Who Was the REAL founder of the Catholic Church: Christ or Constantine?
Right at the outset, let me say: for ultra serious inquisitors, who wish to delve into the origin of the Catholic Church, I recommend reading the following:
"The Two Babylon's" by Alexander Hislop----
"The Pilgrim Church" by E.H Broadbent----
"Anatomy of a Hybrid" by Leonard Verduin ----
"A Woman Rides The Beast" by Dave Hunt----
"A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs" by David Bercot----
For an over the top, detailed and historical analysis of Catholicism that goes right to the original sources that all historians and writers cite, read the entire 10 volume set of the Ante Nicene Church Fathers. Reading this set from beginning to end will show you what the attitude, doctrine and teaching of the church was before, and directly leading up to the time of Constantine's 325AD Council of Nicaea. For jaw dropping differences between the early church and the church that existed after the Council of Nicaea; see the 14 volume set of "The Post Nicene Church Fathers"). The collectivity of these writings will show you what an influential force Constantine was (and continues to be). He truly is the lynchpin of what started the domino effect that gradually morphed into what we have come to know as "Catholicism".
Reading these recommended works, gives the reader over 20,000 pages of how one could draw the conclusions myself, and so many others have drawn down throughout the ages. This view does NOT originate with me OR with any modern views. And now, proceed to the article:
The Roman Catholic Church contends that its origin is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ in approximately AD 33. The Catholic Church proclaims itself to be the church that Jesus Christ died for, the church that was established upon Peter and built upon by an unbroken line of Apostolic Succession. Is this the true origin of the Catholic Church? Fact of the matter is, even a quick, gloss-over reading of the New Testament by the newest of believers, will reveal that the Catholic Church does not have its origin in the teachings of Jesus or His apostles; namely, the Word of God.
If the Bible is a Catholic book, why does it nowhere mention the Catholic Church as we know and see it today? With all of the prophesies the Bible has proven itself capable of; it seems if Catholicism is how the church is expected to look...the Bible would've provided a prophetic-snapshot making this completely and utterly clear. But the Bible is silent on what makes Catholicism...Catholicism. And if His Word is silent...this means Christ is silent. But, nevertheless, the Catholic argues that the Bible is a Catholic Book and Christ is its founder.
If the Bible is a Catholic Book
Why is there no mention of a pope,
a parish priest,
or a member of any other Catholic order?
If the Bible is a Catholic book, why is their no mention of auricular confession,
prayers to the saints,
adoration of Mary
veneration of relics and images,
or the equal authority of church tradition and Scripture?
Fact of the matter is, the Bible remains silent on nearly everything the Catholic Church believes, teaches and practices.
So if the origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, what is the true origin of the Catholic Church? I hope in the following paragraphs to answer, that, and so many other questions.
Founded on Christ...or Constantine? Built on Peter... or Plagiarism?
The idolatry and mixture of other religions did not begin to be a common practice in the church until AFTER Constantine and his successor Theodosius began to mingle, mix and tweak sciptural things with pagan things. The comparrison of the church before and after the time of these two emperors...is NIGHT and DAY. (Reference the church fathers words themselves to observe this fact).
For the first 313 years of Christian history, Christianity was banned by the Roman Empire, and Christians were terribly persecuted. This changed after the “conversion” of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine provided religious toleration with the Edict of Milan in AD 313, effectively lifting the ban on Christianity. Later, in AD 325, Constantine called the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify Christianity. This council had nothing to do with what books went into our New Testament (as the fictional writer Dan Brown of "Davinci Code" fame would have you believe). Constantine envisioned Christianity as a religion that could unite the Roman Empire, which at that time was beginning to fragment and divide. While this may have seemed to be a positive development for the Christian church, the results were anything but positive. Just as Constantine refused to fully embrace the Christian faith, but continued many of his pagan beliefs and practices, so the Christian church that
Constantine promoted was a mixture of Christianity and Roman paganism. Constantine was solely using Christianity as a means to perpetuate his political ends (and the Truth immensely suffered for it).
