It’s like driving to the grocery store and finding the candy aisle full but the meat display empty

I’ve got the kind of job where I sit in a chair and stare at a computer screen all day. It’sSupermarket Feud a pretty good gig as I head towards retirement because there’s zero stress, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the metabolism if you know what I mean.  Another benefit is I’m able to listen to Christian podcasts quite often throughout the day using an earbud.

Yesterday, I was searching through some Christian apologetics sites for some good audio on Roman Catholicism. I ended up listening to a recent radio podcast from The Berean Call web site titled, “What is the New Catholicism with Greg Durel (Part 1),” originally broadcast on 8/19/2016. This was a very good discussion on the current direction of Catholicism, especially with its increasing drift from traditionalist doctrine and its growing emphasis on contemplative and experiential spirituality.
https://www.thebereancall.org/content/what-new-catholicism-greg-durel-part-1

The Berean Call apologetics ministry has hundreds upon hundreds of articles, videos, and audio messages on its web site which compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word. As does James White’s Alpha and Omega site. As does John MacArthur’s Grace to You site.

Then I thought about one of evangelicalism’s leading apologists, Ravi Zacharias. I wondered how many resources Ravi has on his RZIM site that critique Roman Catholicism, although I was already pretty confident on what I would find. I went to RZIM.org and conducted a search using “Catholic” and “Catholicism” and came up with only a handful of resources, none of which reference Rome directly or are critical of Catholicism. Surprised? Well, I’m not surprised whatsoever. Ravi, Lee Strobel, and other disciples of ecumenist theologian, Norman Geisler, proclaim that Rome teaches the same Gospel as evangelicals or at least something that’s “close enough.” But how could that be? Rome teaches a gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit while evangelicals proclaim the GOOD NEWS! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. They are different gospels. They are not the same. In fact, one is diametrically opposed to the other. This difference was at the very heart of the Reformation.

Dr. Zacharias is a highly educated and articulate man. Has he not heard of the Reformation? Does he believe the main disagreement at the heart of the Reformation – whether salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone or whether salvation is by sacramental grace and merit – has been resolved in favor of the genuine Gospel? Rome still preaches the same false gospel that it preached before the Reformation. So how can one of evangelicalism’s most popular apologists be so wrong on something so important, thereby leading so many astray? I’d like to know what goes through Ravi Zacharias’s head.

The Berean Call
https://www.thebereancall.org/

Alpha and Omega Ministries
http://www.aomin.org/

Grace to You
http://www.gty.org/

Visit my Links page here for additional resources on Roman Catholicism.

James White: What goes through Ravi Zacharias’s head?

Back in October of last year, I ran across a You Tube video of Christian apologist,JWW Ravi Zacharias, speaking at a seminar. At the start of the video, a young street evangelist asks Ravi if Roman Catholicism is a cult or an apostate church? For five minutes Ravi dances around the question without giving the young man a forthright answer. I was a bit angered. Does Rome teach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone or does it not? Why was Ravi so reluctant to be straightforward? Why the hesitancy? Why the deference to Rome? Meanwhile, Catholic apologists do not hesitate to proclaim their church is the one true church and that its gospel of sacramental grace and merit is the only authorized way to God.

For Ravi’s video and my reaction, see here.

Praise God, I see that I’m not the only one who was flabbergasted by Ravi’s non-reply to the street evangelist! Yesterday, I stumbled across Christian apologist, James White’s 2/3/15 reaction to the very same video. Click on the link below. White’s critique of Ravi’s comments begins at the 29:40 mark and ends at the 47:37 mark.

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2015/02/03/roman-catholicism-on-todays-dividing-line/

I can personally attest to the fact that Ravi has referred to several Roman Catholics with great praise and admiration in his talks and writings including St. Francis, G.K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Henri Nouwen. I would not be surprised if there have been many others. I see Ravi’s also scheduled to appear at the “Together 2016” ecumenifest this weekend along with pope Francis.

Ravi is a wonderful speaker and he’s pointed many to Christ but, unfortunately, he’s also muddied the Gospel of grace by embracing as Christians those who teach salvation by sacramental grace and obedience to the Ten Commandments. But there is only one Gospel. No one benefits when evangelicals turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the deadly errors of Catholicism’s gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

Resources on Roman Catholicism from Lighthouse Trails

Lighthouse Trails, a Christian apologetics ministry, offers several interesting pamphlets dealing with Roman Catholicism:

  • The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church
    By Roger Oakland, 2013
  • The New Evangelization from Rome or Finding the True Jesus Christ
    By Roger Oakland, 2013
  • Brennan Manning’s “New Monks” & Their Dangerous Contemplative Monasticism
    By John Caddock, 2013
  • My Journey Out of Catholicism
    By David Dombrowski, 2013
  • Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome
    By Roger Oakland, 2015
  • Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection
    By Ray Yungen, 2015
  • The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ
    By Roger Oakland, 2015
  • A Former Nun Speaks Candidly
    By Ann Marie, 2016

All of the pamphlets are informative but every evangelical needs to read “Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome.”

