THE REAL ESSENCE OF PAPAL OR ROMAN CATHOLIC WORSHIP An Unbiased SDA Perspective!!

By Derrick Gillespie Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

To the TRUE Seventh-day Adventist the declaration of Joshua in Joshua 24:15 is understood and carried out in the following way, as echoed by Adventism‟s chief pioneer: "When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to *SERVE God, the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit—the three dignitaries and powers of heaven—pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if we carry out our baptismal vows to come out from among them, and be...separate." -E.G. White, SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 6, pg. 1075— “Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then co-operate with the three great powers of heaven *who [all three called “who”] are working in your behalf. Doing this you will reveal to the world the principles of righteousness…God says, [notice after this whom she means says this] "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." This is the pledge of [not one person, but] the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit [i.e. the *pledge to receive and be a Father to you]; made to you if you will keep your baptismal vow, and touch not the unclean thing… In order to deal righteously with the world, as members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, Christians must feel their need of a power, which comes only from the [three] heavenly agencies that have pledged themselves to work in man's behalf. After we have formed a union with the great THREEFOLD POWER [singular; collective], we shall regard our duty toward the members of God's family with a sacred awe.” -E.G. White, Signs of the Times, June 19, 1901

Now, it interesting that despite the above quotes are clearly on record, yet we do find some among SDAs today (a minority), who don‟t even understand their own Church‟s teaching on “serving” God, they unfortunately point to any belief in a trinity (a group of three persons in the Godhead) as being Roman Catholic in origin, and hence it‟s paganism through and through (or so they argue). But it must be asked in the first instance: Is Roman Catholic worship really about serving the “three Persons” of the “Eternal Godhead”? That is what Roman 1

Catholicism claims, even as it pretends that this is so by even declaring the Trinity to be its “central doctrine”. However, as is the case with deception, what is proclaimed on the surface is not usually the reality. Let the reader at this point stop to analyze this following crucial point: ROMAN CATHOLIC WORSHIP IS NOT REALLY ABOUT “SERVING” THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT (a Christian duty even Mrs. White in Adventism endorses) BUT, RATHER, “SERVING” THE ANCIENT PAGAN OR “BABYLONIAN” GODDESS AND CHILD, DECEPTIVELY….. THROUGH THE ADORATION OF MARY AND HER “DIVINE” INFANT SON!! This thought is given much force when one considers the truth in the following quotes, taken from the renowned book, “The Two Babylons”, by Alexander Hislop who, by the way, was not an SD Adventist: “In Papal Italy [where Catholicism is most developed], as travelers universally admit (except where the gospel has recently entered), all *APPEARANCE of worshipping the King Eternal and Invisible is almost extinct, while *the Mother and Child are grand objects of worship. Exactly so in this latter respect, also was it in ancient Babylon [the literal civilization]. The Babylonians, in their popular religion, *supremely worshipped a Goddess Mother and a Son, who was represented in pictures and images as an infant in his mothers arms. From Babylon, this worship of the Mother and Child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the Mother and Child were worshipped under the names of Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this day, as Isi and Iswara… and even in Tibet, in China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were astounded to find the counterpart of Madonna and her child as devoutly worshipped as in Papal Rome itself; Shing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, being represented with a child in her arms and a glory around her exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had been employed to set her up.” “It is evident that the goddess enshrined in the Papal Church for the *supreme worship of its votaries, is that Babylonian Queen who set up Nimrod, or Ninus „the Son‟, as the rival of Christ…” If these things be true (and gainsay [disprove] them who can), who will venture now to plead for Papal Rome, or call it a Christian Church? Is there one who fears God, and who reads these lines, who would not admit that paganism alone [without Satan‟s help] could never have inspired such a doctrine as that avowed by the Melchites at the Nicene Council [Council of Nicea, 325 A.D.] that the Trinity [The Godhead] consisted of „the FATHER, *THE VIRGIN MARY, and the Messiah their Son‟?” -Alexander Hislop, “The Two Babylons”, 1959, pgs. 20, 21, 88 and 89 This is quite revealing, coming from a man who, like Mrs. White, recognized the Godhead of three divine Persons, but equally rejected the Roman Catholic explanation of the numeric oneness of the Godhead, and their blasphemous or sacrilegious depiction of same by three heads on one body. Hislop‟s thesis, despite the misrepresentation of it by certain misguided „teachers‟ and readers of his book, REMARKABLY and surprisingly (for some) evidenced a „balanced‟ perspective on the threefold Godhead, as opposed to fanaticism. In Chapter 2 of his book just quoted, he objected to the Godhead being represented as a single Being or individual with three heads, tracing this idolatrous practice of representing the invisible Godhead *tangibly in 2

