Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Pope

Where is the Discernment?

One of the things that troubles me about many Arminians is their utter lack of discernment.  This is true of course for all believers and not just Arminians but I want to speak to my camp here.  An upcoming event called “Together 2016” features many different people including Roman Catholics.  For the life of me,  I cannot understand how Protestants can join hands with Roman Catholics in any real sense until the Catholics renounce their Catholic beliefs.  The very gospel is at stake here.  This is not just about personal differences or traditions.  This is a gospel issue.

The Roman Catholic Church denies the gospel.  They deny justification by faith.  They deny the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  They teach a form of works righteousness.  They deny even declared righteousness imputed to the believer by God.  They deny sola scriptura.  They deny sola fide.  They deny sola gratia.  Everything that our Protestant forefathers did for the sake of the gospel, the blood shed in defense of the Bible and in defense of the gospel cannot be lost.

When you read the list of speakers for the “Together 2016” one not included (because he will not there in person) is the Pope.  Yes the Roman Catholic pontiff (whom Arminius called the antichrist) will address evangelicals.  Alongside the Pope will be men such as Lecrae (whom I have lost respect for), Dr. Tony Evans (whom I lost respect for sometime ago), and Dr. George Wood (the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God).  Before you think that only non-Calvinists are there, Calvinists such as Trip Lee and Francis Chan (who studied at the Master’s Seminary) will speak alongside the likes of Hillsong (who has wandered far away into something), Christine Cane, Lou Engle, and Mark Batterson.

What is disappointing about this is the lack of discernment.  Can you imagine Arminius speaking where he knew the Catholic pontiff would be welcomed?  Can you imagine the likes of a John Buynan or Charles Spurgeon preaching at this event?  Would John Wesley join hands with known mystics to promote this “unity?”  Would Leonard Ravenhill promote such an event?

I think the answer is clear.

Arminius wrote about the Roman Pontiff:

Since, therefore, the Roman Pontiff either attributes these most honourable titles of Christ to himself, or willingly suffers them to be ascribed to him; and since he evinces no horror at the blasphemy contained in these titles, and gives no tokens of his displeasure at this ascription of them; it follows, that he puts himself in the place of Christ, and is supremely opposed to Him. There is no excuse in the explanation which is given, that “the head and foundation is ministerial, and that he attributes all these things to himself under Christ, as having been elevated by the grace or favour of God and Christ to that dignity.” For the protestation is directly contrary to the fact; and he is so much the more the bitter enemy of God and Christ, as he the more confidently boasts of being defended by the authority of God and Christ. Such conduct is, in fact, under the semblance of friendship to exercise the deepest enmity, and, under the disguised pretext of a minister of light and of righteousness, to promote the interests of the kingdom of darkness and of unrighteousness. On this very account, therefore, we assert that the disparaging epithets which we laid down in our first Thesis, most justly belong to him; and this we now proceed to show by descending to particulars.

Arminius called the Pope the “pimp of the harlot Church.”  He further wrote:

Although the Roman pontiff calls himself “the servant of the servants of God,” yet we further assert that he is by way of eminence, That Wicked And Perverse Servant, who, when he saw that his Lord delayed his coming, “began to smite his fellow-servants.” (Matt. 24:48.) For the Roman pontiff has usurped domination and tyranny, not only over his fellow- servants, the bishops of the church of God, but likewise over emperors and kings themselves, whose authority and dignity he had himself previously acknowledged. To acquire this domination for himself, and still further to augment and establish it, he has employed all kinds of satanic instruments — sophistical hypocrisy, lies, equivocations, perfidy, perjury, violence, poison, and armed forces — so that he may most justly be said to have succeeded that formidable beast which “was like unto a leopard, a bear and a lion,” and by which the Roman empire was prefigured — and to have “had power to give life unto the image of the beast, and to cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast, should be killed.”

I call on Arminians to follow in the footsteps of Arminius and denounce the Roman Catholic Church.  I am not calling for hatred of Catholics themselves for they need the gospel.  I am calling for a hatred of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.  I am calling for biblical discernment (Jude 3-4).

