Anathemas - The True and The False

Dan Corner

God's Anathemas (Let Him Be Accursed) Are Binding

Have you ever heard of an anathema? It refers to a person who is considered eternally condemned or cursed of God. The KJV uses the words let him be accursed in Gal.1:8 and 1:9. In other words, one is doomed to eternal condemnation in hell if he is truly anathematized by God. That is the anathema definition.

The Greek word anathema is used 5 times in the Bible and Paul was the only writer to use it. Those are the only anathemas which are binding for us today - the only ones which are true. They are found in Romans 9:3; 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Cor.16:22; Gal. 1:8 and Gal. 1:9.

Everyone Should Know About The Demonic Counterfeit Anathemas

The Five Binding Anathemas From God

The first anathema is cited and shows Paul's desire for the Israelites to be saved in exchange for himself being eternally condemned or cursed:
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race (Rom 9:3).
A different anathema states that no one can say Jesus be cursed under the control of the Holy Spirit:
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3)
The third time anathema is used in Scripture is at 1 Cor. 16:22, where we read:

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJB)
Then we have the last two times that word (anathema) is found. Paul wrote regarding the seriousness of preaching a false gospel in Gal. 1:8,9 where he used that word anathema twice. He said this:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Those are the five anathemas found in the Bible and the only ones relevant for us today. They include not loving the Lord Jesus and the lethal error of preaching a false gospel. With that in mind, to love the Lord Jesus means you will obey him (John 14:15, 23,24). To know what a false gospel is, one must first know the real. The real gospel includes a conditional security for the believer:
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:2)
IF you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:23)
Hence, to declare something to the contrary is dangerous to both the preacher and listener!

The Five TRUE Anathemas Mentioned in Scripture Summarized

Counterfeit Roman Catholic Anathemas From The Council of Trent

As is often the case, there seems to always be counterfeits. Such is true here with anathemas as well.
When it comes to counterfeit anathemas, no group will ever surpass the Roman Catholic church. The Roman Catholic church has pronounced hundreds of anathemas on those who would disagree with them. Though Roman Catholics of our day would vehemently deny that one must be a Catholic to have salvation, the large number of anathema pronouncements against all who would doctrinally disagree with them presents a solid case for the opposite!

Be assured that the Roman Catholic Church was anathematizing people long before the Council of Trent. Shockingly, the Catholic church even anathemitized one of their own popes -- Pope Honorius I. Pope Honorius I was declared a heretic and anathemized at the Third Council of Constantinople (680 to 681). That should jar Catholics to their senses, but too many will ignore the obvious about Catholic authority and continue on in their religious fantasyland.

Specific Council of Trent Anathemas

Below are a few specific examples of counterfeit anathemas from the Roman Catholic church Council of Trent, which took place from 1545 to 1564.

Catholic Baptism and Its Anathema

Regarding sprinkling infants, for what they call baptism, the Catholic church stated the following:
If anyone says that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism, let him be anathema. (Session Seven, canon 3 under baptism).
In other words, the Roman Catholic church pronounces a curse of damnation to hell on all who correctly reject, based on the Bible, the idea that an infant is born again when sprinkled during their baptism! They also teach that at infant baptism one get forgiven and becomes a child of God. BTW, the Apostle's Creed as cited at the Council of Trent is longer than the one typically known and it ends with: I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen [pp. 15,16]. In contrast, God's word teaches one is forgiven before and without water baptism.

Vatican Council II and The Official Teachings of Roman Catholicism

Catholic Communion (The Eucharist)

Here is another example. This one is given regarding what they call the Holy Eucharist. Bible believers call that communion. They said this:
If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema (Session Thirteen, chapter 8, canon 1).
In other words, the Catholic church has placed an anathema upon billions of people who reject their doctrine that the consecrated communion wafer is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine and should be worshiped like God Himself. This particular false doctrine related to transubstantiation has led many into idolatry. Clearly, if one worships a communion wafer he has committed idolatry. Yet the Catholic church would call this true worship. Imagine that!

Bowing Before and Kissing Catholic Statues

Two final examples of other counterfeit anathemas are related to what the Roman Catholic church wrote about their own (1) practice of kissing and bowing before images and (2) the sacrifice of the mass. Respectively we read:
Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints are to be placed and retained especially in the churches, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them... but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which they represent, so that by means of the images which we kiss and before which we uncover the head and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ and venerate the saints whose likeness they bear .... great profit is derived from all holy images, not only because the people are thereby reminded of the benefits and gifts bestowed on them by Christ, but also because through the saints the miracles of God and salutary examples are set before the eyes of the faithful, so that they may give God thanks for those things, may fashion their own and conduct in imitation of the saints and be moved to adore and love God and cultivate piety. But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema. (H. J. Schroeder, O. P., The Canons And Decrees Of The Council Of Trent, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1978, p. 215,216)

Catholic Bible Which Includes The Apocrypha

After listing the various books in the Catholic bible, which includes the Apocrypha, the Council of Trent stated this anathema:
If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema. (p. 18)

Catholic Mass

The Catholic Mass is supposed to be an unbloody sacrifice for sins, which it surely isn't. However, Catholicism places this anathema on all who go strictly by the bible. Here is their their teaching:
If anyone says that the sacrifice of the mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be anathema. (Session 22; chapter 9, canon 3).
On the other hand, God's truth says this:
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb 10:10)

Questions For Catholics

Catholicism Anathematizes Christians For Being Correct

So again the Roman Catholic church condemns to hell billions who correctly reject their doctrines associated with the repeated unbloody sacrifice for sins, purgatory, etc. If you are thinking those Catholic anathemas came 450 years ago and have no place today, remember this: The latest Roman Catholic church council, Vatican Council II, reaffirmed the Council of Trent. By reaffirming Trent they also reaffirmed well over 100 Anathemas placed on all non-Catholics, including the ones just cited! As I stated earlier, there are true anathemas and there are false ones. The only anathemas that are from God (the ones you need to be concerned about) are the ones cited in the Bible. They alone are relevant. All other anathemas are erroneous and therefore nothing but empty words. Related to all of this is the Unam Sanctam ex cathedra papal decree which states one must be in subjection to the Roman Pontiff to have salvation! Don't fear any Catholic anathema.

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