By Walid Shoebat
How can I bring reconciliation between people who say they all love the Bible?
My dream is to reconcile the People of the Good Book while keeping the spirit of discussion in ironing out their differences.
My dream is to help my fellow Christian Arab to see that his enemy is not Israel, but that Islam desires to conquer all of us: Jews, Catholics and Protestants.
My dream is that Catholics could be as zealous to learn the Bible as Evangelicals do and that Evangelicals learn history as Catholics do and the Jews learn about Jesus as we all do.
But sharing such dreams are a sin that is met with much objection.
To my detractors I say, let me first confess my errors, before I point out yours.
Having been steeped into the error of Islam and coming out of it taught me something: to all who seek to find truth, here is how you do it: go and find what is most attacked and their you will find the truth. This is true regardless of that what you might find is something you do not agree with.
It is difficult to comprehend this unless you came out of error and you have a confessing spirit.
It is why I examine things for myself from honest sources. I do not follow a favorite preacher and I always try to listen to both sides, then I make up my mind.
I had to deal with my first errors when I joined a Baptist church, I learned what I learned when I met mostly Protestants who either grew up in the faith or dissatisfied x-Catholic migrants who were dissatisfied by a multitude of issues they found in the Catholic circles.
To these, the moment I said anything positive about Catholics and the first thing that happens is that the other side machine guns all the problems with Catholics, while they completely ignored the one positive point I made about them.
Is this how we iron out our differences?
But I assure you, machine gun comments is exactly what will be posted on my comment section; Mariology, Prayer to Saints, Icons, Statues, works and the killing of Christians throughout history …
While these are fine arguments, perhaps I will point one confession: as I investigated history, I could not find the supposed “blood of the saints” that the Catholic church have shed, instead I found that the blood of heretics became the “blood of the saints,” while the blood of millions of Catholics and Eastern orthodox fighting Islam was rendered worthless.
Having said this, this does not mean that mistakes did not happen, they did.
The main qualification we had for Vatican to be Harlot is that it was the Popes using their chalice “drank the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6).
For that to be true, we all conjured up what we claimed were “overwhelming” historic references in which Millions of copies of books circulated to the unsuspecting without disclosing the heretical theology of the sects that the Catholic Church eliminated.
Let me explain. We argued for centuries that such saints were: Manichaeans, Arians, Cathars, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Bogomiles, Waldensians, Albigensians, Lollards and Hussites.
But as I examined, these were hardly saints by biblical standards and neither did we quote many valid historians to prove our case. Instead, we quoted theologians and propagandists while we pretended they were historians.
Do we think that tolerating the Cathars was the right thing to do?
The Cathars in their days were similar to Muslims.
The Paulicians, who were really Armenian Cathars, had fought in the ranks of the Muslims against the Crusaders during the First Crusade.
Were these the saints?
When we identify ourselves with the Cathars, is as if someone identifies themselves with the Philistines and the Ba’al worshipers that the Israelites removed.
To deny Israel that right is not only anti-God but also Anti-Semitic.
Neither can such groups be linked to any original first century church. These broke away from the Church and were never even pre-existent to it.
And I can show countless of examples of such error. Take for example, the famous preacher John MacArthur who rejects the biblical discourses of certain medieval theologians utters one example of such error; he amazingly accepts these heretical groups as orthodox Bible expositors:
While the period produced some famous preachers, such as Peter the Hermit, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Thomas Aquinas, none handled the text in an expository fashion. Faint hints of Bible exposition have been detected among independent groups such as the Paulicians, Waldenses, and Albigenses, despite the fact that these groups are commonly dismissed as “heretics.” (1)
The closest sects, who can even have a hint of orthodoxy, would be the Hussites and the Waldenses. But even if we take these two sects, they believed in Catholic and not Evangelical dogma.
I could also write a book on the violence committed by the Hussites and the Albigensians that would raise an eyebrow.
The Paulicians and the Albigenses were purely heretics. Considering this whole conundrum from our evangelical mindset, how could killing these be considered “drinking the blood of the saints”?
