Three Catholic Traps Dangerous to Christians

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By Richard Bennett and Stuart Quint

 

To this day, the Catholic Church seeks to ensnare true Christians in its various schemes.  While the Roman Church has modified its tactics through history, nonetheless its goal remains the same: subjugating Bible believers to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church’s immediate response to the Biblical Reformation[1] of the sixteenth century was the Counter Reformation.  Using a combination of guile, political intrigue, and persecution, the Counter Reformation sought to return Bible believers to the authority of Rome.  Spearheading the advance of Counter Reformation were the Jesuits, a Catholic religious society founded in 1530 by Ignatius of Loyola.

Education: Catholic Jesuits Resist the Biblical Reformation

Education has been an effective trap to lure people to the Catholic Church both during the Counter Reformation and today. In an uncompromising and malignant manner, Catholics, especially Jesuit Catholics, led a movement to draw men and women away from the faith proclaimed by the Reformation. They sought to bring rulers, men, women, and children back to unquestioning faith in the Roman Catholic Church.

People in nations impacted by the Reformation believed in five essential biblical principles: (1) truth is known based on the Bible alone, (2) a person is saved by grace alone, (3) through faith alone, (4) in Christ Jesus alone, (5) and consequently all praise and glory to God alone.

The Counter Reformation began as Catholics attacked their beliefs and persuaded many to put their faith in the Roman Church and its Sacraments. One successful tactic of the Counter Reformation consisted of Jesuits establishing Catholic schools and colleges to promote their agenda. The Jesuits trained Catholic men in various skills and professions to teach and convert the children of Bible believers back to Catholicism. Because of the excellence in their fields, Jesuit Catholics became tutors and teachers to the children of kings, princes, rulers, and important families in each nation where they went. The Jesuits’ tactic enjoyed particular success in holding nations such as Spain and Italy from the Reformation.  Other nations such as Poland, where the Reformation previously had fruit, lapsed back into the orbit of the Catholic Church.

A related Jesuit tactic to “educate” Bible believers back to the Roman Church is Catholic mysticism, also known today as “spiritual formation” or “Jesuit spiritual exercises”.  Catholic clergy indoctrinated key rulers and their families with mystical teaching.  This mysticism taught people to empty their mind of Biblical common sense and surrender their will to the authority of the Roman Church.  Claiming to offer direct, subjective access to “God”, the Jesuit “spiritual exercises” instead deceive and rob people of the One and Only Mediator Jesus Christ.  Read our articles to learn more about what these “Jesuit spiritual exercises” are and why they are dangerous.[2]

Catholic Education Poses the Same Danger Today

The Jesuits continue such tactics today in 2019. They seek to convey the Ignatian way of “spiritual formation” to as wide an audience as possible.  Jesuit schools of higher education provide a forum to spread their teaching.

For example, Jesuit Kevin O’Brien in his article “The Spiritual Exercises as a Foundation for Jesuit Education” writes:

“The first Jesuits rightly called the [Ignatian] Exercises a school of prayer, essential to the reform of the Church.”[3]

Later he reveals the motives for exporting the Jesuit “Exercises”:

“Inspired by the Second Vatican Council’s call for religious orders to reclaim the sources of their original charism, the Society of Jesus has offered the Exercises in varied and creative ways to ever-increasing numbers of people. Making the Spiritual Exercises available to more people in different forms is especially important as laypersons assume more active roles in Jesuit colleges and universities. Such spiritual formation conveys the Jesuit mission and Ignatian character to faculty and other institutional leaders.”[4]

Education is but one example of Counter-Reformation.  The Roman Church’s strategy, then and now, is to indoctrinate the children, men, and women, nation by nation.

Ecumenism

Another trap of the Catholic Church is to co-opt believers back into Catholic unholy fold is ecumenism.

Cardinal Augustin Bea, a Jesuit, oversaw the writing of many documents of Vatican Council II.  He also helped draft the very important documents of the Council, named in Latin “Nostra Aetate”; meaning “in our time.” The new approach established in “Nostra Aetate” is to win the world over to the Catholic Church, primarily by means of ecumenical dialogue.

This section specifically addresses so-called “Christians” outside of the “true”, e.g. Roman Catholic Church.

“…ecumenical dialogue is not limited to an academic or purely conceptual level…rather it serves to transform modes of thought and behavior and the daily life of those Communities.  In this way, it aims at preparing the way for their unity of faith in the bosom of a Church one and visible: thus ‘little by little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesial communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into that unity of the one and only Church…  This unity, we believe, dwells in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.’”[5]

Roman Church’s efforts at ecumenical dialogue have paid off in weakening evangelical witness to Christ’s true gospel.  In contrast to the Reformers’ clear recognition that Roman Church preaches a false gospel in conflict with Christ’s exclusive claims, many modern evangelicals in the West have compromised with Roman Catholic deception.  Numerous examples in the recent past abound, which you can read on the Ecumenism page of our Website.

