I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

The Roman Catholic Church Preaches A Different Gospel, No Gospel At All

Men and women please believe me; I am not trying to be an alarmist as it is my firm conviction in Christ that I have only saying what needs to be said. And truthfully, I am even doing so reluctantly. As Apprising Ministries covers the slide into apostasy within mainstream evangelcialism we can observe Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren, a most prominent “Protestant” Southern Baptist minister, Double-Minded On The Reformation And Roman Catholicism. Or take the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, now morphing into Emergence Christianity, which we’ve been showing lately has now even penetrated into mainstream evangelicalism.

In his recent book Finding Our Way Again Emergence Guru Brian McLaren makes the following ridiculous statements and nary an eyebrow is raised: 

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have more in common than many people realize because they all share a primal narrative, and they all flow from a common sacred fountainhead: a single figure, at once famous and mysterious, a Middle Eastern man named Abraham of Ur.

We can date Abraham’s birth to about 2000 BC, in modern-day Iraq, near present-day Nasarif. Like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad—and like us—Abraham was was raised in a pluralistic, polytheistic world. During his lifetime, he lived side by side with others who honored many different gods and praticed many different religions.

And during his lifetime, Abraham—like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammadhad an encounter with God that distinguished him from his contemporaries and propelled him into a mission, introducing a new way of life that changed the world… How appropriate that the three Abrahamic religions begin with a journey into the unknown.
 (22, 23, emphasis mine) 

No doubt the bats are very much alive in the belfry. Muhammad may indeed have had a visit from the spirit world, but as we compare his god with the one true and living God of the Bible below, we know with certainty it was not a spirit from the LORD God Almighty; the only God there is. So as bad as it is dealing this postliberal cult of the inclusive Emergent Church with their rethinking [read: reinterpreting] the Christian faith what really needs to re-discovered today is the proper view of how the evangelical Protestant must approach this critical subject of apostate Roman Catholicism, which as you’ll see, holds the same dead wrong view as Maharisi McLaren.

One of the ways to recapture proper theology concerning the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ is to look more closely at the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the churches in the southern part of the Roman province of Galatia. We know it of course as the Book of Galatians. Those of you who use the NIV Study Bible actually have the benefit of a very good introduction to this Epistle, by a man who’s worked on numerous translations of the Bible, Dr. Robert Mounce, who tells us:

Galatians stands as an eloquent and vigorous apologetic for the NT essential truth that man is justified by faith in Jesus Christ – by nothing less and nothing more – and that he is sanctified not by legalistic works but by the obedience that comes from faith in God’s work for him, in him and through him by the grace and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit (1985 ed., 1779)

Let’s stop right here for a minute. What Dr. Mounce, a noted evangelical biblical scholar, has just elucidated is actually the heart of the matter before us in the purity of God’s Gospel. In other words, how is a man saved from his debt of sin before a Holy and Righteous God? And clearly a debt requires a payment of some kind, does it not? For the wages of sin – [which is the debt] – is death (Romans 6:23). However, you may recall, that Christ Jesus already paid that wage–that debt–with His own death.

That’s why Dr. Mounce can say – “Galatians stands as an eloquent and vigorous apologetic for the essential NT truth that man is justified by faith in Jesus Christ – by nothing less and nothing more.” It is truly such a shame, and a travesty of God’s justice, that this has been allowed to slowly erode over the nearly 500 years since an Augustinian Monk named Martin Luther nailed those 95 Theses Of Religion upon the door of Castle Church Chapel at Wittenberg. Theses, which essentially said – “We protest” – and would become the very document that would end up igniting the whole Protestant Reformation.

In this ecumenical time, where Satan is busy continuing to lay his foundation for the coming One World Global religion, it’s vital that we come to fully understand what is at stake here. For we need to get this absolute Truth from our head down into our very hearts, and all the more as what professes to be Christianity is falling further away from the Lord in this growing apostasy. Dr. Mounce is firmly reminding us of this matter of grave importance that we are going to have to defend in increasing measure when he says – “that man is justified by faith in Jesus Christ – by nothing less and nothing more.” And we state the only Gospel which has any saving power more concisely by saying that a man is solely justified by the grace of God alone–through faith alone–in Christ alone.

