by Rev. Fred Di Lella, B.S., M.A., Th.M.
Covenanted Reformation Church,
Hebbronville, TX

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:” (Psa. 97:10).

During the Reformation, and shortly thereafter, genuine believers again took a strong stand for the truth (and against error).  In the Canons of Dordt, the following statement regarding the wicked teachings of the Remonstrants should make perfectly plain the commissioners’ abhorrence of Arminianism (Second Head of Doctrine III): “For these…bring again out of hell the Pelagian error.”).

John Calvin unequivocally and constantly battled against false teachers.  He did not conceal his abhorrence for their erroneous doctrines.  He regularly called their teachings “execrable, deplorable, and condemnable” (to cite only a few).

John Knox did not mince words in his resistance to heterodoxy either.  He unabashedly and accurately designated false teachers and their disciples as “honorers of the devil.”  Knox detested error so much that he correctly and courageously called the Mass “abominable idolatry and cannibalism”.

Knox further demonstrated his abhorrence of false doctrine and contrary religion, during his incarceration as a galley slave of the French.  He and his persecuted Christian brethren would regularly cover their heads while the Papists observed their detestable mass.  These godly Christian men conspicuously cloaked themselves; so that they would not have to view the administration of the idolatrous Mass on the vessel and in order to be a witness to the Papist participants.  (For more information on the critical issue of Mass attendance, see the firm denunciations of and censures upon anyone being present at a Papist Mass in the National Covenant and in the writings of Calvin, Knox, and the other Reformers.)

George Gillespie, a Westminster Divine, stated that Arminianism is not Christianity.

What a stark contrast the genuine Protestantism of the Reformers provides to Modern-day “Presbyterians”, who actually stood in opposition to the verdict of The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in the Lord Mackay case and alarmingly and appallingly maintained that Mass attendance is a matter of “liberty of conscience”!

John Knox also displayed his loathing of falsehood when his galley master tried to force him to kiss a picture of Mary.  The Scottish Reformer responded by casting the repugnant image overboard.  Knox took seriously the Bible’s injunctions “to hate”, “to abhor”, “to abstain”, “to flee” from evil.

In short, as a Godly Christian man, John Knox loved the truth, and therefore, detested evil.

The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Covenants of England, Scotland, and Ireland also displayed the proper (the Biblical) perspective toward truth and error.

Before reading the following quotations from the Covenants and Confession, we should constantly keep in our minds that each of the Westminster divines took an oath of subscription to these Covenants (i.e. the National and Solemn League and Covenant).  Only when we recognize their allegiance to these Covenants, can we truly comprehend the divines’ vigorous stand for THE TRUTH and AGAINST EVIL and therefore, the enormous value of the Westminster Standards.

The subsequent citations from the Covenants emphatically and explicitly exhibit the Reformation Church’s passion for the truth and, thus, hatred of all error:

“and therefore we believe with our hearts, confess wih our mouhs, subscribe wih our hands, and constanly affirm, before God and the whole world, that this only is the true Christian faith and religion, pleasing to God, and bringing salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed evangel and is received, believed, and defended by many and sundry notable kirks and realms, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland.”

A little later, the National Covenant proclaims:

To the which Confession and Form of Religion we willingly agree in our conscience in all points, as unto God’s undoubted truth and verity, founded only upon his written word. And therefore we abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine…”

The Covenant goes on to condemn and ban all heretical teachings:

“do condemn the Pope’s erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian religion… and ordains the spreaders and makers of books or libels, or letters or writs of that nature, to be punished…and ordains all sayers, willful hearers, and concealers of the mass, the maintainers and resetters of the priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction…”

The Covenant also requires Princes to stand against false teachers:

“and shall abolish and gainstand all false religion contrary to the same (i.e., the true Christian religion mentioned above).”

The Noblemen also vowed to detest false doctrines:

“We are obliged to detest and abhor them, amongst other particular heads of Papistry abjured therein…to continue in the profession and obedience of the foresaid religion; and that we shall defend the same, and resist these contrary errors and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the days of our life.”

In The Solemn League and Covenant the people once again reiterate their abhorrence of heresy:

“That we shall in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavor the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy…superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness, lest we partake in other men’s sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues…”

In a Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant the brethren again acknowledged their obligation to love the truth and hate error:

“Because religion is of all things the most excellent and precious, the advancing and promoting the power thereof against all ungodliness and profanity, the securing and preserving the purity thereof against all error, heresy, and schism, and namely, Independency, Anabaptism, Antinomianism, Arminianism, and Socinianism…”

The True and healthy Church in both Testaments has always taken a strong posture against error.  As the Lord commands, it has endeavored to “abhor the evil” and to “love the good.”


Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.


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