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Think On These Things

Think On These Things Ministries is a wonderful teaching and outreach ministry of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois. Pastor Garry Gilley publishes a monthly newsletter and offers a free subscription if you are interested in receiving it. In past months he has written about The Passion of the Christ, The Purpose Driven Life, Sexual Purity and so on. His most recent newsletter finished up a two-part discussion of The Passion. You can read the article in full here. Though he has good things to say about the movie, what I found most interesting was his evaluation of the changing views of Protestants towards Catholicism. Here is an excerpt:

As little as twenty years ago it was the overwhelming consensus of Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists that those who adhered to the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification were not saved. That did not mean that Catholic Christians did not exist, for it was recognized that within the Church of Rome existed regenerate souls who for various reasons had remained in the Catholic Church. But none who clearly understood and accepted the soteriology of Rome could be viewed as born again. Rome’s salvation is sacramental in nature. Salvation, Catholics teach, is by grace, through faith, based on the cross. But to this they add an elaborate system of works which are also necessary for salvation. Still even this is not enough, for final authority for eternal salvation lies in the hands of the Church. All of this, and more, is proof positive that Rome’s gospel is not God’s and therefore is another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) and condemned by the Lord.

Today it is considered politically incorrect, insensitive, negative and judgmental to even imply that a practicing Roman Catholic is not saved. We may have separate disciplines and theology, but we are all one family in Christ. In addition, there has been a flight toward Rome by evangelicals.

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