The Decline of Historic Bible|
|By Dr. Ronald Cook|
John Bunyan wrote about the battle for Mansoul three hundred years ago. The battle is still the same battle today; it is still the battle for the souls of men. In other words the battle is a theological one in spite of the fact that we live in a day when theology is downgraded and ignored by many.
I remember Dr. Ian Paisley in his early days when he was being smeared by the men of the church (as he still is) said that he was not going to engage in the personal smear, that his battle was a theological one, and that he would fight that battle without apology to anyone. I have always tried to keep to that; the battle which is going on today is theological although many do not seem to realize it.
Whenever I mention men by name I am not questioning their personal lives or their morality. (Although it is difficult to separate theological error from morality.) Many of the men mentioned in this study are good men with good reputations and nice personalities. However, I believe that they are in error theologically, and since a person's theology (modern thinking, notwithstanding) determines eternal destiny, I believe it is not only necessary, but it is any true minister's duty to take issue with those who promulgate theological error. In dealing with error I try to stick with the great tenets of the Christian faith, not picayune non-essentials that many want to fight over today.
In dealing with the issue of false religion I also recognize that many Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and other cultists are wonderful people personally. They are nice people with pleasant personalities. My dear wife Carole received very kind treatment at Mercy Hospital in Altoona. Everyone was very kind to her. However, this generation needs to be made aware that kindheartedness, although a very worthy trait, does not make us fit for heaven. This is where so many err today. This error is demonstrated in the following pages. To be justified before God is the most important truth that anyone can ever know. We are not justified by good works but rather by the finished WORK of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other kind of justification and no other way whereby man can attain right standing with God.
Carole had ample opportunity to witness to many Roman Catholics during her stay in the hospital, even to Roman Catholic sisters. Some were better informed than others, but none seemed to possess the assurance of salvation. One dear sister who prayed a "Protestant" prayer with Carole every day at first, after Carole had a chance to witness to her and give her some material on how to be saved, seldom came back after that. Now these people are kind and gracious and tender and loving, but they are steeped in error. This is tragic beyond words. It is sad but true that the lost condition of millions in Romanism today in America must be laid at the door of the fundamental church. The high-pressure tactics to get people to say "Yes" to some emotional appeal has brought about a generation who all "Believe" in their own way. Because of the superficial encounter with religion it is well-nigh impossible to dislodge them from the precarious presumption in which they live today.
It is difficult to dislodge the Roman Catholic from his good-works, sacramentarian idea of salvation. In dealing with Roman Catholics in our evangelistic meetings I have found it very difficult to get them to see the finished work of Christ and the error of a works-religion. Some will agree with everything that is said but continue to receive the mass. So if we believe that a man is justified without the deeds of the law, then any works-religion is the Devil's counterfeit. It cannot be otherwise.
Many of the people witnessed to in America today say that they believe (but the demons also believe); whether these people are justified by faith in the finished work of Christ is quite another thing altogether. Do not the Bible-believing ministers of the Gospel, the heirs of the glorious Protestant Reformation, owe it to them to make sure that they are not trusting in a false hope? For if they are, their flimsy claim to "believe" will one day land them among the torments of the damned, lost forever.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the works-religion which the Reformers repudiated has made a re-entrance into the modern church, yes, and even into areas of evangelicalism, and into areas of fundamentalism. Presumption is rampant. Evaluation is almost totally absent. False religion fits into this kind of religious atmosphere, and its overwhelming presence can be traced to the ineffective preaching of many who consider themselves evangelicals, and even those who consider themselves fundamentalists, and yes, even those who consider themselves the heirs of the Reformed tradition.
Manahath School of Theology
3rd Printing, March 1986
Leonard Ravenhill, in his best seller "WHY REVIVAL TARRIES" made a very piercing observation when he wrote: "Evangelists today are wide-eyed to the might of Communism, but tightlipped at the menace of Romanism. "This statement was made about twenty years ago. Times have changed since then. And evangelists for the most part today (at least the famous ones) are not even concerned about the might of Communism. However, it is still true that most evangelists and most ministers and most Americans are completely silent when it comes to a Biblical evaluation of Romanism or any false religion today.
One of the reasons for this is the great ignorance of the Bible that exists in Protestantism today. One dear lady in a service the writer conducted in a good, fundamental church confessed that she did not know enough to ask a question. The meeting had been thrown open for questions at the end. She was honest enough as she shook my hand to say, "I didn't know enough to ask a question." This was in a good, separated, fundamental church. So although there is much preaching about the Bible today, the great truths of the Scriptures, as they pertain to justification and redemption, are seldom mentioned.
Another reason is the rise of secularism and humanism. As J. Sidlow Baxter points out while writing on another subject: There can be no doubt that the holiness movement became eclipsed by a bigger issue. That issue was the grim battle to preserve the validity of Christianity as a whole against the deadly assaults of nineteenth and twentieth century rationalistic criticism... in all denominations those holding to the evangelical faith were compelled to sink minor differences...and join hands in common cause against the one common deadly for.1 Biblical evaluation has also been eclipsed by a bigger issue. With the rise of humanism many feel that all church differences should be dropped and that all should unite to defeat this one common deadly foe.
Therefore, it is considered not only bad taste but a journey into the unnecessary to evaluate other religions today. Because of this tolerance anyone who dares to even timidly question the antics of those who compromise the great truths of the Gospel is in for a veritable roasting by the leading lights of modern Christian journalism.
It is difficult to biblically evaluate another religion. Yet the Bible cuts across man-made religions of all kinds, and to be a true minister of the Word calls for biblical evaluation of error and heresy.
We live in a generation which is uncritical in the area of religion. According to CHRISTIANITY TODAY, David McKenna, President of Seattle Pacific University, said that today's students tend to be uncritical, and George Brushaber of Bethel College observed: "They don't have much recognition of the traditions of history from which they come...no sense of the historical church."2 In other words, the ignorance of a theological perspective is monumental today.
So it is considered passe to biblically evaluate the modern church. If an aggressive church hires Bozo the Clown for $10,000 to boost its Sunday School attendance for that Sunday, no one is supposed to raise so much as a whisper. If Jerry Lewis, the unconverted Jew, appears on Oral Roberts' television show as the star, no one dare question such a practice. When Billy Graham applauds the visit of the Pope to Poland and visits and preaches in Roman Catholic churches prior to that himself, no one is supposed to biblically evaluate such conduct. If one dares to even question such antics, he is immediately branded as a hatemonger, one who is playing into the hands of the Communists, and the enemies of religion, and is therefore subject to be relegated to the dustbin of history. He may even be called something worse! One incensed minister in Scotland said in reference to some who had the temerity to question Dr. Billy Graham's inclusion of modernists on his platform in his Scotland crusade that when the guttersnipes had crawled back into the sewers from which they had emerged. Dr. Graham's ministry would continue. So we can readily see that to biblically evaluate the. spirit of our times—the Zeitgeist, as the sociologists would call it — is fraught with peril and misunderstanding. Actually we should welcome biblical evaluation as Christians. Spurgeon said, "If I am wrong, correct me. and I will bear it cheerfully, and you expect the same from me." Faithful are the wounds of a friend, the Scriptures tell us. but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Every man is fallible; therefore, every man should welcome biblical evaluation.
However, it is strange in the midst of the ecumenical spirit which does not allow biblical evaluation that it is all right to criticize certain things. Our leading evangelical magazines can and do criticize quite severly certain areas of modern religion. MOODY MONTHLY, for instance, in its July-August issue of 1979 biblically evaluates no less than 77 cults and false religions. Now this is a very commendable effort on the part of this magazine as far as it goes. But there is no evaluation given of the Roman Catholic cult, the largest cult of all in Christendom; even though it does expose the little known liberal Catholic church!
Van Baalen, in his standard work, CHAOS OF CULTS, thought it necessary to biblically evaluate some of the better known cults of today. Walter R. Martin, in a recent monumental study, KINGDOM OF THE CULTS, surpasses Van Baalen and brings his work up-todate. His work is an excellent effort again as far as it goes and was widely praised by leading evangelical magazines, ministers and scholars.
So apparently it is accepted by the higher echelons of evangelicalism to biblically evaluate Mormonism, the Jehovah Witnesses, and the Seventh Day Adventists, but not the largest cult of all—the Roman Catholic cult. Neither of these writers thought it necessary to deal with the cult of Rome.
The Reformers called the Roman Catholic religion a sect and not a true church because they had the Pope as the head and not the Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to notice the trend away from the thinking of the Reformers today even on the part of those who claim to follow them to the letter.
