The Roman Catholic Church is not the “narrow gate” and Rome’s pope is not the “good shepherd.” With the stepping down of pope Benedict and the calling of pope Francis far too many professing Christian leaders are standing behind their pulpits trampling the Reformation and the Gospel itself beneath their “broad is the way” ecumenical feet, celebrating Roman Catholicism’s new antichrist pope and proclaiming him a brother in the Lord and the ministry of the Gospel, “the pure Gospel” (Luis Palau).
In sharp contrast, John MacArthur is NOT celebrating Roman Catholicism or the pope. On this Good Friday morning I am praising God for the faithful “narrow gate,” “good shepherd,” Gospel preaching of Pastor John MacArthur and his radio ministry, Grace to You (GTY). Pastor MacArthur continues to stand in Southern California as a lightning rod for the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, the pure Gospel of the Bible, the pure Gospel of the Reformation. Before he steps into the pulpit he does not check to see which way the winds of popular ecumenical apostasy are blowing so he can adjust his message accordingly. Instead, he leans into that soul damning wind and faithfully thunders forth the soul saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. See Pastor MacArthur’s recent pope exposing message titled Usurping the Seat of Christ: http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/80-405/Usurping-the-Seat-of-Christ
Strength attracts and breeds strength. Courage attracts and breeds courage. Love of Christ and His Gospel attracts and breeds love of Christ and His Gospel. The man at the helm of GTY’s radio ministry is Phil Johnson, an Elder at Grace Community Church, the longtime editor of Pastor MacArthur’s books, and a faithful preacher and teacher of God’s Word in his own right. Did I mention that he occasionally blogs? Phil Johnson was recently called upon by the Christian World View radio talk show to represent GTY and the historic Protestant, Evangelical “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The entire interview is well worth the hour it takes to listen to it. The Reformation, the pope, Roman Catholicism, and Evangelical departures from “the faith” are discussed at length. You can listen to the entire broadcast here: http://thechristianworldview.com/tcwblog/archives/5742
At around the 15:44 mark of the interview, the radio talk show host asks Phil Johnson about Luis Palau’s bold “broad is the way” promotion of the pope in a Christianity Today interview from 3/14/2013. When questioned about the new pope, Mr. Palau told the CT reporter:
“He’s a very Bible-centered man, a very Jesus Christ-centered man. He’s more spiritual than he is administrative, although he’s going to have to exercise his administrative skills now! But personally, he is more known for his personal love for Christ. He’s really centered on Jesus and the Gospel, the pure Gospel.”
Here’s Phil Johnson’s response to Palau’s apostate promotion of the pope and his sacramental system of salvation:
“Palau made the shift I think sometime in the 90’s, maybe in the 1980’s, where he embraced ecumenism, and began to involve Roman Catholics in his crusades, and changed his message so that he didn’t preach justification by faith alone, Sola Fide, or any other thing that would offend his Roman Catholic constituents. And he’s been carefully and deliberately courting a Roman Catholic constituency for nearly 20 years now… He’s departed from the historic protestant and Evangelical position (the Gospel).”
Phil Johnson has rightly assessed Palau’s open and repeated promotion of the pope as a proponent of the “pure Gospel” as a clear departure from “the historic protestant and Evangelical” Gospel.
GTY’s spokesman goes on to remind us (around the 32-34 minute mark) that Rome has declared all who hold to salvation being by grace through faith, and not of sacramental works to be under the official anathema (damnation) of the Roman Catholic Church. To bolster that point he stated that ALL the cannons and decrees of the Council of Trent are reconfirmed in current Catechism of the Catholic Church. Phil stressed that he sees Luis Palau, Rick Warren, Hank Hanegraaff, and the broader Evangelical world’s re/union with Roman Catholicism as symptomatic of Evangelicalism’s love affair with pragmatism and insistence that relationship trump sound doctrine, even the doctrine of Soteriology, the Gospel. There is a vast and willful ignorance of history and theology, and we (the Evangelical church) are ripe for this kind of departure from the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Thank you Pastor John MacArthur and Phil Johnson for faithfully declaring, defining, and defending the “narrow gate” Gospel of Jesus Christ as if billions of souls depend on it! May God raise up a new generation of Gospel reformers in the PNW and all around the globe who will not sit silent while the “narrow gate” of Christ’s Church is being overrun by “broad is the way” apostasy. It is time to sound the alarm. It is time to take up the Sword of the Spirit and wield it boldly for Christ our King.
The church I have had the privilege of pastoring for almost 14 years (Beaverton Grace Bible Church) is just a mile away from the headquarters of Luis Palau’s Evangelistic Association. The Christian community in our area (churches, radio ministries, colleges, seminaries, etc.) is saturated with all things Palau. He is kind of the local Christian evangelist rock star. Even the openly homosexual mayor of Portland was happy to associate himself with Luis Palau up on the platform during a downtown Portland Palau Festival. The Evangelical churches in the Portland area lend their ready support to Mr. Palau’s ministry locally and globally. Mr. Palau regularly fills the pulpits of the two largest Bible churches (Cedar Mill Bible Church & Southwest Bible Church) in the area.
