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William

6 Reasons Protestants and Roman Catholics Can Never Unite

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William
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Many Evangelicals today see the divisions among Christians, the many denominations, and the sometimes heated rhetoric between brothers, and rightly desire to see unity among Christians. Indeed, many modern Evangelicals even want to see unity between Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics.1 While such a desire may seem well-intentioned on the surface, we need to examine whether this is truly the unity that Christ commands His people to have.

 

Should Protestants and Roman Catholics unite? Is a desire for such unity Biblical? We will discuss 6 reasons why we believe it is not.

 

In Galatians 1, the Holy Ghost says through Paul,

 

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6-9)

 

The following points show that the Roman Church preaches another Gospel, and is more suitably called the Harlot of Babylon than a Church of Jesus Christ.

 

1. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture

 

Rome denies the sufficiency of Scripture and supplants it with human tradition. The Scriptures are wholly sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness:

 

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. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3, 4)

 

Because the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, by supplying us with all things necessary to be known and believed to be saved, no additional knowledge outside of Scripture is necessary for salvation; indeed, no human tradition can in any way be useful for the salvation of men’s souls. We are to hold firm to the teaching of the Apostles (and the Prophets, and all writers of Scripture) which we have received through Scripture:

 

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

 

No other doctrine is permitted (1 Tim. 1:3), and Scripture must be acknowledged as the commandments of the Lord:

 

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37)

 

Scripture is not to be added to or taken away from:

 

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19)

 

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5, 6)

 

Scripture is not only sufficient to supply men with all that is to be believed for salvation, it is also sufficient for our instruction in the worship of God. The Lord explicitly forbids us from adding anything to His worship other than what He Himself has commanded:

 

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

 

And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Numbers 15:39, 40)

 

The human innovations in Roman worship are more than can be listed here. From the use of images of God and saints, to the multitude of manmade ceremonies, rites, and holy days, to the most despicable and blasphemous Mass, in all these, the imaginations of men’s hearts and man’s traditions are observed, while God’s commandments are rejected. We are reminded of Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees in Mark 7:9, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

 

In summation,

 

The Protestant rule is the Scripture. “To the Scripture the Roman Catholic adds, first, the Apocrypha; second, traditions; third, acts and decisions of the Church, embracing numerous volumes of the Popes’ bulls, ten folio volumes of decretals, thirty-one folio volumes of acts of councils, fifty-one folio volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, or the doings and sayings of the saints; fourth add to these at least thirty-five volumes of the Greek and Latin fathers, in which, he says, is to be found the unanimous consent of the fathers; fifth, to all these one hundred and thirty-five volumes folio add the chaos of unwritten traditions which have floated to us down from the apostolic times. But we must not stop here; for the expositions of every priest and bishop must be added. The truth is, such a rule is no rule; unless an endless and contradictory mass of uncertainties could be a rule. No Romanist can soberly believe, much less learn, his own rule of faith.” (J.A Wylie, The Papacy, p.178-179, quoting Charles Elliot, Delineation of Roman Catholicism)

 

2. Rome Denies that Salvation is through Faith Alone

 

Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, glory be to God alone. The Scriptures everywhere so plainly attest to this, and yet Rome so arrogantly denies it. Consider the following passages of Scripture:

 

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God which isby faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:19-28)

 

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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

 

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:10, 11)

 

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4: 2-5)

 

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. (Galatians 2:15-17)

 

These passages of Scripture prove so clearly that we are saved through faith, and not by works, that no honest or right-thinking man can deny this.

 

Now why would the apostle so often and so expressly institute an antithesis between faith and works in this matter, if works could concur with faith in any way to the act of justification? Would he not in this particular have occasioned believers to err by removing works absolutely and simply from it, if they contribute anything towards it? Let the various passages in which exclusives are employed be carefully examined and the thing will be clearer than the midday sun: “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28); “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works” (Eph. 2:8); and more clearly, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith [ean mē dia pisteōs] of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16). Here it is certain that the particle (eimē) is adversative and exclusive (as often elsewhere, Mt. 12:4; 24:36; Mk. 13:32; Jn. 17:12; Rev. 9:4; 21:27) from the force of the immediate opposition of faith and works, which mutually displace each other. Nor can the Romanists themselves deny this. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 677)

 

On the other hand, here is official Roman Catholic doctrine which places a curse on this Biblical teaching. From the Council of Trent:

 

CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

 

CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”

 

Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

 

By placing its anathema on on the Biblical Gospel, Rome has placed itself under the anathema of God Almighty (Galatians 1:8, 9). Let all those who affirm this doctrine be blessed, but let Rome’s curse fall on her own head.

 

3. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Christ’s Mediation

 

Our controversy here is with papists who (to establish more strongly their fiction of the invocation of saints) maintain that departed saints perform the office with God of mediators and intercessors for the living. They conciliate to us the favor of God not only by their prayers, but also by their merits. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 385)

 

By setting up Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix with Christ, Rome explicitly denies the sufficiency of Christ’s mediation on His people’s behalf. As the Scripture says in 1 Tim. 2:5, there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Thus neither Mary nor any other besides Jesus Christ can be a mediator between God and men. Rome also sets up saints as mediators, hence they pray to saints, that the saints might make appeals to God for them.

 

We wage war against the mediation of saints. First with the express words of Scripture, which ascribe this office to Christ alone: “One God, one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ” (1 Tim. 2:5). Here one Mediator is spoken of (not many) and he Christ (who gave himself as a ransom [antilytron] for us), not any saint or angel. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 386)

 

Several other texts of Scripture also eradicate the opinion of Rome.

 

“Second, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation” (1 Jn. 2:1). Here are three arguments: (a) he is called paraklētos or an advocate in the singular (which John would have said falsely if there were more and not one only); (b) this Advocate is expressly called Jesus Christ the righteous so that no other can arrogate this office to himself; © he is such an Advocate as to be also the hilasmos or propitiation for sins. And yet no one but Christ did this. The reply is useless that Christ is indeed called an advocate, but not the only one. For although the exclusive particle is not added expressly (diarrēdēn), still it is necessarily included in the epithets added, both of the righteous and the propitiation (hilasmou). Again, if he had recognized many advocates, why did he mention Christ alone and not add others to whom they might have recourse? Here belongs the passage, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6); and “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12).” (Ibid., p. 387-388).

