Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 28, 1955

God Upon Earth!

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

When two fishermen get together, and begin regaling each other with tales of the ones that got away, this writer is reminded of some of the titles usurped and/or taken by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. The similarity is that of seemingly trying to 'out-do' the other.

For example, one preacher or priest may wear the title 'Reverend' . . . . which by the way, was applied exclusively to God in the Bible. But the next priest may go by the appellation 'Right Reverend' .... and the third claims the title, 'Very Right Reverend.' Then, not to be out-done, a fourth' priest comes along and is termed 'Most Reverend.'

The Catholic Church also awards another title to those priests who have accomplished some work which the church considers to be outstanding. These may be called 'Monsignor,' which literally means 'My Lord.'

The Most Singular Title

In the race between the Greek Catholic (Greek Orthodox) Church and the Roman segment of what was once the 'Greek Catholic' Church, much of their differences resulted from taking unto themselves more elaborate titles. The bishop (Patriarch) of Constantinople was the first to claim the title of 'Universal (Ecumenical) Bishop' . . . . or bishop over all the congregations of the entire world. This claim by the Eastern bishop so angered the bishop of Rome (who had been beaten to the punch) that Gregory 'the Great,' the Roman bishop, termed such a presumptuous title, and its wearer as being in some manner, the fore-runner of the Antichrist. It was only a few years, however until the bishop of Rome wrested the title from the Eastern Patriarch, and from 606 A.D., until this day, the bishop of Rome CLAIMS to be the world-wide bishop.

In an old volume published at Naples, Italy, in the year 1620 A.D., the following dedication was made to Pope Paul V.: "Paulo V. — Vice Deo, Christianae Reip. Monarchae, invictissima Pontificiae Omnipotentiae Conservatori acerrimo," which literally translated, runs thus, "TO PAUL V., VICE GOD, THE INVINCIBLE MONARCH OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, AND THE MOST ZEALOUS DEFENDER OF THE PONTIFICAL OMNIPOTENCE." This doesn't sound much like Peter who said .... "Stand up; I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:26.) This utterance was occasioned when Cornelius fell down before Peter in order to worship him. Even if the Catholics were right in CLAIMING Peter to have been the first pope (only he wasn't), they'd have to change many of the rituals and writings in order for their teaching and practice to harmonize with Peter's attitude toward being worshipped, in the place of God!

In another work, dedicated to Pope Paul III, and printed at Bologna in the year 1540 A.D., we have an even more extraordinary expression of extravagance, which reads like this: "Paulo tertio, Max. in terris. Deo," which would imply the words, "TO PAUL III, GOD UPON EARTH." If this is not blasphemy, what is?

The foregoing information relative to the dedications to the Popes in the two books, was more recently published in Littell's Living Age, No. 87, 10 January, 1846.