SillyBrit (aka Colin Smith, the same fellow implicated in the Great Mr. X scandal a few years ago–boy was that a story!) pointed me to this article regarding a problem Rome is having with its priests in Africa “moonlight as witch doctors” (to use CNN’s language), or, more specifically, engaging in prayers to ancestors and in general developing a syncretism between Roman Catholicism and native tribal and regional religions. While one’s first thought was, “Goodness, if a minister in our church were found to be engaging in such idolatry, they would not be ‘exhorted’ to cease, they would be removed forthwith,” another thought followed quickly. Given Rome’s violation of biblical teaching regarding prayers to saints and angels, and in particular, given Rome’s exaltation of the humble handmaid of the Lord to the Queen of Heaven, isn’t this rather understandable? I mean, put yourself in the sandals of the person attending the Roman Church in the bush of Africa somewhere. All you’ve known has been tribal religion, but you also hear about this religion called Catholicism. And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary (could you differentiate between her and one of your tribal deities? Could you? You really think pleading the meaning of ‘hyperdulia’ is going to work here?) and to spirits like Michael and they are lighting candles and bowing and praying toward a box with something the priest consecrated and put in their and toward images and statues—just what should we expect folks are going to think? And put yourself in the position of the priest in that rural location. Is he going to really be in a position to attempt to engage in the kind of double-speak Rome’s apologists have to use to get around the Bible’s prohibition against the very kind of spiritism that is part and parcel of the surrounding culture? Can you imagine Patrick Madrid doing in that context what he did a few years ago on Long Island, where he seriously looked at the audience and explained that what the Bible said about images was just due to those particular people in that particular context having a “problem with idolatry” that doesn’t exist today? Sorry, that kind of thing may work in urban New York but it goes over like a lead balloon out there in the real world. And really—it didn’t go over in New York, either.
   So outside of Rome saying, “Don’t use those ancestral idols! Use ours instead!” what grounds does she really have to fight off this kind of syncretism? Look at Mexico. Look at Brazil. Rome’s theology has always created this kind of “mixed” religious experience. There is a reason. When you abandon God’s standards, something will rush into the vacuum of truth that inevitably results.

©2022 Alpha and Omega Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?