 

This denial of the perfection of Christ’s mediation is blasphemous and a damnable heresy.

 

“Third, the mediation of saints casts disgrace upon Christ, as if he was not alone sufficient and needs to associate others with him in this office (which cannot be said without grievous blasphemy). Nor does it help the matter to say that injury is not done to Christ because the saints receive from Christ the power to intercede and to petition. It is assumed that Christ merited for and willed to confer upon them such a power to intercede and obtain salvation for us (which the Scriptures have never said and cannot be proved by any reasoning). If Christ is a perfect Mediator, who by himself can exactly fulfill all the parts of that office, what need was there to form others for himself?” (Ibid., p. 388).

 

Rome’s doctrine of the mediation of saints is nothing but a dressing up of pagan superstition with pseudo-Christian terminology.

 

this dogma savors of heathen superstition and has sprung from the errors of the Gentiles who distinguished their gods into primary and secondary (who were of a lower order [demons] and were mediators between the supreme gods and men). “God,” says Plato, “is not approached by men, but all intercourse and communication between the gods and men is carried on by demons” (Symposium 203 [Loeb, 3:178–79]). Hence they distributed provinces, cities, arts, diseases among the demons and assigned various offices to different ones (just as the adherents of the pope set saints over empires, cities, arts and diseases and acknowledge them as patrons and tutelary gods to whom they may continually have recourse). (Ibid., p. 388.389)

 

4. Rome Gives the Glory Due to God Alone to Creatures and to Images

 

she is idolatrous and superstitious, both with respect to the object which she worships and with respect to the mode in which she worships. With respect to the object, inasmuch as besides God (who as alone omniscient, omnipotent and best ought to be the sole object of worship and invocation), she venerates and adores creatures also which are not by nature gods (Gal. 4:8): as the blessed virgin, angels, defunct saints, the consecrated host, the sacrament, the cross, the pope, the relics of Christ and of the saints. With respect to the mode, in the making, worship and adoration of effigies and images, so solemnly prohibited by the law of God. And these things appear not from the private opinions of teachers, but from public sanctions and constant practice. So that nothing here is improperly charged upon them by us. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 124-125)

 

The Second Commandment states, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thingthat is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Ex. 20:4-6). Thus, worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word, is forbidden and is equated with hating God.

 

In the first place, one may make no images of God whatsoever; that is, of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

First, this is absolutely forbidden in this commandment and in many other passages. Consider only the following passage: “Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves … lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven” (Deut 4:12, 15-19). Who then, while believing the Word of God, would be so bold to act blatantly contrary to this and make images of God—a practice clearly forbidden?

 

Secondly, God cannot be depicted and it is therefore God‘s will that such ought not to occur. “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him” (Isa 40:18).

 

Thirdly, it highly dishonors God. “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:23). The Papists readily imitate this. They depict God the Father in the appearance of a man, that is, of an old man; God the Son in the appearance of a four-footed beast, that is, of a lamb; and God the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a bird, that is, a dove. They thus dishonor God as the heathen do.

 

Fourthly, it corrupts man. “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves…lest ye corrupt yourselves” (Deut 4:15- 16). For this prompts man to think of God—who is a Spirit, and who must be served in Spirit—in physical terms. (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 3, pp. 109-110)

 

However, against the precepts of Scripture and the reason of a sane mind, Rome multiplies images of God and saints to be worshipped.

 

this is confirmed by their daily practice in which it is evident that they prostrate themselves before images, kiss them, burn incense to them, erect altars, offer prayers, make vows, institute sacred festivals and make use of similar parts of adoration and worship. And that no one may suppose that only the people sin in that practice while the principal divines think differently, it is not difficult to show that their views correspond with this practice. Hence Thomas Aquinas wishes the worship of latreia to be given to the cross of Christ, no less than to Christ himself. “Since, therefore, Christ ought to be adored with the adoration of latreia, it follows that his image ought to be adored with the same adoration” (ST, III, Q. 25, Art. 3, p. 2155). (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 52-53 )

 

To simply observe the gross idolatry and worship of images in Roman worship ought to make any biblically informed conscience cringe. All the justifications of images and the evasions futile; they are simply nullifying the precepts of God so that their traditions can be maintained (Mk. 7:9).

 

Images are teachers of lies, Hab. 2.18. Wherein do they teach lies? Because they represent God in a bodily shape, whereas he cannot be seen, Deut. iv. 12., ” But saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice.” Quod invisibile est, pingi nun potest, Am Br. God cannot be pictured out by any finger; you cannot picture the soul being a spirit, much less God, Isa. 40.18, “To whom then will ye liken God?” The Papists say, they worship God by the image; which hath a great absurdity in it, for if it be absurd to bow down to the picture of a king, when the king himself is present, then much more to bow down to the image of God, when God himself is present, Jer. 23.24. What is the popish religion, but a bundle of ridiculous ceremonies? (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, p. 258-259)

 

5. The Antichrist Sits in Rome2

 

The Scripture prophesies of a time of great apostasy from within the Christian Church, led by the Man of Sin (2 Thes. 2). This Man of Sin can be none other than the Pope of Rome.3 “Question: Who is the Antichrist? Answer: With all Protestants we reply: the Pope of Rome. The papists deny this strongly.” (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 2, p. 44).

 

Antichrist sits in her, the author of the great apostasy described by the apostle in 2 Thess. 2 who, under the pretext of a vicar, professing himself be in the place of Christ (anti christou), by impiously usurping the authority of the Lord betrays himself to be really Antichrist (antichriston), the rival of him and an opposing and self-exalting enemy (antikeimenon, kai, hyperairomenon) who, sitting in the temple of God as if he were God, exalts himself above all that is called God (to wit, emperors, kings and princes of the earth, and departed saints in heaven) and shows himself that he is God. That all these criteria of Antichrist can be found in the Roman pope can easily be gathered from a comparison of both, as has been proved at length in our Disputation 7, De Necessaria Secessione, Opera (1848), 4:147-77. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)

 

The spirit of Antichrist was already at work in the time of the Apostles, producing many lesser antichrists. Thus John:

 

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:18-19)

 

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:2-4)

 

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7)

 

As we can see, Antichrist is always characterized by heresy and apostasy. Paul intimates the same thing in 2 Thess 2. This spirit of apostasy is that Mystery of Iniquity which conceives and brings forth Antichrist (opposed to that Mystery of Godliness by which Christ was incarnated into the world). Paul speaks of the Man of Sin the leader of the great apostasy and taking his seat in the temple of God. Preterists say this temple is the physical temple in Jerusalem, but we deny, for this is cannot be maintained. In all of the letter’s of Paul, the temple of God4 refers to the Church. Thus:

 

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19-21)

 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?(1 Corinthians 3:16)

 

The opinion that the temple of apostate Judaism as the temple of God cannot be maintained. By the time of Nero, Israel was long since apostate, and the temple but a lingering shadow of the Old Testament. How can Nero “fall away” (2 Thess. 2) if he never had anything to do with the faith of God to begin with? Thus the opinion of the Jesuits of old and the Preterists of late that Nero was the Man of Sin is without ground to stand on.

