Pop Quiz!

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Yes, it’s time for a pop-quiz! Please close your books and see if you can answer the following question:

What do the ten people below have in common?

  • Mother Teresa
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Peter Kreeft
  • Malcolm Muggeridge
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Thomas a Kempis
  • Blaise Pascal
  • Teresa of Avila
  • Henri Nouwen
  • Thomas Merton

1) If you guessed they were all Roman Catholics you would be correct. And because they were all Roman Catholics (Kreeft is still living) they were all obliged to believe salvation is achieved by sacramental grace (baptism, the eucharist, penance, etc.) and by obeying the Ten Commandments and their church’s rules. But God’s Word proclaims the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Salvation is either by sacraments and merit as these ten believed and defended or it’s by grace through faith, it cannot be both.

2) The other thing these ten folks have in common is some evangelicals refer to them as exemplary Christians and as people evangelicals should emulate.

So I would sincerely like to know how evangelicals, who supposedly believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, could praise and lift up as examples people who believed a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit? Does not compute.

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

A Catholic bishop’s favorite growth consultant

On the drive home from work I enjoy listening to sermons from local evangelical pastor, David Crespo,Rick Warren, Kevin William Vann on the radio. David’s messages are very simple and straightforward, and always with practical life applications. Unfortunately, the station hasn’t played David’s sermons the past couple of weeks so I’ve resorted to listening to Al Kresta’s talk show on the local Catholic station. I already listen to Catholic talk radio at work every day for at least one hour, to get the Catholic slant and to keep abreast of what’s going on, so I don’t relish hearing more of the same on the drive home. But there’s no other evangelical preaching on the air at 4:30. Maybe I’ll start bringing the many John MacArthur CDs that I have but haven’t listened to yet for the drive home. Yup, that’s the ticket!

Anyway, I was listening to Kresta the other day and he had a priest as a guest on the show. Sorry, I don’t recall his name or where he was from. This priest said that the churches in his diocese have been experiencing significant drops in attendance so the bishop turned to a famous evangelical pastor with a growing mega-church for advice on how to bring the membership back and even attract new converts. Who was this evangelical pastor? Of course, it was Purpose Driven, Rick Warren. Rick flew out to this diocese and conducted a seminar to help the bishop and his parish priests boost their numbers. I drove down the road shaking my head but I wasn’t at all surprised. Warren has shown many times in the past that he is a very good friend to Rome. Can anyone imagine a Spurgeon or a Lloyd-Jones or a John MacArthur acting as a consultant to a Catholic bishop? Oy vey! Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. The only consulting those gentlemen would have done would have been to advise the priests and remaining pew sitters to repent of their sins, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith, and remove themselves from Roman error. The priest said those in attendance were excited by Warren’s advice and looked forward to putting it into practice.

Warren and many other mega-church pastors bow down to the idol of numbers. It’s all about growing attendance. Is there any place for right doctrine and right salvation theology? Naw, just turn the service into a rock concert and preach a lowest-common-denominator message and they will come! No need for divisive doctrine because “we all just love Jesus!” Isn’t that right, Rick?

Is our goal religious morality or Jesus Christ?

Yesterday I was listening to the 10/11/16 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radiocappy show  (Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY) featuring priest, Rick Poblocki, and moderator, Steve Quebral. A Catholic listener called in with concerns about advancing secular liberalism, especially in regards to the expected outcome of the current presidential election, and father Rick responded with the following:

“Catholics, evangelicals, we need each other. Catholics, other Christians of other traditions that feel and see the same way, we’ve got to unite. We’ve got to put behind us the doctrinal differences and stuff because what’s going to happen is that Christ will forge a one church. He prays that they all may be one. It will be forged by a conflagration and a battle; an apocalyptic battle. John Paul II already says, we are in a battle between good and evil and we’re caught between it. What side are we going to take?”

In the quote above, Rick urges evangelicals to drop their doctrinal distinctives. He’s implying that evangelicals must abandon their own doctrines and return to Rome. Rick is simply toeing the party line. For Catholicism, ecumenism and unity have always meant returning to Rome. I agree with Rick that there is a battle going on, but it’s not a battle between religious morality and secular immorality. No, the battle is for men’s souls. The Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone is on one side and everything else – false religion (including Catholicism with its gospel of sacramental grace and merit), secularism, atheism, etc. are on the other side. Our goal is not religious morality but to lead souls to Christ.

Some evangelical pastors and para-church leaders have succumb to Rome’s plea to unite in battle against secularism and are betraying the Gospel and leading the sheep astray.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the Lord!
And yet he is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are man, and not God,
and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
and they will all perish together. – Isaiah 31:1-3

Is ecumenism biblical? Should a Christian be involved in the ecumenical movement?

Opposition from without and within

These are unusual times for evangelical Christians who share the Gospel with Romancolson-and-pope Catholics. Not only must they labor to bring the Good News of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone to Catholics, but they must also contend with other evangelicals who embrace Catholicism as a genuine Christian denomination.

