Christians, who are we?

When unbelievers look at us, do they see a people who are deeply committed to politics and to fighting the ongoing cultural/political wars engulfing this country and the world…

or

…do they see ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ who are deeply committed to serving Him and to sharing the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone? This world is NOT our home, brothers and sisters!

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” – Hebrews 11:13-16

Martyn Lloyd-Jones and “Logic on Fire”

Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Directed by Matthew Robinson
Media Gratiae, 2015, 102 minutes

As Christians, our focus should always be on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our trust should never be in the flesh. Men and women will always let us down. But every once in awhile, the Lord lifts up a servant who is so strong in their love of Jesus Christ that we praise the Lord for their example. Such a man was Welsh-English pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981).

I don’t remember exactly when the Lord introduced me to the ministry of Loyd-Jones, but I’ve enjoyed gradually learning about the doctor via a book here, an article there. He was perhaps the most notable English evangelical of the last century, although I’m sure he would have despised such a title. When many English evangelicals were dallying with ecumenism with Rome in the 1960s and 70s, Lloyd-Jones would have none of it and stood firmly on the Gospel of grace. The Lord blessed the doctor with a rapier intellect. That’s right, unbelieving friend, you needn’t check your brain at the church door. But Lloyd-Jones was also interested in seeing the Gospel permeate a person’s entire being, not just their intellect. He was a strong advocate in the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the life of a believer, not in emotionalism or showy religious experience, but in knowing the actual presence of Holy God through the Word and prayer. Hence there was both logic and fire in the preaching and ministry of the doctor.

I enjoyed this biography documentary package of Lloyd-Jones tremendously. The first DVD includes the finished documentary, “Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,” a biography of the doctor that relies mostly on the testimonies of family members, friends, and fellow-workers in the Gospel. The first DVD also includes three deleted sequences, one of which is the “1966 Evangelical Controversy,” in my estimation one of the most important segments in the entire package. The second DVD contains over three hours of additional interviews. The third DVD contains a segment on the dangers of church-growth pragmatism from John Snyder from his “Behold Our God” study series. Also, there’s a 128-page booklet with brief biographies of the contributors and interviewees and four sermons from the doctor.

Those who are unfamiliar with the ministry of Lloyd-Jones may want to begin with some short biographies (see here for an example) rather than this mountain of information, but I know as I continue to read his books and sermons, I’ll desire to return to this documentary package every now and then.

Praise the Lord for uncompromising preachers like Charles Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones! May the Lord continue to raise up faithful proclaimers of the Gospel!

“Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones” is readily available from Amazon. See here.

 

Lots of people call Jesus “Savior,” but…

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 

 

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  

 

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14

 

P&P

Some people confuse uncompromising truth with “hatred”

Most of us have been watching the news from Charlottesville, Virginia regarding the demonstration last weekend by White supremacists. Clashes with counter-demonstrators sadly led to injuries and death.

Christians must follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is NO PLACE for hatred or discrimination in our hearts. To consider a person or group of people as inferior because of their race, nationality, or ethnicity is antithetical to God’s Word and the Gospel.

“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

It was because of accommodation to hatred and entitlement that some White Christians in the past were able to justify slavery and later join or support the Ku Klux Klan* and other pro-segregationist groups in America. That memory will always be a regrettable stain on the history of the church in America. But feeling superior to someone else is a sin we have all shared at one time or another.

All those who are spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ and humbly take His name must reach out in love with the Good News! to men and women of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities.

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

As our post-modern society becomes more accepting of racial and ethnic diversity, a good thing, there is also a tendency for society to become more accepting of diverse religious beliefs and most popularly, the lack of any religious convictions. Religious groups that proclaim that they alone have divine truth are increasingly frowned upon. As in all other areas of life, tolerance of all religions is “in,” exclusivity is “out.” This attitude has even taken hold within the Christian church. It’s now considered unseemly and ungracious to criticize a religious group that calls itself “Christian” but teaches a false gospel. Those who point out that a religious group is not preaching the Gospel of grace are looked upon by some in the same way as polite society views members of the KKK or other extremist hate groups.

But no one will be able to recognize truth if it becomes so muddy and indistinct that it’s unrecognizable, and yet that is exactly what is happening within the church.

