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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2007Printer-Friendly
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Chuck Colson’s Vision of Union with Rome
AUDIO BROADCAST: Chuck Colson's Vision of Union with Rome
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

Chuck Colson was one of the original signatories of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. He and a group of other prominent evangelicals got together with a number of Roman Catholics and hammered out some sort of agreement on united action both in the social and religious spheres. Undergirding their agreement was the proposition that Evangelicalism and Romanism are two different but not mutually exclusive views of Christianity. Each is authentically Christian.

That was back in the mid-1990s. Today Colson is still pushing his ecumenical agenda. Almost three weeks ago I heard him speak on a Roman Catholic TV network and he reiterated how important it was for young evangelicals to carry on this ecumenical endeavor. He also made it clear that the ultimate objective of such togetherness was complete unity. Amazingly, he claimed that it was because he believed in the inerrant infallibility of Scripture that he pursued this vision of unity with Rome. He cited John 17, Christ's prayer "that they all may be one" without, of course, ever stopping to establish who "they" are. According to Colson, Evangelicals and Roman Catholics all "confess the same Christ." Therefore they should work through their difference and aim for unity in the face of a "hostile culture."

I have to disagree with him. I do not believe that Roman Catholicism is an authentic form of Christianity. True, there may be individual Roman Catholics who are justified believers, born again of the Holy Spirit and washed in the Redeemer's blood. The point is that such people receive saving truth despite and not because of the teachings of their Church. I oppose unity with Rome because of my adherence to the Bible as the inspired and infallible word of God.

Rome denies the sufficiency of Scripture and the final authority of its revelation. All her peculiarly Roman dogmas are based on an authority other than Scripture. Rome denies the central truths of the gospel, such as Christ as the sole mediator between God and men (making Mary a mediatrix and placing saints and angels as intercessors) and justification as a forensic act of God whereby He pardons all our sins and imputes to us the righteousness of Christ to give us a right to heaven. It is not too much to say that Rome has perverted every facet of the gospel message. It is not authentic Christianity and should not be included in plans for Christian unity.

Roman Catholics should be evangelized. Like everybody else, they need to be saved. If they are not saved they will be lost. To tell Roman Catholics who believe that by their baptism as children they were regenerated and justified-and that reaching heaven depends on their personal acts of righteousness-that their beliefs are fundamentally Christian is to betray both Christ and Roman Catholics. It is biblical evangelism that Evangelicals need to engage in, not some spurious ecumenism that denies Scripture and damns souls.

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