In a nutshell, Fr Sala – who would appear to be a priest in good standing within the Catholic Church – is making the following claim:
That the Reformation was largely a misunderstanding and that Rome and her theologians erred in condemning Luther without properly examining his doctrinal concerns. If they had, they would have found that the strict official doctrinal position on Salvation, which the Roman Catholic Church held at the time (and still holds today), is essentially the same as that espoused by Luther. Thus, while the Evangelical and Roman Catholic traditions may differ in many respects, they do not differ on the core doctrine of Salvation and therefore Catholics and Evangelicals are Christian in the same sense and on the same basis. Since that is the case, they should remove the false barrier (the “stained glass curtain”) that divides them and serve God as one church, united in service to Christ.
We think this is a fair summary of what Fr Sala is saying. In fact many within the Ecumenical Movement are making much the same argument. It is a central tenet of The Promise Keepers, for example, with whom Fr Sala has official links. It is also a key feature of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which is headed by such well known figures as C Peter Wagner and Bill Hamon. The NAR itself is overseen by a high-level body known as the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). Of the seven resources recommended on its website, Fr Sala’s book gets top billing. Given that the list also includes works by Wagner and Hamon, this is a very visible endorsement and reflects the esteem in which the book is held by the NAR and Ecumenical movements. The book is accompanied by the following blurb on the ICA website (at the time of writing): The Stained Glass Curtain By Fr. Dimitri Sala, O.F.M. Endorsed by: John Kelly, Ed Silvoso, Jane Hamon, Bill McCartney, Dr. Jay Swallow, and many others.
“The Stained Glass Curtain will awaken Protestants and Catholics alike to the power of God’s Word. It tears down walls of prejudice and what many believe are doctrinal differences between Protestants and Catholics. Father Sala is an extraordinary minister of the gospel of Christ. He takes the reader to common ground regarding the transformation of the soul and reformation of the person.”
Fr Sala’s book is also strongly promoted by a major NAR-affiliated body, Harvest Evangelism, founded and led by Ed Silvoso – who also wrote the Foreword to the book. Mr Silvoso is closely associated with C Peter Wagner and other senior members of the NAR and ICA. His website includes the following statement in relation to Fr Sala and their shared goal of uniting Catholics and Evangelicals:
As in other branches of Christianity, there are Catholics who do preach a false gospel of salvation. But the official teaching of the Catholic Church is clear that justification comes by faith, through Christ, because of grace. Get the surprising facts from The Stained Glass Curtain, a book written by Fr. Dimitri Sala and endorsed by Ed Silvoso. Harvest Evangelism partners with Catholics who have heard and responded to what their own Catechism calls the “first and fundamental conversion”.
The NAR/ICA is a radical new movement within Christianity in America, with an ambitious global agenda. The top people, the ICA members themselves, number over 500 worldwide. They regard themselves as true Apostles with, it would seem, exactly the same standing as the Apostles chosen by Jesus. They believe they carry the same authority, the same ‘anointing’, and have been given a mission by God to carry out a new Reformation, to completely transform the church and establish dominion – a kind of Christian theocracy – in every country of the world. Unless and until this is done, they believe, Christ cannot return. Thus we can see that Fr Sala’s book is being widely promoted by organizations with a major transformational agenda, namely to take dominion over the entire earth and claim it for Jesus.
It is important to understand that the ecumenical unity that Fr Sala is seeking to achieve in his book is a major component in a wider program – the creation of a single global brand of Christianity controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. If this is to be brought about successfully, all of the churches and denominations that sprang up after the Reformation must be brought back into the Roman fold. They must be convinced that the Reformation itself was really a tragedy for both sides, Catholic and Protestant, and that the ‘artificial’ divisions that separate them no longer serve any useful purpose. The aim is to have both sides acknowledge that we are all one in the eyes of God, that we are all saved in exactly the same way, and that by persisting along our separate paths, we are actually harming the Body of Christ.
