Image worship, the worship of a virgin, the mass, priest craft, all of these things were related, inseparably related, to the pagan custom of the day. … Baal worship goes clear back to the tower of Babel. It was at that time that there was a system created that when you read it and realize that God condemned it you will recognize the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. … The teaching of purification by priestly absolution found its origin and its roots in paganism, not in Scripture. The power of men to forgive sin found its origin in paganism, not in the Scripture. The mediation of a woman found its origin and roots, not in Scripture, but in pagan origin (The Valley Church, emphasis added).13Augustine, lacking the Hebrew and Greek skills of a scholar, continued to build on the sinking sand of Origen’s “Spiritual Israel.” Augustine spiritualized virtually everything: no literal, "dirt under your feet" Kingdom (the Church is the Kingdom), no literal Millennium (Christ’s reign within the Church is the Millennium), and according to his work The City of God, no literal New Jerusalem (the Church is the New Jerusalem). Dismissing the literal interpretation of Scripture, he fathered a doctrine subsequently referred to as amillennialism. And as an apparent consequence of Augustine’s handling of the Word of Truth, almost a billion people are involved in what The Valley Church describes as paganism:
You know it … as the dark ages. Here you have the [Roman] Church at its peak of dominance in the world. And what do we have? We have superstition. We have spiritual, moral, and intellectual darkness. We have apostasy with all of the occult and the corruption of that period of time. This was the time of the rise of a church hierarchy, the time of the inquisition where under … the sigh of the cross, thousands of people were slaughtered in the name of Christ. … There is a true remnant within the Catholic Church who will be raptured. And God loves your Catholic friends, and your Catholic neighbors, and your Catholic relatives. He loves them like He loves the rest of the world. But these people have been bowing before an image that has its origin and roots in paganism, a priesthood that has its origin in paganism. And they have forgotten the centrality of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And because of that God warns against this. How did it begin? It began with compromise. It began with allowing the social factors of the land in which the people lived to become a part of the worship of the church, God forbid that Valley Church should ever go that way (The Valley Church, emphasis added).13Augustine, coveting every God accorded promise and blessing to Israel for the “Church,” yet contends in his Sermon against the Jews: “The true image of the Hebrew is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus.”
13The Valley Church, Thyatira, 3/24/74, (audio tape).