(J.C. Ryle, “Idolatry!“)
“My dearly beloved, flee from idolatry!” 1 Corinthians 10:14
I know how painful these things sound to many ears. To me it is no pleasure to dwell on the shortcomings of any who profess and call themselves Christians. I can say truly that I have said what I have said with pain and sorrow.
I believe that many a poor Catholic at this day is worshiping with an idolatrous worship, simply because he knows no better. He has no Bible to instruct him. He has no faithful minister to teach him. I remember all this; and I say that the Catholic eminently deserves our sympathy and compassion.
But all this must not prevent my saying that the Church of Rome is an idolatrous Church. I would not be faithful if I said less.
My own conscience would rebuke me if I did not warn men plainly that the Church of Rome is an idolatrous Church, and that if they will join her, they are “joining themselves to idols!”
That heart can hardly be right with God, which can think of the millions who are sunk in heathenism, or honor the false prophet Mahomet, or daily offer up prayers to the Virgin Mary — and not cry, “O my God, what shall the end of these things be? How long, O Lord, how long?”
Christ rightly known, Christ truly believed, and Christ heartily loved — is the true preservative against ritualism, Romanism and every form of idolatry!