Category Archives: Romanism

Christopher Columbus and papal proselytization

“Columbus was actuated by a desire to promote the interests of Romanism, when he traversed an unknown sea and discovered this Western World.”[1]

The above proposition, likely common knowledge in 1888 when it was penned by Justin Dewey Fulton, has been largely forgotten or denied in our day. Today it is common knowledge that Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of America had nothing to do with the totalitarian political theory of the Roman Catholic Church-State and all to do with a particular explorer’s spirit of adventure.

So, as another Columbus Day is upon us, I thought it would be of interest to reprint a portion of the great explorer’s conquests, as retold by Walter Montaño. In the interest of maintaining Montaño’s detailed and fascinating narrative, I have retyped the entire first chapter of Behind the Purple Curtain below titled, ‘Columbus and the Cuban Martyr’, although we would not agree with every point of his interpretation. In endeavoring to reignite Protestant opposition to both Rome’s theology and her political-economic theory, the more relevant and disturbing points I have emboldened for the reader who has not the desire nor the time to read the full chapter. Following this excerpt I will make a few additional comments:

Lonely and solitary, abandoned by everybody, no longer counting on the protection of Queen Isabel, who had furnished the expeditions but had died just before this time, and having spent the rest of his life poor and unnoticed, Columbus, the adventurer who gave dominions and gold to the Crown and the Church of Spain, was agonizing in Valladolid. This was happening on May 20, 1506, four years after his fourth and last expedition in which he reached the coast of Central America.

Was it not enough that his third expedition, which started on May 30, 1498, and took him as far as the northern coast of South America and the great river Orinoco, afflicted him with two years of struggle with enemies in Spain and enemies on the lands he discovered, had resulted in his having been arrested and sent home in chains like a vulgar criminal? Must he also die like a beggar in the street?

Was this his payment for the audacity of discovering the New World with a little fleet of three small caravels, Santa Maria, La Pinta and La Nina, with which he sailed from Puerto Palos on August 3, 1492, and on the morning of October 12, 1492, landed on what we today call San Salvador?

What an irony of destiny! When cruising thence southward, coasting Cuba and reaching Haiti, Columbus was cursed by the chief of a tribe who loved liberty more than silver or gold. When he discovered Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and other islands on his second voyage, in 1493, the chief was still there, in his native isle, repeating the curse against Columbus and his crew for having violated the virgin soil. The navigator never knew that the piercing eyes of the Cuban chief, the immortal and brave Hatuey, spying every movement he made, studying every detail of his expedition, counting every action of his greedy men, were going to follow him even to his grave. Those eyes were throwing fires of condemnation to all who dared to put their feet in that sacred territory. Did Hatuey’s curse really mean anything against Columbus, following him until his death? The imagination may wonder wildly; the truth is that Columbus’ ambition for gold and personal gain were not fulfilled and his prayers to renew the Crusades for the Church were not answered.

If only motives and incentives of the expedition had been nobler and higher!

‘It was the age-old lure of substantial things that sent the pathbreakers of the seas on their perilous journeys—Columbus across the Atlantic in 1492, and da Gama around the Cape to India six years later. Their adventures were only novel incidents in the continuous search for riches’ (Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard, The Rise of American Civilization, The Macmillan Co., New York, 1930, p. 7).

Edwin Sparks indicates that religious feeling was one of the prime incentives to action in Columbus. If he could discover this outward way to the Indies, he saw himself loaded with riches which he would use in renewing the Crusades. He pledged all the gold he should find to the use of the church and added to his prayer: ‘Surely under these conditions God will grant my prayer.’ (Edwin Erle Sparks, The Expansion of the American People, Scott, Foresman and Co., Chicago, 1900, p. 26).

But could God have answered such a prayer? Was He part of that war of the Crusades? Was He going to approve and bless the bloody Inquisition on whose flames thousands of men, women, and innocent children were going to perish, once it was established in the New World? No, that cannot be called prayer; it would be an insult to God. That was only the voice of black superstition, which, unfortunately, was destined to cause a deep wound in the heart of the new continent!

As inducements to enlist men for Columbus’ expedition, jails were opened and debtors forgiven. Mutiny was bred in such a crew before a sail was hoisted. But superstition being their guiding star, it worked strongly in such minds. That category of human element was the charter for the expeditionary adventure and the mold of conduct, in religion as well as in material conquest, for the New World. It is understood that such a company could not heartily be accepted even by the lowest type of savages and never by a tribe like Hatuey’s. Thus the reason for the great chief’s curse!

Columbus went to his grave ignorant of the fact that he had discovered a new world, supposing that he had missed Japan but had landed among the islands of India, and hence called the inhabitants Indians.

While his body was descending to his grave, the other Spaniards who followed his path toward the lands of gold, armed with the sword and the cross, were already spotting the soil with the blood of the Indians, culminating their adventure by condemning Chief Hatuey to be burned alive for the crime of opposing the conquest of Catholic missions in his land. The illustrious Argentinian, Dr. Juan B. Teran, President of the University of Tucuman, reminds us how Hatuey, bound to the stake, when approached by a Roman Catholic priest to become a Christian, chose the sufferings in hell to avoid a heaven with priests and the company of such ‘Christians’ as those who were tormenting him and his people on earth.

Hatuey’s life was, no doubt, the life of a great hero. He was still young when the discovery of his beloved island took place, but he lived long enough to see the destruction of his people, the misery to which they were condemned, and even the betrayal of many Indians who sold their bodies to the conquerors for a piece of a broken mirror or the torn remnants of a once colored vestment.

Greater than the physical torture he was prepared to endure was the torment of his soul caused by the ignoble actions of the Spaniards. It was natural then that, bowed down into the depths of great despair, his great heart was bleeding with a burden. Gradually, without his being able to stem the tide, he had seen many of his beloved people sinking into degradation, imitating the vices of the adventurers. In anguish he lamented the sad condition and planned some way of escape. But how? When he was still a ruler, before the Spaniards came to destroy his dominion, his word, though kindly, was inexorable law. Alas! He realized that now he was no longer heeded by all his people and to the Spaniards he was just another slave!

At this stage, Hatuey was still a splendid specimen of manhood. He was more than seven feet tall. About his mighty shoulders was thrown an enormous blanket, which set forth his towering form to the best advantage. He had a fine forehead; his long black hair fell to his waist; his eyes were full of fire, and his mouth with its thin lips was full of decision. His age was about fifty, and he walked with a firm step. Even his Spanish oppressors envied the good looks of the men of this tribe, as they were the finest developed Indians they had ever seen—instead of the weak, squat figures described by some historians. Both men and women were cast in a noble mould; they were bred true, with no deformed, unhealthy offspring of blood contamination. They were trustworthy, honest, truthful, and singularly faithful in their marital relations.

In the bitterness of his sorrow, Hatuey called into secret consultation two resourceful, faithful braves who remained loyal to him, and with whom he counseled far into the night, as to what might be done to save the remnant of the tribe.

After long and heartfelt deliberations, a decision was reached. Playing an apparently complete surrender to the conquerors, pretending to be resigned to their fate, and making the best of it, they went to the priest to acknowledge their absolute submission to him. In reality, this was only their strategy for the plan of returning to their ancestral haunts and in due time organizing the Indian forces of resistance. No matter how long it would take them to succeed in deceiving the Spaniards, they would do it, using priests as instruments, in the same way they were used by the conquerors to subjugate the Indians.

Once they gained he priests’ confidence, a clever idea was planned. With the pretext of going for fish, which abounded there, the Indians hurried toward the forest. Two fleet scouts were sent ‘to pursue fish for the padres,’ but the fact is that they were given secret instructions as to a desirable location, a supply of water, proper land for crops, and other needs, where all could go free from the eyes of their tyrants. The men were absent for many days. When they returned they brought abundant fish and pretended to be in high spirits. In the darkness of the night they told their chief the glad news that they had found a beautiful valley where the land was fertile, water abundant for crops, game plentiful, and the scenery the most beautiful they had ever seen.

Hatuey was pleased with the report, and began at once to select the men who would advance toward the new valley. Contacting the loyal tribesmen and their families he made known his plans for the long trek to the ‘Promised Land.’ The night of escape had arrived. Chief Hatuey, with his mate, Tuzula, and their children, started in the quiet of the hour.

Immediately behind them came the warriors in a wide line to guard against any surprise attack; the women and children marched in the center line, backed by picked braves who were guarding the rear, ready to use their arrows and other weapons in case of pursuit by any traitors of the tribe or the Spaniards. Hatuey knew that in their drunken fury they would attack his party and attempt to drive the people back.

Many miles were traveled on that night, as Hatuey was anxious to reach their destination. They stopped for a few hours of rest in a wooden hill where the dense foliage lured them with its promise of a safe shelter.

Chief Hatuey rose early and upon rounding a craggy hill at the foot of the mesa, the scene which met the brave chief’s eyes made his heart thrill with pleasure. Here was a broad vista of waving grasses, with here and there a wooded spot. In the far distance a line of bright green shrubbery bounded a crystal stream.

‘Ah, land of heart’s desire!’ he breathed. To the guides who were with him, the chief related: ‘The giant god tore this great peak from his quiver, hurling it at the great green hill. How long ago no man knows! Our fathers’ fathers have climbed to the healing waters which bubble from the hot springs, to drink and bathe. My father told me the story that in a fierce battle between two gods, a lightning bolt was hurled to direct our people to the springs.’

A veritable paradise it seemed to the weary and discouraged chief. To the peak of the craggy hill he climbed, to scan the broad plain, the home of his childhood; the years since he left it at the call of the priests who delivered him to the Spanish conquerors dropped away like a cloak, and he was an Indian again, a rover of the wilds. An air of wild exhilaration filled his soul; the light which had long been absent, shone in his eyes. Smilingly, cheerfully, he spoke to the guides, then shading his eyes from the sun’s bright rays, he gave a loud call to his people below, the sign that they were to follow him.

The happy tribesmen were loud in their exclamations of delight, as they climbed the great trees, ran over the rolling hills, and came to rest finally under the green, spreading willows on the edge of the rippling creek.

Then the march was continued. Toward sunset, after a long journey, Hatuey decided to make camp in the little valley the party had come upon. The spot was guarded by smooth, straight, towering trees and covered with wide-leaved foliage; the ground was clear of brush, and a stream of clear water made an ideal place in which to get needed rest and refreshment.

Two fat deer had been speared by the men whom Hatuey had sent ahead. The meat was cut into strips, strung upon long poles, and was soon roasting over the coals of a huge fire. The hungry people were regaled later, enjoying such a feast as they had not eaten for many a day.

With his heart full of content, the chief spoke: ‘The Great Spirit, the sun god, is with us, my children. We are at home again in our native habitat. No more shall we reek in the wallow of the white man’s sins. We are again children of the wild, where our forefathers dwelt in the ages agone. Here we shall leave them for a time, clearing the ground, planting the seeds, alone and at peace. As for us who are alive, we must prepare the battle now and not rest until these conquerors are driven far far away from our land, and our people become free again.’

