Tuesday Trivia Question that should make you pull out your hair like your name was Ezra

Erik Raymond —  July 10, 2007

Question: who will be leading in prayer to open this weekend’s Luis Palau evangelistic crusade here in Omaha, Nebraska?bishop-elden-curtiss.gif

Hint: this is his picture (I wonder if he’ll take off his little pink hat first? –1 Cor. 11.3-4)

If you do not think that this thing is way out of control then you can listen to Luis Palau tomorrow morning on Omaha’s Roman Catholic radio station. (it was this same Catholic radio station, KVSS in Omaha, that reported this morning that Archbishop Curtiss will be opening the festival in prayer).

This is not about reaching out to Catholics evangelistically but it is about partnering with Roman Catholics for ministry.

I will beat the same drum over and over again: biblical unity is a major theme in the New Testament and should be pursued with the utmost zeal by the Christian. However, the unity that the bible presents is that which comes through a common understanding of the gospel, not at the expense of the gospel (Phil. 1.27ff; Gal. 1.6-9; 2 Cor. 6.14ff).

The biblical illiteracy that is being displayed by evangelicals in Omaha this week is embarrassing. The embarrassment is followed closely by historical illiteracy. There was this little thing nearly five hundred years ago called the Reformation. This blessed time that served to recover the centrality of the doctrine of justification by faith alone seems to be forgotten by modern evangelicals. The obscuring of the gospel in an event that is supposed to promote the gospel makes me wonder if anyone even understands the gospel?!

Perhaps we need another reformation.

I wonder if Martin Luther would be asked to pray if he was around?

Another hint: he is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Omaha.


Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

21 responses to Tuesday Trivia Question that should make you pull out your hair like your name was Ezra

  1. Erik,

    LP is already booked up to speak at our church in a few months time. I’m serious….

    So I’ll ask him what his rationale is.

    Colin

  2. It is interesting that you mention Calvin and Martin Luther. Because of the “blessed event” of the reformation, Luther got so angry at Calvin’s teachings he was adamant in saying he was no longer of the faith.

    The blessed reformation, while started for apparently valid and good reason, has resulted in more division in the Body and less and less understanding, not more unity and understanding.

    Hey it’s my opinion and you get what you pay for.

  3. Mr. Kreidler: You may want to recheck your sources. Luther saw an edition of the Institutes late in life and pronounced himself satisfied with what he read.

    Now, he and Ulrich Zwingli got into an argument over the nature of Christ’s presence in the Supper at the Colloquy of Marburg. There Luther said of Zwingli that the latter was of “andere Geist”–another spirit, implying he considered Zwingli’s doctrine of the presence inadequate or even non-Christian. To the best of my knowledge, that breach was never resolved because Zwingli died in battle not many years later.

  4. Erik,

    That is truly sad. I don’t think I have ever heard of someone from the RCC leading a prayer at an “evangelical” event.

    Here is my kind of unity.
    http://www.t4g.org/index.html

    The founders of this organization all come from diverse backgrounds and denominations.

    The ministries main conference is:
    http://www.t4g.org/conference.html

    The speakers at this main event or conference are:
    Southern Baptist
    Presbyterian Church of America
    A president of Sovereign Grace Ministries
    A black reformed pastor and former Muslim
    Two pastors of large metropolitan churches and authors of many books
    A president of Ligonier Ministries

    They all share the same passion for the one true gospel.

  5. Michael…nice information…although it is wrong…

    Luther said that if he had to do the reformation over again he would start by handing it all over to John Calvin because of his great knowledge and zeal for the gospel…

  6. One wonders if the archbishop and Luis Palau read the newspapers…..what will they do with the latest pronouncement from “pope” Benedict that all other Christian denominations are not true churches?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094/

    I am sure it won’t stop the “crusade.” uh oh….suddenly that word has an ominous tone….

  7. Michael Kreidler –

    In all respects. How does one become part of the Body of Christ? The bible is clear and meant to be “understood.” The problem lies in those who find the truth to be a problem. Better to be divisive and handle the Word correctly then to please men. May our Lord be praised in these days of men pleasers.

  8. hmmm. . . so, what does the Bible say? I found it very interesting that Erik quoted the passage in Philipians. 12 verses earlier, this is what Paul had to say:
    ” 15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

    It is also very interesting to me that I have brought up an issue I feel needs to be addressed with Erik’s site on several occassions including a personal and private email giving him the opportunity to clarify something, and the only response I have gotten from him was something to the effect of
    – are you serious? Is totally different. They are partnering for the purpose of evangelism. I am not partnering with unbelievers. –
    Obviously, that was paraphrased, but the meaning was the same. Since then, I have emailed Erik, posted several responses, and begged him to, at the very least, let me know how I am wrong. His response – absolutely nothing. I ask again, how is proclaiming a song by a very sacreligeous band as your theme song, posting a Beastie Boy’s video on your site and encouraging people to check out more of their stuff, and posting/supporting a video made by unbelievers making fun of Christianity, how is all this not partnering with unbelievers?
    For the record, which I have said every time, I am not trying to discredit Erik or his purpose. I value his wisdom and have been blessed many times over by his site, but how can he continue to bash heads while ignoring anyone elses’ attempt to call him into check? Is anyone above reproach? Am I? Certainly not, and I have been wrong in what I have said before and publicly acknowledged that and apologized for it. I’m not even ruling out the possibility that I may be wrong this time, but if I am, I would like Erik to show me how I am wrong, not just post one response that is vague and not backed by scripture at all and presume that everyone should believe him just because. If I am a thorn in his side, I am sorry, I am striving more for the iron sharpens iron, but iron can’t sharpen if there is no other iron to grind with.

  9. I hope you don’t mind Erik. I know you can defend yourself just fine. But I had to speak up.

    Javaguy,

    Man are you speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You say that you are not trying to discredit Erik and yet you are airing your personal grievances here in a public forum. That is just not good form dude.

    In respond to your use of Philippians 1:15-18 I will have to say that you are using it incorrectly if you are trying to use it to support doing ministry together with the RCC. Paul is not addressing a false gospel (which is what the RCC teach) but the gospel with false motives and selfish ambition. Again 2 Cor. 6:14 addresses not being partnered together with those who would teach a false gospel.

  10. Michael, I’d like to see if you have a source for that assertion.

    Right on, Barry.

  11. The president of the Evangelical Theological Society (Frank Beckwith) was Catholic all but in name when the leading evangelical thinkers and educaters of our day voted him in office. It would be wonderful if a Bishop like St. Louis’s Raymond Burke was going to be involved but this Bishop Curtiss may possibly be one the worst in the country. To anyone who hates the Catholic Church this just may be the man to represent the RCC. I’m looking for the time when someone like Fr. Richard John Neuhaus of First Things Magazine gets to represent the RCC in the regular media

  12. “However, the unity that the bible presents is that which comes through a common understanding of the gospel, not at the expense of the gospel.”
    Bingo.
    Ironically, right after reading your post I saw this article on the Pope declaring the Catholic Church the only true church. Besides wondering what Scripture he found to support that, you have to wonder why Protestant groups would want to partner with an institution which insists that Protestant churches are invalid….
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6289014.stm

  13. David, I am curious what your take, as a Catholic, with the partnering with evangelicals in this type of venue.

  14. Barry,
    I am not speaking out of both sides of my mouth. I have been discrete and, as I said before, emailed Erik so that I could talk to him personally about it without bringing it out in public. I got no response. I tried being subtle and non-condescending. In every instance, I have backed Erik up in his ministry. If you feel someone is in need of some brotherly correction, how do you go about it? I feel I have tried following the Biblical guidelines of doing this, but I just get ignored. I am also curious how you feel about his representation of the Dropkick Murphys and Beastie Boys. Is it a partnership? Is it Biblical? Is it somehow making you more impressed with Christ? AS I SAID, I am not closed to the idea that I may be wrong, but so far, I have gotten nothing in response. That is where my frustration comes from.

  15. Putting a link to a video or a song is not a spiritual partnership (as is the context of 2 Cor. 6, it is clearly a spiritual endeavor). Putting up Roman Catholic confessional booths led by priests at an evangelistic crusade is a partnership. Stop looking for a fight under every rock. You end up undermining the ‘unity’ that you ostensibly promote.

  16. Erik,
    Conservative Christians, Catholic and Fundamentalists, really have more in
    common than either one would with liberals in many ways.  Assuming that  the
    most common Evangelical message is that Jesus Christ died for everyone, rose
    again, and anyone can have a personal relationship with Him if they accept
    Him as LORD, no Catholic in his right mind (which may be < 5%) could
    possibly have a major problem with that.

    I want to be brief so feel free to take me to task if I am unclear or don’t
    adequately explain myself.  I want to say that I am not exactly clear as to
    what is taking place in this specific event, so I hesitate to comment about
    it.

    However, since I believe that the Good News, the Gospel, is most
    comprehensively defined as the person Jesus Christ, I stand along side Paul
    in rejoicing whenever Christ is proclaimed regardless of the motives.  Since
    Christ is the definitive expression of Logos, Truth, Hope, and Salvation, I
    rejoice whenever He is lifted up.

    While attending and serving in a Regular Baptist Association  (Cedarville
    University, DTS, Moody flavor), I would often defend the Trinity
    Broadcasting Network and other charismatic Christians on this same
    principle.  Since TBN was often the only good thing on TV late at night
    without cable, I would watch it.  I heard the gospel preached right from
    scripture, I saw sinners repent, and I was often blessed myself by joining
    in praise.  Even so, most of my separatist brothers just couldn’t stomach
    it.  It was easier for them to reject it all.  As for me, I want people to
    know and follow Jesus Christ first and foremost.  They can become Catholic
    later as they grow in understanding of the truth.