We need to heed 1 Timothy 4:1-2.  We need to heed 2 Timothy 4:3-4.  We need to stand agains the Roman Catholic Church and preach against her false doctrines.  We need to call Catholics to repent and believe the gospel.

I pray that men such as Dr. George Wood would not only decline speaking at the “Together 2016” event but denounce it.  I pray that men and women of God would rise up and denounce the event altogether.  In our troubled world we need the true gospel and not a mixing of errors.  Now is not the time to lay down our swords in the midst of a sinful world.  What is going to slay the evils we see of racism, sexual immorality, abortion, homosexuality, wicked killings, etc. is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17).  We lose the gospel.  We lose the war.

Dr. John MacArthur on Critiquing the Catholic Church

Here is a great post from Dr. John MacArthur on critiquing the Roman Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is set to appoint a new pope.  How should disciples of Christ feel about this?  I believe Dr. MacArthur’s post is right on the mark about this.  Both Calvin and Arminius had very harsh words for the Catholic Church and both viewed the pope as the “spirit of the antichrist.”  I am reading some evangelicals who are fasting and praying for the Catholic Church, for the Lord to lead them in selecting a new pope.  What we need to be doing is praying for the gospel to radically save Catholics and for Bible-believing missionaries in Catholic nations to preach the gospel and see souls saved (1 Timothy 2:1-7).  This should be our heart, to see people saved by God’s grace through faith and apart from good works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).

Can you imagine telling the great Reformers such as John Knox, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, Calvin, Arminius, or Wycliffe that you were praying for the Catholic Church as they select a new pope?  Their reaction would probably be one of, “Praying for what?  His salvation?”  Can you imagine, if you could, speaking to the countless martyrs who shed their blood for the cause of Christ against the Catholic Church in books such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and telling them that you find no disagreement with the modern Catholic Church?

Friends, let us not fool ourselves.  Catholics need the gospel.  We are justified by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone.  This is the heart of the Reformation and are we willing to lay that aside for false unity?  The gospel is what unites and the gospel is what divides.

Arminius saved his harshest words for the Pope writing:

First. The name of the Adulterer and The Pimp of the Church is his.

(1.) He is the Adulterer of the church, both by the public and mutual profession of each other; because he calls the [Roman Catholic] church his and she neither disowns the arrogance of this title nor is afraid of the odium [attached to such assumption,] and he is the adulterer in reality. For he practices spiritual adultery with the church, and she in return with him. He commands the apocryphal writings to be accounted divine and canonical; the ancient Latin version of the Scriptures, [commonly called] the vulgate, to be every where received as the true original, and under no pretense whatever to be rejected; his own interpretations of the Scriptures to be embraced with the most undoubting faith; and unwritten traditions to be honoured with an affection and reverence equal to that evinced for the written word of God. He enacts and rescinds laws that pertain to faith and morals, and binds them as fetters on consciences. He promises and offers plenary indulgences, and the remission of all sins, through the plenitude of his power. “He exalteth himself above all that is worshipped,” and offers himself as some god to be adored with religious worship. In all these acts the church, deceived by his artifices, complies with his wishes. He is, therefore, the Adulterer of the church.

(2.) But he is also the Pimp or Pander of the church, because he acts towards her as the author, persuader, impelling exciter and procurer of various spiritual adulteries committed, or to be hereafter committed, with different husbands, with angels, Mary and other deceased saints, with images of God, of Christ, of the Holy Ghost, of the cross, of angels, of Mary, and of saints; with the bread in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; and with other inanimate objects.

X. To him likewise belongs the name of The False Prophet, whom the Scripture calls “the tail,” in opposition to “the head;” (Isa. ix, 15;) and this, whether it be received in a general acceptation, or in a particular sense and restricted to a certain and determinate person.