Fr Sala says that his book is directed at both Catholics and Evangelicals. However, this is a somewhat disingenuous claim since the Roman Catholic Church has no difficulty absorbing Anglicans and other Protestant groups into its ranks. They are allowed to remain under their former ‘ethos’ to an extent, provided they recognize the formal authority of Rome. However the opposite has not traditionally been the case. Evangelicals do not accept practising Roman Catholics among their members but have always required that apostate doctrines be rejected. In presenting his case, Fr Sala makes a special point of drawing his evidence for the Roman position from official Catholic documents only, notably the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church (published in 1992), documents produced by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and certain Papal pronouncements.
Before proceeding with our examination – and wholesale refutation – of the case made by Fr Sala, we would like to draw attention to an authority whom he cites several times in his book and who clearly had a strong influence on his thinking – Fr Raniero Cantalamessa OFM. This individual has served as official Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980, under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He is thus the only person who is permitted to preach to the Pope. He has published over twenty books on theological and spiritual topics and, as a member of the Catholic delegation to the group known as Dialogue with the Pentecostal Churches, he has a major role in co-ordinating the Vatican’s strategy on Ecumenism. Thus Fr Sala would not seem to be enunciating a personal view on salvation, ecumenism and Catholic doctrine, but rather a strategic position that has already been approved, if not formulated, at the very heart of the Vatican. Unconditional Love Fr Sala: “Another word to use is unconditional. God simply loves us – whatever our condition, regardless of our response.” (p.45) This proposition is central to the teachings of the New Age movement, but it is false. By endorsing it Fr Sala is confirming the New Age orientation of the Ecumenical movement. God’s love cannot be separated from His holiness and His judgment of sin. Thus any suggestion that we can receive His love “regardless of our response” is simply wrong. John’s gospel makes this quite clear:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
The Father’s love is conditional upon our obedience to Christ and his commandments.
Venial and Mortal Sin
Fr Sala: “Every sin, no matter how mortal or venial, is but a symptom of a deeper dilemma:” (p.52) Mortal sin? Venial sin? Most Evangelicals will not understand these terms because they come from the false Catholic teaching on Purgatory. Since Romanists believe that the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross was not sufficient to pay our sin debt completely, the grace necessary to make up the shortfall must be gained through participation in the sacraments. In practice just about everyone is expected to die with venial sins of some kind. They will therefore be required to spend some time after death in an intermediary state, known as Purgatory, in order to have these sins “purged”. Venial sin is the kind of sin that can be burnt off in the fire and torment of Purgatory, while mortal sin – if not confessed to a Catholic priest before one dies – is of such a serious nature that the individual will go immediately to Hell after death. We suspect the terms mortal and venial, as they relate to sin, were included inadvertently in Fr Sala’s book. Evangelicals are not meant to know about the doctrine of Purgatory or the sinister limitation that it places on the atoning work of Christ. It is notable that the book scrupulously omits any reference to this doctrine, even though it is central to Catholic theology and its false teaching on salvation. It would be difficult to argue that Catholics and Evangelicals are saved on exactly the same basis if it were known that Rome rejects the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. So, rather than address this rather obvious point of conflict, Fr Sala simply ignores it. As we proceed we will find that Fr Sala ignores quite a lot of things. Indeed his ability to slip silently past anything that might expose the insanity of his argument is breathtaking at times. The Roman Catholic system of ongoing revelation Fr Sala:
“…we can and should respond to any claims about Catholicism arising from ignorance of our official teachings.” (p.129)
Adding and Subtracting from the Word of God
The Roman church learned long ago that the best way to circumvent the Word of God was to add to it. For example, the Catholic Bible has a number of books that are not found in the ‘Protestant’ Bible. One e-version of the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible has 989,275 words, while the King James ‘Protestant’ Bible has 789,626 words. This gives Rome an incredible 25 per cent more ‘scripture’ from which to manufacture new doctrines. Rome also adds continually to the Word of God by introducing from time to time doctrines and dogmas that have no scriptural validity. Catholics view a Papal Encyclical as a document penned by the Vicar of Christ and therefore possessing an almost scriptural authority. By adding vicariously to Scripture in this way, Rome is able to pursue her agenda without actually being seen to change or subtract from the Word of God. This also has the advantage of providing her with a broad range of official doctrinal documents from which to extract statements that appear to substantiate her ecumenical claims.