In a recent issue of the PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL readers were asked to give their opinion of a modern revision of the Westminster Confession of Faith. It was very revealing of the ignorance of reformed doctrine to notice that several people wanted the reference to the Pope as antichrist removed from any modern reworking of the Westminster Confession. They all assumed with equal ignorance that such a thought was preposterous! That the Pope is an antichrist is not at all preposterous but an actual fact and that a Pope could be the antichrist is certainly not unthinkable.
Romanism has always been considered a counterfeit religion by historic Bible Protestants of all denominations. While Protestants have differed among themselves in certain areas, they have historically been united on salvation by grace through faith. This great doctrine has been the common denominator of all Protestant groups. So that a line of demarcation was always made between all Protestant denominations and the counterfeit of Romanism. Today this line of demarcation no longer exists.
When well known fundamental and evangelical speakers on radio and television speak of denominations, they frequently include the Roman cult in their inclusive statements. In recent days we listened to a leading fundamental television preacher make the statement that there are believers in all denominations—Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, etc. He included the great counterfeit giant of Romanism with other Protestant denominations. This is done, we believe, to keep the money flowing from as wide a source as possible, but it is a reckless course to follow in the light of eternal truth and in the light of eternal judgment.
Why, if we can be so generous in our inclusive statements, do we not include Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and other cults where believers might be residing? If we can boldly assert that there are believers in apostate Protestantism, idolatrous Romanism, why not in misguided Mormonism or non-real Christian Science or Mrs. White's Seventh Day Adventism? For it is certainly true that there is more Bible studied in erroneous Adventism than there is in apostate Protestantism or sacramentarian Romanism.
So while some may glibly assert that there are believers in all denominations, the true minister of the Gospel cannot be so glib. The true minister realizes that truth is paramount. Where truth is repudiated, can true faith exist? Historically, if people were saved in the Roman cult, they repudiated it and left it. Therefore, no true minister should ever give any solace to any disobedient person who claims to be a believer but who remains in company with those who deny the Lordship of Christ and the truth of the Bible.
There may be disobedient believers in some of these groups, but upon whose authority can we glibly announce this as fact? We are far too glib and nonchalant with the truth of the Word today. This glib attitude contributes to the lack of self-examination and to the presumption evident in many churches today. "We are one in the Spirit, and we are one in the Lord" is the theme of the ecumenical church today, and it is sung by many misguided and flippant church members who pat themselves on the back for their great tolerance of those who differ with them.
This false pride is very evident today. Many "Christians" seem to be more concerned about being thought tolerant and open than about being true and stedfast. Tolerance is all right in nonessentials, but it causes eternal loss when we tolerate those who propagate salvation by works.
The whole area of tolerance needs to be studied today. It is one thing to tolerate all kinds of dissent in society and allow men to be free in their consciences, but it is quite another to tolerate everything in the Church of the living God, which is supposed to be the pillar and ground of the truth! Biblically ignorant Christians parade their ignorance under the guise of tolerance, and the result of this foolish parade is devastating in the area of Biblical Christianity. The decline of biblical Protestantism is obvious today. The very term "Biblical Protestant" is a term of opprobrium and defamation today, generally reserved for the Protestants of the North of Ireland. The decline of historic Christianity is real today. To be a true believer a person must understand the Gospel. He must recognize the Word of God as authoritative, that is, that its teachings and precepts are binding upon him. No one can be a believer and exist in a spiritual vacuum; yet this apparently is what some seem to think today. The Word seems to have lost its authority in the lives of many professing Christians today.
Divorce has reached epidemic proportions, not only in society but among Christians and even among those in the Christian ministry. Ministers calmly divorce their wives and marry another woman and carry on in the minstry even in fundamental, separated, Bible-believing churches. As this book is being written, the PITTSBURGH PRESS carries the story of Bob Herrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street. It tells of his divorce, and then his quick remarriage to his secretary. One of Herrington's famous records was, "It's Fun Being a Christian." We can imagine what the cynics are saying now. On the sports page we read of Alvin Dark's testimony, and we learn that he also was recently divorced and remarried. Another story tells us that Craig Morton of the Denver Broncos is picked up for drunken driving, and the article goes on to say that Morton is a born-again Christian. What in the world are we producing? When Christian leaders—at least they are sought out as speakers by many church and youth groups—calmly talk of divorce and remarriage as if they were discussing mere temporary peccadilloes. Now we understand that in rare cases there may be grounds for divorce, but it is the quick remarriage which disturbs us greatly. We know of couples who have been divorced and then have had their lives straightened out and have come back together again. The quick remarriage destroys any possibility of a future reconciliation or at least seriously complicates such a hope.
It is one thing to thump the pulpit as we declaim with verve the inspiration of the Bible; it is quite another to make that inspired Word the rule for our lives. The reason that the great spiritual vacuum exists today and why conduct is so lax no doubt stems from an ignorance of the Bible. People are urged to turn to Christ today by cheap psychological tricks. Some who claim to turn to fundamental and Bible-believing teach their congregations that the way to be an aggressive soul-winner is to ask the persons ten questions that they can answer yes to, then ask them do they want to receive Christ. The person, who has been psychologically prepared, then answers the eleventh question with a yes, too, and is then considered won to Christ. It should not surprise us then that so much confusion reigns in the church today.
We seem to have a difficult time realizing that although it is possible to mass produce just about everything today, we cannot mass produce Christianity. When one famous super-aggressive church pastor openly boasts that even the FBI couldn't find 75% of his church members on Sunday morning, it is obvious that there is something seriously wrong even though he makes a joke of it. What he is saying is that 4,000 of those whom he baptized, told they were eternally secure, no longer come to Church. Yet they are considered Christians and considered as sure candidates for glory, according to the teaching of this man.
How far we have strayed from the New Testament is not easily measured. But it is obvious that what some men preach as the Gospel is as far removed from the truth as Heaven is from Hell. The New Testament never speaks of it being fun to be a Christian, nor does it teach that it is easy to become a Christian. The Lord Jesus Christ, and I would to God that Christian leaders would listen to what the Lord Jesus savs, said that unless a person sits down and counts the cost, he could not be His disciple. The Lord Jesus states three times in the fourteeenth chapter of Luke that we CANNOT be His disciple unless we meet His stringent demands.
Biblical evaluation is absolutely essential today if one is to remain a Biblical Christian. There is so much hypocrisy and presumption in the Church today that unless one evaluates everything one reads by the Scriptures, one is sure to be led astray or if not led astray, completely neutralized in the Battle for Mansoul. For instance, many books and articles have come out against Dr. Moon's Unification Church. He has been thoroughly dissected and examined and exposed. He has even been blasted by the major networks on several occasions. Millions of Americans thought this was necessary. The tragedy of this whole scenario is apparent to those who regard the Bible as not only inspired, infallible, and inerrant, but also authoritative. For while it is true that the Moon cult has ensnared thousands of Biblically ignorant young people, the Roman cult has ensnared seven hundred million precious souls. One of the criticisms leveled at the Moon cult was that Mr. Moon set himself up as another Christ. This was rightly declared to be blasphemous. However, the silence was deafening concerning the worship and veneration which the Pope blasphemously arrogates to himself. This writer has yet to see one word condemning this perennial blasphemy in any of the books or papers or magazines that so boldly speak out against the Moon Cult. The Moon Cult, in its official publication, claims 30,000 followers in the U.S. and 2 million worldwide. Yet this little insignificant cult comes in for all kinds of articles, books and news media propaganda directed against it. The Roman Cult, which is far more insidious, far more powerful, and which is also directed by a "Foreigner" (one of the allegations made against the Moon Cult is that it is Korean and not American) receives every kind of favorable coverage in evangelical magazines, fundamental papers and the news media at large. It even received unprecedented free coverage when the major networks carried half-hour specials on the Pope's visit to Poland. The Black Madonna was beamed into an estimated fifty million homes, and the celebration of the Mass was given full exposure. Yet there was no public outcry such as was directed against poor little Mr. Moon, who is really no threat to America at all compared with the Pope of Rome.
Is this disparity between the exposure of Mr. Moon and the lack of exposure of Romanism ever explained? It is not. Our evangelical magazines, which carry articles many times that are not worth reading, never seek to explain what is happening in America today concerning the biggest cult of all. They will dissect the Satanists, the Moonies, the despised cults, and in the case of some fundamental papers fight over baptism, hair, or some other picayune subject but totally ignore the complete takeover of our networks, news media, and country by the counterfeit propaganda of a false religion of monumental proportions! When one realizes what is happening, it can be said without exaggeration that such a situation is incredible. The Scriptures tell us that the "God of this world" BLINDS the minds of those who believe not. His blinding potential seems to be working on a much wider range today. Romanism makes every other cult pale into insignificance beside its massive power base, its international financial empire, its cosmopolitan aura, its universal appeal, its accumulation of error, and its enduring persecution against those who disagree with its dogmas. The question that needs to be answered today is: "Why do evangelicals, fundamentalists, and those who claim to be following the Reformers no longer look upon Romanism as a cult?"
