Evangelical, Nick Hall, and his team are working out the final details of “Together 2016,” which will be held tomorrow, Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The stated purpose of this ecumenical gathering is to “empower the church and awaken the culture to Jesus.” Hall is expecting one million people to attend the event.
Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, has been invited to provide a video message to the crowd. As far as I’m aware, “Together 2016” will be the very first public event organized by evangelical Christians in which a pope has been invited to address the audience.
But for many evangelicals, the “elephant on the National Mall” will be that the pope teaches the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit, as opposed to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. How do Hall and Co. reconcile the two? They don’t. Like all ecumenically-minded evangelicals, they hear Catholics speak of “Jesus” and “grace” and “faith” and declare, “Close enough.”
Can a person actually be saved through the standard Catholic theology of sacramental grace and obedience to the Ten Commandments and church rules? Yesteryear’s evangelicals answered with a resounding “No!” while many of today’s evangelicals answer, “No need to get hung up on theological details; we all love Jesus and that’s the important thing.” Yet, Pope Francis has declared even atheists will merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good.” But there’s nothing surprising about that. It’s the logical extension of a works gospel. But how does that teaching sit with you, evangelical friend?
The spirit of accommodation, cooperation, compromise, and betrayal prevails in this day, all in the name of Jesus. It’s a strange thing; today’s compromising evangelicals don’t get angry at the pope’s gospel of works, they get angry at those who point it out.
Together 2016: 1M Christians, Francis Chan, Hillsong United, Pope Francis Will Pray for Revival This Saturday