Tuesday, December 17, 2002

A wide net is cast

Several years ago, I made it a habit to visit various anti-Catholic websites run by well-meaning but not-so-well-informed fundamentalists. I found it interesting to see how these kind of people perceived Catholicism. In many cases, it was apparent that their perception was a little off... what they condemned as Catholicism often had little to do with authentic Catholicism. In other cases, the objections they raised to various Catholic doctrines and practices were surprisingly thin; it appeared that the goal was to list as many objections as possible, regardless of their strength.

One of those sites was (and is) Biblical Discernment Ministries, or BDM. BDM has compiled a list of cults, along with a set of articles on each of them, and -- you guessed it -- Catholicism is counted as a cult, alongside the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Science, Scientology, Seventh-Day Adventism, the Silva (mind-control) Method, the Moonies, etc. etc.

I recently returned to the BDM website, and I found a section which I had not previously noticed, this one full of exposés. These articles focus on individuals or groups, detailing how each of them deviates from Gospel truth (as understood by BDM, of course). Some of those who are "exposed" surprised me. For instance...

Bill Bright
Larry Burkett
Chuck Colson (based on BDM's perspective, this doesn't suprise me too much)
James Dobson (ditto)
Billy Graham
Hank Hangegraff
Dave Hunt (who wrote the book A Woman Rides the Beast; guess what it's about...)
Tim & Beverly LeHaye
C.S. Lewis (ditto to the Colson note above)
Josh McDowell
J.I. Packer
R.C. Sproul
Mother Theresa (of course)
Philip Yancey

and even...

Martin Luther!

Yes, BDM also has an exposé by BDM devoted to Luther. Why? Because he preaches The False Sacramental Gospel. In fact, BDM claims that "the false sacramental gospel of 'Baptismal Regeneration,' as proclaimed by Martin Luther and others, has probably (God only knows) led more people to hell than any other error propagated and tolerated within the ranks of professing Christianity."

Oh, remember the Reformation's rallying cry of sola fide? Well, you'll be surprised to learn that "in reality, Luther did not hold to JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE!" because "if he had really held to this, he would have rejected the doctrine of 'baptismal regeneration.'" So as it turns out, "the OBJECT of Luther's faith was not Christ ALONE, but CHRIST plus BAPTISM. That is ANOTHER GOSPEL!!!" Uh-oh. Bad news for Lutherans, no?

In BDM's other article on Luther, we learn that sola fide is not the only sola which Luther didn't really hold: "Sola Scriptura? -- Luther altered the Ten Commandments! Sola Gratia? -- Luther had grace being dispensed through baptism and communion! Sola Fide? -- Luther added baptism and the sacraments to a simple believing faith! Based on these contradictions, and the clear words of Paul in Galatians 1:6-9, what should be our position concerning Luther's true saving faith?"

So there you have it... the founder of the Reformation preached a false Gospel, one far too akin to the false Gospel of the papist idolaters of Rome (boo! hiss!).


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