A person’s race or ethnicity makes no difference to  the Lord, Jesus Christ. We are all sinners in need of the Savior. But the Gospel is never to be watered-down or compromised. There is only ONE WAY to salvation and that is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. Baptism doesn’t save. Church membership doesn’t save. Trying to obey the Ten Commandments doesn’t save. The Lord marked false teachers as did His apostles. Yes, we are to love people of all religions and false churches and reach out to them with the undiluted Gospel. But to accommodate and cooperate with those who teach a false religion and false gospel is not love. We don’t do anyone any favors by accommodating their false beliefs.

It’s certainly not popular to tell anyone, “Your religion is not the right way.” It will quickly get you classified as a “hater” and that’s the LAST label anyone desires these days. But if you believe salvation is by anything other than God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, even if you go to a church regularly and call yourself a “Christian,” you are outside of Christ’s salvation looking in.

Forsake all churches and religions that teach you must be “good” in order to merit salvation. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14


Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-only-way.html

*For those who think the KKK was/is strictly a Southern phenomenon, I live less than one mile from a field where Rochesterians (New York) used to gather for KKK cross-burning rallies back in the 1920s and 30s. In 1933, some Rochesterians were so upset that the newly erected Monroe Community Hospital was designed by Black architect, Thomas Wilson Boyde, Jr., they burnt a cross nearby in protest.

An evangelical writes to “Your Holiness,” the pope

In yesterday’s Weekend Roundup, I briefly commented that President Trump’s evangelical advisory board had requested an urgent meeting with pope Francis to discuss the recent, Vatican-approved article in the La Civilta Cattolica journal, which had severely criticized the collaboration of right-wing, Trump-supporting “Catholic Integralists” and “Evangelical Fundamentalists” as being an “ecumenism of hate.” The article also made reference to Trump’s religious supporters as Christian “jihadists.”

Yesterday evening, I came across a couple of articles that shed more light on the controversy (see links far below).

Johnnie Moore, the former vice president of communications for Liberty University and former assistant to university president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., penned the letter to Francis on behalf of the other members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He begins the letter by addressing the pope as “Your Holiness.” He then tells Francis that evangelicals “have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church.” He further flatters the pope by writing that Francis’ “efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.” Moore then gets down to business by requesting a meeting to discuss the troubling article. He ends the letter by claiming “God put it on [his] heart” to write the pope and concludes with the following: “With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.”

Moore’s letter to the pope is a sad commentary on the current state of evangelicalism. The pope heads a 1.2 billion-member religious institution, which propagates a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit and yet Moore addresses him as a fellow believer and a great Christian leader. Obviously, Moore has no understanding of comparative theology and has no clue what happened during the Reformation. But like many politically-focused, conservative evangelicals, Moore is more concerned with preserving “Judeo-Christian” moral values in this country than with correct doctrine and reaching conservative (and liberal) Catholics with the Gospel.

Commenting on Moore’s letter, Mike Gendron, ex-Catholic and director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, a Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics, said:

“Moore’s attempt to unite Evangelicals and Catholics is playing into the pope’s agenda to rebuild the religious tower of Babel. Our sovereign and omnipotent Lord does not need the help of unbelievers to fight the social and cultural wars. There is something much more important at stake and that is the purity and exclusivity of the Gospel. More than ever we need to contend for the faith because divine division in truth is far better than satanic unity in error.”

Accommodation and cooperation with religious error and compromise and betrayal of the Gospel are rampant in the church today.


Former Liberty University VP Raises Concern After Calling for Meeting With ‘Your Holiness’ to Unite Evangelicals, Catholics
https://christiannews.net/2017/08/11/former-liberty-university-vp-raises-concern-after-calling-for-meeting-with-your-holiness-to-unite-evangelicals-catholics/

Dear Pope Francis: An Evangelical Christian’s letter to the Holy Father
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/08/09/dear-pope-francis-evangelical-christians-letter-to-holy-father.html

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/12/17

Right-wing, ecumenical Judas evangelicals can’t understand why papa Francis doesn’t like them. See my previous post on the La Civilta Cattolica controversy here. Don’t worry, children, Daddy loves you. He just wants his children to make the correct choices on issues like climate change, immigration, socialized health care, etc.

