 The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881 – William Cathcart, editor

Baptism by sprinkling

Bernard Of Clairvaux

Today the Roman Catholic Church (amongst others, including Reformed churches) baptizes by sprinkling, but admits the change from immersion to pouring was simply because for convenience: “The present mode of pouring arose from the many inconveniences connected with immersion,1 frequent mention of which are made in the writings of the early Church Fathers.” 2

According to the ‘Catholic Answers’, website “Although Latin-rite Catholics are usually baptized by infusion (pouring), they know that immersion (dunking) and sprinkling are also valid ways to baptize. Fundamentalists, however, regard only baptism by immersion as true baptism, concluding that most Catholics are not validly baptized at all.”

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic church never changed and immerses to this day.

1 E.g. baptism of elderly & sick, or death-bed baptisms. Constantine was baptized on his deathbed in 337 but ancient accounts indicate that he had hoped to be baptized in the Jordan River, but was too sick to make it. 2 Question Box, Bertrand L. Conway

Baptism by sprinkling

The Greek word ‘rhantizo’ means to sprinkle. In the Bible only blood was sprinkled; baptism by water was by immersion. Our English word ‘baptize’ is transliterated from the Greek word ‘baptizo’ and means:

“immersion, submersion and emergence” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words),

“to dip, immerse, submerge” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon).

E.g. the Septuagint (Greek version of the OT) tells us that Naaman, at Elisha’s direction, “went down and dipped himself [the Greek word here is ‘baptizo’] in the Jordan seven times” (2 Kings 5:14).

Baptism symbolizes burial. In a burial the body is ‘immersed’, not ‘sprinkled’ with earth.

Col 2:12 … having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Romans 6:3-4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Sprinkling: Biblical perspective

Regarding the sacrament of Penance (commonly called confession) Chiniquy 1 observes: “It is a public fact, which no learned Roman Catholic has ever denied, that auricular 2 confession became a dogma and obligatory practice of the church only at the Council of Lateran in the year 1215, under the Pope Innocent III. Not a single trace of auricular confession, as a dogma, can be found before that year.” 3

The Catechism 4 states, “One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.”

Roman Catholics believe that priests have been given the authority by Jesus and God to exercise the forgiveness of sins here on earth, through his authority. This is to say that the priest during the Sacrament of Penance is a stand-in for Jesus whose authority it is to forgive sins. 5 1 Chiniquy was a Canadian Catholic priest who converted to Presbyterianism. 2 i.e. private 3 The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional 4 A catechism is a summary or exposition of doctrine. 5 Wikipedia


Charles Chiniquy (1809-1899)

After weighing the gravity of the confessed sins, the priest, acting in the place of God, absolves (forgives) the sinner of the eternal punishment due (but not necessarily all the temporal punishment) for those confessed sins, and gives them a penance (good work) to perform. This generally falls into the categories of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and patient suffering of the ills of life. By performing the penance, the Catholic is taught they reduce the temporal punishment they are due, either on this earth or purgatory, to some degree.

Pope John Paul II lamented that the Sacrament of Confession was being “undermined by the sometimes widespread idea that one can obtain forgiveness directly from God.” 1 1 Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliation And Penance, December 2nd, 1984.


John Chrysostom (4th C) wrote, “We do not request you to go to confess your sins to any of your fellowmen, but only to God… You need no witnesses of your confession. Secretly acknowledge your sins, and let God alone hear you.” 2

And in another work, Chrysostom says, “What we should most admire is not that God forgives our sins, but that he does not disclose them to anyone, nor wishes us to do so. What he demands of us is to confess our transgressions to him alone to obtain pardon.” 3

Basil (4th C) said: “I have not come before the world to make a confession with my lips. But I close my eyes, and confess my sins in the secret of my heart. Before thee, O God, I pour out my sighs, and thou alone art the witness. My groans are within my soul. There is no need of many words to confess: sorrow and regret are the best confession. Yes, the lamentations of the soul, which thou art pleased to hear, are the best confession.” 4

Augustine (5th C) wrote, “What have I to do with men that they should hear my confessions, as if they were able to heal my infirmities? The human race is very curious to know another person’s life, but very lazy to correct it.” 1

1 Confessions 2 Paenitentia, Vol. IV 4 Catethesis ad illuminandos, Vol.II 4 Commentary on Psalms 37

Confession – first millennium

So where did the idea of auricular confession originate?

Chiniquy links this practice with paganism, “Let those who want more information on that subject read the poems of Juvenal, Propertius, and Tibellus. Let them peruse all the historians of old Rome, and they will see the perfect resemblance which exists between the priests of the Pope and those of Bacchus, in reference to the vows of celibacy, the secrets of auricular confession, celebration of the so-called ‘sacred mysteries’…” 1

1 The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional


Protestant churches believe that no intermediary is necessary between the Christian and God in order to be absolved from sins. Protestants, however, confess their sins in private prayer before God, believing this suffices to gain God’s pardon. 1

The concept of confession of sin to a priest is nowhere taught in Scripture. First, the New Testament does not teach that there are to be priests in the New Covenant. Instead, the New Testament teaches that all believers are priests. 1 Peter 2:5-9 describes believers as a “holy priesthood” and a “royal priesthood.” Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 both describe believers as “a kingdom and priests.” In the Old Covenant, the faithful had to approach God through the priests. The priests were mediators between the people and God. The priests offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. That is no longer necessary. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can now approach God’s throne with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). The temple veil tearing in two at Jesus’ death was symbolic of the dividing wall between God and humanity being destroyed. We can approach God directly, ourselves, without the use of a human mediator. Why? Because Jesus Christ is our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-15; 10:21), and the only mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:15). 2

1 Wikipedia 2 GotQuestion?org

Confession: Biblical perspective

The Bible teaches 3 types of confession:

Private confession

Confessing one to another

Public confession

Private confession (to God alone)

Our ‘advocate’ representing us is not a human priest, but our High Priest, Jesus. This is clearly shown in the book of Hebrews, as well as in the following passage, “… if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)

Peter instructed Simon Magus to pray directly to God for forgiveness. “… your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.” (Acts 8:21-22)

Jesus taught us to pray directly to God for forgiveness, “Our Father in heaven… Forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:2,4).

Confession: Biblical perspective

Confessing one to another:

Confession to another person (as well as to God) is encouraged when a wrong has been done to that person. The confession to the person wronged is part of the reconciliation process.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) 1

Luke 17:3-4 … If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

1 This verse is cited as support for auricular confession to a priest, However the context talks of believers confessing to each other, not to a priest (the OT office of priesthood was not continued in the NT). John 20:23 is also cited as support for auricular confession, although confession is nowhere mentioned at all in the passage. Jesus said to his apostles, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” This passage is similar to 2 Cor 2:10 where Paul writes, “If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake”. The context of 2 Cor 2:10 is clearly church discipline – the case of the fornicator who was first excommunicated and now is being received back into fellowship. The expression in John 20:23 possibly refers to church discipline where the leaders have God’s backing in rejecting or accepting others into fellowship.

Confession: Biblical perspective

Public confession (to the church)

Acts 19:18-19 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.

