After reading Charles Chiniquy’s biographical account of his half century of life in Romanism and his remarkable deliverance and salvation, I have secured a greater appreciation for how difficult it is for people who have never known anything else, to come out from a religious system as deeply ingrained into their whole life experience as his was.
The one thing that the Roman church hierarchy was never successful in supplanting from Chiniquy’s mind was his childhood conviction concerning the place of the Bible. Chiniquy was finally excommunicated from his Roman Catholic church because of his work in exposing the egregious corruption being promoted and protected by so many in leadership. When that occurred, he was almost to the depths of utter despair. At his blackest hour, anathematized by all former friends in the priesthood and by the whole of the Roman Catholic system, he at last dried his tears and opened his Bible.
Finally separated from the bondage and fear of his religion, he saw the saving grace of the Lord Jesus was his, apart from deeds and works, apart from religion and church, but through the sacrifice of Christ alone. There, in a guest room in the mansion of the Bishop of Chicago, he fell on his knees and in repentance and faith, called on the Lord Jesus alone to forgive and to save him.
From that moment on, all the burden and weight of his sins and of his dependence on religion were lifted off him! He saw that all his need was Jesus only. Though he was to be turned out of the Bishop’s mansion and out of the Roman Catholic church the next morning, he was welcomed in to the family of God.
May God help us to be patient and understanding of those we talk to about the Saviour, who face the same sense of necessity to remain connected to some errant religious system for the sake of their upbringing and family and religious heritage. It is God’s Word, much more than our words, which must ultimately convict and convince them. Mark 9:8, “And suddenly looking round about, they saw no one any more, save Jesus only with themselves.”