How genuine were Catholic prelates when they “commemorated” Martin Luther and Reformation 500?

A few weeks ago, there were MANY articles in the news regarding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. However, in today’s “post-modern” era, when doctrine is totally deemphasized, and relativism, experientialism, and plurality are worshipped as idols, the Reformation strikes many as offensive. Some “Protestants” now eagerly embrace Catholics as fellow “believers” and declare they’ve renounced the “rancor” and “sectarianism” of the Reformation and strive for unity with the church of Rome. After all, they say, Catholics also believe in “grace” and “faith” and “Jesus the Savior” so let’s all just let bygones be bygones and focus on what unites us and leave the debates over doctrine to grumpy theologians.

But beneath all of today’s doctrinally-bankrupt, ♫kumbaya♫ sentimentality, Rome still preaches the same false gospel of sacramental grace and merit that it did in 1517. At the Second Vatican Council, Rome decided it could catch more “separated brethren” with “sweetness” rather than with conflict and many Protestants have taken the bait. Last month, Catholic bishops all over the world co-celebrated prayer services commemorating Reformation 500 with liberal Lutheran bishops. Catholic prelates extol “justification by faith” with gusto, but what they mean is something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT than what evangelicals understand by that term. As the saying goes, if you keep telling a lie long enough, you can get just about everyone to believe it.

In the article below, ex-Catholic priest, Richard Bennett, comments on the Vatican’s enthusiastic pronouncement that the Reformation is over.


Vatican Fake News – “The Reformation is Over”
By Richard Bennett and Stuart Quint
September 29, 2017

The Lord Jesus Christ condemned the Pharisees as they attempted to suppress the truth of the Gospel by equating their traditions with the Bible.  “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees!  For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

Today, the senior leadership of the Roman Catholic Church also undermines truth by equating man-made traditions with God’s Word.   Pope Francis and the Roman hierarchy exalt their own authority above Holy Scripture.  Consequently, the Catholic person believes not in the Almighty God and His immutable Word, but rather in the Catholic Church and her evolving tradition.

Ever since the Reformation began 500 years ago, the Roman Church continues to use its influence to camouflage the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

To continue reading, click on the link below:

http://bereanbeacon.org/analyzing-the-pope/2017/9/29/vatican-fake-news-the-reformation-is-over

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The irony just slaps you HARD across the face

A few days ago, I noticed an article on The Christian Post website; “Biggest Threat to Christianity in 21st Century Comes From Within, Theologians Say” (see below). The article describes a panel discussion in which the consensus among the participating theologians was that the church itself was the biggest threat to Christianity. No argument there. One need only tune into TBN several nights in a row to see that the evangelical church in America has a problem with false teachers and false gospels.

The title of this article wasn’t the only thing that caught my attention, but also the accompanying photograph (see above), which featured a gentleman I had posted about just a few days ago, Stephen J. Nichols. That post asked how Nichols, a prominent leader in the conservative Reformed movement, could include the co-founder of the Jesuits, Francis Xavier, in his children’s book which honored 26 “heroes of the faith.” See that post here.

So, in this article we have a panel of prominent conservative Reformed theologians attempting to identify the biggest threat to the church in the 21st century. And sitting on this panel, along with R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson among others, is none other than Stephen J. Nichols, who has made it his business to promote the co-founder of the Jesuits, the sworn enemies of the Reformation, as a “hero of the faith.”

Does anyone else see the unbelievable irony here and the enormous gall of Dr. Nichols, sitting in on such a panel in light of his blatant ecumenism? Are you kidding me?!?!?! That’s like inviting Bernie Madoff to a panel discussion on responsible personal financial planning. Or how about the analogy of inviting Harvey Weinstein to speak at a marriage seminar? Shame on Nichols and shame on Sproul and Ferguson for taking the stage with someone who unashamedly promotes Francis Xavier as a “hero of the faith.”

Yes, the most dangerous threat to the church comes from the ecumenical Judases within our own ranks, like Dr. Nichols, who put error for truth and truth for error. I pray for Stephen Nichols that he’ll repent. And I pray for R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson, that they’ll resist the swelling ecumenical compromise and betrayal of the Gospel from within the ranks of their own ministries.

