Et Tu Brute?*
It's an "Inside" Job...

In the almost 2000 year history of the Catholic Church, genuine historical records show that in every century, it has been under non-stop brutal attack from all directions by dissidents, heretics, and apostates who wish to destroy her.
These persecutions were foretold by Jesus Christ Himself, in Matthew 5:11-12, Luke 6:26, and in many other verses. These attacks were from the very beginning, and started within the inner circle of the chosen Apostles, by the traitor named Judas.
Then came the attacks from the Jews.
Look what happened to them instead!
Jerusalem and the Jewish temple were destroyed, a million or so Jews were slain, as the records show, and every Jewish priest was slain by the Romans in 70 A.D..
Judaism was almost completely destroyed.
Why did the Jews fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

Then came the Romans who burned Christians at the stake and fed them to the lions. Roman Emperors such as Nero and Diocletian, backed by the most powerful army the world had ever seen, did everything they could to destroy the Catholic Church, and yet they failed. Why did they fail? Instead, they in turn and their evil empire with them, were destroyed in 476 A.D..
Their pagan society, their country Italy, and with it Rome, the capitol of the world, were converted to Catholic Christianity instead.
Why did the Romans fail to destroy the Catholic Church? Did the Church have a larger, more powerful army with more weapons, or was there yet an infinitely much more important reason**?

Scores of various heretical and apostate beliefs also sprang up. Just to name a few, there were Nestorians, Arians, Vandals, Moslems, Waldenses, Albigensians, Catharists, Protestantism, the French Revolution, Modernism, New Age, Nazism, Communism, Dissidents, and now Secular Humanism, Fundamentalism, Relativism, Indifferentism, and Hedonism. There are many more heretical and apostate groups and beliefs of every kind that you can imagine, which are not listed here.
Interestingly, the most damaging heretical , apostate, and schismatic attacks came from within the Catholic Church itself, and they have appeared to run roughly on a 500 year cycle.
Why did these hundreds of heretical groups over the centuries fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

Some non-Catholics teach that the Church which Jesus Christ founded apostatized soon after the last Apostle died. However they can offer no date of this so-called "Great Apostasy", nor can they provide any documented "proof" of what they falsely charge. Did in fact, the church which Jesus Christ founded apostatize? Could it ever?
I wish someone who makes this false charge would show me the verse which says the whole Church which Jesus Christ founded did or would apostatize? If in your opinion you think it did, then you have just called Jesus Christ a liar (1John 5:10), for He promised to be with His Church every day in every century until the end of time, and with no 1500 year gaps, not even one single day.
He said this in Matthew 28:20. He promised His Holy Spirit would be with His Church forever in John 14:16, and John 16:12-13. We have the promise of Ephesians 3:21 also.
If you really believe what Holy Scripture says, then you must realize that it is impossible that the Church, which Jesus Christ founded, could apostatize. It is simply because GOD said it could not, because He Himself is guiding it and defending it.
However, people within His Church certainly could, and have apostatized. Down through every century since the very beginning there were many great apostasies and heresies, and a few schisms.
All of the verses which mention apostasy, have relation to individual apostates and not to the Church as a whole. Here are just a few examples, Matthew 13:21,24:24, Luke 22:31, John 6:66,
Galatians 1:6-10, 2Thesalonians 2:3, 1Timothy 1:19-20,4:1, 2Timothy 1:15,4:1-4, Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 6:4-8,10:26-29, 2Peter 2:20-21, 3:17, 1John 2:19, Jude 1:5. There is not one verse that refers to the whole Church, which Jesus Christ founded, as having gone into apostasy.

1. Arius, a Catholic Bishop, started the most dangerous heresy of all time by proclaiming that Jesus Christ was a human person, and not a divine person. The Church was split down the middle with many Bishops taking the position of Arius.
Why did "insider" Arius fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

2. The next great "drubbing" was when the Catholic Patriarch of Constantinople refused to accept the primacy of the successor to Saint Peter, the Pope, and a schism resulted with the Eastern Churches splitting from the Catholic Church. Those became a loose consortium of Churches called the Orthodox Churches. Some of these today are in communion with the Western Pope, while a few others, like Protestantism, have no all encompassing centralized authority.
Why did the "insider" schism fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

3. 500 or so years later a Catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church and became the first Protestant by forming the Lutherans. Within that same year, 1521, another Catholic priest, Thomas Munzer broke from the Catholic Church and formed the Anabaptists. Less than 20 years later a very staunch Catholic and anti-Protestant, King Henry VIII of England, who had been given the title of "Defender of the Church" because of his stand against Luther, broke from the Catholic Church and formed the Anglicans.
He was angered at the Pope for not giving him an annulment so he could marry yet another woman.
Why did "insider" Protestantism fail to destroy the Catholic Church? Protestantism instead, is becoming more and more impotent, and is destroying itself as did the Roman Empire. It is imploding, while at the same time the Catholic Church continues to grow at a rapid rate.
Why did the "insider" Catholics who started Protestantism fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

4. Now another almost 500 years has passed since the so-called reformation, and the Catholic Church has yet another "drubbing" from within, precipitated by alleged charges of pedophile priests.
Did not Jesus Christ say, "...and a man's enemies shall be they of his own household."
Matthew 10:36

From this, the Church can reasonably expect another possible "sawtooth" with this latest attack, followed by another and greater growth as never experienced before. People fail to realize that the Catholic Church has two sides to it, the divine side which has no spot nor wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), and the human side, which, tainted by the sin of Adam, as is all of mankind, is the reason why we have a Church given to us by GOD in the first place.
Why will this "insider" attack fail to destroy the Catholic Church?