Take another writer, Tim LaHaye, who is touted and lauded as a brilliant prophecy analyst who knows virtually very little about such groups, even sympathized with the Cathars of southern France, who were repressed by the Catholics:
In the period immediately following [Pope] Innocent III the Inquisition did its most deadly work in Southern France (see under Albigenses) (2)
Dave Hunt even goes as far as accepting the Cathars, and the Bogomils (another heretical group by evangelical standards) as being a part of the first church:
Furthermore, millions of biblical Christians resisted Rome for fifteen years before Luther or Calvin. Albigensis, Waldenses, Bogomils, Paulicians, Baptists, and those who simply called themselves “Christians” or “brethren” traced their doctrines back to the apostles and never obeyed the popes. (3)
Didn’t Hunt know that there were no “Baptists” fifteen hundred years before Luther?
Most modern Evangelical writers lack in the field of history.
EXAMINING THE HISTORIANS
Even when examining the historians they quote, they usually leave out major crucial facts. Hunt for example, used Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger, Will Durant, Henry Charles Lea and William Edward Hartpole Lecky who are certainly historians of note, but the quotes they use from these historians do not address the theology, motive and the violence committed by these sects who by using the evangelical scale would be heretical and terroristic from even an evangelical sense.
The Cathars like the Albigensians were so evil that Lea had to admit: “Had Catharism become predominant, its influence would infallibly have proved fatal” (History of the Inquisition, I, 117).
While such authors love to use quotes from Will Durant on how the Catholics eliminated the dualist Cathars who believed in two gods (4) they intentionally ignore that historian Will Durant wrote that for some time the Cathari were tolerated:
received a broad toleration from the ecclesiastics and the secular powers of southern France. Apparently the people were allowed to choose freely between the old religion and the new.
Durant then reports about these pagans’ acts of terrorism; how in “1171 Roger II, Viscount of Béziers, sacked an abbey, threw the bishop of Albi into prison, and set a heretic to guard him.” The pagans “drove abbot and monks from the abbey of Pamiers; his horses ate oats from the altar; his soldiers used the arms and legs of the crucifixes as pestles to grind grain, and practiced their marksmanship upon the image of Christ. Count Raymond VI of Toulouse destroyed several churches, persecuted the monks of Moissac, and was excommunicated (1196)…” (5)
Was eliminating these qualify as “shedding the blood of saints”?
Must the Church tolerate all this terrorism?
Even Protestant England had it right as Lecky explained, in general so indulgent towards paganism in her colonies, could not tolerate the continuation among the Hindus of the ritual murder of children and the burning of widows (the Suttee), prohibiting the former under severe penalties in 1802 and the latter in 1829 (6)
The Protestants rightfully stopped such pagan practices through violence and war.
One could examine what England did to the Thuggees in India, who butchered millions of Indians as sacrifices to the demonic goddess Kali.
Similarly, the only way we can argue for the rights of Cathars and Albigenses is by adapting what we espouse to fight—liberalism, religious tolerance and tolerance to terrorism.
Isn’t that what we are at war with as Christians?
Why do we reject first century Christian doctrine that was delivered to us by Policarp, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome — who knew the apostles personally — yet accept the Cathars as Bible believing Christians?
Are we being honest here?
But its not only us who have a problem providing evidence for the monumental numbers of “millions” killed, these, like so many others, drank from the fountain of Dave Hunt which provided weak historic references like “E. H. Broadbent and Canon Llorente”:
In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake. (7)
All this exaggeration “exceeds 3 million,” condemned and “300,000 burned at the stake,” while ignoring that serious historians had already debunked such outlandish claims:
Llorente, the ex-Secretary of the Holy Office who wrote a bitterly antagonistic account of it at the beginning of the 19th century, based on manuscript material which is no longer extant, states that all told, from its foundation down to 1808, the total number of heretics burned in person in Spain alone totalled 31,912… These figures are so enormous as to seem highly suspicious. (8)
Reputable British historian Henry Kamen stated:
“[Llorente] came up with the incredible figures of 31,912 relaxations in person, 17,659 relaxations in effigy, and 291,450 penitents, a grand total of 341,021 victims. All the historical evidence has shown this greatly exaggerated figure to be without any foundation.” (9)
Inquisition historian A.S. Turberville:
Llorente put the total at nearly 32,000 [burned in person], but his method of calculation is fantastic and ridiculous. (10)
From a book of essays by leading Inquisition historians:
There can be little doubt, however, that in light of subsequent research, even by those more or less sharing Llorente’s animus towards the Holy Office, he can no longer be considered reliable…Clearly, Llorente also contributed substantially to the growing anti-clerical tradition in Spain in the 19th century. (11)
Also one can read Professor Gerard Dufour, historian Mariana, professor Dumont and many others. Even Henry Charles Lea, the first major American Inquisition historian and no fan of the Catholic Church, says of the calculations of victims:
There is no question that the number of these has been greatly exaggerated in popular belief, an exaggeration to which Llorente has largely contributed by his absurd method of computation…. (Lea, volume 4, page 517)
Lea calls Llorente’s guesswork “reckless” and “entirely fallacious.”
