For Those Who Call Themselves
Christian or Born Again
My dear soul, I am pleased that you wish to call yourself Christian or born again. Most of the world doesn’t even want to do that much. Nevertheless, my pleasure goes only insofar as your Christianity or rebirth is real. That is to say, the term ‘christian’ is not some sort of super-elastic word stretching to include anybody at all, no matter what this person’s beliefs or behaviour. To be Christian means to be Christ-like; to be born again means to be become a creature entirely different than you were at your first birth. Ergo, what did Christ Himself teach & do, what sort of new creature does He tell us to become?
It is the shocking & controversial contention of this website that real Christianity is neither any more nor any less than Roman Catholicism, that, indeed, Jesus Christ taught & commanded, through His Twelve Apostles, exactly what the Roman Catholic Church of the past two thousand years teaches & commands to this very day. Having been raised since childhood to call myself Christian or born again, I was personally aghast at the idea of converting to the Roman Catholic Faith. I had always been led to think that Catholics were scripturally ignorant, spiritually enslaved & morally bankrupt. Which, in fact, most of them have been for at least the last one to two hundred years. However, this scriptural ignorance, spiritual enslavement & moral bankruptcy is not, I found, the result of being truly Catholic but of being falsely Catholic. In a word, members of the Church of Rome have been practicing their Singular Religion very poorly… they have not actually been believing all that She teaches (in which case they aren’t even really Catholic), and have not actually been obeying all that She commands (in which case they aren’t even rightly Catholic). They have been fakes & sluggards.
The evidence for my amazing claim that Christianity & Catholicism are one and the same? Indeed, that no one can save his soul outside membership in the Catholic Church, outside of Her Very Real Christianity? It is threefold:
First, the publicly available documents of history itself confirm that Christianity in its earliest stages was exactly identical to the essential teachings & practices of the Roman Catholic Church while imitating absolutely nothing that is unique or peculiar to what people who call themselves Christian or born again believe & do in the past 500 years. These ancient documents --- these writings from the AD 100s, 200s, 300s, 400s & 500s, as well as from the very first century itself, even prior to AD 100 --- have been in libraries for over a hundred years and are now on the Internet. Anyone who wants it badly enough can see for himself that what I say is true, provided he is willing to read through hundreds (even thousands!) of pages of testimony from those persons that lived back then and to think their words through very carefully. Many of them actually knew the Apostles in person, or knew the men who themselves knew the Apostles personally. Thus, we have incontrovertible proof from the very first generations of Christians in oldest times as to what Christianity and a spiritual rebirth into Christ really are.
Second, the Bible itself, when rightly understood as a complete & integrated whole, confirms that Christianity is exactly identical to the essential teachings & practices of the Catholic Church while upholding absolutely nothing that is unique or peculiar to what people who call themselves Christian or born again believe & do in the past 500 years. That persons have learned not to see this is a result of ignorance, prejudice & deception. That is to say, the vast majority of human beings are terribly ignorant of what the Bible says, having either never opened a bible to look at its pages or only referring to a mere handful of verses during a sermon, meeting or crisis --- and thus having no real idea of what it says in totality, in correct & harmonious context with the rest of its many words. Meanwhile, the minority which actually bothers to look at the Bible more often, does so staring through eyes tainted with assumptions that they make prior to reading the Bible and regardless of what they may find in the Bible that later contradicts them. They thus reach for any interpretation, however much it strains intelligence, to explain away that which they occasionally encounter in the biblical text and which otherwise so obviously refutes them. And, finally, the very tiny number of persons that studies the Bible & early Christians in such great depth that they know very well how Scripture contradicts many of their assumptions and that ancient Christians took these verses at face value without explaining them away, do so telling a deliberate lie --- that they today, some 2000 years later, know better than the earliest Christians, who lived mere generations after Jesus & His Apostles, some of whom even knew the Apostles face-to-face or else knew the men who were themselves personally acquainted with the Apostles, and thus had a direct eyewitness link to the very source of all that real Christians are to believe & do.
