Religious zealousness no substitute for correct Biblical doctrine

A couple of weeks ago, there were multiple headlines focusing on U.S. Senator, Dianne Feinstein’s grilling of President Trump’s nominee to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Notre Dame professor, Amy Coney Barrett, regarding her religious beliefs. The news reports said Barrett is an active member of the Catholic Charismatic Movement and Feinstein was worried that the nominee’s religious views precluded her from supporting any portion of the Democratic National Party’s platform. That’s a very fair assumption on Senator Feinstein’s part, but religious tests are supposedly verboten in the public sector and most of the private sector.

I didn’t pay too much attention to the story initially, but yesterday I decided to do a little research on Professor Barrett’s beliefs. I found that not only is she a charismatic Catholic, she’s also a member of a tightly-controlled charismatic community called “People of Praise.” This group was founded in 1971 and is described as an “independent Christian interdenominational charismatic “covenant community” with no ecclesial affiliation,” although approximately 90% of the 3000 members are Roman Catholic. One of the main purposes of the group is to promote ecumenism between the Catholic church and the Protestant “faith communities” (see articles below).

Catholic charismatics reach out in fellowship to Pentecostals and evangelical charismatics based on their shared experiences involving the gifts of the spirit, including prophecy, glossolalia or speaking in tongues, and healing (full disclosure: I personally believe the apostolic sign gifts ended with the apostles). But what do Catholic charismatics like Barrett believe that distinguishes them from evangelicals? If Barrett is a faithful Catholic, as she claims to be, she must believe the following:

  • Baptism washes away original sin.
  • Priests turn bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and (h)e is offered as a sacrifice for sins hundreds of thousands of times daily at Catholic masses.
  • Priests forgive sins in the confessional in persona Christi.
  • Mary is the sinner’s advocate and mediatrix and all of God’s grace’s flow through her. Thousands of other dead “saints” canonized by the church can also be prayed to as spiritual intercessors.
  • Purgatory is a spiritual way station where the stain of minor sins and any remaining temporal punishment for mortal sins forgiven in the confessional are cleansed away. Time in purgatory can be lessened via church-prescribed indulgences.
  • The pope is infallible in guiding the church in all matters of faith and morals.
  • Most importantly, Catholicism teaches salvation is attained by receiving grace from the church’s sacraments so that the supplicant may avoid sin so as to remain in a “state of grace” and merit Heaven at the moment of death. That is definitely NOT the Gospel.

Aside from the irreconcilable doctrinal differences between Rome and Scripture, I’m also very leery of any and all “covenant communities,” which try to replicate the circumstances in Acts 2:42-47. The potential for abuse is extreme.

Catholic charismatics like Barrett praise the Lord with gusto and refer often to “grace,” “faith,” and Jesus their “Savior,” but behind the veneer is their devotion to the Catholic church’s complicated works religious system, which is dependent on participating in the sacraments and “cooperating with grace” by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!). The gospel that Barrett and other Catholic charismatics adhere to is NOT the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Pope Francis has lavished great praise on Catholic charismatics for building a bridge of experientialism between Catholics and evangelicals. See here. Professor Barrett and People of Praise have devoted themselves to the cause of uniting all (c)hristians under Rome’s banner.

It’s unfortunate Ms. Barrett was scrutinized by Senators Feinstein, Al Franken, and Dick Durbin for her religious beliefs, but she needs to forsake her religion and accept Jesus Christ as her Savior by faith alone.

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” – Romans 10:1-3

People of Praise – Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_Praise

People of Praise official website:
https://peopleofpraise.org/


Below, an interesting snippet from Barrett’s nomination hearing:

Senator Dick Durbin: There are many people who might characterize themselves (as) orthodox Catholics who now question whether pope Francis is an orthodox Catholic. I happen to think he’s a pretty good Catholic.

Barrett: I agree with you.

SDD: Good. That’s good common ground for us to start with.

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“Litmus test? How dare you judge anyone!”

