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Hey, remember when we said that syncretism is the evil crouching behind the glossy veneer called pluralism?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness. (Isaiah 5:20)

Woe unto them that use their position as the most powerful religious figure in the (current) world to justify and make holy a pagan goddess with a known history of child sacrifice.

Then again, this is coming from the same “Holy Father” who, in 2018—when members of the Vatican hierarchy were confronted with numerous allegations of concealing child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church—backwardly identified Satan as the one who “uncover[ed] the sin” of the accused leaders. It should be more of a shock to all of us that he didn’t use his platform to defend the kids whose innocence was defiled. But even the Vatican’s own news website quotes from that public statement, when Pope Francis said, “The ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops.”[i] Perhaps we shouldn’t assume that kiddos are at the top of the Holy Father’s priority list, eh?

Of course, we really shouldn’t be surprised. Technically, the papacy has been promoting worship of Pachamama since 1985. Pope John Paul II, in a public homily to citizens of Cuzco, Peru, on Sunday, February 3, of that year, spoke directly to the Incan people, saying:

The Church, in effect, welcomes the cultures of all peoples. In them there are always the traces and seeds of the Word of God. Thus your ancestors, when paying tribute to the land (Mama Pacha), did nothing but acknowledge the goodness of God and his benefactor presence, which gave them food through the land they cultivated.[ii]

It appears that the agenda to drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of Pachamama has been brewing for quite some time.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Due to the nature of Pachamama’s adolescent bloodthirst, after Pope Francis’ pagan-worship story hit a few “nobody cares” corners of the Internet, locals linked this religious leader’s questionable decision to the influence of the child-sacrifice god Moloch of the Old Testament. His idol, too, had been given a place of honor stationed at the entrance of the Roman Colosseum just outside the Vatican days earlier. The Roman Colosseum, as many know, is a key location of interest to those who study the spread of early Christianity; it was in this very spot that many Christian martyrs were executed in unnecessarily violent and bloody ways, primarily as entertainment for the Romans who watched them die. This enormous statue of Moloch, according to tourists, appeared to sit as the gatekeeper to the site, leering down at passersby “to mock the sacred place where the holy martyrs spilled their blood for the True Faith.”[iii] The irony of the timing between the appearance of the Moloch idol at the Colosseum and the pope’s benediction of Pachamama wasn’t lost on everyone…

Ya know, it’s really no wonder that many dispensationalists believe that the pope will either be Antichrist or his False Prophet. If a central event of the End Times involves placing the Abomination of Desolation idol in the Temple (see Daniel 8:11–14; 9:27; 11:30–31; 12:11; Revelation 13:15; Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:20–21), then Pachamama is a clever public grooming tool.

Recall that lightning struck the Vatican on the night the last pope, Benedict XVI, resigned—February 28, 2013. Might that have been the God of the Bible marking the very day His enemy entered into covenant with the Roman Catholic Church? Could Francis actually be one of these eschatological figures from the book of Revelation, as so many voices are claiming?

Catholic Leadership Says Pope Is “False Prophet”

Even some leading Catholic sources believe this to be obvious. As noted earlier, discussions related to the pope being either Antichrist or the False Prophet aren’t hard to find, especially in literature provided through Defender Publishing and SkyWatch TV. However, in case you haven’t yet had a chance to check out some of the astonishing trails and links Thomas Horn recently blew the whistle on in his “Stand 2020 Defender Conference” presentation, “Visions, Chaos, and the Coming of Antichrist,” here’s a short excerpt that, by now, may not surprise you:

Both Catholics and Protestant evangelicals see the current pope, Francis, echoing a prophesied role in pushing…the system that Antichrist will employ. And, in fact, several Catholic Defenders of the faith—including the largest Catholic news agencies in the world, CAN and EWTN News, as well as several of Rome’s leading theologians like Archbishop Carlo Vigano—have recently stated publicly that Francis is this man from the book of Revelation and Daniel, even writing letters to President Trump to warn him….

But for mystic Catholics, it’s much more than that. Many of them believe in the Prophecy of the Popes, which predicted nine hundred years ago that one hundred and twelve pontiffs, from the day that Saint Malachy had his divine vision in Rome and forward. One hundred and twelve popes would arrive, with the last one ruling over the Vatican when the Church and the world enter the Great Tribulation period, according to that prophecy. Well, Pope Francis, as you may know, is, or appears to be, pope number one hundred and twelve.… [Pope Francis’] namesake, the man that he chose to name himself after, Francis of Assisi, actually predicted that the final pope would be a deceiver….

