Evangelicals and Catholics Together…ECT

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By Richard Bennett

Die-hard positions on certain fundamental issues have not changed in literally the last thousand years.  According to the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, the final authority is the Pope and papal authority.  In the Roman Catholic system, a person puportedly saved by grace plus one’s own good works, plus one’s purported “inner holiness”.  Further, Catholics are taught to worship and to pray to God, to Mary, and to their saints.

The Biblical position on these issues, clearly enunciated by 16th century Reformation leaders, is opposed diametrically to the Roman Catholic position.  Biblically, the final spiritual authority is the Bible only.  A person is saved before the Holy God only by grace only through faith only in Christ only, and to God only be the glory.

Yet literally for the last thousand years, in spite of the wonderfully increased availability of the Bible and in spite of the Reformation which brought these crucial issues to the critical attention of the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Catholic position has not changed, Vatican Council II notwithstanding.

Roman Catholic tactics change

Nevertheless, at the end of March 1994, a group of twenty leading Evangelicals and twenty leading Roman Catholics produced a document entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together:  The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium (ECT).

According to the official news release March 29, 1994, instigators of this segment of intense ecumenical thrust were Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, a Lutheran pastor turned Roman Catholic priest.  The specific task was begun in September 1992.  These men were joined in the writing process by Dr. Larry Lewis, Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Jesse Miranda, Assemblies of God; Dr. John White, Geneva College and National Association of Evangelicals; and others, including two Jesuits.  Two more Jesuits had signed the declaration by the time of its presentation.  (This fact alone ought to have been a red flag to even a novice of church history.)

In addition to the Evangelical participants who helped form the compromise document, signers to include Dr. J. I. Packer, author of the well known book, Knowing God, Dr. Mark Noll of Wheaton College, and Pat Robertson of the 700 Club.  Roman Catholic signers include Cardinal John O’Connor, one of the men next to the Pope, Archbishop Sevilla, Archbishop Stafford, and Roman Catholic Bishop George.

True Gospel deleted

Nowhere in the document is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ given.  Predictably, therefore, ECT lacks totally the virulent cohesiveness which men truly unified in purpose express.  By means of poorly chosen prepositions, by careful multiplication of indistinct phraseology, and by studied juxtaposition of logically disparate concepts, ECT does manage, however, to attain a certain effeminate bravado about how far good relations between Protestants and Catholics have come.

Apparently based solely upon the desire for union on important moral issues, the authors of ECT proclaim that Evangelicals and Catholics are one in Christ and one in His Church; they claim that we all are truly Christians.  This is the primary fallacy of ECT.

 “Another gospel” given

Since the ostensible purpose of the document is to encourage unity to meet present day social issues, such as abortion, pornography, and homosexuality, what naturally emerges from ECT is, in the words of Galatians 1, “another gospel”.  Although this “gospel” may be acceptable to those who wish to add their good works to the grace of God, it is, nevertheless, a frontal assault on the Reformation, on five hundred years of church history, on evangelical missions in Roman Catholic nations, and on the doctrine of Biblical authority.

Real effect of ECT

The real effect of the document is to stop evangelization of Roman Catholics, especially in third world Catholic countries.  If the compromise of the authority of the Bible, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and compromise of the priesthood of all true believers is right before the Holy God, then Bible believing churches will not evangelize Catholics, will not send missionaries to third world Catholic countries in Central and South America, in Africa, and to Spain, Portugal, and the Philippines.

ECT states, “We are aware that our experience reflects the distinctive circumstances and opportunities of Evangelicals and Catholics living together in North America.  At the same time, we believe that what we have discovered and resolved is pertinent to the relationship between Evangelicals and Catholics in other parts of the world.”

Hidden agenda sighted

Much later in its declaration, ECT states, “…it is neither theologically legitimate nor a prudent use of resources for one Christian community [church] to proselytize [evangelize] among active adherents of another Christian community.”  Since when has it been theologically illegitimate to expose error and heresy?  Because these intelligent and educated men have made such Biblically illiterate statements, it is paramount that the ECT document be studied in the light of Biblical truth.

ECT readily admits of “differences that cannot be resolved here”.  Based solely upon the desire for union on important moral issues, the authors of ECT proclaim that Evangelicals and Catholics are one in Christ and one in His Church; they claim that we all are truly Christians.  This is the primary fallacy of ECT.

The following issues from ECT will be addressed in this summary:

  1. Conversion as a process
  2. Baptismal regeneration as evangelization
  3. “Devotion to Mary and the saints”
  4. “The soul freedom of the individual Christian”

1. Conversion as a process

In ECT Section V, “We Witness Together”, the document makes a statement concerning what it considers conversion to be,

“It should be clearly understood between Catholics and Evangelicals that Christian witness is of necessity aimed at conversion.  Authentic conversion is–in its beginning, in its end, and all along the way–conversion to God in Christ by the power of the Spirit.  In this connection, we embrace as our own the explanation of the Baptist-Roman Catholic International Conversation (1988):

‘Conversion is turning away from all that is opposed to God, contrary to Christ’s teaching, and turning to God, to Christ, the Son, through the work of the Holy Spirit.  It entails a turning from the self-centeredness of sin to faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.  Conversion is a passing from one way of life to another new one, marked with the newness of Christ.  It is a continuing process so that the whole life of a Christian should be a passage from death to life, from error to truth, from sin to grace.  Our life in Christ demands continual growth in God’s grace.  Conversion is personal but not private.  Individuals respond in faith to God’s call but faith comes from hearing the proclamation of the word of God and is to be expressed in the life together in Christ that is the Church.’

By preaching, teaching, and life example, Christians witness to Christians and non-Christians alike.  We seek and pray for the conversion of others, even as we recognize our own continuing need to be fully converted. . . . ”  (p. 20-21)

What is at stake here is not growth in the Christian life or sanctification, but rather what has been described is supposedly “witnessing” or evangelization.  What is described by ECT as “witnessing’ is actually the Roman Catholic grace plus works “process” towards the goal of salvation, which goal the Roman Catholic never reaches in his lifetime.  In fact, the Roman Catholic Council of Trent condemns the evangelical faith:

Canon 12  “If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone by which we are justified: let him be anathema [cursed].”[1]

This canon has never been revoked.  Further, Vatican Council II ratified the decrees of the Council of Trent formally.  How can the Evangelical signatories to this document endorse such language as “recogniz[ing] our own continuing need to be fully converted” and remain Evangelical?  With whom have the Roman Catholic signers made an agreement?

The declaration, which the Evangelical signatories have embraced, is typical of Roman Catholic statements whereby conversion–being made right with the Holy God–is not a one-time sovereign act of God, but rather a process in which man needs the help of God’s grace.  Officially, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) teaches,

Para. 1435  “Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one’s brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness.  Taking up one’s cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.”[2]

When one leaves Biblical truth and begins to look on salvation as a process, the focal point will always be on man’s experience and not on the objective finished work of Christ on the cross.  In Ephesians 2:8-9, the sovereign grace of God is exalted and the faith through which it is received is so minimized as to be “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”  A straight quotation of these verses is not given in the document.  What comes closest to this Biblical message of salvation is stated deceptively by ECT as,

“We affirm together that we are justified by grace through faith because of Christ.  Living faith is active in love that is nothing less than the love of Christ, . . .”  (p. 5)

Biblical terminology is used with a conspicuously unwarranted amibiguity of expression.  To be Biblical, this statement should read, “We affirm together that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.”  The word “alone” signified that the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus and that alone is sufficient before the Holy God to justify unholy sinners.[3]  To so define justification, however, would exclude Catholics and all who look to any inherent righteousness in themselves for justification.

It is a well known fact that literally for centuries the Roman Catholic Church has watered down the Biblical message of God’s sovereign grace.  Her present day teaching is consistent with her age old line in that God’s sovereign grace is purportedly to man “a help”, as the latest universal Catechism of the Catholic Church unequivocally states,

#2021  “Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. . . .”

Thus in present day Romanism, faith is not faith alone, but rather faith is redefined to include the unbiblical concept of merit.  (Merit in the Catechism comes under the general heading of “Grace and Justification”.[4])  In this context, faith is not expressed as solely being the means of receiving grace with no merit in the faith itself.  Rather, faith is exalted as “living faith active in love.”  The focal point is man’s activity which subtly allows for merit and, therefore, the Catholic position.  The wording cleverly opens what looks like a Biblical position, but in fact it exalts man’s faith as meritorious in itself.

The words of ECT which qualify faith as “living faith active in love” is exactly what the Council of Trent declared and which Vatican Council II again ratified.  The Council of Trent solemnly taught,

“For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites one perfectly with Christ, nor makes him a living member of his body.”[5]

Roman Catholic theology always comes back to the idea of God pouring goodness into a person’s heart.  By “sanctifying grace” (a Roman Catholic term) Rome teaches that one begins the process of being good in himself.  The Bible, however, teaches continually, as in Ephesians 1, that a person’s right standing with God and all the blessedness that comes to him is because he has been placed in Christ.  The hallmark of Biblical truth, as rediscovered by the Reformation, is that the righteousness of God which is credited to the believer is in Christ and not in himself.  Why do the Evangelical signers of ECT actually concur with defining faith in the way in which Rome does?  “Living faith active in love” reverts to Rome’s unbiblical concept that indwelling morality (inherent righteousness) is a necessary preparation for God’s grace to be effective.  Ephesians 2:1, however, states clearly the moral condition of a person before conversion, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”  Colossians 2:13 also states clearly, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”

If the Evangelicals do in fact believe that the Roman Catholic concept of indwelling morality rather than the Biblically true understanding of being morally dead as the condition of unconverted man, then they ought logically to endorse Rome’s cursing of all who have that simple faith that trusts alone in God’s mercy, as officially was done by Rome at the Council of Trent and again ratified by Vatican Council II,

“If anyone shall say that by faith alone the sinner is justified, so as to understand that nothing else is required to cooperate in the attainment of the grace of justification, and that it is in no way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will:  let him be anathema [cursed].”[6]

To endorse Roman Catholic teaching, however, is to attempt to deny the clear teaching of Scripture, Titus 3:4-5 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Romans 5:1  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 11:6  “And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.” It was for this Biblical faith once delivered to the saints that men and women were burned at the stake for over six centuries of the Roman Catholic Inquisition.

The Biblical message is not “process conversion” or “journey theology”, all of which is quite similar to what the Roman Church herself endorses in Hinduism and in Buddhism.  Vatican Council II states,

“. . . In Hinduism men explore the divine mystery and express it both in the limitless riches of  myth and the accurately defined insights of philosophy.  They seek release from the trials of the present life by ascetical practices, profound meditation and recourse to God in confidence and love.   Buddhism in its various forms testifies to the essential inadequacy of this changing world.  It proposes a way of life by which man can, with confidence and trust, attain a state of perfect liberation and reach supreme illumination either through their own efforts or by the aid of divine help. . . . The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions.  She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. . . . ”[7]

Thus if in ECT Evangelicals can endorse such statements as, “Conversion is a…continuing process so that the whole life of a Christian should be a passage from death to life, from error to truth, from sin to grace,” they not only fall into official Roman Catholic theology, but it is also an affirmation of the process theologies of Hinduism and Buddhism.  It is very clear that the position of ECT concerning the issue of salvation is muddle-headed:  at one point they endorse a “process conversion” as salvation while at another point they state that Evangelicals believe that the R.C. Church has compromised the Gospel.  What adds to the absurdity of the document is that some of the Evangelical signers have previously written crystal clear Biblical treatises on the Gospel.

2.  Baptismal regeneration seen as evangelization

The ECT document states,

“In the context of evangelization and ‘reevangelization,’ we encounter a major difference in our understanding of the relationship between baptism and the new birth in Christ.” (p. 23)

Rather than clarifying the differences as indeed major, the document finishes as if this difference were of no consequence,

“These differing beliefs about the relationship between baptism, new birth, and membership in the church should be honestly presented to the Christian who has undergone conversion.  But again, his decision regarding communal allegiance and participation must be assiduously respected.”  (p. 24)

Such statements are simply worldly double-talk.  Biblically viewed, the difference is indeed major for the doctrine of baptismal regeneration that the Roman Church teaches is contrary to Scripture.

Evangelization of which the Bible speaks is proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The power of God unto salvation is the essence of evangelization, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.[8] And, Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.[9] And, Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.[10]Again, For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.[11]

For Paul, to evangelize was not to baptize but rather it was to preach.  The consistency of God’s Word herein is presented also in James and Peter.  Paul’s words in I Corinthians, Chapter 1 is true of evangelization then and now, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”[12]

In spite of the very clarity of the Bible, ECT states,

“For Catholics, all who are validly baptized are born again and are truly, however imperfectly, in communion with Christ. . . . Those converted–whether understood as having received the new birth for the first time or as having experienced the reawakening of the new birth originally bestowed in the sacrament of baptism–must be given full freedom and respect as they discern and decide the community [church] in which they will live their new life in Christ.” (pp. 23-24)

In this statement, the definition of “converted” includes baptismal regeneration as a way of conversion.  This is truly Romanism, for the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches,

Para. 1257  “The [Roman Catholic] Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude;”

Para. 1263  “By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin….”

The whole concept of baptismal regeneration is plainly contradictory to Biblical truth.  The Biblical principle stated by the Lord is, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.[13]

ECT claims that “Christians are to teach and live in obedience to the divinely inspired Scriptures” and categorically states that its signers “reject any appearance of harmony that is purchased at the price of truth”.  Why, then, have they brought “another gospel”?  Charity . . . rejoices in the truth. Is it that now in our time it is more religiously expedient to be “politically correct” than to stand firm on Biblical truth?

3. Mary and the saints

Another difference of major significance, mentioned as an “either . . . or” issue between Evangelicals and Catholics is stated in ECT as,

“Remembrance of Mary and the saints or devotion to Mary and the saints”

God’s Word declares, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”[14]  But the Roman Catholic Church officially declares,

“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly…until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.  Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is    invoked in the [Roman Catholic] Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. . . . ”[15]

What devotion to Mary and the saints entails is explained in canon law,

Canon 1186 “To foster the sanctification of the people of God the [Roman Catholic] Church recommends to the particular and filial veneration of the Christian faithful the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, the Mother of God, whom Christ established as the Mother of the human race; it also promotes true and authentic devotion to the other saints by whose example the Christian      faithful are edified and through whose intercession they are sustained.”

Canon 1187 “Veneration [worship] through public cult is permitted only to those servants of God who are listed in the catalog of the saints or of the blessed by the authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church.”

Canon 1188 “The practice of displaying sacred images in the churches for the veneration [worship] of the faithful is to remain in force…”

Devotion to the Roman Catholic Mary entails prominently displayed sacred images of her in Cath- olic churches in accordance with Canon 1188.  To avoid using the word “worship”, however, the canon law text in Latin uses the word veneratio.  The Latin roots of this word veneratio go back to religious worship offered “to the gods, and Venus in particular.”  Not only is veneration recom- mended, it is specified as filial veneration or worship from child to mother.  All the signers of the document, Evangelical and Roman Catholic alike, ought seriously to call to mind that the Bible speaks only truth, “I am the Lord; that is My name:  and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.” [16]

Can any of the signatories, Evangelicals or Roman Catholic, truthfully brush aside the fact that the Roman Catholic Church with its teaching magisterium has blatantly disregarded the Second Commandment of the Decalogue?  Clearly distinct from “remembrance of Mary” is Roman Catholic worship of Mary, demonstrated ubiquitously in Roman Catholic Churches from Pope to pauper the world over.

4.  “Soul freedom of the individual Christian”

The fourth major difference in ECT’s catalogue of separating issues between Evangelicals and Catholics is worded with an expression perhaps lifted from the 1960’s.  The words chosen to represent the Evangelical position put a subtle spin on the statement, which inclines one to the latter half of the equation,

“The soul freedom of the individual Christian or the Magisterium of the community”[17]

The expression, “soul freedom” is a clever obfuscation.  It is not needed.  Clear definitions and dependable instruction are readily available in God’s Word itself because, antithetical and con- trary to the magisterium of the Roman Church, the Biblical principle is that Scripture interprets Scripture.

The Bible as the basis of truth demonstrates consistency, harmony, and unity, which show its divine origin.  Throughout the Bible there is no contradiction.  It is, therefore, to be interpreted in its own light for, as Psalm 36:9 states, “For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light we see light.”  The origin of an interpretation has to be of the same origin as the Bible itself.  The source of the interpretation is God, clearly.  For this reason Scripture interprets Scripture.  This is the thrust of the message in II Peter 1:21, “. . . knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Rather than a human authority seeking to interpret divine truth, the Bible, which is the basis of truth, is interpreted by the Bible, as I Corinthians 2:11b-13 makes clear,

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in   him?  Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now     we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.  Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

It is not by “the soul freedom of the individual Christian” nor by the magisterium of the Roman Church, but rather by serious study of the Bible recognizing that it is absolutely true that the converted person finds indeed, In Thy light we see light, that Scripture interprets Scripture.  The same light of God’s Word commands, I Thesselonians 5:21  “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” I John 4:1  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Yet the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, listed in ECT as the “Magisterium of the community”, teaches these things,

Canon 749, Sect. 1  “The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority….” Sect. 2 “ The college of bishops also possesses infallible teaching authority…”.

Canon 1404 “The First See [the Magisterium of Rome] is judged by no one.”

Canon 333, Sect. 3 “There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.”

Vatican Council II Document, No. 58, Dei Verbum,

“Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the [Roman Catholic] Church. . . .But the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the [Roman Catholic] Church alone. . . . [The Roman Church] expounds it faithfully . . . ”[18]

Any believer who gives up the sword of the Spirit, which is the only offensive weapon he has, sells himself into slavery by disobeying what he has been commanded to do.  The magisterium of Rome, claiming infallible teaching authority, refusing any rebuke whatsoever to her opinion, claims also that she has “faithfully expounded” the Scriptures, but on all the issues discussed here, that same “teaching authority of the community” has shown herself to be obdurately, consistently opposed to the Word of God.  She has forgotten, if she ever knew it, that Proverbs 30:5-6 applies also to herself.

