Book Review: “The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife,” Loizeaux Brothers, 1959

“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.” – Gen 10:8-12.

The Bible speaks sparingly of Nimrod but in “The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife” (Loizeaux Brothers, 1959) Alexander Hislop (1807-1865) sets out to prove that Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, were the inspiration for the important pagan religions of antiquity. He argues that a slew of deities including Adonis, Apollo, Attes, Baal-zebub, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Januis, Linus, Mars, Merodach, Mithra, Moloch, Narcissus, Oannes, Odin, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Tammuz, Teitan, Typhon, Vulcan, Wodan, Zoroaster, along with Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Aurora, Bellona, Ceres, Diana, Isis, Juno, Mylitta, Proserpine, Rhea, Venus, and Vesta can be traced to the Babylon mystery cult worship of Nimrod and Semiramis. Hislop then argues that many elements of pagan belief and practice were brought into the Christian church via opportunists, accommodators, compromisers, and pseudo-Christians (sounds like many of the leadership in today’s Evangelicalism) and became the basis for much of Roman Catholicism. babylon

“The Two Babylons” was first published in 1853 in pamphlet form, expanded in 1858, and first published as a hardcover in 1919. The publication has been surrounded by controversy since it was first introduced. Many fault Hislop’s extrapolations as reckless. I’m certainly not an antiquities scholar but there appears to be more than a grain of truth to Hislop’s arguments, which are supported by 400 footnotes along with 61 illustrations. Every decent Romanism collection must include “The Two Babylons.”

This book is definitely a tough read due to the 19th-century prose and plentiful small-font footnotes so it won’t do for breezy relaxing at the beach. You’ll definitley want to get your hands on an older Loizeaux Brothers edition (red and white dust cover) which contains the unaltered text and supporting material. Unfortunately, several of the recent self-published, print-on-demand editions have altered the text and don’t include the brief introduction, sixty-one illustrations, copious footnotes, lengthy appendices, or index.

Why is it so important to Catholics that Mary remained a virgin?

Catholics claim Mary was a perpetual virgin throughout her marriage to Joseph. They even assert that upon His birth, infant Jesus miraculously passed through her hymen leaving it completely intact. Why do Catholics make such claims? Because in Catholic theology celibacy was gKXOQjF7considered a spiritually superior way of life. To Catholics sex was base and sinful – a necessary evil only for bringing more Catholics into the world. Catholics shuddered at the notion of Joseph violating the “immaculate” body of Mary. Although Joseph was ceremonially wed to Mary, for Catholics she was the “Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit” and they could not conceive of Joseph asserting his husbandly privileges.

But what about the many Bible verses that refer to the brothers and sisters of Jesus such as Matthew 12:46, Matthew 13:55-56, Luke 8:19, Mark 3:31, John 7:1-10, Acts 1:14, and Galatians 1:19? Catholics argue that the New Testament writers used the word “brothers” in terms of wider family relations; that these people were actually cousins. Hmmmm.

But what about messianic Psalm 69:8, “I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children”? This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus’s brothers did reject him (John 7:5). Catholic sophists attempt to turn decent exegesis on its head by saying “mother’s children” in Psalm 69:8 refers to Israel. Nonsense!

It’s desperately important to Mariolaters that their mother goddess remain “pure” and “unstained” by ignoble sexual intimacy.

Flying priests?

I’ve heard of “The Flying Nun” but has anyone heard of flying priests? ABC’s “The Flying Nun” ran from 1967 to 1970 with Sally Field starring as Sister Bertrille, the young, 90-pound nun who was often levitated by strong breezes that lifted her up by her highly starched cornette. Wow, that girl must have had neck muscles like aircraft cable. Few television comedies have had a more ridiculous premise.

nuns-the-flying-nun

But Sister Bertrille wasn’t the only Catholic flying around the atmosphere. The Catholic church claims several of its “saints” were prone to levitate while in contemplative, rapturous swoons. Below is an incomplete list of frequent flyers from Catholic sources:

St. Francis of Assisi, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Angela of Brescia, St. Antoinette of Florence, St. Bishop Arey, St. Peter Celestine, St. Colette, St. Margaret of Hungary, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Joseph Oriol, Bl. Bentivolio Buoni, St. Francis of Paola, St. John of St. Facondo, St. Martin de Porres, St. Gerard Majella, St. Paul of the Cross, and St. Gemma Galgani.

