Sunday, February 22, 2015

"He went to Jared": Evangelicals going to Rome

Jared engagement rings

There is a television commercial that we are "treated" to every year around Christmas time. Jared Jewelry Galleria wants to present itself as an upscale jewelry store, the only place that you should consider buying your fine jewelry, especially diamond engagement rings. They want you to know that they consider themselves the be-all, end-all, pinnacle of jewelry. They believe there is no other name in jewelry. Once the gal knows "he went to Jared," she melts, giggles, and the deal is sealed. Or proposal. Whatever.

We should start a new meme. "He went to Rome."

Pope ring. "He went to the Vatican"
Over the past few years, when receiving the call from Rome to come to the Vatican, we have seen leaders who call themselves Christian or evangelical, giggle and melt like the girls in the Jared commercials. The Vatican presents itself as the only place that you should consider buying your religion. They want you to know that they consider themselves at the Vatican Galleria the be-all, end-all, pinnacle of religion. They believe there is no other name in religion. Once they know "he went to Rome" Christian leaders melt, sigh, and that seals the deal.

Here are some 'Christian' leaders who in the recent past have gone to Rome to meet with the Pope.

The topic was marriage.

Rick Warren
Russell Moore
NT Wright

About the ecumenical meeting, Russell Moore said,
But all of us in this room share at least one thing in common,” said Moore. “We recognize that marriage and family is a matter of public importance, not just of our various theological and ecclesial distinctive communities,"

The topic was unity.

Joel Osteen
Mormon Senator Mike Lee
(Disgraced) CA pastor Tim Timmons

As to the above trio's meeting,
"The ecumenical meeting was a part of Pope Francis' on-going efforts to bring unity among Christians, previously stating in public remarks, "Divisions among us, but also divisions among the communities: evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, but why divided? We must try to bring about unity."

The topic was (evangelical) Protestant-Catholic unity in Jesus' name.

James and Betty Robison Beth Moore's mentor and broadcasts weekly on LifeToday
Kenneth Copeland
Reverend Geoff Tunnicliff, CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Brian Stiller, from the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Thomas Schirrmacher, from the World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. John Arnott and his wife, Carol, co-founders of Partners for Harvest ministries in Toronto, Canada. 

As to the above 'evangelicals' meeting,
It was "an unprecedented moment between evangelicals and the Catholic Pope."
The topic was unity in Christ's name:

Pastor Giovanni Traettino
350 Pentecostals

Of the above meeting held in Caserta, Italy
Francis is particularly keen on establishing good relationships with evangelicals, convinced that even though disagreements exist over doctrine, it is still possible to love Christ and witness to him together.
Portuguese First Lady Maria Cavaco Silva kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI
while Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva stands by May 11 2010.

In addition to the deeds of self-proclaimed 'evangelical' leaders going across the world to meet with Pope Francis, are the number of 'evangelical' leaders who ally with Rome in word.

Spoken this month by Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church, to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Friday, February 6, 2015, about President Barack Obama's controversial remarks at the 63rd annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and Muslims extremism, is the following startling declaration-
"And I believe that Christians ought to be on the forefront of fighting this evil, and this is unmitigated evil … burning people alive … and that is why tonight, I am calling on Christians everywhere, Catholics and Protestants together, to join with our Jewish friends and demand that this president do whatever is necessary, including boots on the ground, to eradicate this cancer of ISIS and radical Islam before it destroys us." [emphasis mine]

Sadly, Catholics are not Christians. Yet sentiments like Jeffress' are becoming commonplace. Calls for partnerships, pleas for unity, and combining our efforts are the order of the day. And not from fringe sects but high-end supposedly conservative leaders.

