Summary: Slowly, ever so slowly, the papacy emerges. Attitudes change. The church looks strangely different. When she lashes out at the Jews who were her first members, and her Savior, we know things have evolved the wrong way...
NINETEEN: THE SLOW EMERGENCE OF THE PAPACY
So, the location is to be Rome. The man is to be "Peter." Said Leo I, leader of the church in the middle of the 5th century:
"From the whole world, a single man, 'Peter', is chosen and appointed to rank before all Gentiles and all apostles, all Fathers of the church...it is expressly Peter who is to govern all whom Christ governs in the first place." (Gontard, p. 137)
Thus the headship of the new church is to be given to a man. How the church can ignore the plain teachings on the "body of Christ" given by the apostles, can only be explained in terms of Satan's slowly confusing, blinding ways.
Paul states it clearly in Ephesians 1:22...
"God put all things under Christ's feet and gave Christ to be head over all things to the Church, which is (Christ's) Body..."
Head in Heaven, body on earth. Head gives commands, through various workings of the Spirit, including shepherds (not lords), gifts, miracles. And the body responds.
The church which has a human, "visible" head is not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!
And using the picure of priesthood, God's is made up of high-priest Jesus and all His believers. Satan's, a poor mimic, but strong enough to deceive millions, has an earthly high priest, is located in a human capital, boasts temples and cathedrals, but is doomed for destruction.
TWENTY: BABYLON BAPTIZED
The place, Rome. The man, Peter. The worship, decidedly Babylonian. Even back in the 2nd century, Tertullian of Carthage had noted:
"How much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians." (Tertullian,De Idolatria, c.14,p.682)
Not so the "Christians." They begin to adapt quite nicely to their surroundings. Meeting pagans half way becomes the in thing. In fact, says Hislop:
"the paganism which Rome has baptized is in all its essential elements, the very paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon." (p.2)
As early as the Council of Nicaea the question of Mary, via certain Egyptian Christians, is being introduced. Her titles, her prerogatives, are suggested. But many of the questions remain unanswered at that early time, and yet today they are not totally dealt with. Babylonianism is in the church, unquestioned.
One of these Mary ideas is that, perhaps, the Holy Trinity ought to consist of the Father, the Messiah, and the Virgin Mary. How such blasphemy? There is a "logic" to it:
The Assyrian practice was to include the goddess of the air, or spirit, as a part of their trinity. This is carried over to the Christian world by considering Mary as that same object of reverence. The "air," the "spirit," the Spirit, Mary...all the same, you see. (Do you really?)
Please recall that I am here a reporter and do not believe this foolishness. Perhaps most Catholics do not either. But in the early church the question was asked. I am not certain that the possibility of such a doctrine was categorically denied.
No matter. The cult of Mary will survive on other, equally blasphemous, ideas. She will be called, like Semiaramis, the "queen of heaven "; she will be praised as the "house consecrated by God "; men will say she is the "awful dwelling place, the mansion of God, the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, the temple of the Trinity...in which men may safely come near to God become man, Mediatrix." Of the simple young lady named Mary they will say, "The Lord himself created her in the Holy Ghost and poured her out among all His works."