Visit the Lighthouse Trails’ website here for hardcopy and ebook editions and you can also order ebook editions from Amazon for all except The Jesuit Agenda.

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Rob Zins and A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics

Evangelical minister, Rob Zins (see photo), has been reaching out to Roman Catholics withRZ1 the Gospel of Jesus Christ for many years through his ministry, CWRC – A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics. See the organization’s website here. Additional resources for Roman Catholics can be found on my Links tab here.

Zins has written a couple of excellent books on Roman Catholicism that I’ll review very briefly below.

Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
White Horse Publications, 1995, 277 pages

Zins answers the sophistry of Catholic apologist, Karl Keating, by comparing the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone with Rome’s gospel of sacramental grace and perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments and church rules. I especially enjoyed Zins’ stinging critique of Chuck Colson’s misguided “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” ecumenical project.

On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with RomeRZ2
White Horse Publications, 1998, 285 pages

Zins does a masterful job of examining the regrettable courtship with Rome pursued by some Evangelicals. The Catholic church continues to affirms all of its unscriptural, Tridentine doctrines but some accommodating, compromising Evangelicals increasingly turn to Catholics as co-belligerents and fellow “Christians” in the fight against the erosion of social morality, betraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This book is largely a critique of “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals:
Agreements and Differences” (1995) by Roman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie, two Evangelical theologians who conclude the Catholic church is Christian despite its many anti-Biblical doctrines. See my earlier post regarding that book here. Zins effectively argues that, because Rome teaches salvation “by grace” PLUS works, along with many other heresies, it cannot possibly be considered a Christian church. Amazingly, Geisler and MacKenzie openly concede that Catholicism teaches works-righteousness in opposition to the Gospel but STILL conclude Romanism is Christian! Absolutely incredible! Evangelical compromisers cite “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” as one of their favorite resources regarding Evangelical-Catholic ecumenism. The damage done to Christian witness by Geisler, MacKenzie, and other Gospel-compromising, Judas theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders cannot be overstated. Christian leaders who refuse to join in the betrayal of the Gospel are finding themselves increasingly marginalized within “mainstream” Evangelicalism.

Used copies of both books are available at Amazon.com. See my Books tab here for over 280 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word.

There are also MANY excellent videos available on You Tube featuring Rob Zins speaking on Roman Catholicism or debating Catholic apologists. See here.

Please pray for Rob Zins and A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics and pray that young Evangelicals will respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading and take up the call to reach Roman Catholics for Jesus Christ.

The 5 Solas Series: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters

As early Christianity transitioned into the state religion of the Roman Empire, simple,FiveS personal faith in Jesus Christ devolved into religious legalism administered by an increasingly powerful and autocratic church hierarchy with their ever-expanding catalog of traditions, rules, and rituals.

Through the inspiration of God’s Word and the working of the Holy Spirit the 16th-century Reformers sought to return the church back to the simple faith and practices found in the New Testament. The biblical principles that galvanized them and that were subsequently anathematized at Trent later became known as the Five Solas:

  • Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
  • Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
  • Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
  • Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
  • Solus Christus (“through Christ alone”)

Yesterday, I was excited to learn that Zondervan is publishing the following five books on the individual solas in commemoration of the approaching 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017:

  • Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification, by Thomas Schreiner (September, 2015)
  • God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of the Christian Faith and Life, by David VanDrunen (December, 2015)
  • God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, by Matthew Barrett (September, 2016)
  • Grace Alone: Salvation as a Gift of God, by Carl Trueman (December, 2016)
  • Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior, by Stephen Wellum (2017)

Today I ordered the first in the series, Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification, from Amazon and I’ll be ordering the rest down the road.

Especially in these days of seeker/emerging/purpose-driven churches where doctrine has been replaced by ecumenical, “We all just love Jesus,” kumbaya hand-holding, these books are necessary and vital. Too many brothers and sisters suffered and died defending these Gospel truths to see them flushed down the toilet by evangelical Judases.

See the stories here and here.

New organization, the Reformanda Initiative, seeks to educate Evangelicals about Roman Catholicism

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a Christian “Rumpelstiltskon.” I walked away from theri_logo Lord back in 1991 because I was fed up with “churchianity” but finally returned to my patient and wonderfully merciful Lord (who never left me) in 2014.

Well, from my perspective many of the changes to the church in 23 years are quite dramatic. There aren’t too many people calling themselves “fundamentalists” these days. Moody Monthly magazine is only a distant memory. Hymn singing before the preaching as been replaced by rock music with Christian lyrics on the overheads. Pastors now wear sneakers, flannel shirts, and blue jeans on Sunday mornings. Churches have shed denominational names for “more welcoming” monikers.