In cases where sin has resulted in the exclusion of a person from church membership due to unrepentance, public confession is often a prerequisite to readmission. The sinner confesses to the church his or her repentance and is received back into fellowship.

Confession: Biblical perspective

Medieval theologians invented the concept of a “treasury of merit”. This was a storehouse of all the good works of Christ, the saints, and all good Christians. Fortunately the Pope had access to this treasury of ‘surplus’ good works and could distribute these by means of indulgences to those who were not certain that they had rendered sufficient penance to take care of all the temporal punishment that they deserved. The catch is that although such indulgences were originally granted as rewards for virtuous deeds, they eventually came to be sold.

In 1095 Pope Urban II called upon all Christians to join a war against the Turks,1 promising those who died in the endeavor would receive immediate remission of their sins. 2

Avignon Pope John XXII (1316-34) set prices for crimes ranging from incest to sodomy.

In 1476 Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84) was first to apply indulgences to souls already in Purgatory.

Pope Innocent VIII (1484-92) granted a 20-year indulgence where for a sum, one could purchase the privilege of eating favorite dishes during Lent (i.e. the 40 day season of fasting before Easter).

1 i.e. the 1st Crusade 2 Wikipedia


Under Pope Leo X (1513-21) 1 specific prices were set for every imaginable crime e.g. a deacon accused of murder could be absolved for 20 crowns. Once pardoned, he could not be prosecuted by civil authorities.

As part of a fund-raising campaign by Leo X to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Dominican friar Johannes Tetzel began selling indulgences in German lands. Albert, the Archbishop of Mainz had borrowed heavily to pay for his high church rank and was deeply in debt. He agreed to allow the sale of indulgences in his territory in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

In 1517 Johann Tetzel came to Germany selling certificates, signed by the Pope, offering pardon of all sins to buyers and their friends without confession, repentance, or absolution by the priest. Tetzel’s infamous refrain went, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs!”

1 Leo X later cursed & excommunicated Martin Luther.


Johannes Tetzel, engraving after a contemporary portrait.

Indulgences became a license to commit sin as people could buy them in advance. (A “pay now, sin later” option).

Jude writes of “godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 4).

The belief in indulgences implies that forgiveness can be bought or earned through good works of other ‘saints’ or Christians.

In the eyes of God “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) so how can good works be used to fill a storehouse of merit?

In any event, ‘good works’ are of no use when it comes to trying to attain forgiveness through merit, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22). As with our salvation, ongoing forgiveness is only possible through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus when he shed His blood.

Peter makes it clear that forgiveness cannot be bought when he writes, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Pet 1:18-19)

Indulgences: Biblical perspective

The Bible states only 2 requirements for forgiveness on our part and they do not include either good works or the purchase of someone else’s credit of ‘surplus’ good works.

The first is repentance to God.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Indulgences: Biblical perspective

The only other Biblical requirement when we confess to “our Father in heaven” is that we forgive others and release them unconditionally of their debt to us.

Matt 6:9-15 Our Father in heaven… Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Indulgences: Biblical perspective

Pope Innocent III (1215): “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved.” 1

Pope Boniface VIII (1302): “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” 2

Pope Eugene IV (1441): “[The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that those who are not within the Catholic Church, not only Pagans, but Jews, heretics, and schismatics, can never be partakers of eternal life, but are to go into eternal fire ‘prepared for the devil and his angels’, unless before the close of their lives they shall have entered into that Church.” 3

The Biblical criteria is somewhat different, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 Jn 5:12)

1 Fourth Lateran Council 2 The Bull Unan Sanctam 3 The Bull Cantate Domino

Salvation only in the Roman Church

Portrait of Pope Eugene IV, by Jean Fouquet

Holy Water is water that has been blessed and set apart for baptism… As a reminder of baptism, Roman Catholics dip their fingers in the holy water and make the sign of the cross when entering the church. The liturgy may begin on Sundays with the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water, in which holy water is sprinkled upon the congregation; this is called aspersion, from the Latin, to sprinkle. This ceremony dates back to the 9th century. 1

The name Baptism of Bells has been given to the blessing of (musical, especially church) bells, at least in France, since the 11th century. It is derived from the washing of the bell with holy water by the bishop, before he anoints it with the oil of the infirm without and with chrism within; a fuming censer is placed under it and the bishop prays that these sacramentals of the Church may, at the sound of the bell, put the demons to flight, protect from storms, and call the faithful to prayer. 1

1 Wikipedia

Other superstitious inventions

Bottled ‘holy water’ for sale on website

The monastic scapular is part of the garb, the habit, of many Christian religious orders, of both monks and nuns… In its basic form it is a shoulder-wide floor-length piece of cloth covering front and back, and worn over the traditional tunic or cassock … Of all the types recognized by the Church the best-known, and perhaps the most popular, is the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, sometimes referred to as the ‘brown scapular’ from the color of its bands. It is believed to have been originally given by the Blessed Mother to Saint Simon Stock when she appeared in England in 1251. The saint was apparently told by Mary that those who died “clothed in this habit [would] never suffer eternal fire”. 1

1 Wikipedia

Other superstitious inventions

The spread of

Christianity &

the rise of Islam

Christianity grew much more rapidly in Africa than in any other western province.1 It was firmly established in Carthage and other Tunisian towns by the 3rd century and had produced its own local martyrs and an outstanding apologist in Tertullian (c. 160–240). During the next 50 years it expanded remarkably; more than 80 bishops attended a council at Carthage in 256… 2

Islam arrived in North Africa in 639, just 7 years after the death of Muhammad. The invading Arab forces came from Mecca under the leadership of the military ruler Amr ibn al-Asi.

Islam claimed the whole of North Africa in what were once the lands of great Christian leaders and famous writers such as Tertullian, Athanasius, Cyprian, Clement and Augustine.

The early church recognized 5 patriarchs who oversaw large geographical areas: the bishops of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Rome. 4 of these 5 centres fell to Islamic invaders. Within 8 years after the death of Muhammad (632) Muslim armies had taken Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Antioch (where the name ‘Christian’ had originated) fell in 637, Jerusalem in 638, Alexandria in 640 and ultimately Constantinople in 1453. 1 Of the Roman Empire 2 Encyclopædia Britannica

The Rise of Islam

The Rise of Islam

Expansion under Mohammad, 612-632

Expansion during the Rightly Guided Caliphate, 635-661

Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750

The Church in Egypt traced its origins back to the gospel writer, John Mark. Early on the Alexandrian church had become the most prominent in Northern Africa.

In 640, Alexandria fell under Muslim control. A contemporary source related, “… the Muslims captured the city of Alexandria, and destroyed its walls, and burnt many churches with fire. And they burnt the church of Saint Mark, which was built by the sea, where his body was laid… So they burnt this place and the monasteries around it…” 1

Pockets of Christians remained in Egypt; there was also resistance to Islam from the Berbers and from the Christian church in Nubia. 2 & 3

In 1009 “the Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the destruction of all churches and synagogues in his Caliphate, which included North Africa and the Middle East.” 4

In 1320 Muslims destroy sixty Coptic Churches. 5

1 Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa, History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria 2 BBC World Service 3 Nubia is Northern Sudan 4 Wikipedia – “Islam and Dhimmitude” - Bat Ye'or 5 James M. Arlandson (Answering-Islam website)

The Rise of Islam: Africa

In the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia became the focus for Christianity following the decline of the Kingdom of Aksum 1 in the 8th century. 2

The Ethiopian Church continued through the centuries to resist Islam. 2

In 1528 the forces of the militant Muslim leader, Ahmed Gragn, swept across Ethiopia destroying many churches, threatening the complete destruction of Ethiopian Christendom.