Thus it is not difficult to find passages in the Catechism and other official Catholic documents which, when taken together, appear to prove, even to the most hardened sceptic, that Rome is actually run by Bible-waving Fundamental Baptists who just happen to wear black robes. Fr Sala makes copious use of this device to paint a seriously misleading picture of what Rome really believes.
Conversion to Catholicism through Infant Baptism
Conversion is not Salvation Fr Sala:
“The Catholic church not only affirms the need for this conversion (as we have seen in this chapter), but even creates its own term for it: “the first and fundamental conversion” (Catechism, 1427)” (p.88)
The conversion to which Fr Sala refers in this extract is, in his opinion, the one-time event known to Evangelicals as the new birth. Throughout his book he is trying to argue that, for all true Catholics, the process of spiritual growth that begins with infant baptism will, at some stage in their lives, culminate in a transformative experience where they will believe in Christ in a completely new, completely Biblical, lifechanging way. Alas, despite his earnest entreaties, this is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. As with many Roman Catholic documents that use familiar Christian terms, the Catechism employs words which have a very different meaning in Catholic theology than they have when used by an Evangelical. When the Catechism uses the term, “the first and fundamental conversion”, it is referring simply to infant baptism and the initial induction (“initiation”) of the individual into the church of Rome. It is not referring to a new birth of any kind, but a fundamental change in status, from nonCatholic to Catholic. The infant is outside the church one day and inside her the next. Thus the church is his mother.
The Catechism makes this perfectly clear:
1683 The Church who, as Mother, has borne the Christian sacramentally in her womb during his earthly pilgrimage, accompanies him at his journey’s end, in order to surrender him “into the Father’s hands.”
169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother:
“We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.”…
Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith. Every time the Catechism refers to the church, it means the Roman Catholic Church. Rome teaches that there is no salvation outside her walls (“her womb”) and that membership is attained through the prescribed sacramental rite known as baptism.
818… All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”
816… The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains:
“For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.”
Roman Catholic baptism is very different from Evangelical baptism. Catholic baptism does not require any personal change whatever in the individual and can thus be administered to an infant. It is akin to branding, except that the mark left by the priest is invisible (“Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark” 1272). Evangelical baptism, however, comes after salvation by faith in the saving blood of Christ, and is an outward, public expression and celebration of our acceptance of the gift of salvation, which has already been received. Not only does Rome see baptism as necessary for salvation, but she also conceives of baptism itself in a completely different way. It is a mediated event, carried out at the discretion, and under the authority, of a man specially empowered to infuse ‘sanctifying’ grace.
Without his authorized, priestly intervention salvation is impossible: 1257…
Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament…
The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. For some reason Fr Sala forgot to mention any of this.
Infant Baptism and Deification
The Catechism refers to the “new birth in Baptism” and its power to free the infant from the power of darkness. In doing so it confirms, if further confirmation were needed, that Rome views baptism as the full and effectual source of the new birth in Christ, even for infants, and urges all Catholic parents to baptize their children as soon as possible after they are born:
1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called…
The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
So, when Fr Sala contends that “the first and fundamental conversion” described in the Catechism is equivalent to the Evangelical experience of being born again, he is plainly wrong. The Catechism does NOT teach this. In fact it teaches the very opposite! The Catechism consistently teaches that, as one of Rome’s seven sacraments, Baptism is one of the seven liturgically prescribed ways by which God’s grace reaches man:
1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification.
In his strange book, Fr Sala makes no attempt whatever to distance himself from the false sacramental teachings of Rome. In fact he stresses the need for Catholics themselves to come to a better understanding of the sacraments and how they relate to salvation:
Fr Sala: “These Catholics have not been introduced to (or sometimes even ignore) a solid understanding of sacraments, how they work, and how they relate to salvation.” (p.107)
Note the astonishing claim in Article 1999 above that baptism not only sanctifies the infant, but deifies him as well. The illusion that man can become a god, in whatever form, is among Satan’s oldest lies and a pillar of the New Age movement. If you doubt the centrality of this claim in Roman theology, then consider Article 795: 795…
Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.
