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Romanists claim that the Bible should not be in the hands of the common people

Arthur PinkThe principal passage appealed to by Romanists in an attempt to bolster up their pernicious contention that the Bible is a dangerous book—because of its alleged obscurity—to place in the hands of the common people is 2 Peter 3:15, 16. Therein the Holy Spirit has told us that the apostle Paul, according to the wisdom given him, spoke in his epistles of “some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.” But as Calvin long ago pointed out, “We are not forbidden to read Paul’s epistles because they contain some things difficult to be understood, but that, on the contrary, they are commended to us, providing we have a calm and teachable mind.” It is also to be noted that this verse says “some things” and not “many,” and that they are “hard” and not “incapable of being understood”! Moreover, the obscurity is not in them, but in the depravity of our nature which resists the holy requirements of God, and the pride of our hearts which disdains seeking enlightenment from Him. The “unlearned” here refers not to illiteracy, but to being untaught of God; and the “unstable” are those with no settled convictions, who, like weathervanes, turn according to whatever wind of doctrine blows upon them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Romanists change the term idolatry to make it seem as if they do not commit this sin

June 25, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Refutation of another evasion or sophism, viz., the distinction of dulia and latria.

11. I am not ignorant, however, and I have no wish to disguise the fact, that they endeavor to evade the charge by means of a more subtle distinction, which shall afterwards be fully considered, (see infra, s. 16, and chap. 12 s. 2.) The worship which they pay to their images they cloak with the name of “idolodulia”, and deny to be “idolatria”. So they speaks holding that the worship which they call “dulia” may, without insult to God, be paid to statues and pictures. Hence, they think themselves blameless if they are only the servants, and not the worshipers, of idols; as if it were not a lighter matter to worship than to serve. And yet, while they take refuge in a Greek term, they very childishly contradict themselves. For the Greek word “latreuein” having no other meaning than to worship, what they say is just the same as if they were to confess that they worship their images without worshipping them. They cannot object that I am quibbling upon words. The fact is, that they only betray their ignorance while they attempt to throw dust in the eyes of the simple. But how eloquent soever they may be, they will never prove by their eloquence that one and the same thing makes two. Let them show how the things differ if they would be thought different from ancient idolaters. For as a murderer or an adulterer will not escape conviction by giving some adventitious name to his crime, so it is absurd for them to expect that the subtle device of a name will exculpate them, if they, in fact, differ in nothing from idolaters whom they themselves are forced to condemn. But so far are they from proving that their case is different, that the source of the whole evil consists in a preposterous rivalship with them, while they with their minds devise, and with their hands execute, symbolical shapes of God.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 11-Henry Beveridge Translation

Appendix on James 5:14-16 Pt 1-Romanists

Arthur PinkA number of friends who appreciated our recent articles on this subject have written to us expressing the desire for a few words on James 5:14-16. We respond to their wish with a certain amount of diffidence, for we are not sure in our own mind either as to its interpretation or application. This is a passage which has long been an occasion of controversy and debate, and those who took part therein found—as is often the case—that it was easier to refute the arguments of their opponents than to establish their own position. When we are uncertain about the meaning of Scripture we usually remain silent thereon, but in this instance we will give the leading views which have been expressed, and state how we feel toward them.

First, Romanists insist that this “anointing with oil” is a standing ordinance in the church and James 5:14, 15 is the principal passage appealed to by them in support of their dogma and practice of “extreme unction.” But here as everywhere the papists go contrary to the Scriptures, for instead of anointing the sick as a healing ordinance, they only administer it to those at the point of death. We have no hesitation in denouncing their perversion as a mere hypocritical pageantry. The “unction” they use must be olive oil mixed with balsam, consecrated by a bishop, who must nine times bow the knee, saying thrice “Ave sanctum oleum” (Hail, holy oil), and thrice “Ave Sanctum chrisma” (Hail, holy chrism), and thrice more, “Ave, sanctum Balsamum” (Hail, holy balsam). The members anointed are the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and for the extremities, the reins and feet: in women, the navel. The design thereof is, the expulsion of the relics of sin and to equip the soul for its conflicts with the powers of evil in the moment of death. One has but to mention these things to reveal their absurdity.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

