Unity, Tolerance and Doctrinal Truth

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					                 Unity, Tolerance and Doctrinal Truth
                                        By Mike Gendron

   The Vatican is urging all “separated brethren” to return home to Rome. Ecumenical unity
with all Christians is riding the wave of tolerance in many churches and denominations.
Clearly the Roman Catholic Church has been the driving force behind this push for unity. It
continues to build bridges to all Christian denominations, in the hopes of luring members
back to the “one true church.” The Catholic Church has long taught that there is no salva-
tion outside the Roman Catholic Church. Consider the following quotes of Catholic popes
throughout history…
      “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the
   salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”—Pope
   Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam 1302.
      “Those who are obstinate toward the Roman Pontiff cannot obtain eternal
   salvation”—Pope Pius IX, 1864.
     “...the only true union is by the return of separated Christians to the one true
   church of Christ. Otherwise none can be assured of eternal salvation”—Pope Pius XII,
   June 29, 1943.
   More recently, John Paul II said he intends: “to promote every suitable initiative to in-
crease the unity of all Christians until they reach full communion and to encourage the
efforts of all who work for the cause of unity.” We must “gather all people and all things into
Christ, so as to be for all—an inseparable sacrament of unity... expressed in the common
celebration of the Eucharist”—Et Unum Sint, 1995.
   Referring to the second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II said: “The council rightly
defined the division among Christians as a scandal.” The council Fathers felt the need to
beg pardon of God and other brethren for the sins committed against unity. He asked
Catholics “to cultivate an authentic spiritual ecumenism” through the Virgin Mary.

The Vatican’s Strategy for Christian Unity
   The Vatican’s strategy for bringing all of Christianity under the authoritative power of the
papacy has been observed by discerning eyes. They are seeking to….
• Redefine evangelical terms to make them more ambiguous and acceptable.
• Take advantage of the lack of discernment by covering doctrinal error with a veneer of
• Encourage tolerance and unity of diverse faiths by suppressing or minimizing doctrinal
• Promote the concept that Catholics. Orthodox and Protestants are all brothers in Christ.
• Urge “separated brethren” to come home to “Holy Mother, the Church” to enjoy the
  fullness of salvation.
• Build bridges and infiltrate all religious organizations under the guise of social and moral

Evangelicals & Catholics Together
  One of the significant bridges Rome built into the evangelical community in 1994 is
known as the Evangelicals and Catholics Together Accord. In a follow up document, known
as The Gift of Salvation or ECT II, we see Rome’s strategy to suppress doctrinal truth for
the sake of unity with this statement. “All who truly believe in Jesus Christ are brothers and
sisters in the Lord and must not allow their differences, however important, to undermine
this great truth, or to deflect them from bearing witness to God’s gift of salvation in Christ.”
   According to the document, these following differences are said to “require further and
urgent exploration:”
• baptismal regeneration
• the Eucharist
• sacramental grace
• justification
• purgatory
• Indulgences
• Marian devotion
• the assistance of the saints in salvation
• the possibility of salvation for those who have not been evangelized
   These differences should be significant for all Roman Catholics based on a decree from
the Council of Trent. “If anyone says that those baptized are free from all the precepts of
the holy church, whether written or unwritten, so that they are not bound to observe
them...let him be anathema” (Canon 8, 7th Session). Likewise these differences should be
significant for all Christians because they nullify or oppose the essential doctrines of the
Gospel. Let us see how each of these doctrines is defined according to Roman Catholic

Baptismal Regeneration
      “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte a new
   creature, and adopted son of God, who has become a partaker of the divine nature
   member of Christ and co-heir with Him and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of
   the Catholic Church, 1265).
      “Baptism is necessary for salvation” (CCC, 1257).

The Eucharist
      “If anyone says that the sacrifice of the mass...is not a propitiatory one or that it
   profits him only who receives and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead,
   for sins punishments satisfactions and other necessities let him be anathema” (Trent,
   Canon 3).

Sacramental Grace
     “If anyone says that the sacraments of the New law are not necessary for salvation
   but are superfluous...let him be anathema.” “If anyone says that grace, so far as
   God’s part is concerned, is not imparted through the sacraments...let him be
   anathema” (Trent, Canon 6 & 7).

      “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning nothing else is
   required...let him be anathema.” “If anyone says that the justice received is not

   preserved and also not increased before God through good works...let him be
   anathema” (Trent, Canon 9 and 24).

      Those imperfectly purified “undergo a purification after death.” Sins are expiated
   in Purgatory “through a cleansing fire” and we “must strive to accept this temporal
   punishment for sin as a grace” (CCC, 1030, 1031 & 1054).