Okay. I’m not complaining. No doubt the differences seem so radical to me because I’ve been away for so long. But there is one noticeable change that’s very troubling and that’s the change in the church’s attitude towards works-righteousness Roman Catholicism.

Back in 1991 you could definitely see signs of cooperation, accommodation, and compromise with RCism but in 2015 the deception is going full bore. A recent survey revealed 58% of Evangelical pastors believe the pope is a born-again Christian. I shake my head in disbelief!

The thinking back in the 80s among people like Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson was, “Sure, we disagree with Catholics on some doctrines but we need them in our fight to “reclaim America for Christ.” How did that work out?

Predictably, cooperation led to accommodation and compromise and by the mid-90s, people like Colson, Bright, and Packer were calling for the church to recognize salvation-by-works Catholics as Christians. Anyone who objected was identified as an “old-school” doctrinalist.

But there’s no need to despair. There’s still a large group of believers who are defending the Gospel of grace. This past year I was happy to see new books on Catholicism from Richard Bennett, Chris Castaldo, Gregg Allison, and Leonardo De Chirico.

Here’s some more good news. Yesterday I was reading De Chirico’s blog and I see he has partnered with Allison, Michael Reeves, and Greg Pritchard in creating the Reformanda Initiative, an effort to “identify, unite, equip, and resource evangelical leaders to understand Roman Catholic theology and practice, to educate the evangelical Church and to communicate the Gospel.” Take just five minutes and check out the many resources available on the web site.

Let’s support and pray for the Reformanda Initiative. Get the buzz going. Send the link below to your pastor and to any others the Lord directs. Evangelical pastors and their flocks desperately need to be educated about Roman Catholicism.

http://reformandainitiative.org/

 

Would anyone use Chris Farley as a role model for physical fitness? Then why…?

Is Jesus the Only Way to God?JEW

By James Emery White

InterVarsity Press, 2010, 32 pages

What goes through the minds of some Evangelicals?!?! I bought this small booklet by James Emery White, mega-church pastor and former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, thinking it would proclaim Christ as the ONLY way to salvation. My original plan was to present it to a Catholic friend who also dabbles in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, “Is Jesus the Only Way to God?” is a major disappointment. Yes, White claims that Jesus is the only pathway to God but uses C. S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, and J. R. R. Tolkien as his examples of stalwart Christians. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” is adored by Evangelicals but the author and educator was an Anglican who believed in sacramental grace and purgatory. Mother Teresa and Tolkien were Roman Catholics who believed in salvation by sacramental grace and by perfectly obeying the Ten Commandments, although Mother Teresa also believed her church’s teaching, issued in 1965, which granted that followers of other works-righteousness religions could also merit Heaven.

Many Evangelicals buy into the herd mentality and absolutely fawn over “Blessed” Mother Teresa. Didn’t she believe in God and work tirelessly for the poor? But Anjeze “Mother Teresa” Bojaxhiu was an ambassador of her works-righteousness religion, which officially denies that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Bojaxhiu and her nuns didn’t even bother trying to convert their patients to Catholicism because they believed God would honor their works-righteousness Hinduism just as well. “I convert you to be a better Hindu, a better Catholic, Muslim, Jain, or Buddhist” (Mother Teresa: The Case for The Cause, p. 4).

How could an Evangelical Christian pastor write a booklet about Christ being the ONLY way to God and cite Mother Teresa as an example of Christianity when she was quite OUTSPOKEN about her belief in MANY, MANY paths to God through Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.?” That would be like writing a book about the benefits of good nutrition and physical fitness and citing comedian Chris Farley as a positive role model!!!!!

How could I give this booklet to my Catholic friend? She would read about the exalted Mother Teresa who openly professed there are MANY pathways to God and think she’s doing just fine. This trash is going in the garbage can where it belongs.

I did some additional research and found that James Emery White and InterVarsity are enthusiastic admirers of works-righteousness Roman Catholicism. I also see that White is a compadre of Vatican ally, Rick Warren, and ecumenical-seeker pastor, Bill Hybels, which says it all. I won’t make the mistake of buying anything from White and InterVarsity ever again. Unfortunately, many Evangelical leaders have dismissed doctrine and embraced Roman Catholics as “Christians” because they also “believe” in Jesus.

Quotes below from Mother Teresa, Catholic Universalist:

“If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we … become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are … What God is in your mind you must accept” (Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work).

“Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him” (“Mother Teresa Touched other Faiths,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 1997).

“At the word of a priest, that little piece of bread becomes the body of Christ, the Bread of Life. Then you give this living Bread to us, so that we too might live and become holy. … We and our people are hungry for God, hungry for holiness. I have seen this same hunger even among Hindus and Muslims” (Be Holy: God’s First Call to Priests Today, 1987, p. 108).