Vatican II and The New Evangelization World Wide Take Over

“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven”     Revelation 18:4

Author:   Anthony Esteves

As a young adult living in Brooklyn New York I was depending on getting to Heaven on false hopes.  Although my commitment to my beloved Roman Catholic Church had weakened during my late twenties, the attitude “I was born a Catholic, I’ll die a Catholic” was woven into the fabric of my mind.

As I think back on those days, I recognize that I was a young man in bondage. Certainly, I was in bondage to sin, as is everyone who is not born again. But there was another bondage that also gripped me: the bondage of Roman Catholic tradition, with its sacraments, liturgies, rituals, and sacramentals. Not only were such things unbiblical-they were works of the flesh and devices of demons. In my own life, as well as throughout the history of the Church of Rome, they were soul-gripping superstitions advanced under the guise of spirituality.

I trusted in relics of dead so-called Saints; holy water; making the sign of the cross; votive candles; baptism for salvation (infant or otherwise); a “transubstantiated” piece of bread alleged to be Christ; apparitions of Mary; a scapular; a “miraculous medal”; statues and images of Jesus, Mary, and the saints; endless Rosaries, Novenas, the Stations of the Cross; abstaining from meat on Friday; Lenten abstinences; the Last Rites to get me into Purgatory and indulgences to get me out of Purgatory; Mass cards; graces dispensed from Mary; the confessional, with absolution of my sins by a priest; penance and personal suffering to purify me of my sin; worshiping a piece of bread at the Eucharistic Holy Hour; the Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ on earth, etc. Therein lays a bondage that few evangelicals understand.

Many brush these things aside as non-essentials of the Christian faith or minor theological aberrations unique to Catholicism. Not true. They are essential to the gospel that Rome declares-a gospel of meritorious works that the Bible condemns (see Galatians, Romans, and Ephesians) as a rejection of the completed substitutionary atonement of Christ our Savior. Catholicism’s Tradition, which is declared to be equal in authority to Scripture, is made up of those things that are necessary for, or supportive of, a Catholic’s entrance into heaven.

According to the Word of God, anything that is added to Christ’s finished work on the cross is a denial of the gospel: that Christ paid the full penalty for the sins of humanity.

The Roman Catholic Church, which claims infallibility in its Councils and theological teachings, clearly and emphatically denies the biblical gospel.

The Council of Trent declares:

6th Session, Canon 9: If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification…let him be anathema.

6th Session, Canon 12: If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone by which we are justified: let him be anathema.

6th Session, Canon 30: If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.

7th Session, Canon 4: If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law [canons and decrees of the Church] are not necessary for salvation but…without them…men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification…let him be anathema.

“Anathema,” in these decrees (which are still in force), damns to hell anyone who rejects the Roman Catholic Church’s false gospel of works.

Starting with the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, where only superficial changes were made because infallible dogmas cannot be changed!  Rome launched an ecumenical program aimed at seducing Protestants worldwide and, specifically, evangelicals in the United States. The goal was and is to bring all of Christendom under the rule of the Roman Catholic Church with the pope as its spiritual head. Predictable progress has been made in Europe and the U.S. among liberal denominations that have long abandoned the Scriptures. Astonishing, however, is the success the scheme has had among American evangelicals.

Billy Graham was the first and most notable evangelical to support Catholicism’s ecumenical efforts. Others followed, including Bill Bright, Pat Robertson, J. I. Packer, Timothy George, Robert Schuller, Hank Hanegraaff, Benny Hinn, and Jack Van Impe. Evangelicals and Catholics Together, under the leadership of Chuck Colson and Catholic priest Richard John Neuhaus, declared Catholics and evangelicals to be “brothers and sisters in Christ” and exhorted them to work together in spreading the gospel. Obviously, and conveniently, that gospel was never defined.

Although the acceptance of things Roman Catholic among evangelicals grew steadily over the years after Vatican II, it increased exponentially with the popularity of ultra-conservative Catholic Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. His dramatization of one of Catholicism’s most sacred rituals, The Stations of the Cross, so captured the hearts of evangelicals that their eagerness to purchase mass quantities of tickets accounted for the movie’s great financial success.

