Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Church Effeminate: The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church

Here are some more excerpts from the book The Church Effeminate collated by John W. Robbins. The article for today is The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church by Godwell A. Chan, an excellent article exposing the autocractic principles in operation now that keeps Christians, especially professing believers today, in bondage to Man and far from the liberating truth of God and His Word. Here are some excertps from it:

The Reformation had broken the chains that had captured the consciences of men, but her children are now busy yielding them back on. Just as the Jewish nations was carried away from their Temple into captivity to Babylon, so Christians are being carried away from Scripture into captivity by man-made rules.


In his essay To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Luther attacked three tyrannical abuses of authority by the Roman ecclesiastics. Luther called the three abuses "three walls" that the Roman Church [sic] had built to protect itself from all criticism. The first wall is the distinction between the clergy and the laity. The second wall is the sole authority of the Roman Church [sic] to interpret Scripture. The third wall that Roman Catholicism set to protect itself is that only the pope can call a council — that the Roman Church [sic] is not answerable to any council that it itself has not called. Or to put it another way, layman can't say clergymen are wrong; if laymen use Scripture, their interpretations are faulty since they do not have any seminary training; and even if their interpretation and application could be correct, the clergymen still are not answerable to the laymen. ... (p. 31-372)


The first wall, the class distinction between "full-time" Christian workers (i.e. pastos, missionaries, seminarians) and ordinary Christians is apparent tday. ... The views of pastors are usually accepted at face value without a comparison with the Scriptures. Even with those in part-time ministries, ot unofficial positions, there seems to be an ecclesiastical caste system. .... Women seek spiritual help from the wives of pastors, regardless of whether they have any spiritual gifts or not, as if one can marry into the spiritual aristocracy. ...

Luther blasted down this first wall with 1 Peter 2:9; that all Christians are priests before God, and therefore need no other mediator pther than Christ; and Revelation 5:9-10, that all Christians are kings also by the blod of Christ, and therefore can have no clas distinction. ... That some are preachers is so because of their calling by the election of fellow Christians to fulfil certain functions, not status. They are "nothing else but an office holder". If they abuse that trust or calling, they may be deposed. (p. 372-373)

This wall of class distinction was ... re-established by the modern Protestants, in order to make the clergy immune to any criticism from the laity. The laity ought to respect the clergy by not disagreeing with them. "Touch not the Lord's anointed," the clergymen intone, as if all Christians were not the Lord's anointed. (p. 374)

Now, should the laity appeal to the Scripture for the authority to criticize errors, the Roman Church [sic] and modern Protestantism retreat behind the second wall of immunity: The interpretation of Scripture can properly be done only by the clergy class. ... Take, for example, the common practice of "stacking up rabbis." Pastor so-and-so says this," or, "Dr. so-and-so says this," as if their interpretations are, if not infallible, at least better than the laity's. ... "It is written" should settle all debates. ... (p. 374)
[Note: A strong argument against this stupid, arbitrary and elitiest self-serving nonsense is the plain fact that if this 'wall' is correct, then Jesus was wrong in questioning and rebuking the religious leaders of the OT Church in His days, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.]

The third wall of immunity with which Romanism protects itself is the pope's sole authority to call a council [the modern equivalent is that the clergymen are not answerable to the laity and that the laity cannot criticize the clergymen ] If the laity are to accuse the clergy, ..., they must "naturally call the church together."But if the right to "take the case to the people," so to speak, is taken away, then the clergy are immune to all criticism. ... (p. 375)

... [To this 'wall',] Luther wrote,

Would it not be unnatural if a fire broke out in a city and everybody were to stand by and let it butn on and on ... because nobody had the authority of the mayor, or because, perhaps, the fire broke out in the mayor's house? In such a situationis it not the duty of every citizen to arouse and summon the rest? How much more should this be done in the spiritual city of Christ if a fire of offense breaks out ... ! The same argument holds if an enemy were to attack a city. The man who first roused the others deservs honor and gratitude. Why, then, should he not derserve honor who makes known the presence of the enemy from Hell and rouses Christian people and calls them together?


