Category Archives: Catholicism

Bill Lockwood: Islam, Christianity, and Roman Catholicism

by Bill Lockwood

Julia Ioffe, writing in Foreignpolicy.com, makes a classic mistake in an article entitled “If Islam is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity” (6-14-2016). Apparently miffed that the general populace draws such conclusions as that “Islam is bad and Christianity is good” in the wake of mass shootings in America, Ioffe says it is a “hateful hypocrisy” to “single out Islam.”

She overtly blares out “I am tired of hearing, from Bill Maher and from Donald Trump, that Islam is inherently violent. “I am even more tired of hearing that Christianity is inherently peaceful.”

And how does she demonstrate that Christianity can be a “religion of violence”, and that Islam can be peaceful? She slogs through history, recent and ancient, to show atrocities committed by those who claimed to follow Christ, such as the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. On the other hand, she gives illustrations of peace-loving Muslims. “Islam, as it was practiced in medieval Span, was beautiful and peaceful, too.”

Since Ioffe’s investigative method is flawed, she erroneously concludes, “No religion is inherently peaceful or violent, nor is it inherently other than what its followers make it out to be.”

What About These Things?

While it is true that observers of religious people judge and asses the religion itself by the examples that people live before them, this does not explain the religion itself, nor the formative teachings of that religion. This methodology is about as thin as seeking to determine the official Democratic Party platform by asking Democrats on the street what are their feelings about the issues of the day.

This is clumsiness, to say the least. Many atheists have used this same flawed principle in defending atheism. Many atheists live admirable lives, they tell us. No argument here—but their morality does not derive from their atheism. It is bootlegged straight out of Christianity.

Severed branches of trees have enough sap left to keep the leaves green for a while. So also, atheists have enough “moral sap” leftover to keep them moral–but neither humanism nor atheism provide in and of themselves any moral substance.

This illustration now sets us up to examine Ioffe’s assertions.

Christianity

How should one assess a religious standard? How should one examine what that religion teaches? How can one determine what a religion “inherently is?” Ioffe condemns that Christianity can be violent. How so? She uses the illustration of Dylan Roof, who killed nine people in the middle of a Bible study in Charleston, S.C. but who declared allegiance to “the white supremacist cause” and “pointing to the Council of Conservative Citizens” which claims to “adhere to ‘Christian beliefs and values.’”

Christianity cannot be accurately assessed by examining people who did not live up to the standard set by Christ in the New Testament, regardless of the institutions to which they belong. The Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, taught completely the opposite of what Roof practiced, including love your neighbor as yourself.

The same is true regarding the endless pointing to the Middle Age Roman Catholic Church and its atrocities, which Ioffe does in her article. She does this to point to bloodletting committed by Catholics in the “name of Christ.” She is not alone here—men such as Bill Maher do the same thing.

The American people need desperately to learn that the Roman Catholic Church is not a representative of Christ upon the earth, nor is it the church about which one reads on the pages of the New Testament, regardless of what the papacy asserts, and regardless of what name is invoked while perpetrating crime.

The Roman Catholic Church is the direct result of a brazen apostasy from the New Testament over the ages. Read the New Testament yourself and see that there is no pope, no papal infallibility, no Vatican State, no infant baptism, no baptism of desire, no baptism of blood, no rule of celibacy, no monasticism, no inherited sin, no immaculate conception, no bodily assumption of Mary, no praying to the saints, no rosary, no purgatory, no indulgences, no canonized saints, no veneration of saints, no sacraments, no lent, etc.

Official Roman Catechism’s and Encyclopedia’s admit that these doctrines “developed over the centuries.” The Roman Church through the ages simply adopted myriads of foreign doctrines, then wedded itself to a state apparatus and became a mixture of “church and state” which even sent armies into the field to shed blood on behalf of the Vatican!

Yet, this is what Ioffe uses to say that “Christianity” can be violent. It is interesting that journalists are supposed to go original sources. But not in this case. She wants us all to assess the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ by means of Rome. We are not so easily misled.

Islam

Here we come to something entirely different. Muslims as a group, behave in different ways, depending upon how many of them occupy a territory or nation. As percentages to population rises, so does violence. Why is this? Once again—go back to the original source, Ioffe. What do you find?

The one perfect Muslim was Mohammed. What did he do? How did he behave? Multiple verses in the Koran command the use of the sword (Surah 9:5; 9:73; 47:4, etc.). Islam, in its inception, waged war on all who did not accept Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Mohammed was a war-lord of the Middle Ages style who led his followers in numerous battles. Violence is not an “apostasy” from a peace-loving Mohammed, but an imitation of him and his “inspired” commands from Allah.

When Mohammed died, not one person on the entire peninsula of Arabia disagreed with the man. This is not explained on the basis of freedom. His dying words were to carry on to “fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Surah 9:29).

Note the choices the founder of Islam gives to conquered peoples. One, Accept Islam. Two, pay the jizya (poll-tax on non-Muslims). This is the cornerstone of the entire system of humiliating regulations that institutionalize inferior status for non-Muslims in Islamic law. Three, prepare to war with Muslims.

Peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society, of which Ioffe writes, is not one of the choices.

Does any of this sound anything like what was taught by the Savior of the world? No, Julia Ioffe. The religions of the world are inherently what their founders actually taught, not what later followers may or may not do. It is interesting that Ms. Ioffe did not once reference Christ Himself or His teaching when cross-examining Him. Nor did she look to see what Mohammed actually taught. Both are easily referenced.