 

By this apostasy cannot be meant (1) political defection from the Roman Empire, instead of a spiritual and ecclesiastical defection from the faith of Christ. Neither the words nor the adjuncts by which it is described allow this. Not the words because as often as the Scripture of the New Testament uses the word apostasias or the verb aphistēmi, it denotes a defection from the faith (Acts 21:21; 1 Tim. 4:1). Not the adjuncts because it treats of a defection which is connected with miracles of lying and all the seductions of iniquity (2 Thess. 2:9, 10), which the mystery of iniquity works (v. 7), which exertss itself by the efficacy of error, that they who are unwilling to believe the truth may believe a lie (v. 11). Hence it is elsewhere described by defection from the faith, by attention given to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils and by spiritual fornication and adultery (Rev. 17:2, 4); or idolatry, by which the bond of God’s marriage with the church is sundered. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 76)

 

We believe that the office of the Papacy is the Antichrist, and not only a particular individual Pope. Just as the office of Christ is a perpetual office, so is the office of Antichrist. The fact that the office of Antichrist is occupied by a succession of men is only further proof that it is indeed anti-Christ. Whereas one Man, Jesus Christ, remains for ever in the office of Christ and true head of the Church, many men attempt to usurp Christ’s place as the sole Head of the Church, showing further how contrary the office of the Papacy is to Christ. But this man [Jesus], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (Heb. 7:24)

 

“Consider, concerning Antichrist, Though we grant it that Antichrist is not an individual person, as Bellarmine and the Papists generally affirm: But the state and succession of men which with one and the self same spirit oppose Christ. 2. That the seat of this great Whore, is not, as some intimate, Constantinople; nor Jerusalem, as others affirm; but Rome that great City, that then reigned over the Kings of the earth, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. And 3. that the Antichrist is not the Turk and Mahometanism in the East, But the Pope and Papism in the West” (Jus Divinum Ministerii Evangelici, Or The Divine Right of the Gospel-Ministry, p. 47)

 

If the Church of Rome is headed by the Pope, and if the Pope is the Antichrist, then there can be no unity between Christians and Romanists. But the Pope indeed is the Antichrist. Christians acknowledge no head in the Church than Jesus Christ, and what union hath Christ with Antichrist? Can the body of Christ be joined to the body of Antichrist? God forbid!

 

6. The Church of Rome is Babylon

 

In the book of Revelation, the Church of Rome is called the Whore of Babylon, as the Jewish Church was often called a whore when she veered off into idolatry. The Church of Rome is the Beast of Revelation 13. Whereas the first Beast is a depiction of the Papal Roman Empire’s political dominion, the second is a depiction of its ecclesiastical dominion. And I beheld, another beast coming out of the earth, which had two horns like the Lamb, but he spake like the dragon. (Rev. 13:11, 1599 GNV)

 

[1] The second member of the vision, concerning the ecclesiastical dominion, which in Rome succeeded that which was politic, and is in the power of the corporation of false Prophets, and of the forgers of false doctrine. Wherefore the same body or corporation is called of S. John by the name of false prophet, Rev. 6:13, 19 and 20. The form of this beast is first described in this verse, then his acts, in the verses following, and the whole speech is concluded in the last verse. This beast is by his breed a Son of the earth (as they say) obscurely born, and by little and little creeping up out of his abject estate.

 

[2] That is, in show he resembled the Lamb (for what is more mild or more humble than to be the servant of the servants of God) but in deed he played the part of the Dragon, and of the Wolf, Matt. 7:15. For even Satan changeth himself into an Angel of light, 2 Cor. 11:14, and what should his honest disciples and servants do? (1599 Geneva Bible, footnotes on Revelation 13:11)

 

Rome is well-known as the City on Seven Hills. Thus, the Holy Ghost makes it evident that the Church of Rome is what is spoken of in Revelation. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (Rev 17:9).

 

“she is the mystical Babylon, from which the pious are commanded to come out (Rev. 18:4) as a most corrupt society diametrically opposed to the mystical Zion, the true church of Christ, and incompatible (asystatos) with it. Both the description of John proves and our opponents themselves do not deny that by Babylon is meant no other than Rome. John’s description (Rev. 17) belongs exactly to her alone, especially as to the two marks by which he distinguishes her: that she is a seven-hilled (eptalophos) city, who “sitteth on seven mountains” (v. 9); and that she obtains power over the kings of the earth (v. 10). It is evident that she is seven-hilled and in the time of John no other except herself was the mistress of the world, the head of the earth and the queen of nations, who on this account was called by the Greeks “the ruling city” (basileuousa polis).” (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, unity between Protestants and Roman Catholics is impossible. For any Protestant who joins himself to Rome can no longer be called a Christian, let alone a Protestant. And any Romanist who adheres to Protestant doctrine is no Roman Catholic at all, and ought to heed the command of God to come out from the Roman church. If you are one who identifies as Roman Catholic, and you have found yourself in agreement with much of this article, especially the things pertaining to Scripture, the Gospel, and the mediation of Christ, then heed the command of God, and Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities (Rev. 18:4-5). If you are a Christian, and think that unity with Rome is a thing to be desired, then consider these words:

 

“I would consider very much with myself the greatness of the indignation of God against those that shall in the least comply with Antichristianism when it doth come upon us. In Rev. xiii. 11, there is mention of “a beast that had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (which, I think, is the pope), “and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast;” that is, he exercises a power answerable to the pagan power. And what then? Verse 16, “He caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” No matter what the mark is; but to receive any thing of him, is to receive his mark; either in our foreheads, where we shall show it unto all the world; or in our right hands, more privately, where it may be shown when opportunity serves. What then? Why, in chap. xiv. 6, 7, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” When Antichrist would bring his mark on the foreheads of the people and into their hands, God, by his gospel, calls men from their false worship and idolatry. But what if they do not obey? The 9th and 10th verses tell us a “third angel followed, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb,” etc. Some will be apt to say, “Let us make a fair composition, and use some compliance, to put an end to these disputes.” No; do it at your peril. God saith you shall drink of the wine of his wrath, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and that for ever and ever. And I believe with all my heart and soul that this will be the portion of all the men and women in this nation that shall comply with any return of antichristian idolatry among us; — God shall pour out his indignation upon them.” (John Owen, Sermons of John Owen, Sermon XII, pp. 508-509)

 

Source: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/...s-protestants/

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Sue D.