Constantine found that, with the Roman Empire being so vast, expansive, and diverse, not everyone would agree to forsake his or her religious beliefs to embrace Christianity. So, Constantine allowed, and even promoted, the “Christianization” of pagan beliefs. Completely pagan and utterly unbiblical beliefs were given new “Christian” identities. Some clear examples of this are as follows:
(1) The Cult of Isis, an Egyptian mother-goddess religion, was absorbed into Christianity by replacing Isis with Mary. Many of the titles that were used for Isis, such as “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” and theotokos (“God-bearer”) were attached to Mary. Mary was given an exalted role in the Christian faith, far beyond what the Bible ascribes to her, in order to attract Isis worshippers to a faith they would not otherwise embrace. Many temples to Isis were, in fact, converted into temples dedicated to Mary. The first clear hints of Catholic Mariology occur in the writings of Origen, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, which happened to be the focal point of Isis worship. (It is ironic that a portion of today's Muslims are known as "Isis". Among Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen, Islam is a pet project of Pope Francis, in which he wishes to unite with Rome).
(2) Mithraism. (I will be spending more time to analyze this faction of Constantine's Catholicism, than on any of the others. Simply put, it is the most staggering and revealing of them all). Mithraism was a religion in the Roman Empire in the 1st through 5th centuries AD. It was very popular among the Romans, especially among Roman soldiers, and was possibly the religion of several Roman emperors. While Mithraism was never given “official” status in the Roman Empire, it was the de facto official religion until Constantine and succeeding Roman emperors replaced Mithraism with Christianity.
One of the key features of Mithraism was a sacrificial meal, which involved eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a bull. It was taught and widely believed, that Mithras, the god of Mithraism, was literally “present” in the flesh and blood of the bull, and when consumed, granted salvation to those who partook of the sacrificial meal (this is known as theophagy, the eating of one’s god).
Mithraism also had seven “sacraments,” making the similarities between Mithraism and Roman Catholicism too many to ignore. Constantine found an easy substitute for the sacrificial meal of Mithraism in the concept of the Lord’s Supper (simply known as communion to Protestants). To Catholics it is known as "Mass" which hinges upon the directly related and heretical teaching of "Transubstantiation". Even before Constantine, some early Christians had begun to attach mysticism to the Lord’s Supper, rejecting the biblical concept of a simple and worshipful remembrance of Christ’s death and shed blood (The very foundation of our forgiveness).
The Romanization of the Lord’s Supper into that of Mithraism, eventually made the transition to the doctrine, practice and belief, that the wine and wafer LITERALLY transform into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ (Transubstantiation: the eating of one's god). Of course, according to Catholic dogma, this mystical, magical-transubstantiation ONLY occurs when properly officiated by a priest at Mass (of course). And if one doesn't "eat of their god" in the way Mithras-Catholicism teaches...you are devoid of salvation (even if you have faith in Christ).
As if this vile mixture isn't enough in and of itself; the direct effect of this mixing and mingling directly spits in the face of Christ's all-sufficient propitiation and sacrifice for our sins. NOTHING needs to be added to Christ's sacrifice in order for one to obtain Salvation (But apparently, Catholicism disagrees).
In Hebrews 10, the context is addressing how the Jewish Christians had slipped back into offering animal sacrifices... in ADDITION to Christ's sacrifice. They said they believed in Christ...but nevertheless, they felt the need to add to His sacrifice with that of animals (obviously they felt His sacrifice wasn't enough).
The writer of Hebrews terms this mixing of Judaism and Christianity as "sinning willfully" by which there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26). Why does their no longer remain a sacrifice for sins? Because they sought it (forgiveness) in ADDITION to the sacrifice of Christ (with the blood of animals). using a system God had abandoned. The ritual of animal sacrifices was fulfilled after Christ's death and brought to naught this portion of the law. In the fulfilling of this law, the outcome was that one need ONLY to seek Christ by faith in order to obtain salvation. Therefore, one who says he relies on Christ for forgiveness...but mingles in an extra ritual, tradition or requirement...can expect no forgiveness of sins. THIS was what was meant by "willful sin" and a "sacrifice no longer remaining" in Hebrews 10:26-29. TO ADD A REQUIREMENT TO THE ALREADY PERFECT SACRIFICE OF CHRIST...MAKES YOUR SALVATION NULL AND VOID.