A writer in CHRISTIANITY TODAY while dealing with the Roman Catholic terror campaign in Ulster blasted Dr. Ian Paisley for being so intransigent when dealing with those who differ from him only in the matter of "churchmanship." Now the kindest thing that can be said about such a writer is that he is a spiritual ignoramus. For if he is not an ignoramus, then he is an outright deceiver. Romanism to the Biblical Christian differs completely from the Biblical faith for which Paisley contends, and there is obviously much more than mere "churchmanship" which is at stake.
Cornelius Van Til, one of the most profound thinkers in America today, obviously recognizes that there is much more than mere churchmanship at issue between Romanism and Biblical Christianity. Van Til says: "The philosophy with which Romanism has made its alliance is no more and no less anti-Christian than is the philosophy of Sartre or any of the modern existentialists. "3 He goes on to point out that: "The Reformation sought to set Christianity free from any form of alliance with apostate philosophy. It called men back to the God and the Christ of the Scriptures and therefore to the Scriptures as the direct revelation of this God and this Christ. Only thus, the Reformers knew could they identify themselves as creatures and as sinners and find assurance of salvation through the grace of God in Christ. Only thus could they have forgiveness of sins through the merits of the Redeemer through his death on the cross. Only thus could there be a transition from wrath to grace in
history."4 He adds:
Those who live in the camp of "historic Protestantism" may well agree that the Barthian and the Roman Catholic systems are alike because they are "open." But this is true because they are closed to God's revelation through Christ in the Scripture.5 It is apparent to a theologian of Van Til's stature that Romanism is closed to God's revelation of Christ in the Scripture. That there is something more than mere churchmanship or vestments which is at stake, that Rome is wrong at its very foundation.
The alliance of Rome with apostate philosophy demonstrates the overall ambivalence of the Roman Catholic system. On the one hand Rome claims to be reviving Biblical studies; on the other it affirms the restrictions of the Council of Trent on the right of private judgment and sets up the "fathers" as the true interpreters of Scripture. It claims to be re-examining the doctrine of justification by faith while stressing the necessity of salvation by works. It announces to the world the primacy of Scripture but at the same time enforces the anti-scriptural teachings of the councils and the infallibility of the Pope. As William C. Standridge points out in his book, "WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE ROMAN CHURCH?": The fact that the church has succeeded in keeping within its confines hundreds of religious orders — conservatives, liberals and progressives, people who promote the distribution of the Bible, and those who oppose it, charismatics and non-charismatics, those who remove statues from their churches and others who pay out millions to promote the beatifation of new saints, is ceretainly not a sign of weakness but of strength."
He goes on to conclude:
It is a well-known fact that in every religious and political crisis that has shaken Europe for centuries, the Vatican has been able to rely upon priests devoted to both sides of each question, and thus able to protect the interests of the church no matter who might come out the winner.
This is demonstrated today as well, by the fact that there are priests operating full-time anti-communist campaigns, and other priests openly professing Marxist economic doctrine. Anyone who believes that these differing opinions within the church prove that the church is falling apart, just doesn't understand the basic principles of how the church really operates.6 Rome's ambivalence is carefully orchestrated so that she will be able to wind up on the winning side. Her strategy is certainly working well in today's uncritical, passive and apathetic atmosphere.
Rome is not just in error on some points of doctrine. She is opposed to the authority of the Scripture. Hans Kung, one of Romanism's profound ecumenical scholars, was according to Van Till "compelled at every major point to introduce a polemical note against the teachings of the Reformers. "7
Van Til sums up this section of his masterful work by pointing out that the Council of Trent could not hold back a radical CONDEMNATION of the Reformation and that even today those who think like the Reformers must engage in a conflict with Rome. Few, if any, are engaging in a conflict with Rome today; rather, Romanists are now welcomed on an equal basis into many Protestant gatherings, especially since the advent of the modern Charismatic movement.
THE NEWS MEDIA AND ROMANISM TODAY
The amazing gains which Romanism has made in the past few years are nothing short of spectacular. One hundred years ago Romanism was a despised religion in America. Slowly the climate changed, and the suspicious air of American Protestants gave way to the irenic dialogue and ecumenism.
Paul Blanshard in speaking of the change which has come about in the news media toward Romanism in the last one hundred years uses Vatican II for an example. He says that Vatican II was a spectacular triumph. He elaborates:
It was made possible, of course, by the willingness of the world's news media to give the church something better than an even break... The Pope suddenly became for many the most prestigious individual alive.1
Blanshard then contrasts the way the American news media reported Vatican II with the way their journalistic counterparts reported Vatican I in 1870. Surely the difference reflects the dramatic change which has taken place in the American religious scene in the last generation.
Blanshard quotes "Father" Ryan Reiser: "In general the New York press was opposed to everything Catholic... The press wanted Roman control to be discredited and broken. "2 He goes on to point out that "the critical language used by editors in 1870 would be quite inconceivable in today's journals. "3 Blanshard then gives an example of the journalism of that time. The New York Tribune, ridiculing some of the alleged relics displayed in Roman Churches—the wing of angel Gabriel, the rope used by Judas, the beard of Noah, etc.—published (what Blanshard calls) an ugly jibe at the council in the form of a prayer, handed about by Americans at Rome.
Our Father who art in the Vatican: Infallible be thy Name: Thy temporal sovereignty come: Thy will be done in Europe and America as it is in Ireland. Give us this day our tithes and titles, and forgive us our trespasses as we give plenary indulgences to those who pay penitently unto us: lead us not into Ecumenical Councils, but deliver us from thinking: for thine is the Crozier, the Key, and the Tiara, Rome without end. Amen.4 Blanshard then asks, "Can anyone imagine such overt anti-catholic ridicule in an American newspaper today? Or can anyone imagine an American Broadcasting Company in this century showing fundamental disrespect for a pope, either pictorially (in reference to a cartoon jibe published in 1870) or in words?"5 The answer, of course, is no. Modern American journalists have been too well propagandized to ridicule or refute the errors of Rome.
Blanshard draws his own conclusion.
The distance between the broad malicious journalistic anticatholicism of 1870 and the respectful almost reverent approach to papal personalities during Vatican II is a yardstick for the measurement of Catholic triumphs in American public opinion.6 Certainly any thinking person would have to agree with Paul Blanshard's assessment of contemporary journalism. From the most liberal secular paper to CHRISTIANITY TODAY to the SWORD OF THE LORD, Romanism gets good coverage and a sympathetic press.
Fundamental Christians could always in the past be counted to point out the errors of Romanism (See THE FUNDAMENTALS as they were originally written for corroboration of this point.) But the fundamentalists and conservatives of the present do not follow in the same train. A question not raised by Blanshard in his assessment of the changes is this: "Why should Romanism be accorded a respectful or reverent press?" It is the only North American Church with the exception of the Moon cult whose headquarters are not in America. Every other church severed national ties and became American except Romanism.
Has any of its original goals changed? Has any of its erroneous dogmas changed since 1870? Has any of its idolatrous practices changed? Has the blasphemy of the Mass been abolished? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic no! In fact, other errors have been added since 1870 so that Romanism is now further from the truth than when it was lampooned by the knowledgeable writers of another century.
Modern writers, however, with but few exceptions, continue to present Romanism in an ever increasing better light than it has ever been presented since the Reformation. The modern newspapers, network television and the radio all combine to present Romanism as a beautiful and wonderful religion and a great bulwark against Communism. All news media sources constantly refer to Romanism as Christianity. It is not even referred to as Roman Christianity, but in speaking of Romanism they continually allude to it as Christianity. A good example of this was seen on the ABC television network on June 7, 1979, when this network did a special half-hour program on the Pope's visit to Poland. The word "Christianity" was used often during this half-hour program. The Pope was shown celebrating the blasphemy of the Mass; he was shown in conjunction with the Black Madonna which was an example of gross idolatry, superstitution and Mariolatry; yet this was all referred to as "Christianity." True Christianity is as far removed from this blasphemy and idolatry as Heaven is from Hell but not to our modern newsmen!
