We live in a day when a morbid charity induces many to exaggerate God’s mercy, at the expense of His justice, and when false teachers are daring to talk of a ‘love of God, lower even than hell.’ Let us resist such teaching with a holy jealousy, and abide by the doctrine of Holy Scripture. (J.C. Ryle’s commentary on Matthew).
I remember my church history professor, John Hannah, telling us about the early church and the practices they had for joining a church. If I recall correctly, a person that wanted to join the fellowship had to go through several years of instruction while the leaders of the congregation got to know the new acolyte. Then, after supporting a credible profession of faith, the new convert would be baptized and allowed into the congregation.
The early church had good reasons for scrutinizing converts. There were too many people who wanted to have Christians put to death, so there was a real lack of trust upon the part of the church leadership. They were trying their best to protect the rest of the flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing.
I think it’s high time we returned to such practices. For far too long, the church has given a wink and a nod to anyone saying anything the least bit religious as actually being a true believer and this has done nothing but weaken the church.
For instance, just recently there have several prominent Baptists who have jumped on board with those who are Roman Catholics in the latest election cycle. I’m not saying we cannot support Roman Catholics in politics. This is perfectly fine. However, the embracing of Marco Rubio seems to me more than just one of political interest. Russell Moore, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, has proclaimed “Both of us are of the Christian faith.” Never mind the Reformation that took place a few hundred years ago and the apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church. Shortly thereafter, other Baptists jumped on board.
Many other Southern Baptists and evangelicals, including Denny Burk, Wayne Grudem, and Eric Teetsel have followed suit. Teetsel was the first “evangelical” to go to work for Rubio. He serves as the head honcho for Rubio’s faith and outreach campaign program.
Recently, author and theologian, Wayne Grudem, and Professor of History at Baylor University, Thomas Kidd, teamed up with the ecumenical henchman, Rick Warren, as well as the NAR harlequin, Samuel Rodriguez, to serve as Rubio’s religious advisors.
You would think that if these evanjellyfish had any real commitment to biblical truth, they’d “advise” Marco Rubio to repent of his idolatrous religion, and turn to Christ.
Read more here. All of this is really disappointing. I have a great deal of respect for some of these men, but even they need to be reminded that we are at odds with Rome and anyone who claims Christ in another way than by saving grace. (This includes Mormons as well because, they do not acknowledge the Triune God as One.)
The point is that the bar for who is a Christian has been dropped so low, that you have major Christians going around pronouncing as brothers those who are of another gospel all together. They have bought into the common sentiment of, “can’t we all just get along?” This really is the spirit of the age and many in Christianity are prepared and ready to accept it.
Yet, we need to be more careful about ascribing genuine saving faith to those who do not really have genuine saving faith. Remember what our LORD said on this matter: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13).
So many of these evangelical leaders are buying into the broad theory of redemption even though our LORD said otherwise. I know many want to jump on board when a Catholic sounds like a Christian. Or a Trump sounds like he once thought about God. But the bar is much higher to be a true Christian. One must be actually born again. This isn’t something that we can bring about in our own strength or with our own wills. It is an act of God’s mercy and grace. So the likelihood that so many who claim Christianity are actually Christians is rather slim.
Before we buy into someone’s claim, maybe we should check and see if they have a credible testimony at all. When someone says they are a Christian, perhaps we need to dig a little before just blindly accepting it.