The question is, if a religion or individual calls on the name of Jesus, is that all there needs to be to accept them as a brother? No. There are different Jesuses and there is This Same Jesus. (Acts 1:11). Here is John MacArthur in Declaring and Defending the Deity of Christ
If you’re believing in a false Jesus, you’re damned. You preach any other Christ than the true Christ, you’re damned, that’s Galatians 1. If you fail to love the true Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 16, you’re cursed. We have to be loving and believing in the true Christ, not a false Christ, not a Christ of our own imagination, not some sentimental Jesus, not the Jesus of liberalism, not the Jesus of liberation theology, not the Jesus of Mormonism, not the Jesus of Islam, not the Jesus of private invention. Now, all false religions—listen--all false religions reject the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. They all do. That’s what constitutes them as false religions to start with. From Islam to Mormonism, if you want to go from something that is non-Christian to something that calls itself Christian, they all reject the true Christ. But, they all honor a false Christ.
But can't we all just get along, even partner briefly for a one-off? For Jesus' sake? No. MacArthur again-

Billy Graham met with Pope John Paul II in 1993.
It is ludicrous to imagine that Christians and Jews and Muslims, or Christians and anyone else in any other religion, can get together. It's impossible because all other systems of religion are against Christ. When that effort is made, the only thing that ever results is the loss of true Christianity. ~John MacArthur

That document circulated 20 years ago was an overt, visible leap of this dastardly move toward Rome. It was called Evangelicals and Catholics Together document, 1994. MacArthur explains why we do not partner with Rome, or any false religion, even briefly for a 'common' mission.

A recent document entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,” signed by a number of prominent evangelicals, has neglected the wide doctrinal breach that separates evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. It declares the unity of the two participating groups, emphasizes their common faith, allows for doctrinal differences, but states that the two nevertheless have a common mission. A fatal flaw in the document is its assumption that a common mission is possible in spite of the doctrinal differences.

Religion News Service did a 20-year retrospective on the document:

Evangelicals and Catholics Together marks 20 years, Feb 2014
(RNS) When evangelicals and Catholics set aside centuries of mutual suspicion 20 years ago, the idea was fairly simple: Even if we can’t always work together, at least let’s not work against each other.
But that's wrong. We are working against Rome, and every other principality that comes against the faith and against the faithful of the true Jesus Christ.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

We DO fight against the evil forces. We never stop. Why?

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (Colossians 1:13)

We do not partner with Rome, or any false religion's leaders, or accept any part of their faith itself, not even for pragmatic reasons. Not even for reasons that we ourselves deem to be 'good.' If that was acceptable, Paul and Silas would have allowed the demon-possessed slave girl to keep following them and shouting-

These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation. (Acts 16:17)

Was there anything wrong with what she said? No, technically it was accurate. Paul and Silas were serving God, who is most high, and their message was salvation. All true. Just as Rome's message is that Jesus came to seek and save the lost, or that Jesus is the incarnated God, or that He is Messiah...none of those statements or beliefs are wrong. What is wrong is the source.

Paul did not need the dominion of hell and darkness to proclaim Light. It would be hypocritical in the extreme to say that hell is bad- except when it helps us, except when it's convenient. Never! We never partner with hell when it's easy, or convenient, or helpful. Because it never is.

It would have been insensitive in the extreme to mourn over this poor girl's bodily use by demons to sell fortunes for profit, and then cravenly use that same poor girl's body to proclaim the message of the cross.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)

And the most important reason is that we do not partner with evil to bring good. God forbade such partnerships and blessed the congregation that stays apart from them. Even when satan's throne is set in the city.

I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. (To the church at Pergamum, Revelation 2:13)

Test these things, stay true to the purity of the bright Gospel of the true Shepherd!

Gold actually is dull. Fool's Gold in raw form reflects substantially more light and is often mistaken for gold. But it isn't.

All that glisters is not gold;  
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold  
But my outside to behold:  
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.  
Had you been as wise as bold,  
Young in limbs, in judgement old  
Your answer had not been inscroll'd
Fare you well, your suit is cold
Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Hold fast to the name of Jesus, the Jesus whose identity is specifically described in the bible. Not the Mormon Jesus. Not the Islamic Jesus/Isa. Not the Coptic Jesus. Not the Catholic Jesus.

And for the sake of all that is holy, don't go to Jared Rome. All that glitters is not gold.

(Top, gold. Bottom, fool's gold AKA pyrite)



Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)



One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them





18 comments :

  1. Excellent work. This is extraordinary, and I would say it is gold that glitters with His Hand behind your pen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Max irony with the last part, considering Tolkien was at least a professing Catholic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The so-called "Christian" churches getting cozy with the Whore of Babylon is part of the great delusion. First they preach a watered-down version of the Gospel and then they slowly introduce the all-roads-lead-to-God mantra.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW

    I despise the "he went to Jared" and "every kiss begins with Kay" commercial slogans. They so cheapen the commitment that a ring is supposed to symbolize that I categorically refuse to support either company when it comes time for me to buy any jewelry for anyone for any reason.