(1.) In its general meaning, whether it signifies him who teaches falsehood without arrogating to himself the name of a prophet, or him who falsely boasts of being a prophet, the latter of which seems to be the proper signification of the word. (2 Pet. ii, 1; Acts xiii, 6.) For, first, he partly introduced into the church many false dogmas; and partly those which were introduced when such a great mystery of iniquity was finished, he defends, maintains and propagates. Of this kind, the dogmas concerning the insufficiency of the scriptures without traditions, to prove and confirm ever necessary truth, and to confute all errors; that it is of the last necessity unto salvation for every human creature to be under subjection to the Roman pontiff; that the bread in the Lord’s supper is transubstantiated, or changed in substance, into the body of Christ; that in the mass Christ is daily offered by the priest as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and of the dead; that man is justified before God, partly by faith, and partly by works; that there is a purgatory, into which the souls of those enter who are not yet sufficiently purified, and that they are released from it by prayers, intercessions, watchings, alms-deeds, indulgences, &c. In the Second sense, this epithet is due to him, because he says that he is a prophet, who, on account of the perpetual assistance of the Holy Spirit, which is attached to that chair, cannot possibly err in things which pertain to faith and morals.

(2.) But it also belongs to him in the restricted meaning of the word; because the Roman pontiff is “the false prophet who works miracles before the beast, (Rev. xix, 20,) “out of whose mouth comes out three unclean spirits like frogs,” (xvi, 13,) and who is not improperly understood to be “the tail of the great red dragon, that drew the third part of the stars of heaven.” (xii, 4.)

Charles Spurgeon’s advice regarding how to pray for the Pope is as follows:

“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the Popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. . .It wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Savior and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Spirit and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the Vicar of Christ on earth. If we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls though we loathe and detest their dogmas. And so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened because we turn our faces toward Christ when we pray.”

Amen!  Let us love Catholics but let us love them enough to pray for their eyes to be opened to the truth of salvation and to pray that many Catholics hear and believe the gospel (Romans 10:4).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/12/2013 at 1:29 PM

Arminius on Christ Being Head of the Church



I. Though the head and the body be of one nature, and though, according to nature, they properly constitute one subsistence, yet he who, according to nature, is the head of the church, cannot have communion of nature with her, for she is his creature.

II. But it has been the good pleasure of God, who is both the head of the church according to nature, and her creator, to bestow on his church his Son Jesus Christ, made man, as her head, by whom, likewise, it has been his will to create his church — that is, a new creature, that the union between the church and her head might be closer, and the communication more free and confiding.

III. But a three-fold relation exists between the church and her head:

(1.) That the head contains in himself, in a manner the most perfect, all things which are necessary and sufficient for salvation.

(2.) That he is fitly united to the church, his body, by “the joints and bands” of the Spirit and of faith.

(3.) That the head can infuse the virtue of his own perfection into her, and she can receive it from him according to the order of preordination and subordination fitly corresponding with it according to the difference of both.

IV. But these three things belong to Christ alone; nay, not one of the three agrees with any person or thing except with Christ. Wherefore, he, only, is the head of the church, to whom she immediately coheres according to her internal and real essence.

V. But no one can, according to this relation, be vicar or substitute to him; neither the apostle Peter, nor any Roman pontiff; nay, Christ can have no one among men as his vicar, according to the external administration of the church; and, what is still more, he cannot have a universal minister, which term is less than that of vicar.

VI. Yet we do not deny that those persons who are constituted by this head as his ministers, perform such functions as belong to the head; because it has been his pleasure to gather his church to himself, and to govern it by human means.

VII. But, according to her internal essence, this church is known to no one except to her head. She is likewise made known to others by signs and indications which have their origin from her true internal essence itself, if they be real, and not counterfeit and deceptive in their appearance.

VIII. These signs are, the profession of the true faith, and the institution or conducting of the life according to the direction and the instigation of the Spirit — a matter that belongs to external acts, about which, alone, a judgment can be formed by mankind.