Do you all recall the litmus test? If you took Chemistry in high school, you’re familiar with this test in which specially treated paper strips are used to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. No, I didn’t like Chemistry either and passed it only by the skin of my teeth. In the jargon of our culture, a litmus test has also come to mean any single factor (such as an attitude, event, or fact) that decisively reveals a finding or conclusion. But litmus tests have gotten a very bad reputation lately. In our wide-open, post-modern era, when all truth is relative, and plurality and inclusiveness are worshiped as idols, anyone who presumes to judge anyone else according to any standard is deemed to be sectarian at best.

When it comes to Biblical Christianity, I surely don’t assume to know everything in God’s Word, but there are some basic foundational Scriptural truths that we can stand on. When I come across a person who claims they are an evangelical Christian pastor or a leader of a evangelical para-church organization, I immediately want to know three things about them:

  • Do they uphold the Bible as the infallible, inerrant Word of God?
  • Do they proclaim the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone?
  • Are they faithful to the Gospel by refusing to join in ecumenism with Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit?

If they don’t pass muster on these three items, I really don’t care to listen to ANYTHING else they have to say. Period. Needless to say, just about every performer on TBN who I can think of fails on at least two of these “litmus tests,” with Charles Stanley being the exception.

“…test everything; hold fast what is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

Billy Graham: Friend of popes and Gospel compromiser

 

Few men are as revered by the world as Billy Graham, who is now age 98. Graham preached to millions on six continents and is recognized as the greatest Christian evangelist of the 20th century. Any criticism of Graham is considered blasphemy by most evangelicals. Yet, while many people genuinely trusted in Christ at Graham’s crusades, no one, and I mean NO ONE, has muddied the Gospel of grace more than Billy Graham. The damage he did to the Gospel witness cannot be overstated. Graham’s trailblazing cooperation and compromise with Rome’s false gospel has since been emulated and expanded by three generations of evangelical pastors and para-church leaders that followed his lead.

In the 12-minute video above, evangelical apologist, Dave Hunt (d. 2013), tries to wrap his head around the compromise and betrayal of the Gospel by Billy Graham, friend of presidents, kings, and popes.

Film about Steve McQueen symbolizes Gospel compromise

A short time ago, I reviewed Greg Laurie’s book about actor Steve McQueen’s conversion to Jesus Christ. See here.

I usually catch the last five minutes of Laurie’s radio show every morning as I’m driving into work and lately he’s been pumping the movie follow-up to the book. “Steve McQueen: American Icon” will be playing in selected theaters across the country on Thursday, September 28th only. This is an evangelism tool with Laurie giving an invitation to accept Christ at the end of the film. See the official website here.

I enjoyed Laurie’s book about McQueen and I was even contemplating going to the theater to see the movie. But as one of his pitch points, Laurie mentioned that actor/director/producer, Mel Gibson, is interviewed during the film. Mel Gibson? Again? Laurie featured Gibson on his last TBN-televised Harvest crusade and there’s a quote

GLMG
Laurie and Tridentine Catholc, Gibson, kibitzing for the audience at a Harvest crusade

from Gibson recommending “Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon” on the book’s dust jacket. But Mel Gibson is an ultra-traditionalist, “Tridentine” Roman Catholic, meaning he believes in salvation by sacramental grace and merit and he also believes the last six popes were imposters because of the changes adopted by the church at the Second Vatican Council. Mel Gibson is certainly not a supporter of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. So why has he been rubbing shoulders with Laurie so much? Gibson might be a sedevacantist, but he’s also a busine$$man. Evangelicals strongly supported his film, “The Passion of the Christ” (2004), and Gibson is pragmatically counting on their support for the sequel, “Resurrection,” which is slated for release in 2019.

Greg Laurie, a TBN regular, does preach the Gospel of grace, but he also troublingly embraces as Christians those who promote a false gospel. A lot. Many evangelical pastors and para-church leaders do the same thing. Is it that Laurie looks the other way and compromises the Gospel for the sake of money and numbers? He’s just following in the footsteps of his hero, Billy Graham. Laurie and Gibson are using each other for their own purposes in an ungodly, symbiotic dance.

No, I won’t be attending “Steve McQueen: American Icon.” Maybe instead I’ll watch McQueen’s 1968 classic action thriller, “Bullitt,” which I bought on Blu-ray several weeks ago. At least there’s no Gospel-compromising shenanigans going on in that movie!

“Don’t be such a stickler! Can’t we all just ‘love Jesus’ and get along?”

