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No, We Do Not Hate Catholics!
Pilgrims Covenant Church and Romanism

Pilgrims Covenant Church, led by her pastor, is known to be firmly against the Roman Catholic Church. We love the souls of the Roman Catholic people; but we abhor popery, Romish rituals, and the Roman church's many ungodly, unbiblical doctrines. As our Articles of Faith state, "We hold the pope to be antichrist spoken of, for instance, in 1 John 2:18, the man of sin and son of perdition spoken of in 2 Thessalonians, chapter two. We believe the Roman Catholic Church to be none other than the woman who rides the beast spoken of in Revelation, chapter seventeen."

While our position may seem fanatical and extreme in this apostate age, we are certainly in good company. Our "fanatical" position on the pope and his church was once the norm from one end of the Christian doctrinal spectrum to the other (see below). But why should it be considered fanatical to take a biblical position concerning a counterfeit religion masquerading as the Christian Church and a man who blasphemously insists he rules on earth in the place of Jesus Christ as His vicar?

We stand opposed to the pope, but we care about the people he deceives. We hate Romish dogma, not the Roman Catholic people. We support the civil and constitutional rights of Roman Catholics, including their religious liberties. We acknowledge that many Catholic Americans are moral, hard-working people, and in some cases, heroic and great Americans. But this does not justify them before God and will not save their souls from hell (An Urgent Plea to Roman Catholics). As Christians, we have been charged to "preach the gospel to every creature" and "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The question should not be, Why does PCC speak out against Romanism and popery? The question should be, Why don't more churches and more pastors do so? And why do so many evangelicals violate the clear commands of Scripture by engaging in ecumenical ministry with Roman Catholics?

Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646

"There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God."

The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order (Congregational), 1658

"There is no other Head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God, whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

The Baptist Confession of 1689

"The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, in whom by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order, or Government of the Church, is invested in a supreme & sovereign manner, neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

The Irish Articles of Religion (Episcopalian/Anglican), 1615

"The Bishop of Rome is so far from being the supreme head of the universal Church of Christ, that his works and doctrine do plainly discover him to be that 'man of sin' foretold in the holy Scriptures, 'whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and abolish with the brightness of His coming.'"

Jonathan Edwards
1703–1758, American Congregational pastor, missionary to American Indians, and president of the College of New Jersey (later named Princeton) for a short time before his death

"Satan has opposed the Reformation with cruel persecutions. The persecutions with which the Protestants in one kingdom and another have been persecuted by the church of Rome, have in many respects been far beyond any of the heathen persecutions which were before Constantine the Great, and beyond all that ever were before. So that Antichrist has proved the greatest and cruelest enemy to the church of Christ that ever was in the world, in this, as well as in all other respects, agreeable to the description given of the church of Rome, Rev. 17:6, 'And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.' And, chap. 18:24, 'And on her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all them that were slain upon the earth.'"

John Wesley
1703–1791, English preacher and founder of Methodism

"The man of sin, the son of perdition . . . in many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to these titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly."

John Calvin
1509–1564, French Protestant reformer, author of Institutes of the Christian Religion

"I deny that see to be apostolical, wherein nought is seen but a shocking apostasy; I deny him to be the vicar of Christ, who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is Antichrist; I deny him to be the successor of Peter, who is doing his utmost to demolish every edifice that Peter built; and I deny him to be the head of the church, who by his tyranny lacerates and dismembers the church, after dissevering her from Christ, her true and only Head."

Roger Williams
1603-1683, first Baptist pastor in America; founder of Providence, Rhode Island

"[The pope is] the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself . . . speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2)."

C. H. Spurgeon
1834–1892
, Baptist pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London

"We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! War to the knife with her! Peace there cannot be. She cannot have peace with us—we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church; and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand upon her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free: but their doctrine we would destroy from the face of the earth as the doctrine of devils. So let it perish, O God, and let that evil thing become as the fat of lambs. Into smoke let it consume: yea, into smoke let it consume away."


"We are not praying against Babylon, we are not praying against the Man of Sin, we are not praying against the real foe of Britain: it is time we started to pray again. It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is, no sane man ought to raise an objection. If it be not popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we would certainly take up the Roman Church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description. Popery is contrary to Christ's Gospel. It is the Antichrist. We ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood, and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, it robs Christ of His glory, it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, it lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, 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 God, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls though we hate and detest their dogmas; and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened because we turn our faces to Christ to pray this prayer."

Richard Baxter
1615-1691, English Puritan pastor

"We cry down the Pope as Antichrist, for including the Church in the Romish pale, and no doubt but it is abominable schism."

Matthew Henry
1662-1714, Welsh-born, English nonconformist pastor and Bible commentator

"He who, being a man, a sinful man, makes himself a god as the Pope does, who claims divine powers and prerogatives, is unquestionably a blasphemer, and that antichrist."


"The popish religion doth, in effect, set up a false Christ; the Pope comes, in Christ's name, as his vicar, but invades and usurps all his offices, and so is a rival with him, and, as such, an enemy to him, a deceiver, and an antichrist."