Our newsman quoted some European thinker as saying, ''Euro-Communism is dead; Euro-Catholicism is on the march," and then he added, "While the first half of the statement is exaggerated, the second part is not. "So the ABC newsman agreed that Euro-Catholicism is on the march. References were made also to Mary being the Queen of Poland. So Rome has not in any way softened Its stand on Mariolatry, but in fact has begun to play up the importance of Mary more in recent years than formerly.
When Cardinal Wright died, the news media again gave full coverage to this event. Pictures of the Cardinal and lengthy first page articles appeared in the leading newspapers of the U.S. Again to show what the leaders of Romanism believe concerning their religion, let us hear what Cardinal Wright said: "/ love the Catholic Church as / love nothing else. I don't think of the church as an organization, an institution. To me, it's the personal presence of Christ in history. "7 So the Mother of the Horrows of the Inquisition, and the Matrix from which came the gross immoralities of the Middle Ages, and the institution that "Father" Lucien Vinet described as riddled with sexual perversion in the Twentieth century is said to be the personal presence of Christ in history! Never was there a more flagrant euphemism, never a grosser misrepresentation, sent out nation wide by our modern news media.
The continual bombardment of Roman Catholic propaganda in the American news media is certainly unprecedented in American history. Even after the overwhelming presence of the Pope in the news media during and immediately after his visit to Poland, he was again thrust into the limelight. His picture was published in many leading newspapers showing him placing a crown on the image of the Virgin Mary during his outdoor general audience in St. Peters Square 8. Following that he was kept in the limelight by the constant reports of his upcoming visit to the U.S.
Television news told of a platform upon which he was to stand with a cross one hundred feet above him while he would address hundreds of thousands in Dublin and celebrate the Mass. Immediately following this piece of news came the announcement that in the U. S. the Pope would have a concelebrated Mass with hundreds of priests assisting him, and then he would visit and speak to the United Nations while in New York.
The one piece of encouraging news came when it was announced that the Pope had decided not to visit the North of Ireland. Whether men believe it or not that which the Pope blesses, God curses. One scholar has traced the calamities that have followed the blessings of the Pope. Showing how men like John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and others were blessed by the Pope, and then what happened after the papal blessing. God will not give His glory to another, and only God can give or withhold blessings. Personally, we are glad that the Pope is not going to the land of Ulster. Eire will suffice to demonstrate the value of the Papal presence and blessing.
THE CONFUSION OF FUNDAMENTALISM
"If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle." I Cor. 14:8
Romanism receives excellent coverage in the news media today. But even more to the point Romanism is now accorded a sympathetic press in many areas of what was once militant Protestism. The practice of quoting from modern Roman Catholic writers and using Roman Catholic leaders as examples of great protagonists of freedom has become widespread in fundamental circles today. Unthinking Protestants (many of them good men) have been caught up in a movement which, if it succeeds, cannot help but make America "Catholic."
Tom Anderson, a leading spokesman for politically conservative Christians, in his work "FOR CHRISTIANS" says: "Thousands of Wurmbrands, Popovs and Mindzentys are still being tortured; why can't the neutrals feel the pain?"1 While much of what he says in this regard is good, there is a disastrous blurring of the acute distinctions between Biblical Christianity and Romanism. He also speaks of "so-called 'Christian pastors and priests'."2
The whole issue of the Reformation is at stake here. It a Roman Catholic Cardinal or priest who denies every major doctrine of the Reformation is to be linked with Protestant ministers just because he is an anti-communist, then surely something drastic has happened to Biblical truth in this generation. No true Christian wants to see a Roman Catholic Cardinal tortured, nor for that matter does he want to see a Jewish Rabbi tortured or a Buddhist Monk. But no true Biblical Christian is going to equate Romanism, Judaism or Buddhism with true Christianity.
Mr. Anderson also relates the following story. De)mar Dennis, a major co-ordinator for the John Birch Society, tells of a fundamentalist preacher he recently recruited into the Society. Delmar says that preacher told him, "I'm joining the John Birch Society because I am certain that these are the last days and when Christ comes I want him to see me fighting on his side."3 It is amazing that a fundamental preacher could make this statement. For if it is true, then fighting on Christ's side includes linking up with Roman Catholic priests such as "Father" Fenton, who is a prominent writer for the society.
In one of his booklets "Father" Fenton states:
With regard to the current Roman Catholic Church, its identity has been obscured in recent years... that even its central act of worship, the Mass, is now in such a state of "updatedness" and "relevancy" and "meaningfulness" that some Protestant ministers have been quoted as saying that they could offer up this "new Mass" without any qualms of conscience on their part.2
Of course, Fenton is advocating a return to the old Mass. It is necessary then that every true Bible-believer knows something about this whole subject of the Roman Catholic Mass. For there is obviously much pretense and humbug swirling around the subject of the Mass today. Fenton condemns the "updated" Mass as something to be shunned. Why, it is so bad that even some Protestant ministers could offer it up. Surely then, indeed it must be rotten to the core while the old mass, that is Roman's historic Mass, is set forth as the true sacrament.
Romanism, no doubt, has deceived many at this point. Setting herself up as the great defender of truth and the great anticommunist bulwark, she has succeeded in convincing even
Protestant fundamentalists of her honest and integrity. Is it not a little strange how much is being written about the devilish nature of "Black Masses" and the depraved rites which accompany such practices? Certain cultists are carrying these secret rites out in various parts of the country, we are told, with grim faced solemnity. In all this plethora of popish propaganda about the awfulness of the Black Masses, it should be pointed out—but never is—that the true Bible believer opposes the old historic Mass of Romanism. Not just the Marxist priest's updated Mass or the Black Mass, but the conservative Roman Catholic Mass of "Father" Fenton.
The Reformers were one in calling the historic mass a blasphemous fable. For this they were burned at the stake by the conservative Church of Rome! Bishop J. C. Ryle says:
Great indeed would be our mistake if we supposed that they suffered for the vague charge of refusing submission to the Pope...Nothing of the kind. The principal reason why they were burned was because they refused one of the peculiar doctrines of the Romish Church. On that doctrine in almost every case, hinged their life and death, if they admitted it, they might live; if they refused it they must die. The doctrine in question was the real presence of the body and blood of Christ...in the Lord's Supper.5
Ryle goes on then to recount the experiences of John Rogers, Bishop Hooper, Rowland Taylor, Bishop Farrar, John Bradford, Bishop Ridley, Bishop Latimer, Archdeacon Philpot, and Cranmer, showing how every last one of them was burned to death by the Roman Catholic cult for his refusal to acknowledge that Christ was actually, corporally, locally or materially present in the forms of the bread and wine. Ryle then goes on to say:
Whatever men please to think or say, the Romish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued to its legitimate consequences, obscures every leading doctrine of the gospel and damages and interferes with the whole system of Christ's truth. You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ's finished work when he died on the cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable sacrifice of God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful men into the position of mediators between God and men. You give to the sacramental elements of the bread and the wine an honor they were never meant to receive and produce an idolatry to be abhorred of faithful Christians.
I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly that we do. Rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence of Christ's natural body under the forms of the bread and wine, the Reformers of the Church of Englad were content to be burned.6 So much then tor all this nonsense about various masses. The Reformers were burned for their opposition to the regular mass of Romanism, which to true Protestants and to them, was every bit as blasphemous as any other mass that might be invented. It is the ordinary Roman Catholic Mass which will bring the judgment of God upon America. God judges blasphemy and idolatry whether men realize it or not. So much also for fighting on Christ's side. Those who embrace and champion the cause of Romanism are on the side which has burned some of Christ's noblest servants and has never apologized for their tortures, massacres, or executions to this very day.
When Czechoslovakia planned a national celebration in honor of John Huss, the Vatican protested demanding that the government not offend the Catholic Church by honoring a heretic.7 The Roman Catholic cult had treacherously burned Huss to death at the Council of Constance after guaranteeing him safe conduct. The modern Vatican must still consider it just that Huss was burned. True Protestants who are engaged in spiritual warfare are battling the counterfeit religion of Rome as well as opposing Communism. They are truly fighting on Christ's side when they oppose all Satanic errors.
