The fact is, in spite of the flurry of Reformation memes on this the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the majority of Roman Catholics have never heard a Protestant tell them they’re not a Christian. The majority of Protestants do not know our conviction that the Pope is – at the very least – a type and shadow of the Antichrist. In fact, 500 years after Luther penned his 95 Theses, the majority of Protestants echo Vatican II in calling Catholics merely “separated brethren” and not lost idolaters. If justification is really the hinge upon which the door of religion swings, it has been rusted over in lack of repair by the great majority of the world’s Protestants.
While Protestants assume that this is an old, dusty remnant of a long-over battle, Rome is quickly assimilating supposed Protestants back into the fold of her menstrual-stained whore skirt. The Joint Declaration on Justification and A Declaration on the Way forged unity between the world’s liberal Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals and Catholics Together forged an ecumenical bond between Protestant evangelicals – many of them not classically “liberal” – and the Romish church. The Charismatic Catholic Renewal has brought charismatic evangelicals back into her fold since the late 1960s, and is best seen in the embrace of the Papacy by the New Apostolic Reformation. And if you think it’s only the fringe who have betrayed their Savior on the issue of justification, think again.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has claimed that there will be “millions” of saved Roman Catholics in Heaven. Wayne Grudem has called practicing Roman Catholics “saved.” Tim Keller embraces Roman Catholics and refers to Protestantism as only a kind of Christianity. Russell Moore says he’s unsure the difference between the Pope’s commitment to the Gospel and his own.
How far we have come from the long history of Protestantism rejecting the Papacy as being anti-Christ! The 1689 London Baptist Confession says, “The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” This is the universal testimony of historic Protestantism, which rejects Catholicism as being born of Satan and paving the path to hell with certificates of indulgence. How many Protestants today affirm this truth?
The softening of Protestantism is not due to the doctrine of the Papacy changing. Vatican II, which calls Protestants “separated brethren,” does not undo the anathemas of Trent. An infallible church cannot repent. The Romanists still pass out indulgences for deeds that deepen their pocketbooks. The Romanists still anathematize Protestants, and still have not yielded on Sola Fide. The Pope still takes upon himself the title of God the Father (Holy Father), God the Son (the Head of the Church) and God the Spirit (the Vicar of Christ). Every Roman Catholic church is still a blasphemous stench in the nostrils of God, they are still the enemy of the cross, and they are still the halo of Satan.
Protestantism has been largely reduced to hipster Lutheran memes on the Facebook walls of its adherents. Anyone who actively evangelizes Papists knows that in each encounter, the Papist is likely to have never been personally called to repent of idolatry or damning meritorious self-righteousness. The typical Roman Catholic has lived their entire lives never knowing that Protestantism doesn’t regard them as a genuine believer in Jesus. While they are vaguely aware of theological differences and past historic battles, few are aware that Protestants are still supposed to be protesting. We have become yellow-bellied, soft-handed, lily-livered debutants eager to share in the respectability of ecumenical agreement. As secular powers grow greater and professing Christendom grows daily smaller, all segments claiming Christ are naturally prone to coalesce and see differences as smaller than what they truly are.
Let me be very clear: There is nothing more important than the doctrine of justification. We are not made one more ounce acceptable to God by our merit, behavior, or works. Any notion that justification is by a combination of our good deeds and God’s grace through faith must be seen as a grievous evil. The Roman Catholic church is no more a friend to God than radical Islam, militant secularism or the abortion industry. God detests the Roman Catholic church, and he will destroy it with the same iron rod with which he’ll destroy Planned Parenthood. It is not in the neighborhood of Christianity; it is the enemy of Christianity. Combined with the false doctrines of idolatry, the notions of transubstantiation, an earthly priesthood, and papal infallibility, Roman Catholicism is replete with nearly every false doctrine under the sun. The pedophilia scandals that have plagued the Roman Catholic church in recent years are just a small sign of moral corruption under the surface of this demonic faith. It is wholly corrupt, spiritually dead, and unceasingly wicked. In Jesus’ name, may it be forever damned, even while we seek to save those who are a part of it.
We cannot but help hating the Roman Catholic church for the same reason we cannot help but hate Satan if we love God. Because we love the salvation that is only by faith, we must aggressively resist the religion that leaves room for human merit. We must continue protesting.