Back in 2008, BGBC began to call Mr. Palau and his ministry back to the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). I met with one of the lead men who plan and coordinate the Palau Festivals. I sat with him in our church and watched video footage of priests celebrating their delivery of thousands of rosaries and the heretical sacrament of penance at Luis Palau’s events. He told me that he would pass on my “concerns” to someone closer to Luis. Sadly, the Palau Association has continued to become an association of apostasy as they depart from the true Gospel, preferring friendship and partnership with the false gospel of the Roman Catholic Church.
See Luis Palau Association’s Ecumenical Evangelism Exposed -parts 1-3 (2008)
See Dialoguing with a Luis Palau Associate -Part 1 & 2 (2008)
Listen to Ecumenical Evangelism Exposed (2008)
Five years later, Luis Palau has come out of the ecumenical closet with his “broad is the way” apostasy and he is now openly promoting the pope in Christianity Today as a proponent of the “pure Gospel.” In a subsequent interview with Ed Stetzer, Palau affirms that the pope is his friend, prayer partner, a “blessing,” and “he [the pope] knows the Lord as Savior” (http://vimeo.com/73698082). It is an obvious but suppressed reality that the pope is Catholic; that Catholicism is not Christianity; and that Luis Palau and Rick Warren’s promotion/union with Rome’s antichrist is bold apostasy. It is long past time for TRUE Bible believing, Gospel believing, Christ loving pastors and churches to call Luis Palau and Rick Warren to repent of their apostate promotion/union with the heretical Roman Catholic Church, priests, bishops, and antichrist pope. Cedar Mill Bible Church, Southwest Bible Church, and all genuine Bible/Gospel believing churches and ministries need to cease their support of Luis Palau until such a time as he repents of his apostasy. The multitude of professing Evangelical churches that support, celebrate, and look to Rick Warren for leadership need to call him to repent of his apostasy, and break their union with him until such a time as he does. The love of Christ, His TRUE Gospel, and over a billion Catholic souls demands that we expose the antichrist pope’s soul daming “evil deeds” (2 John 9-11). The church must declare, define, and defend the Gospel.
Beware of the pope and popish doctrine! Phil. 3:2 warns us to “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!” This is an appropriate description and warning of the pope and popish doctrines. There is a corruption and corrosion of Biblical conviction and theology in the Evangelical church as evidenced by a ready acceptance and celebration of pope, priest, and the false Gospel of Roman Catholicism. Rick Warren, Luis Palau, and so many like them have crafted a peace with the pope and His false Gospel that cuts the heart out of the true Gospel and blasphemes the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Rick Warren tweeted to Rome’s new antichrist and the world, “Welcome Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Habemus Papam, You have our prayers.” In a Christianity Today article Warren described the Roman Catholic sacramental system of salvation as mere “doctrinal distinctives” and went on to assert “the fact is, we do serve the same Lord.” Luis Palau has repeatedly stated that Rome’s antichrist pope is his personal friend and that “He’s really centered on Jesus and the Gospel, the pure Gospel” (Christianity Today, 3/14/13). Rick Warren and Luis Palau are two highly influential “broad is the way” apostates.
Charles Spurgeon rebukes Warren, Palau, and all like them:
“False gods, attempts to represent the true God, and indeed, all material things which are worshipped, are so much filth upon the face of the earth, whether they be crosses, crucifixes, virgins, wafers, relics, or even the Pope himself. We are by far too mealy mouthed about these infamous abominations: God abhors them, and so should we. To renounce the glory of spiritual worship for outward pomp and show is the height of folly, and deserves to be treated as such.” (The Treasury of David, Psalm 106:20)
Will the Bible believing church please stand up! C.H. Spurgeon believed the Bible and therefore had no difficulty seeing and exposing Roman Catholicism for the soul damning system of sacramental works that it is. Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and the souls of men must cease turning a blind eye to professing evangelicals who trample the Gospel beneath their antichrist promoting, ecumenical feet. Why do men like Luis Palau and Rick Warren get a pass when they promote the “infamous abominations” and “filth” of Rome? Those of you who make a practice of quoting Spurgeon, please quote and emulate him where it counts or turn in your Spurgeon Club Card and stop quoting him. Join Spurgeon, Calvin, and Luther in abhorring the world’s oldest antichrist cult, or renounce your claim of being Reformed and holding to Semper Reformanda. Don’t steal credibility from Spurgeon and the Reformers while trampling upon the Gospel they declared and defended with feet covered in the “filth” of ecumenical compromise. Let us forsake silence and stand together with Spurgeon and the Reformers. May we not be found amongst the “dumb dogs” of Isaiah 56:10-11:
His watchmen are blind,
They are all ignorant;
They are all dumb dogs,
They cannot bark;
Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yes, they are greedy dogs
Which never have enough.
And they are shepherds
Who cannot understand;
They all look to their own way,
Every one for his own gain,
From his own territory.
The following messages are a call to declare, define, and defend the Gospel against the winds of apostasy blowing out of Rome, through the heretical halls of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church and Luis Palau’s non-Evangelical Association of apostasy.
Is the Pope Catholic? Luis Palau? Rick Warren? http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=3181313816
Beware of Pope & Popish Doctrine http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=327132029425