There are many so-called “evangelicals” today who muddy the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. These days, as long as a person “loves Jesus,” then what they believe about HOW a person is saved doesn’t seem to matter to many. Those who unapologetically teach a person is saved by baptism and by other sacraments are embraced as Christians. Those who unapologetically teach a person is saved by “faith” AND good works are embraced as Christians. Those who teach EVERYONE is going to Heaven as long as they “follow the light they are given” are embraced as Christians.

The past couple of days, I’ve come across many examples of so-called “evangelicals” who are muddying the Gospel. It’s a little disheartening, but our Lord is still sovereign and He’s aware of the compromise and betrayal much more than I am. But I would like to point out just a couple of the examples I’ve come across today:

First, we have “America’s Pastor,” Purpose Driven Rick Warren, being held up as an exemplary model of loving Evangelical-Catholic ecumenism in a new article below from a Catholic source. Warren has a long history of cooperation with Catholicism and has held several seminars for Catholic dioceses on reversing dwindling church attendance (filling the pews via modern marketing methods is his specialty). Warren’s watered-down, purpose driven gospel is pretty compatible with Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit because, for Rick, the bottom line is just “loving Jesus.”

In Orange County, bishop and pastor model Catholic/Evangelical ties
https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2017/09/14/orange-county-bishop-pastor-model-catholicevangelical-ties/

The next example is much more personal. I attended a Catholic church in suburban Rochester, NY as a child and teenager. In my late twenties, I came out of Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone. My wife and I then attended an independent Bible Baptist church for eight years where we had the opportunity to fellowship with many of our spiritual brothers and sisters. One of the guys, Lou, was on fire for the Lord. Sadly, the pastor did very little in the way of comparative theology, which is often the case in most evangelical churches. We finally left that church because it was way too legalistic in many respects, along with some additional problems, which I’ve touched upon in the past. See here. Well, that church is still having problems (more to come on that later) and as I was doing some associated research on the internet, I came across a PDF file saying Lou had visited my old Catholic church in 2008 to give a presentation at the parish’s “Christian Unity Service” (see photo above). I was flabbergasted! I had come out of Catholicism with its false gospel and accepted Jesus Christ and the Gospel of grace, but old friend Lou had gone back and visited my old Catholic parish as part of a “Christian Unity” event? Does not compute.

Why are evangelicals, who supposedly believe in the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, participating in unity services with purveyors of a works gospel? Are we also scheduling unity services at Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Halls and Mormons’ meetinghouses since they all “love Jesus” too???

Question: When George Harrison was singing, “My Sweet Lord,” who was he singing to?

Answer: No one

Yesterday, I wrote about the Hindu god, Ganesha, being worshiped in a Roman Catholic church. See here. Really strange stuff. That got me to thinking a bit more about Hinduism.

Readers of this blog know I was a big fan of The Byrds rock and roll band way back in the day. They were a pretty innovative bunch and explored many musical styles. One of the band’s members, David Crosby, was a big fan of Indian sitar player, Ravi Shankar. This was before Shankar got a lot of recognition at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Crosby would constantly play Shankar’s albums to bandmate, Roger McGuinn, which influenced the lead guitarist to attempt to mimic the drone of the sitar on his twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar on several songs featured on the band’s third album, “Fifth Dimension” (1966).

Crosby had also shared his enthusiasm for Shankar with Beatles guitarist, George Harrison. To say Harrison became infatuated with the sitar and Hinduism would be an understatement. Harrison introduced the sitar to rock and roll audiences with “Norwegian Wood” (from “Rubber Soul,” 1965), “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” (from “Revolver,” 1966), and “Within You, Without You” (from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” 1967). Harrison was indoctrinated deeply into Hinduism by Maharishi (“great seer”) Mahesh Yogi and subsequently embraced the Hare Krishna sect. Literally hundreds of millions of Westerners were introduced to Hinduism and Eastern religions through the music of one person, George Harrison.

Perhaps Harrison’s most famous ode to his new religion was the song, “My Sweet Lord” (from “All Things Must Pass,” 1970). If you’re a Baby Boomer then you know the melody and words of this one pretty well, but I’m guessing many of the lyrics sung in the background went right over your head as they did mine.

