Weekend Roundup – News & Views – 4/8/17

TSOLD

Protestants and Catholics in America kept their distance from each other prior to the two World Wars. But fighting together against a common foe fostered mutual tolerance and even respect. We see the same ecumenical spirit today between Catholics and evangelicals in battles against secular culture. But where is the Gospel in all of this? Catholics don’t need religious friendship, they need to hear the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Catholics certainly don’t hear the Gospel in their churches.

Most of these “unchurched” people who claim to love Jesus are actually unsaved. But finding a solid evangelical church is admittedly getting tougher and tougher these days with the growing phenomenon of progressive, seeker, mega-churches. Many blood-bought, born-again Christians are opting out rather than listen to sermon after sermon of doctrine-lite messages filled with quotes from non-Christians.

Pastors and para-church leaders should focus on the Gospel and stay away from politics. But Franklin Graham’s endorsement of Trump bothers me less than his ecumenism with Rome.

Religious pomp, ceremony, formalism, shrines, etc. appeal to man’s instincts and fleshly nature. The unsaved see ritualism as a reasonable way of approaching God rather than a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Savior by faith alone.

The Alpha Course is ecumenical. If this course is used by your church, find another church. https://www.gotquestions.org/Alpha-Course.html

Conservative cardinals are squabbling with pope Francis over his ambiguous allowance of communion to remarrieds in Amoris Laetitia, but the reality is liberal priests all over the country not only give communion to remarrieds AND non-Catholics but also bless same-sex relationships as fine and dandy.

So we have a pope to thank for April Fools Day? There’s more than a touch of irony there.

Just to be clear, I’m a cessationist; I believe the apostolic gifts of the Spirit ended with the apostles. The charismatic movement has been a unifying factor between Catholics and evangelicals. That is not a good thing. How can tens of thousands of Catholic priests who propagate a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit be “filled with the Spirit”? Pentecostals and charismatics are forced to accept charismatic Catholic clergy and laity who adhere to a false works-gospel as Christian brethren because they also demonstrate the requisite gifts.

Catholic traditionalists hate for the pope to embrace Luther and other Protestant “heretics” but the bottom line for Francis is to recover the “separated brethren.”

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