Scarcely had Hatuey finished speaking, when they heard a hoarse, hooting war cry, followed by a succession of flying spears. Their enemies had come upon them unawares, dragging themselves along under the cover of the darkness in the clever noiseless manner of the aborigines, which they had not forgotten.

Hatuey and his companions hurled themselves upon their assailants, driving their spears into the nearest victims. In response to the chief’s sharp orders, the other warriors snatched their spears, and rushed toward the jungle, jabbing savagely to right and left. The invaders, in appearance melted away, leaving their wounded, who, although in some cases were frightfully mangled, made absolutely no sound.

The men scoured the brush with lighted torches, and for several hours waited for a further attack. All remained quiet. Soon the women and children, who had been hurried to a place of safety, were gathered together to sleep peacefully for the remainder of the night. The guards, however, remained on the alert, waiting for the early morning, when the march was to be resumed. Five wounded Indians, carried in sergas, blankets of their own weaving, had been treated by the medicine men with yerba de pasmo, which eased them effectually. But when the morning came, they were not able to resume the march!

In every great and noble enterprise there is always the black hand of some vile traitor. Such was the case with Hatuey’s planning. His own blood and race, one who was closer to him than any other person, a second chief, so to say, betrayed him. Guided by that traitor Indian, the Spaniards, fully equipped with force and weapons, preceded by priests, were following them. Hatuey and his people, weakened in the attack of the night by Indians, instigated by the Spaniards, were captured. This time Hatuey, his wife and children, and the other Indian leaders were taken under most severe vigilance. Their hands were tied with heavy ropes, and they were cruelly maltreated on the way to Hatuey’s death.

Hatuey, bound to the stake, was approached by a Roman Catholic padre asking him to accept “religion” in order to enter heaven where “beatitude and rest” are found. But if he refused to accept that religion? His soul would burn for eternities in the fires of hell! Hatuey asked the padre: “If I go to heaven, will I find your Christian people there?”

“Oh, yes, they will be there,” the padre answered.

“Then,” Hatuey responded, “I will not become ‘Christian.’ I prefer to suffer in hell rather than go to heaven to be in the company of your ‘Christian’ people who are so cruel, and so brutal.”

The padre and the “Christians” set a fire, and the noble, brave Indian chief of Cuba, the immortal and heroic Hatuey, was burned alive.

So Cuba had its first martyr of liberty in the person of the great Hatuey, not very long after Columbus died. But while the discoverer of the New World passed away without glory, Hatuey kindled the torch of liberty for the whole continent. The Spaniards thought that this was the end of the Indian rebel, that forgotten by time and people, he would not have any place in the annals of history.

Once the chief was killed and the Indians subjugated, the Church proceeded to impart its blessings to the “triumphant conquerors.” Twenty-seven years after Columbus discovered the New World, one stormy morning of 1519, the padre celebrated the first solemn mass in Port of Cuba, having erected an altar under a ceiba tree. He thanked the Virgin and the Saints for giving them, finally, slaves for the conquerors, land and gold for the Crown, dominion for the Church. Reduced to silence—they thought—the Indian rebels would never rise again; land and people were going to be theirs forever. But they forgot that their interest in the New World was merely material, and material things slip away from our hands. Sooner or later, when their plan of exploitation would come to an end and their only objective, gold, would be exhausted, the land and the people would be liberated once more from the hands of the conquerors. “Columbus had found a world for Spain,” says Sparks, “but she was not fit to retain it.”

Cuba has passed four hundred years behind the purple curtain and, contrary to their expectations, Hatuey’s name is remembered and repeated by all Cubans, young and old, as the symbol of martyrdom for human rights. The children in the schools learn today the principles of patriotism in the heroism of Hatuey. And yet we have not seen the depths of infamy . . . the blood left by its martyrs and heroes along the trails upon which Latin America has sought the sunlit heights of liberty.

With regards to Montaño ‘s last paragraph, bear in mind that he wrote this in 1950. Liberty is as foreign a concept to Latin America as is Protestantism, and the two go hand in hand. Early twentieth-century historian Felix Rachfahl noted that:

  • Protestantism permitted the intellect to be devoted to secular pursuits, not just religious;
  • Protestantism brought education to the masses;
  • Protestantism did not encourage indolence and distaste and disdain for labor as Roman Catholicism did;
  • Protestantism championed independence and individual responsibility;
  • Protestantism created a higher type of morality;
  • Protestantism fostered the separation of church and state.[2]

The point is that for those of us who are still thankful for our heritage of liberty and Christianity, we should look to God’s grace as it manifested itself in the Protestant Reformers. Neither Columbus with his fellow papist conquerors nor Hatuey’s “martyrdom” have contributed to, or properly categorized, true biblical freedom. John Robbins comments:

“Martin Luther’s courageous rejection—in the name of written revelation, logic, and freedom—of this faith-works religion [Romanism] laid the necessary theological foundation for the emergence of a free, humane, and civilized society from the ancient and medieval paganism of Christendom. The result was religious freedom and her daughters: political, civil, and economic freedom.”[3]

Considering early colonial church-state amalgamations in New England, I would go a step further and say such principles of liberty were more thoroughly and consistently fomented with the spread of Baptistic ecclesiology and 1689 federalism, driven by the Particular Baptists’ understanding of God’s two kingdoms.[4]

 

[1] Fulton, J.D., Washington in the Lap of Rome, W. Kellaway, Boston, 1888, p. 55.

[2] Felix Rachfahl, “Kapitalismus und Kalvinismus,” 1909, as cited in Robbins, J.W., Christ and Civilization (2nd ed.), The Trinity Foundation, Unicoi, TN, 2007, pp. 44-45.

[3] Robbins, ref. 2, p. 38.

[4] See the excellent paper by Baines, R., ‘Separating God’s two kingdoms: Two kingdom theology among New England Baptists in the Early Republic, Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, 2014, pp. 27-68.

Rome’s anathemas against those who believe in justification by faith alone

Protestants are often accused of being arrogant, intolerant Catholic-bashing bigots when we point out that Rome’s gospel, being as it is “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9), is a false and damnable one. Many evangelicals today seem to be oblivious to the fact that it was actually the church of Rome whom had officially anathematized Protestants as far back as the sixteenth-century at the Council of Trent. In other words, if we are “Catholic-bashers”, they were “Protestant-bashers” first. It is for this reason that Rome’s not-so-tolerant response to the reawakening of the true gospel was appropriately termed the Counter-Reformation. Naturally, if the gospel of grace which imputes sinners with the righteousness of Christ by virtue of His propitiatory work with no help of the sacramental sorcery of priestcraft, then the church of Rome is out of business.

In actual fact, and in contrast to Rome’s well-documented history of literally bashing Protestant skulls, we do not wish to “bash” anyone but seek to faithfully uphold and proclaim the plain, unequivocal gospel of Christ’s all-sufficient (Hebrews 10:12), once-for-all (1 Peter 3:18) atoning work at Calvary for the sins of God’s elect.

Rome has stolen the words of the Apostle Paul and misapplied his anathemas of the Judaizers by boldly anathematizing those who in fact believe the biblical gospel which Paul himself preached. Robert Reymond explains:

“Paul twice calls down God’s ‘anathema’ on the Judaizers who were ‘trying to pervert the gospel of Christ’ by their law-ridden ‘gospel, which Is really no gospel at all’ (Gal. 1:8-9). His words deserve citation: ‘…even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned [anathema estō]! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.’

The first thing that must be noted from Paul’s statement is that for him the gospel—justification by faith alone in Christ’s saving work—was already a fixed message needing no additions or alterations to it in the mid-first century when he first came to the Galatian region and proclaimed it. Neither he nor an angel from heaven could alter it in any way or to any degree without falling under divine condemnation. The implication of Paul’s statement here is clear: irrespective of whatever else they may believe—including even every tenet of the Apostles’ Creed—they who would teach others that in order to be justified before God and thus go to heaven when they die they must, in addition to trusting Christ’s saving work, ‘keep the law,’ that is, perform meritorious good works of their own, are in actuality ‘false brothers’ and stand under God’s condemnation. Rome’s Tradition, which has corrupted the law-free gospel with its many additions, falls under such condemnation. In fact, the sad truth is that from the post-apostolic age to the present time many church fathers and many church communions, in addition to the Roman Catholic Church, have proclaimed ‘a different gospel’ and thus stand under Paul’s apostolic anathema.

As for the word ‘anathema’…[it should be understood as referring to the] principle of ‘devoting’ or handing something or someone over to God for his disposal, usually to destruction.”[1]

Dr. Tony Costa, Professor of Apologetics at Toronto Baptist Seminary addresses Rome’s anathemas against Protestants on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio. They also briefly engage the issue of Rome’s synergistic soteriology’s relationship to modern semi-pelagian “evangelicalism”. This episode is highly recommended.

 

[1] Reymond, R.L., The Reformation’s Conflict with Rome: Why it Must Continue, Christian Focus Publications, Great Britain, 2001, p. 20.

The sacrifice of the Mass and the blasphemous claims of of the Roman Catholic priesthood

I was first introduced to the work of John O’Brien when former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett gave a lecture on the Mass and quoted a small sample of O’Brien’s blasphemies as found in The Faith of Millions.[1] Since that time I have come across similar quotes attributed to O’Brien along with some folks arguing that the quotes are not legitimate. Surely, the degree of blasphemy spewing forth from this servant of antichrist is so great that it is quite understandable why one would want to pretend that his blasphemies have been exaggerated, or worse, that they are the invention of sinister “Catholic bashing” Protestants.

The assertion that the O’Brien quotes are exaggerated prompted me to obtain a copy of O’Brien’s book in order to verify them for accuracy. Sickeningly, but not surprisingly (since the statements are in accordance with Trent’s teaching on the “sacrifice of the Mass”), this book bearing the Imprimatur[2] does indeed contain the blasphemous statements as cited by Bennett and others. I will reprint a few brief passages here pertaining to the Mass, that most idolatrous of all Rome’s satanic sorceries.

For those who continue to insist that Protestants are being dishonest when we accuse Romanists of re-sacrificing Christ, the following is excerpted from chapter 22 titled, “The Mass: A reenactment of Calvary (Christ is sacrificed again)”:

“The Mass is the unbloody reenactment of the sacrifice of Calvary. Through the consecration of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, the Mass perpetuates the sacrifice of the Cross by offering to God the same Victim that was immolated on Calvary for the redemption of man. In the Mass the priest speaks not in his own name, but as the ambassador of Jesus Christ, speaking the very words which Christ uttered at the Last Supper. Thus Jesus Christ is both the High Priest and the Victim in the sacrifice of the Mass and in the sacrifice of the Cross, and the ends for which both sacrifices were offered are identical.”[3]

“The sacrifice of the Mass is offered up for the same ends for which Christ died on the Cross, namely, to propitiate Almighty God for the sins of man, to render homage, praise and thanksgiving for His benefits, and to supplicate Him for graces and blessings. We should therefore assist at Mass with the same devotion with which we would have knelt at the foot of the Cross and have offered up the dying Christ as the Victim for the sins of the world; for Christ is offered up on the altar as truly as He was on Calvary’s Cross.”[4]

From chapter 17, “The Priesthood: A Divine Institution (The Priest is Christ’s Ambassador to Men)”:

“The supreme power of the priestly office is the power of consecrating. “No act is greater,” says St. Thomas, “than the consecration of the body of Christ.” In this essential phase of the sacred ministry, the power of the priest is not surpassed by that of the bishop, the archbishop, the cardinal or the pope. Indeed it is equal to that of Jesus Christ. For in this role the priest speaks with the voice and the authority of God Himself.