According to Rome, baptism infuses a ‘sanctifying grace’ through the power of the priest. Without the priest, the sanctifying grace of baptism cannot be given to the little child. Thus the priest has a unique power which none but his clerical peers possess, a power that only the church of Rome can confer. The pastors and ministers of the “ecclesial communities” or “separated brethren” – the so-called Protestant churches – do not have this power, for if they had they would be able to transform the bread and wine of the ‘Eucharistic mystery’ into the flesh and blood of Christ:
1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.”
To anyone who lives solely by the Word of God, in faithful obedience to His statutes and precepts, the idea that a man can transform bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ is blasphemy of the worst kind.
1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood.
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” Catholics even bow down before and worship the wafer god (Catholics receive the “divine food” in the form of a disc-shaped wafer of bread).
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord.
2837…The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union.
And yet Fr Sala seriously wants us to believe that salvation in Roman theology is the same as salvation in Evangelical Christianity! This is plainly absurd. The truth is that Roman theologians do not profess the true Jesus, but a sickly counterfeit manufactured after their own imagination. The Roman version must be sacrificed again and again in the ‘Mass’ – not symbolically but actually – to produce the ‘sanctifying grace’ needed for salvation:
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner… this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.’
So when Catholics profess to believe in the ‘Jesus’ taught by Rome, they are placing their faith in a theological counterfeit, a pagan god with no power to save anyone.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” – Jeremiah 13:23
It is extremely important that Evangelicals understand the significance of this since it makes a complete mockery of the claim that Rome teaches salvation by faith. She teaches nothing of the sort and never has. Just consider the following:
774…The saving work of his holy and sanctifying humanity is the sacrament of salvation, which is revealed and active in the Church’s sacraments… The seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body.
As her Catechism clearly shows, Rome has always claimed that she distributes salvation through her sacraments, that the right to administer the saving grace of Christ has been entrusted uniquely to the priests of Rome, and that the Roman Catholic Church is the only church that God recognizes. The saving power of baptism derives solely from the exercise by Roman priests of their exclusive ability to distribute sanctifying grace. To allege that the exercise of this function is in some manner equivalent to, or corresponds with, the Evangelical understanding of salvation is a grotesque misrepresentation of the facts.
Purgatory and Penance
Perhaps no Roman doctrine exemplifies more starkly the insufficiency and inadequacy of their counterfeit ‘Jesus’ than the doctrine of Purgatory:
1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
As we have already noted, it is significant that Fr Sala neglected to mention the Catholic teaching on purgatory. Any Evangelical who sympathizes with the Ecumenical agenda should familiarize himself with the concept of purgatory since it is one of the most reprehensible doctrines ever devised by sinful man. The Ecumenical movement would fall apart if true Christians understood this teaching and the central role that it plays in the Catholic faith. Purgatory is based on the disturbing fact that the Catholic Church rejects the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This is why it has the “holy sacrifice of the mass”, where Christ is ritually sacrificed again and again to make up for the ongoing, universal depletion in sanctifying grace.
In Catholic theology grace is like a fuel that sin consumes and must therefore be continually replenished. When a person dies he is almost certain to be “imperfectly purified” (as article 1030 puts it) and in need of additional cleansing by fire. This takes place in Purgatory, where all remaining impurities are ‘purged’ from the tormented soul. Such purgation and torment can theoretically last for decades or even longer. However, the priest may conduct another “sacrifice of the mass” for the deceased individual – a “mass for the dead” – and produce by his special powers the additional grace that is needed to shorten to some degree the prescribed period of torment.
Since the Catholic Church denies the sufficiency of Christ’s work on the cross – which made payment once and for all for each individual who comes to a saving faith in his atoning death and subsequent resurrection – there is no possibility of being ‘born again’ in Catholicism. Life is one long struggle to remain in a state of grace, of continually turning to the Roman church to administer the sacraments that can provide, through priestly ritual, a further infusion of this ‘sanctifying’ fluid. We should not be surprised that Fr Sala also neglected to mention the vital importance of a rite known as the sacrament of penance, without which one’s potential period of torment in purgatory would be greatly extended.