The uncertain sounds proliferate. Richard Wurmbrand, another world famous anti-communist, completely blurs the distinction between Biblical truth and idolatrous Romanism. In his paper he says:
A Colombian brother writes, "I am sad that I cannot help financially; I am very poor." A monk possesses nothing. But a friend sent him five dollars which he forwarded to us. From another abbey we get news that our literature is read in the refectory. Other Christians, etc.8
Wurmbrand here includes monks and abbey dwellers with other Christians although the whole enforced celibate system of Rome is condemned in the Bible as a doctrine of demons.9
On speaking of the visit of Gromyko to the Vatican, Wurmbrand asks:
Why did not the Pope and his minister of state, Casaroli, each take an arm of Gromylo and drag him to evening prayer...Perhaps he could have been converted... The Pope has missed an occasion to be a profitable servant of the Lord. Who could ever have taken away from him the joy of having brought Gromyko to Christ or of being reproached for this eadeavor.10 it is obvious, in answer to Wurmbrand's question, that the reason why the Pope could not be a profitable servant of the Lord is because he is not a servant of the Lord at all. How could the Pope or Casaroli lead Gromyko to Christ when they represent an anti-christian system? That Wurmbrand could make such a statement demonstrates beyond all doubt that the man is either a Biblical ignoramus or an outright deceiver. His anticommunist movement now grosses more than a million a year. This shows that many Americans must like his stance. It seems to prove that as long as a man can say he is anti-communist, he is assured of the support of millions of Americans today. No matter what other errors he may embrace and promulgate.
The Rev. Kenneth Lee, an outspoken fundamental minister educated in the Reformed faith, demonstrates that for all his outspokenness an uncertain sound is being given. Lee in his pamphlet, which was a reprint taken from the Boston Herald American, states:
You know that Cardinal Wysinsky in Poland is treated as an international burglar and is not allowed to leave his country. How can you imagine that Communists will allow evangelists to attend a World Congress? Their evangelists are in prison.11
In this context Roman Catholic Cardinals are equated with Protestant evangelists. This equation is not scriptural. It is one thing to warn about Communist aggression and duplicity; it is quite another to make sure that when we do, we do not sacrifice the heritage of the Protestant Reformation. Both Communism and Romanism are wrong. Both are repressive. Both have martyred some of the noblest and choicest of God's servants. Therefore, we should never, never equate Roman Catholic Cardinals with Biblical Protestants no matter what we are trying to prove. It is a tragic blurring of necessary distinctions upon which hinge the destiny of immortal souls.
Dr. John R. Rice also did the Papacy a great favor in his recent book on the popes. He intimates that Pope John seemed to be a true believer. His book is perhaps the greatest corroboration of the thesis of this chapter that has so far appeared in print, namely that a large section of American fundamentalism is at sea when it comes to dealing with the error and deception of Rome.
Dr. Criswell, the leading conservative spokesman of the Southern Baptist Convention, also joined the bandwagon of modern fundamentalists who speak well of the Pope. He received some recognition from the Pope, and he rejoiced in it like a baby with a new toy. It is an indictment of any Protestant's ministry to receive anything in the way of recognition from the Pope, and any such recognition should be repudiated by anyone with even a modicum of respect for the Martyrs of the Protestant Reformation, but what do some modern preachers care about them? They can sell such a bloodbought heritage for something even less than a bowl of lentils.
The extent to which the conservative Christians of America will go to preserve the irenic dialogue with Rome was demonstrated by what happened to the former President of Asbury College. This man, who as a good man, saw that a publication put out by the college showed an Asburian receiving an award from the Pope. He ordered all 15,000 copies to be burned. He said that while some lone Asburian may receive an award from the Pope, that did not, as far as he was concerned, represent the majority of Asburians. He was fired by a rump board and refused to leave office. Thank God there are still some Americans who understand the issues and are willing to pay the price of their convictions in this sugary sweet era of modern ecumenism.
The man finally had to step down as his tenure in office became embroiled in more and more controversy, charges and countercharges, all of which showed that Asbury College was not what she used to be. The Board, in other words, knuckled under to the power of the ecumenical spirit and the man of God was sacrificed to avoid more controversy
Dr. Billy Graham's most recent foray into the morass of sacramentarianism was made when he gave an exclusive interview to the Star Newspaper. In it he hailed the Pope's visit to Poland as a sign of the great religious revival going on in the world today. It is too bad that our modern leaders do not see the difference between a revival of religion and a genuine spiritual awakening! Many other examples could be given to show that the irenic dialogue of the Roman cult is winning the day among the apathetic and ignorant heirs of the Protestant Reformation.
Even the so-called scholarly community has jumped on the bandwagon of the irenic dialogue. One contemporary evangelical scholar wrote that in fellowshipping with a Roman Catholic priest their differences did not really matter, for they had wonderful fellowship around their living Lord. Again we must point out that even our reputed evangelical scholars are ignorant of Biblical truth. Is there a continuing priesthood today? Most assuredly not! Has the book of Hebrews been removed from the Canon of the New Testament? Most assuredly not! The Book of Hebrews needs to be studied today. In it we learn of the finished work of Christ, of his continuing mediatorial work, and of the end of the Aaronic priesthood. We are now all priests under our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who pretends to be a priest of a priestly caste is both deceived and deceiving. Christ ended the run of the priestly caste. He ended the shadow and brought in the substance. Shame and double shame on anyone who disguising himself as a priest of the Most High God should reintroduce us to the shadow and remove us from the substance. Shame and double shame on every "Protestant" who knowing his great birthright in the liberty of Christ should fellowship with a poor, deceived shadow-bound priest without ever enlightening him to the glorious position which the true Christian enjoys in the heavenlies with Christ His risen and exalted Lord.
The crucifix, the central image of Romanism, demonstrates that Rome's priests are still on the wrong side of the Resurrection. Anyone who is still lingering in the earthly sanctuary and still in an earthly priesthood has missed the central teaching of the Book of Hebrews and indeed the central teaching of the New Testament! How can the earthly fellowship with the heavenly? The earthly priesthood was done away when the heavenly priesthood was introduced. If one is in operation, the other is not. As Andrew Murray points out in his commentary on Hebrews: "Heaven is the sphere of Christ's ministry. He represents us there...and in the power of an endless life enables us to workship in spirit and in truth. "12 The old earthly priesthood has been done away for ever.
Anyone who claims to be a priest in the sense of the Aaronic priesthood today is a pious fraud. For he claims to usurp the place of our living Lord in the lives of Christians and to take over his priestly office. Anyone who can glibly fellowship with such error and the enforced celibate system which is called in the Scriptures a doctrine of demons must be on the same level of ignorance and error.
It is time we faced the issues squarely for the true Church's existence and testimony is at stake. The mediatorial work of our Lord Jesus Christ is at stake, and the whole system of truth as it is revealed in the Word of God is at stake. This is not storm in a teacup as many ignoramuses seem to think today; it is the same continuing battle for Mansoul that Bunyan wrote about three hundred years ago.
If those who claim to be Biblical scholars are so confused and so neutralized by papal propaganda, the error of the Charismatic movement and the irenic dialogue, so as to fail to distinguish clearly between grace and works, truth and error, then surely America is in dire need of a spiritual awakening. It just won't do to say that people do not know their Bibles today. They had better get them out, dust them off, and start studying them again, for we are to buy the truth and sell it not, for upon that truth depends our eternal destinies.
The emphasis on religion today in America is not a good omen for the future. The Puritans viewed man as depraved. In other words they did not trust the so-called innate goodness of men. Nor did they speak of a building as a church. They simply called it a meeting place. In other words the people who settled America, for the most part, were people who were suspicious of any kind of religious power vested in any group. And when the laws of this country came to be written, the whole system of checks and balances, which were inserted, came from the Puritan suspicion of religious or political power, and also from the fact that the Puritans believed in original sin, nor original righteousness.
Today as religion is considered a good thing no matter what is taught or believe, Communism is set up as the EVIL of the world. It is apparent, or it should be, to every true Bible-believer that the battle for truth is waged on a much broader front than anticommunism. If a person knows anything about the Bible and the Gospel of redeeming grace, then he knows that he is fighting not merely systems but Satan. Jesus said we were either serving Him or Satan. Communism is but one arm of Satanic error. If a person thinks that is the only evil, then he is sure to be deceived at many points. Christianity is an exclusive revelation. Vital Christianity is based upon the Word of God. Any system which manufactures another bible is false. Whether it is Mary Baker Eddy's Key to the Scriptures, the Book of Mormon, or the tradition of Romanism, whenever anything is added to the revelation which God has given, error and heresy are the result.
Romanism is the largest and closest counterfeit to Christianity. It has its counterfeit high priest, the pope, replacing the Lord Jesus Christ. It has its counterfeit sacrifice, the Mass, replacing our Lord's death. It has its counterfeit mediators in the Virgin Mary and the Saints, replacing the only Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. It has its counterfeit authority in the Councils and Popes, replacing the true authority of the Bible. Millions are deceived by the counterfeit system of Romanism and by the promises of popery. Even promises that are based upon the Word of God are vain unless a person is in Christ. John Wesley White in speaking of the funeral of the late President John F. Kennedy tells of Cardinal Cushing reading from I Thessalonians four. White gives the impression that Kennedy was a believer. But the promises of God are only meaningful in a context of regeneration. Anyone can read I Thessalonians four at a funeral, but that does not guarantee either the reader or the person being buried a place in heaven. Only those who are saved by grace through faith are bound for heaven. We repeat, the promises of heaven are meaningless when set in the context of an apostate religion.
