Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #113

It’s Tuesday and I normally try to post at least one sermon as part of our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, but we don’t have any sermons today from our two Arkansas pastors.

Pastor Roger Copeland and Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, posted a message on Facebook, Sunday, November 21st, saying the computer used to record sermons had crashed. As happens much more often than not now, a sermon from Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City was not uploaded for that Sunday.

Since I don’t have any sermons to present, I would like to briefly explain how it happened that a Yankee from Western New York came about posting Sunday sermons from two Arkansas Baptist preachers. Former WordPress blogger, Wally, who resides in Arkansas, used to post these sermons each week. He was well-acquainted with Pastor Copeland, who is well-known in Missionary Baptist churches in the state. Wally is a member of Holly Springs and Pastor Andrews is actually his step-son. I enjoyed listening to both sermons every week. Pastor Copeland has a fiery oratory style that brings me back to my independent fundamental Baptist church days. In contrast, Pastor Andrews has a low-key approach.

In the fall of 2019, brother Wally began attending college in pursuit of an RN nursing degree and stepped away from the WordPress blogosphere. I asked him if I could continue the sermon posts until his return and he gladly assented, so here we are, 113 weeks later.

Wally graduated from college with a nursing degree last May, but he often works on Sundays and is only able to record and upload sermons to YouTube sporadically. Wally has not returned to WordPress, but posts regularly on Facebook. Northern Hills has become a bit inconsistent with its sermon uploads to YouTube. I sometimes have to copy the link to the unedited Sunday morning service from the church’s Facebook page. This computer crash adds to the complications.

My wife and I truly enjoy the sermons from pastors Copeland and Andrews. It’s a blessing that some churches can stream their sermons and upload them for shut-ins and for those of us who have to work on Sundays. I hope both churches can address their challenges regarding the recording and uploading of sermons.

2021 Leaf Campaign – Week #5

After 4 weeks into the 2021 Leaf Campaign, I had dragged a total of 54 tarps of leaves to the curb. In my last update, I had speculated that only 10% to 15% of the leaves remained on the oaks. That estimate was definitely on the low side. How did I fare in week #5?

Monday was a wash-out. A thin coating of snow prevented me from working on the leaves. But I wasn’t upset. I truly needed a break after a particularly exhausting work-weekend.

By Tuesday mid-afternoon, most of the snow had melted, so I fired up my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and collected the fallen leaves in the backyard, hauling 4 tarps to the curb.

On Wednesday, I climbed the extension ladder to the roof and blew the leaves out of the gutters. I also raked up 1 tarpfull of leaves that had collected near the front entranceway. The leaves that swirl through the neighborhood routinely collect in the “coves” of the front entranceway and garage.

Thursday was a breezy day and the leaves were coming down from the trees at a good clip. I fired up my backpack leafblower and collected the leaves in the backyard, including those that had accumulated in the ivy patch in the corner of the lot. I ended up dragging 4 more tarpfulls to the curb. A few hours after I finished, it looked like I hadn’t done a thing because of the leaves that continued to fall and others that swirled into our yard from the neighbors. The gutters were completely filled again.

Week #5 saw 9 more tarpfulls hauled to the curb, making 63 total for the campaign. I’m going to end up with significantly more than my usual 60 tarpfulls because of the wet conditions this year. Thursday afternoon there were still some leaves left on the trees as you can see from the photo above. It’s pitch dark when I do my weekend work commutes, so I’m waiting for daylight this morning to see what I’m up against. The weatherman is forecasting rain today and very high winds, so there’s going to be a serious amount of leafswirl in the neighborhood. No surrender! The campaign continues into week #6!

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/4/21

Last weekend, I confirmed that anti-vaxxer, Marcus Lamb (photo above), had been hospitalized with a bad case of COVID-19. The media announced that Lamb died from the virus this past Tuesday. Lamb and his wife, Joni, determinedly promulgated anti-vax disinformation to their credulous Daystar cable channel audience. It’s regrettable that so-called “evangelicals” are at the forefront of the anti-vaccine movement. My county declared a state of emergency this past Tuesday due to the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Lamb led many trusting souls astray with his “health and wealth” prosperity false gospel and with his anti-vax conspiracy hokum. He will have much to answer for.