Let’s take a look at the lyrics of the last half of the song, with the backing vocals in commas, accompanied by reference numbers that link to notes further below. Got all that? It’s actually pretty simple once you see how I have it laid out. Okay, here we go…

Hm, my lord (hare Krishna) – 1
My, my, my lord (hare Krishna)
Oh hm, my sweet lord (Krishna, Krishna)
Oh-uuh-uh (hare, hare)

Now, I really want to see you (hare Rama) – 2
Really want to be with you (hare Rama)
Really want to see you lord (aaah)
But it takes so long, my lord (hallelujah)

Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
My, my, my lord (hare Krishna)
My sweet lord (hare Krishna)
My sweet lord (Krishna, Krishna)
My lord (hare, hare)
Hm, hm (Guru Brahman) – 3
Hm, hm (Guru Vishnu) – 4
Hm, hm (Guru Devo) – 5
Hm, hm (Maheshwara) – 5
My sweet lord (Guru Saakshaat) – 6
My sweet lord (Parabrahma) – 6
My, my, my lord (Tasmai Sri) – 7
My, my, my, my lord (Gurave Namah) – 7
My sweet lord (hare Rama)

Those are a lot of really strange words you’ve been humming along to all these years, right? But guess what? You’re about to find out what all those strange words mean, thanks to the internet and a little perseverance!

  1. Hare Krishna – Is an appeal/prayer to the supreme energy (hare) of the Hindu god, Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the god, Vishnu, and also a supreme god in his own right.
  2. Hare Rama – Is an appeal/prayer to the supreme energy (hare) of the god, Rama, the seventh incarnation of the same Vishnu mentioned above. My, so many different incarnations to keep track of!
  3. Guru Brahman – (gu-ru, literally means “darkness remover,” i.e., teacher) – the teacher/creator god.
  4. Guru Vishnu – the teacher/preserver god.
  5. Guru Devo Maheshwara (also known as Shiva) – the teacher/force of destruction or transformation god. Brahman, Vishnu, and Devo (Shiva) mentioned above are the “Trimurti” or triad of Hinduism’s major gods.
  6. Guru Saakshaat Parabrahma – the incarnation of the supreme god.
  7. Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah – means, “Teacher god, I bow to you from my soul.”

Notice that Harrison alternated the “hallelujah” familiar to Christians and “hare Krishna” throughout the song. That was no accident. In his autobiography, Harrison stated that his intention was to convey to the listeners that the two terms meant “quite the same thing,” as well as prompting them to chant the Hindu mantra “before they knew what was going on!” “My Sweet Lord” climbed to #1 on the U.S. singles charts in December 1970 and remained there for four weeks. Millions of teeny boppers and young adults all over the world were moved to chant “Hare Krishna” over and over again along with the song.

Anybody remember all those bald-headed Hare Krishna dudes in saffron robes who used to hang out at airports asking for money? One evening back in the late 70s, I was coming out of a Lum’s restaurant (remember the Ollie Burger?) and a young Hare Krishna member wearing a woman’s wig and an army surplus jacket tried to recruit me. He kept bringing up George Harrison’s connection to the sect as a selling point, but I didn’t want anything to do with shaving my head and wearing those saffron robes. I’m glad I didn’t fall for that stuff, but I was already on my journey to accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior a few years later.

Hinduism has certainly gone mainstream with all those Deepak Chopra books, yoga, transcendental meditation, the growing popularity of reincarnation, and the belief in karma. Can you think of any other examples?

They say there’s 300 million Hindu gods so you would need a computer to keep track of them all. But the bottom line for Hinduism is it’s another works religion just like all the rest of them (including apostate Roman Catholicism). Only Biblical Christianity proclaims the genuine Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

“Salvation is found in no one else (besides Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

What are the beliefs of Hinduism?
https://carm.org/hinduism-beliefs

All hail, Ganesha! Elephant god worshiped in a Catholic church.

Part of my daily routine is to sit down for fifteen to twenty minutes and scan the Catholic news wires, mainly for items for the Weekend Roundup, but every once in awhile I come across a news item, like the one below, that just can’t wait for the weekend.

