Vatican employees caught in growing Ashley Madison scandal

“Be sure your sin will find you out.” – Numbers 32:23ashley-madison-site

Some may be scandalized by the recent headlines revealing Vatican employees were users of the Ashley Madison infidelity website but it comes as no surprise to Christians.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

As God’s Word says, there are NONE who are righteous and ALL fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3). While Catholics argue they have been given the grace they need to avoid “mortal” sins so that they can present themselves to God in a sin-free, “state of grace,” if they were honest with themselves they would have to admit they can’t possibly attain the spiritual perfection required by God.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

Rather than accepting Jesus Christ the Savior and His perfect righteousness Catholics attempt to establish their own righteousness and merit their way to Heaven.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” – Matthew 5:48

Thank the Lord for salvation by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

“I have not come to call the (self) righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32


Vatican workers listed among users of Ashley Madison site
Thursday, 20 Aug 2015

A number of Vatican addresses are listed among the 37 million users

People working at the Vatican are reportedly among the 37 million users of infidelity website Ashley Madison.

Websites of at least two dozen people with the .va address are among those who had signed up to meet married people for liaisons.

Rick Warren continues his slide into apostasy

Rick Warren, Evangelical megachurch pastor and author of the best-selling book, “The Purpose rick-warren-mental-healthDriven Life,” has publicly embraced Roman Catholicism on many occasions.

Warren wrote the introduction to Time magazine’s booklet, “Mother Teresa at 100: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint,” and has officially endorsed Catholicism’s evangelization program, Catholics Come Home. Warren was one of the featured speakers at Humanum, the Vatican’s International Religious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman in November 2014. In an EWTN interview he “called for adherents of various Christian denominations to unite with Roman Catholics and Pope Francis to work together on three shared goals, focusing on the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex, and the sanctity of marriage. He went on to defend Catholicism and to clarify some of the most common misconceptions about Catholic teaching, pertaining to Marian dogmas and prayer to the saints.” “If you love Jesus,” he said, “we’re on the same team.” In another EWTN interview Warren proclaimed he was an “avid fan” of EWTN and that he worships while regularly watching the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” program.

Warren is scheduled to be one of the key speakers at the World Meeting of Families meeting in Philadelphia in September, which is sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family.

No doubt pope Francis and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy are heartily celebrating their inroads into Evangelicalism via Warren and others. Rick Warren is deliberately ignoring the doctrines that divide Evangelicalism and Catholicism and that Protestant martyrs suffered and died for. Most importantly, Evangelicals believe in the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone while Catholics believe in salvation through church-administered sacramental grace and merit. It’s my belief that Warren continues to sell out the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the ecumenical “gospel” of religious “morality” to shore-up his popularity and retain his title as “America’s Pastor.”

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:6-10

Book Review: Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment


Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment

by Gregg R. Allison

Crossway, 2014, 496 pages

At a time when some Evangelical leaders are ignoring doctrinal distinctives in the interest of “Christian” unity, noted Evangelical theologian, Gregg R. Allison, gives us “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment,” a clinical examination of the differences between Evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism.

Allison begins by outlining Rome’s two major theological constructs: the nature-grace interconnection which posits the concrete conferring of grace through nature (priests, sacraments, sacramentals, shrines, relics, etc.) and the Christ-Church interconnection whereby the Catholic church presents itself as the prolongation of the incarnation of Christ. Allison then examines Rome’s catechism, reviewing each major doctrine in light of the aforementioned constructs and how they compare to God’s Word and Evangelical theology. The author notes that Catholicism and Evangelicalism agree on many doctrinal issues but disagree on a myriad of others. Most importantly, Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit while Evangelicals profess salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is no bridge over this theological chasm despite the best efforts of some accommodating, doctrine-light Evangelicals.

This new book is a VERY welcome addition to the Evangelical-Catholic debate. Every Evangelical pastor who works with Catholics and ex-Catholics should own a copy. Many of the Protestant books about Catholicism written in the past were uncharitable and did not present Rome’s doctrines accurately. Allison’s tone leans toward the irenic almost to a fault but he’s also firm in his critique of Catholicism’s unbiblical and anti-biblical doctrines.

