The Pen

Ironically Named Lincoln “Berean” Church Hosting Roman Catholic, Matt Maher

Matt Maher

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11)

This short passage about Paul’s interactions with the Bereans has been used for thousands of years as emblematic of commendable discernment. Having come from Thessalonica after their rejection of the Gospel, Paul spent a short time in the mountain hamlet of Berea, where he found them to be noble on account of their careful discernment in considering his words and comparing it to the Holy Scripture. Soon, the Jewish mob from Paul’s past came to Berea and stirred them up as well, but this hasn’t stopped millennia of Christians from admiring the Bereans for their careful study of Scripture.

The Lincoln “Berean” Church is in Lincoln, Nebraska. The ‘about’ section of the Berean Church website says…

Salvation cannot be earned through moral or religious works or rituals.

Although the church’s doctrinal statement is Protestant and evangelical, it’s pastor, Bryan Clark, has invited a Roman Catholic who holds to opposite convictions on Justification to lead the church in worship on March 23 of this year. Entitled, “The Echoes of Worship,” Maher’s website thus advertises his visit to this Protestant church.

In our post, Matt Maher is Not Saved, Stop Singing His Music in Church! we explained the problem.

It doesn’t matter if Matt Maher says he’s a Christian or makes a “Christian-sounding” profession of faith. He is still a Roman Catholic, who practices idolatry, and is not repentant of it. It doesn’t matter if some of his music sounds okay. It doesn’t matter if he says he believes in Jesus. If he is unrepentant of his sin, he has not been regenerated.

But let’s go out on a limb here, and say that perhaps he is saved, and just hasn’t come to realize yet through sanctification that he’s caught up in a false religion. Sanctification is both immediate and progressive, therefore, it is possible for a Roman Catholic to be saved, and still (temporarily) be in the Roman Catholic Church. It still doesn’t matter. He’s still practicing sin, should be called to repentance, and by no means should he, or his worship music be played in a Bible-believing church. We wouldn’t do that for other unrepentant sinners. Why do we make exceptions for Roman Catholics?

We wouldn’t do that for other unrepentant sinners. Why do we make exceptions for Roman Catholics?

Oddly enough, there’s not a section on Lincoln Berean Church’s website that explains what a Berean is. The church members attending on March 23 need to stop and think about what a Berean is and why the church was given the name to begin with. The truth is, Bereans would not be asking a sola denying lost person to come lead them in worship.