Dr. Russell Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He recently accepted an invitation to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss the defense of marriage (Why I’m Going to the Vatican). Like many influential evangelical leaders today, Dr. Moore is on the road to apostasy, and he’s leading others down that road. It doesn’t matter if your motivation is the protection of the unborn, the protection of traditional marriage, or any other moral cause, if you unite with the Pope of Rome, you are uniting with the longstanding, undeniable enemy of Christ and His Gospel. The Gospel for which Jesus Christ died, rose again, and sits at the right hand of the Father is the priority that trumps every moral cause. Nothing trumps the primacy of the declaration and defense of the Gospel.
Even more illuminating than Dr. Moore’s jovial announcement that he’s got a ticket to Rome, his recent article, “Some Thoughts on Pope Francis,” reveals doctrinal madness, or apostasy, or both (Some Thoughts on Pope Francis). Most notable amongst Dr. Moore’s thoughts on Pope Francis is what is missing from his thoughts. He never expresses the slightest thought that Pope Francis is the enemy of Christ our King and His glorious Gospel. The following quotes (in blue) from that article are insightful as to how an “evangelical” leader justifies uniting with Rome’s anti-Christ in order to defend marriage.
“First of all, I am a Protestant so, of course, I do not accept the church’s claims about the papal chair as Vicar of Christ. But though I protest; I don’t throw rocks (no Petrine pun intended). My mother’s side of the family was and is Roman Catholic, and some of the most significant influences in my life personally and intellectually are Roman Catholics.”
-Dr. Moore gives a mild obligatory rejection of the Pope being the Vicar of Christ, but refuses to throw Semper Reformanda rocks of Gospel truth at the oldest and most successful soul damning, anti-Christ system of works righteousness the world has ever seen. He then goes on to give unqualified thanksgiving for the significant personal blessings he has received from Roman Catholics in his life.
“Second, I don’t dislike Pope Francis. I think he is quite right about the primacy of the gospel over culture wars. In my much smaller pool and from my much smaller perch, I’ve tried to say that outrage itself isn’t a Christian virtue. Our mission ought to be toward reconciliation, not the vaporization of our perceived enemies.”
-The Pope hasn’t missed the “primacy of the Gospel.” He doesn’t believe the Gospel. He’s the enemy of the Gospel! Dr. Moore declares to the Church and the world that he doesn’t “dislike Pope Francis.” He doesn’t dislike the man that every historic figure and document worth quoting declares to be the anti-Christ. He doesn’t dislike the man who actively labors against Christ our King, and the ministry of His glorious Gospel. He doesn’t dislike the charming man who is leading over a billion souls to Hell with a smile; a soft word; and a church, a priesthood, a sacramental system, and a catechism full of damning heresy. Dr. Moore says, “Our mission ought to be toward reconciliation, not the vaporization of our perceived enemies.” The Pope is not a “perceived enemy,” he’s the real enemy of Christ, His true Gospel, and the souls men.
“But. If Pope Francis wishes to reclaim the primacy of the gospel, he must simultaneously speak with kindness to those outside of its reach and speak of the need for good news.”
-Dr. Moore is giving Pope Francis a pep talk on “the primacy of the gospel.” The Pope of Rome is seemingly a proponent and partner in the Gospel that has lost a passion for the primacy of its ministry. This thinking is evident throughout Dr. Moore’s writing and verbal communication regarding the Pope and the Catholic Church. Where Dr. Moore should be quoting Gal. 1:6-9’s anathemas, he instead gives “primacy” papal pep talks to a partner and fellow proponent of the Gospel. The prince of preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, rebukes Dr. Moore’s pandering to the Pope:
“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)
“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
“Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors: we shall love their souls though we loath and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
Dr. Moore’s Thoughts on Pope Francis continue:
“… if what they feel in their psyches and read in their Bibles (and in their Catholic catechisms) is that those who commit such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
-In making his “primacy” point, Dr. Moore unconscionably references the authority of the Bible and the “Catholic catechism” while simultaneously making no criticism of the catechism’s bold anti-Christ, anti-Gospel, soul damning doctrines (see bottom).
“I’m in no position to advise the Bishop of Rome, but I hope we’ll see a fuller-orbed message from him. I’m with Pope Francis on the need for kindness, but I pray it will be a convictional kindness that addresses both the reality of God’s holy justice and his reconciling love.”
-Dr. Moore’s tone would be appropriate if he was critiquing an esteemed Baptist colleague on a nuance of the ministry and application of the Gospel, but he’s talking about the Pope of Rome. Every pastor, in every church, in every age is in a “position to advise the Bishop of Rome” to repent of his anti-Christ position, title, church, priesthood, sacraments, and catechism full of the doctrines of demons. Every pastor, in every church, in every age has a responsibility to defend the Gospel and the souls of men from anti-Christ enemies (Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.). We do not “hope to see a fuller-orbed message from” the anti-Christ of Rome. That is madness, or apostasy, or both. To play the role of the mildly critical gospel partner of the Bishop of Rome hoping for a “fuller-orbed message,” is to play the role of the apostate and to lead others into apostasy. To partner with the Bishop of Rome for the defense of marriage, is to partner with the enemy of Christ and His Gospel. No moral issue justifies union with enemies of Christ and His Gospel. No moral issue can be allowed to subjugate the declaration and defense of the Gospel. Nothing trumps the primacy of the Gospel!
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20)
Galatians 1:6-10, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, and 2 John 7-11 serve as rebuke to Dr. Moore and all those who choose partnership with notorious servants of Satan:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:6-10)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God…17 Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’” (2 Cor. 6:14-17)
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. 9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 7-11)
*A brief sampling of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (The Pope’s anti-Christ doctrine):
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. CCC Para 1210
“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. ‘Sacramental grace’ is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament.” CCC Para 1129
“Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ…” CCC Para 977
“Baptism,…erases original sin…” CCC Para 405
“Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith.” CCC Para 1992
“In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.” CCC Para 1367
“Taken up to heaven she (Mary) 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.” CCC Para 969
“By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All Holy One.” CCC Para 2677
*The Sacrament of Penance -THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same. It is called a “sacrament” not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing satisfaction. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, “confession”, and it is said to take place in the “tribunal of penance”, because it is a judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification.
“Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification.” CCC Para 1446
“One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.” CCC Para 1493