“If you do not contend with your whole heart against the impious government of the pope, you cannot be saved. Whoever takes delight in the religion and worship of popery, will be eternally lost in the world to come. If you reject it, you must expect to incur every kind of danger, and even to lose your lives. But it is far better to be exposed to such perils in this world than to keep silence. So long as I live I will denounce to my brethren the sore and the plague of Babylon, for fear that many who are with us may fall back like the rest into the bottomless pit of perdition.”When I got saved in 1973, the truths of that statement were still widely believed, accepted and stated by most born-again individuals and evangelical organizations.
Not so any longer.
I admit that I find great personal consolation in the above quotation. The boldness and unflinching confidence contained within that statement are both refreshing and encouraging.
I must also admit that I have a great heaviness of heart as well. If what this person said is correct according to the Bible, what are we to make of this? What does this mean for us today? How do we flesh this out in the relationships we have with those who aren’t this dogmatically strong?
We struggle with “black-and-white” stances. Being black-and-white seems so harsh at times. It’s so … definite. I find myself questioning myself when I think black-and-white in relation to subjects such as this. I ask myself often if I’m crazy. However, I take heart when I read the writings of First John. Talk about being “black-and-white!” He probably wouldn’t be invited to preach in too many modern pulpits.
I remember when I preached against the Mel Gibson movie: The Passion of The Christ. I felt somewhat alone and “crazy.” So many Christian churches, ministries and organizations were flocking to go see it. Churches took bus loads. When Mel Gibson was asked by a group of preachers if he was born-again, he said that he was. (The Catholic Catechism uses this very same term.) The preachers in that meeting stood up and gave him a standing ovation. But … doesn’t the movie focus upon The Stations of The Cross?
And there I was preaching to my church — “The Pope is the Vicar of Hell.” That sort of thing doesn’t always go over so well. That’s OK. I had heard Ian Paisley say that and decided that since it was good enough for him to say, it was good enough for me as well.
What are we to think these days when so many “Christian” organizations are embracing Romanism? What are we to think about those “believers” we know personally who are involved in ministries that are embracing Popery?
Is the above quotation a true statement or not? I don’t want to think so, personally. But in my innermost being, based upon my own study of the Bible, I think it’s much safer to proceed from that vantage point. Like I always told my kids: It’s easier for me to tell them “no” and change my mind later than it is to say “yes” first.
If some organization, ministry or person we know is moving in the direction of fellowship with The Catholic System, Rome, The Popery … the most loving thing we can do is express our concerns to them. That might not be received as loving, though. But yet, it is. If someone is truly born-again, they’ll thank us. If they are not … ??
I stand in company with the likes of Spurgeon, Ian Paisley and the person that wrote the above quotation.
So … who wrote the above?
Nope, not gonna tell you.