Obviously Roman Catholicism has its issues, and I’m on record as having pointed out doctrinal errors that need to be addressed. I won’t go into it here, because the piece is more about the hypocrisy of the chookwatchers than the excesses of Roman Catholicism.
The chookwatchers, in their haste to point the finger at Hillsong once again, have soundly condemned Darlene Zschech for posting a photo of a meeting with the pope recently during a Catholic charismatic event at which she was invited to sing.
Invitation to praise God
Darlene has quite correctly responded with a message that points out that she was there to worship God and meet with people, and not to join the Roman Catholic church, or take communion at a mass, or bow down to the pope. Her faith remains firmly in Jesus Christ of Nazareth of the New Testament, and she has made this abundantly clear, and done so with a great deal of grace.
But the chookwatchers, non-the-less, are on a quest to hammer Hillsong in any way they can, even though Darlene is no longer at that church, or on their leadership team, but runs a ministry with her husband that is in another part of Australia. But she used to be there in leadership, so that is enough for the very undiscerning, unkind and self-serving chookwatchers, who love to contrive a story that suits their agenda, memes and narrative.
Because she is well known for some major worship songs, such as ‘Shout to the Lord’, Darlene is invited to many events, and, whilst on a trip to Europe, she and her husband felt it was good to go to this event to promote Jesus, which they did. Any reason for glorifying God publicly is an opportunity, surely, whether we are meeting with people from another faith or not.
We were recently invited to address people from Sri Lanka in a few meetings that consisted of Christians, Hindus, Muslims and others. People were saved because the gospel was preached and Jesus was glorified. Are we now Hindus because we shook hands with Hindus, or a Muslim because we met Muslims? What kind of logic is this?
We are not of the world, but we are sent into the world to make disciples regardless of their former beliefs. The gospel is the power of God to save them and deliver them from their religion. How do we preach unless we are sent, and we go?
I wonder what the chookwatchers would have thought of Jesus when he met with prostitutes, tax-collectors, wine-bibbers and sinners. Probably the same as the Pharisees of his day, actually. Was Jesus, therefore, a sinner because he met with sinners? A prostitute because he spoke to prostitutes? Pharisee logic. Are the chookwatchers atheists because they sponsor atheists?
The chookwatchers, in fact, have lately been courting atheists, populist secular media, and antichrist current affairs TV programs, even defending them when Christians point out their unbelief.
They have a headline banner on every page on their blogs promoting an atheist’s new book. They extensively quote atheists’ thoughts, and vehemently defend them when they are criticised. They have given over two posts to another atheist activist to promote his antichristian views and even allow him to declare the fact that he has left Christianity altogether as if that is a good thing.
Whilst, from a Protestant perspective, Roman Catholic doctrine is, in many ways, error-strewn, it is such a vast congregation, numbering 1.2 billion people, that it has many different viewpoints on scripture and faith within the organisation, some of which are relatively orthodox.
Amongst these is the charismatic movement, which is closer to orthodox Christianity than other parts of the church. Darlene was attending a charismatic conference, not to cross over to Catholicism, but to help draw them closer to the truth in Christ.
At least the Roman Catholics believe in God and acknowledge Jesus Christ. Many have been converted from Catholicism once they have been told the truth because they do not struggle with belief in Jesus.
By the way, chookwatchers, Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic. He was drawn to truth because he sought God in the Bible. Catholics do have access to Bibles these days, plus the internet, where there are many good Christian ministries they can stumble upon, and a major factor here is that they are far closer to the truth than atheists.
Rejection of Christ
Atheists deny all theism. They reject God. They scoff at the notion of the death and resurrection of Christ. They ridicule Christians and Scripture. The chookwatchers actually defend atheists who were once Christians but have now rejected Christ and Christianity to embrace a faithless existence. They have left their first love. They have tasted and denied Christ, and there is no way back, according to scripture.
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Well, we always hope that God’s mercy extends to those who foolishly blaspheme the Holy Spirit, or having been believers, deliberately and openly reject Christ, but that is God’s decision and scripture is unequivocal on the subject. I’m glad I’m not the Judge. He is.
The reality is that the chookwatchers, whilst promoting and defending the antichristian sentiment of atheists, falsely accuse Christians of paganism for being friendly with Roman Catholics and trying to reach out to them.
If, then, the chookwatchers are judging that Darlene, and, therefore, Hillsong, by association, must now be embracing pagan Catholic beliefs because she shook hands with the pope, then it follows that the chookwatchers, by association with antichristian media, atheists and secular humanists, are therefore unbelievers themselves.
If the chookwatchers are going to continually use accusation by association as a weapon they will be judged by the same standard.
It works both ways.