By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
I recall when I got scorned for attacking homosexuality on my blog with a comment that said, “You are a homophobe, do you not know that God loves everyone including homosexuals,” in which I answered with, “do you not know that God loves everyone including the homophobe?”
Indeed, we say “God loves everyone,” including, but not limited to; heretics, pedophiles, sodomites, lesbians, murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug pushers and every mutant from the pit of hell, except, of course, the legalist and the Pharisee, that is, the good old Catholic Church.
By now, objectors who read so far what I wrote here will only pull out a Tommy machinegun and begin to spray all the high-caliber bullets at the comment section of my blog to write: “Catholics are legalists,” “the Pope kissed the Quran,” “they worship Mary,” “they pray to saints” …
May I say that a bigot is recognized when he avoids the question at hand by always changing the subject.
The God of love, does He not love the legalist, the Pharisee and even the bigot? Does He then not also love the Catholic?
The issue is not an issue of “Love”, but that “Love” is always used to obstruct correction and reproof. Such “Love” is nothing more than hate. I always keep my eyes out for a mind that reverses everything.
The issue is an issue of SLANDER.
Slandering Catholics is the ONLY accepted prejudice in America.
Exposing Sodomite behavior in America is prejudice, but slandering the Vatican is not?
The Vatican has been slandered for centuries without a shred of biblical evidence. They call it the Harlot of Babylon, the killers of the saints, the woman drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus Christ. And for historic evidence they say that the Catholic Church eliminated the Manichaeans, Arians, Cathars, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Bogomiles and Albigensians. But can anyone quote a single historian who confirms or proves that these groups were Bible believing Christians? Yet thousands of books were written slandering Catholics for eliminating these while elevating such heretics as the true Bible believing Christians.(For more on this read my article Drinking the Blood of Saints)
But instead of answering such a simple question, I get machine-gunned every time by changing the subject; but what about all these pedophilia cases? It is true that there is a major mess to clean in any Christian circle, but may I say: let the denomination that has no such sin cast the first stone. Sexual sins and deviancies are equally spread in all denominations.
But does such issues entitle us to only focus on what is wrong with the Catholic while ignoring what is wrong with Protestants? Even Jesus, while he reprimanded the institution of His time for its corruption, He never eliminated its authority over the flock.
And what about the Pharisee? Did the New Testament hate Pharisees? And how could we say that Judaism is legalistic just because individual Pharisees were challenging Jesus by using the Law to trap, discredit and accuse Him of heresy? Can this be applied to all the Pharisees in general or the Jews collectively?
Why then do we use the term “Pharisee” as a dreaded label of scorn and insult?
In the Bible, we can find verses where God condemns Israel. But is that a blanket statement to condemn them for eternity? If so, what then do we do with verses in which God honors Israel? Condemning the Jews for eternity is a sign of bigotry and prejudice. I see many Catholics who hate Israel. Evangelicals by large have done a much better job than Catholics in recognizing and supporting Israel.
When it comes to the Pharisee, Jesus spoke of the “righteousness of the Pharisees”. Was Jesus degrading the righteousness of the Pharisees, or was He simply setting up the standard, that unless we are perfect, we couldn’t enter the Kingdom, for even if we kept the law as good as the Pharisee, these do not equip a man for the beatific vision of God’s essence? This of course, can never be attained until the end when God accomplishes in us His plan after we are purged from all sin.
Nicodemus was a righteous Pharisee and so was Gamaliel, Paul’s teacher, the grandson of Hillel and the founder of a dominant school of the Pharisees, a major branch of Judaism. It was Gamaliel (a Pharisee) whom God chose to save the apostles from death and opposed the apostles’ execution. Josephus and some Talmudic works also mention Gamaliel, the Pharisee, describing him as a benevolent and brilliant man. William Barclay states:
“He was a kindly man with a far wider tolerance than his fellows. He was, for instance, one of the very few Pharisees who did not regard Greek culture as sinful. He was one of the very few to whom the title ‘Rabban’ had been given. Men called him ‘The Beauty of the Law.’ When he died it was said, ‘Since Rabban Gamaliel died there has been no more reverence for the Law; and purity and abstinence died out at the same time.'” (The Daily Study Bible Commentary, Bible Explorer software.)
