In this post-modern era when plurality and inclusiveness are exalted at any cost, it’s considered distasteful and offensive to be adamant about religious beliefs. This attitude is even infecting the evangelical church. But beliefs DO matter. Greatly. As an example, Roman Catholics’ notions of justification and sanctification are quite different from Bible Christians. To put it succinctly, Catholics believe a lifetime of striving to become increasingly sanctified (holy) will hopefully merit for them justification and a place in Heaven at the moment of their death. Bible Christians, in contrast, believe we are justified only by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone and receiving His imputed perfect righteousness, and we will be increasingly sanctified as we follow the Lord in obedience, albeit imperfectly. The difference in the two beliefs is huge and irreconcilable.
Most Catholics who are technically aware of the difference in belief between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity regarding justification and sanctification would term Biblical salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone as “easy believism,” but would probably view debates with Protestants over the issue as distasteful. The prevailing attitude among most Catholics is, “to each, their own” and “whatever works for you.” However, conservative Catholic apologists have no such reservations and regularly ridicule the Gospel of grace in their appeals to Protestants and wavering Catholics.
I regularly listen to the Catholic talk-radio show, “Called to Communion.” The stated purpose of the show is to try to convert Protestants to Catholicism. At some point during almost every episode, host, David Anders (above photo), disparages the Gospel of grace. Here’s an illustrative example from the 10/17/18 podcast, which begins at the 34:30 mark with moderator, Tom Price, reading a question from a listener followed by Anders’ response:
TP: This is a text we received from Sara. She says, “I’m Catholic, my roommate is a Southern Baptist. We’ve been talking about faith and theology and one of the topics we come back to is sanctification and justification. What are the differences between Catholic and Protestant understandings of sanctification and justification and where do they come from?”
DA: Great question. Here’s the main difference. Your Southern Baptist friend, more than likely, holds to the standard Protestant position, which is this: God will bring you to heaven even if you hate His guts as long as you have notional faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s what it boils down to. God will bring you to Heaven kicking and screaming, so to speak, even though you are at enmity with Him in your will as long as you have the conviction that you have been saved because of what Jesus did and not what you did.
In the above segment, apologist Anders GREATLY distorts and ridicules the Gospel of grace, but as I said, he does this regularly in an effort to draw his audience to Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. His last comment is very revealing. Although Catholics often refer to “grace” and “faith,” their bottom line is, did THEY do enough to merit Heaven?