Several years back, when I first began to seriously dig into the Word, I asked a pastor friend of mine to recommend a good comprehensive book on the history of the church. He loaned me one, and I can’t recall the name of it now, but I remember when I started reading it, I was disappointed that it went into Roman Catholicism. I though to myself;” I don’t want the history of the apostate church, I want the history of the real church”. But the fact is, and I understood this as I persisted in my reading, you can’t know the history of the true church without looking at that period in which Catholicism attempted to control the true church and merge all pagan religion with it, and also to control government, if you really want to understand how we got where we are today. Having grown up in a Presbyterian church, I came to realize the church I grew up in was really only “a shade or two off” from Roman Catholicism. Even in the reading of the Apostles creed in which we affirmed the “Holy Roman Church”. We may not have recited that version in my church, actually, but in some of the affiliated churches we sometimes had joint-meetings or conferences with, I do recall those words being in the creed.
So having said all of that, here is a great teaching by Pastor Billy Crone that sorts through a lot of that. The “protestant reformation” was a coming out from the apostate Roman church, however it was not as “reformed” as it thought itself to be. There are a lot of the “Christianized” pagan rituals that remain to this day.. And there were, of course, those in the true church who never did get swept into that apostasy to begin with. That is why most Baptist churches, for example, do not refer to themselves as “reformed”, although there is a flavor of “reformed Baptist” out there as well. Pretty crafty, that old serpent, no? He has Baskin Robbins beat by miles, with all the flavors he offers.