Famous avant garde rock star, Prince, died last Thursday and news sources have been buzzing ever since. I don’t know much about Prince other than he was a VERY popular entertainer and that his gender-bender stage persona and suggestive song lyrics ran counter to the standards of sexuality and morality we find in God’s Word. I don’t mean to vilify Prince. He was without Christ just like all lost souls and searched for some kind of meaning to life through his iconoclastic “art.” The world literally idolized Prince and mourns him deeply but he was just a man who put his (very tight) pants on one leg at a time. Who or what do you idolize?
Prince grew up attending Seventh-Day Adventist and then Baptist church services but joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2001. Most evangelical Christians are aware that the JWs are WAY out there when it comes to biblical doctrine. The JWs don’t believe in the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, or the physical resurrection of Jesus. They believe in salvation by “faith” and works and that only obedient JWs will go to Heaven. The JWs have their own corrupted version of the Bible. Since the “church’s” founding in the 1870s, several of its leaders have made prophetic statements that have not come true. Evangelical pastors and para-church leaders widely agree the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not a Christian church. A person cannot be saved by following standard JW theology.
I was raised up in Roman Catholicism. Unlike the JWs, the Catholic church gets a number of doctrines right. I’m grateful that I was taught biblical truths regarding the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, and the physical resurrection of Jesus. Where Catholicism fails miserably is HOW to appropriate the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers. The Catholic church teaches salvation is through its sacraments administered by its clergy and by obedience to the Ten Commandments and church rules. But the Good News! proclaimed by the apostles and God’s Word is that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Sinners are saved by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith. Obedience to the Lord comes after we accept Him as Savior.
Evangelicals were once united in their rebuke of Catholic ritualism and legalism but that’s gradually changed over the last 50 years with some evangelical leaders now jettisoning doctrine and embracing Catholicism. Will we soon see some evangelicals acknowledging Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons as Christians as well? It’s already happening. What’s your Gospel?
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” – Galatians 1:6-7
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” – Psalm 118:8-9