When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.

Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. While the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.

Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vicegerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ: he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest is that of ‘alter Christus.’ For the priest is and should be another Christ.[5]

 

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:23-24).

 

[1] O’Brien, J.A., The Faith of Millions: The Credentials of the Catholic Religion (new and revised edition), Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, Indiana, 1974.

[2] As the copyright page reads: “The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed” [emphasis added].

[3] p. 304.

[4] p. 306.

[5] pp. 255—256.

[Photo by Nils Huber on Unsplash]

Rome’s evil doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods, by Steve Matthews

Steve Matthews provides us with a series of articles and podcasts dealing with the current immigration controversy through the lense of Scripture. Steve is a Presbyterian and a scripturalist (following the theology and philosophy of Gordon H. Clark). In his 12th post in the series, Immigration, Citizenship, and the Bible, he provides an excellent summary of Thomistic economic theory and specifically addresses the Romish doctrine of the “universal destination of goods”.

For some biblical, constitutional, and level-headed thoughts on the subject of immigration absent the leftist emotive rhetoric, I recommend reading Steve’s previous posts in this series. In this article, Christians will benefit from learning a bit about the Roman Church-State’s theory of economics and why it is blatantly anti-capitalistic and wholly without biblical support. The Roman Church-State’s economic and political theory reaches well beyond the immigration issue and is particularly relevant in an age where communism (or communitarianism) is praised by both the papal antichrist and the Marxists in academia.

Due to time demands at work, it has been some time since the previous installment of my series Immigration, Citizenship and the Bible. Those circumstances now ended, it is my hope, Lord willing, to complete the final postings this spring. But before moving on to break new ground, it seems good to me to circle […]

via Immigration, Citizenship, and the Bible Part 12: Rome’s Evil Doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods — Lux Lucet

Attacks on the Gospel’s exclusivity, by Mike Gendron

In light of the growing popularity of The Benedict Option and the evangelical intelligentsia’s love for compromise and anti-Protestantism, we reproduce an article from Mike Gendron’s most recent newsletter. Gendron leads Proclaiming the Gospel, a ministry geared toward the evangelism of Roman Catholics. For more information on the pervasive influence of this book by Rod Dreher, see the article by Pulpit and Pen here, the Polemics Report podcast here, and The Dividing Line podcast by James White here. For more information on contemplative prayer and Roman Catholic mysticism in general, I recommend the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal.

The greatest attacks on the Gospel today are the frequent attempts by evangelicals to make it more inclusive to everyone who has ever been baptized. Many are seeking to broaden the narrow road by embracing and promoting apostate forms of Christianity. Some undiscerning Christians have been seduced by the pope’s aggressive ecumenical agenda to reverse the Reformation and unite all professing Christians under the papacy. Part of the pope’s strategy is to look for soft targets within the evangelical church who will promote Roman Catholicism as a valid expression of Christianity.

Tragically, his strategy has been successful and is gaining a great deal of traction. Most recently, Al Mohler, Carl Truman, Russell Moore and Matt Chandler have recommended a disturbingly popular book written by Rod Dreher, who is a major promoter of Roman Catholicism, ecumenical unity, and contemplative prayer. Dreher is a former Catholic who converted to the Eastern Orthodox religion, not because of Rome’s false gospel, but because of its sexual abuse scandal. His book,  The Benedict Option , calls people of faith to emulate a sixth-century Catholic monk as an example of how to live in a collapsing culture. Almost all the heroes of The Benedict Option  are Catholic monks who lived solitary lives in a monastery while participating in the daily sacrifice of a Eucharistic Christ.

Like most proponents of ecumenism, Dreher promotes subjective spiritual experiences over the objective truths of Scripture. He said he never had a problem with praying the rosary as a Catholic, and he now encourages his readers to practice contemplative prayer and mysticism. He said “my life is shaped around liturgy that’s been in our church for 1500 years” and “on all kinds of sensual ways that embody the faith.” His Eastern Orthodox religion preaches the same works-righteousness salvation as Catholicism and other religions. We are not to affirm or receive “anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9-10).

For evangelical leaders to recommend a book that applauds the heretical people and traditions of Roman Catholicism during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is lamentable. The prevailing influence of these leaders, along with their reluctance to guard sound doctrine and reject false gospels, have left many Christians confused. They do not know if the Roman Catholic Church represents a huge mission field that needs to be evangelized or if it represents a valid expression of Christianity. They need to know that Catholicism has long been a bitter enemy of the Gospel of Christ. The apostate religion has not only condemned those who believe the Gospel, but  brutally tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of those who refused to compromise it. Evangelical leaders who are sanctioning ecumenical unity with Catholics must be lovingly confronted in their error with the truth of God’s Word.

In a troubling interview with Al Mohler, Dreher said, “the West owes an incalculable debt to those Benedictine monks.” Mohler does acknowledge there are differences between their two faiths, but he said evangelicals can learn from people of the Orthodox and Catholic faith who embrace a different gospel. The apostle Paul did not encourage Christians to learn from the Judaizers who were distorting the Gospel and leading them away from Christ (Gal. 1:6-9). Mohler says the book encourages living together in a way that is “truly Christian” yet he never defines what a true Christian is, or the Gospel that a true Christian must believe. Mohler stated, “The book is very important. I want to commend it to every thinking Christian. We ought to read this book, and we ought also to read far beyond the title.” Yet, there was a glaring omission both in the book and in the interview by Mohler and Dreher. Neither one referenced the most powerful tools Jesus Christ gave us to fight the cultural wars – His Word and His Gospel (Hebrews 4:12; Romans 1:16).

Evangelicals who endorse a book that obfuscates the lines that once separated biblical Christianity from apostate Christianity are minimizing the powerful effect of error. The accommodation of doctrinal error and falsehood will always be dangerous to the life of the Church that is called to be sanctified by the truth (John 17:17). God’s Word warns us to “be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Pet. 3:17). The critical issue in the church today is the purity of the Gospel. It is the rudder that must guide us through stormy waters that have been stirred up by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). Either we seek the approval of God by protecting the purity of the Gospel or we seek the approval of men by applauding those who peddle another gospel. There is no “option.”

As blood-bought Christians, we must contend earnestly for the faith and challenge those who embrace a false gospel. If we fail to fight the good fight of faith, we leave our own convictions and beliefs open to question. There is so much more at stake than winning cultural wars. We are also fighting the age-old war against truth waged by the powers of darkness. The truth of God’s Word is our only hope in in a world spinning out of control. We must endeavor to defend the glory and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, the purity of His Gospel, and the sanctity of His Church.

-Mike Gendron

[Article used by permission. Link to original at Proclaiming the Gospel]

Antichrist’s Ecumenical Endeavors, by Thomas Juodaitis

The following article by Thomas W. Juodaitis was first published in the September/October 2016 issue of the Trinity Review (pdf available here). On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it is important to note that while Rome’s dogmas have by and large remained intact in their persistent opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Mystery Babylon’s tactics have changed over the centuries to accommodate Protestant resistance, or lack thereof.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Rome’s strategy toward Protestants changed from the open hostility of the Counter Reformation’s anathemas against Protestant “heretics” to the covert co-opting of “Separated Brethren” since Vatican II. Instead of Antichrist openly persecuting true Bible believers, which he did when he had both the political and religious power to do so, his diabolical scheme has changed to deceive Evangelicals through his ecumenical efforts to bring the “Separated Brethren” back into the fold of Rome. Satan used the same scheme in the history of the early church. For the first three centuries he tried to stamp out the church through both religious and state-sponsored persecution. When that failed, and the church continued to grow, he turned to co-opting it by amalgamating paganism and Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church-State was birthed. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” and then take them over. For the next eleven centuries Rome increased and exercised her power not only over rulers of nations, but also over dissenters who believed the Bible and not Rome’s damnable heresies. Then in the darkness, when the light of the Gospel seemed to be snuffed out, God raised up Martin Luther and others who recovered the Gospel from the Word of God, and Rome’s ecclesiastical power was broken. This also led to her political power being greatly curtailed, as Rome and her Antichrist received, as it were, a mortal wound. Though she tried by force and persecution to stamp out the Reformation, she could not, and the Gospel and Biblical Christianity spread throughout the world. Thus, lacking the power of force to put down the Reformation, she sought by her craft to co-opt and destroy it from within through her ecumenical endeavors. In her efforts she has received help from some well-known “Evangelicals,” a term that used to mean one who believed in sola scriptura and sola fide, but today it has become a wax nose to mean almost anything, and thus means nothing. Thus, as the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation approaches, Rome is doing all it can to eviscerate it, usher in a one-world religion, and she has the help of many from within “Evangelicalism” to do so.[1]

 

Vatican Council II: Decree on Ecumenism

The Second Vatican Council met from 1962-1965 under the pontificates of John XXIII and Paul VI. In its official decrees is a decree on ecumenism – the unity of the church. Notice the imperial language – Bible believing Christians have creeds and confessions – statements of what is believed among us, but Rome issues decrees as to what is to be believed. Though the Council of Trent was upheld, the tone and strategy especially toward Protestants had changed considerably – heretics are now separated brethren, and followers of other religions and even atheists will now be saved through Rome.[2] What follows is a selection of quotations from the Decree on Ecumenism from Vatican Council II.[3]

From the Introduction

The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ….

Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day a movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians….[4]

Notice the importance of the Mass from Chapter 1: “In his Church he instituted the wonderful sacrament of the Eucharist by which the unity of the Church is both signified and brought about” (453). Later in section 4: “The results will be that, little by little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the unity of the one and only Church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the [Roman] Catholic Church[5] as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time” (457).