this way to ancient Babylon (see Isaiah 40:18,25 and Ex. 20:4,5). This historical fact Hislop honestly reported, despite having to personally admit to the three Persons forming the Godhead, which he still calls “a trinity” (or three persons united). Proof? “While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of A Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis [e.g. Gen. 1:26, 27; Gen. 3:22-14; etc.] The threefold invocation of the sacred name in the blessing of Jacob bestowed on the sons of Joseph is very striking: "And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads" (Gen 48:15, 16). If the angel here referred to had not been God [i.e. the pre-existent Jesus as a “Messenger”; not a literal angel], Jacob could never have invoked him as on an equality with God. In Hosea 12:3-5, "The Angel who redeemed" Jacob is expressly called God: "He (Jacob) had power with God: yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of Hosts; The Lord is his memorial." – Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylon’s (1959), pg. 15 In the above quote from Hislop, it is plain he saw that ancient religions had pre-Christian counterfeits of the „early-introduced‟ but „later fully revealed‟ triadic Godhead, i.e. a trio of separate living persons who are all divine. He even alluded to how the patriarchs, probably unwittingly, were laying the foundation for not just accepting that the pre-existent Jesus was to be recognized as divine like Jehovah, but also a recognition of a triadic divinity as centered in the one true God the Father, but never excluding those he is united with supernaturally (i.e. His Son and Holy Spirit). Hislop, in his arguments and the conclusions drawn at the end of his book, sought to point out that Roman Catholicism not only overlaid the truth about*“the triune Jehovah”with pagan trappings and borrowed „Babylonish‟ concepts and images, but he concludes that Catholicism consistently gives greater recognition to Mary or “the Madonna” and pagan “Child”, than to the Godhead Trio (named after the Father, “Jehovah”; Matthew 28:19) that it deceptively claims to have as “central” to its religion. Here is what Hislop actually stated and finally concluded about Catholicism and its false depiction of whom he calls *“the triune Jehovah”, and its attitude to the true Godhead: “Will anyone after this say that the Roman Catholic Church must still be called Christian, because it holds the doctrine of the Trinity? So did the Pagan Babylonians, so did the Egyptians, so do the Hindoos at this hour, in the very same sense in which Rome does.[i.e. one Being with three heads] They all admitted A trinity, but did they worship THE *Triune Jehovah, the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible? And will anyone say with such evidence before him, that Rome does so? Away then, with the deadly delusion that Rome is Christian! There might once have been some palliation for entertaining such a supposition; but every day the "Grand Mystery" is revealing itself more and more in its true character. There is not, and there cannot be, any safety for the souls of men in "Babylon." "Come out of her, my people," is the loud and express command of God. Those who disobey that command, do it at their peril.” – ibid, pg. 63 3

“If Rome [the Papacy or Catholicism] is now to be admitted to form a portion of the Church of Christ, where is the system of Paganism that has ever existed, or that now exists, that could not put in an equal claim? On what grounds could the worshippers of the original Madonna and child in the days of old be excluded "from the commonwealth of Israel," or shown to be "strangers to the covenants of promise"? On what grounds could the worshippers of Vishnu at this day be put beyond the bounds of such wide catholicity? The ancient Babylonians held, the modern Hindoos still hold, clear and distinct traditions of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement. Yet, who will venture to say that such nominal recognition of the cardinal articles of Divine revelation could relieve the character of either the one system or the other from the brand of the most deadly and God-dishonouring heathenism? And so also in regard to Rome. True, it nominally admits Christian terms and Christian names; but all that is apparently Christian in its system is more than neutralised by the malignant Paganism that it embodies.” – ibid, pg191 Concerning the series of quotes, here taken from his book, let the reader recognize that Alexander Hislop‟s findings are evidently true. Consider also the following. [1] Both Mrs. White and Uriah Smith (key pioneers in SD Advetism), in writing on the same subject (of paganism in Catholicism) in their main literary works on “modern Babylon” and the Papacy (i.e. in “Great Controversy”, and “Daniel and the Revelation” respectively), highlighted Mary worship in their list of chief errors of Babylon. [2] Interestingly however, both Mrs. White and Smith ignored NAMING the subject of the Trinity all together in both books written and updated after 1888 and 1892, even while they stressed the separateness of the Father and the Son and, with Mrs. White in particular, clearly teaching a “Trio” of “three holiest beings” in the Godhead. This must have been for a reason, and to any objective thinker the reason is obvious. Only some things in the traditional Trinity doctrine held by the Catholics and most Protestants needed correcting, not everything!! Pure and true Roman Catholicism is simply a pretense at serving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (an undeniably necessary Christian duty), while supremely worshipping the pagan goddess and child, deceptively, through Mary and the infant Jesus, and even while misrepresenting and parodying the Godhead as one Being with three heads (all pagan or Babylonian imagery it borrowed to overshadow the truths in the Bible). Concluding then, the idea of Roman Catholicism supposedly “serving” “the constituent Persons of the Eternal Godhead”, to borrow the phrase by E. J. Waggoner (an SDA pioneer), is simply a „smoke-screen‟ (covering) for the false Church called “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots” (Rev. 17:5). Its real worship is supremely expressed in Mary worship (for pure Catholics), and Sunday observance (the Church‟s mark of its supposed authority, and its “bond” connecting it to all her daughters in Protestantism). Is „official‟ SD Adventism sharing in any of these? Certainly not! What Adventism share with the Catholics is the true Christian duty that Mrs. White endorses; that we should “serve” the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, “the three holiest beings in Heaven”, as Mrs. White herself expressed it.

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