Vatican Speaks on Roman Catholic Evangelism
In one declaration the Roman Catholic Church has challenged pluralism and, unintentionally, the Emerging Church Movement: “Roman Catholic missionaries should aim to convert people and not restrict themselves to humanitarian good works, the Vatican said on December 14.”
Christianity Today has posted a brief article titled, “Good Works Not Enough: Latest papal document urges Roman Catholics to win souls.” In essence, “The document aims to correct a ‘growing confusion’ among theologians who argue that it is enough to build communities which strive for justice, freedom, peace, and solidarity.” Amen! This statement challenges pluralism because it recognizes that all religions are not equal and that people without Christ need salvation. This statement also challenges many strands of the Emerging Church Movement that equate the Kingdom of God with societal justice (see my summary and personal thoughts). At its core, evangelism is about the person of Jesus Christ and that redemption is only found in him.
I am not Catholic and I continue to have many, many concerns over Roman Catholic doctrine, but I applaud this understanding of evangelism. In fact, I wish more of our mainline denomination and emerging churches would state the same.