There were very good reasons for the Protestant Reformation and none of those elements have changed -- there's simply too much in the RCC that is Not Biblical.

 

There Are those who have been saved / accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and have stayed within the RCC church. Some due to family presence and they can be more effective by staying than by leaving. Others Leave for the same reasons. Some priests have accepted Christ and stay to lead their people To Christ.

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Just Mike

In 1983 just after a Mission trip to La Paz Bolivia, where I saw ho evil the Roman Catholic church really was, I was watching TBN on TV. I heard Paul Crouch say he was not protesting anything, he felt he owed much to the Roman Catholic Church for remaining so faithful to the Bible. I almost puked! As it turned out Paul and Jan Crouch were totally fake. they did not live together, had separate housed lives with others and Paul was a Homosexual. yet TBN goes on, and every false teacher about is on TBN. Dad, sad.

 

 

justme

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Sue D.

It's very sad.

 

And the RCC is very strong. Very influencial

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Even So

Is it possible the pope may be the false prophet and not the antichrist?

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Just Mike
Is it possible the pope may be the false prophet and not the antichrist?

 

Any person who rejects Jesus Christ as stated in the Bible is an anti-Christ. The pope says he has the power of Christ, so what does that make him?

 

 

justme

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Sue D.

 

Any person who rejects Jesus Christ as stated in the Bible is an anti-Christ. The pope says he has the power of Christ, so what does that make him?

 

 

justme

 

 

 

Is that the same as saying he's equal To Christ?

 

A thought to share -- through the Holy Spirit, don't All believers have the power of Christ available to us.

 

And, No, I'm Not RCC -- they have a tendency to put the 'pope' on the same level as Jesus Christ. They tend to worship him Instead Of God?! There Are people in the RCC who Are born-again believers.

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atpollard
A thought to share -- through the Holy Spirit, don't All believers have the power of Christ available to us.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.


There is still no room for RCC and Protestant ecumenicism without first discarding the Bible (or a radical reformation within the RCC).

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Just Mike

 

 

 

Is that the same as saying he's equal To Christ?

 

A thought to share -- through the Holy Spirit, don't All believers have the power of Christ available to us.

 

And, No, I'm Not RCC -- they have a tendency to put the 'pope' on the same level as Jesus Christ. They tend to worship him Instead Of God?! There Are people in the RCC who Are born-again believers.

 

 

The RCC is un-biblical is most everything they do. They teach totally false doctrine, their theology is so far away from what the Bible says. The Pope has stated he is equal in Jesus Christs authority. The Pope honestly believes his words are equal to scripture, that is heretical and blaspheme. Now what else would be worse that praying to Mary, believing she was sinless, and the biggest sham is purgatory, a money making way to milk the money out our the poorest to build the Roman catholic Church. This is a total false church.

 

 

 

justme

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Just Mike

I just had eye surgery and my glasses don't see very well with my new eye sight. I am struggling with constantly using the spell correction. Thanks William.

 

justme

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Just Mike

WOW! That really helps! I guess you see I did not take typing ever. Thanks for your help.

 

 

justme

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Sue D.
I just had eye surgery and my glasses don't see very well with my new eye sight. I am struggling with constantly using the spell correction. Thanks William.

 

justme

 

Did you by chance have cataract surgery? I've had both my eyes done 1 1/2 yrs ago. When my right eye cleared, I could read Small print easily. That was at the Beginning of the month -- at the End of the month my left eye was done. I couldn't legally drive for about 2 months until I could get the up-graded eye exam. I've ended up still needing glasses --just barely, though. I can appreciate your 'new' eyesight situation.

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Just Mike

 

Did you by chance have cataract surgery? I've had both my eyes done 1 1/2 yrs ago. When my right eye cleared, I could read Small print easily. That was at the Beginning of the month -- at the End of the month my left eye was done. I couldn't legally drive for about 2 months until I could get the up-graded eye exam. I've ended up still needing glasses --just barely, though. I can appreciate your 'new' eyesight situation.

 

Yep. I had my left eye done four years ago. \\I was backing out of church one Sunday and bumped a deal lady at church. I felt soo bad, she was not hurt, but it scared me very much. Then one day I pulled out in front of a vehicle coming from my right. I stopped in time, but, my demanded me have my eyes checked. I had surgery done and it was a big cataract the doctor said. But my eye is healing and new glasses are scheduled in 30 days. I will be so glad.But at 72 i expected this. As we "mature" (get older) it gets more maintenance all the time for me.

 

 

justme

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ConfessionalLutheran

The principles that have inspired the Glorious Reformation are just as vital now as they were back in the mid 1500s. No, we can't unite because as long as the RCC puts its Pope in the place of Christ, there sits the Anti- Christ. Works righteousness, watered down polytheism and all manner of vile corruptions might well have been softened in recent years, but they are there and the Papist hard liners want to strengthen those corruptions in the name of their " tradition."

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Just Mike
The principles that have inspired the Glorious Reformation are just as vital now as they were back in the mid 1500s. No, we can't unite because as long as the RCC puts its Pope in the place of Christ, there sits the Anti- Christ. Works righteousness, watered down polytheism and all manner of vile corruptions might well have been softened in recent years, but they are there and the Papist hard liners want to strengthen those corruptions in the name of their " tradition."

 

Very excellent post.

 

 

justme

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Sue D.