Fifty years ago, the vast majority of evangelicals fully understood that the Gospel was not preached in Catholic churches. Unfortunately, through the efforts of men like Billy Graham, Harold Ockenga, Carl Henry, Bill Bright, James Dobson, and Chuck Colson (pictured), doctrinal differences (like, oh, how to be saved for one) were watered down or ignored altogether. Because Catholics spoke about “faith” and “grace,” that was good enough for many ecumenically-minded evangelicals, who saw any resistance to Catholic-evangelical unity as divisive, sectarian, fundamentalist reactionism.

Today, evangelical pastors and Roman Catholic priests share the platform at mega-church events, embracing arm-in-arm as they “praise the Lord” together. Of course, God’s Word tells us there’s no more need for a sacrificial priesthood or human mediators and that salvation cannot be earned by obeying the Ten Commandments as Rome teaches. But I guess none of that matters anymore since the most important thing today is that we all “just love Jesus.”

The Bible says in the later times there will be great falling away within the church and many will embrace Catholicism (1 Timothy 4:1-3) so none of this is surprising.


America’s Pastor, Rick Warren’s comments on Roman Catholicism
https://carm.org/rick-warren-and-catholicism

Betraying the Gospel for the sake of “Christian unity”

Evangelical, Nick Hall, and his team are working out the final details of “Together 2016,”TG which will be held tomorrow, Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The stated purpose of this ecumenical gathering is to “empower the church and awaken the culture to Jesus.” Hall is expecting one million people to attend the event.

Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, has been invited to provide a video message to the crowd. As far as I’m aware, “Together 2016” will be the very first public event organized by evangelical Christians in which a pope has been invited to address the audience.

But for many evangelicals, the “elephant on the National Mall” will be that the pope teaches the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit, as opposed to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. How do Hall and Co. reconcile the two? They don’t. Like all ecumenically-minded evangelicals, they hear Catholics speak of “Jesus” and “grace” and “faith” and declare, “Close enough.”

Can a person actually be saved through the standard Catholic theology of sacramental grace and obedience to the Ten Commandments and church rules? Yesteryear’s evangelicals answered with a resounding “No!” while many of today’s evangelicals answer, “No need to get hung up on theological details; we all love Jesus and that’s the important thing.” Yet, Pope Francis has declared even atheists will merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good.” But there’s nothing surprising about that. It’s the logical extension of a works gospel. But how does that teaching sit with you, evangelical friend?

The spirit of accommodation, cooperation, compromise, and betrayal prevails in this day, all in the name of Jesus. It’s a strange thing; today’s compromising evangelicals don’t get angry at the pope’s gospel of works, they get angry at those who point it out.


Together 2016: 1M Christians, Francis Chan, Hillsong United, Pope Francis Will Pray for Revival This Saturday
http://www.christianpost.com/news/together-2016-1m-christians-francis-chan-hillsong-united-pope-francis-will-pray-for-revival-this-saturday-interview-166441/

I love pope Francis!

Organizer, Nick Hall, anticipates one million people will gather at the National Mall inPappy Washington D.C. on July 16th to participate in his “Together 2016” event, which is being billed as “a day of unifying prayer.” This is an ecumenical event that will feature people of various denominational stripes. Pope Francis won’t be attending personally but he will be providing a video address to the crowd.

You thought you would never hear me say it, but I love pope Francis. I certainly do. He’s a sinner like all of us and he needs to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Francis leads a 1.3 billion-member religious organization that teaches salvation is by sacramental grace and obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. Not a Catholic? No problem. Francis says people of all religions and even atheists can merit Heaven if they “follow the light they’ve been given” and are “good.” The only problem is none of the above is the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

I love Jorge Francis Bergoglio. I pray that he accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior someday. I’m so sorry that he is leading hundreds of millions astray by teaching that people must earn their salvation by participating in his church’s sacraments and by “cooperating with grace.” I’m sorry for ecumenical events like “Together 2016,” where “well-meaning” evangelicals water down and compromise the Gospel of grace so much that it’s no longer the Gospel. I pray for all those who attend “Together 2016,” that they will hear the genuine Gospel from SOMEBODY at the event and will accept Christ as their Savior.

This could be a discouraging time for evangelical Christianity but the Lord is still on his throne and forever will be.

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8

Together 2016 aims to unify 1 million Christians in prayer on National Mall

C. S. Lewis – Ecumenical Muse

 

Listen to Christian radio for a couple of hours and you’re bound to hear a quote or two from C. S. Lewis. Sit in a pew at an evangelical church tomorrow and there’s a very good chance the pastor will quote Lewis during his sermon. Why this infatuation with Lewis among evangelicals? Why not, you ask? See here for my previous review of “Mere Christianity” and why Lewis’s theology is problematic for evangelicals.

Why drag my review out of mothballs? Because yesterday I heard Lewis quoted on Catholic talk radio (argh!) and I also ran across this informative video critique of Lewis from No Compromise Radio. Evangelical pastors need to STOP WITH THE C. S. LEWIS QUOTES!