    I'm more of a fan of the Tungsten ring concept ( http://www.larsonjewelers.com/c-5-tungsten-wedding-bands.aspx ) because I believe the ring is a symbol of marriage, like marriage is a symbol of God's love for His saints. It is not fitting that the ring should be an end to itself, as neither the marriage should be an end to itself, but both should be a signpost to the greater spiritual truth of the relationship it symbolizes.

    That's why I like the idea of Tungsten, rather than Gold, for these reasons:
    * both symbolize purity
    * both are noncorrodible
    * but Tungsten has "unbreakable" strength, whereas Gold is malleable and can be bent with comparably little effort for a metal.

    If I want to symbolize an unbreakable covenant between man and wife, hearkening to the Savior who cannot lose those He has redeemed, then I want the hardest substance that is also pure, nontoxic, and impervious to rust. And that's why I'd like Tungsten. Not for the novelty, but for the symbolism.

    Plus, the prices are more responsible.

    And I won't be going to Jared or Kay under any circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another thing that I like about it is ("the pearl of great price" comes to mind, along with all parables about the kingdom of God being like a secret treasure) that a ring like this is not considered as valuable as gold to most of the rest of the world, and for that matter thieves and counterfeits. This APPEALS to me, for the further symbolism that our salvation and our heritage in the brotherhood of saints as partakers in Christ's kingdom is something that most people don't recognize or see the value in. It's valuable to those who have it.

      That's how I fathom my future relationship with my wife. It will be absolutely wonderful and precious to us, but no one else will experience it and it will be "our secret," a constant daily witness to each of us how our communion with God is like that parabolic treasure hidden in a field, of immense worth to us but unnoticed by anyone whose eyes aren't open to see it, too.

      Delete
  5. I know this has the potential to cause some anguish, but one of the biggest avenues of entry has been the observances of "christian holidays" like christ/mass easter/estoreth
    all saints day/ halloween.
    I have over the past four years been coming out of those observances that are very important to many.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ( http://singlechristian1.blogspot.com/2014/12/christ-mass-thoughts-from-spurgeon.html )

      "Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it,"
      ~ Good ol' Charles Haddon Spurgeon

      I don't celebrate it either. It was an easy enough habit to start, since I have no money to spend on elaborate gifts (or rather, tribute) for others. But I will continue a non-regard for that calendar event with my future family. I have another thought ( http://singlechristian1.blogspot.com/2014/02/general-disinterest-in-valentines-day.html ) that gifts are best given spontaneously, since if they're planned on the calendar, then they are expected, and anything that is expected, if it is not given, breeds resentment. What place does resentment have in the context of getting gifts?! Because of this, I am much more in favor of observing historical dates with a family devotional time, and when it comes to *material* gifts, making them utter surprises that don't have any connection to birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations etc.

      Delete
    2. I'm not going to engage in or allow a discussion about holidays. It's not the point of the post. I know that sensible Christians can make distinctions between celebrating Christmas and celebrating May Day. (Asherah poles). It is also a matter of Christian liberty, and it is a matter of personal choice based on motivations.

      If one reads the context beyond the quote from good ole Charles Spurgeon from his discourse "Joy Born at Bethlehem," Spurgeon actually said that it's a matter of liberty and it is good to ponder the birth of Christ. That although some will celebrate the day hollowly, as if to Bacchus or Ceres, others will celebrate it purely. Spurgeon went on to say:

      "Nevertheless since, the current of men's thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current [celebration] itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify nor condemn, by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. Since it is lawful, and even laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day in the year, it cannot be in the power of other men's superstitions to render such a meditation improper for to-day. "

      Delete
    3. Oh yeah, I didn't mean to obscure that by not pasting the text here, I just left it out for emphasis, but I was more evenhanded in the link itself. Hope I didn't look to brazenly biased :P :)

