By Brannon S. Howse
As the world’s religions converge, promoters of the ECT document acknowledge that this is their goal:
[quote] In the exercise of these public responsibilities there has been in recent years a growing convergence and cooperation between Evangelicals and Catholics. We thank God for the discovery of one another in contending for a common cause. Much more important, we thank God for the discovery of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our cooperation as citizens is animated by our convergence as Christians. We promise one another that we will work to deepen, build upon, and expand this pattern of convergence and cooperation. [end quote]
And in a press release, ECT proponents declared:
[quote] They toiled together in the movements against abortion and pornography, and now leading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians....[E]vangelicals including Pat Robertson and Charles Colson joined with conservative Roman Catholic leaders today in upholding the ties of faith that bind [them]....They urged Catholics and evangelicals...to stop aggressive proselytization of each other’s flocks. John White, president of Geneva College and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said the statement represents a “triumphalistic moment” in American religious life.... Other evangelical endorsers include the heads of the Home Mission Board and Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ,...Mark Noll of Wheaton University,...[Os] Guinness, Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God), Richard Mouw (President, Fuller Seminary), J.I. Packer and Herbert Schlossberg]. [end quote]
“Evangelicals and Catholics Together” declared, “The above is a partial list of public responsibilities on which we believe there is a pattern of convergence and cooperation between Evangelicals and Catholics.”
Two other signers included at the time were Richard Land from the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Dr. Larry Lewis from the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board. In March 2014, I resigned my membership at a Southern Baptist church not only because I believed that the church had slid into a man-centered theology and methodology, but also because I could not in good conscience be a member of a church tied to the apostate Southern Baptist Convention.
Evangelicals who believe they can find common ground with the Church of Rome, whether in theological matters or in an attempt to win the “culture war,” are falling into a trap of Satan. As I detail in Grave Influence, the culture war is not only the symptom of a spiritual battle, but also the national consequence of rejecting the truth of God’s Word, as Romans 1 makes clear.
The only way to win the “culture war” is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It cannot be won by Christians who act like self-righteous bullies, boycotting companies, or marketing one petition after another. Many of these efforts are not only a huge waste of time but are really more of a fundraising effort than anything else. If the New Religious Right were really interested in affecting the culture, it would impact individual lives by preaching an uncompromised Gospel and by clearly pointing out the false teaching of today’s cults—which includes the Church of Rome. But most of today’s New Religious Right would never dare to call out the false teachings of Rome because so much of their funding comes from the poor souls trapped by Roman Catholic teachings. The New Religious Right will make one relativistic excuse after another as to why the topic of the Church of Rome is off limits on their broadcasts or at their conferences.
In their quest for power, money, access, dominion, or to win the culture war, the New Religious Right is only hastening God’s national judgment. Entering into relationships with the Church of Rome or willfully ignoring the fast-growing false world religion for the sake of political correctness or personal and political gain will only make matters worse. The Church of Rome is aiding in building the "Great Harlot" of Revelation 17:1 and many in evangelicalism and the New Religious Right are aiding in its construction.
In 1994, best-selling author Dave Hunt suggested that the ECT document represented “the most devastating blow against the gospel in at least 1,000 years.” As I’ve already pointed out, millions have given their lives proclaiming and defending the Gospel and exposing the false teachings of the Church of Rome, and Hunt reminds us that, sadly, today evangelicals are giving credibility to the Counter-Reformation:
[quote] Amazingly, the document claims that all Catholics are Christians, hold the same faith as evangelicals, and are our “brothers and sisters in Christ.” If so, then the Reformation was a tragic mistake which we all must denounce! On this sad juncture in church history, the last words of Hugh Latimer ring in our conscience. Bound back-to-back to the stake with Nicholas Ridley, Latimer, England’s most effective gospel preacher at that time, was heard to exclaim as the flames engulfed them, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day, by God’s grace, light such a candle in England as I pray shall never be put out.” How incredible that the last spark of that Reformation “candle” is now being extinguished by evangelical leaders who owe so much to the very faithfulness of such martyrs!