It even gets worse, our popular evangelical theologian and author, John MacArthur and in order to make this one verse in Revelation 17:6 fit, had the audacity to even inflate a number to an absolutely unsubstantiated “fifty million” martyred by the Popes, without providing any credible proof:
According to Protestant Historian John Dowling, the Roman Catholic Church has put to death more than fifty million “heretics” between A.D. 606 (the birth of the papacy) and the mid-1800s (12)
Depending on which author one reads, the numbers even extends to 68 million, 100 million, 120 million, and 150 million Bible believing Christians murdered by the Catholic Church, a history that no one in history verified; neither was the Papacy born in 606 A.D. as claimed by John MacArthur, the “reputable” theologian.
But drilling down to find where this came from, I obtained MacArthur’s quote in which he quoted John Dowling’s The History of Romanism, Book 8, Ch. 1, pp. 542, 543:
From the birth of Popery in 600, to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than FIFTY MILLION of the human family have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of Popery.
And here is the crux of all this slander: in MacArthur’s quote, “According to Protestant Historian John Dowling,” as it turns out, John Dowling was a “pastor Dowling”, not “historian,” who held his pastorates in New York, Philadelphia.
It even gets worse, besides that Dowling has no credentials in history; Dowling, while he stated “fifty million,” he simply created such numbers out of thin air, his note explaining the number he admits:
No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death, in different ways, on account of their maintaining the profession of the Gospel, and opposing the corruptions of the Church of Rome, A million Waldenses and Albigenses perished during a crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1208; beginning from the establishment of the Jesuits in 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed; one hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in 30 years; within the space of thirty-eight years after the edict of Charles V against Protestants, fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, or burned alive for heresy; eighteen thousand more perished during the administration of the Duke of Alva in five and a half years … but the total amount will never be known, till the earth shall disclose her blood (13)
Dowling even admits that “no computation” was done, that the only way to know is that “till the earth shall disclose her blood”. There was no tally, yet an enormous number was provided despite that when we examine the statement, there were no “million Waldenses and Albigenses perished”.
After noticing the outlandish quotes, I attempted to investigate even further as to what historian with his sane mind would declare that the Papacy murdered 100 million people. I finally found the source from a book, Who Are These Three Angels, by Jeff Wehr, P.p. 31-32:
For professing faith contrary to the teachings of the Church of Rome, history records the martyrdom of more than one hundred million people. A million Waldenses and Albigenses perished during a crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1208; beginning from the establishment of the Jesuits in 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed; one hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in 30 years; within the space of thirty-eight years after the edict of Charles V against Protestants, fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, or burned alive for heresy; eighteen thousand more perished during the administration of the Duke of Alva in five and a half years.—Brief Bible Readings for Busy People , No. 8.
The source used by Wehr, as it turned out, was from an insignificant booklet titled A Brief Bible Studies for Busy People (page 16), which was by Frances L. Carroll.
Carroll wasn’t even a historian but a housewife.
You heard it right.
It even gets worse, she was a Jehovah’s Witness serving with her husband as full-time volunteer traveling ministers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (14)
Carroll, the housewife, simply plagiarized Dowling’s quote and simply inserted her own “one hundred million”.
But this is only taking a couple of quotes randomly that I was able to find a monumental fraud and outright slander. The Protestant World Christian Encyclopedia says that Roman Catholics killed 4.9 million Christians. Of course, such source lumps the Manichaeans, Arians, Cathars, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Bogomiles, Waldensians, Albigensians, Lollards and Hussites as ‘Bible believing Christian’. Eliminate these heretics and the numbers go down drastically. The “millions” figure is not supported by any serious historian. It is difficult to manipulate history without notice and is why such authors resort to theologians proclaiming them as historians. That is these are self-ordained historians.
I had even tracked countless publications to only find out the main sources for such false information were not credible:
Peter De Rosa (aka Neil Boyd) was not a historian (15) but an X-priest, novel writer and Professor of Metaphysics.
John Wesley was not a historian but a theologian.