Following that achievement, Inside the Vatican made this insightful observation: “For evangelicals, the film has given them a glimpse inside the Catholic soul, even the traditional Catholic soul. Many evangelicals, reflecting on what they saw in the movie, say they are beginning to ‘get’ the whole Catholic thing: Lent…the ashes on the forehead…no meat on Friday…the sorrowful mysteries…the Stations of the Cross…the emphasis on the Eucharist…the devotion to Mary…the enormous crucifix hanging above every Catholic altar. They may not be rushing out to buy rosaries, necessarily, but some of the things no longer seem so strange, so alien.”

What evangelicals also “got,” which their leaders enthusiastically endorsed as “biblically accurate,” were numerous scenes based upon the imagination of an 18th-century Catholic mystic, the portrayal of Mary as co-redemptrix in the salvation of mankind, and a very Catholic gospel that has Christ atoning for sin by suffering the unrelenting physical tortures of the Roman soldiers.

The Passion of the Christ had a stunning effect on evangelical youth and youth pastors. Not only did “[Catholic] things no longer seem so strange, so alien,” but they were showing up in the youth ministries of evangelical churches. The Stations of the Cross ritual became popular, although it needed to be downsized from 14 stations to 11, eliminating some stations that were too foreign to Scripture such as Saint Veronica capturing the image of Christ’s bloodied face on her veil. Prayer altars were erected, featuring icons illuminated by candles and fragranced by burning incense, and prayer labyrinths were painted on large tarps placed in church basements or cut into church lawns. For young evangelicals too often raised on empty, repetitive worship choruses little different from secular music, and religious instruction leaning heavily upon entertainment to keep them interested, the Catholic and Orthodox liturgies seemed far more spiritual.
This all became “spiritual” fodder for the Emerging Church Movement (ECM), much of it a reaction against the consumer-oriented marketing approach to church growth popularized by Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren. Many ECM leaders, most of whom have evangelical backgrounds, saw Catholic ritual and mysticism as a necessary spiritual ingredient that was lost for evangelicals at the Reformation. Sola Scriptura was a major rallying cry of the Reformers against the abuses stemming from Roman Catholic tradition; the Bible as one’s only authority practically shut down the influence of the Catholic mystics known as the Desert Fathers.

Yet Catholic mysticism has returned with a vengeance. Its occult techniques can be found nearly everywhere, from Youth Specialties to Richard Foster’s Renovare Organization to Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. “Many Christian leaders started searching for a new approach under the banner of ‘spiritual formation.’ This new search has led many of them back to Catholic contemplative practices and medieval monastic disciplines,” Brian McLaren writes approvingly.

Tony Jones, co-editor of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope has written a manifesto of mysticism for emerging churches titled “The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life.” Jones’s acknowledgement of those who supported his effort reads as a Who’s Who of emergent leaders, not to mention the Catholic priests he thanks and the ancient Orthodox and Catholic mystics he quotes. What then is this mysticism they are promoting?

Catholic mysticism is thoroughly subjective and experiential. Like its parent, Eastern mysticism, it claims that God can neither be known nor understood through human reason but only experienced subjectively through various techniques. It is the antithesis of what the Bible teaches: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18); “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him” (2 Peter 1:3).

Furthermore, the goal of mysticism is union with God,  the merging of one’s soul into God. This is an impossibility that reveals mysticism’s pantheistic and panentheistic roots, that God is everything and is in everything. No. God is infinite and transcendent, absolutely separate from His finite creation.

The Sacred Way
endorses numerous mystical techniques that are gaining acceptance among evangelicals today. An awareness and understanding of them is therefore critical for discernment. Centering Prayer utilizes a single word (“love” or “God”) upon which one focuses to clear the mind of all other thoughts. The belief is that the so-called pray-er will hear directly from God in his silence before Him. Tony Campolo declares, “In my case intimacy with Christ has developed gradually over the years, primarily through what Catholic mystics call ‘centering prayer.’ Each morning, as soon as I wake up, I take time-sometimes as much as a half hour-to center myself on Jesus. I say his name over and over again to drive back the 101 things that begin to clutter up my mind the minute I open my eyes. Jesus is my mantra, as some would say.”

