It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1, NASB)

The Oddity Of Protestants No Longer Protesting

Apprising Ministries has documented for you the fact that there have been no changes in the dogmas of apostate Roman Catholicism concerning soteriology since the Roman Catholic Church Condemned The Gospel at their Council of Trent in the 16th century, which you can see for yourself—from official Roman Catholic sources—in Has The Roman Catholic Church Really Changed? 

I also just pointed out in The Roman Catholic Church Preaches A Different Gospel that, even despite doctrine in the Church of Rome remaining the same, more and more in mainstream evangelicalism have been running to embrace The Roman Catholic Church as just another Christian denomination. I talked about this before in SBC Protestant Pastor Rick Warren Double-Minded On The Reformatiom And Roman Catholicism; however, here we take for example that Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren has said:

“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,….” (Online source, emphasis mine)

The Church, in all its expressions—Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

I happen to be an SBC minister myself, as well as a former Roman Catholic that God mercifully delievered from the religious bondage of the Church of Rome into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, by His grace alone, through faith alone, in the finished work on the Cross of Christ alone. Since the majority of my pateral family—on both sides—remains enslaved to Rome, this kind of lunacy in the Lord’s Name where Rick Warren, arguably the most famous pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention—itself the largest allegedly Protestant denomination in America— is taking it upon himself to reverse the Reformation hits close to home for me.

But as ridiculous as the issue of non-protesting “Protestants” in the SBC is, we can really see the attack on the biblical doctrine of the Reformation to the extreme with the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, which is a cult of postliberalism—now morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC), within mainstream evangelicalism. We need only to look as far as the following from the Emerging Church Group TransFORM, which is a social network created by “Kingdom Journalist” Steve Knight of Emergent Village (EV). If you don’t know, EV is also a very key group within the EC, and Andrew Jones aka Tall Skinny Kiwi has been with the EC from the very beginning:

RT @tallskinnykiwi: What do Catholics have to do with the emerging church? A lot, actually. http://bit.ly/5QyCZT (Online source)

And then yesterday TransFORM Retweets the below:

RT @Cathlimergent Cathlimergent Network http://cathlimergent.ning.com/ welcomes ALL denominations & noninstitutionals (it’s a conversation) (Online source)

That link takes you to the website of something called Cathlimergent Conversations: Catholics in the Emerging Church Conversation:

Radically “rooting” orthodoxy in Jesus, orthopathy in contemplation, orthopraxy in social justice & orthocommunio in authentic community (Online source)

And there we also find as members such Emerging/ent/ence Church royalty as leading EC guru Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, “theologian in residence” at the EC church of his equally heretical quasi-universalist pastor Doug Pagitt, and Phyllis Tickle, the Empress of Emergence. In fact at his blog McLaren writes:

Thanks to John Sobert Sylvest for his great work in getting this new website started. (Online source)

Since it isn’t the focus of this article, let just say the above is yet another attempt at reversing the Reformation—and most particularly Sola Scriptura— in favor of a rebirth of highly subjective corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism and its reimagined spiritually bankrupt social gospel. However, this now brings us rather neatly full circle to the main point of this piece: The Reformation itself centered around the doctrine of justification i.e. the heart of the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself. So first, we note that in his book Reasoning from the Scriptures well respected evangelical Christian apologist Dr. Ron Rhodes tells us what’s really at stake concerning the Roman Catholic Church when he says:

According to the current ecumenical spirit of the times, it might not be “politically correct” to say that many [Roman] Catholics are lost and are in need of evangelization. I am aware of the controversial “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” document, signed by both evangelicals and Catholics. This document declares evangelical-Catholic unity, and its signers promise to refrain from evangelizing one another’s flocks, labeling this activity “sheep stealing”…

In this document we read; “Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ”… Certainly I concede that Catholics and evangelicals can work together for the betterment of society, actively cuntering secularism, moral relativism, societal decay, and the like. But I also believe there must be a line drawn when it comes to biblical doctrine. (17, 18)

And then Dr. David Wells brings out another very important point in his book The Courage to Be Protestant when he reminds us:

