TO: The Editor
We received the article you sent regarding Pastor Bill Hughes. It is appreciated, the efforts you are making to defend against what you have termed 'Anti-Catholicism'. I was particularly drawn to the statement from Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. that anti-Catholicism is “the deepest bias in the history of the American people.” However, I would have to clarify that by asserting that racism and racial bigotry has, by far, been the greatest bias in this country, and still is. Try being a Catholic in the Bible Belt, a Catholic living under the Obama regime, and a Catholic convert in a Protestant family of liberals.
On the other hand, it has also been correctly stated by George Santayana that, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." Our greatest error is in forgetting where we came from; how what we now know as The United States of America originated in its past. Some of us still have remembrance of the truth in this regard. There have been deliberate and concerted efforts to cover up this historic past, and in some cases, to even conspire to rewrite it as though it never happened. Catholics also immigrated to America to escape oppression of their Protestant overlords.
I am a Seventh Day Adventist, and I must clear up a few misled notions. First and foremost, as an SDA Christian, I do not have one ounce of hatred against ANY Catholic, as I have many Catholic friends. It is NOT the belief that true Adventists hate Catholics, or anyone else of any other faith. That is not a doctrine of the Adventist faith. We know quite clearly, and profess that God has His people in many other Christian faiths, especially Catholicism. We believe that before it’s all over, a great number of Catholics will be saved into God’s Kingdom, whereas also we believe that many SDA’s will be lost. [Revelation 18:4]
It is the Spirit of God that reveals ‘truth’. And the Catholic Church which interprets it for the world. The various sources that are quoted and listed in your bulletin are documented in many other sources. It must be noted that the believers, per se, are not that which are being identified, but the ‘Church’ itself and its leadership who bear the brunt of these accusations. If they are not true, it is astonishing that they have played out the roles with stunning accuracy, as if to be consciously fulfilling prophetic roles.
I can say, that if any or all of it is not true, I would not worry much about it. Especially acknowledging that on many occasions, there have been inflammatory statements by the Catholic Church especially towards Protestants. (What about Bill Hughes towards Catholics? Then there's Martin Luther.) Let me present a few:
- “It must always be clear, when the expression sister Churches is used in this proper sense, that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Universal Church is not sister but mother of all the particular Churches.” - Cardinal Ratzinger. (Here, the Church boastfully identifies itself as the ‘mother’ and in other inferences, identifies all ‘particular churches’ as her daughters, whom she appears to be condemning. If the daughter churches are harlots, what then does that make the ‘mother’?) The Catholic Church is the one and only church which Christ founded. She is the Bride of Christ "loved from all Eternity in the Bosom of the Holy Trinity." She is our Mother. Christ has one Bride, not many. The Catholic Church stands above as Mother, not side by side as a sister among sisters.
- Pope Benedict XVI insisted that Protestant churches were “mere ‘ecclesial communities’ and their ministers effectively phonies with no right to give communion.” – [The Guardian] The Guardian, with its liberal left-wing platform, is not the correct place to learn about the Catholic Church, or any interpretation of Papal statements.
- “Churches outside the Catholic church "are not Churches in the proper sense; ... the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church." - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI
I can therefore say that my faith and beliefs are not predicated on any statements by Pastor Bill Hughes, and I am assuming that yours is not predicated on any statements from Pope Francis, or any other prelate. It if is, then it is there that you have your problem, as many inflammatory statements have come from the mouths of popes in the history of the Catholic Church; sometimes against each other.
Where our focus should be is in deep prayer for each other, and that God, through His Holy Spirit will lead us all to the truth as it is in Jesus.
My personal problem is with the notion of Papal Supremacy. I simply cannot find in Holy Scripture (See HERE) where we are commanded to address any man as ‘Holy Father’, as no man is holy in God’s sight. Our righteousness is like unto ‘filthy rags’! Isaiah 64:6 refers to the sacrifices, sacraments and ceremonies of the Jews after the death of Christ and the promulgation of the new law. The justice which is under the law is stated as uncleanness, when compared with evangelical new covenant purity. Romans 3:10 - There is not any man just, means, namely, by virtue either of the law of nature, or of the law of Moses; but only by faith and grace. Additionally, it is blasphemy for a man to claim the prerogatives of The Most High, who alone is our Holy Father. But I can easily find in God’s Holy Word that we are NOT to address any mere man as ‘Father’ upon the earth. Because there is only one who is our Holy Father. [Matthew 23:9] Karl Keating at Catholic Answers perfectly responds to this quandary HERE.
There is no directive for any man to alter the Holy Commandments of God. Yet, the Church has taken upon itself this prerogative, and has deceptively declared that this right came from God Himself! That too would be blasphemous.
But I am sure that you know all of this, so there is no point to belabor the point. I do believe that the Church has much of its own problems to deal with, especially the litany of scandals generated within its own walls by the homosexual agenda, concern itself with such trivial matters as Pastor Bill Hughes ministry. Bill Hughes "ministry" includes FIVE MILLION anti-Catholic books sent around the universe, those same books sold on Amazon, myriad anti-Catholic YouTube videos, an anti-Catholic radio station in Africa, appearances in Asia and across the US. The man is a menace. I send out one piece of paper and Seventh Day Adventists want to "contact the Federal Communication Commission and the United States Postal Service since what you have written appears to fall under the heading of a federally mandated hate law." Considering the current path and series of revelations, and many more to be revealed, it is advisable to concentrate on such issues, as it will surely be those issues that will ultimately destroy the church from within. That is not my hope, however. My real hope is that there will be true repentance of many evils done in its history, starting with the tampering of God’s Law. Here the writer must mean no longer worshiping on the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday and that the Church "changed God's Law." However since New Testament times the Sabbath is no longer binding and Christians are to worship on the Lord’s day, Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead, instead. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Colossians 16:2, Revelation 1:10) See HERE.
And I leave you with one sincere sentiment that is most crucial at this point. This message to us all is declared in the message of the 1st Angel. “Fear God, and give glory to HIM, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made Heaven, the Earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.” [Revelation 14:7] That should include verse 6 as well: 6 And I saw another Angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the eternal gospel, to preach to them that sit upon the earth, and over every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people 7 Saying with a loud voice: Fear the Lord, and give him honour, because the hour of his judgment is come: and adore ye him, who made heaven, and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.
By this Angel are represented the preachers of the gospel, exhorting all men to the true faith and a good life.
(Mary Ann is on retreat until Friday night. Posted comments will be moderated when she returns.)