Disclaimer: I am not a “rabid anti-Catholic,” nor do I believe that
Catholics today are responsible for the sins of the past. In fact, my girlfriend is Catholic, and I hope to make her my wife some day.
I have studied with Protestants, JW’s, and Seventh Day Adventists (who many of you might know believe that the Catholic Church is the little horn in Daniel, or anti-Christ). I also admit that I have not studied the Catholic religion first hand, which is part of the reason why I’m here. Anyway, the disclaimer is done.
The JW’s think that Babylon the Great is simply all the false religions of the world (which is every religion except their own, of course). What I’m most familiar with, however, are the SDA arguments:
“And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”
I believe the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday during one of the Councils of Nicea. Also, the SDAs claim that at one point, the Catholic Church eliminated the second commandment and split the 10th into two. (thus all the golden crosses, etc). I have seen an older text from the Catholic Church, and it did have this alteration; however, I’m not sure if you still have it changed today or not.
Also in Daniel 7:24:
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom [are] ten kings [that] shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”
The SDAs point out that the papacy subdued three of the 10 kingdoms that arose out of the Roman Empire when they were coming to power.
2 Thess 2:4
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Both JWs and SDAs believe that anti-Christ means “instead of Christ,” not against him. Thus, someone claiming to be God would be an anti-Christ. In many past papal writings, the Pope is portrayed as God. I know that today, he is not seen as God by most Catholics. However, when the SDAs see Vicar of Christ on the robe of the pope, they looked up the definition of Vicar. To put it bluntly, Vicar of Christ means “on behalf/instead of Christ.” Also, I’m not sure, but I believe the original Greek phrase (meaning both letters and numbers) for “Vicar of Christ” adds up to “six-hundred, threescore, and six.”
JW’s both believe that the Catholic Church is wrong in it’s declaration that Peter was the foundation of the Church. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the head.
I’d like to take a second to say that the Seventh Day Adventist were quick to point out all the good the Catholic Church is and was responsible for. However, they said that the Bible meant to show us the signs to figure out when we were being “duped” by an organization claiming to be benevolent.
Also, both religions are quick to pull out the history books. The Catholic Church was created in a time of war between pagans and Christians. Much of the original Catholic dogma was seen as a compromise. For example, Sunday was when the pagans worshipped Apollo, and Saturday was considered the Sabbath by Christians. The Catholic Church “compromised” by having everyone follow the Sabbath on Sunday. Also, JW’s believe this is when the idea of God in three persons started. The pagans had God’s that were the same way, and this idea was brought in. Christmas is another example of a pagan tradition that was adopted into the Catholic Church.
The list goes on, for example paying for the forgiveness of your sins and others, but I haven’t studied it recently, and I have grown rusty. I have also studied many other interpretations for all the above scriptures. Anyway, I hope I could be of help.