For 1,000 years before the Reformation, there were always groups of evangelical Christians outside the Catholic Church, millions of whom were slaughtered for obeying Scripture instead of Rome. Pope Pius III killed 60,000 in one day when his forces wiped out the entire town of Beziers, France, an act which he considered the “crowning achievement of his papacy.” [end quote]
But Evangelicals and Catholics Together doesn’t see it that way:
[quote] [I]n view of the large number of non-Christians in the world and the enormous challenge of our common evangelistic task, it is neither theologically legitimate nor a prudent use of resources for one Christian community to proselytize among active adherents of another Christian community. [end quote]
The millions who were murdered during the Inquisition for standing against the heresy of Rome would not agree with the “evangelicals” who declared that the Church of Rome is “another Christian community.”
The Manhattan Declaration
Chuck Colson was not only a proponent of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, but he was also a driving force behind the Manhattan Declaration, another ecumenical document. My friend, Mike Gendron, was a Catholic for 37 years before being saved through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone, and he understands the fallacies of the Manhattan Declaration. Mike now serves in a ministry that seeks to educate the true church about the false teachings of Roman Catholicism. He evangelizes Roman Catholics and trains Christians to explain the biblical Gospel to Catholics. One approach he uses is to expose the heresy of the Church of Rome in light of biblical truth, so Mike is well able to explain the unbiblical aspects of the Manhattan Declaration:
[quote] A coalition of 150 Catholic, Orthodox and evangelical leaders, calling themselves “Christians” and “fellow believers,” have joined together in ecumenical unity to fight against abortion, same-sex marriage and anything that betrays their religious beliefs. On November 20th, a 4,700-word document called the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience was released (http://manhattandeclaration.org/). The document was drafted by Chuck Colson and Princeton University professor Robert George, a Roman Catholic.
After reading the Manhattan Declaration, we believe it may have the same effect as The Manhattan Project of the 1940’s, an atomic blast on Christian faith. Anytime born-again Christians link arms with unregenerate professing Christians, even for ostensibly moral purposes, they are impeding the Great Commission. The fallout from Chuck Colson’s previous attempts to reverse the Reformation has been devastating to the evangelical church. He has influenced many evangelical leaders to embrace Roman Catholicism as a valid expression of biblical Christianity. According to the second Evangelicals and Catholics Together Accord (ECT II) that Colson drafted in 1997, the following differences should not divide Catholics and Evangelicals as “brothers and sisters in Christ”: baptismal regeneration, the Eucharist, sacramental grace, justification by works, purgatory, indulgences, the role of Mary and the saints in salvation, and salvation for those not evangelized.
Many of the signers of Colson’s Evangelicals and Catholics Together Accord have given their name to this Declaration as well. Purposefully, the Gospel is never defined, explained or presented in the Manhattan Declaration. This is because the signatories embrace contradictory and opposing views on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The implication throughout the document is that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Evangelicals share a common faith. There is nothing that could be further from the truth. Evangelicals and Catholics submit to different authorities, read different Bibles, worship a different Jesus, believe a different Gospel, have a different view of sin and are on a different path to eternity. Furthermore we disagree on the necessity, sufficiency and efficacy of our Lord Jesus Christ in the salvation of sinners. There can never be unity between true Christianity and apostate or counterfeit Christianity. Believers and unbelievers are as distinctively different as light and darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-18). [end quote]
All I can add to Mike’s biblical analysis is a hearty “Amen!”
What more proof does one need in order to see that the Church of Rome is aiding in building the Revelation 17 religion of Babylon by taking the lead in ecumenicalism? But then so-called evangelicals, neo-evangelicals, Religious Right, New Religious Right, and Neo-Calvinists are doing as much damage to the Protestant world as the Vatican is doing to the Catholic world.
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