Other [Roman] “Catholic Principles on Ecumenism” from Chapter 1 are as follows:

In this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:18-19; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Jn. 2:18-19 – footnoted in original), which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable (Cf. 1 Cor. 1:11 ff.; 11:22 – footnoted in original). But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church—for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the [Roman] Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers…. Without doubt, the differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the [Roman] Catholic Church—whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church—do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. (455)

It follows that the separated Churches and communities as such, though we believe they suffer from the defects already mentioned, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the [Roman] Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those to whom he has given new birth into one body…. For it is through Christ’s [Roman] Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation (sic.), that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. (456)

The term “ecumenical movement” indicated the initiatives and activities encouraged and organized, according to the various needs of the Church, and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity. These are: first, every effort to avoid expressions, judgments and actions which do not represent the condition of our separated brethren with truth and fairness and so make mutual relations with them more difficult. Then, “dialogue” between competent experts from different Churches and communities; in their meetings, which are organized in a religious spirit, each explains the teaching of his communion in greater depth and brings out clearly its distinctive features…. In addition, these communions engage in that more intensive cooperation in carrying out any duties for the common good of humanity which are demanded by every Christian conscience. They also come together for common prayer, where this is permitted. (456-457) …

Nevertheless, the divisions among Christians prevent the Church from realizing the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her sons who, though joined to her by baptism, are yet separated from full communion with her. (458, emphasis added)

From Chapter II “The Practice of Ecumenism”:

Church renewal therefore has notable ecumenical importance. Already this renewal is taking place in various spheres of the Church’s life: the biblical and liturgical movements, the preaching of the Word of God and catechetics, the apostolate of the laity, new forms of religious life and the spirituality of married life, and the Church’s social teaching and activity. All these should be considered as promises and guarantees for the future progress of ecumenism. (459-460)

Here in a nutshell is the blueprint for Evangelicals and Catholics Together I and II and the Manhattan Declaration. Ersatz Evangelicals are joining with Roman Catholics on social issues, meanwhile the Gospel is being denied all for the sake of making America moral again. This is made even more explicit in section 12:

Before the whole world let all Christians confess their faith in God, one and three, in the incarnate Son of God, our Redeemer and Lord. United in their efforts, and with mutual respect, let them bear witness to our common hope, which does not play us false. Since cooperation in social matters is so widespread today, all men without exception are called to work together; with much greater reason is this true of all who believe in God, but most of all, it is especially true of all Christians, since they bear the seal of Christ’s name. Cooperation among Christians vividly expresses that bond which already unites them, and it sets in clearer relief the features of Christ the Servant. (462)

Finally, from Chapter III, Subsection II, “The Separated Churches and Ecclesial Communities in the West” come the following quotations:

The Churches and ecclesial communities which were separated from the Apostolic See of Rome (sic.) during the grave crisis that began in the West at the end of the Middle Ages or in later times, are bound to the [Roman] Catholic Church by a specially close relationship as a result of the long span of earlier centuries when the Christian people had lived in ecclesiastical communion. (467) …

We are indeed aware that there exist considerable differences from the doctrine of the [Roman] Catholic Church even concerning Christ the Word of God made flesh and the work of redemption, and thus concerning the mystery and ministry of the Church and the role of Mary in the work of salvation….

A love and reverence—almost a cult—of Holy Scripture leads our brethren to a constant and diligent study of the sacred text. (468, emphasis added) …

Although the ecclesial communities separated from us lack the fullness of unity with us which flows from baptism, and although we believe they have not preserved the proper reality of the eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Orders, nevertheless when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory. For these reasons, the doctrine about the Lord’s Supper, about the other sacraments, worship, and ministry in the Church should form subjects of dialogue. (469, emphasis added) …

And if in moral matters there are many Christians who do not always understand the Gospel in the same way as [Roman] Catholics, and do not admit the same solutions for the more difficult problems of modern society, they nevertheless want to cling to Christ’s word as the source of Christian virtue and to obey the command of the Apostle: “Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17). Hence, the ecumenical dialogue could start with the moral application of the Gospel.

This sacred Council urges the faithful to abstain from any frivolous or imprudent zeal, for these can cause harm to true progress toward unity. Their ecumenical activity cannot be other than fully and sincerely [Roman] Catholic, that is loyal to the truth we have received from the Apostles and the Fathers, and in harmony with the faith which the [Roman] Catholic Church has always professed, and at the same time tending toward the fullness in which our Lord wants his Body to grow in the course of time. (470, emphasis added)[6]

The Roman Catholic Church-State tapped into the ecumenical movement already begun, as witnessed by the cooperation between Roman Catholics and Billy Graham and his “Crusades” in the late 1950s, where Roman prelates were on stage with Graham, and those in the audience who came forward identifying themselves as Roman Catholic were steered back to the Roman Catholic Church-State. This assumes that Roman Catholicism is a legitimate branch of Christianity, and thus there is no need to evangelize Roman Catholics, but that “Evangelicals” and Romanists can work together in co-belligerency on social issues was enshrined in Vatican II, as witnessed in the quotations above. Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism paved the way for Evangelicals and Catholics Together I and II and The Manhattan Declaration. But Rome had not changed, especially concerning doctrine; rather, instead of open hostility and persecution, her strategy toward “heretic” Protestants became more seductive and dangerous, and many “Evangelicals” have fallen for her deceptions. As witness that Rome has not changed on her doctrines, Trent has continually been upheld by Rome, and in 2007 questions were asked if Vatican II had changed her understanding of the church, to which she replied, No.[7]

 

Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Francis I) and His Ramped Up Ecumenical Efforts

Argentinian Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio took for his papal name Francis I upon ascending the papal throne, and he has been busy in his pontificate trying to unite the major world religions. If the “separated brethren” are duped into this ecumenical Babylon, then they will certainly be separated, but their separation will be from Christ. Francis has been pushing for a one-world religion since the beginning of his pontificate, but 2016 has seen his efforts go into overdrive. In Francis’ first ecumenical meeting he made clear his agenda, following through with what Vatican II set in motion:

And now I turn to you distinguished representatives of the Jewish people, to which we are joined in a very special spiritual bond, since, as the Second Vatican Council affirms, the Church of Christ acknowledges that “the beginnings of her faith and her election are already, according to the divine mystery of salvation, in the Patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets” (Declar. Nostra aetate, 4). Thank you for your presence and I am confident that, with the help of the Almighty, we will be able to continue profitably that fraternal dialogue that the Council advocated (cf. ibid.) and that has actually been accomplished, bringing many fruits, especially in recent decades.

I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.

The [Roman] Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs. It is equally aware of the responsibility that we all have towards this world of ours, towards all of Creation, that we should love and protect. And we can do much for the sake of the poorest, those who are weak and who suffer, to promote justice, to promote reconciliation and to build peace.[8]

In June 2014 Francis invited Israeli and Palestinian presidents to meet in a prayer meeting with him on the Vatican grounds. The meeting “will mark the first time that Jewish, Christian and Islamic prayers will be held in the tiny city state that is the headquarters of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church[-State].”[9] The article also noted that Bartholomew, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church will also be attending at the invitation of Francis “to show that the two main branches of Christianity that split in 1054 can work together for peace.”

In early 2014, Francis sent a video message to Kenneth Copeland and his conference of prosperity-gospel / Word of Faith preachers in which he called them brothers and emphasized two ideas, “his joy at their desire to worship together in prayer to the Father for the Spirit to come and his yearning for Christians to become one again.” Francis concluded by telling them to pray for him, and Copeland was more than happy to oblige. The meeting was facilitated through the efforts of Tony Palmer, an Anglican, who in his introduction to the video from Francis stated, “The protest is over.”[10]

Francis spoke in St. Patrick’s cathedral in September 2015 in his visit to the United States. In his opening remarks he said, “I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer.” Later in his speech he said, “In the words of the book of Revelation, I know well that you have come forth from the great tribulation and I accompany you at this time of pain and difficulty. And I thank God for your faithful service unto his people, doing so in helping you to persevere on the path of fidelity to Jesus Christ.”[11] Oh, the irony on so many levels! During the same visit, Francis addressed the full House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States Congress as well as the United Nations where he continued to push his agenda of Socialism, one-world religion, and one-world government, all the while castigating capitalism.

The year 2016 though has seen Francis’ interfaith and unity activities ramped up. Starting in January, Francis released a short video clearly stating his desire to unite the world’s religions into a new one-world religion combining elements of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. In the video Francis repeats, “we are all children of God.” Francis also stated that the majority of the people on Earth profess some sort of religious belief, which he said, “should lead to a dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently.” Also in the video are clips from clergy from the four world religions: a female Buddhist proclaims, “I have confidence in Buddha”; a Rabbi avers, “I believe in God”; a priest declares, “I believe in Jesus Christ”; and a Muslim cleric states, “I believe in Allah.”[12] Then on January 17, Francis visited Rome’s Great Synagogue, which was his first visit to a Jewish place of worship.[13] Later in January, Francis was invited to the mosque of Rome, one of the largest outside the Arab world.[14]

In February, Francis became the first pope to meet a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, when he met Patriarch Kirill in Havana, Cuba. “The two men embraced, kissing each other twice on the cheeks and clasping hands before taking seats. ‘Now things are easier,’ Kirill said. Francis responded, ‘It is clear now that this is the will of God.’ … For Francis, the meeting was an ecumenical and diplomatic coup that eluded his predecessors…. Addressing the schism between their religions, the two also declared, ‘It is our hope that our meeting may continue to the re-establishment of this unity willed by God.’”[15]

 

Together 2016

On July 16, 2016, Francis addressed via video a crowd of “Evangelical” Christians gathered at the Washington Mall before the Washington Monument, an obelisk measuring 6,660 inches in height with a base of 660 inches. There was even more occult symbolism at the conference. In the Together 2016 logo, the “o” is actually an ouroboros, an “emblematic serpent of ancient Egyptand Greecerepresented with its tail in its mouth, continually devouring itself and being reborn from itself. A gnosticand alchemicalsymbol, Ouroboros expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.”[16] This occult symbol was also on the stage, and the speakers and performers stood in the middle of it. Confirmed speakers included Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell (both of whom also signed the Manhattan Declaration), Ronnie Floyd, Francis Chan, Tony Evans, and Mark Batterson, and a whole host of contemporary Christian musicians and bands (and speakers) affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation. In Francis’ video address, he held up a t-shirt with the Together 2016 logo on it, encouraging everyone to put it on, and told the crowd,

I know there is something in your heart that moves you, and that makes you restless, because a young person who is not restless is an old person. And you have youthfulness and youthfulness breeds restlessness…. What is your restlessness? Do you know what it is or do you not know? Do you want to know what your restlessness is? … Find the One who can give you an answer to your restlessness…. God does not leave anyone disillusioned. Jesus is waiting for you. He is the One who planted the seeds of restlessness in your heart.[17]

Event organizers were hoping for a crowd of one million Christians to come together to pray for revival. With the occult symbolism and the pope addressing the crowd, to whom were they praying for revival? The event was supposed to go until 9 P.M., but due to heat in excess of 90 degrees, the event was cut short about 4:30 P.M. Was this God’s mercy mixed with irony? There is much about this event, the organizer, the venue, and some of the sponsoring ministries, that provokes many questions about what was really going on at this event. The organizer, Nick Hall, is “the founder and lead communicator of PULSE,” and his message is “reset,” which also was the title of a book he authored in 2016 – Reset: Jesus Changes Everything. The book is described as “an invitation to a second chance—a do-over—to get beyond past missteps and refocus our lives around the power of Jesus to change everything.”[18] The cover of the book as well as the website has the ouroboros prominently displayed. The Scripture says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6), and “[W]e are not ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11), but one wonders how many of the speakers, performers, and attendees lack knowledge especially about Satan’s devices.