Roman Catholic progressives have a long history of turning celebrated “victims” of pet causes into “crucified Christs.”

Fifty years ago, Ireland was the “most Catholic” country in the world. I’m amazed by its rapid secularization, brought about mainly by negative public reaction to RC church scandals.

Protestant literature of the 19th century included many “convent escape narratives,” which Catholic spokespersons dismissed as anti-Catholic fables. Given the headlines of the last twenty years, few are challenging claims of abuse within convents today. With the RCC’s rule of mandatory celibacy for its clergy, Catholic seminaries, rectories, and convents were/are magnets and incubators of fornication, deviancy, and abuse.

While the rest of the world is enamored with smiling “papa” Francis, many conservative Catholics despise him for pragmatically “bending” their cherished doctrines.

Medjugorje is an interesting case. Six “visionairies” claim Mary began appearing to them in 1981 and continues up to the present time. But some of the apparition’s messages were critical of the local bishop, so the RCC withholds its official endorsement while simultaneously encouraging pilgrimages to the money-making site.

The Roman Catholic church operates according to its liturgical calendar, with set “Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials.” These set calendar events are extremely important to Catholics who can’t imagine “religious life” without them. After coming out of Catholicism and being born-again, I realize these “holidays” can be a pitfall (Galatians 4:8-11). One day in the Lord is the same as the next. But believers can use these calendar events to spread the Gospel.

This article is an eye-opening look at what Americans believe about Heaven and Hell. Note that 68% percent of surveyed Catholics believe atheists can go to Heaven. The other 32% who disagree don’t know their church’s doctrine because that is exactly what the RCC teaches.

Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #19

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim #19: I am a Catholic because of what the Bible tells me

In this chapter, Kreeft argues that the Bible validates the Roman Catholic church and vice versa. Beginning with the presupposition that all “genuine” Christians believe the New Testament is infallible, Kreeft presents three premises:

  1. The RCC was both the efficient cause (the author) and the formal cause (the definer) of the New Testament.
  2. No effect can be greater than its cause.
  3. The RCC is either fallible or infallible.

From these three premises, Kreeft makes the argument that A) because the RCC is the author and definer of the infallible New Testament, then B) the RCC must itself be infallible.

Kreeft then does a U-Turn and qualifies the Bible’s infallibility, saying it’s “infallible in its religious teachings, but not in its grammar or science or math” (p. 67). Likewise, he states, the RCC “is fallible in everything except her authoritative religious dogmas.” Kreeft presents the RCC’s bloody Inquisition and its opposition to Galileo’s theory of heliocentrism as examples of blunders committed outside of the church’s infallible, ex cathedra, dogmatic teaching authority.

Response

Premise #1 of Kreeft’s argument is patently false. The RCC is not the efficient cause (the author) nor the formal cause (the definer) of the New Testament. The writers of the New Testament were not Roman Catholics. After the early Christian church was legalized and adopted as the official state religion, it became increasingly institutionalized, patterning itself after the Roman imperial model, and gradually devolved into Roman Catholicism. Church councils did not canonize Scripture, but merely endorsed what the Holy Spirit had already made evident. The 39 books of the Hebrew Old Testament were Scripture without benefit of any church council, a fact that Catholic apologists avoid.

Kreeft then pulls the rug out from beneath his own argument by parroting the dichotomous, modern RC view that the Bible is both infallible and fallible. Kreeft asserts that the Bible is full of “contradictions and errors” (p. 67), so for him and the RCC to continue to claim that the Bible is “infallible” is itself a glaring contradiction. In the four gospels, Jesus Christ referred to numerous Old Testament events as factual that most of today’s RC theologians and prelates dismiss as pre-scientific fables.

Catholic apologists self-servingly categorize the numerous sinister historical actions of the church (the Crusades, the Inquisition, persecution of Protestants, forced baptisms, selling of indulgences, systematic anti-Semitism, systematic cover-up of priest sexual abuse, the absolute corruption of numerous popes and prelates, the competing factions of the Great Western Schism, etc.) as being outside the boundaries of ex cathedra church dogma. Yet all of these actions involved “faith and morals,” the necessary condition of ex cathedra teaching. The RCC claims divine, infallible teaching authority, yet is forced to disavow much of its history, as Kreeft does here, as the fallible, unauthorized whimsy of popes and prelates.