So tell me, how does THIS "willful sin" in Hebrews, differ from that of the weekly sacrifice of Mithras-Mass; that seeks to mingle the sacrifices officiated by a Catholic priest in ADDITION to the once for all sacrifice of Christ? Was Christ's sacrifice not enough? If it is indeed enough, O Catholic, why can people only be saved if they partake of the hocus pocus of Mithras's Mass of Transubstantiation?
What we have here friends, is a doctrinal pickle.
Truth is, I see no difference between that of a Jewish priest offering daily sacrifices in ADDITION to Christ's once for all offering for sin; than I do with the Catholic's weekly offering of the mass (salvation), which is performed by a priest, in ADDITION to Christ's once for all sacrifice. (See all of Hebrews 10).
This teaching of Transubstantiation, The Eucharist, Mass and also known as the "unbloody sacrifice", finds its roots first and foremost in Satanic Paganism. This Satanic mixture is meant to downplay the work of Christ (whether Catholics realize it or not) while elevating the work of a priest who promises salvation through the "magical transformation" of the communion elements. This is the "willful sin" of Romanizing and Satanizing Christianity.
To Constantine and his successor Theodosius, the paganizing and Satanizing of Christianity was for mere political gain. In hindsight, their political ploys have proved to come at the horrendous expense of Truth. And like today, when a leader who has political pull over the church goes off the rail...a large portion of the church blindly follows.
Catholicism's Mithras-Mass is just as much an insult to Christ as the first century Hebrew Christians were. For both sought the officiating of another mediator in ADDITION to Christ's Blood. If the Jewish Tradition of "adding to Christ's work" is profane...so is the Catholic tradition of "adding to Christ's work".
In Hebrews 10:29, speaking again of the Jewish Christians who slipped back into animal sacrifices, it says they had "trampled underfoot the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and had outraged the Spirit of grace...by making His blood a "common thing". (Making Christ's blood of no more value than that of a bull or goat).
But look what Catholicism has done: It has made Christ's sacrifice and blood, of no more value than that of a wafer...that was manufactured on an assembly line. Do you think the Spirit of Grace is outraged?
Catholicism can be summed up as this: Salvation only comes to those who add to Christ's sacrifice, solely through the medium of the sacraments being properly presented and officiated through the office of a priest. Salvation comes through Christ alone...ONLY if it is mingled with the mixture of Catholicism.
While the above two examples of Constantine being the True Father of Catholicism may be enough to convince some; let us nevertheless move forward.
(3) Henotheism: Most Roman emperors (and citizens) were henotheists. A henotheist is one who believes in the existence of many gods, but focuses primarily on one particular god or considers one particular god supreme over the other gods. For example, the Roman god Jupiter was supreme over the Roman pantheon of gods. Roman sailors were often worshippers of Neptune, the god of the oceans. When the Catholic Church absorbed Roman paganism, it simply replaced the pantheon of gods with the saints. Just as the Roman pantheon of gods had a god of love, a god of peace, a god of war, a god of strength, a god of wisdom, etc., so the Catholic Church has a saint who is “in charge” over each of these, and many other categories. Just as many Roman cities had a god specific to the city, so the Catholic Church provided “patron saints” for the cities.
(4) The Papacy, Apostolic Succession and the Power of Rome: The supremacy of the Roman bishop (the papacy) was created with the support of the Roman emperors. Note: No one was actually pope (officially) until around the year 600. Because of this, Rome has since had to cherry pick from among leaders in the church who had already died, in order to concoct the scheme of "Apostolic Succession" (an unbroken lineage of popes since the time of Peter). ALL of the church fathers who predate 600 and have the title of "pope"...ironically never knew they were pope while they were alive (this includes Peter). Even more ironic, the men within their sphere of influence, never referred to THEM as pope either (including Peter). Apostolic Succession is an invented tenant of Catholicism that we are told nothing of in scripture. It was something that was drummed up "after the fact"; after many hundreds of years within church history had already passed. Rome chose (forged) who their "popes" were from a
list of men who had already died and knew nothing of Apostolic Succession.
In order to perpetuate the illusion of "Apostolic Succession", the papacy, or office of pope, was foisted upon dead men who had no say in the matter.