The news story reports that the Catholic church of Our Lady of Africa in the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta in North Africa recently welcomed a procession of Hindu worshipers inside who were carrying a statue of “Lord” Ganesha, “a deity with the body of a child and an elephant head that’s worshiped as the god of protection and good luck.” Once inside, the Hindus and Catholics, led by Vicar General, father Juan José Mateos Castro, joined together in prayers and songs to the statues of Ganesha and Mary.

No group pushes ecumenism and interfaith unity more than Catholicism but parading the elephant god inside the church was evidently going a bit too far for some. Bishop Rafael Zorzona Boy, who has jurisdiction over the church, subsequently apologized for the indiscretion and accepted the resignation of Castro.

The Roman Catholic church proclaimed in its “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra Aetate), issued in 1965 during the Second Vatican Council, that non-(c)hristian religionists could also merit Heaven if they “followed the light they were given,” and pope Francis has said even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences. Many liberal Catholic priests and bishops would have no problem with non-Catholic religionists bringing their idols into a Catholic church for joint “worship and prayer,” but the church as a whole is not quite ready for such a flagrant interreligious event as a joint statue worship. But there have already been many instances of non-Catholic clerics (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist) leading in prayer to their gods in Catholic facilities.

ALL of this is SO anti-Biblical and idolatrous it should seriously grieve the heart of every Christian believer. I’m not even going to bother commenting on the particulars because it’s all SO outrageously blasphemous. God’s Word is very clear:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:3-6

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

The Lord continues to mark Catholicism as an apostate church with plain and precise signs such as this.

The video below of the Hindu procession and the adoration of the god, Ganesha, in the Catholic church is forty minutes long, but you can skip to the 18:45 mark to watch the idol being brought through the church doors to great acclaim followed by the enthusiastic interfaith “worship and fellowship.” The unabashed blasphemy is certain to take away the breath of every follower of Jesus Christ.

Bishop apologizes for procession of Hindu deity in a Catholic church
https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/08/29/bishop-apologizes-procession-hindu-deity-catholic-church/

Unite with Rome?!?! [Sigh] If only H.A. Ironside could have seen what has happened. ☹

Shall We Accept the Pope’s Invitation to Unite with the Roman Church?
By H. A. Ironside
CrossReach Publications, 2016, 23 pages, $1.48

In this Kindle ebook pamphlet, H. A. Ironside (photo right, 1876-1951), former pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, remarks* upon pope Pius XI’s 1931 encyclical, “Lux Veritatis” (The Light of Truth), in which Pius “invited dissident branches of (c)hristianity to return to ‘the one fold’ under the pope.” Ironside cites both Scripture and church history to dispute Pius’ claims that the church has always “recognized the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome” and his alleged infallible teaching on matters of faith and morals. Pius goes on in the declaration to present Mary as the catalyst for (c)hristian unity, but Ironside references Scripture to thoroughly refute Catholicism’s Marian traditions.

Catholicism would greatly develop its ecumenical agenda with its “Unitatis redintegratio” (Restoration of unity) document in 1964 as part of the Second Vatican Council.

This short pamphlet would be a good introduction to the Catholic notions of (c)hristian “unity” and Mariolatry, with the qualifier that a lot of water has gone over the dam since 1931. A 2015 survey showed 58% of evangelical pastors consider the pope to be their “brother in Christ.” These days many evangelical leaders visit the Vatican and jostle in line for a photo op with the pope. Ironside would be sadly amazed. ☹

Order from Amazon here. The sermon is also presented free of charge at Moody Church’s website here.

This is the second ebook pamphlet by H. A Ironside that I’ve read from CrossReach Publications. See my previous review of “Letters to a Catholic Priest” here.

*This pamphlet is actually a transcription of a sermon given by Ironside in 1932.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones and “Logic on Fire”

Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Directed by Matthew Robinson
Media Gratiae, 2015, 102 minutes

As Christians, our focus should always be on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our trust should never be in the flesh. Men and women will always let us down. But every once in awhile, the Lord lifts up a servant who is so strong in their love of Jesus Christ that we praise the Lord for their example. Such a man was Welsh-English pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981).

