Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Beginning of the End of Evangelical Christianity

                                                      (Pastor Steve Chalke on the R)

It was bound to happen, it was just a matter of time. Every denomination that splits off from the Church Jesus started begins to capitulate to to the morality of the society they find themselves in.
It started with Luther and others loosening the moral restriction regarding marriage and divorce and continued to the modern day Anglicans, Lutherans and Presbyterians declaring (by vote) that homosexuality is no longer sinful. With only the paradigm of sola scriptura to guide them, they will always fall off the edge of the earth morally when attempting to navigate the changing mores of society using the bible alone (or their interpretation of it.)
   The evangelicals (the Christian sect I was affiliated with) now have caved. I knew it was coming and I saw it in the way they embraced contraception. If sex isn't meant for procreation, then certainly one can see how this can logically lead to sex that needn't be restricted to opposite sex partners.
      Steve Chalke, a prominent Baptist and evangelical Christian from the UK has just come out in favor of same sex relationships.  (Ironically, this same week, 1000 Catholic priests in the UK wrote a letter to their politicians asking them to vote against the same-sex marriage proposal in parliment.)

 Here is an example of Pastor Steve Chalke's twisted hermeneutics where he allows modern culture  to dictate to him how scripture should be interpreted:  "Most Christians are properly wary of using the story of God’s judgement on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) which is now widely understood to be about the indulgence, indifference to others and social injustice of their inhabitants, rather than a proof text against homosexuality."

He uses his interpretation of the bible to justify his position and yet even admits that the bible alone cannot solve this dilemma: "A key challenge the Church faces – which often goes unrecognised – is that the Bible does not provide the final answer to a whole number of issues to do with inclusion with which Christians have subsequently wrestled."

So even though he uses a modern hermeneutic (interpretive method) to tell us that the bible really doesn't say what we think it seems to be saying (homosexuality is sinful), he clearly understands that scripture alone isn't going to help his argument.

I am sure many evangelicals are going to argue with Pastor Steve Chalke regarding his latest article, and rightfully so, yet there already is a growing number of evangelicals who are starting to change their morality to fit the current culture, and this, sadly, is the beginning of the end of Evangelical Christianity.

Chesterton said : "We do not want, as the newspapers say, a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world."

The only Church that will be left unmoved is the Catholic Church which never changes its stance on faith and morals.


Anonymous Potamiaena said...

Thank you for your comments. I love your blog and read it every day.

After reading this post, I want to stand up and say, BRAVO!! Our Church, built on a ROCK, will never cave to whatever society deems popular at the moment.

I am so proud to be a part of this Church.

January 18, 2013 9:42 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Thanks for the kind comments Potam!
Let's pray that events such as the above will cause our evangelical brethren to reconsider the wisdom of using sola scriptura to solve thier issues of faith and morals. Here is a respected baptist pastor using the bible to justify homosexuality through his own interpretive lens. This cannot ever happen in the Catholic Church because the Magisterium would not allow it to be taught. Issues of faith and morals can't be changed by popular vote as our Protestant brethren seem to think.

January 18, 2013 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Renée said...

My cousins, both United Methodist pastors, went through this last year when their denomination took a vote on changing the official Methodist stance towards homosexuality, which was that homosexual behavior is "incompatible with Christian teaching." Fortunately, 61% voted against changing their stance. Next time it comes to a vote, it will be 51%, and the next time 41% - and the stance will officially change. And what will conservative Methodists do at that point? Break away and start a new denomination, because that solves everything!

That solves nothing, because Protestant denominations, no matter how conservative, are built on a foundation of shifting sand. Only in the Church built on Peter will Protestants find the doctrinal stability they long for.

If only we can help them see that....

January 18, 2013 6:15 PM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"I saw it in the way they embraced contraception."

So much bad devolves from this decision.

January 18, 2013 6:31 PM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

As a Catholic I marked the beginning of the end when the non-denoms began to overshadow the mainlines.

January 18, 2013 6:33 PM  
Blogger Dr. Evangelicus said...

A Protestant could write a similar post about Hans Kung signalling the end of Catholic Christianity. Or Tina Beattie. Or any of dozens of other prominent Catholics.

Such a post would be just as nonsensical as yours.

January 19, 2013 5:14 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Dr Evangelicus, you are wrong. There have been heretics throughout Christendom but they never signaled the end of True Christianity. From the arian controversy of the fourth century to the rebellion of Luther in the 16th, the Church has had hundreds of thousands of Hans Kungs.
The reason that your comment fails is that you neglect the fact that the office of the pope is what prevents the collapse of Christianity. It always has. When there is a need for a decision regarding faith or morals, the decision comes through the pope. Protestants don't have a pope and most if they are honest are their own "popes." Why do you think Steve Chalkes has the audacity to re-interpret scripture to come up with a new way to excuse sin? The father of his religion, Luther gave him permission. This is the fatal flaw of sola scriptura. No one can argue with Steve because he, like hundreds of his contemporaries, are their own popes! Evangelical christianity is so divided, there is no one with authority to reel these heretics in. With 30,000 protestant sects, who can be the tie breaker when it comes to doctrine. Christ left us a Church, not just as book with no interpretive key.
Catholics are not immune to heresy, but Christ has built a Church that he promises will never fail, giving the Church and magisterium the interpretive key to scripture to rightly divide the word of truth.

January 19, 2013 9:48 AM  
Blogger George @ Convert Journal said...

I am with you Russ! Dr. Evangelicus also misses the important point that Hans Kung (et al) is not the Magisterium. No one would argue that we don't have in our midst those who are heterodox. Sometimes, those with specific sympathies (e.g. artificial contraceptives) might arguably (and hopefully temporarily) form a majority. Built upon a rock it makes no difference. As you note: "The only Church that will be left unmoved is the Catholic Church which never changes its stance on faith and morals."

January 19, 2013 4:16 PM  
Blogger Christian LeBlanc said...

I'm still waiting for a bunch of Hans Kungs and Tina Beatties to set up their own non-denom "Catholic" churches. The very few and small in numbers breakaway "Catholic" churches since the Reformation make Russ' point for him.

January 24, 2013 11:40 AM  

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