Salvation Apart From Christ?
by Mike Gendron
On May 31, 1995 the Vatican Information Service released these words from Pope John Paul II: “The gift of salvation cannot be limited to those who, in an explicit way, believe in Christ and have entered the church. If salvation is destined for all, it should be in reach of all…the divine plan has also predisposed a path of salvation for those who through no fault of their own do not know Christ and do not see themselves as Christians.” Official Roman teaching states there is salvation apart from Christ. How does the Pope allow access to salvation to all — even those apart from Christ? In a separate Vatican release, the Pope amplifies Mary’s role in the salvation process when he depicted her as “the spiritual mother who intercedes for Christ’s disciples and for all humanity.” Official Roman Catholic teaching is that salvation is not available to all only through Christ but is available to all through Mary.
The Lord of Romanism is incapable of saving all and incapable of saving any apart from Mary. This is not the Lord of Scripture. This heresy continues to damn millions. So we have been told we should unite with Catholics, because we have only petty differences. We have misunderstood them and they have changed. This is quite different from saying that yes, there are some Catholics who are truly saved. But what is really uniting Evangelicals and Catholics together? The answer is subtle but simple. It is a new morality. When morality becomes an end in itself then all who unite toward that end become your brothers. This new morality has not only the potential to unite Catholics and evangelicals – but all religions of the world.
This new morality redefines the believer. In a Christianity Today article, entitled Why Catholics Are Our Allies, Chuck Colson states believers are “on the front lines battling such issues as abortion, pornography, and threats to religious liberty.” He goes on to make these statements: “Our best weapon is the distinctiveness of Christian truth, expressed in unity by all true believers . . . And let’s be certain that we are firing our polemical rifles against the enemy, not against those fighting in the trenches alongside us in defense of the Truth.”
When we join the culture war and jump in the trenches with Roman Catholics, which truth is Colson asking us to fight for: The “truth” that justification involves more than faith alone or the Truth that one is justified by faith alone (sola fide)? The “truth” that church tradition and the Magisterium have authority over Scripture or the Truth that Scripture stands as the final authority (sola scriptura)? The “truth” that salvation involves infant baptism, the Eucharist, and other works or the Truth that one is saved by grace alone (sola gratio)?
One must remember that one-third of the Moral Majority was Roman Catholics. There is a major difference between coming together for a common cause as opposed to redefining who a Christian is by a common cause. This new morality makes all who join in it your brother regardless of their position concerning the Gospel, regardless of their theological belief. The Vatican Information Service issued a statement that John Paul’s ambitions for the millennial year are vast and include having a summit of all the monotheistic religions on Mount Sinai. How could the Pope, who is the world leader in ecumenism, pull this off? In January, this year, Pope John Paul ended his trip to Africa with a call for the world’s great religions to unite on behalf of sharing moral values. He was addressing Hindu and Buddhist leaders. Unity and Oneness, not in the gospel, not in doctrine, but in shared moral values! Pope John Paul’s moral basis for unity comes across strongly in his recent best-seller, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, and a strong papal letter released by the Vatican called That They May Be One.
For years theologians have searched for an answer to the question of how all the religions of the world could be brought together to fulfill Revelation 17:15. In recent years, many thought it would be the Charismatic movement. This movement may have crossed all denominations, but because of its extremes it has its limits. It has the potential to redefine who “believers” really are. It has the potential to change the mission of the church. It has the potential to unite all religions of the world, and its well on its way.
–editor’s note– Unity to fight immorality and social injustice is a good cause but never at the risk of compromising the Gospel. The above article was taken from the publication, The Redefining of a Christian, with permission of the author, Pastor Tom Watson.