Concerns About The Changes In Today's Catholics

From THE PROTESTANT CHALLENGE, the voice of the

Canadian Protestant League, Box 813, London, Ontario,

Canada N6A4Z3, Reprinted by permission.

Strange and startling things are happening within the

ranks of Christendom today. Multitudes of well-meaning

people, even among those groups long recognized as

strong Evangelicals, are being swept along with a

seemingly irresistible power towards reunion with the

Roman Catholic Church, Under the subtle

misapprehension that an unprecedented revival is

taking place in our time, thousands of good pastors

are leading their flocks back to a pre-

Reformation association with the Vatican.

"Nonsense," I hear some exclaim.

But before we turn this contention off as being wild

and irresponsible, let us take a few moments just to

look at some very sobering facts.

Let us remember that the very heart of the great

Reformation of the 16th century was the rediscovery of

the Bible doctrine. of Justification by Faith. This

vital truth sets forth the solid ground for the

assurance of the believing individual's salvation--not

by works of of human merit or ecstatic feelings, but

by the perfect righteousness of God in Christ put as

the result of personal faith to the account of the

penitent believer, Here was the real basis for

separation from Rome whose theology taught salvation

which had in a multitude of ways to he earned. But

today many of the movements of evangelicalism are

minimizing the Scriptural security of being justified

by faith alone, and are emphasizing a subjective

experience of salvation similar in principle to Roman


That which is being called the "Charismatic Renewal"

caters to the fleshly hunger for unusual

manifestations and feelings, featuring what are

purported to be the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most

popular of these "gifts" seems to be that of speaking

in unknown tongues.

Since the turn of the twentieth century, the segment

of Christians majoring in the gift of tongues as the

indispensable sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit

has made tremendous strides. But the place of

advancement has been greatly accelerating during the

past decade in almost every country of the earth. So,

today, the numbers of those associating with the

Pentecostal emphasis has reached up into the millions.

The most significant development has been seen in the

spectacular leap over all of the major Protestant

denominational walls. Thus outside of the vast

Pentecostal body there are to be counted multitudes of

members of the traditional churches claiming to have

received the charismatic experience of "tongues". Now

the main thrust of our position in this connection is

not to make a studied appraisal of the validity of

"gifts of tongues" but rather to show the confusion

which has resulted to sound faith when it is assumed

that every person or group claiming to speak in

tongues is genuinely "baptized in the Holy Spirit".

For instance, this enthusiasm which has taken hold

upon the hearts and minds of so many pastors and their

people included large elements which have long

discarded the great fundamentals of the Christian

Faith--the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Deity

of Christ, His Blood atonement, His physical

resurrection, and the truth of Salvation by grace

through faith. Evidently, the spiritual vacuum created

by Modernism has found the subjective personal

experience of the Charismatic Renewal a substitute for

the eternal truths they have rejected. They are, in

effect, saying that human feelings and demonstrations

are much more important than faith.

Perhaps, however, the most astounding area into which

the "Charisma" is making almost unbelievable inroads

is the Roman Catholic Church. Here, literally tens of

thousands are professing to receive the Pentecostal

tongues experience. This includes Cardinals, Bishops,

multitudes of priests and nuns, and uncounted numbers

of the faith.

What is the meaning of all this anyway? Does it,

indeed, mark the beginning of the greatest revival the

world has ever seen? Is it God's answer to the prayers

of the redeemed of the centuries, "Wilt Thou not

revive us again that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"

Clearly, there are many church leaders and their

people who are confidently affirming that it is even


But before we permit ourselves to become too excited

and elated, it would be well to take a second and

third look at what is happening. Is the Holy Spirit

actually shedding gifts abroad upon all nominal

Christians regardless of their Theological positions?

Without consideration of one's views concerning Christ

and His way of salvation, does the blessed Spirit of

God enter, fill, control, baptize, and use the bodies

of those who remain in spiritual rebellion? As we read

the New Testament, we are convinced beyond any

peradventure of doubt that our Sovereign Lord never

puts His stamp of approval upon unbelief, which would

make Him out to be a liar.

One has a right to assume that if a Roman Catholic

has had a genuine experience of living faith in our

Lord Jesus Christ and has felt the touch of the Holy

Spirit upon his life, he would be led at least to a

definite dissatisfaction with the unbiblical Romish

traditions. But, evidently, this is not so. Says

Father O'Connor, Benedictine Monk of Notre Dame

University, "The traditional devotions of the church

have taken on more meaning. Some people have been

brought back to a frequent use of the sacrament of

Penance through the experience of the baptism of the

Spirit, Others have discovered a place for devotion to

Mary in their lives whereas previously they had been

indifferent or even antipathetic towards her. One of

the most striking effects of the Holy Spirit's action

has been to stir up devotion to the Real Presence in

the Eucharist."

The argument that we make is that the Bible, being

the Word of God, constitutes the final and infallible

authority for all faith and practice. Therefore, any

so-called gift (charisma) purporting to come from God

must be fully in accord with Holy Writ. Clearly then,

that which encourages the recipient of the "gift" to

return to and cleave more faithfully to the doctrines

which are plainly contrary to Scripture cannot be of


In view of the expressed conviction of our

Pentecostal friends that the gift of tongues is the

divine signification of the truth and power of

Almighty God, it is, perhaps, not too surprising to

find these Charismatic brethren making ever increasing

overtures to the Roman Church. For instance, within

the Province of Quebec there have been frequent

rallies involving Roman Catholic Pentecostals and

those who have prided themselves as being Protestants.

This is not a "Revolt" element within the Church of

Rome, as some have suggested. But we have to bear in

mind that this movement has the hearty approval of the

clergy. They see that this movement has the

possibility for a speedy unification of Protestants

and Catholics in a great Charismatic fellowship. They

believe that herein lies the best hope for the healing

of the wound caused by the sixteenth century

Reformation. One of their top leaders has said, "The

instinctive orientation of revivals towards the

Catholic position would bring in that way a

reconciliation between the Protestant Movement and the


With all of this in mind, a most important and

significant conference was recently held between the

top brass of the Pentecostals of Protestantism and

those in Rome.

As we view this contemporary religious confusion, it

appears, nevertheless, as clearly as the light of day,

that Evangelical Protestantism is moving rapidly away

from the truth and liberty of the Reformation. The

spirit of Anti-Christ has temporarily seized the

initiative, having deceived a multitude of sincere and

enthusiastic Bible believers into the acceptance of a

pseudo spirituality which assumes almost without

question, as genuine, that which is too often a false


Now is, indeed, the time for all God's people to take

a fresh stand for the Faith once delivered unto the


We suggest to all pastors and their people a restudy

of the Bible doctrine of Justification by faith.

We recommend a sober reconsideration of the nature

and place of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the

Christian's experience and in the local church.

We strongly urge that every concerned believer use

his influence within his congregation against his

church's Romeward trend. If need be, let him be

prepared to withdraw from any religious organization

which would involve him, a against his will, in

joining hands with the Vatican, "Babylon, the great,

Mother of Harlots". Obey the Divine command of

Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her, my people, that ye

be. not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not

of her plagues".

Finally, rejoice that our Sovereign Lord is still on

the throne and in control of things. We will have the

last and triumphant word. If you have Him, you have

all that you can possibly need both for time and for

all eternity, If you have the Holy Spirit, you may be

sure of this truth that He will not glorify Himself

but the blessed, risen Son of God, and will not under

any circumstances promote nor approve of a Movement

which is patently contrary to the plain teaching of

that Biblical Word which He Himself had authored.

Mission to Catholics

P.O. Box 19280

San Diego, CA 92119


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