Perhaps the “saint” most famous for levitating was Joseph of Cupertino. It’s claimed that Pope Urban VIII witnessed Joseph’s levitations when he visited the Vatican. Did these people actually float or are these just more Catholic folk tales? Jesus and Peter walked on water and Jesus ascended into Heaven but there’s no other mention of any other kind of “levitation” in the New Testament. Levitation has long been a staple of pagan religions and is cited as a frequent phenomenon in cases of demonic possession.

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Above: “Saint” Joe of Cupertino, onward and upward.

She returned the maggots to the fetid sore!

Today Margherita Lotti aka Sister Rita of Cascia would be properly diagnosed as mentally ill but the Roman Catholic church venerates this 15th century nun as a “saint.”

“On one occasion, a Franciscan friar named Blessed James of Mount Brandone, came to the church of St. Mary to preach on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, focusing mostly on the Crown of Thorns. Rita wept as though her heart was broken. After the sermon was over, she went to her cell and prostrated herself before the Crucifix, meditating on the pains Christ suffered from the thorns. She asked Jesus to give her at least one of the 72 thorns which pierced His poor head, causing Him so much pain and suffering, that she might feel a part of that pain. Upon completion of that prayer, Rita’s Divine Spouse granted her wish, “Making of His Crown of Thorns, so to speak, a bow, and one of the thorns, an arrow. Jesus fired it at the forehead of St. Rita with such force, that it penetrated the flesh and bone, and remained fixed in the middle of her forehead, leaving a wound that lasted all her life, and even to this day, the scar of the wound remains plainly visible.

The pain was so intense that Rita fell into a swoon. She would have died right there had Jesus not preserved her life. The pain caused by the wound increased daily. It became so ugly, foul smelling and revolting, that Rita became an object of nausea to many who saw it. As a result, Rita asked permission to spend most of her time alone in her cell, but she was happy. Little worms fed themselves on the open wound, thus giving her new occasion to practice patience.

The year 1450 was proclaimed by Pope Nicholas V as a Jubilee Year, thus providing many indulgences for those who would go on pilgrimage to Rome. Several of the sisters were given permission to go. At the feet of her superior, St. Rita also asked permission to go. Fearful that those who might observe the ugly and foul smelling wound might be scandalized, the superioress denied her permission to go unless the wound would disappear.

Rushing to the feet of her Divine Spouse, Rita humbly sought God’s will, asking Him to take away the wound, but to continue to allow her to suffer the pain from the wound. The wound disappeared at once. Rita gave thanks and rushed to her superioress, who was surprised and astonished – and Rita was granted permission to accompany the other nuns to Rome.

The sisters visited the stational churches and the tombs of the martyrs. Many were touched by Rita’s devotion and piety. As they returned to the convent – just as Rita stepped over the threshold, the ugly wound reappeared on her forehead, and she suffered intense pains. The offensive odor and the worms reappeared also. When one of the worms fell to the floor, Rita picked it up with care, and placed it back in the wound. She called them “her little angels,” as they were instruments for testing her patience as they recalled to her the intense suffering of her Jesus. She once again retired to her cell so as not to inconvenience the other nuns.”

http://www.sacramentals.org/saintritaofcascia.htm

Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet

I often like to tune into the local Catholic radio station – WHIC, the Station of the Cross – just to hear the anti-Biblical nonsense. Many times I heard the following sing-song repetitive prayer often accompanied by a guitar or piano that I was unfamiliar with: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” What was this droning?

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” – Matthew 6:7.

I found out this is the “Chaplet of the Divine Mercy” in which Catholics use the rosary for this alternate set of “prayers.” The chaplet was originated by Helena Kowalska aka Sister Maria Faustina (1905-1938) who was canonized as a Catholic “saint” in 2000. Kowalska claimed to have been visited by Jesus several times and that he instructed her on devotion to his divine mercy through a painted image and various prayers.

Faustina_Image-1

However, the Bible says Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father serving as the Intercessor for all true believers (Hebrews 8). Anyone who claims to have been visited by Jesus or who claims that the consecrated host at Catholic mass is actually Jesus contradicts God’s Word.

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – Matthew 24:23-27

So who was the entity that appeared to Kowalska?