Unfortunately, Allison ends this book on a bit of a disappointing note. After spending the first 450 pages carefully analyzing Rome’s errors he avoids drawing any overall conclusions. Does he believe Rome is at its foundation a Christian church that happens to teach many doctrines not found in the Bible (see Norman Geisler) or does he believe Catholicism is an apostate church that turned from the Gospel of Jesus Christ to legalism and ritualism and that no person can be saved by adhering to its standard theology? After reading the first 450 pages the reader will definitely assume Allison’s position is the latter but, unfortunately, for reasons only he knows, he’s not willing to commit himself in a forthright summation and conclusion. Instead, the six-page final chapter offers Evangelicals advice on how to share the Gospel with Catholics. That criticism aside, this book is a timely and intelligent clarification of Catholic teaching for Evangelicals, some of whom are disturbingly too eager to embrace a “church” they actually know very little about.

Please note: This book is definitely on the academic side and wouldn’t appeal to a number of readers.

Liturgy or Jesus?

Catholicism is a religion steeped in ritual, ceremony, and legalism. There are so many terms, pontifical-solemn-high-mass-st-peters-burkerules, and regulations a dutiful Catholic needs a Catholic encyclopedia in addition to a catechism close by at all times to make sense of it all. Of course, very few bother because they’re trusting in their priests to guide them through the religious maze.

At the center of Catholic life is the “liturgy.” Liturgy is a Greek word meaning “work of the people” or “public service.” For Catholics the liturgy is the ritualized form of their public worship service. Evangelical Christians are amazed at the prominence given the liturgy within Catholicism. The various components are analyzed and debated right down to the minutest of details. When to sit. When to kneel. When to stand. Which color robes the priest must wear on what day. The music. What the priest says and what the people say in response. Every once in a while a church liturgical commission tweaks the format creating swells of protests from the faithful who are totally dependent on rote repetition. I tune into Catholic radio quite often and it’s sadly amusing to listen to the raging callers who complain about a priest who – God forbid – deviated ever so slightly from the authorized format.

Where is Jesus in all of this? Good question. Like so many things within Catholicism the ritual takes precedence over what’s inside the heart. Pick up a diocesan newspaper and there’s always some aspect of the liturgy being written about but very rarely an article about Jesus. Why is that?

The Jesus of the New Testament had no use for empty ceremonialism:

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” – Matthew 6:5-8

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” – Matthew 15:8-9

Ritualism and legalism do NOT equal salvation: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” – Acts 16:30-31. 

Praise the Lord for salvation by God’s grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

Book Review: Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism 51ag-eEcuOL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

Ignatius Press, 1993, 182 pages

This memoir from Catholic apologist, Scott Hahn, and his wife records a spiritual train wreck.

Hahn describes accepting Christ as a teen, going to seminary, marrying, and becoming a Presbyterian minister. Although Hahn boasts that he started off fiercely anti-Catholic, both he and his wife admired and shared Rome’s strong stand against all forms of birth control. Hahn then slowly became enamored with formal liturgical worship. While studying the Bible he became transfixed with “covenant” theology (referenced ad nauseum throughout), leading him to believe that sacraments and obedience to religious law were essential to salvation and remaining in God’s family. Hahn joined the Catholic church and pestered his wife until she did as well.

Hahn’s journey from a “born-again” believer, supposedly trusting only in Jesus Christ as Savior, to a works-righteousness Catholic is unfathomable. Did he ever genuinely grasp that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone? Obviously not. For Hahn it was just head knowledge; words on paper. Like the emancipated Hebrews who wished to return to Egypt, Hahn desired the “security” of legalism, ritualism, and chains over God’s free gift of grace.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21

Now Hahn and his family are “happily” attempting to earn their way to heaven. Oh boy! They look around at the glum faces surrounding them at mass and can’t fathom why others aren’t as bubbly as they are about the stultifying legalism of the “one true church.” Recent research shows that only 25% of Catholics attend obligatory mass on Sunday. The other 75% would rather sleep in and pick up another “mortal” sin every week. After all, pope Francis said even atheists will go to Heaven if they lead “good” lives so who needs all that dreary liturgical hocus pocus? But God says there are none who are good and all must accept Jesus Christ. Only 12% of Catholics go to confession at least once a year which means the other 88% put no stock in their sacramental salvation-by-merit system.

