The Apostate Church

by S. M. Houghton, M.A.
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In this matter I would use "great plainness of speech," and say with studied definiteness that we can have no fellowship with Rome and her unfruitful works of darkness. She is an apostate Church, idolatrous, worldly, deceitful, and utterly unscriptural both in her constitution and her practices.

Her history is one of shameless departure from the truth of God. Her doctrine is, to a great extent, not that of the Word. She professes to adhere to Scripture, as interpreted by herself, but her claim to make tradition supplementary to, and complementary to, Scripture opens the door wide to the introduction of whatever doctrines suit her purpose. The most recently promulgated dogmas - the Immaculate Conception of Mary (1854), the Infallibility of the popes (1870), the bodily Assumption of Mary into Heaven (1950) - brand her as a Church which has grievously departed from the faith once delivered to the saints. Her belief in the idolatry of transubstantiation, her refusal of the cup to the rank and file of the church, her invention of purgatory ("purgatory pickpurse" as our forefathers termed it), her system of confessions, her ancient jesuitical policy of "no faith with heretics," her sheer worldliness and her tawdry pageantry - these and much else delineate her unmistakably as a Church completely unfitted to bear the honoured name of Christian. Through the ages she has been a persecuting Church.

"When I am weaker than you," she says to the tolerant Englishman, "I ask for liberty, because that is YOUR principle. When I am stronger I take it from you because it is not MY principle."

The Stand of Protestants

One further word! Individual Roman Catholics with whom we may rub shoulders in the everyday affairs of life may sometimes appear to bear the marks of grace - we judge no man - but it is for us to grapple with the claims of the Roman Catholic Church herself, and to weigh them in the scales of Holy Writ. Compromise is in the air. Theologians strive to find a form of words acceptable to all who call themselves Christians. Clearly there never was a time when it was more needful for the true Protestant to stand up and be counted. Let us each one say: On God's Word I take my stand; I can do no other; so help me God.

Reprinted by Kind permission

Orange Street Congregational Church