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The Dividing Line
Chapter 11:
Roman Catholicism

Before the 1960s, virtually any Protestant in the United States would have thought it stating the obvious to warn Christians to keep their distance from Roman Catholicism. In 1946 noted liberal Protestant Charles Clayton Morrison wrote in Christian Century,

Catholicism is more than a way of salvation. Seen whole, it presents itself as a system of power—a kind of power which no human institution should presume to possess and exercise, a power which is radically incompatible with both Christianity and democracy, and which carries within itself the seeds of corruption. The Roman Church is a monarchical and feudal institution . . . . The hierarchy, with the pope at its head, is the counterpart (or should I say the prototype?) of a fascist or nazist or communist "party" with the dictator at its head.1

Today the situation is drastically different. We have looked at several theological systems in the historical order in which they emerged: liberalism, Neo-orthodoxy, the New Evangelicalism, and the Charismatic movement. Roman Catholicism is older than all of these combined, but only in the relatively recent past has there been a general acceptance of Catholics by evangelicals followed by Evangelical efforts to join hands with Catholics in both political and religious efforts.

The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation. By Mark Sidwell. ©1998. BJU Press. Reproduction prohibited. This work is available for purchase at the Bob Jones University Campus Store (phone: 1-800-252-1927; web address: www.bju.edu/store.)

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