In his ongoing feud with the conservatives and traditionalists within the church, Francis knows he has them over a barrel. If they threaten schism from a duly-elected pope, they themselves become enemies of conservative orthodoxy.

The German Catholic church is literally leaking members like a sieve, despite the fact that its coffers are full through state taxation. Praise the Lord for the Protestant church reformers back in the early years of America who challenged the Roman vestige of a state church.

I listen to Catholic talk radio just about every day to stay abreast of Catholic news and viewpoints. The priest-hosts frequently boast that vocations to the priesthood are rising. There’s a lot of fake news out there and that’s definitely FAKE news.

What? The Knights are going to get rid of those gaudy capes and “chapeaus” (plumed hats)? Uh-oh. Watch for the traditionalist Knights who love their capes and chapeaus to threaten to secede!

Actress Patricia Heaton loves to parade her Catholicism on her shirtsleeves, although I’ve previously shown she’s not quite the devotee she pretends to be. See here. A couple of weeks ago, Heaton tweeted that she was bored out of her mind by the priest’s sermon at a Sunday mass, but was then overcome with emotion when she received the Jesus wafer. Some Catholics are still deeply attached to the mass, but the ritual is antithetical to saving faith in Christ.

Frankly, the mass is boring beyond belief. It’s the exact same ritual over and over and over. Some people are drawn to the familiar and predictable. It’s a constant they can rely on in an unpredictable world. But most Catholics can’t stand the dead liturgical monotony. Not to mention, the alleged acts of calling Jesus down from Heaven and literally changing him into a bread wafer and sacrificing him over and over again are spiritual poison.

The scandal of pedophile priests and church cover-up is shamefully old hat here in the US, but it’s raw, front-page news in Australia and Guam.

The Catholic church celebrated the recent opening of it’s new cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina with much fanfare, but churches in the Rust Belt are shuttering faster than you can say, “Hoc est corpus meum.” Many Catholics wonder why they have to sit through the bone-dry liturgy every Sunday when the pope says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience.

No, it’s not religious news, but I couldn’t resist this story from President Trump. Readers of this blog know Upstate and Western New York have been economically devastated by the combination of high taxes and the exodus of manufacturing companies over the past forty years. Buffalo and Rochester rank as two of the poorest cities per capita in the entire country. During his campaign, Trump promised he would bring jobs back to Western New York. But now he’s telling “upper” New Yorkers there’s no hope and that we should move out. One would think state, county, and city lawmakers in this state would get together and reduce taxes significantly so New York could compete with other states, but nobody’s willing to reduce their fiefdoms. And yet New Yorkers return the same politicians to office year after year. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall (like the “Empire State”), but the Lord God Almighty remains on His throne.

Rochester, NY: Home of the world-famous “Garbage Plate”!

My town, Rochester N.Y., was once a bustling, high-tech manufacturing center; the home of Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, Gleasons, and a couple of medium-sized GM plants. But as in many other Rust Belt cities, the manufacturing presence is pretty much history at this point. The largest employers are now the two hospital/health care systems and the Wegmans supermarket chain (company headquarters are located here), with a bunch of colleges, public school districts, and many low-paying service and retail companies bringing up the rear.

Rochester can’t boast about much these days, but it is home to the world famous “Garbage Plate” (see top photo). In fact, the city is currently in the midst of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the delectable dish.

What’s that? You ask what exactly is a Garbage Plate?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! Okay, okay. I apologize. Let me take a step back and explain this gourmet jewel to all of you unfortunate non-Rochesterians.

Well, way back in 1918, Greek immigrant, Alex Tahou (correctly pronounced tah-HOO although it’s generally pronounced as TAH-ho), opened his greasy spoon, Tahou’s Diner (later named, “Nick Tahou’s Hots,” in honor of his son), and at some point began serving a plate he called “hots and potats” consisting of two hot dogs over heaps of home fries and macaroni salad (or baked beans), all smothered with a grease-laden, ground beef-based hot sauce and topped with chopped raw onions and mustard and ketchup. Two hamburgers or cheeseburgers rather than hot dogs became another option later on. I had my first introduction to “hots and potats” in 1977 thanks to Duane “Big D” Hedman after we had worked a Saturday morning overtime shift at Kodak’s old Elmgrove Plant.

