Southern Baptists Seem to Have Forgotten What the Reformation Was About


Earlier this week, one of the most iconic symbols of Roman Catholic idolatry — the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — was reduced to ashes right before our eyes. There was little to be done to stop it. As people stood in awe and disarray as nearly a thousand years of history went up in flames and crumbled to the ground, the grotesque mourning of people from all flavors of culture and faith could be heard around the world.

While it is understandable that Pagans and Roman Catholic idolaters would bemoan the loss of a building dedicated to the spirit of anti-Christ, the fact that Protestants, Southern Baptists particularly, would be in such disarray is baffling.

Yesterday, Al Mohler wrote a piece lamenting the loss of the building and even suggested that the Reformers would be in tears,

Indeed, the Protestant Reformers themselves would have mourned the loss of this great cathedral—a symbol of the Christianity they sought to reform.

Yeah, no they wouldn’t. The Reformers — rightfully so — saw the Roman Catholic church as the enemy of the gospel and the enemy of the Church and the papacy as the anti-Christ. Practically every Reformed confession attests to this, including the Westminster, the mother of Reformed Confessions and the 1689 London Baptist Confession,

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 exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.

Huldrych Zwingli, one of the most notable figures of Reformation History says of these idolatrous houses of worship, like the Notre Dame Cathedral,

It is clear that the images and other representations which we have in the houses of worship have caused the risk of idolatry. Therefore they should not be allowed to remain there, nor in your chambers, nor in the market-place, nor anywhere else where one does them honor.

and John Calvin writes in his Institutes of the Christian Religion,

I come now to monstrous impieties, which it is strange they ventured to utter, and twice strange that all men did not protest against with the utmost detestation. It is right to expose this frantic and flagitious extravagance, and thereby deprive the worship of images of that gloss of antiquity in which Papists seek to deck it 

Al Mohler is one of the leading figures of the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence — yet Mohler, in an effort to sound pious to a vast swath of progressives invading the denomination, absurdly makes this claim which reduces the Reformation to a baseless squabble over nothing.

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Yet, Mohler isn’t the only Southern Baptist doing this. At least two articles were published at the International Mission Board (IMB) website which painted the loss of the Notre Dame Cathedral as though a piece of the heart of Christianity were ripped out and tossed into depths of the sea.

Thomas Sieberhagen writes of when he once visited the building,

By design, I was supposed to feel small in Notre Dame. The grandeur and glory of the stones were intended to reflect the divine nature and put my frail humanity into context. The sensation was frightening. But when I saw the kaleidoscopic light dance through the southern rose window, I was comforted.

This is from a Southern Baptist entity — comforted by icons, statues, and lighting in a building designed to oppose the biblical gospel. He continues,

Notre Dame once stood as a physical symbol of how beautiful the church can be. It was a tangible reminder of God’s glorious vision for his church. Notre Dame will be rebuilt, its beauty restored, even though it rests in ash at this moment. As heartbroken as I am over the loss of history and art, this tragedy has served to renew my hope that the church will be beautiful in Europe once again.

No. Just no. Pagans worship the work of their own hands. Not Christians. And certainly not Baptists. We would expect the idolaters of the Roman Catholic religion to attribute the handiworks of man to “God’s glorious vision for his church,” but not Christians. A historic reminder of how the gospel has been suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church for hundreds, thousands of years — if you want the Church to be restored in Europe, preach the gospel there.

So while the gaggles of Gospel Coalition and Southern Baptist pansey-men are reading their newspapers while drinking coffee with their pinkies sticking out repining the destruction of an anti-gospel monument, remember that the Reformation was about opposing everything this building stood for.

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