A Christian Proclaims The True Gospel

As you can see, one need not be a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in navel contemplating to understand the Gospel, nor does he need the a-logic double-speak from the fools in the Emergent Church to figure this all out. At least Pope Benedict Arnold, it’s not difficult to understand the true Gospel of God if you are meek and humble enough to take off your funny hat, divest yourself of your priestly robes and truly follow the Christ you say that you are the Vicar of. After all Jesus of Nazareth did say – Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). And remember the Master also said – Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

What I have been endeavoring to do here lately at AM is to get us to look at whether or not anything has really changed regarding the importance of our proclaiming the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve used this passage in Galatians 1 beginning with verse 6 as our text, and it’ll be helpful to read through this one more time, as we see here how Paul reacted to those who added to, and thereby specifically changed–even slightly–the Gospel that he preached.

For example, let’s consider this “adding” to the Gospel from Nostra Aetate “the Declaration on the Relation of the [Roman Catholic] Church to Non-Christian Religions, which was Proclaimed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI – October 28, 1965”

3. The [Roman Catholic] Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.

Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham’s sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the [Roman Catholic] Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people’s exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the [Roman Catholic] Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself.(8) (Online source).

Now we must ask, does this even remotely sound like the true Gospel? Or is it in reality a capitulation in order to be careful not to upset anyone? Is this man-pleasing and timorous tripe issued from a so-called Vicar of Christ a bold stand like the Master’s; one willing to be found among those which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (see–Matthew 5:10), or is it actually trying to live in “peace” with another religon at the expense of the Truth? Men and women, we need to help people see that words like these could never have been uttered by a true Vicar of Christ.

Meet The god Of Islam

Let me give you a little background concerning the world religion of Islam that the Roman Catholic Church esteems and further claims that they – adore the one God. The founder of the Islamic religion, Muhammad, was born around 570 AD in Mecca. Islam means “submission” to God, while Muslim, taken from the verbal root of the same Arabic word, designates “those who submit.” According to the Islamic version of his history, sometime after his 25th birthday while Muhammad was “praying and meditating” on Mt. Hira he heard a voice tell him to “proclaim.” Later the voice told him “Thou art the messenger of God, and I am Gabriel.”

Ira G. Zepp, Jr. tells us in his book Islam, “…over a period of twenty-three years, up until his death in 632, Allah [God], through the angel Gabriel, communicated the words of the Quran to Muhammad.” The Encyclopedia Britannica says: “The will of Allah, to which man must submit, is made known through the sacred scriptures, the Qu’ran (Koran), which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammad. In Islam Muhammad is considered the last of a series of prophets (including Adam, Noah, Jesus and others), and his message simultaneously consummates and abrogates the ‘revelations’ attributed to earlier prophets.”

The Quran, is the highest source of authority for the Muslim and is considered to be the pure word of God, with no human thoughts or errors within it. On The True Religion, an Internet website devoted to Islam, Dr. Gary Miller, a former Christian missionary with a Masters Degree in Theology who converted to Islam, states the Muslim position on the Bible. In his article A Concise Reply To Christianity – A Muslim View, Miller writes: “…the Quran states that Christians have access to the truth in their scriptures. But it does not catalogue the sixty-six small books called the Bible and label them as accurate. In fact it condemns those who would claim divine inspiration for something composed by a man…part of the Bible…falls into this category…the Muslim considers that the Bible contains the words of God, and more words besides these.”

While Islam does teach the existence of just one God (Quran 5:73; 112:1-4), Allah is so transcendent, incomprehensible and unapproachable, that it could not possibly be the true God of biblical revelation, Who shows Himself to befriend men (Exodus 33:11), to be merciful to them because He loves them (Romans 5:5-8), and, in the doctrine of the Trinity, He reveals Himself as God the Father, God the Son–Who is Jesus the Christ, and God the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Peter 1:17; John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14). In fact, the Quran admits that Allah is not the God of the Bible in 5:73-75 where it states, They do blaspheme who say: God is one in three in a Trinity: for there is no god except one.