And third, reason itself upholds the suspicion that real Christianity must be exactly identical to Roman Catholicism, the beliefs & practices of those who call themselves Christian or born again being so flawed against good sense that no humble, honest & intelligent person, upon thinking it through carefully, can conclude otherwise. The problems are too many to list here, but we mention two of them to demonstrate our case. One, is any man on earth, in & of himself, all by himself, infallible? No. Therefore, any man without infallibility can be wrong. Can, then, those who call themselves Christian or born again be wrong about what they believe? Yes, they can. And do any of them even claim the gift of infallibility for themselves when it comes to their beliefs & practices? No, none of them do. Ergo, they have no way at all to be absolutely certain that they are not making a crucial mistake when it comes to the things that they choose to believe & do, going by the name of Christian. Which brings us to example number two… for not only does the Bible not give such persons infallibility since the Bible itself first requires a man to interpret it correctly in order that he may then, secondly, understand its contents the way God meant them to be understood, but the Bible itself does not ever say anywhere in its pages that it is to be a sole, primary or ultimate rule for the beliefs & practices of a real Christianity. Consequently, even if such persons could interpret the Bible infallibly (and they cannot!), the Bible itself gives them absolutely no grounds for believing that they should derive their beliefs & practices solely, primarily or ultimately from the Bible --- and even though most of them claim to believe only what they can find in their bibles!
Whereas to the contrary, Catholicism does claim --- and always has for almost two thousand years --- to be infallible. Indeed, that God Himself operates through the Papacy of the Catholic Church in order to give men a means of absolute certainty when it comes to the things that they must believe & do so as to save their immortal souls. As a result, how is it anything but reasonable to suspect that Roman Catholicism might just be the very thing that God designed Christianity to be everywhere on earth for time immemorial?
And the proof for this, as anyone can find out for himself in the documents of ancient history & in the text of biblical writings, simply confirms this very reasonable suspicion. To wit, that Catholicism is Christianity… and nothing else. All other contenders for the Name of Christ are exactly that… contenders --- phonies --- and nothing more.
You, of course, will not want to believe this, dear reader. Nor did I when I was first confronted by the facts. The question is, will you actually look at the facts, carefully & thoroughly? Or will you wander off pretending to be omniscient & infallible? That is to say, will you condemn or discard my words, will you pretend to know everything there is to know already, and that you could never, ever, be mistaken about anything? If not, then please look at The Epistemologic Works closely. The very fact that you have found this website is proof of God’s Grace operating in your soul. The very fact that you have read this brief article & understood it --- however infuriating it may be to your prejudices --- is evidence of God’s Mercy upon your life. You, my dear soul, are blessed.
Now seize that blessing and investigate closely what I am saying. There is still much, much, much more for me to do, but even now this website has a great amount of things posted on it that will show the evidence for what I claim. Naturally, you are welcome to see for yourself by examining the thousands of pages of early Christian writings and reading a bible meticulously from start to finish. Nevertheless, most people will not have the drive, determination, resources or time to do this properly or quickly. Ergo, it would be a lot easier for you to begin by reading what I have to say in great detail to support my astonishing claims, to let me do the legwork for you, always bearing in mind that you may, at any point, check on me to see that what I am saying actually is what I claim it to be. Viz., that you may at any time refer to a bible or glance at the writings of an ancient Christian to make certain my evidence is real & relevant. And, in any case, you may all along the way follow my reasoning carefully to be sure that it is ironclad. I invite you to do so, dear soul. I have nothing to hide & everything to gain by accuracy in this matter.
So, where to begin? Go to the Books & Articles section. Its link is to the left of this webpage in the navigation frame. Once there, begin reading Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus. This book (72 chapters thus far with another 100 or so to come) shows the evidence from history, scripture & reason itself that the Catholic Church is precisely what She purports to be --- God’s One & Only Means of Salvation, being His Singular Body & Religion upon earth --- and always has been. Should you have read this far successfully and yet refuse to look at this book closely, refusing also to at least examine the Bible assiduously and read the ancient Christian writings for yourself, then you are revealed to be of bad will, not actually wanting to know the truth. You are also revealed to think (whether you realize it or not, my poor soul) that you are omniscient & infallible, not needing to investigate the enormous amount of evidence supporting Catholicism since you are already convinced that it couldn’t possibly be true… and hence imagine yourself incapable of being wrong.
