Question: I hesitate to ask this question because it will put further emphasis upon something I think TBC has given far too much attention. However, don’t you think you have expended more time and effort in dealing with the issue of Roman Catholicism than is warranted? Shouldn’t you “lay off” for a while?
Response: In deference to your concern, I’ll be brief and hopefully to the point. Some ministries devote themselves entirely to what are commonly known as cults (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity, Science of Mind, et al.) and some even expend themselves totally on just one of these cults. For example, a number of cult ministries are devoted entirely to the Mormons. There are about 10 million Mormons worldwide, perhaps 5 million JWs, and the major cults altogether would hardly comprise 50 million. But Roman Catholics number about 1 billion. How much attention should they command? Have we really given them too much attention? Sharing your complaint, however, many of our readers have asked us to stop sending them The Berean Call.
Surely you would admit that the Roman Catholic’s hope of heaven is just as unbiblical (though they refer to God, Christ, the Cross, etc.) as that of any Mormon, JW or other cult member who also professes a belief in God, Christ, the Cross, etc. We have documented that fact from their own official writings and practices. Why there should be such reluctance among evangelicals to acknowledging the deadly falseness of Catholicism is a mystery to me. Tragically, because of accepting them as “brothers and sisters in Christ,” hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics will not be given the opportunity to hear the true gospel and may therefore spend eternity in hell. Should the concern for their salvation not motivate us to desire to know why their beliefs are false and how we might be able to win them to Christ? Could we ever put too much time and emphasis into something so important to so many?
Let me pose a simple question. Suppose that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) officially adopted the following: Scapulars may be efficaciously worn by their members which promise, “Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire”; Christ’s suffering upon the cross was not sufficient, but each sinner must also suffer for his own sins in order to be purified to reach heaven; the Lord’s Supper, or communion, is not a memorial remembrance of a sacrifice never needing to be repeated, completed upon the Cross, but is itself a propitiatory sacrifice in which Christ, in the form of a wafer, is immolated continually for the sins of the living and dead on SBC altars; SBC pastors possess special power to transmute wafers into Christ, so that each one is simultaneously Christ whole and entire, body and blood, soul, spirit, personality and divinity, sacrificed for and ingested by the faithful as another step toward salvation; SBC clergy of priests and bishops alone can interpret the Bible and sins must be confessed to them; SBC Mass cards are sold to be placed on the altar when Mass is performed in order to reduce the time of suffering of the deceased in purgatory and open the gate of heaven; while still affirming that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose the third day, the SBC insists that faith in Christ is not enough but that no one can be saved apart from the sacraments of the SBC; anathemas are pronounced damning to hell all who refuse to accept these dogmas; etc., etc.
Can you imagine the hue and cry that would be raised by evangelicals everywhere? Would they not denounce these new SBC dogmas as unbiblical and as constituting a false gospel that will send its members to hell instead of to heaven?
Yet the Roman Catholic Church, which practices all of these and even more abominations inimical to the Bible and the gospel, is embraced as “evangelical” and its members as “brothers and sisters in Christ” who are not to be evangelized! Perhaps this tragic situation deserves even more attention than we and the evangelical church have given it.