According to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website, the New Evangelization of Catholics:
calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on ‘re-proposing’ the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel “to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization.”1 The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.
This is an effort initiated by the Roman Pontiff to draw people back into the Roman Catholic system of works righteousness. The crux is that those Catholics who have left the church should be “re-evangelized” and brought back in.
Historically, Evangelicals and Protestants have stood on the unassailable truth that not only does the Roman Catholic Church hold to a false gospel, but that the papacy is the seat of the antichrist. According to the official councils of the Roman church, any who hold to the doctrines of Grace Alone through Faith Alone are considered anathema, and not part of the kingdom of God.
The Council of Trent (aka the 19th Ecumenical Council) was held from 1545 through 1563 and is even today held to be one of the most important councils in the history of the Roman Catholic church. The reason the council is so important is because it very clearly defines how salvation can be found within their doctrinal belief system, and it is – to this day – the authoritative teaching of the Roman Catholic church. One of a number of definitive statements anathematizing us (that is, Protestants), include the following…
- Canon 12. “If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.”
- Canon 24. “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.”
- Canon 30. “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.”
- Canon 32. “If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life, …and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.”
Though nothing has changed in the doctrines and teachings of the Roman system, sadly, over half of Evangelical and Protestant pastors today refer to the pope as “brother in Christ.” The pope, a man who believes we are saved by good works, who officially practices idolatry on a daily basis, officially denies the Scriptures as finally authoritative, and officially anathematizes any who stand on the foundational beliefs of the Protestant reformation, is now considered “brother in Christ” by over half of those he damns.
Of course, it’s one thing to simply refer to Catholics as “brothers” and “sisters,” but as Evangelicals, to actively engage in the promotion of Roman Catholic ideology and persuasion is a completely different affront to the gospel. Bill Johnson, the New Apostolic Reformation “Apostle” out of Bethel Redding, has joined up with Catholic priests to promote the New Evangelization of Catholics. The following image, found on Major Change’s Facebook page, tells the story.
The visible church as we know it has become so apostate that it’s unrecognizable. Not that Bill Johnson’s church has ever been a doctrinally sound church, to begin with, but historically, there has been a clear divide between different belief systems of professing Christianity. Today, it’s difficult to walk into any church and know what they stand for. There are no boundaries, and as long as you say “Lord, Lord,” you are considered a part of the church.
But Jesus himself had a different view, as he says in Matthew 7:21 (ESV),
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
It’s easy for the undiscerning to get caught up in the ecumenism of today’s false church. Everyone wants to be united because disunity is uncomfortable. But the Scriptures clearly teach that it’s the absence of clear doctrine and truth that causes division in the body. Romans 16:17 (ESV) says,
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
You see, it’s those who practice and promote false doctrines that cause divisions and create disunity. We can never be united around a false gospel. We must stand on biblical truth, and refute the error espoused by these false Apostles and godless teachers who deny the power of God (2 Tim 3:5). Bill Johnson and the Pope typify this movement.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]
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