Adam Clarke
1760 or 1762-1832, British Methodist preacher and Bible commentator

"The true Christian worship is the worship of the one only God, through the one only Mediator, the man Christ Jesus; and from this worship the Church of Rome has most notoriously departed, by substituting other mediators, and invocating and adoring saints and angels, nothing is apostasy, if idolatry be not. And are not the members of the Church of Rome guilty of idolatry in the worship of images, in the adoration of the host, in the invocation of angels and saints, and in the oblation of prayers and praises to the Virgin Mary, as much or more than to God blessed for ever? This is the grand corruption of the Christian Church: this is the apostasy as it is emphatically called, and deserves to be called; which was not only predicted by St. Paul, but by the Prophet Daniel likewise. If the apostasy be rightly charged upon the Church of Rome, it follows of consequence that the man of sin is the pope; not meaning any pope in particular, but the pope in general, as the chief head and supporter of this apostasy."

Martin Luther
1483–1546, German reformer and Bible translator

"There are many who think and complain that I am too fierce and keen against the Papacy. On the contrary, I lament that I am too mild. I wish I could breath thunderclaps against the Pope and Popery and that every word was a thunderbolt. The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of mercy, grace and goodness. The kingdom of the Pope is a kingdom of lies and damnation."


"The pope does nothing else than pervert and abuse all that God has ordained and commanded."


"The pope is reserved for God’s judgment, therefore only by God’s judgment he shall be destroyed."


"But I say, the pope is an arch heretic, for he is an adversary to my blessed Savior Christ; and so am I to the pope, because he makes new laws and ordinances according to his own will and pleasure, and so directly denies the everlasting priesthood of Christ."

John Bunyan
1628-1688, English Puritan pastor and author of The Pilgrim's Progress

"[The pope] hath intruded upon the prophetical office of Jesus Christ. What else means his pretences to infallibility? And that too when he imposes unwritten verities, abominable traditions, blasphemous rites and ceremonies; and forbids or dispenseth with the holy commands of God: Yea, when he enforceth these his Omrian statutes, and doth impose the works of the house of Ahab (Micah 6:16), he doth all in the name of the Lord Christ, when himself hath set himself in his place, and in his room. This is mystery Babylon, the mystery of iniquity: This is Antichrist's soul and body, and as such, must be destroyed."

John Knox
c. 1513–1572, Scottish Protestant reformer and minister

"The Pope is the head of the kirk [church] Antichrist."


"Before we hold ourselves, or that you can prove us sufficiently convicted, we must define the church, by the right notes given to us, in God's scriptures, of the true church. We must discern the immaculate spouse of Jesus Christ from the mother of confusion, spiritual Babylon; lest that imprudently we embrace a harlot, instead of the chaste spouse; yea, to speak in plain words, lest that we submit ourselves to Satan, thinking that we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ. For, as for your Roman kirk, as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof, wherein stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan; and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks, than that I doubt that Jesus Christ suffered by the procurement of the visible kirk of Jerusalem. Yea, I offer myself, by word or writing, to prove the Roman church this day farther degenerated from the purity which was in the days of the apostles, than was the church of the Jews from the ordinances given by Moses, when they consented to the innocent death of Jesus Christ."

J. C. Ryle
1816-1900, first Bishop of Liverpool, evangelical leader in the Church of England

"Beware of Romanism and beware of any religious teaching which, wittingly or unwittingly, paves the way to it. . . . For Christ's sake, for the sake of the Church of England, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our children, let us not drift back to Romish ignorance, superstition, priestcraft, and immorality. Our fathers tried Popery long ago, for centuries, and threw it off at last with disgust and indignation. . . . Too often, for fear of giving offence, we neglect to show our people the real nature and evil of Popery. . . . Oh, think twice before you cast aside the principles of the Reformation! Think twice before you give way to the prevailing tendency to favour Popery and go back to Rome. . . . For ever let us thank God for the Reformation! It lighted a candle which we ought never to allow to be extinguished or to burn dim. Surely I have a right to say that the times require of us a renewed sense of the evils of Romanism, and of the enormous value of the Protestant Reformation!"

Henry Martyn
1781-1812, Anglican chaplain to the British army in India, missionary, and Bible translator

"Who would have thought that we should have to combat Antichrist again at this day? I feel my spirit roused to preach against Popery with all the zeal of Luther."

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
1899–1981, Welsh pastor of Westminster Chapel, London

"We are looking at a system; and I would not hesitate to assert that this system, known as Roman Catholicism, is the devil's greatest masterpiece! It is such a departure from the Christian faith and the New Testament teaching, that I would not hesitate with the Reformers of the sixteenth century to describe it as 'apostasy.' Now let us be clear about this. . . . that horrible institution, that great 'whore' which calls herself 'The Church of Rome.'"

Nicholas Ridley
c. 1500–1555, Bishop of London, burned at the stake under "Bloody Mary"

"The See of Rome is the seat of Satan, and the bishop of the same, that maintaineth the abominations thereof, is Anti Christ himself indeed: and for the same causes this See at this day is the same that St. John calls, in his Revelation, Babylon, or the whore of Babylon, and spiritual Sodom and Egypt, the mother of fornications and abominations on earth."