 

Yep. I had my left eye done four years ago. \\I was backing out of church one Sunday and bumped a deal lady at church. I felt soo bad, she was not hurt, but it scared me very much. Then one day I pulled out in front of a vehicle coming from my right. I stopped in time, but, my demanded me have my eyes checked. I had surgery done and it was a big cataract the doctor said. But my eye is healing and new glasses are scheduled in 30 days. I will be so glad.But at 72 i expected this. As we "mature" (get older) it gets more maintenance all the time for me.

 

 

justme

 

When our younger of two sons was pre-school age, it was discovered that he had no peripheral vision in his left eye. We'd been walking along a side walk by an outlet mall. He nearly walked into one of those big, huge round poles on the sidewalk. I was holding his hand and was able to scoot him out of the way just before he would have walked into it. That was the first sign that he had an eye-sight problem. Took him to an eye specialist for children. He'd have a wandering eye if the muscle wasn't operated on -- so we did that -- after eye-patching him for a while. The corrective surgery showed that his optic nerve was definitely shorter on his left eye than his right eye.

 

We only have one set of eyes -- and, yes, getting older can be challenging.

 

On with the subject of the thread. :)

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Even So

 

Any person who rejects Jesus Christ as stated in the Bible is an anti-Christ. The pope says he has the power of Christ, so what does that make him?

 

 

justme

 

Hi justme. that would make him an antichrist, but not the antichrist. Emphasis on "an" and "the". Maybe better never than late reply?

 

Merry Christmas. everyone!

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Dutch

As long as Rome does not proclaim the true gospel of Jesus Christ there is no hope of ever uniting with them.

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Just Mike

The Pope is truly not representing Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church and its teachings are not true Christianity. Just a few things like praying to Mary and highly esteeming her, Purgatory is totally false, its just ea money making rip off. Having to confess your sins to another person is totally unbiblical, we are only to confess our sins to Jesus Christ 1 John 1:9. These are just a few things where the RCC is totally wrong.

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jayhb1976
Many Evangelicals today see the divisions among Christians, the many denominations, and the sometimes heated rhetoric between brothers, and rightly desire to see unity among Christians. Indeed, many modern Evangelicals even want to see unity between Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics.1 While such a desire may seem well-intentioned on the surface, we need to examine whether this is truly the unity that Christ commands His people to have.

 

Should Protestants and Roman Catholics unite? Is a desire for such unity Biblical? We will discuss 6 reasons why we believe it is not.

 

In Galatians 1, the Holy Ghost says through Paul,

 

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6-9)

 

The following points show that the Roman Church preaches another Gospel, and is more suitably called the Harlot of Babylon than a Church of Jesus Christ.

 

1. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Scripture

 

Rome denies the sufficiency of Scripture and supplants it with human tradition. The Scriptures are wholly sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness:

 

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. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3, 4)

 

Because the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, by supplying us with all things necessary to be known and believed to be saved, no additional knowledge outside of Scripture is necessary for salvation; indeed, no human tradition can in any way be useful for the salvation of men’s souls. We are to hold firm to the teaching of the Apostles (and the Prophets, and all writers of Scripture) which we have received through Scripture:

 

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

 

No other doctrine is permitted (1 Tim. 1:3), and Scripture must be acknowledged as the commandments of the Lord:

 

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37)

 

Scripture is not to be added to or taken away from:

 

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19)

 

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5, 6)

 

Scripture is not only sufficient to supply men with all that is to be believed for salvation, it is also sufficient for our instruction in the worship of God. The Lord explicitly forbids us from adding anything to His worship other than what He Himself has commanded:

 

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

 

And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. (Numbers 15:39, 40)

 

The human innovations in Roman worship are more than can be listed here. From the use of images of God and saints, to the multitude of manmade ceremonies, rites, and holy days, to the most despicable and blasphemous Mass, in all these, the imaginations of men’s hearts and man’s traditions are observed, while God’s commandments are rejected. We are reminded of Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees in Mark 7:9, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

 

In summation,

 

The Protestant rule is the Scripture. “To the Scripture the Roman Catholic adds, first, the Apocrypha; second, traditions; third, acts and decisions of the Church, embracing numerous volumes of the Popes’ bulls, ten folio volumes of decretals, thirty-one folio volumes of acts of councils, fifty-one folio volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, or the doings and sayings of the saints; fourth add to these at least thirty-five volumes of the Greek and Latin fathers, in which, he says, is to be found the unanimous consent of the fathers; fifth, to all these one hundred and thirty-five volumes folio add the chaos of unwritten traditions which have floated to us down from the apostolic times. But we must not stop here; for the expositions of every priest and bishop must be added. The truth is, such a rule is no rule; unless an endless and contradictory mass of uncertainties could be a rule. No Romanist can soberly believe, much less learn, his own rule of faith.” (J.A Wylie, The Papacy, p.178-179, quoting Charles Elliot, Delineation of Roman Catholicism)

 

2. Rome Denies that Salvation is through Faith Alone

 

Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, glory be to God alone. The Scriptures everywhere so plainly attest to this, and yet Rome so arrogantly denies it. Consider the following passages of Scripture:

 

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God which isby faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:19-28)

 

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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

 

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:10, 11)

 

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4: 2-5)

 

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. (Galatians 2:15-17)

 

These passages of Scripture prove so clearly that we are saved through faith, and not by works, that no honest or right-thinking man can deny this.

 

Now why would the apostle so often and so expressly institute an antithesis between faith and works in this matter, if works could concur with faith in any way to the act of justification? Would he not in this particular have occasioned believers to err by removing works absolutely and simply from it, if they contribute anything towards it? Let the various passages in which exclusives are employed be carefully examined and the thing will be clearer than the midday sun: “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28); “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works” (Eph. 2:8); and more clearly, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith [ean mē dia pisteōs] of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16). Here it is certain that the particle (eimē) is adversative and exclusive (as often elsewhere, Mt. 12:4; 24:36; Mk. 13:32; Jn. 17:12; Rev. 9:4; 21:27) from the force of the immediate opposition of faith and works, which mutually displace each other. Nor can the Romanists themselves deny this. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 677)

 

On the other hand, here is official Roman Catholic doctrine which places a curse on this Biblical teaching. From the Council of Trent:

 

CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

 

CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”

 

Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

 

By placing its anathema on on the Biblical Gospel, Rome has placed itself under the anathema of God Almighty (Galatians 1:8, 9). Let all those who affirm this doctrine be blessed, but let Rome’s curse fall on her own head.

