Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical

Over the years, I’ve engaged with many Roman Catholics and ecumenically-minded evangelicals who took umbrage at my outreach to Roman Catholics with the Gospel of grace.

One incensed, ecumenically-minded, evangelical blogger smugly put it to me this way:

“Going to a Catholic church doesn’t make anybody a non-Christian, just like sitting in a pew at a Baptist church doesn’t make anybody a Christian.”

Well, that argument is a logical fallacy. Yes, we certainly agree that just by attending church services or by being a member of a particular religious denomination or church doesn’t make anyone a Christian. According to the Bible, God’s Word, an individual becomes a Christian only when they repent of (turn from) their sinful rebellion against God and accept (trust in) Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. A person must be born-again, spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ, in order to become a Christian.

Many of the old mainline Protestant denominations drifted into modernism many decades ago and no longer teach that the Bible is God’s Word and no longer preach the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. People who still bother to attend those dead churches are not going to hear the Gospel. But thankfully, there are still many conservative-evangelical Baptist, Presbyterian, old-school Lutheran, and non-denominational churches where the genuine Gospel of grace is preached. At least unsaved people who attend those churches will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. They must then decide whether to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior or not.

In the case of Roman Catholic churches, the Gospel is NEVER preached in ANY of them. Roman Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Catholics are taught by their priests that they must receive graces from the church’s sacraments, so that they can successfully obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!), in order to hopefully merit their salvation at the moment of their death. That is a false gospel, NOT the genuine Gospel!

There are certainly some individuals who still identify as Roman Catholic who have genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone after hearing the Gospel of grace from a Christian friend, by reading a Gospel tract, by hearing a Christian preacher on television or radio, or by reading God’s Word themselves and responding in faith. But their salvation in Jesus Christ by faith alone is always, always, always in spite of their church’s teachings and not because of them. As they grow in Christ and His Word, the Holy Spirit will draw them out of the false (c)hristianity of Catholicism.

So, my indignant, ecumenically-minded, evangelical friend, I totally agree with you that sitting in a church pew Sunday after Sunday makes no one a Christian, BUT that doesn’t preclude the fact that the 1.3 billion souls who sit in the pews of Catholic churches around the world NEVER get to hear the genuine Gospel of grace from their church’s pulpit. Many evangelicals today just don’t know a lot about the particular teachings of the Catholic church and wrongly interpret Gospel outreach to Catholics as sectarian intolerance.

48 thoughts on “Twisted logic from an ecumenically-minded evangelical

    1. Thank you, Beth! The differences between the Gospel of grace and Rome’s false gospel of merit are very clear, but the evil one seeks to blur the lines and uses accommodators and compromisers to mislead souls.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I thought I could stay in the Roman Catholic Church… I was foolish to think that I could stay there and change them… The Holy Spirit definitely called me out of her! Praise the good Lord… Hallelujah!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks, Beth. Yes, there are so many beliefs and practices in the RCC that are directly contrary to God’s Word that make it impossible for a believer to stay. Just the mass itself is so wrong on so many levels.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”- Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum

    Would your naive ecumenical blogger agree to this teaching?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, he definitely would NOT agree with Boniface’s declaration, along with a VERY long list of other RCC teachings. Of course, even most modern Catholics twist Boniface VIII’s exclusionary declaration to mean something along the lines of, if any non-Catholic is saved, they are saved only by the graces that flow out of the Catholic church that is presided over by the vicar of Christ, etc., etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s OK, Jackie. SB was just providing a quote from a papal declaration issued during the Middle Ages which claimed that there was no salvation outside of the RCC. SB wasn’t endorsing it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jackie, SB was quoting the papal document with disapproval. SB regularly provides quotes from Catholic sources to make his disapproving point. I’m sorry you misunderstood.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll do better than that. I’ll show you what Vatican II teaches:

        “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Moslems, these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Nor is God Himself remote from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since he gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf.*Acts 17:25–28), and since the Saviour wills all men to be saved (cf.*1 Tim. 2:4).*Those who, who through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.” Vatican II, Lumen Gentium

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL, I won’t even refer to Romanists as “catholic”, I wonder how I got mistaken for being a Papist LOL. This is so funny.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! It is very refreshing for me to read this! For many years I have warned people that the Catholic Church does not preach the truth of God’s Word. Recently on Twitter I saw news of the highest blasphemy I have ever heard come out of the Pope’s mouth! He actually said that our hope is through Mary, not Jesus! What blasphemy against Christ! The Pope is of the evil one and he preaches the evil one’s lies. Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation! I pray people flee from the wickedness of the Catholic Church and come running to Jesus! God bless you sir! I am praying for you and your ministry!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ryan, and I’m grateful that the Lord has graced you with discernment on this extremely important issue. The souls of the Catholic lost are at stake and an increasing number evangelicals these days just don’t “get it.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I wonder if the same person would agree with the argument when put differently. What if we replace RCC with Muslim, Orthodox Jew, Mormon, or Satanic Church? Non of those groups teach the Gospel either. We would all agree we need to reach them. Why would we not love our RC friends enough to share the Gospel with them? I don’t understand that way of thinking.

    I thank our Lord that you have this ministry, brother! It’s a lonely, and frustrating race, but keep running it well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: I wonder if the same person would agree with the argument if the RCC were replaced with Muslim, Orthodox Jew, Mormon, or Satanic Church?

      Thanks, sister! Yes, that’s exactly right. The person, like all ecumenically-minded evangelicals, is operating under a false assumption about the RCC that’s based upon a “common knowledge” that’s evolved over the last 60 years rather than upon fact and evidence.

      Thanks for the encouragement in the Lord, sister! We jars of clay are blessed to be used by the Potter!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But aren’t all (eastern) religions based upon works and rituals twisting the Word of the LORD? Isn’t it “Yea, hath God said” ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden until this very day?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope we can clear some of those false assumptions up in the next episode we do together, brother. This needs to be explained again and again, as we seem to be forgetful by nature.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Debra, for your encouragement! The topic I wrote about in this post is generally not well received among believers these days.


  4. Excellent post Tom! Excellent. The guy’s commit is logically fallacious. You hit it right on the nail with this point: “In the case of Roman Catholic churches, the Gospel is NEVER preached in ANY of them. Roman Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.”

    Liked by 1 person

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