Francis visits Colombia in attempt to stanch exodus of Latin American Catholics

Pope Francis arrives in the Latin American country of Colombia today and will return to Rome on Monday, September 11th. As the article below points out, one of the major reasons for the trip is to attempt to shore up the beleaguered Catholic church in South America. Catholics in the region are exiting their churches in droves and joining “evangelical” fellowships. The article reports that only 4 percent of the Latin American population identified as non-Catholic Christians in 1970, but today that number has grown to 20 percent.

Unfortunately, a very large proportion of the non-Catholic churches springing up in Latin America are of the “health and wealth,” “name it and claim it,” prosperity gospel variety, where the Gospel is minimized and it’s all about acquiring enough “faith” to get a Rolex and well-equipped sports car and live like one of the “King’s kids.” Pew Research reports that 82 percent of the “Protestants” in Colombia believe “God will grant wealth and good health to believers who have enough faith.” Many Catholic churches have added charismatic-style worship services in an attempt to copy the prosperity gospelers and stanch the exodus but with little success.

Pope’s trip to Colombia unlikely to stem flight from pews

Below is an excellent article from the Gospel Coalition about evangelization efforts in Colombia. The article is very informative in regards to the nuts and bolts of spreading the Gospel and discipling new believers in that particular country, but I do have a concern. The article mentions that a couple of book titles being translated and offered to folks in Colombia were written by Gospel Coalition co-founder, Tim Keller. However, Keller openly embraces Catholicism as a Christian entity (see here) and has propagated aspects of Catholic contemplative prayer and mysticism at his church. So if a Colombian Roman Catholic reads the books by Keller and does a little research on Keller’s views on Catholicism, he or she may say to themselves, “I guess I don’t see a need to leave the Catholic church because Tim Keller thinks it’s just fine.” This is the kind of ecumenical confusion caused by some evangelical leaders.

The Gospel in Colombia

6 thoughts on “Francis visits Colombia in attempt to stanch exodus of Latin American Catholics

  1. Two great falsehoods battle it out, neither have the true gospel. You came out from one side brother, and I came out from the other! I’m going to be praying for Colombia, this charismatic chaos is so pervasive.

    We need pastors causing less confusion, not more. Like you explained at the end of your post, without a clear explanation of the differences between RCC and evangelical churches no one will see the need for change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, sister! Yes, there’s less and less differentiation these days between the genuine Gospel of grace and all the false gospels. But such a warning is looked upon as “ungracious” and “divisive” by many in the church.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I keep thinking about the phenomenon of “The Shack” with its promotion of the doctrine of universal redemption and how enthusiastically it was embraced by evangelicals. Emotions completely trumped discernment. Criticism’s of the book and movie, especially regarding their universalist message, were dismissed out of hand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I imagine down in the Bible Belt many are caught up in cultural (c)hristianity. We don’t have that situation in Rochester. Here in Western New York it’s estimated that only 5% of the population attends a Gospel-preaching church.

        Liked by 1 person

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