Sweepstake tickets, which have as their prize so many years less in Purgatory, are still sold by Rome in the 20th Century. When the writer was a student at Talbot Seminary in Los Angeles, a fellow student showed such a ticket to the student body. Surely it is indeed eternally tragic that the so-called Bible-believing church of today, instead of offering a clear cut message of Christ which distinguishes clearly between salvation by grace, and the pernicious teachings of popery, now makes little or no distinction between Billy Graham and Cardinal Terence Cook.
At a recent Charismatic extravaganza the modern mood was amply displayed. When Pat Roberson, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash, Rex Humberd, David Wilkerson, Charles Colson, Billy Graham, Cardinal Terence Cook, Jimmy Carter and others all blended together in one ecumenical gathering. That such a gathering could take place should awaken those who cherish Biblical truth. But apparently it hardly causes a ripple on the surface of modern Christianity. It is hailed as a wonderful gathering and a demonstration that Christianity is enjoying a remarkable resurgence.
True Christianity is as unpopular as ever, but false religion is certainly enjoying a remarkable resurgence in America today. It is too bad that Bible-believers are not more discriminating in matters that concern eternal truth and immortal souls.
Salvation by grace is the only hope of mankind. Salvation by grace and a religion of works (and works are the basis of ALL false religions) are mutually exclusive. The more reactionary Roman Catholic leaders seem to be clearer at this point than the modern evangelical Protestant. For the late Cardinal Conway, the Primate of Ireland, stated a short time ago in Ireland while commenting on the Roman Catholic attacks on Protestants in Ulster: "There is no common meeting place between Bible Protestantism and Roman Catholicism and there never will be. " This is a true statement. One system leads to Hell; the other to Heaven, and the Bible makes it clear which is right.
"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." If a person is truly saved, he can never endorse a works religion. Sir Robert Anderson, in speaking on the subject of religion, should surely cause this lax generation to think again by his wellchosen words.
Among common men, however, a prophet might pass unharmed; religious men alone would persecute and murder him! In every age, indeed, religion has been the most relentless persecutor of His people. Witness the tombs of the prophets! Witness the blood-stained pages of the Church's history! The Christian martyrs in unnumbered millions—for though their names are written in heaven, earth has kept no record of them—the best and purest and noblest of mankind, have been tortured and done to death in the name of religion.1 Anderson, at the beginning of this work, describes some of the most atrocious crimes perpetrated on the Armenian Christians by the fanatics of Islam. Several million Armenian Christians were massacred by the Turks who were a very religious people. So religion without the Biblical Christ is as bad or worse than communism.
Religion is the opiate of millions of people, and while they adhere to their works religion, they remain in a state of rebellion against the Gospel and are of their father the Devil, just like the ancient Pharisees. The works of conservative writers about Satan and Satan worship leave much to be desired. The extreme forms of Satanism are stressed and sensationalized while the most common forms of Satan worship are completely ignored. The idea that Satanism is limited to the San Francisco freaks and others of their ilk, is just another gross error of this generation.
Every time a modernist minister, who denies the Deity of Christ and so attempts to dethrone Christ from His rightful place of worship, leads a congregation, there Satan is worshiped. Every time the Mass is celebrated Satan is worshiped. Every idol and icon worshiper is a Satan worshiper. Every cultist who denies the sacrifice of Christ is a Satan worshiper. Every Masonic man who takes his masonry seriously is a Satan worshiper. Every John Bricher who accepts the humanism of the Blue Book and its ignoring of the Deity of Christ is a Satan worshiper. Every Hindu, every Buddhist, every Moslem, every Communist, every humanist is a Satan worshiper.
The person who denies Christ's deity is an antichrist and a Satan worshiper. This generation that gets so alarmed at the occult rites of the Manson clan and the Satan freaks of San Francisco needs to look a little deeper into the Biblical picture of Satan who transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers into ministers of righteousness. (II Cor. 11:14, 15) Where Christ is not enthroned and worshiped, there Satan is enthroned and worshiped. Jesus said to the most religious people of His day, "You are of your father the devil."2 The Pharisees thought that they were the only true religionists alive. Instead, according to Christ who was the Personification of the Truth, they were of their father, the devil. So many may not realize themselves that they are worshiping Satan. It is surely instructive to all to notice that Satan's activity is one of replacement. He wants to replace Christ as the ruler of the world and to receive the worship which is due alone to Christ. The Satan of the Bible claimed to meet our Lord on equal terms. He led Him up and gave Him the mysterious view of earthly sovereignty and told Christ that He could have the authority and glory of them if He would bow down and worship him. As Sir Robert Anderson says: Is this no more than the raving of irresponsible madness of impious profanity? It is the bold assertion of a disputed right. Satan claims to be the first-born, the rightful heir of creation, the true Messiah, and as such he claims the worship of mankind. Men dream of a devil horned and hoofed—a hideous and obscene monster—who haunts the squalid slums and gilded vice-dens of our cities, and tempts the depraved to acts of atrocity or shame. But according to Holy Writ, "he fashions himself as an angel of light" and "his ministers fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness." And this prepares the way for the further statement that it is the RELIGION of the world that he controls and not its vices and crimes. "The god of this world" is his awful title—a title Divinely accorded the Evil One, not because the Supreme has delegated His Sovereignty, but because the world accords him its homage.3
Surely Anderson's words are particularly apt today. On television and in the movies the devil is pictured in the occult and the macabre. The Exorcist and other similar movies dominated by Roman priests and romish superstitions have majored on the sensational and the weird. Many professing Christians could tell you more about this Hollywood nonsense than they could about the Satan of the bible. They seem to be aware only of the grosser forms of Satanism: they fail to recognize that Satan is called the "god" of this world. They need to mark it and mark it well that the ONLY people NOT worshiping Satan are those justified by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone else in the world is worshiping Satan; he is the god of this world; he is not the god of just a few freaks in San Francisco and elsewhere; he is the god of this world of people! We repeat, for this point must be made clearly; EVERYONE not truly worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ, is worshiping Satan. There are only two masters: Christ or the Devil—we certainly cannot serve both; so all those not serving Christ serve the Devil. There are only two spirits, the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error, people are either following one or the other.
Satan is out for one thing and one thing only; that is the worship that belongs alone to Christ. When one understands this, his whole outlook is changed. The idea that the devil is out to make man as licentious as a beast is not found in the Scripture. The first chapter of Romans catalogues man's sin without ever mentioing the Devil once. Man's depraved nature brings upon him the fruit of his rebellion against God. While it is true the Devil is behind the scenes as the originator of evil, it is also true that the Devil would rather have a nice moral social drinker who professes religion than a drunken sot who is a bad advertisement for him.
Yet many ministers thunder against pornography and immorality while remaining in the congregation of apostasy. They fail to see that their spiritual adultery and spiritual immorality are under a greater judgment of God than the moral degenerates that they blister from their pulpits. This comes from a complete misunderstanding of the goal of Satan.
Satan is out to be worshiped. Satan controls all false religions. The worshipers in false religion commit a greater sin than the most heinous sexual perversion imaginable! Listen to the Word of God:
"For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is GREATER than the punishment of the sin of SODOM. (Lam. 4:6)"
The religious people of Jeremiah's day were considered worse than the ancient peoples of Sodom and Gomorrah who were guilty of sexual perversion. This sin caused God to rain fire and brimstone upon the ancient civilization. It caused God to give them up to their own depraved lusts as mentioned three times in the first chapter of Romans. (This perversion which brings man down to a lower level than the animal world, lower than the beasts of the field is not homosexuality. It is a perversion. Homosexuality is a term coined by the modern psychologists who are advocating that the pervert is not really perverted in his lust, but is what he is by a freak of nature; he is a homosexual, not a hetero-sexual. He cannot help himself being what he is. The Bible knows nothing of this type of teaching.) But the thing that is to be learned from this is that God punished spiritual adultery, spiritual fornication, spiritual perversion more than he punished Sodom and Gomorrah. Certainly something to think about in the light of the compromise of millions of Christians who think physical immorality is terrible but who do not give a second thought to spiritual adultery as is evidenced by their remaining in the organizations of apostasy and supporting them.
