Lateran Council (Twelfth Ecumenical Council) 1215. Pope Innocent III
Canon 1 concluded, "Not
only virgins and those practicing chastity, but also those united in
marriage, through the right faith and through works pleasing to God,
can merit eternal salvation." The truth, of course, is that we are
saved by grace through faith completely apart from works. Works are the
result, not the cause, of our salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). No one can merit
Canon 5. Placed the Roman Church as supreme over all other churches,
second, Constantinople, third, Alexandria, fourth Antioch, and fifth,
Jerusalem. The truth is that, in the NT, no church held any preeminence
over any other church.
Canon 21. Commanded the faithful to confess their sins to a priest of
their own parish at least annually. In the NT, there were no clerical
priests whatever. Confession was to God (1 John 1:9) and, as needed, to
one another (James 5:16).
Canon 54. Payment of tithes to the church takes precedence over taxes.
Tithes to the churches are legally due. In the NT church there was no
command to pay a tithe. The Apostle Paul laid out principles for giving
(2 Cor. 8:1-9:15).
Canon 68. Jews and Saracens (Muslims) must dress themselves in a way
that distinguishes them from Christians so that intermarriage may not
take place. Here is a precedent that antedated Hitler's requiring of
Jews to wear stars.
Canon 71. (Holy Land Decrees). "...we decree ... that
all who have taken the cross and have decided to cross the sea, hold
themselves so prepared that they may, on June 1 of the year after next
(1217), come together in the Kingdom of Sicily, some at Brundusium and
others at Messana, where, God willing, we (the Pope) will be present
personally to order and to bestow on the Christian army the divine and
Where in the New Testament is any church leader authorized to send off
a "Christian army" to kill Muslims and Jews? Aren't we rather required
by the Lord to serve as His witnesses, and to make disciples of all
nations rather than killing them (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)? Why would
God bless a "Christian" army sent out to murder people under whatever