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For example, two-thirds of Mormons say they oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, and seven-in-ten say they think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the U. Religious Landscape Study. The median age of U. Mormons is 43, while the median age of the general population is As a religious group, they also are much less racially and ethnically diverse than the U. Mormons identifying as non-Hispanic white. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

The Roman Catholic church unofficially came into being in A. Although Christianity was not made the official religion of the Roman Empire until the edicts of Theodosius I in and A. However, the family of Constantine did not give up the last vestige of his priesthood until after the disintegration of the Roman Empire — that being the title the emperors bore as heads of the pagan priesthood — Pontifex Maximus — a title which the popes would inherit.

The popes also inherited Constantine's titles as the self-appointed civil head of the church — Summus Pontifex Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Bishops.

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Prior to the time of Constantine's "conversion," Christians were persecuted not so much for their profession of faith in Christ, but because they would not include pagan deities in their faith as well. Then, with Constantine's emphasis on making his new-found Christianity palatable to the heathen in the Empire, the "Christianization" of these pagan deities was facilitated.

For example, pagan rituals and idols gradually took on Christian meanings and names and were incorporated into "Christian" worship e. A transition had occurred — instead of being persecuted for failure to worship pagan deities, Christians who did not agree with the particular orthodoxy backed by the Emperor were now persecuted in the name of Christ! This is the sad origin of the Roman Catholic Church as it compromised from the very beginning with paganism and in doing so became a cult serving the creature Mary more than the creator Jesus.

When Rome went from being pagan to Christian under Constantine, they had to find a replacement for the great mother of paganism. It was not until the time of Constantine that anyone began to look at Mary as a goddess. Since Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ, she was the most logical person to replace the pagan mother goddess. The pagans could continue their prayers and devotion to the mother goddess, only they would call her Mary.

The pagans worshipped the mother as much or more than her son and this is exactly what the Roman Catholicism does. True Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is to be worshipped — not his mother. The fact remains that Jesus never hinted at the idea of Mary worship nor did any of the apostles. Worshipping the mother goddess along with her child took place centuries before Jesus Christ was ever born in many different parts of the world. In A.

Mary worship became an official doctrine of the church in at the Council of Ephesus.

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Since the formation of the Roman Empire, the Roman emperors including Constantine held the office of Pontifex Maximus Supreme Priest and were worshipped by the pagans as gods. Emperor Gratian in A. From hereon, the bishop of Rome was to be the Supreme Priest to the pagans and the head of the Christian church; the streams of paganism and Christianity flowed together under the leadership of Pontifex Maximus, ultimately to be called the Pope. The question remains, how can a man at the same time be the Pontifex Maximus which was the head of the pagan mysteries and the head of the church?

Although the Roman Catholic church claims that Peter was the first Pope, it is strange that we never read any such claim by Peter.

The Empire's Religions

The fact that Jesus never instituted the office of Pope in his church during his earthly ministry plainly shows that the Pope is neither Bishop of bishops nor the successor of the apostle Peter. One issue that is very damaging to idea of a Pope is the fact that some of the popes were so depraved, even people who professed no religion at all were ashamed of them.

Looking into the history of the papacy, it is easy to see that not all popes were holy men. Accusations against them included but were not limited to blasphemy, simony the buying and selling of the papal office , perjury, murder, adultery, intercourse with virgins and nuns, incest, sodomy, bestiality, robbery, idolatry, magic, infidelity, and gross and unnatural immorality.

Historians, even Roman Catholic historians will even attest to the fact there have been many sinful popes. Therefore, if popes are supposed to be the "representatives of Christ" here on earth and they are living an immoral lifestyle, should their commands still be obeyed if they are living in sin? No, it would be hypocritical for them to make rulings and decrees, and yet this is exactly what has been done by the popes. Jesus never said, "do as I say, not as I do". On the contrary, Jesus Christ led a holy life and we should follow His example.

Here are a few examples:. Pope Sergius III obtained the papal office by murder. He lived openly with a woman who bore him several illegitimate children. His reign began a period known as "the rule of the harlots". Pope John XII was an immoral man and whose palace was likened to a brothel. The bishop of Cremona, Luitprand said, "No honest lady dared to show herself in public, for Pope John had no respect either for single girls, married women, or widows — they were sure to be defiled by him, even on the tombs of the holy apostles, Peter and Paul.

He was quoted saying, "to enjoy oneself and lie carnally with women or with boys is no more a sin than rubbing one's hands together. He must have had a strong and insatiable libido for he kept a harem of no less than two hundred girls.

