What Really Kindled the Reformation? — Forgotten History

7 min


Do you know why you're a protestant? Do you know the history about Protestantism?
What sparked the reformation?

Those who forget their history and their roots always get lost. Even in God's word He has laid down detailed accounts of all biblical characters and legends to be ensamples to His people. This is why protestants should never forget their roots. The history of Protestantism is about "defending God's truth with blood and every capability." We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our pasthistory. CET 204.1

"1 Corinthians  10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." Have you forgotten your roots as a protestant? 

After the death of the apostles of Christ an evil power emerged which purposed to destroy God's truth and replace it with men traditions. Paganism and Christianity came into alliance giving birth to very dangerous doctrines that'll lead many souls to perdition.

Protestants today have forgotten their roots. Why were we given the name "protestants"? What sparked the reformation? The answers are just found in God's word. The Roman Church with the Pope as the visible head ruled the world from A.D. 538 to 1798. During this reign Christianity suffered greatly because of the gross darkness caused by the bishops and prelates of the Roman power. This is why we have the name "dark ages"  because during this time period truth was buried and Bible knowledge hidden from the people. This was an era of spiritual darkness but God was about to shake this evil power which will bring its tyrant to the ground.

God raised William Miller, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Huss, The Waldensians, and other reformers to protest against the Catholic Church. Why? Because of the evil and false doctrines they forced on the people. That the pope is the head of Christ church and all who deny his supremacy or authority are heretics and must be persecuted and exterminated. Immortality of the soul, Sunday worship deception, purgatory, indulgences, that you can pay money(yes I Mean a lot of money and ceaseless payment) to the church which will in turn secure and save your loved one from purgatory, eternal torment! What a deception propagated by the Antichrist system to pile up very great wealth! 

It was these false doctrines and others that called for the Reformation. God raised up reformers to restore God's truth to the people. Though the antichrist power has sought to destroy protestantism, true protestantism will continue to the end of time. 

The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther.It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history. Luther had a great work to do in reflecting to others the light which God had permitted to shine upon him; yet he did not receive all the light which was to be given to the world. From that time to this, new light has been continually shining upon the Scriptures, and new truths have been constantly unfolding. GC 148.4

The Catholic Church hasn't changed its protestants who have apostatized from the truth. All the doctrines which was held in the dark ages that called for the reformation is still held today. And for this fact true protestants must remain loyal to their call. If Luther was to see what's going on between the Vatican and protestants he would be so surprised and indignated that he'll write even more than 95 thesis against the apostasy! 

Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years.In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed! 

The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments. 

Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the “church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err” (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages? 

The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented?Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. 

A well-known writer speaks thus of the attitude of the papal hierarchy as regards freedom of conscience, and of the perils which especially threaten the United States from the success of her policy: 

“There are many who are disposed to attribute any fear of Roman Catholicism in the United States to bigotry or childishness. Such see nothing in the character and attitude of Romanism that is hostile to our free institutions, or find nothing portentous in its growth. Let us, then, first compare some of the fundamental principles of our government with those of the Catholic Church. 

“The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience. Nothing is dearer or more fundamental. Pope Pius IX, in his Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, said: `The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error—a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state.’ The same pope, in his Encyclical Letter of December 8, 1864, anathematized `those who assert the liberty of conscience and of religious worship,’ also ‘all such as maintain that the church may not employ force.’ 

“The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O’Connor: ‘Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.’… The archbishop of St. Louis once said: ‘Heresy and unbelief are crimes; and in Christian countries, as in Italy and Spain, for instance, where all the people are Catholics, and where the Catholic religion is an essential part of the law of the land, they are punished as other crimes.’… 

“Every cardinal, archbishop, and bishop in the Catholic Church takes an oath of allegiance to the pope, in which occur the following words: ‘Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our said lord (the pope), or his aforesaid successors, I will to my utmost persecute and oppose.’”—Josiah Strong, Our Country, ch. 5, pars. 2-4. [See Appendix for Corrected References.] 

But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side. See the increasing number of her churches and chapels in Protestant countries. Look at the popularity of her colleges and seminaries in America, so widely patronized by Protestants. Look at the growth of ritualism in England and the frequent defections to the ranks of the Catholics. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel. 

Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery; they have made compromises and concessions which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism and the dangers to be apprehended from her supremacy.The people need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty. 

The church’s claim to the right to pardon leads the Romanist to feel at liberty to sin; and the ordinance of confession, without which her pardon is not granted, tends also to give license to evil. He who kneels before fallen man, and opens in confession the secret thoughts and imaginations of his heart, is debasing his manhood and degrading every noble instinct of his soul. In unfolding the sins of his life to a priest,—an erring, sinful mortal, and too often corrupted with wine and licentiousness,—his standard of character is lowered, and he is defiled in consequence. His thought of God is degraded to the likeness of fallen humanity, for the priest stands as a representative of God. This degrading confession of man to man is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world and fitting it for the final destruction. Yet to him who loves self-indulgence, it is more pleasing to confess to a fellow mortal than to open the soul to God. It is more palatable to human nature to do penance than to renounce sin; it is easier to mortify the flesh by sackcloth and nettles and galling chains than to crucify fleshly lusts.Heavy is the yoke which the carnal heart is willing to bear rather than bow to the yoke of Christ. 

And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured. 

God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. 

The Great Controversy (Liberty of Conscience Threatened) 


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