“Our Battle Cry”
By John Wilson
What is the difference between a Roman Catholic and a Protestant? I am convinced the difference is becoming less noticeable in modern day American Christianity. Before the Protestant Reformation, the Pope of the Catholic Church would allow you to pay “indulgences” that guaranteed a deceased family member’s entrance into heaven. Furthermore, the Pope actually told people that if they would fight in the crusades then that would guarantee them entrance into heaven. Roman Catholic doctrine is basically saying all you need to do is jump through this hoop, pay this indulgence, sign up for this war, make this decision, and you are guaranteed a spot in heaven if you follow what the pope says and do the sacraments that pope tells you to do because he is the pope and he decides who can merit the forgiveness of sins. Can you imagine a man standing in the place of God and saying: “I absolve you”?
Fast forward 700 years to the present day middle class, American church service. It just so happens to be a “revival” week because “Catholic Protestants” think we actually can call the Spirit of God down from heaven and tell Him when and where He can move even though the Bible says the Holy Spirit blows where and when and on whom He wishes (John 3:8). Imagine the evangelist saying to the crowd: “Bow your head and close your eyes. Now if you want to go to heaven all you need to do is look up at me.” Several people, including a couple of 6 year old girls, look up at the evangelist. He then says to the crowd: “Ok, The Bible says that if you are ashamed of Jesus then He will be ashamed of you. Several people have looked up at me and now I want you to walk down this aisle if you want to be saved.” Only one of the two 6 year old girls is brave enough and comes down to the front. The evangelist asks her why she came down and she says: “Because I want to go to heaven.” The evangelist takes her by the hand and with a big smile says: “Welcome to the kingdom of God. Write this day down in your Bible because this is the day you became a Christian and never ever let anyone else tell you different.”
Can you see where I’m going with this? I’m afraid American Christianity has mainly reverted back to Roman Catholic doctrine (semi-pelagianism). We tell people all you need to do is pray this prayer, or sign this card, or walk this aisle…and you are born again because, like the pope, the “Catholic Protestant” evangelist says you are saved! To quote Paul Washer: “The biggest heresy in evangelical America today is that if you ask Jesus into your heart that He will definitely come in.” Should we be a little concerned that no where in the Bible does it say to ask Jesus into your heart? We need another Reformation in this country and without one I’m afraid the judgment of God will fall on our country. Remember, the people of Sodom had no Bible let alone 5 different translations sitting on their bookshelf collecting dust. The truth is we would all still be Roman Catholics if wasn’t for the grace of God bringing in the Protestant Reformation. The pre-reformers Jan Hus and William Tyndale were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholics because they taught that God who was saves and not the Pope. Just before they burned Hus or “The Goose” (where we get the term “your goose is cooked”), he said you may silence me but after me will come another who you will not be able to silence. About 100 years later, a man by the name of Martin Luther , who was influenced by some of the writings of Hus, made his stand. The foundational doctrines of the Protestant Reformation can be summed up in the 5 Solas. If you take away Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christus, Sola Scriptura, and Sola Dei Gloria from the foundation of the church then the gates of hell will prevail. However, I believe in the promises of God found in the Bible and He has promised, like with Samson and the Philistines, His Church will take hold of the doors of the gates of Hades, pull them off, put them on their shoulders and carry them to the city that is on a hill. And the people of God will shout from the hilltop, from the valley below, in the heavens above, even in the beds of Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the sea, where the domain of darkness rules, that SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THOUGH FAITH ALONE, IN CHRIST ALONE, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES ALONE, TO THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE! We are saved by works….by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Our merits, efforts, and will do not save us (Romans 9:16, John 1:12-13)…we are only saved by God’s grace. Is your faith in the Jesus Christ revealed in the Scriptures for salvation? By Faith, we mean: “a certain conviction, wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, as to the truth of the Gospel, and a hearty reliance (trust) on the promises of God in Christ.” We believe these truths because they are found in the Scriptures, which is our authority…not our experiences and not what the “Catholic Protestant” evangelist said. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “By Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
In light of these important truths, the Blood Bought Writers have decided to write a post on each of the 5 Solas in the next few weeks.
Here is how it will go down:
Sola Scriptura- By Corban Stone on May 9th
Sola Fide- By Justin Carnley on May 16th
Sola Gratia- By Armando Yzaguirre on May 23rd
Sola Christus- By Cody Watson on May 30th
Soli Deo Gloria- By Pastor Edwin Ramirez on June 6th