The Church was founded by Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners of which we all are.
The Catholic Church has always been a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for saints (Mark 2:17).

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
1John 1:10
I would say that verse applies to every person on earth wouldn't you? Here is a companion verse:
Didn't Jesus say, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone...?"
John 8:7
Now, if 1John 1:10 applies to everybody on earth, then John 8:7 should apply to nobody on earth.
For that to be true, then I ask you, why then are so many stones being cast at the Catholic Church, and just who is he who is so vain as to think he is qualified to throw them?

Why will insiders fail to destroy the Catholic Church?
As history clearly shows, "insider" attacks have proven to be a complete and total disaster for each and every one of those who incite them.

Interestingly, Napoleon Bonaparte, a staunch and powerful enemy of the Catholic Church, had sworn to destroy it once and for all. A captured Catholic Bishop knowing Napoleon's goal, told him, "What makes you think you can destroy the Catholic Church, for we who are within the Church itself, have failed to do so?"
I am sure the good Bishop must have said this with tongue in cheek.
Where is Napoleon Bonaparte today? What happened to his empire? Where is the Catholic Church?

Adolf Hitler, who might have won World War II with his powerful war machine, also vowed to destroy the Catholic Church. He did have thousands of Catholic priests and nuns put to death. Where is Adolf Hitler today? What happened to his empire? Where is the Catholic Church today?

Then there is Joseph Stalin, an avowed atheist, and yet another hater of the Catholic Church. He too said he would destroy the Catholic Church and he too failed. Where is he today? Where is his communistic atheistic empire? Where is the Catholic Church today?

History of the Catholic Church for the past almost 2000 years since its founding by Jesus Christ:

The horizontal line represents historical time. The toothed pattern represents the growth of the Catholic Church over this time period with a "sawtooth" drop roughly every 500 years. Notice that after each of these "bites" were taken out of the Church by "insiders" the growth of the Church, after a short period of time, was even greater than ever before. Today the Catholic Church has 1.1 billion members, despite all of the centuries of non-stop attacks from within and from without.
How would you account for this***?
Roughly every 500 years since its founding by Jesus Christ in 30 A.D., the Catholic Church has experienced a severe "drubbing" by heretics, apostates, or schismatics from within its ranks. Afterwards it has always shown a growth pattern which was larger, faster, and stronger than ever.
Why did all of these "Et tu Brute* insiders" fail to destroy the Catholic Church?
After all, any man-made secular institution no doubt would have succumbed centuries ago from any single one of these vicious attacks.

The answer to all of the "whys" and "hows", for which I have asked in this document, is in
Holy Scripture:
"So now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone. For if this plan or work, is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it. Else perhaps you may find yourselves fighting even against GOD.."
Acts 5:38-39

It is too bad that those who continue to attack the Catholic Church have deliberately ignored the historical evidence of the failures of others like them before them, and the clear connection to these two verses.
And of course they never could see themselves as being participants in the last sentence of Acts 5:39.

The reason for that is found in other verses in Holy Scripture:
"The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
2Thessalonians 2:9-12

Could it be that every 500 years or so, we have witnessed GOD at work, busily cleaning the human side of His Church, pulling out the weeds, blowing away the chaff, and pruning fruitless branches?
Have you ever heard of winnowing? It is an ancient and simple process by which the wheat (good) is separated from the chaff (undesirable) by means of the wind.
A dictionary says regarding 'winnow', "To separate the wheat from the chaff by means of the wind. To get rid of undesirable components. To blow chaff off and away".
The cut wheat with the chaff together, are tossed to the wind which blows away the lighter chaff, and allows the heavier wheat to fall to the ground, thus separating the good from the bad. Note that the goodness of the wheat, harder to see when commingled with the chaff, is now pure and stands out.
In like manner, GOD allows a "wind" to blow through His Church every now and then in order to separate the faithful from the unfaithful, the good fruit from the rotten fruit, the good fish from the bad fish, and the wheat from the chaff. The goodness of the faithful, now is much more apparent.
In the Old Testament the temple was cleansed of undesirables, 2Chron 29:16, as was the temple in the New Testament twice, and by Jesus Christ Himself, (2nd time) Matthew 21:12-13,
Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-48, (1st time) John 2:14-16.

"Let no one think that virtuous men and good Christians ever leave the bosom of the Church; it is not the wheat that the wind lifts, but the chaff; trees deeply rooted are not blown down by the breeze, but those which have no roots. It is rotten fruits that fall off the trees, not sound ones; bad Catholics become heretics, as sickness is engendered by bad humors. At first, faith languishes in them, because of their vices; then it becomes sick; next it dies; because, since sin is essentially a blindness of spirit, the more a man sins, the more he is blinded; his faith grows weaker and weaker; the light of this divine torch decreases, and soon the least wind of temptation or doubt suffices to extinguish it."
Saint Cyprian , Bishop of Carthage (martyred 258 A.D.)
Treatise 1,9 On the Unity of the Church

* The words said by Julius Caesar as he was stabbed by his "insider friend" Brutus.
This is from "Julius Caesar", written by William Shakespeare.
** Ephesians 5:23, Jesus Christ Himself is Savior of His body, the Church which He founded.
*** Matthew 16:18, the gates of hell will not prevail.

Written by Bob Stanley, April 30, 2002
Updated December 21, 2006

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