IX. We say that these are the marks of a church which outwardly conducts herself with propriety. But it may come to pass, that a mere profession of faith may obtain in this church through the public preaching and hearing of the word, through the administration and use of the sacraments, and through prayers and Thanksgivings; and yet in her whole life she may degenerate from the profession; and, lastly, she may in her deeds deny Christ, whom she professes to know in word, in which case, she does not cease to be a church as long as it is the pleasure of God and Christ to bear with her ill manners, and not to send her a bill of divorcement.

X. But it has happened that in her profession itself, she begins to intermix falsehoods with truth, and to worship, at the same time, Jehovah and Baal. Then, indeed, her condition is very bad, and “nigh to destruction,” and all those who adhere to her are commanded to desert her, so far, at least, as not to become partakers of her abominations, and to contaminate themselves with the pollutions of her idolatry; nay, they are commanded to accuse their mother of being a harlot, and of having violated the marriage compact with her husband.

XI. In such a defection as this, those who desert her are not the cause of the dissension, but she who is justly deserted, because she first declined from God and Christ, to whom all believers, and each of them in particular, must adhere by an inseparable connection.

XII. The Roman pontiff is not the head of the church; and because he boasts himself of being that head, the name of “Antichrist” on this account most deservedly belongs to him.

XIII. The marks of the church of which the papists boast — antiquity, universality, duration, amplitude, the uninterrupted succession of teachers, and agreement in doctrine-have been invented beyond those which we have laid down, because they are accommodated to the present state of the church of Rome.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/21/2013 at 10:00 AM

Arminius on the Roman Pontiff

The following are the thoughts of Arminius on the Roman pontiff.  Like other reformers of his day, Arminius had no kind words for the Roman leader.  Like other reformers, Arminius viewed the Pope as the Antichrist although I would disagree with Arminius over this not because I don’t reject the Pope (which I do) nor because I hold favorable views of the Roman Catholic Church (because I don’t) but because of my own views regarding the Antichrist which are different from that of Arminius.  I evangelize Catholics like I do all others.

It is demonstrable by the most evident arguments that the name of Antichrist and of The Adversary God to him. For the apostle ascribes the second of these epithets to him when he calls him “the man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. ii, 3-8.) It was he who should arise out of the ruins of the Roman empire, and should occupy its vacant digaity. These expressions, we assert, must be understood, and can be understood, solely respecting the pontiff. But the name of “The Antichrist” belongs to him pre-eminently, whether the particle anti signifies opposition, or the substitution of one thing for another; not indeed such a substitution as is lawfully and legitimately made by Him who has the power of placing things in subordination, but it signifies one by which any man is substituted, either by himself or by another person through force and fraud. For he is both a rival to Christ, and his adversary, when he boasts of himself as the spouse, the head, and the foundation of the church, endowed with plenitude of power; and yet he professes himself to be the vicegerent of Christ, and to perform his functions on earth, for the sake of his own private advantage, but to the manifest injury of the church of Christ. He has, however, considered it necessary to employ the name of Christ as a pretext, that under this name he may obtain that reverence for himself among Christians, which he would be unable to procure if he were openly to profess himself to be either the Christ, or the adversary of Chris.

XIII. Although the Roman pontiff calls himself “the servant of the servants of God,” yet we further assert that he is by way of eminence, That Wicked And Perverse Servant, who, when he saw that his Lord delayed his coming, “began to smite his fellow servants.” (Matt. 24, 48.) For the Roman pontiff has usurped domination and tyranny, not only over his fellow servants, the bishops of the church of God, but likewise over emperors and kings themselves, whose authority and dignity he had himself previously acknowledged. To acquire this domination for himself, and still further to augment and establish it, he has employed all kinds of satanic instruments — sophistical hypocrisy, lies, equivocations, perfidy, perjury, violence, poison, and armed forces — so that he may most justly be said to have succeeded that formidable beast which “was like unto a leopard, a bear and a lion,” and by which the Roman empire was prefigured — and to have “had power to give life unto the image of the, and to cause that as many as would not the image of the, should be killed.”

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/04/2011 at 11:05 AM

%d bloggers like this: