It saddens me to do an article like this BUT IT MUST BE DONE! I research the “Reformation” and the “reformers” almost constantly to see what they taught and just in what ways were they trying to “reform” the Roman Catholic Church. Did these men and women REALLY come out of Rome and separate themselves from Rome or just scoot a few steps away, having the revelation from God of the errors and try to make a few changes, but yet still clinging to certain blasphemous Roman teachings, such as the worship of Mary, the Eucharist, infant baptism and Baptismal Regeneration?
It is tricky to dig up information like this because you are not exactly sure what source to trust. But I have been able to find some things and I will post them here. A point should be made here that the fact that the Church of Rome tortured and burned alive any Church member that did not agree with its teachings should tell any sensible Christian that the RCC is NOT representative of biblical Christianity, not to mention the fact that it put the preserved Word of God on their Index of Forbidden Books in the 1200’s.
In my mind, instead of throwing people in dungeons and torturing them and finally burning them alive, why not discuss and review that person’s alternate teachings to Romanism and for Rome to re-evaluate its own teachings? When the Inquisitors held court and tried heretics, the heretic may just as well beat his or her head against a wall because that would have gotten them further than trying to plead their case before the bishops and archbishops. Their heresies were read aloud and then ordered to recant and make a renewed profession of blind trust in the Church of Rome! Most often that did not happen and so the heretic was thrown back into the dungeon and tortured until summoned back into court to do the dance all over again.
Finally, when there was no getting through to the heretic the court pronounced sentence which meant burning at the stake. This most always took place in the village or town square, in a very public place where everyone could come and see the heretics get roasted. For MUCH MORE graphic and detailed accounts of such events PLEASE read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs!!!!! I cannot stress that enough believers…get to know the history of the men and women who gave their lives willingly for Jesus and his true Word. Would YOU be willing to give your life for the true Word of God…for Jesus…for the preservation of the true faith? I would, without hesitation! Between being forced to submit to Islam or lured “home” to Rome…I will be first in line to be martyred for Jesus! You will have to pry my King James Version Bible from MY COLD, DEAD, ROTTING HAND BEFORE I WOULD LET IT GO…CLEAR ENOUGH?
For those of us who are born again believers in Jesus by faith alone, we have a relationship NOT a religionship with God!!! I know I did NOT sign up for religion…I hate religion! Jesus is my Lord, God and Saviour and I am NOT ashamed to say so…are you? We should hate what God hates and love what he loves. “Oh Chris, God does not hate, you must be wrong.” Oh really, am I? Well, let’s just see about that shall we?
“Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God HATETH.” (Deuteronomy 16:22 KJV)
Picture it like this folks. Say I was a Catholic and had been born a Catholic and after 20 some years of that type of religious activity, someone outside Catholicism begins to show me in the KJV Bible where Rome errors in its teaching. Over time I receive the truth of what that person exposed concerning Rome’s errors and even begin to tell other Catholics. Well, that may be all well and good…BUT if I do not believe in and receive Jesus as my personal Saviour by faith alone, then I did not really gain any true freedom from religion.
Why do I say that? It is because so far, I have not been able to find ANY proof that tells me that any of the reformers became TRUE, I mean TRUE BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS in Jesus by faith alone…nothing! Some discovered the true Word of God, that is for sure and some believed they were saved or justified only by faith and NOT by faith AND works. BUT, BUT…more of them blended faith and a continued misunderstanding of biblical teaching. You CANNOT on one hand teach that one is saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ THEN on the other hand say that water baptism is essential to salvation OR that God alone chooses who will be saved and who will not which cancels out Jesus altogether! You CANNOT have one sound biblical doctrine but then still utilize other monstrously evil doctrines of devils too! Here is what I have found so far:
I have already fully exposed Martin Luther (who lived in the 1500’s) as an unsaved Catholic heretic who remained a Catholic by theological standards, for his brand of religion was just Catholicism-lite. He in fact said he never intended to leave the Church either. But to add to his list of heretical thinking he also believed in soul sleep, which is the blasphemous teaching that says your spirit stays in your grave as your body decomposes until Jesus calls you up. He also did not believe in free will, that we have the ability to choose or make decisions for ourselves, especially on the matter of salvation. He also taught that salvation was predestined. Check out this quote from Luther, “All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned.” That folks is Predestination and it is unbiblical and heresy!
The single notion of thought that God pre-decides who is going to be saved from eternity past would cancel Jesus having needed to come here in the flesh…right? Of course, duuuhhh! Also, in Luther’s Small Catechism, he teaches Confession…as in the same ungodly doctrine found in Catholicism that states a human being (the priest seated inside a box) has the power to forgive your sins and that God has to abide by that priest to yea or nay his decision. We born again believers DO NOT rely on confessors (priests) to absolve our sins. Jesus forgives ALL our sins in a ONE time, instantaneous action when we believe in and receive him as our Saviour and repent toward God. Besides that, WE become kings and priests and reign on this earth NOW in the kingdom of God. What devilish blasphemy!!!!! Yes I know I uses a lot of exclamation points…deal with it!