Next week: Claim #20: I am a Catholic because of my friends and my family – my spiritual family

Throwback Thursday: IFB Memories #5: Chick Tracts

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on June 1, 2016 and has been revised.

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Jack Chick, d. 2016

I attended an independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) church from 1983 to 1991. Back in those days it was very common to see tracts from Jack Chick Publications in fundamentalist Baptist circles. Chick tracts were usually spread out on the information table of our church lobby, available for visitors and members. The tracts were illustrated like small comic books, but there was nothing comical about them.

Tracts, comic books, and books from Chick Publications contained information that was extremely critical of Roman Catholicism. I bought several comic books and books from Chick Publications, but many of the claims appeared to be outrageously irresponsible and without any foundation. According to Chick and the mysterious, alleged ex-Jesuit priest, Alberto Rivera, the author of several of the publications, every calamity that ever beset Western Civilization could be traced back to the Jesuits or a pope. This was going way too far.

Alberto Rivera, d. 1997

Unfortunately, Jack Chick’s sensationalistic half-truths and conspiracy theories (presented as fact) hurt the efforts of credible Christian outreach ministries to Roman Catholics. There is more than enough verifiable material regarding Roman Catholic doctrine and history to critique without resorting to exaggeration and fanciful and fraudulent extrapolations. Christians unfortunately began to lump together responsible witness to Roman Catholicism with Chick’s extremism. Chick was also a propagator of take-no-prisoners KJV 1611-Onlyism.

See Victor’s excellent post below for more details regarding Chick Publications.

Just as an image formed on a plane mirror is a duplication or reflection of the object placed directly opposite its surface, there is also a dangerous condition that can affect Christians contending for the faith which can make them start to reflect what they are contending against. A person opposed to a set of […]

via The “Mirror Image” Syndrome — The Kindled Flame Blog

Postscript: Chick Publications still offers its “Alberto Series” comic books, perhaps the focus of a critical review project in the future.

The Byrds’ Top 25 Songs: #16, “If You’re Gone”

“If You’re Gone” (2:45)
Written by Gene Clark
Produced by Terry Melcher
From “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Columbia Records, December 6, 1965

The Byrds’ debut album, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” was widely and enthusiastically hailed for pioneering the folk-rock sound. Many songwriters and musicians hopped aboard the folk-rock bandwagon and even the Beatles and Bob Dylan took note and changed musical course due to the extremely influential LP.

With their sophomore album, “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” the Byrds continued their folk-rock sound, although with some of the sparkle missing from “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

Along with two other songs, Gene Clark contributed “If You’re Gone,” what the album’s Wiki article calls “a poetic confession of emotional insecurity.” Yup, there’s a lot of “ifs” in this song: 14 total. Talk about insecurity! Clark sings an excellent lead vocal. Another notable element of this tune is the distinct vocal sustain/droning that producer, Terry Melcher, later credited to band leader, Jim (later Roger) McGuinn. Stated Melcher, “McGuinn had this good idea for using a fifth harmony to create a droning effect, like that of a bagpipe or drum. On the album it really does sound like another instrument.” Rock historians note that “If You’re Gone” was the first among many later tunes to use a vocal sustain effect. McGuinn’s chiming twelve-string Rickenbacker provides a lively counterbalance to the vocal drone. While “If You’re Gone” was considered one of the better cuts on the album, it was too slow and melancholy to be seriously considered as a single release.

I certainly liked the “Turn! Turn! Turn! LP, although I agree with McGuinn that it wasn’t at quite the same level as the band’s debut album. But I really liked “If You’re Gone” for its emotional honesty/rawness and for that very distinctive vocal sustain, for which it earns the #16 spot in our Byrds’ Top 25 Songs countdown.

This is Gene Clark’s third song in our countdown. He has two more coming up, including song #1.