… from the 12th century to the 16th century, Ethiopian rulers were under periodic attacks from Muslim neighbours, starting with the Sultan of Shoa and culminating in 1543 with a decisive victory over the Muslim King of Adal, achieved with the help of the Portuguese. 2

1 Located in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea 2 BBC World Service

The Rise of Islam: Africa

In 1009 Muslims attacked churches in Jerusalem and burnt down the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1027/ 8 after negotiations, they permitted the Byzantine Empire to rebuild it. For a time Christian pilgrims were still captured and some clergymen were killed.

In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the 1st Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem and prevent ongoing harassment of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.

The Franks took Jerusalem in 1099 and Acre in 1104.

In 1187 Jerusalem & Acre fell again to Saladin, Sultan of Egypt.

In 1191 the English ‘Richard the Lionheart’ recaptured Acre and negotiated a treaty with Saladin allowing Christians pilgrimages to Jerusalem. 1

1 For a brief overview on the 1st to 9th crusades, see Appendix 8.

‘Holy Land’ Crusades

In 710-713 Muslims conquered the lower Indus Valley (in Pakistan / India).

In 1071 the Seljuk Turks conquered Armenia, ending the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor. The Eastern Empire’s Asian territory was reduced to a region in western Anatolia and around Constantinople.

According to Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship, “By the 10th century the Muslim armies had annihilated half of all the Christians in the world of that time.”

In 718 the Roman Emperor Leo III had successfully repelled the Arabs from Constantinople, but it fell to the Turks in 1453.

The Rise of Islam

Mehmed II on his way to the siege of Constantinople (1453)

Islam not only supplanted Christianity across the Middle East and North Africa, but an attempt was made on Europe as well.

Spain was invaded by the Moors, Muslims from North Africa. 1

Charles Martel (grandfather of Charlemagne) halted the Muslim advance by decisively defeating the Saracens at the Battle of Tours in 732.

Muslims conquered Sicily with a rule lasting almost two centuries (902–1091) until a subsequent Christian reconquest by the Normans.

… the Second Crusade met with great success as a group of Northern European Crusaders stopped in Portugal, allied with the Portuguese, and retook Lisbon from the Muslims in 1147. 2

The Muslim Turkish Ottoman Empire conquered the lands of the Second Bulgarian Empire—the Southern half (Thrace) in 1371, Sofia in 1382, the then capital Tarnovgrad in 1393, the northern rest in 1396, except Vidin, which fell in 1422; Albania in 1385 and again in 1480; Greece in 1460; Serbia by 1459 and (after partial Hungarian reconquest in 1480) again by 1499; Bosnia in 1463 (the Northwestern part only by 1527) and Herzegovina in 1482.

1 Christian History Institute 2 Wikipedia

The Rise of Islam: Europe

The Ottoman Empire

Although the way that the Crusades were conducted cannot be justified, they were effectively a counterattack and massively provoked. The 1st Crusade was launched 450 years after the first Muslim invasions, and were in response to persecution of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. 1

Few Christians in the West today realize how close Islam came to literally exterminating Christianity during the Middle Ages.

In the long term, those that refused to convert to Islam were penalised. They had to pay high taxes and were barred or evicted from positions in government. 2

Through the ages Islam has been the second largest (after Atheistic Communism) opponent and persecutor of Christians. There is no real religious tolerance in Islam. When Islam has the upper hand, you usually convert or die. Historically though, Muslims have tolerated Christian and Jewish communities for the sake of material gain, in the form of tribute, and in some cases they have enslaved Christians and Jews. Christians were second-class citizens at best.

1 According to Wikipedia, “The papacy of Pope Gregory VII had struggled with reservations about the doctrinal validity of a holy war and the shedding of blood for the Lord and had, with difficulty, resolved the question in favour of justified violence.” 2 BBC World Service

The Rise of Islam

The Unevangelised world today

Source: David Barrett

Note how much of the unevangelised world today was the cradle of early Christianity (N. Africa & Middle East), which was destroyed by Islam.


% Christian



Evangelization of world





























































































Church growth

Note the impact of Islam (7th C onwards) on the white / non-white ratio. The modern myth that Christianity was always a “white man’s religion” is untrue. Before the 7th C the church was predominantly non-white, but Islam almost obliterated the African and Middle Eastern church, while Europe withstood the Islamic advance.

Source: David Barrett

600-636: The writings of Isidore, Bishop of Seville “provide invaluable knowledge for the Middle Ages. He is known for important efforts to resist barbarism and heresy in Spain, founding schools and convents and evangelizing Jews.” 1

609: Pagan pantheon in Rome consecrated as church of St. Maria Rotunda. 1

664: After conflict between the original Celtic church and the Roman missionaries, England adopts the Roman Catholic faith at the Synod of Whitby. 1

Kilian… was an Irish missionary bishop and the apostle of Franconia (nowadays the northern part of Bavaria), where he began his labors towards the end of the 7th century… After having preached the gospel in Würzburg, he succeeded in converting to Christianity the local lord, Duke Gozbert, and much of the population. 2

He is reputed to have been beheaded by the Duchess Geilana for criticising the validity of her marriage to Duke Gozbert.

1 Christian History Institute 2 Wikipedia

The spread of Christianity

Willibrord was a Northumbrian (north east England and southern Scotland) missionary, known as the “Apostle to the Frisians” in the modern Netherlands. 1

Willibrord tried to convert Radbod, (king of the Frisians) but not succeeding he returned to Fontenelle. It is said that Radbod was nearly baptised, but refused when he was told that he would not be able to find any of his ancestors in Heaven after his death, since he preferred spending eternity in Hell with his pagan ancestors than in Heaven with strangers. 1

Radbod later burnt churches and killed many missionaries. After Radbod’s death in 719, Willibrord returned to Frisia to resume his mission work, aided by Winifrid, and under the protection of Charles Martel.

1 Wikipedia

The spread of Christianity

Willibrord (c. 658 – 739)

Willibrord’s assistant for 3 years was Winifrid, who became known as Boniface. Boniface became a missionary to the Germans for 40 years. As part of their pagan rituals, the native inhabitants worshipped an oak tree.

In 723, Boniface felled the holy oak tree dedicated to Thor 1 near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse. He did this with Elijah in mind. Boniface called upon Thor to strike him down if he cut the ‘holy’ tree… When Thor did not strike him down, the people converted to Christianity. 2

The spread of Christianity

At the age of nearly 80, Boniface still wanted to return to Frisia so he set off with 52 companions on an evangelistic mission. On 5 June 755 near the modern town of Dokkum in the Netherlands, they were all massacred by pagans. Boniface himself was struck down by a sword which pierced the Bible he had raised to shield his head. 1 Thor is a Norse thunder god. Donar is his Teutonic equivalent while the Romans saw in him their god Jupiter. 2 "http:// Boniface">http:// Boniface

Boniface of England (680-754)

As well as growing the churches in Germany, Boniface had been equally concerned about ensuring that political rulers became firmly committed to Christianity. He crowned Pepin as king of all the Franks.

