Guest Contributor Post – The Roman Church
My son, Matthew has been reading the book, “The History of Protestantism”. It’s quite revealing. Well in truth, actually more like shocking. We have discussed on several occasions that the things that have passed into history or, so we thought…are being revived today. Most do not see the danger. The follow comments on the book are his, with exerts from the book itself.
Has the church changed? It has been proclaimed “Yes!” But a real study of the church’s history will show that it is not far from it’s past today. The Church in fact, IS the same and is pursuing the glory of her former days that tainted her fields with the bloods of saints.
Do you know the history of the Catholic church, or the Protestant churches for that matter? It may surprise you, but the truth is it isn’t pretty. The Christian church had morphed into the ritual religions like those of Babylon.
Most Christians churches today are Protestant. Protestant meaning: a member or follower of any of the Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the principles of the Reformation. These include the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches.
The big question is how did we become Protestants and why? That is the history that has been forgotten by many.
Protestantism started with an awakening of the spirit of God’s people in the midst of pagan worship. There are countless times when God has called his people out of troubling situations as he did with Moses when he was called out of Egypt. Doesn’t the bible say that we “should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light?” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). Most certainly it does!
The Protestant reformation was no different. Many were called out: Waldo, Jerome, Wycliffe, Huss, Luther and many more. To this day people are still called to step forward and possess the courage that God had granted the reformers of our past. Today many are asleep and yet think we are awake! “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (I Thessalonians 5:6 NKJV).
I don’t know about you, but I want that courage! These early reformers had what Jesus referred to as “Faith” as small as a mustard seed,” (Matthew 17:20). What does Jesus say we are able to do with that faith? “you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20).The early reformers very much had this faith. The mountain they moved was the Catholic church of their day. When that mountain seemed too large of task to take on as many now days would think…they stood their ground and threw down the tiara of popedom. Some lost their lives and this was their cross to bear, but there is a greater glory to come.
A small excerpt about the reformer Huss, from the History of Protestantism Vol 1, book 3, Chapter 7, pg. 147, reads:
When the martyr bowed his head at the stake it was the infallible Council that was vanquished. It was with Huss that the victory remained; and what a victory! Heap together all the trophies of Alexander and of Caesar, what are they all when weighed in the balance against this one glorious achievement? From the stake of Huss, what blessings have flowed, and are still flowing, to the world! From the moment he expired amid the flames, his name became a power, which will continue to speed on the great cause of truth and light, till the last shackle shall be rent from the intellect, and the conscience emancipated from every usurpation, shall be free to obey the authority of its rightful Lord. What a surprise to his and the Gospel’s enemies! “Huss is dead,” say they, as they retire from the meadow where they have just seen him expire. Huss is dead. The Rhine has received his ashes, and is bearing them on its rushing floods to the ocean, there to bury them for ever. No: Huss is alive. It is not death, but life, that he has found in the fire; his stake has given him not an entombment, but a resurrection. The winds as they blow over Constance are wafting the spirit of the confessor and martyr to all the countries of Christendom. The nations are being stirred; Bohemia is awakening; a hundred years, and Germany and all Christendom will shake off their slumber; and then will come the great reckoning which the martyr’s prophetic spirit foretold: “In the course of a hundred years you will answer to God and to me.”
When Huss realized the corruption of the church, he began to take up the “sword of the Spirit,” (Ephesians 6:17). Huss, a great reformer taught that the Catholic church was seeking to take the temporal power.
History of Protestantism pg. 130.
A few extracts from his refutation of the Papal bull will enable us to measure the progress Huss was making in evangelical sentiments, and the light which through his means was breaking upon Bohemia. “If the disciples of Jesus Christ,” said he, “were not allowed to defend Him who is Chief of the Church, against those who wanted to seize on Him, much more will it not be permissible to a bishop to engage in war for a temporal domination and earthly riches.” “As the secular body,” he continues, “to whom the temporal sword alone is suitable, cannot undertake to handle the spiritual one, in like manner the ecclesiastics ought to be content with the spiritual sword, and not make use of the temporal.” This was flatly to contradict a solemn judgment of the Papal chair which asserted the Church’s right to both swords.
