Donald P. Ames
For some time the Knights of Columbus have been advertising in the papers, with little or no appeal to the scriptures, to try to get people interested in the Roman Catholic Church. Since this organization is presently posing one of the greatest threats to American freedom we have ever faced, I feel that we ought to take more notice of their ads and show people the false claims that are being made, to teach others of the threat being posed before us today, and to cry out while we still have the freedom to do so.
In a recent ad, the following conversation took place.
Since many of the statements are a bit bold and unusual, I feel that they need to be portrayed before the public.
“But how,” Jim persisted, “can the average person know what to do? When doctrinal claims contradict one another, how am I to know which is right and which is wrong?”
“A study of Christian history,” Father Crane replied, “will provide a better answer for the troubled and confused than would a study of conflicting creeds.”
It is very interesting to note the answer that this priest made to Jim Brown. He told him to go to the Bible, but rather appealed to “Christian history.” While we are all willing to agree that studying conflicting creeds will get one nowhere in trying to get free from the present-day confusion, likewise, history will get you no further. God has given us his word to guide us into all that we need to know. (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We are told that “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). When Satan tempted Christ, the Lord appealed not to “history” but rather replied, “It is written” and quoted the word of God. Yet for some reason, the Catholics appeal to history and avoid the word of God. Will this help them any?
“History will tell you, Jim” the priest went on, “that Christ proclaimed his intention to establish a Church, with Peter as its head and the other Apostles as its bishops.”
Now, where in history are we to look for this work? Is any history good enough? Surely Mr. Crane (on the basis of Matt. 23:9 I refrain from calling him my Father) would not agree to any history, but rather only to a Catholic historian who would back up his claim of Peter being head of the church and the other apostles as bishops So, he has one historian against another. Yet, in Eph. 1:22-23 my Bible tells me Christ is the head of the church, not Peter. Likewise, I find nothing about the rest of the apostles being His bishops. Could this be why Mr. Crane appealed to history?
“History further tells us that this is the Catholic Church, which was established during the time of the Apostles, with Peter as its first leader—the first Pope.”
Once again I challenge Mr. Crane to produce the source in history (other than a Catholic) which would say such. Again he has merely rendered historian against historian, and himself against the Bible. My Bible mentions the “churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16), “church of God” (1 Cor. 1:1), “church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23), but is absolutely silent concerning such a name as the Catholic Church or reference to Peter as “the first Pope.” We could go into a long drawn out list of passages showing Peter could not have been and was not, the first pope. In fact, from Paul’s statement in Gal. 2:11, we could make an even better case for Paul being pope. However, we will let the fact Christ is the head of the church (Col. 1:18) and that there is no scripture to support Peter being the first Pope suffice for the present.
Continuing with our review of Mr. Crane’s article, we find him stating, “Catholics 1900 years ago confessed to a priest, and they do so today.” Upon what basis do you make that statement, Mr. Crane? Upon the basis of history, providing you will accept a Catholic historian in preference to the Bible. In James 5:16 we are told that they were commanded to confess their sins “one to another” but I can find no reference to a priest. Instead, they were to seek man’s forgiveness for offending him, and then pray together to God for His forgiveness. 1 Tim. 2:5 tells us Christ (not a priest) is the only mediator we have between us and God. Is the Bible enough, Mr. Crane?
Then he appeals to history to establish “Catholics believed then, as now, that baptism removes original sin.” For once, Mr. Crane, I must concede you may find a historian who will agree in the doctrine of original sin. But rather than history (which is still divided) let’s go to the Bible to settle it. Note that Ezekiel 18:20 tells us that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father…” To put it in modern day language, if a man kills another man and is sent to prison for such, should his future offspring likewise be sent to prison for this same act? Is such man’s justice? No, and neither is it God’s according to Ezekiel. Again in Matt. 18:3 Christ says, “Except ye turn and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” But, turn (or be converted) from what? Our sins. Into what? Sin? Again, does heaven belong to sinners? (If original sin be so, according to Matt. 19:14, it does.) Need we to go further? This theory is as contrary to the Bible as the others.
In conclusion, he says, “all we ask is that you learn for yourself what the Catholic Church teaches…” At least he got to it—not what the Bible says, but the Catholic Church. As for me, I’m content to accept and abide with what’s in God’s word. (2 John 9.) I wish all could know what horrors Catholicism teaches and hopes to plan for action someday—at least we would stand up and cry louder.