In fact, Christianity, and by extension, Catholicism was derived from the Pharisaical tradition of Judaism. In reality, when we compare Catholics and Protestants today in light of ancient times, it was the sola-scriptura Sadducees who rejected all authoritative oral teaching and were considered the theological liberals of that time. Even the New Testament records the first Christians were Pharisees (Acts 15:5, Philippians 3:5), but never once mentions Christian Sadducees.
Having few children by using birth control is the practice of liberals. Why would many Evangelicals support birth control is beyond me. Yet both religious Jews and Catholics see such practice as going against God’s plan. I agree 100%. God after all said to be, “fruitful and multiply”. My wife Maria put up with me for over two decades because she was brought up Catholic and to her marriage was a holy sacrament.
I have always believed that there are anti-Semites regardless of denomination. However, it is not true that Catholicism is anti-Semitic. Catholic Jim Blackburn from Catholic Answers in his article “Do You Know Jesus” explains that Christianity stems from Judaism, which is the official stand of the Catholic Church. Jim explains Paul:
“Paul said: “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial for hope in the promise made by God to our fathers. (Acts 26:4-6)”
Paul does not denounce the religion of Judaism here. He clearly recognizes that it is from this religion, which Christianity sprang. And he does not view Christianity as a new religion but, rather, as the fulfillment of the promise of Judaism. It is a continuation of—not a break from—Judaism. And in this continuation it does not throw off its religious aspect. (Ibid)
We always attribute to Catholics as the prime example of a legalist; they after all believe that they can earn or merit God’s approval by performing the requirements of the law, they neglect mercy, are ignorant of the grace of God and are so focused on the obedience to the law; the Catholic preeminent principle of redemption is not “by faith alone in God’s grace”.
Was the Catholic unsaved just because he believed in sola gratia (by grace alone) as Trent decreed, the justified “increase in that justice which they have received through the grace of Christ” by means of “faith co-operating with good works,” which uses the phrase of the Council and that of Saint James?
Fact is, the Catholic Church condemns anyone who attempts to justify himself “by his own works”:
“Canon I. If any one says that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ—let him be anathema.”
The Council of Trent even elaborates:
“We are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification—whether faith or works—merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.”
Is this teaching an anathema? For how long must we continue slandering? Even the Jewish faith, King David broke the law and was not saved by keeping it, yet he was nevertheless saved. David was a repentant servant of God. Calling Catholics legalists came from Martin Luther who drew this view from reading the correspondence between the Judaizers of Paul’s days and applied it to the Roman Catholics of his.
George Foote Moore and Claude Montefiore protested that Judaism was not legalistic, and that such a view of Judaism was a distortion of Jewish documentary sources.
Indeed, if biblical Judaism was legalistic, how could God then provide salvation to the Jews of the Old Testament? How could God be arbitrary selecting Israel as His plan for salvation if they were legalists? (See Claude G. Montefiore, “Judaism and St. Paul (London: Max Goschen, 1914).
And here comes my biggest dilemma: during my two-decade walk in many American churches, it was as if all the battles, struggles and martyrdoms, which the Catholic Church endured from the Muslims for over millennia was simply written off by my evangelical friends. These sold such wealth of Catholic history as Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
It’s heart breaking.
In two decades, I have never heard a mention of the contribution of Catholics fighting Islam in the battles of Poitiers, Lepanto and Vienna.
My struggle with so many anti-Catholics began when I pointed to the rich history of the Catholic struggles with Islam. To these, it didn’t matter that millions of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox were martyred under Islam’s scimitar; Islam to them was simply the ‘cleansing agent’ of Catholic heretics.
I could not understand how could such a movement that is pro-Jew, yet be so anti-Catholic?
I slowly began to realize that in America being anti-Catholic is America’s ONLY Acceptable Prejudice.