Now, think about that for a minute, folks. Given that both current popes and their closest advisors at the Vatican have considered whether Pope Francis is the last pope, Petrus Romanus, and that the reality “gives them the shivers” and is perceived by them as a “wake-up call,” is it any wonder that conservative scholars within the Catholic Church have taken this increasingly careful view of Pope Francis and the subsequent question of whether Pope Francis is the False Prophet from the book of Revelation? Is it the reason canon lawyers and theologians for the Vatican hosted a conference in Paris a while back to discuss how to depose a heretical pope?…

A respected Italian monsignor and a former consultor to the Vatican’s congregation for the doctrine of the faith—a man by the name of Monsignor Monsignor Nicola Bux has even gone on record as saying, Pope Francis needs to stop the “confusion and apostasy” he is sowing among priests and bishops, and he needs to do this by “correcting” his “ambiguous and erroneous words and acts.” Perhaps even more so than any others, influential Catholic Television Network director Jose Galat. He publicly claimed not long ago that Pope Francis is, in fact, the “False Prophet,” who, he says, is “paving the way for Antichrist.”…

There was an inquiry not long ago in which the Vatican launched an investigation into a Catholic group of exorcists known as the Herald, who, [the investigation] said, after “having discussions with Satan, have determined that Pope Francis is ‘the devil’s man.’”[iv]

When the secular world looks for a religious leader to rise up and solve all the problems of humanity, many will look to the pope, since his position has been historically associated with theocratic authority since the formation of the Roman Church hierarchy. Meanwhile, Western Protestants—who are right now scoffing at Rome for her current and future immorality and loose positions on idolatry—will be sitting there, patting themselves on the back for being theologically enlightened, ready to rise, willing to stand for something and make a change…except that it won’t, because it’s a cult.

Protestant Babylon

The pope isn’t the only leader currently preparing our land and churches for a satanic covenant of End-Times proportions, and Catholics aren’t the only Christians who need to open their eyes to the present-day apostasy. Protestants often stand proudly puffed up, slinging their own version of anathema condemnations at the “Catholic Church’s spiritual failings,” citing such reasons as the worship of Mary, indulgences, sin-booth confession sessions using priests as mediators, discouragement of individual Bible study, dictatorialism in the history of the hierarchy/papacy, and so on. These authors are not insensitive to any of these complaints, and we agree that these topics are extremely concerning. But before Protestants can congratulate themselves on being masters of the universe, we, also, are contributing to the formation of a currently leaderless cult that will be too vulnerable to recognize Antichrist for what he is when he shows up to lead. There are so many examples of how we’re getting it wrong that it’s difficult to know where to start. But, because readers may assume that some of what’s about to be discussed is “heresy in some other denomination and therefore someone else’s problem,” it’s crucial to remember:

  1. The most convincing and deceptive cult of all is one with members who “look like” and “act like” regular, everyday people who follow Christ.
  2. Following Christ requires believing what the Bible says of Him, as well as strictly adhering to a list of tenets.
  3. The members of the Western Church “look like”/“act like” regular, everyday people who follow Christ (with certain exceptions we will soon discuss), but
  4. The Western Church has forsaken both the key doctrines of Christ and central Christian tenets. Therefore:
  5. The Western Church is the most convincing and deceptive cult of all.

As we’ve said, central tenets apply across the board. Both the Catholic Church with all its sects and the Protestant Church with all its denominations are bound to them, and this numbered list applies to both. However, due to the fragmented denominations in Protestantism that tend to represent seemingly countless variations of doctrine, assigning “cult” as a label for the whole of the Protestant Body is a more enigmatic and complicated process.

Deeds vs. Creeds

When ruminating about the disease of the Protestant Church, truly “being” followers of Christ and not just “looking like” followers of Christ is by far the most important consideration, since any other position is a cultic counterfeit.

The creed of the Church says, “I follow Christ.”

The deeds of the Church say, “I don’t follow His tenets or believe what the Word says about Him.”