 

3. Rome Denies the Sufficiency of Christ’s Mediation

 

Our controversy here is with papists who (to establish more strongly their fiction of the invocation of saints) maintain that departed saints perform the office with God of mediators and intercessors for the living. They conciliate to us the favor of God not only by their prayers, but also by their merits. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 385)

 

By setting up Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix with Christ, Rome explicitly denies the sufficiency of Christ’s mediation on His people’s behalf. As the Scripture says in 1 Tim. 2:5, there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Thus neither Mary nor any other besides Jesus Christ can be a mediator between God and men. Rome also sets up saints as mediators, hence they pray to saints, that the saints might make appeals to God for them.

 

We wage war against the mediation of saints. First with the express words of Scripture, which ascribe this office to Christ alone: “One God, one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ” (1 Tim. 2:5). Here one Mediator is spoken of (not many) and he Christ (who gave himself as a ransom [antilytron] for us), not any saint or angel. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 386)

 

Several other texts of Scripture also eradicate the opinion of Rome.

 

“Second, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation” (1 Jn. 2:1). Here are three arguments: (a) he is called paraklētos or an advocate in the singular (which John would have said falsely if there were more and not one only); (b) this Advocate is expressly called Jesus Christ the righteous so that no other can arrogate this office to himself; © he is such an Advocate as to be also the hilasmos or propitiation for sins. And yet no one but Christ did this. The reply is useless that Christ is indeed called an advocate, but not the only one. For although the exclusive particle is not added expressly (diarrēdēn), still it is necessarily included in the epithets added, both of the righteous and the propitiation (hilasmou). Again, if he had recognized many advocates, why did he mention Christ alone and not add others to whom they might have recourse? Here belongs the passage, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6); and “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12).” (Ibid., p. 387-388).

 

This denial of the perfection of Christ’s mediation is blasphemous and a damnable heresy.

 

“Third, the mediation of saints casts disgrace upon Christ, as if he was not alone sufficient and needs to associate others with him in this office (which cannot be said without grievous blasphemy). Nor does it help the matter to say that injury is not done to Christ because the saints receive from Christ the power to intercede and to petition. It is assumed that Christ merited for and willed to confer upon them such a power to intercede and obtain salvation for us (which the Scriptures have never said and cannot be proved by any reasoning). If Christ is a perfect Mediator, who by himself can exactly fulfill all the parts of that office, what need was there to form others for himself?” (Ibid., p. 388).

 

Rome’s doctrine of the mediation of saints is nothing but a dressing up of pagan superstition with pseudo-Christian terminology.

 

this dogma savors of heathen superstition and has sprung from the errors of the Gentiles who distinguished their gods into primary and secondary (who were of a lower order [demons] and were mediators between the supreme gods and men). “God,” says Plato, “is not approached by men, but all intercourse and communication between the gods and men is carried on by demons” (Symposium 203 [Loeb, 3:178–79]). Hence they distributed provinces, cities, arts, diseases among the demons and assigned various offices to different ones (just as the adherents of the pope set saints over empires, cities, arts and diseases and acknowledge them as patrons and tutelary gods to whom they may continually have recourse). (Ibid., p. 388.389)

 

4. Rome Gives the Glory Due to God Alone to Creatures and to Images

 

she is idolatrous and superstitious, both with respect to the object which she worships and with respect to the mode in which she worships. With respect to the object, inasmuch as besides God (who as alone omniscient, omnipotent and best ought to be the sole object of worship and invocation), she venerates and adores creatures also which are not by nature gods (Gal. 4:8): as the blessed virgin, angels, defunct saints, the consecrated host, the sacrament, the cross, the pope, the relics of Christ and of the saints. With respect to the mode, in the making, worship and adoration of effigies and images, so solemnly prohibited by the law of God. And these things appear not from the private opinions of teachers, but from public sanctions and constant practice. So that nothing here is improperly charged upon them by us. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 124-125)

 

The Second Commandment states, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thingthat is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Ex. 20:4-6). Thus, worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word, is forbidden and is equated with hating God.

 

In the first place, one may make no images of God whatsoever; that is, of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

First, this is absolutely forbidden in this commandment and in many other passages. Consider only the following passage: “Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves … lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven” (Deut 4:12, 15-19). Who then, while believing the Word of God, would be so bold to act blatantly contrary to this and make images of God—a practice clearly forbidden?

 

Secondly, God cannot be depicted and it is therefore God‘s will that such ought not to occur. “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him” (Isa 40:18).

 

Thirdly, it highly dishonors God. “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:23). The Papists readily imitate this. They depict God the Father in the appearance of a man, that is, of an old man; God the Son in the appearance of a four-footed beast, that is, of a lamb; and God the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a bird, that is, a dove. They thus dishonor God as the heathen do.

 

Fourthly, it corrupts man. “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves…lest ye corrupt yourselves” (Deut 4:15- 16). For this prompts man to think of God—who is a Spirit, and who must be served in Spirit—in physical terms. (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 3, pp. 109-110)

 

However, against the precepts of Scripture and the reason of a sane mind, Rome multiplies images of God and saints to be worshipped.

 

this is confirmed by their daily practice in which it is evident that they prostrate themselves before images, kiss them, burn incense to them, erect altars, offer prayers, make vows, institute sacred festivals and make use of similar parts of adoration and worship. And that no one may suppose that only the people sin in that practice while the principal divines think differently, it is not difficult to show that their views correspond with this practice. Hence Thomas Aquinas wishes the worship of latreia to be given to the cross of Christ, no less than to Christ himself. “Since, therefore, Christ ought to be adored with the adoration of latreia, it follows that his image ought to be adored with the same adoration” (ST, III, Q. 25, Art. 3, p. 2155). (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 52-53 )

 

To simply observe the gross idolatry and worship of images in Roman worship ought to make any biblically informed conscience cringe. All the justifications of images and the evasions futile; they are simply nullifying the precepts of God so that their traditions can be maintained (Mk. 7:9).