I see that Southern Baptist mega-church pastor, Rick Warren, is a huge fan of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c147rickwarren.shtml

BTW, when Catholics aren’t using the rosary for the Divine Mercy Chaplet they’re using it to pray to Mary. There are 53 beads on the rosary devoted to the praying of a “Hail Mary.” Where in God’s Word does it say anyone should pray to Mary?

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:27 & 28.

“For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” – Matthew 4:10.

how-to-pray-the-rosary

Pope Francis to visit America

Below is the official itinerary for Pope Francis’s scheduled visit to the United States from September 22 through the 27. How many Evangelical leaders will flock to Washington, New York, and Philadelphia for a chance to rub shoulders with the Catholic “Papa”?

pope-francis-coming-to-america-2015-world-meeting-families-vatican-rome

Pope Francis Visits Washington D.C.

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015
    • 4pm: Pope Francis arrives in D.C. at Joint Base Andrews at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015
    • 9:15 a.m: White House Welcoming Ceremony and personal meeting with President Barack Obama
    • 11:30 a.m: Midday Prayer with U.S. bishops at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in D.C.
    • 4:15 p.m: Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015
    • 9:20 a.m: Speech to the Senate and House of Representatives (Joint Session of Congress)
    • 11:15 a.m:  Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C. and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
    • 4 p.m: Departure for New York from Joint Base Andrews (D.C.)
    • 5 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)
    • 6:45 p.m. Evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York)

Pope Francis Visits New York

  • Friday, September 25, 2015
    • 8:30 a.m United Nations General-Assembly
    • 11:30 a.m Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
    • 4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem
    • 6 p.m. Madison Square Garden Mass

Pope Francis Visits Philadelphia

  • Saturday, September 26, 2015
    • 8:40 a.m Departure for Philadelphia from John F. Kennedy International Airport
    • 9:30 a.m Arrival in Atlantic Aviation hangar at Philadelphia International Airport Philadelphia
    • 10:30 a.m Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
    • 4:45 p.m Visit to Independence Mall
    • 7:30 p.m Visit to Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Prayer Vigil with World Meeting of Families
  • Sunday, September 27, 2015
    • 9:15 a.m Papal meeting with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
    • 11 a.m  Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
    • 4 p.m Papal Mass for World Meeting of Families
    • 7 p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families at Atlantic Aviation
    • 8 p.m Departure for return to Rome

Pope Francis seeks to stanch the defection of Catholics to Christ

Just in case anyone was confused about Pope Francis’s true intentions when it comes to ecumenism…

Evangelizing evangelicals – why Pope Francis loves to meet with charismatic movements

evangelicals and Pope

.- Pope Francis’ attendance for the second consecutive year at the Catholic charismatic movement’s Renewal with the Spirit convocation shows his attention to charismatic movements as means to foster ecumenical path.

Not by chance, Renewal with the Spirit styled the convocation to be heavily ecumenical.

During the meeting with Pope Francis’ in St. Peter’s Square, prayers were raised by Cardinals Kurt Koch and Leonardo Sandri, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches; the Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, who represents the Archbishop of Canterbury toward the Holy See; and Msgr. Barnaba El Soryani, Coptic-Orthodox Bishop, as a delegate of Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria.

Also present were Msgr. Athanasisu Matti Shaba Matoka, Syriac-Catholic archbishop emeritus of Baghdad; His Eminence Polycarpus Eugenio Aydin, vicar of the Syriac-Orthodox diocese of the Netherlands; Rev. Louie Giglio, from the Passion City Church of Atlanta; Jonas Jonsoon, from the Lutheran Church of Sweden; and Giovanni Traettino, president of the Evangelical Church for Reconciliation in Italy.

This varied presence aligns with Pope Francis’ commitment to ecumenism. Beyond the recently opened dialogue with Orthodox and Anglican Churches, the Evangelical world is a big challenge for ecumenism, and perhaps one of the most important ones.

Dialogue with evangelical groups, especially Pentecostals, has been called “the fourth ecumenism” by several authors, including the Catholic sociologist Massimo Introvigne, an international authority on religious sects.

According to Introvigne, the fourth ecumenism – that of the new Protestant sects born at the beginning of the 20th century – is perhaps the most fruitful ground for ecumenical dialogue.