 

Amen: Three Great Monotheistic Religions Coexist

Finally, and to be as current as possible, Amen must be discussed. For one week during the month of September 2016 from the 4th through 11th during the festival of Mekudeshet (Hebrew for “holy” or “sanctified”), held from September 4 – 23, 2016, a part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture Initiative, an interfaith place of worship known as Amen is set to open for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to pray and to spiritually gather together for what is called “Amen – A House of Prayer for All Believers.” The Alpert Youth Music Center will be transformed into AMEN, “a place of worship for the three Abrahamic faiths sharing ‘a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.’”[19] “The Amen event will seek to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem so that they can dialogue, study, sing and pray in one temporary house of worship. Amen will create both a physical and metaphysical space to encourage commonality, rather than to sanctify age-old divisions, say Mekudeshet organizers.”[20] Also of note, “With a motu proprio issued on September 15, Pope Francis has amended the canon laws of the Roman Catholic Church to bring them into harmony with the canon law of the Eastern Catholic churches.”[21]Additionally, “A joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission has approved a statement on the primacy in Church history. … The agreement on the historic function of primacy is significant because the question of papal primacy is one of the key stumbling blocks in Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical discussions. The statement acknowledged that the Bishop of Rome enjoyed primacy, while also noting that synods set directions for the Church. The document reportedly says that the Pope did not exercise canonical authority over the Eastern churches, but acted as ‘first among equals.’”[22]Completely lost on such “ecumenical Babylonians” is the enmity that God put between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). For true Bible-believing Christians there is no spiritual coexistence with false religions. Even though Christians are mentioned in the titles and throughout the articles, they are really talking about Roman Catholicism, which is not Christian. What these three great monotheistic religions have in common besides murdering each other throughout their history is their history of persecuting true Bible-believing Christians.[23]

What are Bible-believing Christians to do? The Scriptures tell us clearly.

Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” [Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34, 41]. “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” [2 Samuel 7:14]. (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18)

And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)

In closing I wish to quote the conclusion from Richard Bennett’s article mentioned in footnote 1 above:

The Reformers proclaimed in their Biblical teaching that God alone is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in His being, goodness, holiness, justice, power, truth, and wisdom. Thus, He alone hears prayers; He alone is the all Holy One; He alone is the Holy Father; in a word, to God alone be the glory. Thus, plans for Pope Francis to visit Sweden on October 31, 2016, and the Archbishop of Westminster hosting an evening service at the former home of King Henry VIII, are obvious examples of the Roman Church’s apostasy. In 2016, sin indeed abounds. The holiness of God, the fear of God, the conviction of sin, and the gospel of grace are necessary. With all this abounding sin and deception, how do we live and reign with Christ Jesus at this time? The Scripture gives us the answer, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one;much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). As you receive the abundant grace given by Christ, you are redeemed from the dominion of death; you will live and reign with Christ as you are sanctified daily through His Word by the Holy Spirit, and by constant fellowship with Him.  Also with Him, you shall reign forever and glorify Him for all eternity.  Believe on Him alone and you will be secure in Him, “to the praise of the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

It is by the power of grace of the Lord Jesus Christ alone that we can truly live the Christian life, as did the Reformers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The Lord’s sacrifice is for the believer, in that He substituted Himself in the place of sinners who would come to believe, and thus satisfied the law on their behalf. So authentic was this substitution that His sacrifice for them eliminated all necessity of punishment. In becoming the substitute for His people, Christ Jesus took their legal responsibility. In the wonderful words of Scripture, “when the fullness of the time was come,God sent forth his Son,made of a woman,made under the law,to redeem them that were under the law,that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4, 5). The Lord God has promised to be a Father to true believers—that they shall be His sons and daughters. This is the greatest honor possible. What rank ingratitude that anyone should slander such a gift and spurn Christ Jesus and eternal life in favor of the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Hence, the Lord promised, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me;and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Those who come at the call of God are given to Christ, because it is through His blood alone that they can be saved. The Lord God, by His Spirit, convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment those who acknowledge their iniquity and their need of salvation. Is the Lord God calling you? Only in the Lord Jesus Christ is found freedom and eternal life! By His grace believe on Him and Him alone, “for by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

The Trinity Review, Number 337, ©2016 The Trinity Foundation, Post Office Box 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692, Telephone: 423.743.0199 Fax: 423.743.2005

 


[1] For further reading, see Richard Bennett, “Roman Catholic Endeavors to Overturn the Reformation,” http://www.bereanbeacon.org/new-blog/2016/5/24/roman-catholic-endeavors-to-overturn-the-reformation, May 24, 2016.

[2] See Michael Day, “Pope Francis Assures Atheists: You Don’t Have to Believe in God to Go to Heaven,” The Independent, September 11, 2013, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-assures-atheists-you-don-t-have-to-believe-in-god-to-go-to-heaven-8810062.html, September 14, 2016. In an open letter responding to questions published by Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. … Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” Jiminy Cricket could not have said it better. The article also stated, “In a welcoming response to the letter, Mr Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were ‘further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all.’” (Emphasis added.)

[3] All quotations from Vatican Council II are taken from Vatican Council II: Volume 1 The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition, Austin Flannery, O. P., General Editor, Northport, New York, Costello Publishing Company, Inc., [1975], 1996.

[4] Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, 452.

[5] Another notable change at Vatican II was the name change of the Roman Catholic Church to the Catholic Church, as Rome seeks to bring the whole world under her “universal” sway again. Thus, Roman has been supplied back into the name in brackets.

[6] For more about Rome’s view of the church see Robert L. Reymond, “Roman Catholicism’s Recent Claim That It Is the True Church,” The Trinity Review, January 2008.

[7] See footnote 6 above. For more in depth analysis of ECT I and II, see John W. Robbins, “Bleating Wolves: The Meaning of Evangelicals and Catholics Together,” The Trinity Review, October-December 1998, and John W. Robbins, “Healing the Mortal Wound,” The Trinity Review, March-May 1998. For more in depth analysis of The Manhattan Declaration see Richard Bennett, “The Roman Catholic Agenda Embedded in the Manhattan Declaration,” The Trinity Review, May-June 2010.

[8] “Pope’s Address to Representatives of the Churches, Ecclesial Communities and Other Religions,” Zenit, March 20, 2013, https://zenit.org/articles/pope-s-address-to-representatives-of-the-churches-ecclesial-communities-and-other-religions/, September 14, 2016. Emphasis added. See also Michael Snyder “12 Times Pope Francis Has Openly Promoted a One World Religion or a New World Order,” July 31, 2016, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/12-times-pope-francis-has-openly-promoted-a-one-world-religion-or-a-new-world-order, September 14, 2016.

[9] Reuters, “First Ever Jewish, Muslim, Christian Prayers at Vatican,” June 8, 2014, http://nypost.com/2014/06/08/first-ever-jewish-muslim-christian-prayers-at-vatican/, September 14, 2016.

[10] Dale M. Coulter, “Pope Francis and the Future of Charismatic Christianity,” First Things, February 20, 2014, https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/02/we-know-pope-francis, September 14, 2016.

[11] Emily Shapiro, “Read What Pope Francis Said at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” ABC News, September 24, 2015, http://abcnews.go.com/US/read-pope-francis-yorks-st-patricks-cathedral/story?id=34023376, September 14, 2016.

[12]See http://www.romereports.com/2016/01/06/this-innovative-video-of-the-pope-is-causing-a-sensation, September 14, 2016, emphasis added.

[13] Philip Pullella, “Pope Visits Rome Synagogue, Condemns Violence in Name of Religion,” Reuters, January 17, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-synagogue-idUSKCN0UV0V1, September 14, 2016.

[14] Papal Visit to Great Mosque of Rome Likely Taking Shape,” Zenit, January 20, 2016, https://zenit.org/articles/papal-visit-to-great-mosque-of-rome-likely-taking-shape/, September 14, 2016.

[15] Jim Yardley, “Pope and Russian Orthodox Leader Meet in Historic Step,” New York Times, February 12, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/world/americas/pope-arrives-in-cuba-for-historic-meeting-with-russian-orthodox-leader.html?_r=0, September 14, 2016, emphasis added. Apparently, the writer knows that the pope is both a religious as well as a political leader.

[16] “Ouroboros,” Encyclopædia Britanica, August 16, 2016, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ouroboros, September 14, 2016.

[17] Brandon Showalter, “Together 2016: Pope Francis Urges Millennials to ‘Find the One Who Can Give You an Answer to Your Restlessness,’” Christian Post, July 16, 2016, http://www.christianpost.com/news/together-2016-pope-francis-urges-millennials-to-find-the-one-who-can-give-you-an-answer-to-your-restlessness166598/#q0LzrS5JSEvtIxmu.99, September 14, 2016.

[18] See http://resetmovement.com/, September 14, 2016.

[19] See JNS, “Muslim, Christian, Jewish Leaders Plan Interfaith Worship Center in Jerusalem,” July 1, 2016, http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/70931/muslim-christian-jewish-leaders-plan-interfaith-worship-center-jerusalem/#IZ9z5C17FzjfyMOy.97, September 14, 2016. Emphasis added.

[20] See “Historic House of Prayer Uniting Christians, Jews and Muslims,” The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, August 12, 2016, http://pjvoice.org/2016/08/12/historic-house-of-prayer-uniting-christians-jews-and-muslims/#.V-LQczX3hER, September 14, 2016. Emphasis added.

[21] “Papal Document Brings Code of Canon Law into Line with Law of Eastern Catholic Churches,” Catholic World News, September 15, 2016, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=29354, September 22, 2016.

[22] “Catholic-Orthodox Commission Reaches Agreement on Primacy,” Catholic World News, September 22, 2016, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=29420, September 22, 2016.

[23] See John W. Robbins, “Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” The Trinity Review, August, 2006.

To the Protestants I became as a Protestant…; Jerry Walls’ Jesuitical deception and the logical consequences of unlimited atonement

Jerry Walls is probably best known for his 2004 book with Joseph Dongell titled, Why I am not a Calvinist. He has since written a number of other books, and if I were a continuationist exercising my prophetic prowess I might predict a future publication by Walls entitled, Why I am not a Christian, for it seems he has altogether departed from the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

Jerry Walls provides us with a perfect example of what can and often does happen when the doctrine of particular redemption is displaced in favor of a more general, potential or universal atonement (making “salvation available to every single person”). In a previous post, I noted how Arminianism (more accurately, synergism generally) necessarily lends itself toward Rome’s false gospel because it introduces variables into the soteriological order that man, not God, controls. As it turns out, Jerry Walls’ other recent publications set out to defend the Romish heretical doctrine of purgatory (Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation [2011]; Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things That Matter Most [2015]). Strategically scheduled for release in October 2017 is, Roman but Not Catholic: What Remains at Stake 500 Years after the Reformation (I’m gonna go out on a limb here and make the wild speculation that “unity” will be the thing alleged to “remain at stake after 500 years”). So, to honor the Protestant Reformation, Jerry Walls will undoubtedly repudiate it.

2016 saw the release of Walls’, Does God Love Everyone?: The Heart of What’s Wrong with Calvinism. As of late, Wipf and Stock Publishing has been pumping out books by mystics, anti-Protestants, social gospelers and various other heretics faster than Benny Hinn can discharge rounds from his Holy Ghost machine gun. This book likewise fulfills the apparent publication requirement of promoting heterodoxy. From the back cover:

“Does God truly love all persons? Most Christians think the obvious answer to this question is, ‘Yes, of course he does!’ Indeed, many Christians would agree that the very heart of the gospel is that God so loved the whole world that he gave his Son to make salvation available for every single person. This book shows that one of the most popular and resurgent theological movements in the contemporary evangelical church–namely, Calvinism–cannot coherently and consistently affirm this vital claim about the love of God. While some Calvinists forthrightly deny that God loves everyone, more commonly Calvinists attempt to affirm the love of God for all persons in terms that are compatible with their doctrines that Christ died only for the elect–those persons God has unconditionally chosen to save. This book shows that the Calvinist attempts to affirm God’s love for all persons are fraught with severe philosophical and theological difficulties. Calvinism, then, should be rejected in favor a theology that can forthrightly and consistently affirm the love of God for all persons. Nothing less is at stake than the very heart of the gospel.”