It is something for which we ought to be thankful that not all Muslims faithfully carry out Mohammed’s “inspired” orders. But this is only because they do not live down to the standard set by their founder. On the other hand, it is sad that many professed Christians do not live up to the standards set by the Lord Jesus Christ found on the pages of the New Testament.

Anti-American Marxist Pope

Anti-American Marxist Pope

by Bill Lockwood

Pope Francis follows the script of Karl Marx as he criticizes Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall of protection on the American southern border. As with all socialists, Francis’s hypocrisy runs deep and was correctly highlighted by Trump himself who called world attention to the high walls and guards that protect The Vatican City. Free market capitalism is to blame for the world’s ills, according to the Pope, but he wants our free market system to build bridges for the world’s poor to enter that the free market might care for these people. In this dispute between Francis and Trump the central power-structure and philosophy of Catholic dictatorship is clear.

This is not the first time the Pope mounted an anti-American crusade. The entire structure of our free society has come under Francis’s condemnation. The absolutism of The Vatican can never come to terms with American freedom. When Pope Francis visited Marxist-run Bolivia in 2015, communist Evo Morales, wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, spoke before Francis. Guevara was the Argentine-born Marxist guerilla revolutionary who figured prominently in the communist takeover of South American countries as well as Cuba. Morales handed the Pope a sculpted wooden hammer and sickle—the symbol of communism. A figure of a crucified Christ rested on the hammer.

Since his election in 2013, the first pope from Latin America has often spoken out in defense of the poor by blaming free market capitalism. Seeking illogically to draw the conclusion that poverty is caused by our free markets, the pope strikes the same notes as do all dictators around the world.  The most notable incident of his challenge to America came when he spoke to Congress in 2015. Francis called for “structural change” to our economic system. His call sent thrills up Socialist Bernie Sanders’ legs who later gushed that the Pope would speak positively of Dorothy Day, a tireless apologist for socialistic and communistic regimes.

Sustainable Development,” which philosophy means nothing less than rationing of the world’s resources beneath the aegis of the United Nations, has received enthusiastic endorsement from Pope Francis. Global taxation to fund this global government is also recommended by the Pope who is joined by other fellow travelers such as Francis Fox Piven, Jeffrey Sachs, the infamous Van Jones, and communist Noam Chomsky.

Francis’s official encyclical, issued last year, entitled “Laudato Si,” or “Praised Be,” gave Vatican sanction to the UN globalist agenda of curtailing America’s productivity in the name of cutting out “climate emissions.” The United Nations’ Agenda 21 directive from 1992 calls for the change of individual American life-styles to bring them more in line with the rest of the poverty-stricken world. One has dubbed Francis’s “Praised Be” encyclical “Agenda 21 On Steroids.”  Francis believes in a Global Political Authority with teeth to force American compliance.

Encyclicals

This brings up the issue of encyclicals. According to The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, “Encyclicals are circular letters written by the pope to convey timely teachings on matters of faith and morals. The New Testament example of an encyclical is 1 Peter”— the canonical book. They are “an exercise of the pope’s authority as the ‘chief Shepherd and teacher of the whole Church.’” In other words, the Roman Church un-scripturally and pompously elevates an encyclical to the level of Scripture.

Catholicism classifies two types of encyclicals. (1) “Only if the pope clearly expresses that he is defining ex cathedra is the encyclical an exercise of his solemn and infallible magisterium, …”  In other words, Pope must classify it as ex cathedra if it is to be considered “infallible” (without error). (2) “Otherwise encyclicals are an expression of the ordinary papal magisterium, i.e. an authentic (authoritative) teaching safeguarding faith and morals, to which …assent, reverence, due respect, obedience, submission is to be given …” Note that both types of encyclicals represent authoritative teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. The differentiation is apparently to leave an escape hatch for a Pope’s possible blunders by claiming the statements within the encyclical are not “inspired of God.”

Another item needs here be addressed. Not known to most persons is the fact that The Vatican is actually a secular political entity with physical boundaries and governmental officers to which all Catholics owe primary allegiance. This is the result of papal authority that has blasphemously arrogated to itself a highly-exaggerated view of its own authority, even declaring that the pope is “as God Himself.”

Pope Leo XIII said, “We (the Pope) hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” (Great Encyclical Letters, 304). “But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff as to God Himself” (Ibid., 193). Pope Pius XI, who reigned over Vatican City from 1922-1929, in his encyclical, Light of Truth, said the “Roman Pontiff has from on high an authority which is supreme, above all others and subject to none.”

According to the Roman Catholic Church, therefore, the following is clear. First, The Vatican City is a sovereign foreign secular political entity ruled by Pope as the Supreme Pontiff. The papacy assumes authority over all other governments in the world. Faithful Roman Catholics therefore owe their first earthly allegiance to the political government of The Vatican before they owe allegiance to any other government.

Second, the encyclical is an official pronouncement from the papacy which has, according to Roman Catholicism, the same authority as the New Testament itself. By these circular letters the papacy commands Roman Catholics around the world. The Pope asserts that he himself speaks infallibly and authoritatively in these encyclicals.

The question therefore becomes to Marco Rubio, the Roman Catholic running for the Republican nomination for president: Are you planning on obeying Pope Francis in these matters or the Constitution of the United States? Will you follow the law of the United States of America by protecting our southern border or the dictates of the Marxist Pope who suggests that we have open borders with bridges to allow the influx of the masses from Central and South America? Would you honor the Constitution, or the papal-endorsed United Nations “Sustainable Development”? To be a faithful Catholic one must obey Francis—not the Constitution. Which is it?

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