Attempts at such dialogue have limits: for example, a search for parties to represent the Pentecostals. Although they make up three-quarters of Protestants in some parts of the world and as much as one-third of all Christians, Pentecostals are very fragmented. The diversity within the group presents difficulties for dialogue.

This might be why Pope Francis has chosen to foster dialogue specifically with individuals and small groups.

On July 28, 2014, the Pope paid a private visit to the evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino’s Church in Caserta. The two had met in 2006 and have maintained good relations ever since.

That meeting came at the end of a series of meetings Pope Francis had with evangelical leaders in 2014.

Televangelist Joel Osteen, pastor Tim Timmons and president of the Evangelical Westmont College Gayle D. Beebe visited Pope Francis June 4, 2014.

Pope Francis then met June 24 of that year with the televangelists James Robison and Kenneth Copeland, with the bishop Anthony Palmer of the Communion Evangelical Episcopal Churches, with the spouses John and Carol Arnott from Toronto and – among others – with Geoff Tunnicliffe and Brian C. Stiller, respectively general secretary and ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance.

According to the prominent Italian vaticanista Sandro Magister, through these meetings Pope Francis is putting into action a broad effort to “win the favor of the worldwide leaders of those ‘evangelical’ and Pentecostal movements which especially in Latin America are the most fearsome competitor of the Catholic Church, from which they are snatching enormous masses of the faithful.”

Attending the Renewal with the Spirit convocation is part of this effort. Pope Francis himself acknowledged – during his trip back from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro – that he used to look at charismatic movements with suspicion, and that he later changed his mind, and now he believes that “this movement does much good for the Church overall.”

Renewal with the Spirit president Salvatore Martinez, an academic of music and musician, who has been committed to the movement since his youth, had the occasion to meet with Pope Francis at the very beginning of the pontificate, after the Mass the Pope celebrated in the Vatican parish Sant’Anna March 17, 2013, four days after his election.

After that, Martinez had a private meeting with Pope Francis in September 2013, and there the invitation to the 2014 annual convocation was forwarded directly to the Pope, who accepted, probably considering it as a part of his ecumenical commitment.

Speaking in front of the convocation June 1, 2014, the Pope voiced hope that both evangelical and Catholic charismatic groups, gathered in the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, would share the same office as a sign of ecumenism. They did it.

Meeting with them Oct. 31, 2014, the Pope praised the decision, and stressed that “unity is not uniformity… it does not mean doing everything together, nor thinking the same way, nor losing identity.”

Pope Francis went further. Last May 23, he sent a video message to the participants of the Day of Dialogue and Prayer organized by the Diocese of Phoenix, which gathered Catholics and evangelical Pentecostal pastors. In the message, the Pope asked them to pray “together for the grace of unity,” that unity that “is flourishing among us, and begins with the only Baptism all of us received.”

All of these signals suggest that Pope Francis has indeed changed his mind and, starting from an initial skepticism, he later found in charismatic movements a privileged path to seek ecumenism.

There could be another pressing factor in the Pope’s enthusiasm for such meetings – a wave of conversions, particularly in Latin America, where it is estimated that 100 million Catholics have converted to evangelical Christianity. Now, it appears that Pope Francis would like to evangelize the evangelicals.

His spiritual ecumenism, putting prayer at the center, and even making it a diplomatic tool, represents the most logical meeting point with the Protestant world.

Attending a large Catholic charismatic event could be the bridge the Pope needs to reach his final goal, to turn the evangelicals from rival to allies and push ecumenical efforts forward.

My Romanism Library

When I walked away from the Lord in 1991 it all went in the trash; my bible, bible dictionary, commentary, concordance, and my collection of books on Romanism. What a dummy! When I returned to the Lord last year I replaced my bible study resources and started a new Romanism library. Below is what I have so far. I don’t necessarily recommend every book – some are better than others – but it’s been an interesting journey. Who cares? I wish someone had provided such a list way back when. I also have a very long list of books available from Amazon – new and used – that compare Romanism with Biblical Christianity that I’ll publish shortly.