Biggest Threat to Christianity in 21st Century Comes From Within, Theologians Say
https://www.christianpost.com/news/biggest-threat-to-christianity-in-21st-century-comes-from-within-theologians-say-204941/

Shining a light on Catholic error

Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith – An Evangelical Primer
By Ray Yungen
Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2017, 160 pages, $12.95

The spirit of ecumenical compromise is moving powerfully within the evangelical church. Several decades ago, believers were much more aware of the differences between the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit, but that discernment is now being dulled by the dilution of doctrine and the call for (c)hristian unity.

In this newly-published, short book, evangelical Ray Yungen points out some of the major differences between Biblical Christianity and Rome’s works religion. Chapters examine the following subjects under the light of Scripture:

  • The new openness of evangelicalism to Rome’s errors
  • The importance of the mass in Catholic salvation theology
  • The Catholic teaching that obeying the Ten Commandments merits salvation
  • The doctrine of purgatory
  • The worship of Mary
  • The papacy

At the end of the book are two helpful appendices, “The New Evangelization from Rome” by Roger Oakland and “My Journey out of Catholicism” by David Dombrowski.

“Simple Answers” is a well-written, succinct comparison of the main differences between Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism and would benefit both evangelicals who want to know more about Catholicism and Catholics who desire to learn more about the Gospel of grace. The title of the book is quite appropriate. Catholicism is a complex, convoluted religious system with a myriad of legalities and rituals that keep its large stable of canon lawyers quite preoccupied. The Catholic system of sacramental grace and works is a revolving treadmill that offers no spiritual assurance, peace, or joy. In contrast, the Gospel of grace is so simple a child can comprehend it, and salvation in Jesus Christ through faith alone brings assurance, peace, and joy that is beyond words.

I’m excited any time a new book is published which examines Catholicism from a Biblical perspective. Sadly, just about all of the larger “Protestant” publishing houses have succumb to ecumenical compromise and publish Catholic authors. The publication of “Simple Answers” was delayed for almost a year due to the death of its author, Ray Yungen.

Order “Simple Answers” directly from Lighthouse Trails Publishing here or from Amazon.com here.

See my list of over 330 books that examine Roman Catholicism from a Biblical perspective on my Books tab, here.

The similarity between the “teaching of Balaam” and Vatican II’s call for rapprochement

Yesterday at church, our pastor brought up the story of Balak and Balaam in his sermon. As you remember from Numbers 22-24, Balak was a king of Moab. Balak and the Moabites (descendants of Lot) feared Moses and the approaching Israelites. Balak called upon Balaam, a prophet from the East, to curse the Israelites. Much to Balak’s frustration, Balaam blessed the Israelites in accordance with God’s will. Three times Balak called upon Balaam to curse the Israelites and three times Balaam blessed them instead. But in Numbers 25:1-9, we learn that some of the Israelite men went on to commit spiritual fornication by consorting with the daughters of Moab and subsequently worshiping their god, the Baal of Peor. The Lord punished Israel by sending a plague, which killed twenty-four thousand. In Revelation 2:14, we learn that it was Balaam who had finally advised a very frustrated Balak to neutralize the Israelites by having the Moabite women entice them into committing fornication and idolatry. The Moabite attack on Israel wasn’t through military aggression, it was through “pleasurable” sensuality and compromise.

Any lessons for us today?

As I listened to the portions of the sermon regarding the “teaching of Balaam,” I thought of a similar circumstance in our own time. In previous generations, evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics squared off as adversaries in the battle for people’s souls. Evangelicals proclaimed the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone while Catholics propagated their false gospel of sacramental grace and merit and “ne’er the twain shall meet.”

But at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65),* popes John XXIII and Paul VI and their allies decided to drop their church’s militant, aggressive approach towards Protestants and try a totally different tack of accommodation and “compromise.” The Catholic hierarchy reached out to Protestants as “separated brethren” with the goal of eventually re-gathering them under Rome’s wings. Protestants have warmly responded to this friendly overture. The appeal of (c)hristian “unity” has increasingly drowned out concerns over vital doctrinal differences.