Thomas Cranmer
1489–1556, first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, author of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the Forty-Two Articles (basis of the Thirty-Nine Articles), burned at the stake under "Bloody Mary"

"And now I come to the great thing that troubleth my conscience more than any other thing that ever I said or did in my life; and this is, the setting abroad things contrary to the truth; which here I now renounce and refuse, as things written with my hand, contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and writ for fear of death, and to save my life, if it might be; and that is, all such bills, which I have written or signed with mine own hand since my degradation; wherein I have written many things untrue. And forasmuch as my hand offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished; for if I may come to the fire, it shall be first burned. And as for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy and antichrist, with all his false doctrine."

Philip Melanchthon
1497–1560, German scholar and reformer, second only to Luther in the Lutheran Reformation

"Since it is most certain that the Pontiffs and monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and without any doubt true, that the Roman Pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is the very Anti Christ."


"Likewise in 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul clearly says that the man of sin shall rule in the Church, exalting himself against the worship of God, etc. But it is manifest that the popes do rule in the Church, and under title of the Church in defending idols. Wherefore I affirm that no heresy hath arisen, nor indeed shall be, with which these descriptions of Paul can more truly and certainly accord and agree than to this Papal kingdom."

Cotton Mather
1663-1728, American Congregational pastor

"The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them."

William Tyndale
c. 1494–1536, early Bible translator and martyr

"Though the Bishop of Rome and his sects give Christ these names (His rightful names), yet in that they rob Him of the effect and take the signification of His names unto themselves, and make of Him but a hypocrite, as they themselves be, they be the right Anti-Christs, and deny both the Father and the Son; for they deny the witness that the Father bore unto His Son, and deprive the Son of all the power and glory that His Father gave Him."

The Church of England's Second Book of Homilies, 1562-1563, 1571

"Which the idolatrous Church [of Rome] understandeth well enough. For she being indeed not only an harlot (as the Scripture calleth her), but also a foul, filthy, old withered harlot (for she is indeed of ancient years) and understanding her lack of natural and true beauty, and great loathsomeness which of herself she hath, doth (after the custom of such harlots) paint herself, and deck and tire herself with gold, pearl, stone, and all kind of precious jewels, that she, shining with the outward beauty and glory of them, may please the foolish phantasy of fond lovers, and so entice them to spiritual fornication with her; who, if they saw her (I will not say naked) but in simple apparel, would abhor her, as the foulest and filthiest harlot that ever was seen: according as appeareth by the description of the garnishing of the great strumpet of all strumpets, 'the mother of whoredom,' set forth by St. John in his Revelation."

The Scottish National Covenant (The Confession of Faith)
Subscribed at first in the year 1580

"And therefore we abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine; but chiefly all kind of Papistry in general and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the word of God and Kirk of Scotland. But, in special, we detest and refuse the usurped authority of that Roman Antichrist upon the scriptures of God, upon the kirk, the civil magistrate, and consciences of men; all his tyrannous laws made upon indifferent things against our Christian liberty; his erroneous doctrine against the sufficiency of the written word, the perfection of the law, the office of Christ, and his blessed evangel; his corrupted doctrine concerning original sin, our natural inability and rebellion to God's law, our justification by faith only, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law; the nature, number, and use of the holy sacraments; his five bastard sacraments, with all his rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true sacraments without the word of God; his cruel judgment against infants departing without the sacrament; his absolute necessity of baptism; his blasphemous opinion of transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ's body in the elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of marriage forbidden in the word; his cruelty against the innocent divorced; his devilish mass; his blasphemous priesthood; his profane sacrifice for sins of the dead and the quick; his canonization of men; calling upon angels or saints departed, worshipping of imagery, relicks, and crosses; dedicating of kirks, altars, days; vows to creatures; his purgatory, prayers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language, with his processions, and blasphemous litany, and multitude of advocates or mediators; his manifold orders, auricular confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his general and doubtsome faith; his satisfaction of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, merits, pardons, peregrinations, and stations; his holy water, baptizing of bells, conjuring of spirits, crossing, sayning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God's good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly monarchy, and wicked hierarchy; his three solemn vows, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloody decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers or approvers of that cruel and bloody band, conjured against the kirk of God. And finally, we detest all his vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions brought in the kirk, without or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed kirk; to the which we join ourselves willingly, in doctrine, faith, religion, discipline, and use of the holy sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our head: promising and swearing, by the great name of the Lord our God, that we shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this kirk, and shall defend the same, according to our vocation and power, all the days of our lives; under the pains contained in the law, and danger both of body and soul in the day of God's fearful judgment."

 

August 11, 2006

 

This web site contains references to Wisconsin Christians United (WCU). That ministry, which was founded by Ralph Ovadal in 1993, has been included as a ministry of Pilgrims Covenant Church since April 1, 2005. 

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