      Delete
    4. too*

      embarrassing grammar fail

      Delete
  6. Oh, c'mon, Adam. The jewelry ads are just ads like any other. So you would never buy your future wife roses if roses were peddled the same way diamonds were? What about the ad that shows the wife being delivered a new car with a huge ribbon and bow on it? You would never buy that color or model of car because it cheapened a sober and practical car-buying experience with slick advertising and fast-talking salespeople? Back to the slogans that cheapen the marriage commitment (as you said).....take it back another step. Diamonds, and probably other gems as well, have a seamy and dark history when it comes to their mining and distribution procedures. Maybe we shouldn't buy gems of any sort as a form of protest. I suppose my childhood church had it right--they forbade the wearing of any kind of ring, including simple wedding bands, even to this day. So far they can still buy flowers and cars as they please. Adam, you've always had great comments, but I think sometimes you need to lighten up a bit. Not everything needs to be spiritualized. In case you're wondering, I'm well over age 70, and once in a while I know whereof I speak! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't get too crazy! Christian liberty shall not die at my hand. :) But yes, I do have a zeal against a lot of the consumerism geared toward capitalizing off of people's emotions, especially when it comes to romantic or familial relationships, and it makes me think very seriously about whether that's something I want to accept and promote by my participation, or divest from.

      I'm partial to the idea of not having gemstones on our wedding bands, wife included. The idea of not supporting slavery or corruption is a valid concern.

      These are nowhere near rules that I would hold others to and look down upon them for not honoring, they're concerns that are personal to me, but I'll nevertheless share my thoughts in the event that it provokes someone else to have a different perspective. In that vein, I am thankful for your weighing-in, also. In my case, I don't believe I'm idealizing my future high-value purchases or setting myself up for inconsistency in my personal practice, but if I were, your feedback would've given me pause. As it is, I took the time to 'examine myself' to see if I was being as ridiculous as one might interpret me to be. I don't think I've gone off the rails yet. :) Just using strong language.

      Thanks also for not being very quick to condemn, yourself, in your response. Whenever this happens, my mind now goes back to the Scripture I've memorized, "they will know you are My disciples by your love for one another." One measure of that is how we treat each other with courtesy in on-line exchanges, in contrast to how aggressive they can tend to be, even when strong words are used or sensitive topics are broached.

      :)

      Delete
    2. On a not quite but almost related note, have you seen that commercial (around V-day this year) that was basically, "buy this 50-pound Novelty Bear for your girl. She'll love it!"

      Wasn't that ridiculous? I hope most people see it as a gag gift.

      Delete
  7. Sadly, Catholics are not Christians.

    You made the same claim about Coptics. I have to really disagree with the generality of your statements.

    Roman Catholicism is not Christian, and neither is the Coptic version. Both are corruptions of the true Christian faith. However, there are indeed individual Catholics (and I would suspect Copts) who, in spite of the organization, fully understand the Gospel and are indeed true believers. I have known many Catholics and have read and heard many testimonies by ex-Catholics -- all of which were indeed true Christians. They grew up in that faith and liked the various liturgies, but disagreed with some of the more bizarre teachings. Many remained with the organization due to family loyalties, etc.

    There are indeed true teachings in the organizations which can be discovered buried among the garbage, unlike the teachings of cults like the LDS or JWs who have no true teachings at all about Christ.

    I would suggest it is rather presumptuous with Catholics to declare that there are none who are Christians, since you can't know where their heart is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, your RCC friends who chose family loyalty over Jesus and stayed in the church were not saved. No person who is truly saved cannot physically or spiritually remain in a false faith structure, including Catholicism. Further, the RCC is not a 'corruption' of the true faith, it is no faith, because it is of the devil. It is the same as Islam. Please note the quote above regarding Galatians and belief in a false Christ and being damned.

      Not even Catholics claim to be saved. They can't make that claim. Theirs is a false faith. As Spurgeon said:

      "No one in the Church of Rome claims to be presently saved – completely and eternally saved. Such a profession would be heretical to them. Some few Catholics may hope to enter heaven when they die, but most of them have the miserable prospect of purgatory before their eyes."

      Why can I be so sure to say that when I don't "know their heart?" (although the fruit of them remaining in a RCC is bad fruit that tells us volumes)...

