Nonetheless, despite the grandeur, complexity and stunning beauty of this act of God, it still can benefit us very much to contemplate the parallels, and to draw meaning out from them. The most obvious kind of distillation is the direct comparison of paralleled events between the history of the Church and the history of Israel in the Old Testament. (There are more complex kinds of parallels, such as the development of Catholic Doctrine throughout history, as paralleled by the Old Testament…. or the parallels between the nature, places and messages of the Old Testament prophets AS A PARALLEL to the various Apparitions of Our Lady and prophecies of Saints throughout the history of the Catholic Church.) But just looking at the primary and most basic parallels, we can gain a greater depth of understanding both of our own Catholic history, and the history of the Old Testament.
For instance, as Catholics in a very modern world, we have inadvertently assumed and assimilated the perspectives of this secular world, to one degree or another. Granted, many of us have resisted this secular perspective with great vigor, and it is very possible that Our Lord will commend us for our efforts, God willing. Others of us, perhaps, know that we have taken in too much of the world around us, and we are actively fighting against this secular perspective, both in the world around us and inside ourselves (often, the battle rages inside our own hearts). Because we are submersed in a toxic secular world, even though we make very great and heroic efforts to see things through the eyes of God, we still might pick up secular and non-Catholic perspectives anyway. It’s hard for a rock not to get wet, when it’s submersed in water!
However, as always and as usual, this pagan world of ours has been out maneuvered, out thought and out played by Almighty God! This modern world of ours was completely foreseen by God…. in fact, it is written into the pages of the Old Testament! The sophisticated, nuanced, progressive world…. this world that is full of itself, which thinks that it is so unique and special…. this same world is paralleled (in chronological order) by events in the Old Testament. It is paralleled first by the Greek Hellenization of the whole ancient world, and then afterwards, by the similar Romanization following the fall of the Greek Empire (we are currently in the Roman period). Thus, we don’t have to be impressed, not even in the slightest, by this modern world. It has done NOTHING good on its own, and in a sense, was predestined by Almighty God (without touching anyone’s freewill). We were, are and will always be dust. The question is, ‘Will we be dust that glorifies God, or will we be dust that glorifies ourselves?’
Look Through the Right Lens
Considering the pedagogical power of the chronological parallels between the Old Testament and Church history, we can really get to know ourselves and our Catholic history (in a deeper way, perhaps) when we learn about the parallels in the Old Testament. This is so, because the events in the Old Testament are seen through God’s perspective, which is the proper lens and perspective. The lens and perspective is often given by the Old Testament author, and there is no confusion about the evil or good of certain events, people and places. Thus, by seeing the paralleled Old Testament event, it gives us a much more secure foundation from which to interpret the events in Catholic history, or even, perhaps in our own times.
As a way of applying this principle… this interpretive power of Old Testament parallels…., let us now turn our attention to the Protestant Revolt led by Martin Luther. It is fitting, perhaps, that we focus on this topic since this month will mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s revolt. As the Vatican is getting ready to celebrate this anniversary along with Protestants of different stripes and types, it is fitting to contemplate on the absolute horror and destruction that Martin Luther unleashed into the world. Millions and millions of souls have most likely descended into the eternal flames of Hell because of the heresies that were multiplied and amplified by Luther and his successors.
The 10 Northern Tribes Break Away
Northern Protestant Countries Break Away
But, is this the perspective we have of the Protestant Revolt? Do we understand, even somewhat, the demonic mass destruction of human souls that came from Luther and the Protestant Revolt? If not, then let’s look to the Old Testament to gain some perspective!
The Protestant Revolt in the Old Testament
So, before we dive into the Old Testament parallel, I would like to re-establish the veracity of these parallels again. I apologize to the readers who are already convinced of the chronological parallels. Perhaps I worry too much, but until you are convinced that the Old Testament parallels the history of the Church in a sequential, detailed manner, right up to our present day, then my words will seem like speculation. They will seem flimsy, non-conclusive and abstract. HOWEVER, when you become convinced that God caused this to happen, that it is concrete, objective and complete, then a rock hard foundation is set from which implications grow. These budding implications soon grow into the branches of contemplative thoughts, which soon bear the leaves and fruit of conclusions. So, in an effort to convince the skeptic, below is a very, very basic and broad comparison of the two timelines. If the below image does not convince you, then please just spend 9 minutes watching this short video. See this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HQIy8jq1Zg
Thus, you can see from the image above (or from the more detailed 9 minute video) that the time of the Protestant Revolt coincides with the book of 3 Kings, and the story of Jeroboam and the 10 rebellious tribes of Israel. So, for many of us (if you are like I was only 2 short years ago) we will need to have our minds refreshed to exactly who Jeroboam was, and what he did!
Near the end of the reign of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was growing in discontent. Although King Solomon’s reign was marked by magnificent architecture, wealth and power of the Israelite Nation, the people were starting to come down from their high feelings and were feeling dis-enfranchised. The taxes that were levied on the people by King Solomon were too burdensome, and the King Solomon’s corruption was on full display to his subjects. Solomon had acquired 700 wives, and they were leading him to worship pagan gods.