We’ve already reviewed 10 songs in our Byrds’ Top 25 Songs countdown and have yet to encounter one of the band’s popular hits. Well, next week we’ll be featuring a Byrds tune that you baby boomers definitely heard on AM radio back in 1967.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #112

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we have a new sermon from one of the brethren down under. Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaches from Luke 18:1-8 on “The Unjust Judge and the Nagging Widow.” This sermon was delivered on Sunday, November 14th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Unjust Judge and the Nagging Widow

Legion #6: “Acceptance”

We’re nearing the end of the month, so it’s time once again for some 31st Century frivolity!

After defeating an assault against a refugee camp by Earth Firsters in LSH #5, the Legion takes a break in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #6: Acceptance
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciler: Francis Portela
DC Comics, December 2010

Plot

The mostly non-action vignettes in LSH #6 begin with Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, and Shadow Lass intercepting a wayward Titan refugee family (opening page graphic above). After returning to Legion Headquarters, Shadow Lass converses with Phantom Girl and defends her romantic interest in the unpredictable Earth Man.

Back at the Painted Desert refugee camp, Earth Man once again demonstrates his loyalty to the Legion by stymying an attack by a lone wolf, Earth Firster.

At Legion Headquarters, Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl enjoy some conversation as Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass depart for a vacation on the planet, Imsk.*

Elsewhere in Metropolis, Colossal Boy and girlfriend, Chameleon Girl, enjoy a meal and discuss Earth Man with CB’s mom, former President of Earth and current Earth Gov Politico.

Back at Legion HQ, Earth Man confronts Brainiac 5 and demands a standard issue flight ring without any mind-control capabilities.

Legion leader, Cosmic Boy, visits the Legion Academy at Old Montauk Point and watches as instructor Duplicate Girl puts candidates Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Dragonwing, Gravity Kid, and Variable Lad through the paces.

Sensor Girl dreams of her slain beau and former-Legionnaire, Karate Kid, portending a future plot-line development.

After returning to Legion HQ, Cosmic Boy meets with Science Police chiefs, Gigi Cusimano and Kimball Zendek (who we know is actually a disguised Durlan conspirator), and pledges the Legion’s support in protecting the United Planets Council from an assassination plot.

In the final page, former-Legionnaire, Matter-Eater Lad, invites readers to cast their ballot for the new Legion leader via a designated web site.

Other Legionnaires sighted in this issue include Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Timber Wolf.

Comments

This is one of those “down-time” interlude issues with writer Levitz adroitly juggling multiple vignettes. Earth Man remains a big question mark and the Durlan conspiracy looms dangerously on the horizon. Sensor Girl’s dream introduces an upcoming storyline. Of course, we’re all on “pins and needles” as to which Legionnaire will be elected as Cosmic Boy’s successor. There’s also the dangling plotline, not mentioned in this issue, involving the possible new Green Lantern, Professor Harmonia Li.

Chameleon Girl’s appearance gives us 25 Legionnaires, one short of the 26 person roster total mentioned in LSH #4. I’m thinking Duplicate Girl is a reservist at this point as an instructor at the academy. Polar Boy is mentioned briefly and I’m guessing he is Legionnaire #26.

*Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass are portrayed hand-around-hip in a large panel on page 11. Legion writers and artists began surreptitiously hinting at a same-sex relationship between the two characters as early as 1986. Of course, all such “tip-toeing around” is gone these days with DC unabashedly introducing the new Superman, Jon Kent, as bi-sexual.

2021 Leaf Campaign – Week #4

Week #3 in the 2021 Leaf Campaign saw my tarp total reach 28, about 47% of the projected grand total of 60 tarps. How did things go this past week #4?

After my three-day work-weekend, I woke up Monday morning to a backyard full of leaves. I strapped on my trusty Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and corralled all of the leaves into two large piles and ended up dragging 7 tarpfulls to the curb. I could have dragged more, but I didn’t want to overtax myself as I had the previous Monday.

I woke up Tuesday morning to a couple of inches of snow covering the yard, definitely not good circumstances for leaf removal. Good thing I had a couple of leaf piles leftover from Monday, enabling me to drag 4 tarpfulls to the curb.