Rick Warren, Pastor of the largest Southern Baptist Church in America, for years has voiced and strengthened his partnership with the Roman Catholic Church in various areas.[6]  He unashamedly glosses over the core differences between the Lord Christ’s gospel and that of the Roman Church.[7]

The Catholic Church also voices confidence in winning over pagan religions and atheists:

“In defending the ability of human reason to know God, the Church is expressing her confidence in the possibility of speaking about him to all men and with all men, and therefore of dialogue with other religions, with philosophy and science, as well as with unbelievers and atheists.[8]

For the Roman Church, ecumenical dialogue is not merely an instrument of promoting peace and mutual understanding, let alone compromise.  Ecumenical dialogue is a snare, especially for Christians, to lure them to “the unity of faith” under the “bosom” of the “one and only [Roman Catholic] Church.”

In other words, the Roman Church expects you to bow the knee to her authority and to engage in a dialogue with her.  Christian, beware. 

Economics

The Church of Rome uses economics as a third dangerous trap for Bible believers.

The Catholic Church makes much of the economic inequality between rich and poor nations.  As its solution, Catholicism teaches the redistribution of goods to those in extreme need, under the control of the Roman Catholic clergy:

“Whatever the forms of property may be, as adapted to the legitimate institutions of peoples, according to diverse and changeable circumstances, attention must always be paid to this universal destination of earthly goods…The Fathers and Doctors of the Church held this opinion, teaching that men are obliged to come to the relief of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods.  If one is in extreme necessity, he has the right to procure for himself what he needs out of the riches of others.”[9]

The more this socialistic material principle is legally accepted by various nations, the greater gain there is for the needy, particularly of the one billion Catholics worldwide.

This doctrine of a priori right to all goods, based on need, is what Benedict XVI proposed while he was still Pope, as the fundamental norm of the State, a share of the community’s goods is to be guaranteed to each person.  In the Popes own words, “It is true that the pursuit of justice must be a fundamental norm of the State and that the aim of a just social order is to guarantee to each person, according to the principle of subsidiary, his share of the community’s goods.”[10]

Pope Francis has extended the Vatican’s message of wealth distribution under the Roman Church’s control.  In his notorious encyclical “Laudato Si”, Francis appeals for people to make reparations to “sins” against “mother Earth.” Pope Francis summons the peoples of the world to submit themselves to a new global economic order that will enforce “justice”; naturally assisted by the Catholic Church![11]

Liberation theology is another Vatican invention that combines Marxist ideology with Catholic theology.  “Salvation” is seen through elevating the poor at all costs.  Although the Pope Francis and previously Pope Benedict XVI, question some of its overt Marxist tenets, they agree with the goal of social justice to those deemed “disadvantaged”.[12]

The reality, however, is that many people within the Roman Catholic Church support liberation theology.   This support extends even to abetting revolution to accomplish its aims. As a Catholic Priest, the main author [Richard Bennett, or Peter Bennett, his Dominican name] personally witnessed the damaging impact of liberation theology while living in Trinidad, West Indies:[13]

“In the first parish to which I was assigned, in Southeast Trinidad, called Mayaro, I saw working women gathering coconuts for a few dollars a day.  Some of them explained to me that their working condition was worse than that of their forefathers under slavery.  They said that they did not have enough money to provide food for themselves and their children.

I was reading at the time a well-known book by Jose Miranda called Marx and the Bible, which outlined the great sins of the rich against the poor. I took this as just one of many examples of the oppression of the poor, and I decided that I would do something for the cause of the poor. I preached against wealthy people to pay fair wages with appeals such as, ‘…is not this fast that I have chosen?  To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?’”[14]

I also supported the “Black Power” movement in Trinidad that attempted to overthrow the government of Trinidad.  Even after the failed coup, I lived in fear of attacks by gangs of youth who threw burning pitch into people’s homes at night. Even an automotive trade school which I had started in a small village called Mafeking was forced to close down because of the disorder.

My zeal for liberating the underprivileged still remained.  I visited the island of Grenada, where the poor were allegedly “liberated” by the new government.  The new Dictator Maurice Bishop was as equally oppressive as his fellow Marxist Fidel Castro. To my chagrin, I saw with my own eyes the oppression of the poor people of Grenada that were supposed to be liberated remained oppressed. Consequently, I renounced Liberation Theology forever.”