For instance, the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Atlanta refused to endorse the campaign of Anita Bryant against the sexual perverts of today. This demonstrated the inroads of the great apostasy in the Southern Baptist Convention. New Orleans Baptist Seminary is so apostate that a Southern Baptist pastor told this writer that he was told by a "friendly" professor to leave, for he would never be able to receive his advanced degree because he believed in the Genesis account of creation and sin and the flood.
The "friendly" professor told him that he did not want him to waste his time and them come up for oral examinations and be turned down because of his answers. Yet, millions of professing Christians, who think more of the organizations of apostasy, i. e. their denominations, than they do about the express commands of the Word of God, continue to support such blatant error. They also fail to realize that they are engaging in spiritual adultery and fornication which rates higher on the Richter scale of God Almighty's judgments than physical immorality.
A spokesman for the National Council of Churches, a spokesman for Roman Catholicism, and a spokesman for American Jewry all combined to warn the American people about the Unification Church, as reported on NBC news December 28, 1976. Nobody however thought it necessary to warn the American people about these three groups. For there are still some Americans who would not want their children to follow the Pope, a Rabbi, or a spokesman for the National Council of Churches. These three groups to the true Christian represent anti-Christianity and as such as of their father, the Devil, every bit as much as the little Moon cult that they so strenuously warn every American against.
It is apparent to many Americans that as long as a group is large enough and respectable enough, then someone is sure to claim for them a position of authority on religion. However, it should be obvious to the true Bible believer that millions of adherents prove nothing concerning the truth of any group or cult. Mormonism has millions of adherents and yet it is based on the idiotic story of magic spectacles that enabled Joseph Smith to become a translator! Nice men may warn us about the brainwashing of the Moon cult, but unless they preach the true Gospel themselves, the people should be warned about them also. The emissaries of all false religions preach and teach a works religion and as such are under the anathema of a Holy God, according to Paul's Galatian epistle. Good works and human kindness will never merit heaven. Mother Teresa was glowingly praised by everyone from Billy Graham to Cardinal Terence Cook when she attended the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia. The public was told of her self-sacrificing labor with the dying outcasts of Calcutta. But all thekindheartedness of a million Mother Teresas will never merit heaven or atone for one sin. Only the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ's blood and righteousness will ever be sufficient to meet the guilty sinner's need. Nothing else will suffice! Nothing else!
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself makes it abundantly clear that many good religious people who have done many wonderful works in His name will be sent away when they stand before Him. "Many will say unto me in that day, Have we not done many wonderful works in your name"; notice the "many" and the solemn fact that they were done in Jesus' name; yet the Lord goes on to say to these wonderful workers and kindhearted souls that He never knew them - "Depart from me." So the true follower of Christ is not going to give any solace to the Mindzentys, the Mother Teresas, the Wyzinskys or anyone else who is trusting in good works as a means of salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith and that not of ourselves. If there is one great message of the Scriptures which needs to be preached today, even in fundamental churches, it is this: Man is justified without the deeds of the Law!
He is justified by the works of another—the Lord Jesus Christ. He is declared righteous in Christ. He has no righteousness of his own about which to boast. As Sir Robert Anderson tersely summarizes it:
Grace is the characteristic truth of Christianity. According to the great doctrinal treatise of the New Testament, we are "justified by grace," "justified by faith," "justified by blood," that is in its application to us, for such is the meaning of the sacrificial figure of which the blood is the expression in the New Testament. Grace is the principle on which the benefit is received; and the death of Christ is the ground on which alone all this is possible—we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
There is absolutely no room for human merit or good works in the salvation which is taught in the Bible. However, today Biblical Christianity is under attack by those who promote a works religion. Ecumenical Protestantism wedded to Roman Catholicism is bidding fair to overthrow the great truths of the Bible which were rediscovered at the time of the Reformation.
The Bible-believer who really loves the souls of men will warn those who are depending upon a works religion to get to heaven. He will faithfully point out that works religion is the gateway to Hell and that no one is going to Heaven whether he is Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, or Buddhist, unless that one is saved by grace through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anti-communists talk as if there is a special place reserved in Heaven for them. When in the light of the Bible they are bound for the same lost eternity as the Communist unless they are justified by aith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to notice, and it happens time and time again, that when a Roman Catholic priest appears on the PTL television program or some other Charismatic forum, he usually speaks glowingly and with considerable charm and wit about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. However, they never speak of justification by faith in the finished work of Christ. Is it not a little strange how little we hear of the Holy Spirit in connection with Justification? All that is ever spoken of today seems to be the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and very little of that is from a Biblical perspective. Protestant preachers who should know better and do better fail miserably in proclaiming the central truth of the Gospel. The great objective truth of the Gospel which deals with how a person is able to come to a Holy God and have right standing before Him is almost never dealt with by the average preacher. While the writer was working with Sharon Construction Company of Sheridan, Indiana, he used to listen to a Christian radio station from morning until night, five days a week. In all that plethora of "Gospel" preaching by many different shades of evangelicals, conservatives and fundamentalists, he never heard one sermon on Justification by faith....not one! Now, my dear reader, there is something radically wrong with our preaching today. The bulk of today's preaching is subjective, and this subjective note has increased since the Charismatic Movement has made its impact and input into modern evangelicalism. The Reformation set forth three great truths among others.
1. Sola-Scriptura—The Scriptures alone are authoritative in all matters.
2. Sola Gratia—that is, salvation is by grace alone
3. Sola Fide—that is, we are justified by Faith alone.
Add to these the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, and you have the Bible teaching on salvation. We live in dark days because these great truths are not only denied by Romanism, but they have been forgotten by a large section of Protestantism.
It should be of interest to every true Bible-believer that the Purftans who first came to America staunchly opposed Roman Catholicism. An indication of this strong opposition to anything popish was the early settlers' refusal even to acknowledge Christmas as a holiday. Christmas smacked so strongly of everything which they opposed that it was not officially celebrated in Massachusetts until 1856.1
So when modern political conservatives with Pro-Romanist leanings talk about saving America, the question that naturally comes to mind is: "Saving America from what to what?" The more this question is examined, the more it is apparent that the salvation of America is envisioned by many in terms of Roman Catholicism. Former President Nixon came very close to becoming a convert to Romanism, according to the Christian Science Monitor. One of his close associates talked him out of it by telling him that his conversion would be misconstrued politically. However, Nixon still praised Romanism as being a bulwark against Communism. He also praised the Catholic school system, and he also thought that Roman Catholics were great patriots. Nixon, at one time in his political career, gave his personal testimony at a Billy Graham rally. So he must have had some light at one time, but apparently he became ensnared with the false system of Romanism almost to the point of embracing it as his religion.
Nixon was not the only Protestant leader in recent times to become enamored with Romanism. One of the leading Generals in Vietnam went there as a Methodist but came back as a convert to Roman Catholicism. His whole religious experince was fully recounted in Readers' Digest. He went into the details of his conversion to Romanism. So it is obvious that men in places of authority have been sold on the idea that Roman Catholicism is THE hope for America.
The reason, of course, that Romanism has done so well in recent years in America—as Blanshard has so graphically demonstrated, is that it has adopted a strong anti-communist stance. Roman Catholics are looked upon as sound patriots who will fight to the death with Communism, and therefore, many Protestants see Romanism as an ally instead of an enemy.
However, the real picture of Rome's stance toward Communism is much closer to rapprochement than to confrontation. Marxism and Romanism are now so intertwined in many areas of the world as to be insidtinguishable. Toronto priest Harvey Steele told Canadian Catholics in the Catholic in the Catholic Register recently:
The future of Latin America lies in the marriage of Christianity and Marxism (by Christianity here Steele obviously means Romanism)..the Catholic Church has placed the emphasis on charity. (Only a Roman Catholic priest could say this with a straight face after all the uncharitable massacres of history) while the Marxists stress justice. (Only a Marxist could say that with a straight face after all the unjust massacres of Marxism) But it is a fact neither of these virtues can flourish without producing gross distortion. They NEET EACH OTHER. The people who have almost a monopoly on justice are the disciples of Karl Marx and if Christians are to move in the front ranks of those seeking justice they have to realize who it is they are joining.2
It is obviously clear then that Roman Catholicism is now seeking to unite the Marxism. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be to say that Romanism is now incorporating into her system another error. For Romanism has ever been a syncretistic faith from the days when the pagans were incorporated with their pagan beliefs into the Roman church of the fifth century until now when present day Marxists are also being incorporated. (Romanism has always had something for everyone. As long as the person will remain in the fold of the sect, he can do just about anything and hold to just about any philosophy. There are holy wars for those who want to fight. El Salvador and Ulster are two of the most recent with Ulster's still continuing.) There are pilgrimages for those who like them; hospitals for the kindly; monasteries for the recluses; universities for the learned; even the Mafia for the gangster element. The worst gangster of this decade was recently buried, and he received a full Roman Catholic burial even as the mad butchers of Ireland also do. Prendegast, the man who succeeded Al Capone as head of the Mob, received the Mass in his jail cell at Leavenworth for years.