Even historians agree, slandering Catholics, as John Highham described it is:
“the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history,” (Jenkins, Philip (1 April 2003). The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Oxford University Press. p. 23)
Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. has called Anti-Catholicism “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people”. (“The Coming Catholic Church”. By David Gibson. HarperCollins: Published 2004.)
Indeed. America is a nation that isolates racism and addresses skin-color and gender as the only definition for racism, so much so, even though they exercise the least of this type of racism than any other nation on earth, yet they discuss racism more than any other nation on earth.
We even have come a long way in combating anti-Semitism to soon forget quickly the horrors of Nazism. We still openly denounce skinheads and neo-Nazis, yet when it comes to the slander of Catholicism and Catholics, America is not only silent, but also is still a major participant.
Bible believing Christians who are Anti-Catholics need to answer one question: why only Catholicism unites all haters? Why when it comes to Catholicism, they are all united; liberals, atheists, Mormons, feminists, Satanists, Scientologists, Jehova’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Advantists, Uniterians, Moslems and so many Bible believing Christians officially and doctrinally are all anti-Catholic? It is time that Evangelical Bible believing Christians be removed from this equation.
But perhaps I need to exercise an American tradition; I should have prequalified my statement and say that: I am not saying that protestants and evangelicals are all anti-Catholic, by God no, yet every time I praised Catholics, I found so many pin-pointing the leaven of the Pharisees without looking into the piles of heretical books written by so-called evangelicals who do much worse than the Pope kissing the Quran or that Nostra Aetate praised Islam. Yet even Pope Benedict criticized Nostra Aetate. I too hate some of what I see in Nostra Aetate and Second Vatican and find so many devils within the Catholic Church.
But is the Catholic rich history such an evil subject that warrants ignoring Catholic wars with Islam and that during Nazism, there were many more of these precious Catholics that chose to die in Hitler’s ovens than there were wonderful Protestants? It is a fact of history that Catholics lead any other religion in rescuing the highest numbers of Jews during Nazi Germany. Are all these Catholics damned to hell despite making a choice to enter Hitler’s furnace and save Jews? Which of the two is more pleasing to God, the evangelical health and wealth televangelist or the Jew loving Catholic who died in the infernos of Hitler’s crematoria?
From top preachers in America, we can see the terrible trend. John MacArthur, who is esteemed as a formidable and excellent Calvinist theologian, made a sermon in which he agreed with Charles Spurgeon when he declared that he would rather be called a devil than a priest, and that the Catholic Church is worse than Satan himself. MacArthur, in agreement with the statement, proclaimed the quote in his presentation:
“Call yourself a priest, sir! I wonder men are not ashamed to take the title: when I recollect what priests have done in all ages–what priests connected with the church of Rome have done, I repeat what I have often said: I would rather sooner a man pointed at me in the street and called me a devil, than called me a priest; for bad as the devil has been, he has hardly been able to match the crimes, cruelties, and villainies which have been transacted under the cover of a special priesthood.” (Macarthur on Youtube, http://youtu.be/7WbF-BZxu6s)
Christian author and conspiracy theorist Mark Dice stated:
“The Catholic Church, the popes, and bishops are basically the same as the Pharisees that Jesus denounced over 2000 years ago for their hypocrisy and their pride and arrogance due to their spiritual knowledge.” (The Vatican, Modern Day Pharisees, MarkDice.com)
Another evangelical author, S. Mason describes the Catholic Church as:
“The Pope declares the Catholic hierarchy to be the only ones allowed to interpret scriptures. Therefore, they elevate themselves as the Scribes and Pharisees of the Temple. Think on how Jesus described them HYPOCRITES! He described them as painted white sepulchers, looking god on the outside but smelling with the stench of death on the inside and filled with dead men’s bones.” (Mason S. Religion the Great Harlot in the Devil’s Playground, P.p. 81)
Anti-Catholics simply transferred the term “Pharisee” from the Jew to the Catholic. Indeed, hating Catholics and Pharisees is America’s ONLY Accepted Prejudice.