Indeed, without the sacrament of penance, administered by a Catholic priest, one’s salvation can actually be lost:
1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification.
1486 The forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is conferred by a particular sacrament called the sacrament of conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.
So, in order to “recover the grace of justification”, a person who falls into “grave sin” must once again prevail upon the special powers of a Roman priest to restore his salvation. A believer who dies in a state of “mortal sin” is damned for eternity, but if he receives the sacrament of penance before he dies he is offered “a new possibility to convert.”
The False Ecumenical teaching on Salvation
The entire Ecumenical movement is predicated on this false teaching of salvation. If Evangelicals properly understood the wretched Catholic doctrines on baptism, penance, purgatory, and the sacrifice of the mass, they would recoil in horror. They would see immediately that no professing Catholic is saved, that all have been deceived by the false Roman version of ‘Christianity’.
Just consider Table A below. The Evangelical column describes, albeit in cryptic form, the true nature of salvation. The Catholic column, however, reveals both a startling contrast and a fundamental conflict. Catholics are held in spiritual bondage by their false theology. This bondage is such an integral part of Catholicism that it is even portrayed in her Catechism as a virtue:
1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace…it renders our bond with the Church more perfect… 2837…The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union.
|1||Salvation and baptism are completely separate events.||Salvation’ cannot occur without baptism.|
|2||The individual must be old enough to understand the gospel.||The individual can be a tiny infant (and generally is).|
|3||The individual has repented of his sins.||Repentance is impossible for a little child.|
|4||The individual has come to a saving faith in Jesus.||An infant cannot have faith.|
|5||Christ alone sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in the individual.||The Church, through the medium of the priest, imparts the ‘sanctifying grace’ needed for salvation.|
|6||The Holy Spirit never leaves the individual.||The Holy Spirit is present only when ‘sanctifying grace’ is present. A ‘grave sin’ can completely erase this grace.|
|7||Salvation means the individual is born again, an adopted child of the Father.||‘Salvation’ means having to continually receive Catholic sacraments in order to maintain the grace needed to avoid hell.|
|8||Salvation means Christ has paid all of one’s sin debt in full, both past and future sins.||Christ, by his death, only provided sufficient grace to underpin baptism. All additional grace must come through the repeated, actual re-sacrifice of Christ in the Roman Mass.|
|9||Salvation means freedom from the power of Satan.||‘Salvation’ means having to continually strive against the power of Satan.|
|10||Salvation is permanent.||‘Salvation’ is temporary.|
|11||Salvation brings the individual into a living, personal relationship with Christ.||‘Salvation’ is a state, not a relationship.|
|12||Salvation is joyful.||‘Salvation’ is perpetual bondage to sacramental works and priestly powers.|
1312 The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop…In the East, ordinarily the priest who baptizes also immediately confers Confirmation in one and the same celebration. But he does so with sacred chrism consecrated by the patriarch or the bishop, thus expressing the apostolic unity of the Church whose bonds are strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation.
1559…the lawful ordination of a bishop requires a special intervention of the Bishop of Rome [i.e. the Pope], because he is the supreme visible bond of the communion of the particular Churches in the one Church and the guarantor of their freedom.
We have supplied more than enough information in this paper to demonstrate conclusively that the Roman Catholic Church does not teach born-again salvation through faith in Christ, but the very opposite. Catholics are never assured of their salvation and are never given a proper scriptural understanding of what it is. The ‘salvation’ they are taught is based on sacraments, on one’s own personal efforts, and on the delegated power of the Roman church – which is not salvation at all but spiritual bondage and alienation from Christ.