In practice, Liberation Theology enslaves people to Roman Catholicism. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can truly free people, whether poor or rich, from their true enemy: sin and eternal condemnation. As our Lord proclaimed; “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”[15]

Christ Jesus alone by His grace has purchased freedom for all true believers.  He alone has authority and power to set them free.  His Cross and Resurrection made satisfaction for their guilt as they trust solely on His death on the Cross.  In their place, Christ Jesus has answered all demands of the All Holy God for their sins.  In Christ they are forgiven and vindicated.

Conclusion

Catholicism’s three dangerous traps are truly horrendous. The Roman Church offers an array of false promises in the areas of education, ecumenism, and economics. She promises the world freedom by aligning to her ways.  Do not be fooled rather expose empty promises. The forces of evil in the influence and power of the Catholic Church are powerful, but only Our Lord Christ Jesus is all-powerful.

The Bible God’s written Word is the inerrant and infallible authority against false traditions, such as those of the Catholic Church and her false Sacramental way of Sanctification. The Catholic Church officially states:

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.  Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.” [16]

Thus, the Roman Church officially teaches that its ritualistic Sacraments are “necessary for salvation”.

The Scriptures make clear that by nature, we are all born “dead in trespasses and sins,”[17] and in practice, we rebel against the All Holy God.  Therefore, we justly fall under the curse of the Law. Yet, the love of our heavenly Father, through the Gospel of grace, rescues us as Bible Believers from His fiery wrath.  By means of the conviction of sin, placed on the human heart by the Holy Spirit, He by His grace alone turns us to Himself in faith alone for the salvation that He alone gives.  This salvation is based on Christ’s death and resurrection for true Bible believers.  As a result, we believe on Jesus Christ the Lord alone, “for by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”.[18]

Dear Catholic, please pray that Scripture Ephesians 2:8- 9 would be factual for you in salvation. And please let us hear from you. Thank you.

The wondrous grace of salvation engages our hearts in an ever deepening gratitude consequently we proclaim with our whole heart, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.  Amen”.[19]¨


Permission is given to copy and distribute this article once it copied in its entirety

Our Website is: https://www.bereanbeacon.org

If you wish to respond to what we have said in this Article just email me Richard at: rbennett@bereanbeacon.org  . Or you can reach Stuart at: doulos@bereanbeacon.org


[1] See our article with further detail on  https://bereanbeacon.org/the-heritage-of-the-reformation-for-the-present-time/

[2] Read particularly these links:  https://bereanbeacon.org/catholic-mysticism-infused-into-society/ and https://bereanbeacon.org/pope-francis-master-of-jesuit-spiritual-exercises/ .

[3] Kevin O’Brien, S.J., “The Spiritual Exercises as a Foundation for Jesuit Education”, Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, January 1, 2015, on http://www.conversationsmagazine.org/web-features/2015/12/27/the-spiritual-exercises-as-a-foundation-for-jesuit-education  accessed December 23, 2018.

[4] Idem.

[5] Secretariat for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians, “Reflections and Suggestions Concerning Ecumenical Dialogue”, II, 2, d, on http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/information_service/pdf/information_service_12_en.pdf  accessed on December 23, 2018. Authors’ emphasis.

[6]Pia de Solenni, “In Orange County, bishop and pastor model Catholic/Evangelical ties”, Crux, September 14, 2007 on    https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2017/09/14/orange-county-bishop-pastor-model-catholicevangelical-ties/ accessed on December 23, 2018.

[7] Mark Woods, “Rick Warren on Roman Catholicism: ‘We have more in common than what divides us’”, Christian Today, Friday, 5 December 2014 on https://www.christiantoday.com/article/rick-warren-on-roman-catholicism-we-have-more-in-common-than-what-divides-us/43942.htm

[8] Catechism of the Catholic Church,  IV. How can we speak about God?, Para. 39 on http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c1.htm  accessed on December 22, 2018.

[9] Vatican II Documents No. 64, “Gaudium et Spes”, Para 69 on http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html  accessed on December 22, 2018.  Authors’ emphasis.

[10] Pope Benedict XVI, DEUS CARITAS EST, Section 26 on http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est.html  accessed on December 25, 2018.

[11] See  https://bereanbeacon.org/pope-francis-the-fox/  accessed on December 25, 2018.

[12] Junno Arocho Esteves, “Pope Francis praises founder of liberation theology”, Catholic Herald, June 11, 2018 on  https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/06/11/pope-francis-praises-founder-of-liberation-theology/  accessed on December 25, 2018.

[13]See https://bereanbeacon.org/liberation-theology-infused-in-western-thinking/  accessed on December 25, 2018.

[14] Isaiah 58:6-7

[15] John 8:32

[16] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para 1129. Author’s emphasis.  See http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM  accessed on December 18, 2017.

[17] Ephesians 2:1

[18] Ephesians 2:8, 9

[19] Romans 11:36

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