    David

  17. David, that’s not true. I don’t know whether you are misinformed , but true Christian doctrine differs with Roman Catholic doctrine on essential points. This is not to say that a Christian can’t be friends with a Roman Catholic. But personally I would rather have a liberal friend who is at least honest about their unbelief than a Roman Catholic who believes the pope is the head of the church, that Jesus can inhabit a wafer and dies over and over again, that Mary is worthy of worship, that we are saved through our works, and that everyone who acknowledges Jesus is going to heaven somehow. These are the facts: Jesus Christ is the true and only Head of the church, He is glorified and seated at the right hand of God the Father – never to die again, Mary is not deity and is dead and should never be venerated or worshiped, we are saved by grace through faith and this not of ourselves, Jesus himself taught that hell was a real place and the only way to heaven was through Him, not works. These are only a few of the differences.

  18. Friends,
    For over 10 years I have done door to door work and street outreach all over Oregon, California and Florida. I have met hundreds (maybe thousands) of Roman Catholics in that time. Of those I met, only 1 or 2 of them, (less than 1%) could give me a good answer as to what they were trusting in for the salvation of their soul.

    Over 99% of these Roman Catholics said that they hope to get to heaven because they are “pretty good people” or that they “go to the Roman Catholic church” or that they “were baptized as an infant” or that they “believe in God”, “help at a food kitchen”, etc. Problem is, none of these answers included Jesus Christ and His perfect life and finished work on the Cross for the salvation of repentant sinners.

    My friends, these Catholics are being sold a lie! It is our job to stand up against Luis Palau’s compromise and it also our job to go out into all the world and make disciples… Our making of disciples must include the True Gospel of Jesus Christ which alone can save. We must stand with Athanasius against the world and declare that no matter how many “evangelical” churches and ministries are willing to compromise with Rome and call us mean-spirited for not joining them , we will never give up the True Gospel for a false unity.

  19. Few things make me want to fight more than when someone says something that is true is not true. Since I don’t know exactly what “that” is by anon, I didn’t get “that” upset. If anon would care to show me or refer me to his list of “true Christian doctrine” we could discuss his premise, since the Catholic Church’s doctrine is available in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    If you care to verify your claims or my claims for that matter you can reference Her teaching yourself. The CCC clearly teaches that Mary is not worshipped, that is idolatry and a mortal sin. The CCC clearly teaches that Jesus died once for all just like Hebrews states. The Catholic Church simply teaches what it has always unwaveringly taught that Jesus meant what he said in John 6. The CCC clearly teaches we are saved by grace through faith and that it is a gift, infinitely unmeritable, offered to us by the mercy of God less any one should boast. The CCC clearly teaches that there is no other name than Jesus by which we might be saved. Salvation is in Christ alone.

    I encourage you to read the Apostle’s or Nicene Creed to learn what Catholic teaching asserts. Credo in the Latin means “I believe”. I guess we could start there if you really desire to make comparisons to RCC doctrine and what you claim to be “true Christian doctrine”. You might want to look up the word venerate and you can simply read for yourself what the CCC states about Hell.

    Rick, if I said to you that I know 100s maybe 1000s of Calvinists that say Christ’s atonement was not limited, and really only 4 points make any sense. You might say to me, if you are a Calvinist like our friend here the IrishCalvinist, “those aren’t really Calvinists.” The RCC teaches that using contraception is a grave sin. If 95% disagree and use it, do you think that they are real representations of the RCC. I am talking about one issue alone. When those with the most truth reject it, they become worse than the pagans. This was true of the Israelites and is true of those in the RCC. You may just be hearing of the evils of contraception, but those in the RCC heard it LOUD and CLEAR July 25th, 1968 from Pope Paul VI, in Humanae Vitae. The RCC has lost a generation but the 40 years is over so keep watching as the Real Catholic Church emerges from those who remained faithful to the Truth.

    Peace be with you.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. IrishCalvinist.com » James White on Palau in Omaha - July 12, 2007

    […] Dr. James White, a friend of the ministry at Omaha Bible Church, weighed in on the Luis Palau festival in Omaha, specifically my post from Tuesday. White also provides a story from Steve Camp and his own involvement/reaction at a Palau event. (I love the title of his post: ‘Omaha Bible Church Stands Against Compromise’). In light of the DL yesterday, I was directed to this article regarding the cooperation of Luis Palau with Rome in his “crusade” in Omaha, Nebraska. I link to this despite the fact that I’m not listed in the sidebar ( sniff, sniff ). Pat Abendroth, of the (in)famous Abendroth Brothers (rumor has it they were once in a rock band, somewhere, but that’s strictly a secret), pastor of Omaha Bible Church, tells me that for some odd reason, they are not joining in the fun. Something about the gospel. […]

  2. Irish Calvinist » Audio for the NPR interview - July 15, 2007

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