Pepin’s son Charlemagne (c. 742-814) became king in 771. In 800 he was also crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III, establishing the dream of a kingdom with a Christian king.

Charlemagne (i.e. Charles the Great) is noted for his military conquests, strong central government, ecclesiastic reform and educational patronage.

He ruled all of modern France, Belgium, Holland, nearly half of modern Germany & Austria- Hungary, more than half of Italy & northeastern Spain.


The Assyrian Church produced many zealous missionaries, who traveled and preached throughout Persia and Central and East Asia in the 7th and 8th centuries… ‘Nestorian’ Christianity reached China by 635… About the same time Nestorian Christianity penetrated into Mongolia, eventually reaching as far as Korea. Some historians even suggest that they made it to the shores of Japan… The Christian community later faced persecution from Emperor Wuzong of Tang (reigned 840–846). He suppressed all foreign religions, including Buddhism and Christianity, which then declined sharply in China. A Syrian monk visiting China a few decades later described many churches in ruin. 1

Anskar (801-865), “Apostle of the North”, lays foundation for Christianity in Scandinavia. 2

Significant missionary efforts make further inroads among heathen peoples of Europe. Cyril (826-869) and Methodius (c. 815-885), the “Apostles of the Slavs”, work in Moravia and invent an alphabet for the Slavs. 2

1 Wikipedia 2 Christian History Institute

The spread of Christianity

Alfred the Great was King of Wessex in England from 871 to 899. He “translated Christian writings into the language of the common people. Set up a palace school and founded two monasteries. Devoted half his time and money to religious purposes.” 2

The Bohemian people embrace Christianity, but their “Good King Wenceslaus” is soon murdered c. 929 by opposing pagan rivals. 2

988 - Vladimir, sole ruler of the Kievan Rus,1 is baptized. 2

In the 10th century, “Hungarians and Poles begin to convert to Christianity, and Christianity reaches Iceland and Greenland to the west.” 2

1220 - Dominican Friars established as a teaching order… Some became missionaries to Central Asia, Persian Gulf, India, and China. 2

In the 14th century “the Black Death or bubonic plague ravages Europe; 25 million Europeans, over ¼ of the population, dies.” 2

1492 – Columbus’ voyage and a new age of exploration and Christian expansion begin. 2

1 Historic Ukraine and Russia 2 Christian History Institute

The spread of Christianity

Portrait of Alfred the Great)








Of Peter de Bruys, nothing more is known than that he was a priest, appeared as a reformer about 1105 in Southern France, and was burnt to death, 1126. 1

Towards 1139, Peter, abbot of Cluny, wrote a treatise against the disciples of the monk Henry of Lausanne, whom he accuses of preaching, in all the dioceses in the south of France, errors which he had inherited from Peter of Bruys. He stated 5 errors against them “which he proposed to show the falseness and wickedness of. (1) The baptism of persons before they have reached the years of discretion is invalid. Believers’ baptism was based upon Mark 16:16, and children, growing up, were rebaptized. (2) Church edifices and consecrated altars are useless. (3) Crosses should be broken up and burnt. (4) The mass is nothing in the world. (5) Prayers, alms, and other good works are unavailing for the dead.” 1

Peter and Henry revived the Donatistic view that piety is essential to a legitimate priesthood. The word ‘Church’ signifies the congregation of the faithful and consists in the unity of the assembled believers and not in the stones of the building. 1

In 1158 Henry was brought before a council at Rheims, presided over by the Pope. He was condemned, sent to a dungeon, and left there to die.

1 Philip Schaff: History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages

Peter de Bruys & Henry of Lausanne

Contemporary with Peter de Bruys and Henry of Lausanne was the Italian monk, Arnold of Brescia (c. 1090–1155).

In early life he traveled from Italy into France, and there became a pupil of the celebrated Abelard. Here he… received into his heart the light of the gospel. Returning to his native city he began preaching the gospel with great power. The people were melted and roused beneath his fiery appeals. The Catholic clergy became alarmed at his success, and condemned him to perpetual silence in the year 1139. He at once fled to the wilderness, and in the valley of the Alps found shelter among people of like views. 1

He finally planted himself in the midst of his foes and entered Rome itself. His appeals for freedom and liberty of conscience were for a time successful. Rome seemed to waken from the slumber and slavery of ages. 1

He was charged with advocating that the kingdom of Christ was not of this world, that the church was a distinct and spiritual assembly of baptized believers… he was arrested, condemned, crucified, and then burned, and his ashes thrown into the Tiber. 1

1 Elder John R. Daily, Primitive Monitor, The Primitive Baptist Library

Arnold of Brescia

Early reformers - Waldensians

Peter Waldo was a wealthy merchant… in the community of Lyons.1 One evening, while entertaining friends at his home, one of them suffered a sudden seizure and died. This incident so shook Waldo that he began to seriously think of his soul and eternity beyond the grave. He began to regularly attend church services, but was not satisfied with the superficial rituals in Latin. He employed two priests to come to his house to translate the Gospels of Christ into French. Waldo was most excited as he read, meditated on and carefully studied the Words of Christ. 2

Yet, instead of comfort and peace, he found conviction and challenge. He saw himself as the foolish rich man who was laying up treasures on earth, but was spiritually poor towards God. 2

Again and again he read the words of Jesus: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

He determined to obey the command of Christ to the rich man recorded in Mark 10:22: “If you wish to be perfect, sell what you have and follow Me.” … He gave all of his possessions to the poor in his community as restitution for his former business practices. He denied himself and followed Christ as a poor man. 2

1 Lyons is a city in east central France. 2 Dr. Peter Hammond –

Early reformers - Waldensians

After receiving a call from the pope’s representative to clarify his position and the intentions of his new movement, Waldo declared: “We have decided to live by the words of the gospel, especially that of the sermon on the mount, and the commandments, that is, to live in poverty, without concern for tomorrow. But we hold that also those who continue to live their lives in the world doing good will be saved.” 1

According to Catholic belief and practice at that time, Waldo, the merchant, not being ordained, had no right to preach. This Waldo challenged: “Who are the real successors of the apostles? Not necessarily those who are ordained, but rather those who respond to the Lord’s call and live like the apostles of old. What makes one a true heir to the apostles is not ecclesiastical ordination, but faithfulness to the Word of God. The authority to preach God’s Word does not come through any church organisation, but from Christ Himself.” 1

The archbishop ordered him to cease his preaching. To this Waldo responded: “It is better to obey God than man.” For this bold defiance, quoting the words of the Apostle Peter in Acts 4:19, his followers began to call him Peter 2 Waldo. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond – 2 His original name was Pierre Vaudès or Pierre de Vaux

Early reformers - Waldensians

The archbishop excommunicated Waldo and had him banished from the city. As he gained followers Peter Waldo sent them out 2 by 2 (both men and women) into villages and market places to teach and explain the Scriptures.