Just as the Israelites responded to the appealing enticements of the Moabites, many in the evangelical church have succumb to the “teaching of Balaam” and have allowed themselves to drift into spiritual fornication with Rome. They call Rome’s darkness “light” and they call all warnings to stay separate from Rome “darkness.”

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

Protestants and evangelicals all over the world will be commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation tomorrow, but the reality is that many who hold to the labels of “Protestant” and “evangelical” have compromised and betrayed the New Testament Gospel of grace recovered by Luther and the other Reformers by embracing Catholicism and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit in an attempt to establish (c)hristian unity. They have, in a figurative sense, set out “to whore with the daughters of Moab” (Numbers 25:1).

“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.” – Revelation 2:14

*See the Second Vatican Council’s decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (“Restoration of unity”), here.

Betrayal in the camp

Ecumenism with religious error is rampant throughout the evangelical church these days. Over the last sixty years, the percentage of evangelical pastors, theologians, and para-church leaders who embrace Roman Catholicism with its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit as a Christian entity has steadily risen. One of the few remaining bastions of non-compromise with Rome was the conservative Reformed movement. I admired men like D. James Kennedy, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and John Piper for their unyielding defense of the Gospel of grace in the face of compromise and betrayal that surrounds them. But accommodation and compromise with Rome is now in the camp of even the conservative Reformed.

A brother and trusted friend in the Lord recently posted a brief review of a children’s book, titled, “The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith,” (photo middle). My thoughts below in no way reflect on this brother who initially posted the review completely unaware of the facts I will present.

The author of the book, Stephen J. Nichols (photo left), is a very prominent figure in the conservative Reformed movement. He serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries, both founded by R.C. Sproul. Nichols is also strongly connected to the ministry of John MacArther and has presented at multiple Shepherd’s Conferences hosted by Grace Community Church.

Being the nerd that I am, I was curious to see who Nichols included in his collection of 26 “heroes of the faith.” I did a little digging and had my answer (see here). I was somewhat familiar with 18 of the 26 individuals on the list and one of them really stood out: Francis Xavier (photo right). What? I had to do a double take. Francis Xavier? Are you kidding me? As an ex-Catholic, I am very much aware of Xavier. He’s one of Catholicism’s most prominent and revered “saints” and his name adorns many Catholic churches and institutions. Xavier was a close friend and associate of Ignatius of Loyola. Together, with a few others, they founded the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, in 1534 (the official formation was in 1540). That’s right, the Jesuits! The order of the Jesuits was created specifically to counteract the work of the Reformation in spreading the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Ignatius and Xavier patterned the Jesuits according to a military model (Ignatius was a former soldier). The order would be the pope’s personal “army.” Jesuit priests pledged absolute loyalty to the pontiff and would use whatever means necessary to neutralize and defeat the spread of the Gospel. Much of their counter-Reformation work was done via the establishment of schools and expeditions to remote areas to spread Rome’s false gospel. Xavier was very active in India and the Far East. In 1546, he requested that the Portuguese king send the Inquisition to Goa, the center of Portuguese colonialism in India. The infamous Goa Inquisition (see here) imprisoned, tortured, and executed “heretics” until its abolition in 1820. Xavier died in 1552.

So, given all of the above, I have a few questions. How can one of the “bright young stars” of the conservative Reformed movement possibly cite Francis Xavier as a “hero of the faith”? Which faith? Certainly not the “sola fide, solus Christus,” faith alone, in Christ alone that I know and that Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin preached. Xavier was bitterly opposed to the Reformation and to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Xavier worked tirelessly to spread Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit throughout Asia. He was absolutely no friend of the Gospel or of the Reformers. How exactly does Nichols square all of that in his head? What is he thinking? How in the world can he see clear to calling darkness light? And how can faithful shepherds of the church swallow what Nichols is dishing out? What does R.C. Sproul say about Nichols’ presentation of Jesuit Xavier as a “hero of the faith”? What does John MacArthur say about Nichols holding up the co-founder of the Jesuits as an exemplary Christian?