The Jesus Prayer
has the pray-er repeat a sentence such as “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me” continuously, hundreds-even thousands-of times. The repetition supposedly fixates one’s mind upon Jesus. Yet it blatantly rejects His command not to use vain repetition in prayer as the heathen do (Matthew 6:7). Moreover, its constant repetitions turn prayer as a form of communication with Jesus into an act of nonsense.

Lectio Divina
, meaning “sacred reading,” is a technique that is far removed from normal reading and studying of the Bible. Its methodology aims at going beyond the objective meaning of the words and the straightforward instructions to that which transcends normal awareness. Jones writes, “As you attend to those deeper meanings, begin to meditate on the feelings and emotions conjured up in your inner self.” He then summarizes this mystical contemplative technique: “True contemplation moves beyond words and intellect and into that ‘thin space’ where time and eternity almost touch. It’s in moments like these that some of the greatest Catholic saints in the history of the Catholic church have had a ‘mystical union’ with Christ.” It’s clear from God’s Word that the spirit with which they had a “mystical union” in their contemplative altered state of consciousness was not Jesus.

Ignatian Examen
is an occult visualization technique taught by Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in the 16th century. His exercise teaches one to visualize oneself in the presence of Jesus and then interact with Him during his earthly events, “at the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the cross, and laying Jesus’ body in the tomb.” This has one added content to Scripture from his imagination and opens a person to demonic manipulation (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:8).

Prayer Labyrinths
are concentric paths created by the Catholic Church in the 13th century to experience in one’s imagination Christ’s Via Dolorosa, or “walk of sorrows,” when He carried His cross to Calvary’s hill. Rather than subject themselves to the dangers of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during Holy Week, Roman Catholics in Europe could gain the same indulgences (to shorten their time in Purgatory) by walking labyrinths at certain cathedrals while prayerfully meditating upon Christ’s crucifixion. Likewise, observing the “sacred” ritual of the Stations of the Cross became a substitute for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

As a former Catholic, it’s hard for me to fathom the evangelical church buying into the religious occultism of Roman Catholicism. It makes no sense. Visit any country where that religion is taken seriously. What becomes obvious is a people who are in the bondage of superstition. On the other hand, I shouldn’t be surprised. Apostasy is growing rapidly; the religion of the Antichrist is taking shape, and mysticism, whether it’s the Catholic variety, the Sufism of Islam, Yoga and the Gurus of Eastern Mysticism, the Shamanism of Native Religions, or otherwise, is a common yet powerful magnet that draws all religions together.

We need to be watchmen on the wall and pray as we see this evil invading the church, warning especially should our Lord delay His return-our next generation of believers… they are the targets of the mystical seduction of this coming world religion.


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51 Responses

  1. Amanda says:


    Other boards usually has this function built in

    It is because we are cranks.

    I must learn too!!!

    Don’t worry. You will.

  2. Elmarie A says:


    BTW. I am going through it point by point, interesting read so far, thanks!

    Thank you and please give feedback and your point of view if possible 🙂

    Oh BTW Your Bunnytrails must look like this.

    And I would imagine this is a cutee one. But we still love them Bunnies lol lol lol look at them feet lol lol I am still smiling here about the Bunnytrails lol lol

  3. Bunnytrails says:

    WOW!!! Thats a moo cow sized bunny!

  4. Burning Lamp says:

    El Marie, Amanda and Bunny Trails:

    ROFL – Once I can stop giggling I will work on mastering the blockquotes and then proceed with this discussion.

    I haven’t had such a good laugh in eons………….

  5. Elmarie A says:

    mmmm me thinks this one a moo cow sized bunny! and shame he looking worried lol lol Yeah we have to laugh cause it is good for us

    No more giggles there now BL . lol lol oh goodness now it me again just cannot stop giggling me too ooooi

    Oh and could this one be Australian you think? lol lol mmmm looks kinda Australian to me let me know.

