I guess you could say I’m a bit of a Christian “Rumpelstiltskon.” I walked away from the Lord back in 1991 because I was fed up with “churchianity” but finally returned to my patient and wonderfully merciful Lord (who never left me) in 2014.
Well, from my perspective many of the changes to the church in 23 years are quite dramatic. There aren’t too many people calling themselves “fundamentalists” these days. Moody Monthly magazine is only a distant memory. Hymn singing before the preaching as been replaced by rock music with Christian lyrics on the overheads. Pastors now wear sneakers, flannel shirts, and blue jeans on Sunday mornings. Churches have shed denominational names for “more welcoming” monikers.
Okay. I’m not complaining. No doubt the differences seem so radical to me because I’ve been away for so long. But there is one noticeable change that’s very troubling and that’s the change in the church’s attitude towards works-righteousness Roman Catholicism.
Back in 1991 you could definitely see signs of cooperation, accommodation, and compromise with RCism but in 2015 the deception is going full bore. A recent survey revealed 58% of Evangelical pastors believe the pope is a born-again Christian. I shake my head in disbelief!
The thinking back in the 80s among people like Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson was, “Sure, we disagree with Catholics on some doctrines but we need them in our fight to “reclaim America for Christ.” How did that work out?
Predictably, cooperation led to accommodation and compromise and by the mid-90s, people like Colson, Bright, and Packer were calling for the church to recognize salvation-by-works Catholics as Christians. Anyone who objected was identified as an “old-school” doctrinalist.
But there’s no need to despair. There’s still a large group of believers who are defending the Gospel of grace. This past year I was happy to see new books on Catholicism from Richard Bennett, Chris Castaldo, Gregg Allison, and Leonardo De Chirico.
Here’s some more good news. Yesterday I was reading De Chirico’s blog and I see he has partnered with Allison, Michael Reeves, and Greg Pritchard in creating the Reformanda Initiative, an effort to “identify, unite, equip, and resource evangelical leaders to understand Roman Catholic theology and practice, to educate the evangelical Church and to communicate the Gospel.” Take just five minutes and check out the many resources available on the web site.
Let’s support and pray for the Reformanda Initiative. Get the buzz going. Send the link below to your pastor and to any others the Lord directs. Evangelical pastors and their flocks desperately need to be educated about Roman Catholicism.