By that statement alone, the Vatican is in direct conflict with the spiritual authority of God. Today we can see that the temporal powers of the world are seeking to join hands with the spiritual powers. Separation of church and state are soon to be a grey area. Pope Francis is very much seeking unity with the people of the world and is seeking even Presidents along with others, to usurp the authority of the nations. Don’t believe me? How grand have his entrances been to the nations around the world? Grander than that of any another foreign dignitary I assure you.
History of Protestantism pg. 70-71
St. Bernard, in the twelfth century, wrote an apology for the monks of Cluny, which he addressed to William, Abbot of St. Thierry. The work was undertaken on purpose to recommend the order, and yet the author cannot restrain himself from reproving the disorders which had crept into it; and having broken ground on this field, he runs on like one who found it impossible to stop. “I can never enough admire,” says he, “how so great a licentiousness of meals, habits, beds, equipages, and horses, can get in and be established as it were among monks.” After enlarging on the sumptuousness of the apparel of the Fathers, the extent of their stud, the rich trappings of their mules, and the luxurious furniture of their chambers, St. Bernard proceeds to speak of their meals, of which he gives a very lively description. “Are not their mouths and ears,” says he, “equally filled with victuals and confused voices? And while they thus spin out their immoderate feasts, is there any one who offers to regulate the debauch? No, certainly. Dish dances after dish, and for abstinence, which they profess, two rows of fat fish appear swimming in sauce upon the table. Are you cloyed with these? the cook has art sufficient to prick you others of no less charms. Thus plate is devoured after plate, and such natural transitions are made from one to the other, that they fill their bellies, but seldom blunt their appetites. And all this,” exclaims St. Bernard, “in the name of charity, because consumed by men who had taken a vow of poverty, and must needs therefore be denominated ‘the poor.'” From the table of the monastery, where we behold course following course in quick and bewildering succession, St. Bernard takes us next to see the pomp with which the monks ride out. “I must always take the liberty,” says he, “to inquire how the salt of the earth comes to be so depraved. What occasions men, who in their lives ought to be examples of humility, by their practice to give instructions and examples of vanity? And to pass by many other things, what a proof of humility is it to see a vast retinue of horses with their equipage, and a confused train of valets and footmen, so that the retinue of a single abbot outshines that of two bishops! May I be thought a liar if it be not true, that I have seen one single abbot attended by above sixty horse. Who could take these men for the fathers of monks, and the shepherds of souls? Or who would not be apt to take them rather for governors of cities and provinces? Why, though the master be four leagues off, must his train of equipage reach to his very doors? One would take these mighty preparations for the subsistence of an army, or for provisions to travel through a very large desert.” But this necessitated a remedy. The damage inflicted on the Papacy by the corruption and notorious profligacy of the monks must be repaired — but how? The reformation of the early orders was hopeless; but new fraternities could be called into existence. This was the method adopted. The order of Franciscans was instituted by Innocent III. in the year 1215, and the Dominicans were sanctioned by his successor Honorius III. a few years later (1218). The object of their institution was to recover, by means of their humility, poverty, and apostolic zeal, the credit which had been lost to the Church through the pride, wealth, and indolence of the elder monks. Moreover, the new times on which the Church felt that she was entering, demanded new services. Preachers were needed to confute the heretics, and this was carefully kept in view in the constitution of the newly-created orders. The founders of these two orders were very unlike in their natural disposition and temper. St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscans…
The above statement shows the corruption of the monks that had crept into the church and led many astray. The fix the Popes had in mind was as corrupt as the monks themselves; which they created. Hence the creation of the new fraternities. The Franciscans and the Dominicans. One battling over the other for authority.
No matter how big the mountain that laid before God’s people, they always find a way to push forward. Remember, Huss did not start the reformation nor did he finish it, but it has continued on ever since the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Have we just forgotten about it? Have we fallen asleep to the corruptions of Babylon?