Friday, January 13, 2012

Gingrich's Spiritual Tragedy

Newt Gingrich is making some news that will probably not be picked up by the mainstream news media. In this Christian Post article, Gingrich talks with South Carolina pastors about his spiritual journey.

I call this a spiritual tragedy for a few reasons. First, it's obvious that the young Gingrich had a lot of spiritual confusion from being bounced around from church to church as a child.

Second, he gets established in the Southern Baptist Convention, where one would presume that he was exposed to the biblical Gospel and thus hopefully would have become saved. The article hints at a potential issue when one of the churches Gingrich describes left the SBC—and I am assuming that this was due to the conservative-liberal battle within the SBC. If you remember, former president Jimmy Carter helped gin that up because he didn't like conservative Bible doctrine and interpretation. This led to the creation of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship—basically a collection of moderate to liberal Baptist churches. Depending on the preaching and teaching Gingrich was receiving, this no doubt led to further confusion.

Then he ends up in Roman Catholicism—which I consider to be a false religion because it offers a false Gospel of works, no matter how much they deny it. Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, with Scripture alone as our authority, and to God alone be the glory. Pope Benedict recently reaffirmed foundational Catholic belief that we evangelicals do not belong to "true churches." The Roman Catholic Church also still holds to the Council of Trent, which contains many "anathemas" against people who believe as evangelicals believe. So Rome isn't the innocent, picked-on party when we, as evangelicals, choose to defend ourselves and what we believe. Rome throws down the gauntlet, we respond accordingly.

Newt's tragedy is this—that he could reject the biblical Gospel and end up in the arms of Rome. And I have to wonder if any of those evangelical pastors in the meeting with Newt even challenged him on it. Newt himself will stand before the Lord and bear responsibility. But so will the preachers and teachers who might have helped out with Newt's spiritual confusion.

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