The big picture is equally bad. One could write at length about the grotesque spiritual deception that the Roman Church has perpetrated down the centuries, about the millions of true believers that she has persecuted and murdered, about her cynical corruption and misrepresentation of God’s Holy Word, and about her sworn commitment to destroy true Biblical Christianity. However, we will confine ourselves to just a few additional facts about her strange theology, facts that reveal the vastness of the chasm between true Evangelical Christianity and the counterfeit version taught by Rome. Evangelicals everywhere should be aware of the doctrines listed below since they are being deliberately concealed or misrepresented by the wolves and charlatans who control the Ecumenical movement:
The Millennial Reign of Christ
Rome rejects the doctrine that Christ will return to earth in person and reign from Jerusalem (“676…The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism…”) To Rome, any belief relating to the Millennium is part of the scheming works of Satan. This means that Evangelicals who proclaim the future Millennial reign of Christ are viewed by Rome as unwitting tools of the Antichrist.
God’s Chosen People and His Chosen City
The Bible teaches that the Jews are God’s chosen people and Jerusalem is God’s chosen city. However, Rome teaches that the church (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) has replaced Israel and that the many promises that God made to the Jewish people have been transferred to her. This is why she wants Jerusalem designated an international city under her control. In consequence, Evangelicals who support Israel and believe in the future fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews are in direct conflict with Rome and her teachings.
The Bible, Tradition, and The Magisterium
Rome rejects the sole authority of the Word of God and reserves for herself the right to proclaim additional doctrines, to modify existing ones, and to prescribe how the Word of God should be interpreted. She even argues that the Word of God is written principally in the “Church’s heart” rather than in documents and records! This means that even the Bible itself is subject to the authority of the Magisterium – the Pope and selected senior clerics – and can never be used to contest any action or decision taken by the Pope or his cardinals. This power is further reinforced by the alleged infallibility of the Pope, which he may invoke in any decision that he makes pertaining to faith and morals. Since infallibility is an attribute of deity, the Pope is asserting that his title, Vicar of Christ, should be taken literally and not in a figurative sense.
The power of Rome can be reinforced where necessary by the invocation of Tradition
This comprises the beliefs, writings andpractices of the early Church which, at her discretion, Rome may use to substantiate or justify a new doctrine. The validity or relevance of any aspect of ‘Tradition’ is itself decided by Rome. The following extracts from the Catechism reflect the haughty disregard that Rome has for God’s holy, infallible Word:
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, “the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.”
100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.
113…According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word…
80 “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal.”
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”
Most Evangelicals today have long forgotten the devastation wrought through Christendom by the sadistic persecution authorized and financed by a long succession of Popes. Millions of true believers were slaughtered, and millions more subjected to awful cruelty and privation, because they had the audacity to believe and follow the Word of God and not the word of the Pope. The same demonic powers that controlled Rome in those terrible times still control her today. Through the Ecumenical Movement, the Jesuit Order, the Knights of Malta and other institutions, she is working covertly to destroy Bible-based Christianity and install the Pope as world religious leader, an office that his oldest title – Pontifex Maximus – already assumes is rightfully his:
937 The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls”
882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.”…”For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”
2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility.
This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed.
The Queen of Heaven – a Counterfeit Christ
The Queen of Heaven Rome teaches that the earthly mother of Jesus was a perpetual virgin who never sinned and who ascended bodily into heaven. She is to be venerated as a perfect person, a Second Eve on a par with the Second Adam (Christ), who shared in his sufferings on the cross and thereby contributed to the salvation of mankind. All Catholics are expected to pray to her for the sanctifying grace of salvation. Compare this with the Evangelical (scriptural) teaching that Mary was not free from sin, that she had other children besides Jesus, that she died a natural death, and that thereafter she has had no communication of any kind with anyone on earth.
The Marian apparitions revered by Rome, such as those of Lourdes and Fatima, are deadly demonic deceptions. Rome teaches that Mary is a Mediatrix and even includes this epithet on the official list of her illustrious titles. As such she co-mediates, alongside Christ, between man and the Father, even though Scripture makes it perfectly clear that Christ alone is the mediator between man and the Father:
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Here are just a few of the blatantly heretical passages in the Catholic Catechism that effectively bestow on Mary the titles and status of a goddess and assign to her an actual role in the salvation of mankind:
971…”The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” 511…By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.
494… “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”
494…”Death through Eve, life through Mary.”