Alexander Hislop was not a historian but a Pastor of East Free Church of Arbroath in Scotland.
Schmucker was not a historian but a Professor of Theology.
William Craig Brownlee was not a historian but a reverend and an American clergyman and professor of languages.
Joseph Martin McCabe was not a historian but an x-Catholic priest.
Charles Buck was not a historian but a reverend and author of Theological Dictionary.
Vergerius was not a historian but a religious ‘reformer’.
Thomas Armitage was not a historian but a Protestant theologian.
George Bourne was not a historian but a pastor.
Cushing B. Hassell was not a historian but a writer.
Dr. M. Geddes was not a historian but a Chaplain.
John B. Wilder was not a historian but a writer.
Taylor Bunch was not a historian but a Prophecy author.
Nathaniel Crouch (pseud. Robert Burton) was not a historian but a writer. (16)
Henry Southwell was not a historian but a reverend.
John Wylie was a not a historian but minister of the Free Church of Scotland.
J. M. Carroll was not a historian but a Southern Baptist minister.
Avro Manhattan was not a historian but a British writer.
Charles Chiniquy was not a historian, but a Canadian x-Catholic priest who was twice suspended from his priestly ministry (for moral turpitude).
R. W. Thompson, was not a historian but a politician.
John William Bowden was not a historian but theologian.
Walter j. Veith is not a historian or a “world acclaimed international lecturer” but a zoologist (17)
Frances L. Carroll, was not a historian but simply a housewife.
I could go on and on and on.
Such is the type of references used by evangelical authors when they need to exaggerate historic accounts. With no accountability by a higher order, evangelical authors can do as they wish under the first amendment but as long as man is man, true science and ripe scholarship, and sound reasoning, can be only the heritage of the few. (18)
Similarily, Tim LaHaye, in a description reminiscent to the blood libel against Jews, writes that under the Spanish Inquisition:
“no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death, in the Pope’s war for the extermination of the Waldenses. Think of monks and priests directing, with heartless cruelty and inhuman brutality, the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women; and doing it in the Name of Christ, by the direct order of the “Vicar of Christ.” (LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled)
How could 900,000 Protestants be killed in the Pope’s war against the Waldenses when the Waldenses were hundreds of years before the Protestant Reformation?
But we are not willing to remove our books anytime soon and neither will we repent, instead, we choose to slander.
So who truly “drank the blood of the saints”?
Perhaps we can go to what is missing in the equation #1—THE ABSENCE OF CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM WARS; all these Islamic wars against the Catholic Church and Eastern Byzantium with the millions that no historian can even estimate; it was the heretic Unitarian Muslim who denied Father and Son were the ones who killed the Christians.
Isn’t it then time that we at least unite on this truth?
Part of confronting the truth is coming to realization that Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, are being slaughtered every day. Please, give what you can to save the lives of your fellow Christians
1 MacArthur, Preaching: How to Preach Biblically, ch. 3
2 LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled
3 Dave Hunt, James White, Debating Calvinism
4 Anne Bradford Townsend, The Cathars of Languedoc as Heretics, P.p 49
5 Will Durant, The Age of Faith
6 (cf. Lecky, “Democracy and Liberty”, I, 1896, pp. 424 sqq.)
7 Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, page 79, also 242
8 Cecil Roth [orig 1937], page 123
9 Henry Kamen [orig 1965], page 280-1
10 A.S. Turberville [orig 1932], page 112
11 Paul J. Hauben , page 31, from chapter “Juan Antonio Llorente: A Spanish Anti-Clerical View”
12 The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, John 12-21, P.p. 181, Italics mine
13 John Dowling’s The History of Romanism, Book 8, Ch. 1, pp. 542
16 CROUCH’S “RELATION OF THE GREAT COUNCIL OF JEWS,” 1796, WITH AN “ACCOUNT OF THE WONDERFUL DELUSION OF THE JEWS BY A FALSE MESSIAH” Brett’s account of the “Great Council of the Jews in the Plains of Hungary in 1650 to Examine the Scriptures Concerning Christ” is today discredited as purely fictional— originally spawned by the Puritan Revolution in England in hopes of converting Jews to Christianity
17 http://walterveith.com/walter-veith-bio.html Professor Walter J. Veith, calims a “PhD Zoology and an ardent student of history and prophecy”, historian Jeff Crocombe, finds serious faults with some references Veith puts forward as ‘facts’
18 The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Volume II, P.p. 498