And there were periods of time when there was no bishop in Rome at all...304 to 308, 638 to 640, 1085 and 86, 1241 to 43, 1269 to 71, 1292 to 1294, 1314 to 1316, 1415 to 1417 there weren't any (so much for an unbroken lineage). The papacy was bought and sold and bartered. It was invented. It was reinvented. It was cherry-picked...it was conveniently read into history. At some points there were as many as three who all called themselves Popes at the same time, fighting for power. Alexander VI bought the papacy as an illustration. Having purchased enough votes, the majority was attained when he voted for himself.
Moving on: With the city of Rome being the center of government for the Roman Empire, and with the Roman emperors living in Rome, the city of Rome rose to prominence in all facets of life. Of course, it is best for the unity of the Roman Empire that the government and state religion be centralized (Another underlying motive of Constantine). While most other bishops (and Christians) resisted the idea of the Roman bishop being supreme, the Roman bishop eventually rose to supremacy, due to the power and influence of the Roman emperors. Many of the Christians who resisted, were of course killed. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the popes took on the title that had previously belonged to the Roman emperors—Pontifex Maximus.
Let me say this very clearly; the papacy is the biggest hoax ever foisted on the world...its simply THE biggest hoax ever. People who were fornicators and bribers and murderers and some who were good men, in a human sense, dot the landscape of this history and make it impossible to see in it the work of God or any apostolic succession. So the point I am making is this; there's no unbroken succession here...certainly there's no divine succession. If "unbroken apostolic succession" is what the Catholic church relies upon, in order to make them the "one, true church"...then it's a "broken non-apostolic lie" that their church is built upon.
Clearly nothing in scripture even suggests or points to an all powerful leader in Rome, let alone the forged and phony illusion of Apostolic Succession.
Many more examples could be given. These four should suffice in demonstrating the true origin of the Catholic Church. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church denies the pagan origin of its beliefs and practices. The Catholic Church disguises its pagan beliefs under layers of complicated theology and “church tradition.” Recognizing that many of its beliefs and practices are utterly foreign to Scripture, the Catholic Church is forced to deny not only the authority and sufficiency of Scripture...but also the collective body of the pre-Constantinian writings of the church fathers (considering the church THEN is certainly not the church (Catholic) we see today.
The origin of the Catholic Church is the tragic compromise of Christianity that drips with the pagan religions that surrounded it (unto this very day). Instead of proclaiming the gospel and converting the pagans, the Catholic Church “Christianized” the pagan religions, and “paganized” Christianity. To win the pagan world...they became the pagan world. And the end result was the Satanizing of Christianity. By blurring the differences and erasing the distinctions, yes, the Catholic Church made itself attractive to the people of the Roman Empire. One result was the Catholic Church becoming the supreme religion in the Roman world for centuries (this was the very motive of Constantine from day one). When you follow political leaders, or even pastors, in exchange for scripture...you WILL walk headlong into apostasy. This is why the 4th century church's compromise, resulted in the most dominant form of Christianity apostatizing from the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the true proclamation
of God’s Word.
If salvation can only come in ADDITION with the mingling's and meanderings of an organization known as Catholicism, and not solely through faith in Christ's atoning sacrifice...then you can throw the New Testament in the trash (something Catholicism has already apparently done).
Catholicism just simply isn't based, nor founded upon God's Word. Therefore, we must surmise, it's not founded by Christ. But rather by plagiaristic-forgeries, political-schemes and personal-motives that equated to the self-serving SATANization of Christianity. Catholicism isn't the Christian Church it claims to be. It is Christianity's largest and most ancient cult (I'll give them that). But it is not THE Christianity and ONLY way to salvation it fancies itself as being. It is merely "Constantine's Christianity" and it continues to be built upon and perpetuated, even unto this day.
Without Constantine doing what he did, there would be no "Whore of Babylon" by which to fulfill prophetic events (Revelation 13, 17-18). And it's here, where we will find God's one and only use for Catholicism.
As I close, ask yourself these questions: Does Catholicism even remotely resemble what you see in the Book of Acts?
Does the Catholic Church's vision and practice of how the church looks and operates, more resemble the vision of what has been revealed and preserved in scripture...or what has been revealed and preserved in the historical record of Constantine?
Does Catholicism look anything like what you see the writers of the New Testament saying we should "earnestly contend for"...or does it look more like the vision Constantine and his successors (popes) have earnestly contended for?