The Romanist Oxford Tractarian Movement was the result of Wesley’s Arminianism

March 10, 2014 2 comments

“It is, of the very essence of historical falsehood,” writes Mr. MacQueen, “to declare that the Romanist Oxford Tractarian Movement was the heir of the Evangelical Revival, whereas it was the logical development from the false teaching of the Arminian Methodist John Wesley.” “Dr. J.H. Rigg says concerning John Wesley: ‘The resemblance of his practices to those of modern High Anglicans is, in most points, exceedingly striking… He inculcated fasting and confession and weekly communion; he refused the Lord’s Supper to all who had not been baptized by a minister episcopally ordained; he re-baptized the children of Dissenters; and he refused to bury all who had not received Episcopal baptism’ (‘Churchmanship of John Wesley’ pp. 28-29). The present writer is amazed at Evangelical Calvinists who say that while John Wesley was undoubtedly Arminian in his views, his brother Charles was Calvinistic. After a careful perusal of their lives and the views of both of them, I am thoroughly persuaded that they were both Arminian to the core, Charles’ hymns notwithstanding. Their false undermining Arminian teaching and influence weakened the Protestant witness against Popery in England and throughout the British Dominions, while Scotland itself was by no means exempt, and this evil free-willism, as a result, continues rife and rampant in professedly evangelical circles in England and Scotland, and the whole English-speaking world, to this day. While thus, the eighteenth Century Revival saved England from the ‘withering blight of Atheism, masquerading under the euphemistic name of Deism,’ it is a great mistake to confound Evangelicalism with Wesleyanism, or to imagine that Wesley and Whitefield both belonged to one Movement and preached the same Gospel. On the contrary, their teaching was diametrically opposed, free grace being Scriptural, while free-will is the illegitimate product of the carnal mind. Whitefield was… Calvinistic… while Wesley, and his associates, were Arminian, semi-Pelagian and Sacramentalist.

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

To teach our distinctive views is a duty we owe to the unbelieving world

April 26, 2013 1 comment

broadusI. REASONS WHY BAPTISTS OUGHT TO TEACH THEIR DISTINCTIVE VIEWS

3. To teach our distinctive views is a duty we owe to the unbelieving world. We want unbelievers to accept Christianity; and it seems to us they are more likely to accept it when presented in its primitive simplicity, as the apostles themselves offered it to the men of their time. For meeting the assaults of infidels, we think our position is best.

Those who insist that Christianity is unfriendly to scientific investigations almost always point to the Romanists; they could not with the least plausibility say this of Baptists. And when an honest and earnest-minded skeptic is asked to examine with us this which claims to be a revelation from God, we do not have to lay beside it another book as determining beforehand what we must find in the Bible. Confessions of faith we have, some Older and some more recent, which we respect and find useful; but save through some exceptional and voluntary agreement we are not bound by them.

We can say to the skeptical inquirer, “Come and bring all the really ascertained light that has been derived from studying the material world, the history of man, or the highest philosophy, and we will gladly use it in helping to interpret this which wt believe to be God’s word”; and we can change our views of its meaning if real light from any other sources requires us to do so.

There is, surely, in this freedom no small advantage for being the truly rational inquirer. But, while thus free to sear the Scriptures, Baptists are eminently conservative in their whole tone and spirit; and for a reason. Their recognition of the Scriptures alone as religious authority, and the stress they lay on exact conformity to the requirements of Scriptures foster an instinctive feeling that they must stand or fall with the real truth and the real authority of the Bible. The union of freedom and conservatism is something most healthy and hopeful.

John A. Broadus-The Duty of Baptists to Teach Their Distinctive Views