New organization, the Reformanda Initiative, seeks to educate Evangelicals about Roman Catholicism

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a Christian “Rumpelstiltskon.” I walked away from theri_logo 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 Hymn singing before the preaching as been replaced by rock music with Christian lyrics on the overheads.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.

http://reformandainitiative.org/

 

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6 thoughts on “New organization, the Reformanda Initiative, seeks to educate Evangelicals about Roman Catholicism

  1. Clearly 23 years away from God did not transform some of your fundamentalist theology. Being a reformed fundy myself I used to think compartmentally of those who didn’t think like me as in “us vs them”,and when they finally got it right like me then I could accept them. I challenge you to think of God as He is, a being so magnificent in the form of Jesus who has room for anyone who is willing follow him. This leaves a lot of room for those who do not have their doctrinal ducks well organized. If you think God accepts you and will ultimately let you into His heaven based on doctrinal correctness, you are sadly mistaken. Paul clearly teaches your only hope and mine is the grace and mercy of God. Why not take a kingdom approach and preach an inclusive gospel and invite all who identify with Jesus to follow him and let the Holy Spirit be the instructor to correct their thinking as he has done for us….a wise friend once said it is our job to catch the fish, and it is God’s job to clean them. Requiring doctrinal purity to follow him is just another erroneous practice Jesus tried to get the Pharisees to look in the mirror and see their own error. Remember, it is a gospel of grace even to the confused.

    Rick

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    1. I’m sure the fundamentalists aren’t happy with several of my blogs including my recent review of Romero’s book. And I’m obviously not making any friends with doctrine-flushing, “We all just love Jesus,” ecumenists like yourself. So, praise God, I’m right where He wants me to be!

      You mention the Pharisees. Weren’t they the ones who taught that salvation could be earned by “obeying” the Law? Same as Roman Catholics. Oh, there I go again, bringing doctrine into a soteriology discussion. How close-minded of me!

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  2. The more the denominations are able to learn and study about each other the better. Be great to see the Christian fellowship enjoy the same closeness of that of the apostles 🙂

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    1. It’s probably not going to be productive to try to explain but here goes…

      Early Christianity gradually became institutionalized as it integrated into the Roman Empire. The church adopted an imperial model and personal, simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ morphed into ritualism and legalism, strictly administered by an autocratic hierarchy. The Reformers attempted to return the church to a simple, personal faith in Jesus. Each successive wave of the Reformation – Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists – further cleansed away the remaining vestiges of Roman ritualism to get back to the Gospel of the early church and simple faith in Christ.

      Most of the mainline Protestant denominations have since gone the way apostasy but Evangelical believers still hold to the Gospel. I am united in Christ with all of my Evangelical brothers and sisters despite the church/denominational tags. We are all in Christ. In contrast, Catholics are taught a person must perfectly obey the commandments and be without sin in order to merit Heaven. In essence, they deny they need Christ to save them because they believe they can perfectly obey the law in order to merit heaven by their obedience. Evangelicals believe we are all depraved sinners and Jesus, God the Son, came to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. But He defeated sin and death by rising from the grave. All those who repent of sin and accept Jesus will be saved.

      So you see, my friend, I can have no “closeness” with those who teach we must merit our salvation. Jesus came to save sinners, not the religious self-righteous. See Jesus’ teaching in Luke 18:9-14 for an explanation of those who seek salvation in Christ and pseudo-Christians who try to merit their own salvation.

      I believe there are many Catholics who become so exhausted and defeated by trying to obey their church’s long religious laundry list of rules and regulations that they finally just throw themselves at the feet of Christ and accept Him as their Savior. But they are saved in spite of their church, not because of it.

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      1. I think you may have some aspects of your theology on different denominations within Christianity a little limited but keep reading and exploring 🙂 Best to you in your spiritual life!

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      2. Right. I generalized quite a bit but I didn’t want to spend a ton of time when I knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of receptivity anyway. Best to you on your search as well. May your search end in Christ.

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