  6. Burning Lamp says:

    Not to be outdone, may I introduce you to the infamous Jackalope of North America.

  7. Elmarie A says:

    Burning Lamp

    Jikes lol lol them one look scary wow and just as well cause it is also called a Jackrabbit. And them story goes something like this Jackalopes are legendary in the U.S thank you Burning Lamp I never new about them Jackalope of North America. You sent me on a search and sniff mission and I did complete it? I hope 🙂

  8. Bunnytrails says:

    i want one! When I was younger (Im 21 now) I was obsessed with rabbits. I have re-discovered my love of all things bunny and fluffy!LOL!

  9. Bunnytrails says:

    Let us see if this works

  10. Bunnytrails says:

    YAY!!!! I fell a ululation coming on!

  11. Burning Lamp says:

    BT, may I suggest you find a bunny icon – although the cute face assigned here does reflect your fine sense of humor. There is a link to get your own icon – maybe El Marie or Amanda can repost that for your benefit if you so choose.

    Have been too busy to master the block quote thing, but when things settle down I will return with some good discussion. This has been a nice reprieve from the heavy stuff.

    I look forward to further exchanges. Be back soon.

  12. Amanda says:


    Here you go.

  13. Bunnytrails says:

    I’m back at university, so I don’t have much time to chat unfortunately!

    I read the arguments against tradition. It was a good article but forgets a few things…

    1. Whenever the word “scripture” is mentioned in the new testament it refers to the old testament. There was no new testament as we have it today.

    2. Jesus fulfills the Law perfectly and encourages his hearers to follow the teachings of the Old Covenant as his time had not yet come to liberate them – the traditions given by those in the seat of Moses was to be accepted and followed except when it transgresses Law i.e “Corbin” is in direct violation of “Honour thy mother and father”, and it is the one of the few examples other than divorce we have in scripture that Jesus criticizes.

    3. Also the role of teachers in this article is diminished as scripture is held to interpret itself. How can this be? If it is so then all Christians should be on the same page. Human frailty and sin darkens the mind. Most people do not know how to think aright as it is. Would you trust a plumber with your brain surgery?

    4. There are historical discrepancies:

    a.) The author seems to think that all scripture was available freely and liberally, which is not the case. Some Christian communities didn’t even have the Gospels, while some had the letters of Paul, and others only has teachers who were disciples of the apostles. There was no xerox machines unfortunately.
    b.) Seems to have little understanding of Jewish customs and the role of tradition in the Judaic and early – Christian traditions.
    c.) Jesus and in fact his apostles have quoted the rabbinical traditions, contrary to the authors article.
    d.) Has clearly not found inspiration from the early Christians themselves via the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

    5. Finally the Church has never called tradition (which comprises of interpretation of scripture etc.) higher than Written tradition, nor has it claimed the ability to “create truth”. She is merely defender and safeguard to the entire Gospel. Particularly against the heresies.

    In summery: I enjoyed the article and liked the genuine tone and particularly this part:

    In summary, one cannot find a single passage that states that “the written Word alone, and not tradition also, is our sole authority for faith and practice.” At the same time, what must also be admitted is that repeatedly, the Old Testament writers, Jesus, and the apostles, turn to the Scriptures as their measuring stick, and commend the same to any and all that would follow them.

    In essence he was giving his opinion on the subject and will find many who share his views that will agree or even disagree. One can never be sure. And that is the problem.

  14. Bunnytrails

    I agree with all your points except

    “d.) Has clearly not found inspiration from the early Christians themselves via the writings of the Early Church Fathers.”

    Who are these early church fathers you are referring to?

    one cannot find a single passage that states that “the written Word alone, and not tradition also, is our sole authority for faith and practice.”

    Disagree. What other litarature would you refer to for authority regarding your faith?