Upon the death of King Solomon, Jeroboam approached the new Israelite King, Rehoboam. Jeroboam requested that the king lower the taxes upon the people, and that they would then follow and serve him. King Rehoboam refused to lessen the taxes, and Jeroboam instantly led the 10 northern tribes of Israel in revolt against the King of Israel. We don’t want to get into the details in this post, because they are available through our material. However, we do want to draw out implications, which are not explicitly stated in our material. Check out our video and our web page for all the details:
Martin Luther – Full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSrzaXGTfjg
Martin Luther – Summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQFTX5hsYWs
Protestant Revolt – Full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VJocWRF0uA
Protestant Revolt – Summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU0ZZy3J2Ek
Web page: https://www.maccabeanuprising.com/green-revolt/
Ok, let’s get into the implications!
Not a Reformation!
I don’t know about you, but I have always felt pressure coming from inside myself (and, to be sure, from Protestants also) to call it “The Reformation”. As the saying goes, he who frames the argument will win the argument. Thus, getting the concept right from the beginning is very important! “The Reformation” connotes a necessary reorganization and adjustment of Christianity. This is why Protestants choose this title for Luther’s movement. Calling it “The Protestant Revolution”, however, has an entirely different connotation. A revolution is an overturning of the old, established order. A revolution is a reactionary event, usually characterized by violence and angst. So, which is the correct term?
The Old Testament gives us great insight! There is no doubt whatsoever that Jeroboam led a rebellion and a revolution! The Scriptures tell us that God allowed Jeroboam to break apart the 12 Tribes, because of the sins of Israel, and especially the sins of the King. But, as the story progresses, the actions of Jeroboam in changing the religion of God’s people was directly repugnant to God. There is no doubt that Jeroboam was revolting against God’s established order and His Covenant. Thus, when we become aware and immerse ourselves in the parallels between Martin Luther and Jeroboam, it becomes much easier to see how the Protestants are in revolt against God and God’s Church.
They are Not My People, I am Not Their God
Of course, it is extremely harsh to say that a group of people are not God’s people, especially a group that talks about Jesus and the Bible as much as Protestants do.
“for I will not add any more to have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will utterly forget them. And I will have mercy on the house of Juda, and I will save them by the Lord their God” Hosea 1: 6-7
The 10 Tribes that rebelled called themselves ‘Israel’, and the southern tribes that stayed loyal to the Covenant called themselves the ‘Jews’. Thus, the above passage indicates that God will abandon the 10 northern tribes led by Jeroboam, but the southern tribes, who stayed loyal to the religion given by God, will not be abandoned by God. The direct parallel is that of Protestants and Catholics. One group abandoned the Holy Religion, and the other group (even though they are sinful) did not abandon God’s Holy Religion.
This analysis of the Protestant religion(s) and their adherents therefor is completely in line with Catholic Teaching concerning salvation through other non-Catholic religions. The Catholic doctrine “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” (Outside the Church, there is NO salvation) clearly states that those who adhere to Protestantism are on the clear and unmistakable road to perdition. This is clear in the Old Testament by the consequences that the 10 northern tribes suffered. Ultimately, they were scattered and lost their identity completely. Those who weren’t scattered morphed into the Samaritans, who were a group of semi-Israelite peoples who had their ancestry mixed by the Assyrians. Their religion, also, was an amalgamation of Israelite beliefs and pagan beliefs, morphed together.
A Tragic Ending
It is evident from the text that the 10 tribes met with misfortune. As a group, they did not repent of their rebellion, and were led into captivity by the Assyrians. This captivity, unlike the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, did not have a happy ending. The 10 northern tribes were scattered to the 4 corners of the ancient world, never to be heard from again. They lost their native language, customs, beliefs and their very identity. What a horribly tragic way for God’s chosen people to end up! Even if they wanted to, they could not find their way back home, because they didn’t even know who they were!
How much this is like the Protestants in the world today. Some groups of Protestants have kept their beliefs and traditions from transforming too much since the days of Luther. However, these groups are few. Most groups have wandered to the 4 corners of the theological world, and they have lost all there heritage as Catholics. Even if they wanted to retrace their ‘theological steps’, the Protestants sincerely have no idea that they once were Catholics! They honestly don’t know where they came from. Their beliefs are so mixed up with the worldly wisdom from age to age, that to untangle their theology would be like trying to get an egg back in the shell, and to put the shell back together. In other words, it cannot be undone. As a group, they are lost, just like the 10 northern tribes. Only individuals can make it back to their theological home, if they are willing to traverse far and wide.
Can You Think of Any?
There are so many other implications that can be drawn from the parallels between the 10 northern tribes and the Protestant religions. This post doesn’t even scratch the surface. This is only meant to be a teaser, and to get you thinking. Pull out your Bible and read about the 10 tribes and Jeroboam. Learned what happened next. Google it for yourself. What parallels do you see, and what implications stick out?
If this post is interesting, and has caught your attention, then please keep in mind that this topic is only one of many, many other topics. We can examine the parallels between Nebuchadnezzar and Napoleon, Constantine and Moses, Cyrus the Great and Mussolini and so many, many more. You might begin to understand just how potent are these parallels between the Church’s history and the Old Testament! I promise you that this phenomena is like a ‘universe in a bottle’. You can walk right by the bottle and not think too much about it. But, if you stop to look inside the bottle, and pay closer and closer attention, then wonders beyond your imagination will unfold before you. Soon, your whole horizon will be the space of that bottle, but paradoxically, your horizon will be expanded by God in ways you might never have imagined.
Broad are the horizons, indeed. You are only constrained by Truth, by the teachings of the Catholic Church.