There’s a bit of a controversy going on over at “Christianity Today” magazine because recently-retired editor, Mark Galli, has “converted” to Roman Catholicism. I’m not surprised. CT has always encouraged ecumenism with Rome, going back to its creation by Carl Henry and Billy Graham in 1956. The evangelical writers of the two articles above, Ed Stetzer and Roger Olson, react to Galli’s conversion with a degree of disapproval while also holding to the hopelessly incongruous view common to all ecumenical evangelicals, that says while Roman Catholicism is totally wrong about the doctrine of justification (how a person is saved), it is somehow still considered to be a Christian entity. Does not compute. How could a genuinely born-again believer swap salvation in Jesus Christ through faith alone for the chains of religious sacramentalism, legalism, and attempting to merit salvation? Impossible! This is a good example of how some who “profess” to be Christians and even hold leadership roles are tares among the wheat. Some people navigate within Christian circles and learn to “talk the talk” (Galli had earned a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary), but never genuinely trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.
The Roman Catholic church normally requires that all members must attend mass every Sunday under threat of eternal damnation. When the pandemic hit mid-March, the U.S. Catholic bishops each issued “dispensations,” allowing the Catholics in their diocese to miss mass without incurring mortal sin. Now that cases of COVID-19 are declining in some regions of the country, bishops are lifting the dispensations and ordering Catholics back to mass. “Those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin,” admonished the bishop of Milwaukee in anticipation of lifting his dispensation. How many Catholics will comply with the order to return to Sunday mass? Prior to the pandemic, only 13 percent of Catholics attended mandatory weekly mass, 20 percent attended at least once a month, and 67 percent attended no more than a few times a year if at all.
Catholics were encouraged to watch streaming mass services during the quarantine, although the RCC has always taught that the forgiveness of venial sins and the reception of graces were possible only by attending mass in-person. How many Catholics actually bothered to watch mass online on Sundays? In a recent survey, only 25 percent of young (between ages 18 and 35) Catholics surveyed said they participated “very often” or “somewhat” in mass online or on television during the pandemic.
The day is coming in the United States when the Bible will be categorized as “hate literature.”
After nearly 50 years, Charles Stanley announced that he is stepping down as pastor at First Baptist Church, Atlanta (SBC). I disagreed with Stanley on some issues (he was soft on ecumenism with Rome), but he was one of the very few TBN regulars who preached the genuine Gospel.
- More Southern Baptists embracing alternate ‘Great Commission Baptists’ name in wake of racial unrest
Southern Baptists are contemplating changing the name of their convention to “Great Commission Baptists.” SBC pastors who are faithful to the Gospel must also contemplate whether they can remain in an alliance in which Bible-denying liberalism is on the rise.