Often disguised as peddlers of gems and silks, the Waldenses travelled throughout southern and central Europe, spreading the gospel. Their footsteps can be traced not only by the evangelical churches that were founded, but by the stakes upon which many were martyred. The seed of the Gospel was often watered by the blood of those who had sowed it.

Some referred to the Waldenses as the “poor men of Lyons”. In German they were called “apostles”, while the Polish described them as “men who tell the truth.”

Peter Waldo grasped the great Reformation principles of the supreme authority of Holy Scripture, and salvation by grace through faith. He lifted up the principle that Christ’s Law must be supreme. He recognised that the churches had become unfaithful to God’s Law and to the Gospel of Christ. In their worldly quest for temporal riches and power, the church had long since abandoned the humility of Christ and the poverty of the Apostles. By compromising with the world it had lost its spiritual power. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond –

Early reformers - Waldensians

In ‘The Noble Lesson’ of the Waldenses they begin their statement of faith by admonishing all to search the scriptures to find God’s truth. They clearly state the fundamentals, champion justification by faith and Bible reading, and reject images, celibacy, confession, and papal supremacy.

The Waldenses believed “that purgatory was a fable; that relics were simply rotten bones; that to go on a pilgrimage served no end, save to empty one’s purse; that holy water was not a whit more efficacious than rain water, and that prayer in a barn was just as effectual as that offered in a church.” 1

At first the Waldensians were pacifists, rejecting any form of violence, even in self-defense.2 They also refused to take oaths.3

They also rejected indulgences, infant baptism, the mass, and other forms of unbiblical superstition. They rejected religious formalism in favour of Gospel simplicity and Christ-centred worship.

1 Wylie, The Waldenses 2 Later generations of Waldensians grew to be resourceful soldiers, defeating Catholic armies and securing religious freedom for their beleaguered families in the Alps of Piedmont. 3 Dr. Peter Hammond –

Some of the Waldensian precepts for living in the world included:

We must not love the world. We must, if possible, live at peace with men. We must shun evil company. We must not avenge ourselves. We must love our enemies. We must possess our souls in patience. We must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. 1

Some of the Waldensian precepts for personal holiness included:

We shall not serve the lusts of the flesh. We shall govern worldly thoughts. We shall mortify our members. We shall shun idleness. We shall practice works of mercy. We shall live in faith and morality. We shall fight against lusts. We shall speak to one another of the Will of God. We shall diligently examine our consciences. We shall purify, improve and compose the spirit and mind. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond –

Early reformers - Waldensians

Despite centuries of relentless, and vicious, persecution… the Waldensians not only managed to survive, but to expand, always attracting new followers and managing to proclaim the Gospel in new areas.1

… their followers were found as far afield as the Danube River in Austria, in Northern Germany and in Bohemia where their teachings and example helped inspire the great Bohemian professor and Reformer John Hus. 1

The Waldensians survive to this day, the oldest Evangelical church, with a heritage of over 800 years of faithful proclamation of the Gospel and firm resistance against tyranny.1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond –

Early reformers - Waldensians

Statue of Peter Waldo (1140- c. 1218)

Early reformers - Wycliffe

John Wycliffe (c. 1325-1384) was an English theologian who founded the Lollard movement, a precursor to the Protestant Reformation. He thus became known as “the Morning Star of the Reformation”.

He transformed Oxford University into the spiritual centre of England but was ultimately expelled in 1382.

Wycliffe died in 1384 and the Council of Constance condemned him posthumously.1 In 1428, at the command of the Pope, his bones were taken from his grave by the English bishop, burned to ashes and thrown into the river Swift.

1 i.e. after his death

Early reformers - Wycliffe

John Wycliffe looked to the Scriptures for authority and truth and like the Waldenses, he trained lay preachers to spread the Scripture.

Wycliffe felt that all Christians should have access to the Bible in the vernacular.1 He is credited as the force behind the first complete translation of the Bible into English enabling the English peasantry to read the Bible.

He emphasized the authority of the Scriptures over the authority of priests saying, “Even though there were a hundred popes and though every mendicant 2 monk were a cardinal, they would be entitled to confidence only insofar as they accorded with the Bible.”

1 i.e. native language of an area 2 Mendicant refers to begging or relying on charitable donations

Wycliffe giving his Bible translation to Lollards

Early reformers - Wycliffe

Thomas Walden - a foe of Wycliffe charges him with:

believing that it is lawful for clergyman to marry.

believing that it is foolish and presumptuous to say that infants who die without baptism are not saved.

denying that all sins are abolished in baptism (i.e. baptismal regeneration).

Amongst other things, the Lollards:

practiced believer’s baptism and denied infant baptism. Fox says one of their articles of faith was that “faith ought to precede baptism.”

advocated apostolic poverty.

opposed prayers for the dead.

denounced war, violence, and even abortion.

refused the taking of oaths.

had a tradition of Premillennialism. (Some criticized the Church for not focusing enough on Revelation.)

Early reformers - Wycliffe

Wycliffe understood salvation by grace rather than by works and religious rites. He said, “O, marvelous power of the Divine seed, which … softens obdurate 1 hearts, and changes into divine men those who were brutalized in sin, and removed to an infinite distance from God.”

Lollards taught that holiness was a requirement for a priest to be a ‘true’ priest or to perform the sacraments, and that a pious layman had power to perform those same rites. Wycliffe said, “In order to the existence of such a ministry in the Church, there is requisite an authority received from God, and consequently power and knowledge imparted from God for the exercise of such ministry; and where a man possesses these, although the bishop has not laid hands upon him according to his traditions, God has Himself appointed him.”

Denying any special authority to the priesthood, Lollards thought confession unnecessary since a priest did not have any special power to forgive sins.

They taught the concept of the “Church of the Saved”, meaning that Christ’s true Church was the community of the faithful, which overlapped with, but was not the same as the official Church of Rome.

1 i.e. obstinate

Early reformers - Wycliffe

Wycliffe is renowned for saying, “This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Lollards believed that the Catholic Church had been corrupted by temporal matters. Officials of the church should not concern themselves with secular matters because this constituted a conflict of interest between matters of the State and their spiritual mission.

They held that members of the clergy should be accountable to civil laws and advocated taxation of church properties.

Lavish church fixtures were seen as an excess. Effort should be placed on helping the needy and preaching rather than working on lavish decoration.

They rejected religious images because these took away from the true nature of worship: focus on God. Icons were also seen as dangerous since many seemed to worship the icon rather than God, leading to idolatry.

Believing that more attention should be given to the message in the scriptures rather than to ceremony, the Lollards denounced the ritualistic aspects of the Church such as transubstantiation, exorcism, pilgrimages, and blessings. These led to a focus on ritual over God and His message.

In 1398 the Bohemian (Czech) John Hus began lecturing on theology at Prague University and spreading Wycliffe’s ideas.

Hus called for a higher level of morality among the priesthood. Financial abuses, sexual immorality, and drunkenness were common among the priests of Europe.