I don’t remember exactly when the Lord introduced me to the ministry of Loyd-Jones, but I’ve enjoyed gradually learning about the doctor via a book here, an article there. He was perhaps the most notable English evangelical of the last century, although I’m sure he would have despised such a title. When many English evangelicals were dallying with ecumenism with Rome in the 1960s and 70s, Lloyd-Jones would have none of it and stood firmly on the Gospel of grace. The Lord blessed the doctor with a rapier intellect. That’s right, unbelieving friend, you needn’t check your brain at the church door. But Lloyd-Jones was also interested in seeing the Gospel permeate a person’s entire being, not just their intellect. He was a strong advocate in the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the life of a believer, not in emotionalism or showy religious experience, but in knowing the actual presence of Holy God through the Word and prayer. Hence there was both logic and fire in the preaching and ministry of the doctor.

I enjoyed this biography documentary package of Lloyd-Jones tremendously. The first DVD includes the finished documentary, “Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,” a biography of the doctor that relies mostly on the testimonies of family members, friends, and fellow-workers in the Gospel. The first DVD also includes three deleted sequences, one of which is the “1966 Evangelical Controversy,” in my estimation one of the most important segments in the entire package. The second DVD contains over three hours of additional interviews. The third DVD contains a segment on the dangers of church-growth pragmatism from John Snyder from his “Behold Our God” study series. Also, there’s a 128-page booklet with brief biographies of the contributors and interviewees and four sermons from the doctor.

Those who are unfamiliar with the ministry of Lloyd-Jones may want to begin with some short biographies (see here for an example) rather than this mountain of information, but I know as I continue to read his books and sermons, I’ll desire to return to this documentary package every now and then.

Praise the Lord for uncompromising preachers like Charles Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones! May the Lord continue to raise up faithful proclaimers of the Gospel!

“Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones” is readily available from Amazon. See here.

 

An evangelical writes to “Your Holiness,” the pope

In yesterday’s Weekend Roundup, I briefly commented that President Trump’s evangelical advisory board had requested an urgent meeting with pope Francis to discuss the recent, Vatican-approved article in the La Civilta Cattolica journal, which had severely criticized the collaboration of right-wing, Trump-supporting “Catholic Integralists” and “Evangelical Fundamentalists” as being an “ecumenism of hate.” The article also made reference to Trump’s religious supporters as Christian “jihadists.”

Yesterday evening, I came across a couple of articles that shed more light on the controversy (see links far below).

Johnnie Moore, the former vice president of communications for Liberty University and former assistant to university president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., penned the letter to Francis on behalf of the other members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He begins the letter by addressing the pope as “Your Holiness.” He then tells Francis that evangelicals “have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church.” He further flatters the pope by writing that Francis’ “efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.” Moore then gets down to business by requesting a meeting to discuss the troubling article. He ends the letter by claiming “God put it on [his] heart” to write the pope and concludes with the following: “With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.”

Moore’s letter to the pope is a sad commentary on the current state of evangelicalism. The pope heads a 1.2 billion-member religious institution, which propagates a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit and yet Moore addresses him as a fellow believer and a great Christian leader. Obviously, Moore has no understanding of comparative theology and has no clue what happened during the Reformation. But like many politically-focused, conservative evangelicals, Moore is more concerned with preserving “Judeo-Christian” moral values in this country than with correct doctrine and reaching conservative (and liberal) Catholics with the Gospel.

Commenting on Moore’s letter, Mike Gendron, ex-Catholic and director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, a Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics, said:

“Moore’s attempt to unite Evangelicals and Catholics is playing into the pope’s agenda to rebuild the religious tower of Babel. Our sovereign and omnipotent Lord does not need the help of unbelievers to fight the social and cultural wars. There is something much more important at stake and that is the purity and exclusivity of the Gospel. More than ever we need to contend for the faith because divine division in truth is far better than satanic unity in error.”

Accommodation and cooperation with religious error and compromise and betrayal of the Gospel are rampant in the church today.


Former Liberty University VP Raises Concern After Calling for Meeting With ‘Your Holiness’ to Unite Evangelicals, Catholics
https://christiannews.net/2017/08/11/former-liberty-university-vp-raises-concern-after-calling-for-meeting-with-your-holiness-to-unite-evangelicals-catholics/

Dear Pope Francis: An Evangelical Christian’s letter to the Holy Father
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/08/09/dear-pope-francis-evangelical-christians-letter-to-holy-father.html