Too, you should investigate very carefully Catholic Ritual Defended and The Dogma of Baptism Upheld & the Lie of ‘Faith Alone’ Cast Down, as well as Protestant Protests Rebutted. Both the former (a long article) and the latter (two long books) show how the testimony of Sacred Scripture & the simplicity of good straightforward sense decisively refute the lies of an imaginary ‘christianity’.
Yet why does it have to be so complicated, you may wonder? Couldn’t I write something a lot shorter & simpler? Why so long & involved? Yet it’s not that complicated, actually. It’s just that people have forgotten what everyone at one time knew. Indeed, more than that. It’s that people have learned to ‘know’ the opposite, to believe lots of stuff that really isn’t the truth. As a result, someone like me has to get long-winded & detailed in order to refute the complex web of lies that people have believed, lies that have now gone on throughout our society for several hundred years and which have probably rooted deep in your mind for at least a few decades. And should I fail to refute these lies thoroughly --- rebutting every assertion or protest that you may lob in my direction --- then you will walk off feeling justified in your blindness, thinking that you have successfully contradicted any little, individual points that I may have established.
My job is like disentangling a huge, hairy knot that binds together a pair of shoes by their laces. The laces being long enough to let someone walk but not quite run, a stubborn person could insist on wearing the shoes without suffering any immediate harm. Yet what if he has to run? What if a knife-wielding man comes after him with death in his eyes? What if a fire erupts suddenly, causing him to flee the building as quick as he can? In this case the knot is not only ugly but truly deadly. He will not be able to get away in time. The knife will pierce him, the fire will burn him.
My dear soul, this metaphorical knot is the complex web of religious lies in your mind. You can get around for awhile pretending to walk normally. Most people will go along with you and ignore the ungainly tangle between your shoes since they, too, suffer a similar problem, imagining that it doesn’t exist or that it isn’t actually a difficulty. Yet some day death will come looking for you. The knife will pierce and the fire will burn. You will be unable to escape the final consequences. So will you sit still long enough to let me undo the terrible knot? Or will you stand up impatiently, trying to run away from me only to fall flat on your face in the agony of grievous injury? In any case, like a man scrambling to comprehend a new machine or invention --- or a blind man suddenly able to see and learning to do that which he had never before properly understood due to his blindness --- you, my dear reader, are in the position of having to unlearn what you once thought you knew and to learn for the first time that which you never imagined was so. It may seem hard, at first. And if you’re busy or have no interest in Catholicism, having been raised to distrust the Church of Rome, then anything at all is going to seem like a dull & toilsome task to you. Even this brief little article will be too much to endure!
So make up your mind. First things first. Are you up for it? Do you really want to know the truth… and are you willing to do what it takes to figure it all out? I’ve made the job as easy as I can for you thus far. Maybe someday soon I will be able to make it even easier. In the meantime, you really don’t have to do that much… just take the time to read. Go a few little chapters at a time every day, if you must. See for yourself what I’ve already discovered. Unless, of course, you’re just fooling yourself, content to pretend that you’re all-knowing & never wrong, and thus have no need to investigate the gargantuan amount of evidence from history, scripture & reason itself on behalf of the Roman Catholic Faith. In which case, why bother when you just ‘know’ it couldn’t be true? Why lift a finger to confirm what you’re already ‘certain’ is a fact?
Please choose well, my dear reader. God truly saves he who truly
seeks. Or, to put it another way, the one who is truly seeking will always
truly find. The journey is not the destination; the destination is
the destination! The Saving Truth awaits the one who yearns for it like a
deer panting for the water. I pray that my Lord Jesus Christ might shed upon
you, via His Mother, the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, all of the graces necessary
to fully convert you, heart, soul, mind & will, to the Religion of His
Singular Body, the
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© 2009 by Paul Doughton.
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