He called for preaching and Bible reading in the common language, and for all Christians to receive full communion. At the time, laypersons received only the bread during communion, and only priests were allowed to receive the wine.

He opposed the sale of indulgences.

He asserted the primacy of the Scriptures over church leaders and councils. He denounced the claims of the Pope that he was Vicar of Christ on earth.

He opposed simony i.e. that Church offices could be purchased.

He was accused of heresy and burnt at the stake.

Early reformers – Jan Hus

Savonarola was known for religious reform, anti-Renaissance preaching, book burning, and destruction of what he considered immoral art. He vehemently preached against what he saw as the moral corruption of the clergy.

In 1494, the ruling Medici in Florence were overthrown and Savonarola emerged as the new leader. He set up a “Christian and religious Republic,” one of its first acts being to make sodomy into a capital offence. Homosexuality was previously tolerated in the city, and many homosexuals from the elite subsequently left Florence.

His chief enemies were the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI, who issued numerous restraints against him, all of which were ignored.

In 1498 Savonarola and his 2 closest associates were charged with heresy. All 3 were tortured on the rack, hanged in chains from a single cross and burnt alive.

Early reformers - Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498)

The gifts of

the Holy Spirit

Cessationists claim that supernatural gifts ceased after the completion of the NT. We saw in our studies of the periods from the 2nd to 6th century Church history that this claim cannot be supported.

… ‘Cessationism’ came to define mainstream Roman understanding… By the 13th century, it had found thoroughgoing expression in the writings of the great scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274). Again, it is important to stress that at this stage, things were still very far from any kind of generic ‘anti-supernaturalism’: miracles continued to be linked with the lives, relics and tombs of the saints, as were healings and exorcisms. 1

As the medieval era unfolded charismatic spontaneity would become ever more associated with fringe groups rather than with mainstream, catholic Christianity. Note the Waldenses confession in 1431:

“Therefore concerning the anointing of the sick, we hold it as an article of faith, and profess sincerely from the heart that sick persons, when they ask it, may lawfully be anointed with anointing oil by one who joins them in praying that it may be efficacious to the healing of the body according to the design and end and effect mentioned by the apostles; and we profess that such an anointing performed according to the apostolic design and practice will be healing and profitable.” 2

1 Charismatic Renewal In Britain - David Hilborn 2 Gordon, The Ministry of Healing

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

According to the New World Encyclopedia certain of the orthodox Franciscans reportedly spoke in tongues.

Hildegard of Bingen 1 is also reputed to have spoken and sung in tongues, and her spiritual songs were referred to by contemporaries as “concerts in the Spirit”. 2

1300s - The Moravians 3 are referred to by detractors as having spoken in tongues. John Roche, a contemporary critic, claimed that the Moravians “commonly broke into some disconnected jargon, which they often passed upon the vulgar, ‘as the exuberant and resistless Evacuations of the Spirit.’ ” 4 1 Hildegard of Bingen was a remarkable woman. At a time when few women wrote, she produced major works of theology and visionary writings. When few women were accorded respect, she was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. 2 New World Encyclopedia 3 The movement that became the Moravian Church was started by Jan Hus in the late 14th century Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic). 4 Stanley M. Burgess. “Medieval and Modern Western Churches,” Initial Evidence

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

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Scripture quotations taken from the NIV:

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Appendix 1: Tradition (modern)

Appendix 2: Mary worship (modern)

Appendix 3: Assumption of Mary (modern)

Appendix 4: Papal infallibility (modern)

Appendix 5: More on Boniface

Appendix 6: Battle of Tours

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades

1 The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church (1962-1965). 4 future popes took part in the council’s opening session: Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and 35-year-old Father Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who more than 40 years later became the current (2008) Pope Benedict XVI.

This esteemed view of tradition is still held by the Roman Church today. Vatican II 1 declared: “It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, sacred Scriptures and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

Appendix 1: Tradition (modern)

Vatican II

Just when we thought veneration and worship were different, we have Pope Pius IX (1792–1878) saying, “… Proceed to worship, invoke, and pray to the most blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, conceived without original sin.”

Jesus said, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matt 4:10)

And still in the 20th century, Pope Benedict XV (1854–1922) said, “All those who seek Mary’s protection will be saved for all eternity” and “Mary, not one of your devout servants has ever perished: may I, too, Be saved!”

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Appendix 2: Mary worship (modern)

Pope Pius IX said, “The foundation of all our confidence is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. God has committed to her the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will: That we obtain everything through Mary.”

The Bible teaches only the supremacy of the Son:

Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Pope Pius IX (1792–1878)

Appendix 2: Mary worship (modern)

If Pope Pius Xl (1857–1939) is to be believed, it seems that everything the Father gave to Jesus has been passed on to Mary.

He said, “What will it cost you, oh Mary, to hear our prayer? What will it cost you to save us? Has not Jesus placed in your hands all the treasures of His grace and mercy?”

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

“You sit crowned Queen at the right hand of your son…”

Col 3:3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

“… your dominion reaches as far as the heavens and to you are subject the earth and all creatures dwelling thereon. Your dominion reaches even down into the abyss of hell…”

Eph 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything…

“… you alone, oh Mary, save us from the hands of Satan.”

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father… deliver us from the evil one.” (Matt 6:9,13)

Appendix 2: Mary worship (modern)

Still in 1950 Pius Pius XII said, “Mary the immaculate perpetual virgin mother of God after the completion of her earthly life was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”

Appendix 3: Assumption of Mary (modern)

Pope Pius XII (1876–1958)

In order to grant the pope’s words equal authority to Scripture, it was claimed by Vatican 1 (1869-70) that he was infallible when he spoke “ex cathedra” 1 on doctrine.2

Yet In 1966, Pope Paul IV revoked the following infallible decisions made by his predecessors:

Demoted a whole host of saints who had been canonized, revered, and prayed to by the church previously.

Proclaimed an end to the traditional obligation that Catholics abstain from eating meats on Fridays.

Abolished the index of forbidden books.

1 In Catholic theology, the Latin phrase “ex cathedra”, literally meaning “from the chair”, refers to a teaching by the pope that is considered to be made with the intention of invoking infallibility. 2 Döllinger was a Roman Catholic Priest, a professor of canon law and a church historian in Munich. When the First Vatican Council defined the infallibility of the pope Döllinger could not accept the doctrine. He joined the Altkatholiken who broke with the Vatican after the council. His writing on the subject of papal infallibility was listed on the Roman Catholic Index of Forbidden Books and he was excommunicated in 1871.

Appendix 4: Papal infallibility (modern)

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) produced a document entitled “Declaration on Religious Liberty” which states that all people have a right to freedom of religion. This, while commendable, contradicts the previous ‘infallible’ declarations of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII. It also contradicts the anathemas of the Council of Trent, the killing of ‘heretics,’ the Inquisition, the burning of people who translated the Bible into the language of the common people, and the persecution of Protestants.