And finally, the Quran portrays a different Jesus from the one we meet in the Bible. It says Jesus was not crucified (4:157), is not deity (5:17, 75), nor is He God the Son (9:30). The Quran does call Jesus a great prophet but, as Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry points out, Islam teaches that “Muhammad is Allah’s greatest and last prophet and his message supercedes all other past prophets including Jesus.” This stands in stark contrast to what Jesus of Nazareth taught, and to what the historical accounts of His life in the New Testament clearly tell us. (adapted from Keeping You Apprised of: Islam)

I must ask again, does this sound like a religion that adores “the one God?” While we should never be hostile to individual Muslims the true katholikos Church of Christ must vigorously oppose the blasphemous religion of Islam – who in factdenies the one God! Let me emphatically state it again, the rubbish we read from Vatican II – “the Declaration on the Relation of the [Roman Catholic] Church to Non-Christian Religions – which was Proclaimed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI” – could never have been uttered by a true Vicar of Christ.

No One, Not Even A Pope, Can Add To The Gospel

And if one should need further proof you need only return to the Book of Galatians, chapter 1. Before we run through this passage of Scripture quickly one last time, let me share this from F. Roy Coad in the New International Bible Commentary.

Something of the teaching which was brought by the Judaizing teachers to Galatia can be learned from later references in the letter. It accepted the Messiahship of Jesus, but added another requirement to that of faith in Christ: acceptance of the Jewish obedience, particularly as symbolized in circumcision and the keeping of the ethical and ceremonial law (Ac. 15:1; Gal. 3:2, 10; 4:10, 21; 5:2; 6:12, 13) (pp.1417,1418).

Galatians 1:6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. And I have conclusively shown in numerous articles concerning its apostate Roman Catholicism the Church of Rome does indeed teach a gospel of works/self-righteousness. Following is Can.  842 §1, §2 from the Code Of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church:

A person who has not received baptism cannot be admitted validly to the other sacraments. The sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and the Most Holy Eucharist are interrelated in such a way that they are required for full Christian initiation.” (Online source, mine)

Now, here is what Luther himself had to say about verse 6 of Galatians 1:

Note the resourcefulness of the devil. Heretics do not advertise their errors. Murderers, adulterers, thieves disguise themselves. So the devil masquerades all his devices and activities. He puts on white to make himself look like an angel of light. He is astoundingly clever to sell his patent poison for the Gospel of Christ. Knowing Satan’s guile, Paul sardonically calls the doctrine of the false apostles “another gospel,” as if he would say, “You Galatians have now another gospel, while my Gospel is no longer esteemed by you” (Online source).

And we know that what was being taught in Galatia by these Judaizers was not really another gospel in that it had any real power. Look at verse 7 again here in Galatians – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than we – [the Apostles] – preached, let him be eternally condemned. In the original Greek–this is that word anathema–that the Council of Trent was so fond of tossing around, and essentially means “accursed from God.”

The great Church Reformer Dr. John Calvin points out here:

As [Paul] proceeds in defending the authority of his doctrine, his confidence swells. First of all, he declares that the doctrine which he had preached is the only gospel, and that the attempt to set it aside is highly criminal. But then he was aware, the false apostles might object: “We will not yield to you in our desire to maintain the gospel, or in those feelings of respect for it which we are accustomed to cherish.” Just as, at the present day, the Papists describe in the strongest terms the sacredness with which they regard the gospel, and kiss the very name with the deepest reverence, and yet, when brought to the trial, are found to persecute fiercely the pure and simple doctrine of the gospel. Accordingly, Paul does not rest satisfied with this general declaration, but proceeds to define what the gospel is, and what it contains, and declares boldly that his doctrine is the true gospel; so as to resist all further inquiry.