      The Holy Spirit!

      His ministry is to point to Jesus. He will not and does not allow one single sheep to remain in a place that lies about Jesus when His job is to point to His truth. People who are in the RCC where the Catholic dogma to this day anathematizes (curses) Protestantism do not have the Spirit in them. No way will an individual stay there, the Spirit's grace will pop that person out of the devil's church and into a real one.

      It is the same as if you said, "I have witch friends who appreciate the religion's sensitivity to the good stewardship of the earth, are troubled by some of the more bizarre Wiccan teachings, but due to generational loyalty, remained in the organization, and might be saved, because we can't know their heart."

      I don't declare NONE are Christians. I do say that any Copt, Mormon, Catholic, Muslim, Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Wicca, Native American individual who believes the dogmas of their faith structure are not saved. So when you read "Catholics are not saved" understand that the lengthier version is "Any Catholic individual who believes and accepts the dogmas of Rome are not saved." And alternately if they are saved, they will not accept the dogmas of Rome and will leave the church physically, just as they left it spiritually the moment the Holy Spirit entered in.

      Delete
    2. I disagree. Mormons, JWs, Muslim, Buddhist, et al didn't even start as Christian and don't have anything close to the real gospel. Rome started with the truth, as did other "Catholic" (Copts, E.O.). There is no requirement for a Christian to totally understand proper doctrine to be saved. The Scripture gives only one requirement and that is to believe that Christ died for your sins.

      You conflate what the RCC teaches vs what the individual accepts. Those who have faith in Christ and yet carry burdens of legalistic rules will slowly leave the other stuff behind and I know those who have done so. They do indeed leave it behind as the Holy Spirit convicts them, but in the meantime they are still Catholics. Those I've know who continue to attend the service with family are not placing their faith in the Pope or Mary. YOU cannot know where they individually stand with God.

      Delete
    3. "So when you read "Catholics are not saved" understand that the lengthier version is "Any Catholic individual who believes and accepts the dogmas of Rome are not saved.""

      That directly addressed Glenn's stated concern, as I understand it.

      As for people remaining or leaving an RCC church, understand that it's a process. I have a friend who was saved out of RCism. For some time she had been going with her family (still living under their roof) to their RCC regularly. She's been continually growing in understanding of doctrines such as submission, etc, and about a year ago informed her parents that she would not go with them any longer. Her concern may have originally been that participation would aid her ability to witness to them, and demonstrate child-parent submission, but eventually it became clear that she could not appear to support what she knew was damnable teaching. Neither I nor anyone else persuaded her to refuse to go to mass. She came to that conclusion herself as a result of the process of sanctification: regularly studying the Scriptures and having her understanding thereof illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

      And I think that's what Elizabeth's saying. I condone her forceful statements with respect to people who are truly saved *by necessity* leaving the RC church they're in. To speak in terms of gray rather than black and white is not helpful, and mitigates the perception of the seriousness of the issue.

      I don't believe Elizabeth would insist on a strict timeline, that if someone goes to mass with their family a few times after believing on Christ, that their profession of faith is insincere. But as with showing spiritual fruit, it is something that is Biblically *inevitable*. If they never leave, then it shows that their conscience was never provoked by it, and that is evidence of the lack of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So someone who is saved WILL leave a heretical church.

      The difference in how long that takes is a function of their obedience, gain of Scriptural wisdom, and the Holy Spirit's prerogative in sanctifying their desires. But I daresay someone who stays many years is evidencing severe disobedience, doctrinal error, and most likely that they simply didn't receive the Gospel message in truth.

      Reading what you two are writing, it doesn't seem you're fundamentally opposed, but the disagreement is over what way is appropriate to define the matter.

      In that regard, I 'take Elizabeth's side,' because my major premise is that those who are truly saved will not lose their salvation if they risk being offended by her words. And those who are not saved need to know that being in an RCC church is Biblically unacceptable and they are in danger of hell. And i both cases, those still in an RC church are in need of being convicted in their souls. And conviction comes by the Holy Spirit through hard truths (truths you agree to in letter, Glenn), not by giving every single condition every time you make a statement, and thereby dulling the emphasis off of everything said.

      Delete