The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
Wherever Roman Catholics are found, you will find the practice of rank idolatry. The worship of Mary is one part of this unscriptural practice.
The daily newspaper of Lubbock, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (LAJ), on 4-18-97, printed a large front page article about an image of the Virgin Mary found on a tree. Two large pictures were published of a tree trunk, found in the yard of a devout Catholic family.
A part of the bark of the tree fell off, leaving a bare spot on the tree. The lighter wood of the tree shows a silhouette, outlined by the bark. If you have a vivid imagination, you can see a very rough outline of what might be a person.
I doubt if any art teacher would accept it as a drawing or outline of a person. However, that does not keep a devout Catholic from seeing it as an image of the Virgin Mary.
The four column headline is followed by a two column headline below the picture. They read as follows:
"A Sign From God" "Virgin Mary image stirs talk of miracle"
Below the picture was printed, "Porfirio Cristan prays in front of an image of the Virgin Mary as other visitors wait in line to see an image inside the Littlefield home of Hector and Rosa Ornelas."
We quote from the article:
"With tears in his eyes and a catch in his voice, Porfirio Cristan stood before a tree bearing an image in the shape of the Virgin Mary.
"His hands outstretched, a black gimme cap at his feet, he prayed in the back yard of Littlefield residents Hector and Rosa Ornelas.
"It's a miracle right here, the longtime Littlefield resident said after he walked away from the tree, his voice choked with emotion, I love my God.
"Fallen bark exposed the wood of a tree at 173 N. First St., leaving a white silhouette resembling the Virgin Mary. Flowers outlined the image, which was visible to passing cars Thursday afternoon as believers placed candles at the foot of the tree."
Our readers will be spared, for I am not going to reprint the rest of the article. Not only did the LAJ give publicity to this idolatry, but the local TV stations reported on it as well.
Does The Catholic Church Approve?
We have had no official word from the Roman Catholic Church on this so-called miracle. Their attitude in the past has been caution in such matters. They are slow to authenticate new miracles; however, they do not discourage it either.
If the Roman Catholic Church was really against such superstitious idolatry, the priests would call a news conference and repudiate this practice. Priests would go to their pulpits and denounce the superstition and idolatry. Of course they will never do this! Why? As long as the people retain their superstition and idolatry, they are the willing pawns of a corrupt Church.
If you doubt that the Roman Catholic Church teaches Mary worship, then read the following statement of the Pope. Mary has a role in salvation. Pope John Paul stated to his general audience (12-18): "Mary intensely and mysteriously unites her life with Christ's sorrowful mission: She was to become her Son's faithful co-worker for the salvation of the human race." --Calvary Contender
Image Worship A Sin!!
The Bible condemns idol worship in many places. Exodus 20:3-5, Thou shalt have no other gods be fore me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
God forbids man to make any image of anything that is in heaven or that is the earth. He forbids bowing down before an image of any kind. Surely God would not make an image himself. So if this is an image of Mary, then the devil or man must have made it.
Isaiah 44:17,19, And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
Here is a description of people making a god out of the same material that they burn to cook with. They fall down before the stock of a tree.
Psa. 135:15-18, The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
Catholics Need To Be Saved
It is certain that Roman Catholics are one of the greatest fields for evangelism. They are a mission field, but many Baptists and Protestants are pretending that Catholics are saved. Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson and many Southern Baptists have agreed not to evangelize or proselyte Catholics.
This is an act of cruelty, which will consign them to hell, unless someone else takes the gospel to them. To leave them in their superstition and idolatry is a terrible sin! Many of the above compromisers are not preaching the gospel to anyone. They are preaching religion, but not the saving gospel.