In the 1980s, college students kept coming into Nick’s and ordering “that dish with all the garbage on it,” so the plate was officially renamed “The Garbage Plate.”

Imitations sprang up all over town so the Tahous trademarked the “Garbage Plate” moniker in 1992, but most hot dog/hamburger/pizza joints in the area have their own alternate-named version of the plate.

Last night, the local Triple-A baseball franchise, the Rochester Red Wings, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Tahous and the Garbage Plate by renaming the team the “Plates” for one game and offering t-shirts and caps with the “Plates” logo. Yesterday morning, our eldest son sent me a last-minute email suggesting we should go the game. Argh! I knew the place was going to be packed, but any excuse for a father-son outing is a good thing. Traffic was torturously bumper-to-bumper as we neared Frontier Field stadium, but our son was driving so I was calmly relaxed. Once we finally made it inside, we immediately got in line at the team apparel store. We both ended up buying “Plates” caps, of course, to commemorate the historic event. We then went up to our seats and mostly shot the breeze rather than watch the minor league game. Stadium capacity is 13,500 and there weren’t many empty seats. By 8:30 pm, we had had enough and headed for the exit.

There’s not a lot going on in ROC city these days, but the locals take a lot of pride in Rochester’s contribution to international gourmet cuisine, the Garbage Plate! By the way, for those health-conscious readers, the plate comes in at around 1700 calories and 90 grams of fat; not exactly a meal my internist would recommend. But if I WERE to get a plate, my favorite combination is a white hot* and cheeseburger over mac salad and home fries, all smothered in meat hot sauce and topped with chopped raw onions, but please, ABSOLUTELY NO ketchup or mustard.

*”WHITE hot dogs?,” you ask? Ha! That’s a whole nother post, my non-Rochesterian friends!

Postscript: The 8/11/17 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the attendance for the “Plates” game was 13,281, the second-largest baseball crowd in Frontier Field’s 20 seasons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Tahou_Hots

NTE
Nick Tahou’s, the unpretentious home of the world famous, “Garbage Plate,” at 320 W. Main St, Rochester, NY., open 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, Mon.-Thurs. and 8:00 am – 12 midnight on Fri., closed on Sat. and Sun.

 

NT22
A long line of salivating Rochesterians as they anxiously anticipate an authentic “Garbage Plate” from the Nick Tahou’s stand at Frontier Field on Plate Night, August 10th, 2017
Plates
“Plates” regalia

Cardinal suggests Francis’ heretical papacy may be a sign of the “end times”

Sixteen-months ago, pope Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio (photo right) issued his “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) apostolic exhortation, which has been the source of increasing controversy and consternation within the Roman Catholic church. A couple of footnotes (#s 329 & 351) buried deep within the document appeared to allow priests to decide whether communion could be given to Catholics who were divorced and remarried on an individual, case-by-case basis. The view held by the church for centuries was that divorced remarrieds were living in an ongoing state of adultery and were barred from receiving communion. It was obvious that pragmatic Francis was surreptitiously altering centuries-old doctrine in an attempt to make the church more inviting to a membership whose sky-rocketing divorce rate mirrors that of secular society.

Conservative members of the church were appalled by the change to what was always considered to be infallible doctrine, leading four cardinals to petition Francis asking for clarification, but they received no reply. The same cardinals sent a second “dubia” (questions/doubts) letter and still there was no answer forthcoming from Francis.

Conservative cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity are in a quandary. They are convinced the current pope is promoting heresy but decline (at this point) in considering schism because Catholic doctrine claims a pope cannot lead the church into error and that all Catholics must remain loyal to him. So by breaking away from the church in defense of one “infallible” doctrine, they would be disobeying another.

Yesterday, news reports (see below) quoted a July 22nd address from U.S. cardinal, Raymond Burke (photo left), one of the four “dubia” cardinals, in which he stated that through “diabolical” means, “confusion and error…has…entered into the Church” via “shepherds who are no longer truly shepherding the faithful entrusted to them.” Carefully choosing his words, he warned against the “idolatry of the papacy,” implying that allowing communion to divorced remarrieds was merely Francis’ worldly opinion and not infallible dogma binding upon Catholics. He also suggested that the deviant teachings from this pope could be a sign of the end times. While Burke isn’t advocating schism (yet), he’s certainly raising the stakes with this address.

