Yesterday, Dave Miller of SBC Voices posted a video of former Mormon turned Catholic, Marco Rubio’s supposed testimony of faith, in which Miller presumes to be genuine. Miller had this to say regarding Rubio’s testimony,
…I believe I’d get excited to hear any presidential candidate give as cogent a testimony of his or her faith as he gave here. I could micro-critique a few things, I suppose, but this sounded like it could come from the local First Baptist Church pulpit.
Below is an exchange that took place in the comments section between Miller, and Pastor Tedd Mathis of Pueblo West Baptist Church, along with my commentary.
Tedd Mathis Says,
Mr. Miller: I’m curious as to what is the Gospel being taught at First Baptist Church if what Mr. Rubio said receives from you only some micro-critiques. Mr. Rubio makes explicitly clear he is doctrinally and theologically aligned with the Roman Catholicism. So if his testimony of faith could be heard from the pulpit of First Baptist Church does that mean FBC teaches the following?
That at baptism a person is infused with righteousness and thus begins a process of justification that, hopefully, will be finished in purgatory — a process that can be aided by others than Christ. That’s what Mr. Rubio has embraced.
That “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.” That’s where Mr. Rubio’s personal relationship via the RCC ends up.
That the mass is a true and real sacrifice offered to God and is nothing less than, in the bread, Christ is given to us to eat. And, that anyone who does not believe this let him be anathema. Is that what happens when First Baptist observes the Lord’s Supper?
That “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”
Mr. Rubio may make a good president, but having been baptized into Roman Catholicism and actively, willfully participating in it, his is a different Gospel (Galatians 1:6-10). His is a salvation by faith PLUS meritorious works. And if your First Baptist Church has no capacity or willingness to point that out why shouldn’t it be regarded as a synagogue of Satan?
To which Dave Miller responded,
I do not pastor “First Baptist.” I pastor Southern Hills Baptist in Sioux City, IA (southernhillsbc.com). You are welcome to bring your judgmental attitude to our website and check out a sermon. I try to make the gospel clear and do not think that anyone would conflate my teachings with Catholicism.
Okay, so notice the first thing Miller does is pull the “judgmental” card on someone who is genuinely concerned over the lost state of someone’s soul, and a supposedly solid, gospel preaching pastor’s endorsement of it.
Please understand, this is not a debate on the Roman Catholic church.
NOTHING you said is in the video, is it? (I suspect you would not be able to answer that, because I would wager my spleen that your judgments were leveled without taking the time to watch the video).
One of my observations is that Rubio’s comments sound like they came from a GENERIC “First Baptist Church” than from a Catholic parish. I’d encourage you to actually WATCH the video. It might surprise you that he gives a much more Protestant gospel than Catholic.
But see, what Dave Miller doesn’t understand is that the Roman Catholic church, through the ecumenical movement, has become very good at disguising their doctrines and beliefs. Often times the things they say and the words they use will sound evangelical in nature, however, the terms have been redefined to mean something else. One example is that they say they believe in the sacrificial death of Jesus for their atonement. But what most people don’t know is that the sacrificial death of Jesus that they are referring to is the Mass, in which a priest summons their Jesus out of Heaven to become transubstantiated into a wafer, which is believed to be the true embodiment of Christ, in which they then proceed to ingest.
If you want to debate Catholicism or bash it – take it somewhere else. I said this above: “I am one whose view of Catholicism is not as charitable as many. I think it is a false religion with a false gospel which has just enough truth that a few find real faith in it.” But it’s not germane here or something I’m interested in hosting at this point. Let’s discuss THIS video and what is said on it, not use it to debate the faults of modern Catholic doctrine.
If you want to discuss Marco Rubio’s comments, please watch them and discussion.
If you simply wish to pick a fight, no thank you.
If you want to bash Catholicism or make this a general debate on Catholicism – not interested.
If you’d like to discuss THIS VIDEO, please watch it and let me know what you think.
Of course, Miller isn’t interested in having the debate, because politics is more important than the lost state of Marco Rubio’s soul, and all those Roman Catholics who are seeing a Southern Baptist pastor promote him as a true believer. This sort of ecumenical drivel is running rampant throughout evangelicalism, but as Miller demonstrates, the tides are turning from doctrinal purity to social and political unity.
Pastor Tedd Mathis responds again,
Thanks for your response.
Yes, I did understand you do not pastor First Baptist Church; I too was using it generically. However, I could have been more clear in what I wrote and I apologize for that.
Regarding the wagering of your spleen as to whether or not I listened to the video….
At 3:20 Mr. Rubio states he is “fully theologically and doctrinally aligned with the Roman Catholic Church.’ That’s the testimony you say could be heard from “the local First Baptist Church pulpit.” All I did was reference the key doctrines of Roman Catholicism with which Mr. Rubio is fully aligned. At 4:00 Mr. Rubio says he is “very proud and fully understands” his Roman Catholic faith.