According to Mary Ann Collins, a former Catholic Nun writes on, “Two Roman Catholic organizations have found contradictions between ‘infallible’ doctrinal declarations of the Second Vatican Council and ‘infallible’ doctrinal pronouncements of Pope Pius IX.” 1

1 teaching/ piusix.asp “The Errors of Pope Pius IX”. This article gives extensive quotations, with references to Pope Pius IX's encyclicals and documents from the Second Vatican Council. v2ecclesio.htm “Summary of the Principal Errors of Vatican II Ecclesiology”. car8908.htm Lucian Pulvermacher, “Vatican II Council - Accepts Freedom of Religion, Teaches Heresy” in ‘Caritas Newsletter’ 19 Aug 1989.

Appendix 4: Papal infallibility (modern)

Mary Ann Collins continues, “The conservative group (True Catholic) concludes that, therefore, the Second Vatican Council must not be legitimate. The liberal group (Women Priests) concludes that, therefore, Pope Pius IX taught ‘errors’. Either way, there are contradictions between official doctrinal declarations of an ‘infallible’ pope and an ‘infallible’ church council. True Catholic also claims that Pope John Paul II has taught 101 things which are contrary to ‘infallible’ Catholic doctrines which were declared by ‘infallible’ popes and church councils. They conclude that John Paul is therefore a heretic, which, according to Canon Law, means that he is not a valid pope. So they call him an anti-pope. 1 If John Paul II is not a valid pope, then the papal chair has been vacant. In order to rectify this situation, True Catholic has elected a pope. On May 20, 1998, Pope Pius XIII was elected. 2 So we now have two men who claim to be Pope: John Paul II and Pius XIII. It seems that having two popes at the same time is not confined to the Middle Ages.”

1 Patrick John Pollock, ‘101 Heresies of Anti-Pope John Paul II’ heresiesjp2.htm 2 Lucian Pulvermacher, ‘Papal Election," "Caritas Election News #1’ electionnews1.htm

Appendix 4: Papal infallibility (modern)

What follows now are excerpts from Roman Catholic Bishop Strossmayer’s speech to the First Vatican Council [1869-1870]:

…History raises its voice to assure us that some popes have erred. …[Pope] Hadrian II (867-872) declared civil marriages to be valid; [Pope] Pius VII (1800-1823) condemned them. [Pope] Sixtus V (1585-1590) published an edition of the Bible, and by a bull recommended it to be read; [Pope] Pius VII condemned the reading of it. [Pope] Clement XIV (1769-1774) abolished the order of the Jesuits, permitted by [Pope] Paul III, and Pius VII reestablished it. If then you [i.e., the Roman Catholic prelates at the First Vatican Council] proclaim the infallibility of the actual [i.e., the existing; the current] pope, [then] you must either prove that which is impossible – that the popes never contradicted each other – or else you must declare that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you that the infallibility of the papacy only dates from 1870. Are you bold enough to do this?” – Josip Juraj Strossmayer (1815-1905; Roman Catholic bishop; 1870)

Appendix 4: Papal infallibility (modern)

Legend credits Boniface with the start of the fir tree as the Christmas tree tradition. After he felled the ‘holy’ oak tree:

A fir tree 1 growing in the roots of the Oak was claimed by Boniface as a new symbol. “This humble tree’s wood is used to build your homes: let Christ be at the centre of your households. Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days: let Christ be your constant light. Its boughs reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven: let Christ be your Comfort and Guide”. 2

In a letter Boniface wrote, “In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a ship pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on course”.

1 Tannenbaum is German for ‘fir tree’ 2 http:// index.php/ Christmas_tree

Appendix 5: More on Boniface

The Battle of Tours 2 (October 10, 732),also called the Battle of Poitiers‎… was fought between the cities of Poitiers 3 and Tours… The location of the battle was close to the border between the Frankish realm and then-independent Aquitaine. The battle pitted Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-general of al-Andalus. The Franks were victorious, ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and Martel subsequently extended his authority in the south. 9th-century chroniclers, who interpreted the outcome of the battle as divine judgment in his favour, gave Charles the nickname Martellus (‘The Hammer’)… Details of the battle, including its exact location and the exact number of combatants, cannot be determined from accounts that have survived; although the Frankish troops won the battle without cavalry. 1

As later chroniclers praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, pre-20th century historians began to characterize this battle as being the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved Christianity as the religion of Europe. “Most of the 18th and 19th century historians, like Gibbon, saw Poitiers (Tours), as a landmark battle that marked the high tide of the Muslim advance into Europe.” 1

1 Wikipedia 2 pronounced Tuurh 3 pronounced pwä-tyā'

Appendix 6: Battle of Tours

According to Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship:

The greatest threat to the Church today is presented by Islam.

The largest block of unreached people (over 1 billion) are Muslims.

In Africa, over 40% of the population (260 million people) are Muslims.

In 17 countries in Africa Muslims are the majority. In every one of those Islamic states Christians are restricted and persecuted to differing degrees.

In Morocco, it is against the law to “proselytize” (evangelise) or to “shake the faith” of a Muslim. The Islamic government refuses to recognise any church that has Moroccan nationals as members. Christians have even been imprisoned for years merely for handing out Gospel literature. 1

In Mauritania, not only is slavery practiced but the death penalty for apostasy (converting from Islam) is part of the penal code and is enforced by the state. 1

In Somalia, (just before the US military went in under the UN) the last remaining church in the country was destroyed. And the last surviving minister was murdered by Muslim mobs. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

In Algeria, Islamicist groups such as the National Salvation Front and the Armed Islamic Group have been waging a brutal war of terror to enforce an Islamic state upon the nominally secular (formerly Marxist) National Liberation Front dictatorship. The NLF government's move to declare Algeria an Islamic state is unlikely to satisfy the aspirations of the Islamic extremists. Most of the tens of thousands of victims of this Islamic campaign of terror have been Muslims. But many of the victims are Christians who have been bombed, shot or hacked to death. Many Algerian women have had acid thrown in their faces by Islamicists determined to force all women to wear a veil! 1

In Nigeria, where Muslims are a large minority, Muslims have burned down hundreds of churches and killed thousands of Christians in recent years. Christians in the area claim that they are facing a systematic campaign to “wipe out any traces of Christianity in the northern states” of Nigeria. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

Despite Islamic persecution and discrimination in Egypt through the ages, currently the “Christians represent 10-20% of the population” 1 and the “Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria cares for about 18 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt and abroad, besides being the Mother Church of both the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches.” 1

Until recently, Christians were required to obtain presidential approval for even minor repairs in churches. 2

Egyptians are able to convert to Islam generally without difficulty, but Muslims who convert to Christianity face difficulties in getting new identity papers and some have been arrested for allegedly forging such documents. 3

Christians accused of “apostasy” or “proselytizing” in Egypt face imprisonment and torture from the authorities, as well as kidnapping, forced conversions to Islam, rape and murder from Islamic militants. 4

1 Wikipedia 2 WorldWide Religious News 3 Human Rights Watch. World report 2007: Egypt 4 Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

Reports of kidnappings and the forced conversion of Christian girls are common among Egypt’s Coptic community. 1

Heba Nabil Narouz Ghali

Theresa Ghattass Kamal

After highlighting 21-year-old Heba Nabil Narouz Ghali in “missing persons” reports in the newspaper and over national television… the Ghali family has identified a Muslim man whom they are accusing of kidnapping their daughter seven weeks ago. 1

20-year-old Coptic Christian Marianna Attallah disappeared while on a work errand in El-Fayoum. State Security Investigation officials told her fiancé and father that she had converted to Islam and reportedly warned them to stop searching for her. 1

Following a 3-month search, an Egyptian Christian has discovered his missing sister living with a Muslim family near her home town and professing faith in Islam. Spurred by a brief telephone message from Theresa Ghattass Kamal saying that she was being held against her will and forced to convert to Islam, Sa’eed Ghattass Kamal last week tracked his sister’s suspected captors to the Bedouin desert area of El-Ga’ar… 1

1 U.S. Copts Association

The most relentlessly violent persecution of the church today is in Sudan. The largest country in Africa is still in the grip of the longest war of this century. Since 1955 the Muslim Arab North has been attacking the mainly Christian Black South.