964…”This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest.. “…Thus the Blessed Virgin… persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross…enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice…
968 …”In a wholly singular way she cooperated…in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”
975 “We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ”
2677…Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her…
2677…By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy,” the All-Holy One.
969 …Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation …Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of…Mediatrix.”
So, not only does Rome teach a counterfeit ‘Jesus’ who is unable to save anyone, but she accentuates his degraded status by attributing part of the work of salvation to Mary
The Council of Trent (1545-1563)
Many supporters of the Ecumenical Movement will probably try to argue that Rome has herself been reformed, that the strident intolerance and idolatry that characterized her behavior in former times has long since been replaced by a broadminded inclusiveness and informality that embraces and respects all aspects of Christian spirituality. This is doubtless the image that Rome herself wants to project – but it is all an act, a well-crafted deception to gull the unwary and win the confidence of the “separated brethren”. Alas many of the “separated brethren” have grown lazy. Few appear to study the Word of God in fear and trembling. Fewer still seem to recognize that the Enemy has infiltrated their ranks at all levels and is systematically undermining true Bible-based Christianity.
If they were to read a document like the Catholic Catechism they would quickly see that Rome in the year 2012 is exactly the same as Rome in the year 1563, when the Catholic Church, under the direction of the Jesuits, issued formal declarations in relation to a hundred or more ‘Protestant’ beliefs. Every one of these declarations, which were formulated with the utmost gravity at the Council of Trent, included a formal condemnation and anathema, an implied licence to persecute and destroy all offenders. Neither the declarations nor the anathemas have ever been withdrawn. In fact, the decrees of the Council of Trent were reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). No, my friend, Rome hasn’t changed. She continues to glory in her ancient boast, Semper eadem – “Always the same.”
But she is more dangerous today than ever before, largely because she has learned to disguise her deadly agenda more effectively and to utilise third parties, confederates, and double agents in a more sophisticated way.
Ecumenism is both a deadly trap and a vile heresy. The Bible tells us to separate from evil, to have nothing to do with idolatry and the works of idolaters, to take the greatest care to avoid the leaven (yeast) of false teachers, and to rebuke and expose error wherever we find it. The Roman Catholic Church is not Biblically Christian but a westernised form of paganism with a Christian veneer. To be unequally yoked together with unbelievers – which Ecumenism demands – is to fail seriously in our obedience to Christ. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) And we are commanded to separate from unbelievers, to maintain the purity of our doctrine, and to watch continually for the wolves who come in sheep’s clothing to scatter the flock, to kill and to destroy. The Ecumenical movement is a carefully co-ordinated program to wipe out true Biblical Christianity and create a one-world religion controlled by Rome. Evangelicals who say they love Christ and yet become involved in the Ecumenical movement are only deceiving themselves. They are actually in rebellion against God.
Organizations like the New Apostolic Reformation, the International Coalition of Apostles, and Harvest Evangelism – all of which strongly endorse Fr Sala’s book – are part of this rebellion. They consistently proclaim the need for a new form of Christianity and flounder around in a dizzy quest for signs and wonders and world domination. The truth is that they have rejected the Gospel of Christ and embraced a counterfeit instead. Those who stick resolutely to the Word of God are increasingly being marginalized by the post-modern, ecumenical monolith. They are accused of betraying true Christianity by failing to unite with their ‘brothers in Christ’ and claiming the world back from Satan. They are being dismissed as fundamentalists, self-righteous bigots, and narrow-minded elitists. We are well into the era foretold by Paul when he said:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The creation of a benign world dominion, engineered by man, is one such fable, a communist utopia in pseudo-Biblical garb. This is why dominionist, transformational cults like the NAR distort or ignore Biblical prophecy. They reject what the LORD has clearly told us in His Holy Word, namely that the Kingdom will not be established UNTIL Christ returns. And before that happens the world will descend into the End Time chaos and pandemonium created by the coming One World Religion and its secular counterpart, the One World Government. The Bible is very clear. Christians must separate from unbelievers and false converts and have nothing whatever to do with Rome and the Ecumenical Movement.
Jeremy James Ireland November 14, 2012