As an ex-Catholic who was and is saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, I am troubled by evangelical pastors and para-church leaders who succumb to ecumenical pressure and compromise and suggest to their followers that Roman Catholicism teaches a similar Gospel, even though Catholic priests, prelates, and apologists unapologetically proclaim that their church teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit.
Several of the most popular evangelical apologists – men like Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel – blur the irreconcilable differences between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity in an effort to advance ecumenical “unity.” Craig has acknowledged on his website (see here) and in friendly, ecumenical dialogue with Catholic bishop, Robert Barron (see here), that Catholicism teaches a heterodox version of justification, yet he still embraces the RCC as a Christian entity! Mind boggling! On Zacharias’ and Strobel’s websites, you won’t find ANY information critical of the Roman church, but in their books and media messages you will definitely see or hear glowingly favorable references to Roman Catholic saints, clergy, and theologians. The message to their audiences is clear and unmistakable.
When I first heard about J. Warner Wallace (photo above) and his Cold Case Christianity apologetics ministry, I was a little skeptical. I assumed Warner would be following the lead of compromising ecumenists like Craig, Zacharias, and Strobel. How blessed I was to read the following recent article on Wallace’s web site:
What Does the Bible Say About Purgatory?
By J. Warner Wallace
May 24, 2019
“My mother was a cultural Catholic for many years, and although she was quick to identify herself with Catholicism, she had a limited knowledge of the Church’s teaching. Worse yet, she wasn’t yet a robust Bible reader. When I eventually became a Christian, I found myself examining several claims of Catholicism to see if they were true. Catholics believe in purgatory, ‘a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.’”
To continue reading this article, see here.
This is an excellent article, my friends. Purgatory is not Biblical, but is an essential component of Catholicism’s salvation system of sacramental grace and merit. I appreciate that Warner has taken an uncompromising stand against Catholicism’s doctrines of Purgatory and merited salvation.
I see that J. Warner Wallace is currently a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Interesting. The Colson Center, like its founder, Chuck Colson, is a strong supporter of ecumenism with Rome. Has the center’s president, John Stonestreet, or anyone else contacted Wallace yet regarding his critical article on Roman Catholicism? I’m curious how Wallace reconciles his Biblical views on Catholicism’s spiritually-deadly doctrinal errors with the Colson Center’s strong support of ecumenism with Rome? Such an incongruity is typical in today’s evangelical church. Let’s pray for J. Warner Wallace that he stays true to the Gospel of grace.
The forces of spiritual accommodation, compromise, and betrayal are all around us brothers and sisters and have even secured many of our pulpits and para-church ministries. We are all called, every one of us, to battle for Truth and fidelity to the genuine Gospel of grace in this era when plurality, tolerance, and relativism are worshiped as idols.