Most Catholics probably aren’t even aware of this ongoing controversy (most don’t even bother to attend church these days), but it’s a vital issue for evangelicals who often hear from Catholic apologists that the Roman Catholic church alone has apostolic authority and that its magisterium is infallible in all matters of faith and morals. But which magisterium? Cardinal Burke’s or pope Francis’? And if Francis is able to successfully implement this change to “infallible” doctrine (liberal bishops claim it’s already a done deal), then what is to become of the infallible doctrine of papal infallibility?


‘Confusion and error’ from Catholic leaders may be sign of end times: Cardinal Burke
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/confusion-division-in-church-shows-we-may-be-in-the-end-times-cardinal-burk

“Stop saying Catholics believe they must obey the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY!”

In a previous post, I answered several Catholic critics who objected to my oft-repeated statement that Catholicism teaches its members must merit their salvation. See here. Some Catholics have also sent in comments objecting to my frequent statement that their church teaches its members must obey the Ten Commandments “perfectly” in order to attain Heaven. I’ll use this post to address their objections.

I happily concede that the Roman Catholic church (RCC) nowhere formally dictates that its members “must obey the Ten Commandments perfectly to attain Heaven,” but the bottom line of its cumbersome religious system is exactly that and I’ll explain why.

Catholicism teaches baptism (usually of infants) into the church wipes away ALL sin. After a Catholic matures, they must participate in the church’s sacraments (confirmation, eucharist, reconciliation), which allegedly dispense grace so that the Catholic is able to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and avoid sin. The RCC teaches there are two kinds of sin; major (mortal) sin and minor (venial) sin. MortalMV sin loosely defined is the intentional disobedience of one of the Ten Commandments while venial sins are minor offenses such as the “white lie” a husband tells his wife when she asks if he likes her new hairdoo. It’s not always exactly clear where the dividing line is between mortal and venial sin. One priest might label a sin as mortal while another priest would say it’s venial. Nevertheless, all mortal sins must be confessed to a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation to be forgiven or when a person is dying and receives final absolution. Venial sins can be absolved by attending mass and receiving the eucharist Jesus wafer.

With all that said, the theoretical constant goal of Catholics is to be without the stain of mortal sin on their souls; what Catholics call being in a “state of grace.” Catholics are taught they can only attain Heaven if they are in this mortal sin-free “state of grace” at the moment of their death. So how do Catholics attain this “state of grace”? By obeying the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY! But what if they mess up and commit a mortal sin? They must quickly go to confession and receive forgiveness so they can once again be in a “state of grace” or they will go to eternal damnation when they die.

STATE of GRACE – Condition of a person who is free from mortal sin and pleasing to God. It is the state of being in God’s friendship and the necessary condition of the soul at death in order to attain heaven. – from the Catholic Dictionary

Catholics concede that few can live in a constant “state of grace” so they have created confession to receive forgiveness for mortal sins and purgatory as a place where any remaining temporal punishment for mortal sins can be cleansed. Purgatory also allegedly cleanses unrepented venial sins.

Given all the above, Catholics purposely keep the sin hurdle very low otherwise their mortal sin bucket would be unmanageable. Many behaviors evangelicals would definitely consider sinful, Catholics would say are just part of everyday life. Evangelicals don’t differentiate between major and minor sins. Sin is sin. Yes, the Bible speaks of a sin unto death, which refers to the kind of unrepentant sin that leads to an early physical death of a believer, as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.

While several folks have contributed comments complaining that I’m misrepresenting Catholic teaching, the VAST majority of RCC members could not care less about the issue. Catholic sources show that only 20% of members attend mandatory mass every Sunday and only 12% go to confession at least once a year as they are required to do. That’s a lot of mortal sin piling up. Most Catholics are so disillusioned with their church’s religious treadmill that they’ve become Catholics in name only.

