I was just writing a note to my friend Steve Camp when I saw an article pop up on Dave Armstrong’s blog. He was talking about Dobson appearing on Hannity & Colmes and being asked about Al Mohler’s 2000 statement about Rome being a false church (amen!) with a false gospel (amen again). (Just in case you haven’t noticed, that conclusion is no longer allowable in public discourse, though, of course, it was widely represented amongst the Founding Fathers of this nation.) Dobson’s response illustrates once again what happens once you abandon the gospel as the sole means of changing the heart (and hence society):
DOBSON: Well, first of all, he [Mohler] did not make a vehement anti-Catholic statement. He’s a Southern Baptist, for Pete’s sake. You expect a Southern Baptist to say that he does not honor the pope in the same way the Catholics do. It’s a different theology. Is that not right? That’s not an attack on the Catholic Church.
Excuse me? How can any rational person switch “false church/false gospel” into “You expect a Southern Baptist to say that he does not honor the pope in the same way the Catholics do”? Those are not even slightly equivalent statements. Honor the pope the same way Catholics do? No kidding! Can you imagine if someone dared to read the language of the WCF/LBCF regarding the Pope as the man of sin? Goodness, you’d probably be arrested.
Let’s be real clear here. Al Mohler was right in 2000. Rome is a false church. Why? Because Christ’s Church is subject to Christ’s Word, and Rome is not. Because Christ’s Church presents Christ’s gospel, and Rome does not. And Rome’s gospel cannot save because it tears the very heart out of the gospel and replaces it with a semi-Pelagian treadmill of sacramental forgiveness—or, in lots of places in the world today, has dumped that for an inclusivistic/universalistic mishmash of New Age philosophy and post-modernism that would make Pope Pius IX spit nails. In any case, the gospel of grace has been anathematized by Rome—and thrown under the bus by pseudo-evangelicals, but it remains the only power of God unto salvation.