The Roman Church Exposed:
A Cage of every unclean & hateful bird!
April 9, 2010 - Audio, 6.25 MIN
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In this edition of the Bible in the News, we must comment on the unsavoury news stories that have appeared concerning the Roman Catholic Church and the dreadful abuse of children over many, many years. I say that we "must" comment on the matter for it is one that underlines much of what the Bible teaches us - about human nature, and about this particular church.
In the first place, the whole sordid business draws our attention to the nature that we all bear. As Jeremiah 17:9 puts it:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Desperately wicked, or "sick." And isn't that just it! The Lord Jesus confirms this view of the human heart. His words are recorded in Mark 7:21-23.
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
That is what is "within" us; that is our nature. It is all very well putting on a "holy" appearance before others. We can dress up the exterior with red cloaks and white vestments - clasp the hands together and wear a "holy" look - but inside, human nature is rotten. That is what the Bible teaches us about ourselves.
But Scripture also teaches us that we must crucify those evil characteristics. The apostle Paul wrote:
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience" (Colossians 3:5-6).
That is pretty clear isn't it? "Mortify" - that means, put to death, kill such things. That is a message of Christ's sacrifice. We are told that "he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). If Jesus Christ did that, then clearly, those who claim to follow him should be seeking to put away sin also. In other words, the true christian is one who has battled against his natural desires - as Paul wrote to the Galatians:
"And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Galatians 5:24).
Now it has to be said that we are not seeing this feature in the Roman Church or its priesthood. What we do see is a false church which claims to follow a celibate way of life, while practicing some of the most depraved practices known to mankind. We call this "hypocrisy."
The apostle Paul taught us to avoid these pitfalls - and he explains how. In 1 Corinthians 7:2 we can read his words. He says:
"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).
Not surprisingly some have been challenging the Catholic Church's celibacy rule. It is certainly unscriptural and has been rejected by Protestant Churches over many centuries. But the Roman Church believes itself to be "infallible" in its teachings on morals. How can it now reverse its position?
It is truly amazing to see this Church exposed as such a system of falsehood. Once again the Bible is seen to be true - it is vindicated, because it identified this religious system almost 2,000 years ago. It is the symbolic "Babylon the Great" of the book of Revelation, and "is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication... " (Revelation 18:2-3).
What a contrast this is to the true followers of Jesus Christ who purify their hearts by faith, as they await the return of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom.
Yes, we all have the potential to live as hypocrites and to indulge in the filthy works of the flesh, but Christ has called us out from such a way of life - we must believe his word and obey it - as Paul wrote:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
May we each be strengthened by the word of the Truth, that we may heed those words and shun every form of falsehood - no matter how gorgeously appareled it may be.
This has been Paul Billington for the Bible in the News.
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