What is the great enemy of the Christian church? With the rise of Islamic extremism and the advance of the Muslim faith in the west Islam will often be named as the church's number one enemy, and militant Islam does indeed pose a great threat to the freedoms and liberties which we currently enjoy. Yet Islam is not the true church's great enemy. The LGBT movement will also be a popular candidate, and for good reason as it presents us with the greatest moral dilemma of our generation. Yet whilst it is in complete opposition to God and the bible it too is not the church's historic great foe. The recent rise of these movements in our society has caused many to lose sight of that great antagonist which has stood in opposition to the true church for centuries, and which continues to do so; the church of Rome, the 'mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.' C.H. Spurgeon said that 'Romanism is a most ingenious imitation of the gospel' and that is what makes it a greater threat to the church than Islam, for whilst the faith of Mohamed does not purport to be Christian, the religion of Rome does make that claim, and indeed make it exclusively of itself. In identifying Rome as the great enemy of the church we do not seek to imply that individual Roman Catholics are our enemy, rather they are the mission field. Yet the papacy and the Roman system of worship is in all its parts opposed to the true church of God, and must ever be regarded by the true church of Christ as its adversary.
Many evangelicals today have forgotten the danger posed by Rome, in part due to the success of the ecumenical movement, as it has downplayed the issues which divide Romanism and Protestantism. Many church's and preachers have gone soft on Roman Catholicism, and are willing to recognise devout Roman Catholics as fellows believers. It is not surprising then that who sit under their ministry have done likewise. Attendance at the Roman Catholic mass is no longer a major issue for most Protestants, and events which include both Protestant and Roman Catholic participants are increasingly accepted and attended by evangelicals, such occasions no longer being the sole preserve of openly ecumenical liberals within apostate denominations.
The recent challenges posed by the homosexual agenda have also caused some to consider the Church of Rome as our ally on moral issues. Can we not stand alongside the Roman Catholic church in the fight against issues such as same sex marriage? Firstly let us remember that the Church of Rome is no defender of biblical marriage. Its prohibition on the marriage of its priests, making such an act a greater sin than child abuse, and its imposition of the confessional upon the privacy of husband and wife, disqualify it from such a claim. Yet even were it completely orthodox on these issues we would still be left with the truth that Rome is wrong on the issue which matters most of all - the gospel.
What communion can the true believer have with the church which distorts the gospel and adds man's work to God's grace? What peace can there be with those who place Mary alongside Christ in the position of mediator? What union can there be with the blaspheming priest who claims to reincarnate Christ again and again in the wafer of the mass? What regard can be given to a man who usurps the place of Christ, other than to describe him as antichrist? What peace can be made with Rome whilst she continues to stand in defiance of God? Let this serve as a reminder to every Protestant that the church of Rome is not her friend, but rather her sworn enemy.