“Protestant View” Aggressive and unedifying?
THE fact that we maintain this monthly feature, “Protestant View”, does not at all mean, as some seem to think, that we are opposed to Roman Catholics as persons. Our quarrel is with Romanism, and our sincere endeavour is not only to inform our readers about its real nature but also to speak the truth in love so that Roman Catholic readers would benefit spiritually.
Our attempts to state plainly the errors and corruption of Romanism have been branded by one journalist as an “aggressive and unedifying strain of Protestantism”, but it is no kindness to those deluded by Romanism to keep silent about the superstitious and grossly erroneous nature of that soul-destroying religion. Indeed, it is spurious charity on the part of professedly Protestant churches to keep silent on the errors of Roman Catholicism, or muffle their witness, for fear of offending Roman Catholics.
The Church of Scotland has long dropped the term “Protestant” from statements which describe the essential character of the Kirk. And now the Free Church appears no longer to regard the Papacy as the Antichrist, as we indicate in the item which follows.
Sadly, there are very few bodies and churches which are unashamedly and scripturally Protestant. Today there is greater need than ever for a faithful witness against Romanism. We hope that our small contribution to that witness is informative, frank, fair and courteous. That is what we aim for.
The Free Church and the Antichrist?
WE were surprised to discover the Free Church allowing one of its ministers to use its website to put a question mark against the fact of the Papacy being the Antichrist, in an article entitled Ted Turner The anti-Christ unmasked! In the article we read, “Identifying the anti-Christ has been a pastime of Christians throughout the ages… Favourite candidates throughout the history of the Church have varied from Nero to Adolf Hitler and the Pope. The latter is an unlikely candidate… I have never heard anyone come up with the name of Ted Turner… vice-president of the media conglomerate Time-Warner, a leading philanthropist, Americas biggest private landowner and the multi-billionaire founder of CNN. He recently gave one billion dollars to the UN… He wants us to swear allegiance to the United Nations rather than any god or nation. His opposition to Christianity is vehement and outspoken. Which all goes to make Mr Turner as good a candidate for the role of the anti-Christ as anyone this side of the new millennium.”
Some may think that perhaps the writer, one of the ministers of the Free Church, is out on a limb in thinking that the pope is not the Antichrist. Apparently not, according to himself. On a Roman Catholic website the same minister has put a message which includes this revealing statement, “I would say that about 75% of Free Church Ministers do not accept that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.”
This is not the only indication that the Free Church is ashamed of her Protestant heritage. One of the links which the Free Church website has provided to other websites is to the above-mentioned Roman Catholic website. While the Free Church makes the disclaimer, “The fact that we provide these links does not mean that we endorse their doctrinal positions”, it is astounding that it should provide a link to the website called, “Examining Protestantism! A defence of the Holy Catholic Church” one which blatantly propagates the errors of Rome. No doubt, many people have come to know about this Roman Catholic site and have accessed it for the first time through the Free Church website. One such person praises the Roman Catholic website in a message to its manager.
It is important to note the source of this denial that the papacy is the Antichrist: two Jesuit scholars during the 16th century (Romanist) Counter-Reformation, Luis de Alcazar (1554-1613), and Francisco Ribera (1537-91). In order to deflect attention from the Reformers scriptural proof of the Papacy being the Antichrist, Alcazar put forward the theory that the pagan Roman empire of early Christian times was the Antichrist, and Ribera developed the idea that the Antichrist was yet to come. Their ideas have gained wide acceptance among nominally Protestant churches around the world. (See The Beast of Revelation by Rev. J. Van Dorp in the April 1997 issue).