  15. Bunnytrails says:

    @ Deborah

    1. The early Christians I am referring to are the disciples of the disciples of Jesus. In particular Ignacious of Antioch and Polycarp

    2. The quote is from the protestant author and not my own.

  16. Bunnytrails says:

    PLUS if I had to offer other literature than Holy Scripture it would have to be the histories compiled in the early period as well as the writings of the Early Christian Church leaders which are freely available online.

  17. BB

    Thanks for reply

    1. The early Christians I am referring to are the disciples of the disciples of Jesus. In particular Ignacious of Antioch and Polycarp

    What has Ignacious and Polycarp said that is not already said in the Bible?

    2. The quote is from the protestant author and not my own.

    You truly are as your nickname says… a bunnytrail.

  18. Bunnytrails says:

    @ Deborah

    1. What they say squares perfectly with Catholic Tradition…thats the whole point.

    2. huh? I don’t understand your point…i replied to the article and your post. There are no bunny trails.


  19. Martin Horan says:

    We only have to go to Jesus Christ Himself, Our Lord and Saviour, to see what He said about tradition (let alone what proverbs says about leaning to our own understanding [Proverbs 3:5]!)[Matt 15:2-9 & Mark 7:7-13].
    Jesus utterly lambasts traditions in those Scriptures.
    The “Church Fathers” were not infallible. In fact, we find errors in them.
    (Besides they weren’t Catholics. The Catholic Church didn’t exist then. Anyway, they never insisted that tradition was on a par with Scripture. That Catholic dogma did not come into being until 1545.)
    The men who wrote the Bible wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And we find in the Psalms that God magnifies His Word above His Own Name [Ps 138:2].
    We are told in 1 Thess 5:21 & 1 John 4:1 that we must “Prove all things” and “Test the spirits” and we do so by going to the very Word God holds above His Own Name, not by going to mere men.
    Jesus Himself warned us to let NO man deceive us [Matt 24:4 & Mark 13:5]. He doesn’t say, “EXCEPT for popes or bishops or priests or ministers or Billy Graham or Benny Hinn”–or ANYONE else.
    ALL men are fallible and that’s why we have to cling to God’s Word.
    Jesus Himself was forever quoting Scripture. The devil on the contrary misquoted it all the time. So do the men he uses to confuse humanity and lead them astray.
    And the unscriptural idea of papal infallibility wasn’t a Catholic dogma until 1870!
    And plenty of the Catholic clergy at the time thought it was ridiculous and rightly so.
    I was “educated” as a Catholic and I thank God that I discovered his Bible and I’m thankful for it.
    We should never forget the personal sacrifices of the men who were persecuted and martyred for bringing the Scriptures to us. Some were burned at the stake with Bibles tied hanging from their necks.
    And who were their persecutors and murderers? It was none other than the Roman Catholic inquisitors and to this day they have never apologized for those atrocities. The point is, they can’t because their popes being infallible, as they believe, must have been right!

  20. Marthina says:

    So… we had a WhatsApp communication send out earlier this week to come to church and attend a type of ‘Via Dolorosa” ‘walk’ With different stations setup to represent the path or route that Jesus walked on his way to His crucifixion. Being a member of the DRC SouthAfrica but never heard of this term my discernment went up a notch.

    I am ashamed to admit not reading much or understanding most of the Bible all my life (recently born again) but now I can not stop reading and studying TheWord of God!! And, of course, nowhere do we read about the born-again believers practicing this.

    I could go into the details of what every ‘station’ represent and how you can meditate on the different themes and bringing it back to what God is doing in your life right. But I am sure you get the picture.
    I have read extensively on this site all things RC and the different traditions being performed, especially this time of the year. Thought I would shed some light on this…

  21. Hi Marthina. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, one of the most cunning schemes Satan uses to wean people from a childlike faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross is to impose on them the necessity to experience spirituality. Beware of teachers who tell you “you must do this or that” to come into God’s presence or experience his presence or experience the Holy Spirit’s fire. It is not of God. It also includes things like speaking in tongues, falling backward (slain in the spirit), prophesying, dreams, and visions.

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