Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Defy any Observing Person to Deny These Things.

H/T Erik at J. C. Ryle Quotes.

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

1) There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their "earnestness" makes many think they must be right.

2) There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

3) There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

4) There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

5) There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using. Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

6) There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

7) There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself "as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).

8) There is a wide-spread "gullibility" among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be carried away!"

~ J.C. Ryle

Warnings to the Churches, “Divers and Strange Doctrines”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1967], 76, 77.

John Charles Ryle - (1816-1900), was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.

I am humbled by the timelessness of Ryle's observations. I deny that these things are "peculiar" symptoms of his times alone since I believe these things are not peculiar to the late 1800's but are widespread (at least in the Episcopal church) to this day, and that is a truth that is undeniable.

I guess only a few people listen when you cry aloud,

"Do not be carried away!"

But nobody listens when you are silent, and the result of silence is that more will get carried away.


  1. Thanks for bringing back Bishop Ryle's Words of Wisdom.

    They are so apt for today.

    It's just a crying shame that TEc became such a cesspool of blatant apostasy and gross heresy.

  2. Bishop Ryle seemed to have nailed it. Reading his comments immediately brought my thoughts to the current struggle in American Andlicanism, or the three-ring circus that is American Televangelism.
    I suppose that if he were around today, he'd be "fashioning a whip"

  3. Good for the Bishop and spot on.

    We must remember Christ's words about false teachers being ubiquitous screaming "Come here!" or "Go there!" Not only there fruits cause us to know them, but their stridency, as well.