Catholic friend, I break the Ten Commandments either in thought, word, deed, or by omission every single day. Try as I might there are times when I lie, steal (work productivity), covet, and lust. I often put my own selfish needs and desires ahead of God and others. I’m prideful as the day is long. I get angry and hateful with others. Sometimes I gossip maliciously. You can try to rationalize it away, but you commit the same sins, too. You and I cannot possibly attain Heaven by obedience to the Ten Commandments. The only Person who perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments was Jesus Christ, God the Son. And He offered His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for your sins. But He rose from the dead and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sins and accept Him as Savior by faith alone. After receiving Christ as Savior, only then can you follow Him as Lord, albeit imperfectly. Trust in Christ, NOT in your extremely imperfect “obedience.” I’m so joyful that my Savior imputed His perfect righteousness to me. I have no righteousness other than His.

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16

In conclusion, I will continue to state that the RCC teaches its members must obey the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY and have ZERO unconfessed mortal sins on their souls in order to merit Heaven, however, I will agreeably make sure to mention the qualifier that according to the complicated Catholic salvation formula, venial sins, while frowned upon, do not remove a person from the mythological “state of grace.”

Batman ’66 Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes

It’s time to take a respite from theological discussions, so let’s review…

Atomic Batteries to Power, Flight Rings to Speed:
Batman ’66 Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes
Created by Lee, Michael, and Laura Allred
DC Comics, September 2017

This one-off, crossover features the Batman and Robin characters as they were presented on the hokey “Batman” ABC television series (1966-1968) featuring Adam West (d. June 9, 2017) and Burt Ward, and the DC Silver Age version of the Legion of Super-Heroes as they were written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Curt Swan.

Plot

Six members of the 30th century’s Legion of Super-Heroes track one of their arch-enemies, Universo, back in time to Gotham City in the year, 1966. The villainous super-hypnotist believes that by intervening in the past, he will be able to prevent the formation of the Legion in the future. The Legionnaires make a surprise visit to the top secret Bat Cave, hoping to enlist Robin into their club and to seek his help in apprehending Universo. When it’s discovered that one of the Legion’s time bubbles has been stolen, Batman deduces the culprit to be the criminal genius, Egghead. The team splits up with Batman traveling with three Legionnaires to 2966 to find Egghead, while the Boy Wonder teams with the three remaining LSH members to search for Universo in Gotham City.

Robin and his team find Universo but are no match for the combined police and military forces who are compelled to do the bidding of their mind-controlling master, and must retreat. Meanwhile, Egghead searches 30th-century science museums hoping to find some technology or information that will give him an advantage back in the 20th century, but comes up empty and returns to 1966. A meeting between Egghead and Universo reveals the former to be the ancestor of the latter.

Robin’s team engages Universo once again but is thwarted by the super-hypnotist’s powers. Just when all appears lost, Batman’s team shows up from the future and joins in the fracas. The battle appears to be a standoff until Batman suggests it’s time for the Legion to unleash its “secret weapon.” Universo is defeated and Saturn Girl once again invites Robin to join the Legion, but Batman insists the Boy Wonder is indispensable in the fight against crime in the 20th-century.

Commentary

This is as absolutely hokey as it gets folks with no redeeming value other than lots of laughs for fans of the old Batman television show and the Silver Age Legion. There are plenty of “insider” jokes and miscues that will resonate with aging baby boomers like myself who were glued to the family television set on Wednesday and Thursday evenings back in 1966 watching the Dynamic Duo. Many of the villains and “good guys” featured in the TV series make cameo appearances in this story. If you can remember the campy, tongue-in-cheek dialogue of the show and some of the outrageously complicated deductions West’s Batman would extrapolate from some ridiculously minuscule and vague clues, then you’ll enjoy this book. The Allreds capture Adam West’s Batman to a tee.

Final thoughts

A believer contemplates the Lord God in even the most “secular” of circumstances. The “legendary star” of the Batman television show, Adam West, died a couple of months ago at the age of 88 of leukemia. Out of curiosity, I googled “Adam West” along with “God,” “Jesus,” “Christian,” “faith,” and “religion” and came up empty. We won’t know if West accepted Christ this side of eternity, but we do know that fame, fortune, and good health do not last.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1


What does it mean to be a born again Christian?
https://www.gotquestions.org/born-again.html