Note the immediate and obvious Scripture twisting: “Many Christians would agree that the very heart of the gospel is that God so loved the whole world that he gave his Son to make salvation available for every single person.” Indeed, this claim is likely true. That is, that many Christians would agree with this erroneous statement. But note carefully what is being purported by Dr. Walls. The proposition that “God so loved the whole world that he gave his Son to make salvation available for every single person” appears to be his primary axiom, used to justify his anti-Calvinism. Indeed, according to Walls, this is “the very heart of the gospel”. Dr. Walls wants us to accept his primary axiom and subsequent accusation that Calvinists are guilty of compromise because one must somehow find a way to reconcile particular redemption with universal, general, potential salvation for all. What Walls doesn’t seem to understand is that we are under no such obligation to reconcile particular redemption with universalism. His primary axiom is not found in Scripture.

Repeat:  the proposition: “God so loved the whole world that he gave his Son to make salvation available for every single person” is not in the Bible. It is not stated explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not “expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scriptures” (Second London Baptist Confession), nor is it a proposition which by “necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture” (Westminster Confession). So much for his primary axiom. I could end my post here, but we need to see the consequences of his faulty starting point.

Perhaps he is hoping that since the beginning of his misquote sounds like John 3:16 we will be foolish enough to let his Scripture twisting slip by. When Walls is interviewed by Episcopalian host Ronald Way on Author Talk his aversion not only to Calvinism but Protestantism in general becomes all the more evident (transcript available here). The Protestant Reformation has been rightly called the greatest movement of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost by many pastors, theologians and church historians. Not surprisingly, Walls doesn’t see it that way. He says:

“The protestant reformation is…in many ways unfortunate, but still I think necessary split in the western church when a number of people recognized the deep corruption that was prevalent in the Roman Catholic Church in terms of financial abuse, spiritual laxity, and so on.”

So the Reformation was not a glorious awakening to the truth of the gospel which sets the captives free and led a world dominated by Romish superstition out of spiritual darkness, it was, according to Walls, unfortunate. Then he does what other ecumenists have done when describing the “necessity” of the Reformation; he pretends it was a necessary evil; a house-cleaning of sorts. In other words, it wasn’t the accumulation of false doctrines and dogmas and papal perversions of gospel truth that was concerning to the Reformers, it was merely some financial and moral corruption. And once the corruption got cleaned up, “Holy Mother Church” was good to go, and the dissenters should have returned to her fold instead of creating the alleged “34000 denominations” that exist today.[1] Walls goes on in the interview:

“What I’m saying is, if this is what … If this is the case, there’s no meaningful sense in which God loves everybody. That’s the heart of the problem, and if God doesn’t truly love everyone, he’s not a truly good being, he’s not a God of perfect love, he’s not a God of perfect goodness. The problem of Calvinism is the way it depicts the character of God. It makes him fall far short of the biblical view of a God whose heart is love, who desires the salvation of all of his children.”

Firstly, it should be noted that God does in fact desire the salvation of His children. So much so that he secured their salvation at the cross of Calvary. But Walls makes the same error that unbelievers make when they regard the entire human race as “God’s children”. Nothing in the Scriptures would indicate that such is the case, however. The Scriptures teach that since the Fall we are “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), and that the designation “children of God” is reserved only for those who believe in Him:

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:10-13).

Secondly, Dr. Walls’ presumption that God’s goodness is predicated upon the extension of His redemptive love to every member of the human race, is wholly without biblical justification. God’s goodness is intrinsic to His being, and He was free to secure the salvation of whomever He chose when the covenant of redemption was inaugurated in heaven.[2] God’s love is satisfied within the triune godhead; He requires nothing outside of Himself to satisfy His love. To put it plainly, why did God extend salvific love to a remnant of His fallen creation? Because He wanted to.

God’s love is not quantified by the number of people who end up in heaven. But even if we were to grant Walls’ erroneous premise for the sake of argument, one could argue thus: If it holds that God’s love can indeed be quantified by the number of people He desires to save due to His universal love, but in reality most people reject His love and subsequently don’t make it to heaven, then God is actually quantitatively less loving than the sovereign God of the Calvinists. But don’t worry. We will soon see that Walls has a solution for this dilemma extending from his first premise.

Note firstly that He makes the same errors as Dr. David Stone regarding “freedom”:

“The view that I hold is that God sincerely desires to save all persons. He enables all persons to be saved. He truly prefers them to respond to his grace, and accept his grace, but here’s the point, a genuine relationship of love and trust cannot be caused by God. Not even God can do that. If he gives us genuine freedom, and genuine freedom is the necessary condition for genuine love, genuine faith, genuine worship, genuine relationship. Given that is the case, necessarily if we choose not to trust, not to love, then we separate ourselves from God, and choose not to receive the good that God offers us and gives us. God enables all persons to respond, desires all persons to respond, but by nature, given the fact that we are truly free human beings that God calls us to be in a relationship with him, we can decline that. If persons are lost, it is because they will not accept the grace and love that God sincerely, genuinely extends to them.”

I will not reiterate the points I made to Dr. Stone on this topic (see here and here), but will simply add the following: If the concept of freedom as Jerry Walls is espousing here—that fallen man can reciprocate God’s love uncoerced and prior to divine regeneration— is not actually taught in Scripture, then the rest of the argument falls apart. If man’s alleged freewill is taken out of the equation (seeing that his will is in bondage to sin), there is apparently nothing that remains in the way of God’s obtaining His desire (since for Walls man’s freedom is the obstacle to Him obtaining what he desired, i.e., the salvation of all). It seems to be quite an affront to the sovereign God of the Bible to maintain that driveling, vile and putrid worms armed with our “freedom” should thwart God’s eternal desire, no less His immutable decrees. If Walls’ argument ended here, one would have to suppose that God must live eternally in perpetual misery, or at least in some blasé melancholy state, because His universal desire has been filibustered by His own creation. Rather, the Scriptures teach that “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3), and, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). God does get what He desires because fallen man in all his vileness can do nothing to stop Him.

Well, fair enough. Jerry Walls rejects Calvinism. That’s no surprise and that in and of itself does not put him outside the camp. But what is important to note is the logical consequence resulting from his false premises. The interview goes on:

Ron: “What about Christians who would say that if you seek God with an open heart, whether through Christ or not, whether you’re a Buddhist, or Hindu, or Muslim, or Taoist, you find the presence of the Divine? It’s my guess that you’d say that they’re not Christians, and they’ll all be condemned. Is that true?”

Jerry: “That is not in fact what I would say.”

Ron: “Good.”

Jerry: “Again, I’ve written about this in my books on hell. I believe God desires the salvation of all persons. I believe Christ died for all persons. They may not know about Christ. They may not know who he is, but he knows who they are, and they may not know that he died for them, but he did anyway. Many persons have not heard the gospel of Christ, but they’re still responding to whatever light, or understanding, or grace that they have, and so the point of the matter is this, I believe that God is drawing every single person to himself, using whatever resources are available in terms of light and revelation that they have. If persons are responding to the light that they have, I think they will ultimately come to see the truth in Christ.

“What I believe is that God will give every person every opportunity, even if that includes postmortem opportunities for repentance and salvation. I don’t think people are condemned for not believing a truth to which they’ve not had access. If people are responding to the truth that is available to them, if they’re sincerely responding to the grace of God … Again, I’m not saying this is a matter of works, but I believe God’s grace is at work drawing all persons, and I believe Jesus died for all persons, again, whether they know it or not, and so grace is extended to all persons, and I think there are a lot of people who are responding to Christ, who are coming to Christ even though they may not be aware of it until maybe after their death.”

Can it be any more evident that Jerry Walls has completely departed from Christian orthodoxy? He pats himself on the back for not crediting man’s salvation to his own “works” all the while defending the idea of postmortem repentance and salvation, and all detached from belief in the gospel. Walls’ defense of purgatory as a logical consequence of postmortem repentance is evident, and is articulated in his other books. Ron Way, in accordance with his own apostate religious tradition, closes the interview with this gem:

“I was happy to hear that Dr. Jerry Walls said that he thinks that good people of all faiths might still be saved. That’s a wonderful thing, and I appreciated that. I choose to believe that this is what Jesus meant when he taught so long ago that we’re all God’s children, no matter our tradition or faith, when he was asked, ‘What is the most important thing about his teaching?” He said, “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and secondly love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I suppose Ron Way thinks that he— as well as every fallen man from every pagan religion— has the innate ability to keep this commandment.

Dr. Jerry Walls has not descended into heresy because he rejects Calvinism. He has descended into heresy because his unbiblical primary axioms used to justify his rejection of Calvinisim, when brought to their logical extension, drive him to heretical conclusions. This explains why synergists never have a truly systematic and logically coherent theology. They have to cry “paradox” before they let their axioms drive them to universalism. Dr. Jerry Walls, who has passed himself off as an evangelical Christian, has grossly perverted the Scriptures by affirming universalism, defending purgatory and postmortem salvation, and denying justification by faith alone. As a former professor at Notre Dame and currently a scholar in residence and professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University, Jerry Walls must make the Jesuit pope proud.

-Nick Sabato

[1] For example, see James R. Payton Jr., Getting the Reformation Wrong, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 2010, p. 253, footnote 4. This is a bogus number often paraded by Romanists and ecumenists in order to ridicule and deride the results of the Reformation. For a refutation of this myth, see James White’s article here.

[2] For a simple treatment of the covenant of redemption, see Blackburn, E.M. (ed.), Covenant Theology: A Baptist Distinctive, Solid Ground Christian Books, Birmingham, AL, 2013, pp. 26-30.

Roman Catholic Endeavors to Overturn the Reformation, by Richard Bennett

The following is an article by former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett (above). Bennett’s work has been a tremendous blessing to me, and his website is a storehouse of information pertaining to Romanism’s history and heresies as well as other subjects. At the end of this article he asks the reader to share and post it on the internet. A link to the original is here.

Roman Catholic Endeavors to Overturn the Reformation

by Richard Bennett

May 24, 2016

Just as the primary response of the Roman Catholic Church to the Biblical faith of the Reformers was the Counter-Reformation through the Jesuits, now Pope Francis a Jesuit leads the Roman Church’s endeavors to overturn the Reformation. Thus it is of vital importance that we understand want is involved in these endeavors so as not only to impede them but to advance Reformation faith.