# Author Title Publisher Date
1. Allison, Gregg Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment Crossway 2014
2. Ashe, Geoffrey The Virgin Routledge 1976
3. Bennett, Richard Catholicism: East of Eden Berean Beacon Press 2005
4. Bennett, Richard Far from Rome, Near to God The Banner of Truth Trust 2009
5. Bennett, Richard The Truth Set Us Free Solid Ground Christian Books 2010
6. Boettner, Loraine Roman Catholicism Presbyterian & Reformed 1985
7. Brewer, Bartholomew Pilgrimage from Rome Bob Jones University Press 1982
8. Castaldo, Chris Holy Ground Zondervan 2009
9. Castaldo, Chris Talking with Catholics about the Gospel: A Guide for Evangelicals Zondervan 2015
10. Chiniquy, Charles The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional Chick Publications 1979
11. Conroy, Helen Forgotten Women in Convents Christ’s Mission 1960
12. Cowen, Steven, et al. The Reformation Was Not a Mistake! Apologetics Resource Center 2004
13. Garver, Stuart P. Watch Your Teaching! Christ’s Mission 1973
14. Geisler, Norman and Ralph MacKenzie Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences Baker Book House 1995
15. Horton, Michael Evangelicals, Catholics, and Unity White Horse Inn Publishers 2012
16. Jones, Rick Understanding Roman Catholicism Chick Publications 1995
17. Kauffman, Timothy F. Geese in Their Hoods: Selected Writings on Roman Catholicism by Charles Spurgeon White Horse Publications 1997
18. Lehmann, L. H. Out of the Labyrinth Chick Publications 1982
19. Longenecker, Dwight and David Gustafson Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate Brazos Press 2003
20. Lott, Tim Growing Up Catholic Abundant Publishing Company 2007
21. Martin, Walter The Roman Catholic Church in History Christian Research Institute 1960
22. McCarthy, James The Gospel According to Rome Harvest House Publishers 1995
23. McCarthy, James Roman Catholicism: What You Need To Know Harvest House Publishers 1995
24. McCarthy, James Conversations With Catholics Gospel Folio Press 1997
25. McCarthy, James What Every Catholic Should Ask Harvest House Publishers 1999
26. McCarthy, James Talking with Catholic Friends and Family Harvest House Publishers 1999
27. McCarthy, James Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical Harvest House Publishers 2003
28. Miller, Elliot and Kenneth Samples The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary Baker Book House 1992
29. Montano, Walter M. Behind the Purple Curtain Cowman Publications 1950
30. Moyer, Robert Was Peter the First Pope? Sword of the Lord Publishers 2005
31. Rice, John Sermon from a Catholic Bible Sword of the Lord Publishers
32. Rice, John Dear Catholic Friend Sword of the Lord Publishers
33. Rhodes, Ron The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic Harvest House Publishers 2002
34. Rone, Wendell Holmes The Baptist Faith and Roman Catholicism Kingsport Press 1952
35. Shepherd, Margaret My Life in the Convent Book and Bible House 1946
36. Sproul, R. C. Are We Together? Reformation Trust Publishing 2012
37. White, James The Roman Catholic Controversy Bethany House Publishers 1996
38. White, James Mary – Another Redeemer? Bethany House Publishers 1998
39. Zachello, Joseph Secrets of Romanism Loizeaux Brothers 1983
40. Zins, Robert Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! White Horse Publications 1995
41. Zins, Robert On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome White Horse Publications 1998
Average Publication Date 1992
Currently Reading
Hislop, Alexander The Two Babylons Loizeaux Brothers 1959
Bennett, Richard On the Wings of Grace Alone Solid Ground Christian Books 2015

New book!

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I just happened to check Richard Bennett’s website (bereanbeacon.org) a couple of weeks ago and noticed this recent publication, “On the Wings of Grace Alone: The Testimonies of Thirty Converted Roman Catholics.” I’m very excited to see that ex-priest Bennett has assembled yet another collection of Christian testimonies from former Catholics. At a time when many Evangelical pastors and parachurch leaders are tripping over each other in their race to embrace the pope and works-righteousness Romanism there are still some who are faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For a limited time you can order this book directly from the publisher, Solid Ground Christian Books, at a discounted price. I’m about 75 pages into the book. Review to follow shortly.

Hello world!

Hi Everyone! I’ll be using this blog to post my occasional thoughts and observations regarding Roman Catholicism. The lines of demarcation between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Catholic “gospel” of sacramentalism and works-righteousness are becoming increasingly blurred by Evangelical pastors and parachurch leaders. Praise the Lord for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE.

Tom