Test Everything

He was called "the most depraved criminal who ever sat on the papal throne. Pope Pius II was said to have been the father of many illegitimate children. He spoke openly of the methods he used to seduce women and he encouraged young men to also seduce women and even offered to instruct them in methods of self-indulgence. Pope Sixtus IV financed his wars by selling church offices to the highest bidders. He used the papacy to enrich himself and his family, for no less than eight cardinals were his nephews, some being given the position of cardinal even as a boy.

Pope Alexander VI won the election of the papacy by bribery. He lived with a woman with whom he had a daughter; whom afterward he committed incest with and produced five children. He also lived in public incest with his two sisters. He conducted a sex orgy in the Vatican in which he had a banquet featuring fifty nude girls who danced and serviced the guests — and even offered prizes to the man who could engage in sexual intercourse the most times. Martin Luther himself also witnessed that Rome with its popes was anything but a holy city.

He was quoted as saying, "No one can imagine what sins and infamous actions are committed in Rome, they must be seen and heard to be believed. It is important to note that pagan popes can be traced back to Babylon but no Christian popes existed until Constantine in A. The popes were not the only ones that struggled with sexual misconduct; the clergy were just as guilty. When the doctrine of celibacy began to be taught, many clergy were married men. An edict was established in A.

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Although this edict was in effect, a large number of clergy openly took wives and fathered children. Some monasteries and nunneries were known in history to be so bad that they actually had a worse reputation than the brothels. The violations by priests were so bad at one point that even female animals were not allowed on monastery property!

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Priests were urged to be chaste, and if they failed, at least be careful. With this man-made tradition imposed upon them, it made an already difficult job of the confessional even more difficult. The confessional was where sins had to be confessed specifically and in detail so that the priest could render judgment and offer forgiveness of sins.

How a terrible worship song drove me from Christianity

It is not hard to see that the outcome of girls and women and even boys confessing their moral weaknesses and desires to unmarried priests could readily result in widespread abuse. The Roman Catholic church has been lately rocked by one scandal after another of sexual abuse by priests. The doctrine of a celibate priesthood that has done more damage than good since its inception. At the beginning of creation, God did not want Adam to be alone and created Eve for him. According to the Bible, it was God's design for a husband and wife to become one flesh and to cleave to each other, and yet the Roman Catholic church says otherwise.

They have another man-made doctrine condemning priests to celibacy, something which God never intended. Bishops i. Even the idea of confessing to a priest came from Babylon. It is from recorded Babylonian confessions that historians have been able to come up with conclusions about the Babylonian concepts of right and wrong. The priests of pagan Rome were called "fathers," but Jesus said to call no man "father.

Jesus spoke against flattering titles to his disciples, he wanted them to treat each other equally. Jesus meant for God the Father to receive all glory, not men. It is plain to see that the majority of the traditions of the Roman Catholic church are man-made and of pagan origins.

An intellectually honest search will show the pagan roots of the Roman Catholic church. The cardinals were the chief clergy in pagan Rome and the word in Latin means "hinge," hence they were pivotal serving as the priests of Janus who was the pagan god of doors and hinges. She grew up Catholic. Her father died when she was young. Kang says she used to go to church every Sunday with her mom and younger sister.

How a terrible worship song drove me from Christianity

And the lie went on for three or four years, she says. But Kang says her mother was becoming more and more consumed with her involvement with Shinchonji, and spending less and less time with either of her daughters. Eventually, Kang confronted her mom, and proposed the idea of family counseling. But the following day, she cancelled a planned meeting and said she would not be able to do the interview. When people first sign up for Bible study classes offered by Shinchonji, they are not told about the affiliation with the controversial religious group.

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  8. This Bible study center in downtown Seoul, for example, does not advertise itself as being part of Shinchonji. With a wide smile, Lee Mi-son welcomes me to a Bible study center in a small office building in downtown Seoul. Lee is the director of education here. In one of the classrooms, 40 or so students sit behind desks and answer rapid-fire questions about the scriptures from their teacher, who writes notes on the chalkboard up front. On the wall outside, there is a sign with the name of the study center. But it does not include the name Shinchonji. And that is typical. Some churches in South Korea, in fact, post signs that say something to the effect, "No Shinchonji. Lee, the director of the Bible study center I visited, says she has been a member of Shinchonji since And then, without being asked about it specifically, she says that some members of Shinchonji have had problems maintaining relationships with their families and keeping up with their careers.