 

Images are teachers of lies, Hab. 2.18. Wherein do they teach lies? Because they represent God in a bodily shape, whereas he cannot be seen, Deut. iv. 12., ” But saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice.” Quod invisibile est, pingi nun potest, Am Br. God cannot be pictured out by any finger; you cannot picture the soul being a spirit, much less God, Isa. 40.18, “To whom then will ye liken God?” The Papists say, they worship God by the image; which hath a great absurdity in it, for if it be absurd to bow down to the picture of a king, when the king himself is present, then much more to bow down to the image of God, when God himself is present, Jer. 23.24. What is the popish religion, but a bundle of ridiculous ceremonies? (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, p. 258-259)

 

5. The Antichrist Sits in Rome2

 

The Scripture prophesies of a time of great apostasy from within the Christian Church, led by the Man of Sin (2 Thes. 2). This Man of Sin can be none other than the Pope of Rome.3 “Question: Who is the Antichrist? Answer: With all Protestants we reply: the Pope of Rome. The papists deny this strongly.” (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol. 2, p. 44).

 

Antichrist sits in her, the author of the great apostasy described by the apostle in 2 Thess. 2 who, under the pretext of a vicar, professing himself be in the place of Christ (anti christou), by impiously usurping the authority of the Lord betrays himself to be really Antichrist (antichriston), the rival of him and an opposing and self-exalting enemy (antikeimenon, kai, hyperairomenon) who, sitting in the temple of God as if he were God, exalts himself above all that is called God (to wit, emperors, kings and princes of the earth, and departed saints in heaven) and shows himself that he is God. That all these criteria of Antichrist can be found in the Roman pope can easily be gathered from a comparison of both, as has been proved at length in our Disputation 7, De Necessaria Secessione, Opera (1848), 4:147-77. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)

 

The spirit of Antichrist was already at work in the time of the Apostles, producing many lesser antichrists. Thus John:

 

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:18-19)

 

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:2-4)

 

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7)

 

As we can see, Antichrist is always characterized by heresy and apostasy. Paul intimates the same thing in 2 Thess 2. This spirit of apostasy is that Mystery of Iniquity which conceives and brings forth Antichrist (opposed to that Mystery of Godliness by which Christ was incarnated into the world). Paul speaks of the Man of Sin the leader of the great apostasy and taking his seat in the temple of God. Preterists say this temple is the physical temple in Jerusalem, but we deny, for this is cannot be maintained. In all of the letter’s of Paul, the temple of God4 refers to the Church. Thus:

 

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19-21)

 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?(1 Corinthians 3:16)

 

The opinion that the temple of apostate Judaism as the temple of God cannot be maintained. By the time of Nero, Israel was long since apostate, and the temple but a lingering shadow of the Old Testament. How can Nero “fall away” (2 Thess. 2) if he never had anything to do with the faith of God to begin with? Thus the opinion of the Jesuits of old and the Preterists of late that Nero was the Man of Sin is without ground to stand on.

 

By this apostasy cannot be meant (1) political defection from the Roman Empire, instead of a spiritual and ecclesiastical defection from the faith of Christ. Neither the words nor the adjuncts by which it is described allow this. Not the words because as often as the Scripture of the New Testament uses the word apostasias or the verb aphistēmi, it denotes a defection from the faith (Acts 21:21; 1 Tim. 4:1). Not the adjuncts because it treats of a defection which is connected with miracles of lying and all the seductions of iniquity (2 Thess. 2:9, 10), which the mystery of iniquity works (v. 7), which exertss itself by the efficacy of error, that they who are unwilling to believe the truth may believe a lie (v. 11). Hence it is elsewhere described by defection from the faith, by attention given to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils and by spiritual fornication and adultery (Rev. 17:2, 4); or idolatry, by which the bond of God’s marriage with the church is sundered. (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 76)

 

We believe that the office of the Papacy is the Antichrist, and not only a particular individual Pope. Just as the office of Christ is a perpetual office, so is the office of Antichrist. The fact that the office of Antichrist is occupied by a succession of men is only further proof that it is indeed anti-Christ. Whereas one Man, Jesus Christ, remains for ever in the office of Christ and true head of the Church, many men attempt to usurp Christ’s place as the sole Head of the Church, showing further how contrary the office of the Papacy is to Christ. But this man [Jesus], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (Heb. 7:24)

 

“Consider, concerning Antichrist, Though we grant it that Antichrist is not an individual person, as Bellarmine and the Papists generally affirm: But the state and succession of men which with one and the self same spirit oppose Christ. 2. That the seat of this great Whore, is not, as some intimate, Constantinople; nor Jerusalem, as others affirm; but Rome that great City, that then reigned over the Kings of the earth, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. And 3. that the Antichrist is not the Turk and Mahometanism in the East, But the Pope and Papism in the West” (Jus Divinum Ministerii Evangelici, Or The Divine Right of the Gospel-Ministry, p. 47)

 

If the Church of Rome is headed by the Pope, and if the Pope is the Antichrist, then there can be no unity between Christians and Romanists. But the Pope indeed is the Antichrist. Christians acknowledge no head in the Church than Jesus Christ, and what union hath Christ with Antichrist? Can the body of Christ be joined to the body of Antichrist? God forbid!

 

6. The Church of Rome is Babylon

 

In the book of Revelation, the Church of Rome is called the Whore of Babylon, as the Jewish Church was often called a whore when she veered off into idolatry. The Church of Rome is the Beast of Revelation 13. Whereas the first Beast is a depiction of the Papal Roman Empire’s political dominion, the second is a depiction of its ecclesiastical dominion. And I beheld, another beast coming out of the earth, which had two horns like the Lamb, but he spake like the dragon. (Rev. 13:11, 1599 GNV)

 

[1] The second member of the vision, concerning the ecclesiastical dominion, which in Rome succeeded that which was politic, and is in the power of the corporation of false Prophets, and of the forgers of false doctrine. Wherefore the same body or corporation is called of S. John by the name of false prophet, Rev. 6:13, 19 and 20. The form of this beast is first described in this verse, then his acts, in the verses following, and the whole speech is concluded in the last verse. This beast is by his breed a Son of the earth (as they say) obscurely born, and by little and little creeping up out of his abject estate.

 

[2] That is, in show he resembled the Lamb (for what is more mild or more humble than to be the servant of the servants of God) but in deed he played the part of the Dragon, and of the Wolf, Matt. 7:15. For even Satan changeth himself into an Angel of light, 2 Cor. 11:14, and what should his honest disciples and servants do? (1599 Geneva Bible, footnotes on Revelation 13:11)

 

Rome is well-known as the City on Seven Hills. Thus, the Holy Ghost makes it evident that the Church of Rome is what is spoken of in Revelation. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth (Rev 17:9).