Pierre Teilhard Du Chardin, a French priest who died in 1955, had his writings banned by the church while he was alive. Marxism was a dirty word then. However, as the Vatican watched the rise of Marxism it sought to bring that ideology under the aegis of Romanism. So a reversal of its former position was proclaimed, Teilhard Du Chardin's writings were taken off the proscribed list. So now we have the dialectical thought of Pierre Teilhard Du Chardin invading the Vatican cult. He states that the "synthesis of the Christian 'God-up-above' and the Marxist 'God-up-a-head' is the only God whom we can worship today in spirit and in truth."3 Add to this the anguished cry of none other than "Father" Fenton himself as he writes about the rise of Marxism within Romanism.
The situation is worse, perhaps far worse, in a number of South American countries where under the Marxist leadership of such "Catholic" prelates as Archbishop Helder Camara of Brazil, Bishop Antulio Parilla-Bonilla of Puerto Rico and Paul Cardinal Silva Enriquez of Chile, revolutionary priests are a "dime a dozen." In far too many countries in Latin America the Catholic Church is, from all indications, a very significant ally of the Communist Conspiracy. And the situation is growing worse.4 The Marxist conspiracy in Latin Amerca has good Roman Catholic credentials as it does also in Ireland today! Where one conspiracy begins and the other ends in impossible to say. They are indistinguishable.
Certainly in Ireland there is no difference between the Roman Catholic revolutionaries and the Marxists. The I.R.A. (The Irish Republican Army) is pro-Marxist and pro-catholic. The I.R.A. men are all good Catholics in good standing in their "church." They receive the Mass, and when killed in action in their holy war (so called by Roman Catholic priests in England and Ireland) receive a Roman Catholic burial in hallowed ground. So they are both Marxist and Roman Catholic, and this position does not seem to conflict with the Bishops of Latin America, Harvey Steele, Pierre Teilhard Du Chardin or those contemporary European Roman Catholic leaders who took his writings off the Index. In Nigeria, which was colonized by Protestant England, Roman Catholic priests smuggled in and supplied arms to the Ibo revolutionaries. The rest of the world was told via the Papal propaganda machine that the Ibo people had a right to rebel. But where Rome ruled to the south in Angola, colonized by Roman Catholic Portugal, and where only 3 per cent of the people could read and write after 400 years of Roman Catholic domination, the world was told it was wrong for the Angolans to rebel.
Angola and Mozambique both fell to the Communists; both were ruled by Roman Catholic Portugal, and the loss of both of these giant countries was lamented by the conservative press in the U. S. What the U. S. people were not told, however, was that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mozambique stated before the fall of Mozambique that of the two great dangers facing Africa, Protestantism and Communism, the greater danger was Protestantism! So Roman Catholic countries would rather be Communistic than Protestant, according to this Archbishop.
America has become increasingly identified with Romanism in its foreign policy so much so that those who make policy do not seem to grasp the fact that where Rome rules, Communism or Marxism flourishes. The examples of Angola and Mozambique followed by Vietnam should alert even the most befuddled leaders, but the message never seems to come across like it should. Romanism can never defeat Communism; it can only join forces with it, and this seems to be the present policy of the Vatican. The anticommunist Pope was murdered and replaced by a pro-communist Pope. Overtures have been made to Moscow, and NBC news March 19, 1979, reported that for the first time since 1949, the Jesuits had been invited back to China. So the opening of China to the U.S. was quickly accompanied by the entrance of the Jesuits into China. Anyone who does not see the significance of this is blind in one eye and sightless in the other.
Romanism can and will work with Marxism, for both systems are opposed to freedom. Only under historic Bible Protestantism have men ever been truly free. The loss of the Protestant ethic also means the loss of personal freedom. It cannot be otherwise.
Romanism with her great propaganda machine backed by the might of a large section of the American press corps always manages to appear right when embroiled in controversial situations. After defending the rotten, tyrannical dictatorship of Somoza in Nicaragua for years, it was able to switch sides with considerable facility and befriend the Marxist Sandinista guerillas. So when the new military junta was set up, the controlling leader was a Roman Catholic priest. Not bad, considering the years that Rome had been identified with Somoza.
Conservative papers in the U. S. described Somoza as a friend of the U. S. and his rule as just and good. However, it is obvious that Somoza kept much of the nation in abject poverty, and it is about time that the U.S. stopped having friends like Somoza. While the U.S. continues to support the "Somozas" in Latin America, it fails to set up better governments which could halt the drive of the Communists to take over Latin America. One writer who has traveled all over Latin America told of visiting an American in El Salvador. The American told him from his air-conditioned hacienda that El Salvador was a great little country. When in reality it is the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere next to Haiti. Both dominated by Rome—both ripe for revolution, both governments opposed by the U. S. It is time that the U. S. freed itself from the Roman Catholic syndrome in Latin America.
Every time one of those banana republics is overthrown, the U.S. loses face and loses out in its battle to prevent Communist encirclement. However, Rome never loses out. For it has priests as reactionary as the late Cardinal Ottaviana on one side and priests as Marxist as Pierre Teilhard Du Chardin on the other so that no matter which way the battle goes, Rome will still be there when the smoke clears.
Dentente with Communism is now the policy of the Vatican. Prior to World War II the Vatican aligned herself with the murderers, Hitler and Mussolini, in signed concordats. For at that time Fascism was sweeping Europe. After the way the Vatican aligned herself with the U.S. Now it appears that the U.S. is in trouble, so the Vatican is aligning herself with Marxism. Rumblings within the Communist Party of Italy seem to bear this out. Luigi Longo the party leader, "admitted early in 1966 that, in spite of Karl Marx, Catholic teaching might not always be considered the opiate of the People."5
In the Italian elections of 1976 "Two independent Catholic laymen running on the Communist ticket won seats in the new Parliament."6 The Vatican must now think that her future lies with the Marxists, and it is obvious that she is keeping her options open. As America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, (and we sincerely believe that does indeed describe her, the greatest country that history has yet known, with a people friendly and kind beyond words) comes more and more under the domination of false religions, the rise in crime and corruption accelerates.
It is the puritan ethic that has made America what she is. America is still living on the captial of the Puritans whether she realizes it or not. Bribery is a way of life in most countries of the world. Bribery, although becoming increasingly more common in America, is still considered wrong.
It is interesting to look into the rise in crime in the U.S. Organized crime is now firmly entrenched in most big cities. Organized crime has historically been linked to the Mafia, and there is no reason to doubt that conclusion in present day America. The Mafia has its roots in Sicily and is composed of nominal Roman Catholics. They are not considered "good" Catholics, but they are nevertheless acknowledged as nominal Catholics.
When the television series "The Untouchables" zeroed in on the Italian and Irish gangsters of the thirties, strident voices called for its immediate removal from the air. Frank Sinatra and Cardinal Spellman hated the show. Senator John Pastore wanted all Italian names removed from the series even though the names were those of actual historical figures who flourished in the Prohibition Era.
Desi Arnaz, whose studios produced the popular show, received a call at the height of pressure, "If you don't get us off THE UNTOUCHABLES, we are going to blow your brains out."7 The tobacco company which sponsored the show found its shipments standing on docks all over America, the power of Romanism in the unions was grest enough to stop all loading across the entire land. The show was finally forced off the air. America was saved from THE UNTOUCHABLES but to what?
A show which dealt with known historical data is forced off the air. Yet shows which spread myths about the corruption in Southern States (which are primarily Protestant) go year after year. It should be obvious to Protestant Americans who is calling the shots today, but it seems that the proponents of false religion are far more alert than the heirs of the Protestant Reformation.
The idea of saving America is written large in contemporary conservative literature. Many conservative fundamental preachers speak on the subject of saving America. But it is going to take more than a mixture of evangelical pablum and false religion to save America. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. The sin of false religion is one of the greatest sins in America today; yet scarcely a whisper is ever raised about it; let alone against it. Men will thunder against pornography, obscenity, abortion, immorality, corruption and duplicity, but complete silence reigns when it comes to idolatry, the one sin that God condemns more than any other, and the only sin mentioned in the Ten Commandments which carries with it the pronouncement of God Almighty's judgment. May God save America from the idolatry of Romanism. Amen.