In the sixteenth century, the most important response of the Roman Catholic Church to the biblical faith of the Reformers was the Counter-Reformation through the Jesuits.  In an aggressive manner, they led a movement to restore to the Roman Catholic Church the political and ecclesiastical power it had before the Reformation.  The Jesuits led the main Counter-Reformation efforts for four centuries by upholding Papal authority, restoring the sacramental system, and promoting mysticism along with superstitions to those many nations that had been touched by the biblical principles of the Reformation.  They sought out persons of position and power and worked at gaining favor by those who were in their circles of influence, particularly by teaching their children.

This Jesuitical practice was incorporated into Vatican Council II of 1962-1965.  Its major accomplishment was a planned strategy of false ecumenism.  The resolve was that all other “Christian” institutional denominations and their members are now to be drawn back into full communion under Papal Rome.  Thus, since Vatican Council II, Papal Rome has been working tirelessly to have itself recognized as the only Christian Church.  All others, especially Evangelicals, are designated as “separated brethren.” and may only obtain recognition as authentic Christians by returning to union with the Mother Church.  Thus the Roman Church continues to work towards the time when she will be accepted as in fact the Head of Christendom.

Endeavors to Overturn the Reformation through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF)

In 2016, the skilled Jesuit, Pope Francis, leads the Roman Church’s latest activities to overturn the Reformation.  It is of vital importance that we understand what is involved in these activities so as not only to obstruct them but also to advance Reformation faith.  On January 25, 2016, the Catholic News Service reported that Pope Francis would visit Sweden on October 31, 2016,

“to participate in an ecumenical service and the beginning of a year of activities to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Pope Francis will lead the ecumenical commemoration in Lund alongside Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Rev. Martin Junge, federation general secretary, said a joint press release by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the LWF.”[1]

The apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation has already been attested to, when on October 31, 1999, they together issued an accord entitled, “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”[2]  The official common statement under the heading entitled, “The Justified as Sinner,” stated, “We confess together that in Baptism the Holy Spirit unites one with Christ, justifies, and truly renews the person.”[3]

Biblical truth, however, is that the believer’s faith cannot be based on any physical work whatsoever, as true faith is in Christ Jesus’ perfect life, and sacrifice alone justifies a person by grace alone through faith alone.[4]  To claim that the causative effects “in Baptism” justifies an individual before the Holy God is to attempt to negate the Lord’s grace and His finished work on the cross.  It is “to preach another gospel.”[5]  Justification by God’s grace alone through faith alone was Martin Luther’s great principle, the very principle that the Lutheran World Federation totally compromised in 1999 through an extended ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.  

The Rome Church Advances its Ecumenical Grip on the Church of England

Furthermore, on February 9, 2016, the same Catholic News Service reported that,

“…[the] archbishop of Westminster hosted an evening service at the former home of King Henry VIII.  It is the first time a service has been conducted at the palace’s Chapel Royal according to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in more than 450 years.”[6]

This latest intrusion was predictable since Pope Benedict XVI made a Papal visit to the United Kingdom in September of 2010.  The visit was called “an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen ties between the United Kingdom and the Holy See on global initiatives, as well as the important role of faith in creating strong communities.”[7]  The Pontiff addressed the British civil society at Westminster Hall [both houses of Parliament].” [8]

Although King Henry VIII broke politically with Papal Rome, he personally never renounced Roman Catholic doctrine.  Consequently, the present-day Church of England, represented by the Archbishop of Westminster and mimicking Roman Catholic doctrine, is being ever more closely united with the apostate Roman Church by ecumenical dialogue, precisely as Vatican Council II document No. 32 stated is the Papacy’s objective.[9]  

Now, in 2016, the two reports that we have documented announce the realization of 500 years of papal efforts to “nullify” the Reformation.  It is necessary, therefore, to review the historical facts of the Reformation in order to demonstrate that the intended Roman Catholic ecumenical meetings with both the president of Lutheran World Federation {LWF) and the Archbishop of Westminster are specifically intended to promote apostate betrayals of the Reformation faith. 

Authentic Reformation Faith

Martin Luther in Germany; John Calvin, Lefevre, and Farel in France; and Zwingli in Switzerland all represent authentic Reformation faith.  The essential nature of their Reformation faith was salvation before the Holy God by His grace alone.  United by the truth of God’s Word, they believed that each individual is saved by God’s grace alone as Scripture states, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”[10]  They each taught the biblical truth that,  “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…that he [God] might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”[11]

The Reformation possessed definite characteristics, many of which set it apart from any other revival in history.  One of the distinguishing features was its territorial outreach.  It began simultaneously and independently in various European countries.  Men such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Lefevre, and Zwingli preached in unison against rituals of Romanism and exalted faith in Christ alone as the sole means of salvation.  Although Luther is called the originator of the Reformation, the other Reformers, also proponents of Scripture alone, being the basis of truth, preached the same gospel of grace.

Sola Scriptura: The Power Principle of the Reformation

After what seemed endless years floundering in the heretical Papal Tradition, seeing the light of the Reformation, Europe began to come to biblical Christian faith.  Martin Luther spoke eloquently to the heart of God’s people when he said, “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other–my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.”[12]  Indeed, Luther had simply discovered what had been the standard attested to by our Lord and His Apostles.  In the wilderness temptation, the Lord Jesus three times rebuffed the prince of the devils, saying, “It is written.”  For example, “he answered and said, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”[13]  In stating, “It is written,” the Lord used the precise phrase that is used eighty times in the Holy Bible.  This repeated phrase underlines its importance.  The Lord’s complete acceptance of the authority of the written Word is evident in His words, “Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”[14]  So elsewhere it is written, “Thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name.”[15]  The Reformers bowed in submission to the sole authority of God’s Word, as the Apostle Paul had taught them, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”[16]

Thus, Luther and the Reformers whom the Lord raised up at that time knew that a person’s conscience is bound to God’s written Word: “Thy Word is truth.[17]  Indeed, all true disciples must acknowledge that there is an absolute standard by which a thing may be judged to be truth or falsehood, and afterward pleasing or displeasing to God.  It is not possible to own Jesus Christ as Master or Lord and simultaneously refuse the rule of the Father’s Word in and by Him.  If a person loves God he will love His Word alone; that is, without the contamination of tradition.  “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.[18]  A person cannot say he loves God and not love His Word; for the marks of authentic spiritual affection are obvious in Scripture: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.”[19]

Having placed their faith in subjection to God’s written Word, the Reformers could not do otherwise than condemn the false Roman Catholic dogma that “Sacred Tradition” was essential to the knowledge of the truth.  Yet this untrue belief remains the system of belief of the Church of Rome as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other.”  The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states, “And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.”  “As a result the [Roman Catholic] Church…does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone.  Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”[20]

Learning the Way of Truth and Life for the Reformers

At the time of the Reformation, scholarship and the pursuit of truth had become a staple of life.  A great friendship and fraternization developed among the Reformers, as the movement grew across Europe and the British Isles.  A frequent interchange of ideas ensued, and hospitality was freely extended.  One of the surprising features of the Re-formation was this extent of contact and cooperation among the Reformers as they encouraged each other in their efforts.  The Reformation spread with great rapidity.  Of course consolidations, refinements, and extensions were inevitable; but it is difficult to imagine so tremendous a revival on such a vast scale could be executed in so short a time, bringing with it a complete change in thought and in peoples’ lives.  This was necessarily providential; for at that time there were educated men who knew the Hebrew, Latin, and Greek necessary to read the Bible as it then existed.  And it was essential that the Bible be translated into the common language of each country so that the people would have the privilege of reading the Scriptures in their own tongue.  This task demanded scholarship.  All the preaching of many Luthers, Latimers, Zwinglis, Knoxes, and Wisharts would have failed to accomplish the Reformation if, at the same time, the Bible in the common language had not been provided for the people.  If at the moment Latimer was preaching at Cambridge, it had not happened that Tyndale, who had fled to the Continent, was smuggling back thousands of copies of the English New Testament so that every Englishman could read the way of salvation for himself, there would have been no Reformation in England.  A similar situation occurred in Germany, France, and other countries.

The Reformation proper, the break with Roman Catholic totalitarianism, was accomplished in a relatively short time.  The Reformation was a constant, all-encompassing moving of the Holy Spirit.  It was truly a glorious spiritual awakening when multitudes were freed from bondage of the superstition and ritualism of an apostate Papacy, and converted by the Gospel of Grace.  The recovery of the sole authority of Scripture led to obedience to God and His Word, just as the rediscovery of the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone led every true believer into direct and personal contact with the God of revival.

The Heritage of the Reformation

What then is the heritage of the Reformation?  How are we to learn from it for our time?  The Reformation itself was a revival, grounded not only in the Word of God, but also in prayer as each previous and subsequent revival has been.  Spurgeon clearly described the prayer that was the support sustaining the Reformation.  Spurgeon said, “Think not that Luther was the only man that wrought the Reformation! There were hundreds who sighed and cried in secret, ‘O God, how long?’: in the cottages of the Black Forest, in the homes of Germany, on the hills of Switzerland, in the palaces of Spain, in the dungeons of the Inquisition and the green lanes of England.”[21]  Thus, prayer was the bedrock of this great movement as the dedicated prayer requests of numberless hearts across Europe pleaded the Lord to send a mighty moving of His Spirit.

The first great awakening after the Reformation occurred in the 18th century in both America and Britain, which was associated with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.  Prior to the outpouring of the Lord’s grace, we find prayer in the lives of these men and in the lives of their associates.  Also, in Ulster Northern Ireland in 1859, and the end of the 19th century, and in the beginning of the 20th century at Wales, prayer anticipated these Reformations.

Conclusion

The Reformers proclaimed in their biblical teaching that God alone is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in His being, goodness, holiness, justice, power, truth, and wisdom.  Thus, He alone hears prayers; He alone is the all Holy One; He alone is the Holy Father; in a word, to God alone be the glory. Thus, plans for Pope Francis to visit Sweden on October 31, 2016, and the Archbishop of Westminster hosting an evening service at the former home of King Henry VIII, are obvious examples of the Roman Church’s apostasy.  In 2016, sin indeed abounds.  The holiness of God, the fear of God, the conviction of sin, and the gospel of grace are necessary.  With all this abounding sin and deception, how do we live and reign with Christ Jesus at this time?  The Scripture gives us the answer, “For if by one mans offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”[22]  As you receive the abundant grace given by Christ, you are redeemed from the dominion of death; you will live and reign with Christ as you are sanctified daily through His Word by the Holy Spirit, and by constant fellowship with Him.  Also with Him, you shall reign forever and glorify Him for all eternity.  Believe on Him alone and you will be secure in Him, “to the praise of the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved.”[23]

It is by the power of grace of the Lord Jesus Christ alone that we can truly live the Christian life, as did the Reformers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.  The Lord’s sacrifice is for the believer, in that He substituted Himself in the place of sinners who would come to believe, and thus satisfied the law on their behalf.  So authentic was this substitution that His sacrifice for them eliminated all necessity of punishment.  In becoming the substitute for His people, Christ Jesus took their legal responsibility.  In the wonderful words of Scripture, “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”[24]  The Lord God has promised to be a Father to true believers—that they shall be His sons and daughters.  This is the greatest honor possible.  What rank ingratitude that anyone should slander such a gift and spurn Christ Jesus and eternal life in favor of the apostate Roman Catholic Church.  Hence, the Lord promised, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”[25]  Those who come at the call of God are given to Christ, because it is through His blood alone that they can be saved.  The Lord God, by His Spirit, convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment those who acknowledge their iniquity and their need of salvation.  Is the Lord God calling you?  Only in the Lord Jesus Christ is found freedom and eternal life!  By His grace believe on Him and Him alone, “for by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”[26]

Please make the article below known to your family and church members, and if possible have it posted on the Internet.