 

“she is the mystical Babylon, from which the pious are commanded to come out (Rev. 18:4) as a most corrupt society diametrically opposed to the mystical Zion, the true church of Christ, and incompatible (asystatos) with it. Both the description of John proves and our opponents themselves do not deny that by Babylon is meant no other than Rome. John’s description (Rev. 17) belongs exactly to her alone, especially as to the two marks by which he distinguishes her: that she is a seven-hilled (eptalophos) city, who “sitteth on seven mountains” (v. 9); and that she obtains power over the kings of the earth (v. 10). It is evident that she is seven-hilled and in the time of John no other except herself was the mistress of the world, the head of the earth and the queen of nations, who on this account was called by the Greeks “the ruling city” (basileuousa polis).” (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 3, p. 133)

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, unity between Protestants and Roman Catholics is impossible. For any Protestant who joins himself to Rome can no longer be called a Christian, let alone a Protestant. And any Romanist who adheres to Protestant doctrine is no Roman Catholic at all, and ought to heed the command of God to come out from the Roman church. If you are one who identifies as Roman Catholic, and you have found yourself in agreement with much of this article, especially the things pertaining to Scripture, the Gospel, and the mediation of Christ, then heed the command of God, and Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities (Rev. 18:4-5). If you are a Christian, and think that unity with Rome is a thing to be desired, then consider these words:

 

“I would consider very much with myself the greatness of the indignation of God against those that shall in the least comply with Antichristianism when it doth come upon us. In Rev. xiii. 11, there is mention of “a beast that had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (which, I think, is the pope), “and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast;” that is, he exercises a power answerable to the pagan power. And what then? Verse 16, “He caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” No matter what the mark is; but to receive any thing of him, is to receive his mark; either in our foreheads, where we shall show it unto all the world; or in our right hands, more privately, where it may be shown when opportunity serves. What then? Why, in chap. xiv. 6, 7, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” When Antichrist would bring his mark on the foreheads of the people and into their hands, God, by his gospel, calls men from their false worship and idolatry. But what if they do not obey? The 9th and 10th verses tell us a “third angel followed, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb,” etc. Some will be apt to say, “Let us make a fair composition, and use some compliance, to put an end to these disputes.” No; do it at your peril. God saith you shall drink of the wine of his wrath, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and that for ever and ever. And I believe with all my heart and soul that this will be the portion of all the men and women in this nation that shall comply with any return of antichristian idolatry among us; — God shall pour out his indignation upon them.” (John Owen, Sermons of John Owen, Sermon XII, pp. 508-509)

 

Source: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/...s-protestants/

 

 

1. Scripture did not put itself together. Scripture did not canonize its own self. Jesus did not leave us any book. Jesus did not teach SOLA scriptura (emphasis on the SOLA). When Jesus gave Peter the power of the Keys, he never mentioned any book or scripture. Paul never taught SOLA scriptura. The qualifier SOLA was added, invented, made up in order to reject papal authority. In order to reject the papacy, the sola was forced into the text. Tell me where in scripture where it is stated that the bible will be your "FINAL" and "ONLY" authority. Please make sure that the words final and only are present in the verse you provide. Protestants keep quoting countless verses in the bible and yet none of them, not one, implicitly or explicitly teaches scripture being final and only authority. Furthermore, scripture does not interpret itself. If scripture was so clear and self evident, how come protestants are still at odds with so many doctrines? Clear cut things are suppose to unite us not divide us. Why so many divisions? Why so many churches?

Also scripture cannot be final and only authority when it is YOUR interpretation of it that I must adhere to. Scripture in fact does not have the last say, the one who claims to be a pastor or leader of a church has the last say. That person's interpretation is the last say. And if you are in disagreement, you simply go start your own church. Was that the type of attitude and spirit the first Christians were living? Was Paul ok with Christians starting up their own new church if they were in disagreement with him or Peter? Did Paul allow denominational Christianity? Did denominational Christianity even existed in the first 1500 yrs of the Church? If Paul lived today and saw how Christianity has splintered would he be happy? If the dogma of bible alone is true and of divine origin then you are in fact crediting the Holy Spirit for all of the divisions in Protestantism. Imagine if the first Christian communities broke up into the Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, etc... how would Paul react to that? Paul did use and quote from scripture but plenty of his teachings were new and had no scripture to back it. Did the Council of Jerusalem use scripture to get rid of circumcision?

What's even more distressing, who do we go to, to find the true interpretation? Which protestant church or leader can we go to to settle matters of faith? Just go to the bible! Really? But it is the bible that got us in this disagreement in the first place? The bible as a matter of fact is a source for confusion but you don't have any official infallible office to clear up any confusion. How can a source of confusion be the source of clarification at the same time?

 

2. Sola fide was a man made invention. It is no where to be found in Church history. Nowhere. It came out of nowhere in the 16th century. So for over 1500 yrs the Holy Spirit apparently had failed to teach faith alone. Jesus never said once faith "alone". Paul never said once faith "alone". Adding "alone" changes the entire meaning of the text. James proves that by using it to refute it. The only time, I repeat, the only time faith alone appears verbatim in scripture is when it is roundly rejected. If faith is so great then why did Paul say that love is greater than faith? Why did Paul say that if you have faith that moves mountains you are worthless if you have no love. Here you are preaching all you need is faith alone but Paul here is explicitly telling you, what good is that faith of yours if you lack love? Paul chastises anyone who dares to single out faith over love. That is blasphemy. The obsession of protestants over the word/qualifier "alone" has led to a perversion of scripture. It is an insult to Paul's ministry. Sorry for being so blunt but the more I try to make sense out of faith alone the more I come to realize how heretical and anti biblical it is.

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ConfessionalLutheran

The above user has been banned.

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William
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Yes, we're not here for Catholics to practice their apologetics.

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ConfessionalLutheran
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Amen, @William. This is the Protestant Community, after all. What part of " Protestant" do people not get?

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atpollard
Sorry for being so blunt but the more I try to make sense out of faith alone the more I come to realize how heretical and anti biblical it is.

Technically, he never actually tried to make sense of it. His other three posts indicate that he arrived with a mind closed to any answer except “Yes, you are right”.

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