Some Evangelicals in Europe are raising voices against their leaders' growing romance with the pope. While Pope Francis is making more friendly noises toward Protestants, Bible believers are pointing out that little has changed in Rome's basic, unbiblical doctrines.
Francis uses language like "personal relationship" with Christ, "conversion," and "mission," but "there is no hint that he wants to change any dogma that is contrary to Scripture," declared one open letter to the head of the World Evangelical Alliance. Such global "alliances" are always at risk of being influenced away from biblical guidelines to more compromise for the sake of unity.
Fortunately, the grassroots groups of local evangelicals are pressuring the WEA to be cautious. The national evangelical associations from Italy, Spain, France, and Poland are cautioning both their European leaders and those in America to not overlook the pagan teachings of Rome. The Spanish Evangelical Alliance stated that it "cannot ignore the fact that the Roman Catholic Church continues to maintain fundamental doctrines that are not found in Scriptures."
One of the concerns that brought this to a head was a meeting last year between the WEA, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Pentecostal World Fellowship, and the Vatican. On the agenda was to work on a "common statement" against proselytizing each other's members.
For a true evangelical (which means soul winner) this was a major red flag. This presumed that all were truly Christians and did not need to be saved. But this is a new idea. Protestantism was birthed by Bible believers who recognized that the Roman Catholic institution matched the identity of the prostitute church described in Rev. 17 and 18.
By claiming salvation only through the "sacraments" of the church, they consigned everyone else as heretics bound for hell. Millions died in the Inquisition for refusing to bow to the wafer god manufactured by a priest.
Fortunately, there are still some in the world who know Rome's bloody history and recognize that only her approach, not her doctrine, is changed. After the Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) in the 1960s, heretics became "separated brethren," and the counterfeit church began to pose as just another denomination with a different worship style.
But the Virgin Mary goddess is still the primary mediator instead of Jesus —who gets converted to a wheat wafer. And the Bible is still sidelined by the teaching authority of a hierarchy of priestcraft.
If the statement against "proselytizing" should be agreed to, that places the whole one billion plus Roman Catholics off the table for soul winners. If they are truly saved, then the gospel of grace alone, through faith alone, goes out the window. Those who were burned at the stake died in vain.
It is encouraging to know that, even in secular Europe, there are still some who recognize the spirit of error when they see it. The Bible says that many will be deceived in the last days. Those who are yoking up with this counterfeit "church" are in danger of the judgment —for their works sake or even their eternal lives.
The defense against these subtle deceptions is a thorough knowledge of a preserved Bible. Then we must use kindness to firmly speak the truth to those who are deceived. One of the most powerful ways to spread the truth widely is with no-nonsense gospel tracts. The few seconds it takes to hand someone a tract that brings them face to face with an eternal choice.
Those who choose to follow Jesus, we will see again. Those who reject Him will be without excuse before the Great White Throne.