Symptomatic of how this ‘Reformation Year’ is being abused by ecumenical clergy to forge closer unity with Rome is a statement from prominent figures in the Church of England that has attracted media attention today.
The BBC has reported:
“The Church of England has said Protestants should ‘repent of their part in perpetuating divisions’ – 500 years after the Reformation began the split from the Catholic Church in Europe.
A statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York has said the split caused ‘lasting damage’ to the unity of the Church – something that contradicted the teaching of Jesus and left a ‘legacy of mistrust and competition.’
It went on to say: ‘Such repentance needs to be linked to action aimed at reaching out to other churches and strengthening relationships with them’.”
• It is an extremely serious offence to desire an outcome that is in blatant breach of the instructions of the Word of God (unity with anti-scriptural institutions is plainly prohibited in scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Ephesians 5:7-11; 2 John 9-11).
• However, to rewrite history and disseminate lies in order to reach this forbidden goal is to compound the initial sin and condemnation.
“The historic rupture, which began in October 1517 when the German monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, led to centuries of violence, where rulers of one Church would frequently execute communicant members of the other.”
A perusal of an article by Rev. A.G. Ashdown, ‘Roman Catholic and Protestant Martyrs Contrasted,’ will provide an effective antidote to this brand of lying propaganda to which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, have now so foolishly given themselves.
Ashdown's historically accurate account of Reformation and post-Reformation life in England reveals:
1. The adoption of the Reformation in England conducted society away from cruelty:
“It must ever be admitted that the Reformation, with its great emphasis on the Bible and its teaching, causing the recovery of the Gospel, slowly but surely reformed society into milder measures and a detestation of cruelty. Society became more Christian, as it renounced popery. No Protestant body ever, at any time set up such an institution as the Inquisition with its violation of justice and refined cruelty.”
2. Protestants were executed on account of ‘heresy’ against the church; Catholics for treachery against the country:
“From Foxe's Acts and Monuments it would seem certain that 289 (including the new born babe in Guernsey) died by fire and about 112 were so foully treated in prison they also died in the same cause. They included four Bishops, an Archbishop, several other Church dignitaries, and a few gentlefolk and well-to-do tradesmen. However, the greater number were humble lay folk … . They were not accused of treason, but heresy. The executions were by burning, not hanging, drawing and quartering as for treason. … they were Bible-believing Evangelical Christians dying for the cause of Christ and the Gospel.”
“When we look at the Roman Catholic Martyrs, we are dealing with another situation altogether.”
Roman Catholicism has since canonised 40 of their traitors and has now beatified a further 80. In various parts of our country Roman Catholic Churches have been dedicated to these traitors under the title of the English Catholic Martyrs.
It is criminal that the best these modern representatives of the Church of England can do is to demean the noble and biblical actions of their predecessors by equating them with those who were guilty of treachery (numbered among those who were burnt to death at the hands of Roman Catholicism were Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Bishops John Hooper, Robert Ferrar, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley).
It is high time these men in prominent positions began to tell the truth – and stopped feverishly rewriting the history of our nation in order to pave the path for an ignoble reunion with the chief persecutor of all – Popery!
This 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation will be best commemorated by a restatement of the glorious, liberating message of the Gospel of grace, not by simpering cries to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church which is no nearer the truth today than it was then.
‘Roman Catholic and Protestant Martyrs Contrasted’ (Rev. A. G. Ashdown)
‘Why Were Our Reformers Burned?’ (Bishop J. C. Ryle)
‘Biblical Unity and Biblical Division’