The number of Christians in Sudan has increased from 2% in 1955 to 20% today. And in the South, Christians now form a majority. 1

Muslims are coming to Christ in Sudan in unprecedented numbers. One commander defected with his whole battalion of government troops to the SPLA. 1

The reasons for this massive turning to Christ in Sudan are threefold: Firstly, the extreme harshness and cruelty of the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime is repelling Muslims. Secondly, the resilience and courage of the Christians is attracting Muslims. Thirdly, in Sudan converts from Islam have a place where they can flee to – where they can enjoy religious freedom. As the SPLA resistance movement wins more territory, we can expect even more Muslims to take advantage of the protection this can offer them to come to Christ without the fear of being executed by the Muslim government of Sudan. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

The desperate needs and challenging opportunities for ministry in Sudan are overwhelming. God is clearly doing an incredible work of grace in Sudan and it is our privilege to serve His suffering Church. 1

Just in the last 3 years, in Sudan alone, Frontline Fellowship has delivered over 90 000 Bibles and Christian books in 21 languages. We have also conducted over 1 000 services and meetings inside Sudan including Pastors Training Courses, Medical Workshops, Biblical Worldview Seminars, God and Government Seminars, Reformation and Revival Seminars and Muslim Evangelism Workshops. 1

We can have a part in helping to make history in the Middle East. We can roll back the southward expansion of Islam and reclaim Sudan for Christ. 1

1 Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship

Appendix 7: Islam in Africa

First Crusade 1095-1099

1095: Pope Urban II proclaims the 1st Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem.

1098: Antioch fell to the Franks.

1099: Franks take Jerusalem.

1104: Acre taken by Crusaders.

Second Crusade 1147–1149

After a period of relative peace in which Christians and Muslims co-existed in the Holy Land, Muslims conquered the town of Edessa. A new crusade was called for but it was unsuccessful, with most Crusaders dying in Asia Minor.

1187: Loss of Jerusalem & Acre to Saladin, Sultan of Egypt.

Third Crusade 1187–1192

In 1191, ‘Richard the Lionheart’ recaptured Acre and subsequently Jaffa. Richard did not believe he would be able to hold Jerusalem once captured, so he left after negotiating a treaty with Saladin allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land (Jerusalem), while it remained under Muslim control.

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades

Acre fell to the Mamluks 2 again in 1291.

Fourth Crusade 1202–1204

The intention was to invade the Holy Land through Egypt, but due to lack of funds it ended up with the sacking of the Orthodox city of Constantinople by the Crusaders.

Fifth Crusade 1217–1221

In the 1st phase, a crusading force from Austria and Hungary joined the forces of the king of Jerusalem and the prince of Antioch to take back Jerusalem. 1

In the 2nd phase, Crusader forces achieved a remarkable feat in the capture of Damietta in Egypt in 1219, but under the urgent insistence of the papal legate, Pelagius, they then launched a foolhardy attack on Cairo in July of 1221. The Crusaders were turned back after their dwindling supplies led to a forced retreat. A nighttime attack by the ruler of Egypt, the powerful Sultan Al-Kamil, resulted in a great number of Crusader losses and eventually in the surrender of the army. Al-Kamil agreed to an 8-year peace agreement with Europe. 1

1 Wikipedia 2 A slave soldier who converted to Islam and served the Muslim caliphs and the Ayyubid sultans during the Middle Ages.

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades

Sixth Crusade 1228–1229

Emperor Frederick II had repeatedly vowed a crusade but failed to live up to his words, for which he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX in 1228. He nonetheless set sail from Brindisi, landed in Palestine, and through diplomacy he achieved unexpected success: Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem were delivered to the crusaders for a period of ten years. 1

In 1229 after failing to conquer Egypt, Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire, made a peace treaty with Al-Kamil, the ruler of Egypt. This treaty allowed Christians to rule over most of Jerusalem, while the Muslims were given control of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa mosque. The peace brought about by this treaty lasted for about ten years. Many of the Muslims though were not happy with Al-Kamil for giving up control of Jerusalem and in 1244 the Muslims regained control of the city. 1

1 Wikipedia

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades

Seventh Crusade 1248–1254

The papal interests represented by the Templars brought on a conflict with Egypt in 1243, and in the following year a Khwarezmian 2 force summoned by the latter stormed Jerusalem. The crusaders were drawn into battle at La Forbie in Gaza. The crusader army and its Bedouin mercenaries were outnumbered by Baibars’ force of Khwarezmian tribesmen and were completely defeated within 48 hours. 1

Although this provoked no widespread outrage in Europe as the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 had done, Louis IX of France organized a crusade against Egypt from 1248 to 1254… It was a failure, and Louis spent much of the crusade living at the court of the crusader kingdom in Acre. 1

Eighth Crusade 1270

The eighth Crusade was organized by Louis IX in 1270, again sailing from Aigues-Mortes, initially to come to the aid of the remnants of the crusader states in Syria. However, the crusade was diverted to Tunis, where Louis spent only two months before dying. For his efforts, Louis was later canonised (the city of St. Louis, Missouri, USA is named for him). 1

1 Wikipedia 2 Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic Mamluk origin which ruled Greater Iran

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades

Ninth Crusade 1271–1272

The future Edward I of England undertook another expedition in 1271, after having accompanied Louis on the Eighth Crusade. He accomplished very little in Syria and retired the following year after a truce. 1

In their later years, faced with the threat of the Egyptian Mamluks, the Crusaders’ hopes rested with a Franco-Mongol alliance… Although the Mongols successfully attacked as far south as Damascus on these campaigns, the ability to effectively coordinate with Crusades from the west was repeatedly frustrated… 1

The Mamluks eventually made good their pledge to cleanse the entire Middle East of the infidel Franks. With the fall of Antioch (1268), Tripoli (1289), and Acre (1291), those Christians unable to leave the cities were massacred or enslaved and the last traces of Christian rule in the Levant 2 disappeared. 1

The very last Frankish foothold was the island of Ruad, three kilometers from the Syrian shore, which was occupied for several years by the Knights Templar but was ultimately lost to the Mamluks in the Siege of Ruad on September 26th, 1302. 1

1 Wikipedia 2 A term referring to a large area in the Middle East

Appendix 8: ‘Holy Land’ Crusades


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