The Modernists' Pretense of Charity
by Fr. Robert D Smith
The modernist preachers love to think that they are attracting many people to church by
preaching about love all the time, with no mention of obedience, duty, The Commandments, repentance.
The reason they omit all mention of these latter things is that they really believe in universal salvation. If
everyone is saved, mention of these things is unnecessary. Under the cloak of seeming to preach about
love, they are really teaching Satan's primary message....that God loves us so much that we do not have
to repent to be saved.
They speak about five or ten passages in the New Testament all the time, passages which can be
twisted to sound like a promise of universal salvation, and lead people to ask themselves, "Well, if everyone is saved whatever he does, why should I make any major sacrifice to observe any of the Commandments, and why do I even bother to come to church?" Besides, the message, severely restricted as it
is, swiftly becomes profoundly boring. Moreover, by repeatedly speaking in their sermons only about
these five or ten passages, they give their hearers the impression that there are only very few passages
in the New Testament saying anything contrary to the notion of universal salvation, warning about the
absolute need to repent, and about the fact that the world at large is on the wrong track, not the right
Even when the readings in church speak of sin and warn of the absolute need to repent, as they
very often do, the modernistic preacher will ignore them, and preach still on love, with no warnings,
giving the impression that this passage and similar passages are merely anomalies. If the reading in
church should be taken from St. Paul, for instance, "You are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin
which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Romans 6:16), the modernistic preachers will never preach about this passage-again on the basis that such passages are only
minor parts of the Scriptures and can be safely ignored. They really blaspheme the Scriptures and at
the same time are incorrect even on their own grounds.
In fact, what is the rest, even of St. Paul, actually saying? We can tell by what he says in the
first chapters of his letters. Here he sets the tone of the whole epistle. In his first chapters, does he
really promise, or equivalently promise universal salvation or is he warning us time and time again, as
Christ does, not to follow the world, or to admire mankind in general, but to realize that many men are,
in fact, on the path to damnation, and that we should at all costs avoid this path?
In Romans, St. Paul teaches that the pagan Romans who were claiming to be at least in utter
good faith in worshiping idols, were not in good faith. They were "inexcusable" for this. They were not in
ignorance of the One, Supreme, Invisible God as they claimed, but they knew about Him all along, and
it was their very refusal to worship Him, a conscious refusal, that led them to all the rest of their shameful sins (Romans 1:18-24). A devastating indictment of the pagan Romans. It certainly does not
smack of a promise of universal salvation, nor can it even be twisted into that meaning. The world is not
on the right track. It is very much on the wrong one!
Elsewhere, in the first chapters, he says, "The Cross is foolishness to those who are perish-
ing" (1 Cor.1:18); "Conduct yourselves not by human wisdom but by the grace of God"(2 Cor.
1:12) Human wisdom is wrong....not right. (Other religions, particularly those of the East, teach the
opposite.) "Rescue us from the present evil age" (Gal.1:4); "In Him were we chosen"(Eph.1:11).
"Conduct yourselves as worthy of the Gospel....That will be proof for them of their destruction
and of your salvation"(Phil.1:27-28). "He delivers us from the power of darkness" (Col.1:13). "You
turned to God from idols....to await His Son from Heaven,,,who delivers us from the coming
wrath" (1 Thess.1:9-10). "At the Revelation of the Lord Jesus, in blazing fire, inflicting punishment
on those who do not acknowledge God and on those who do not obey the Gospel"(2 Thess.1:7-8).
"Some by rejecting conscience have made a shipwreck of their lives" (1 Tim.1:19). "He saved us
and called us to a holy life" (2 Tim.1:9). "They claim to know God but by their deeds they deny
Him" (Titus 1:16).
Christianity does not teach universal salvation; that we are completely safe, merely by following
the world. Nowhere near it. In fact, very much the opposite. The modernists, with their pretense of
charity, preach uncharity....that we need not repent of sin to be saved. Modernism is not only the most
boring form of Christianity, it is the most radically mistaken.
E-mail this article to a friend
This article originally appeared in the May/June 1996 issue of Catholic Dossier. 'The Modernists' Pretense of Charity' copyright © Fr. Robert D Smith. All rights reserved.