Again, I did actually understand you’re not the pastor of First Baptist Church. But by using it generically are you not implying most Baptist church pulpits endorse the kind of faith to which Mr. Rubio bears witness? Correct me if I’m wrong but I never once heard Mr. Rubio clearly state his faith is in the person and work of Christ alone and his good works are not meritorious. Yet he fully aligns himself with Roman Catholicism that teaches that very thing. Is that the kind of faith you say can be heard from your generic First Baptist Churches? If so, then I stand by my conclusion; whoever they are, it is another Gospel they preach.
Mathis is absolutely correct. Mr. Rubio did not give a sound presentation of the Gospel. What Dave Miller heard was what he wanted to hear–a Republican presidential candidate that sounds like a Christian. And Mr. Miller is willing to bypass the truth in order to promote his forgone conclusion that Rubio is a Christian.
However, Miller did reply once again, saying,
Did you not hear his[sic] explain the sacrificial system and how Christ became his sacrifice?
Again, I would ask, do you not know which Jesus the Roman Catholic Church worships? It’s not the Jesus of the Bible. It’s a Jesus who is worshiped in wafer form, whose sacrifice wasn’t finished at the cross, but is perpetual in every Mass, and isn’t sufficient for salvation but only opens the door for meritorious works to earn your salvation. A belief in a false Jesus is by default a denial of the true Jesus.
No, he did not hum Just As I Am or lead anyone in the Sinner’s Prayer (which I’m sure would have offended you as well) but he did present a solid explanation of atonement. I’m not having him come preach, but I was amazed at his explanation of the atonement – which fits far better into our gospel system than the Catholic one.
Again, Rubio said he “fully understands,” and is “doctrinally and theologically aligned with” the Roman Catholic Church. If you took only a moment to understand what this means, you would understand that Rubio’s explanation of atonement is way off. Roman Catholics don’t deny the atonement. What they deny is the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement (I prefer the word propitiation), therefore, rely on the sacramental system administered by the Church for salvation with completion in an unbiblical purgatory. Let me be clear; if you die, and wake up and find yourself in purgatory, I have bad news for you, you are in Hell.
No, he has not rejected Catholicism, and nothing short of that will, I assume, please you. I would prefer it as well. I would not ask him to speak at my church, but as a presidential candidate, I thought his testimony was pretty amazing.
A denial of Catholicism would be the only thing acceptable. Repentance is a requirement of salvation, and repentance involves a rejection of your sinful ways, including, but not limited to, the idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church.
When you require theological precision as a requisite to salvation, are not YOU adding works to salvation? No, Marco Rubio does not share your theological framework. No, he has not rejected Catholicism.
No, Dave, and that’s plain dumb. Theological precision is not a work, and Paul clearly teaches that theological precision is a requirement for salvation. Read Galatians (among others). God does not save people through a false Gospel, or a false Jesus.
But does his testimony not show a simple faith in the sacrifice of Christ? Can you not suspend your judgmentalism, your harshness and sense of theological superiority for a second, and realize that it is simple faith in Christ that saves, not a completely formulated theological system.
Miller once again displays his ignorance of Roman Catholicism here, and his neglect of Biblical truth. It must be the true Jesus that you have a simple faith in. Simple faith doesn’t mean you can be simple-mindedly ignorant of Gospel essentials. It means that you “simply” trust in the person and work of the true Jesus as your savior. Yes, theological precision is necessary. If it weren’t, there would be no need to teach, preach and evangelize the world.
Mathis then replies,
No, I didn’t miss what Mr. Rubio said about the atonement. But by his own admission, Mr. Rubio stated he has much interest in theology for many years. We’re not talking about a man who has religious ignorance; we’re talking about someone who, after sitting under the teaching of the written Word in an SBC church, now fully aligns himself theologically and doctrinally with Roman Catholicism.
And YOU said, that kind of faith could come from the pulpit of the local First Baptist Church. Would not the clear teaching of the Word help and assist believers to recognize the different Gospel of the RCC and that the Spirit of Truth would have them understand salvation really is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone?
Granted, a person new to the Bible and the faith may not fully understand or be able to verbalize that. But Lord help us if your generic Baptist church doesn’t preach and teach such that they grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
To which Miller concludes,
I love the fact that the SBC has seen a renaissance in theology in my lifetime. But this is the downside of that – this kind of judgmentalism, petty-ism, etc. When we look at a man’s simple confession of faith in Christ and nit-pick it because it doesn’t tick every box of our particular theological framework – we are in trouble.
I believe discernment is a great gift and one of the pastor’s greatest ministries in the church, but when it becomes THIS, it is a poison in the church.
The real poison in the church is the false doctrines, and the unwillingness of true believers to address it and combat it. It is true that the typical “generic first baptist” church really has no idea about the differences between Roman Catholicism and biblical Christianity, and neither does Dave Miller. To Dave’s credit, he does admit that Roman Catholicism is a false religion, but his lack of understanding of the severity of it’s falseness, and it’s deceitfulness is most telling. Most SBC churches do not see Roman Catholics as a mission field–in fact, they see them as partners. Would we endorse Islam, or Buddhism, or any other false religion? I agree with Tedd Mathis. Marco Rubio, based upon his testimony, is not a true believer, and should not be promoted or endorsed as such by any true believer in Christ.
You cannot be doctrinally and theologically aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, and be a Christian.