Luther also clung to the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Real Presence of it. In Luther’s Small Catechism it clearly states that, “What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,’ show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words.”
Folks, that too is blasphemy! The Eucharist (regardless what religious form you find it in) is blasphemy in the highest. IT DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR YOU!! Next we will go to John Calvin, who lived in the 1500’s. Calvin taught against using or venerating images, such as paintings or statues of Mary or saints (Catholic). He denied papal primacy but held to 2 of the 7 Sacraments. He taught limited atonement, meaning Jesus only died for the elect or the church; infant baptism, baptismal regeneration. A side note here about those last 2 heresies…they apparently made their way to America during the formation of the early colonies. Before the Massachusetts Bay Colony was twenty years old, the following was decreed by statute:
“If any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart from the congregation at the administration of the ordinance after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be subject to banishment.”
Religious persecution existed even in the early days of the United States of America. Roger Williams and others were banished--when banishment meant to go and live with the Indians -because they would not submit to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration or the baptizing of infants. However, it was the constitution of the Rhode Island Colony (founded by Roger Williams, John Clark, and others) that established religious liberty by law for the first time in thirteen hundred years (over the world). Thus it was that Rhode Island, founded by a small group of believers, was the first spot on earth where religious liberty became the law of the land. The settlement was made in 1638, and the colony was legally established in 1663. Virginia followed, to be the second, in 1786.
Calvin also held to the Lord’s Supper but rejected “transubstantiation.” Next we will look at John Wycliffe, who lived in the 1300’s. He mostly is known for his translation of the pure Word of God, but also challenged papal authority, taught against the Eucharist and claimed that Rome was NOT the head of the church. He believed that the gospel was sufficient for all truth. He was persecuted even after death when Rome had his bones dug up and cursed and burned to dust then the ashes were thrown in the river. I am sure Jesus said something about doing that to your enemies…oh, wait…NO HE DID NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is by no means a comprehensive list and I urge you to do your own research but this is just what I have uncovered. Next is Erasmus, who lived in the 1500’s. Again he his noted for building the Received Text that is the base of the KJV Bible. He also wrote books exposing the ignorance of the monks and the superstitions of the priesthood. Unfortunately, it appears he held to transubstantiation. Next will be Ulrich Zwingli, who lived in the 1400-1500’s, his godly biblical teaching lead to Lent being abandoned, (a Pagan rite absorbed by the Catholic Church). He taught that clerical celibacy was unbiblical (and it is) and got churches severed from the papacy. Mass was also replaced in churches by a quarterly communion and the liturgical calendar is thrown out and Bible reading, book by book is instituted.
Next is Miles Coverdale, who lived in the 1500’s. Coverdale taught against Rome and viewed the pope and Muhammad as antichrists. He called Catholicism a false church and rebuked merits salvation. He taught against the invocation of the saints (talking to the dead) Mass for the living and the dead, pardons for sale and pomp and ceremony. Next is John Huss, who lived in the 1300-1400’s. He took to Wycliffe’s tenets, where he denounced the sale of indulgences, challenged the authority of the popes and cardinals and proclaimed that Christ was the foundation of the church NOT Peter.
Next is John Foxe, who lived in the 1500’s and wrote the monumentally important Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. He upheld Protestant doctrine on redemption and attacked Catholic doctrine. In 1583 he published his fourth edition of the Book of Martyrs, which would be his last official release by the man himself. Next is John Knox, who lived in the 1500’s. He was the founder of the Presbyterians. He taught salvation by faith and that Scripture is our only truth. He taught against purgatory and confession. He also rejected the Catholic Mass as idolatry. He taught vehemently against Catholicism and after being captured by French troops, he has an interesting encounter with the Virgin Mary. While being held prisoner on a ship, a picture of the Virgin Mary is brought on board for the slaves to kiss. However, Knox refused and when it was pressed to his face he tossed the picture into the river and said, “Let our Lady learn to swim.”
With all this in mind nearly all the “reformers” continued in the belief and or support of Mary’s perpetual virginity. Anyone that makes the mistake of thinking that one doctrine can be left on the side of the road is fooling themselves big time! ALL DOCTRINE IS ESSENTIAL, ESPECIALLY ONES ABOUT JESUS! As you can see, it is difficult to know which if any of these reformers, let alone the others, were TRUE born again believers in Jesus (to be specific). And as I know I have proven it is NOT enough to SAY you are a Christian because Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons do that!
I think we have all been taken in by the “Reformation” hype. But I am still glad and grateful that the Lord moved on people centuries ago and that the truth broke free from the Roman Catholic Church!