Rest assured that Stephen J. Nichols pondered very long and hard as to who he would present in his list of 26 “heroes.” Including such a controversial figure as the co-founder of the Jesuits in this collection was no mistake. It’s clear Nichols has an ecumenical agenda and he’s obviously not afraid to push it. Will Sproul and MacArthur call him on it or will they let it go? After all, it’s only a children’s book, right? What will we see next, the leaders of the conservative Reformed movement writing biographies praising the various popes of Rome?

My heart grieves and my stomach turns. I can only pray for Stephen Nichols.

Does terror and persecution mean we lose our discernment?

Back in the Jerusalem of 40 A.D., if one of the officers of the Roman military occupation force was asked to differentiate between the Jews who followed the “officially sanctioned” Pharisees and rabbis, and the Jews who had accepted Christ as Messiah and Savior, he probably would not have been aware or even cared. To him, they would have all been just Jews, although, from our vantage point, we know the theological differences between the two groups were vitally important.

Similarly, we in the West tend to categorize all the followers of various Eastern religions with the same broad brush although there are many sects of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, with distinctive beliefs that are very important to their devotees.

Yesterday, I listened to a sermon in which the pastor described the current persecution of Christians around the world and especially in the Middle East. It’s understandable that the forces of Al-Qaeda and ISIS would not bother to distinguish between Roman Catholics, followers of Eastern Orthodoxy, and Bible Christians. To them, a Christian is a Christian is a Christian, but genuine followers of Christ cannot be so undiscerning.

Persecution is a tragedy for any group. Masses of people throughout history have suffered due to allegiance to their particular religion. But just because people have suffered terror, pain, and death, does not mean we should embrace error as truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses have endured persecution for one-hundred years in many countries. But, in addition to their heretical Christology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach a false gospel of baptismal regeneration and works and I cannot embrace them as Christians. The Mormons have also faced persecution in many countries. I am sorry they have suffered but that does not mean I should disregard our differences. Their heretical Christology and false gospel of baptismal regeneration and works prevents me from embracing them as fellow Christians.

In the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, groups that claim to be Christian are being targeted by Al-Qaeda and ISIS, including Roman Catholics and adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy. It’s a tragedy that any religious group is targeted for violence. My heart goes out to the children, women, and men who have suffered persecution, torture, and death. But Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy teach a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. They do not teach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. According to God’s Word, faithful followers of these churches’ teachings are not Christians, just as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians.

Some say that in the face of persecution, it’s uncharitable to check denominational dog tags. That was the underlying message of the sermon I heard yesterday and that is the regular message of The Voice of the Martyrs para-church organization. Pope Francis has cited Islamic terrorism as a catalyst for (c)hristian unification:

“Let us see this (communion of [c]hristian martyrs) as a call to persevere on our ecumenical journey toward full and visible communion, growing more and more in love and mutual understanding,” the pope challenged an audience back in 2015 (see here).

I’m sorry so many people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. I’m heartbroken that fellow believers have suffered and died for their faith in Christ. But I know those believers would not want their suffering and death to be used as a means to water down the Gospel of grace. Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox need to accept Christ as Savior as much as the bloodthirsty Muslim terrorists.

Postscript: Both Catholics and Protestants have been guilty of religious persecution in centuries gone by, although it could be successfully argued that the Catholic persecution of Protestants was of a MUCH greater magnitude. State-sanctioned persecution of Protestants continued in Catholic-controlled countries in Europe and Latin America well into the 20th-century (e.g., Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Mussolini’s Italy, inter-war Poland, Vichy France, Pavelic’s Croatia, Dollfuss’ Austria, and Rexist Belgium. Vatican concordats with Latin American countries ensured Protestants in the region were persecuted to some degree).

Catholics and Lutherans holding joint services to commemorate Reformation 500???

Those who follow news about the Roman Catholic church have noticed the many stories this month about joint Catholic-Lutheran prayer services being held nationwide in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Here in Rochester, N.Y., a joint service will be held on October 29th at the Catholic diocesan cathedral, presided over by the local Catholic and Lutheran (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – ELCA) bishops. See article below.

My thoughts?

As the early Christian church became increasingly institutionalized, error and anti-Biblical traditions were continuously introduced. By the Middle Ages, the church was almost completely apostate. The Holy Spirit raised up Martin Luther and the other 16th-century Reformers to recover the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone that was preached by the apostles and the New Testament church. Rome immediately condemned the Reformation and sought to squelch it by ANY means. Lines were drawn. Protestant believers and Catholics opposed each other for the souls of men and women for 450 years.