The Babylonian captivity of the church begins when the Word of God is ignored and, in its place, a ton of commandments after the traditions of men is installed. Luther derides these man-made laws with great sarcastic hunor. Here are some samples:

It is actually a greater sin to silence or suppress the Word and worship of God that if one had strangled twenty popes at one time.

One of the reasons this [man-made] law is called "spiritual" is that it comes from the spirit: not from the Holy Spirit but from the eveil spirit. (p. 376) [lol... my personal favorite]


... Fundamentally, ... , Luther was really crticizing Rome's haphazard and whimsical way of interpreting the Scriptures every which way it pleased and then holding men's consciences captive under such interpretations. ...
Note: In modern days, the heretical Word-faith, latter-rain, Third Wave cult have been guilty of this, and the seeker-sensitive, Purpose Driven, Emerging crowd are also guilty of such disgusting and whimsical way of interpreting the Scriptures, though so far nowhere as bad as the Word-faith heretics.]

This statement can easily be applied to the doctrines currently in vogue in so-called Protestant churchs, such as the [libertarian] free will of man, the universal love of God, the universal atonement of Christ, etc. Men's conscieces are so enslaved that they are reluctant to leave churches that teach these heresies. (p. 377)


... there aren't any good reasons for staying in a church that propogates a false gospel. Some may object that since there are no perfect churches on earth, one might as well stay where he is. But though there are no perfect churches on Earth, this does not imply that there are no churches that preach the Gospel. (p. 377-378)

... out-of-context interpretation and haphazard application of the Scripture is rampant in Protestant churches today. ... Of this whimsical method of hermeneutics, Luther wrote,"[I]f we permit one institution of Christ to be changed, we make all of his laws invalid, and any man may make bold to say that he is not bound by any other law or institution of Christ. For a single exception, especially in the Scriptures, invalidates the whole." (p. 378-379)


... To shield themselves from criticism, the modern Romanists in Protestant clothing also have a few pithy platitudes to spit out: "love", "unity," and especially "judge not." Meanwhile, they criticize their critics with such labels as "heresy-hunters," "schismatics," "Lone Rangers," etc. These abusive labels are nothing but convenient methods of diversion from the discussion at hand. Why debate the issue when one can resort to character assassination?

The call to "judge not" the clergy for the sake of "love and unity" it a good example of the Babylonian captivity of the church. First, it exemplifies the clas distinction. The ecclesiastical elite may criticize anyone they please, especially those who disagree with them, but no one is allowed to criticize the clergy without drawing down their heavy curses. "Judge not us, but let us judge you!" ... Yet, the modern Romanists in Protestant clothing insist on a love and unity devoid of truth, in fact, against the truth. And it is highly ironical, indeed hypocritical, that those who advocate "judge not" and "love and unity" should at the same time judge those who judge them, and advocate hatred towards and seperation from those who criticize them. (p. 379-380)


... The Council of Trent (1563) condemned anyone who argues that priests can once again become laymen, even if they do not exercise the ministry of the Word of God. ... To the contrary, Luther maintained that whoever does not preach the Word, the Gospel, ought to be deposed.

... [W]hoever does not preach the Word, though he was called by the church to do this very thing, is no priest at all ... The duty of a priest is to preach, and if he does not preach he is as much a priest as a picture of a man is a man... Whoever, therefore, does not know or preach the Gospel is not only no priest or bishop, but he is a kind of pest to the church...

The "Protestant" churches are plagued with such pests.

The reader is informed of what Luther said about the Gospel in The Bondage of the Will. It is not "God loves everyone," nor "Christ died for everyone," nor "Man has the free will to believe," nor "God sincerely desires the salvation of all men." Such are false gospels. And anyone preaching these doctrines ought to get the Gehenna away from the pulpit! (p. 383-384) [Note: All these statements are synergistic and Arminian statements. Held consistently, they constitute heresy.]


... instead of facing the issues at hand, the modern counterparts [of Romanism during Luther's time] often flee behind slogans of "unity," "love," "judge not." These platitudes conveniently throw subtle insinuations (of temper, impatience, immodesty) at the one trying to bring forth the truth. ... Though Luther attacked not the immoral character of popes, but only their doctrines ... , his character was often assasinated. The true descendents of the Reformation can expect nothing less. (p. 385)

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