Of what avail was it to profess respect for the gospel, and not to know what it meant? With Papists, who hold themselves bound to render implicit faith, that might be perfectly sufficient; but with Christians, where there is no knowledge, there is no faith. That the Galatians, who were otherwise disposed to obey the gospel, might not wander hither and thither, and “find no rest for the sole of their foot,” (Genesis 8:9,) Paul enjoins them to stand steadfastly by his doctrine. He demands such unhesitating belief of his preaching, that he pronounces a curse on all who dared to contradict it. (Online source)

And then, in verse 9, Paul will repeat his anathema for anyone who has the temerity to alter the Gospel Christ Jesus gave to him. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. As I have already shared with you the proclamation of the pure Gospel of our Lord is so important and so critical that the Apostle Paul felt constrained to repeat his stern rebuke. Let us never forget that God the Holy Spirit takes His Gospel of Jesus Christ so seriously that He saw to it that this warning was preserved in Holy Scripture.

However, somehow today all of this has been simply reduced to “significant differences.” And that is what is so disconcerting. But this is what the Church of Jesus Christ, the Evangelical Protestant church must come to grips with. How could we reduce this Gospel that man is saved by God’s grace alone–through faith alone–in Christ alone–simply to “significant differences”? If the Apostle Paul was willing to eternally condemn anyone who preached something different, and if the Reformers were willing to die for their proclamation of this same Gospel, then what in the world has happened to us today?

Does The Church Really Not Love Mankind Enough To Tell The Truth?

The truth is summed up in one word–compromise. We have decided that God “understands” that we don’t want to offend anyone. After-all, if we upset someone, why they might not believe the Gospel. That’s of course if we even get around to preaching it to them. In actuality though what we are really saying is: “I’m afraid to make someone angry with me,” which all of us understand as no one likes to have people angry with them. However, sometimes this is exactly what they need to stimulate their thought process. As in – “that person made me so angry I’m going too prove them wrong!” And, I’ll have you know, not a few people have come into the Kingdom of God via that route.

Let me bring this all together. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simply not negotiable! Our Lord did what He did, and said what He said, and He does not change, no matter what culture we find ourselves in. This is the absolute Truth, and we just do not have the luxury of “adapting” the Gospel message to any group of people we must speak to. And while we never want to be offensive in how we are presenting this one way in which men can be saved, the fact remains that we are admonished in Scripture – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18). The unregenerate in the Emergent Church would do well to have a “conversation” about this for a change.

In the end, our job is to tell people the truth, and then to leave the reaction to our presentation of the Gospel–and the results–to the Person of God the Holy Spirit. When you really think about it, this is really not such a bad thing; after all, it is God’s Gospel, Christ did the work and the Holy Spirit is to convict and empower. Men and women, remember we are but our Lord’s messengers. However, those that preach any other gospel than the one that was preached by Paul and the other Apostles–even if it might be remarkably similar–are not really preaching any gospel at all. So by now you should be able to see, this dangerous ecumenical flirtation with the spiritual Harlot of Rome is a whole lot more than “significant differences.”

For when all is said and done; it’s either justification–by God’s grace alone–through faith alone–in Christ alone, or it is no gospel at all. While “close” may count in horseshoes, it sure has no place in spiritual matters where the Gospel is all–or nothing at all. And this must never be compromised in any way, or for any one, no matter how noble and religious that person may appear. And for those of us who are Christ’s ambassadors to tell the world anything else is to hold out a false hope; an empty hope; which is really no hope at all.

Let me close now with these words from the late Dr. Carl F.H. Henry:

God who stands and stoops and speaks is God who stays: He it is who preserves and governs and consummates his cosmic purpose. But the awesome wonder of the biblical revelation is not his creation and preservation of our vastly immense and complex universe. Its wonder, rather, is that he came as God-man to planet Earth in the form of the Babe of Bethlehem; he thus reminds us that no point in the universe is too remote for his presence and no speck too small for his care and love.

He came as God-man to announce to a rebellious race the offer of a costly mercy grounded in the death and resurrection of his only Son and to assure his people that he who stays will remain with them forever and they with him. He is come in Christ incarnate to exhibit ideal human nature and will return in Christ glorified to fully implement the Omega-realities of the dawning future (from his book God, Revelation, and Authority, last paragraph).

And if you think that God the Father is going to take lightly the Gospel of His only Son–Jesus Christ Who was brutally crucified as atonement for our sins, friend you had better rethink again. For God the Holy Spirit tells us in the Bible that He wrote:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:5-9).

He who has an ear, let him hear…for the time grows ever near…

See also: