We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Apostasy in Roman Catholicism

I recently read an article that just really raised my ire at the way some ostensibly Christian leaders think nothing of blaspheming God. In an "Understanding the Times" e-mail newsletter, there was a link to the following Catholic News Agency article: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=11459. In the event the article is no longer there for you to peruse, here is the substance:

At a South Reno, Nevada, Catholic High School they held an "interfaith prayer service" wherein Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Mormon leaders participated in a "blessing ceremony." The service was organized by Father Charles T. Durante, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community in Carson City. Believe it or not, "he began the prayer service by invoking the Holy Spirit, saying 'We start our prayer by recognizing that we are in God's presence.'" The article goes on to say, "A local rabbi performed a Hebrew recitation, while a Hindu chaplain recited Sanskrit slokas from the Rig-Veda. There was also a Buddhist text reading, along with a reading from the Letter to the Thessalonians from an Episcopalian minister. An imam also gave a reflection address quoting the Quran." The news item notes that there were also "Lutheran, Methodist, ... and Presbyterian ministers" participating. This whole exercise took place in the school's chapel.

So, you might ask, just what is the problem here? Aren't we supposed to just get along with others and reach unbelievers for Christ? The school and chapel where this blessing ceremony took place was a Catholic High School. Catholics are supposed to be Christian. As Christians we do not join in worship with pagans and unbelievers - that is an axiom of the Christian faith as it was of the Jewish faith. Paul specifically addresses this in 2 Cor. 6:14. In fact, this scenario also fits very well with 2 John 10-11 where we are told not to let false teachers into our places of worship and not to welcome them and their teachings.

This was not a scenario where the Christian message was to be taught so as to open the hearts of unbelievers. This was a ceremony where representatives from false religions and cults were invited to participate in blessing the students. What possible way could a Mormon, a Buddhist, a Hindu, and a Muslim provide blessings from the God of the Bible? They have no connection with our God and are not recognized by our God as other than idolaters. NEVER are we to seek blessing from a false God.

It is abject apostasy to join with leaders of false religions in seeking anything from God, unless the God they are seeking is the true God of the Bible because they want to know Him. That was not the case here, and these students were exposed to these false teachers as if they were to be commended for their belief systems. And those members of those other Christian denominations were just as guilty for participating as the Catholics were for inviting. The priest starts out by saying they are in God's presence, and yet none of those pagans even believe in that God! God is present everywhere, no doubt, but I think the Bible is clear that God would not be pleased with what took place.