I would like to have your response to the article with any proposals that you may have. You can email me at; richardmbennett@yahoo.com  Or else send your comments to Pastor Glenn with whom I work at; bereanbeaconmail@yahoo.com

Thank you,

Richard Bennett

[Link to original here]

[1] www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/01/25/pope-francis-to-visit-sweden-for-reformation-commemoration/   2/23/2016

[2] www.bereanbeacon.org/new-blog/2015/10/17/the-catholic-lutheran-accord

[3] Lutheran-Catholic Accord, “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” October 31, 1999, Sect. 4.4

[4] John 6:29; Romans 2:28, 29; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Colossians 2:11; Romans 3:21-26

[5]  Galatians 1:9

[6] www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3439293/Hampton-Court-Palace-chapel-holds-Catholic-service-Henry-VIII-broke-away-Rome-16th-century.html  5/18/2016

[7] https://zenit.org/articles/uk-queen-government-welcome-papal-visit

[8] http://www.zenit.org/article-28654?l=english

[9] Vatican Council II Document “Reflections and Suggestions Concerning Ecumenical Dialogue”  August. 1970

[10] Ephesians 2:8-9

[11] Romans 3:23-24, 26

[12] http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1501-1600/martin-luthers-most-noble-words-11629925.html

[13] Matthew 4:4

[14] Matthew 5:17-18

[15] Psalm 138:2

[16] 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

[17] John 17:17

[18] Psalm 119:140

[19] Jeremiah 15:16

[20] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 80, 81 and 82

[21] www.the-highway.com/revival-reformation_Lamb.html 2/23/2016

[22] Romans 5:17

[23] Ephesians 1:6

[24] Galatians 4:4-5

[25] John 6.37

[26] Ephesians 2:8-9

J.C. Ryle: “No peace with Rome…”

“…The spurious liberality of the day we live in helps on the Romeward tendency. It is fashionable now to say that all sects should be equal, that all creeds should be regarded with equal favor and respect, and that there is a substratum of common truth at the bottom of all kinds of religion, whether Buddhism, Mohammadanism or Christianity! The consequence is that myriads of ignorant folks begin to think there is nothing peculiarly dangerous in the tenets of papists — any more than in the tenets of Methodists, Independents, Presbyterians or Baptists, and that we ought to let Romanism alone, and never expose its unscriptural and Christ-dishonoring character.

The consequences of this changed tone of feeling, I am bold to say, will be most disastrous and mischievous, unless it can be checked. Once let popery get her foot again on the neck of England — and there will be an end of all our national greatness! God will forsake us, and we shall sink to the level of Portugal and Spain!

With Bible reading discouraged,
with private judgment forbidden,
with the way to Christ’s cross narrowed or blocked up,
with priestcraft re-established,
with auricular confession set up in every parish,
with monasteries and nunneries dotted over the land,
with women everywhere kneeling like serfs and slaves at the feet of clergymen,
with schools and colleges made seminaries of Jesuitism,
with free thought denounced and anathematized,
with all these things — the distinctive manliness and independence of the British character will gradually dwindle, wither, pine away and be destroyed, and England will be ruined! And all these things, I firmly believe, will come unless the old feeling about the value of Protestantism can be revived.

I warn all who read this message, and I warn my fellow churchmen in particular, that the times require you to awake and be on your guard. Beware of Romanism, and beware of any religious teaching which, wittingly or unwittingly, paves the way to it. I beseech you to realize the painful fact that the Protestantism of this country is gradually ebbing away, and I entreat you, as Christians and patriots to resist the growing tendency to forget the blessings of the English Reformation.

For Christ’s sake, for the sake of the Church of England, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our children — let us not drift back to Roman Catholic ignorance, superstition, priestcraft and immorality! Our fathers tried Popery long ago, for centuries, and threw it off at last with disgust and indignation. Let us not turn the clock back and return to Egypt. Let us have no peace with Rome — until Rome abjures her errors, and is at peace with Christ. Until Rome does that, the vaunted reunion of Western churches, which some talk of, and press upon our notice, is an insult to Christianity.

Read your Bibles and store your minds with scriptural arguments. A Bible-reading laity is a nation’s surest defense against error….

I entreat my readers, beside the Bible and Articles — to read history, and see what Rome did in days gone by. Read how she trampled on liberties, plundered your forefathers pockets, and kept the whole nation of England ignorant, superstitious and immoral….

And do not forget that Rome never changes. It is her boast and glory that she is infallible, and always the same.

Read facts, standing out at this minute on the face of the globe, if you will not read history. What has made Italy and Sicily what they were until very lately? Popery. What has made the South American states what they are? Popery. What has made Spain and Portugal what they are? Popery. What has made Ireland what she is in Munster, Leinster and Connaught? Popery. What makes Scotland, the United States, and our own beloved England the powerful, prosperous countries they are, and I pray God they may long continue? I answer, unhesitatingly, Protestantism, a free Bible and the principles of the Reformation. Oh, think twice before you cast aside the principles of the Reformation! Think twice before you give way to the prevailing tendency to favor popery and go back to Rome!

The Reformation . . .
found Englishmen steeped in ignorance — and left them in possession of knowledge;
found them without Bibles — and placed a Bible in every parish;
found them in darkness — and left them in comparative light;
found them priest-ridden — and left them enjoying the liberty which Christ bestows;
found them strangers to the blood of atonement, to faith and grace and real holiness — and left them with the key to these things in their hands;
found them blind — and left them seeing,
found them slaves — and left them free!

Forever let us thank God for the Reformation! It lighted a candle which we ought never to allow to be extinguished or to burn dim. Surely I have a right to say that the times require of us a renewed sense of the evils of Romanism, and of the enormous value of the Protestant Reformation!”

-J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (1879).

Arminianism, the back door to popery

During my ‘non-Calvinist’ days, having long been a staunch opponent of Rome and her heresies, when I stumbled upon a book titled Arminianism, the Back Door to Popery (Jonathan Warne) I was quite a bit insulted. Similarly, Augustus Toplady had written, Arminianism, the Road to Rome, and, Arminianism: A Jesuit Drug.

I did not consider myself to be Arminian or Wesleyan, but having read some of the things John Wesley had to say about Romanism and his interpretation of antichrist as being fulfilled in the papacy, I could not fathom how one could see a connection between Arminianism and popery. Consider, for example, the following brief excerpts from Wesley’s notes on Revelation 13:

“And they worshipped the dragon – Even in worshipping the beast, although they knew it not. And worshipped the wild beast – Paying him such honour as was not paid to any merely secular potentate. That very title, “Our most holy Lord,” was never given to any other monarch on earth….

“And there was given him – By the dragon, through the permission of God. A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy – The same is said of the little horn on the fourth beast in Daniel. Nothing greater, nothing more blasphemous, can be conceived, than what the Popes have said of themselves, especially before the Reformation.

“To blaspheme his name – Which many of the Popes have done explicitly, and in the most dreadful manner.

“…By this the Pope manifests that he is antichrist, directly contrary to Christ….

“…The name of the beast is that which he bears through his whole duration; namely, that of Papa or Pope: the number of his name is the whole time during which he bears this name. Whosoever, therefore, receives the mark of the beast does as much as if he said expressly, ‘I acknowledge the present Papacy, as proceeding from God’….”[1]

Similar statements concerning the identity of antichrist are found in Clarke’s Commentary and Barnes’ Notes. Dr. Ron Cooke points out that in his commentary on Revelation, Wesley “mentions the Papacy over and over again in connection with Antichrist…. The fact remains that Wesley identified the Papacy with the Antichrist [and this is] clearly demonstrated…no matter what else Wesley may have written on other subjects.”[2]

I also thought of how Dave Hunt had written extensively on the subject of Romanism, denouncing it as blasphemous heresy, and also debated many Roman Catholic apologists. All that despite his anti-Calvinistic soteriology.[3]

It seemed to me, therefore, an overzealous and emotional outburst to claim that Arminianism was somehow a bridge to Rome seeing how some prominent Arminians of the past as well as many contemporary non-Calvinists had stood and continue to stand firmly against the aberrant works-righteousness of Romanism and the battery of other heresies the scarlet-colored Beast spews from its mouth.

It was not until I understood that underlying all of the mariolotry, saint worship, necromancy, sacerdotalism, etc., was in fact a common bond with the non-Calvinistic, non-confessional evangelicalism so prevalent today. It is an oft overlooked bond that was present within Wesley’s (and presumably Adam Clarke’s and Albert Barnes’) theology, despite any allegiance to the historic Protestant interpretation regarding the identity of the man of sin. That common bond is synergism. 

Wesleyan Arminianism may not be pelagian, and therefore should not be regarded as a damnable heresy. But then again, neither is Rome’s soteriology pelagian (it is semi-pelagian). However, synergism is what they have in common. So, despite the offense that most evangelicals would take to the allegation that Arminianism is a backdoor to popery, when it is realized that any conceivable theory of salvation and associated ordo salutis must ultimately fall into one of two categories—monergism or synergism—it cannot be denied that Arminianism must necessarily sit beside its Papal predecessor under the synergistic heading. In this regard at least, Arminians are at odds with their reformed, monergistic counterparts, and of necessity, at peace with Rome.

That is not to say that Arminians are in bed with the Scarlet Harlot, that they embrace Rome’s false gospel, or that they are diabolical Jesuits in disguise. Numerous examples can be given of men who are familiar with Rome’s counterfeit gospel and stand in direct opposition to it despite their reluctance to embrace reformed soteriology. I was one of them.

Primarily, sound exegesis, systematic theology and Baptist covenant theology worked together to bring me out of synergism. But at least part of the impetus for my parting ways with my non-Calvinist position is my abhorrence for peace with Rome. There truly cannot be peace between Christ and antichrist. Synergism is that common thread that runs from pelagianism through Arminianism right through to Romanism. But the thread is cut at Calvinism. The cancerous root of synergism is severed by the sword of a truly consistent, Protestant reformed soteriology, and synergism is ultimately smashed by the hammer that is the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29).

Synergism undermines and eats away at an otherwise grace-centered gospel. The purity of grace is preserved by the bulwark of monergism.

-Nick Sabato

[1] Wesley, J., Explanatory Notes on the New Testament, The book of Revelation, ch. 13.

[2] Cooke, R., Antichrist Exposed: The Reformed and Puritan View of Antichrist, Truth International Ministries, Max Meadows, VA, 2006, p. 431 [Available here].

[3] Of course, despite Hunt’s forceful attacks on the papacy and Romanism, he could not fully embrace the historic Protestant position that had identified the papacy as the antichrist because of his prior commitment to Dispensational futurism. I hope to address this subject in a future post.