At the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, Rome reversed itself and determined that a more conciliatory approach toward the “separated brethren” would reap greater results. Catholicism still preaches the same false gospel of sacramental grace and merit that it did in the 16th century, but now grants that Luther may have had some legitimate grievances regarding the selling of indulgences, etc. Rome proclaims that, like Protestants, it also preaches a gospel of “grace” and “faith,” but how it defines those terms is completely different compared to Biblical Christianity. Many of the old, mainline Protestant denominations (including the ELCA) drifted into liberalism and apostasy long ago and now preach a social gospel. Embracing Catholicism is no big deal for them because they also embrace every sort of religion – from Islam to Buddhism – as legitimate “pathways” to (g)od (just as Catholicism does).

In light of the approaching joint prayer service planned by Rochester’s Catholics and ELCA Lutherans, I’m reminded of an episode from my past, but first, a little background.

I served as an altar boy at our Catholic parish church from 5th through 8th grade (1966-1970). The pastor was a very formal, aloof person who showed no warmth or kindness to us altar boys. In hindsight and in consideration of the church-wide cases of pedophilia at the time that would surface decades later, I’m actually grateful the priest kept his distance. One late afternoon, I entered into the church “sacristy” to prepare to serve at the 5PM mass. The priest was kneeling in prayer as was his habit before mass. As I walked past him, on my way to the room where the altar boys put on their cassocks and prepared for mass, I respectfully said, “Good evening, Father.” The priest annoyingly replied back, “Good AFTERNOON.” Ho, what fun! After that, I made it a point to say “Good evening” to the priest every time I entered the church for 5PM mass, and he always made a point of correcting me with a “Good AFTERNOON.” Loosen up, “father.” Great fun for a young teenage boy!

Anyway, let’s get to my point! One day in late summer of 1968, I entered the sacristy for altar service and for some reason the old priest was more talkative than usual. In fact, it’s the only time we had a conversation in my four years as an altar boy that I can recall. Somehow the subject came up that my family and I had attended my cousin, Beverly’s wedding over the weekend (on August 24th to be precise*). The old priest inquired where the wedding ceremony had taken place and I innocently replied, at Hope Lutheran Church on the other side of town. Well, you would have thought I had slapped the priest across the face with both hands from the look on his face! Prior to Vatican II, Catholics were strictly forbidden from entering a Protestant church, upon pain of mortal sin and eternal damnation. The priest evidently was out of the loop and had not been made aware of the church’s new conciliatory, ecumenical approach, but he soon would be. Maybe a year later, I was sitting in church with my family at mass and one of the hymns on the program was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” written by heretic, Martin Luther. I remember my mother being completely flabbergasted when she heard this Protestant hymn in a Catholic church. My, how things had changed!

Fifty-years later, Rome continues to gather the “separated brethren” unto itself. Some “evangelical” pastors and para-church leaders have unfortunately heeded Rome’s call. Praise the Lord for all those who continue to uphold the Gospel of grace and who reach out to Roman Catholics with the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Rochester Catholics, Lutherans note unity with prayer service
http://www.catholiccourier.com/articles/rochester-catholics-lutherans-note-unity-with-prayer-service

Postscript: This ex-Catholic saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone has a “silly” rhetorical question: Prior to Vatican II, Rome had taught that it was a mortal sin for a Catholic to worship at a Protestant church. So what happened to all the Catholics who worshipped at a Protestant church and died and went to hell prior to Vatican II? Did they all receive a “Get out of hell free” card after Vatican II?

*The only reason I know the exact date of my cousin’s wedding is from a newspaper clipping via an internet search. Hope Lutheran Church belonged to the conservative evangelical Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) in 1968, and still does. The church continues to preach the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. I attended a funeral service for my aunt a couple of months ago, and the presiding minister was from Hope Lutheran Church and he gave a wonderful, Gospel message. Cousin Bev and her family still worship at the church, fifty years after her wedding there. Unfortunately, some in the LCMS leadership are now also reaching out to Rome.

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.

“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.