Keith Hunt - Babylon Mysteries #4 - Page Four   Restitution of All Things

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Babylon Mysteries #4

Buying salvation and Peter the Pope?




                             by



                        Ralph Woodrow





CHAPTER NINE 



RELIGIOUS FRAUD



     THE SALE OF relics, church offices, and indulgences became

big business within the church of the Middle Ages. Pope Boniface

VIII declared a jubilee for the year 1300 and offered liberal

indulgences to those who would make a pilgrimage to St.Peter's.

An estimated 2,000,000 people came within that year and deposited

such treasure before the supposed tomb of St.Peter that two

priests with rakes in their hands were kept busy day and night

raking up the money.1 

     Much of this was used by the Pope to enrich his own

relatives - the Gaetani - who bought numerous castles and

splendid estates in Latium. This was strongly resented by the

people of Rome.

     From the days of Constantine, the Roman church had increased

in wealth at a rapid pace. In the Middle Ages, the church owned

entire cities and large portions of land. Those who lived in

Catholic countries were required to pay taxes to the church. This

was not giving from the heart, but fees paid "of necessity" - a

principle which was opposed by the apostle Paul (2 Cor.9:7). In

those days, few people knew how to write, so priests were often

involved in drafting wills. In 1170 Pope Alexander III decreed

that no one could make a valid will except in the presence of a

priest! Any secular notary who drew up a will (except under these

circumstances) was to be excommunicated! 2 

     Often a priest was the last person to be with a dying man,

for he would give the last rites, the Extreme Unction. With such

arrangements, we can be sure the Romish church was well

remembered.



     Another source of money was the selling of indulgences. The

Catholic Encyclopedia explains that sins committed after baptism

(which for a Catholic is usually in infancy!) can be forgiven

through the sacrament of penance. "but there still remains the

temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this

requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in

the world to come, i.e. in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the

penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during this

life on earth.3 

     Many have only had a general idea of what the word

indulgence implies.



Woodrow goes into more detail of "buying" salvation.



CHAPTER TEN



WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?



     STANDING AT THE head of the Roman Catholic church is the

Pope of Rome. This man - according to Catholic doctrine - is the

earthly head of the church and successor of the apostle Peter.

According to this belief, Christ appointed Peter as the first

pope, who in turn went to Rome and served in this capacity for

twenty-five years. Beginning with Peter, the Catholic church

claims a succession of Popes which has continued to this day.

This is a very important part of Roman Catholic doctrine. But do

the scriptures teach that Christ ordained ONE man to be above all

others in his church? Can we find any scriptural authority for

the office of a Pope, a supreme pontiff? Did the early Christians

recognize Peter as such?



     To the contrary, the Scriptures clearly show there was to be

an equality among the members of the church and that CHRIST "is

the head of the church" (Eph.5:23), not the Pope!

     James and John once came to Jesus asking if one of them

might sit on his right hand and the other on his left in the

kingdom. (In Eastern kingdoms, the two principal ministers of

state, ranking next in authority to the king, hold these

positions.) If the Roman Catholic claim is true, it seems that

Jesus would have explained that he had given the place on his

right to Peter and did not intend to create any position on the

left! But to the contrary, here was the answer of Jesus: "Ye know

that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and

they that are great exercise dominion upon them, but it shall not

be so among you" (Mk.10:35-43).

     In this statement, Jesus plainly said that none of them was

to be a ruler over the others. Instead, he taught an equality

clearly denying the principles that are involved in having a

Pope ruling over the church as the Bishop of bishops!

     
Woodrow gives more Bible proof that Peter was not Pope of the church.


On this subject of Peter being the "head" apostle I have written

in detail, as well as "church government" as a whole. See my

studies for an in-depth expounding of this subject - Keith Hunt.


NOTES:


CHAPTER NINE

1. Durant, The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith, p.753.

2. Ibid., p.766.

3. The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.7, p.783, art. "Indulgences."

4. Ibid., p.784.

5. Ibid., pp.786,787.

6. Durant, The Story of Civilization: The Reformation, p.23.

7. Ibid., p.735.

8. Encyclopedia of Religions, vol.2, p.159. 

9. Smith, Man and His Gods, p.127.

10. Encyclopedia Britannica, vol.22, p.660. 

11. Hislop, The Two Babylons, p.167.

12. Fausset's Bible Encyclopedia, p.481.

13. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, No.8612.



                      .................



TO BE CONTINUED




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