For instance: The Christian statistics research group, Barna Group, in its definition of the term “biblical worldview,” identifies six universal nonnegotiables within Christianity as a belief system, based on interdenominational tracking of central Christian tenets compiled since 1995. These essentials, which apply to all Protestant denominations, are:

  1. “[A]bsolute moral truth exists.”
  2. The Bible is wholly reliable and accurate.
  3. Satan is a real being, not merely a symbol of sin.
  4. Simply being a good person does not send one to heaven.
  5. Jesus came to earth and was sinless.
  6. “God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”[v]

These authors (and everyone in the SkyWatch TV and Defender Publishing circle) concur with every item on this list. Though we would likely add several things, we certainly wouldn’t take anything away from these rudimentary, fundamental components of Christian belief. However, Barna reports, only a staggering 17 percent of practicing Christians in the US have a “biblical worldview” based upon belief in these six things.[vi]

That may come as a shock (it certainly did to us!), but it’s a plausible statistic when we really dig to see what today’s Western Christians actually believe: One study reports that 45 percent of American Christians admit that “certainty about [Christ] is impossible,” and only 34 percent believe He is “involved in their life,”[vii] whereas another study states that 46 percent of born-again Christians believe that Jesus sinned while He was on earth.[viii] One report shows that only 41 percent of self-identified US Christian adults in the Baby Boomer generation consider Scripture to be “totally accurate in all of its teachings,” and this staggeringly low number only jumps to 43 percent for the same category of believers in the Millennials, Gen-X, and “Elders” generations.[ix] Between 1993 and 2018, Christians declined from 89 percent to 64 percent in their belief that witnessing to the lost is a duty of their faith,[x] whereas 47 percent of Millennial-aged, practicing Christians actually think evangelism is morally wrong, as it may pressure someone to change faiths![xi] These authors don’t know what’s worse: the fact that so many Christians don’t think the Great Commission is their responsibility—or the fact that, out of 1,004 regular Christian church attenders in the US who were asked about the Great Commission in 2017, 25 percent couldn’t remember what it was and 51 percent had never even heard the term in their lives![xii] This means at least 76 percent of Christians are ineffective in spreading the Gospel. Maybe the numbers would be more impressive if we knew how to pray with people, but as it currently stands, only 2 percent of praying Americans do so with another person present.[xiii]

As of October 2020, the latest large-scale research and statistics report reflects that 58 percent of evangelicals had “demoted the Holy Spirit to symbolic status,” denying His role as a true Person of the Trinity. A lie is no longer a sin, according to 40 percent, so long as “it advances personal interests or protects one’s reputation,” and premarital sex is agreeable to half of all evangelicals. Salvation can be earned by doing good, 48 percent say. Abortion is morally acceptable to 34 percent, which makes sense when 44 percent don’t think the Bible’s teaching on the subject is clear and 40 percent don’t believe human life is even sacred. This is probably why 39 percent don’t respect anyone who holds to a different faith (which is ironic, since the entire faith system being described here isn’t orthodoxically any religion). Pentecostals/charismatics aren’t any more impressive, however: 69 percent reject absolute moral truth; 54 percent disagree that human life is sacred; 50 percent claim the Bible is ambiguous about abortion; and 45 percent are not born again! But of all groups, mainline Protestants take the lead for syncretizing their Christianity with the secularized culture of the West: 63 percent say God is not the provider of truth and the Bible cannot be trusted to fully represent God-given principles; a shocking 81 percent believe that people can be their own moral compass because humans are essentially good; only 33 percent make it a habit to confess sins and seek forgiveness from God, and a meager 13 percent read their Bibles regularly. The summary provided by the study states: “Sixty percent (60%) of mainline Protestants’ beliefs directly conflict with biblical teaching.”[xiv]

When our creeds don’t match our deeds, that’s called “hypocrisy.” Keep that in mind.

It’s not all about what data the veteran research group Barna collects, though.

Ligonier Ministries conducts up-to-date surveys about the state of the Church, and researchers there have dedicated themselves to reporting every two years about how Protestant churchgoers in the West feel regarding the central doctrines of Christianity. The most recent survey, conducted in partnership with LifeWay Research, was released in September of 2020. The findings were appalling. Thousands of people of all faiths, as well as atheists and those with undisclosed or undecided positions, weighed in. In total, 48 percent agreed that the Bible was merely one of our world’s historic “sacred writings” that record “ancient myths,” but that it does not contain any truth, and 52 percent denied the divinity of Christ. This is sad for the public, surely, but far, far worse were the numbers reported specifically about the belief of evangelical Christians in the West, which start off bad and only get worse:

  • 26 percent think that church ministries cannot be effective to the world unless their worship services are “entertaining.”
  • 39 percent agree that “material blessings” are a guaranteed reward of faith (that evil prosperity gospel of recent decades is still clinging on…).
  • 46 percent take a relaxed position on sin, agreeing that people are generally “good by nature.”
  • 65 percent believe that Jesus is a being whom God created (as opposed to belief in the Incarnation of God, the Word made flesh, aka the way through which salvation is even possible—cf. John 1:1, 8:58; Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:1–4).
  • 30 percent agree with the statement that “Jesus was a great teacher, but was not God” (an outright denial of Christ’s divinity).
  • 18 percent answered that the Holy Spirit can tell a Christian to do something that the Bible expressly forbids (folks, 18 percent may look like a small and encouraging number, but remember that it represents almost one-fifth of all evangelicals, which is alarmingly high considering how blasphemous it is to suggest that the Spirit of God would lead us in the opposite direction of His own Word!).

And, finally, the most demoralizing statistic of all is that:

  • 42 percent (almost half!) of all evangelicals embrace the blatantly syncretistic/idolatrous heresy that “God accepts the worship of all religions.”[xv]

President and CEO of Ligonier Ministries, Chris Larson, is correct in his rebuke when he writes, “People inside the church need clear Bible teaching just as much as those outside the church.”[xvi] Elsewhere, the ministry’s chief academic officer, Stephen Nichols, who also sits as president of Reformation Bible College, offered his opinion after seeing the crushing blow of the survey: “As the culture around us increasingly abandons its moral compass, professing evangelicals are sadly drifting away from God’s absolute standard in Scripture.… This is a time for Christians to study Scripture diligently.”[xvii]

No, Stephen, that time was yesterday. Today, we are late, and the injury our tardiness has caused the Body is a festering maggot pool.

UP NEXT: The Trainwreck of Modern Institutionalized Religion

If you would like more information on the topics covered in this article series, see the book Dark Covenant by Donna Howell and Allie Anderson, available below:



[i] “Pope Francis at Mass: Bishops Must Pray to Overcome ‘Great Accuser,’” September 11, 2018, Vatican News, last accessed October 22, 2020,

[ii] Pope John Paull II, in a public homily on Sunday February 3, 1985; translated and archived by the official Vatican website: “Apostolic Journey to Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago: Liturgy of the Word in Cuzco,” Vatican, last accessed October 16, 2020,

[iii] “Statue of Ancient God of Child Sacrifice Put on Display in Rome,” November 6, 2019, LifeSite News, last accessed January 10, 2020,

[iv] Thomas Horn, “Visions, Chaos, and the Coming of Antichrist,” 1:03:19–1:11:25; 1:27:47–1:29:48, Stand 2020 Defender Conference, presentation 4 on DVD Conference Collection released September, 2020. Available here:

[v] “Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians,” May 9, 2017, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] “American Worldview Inventory 2020—At a Glance…Release #3: Perceptions of God,” April 21, 2020, Cultural Research Center, Arizona Christian University, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[viii] “How We Got Here: Spiritual and Political Profiles of America,” May 23, 2017, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[ix] “A Snapshot of Faith Practice Across Age Groups,” July 23, 2019, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[x] “Sharing Faith Is Increasingly Optional to Christians,” May 15, 2018, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[xi] “Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong,” February 5, 2019, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[xii] “51% of Churchgoers Don’t Know of the Great Commission,” March 27, 2018, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[xiii] Silent and Solo: How Americans Pray,” August 15, 2017, Barna, last accessed October 29, 2020,

[xiv] “American Worldview Inventory 2020—At a Glance…Release #11: Churches and Worldview,” October 6, 2020, Cultural Research Center, Arizona Christian University, last accessed November 4, 2020,

[xv] “The State of Theology,” a survey conducted by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research in March of 2020, findings released September 8, last accessed October 29, 2020, Note that not all of these statistics are covered on the “Key Findings” tab. One wishing to observe the list in its entirety must click on the “Data Explorer” tab at the top right of the main study page.

[xvi] Ibid.

[xvii] Nichols, Stephen, as quoted in: Michael Foust, “‘Drifting Away’ from Scripture: 30 Percent of Evangelicals Say Jesus was Not God, Poll Shows,” August 27, 2020, Christian Headlines, last accessed October 29, 2020,

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