Snow still covered the ground Wednesday morning, but a high of 48F was predicted. By 3PM, most of the snow in the backyard had melted. I fired up my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower, corralled all of the backyard leaves, and hauled 7 tarpfulls top the curb, once again purposely limiting myself.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, but family wasn’t coming over for dinner until 4PM, so I was able to hit the leaves pretty hard. I raked up the leaves that inevitably gather near the front of the house, taking 2 full tarpfulls to the curb. I then cleaned up the mound of leaves in the backyard leftover from Wednesday, hauling 2 more tarps to the road. I hadn’t cleaned up the front yard in awhile and it had a healthy accumulation of leaves, so I started up my Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and blew all of those leaves to the curb.

Friday was a work holiday and I had intended to get some rest, but the morning was perfect for leaf duty so I fired up the Husqvarna and cleaned up the backyard and both side yards. The result? 4 more tarps to the curb.

Wow! Week #4 was very productive! I hauled 26 tarps to the curb in five days, bringing my total tarp tally for the 2021 Leaf Campaign to 54 tarps. As you can see from the above photo right, probably around 10%-15% of the leaves are still on the trees. Can we finally put this campaign to bed in week #5?

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/27/21

Last weekend, I had speculated that Marcus Lamb, prosperity Gospeler, outspoken anti-vaxxer, and co-owner of the Daystar cable network with wife, Joni (photo above), had contracted COVID-19. The Lambs’ social media accounts were predictably hush-hush regarding his illness, however, I did some research and found a post from fellow-prosperity shyster, Perry Stone, on his Facebook account, asking for prayers for Marcus:

“November 18 – URGENT PRAYER REQUEST! I am asking all of you who believe in the power of prayer to pray for my very close friend, Marcus Lamb, the founder of the Daystar Television Network. He is presently being treated for a severe case of COVID. His oxygen has been low…” (click on the hyper-link for Stone’s FB post).

Two things: 1) I thought prosperity-gospelers weren’t supposed to get sick. Marcus must not have enough faith. But why didn’t one of his faith-healer buddies go to the hospital and heal him? 2) I wonder what anti-vaxxers, Marcus and Joni Lamb, think of C-19 vaccines now? Shame on them. How many credulous viewers got sick or even died because of the Lambs’ anti-vax hokum?

The election of Roman Catholic and abortion-supporter, Joe Biden, roiled conservative American Catholic bishops and sparked a year-long “wafer wars.” The conservative prelates insisted that Democratic Party politicians who supported pro-abortion legislation be barred from receiving the Jesus wafer and the other RCC sacraments. Church moderates and progressives (including pope Francis) were opposed to the ban. The bishops met back in June and official sanctions against Biden and other pro-abortion politicians were in the works, but the Jesus wafer guidelines approved at last week’s follow-up meeting included only a mild, non-specific slap on the wrist for pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Bergoglio and the progressives had won this particular battle and the “wafer wars” appear to be over.

American Catholics like to portray themselves as victims of American Protestant sectarianism and defenders of religious freedom, but purposely fail to mention the larger historical context involving the severe persecution of Protestants in Catholic-controlled European and Latin American countries.

Last weekend, we included a story about the platform speakers of the Christian nationalist, “Reawaken America Tour,” whipping the crowd at Cornerstone Church of San Antonio into a frenzied chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for an expletive directed at POTUS, Joe Biden. Pastor Matt Hagee has apologized for the outburst and disavowed any affiliation with the “Reawaken America Tour.” I wouldn’t step foot in the Hagees’ church because of the heterodox theology, but I give them credit for the apology.

The above article is three-years-old, but serves as a helpful resource in this discussion. Last Sunday, November 21st, I was driving home from work listening to the Catholic Answers talk radio show and the hosts were mentioning that the day was the celebration of the “Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple” on the RCC liturgical calendar. The alleged event is an apocryphal tale involving Mary’s parents (allegedly named Joachim and Anna) presenting the young girl at the Jerusalem temple for consecration. Untethered from Scripture, Roman Catholicism is filled with similar “sacred tradition” bogus fables and myths.