In Ephesians 6, believers are clearly commanded, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Down in the list is the instruction, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  If the Evangelicals could sign a document which states that they “recognize their own continuing need to be fully converted”, what have they done but attempt to throw off the helmet of salvation?  In compromising Biblical truth, they have cast aside the loincloth of truth in favor of a fig leaf.  In giving up the interpretation of Scripture to men, they give up the sword of the Spirit so that they may be easily enslaved.

Conclusion

Despite its intention of “speak[ing] responsibly from our communities and to our com- munities”, the document entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium was clearly conceived in deception and negotiated by compromise.  While declaring that they “reject any appearance of harmony that is purchased at the price of truth”, it is clear from the document produced that the Roman Catholic position has been taken on every issue.  Never is the Biblical standard properly stated, applied or upheld.  The essential differences are put away in a few sentences because of the loose erroneous definition of the term Christian.  Although John 17 is quoted, it is misused because Jesus was praying for His elect, not those who fall under ECT’‘s mistaken definition of Christian.  Thus in order to form this ecumenical compromise, its signers, both Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestants, have to disregard Holy Scripture, for their definition of Christian contradicts Philippians 3:8-9, Romans 3:24, 11:5-6, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 2:28-29, and many other like passages.  Their position, one and all before the Holy God and His Word, is indefensible.

Yet ECT laments,

“In many parts of the world the relationship between these two communities [the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Protestant churches] is marked . . . more by propaganda and ignorance than by respect for the truth.”

Their statement applies directly to ECT itself:  The Roman Catholic signatories have successfully propagandized and deceived compromising, wishful-thinking Evangelicals.  Bible believers the world over need to rebuke in the strongest terms both groups of signatories because in spite of all their pious words and good intentions, none of the signatories to the document has respected the truth of Scripture.

By demanding absolute moral obedience to herself, by controlling the Scripture by means of her “teaching authority”, and by means of her sacrificial priesthood, the Roman Catholic Church moves once again to gather to herself the power she lost in the late 1700’s at the end of the Inquisition.  The means by which to regain her power have not been the rack and dungeon of the Inquisition. Rather it is primarily through the ecumenical movement that the necessary political power, obtainable through the ignorance of the truth of Scripture and through forced dependence on “Holy Mother Church”, is being gathered.  Whoever is able to commandeer this power established and upheld by worldly means is then, as the purported “church of Christ”.  This unmitigated desire for worldly power was the reason for 605 years of the bloody Inquisition carried on by the Roman Catholic Church.  Bible believing men and women all down through those bloody centuries were martyred by the Roman Church for daring to confront that power-hungry system of their own day with the truth.

Let the trumpet sound with Christian distinctives as it did at the time of the Reformation!  Sola Scriptura!  Let it be known that we are justified by grace only through faith only in Christ Jesus only!  And to God only be the glory!  As the great martyrs such as Hus, Wycliffe, Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, et al., stood on Biblical truth in Christian freedom, so also our clear resounding response to this ECT document must be, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”


Richard Bennett of “Berean Beacon” WebPage: https://bereanbeacon.org

Permission is given by the author to copy this article if it is done in its entirety without any changes.

Permission is also given post this article in its entirety on Internet We


[1]  Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Tr. by Roy J Deferrari from Enchiridion Symbolorum, 13th ed. (B. Herder Book Co., 1957), #822.

[2]  Catechism of the Catholic Church (Liguori, MO:  Liguori Publications, 1994).

[3]   Rom. 4:5-8, II Cor. 5:19-21, Rom. 3:22-28, Titus 3:5-7, Eph. 1:7, Jer. 23:6, I Cor. 1:30-31, Rom. 5:17-19.

[4]  Ibid.,  #2006-2011.

[5]  Denzinger, #800.

[6]  Denzinger, #819.

[7]  Vatican Council II Documents, No. 56, Nostra Aetate, “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,”, 28 Oct. 1965, Vol. I, Para. 2, p. 739.

[8] Romans 1:16.

[9] James 1:18.

[10] I Peter 1:23.

[11] I Corinthians 4:15.

[12] I Corinthians 4: 17-18

[13] John 3:6-7.

[14] Acts 4:12.

[15] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 969.

[16] Isaiah 42:8.

[17]  Magisterium is a Roman Catholic term meaning specifically the teaching authority of the RCC; community means the Roman Catholic Church.

[18] Vatican Council II Documents, No. 58, Dei Verbum, “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation”,18 Nov. 1965, Vol. I, Para. 10, pp. 755-756.

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