At the time of the Reformation, this case [of the distinction between the church visible and the church invisible] was made against the Roman Catholics, who insisted that the only way one could belong to Christ was by belonging to the [Roman] Catholic Church, submitting to its teaching, and receiving the grace available through its sacraments. To be in the church was to be in Christ…

The Reformers countered that we come to be in Christ by faith. We are joined to Christ by faith alone, faith in his finished work on the cross whereby he took our sin, bore God’s judgment in our place, and now clothes [regenerated believers] in his righteousness. From first to last, God’s acceptance of us is by his grace, and so, too, is our capacity to believe in what Christ has done for us. (219, emphasis his)

The Roman Catholic Church Did Not, And Cannot, Change Her Teachings On Justification

The issue of whether or not to consider the Reformation over and to now accept the Roman Catholic Church, which Dr. John MacArthur correctly called “a front for the kingdom of Satan,” as a Christian Church is really rather simple. The Church of Rome herself considers her popes and teaching magisterium, and as such her dogma of Roman Catholicism, to be infallible. And it is because of this very fact that the Roman Catholic Church can never change her basic theology, e.g. as it relates to the Gospel and salvation.

So you should now be able to see that what an individual Roman Catholic, be it layman or theologian, thinks is absolutely irrelevant to the above. The issue still remains: What does the Roman Catholic Church herself say about the doctrine of justification, which as I said, was at the very heart of the Protestant Reformation. Many people today think that somehow Vatican II changed everything; but those who do their homework, will quickly find that the Church of Rome teaches the exact same wrong view of justification today as she elucidated at her aforementioned Council of Trent. In fact, you can read it for yourself in Council of Trent: Canons on Justification.

With all of this in mind then, for your edification I now provide you with the links to a four part series on the essential doctrine of justification from the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute; because the bottom line is this: If a man seeks to be forgiven by God in a way other than that which God has specified then he will not be forgiven. In Part One Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon begin with the basics:

When we consider the differences that exist between the Catholic and Protestant view of justification by faith, there are six key terms that represent what the Protestant Reformers were teaching. Across from these we will place six terms that represent Roman Catholicism’s understanding of justification… [Roman] Catholicism teaches that justification occurs by faith and works… (Online source)

Next in Part Two we find:

Roman Catholics maintain that “the Catholic Church teaches the true biblical doctrine of justification.” 1 However, we think it is impossible to argue this point successfully because Rome not only rejects the biblical teaching on justification, it adds various forms of works salvation…

No one denies that Rome officially rejects salvation solely by works; it condemned Pelagianism (salvation by works) at the Synod of Carthage in 418 and semi-Pelagianism at the Council of Orange in 529—and Trent upheld these condemnations.

But that is not the issue. The problem is two-fold. First, Rome may have officially condemned salvation by works alone, but it has also officially endorsed salvation by grace and works… (Online source, emphasis theirs)

Then in Part Three Ankerberg and Weldon point out why today’s non-protesting Protestants, rushing to embrace the apostate Roman Catholic Church are so misguided:

Many Catholics and Protestants today would have us believe that there are really only relatively minor differences between the doctrine of justification as taught by the Reformers and that taught by the Council of Trent and modern Roman Catholics…

But the Catholic and Protestant views on justification can never be reconciled until one group gives up its own beliefs and adopts the other view… (Online source)

And finally, in Part Four Ankerberg and Weldon are dead-on-target when they inform us:

The information we have seen so far leads us to the conclusion that the Council of Trent establishes one of the most subtle forms of justification by works ever devised. This subtlety may explain why some Catholics actively encourage Protestants to read the decrees of Trent—to “prove” that Catholicism does not teach a form of salvation by works.

But if Catholics think that Trent teaches what the Reformation taught on justification, they aren’t reading very carefully. We do indeed think that every Protestant should read these decrees carefully and then determine whether or not the gospel of grace has been rejected.

In fact, because Roman Catholic teaching denies that justification is the past and completed declaration of God the Judge by which He pronounces a sinner righteous, it thoroughly undermines a believer’s certainty of salvation… (Online source)

See also: