YouVersion aka Bible.com sent me an email about Ash Wednesday the other day. This is strange because Bible Christians historically haven’t observed Lent or the other Catholic traditions. There is even a banner referencing this unscriptural period of time on biblegateway.com. For some reason, the Catholic Church’s doctrines beyond Sunday, Christmas, and Easter, are creeping into traditionally Bible believing churches. Even the Methodist church near my house has a sign up showing they are observing Lent and they observed the more obscure Catholic period of Advent last year.
The roots of most of the false doctrines of Christianity come from syncretism, or the blending of other religions into the true faith. Sunday comes from Mithraism and the other Sun-worshiping religions from antiquity and isn’t to be found in the Bible at all. It is interesting to note that a great many religious leaders from across the spectrum of Chrstianity acknowledge that observing Sunday as a special day is not found within the pages of the Bible.
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89. “But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”
For many, many more quotes on this, please reference the Bible Sabbath Association’s website here http://biblesabbath.org/index.php?pr=Catholic_and_Protestant_Confessions
Easter is from Astarte and the other fertility goddesses from days gone by. Christmas is from the sun-worshipers, too. But some doctrines come out of thin air.
It is tradition that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. While Yeshua does hint at Peter being executed in John 21:18, there is no hint of Peter going to Rome in the New Testament. The end of the book of Acts shows that Paul spent two years in Rome. In fact, the latter part of the book of Acts chronicles Paul’s journey to Rome in detail. Peter, who didn’t even want to eat with Gentiles, is not likely to have desired to go to the epicenter of the Gentile world. In 1 Peter 5:13 it is recorded that Peter went to Babylon, the opposite direction. Paul, however, was destined to go to Rome and he surely started and ministered to the congregation there.
Another doctrine that comes out of nowhere is for clergy to wear all black. Both the Jews and the Catholics do this, but the only people who had official clergy clothing in scripture would be the sons of Aaron. If we see a guy with a beard in all black today, we automatically assume he’s a Jewish Rabbi. If we see a clean shaven man wearing all black and a white collar, he’s a Catholic Priest. But there is no scriptural reason for this at all.
Catholics have ashes put on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. The Bible shows repeatedly that when something horrible happens, people put ashes on their own heads but there is nothing about doing this annually at a church. And there is nothing about keeping a Wednesday holy in the Bible, either. This is yet another doctrine made up out of thin air. Other Lenten practices, such as giving up some bad habit and calling it fasting or abstaining from meat on Fridays also have no basis in scripture and are hard to define in history as well.
It is a strange place we find ourselves in 21st century Christianity. Those of us who adhere strictly to the Bible’s commandments are viewed as the odd ones while those who are steeped in mainstream Christianity’s invented doctrines are considered “orthodox”. As we near the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, let’s take solace in that we are actually doing what is found in the Bible and commanded by Yahweh and His Son!
So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17