Indulgences—the taking away of temporal punishment due for sin
      The Catholic Church “teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences—a
   usage most beneficial to Christians—should be kept in the Church, and it condemns
   with anathema those who say indulgences are useless or that the church does not
   have the power to grant them” (Vatican Council II, Sacred Liturgy, Chapter 4).

Marian Devotion
      Mary “did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession
   continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” She is “Mediatrix” and the cause
   of salvation for herself and the whole human race” (CCC, 969, 494).

The Assistance of Saints in Salvation
      A treasury called “the spiritual goods of the communion of saints” contains “the
   prayers and good works of all the saints...in this way they attained their own
   salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the
   Mystical Body” (CCC, 1476, 1477).

The Possibility of Salvation for Those Who Have Not Been Evangelized
       “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator in the
   first place amongst whom are the Muslims” (CCC, 841).
   The signers of ECT II stated these 9 differences “require further and urgent exploration.”
Why? Each one denies the sufficiency, efficacy or necessity of Jesus Christ and His fin-
ished work of redemption! Each one opposes, contradicts or nullifies the glorious gospel of
   Yet, Bill Bright, one of the signers of ECT II, in a letter to the founders of ExCatholics For
Christ, dated February 16, 1999 wrote: “I urge you to...withdraw your personal and orga-
nized opposition to something which, while it may not be letter perfect, the Holy Spirit has
so greatly used. One of us, either you or I, is opposing the Holy Spirit, a most serious
matter of the highest order... millions of people worldwide have already come to trust Christ
and thus have entered God’s eternal kingdom because of doors that ECT has opened.”
   Both ECT I & II promote the false premise that the RCC gospel provides salvation.
Clearly the Roman Catholic gospel is not the true gospel but another gospel which only
provides a false hope of salvation. Those who proclaim it are under the anathema of
Galatians 1:6-9 for adding the following requirements for salvation.
   • water baptism (CCC,1256)
   • the sacraments (CCC, 1129)
   • participation in meritorious masses (CCC, 1414, 1417)

    •   membership in the Catholic Church (CCC, 846)
    •   purgatory to achieve holiness (CCC, 1030)
    •   and good works (CCC, 2016)

Divided in Doctrine
  Evangelicals and Catholics are so divided by doctrine that they stand directly opposed to
one another. Following are just a few doctrines to consider…
• By definition an Evangelical is one who has repented and believed the Gospel, while a
  Roman Catholic is one who adheres to the official teachings and traditions of Roman
• An evangelical is regenerated by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  A Roman Catholic believes regeneration is by the baptism of water.
• An evangelical is saved by God’s unmerited grace.
  A Roman Catholic is saved by meriting the graces for Salvation.
• An evangelical is saved for good works.
  A Roman Catholic is saved by good works.
• An evangelical is justified once by faith.
  A Roman Catholic is justified repeatedly by sacraments and works.
• An evangelical is saved for all eternity.
  A Roman Catholic is saved until a mortal sin is committed.
• An evangelical believes salvation is offered to those outside the church (the body of
  A Roman Catholic believes salvation is offered through the church.
• An evangelical receives Jesus once, spiritually in the heart.
  A Roman Catholic receives Jesus frequently, physically in stomach.
• An evangelical is purified by the blood of Jesus.
  A Roman Catholic is purified by the fires of purgatory.
• An evangelical believes the Lord’s Supper is a memorial.
  A Roman Catholic believes the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice of Jesus.
• An evangelical believes Scripture has authority over the church.
  A Roman Catholic believes the church has authority over Scriptures.

     In conclusion we can see how Evangelicals & Catholics are divided on...
•   the essentials of the Gospel
•   how one is born again
•   how one is justified, whether righteousness is imputed or infused
•   how one is preserved in grace
•   how one is purified of sin
•   who mediates between God and man
•   what Christ’s atonement accomplished
•   who is part of God’s plan of salvation
•   the efficacy, sufficiency and necessity of Jesus

Same Story Different Verse
 When Rome attempted to re-unite Catholics and Protestants in Germany in 1541, Martin

Luther warned the believers. “Popish writers pretend that they have always taught, what we
now teach, concerning faith and good works, and that they are unjustly accused of the
contrary, thus the wolf puts on the sheep skin till he gains admission in the fold.”
    We must heed the warning of another great preacher concerning unity with the Roman
Catholic Church. “There is a deep and indelible sentence of damnation written upon the
apostate church...the curse is registered in heaven...its infamy is engraven in the rock for
ever...followers of Jesus, for their own sake as well as for their Lord’s, should oppose it with
all their might”—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, April 1868.
    In closing we must remember two things.
1) Never are we called to make unity but to “keep the unity of the Spirit.” (Eph. 4:13)
   2) Biblical unity is a work of the Holy Spirit not of man (1 Cor. 12:13)

                            KNOW DOCTRINE—KNOW DIVISION
                              NO DOCTRINE—NO DIVISION



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