Love Under Fire


Compromises and Concessions

Protestants have supported Catholicism. They have made compromises and concessions that Catholics themselves are surprised to see. People are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism. They need to resist the advances of this dangerous opponent of civil and religious liberty. LF 230.7

While Catholicism is based on deception, it is not coarse and clumsy. The religious service of the Roman Church is a most impressive ceremony. Its gorgeous display and solemn rites fascinate the people and silence the voice of reason and conscience. It charms the eye. Magnificent churches, stately processions, golden altars, jeweled shrines, choice paintings, and superb sculpture appeal to the love of beauty. The music is of the finest quality. The rich notes of the deep-toned organ blend with the melody of many voices as the music swells through the soaring domes and pillared aisles of her grand cathedrals, impressing the mind with awe and reverence. LF 231.1

This outward splendor and ceremony mocks the longings of the sin-sick soul. The religion of Christ does not need attractions like this. The light that shines from the cross is so pure and lovely that no external decorations can add to its true worth. LF 231.2

Satan often uses high concepts of art and delicate refinement of taste to lead people to forget the real needs of the heart and to live for this world alone. LF 231.3

The pomp and ceremony of Catholic worship has a seductive, bewitching power that deceives many. They begin to see the Roman Church as the gate of heaven. Only those whose feet stand firmly on the foundation of truth and whose hearts are renewed by the Spirit of God are secure against her influence. The form of godliness without the power is what most people want. LF 231.4

The church claims the right to pardon, and this leads its people to feel free to sin. The rite of confession also tends to open the way to evil. Those who kneel before fallen man and open the secret imaginations of their hearts in confession are degrading their spiritual natures. In unfolding their sins to a priest—an imperfect mortal—they lower their standard of character and corrupt themselves. Their idea of God is degraded to the image of fallen humanity, because the priest stands as a representative of God. This degrading confession of human to human is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world. Yet to those who love to follow their own desires, it is more pleasing to confess to a fellow mortal than to open the heart to God. Human nature finds it more agreeable to do penance than to turn away from sin. It is easier to punish the flesh by sackcloth than to crucify fleshly lusts. LF 231.5