Hahn has built quite a career as a Catholic apologist but I feel sorry for him and his family and anyone who gives heed to his gospel of chains. Reading about Hahn enthusiastically carrying around a “relic” of a “saint” in his pants pocket every day saddened me terribly.

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

Hottest ticket in town?

News reports say the hottest ticket in Washington D.C. right now is for a gallery seat for pope Francis’s September 24th ADWbanner-popeindc1address to a joint session of Congress. There’s little doubt that Francis is the world’s #1 religious celebrity. However, on that day the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ won’t be preached inside the Capitol to the wealthy and powerful. But It will be heard on Washington’s sidewalks from some ragtag Evangelical street preachers.


The hottest ticket in Washington is for a coveted House gallery seat to hear Pope Francis

by Donna Cassata and Andrew Taylor

August 14, 2015

The Associated Press

Mary or Jesus?

Tomorrow, Roman Catholics will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Every August 15th assumption-murilloCatholics commemorate the supposed assumption of Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. Tales of Mary’s assumption first began to circulate in the 4th century with the rise of Mariolatry within the church. There is no record of the event prior to that. But Mary’s growing group of admirers argued that she was sinless, and because she was sinless they insisted it was reasonable to assume that God had to have taken her directly up to Heaven rather than allow her to experience the corruption of the grave.

Mariolatry evolved and grew over the centuries and finally in 1950, by popular demand, pope Pius XII declared the assumption of Mary to be an infallible doctrine of the church. Catholics who do not believe this dogmatic teaching are doomed to Hell. The pope did not specifically address whether Mary had died or not prior to her assumption so that debate continues. Also, the various apocryphal accounts differ widely as to the year of the assumption. Some say the 40s, some the 50s, and some the 60s.

We’re all familiar with the humble accounts of Mary in the Gospels. But she is mentioned only briefly in Acts and not at all in the Epistles. Yet, Catholicism elevated Mary to become the “Channel of All Graces,” “Co-Mediatrix,” and “Co-Redemptrix.” How did Mary rise to such preeminence in Catholic doctrine when there is no biblical support for it? In stark contrast the Gospels make it plainly clear that Mary is not to be exalted the way she is in Catholicism:

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47.

“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:46-50.

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:27-28.

Catholics who read the New Testament for the first time are quite surprised by how little Scripture has to say about Mary.

For a fascinating examination of the influence of pagan mother-goddess worship and the rise of Mariolatry within 41vDfGuwlnL__SX313_BO1,204,203,200_the early church see “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess” by distinguished British historian, Geoffrey Ashe. The author certainly isn’t a believer but his research is eye-opening.

For Evangelicals the worship of Mary within Catholicism is quite bizarre. But Catholics object that they don’t actually worship Mary but highly venerate her with “hyperdulia.” Hyper what??? But the demarcation between veneration and worship certainly isn’t clear, especially among passionate Marian devotees. The hyper-Marianist writings of “saints” Alphonsus de Liguori and Louis De Montfort are disturbing heresy for any follower of Jesus Christ.

Although Evangelical ecumenists are perplexed by the idolatrous devotion given to Mary I certainly don’t see it as the MAJOR problem with Catholicism. The central issue dividing Evangelicals and Catholics is salvation. Evangelicals believe in the “Good News” of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. Catholics believe in a “gospel” of sacramental grace and legalistic “cooperation” with grace in order to merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments and church rules. The prominence given to Mary in this works-righteousness religious system is really a secondary issue.

Don’t get me wrong. From Scripture we see that Mary is certainly an admirable example of a humble and obedient servant of God. But she needed to accept Christ as her Savior by faith just like everyone else. The way Catholics have attributed to her the redemptive and mediatorial offices that belong to Christ alone would grieve her immensely.

The Feast of the Assumption is normally an obligatory holy day for Catholics requiring them to attend mass that day or incur a “mortal” sin. But whenever this particular feast falls on a Saturday or Monday, like this year, the requirement to attend mass is “abrogated.” Sheesh! A Catholic needs a canon lawyer to keep track of all the rules and regulations. But most aren’t too worried about it. 75% of Catholics can’t even make it to mass on Sundays let alone any additional “holy days.” They reasonably question why they should have to sit through another boring liturgy when the current pope says even atheists will go to Heaven if they’re “good.”

Thank the Lord for salvation by the grace of God through simple faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

Book Review: “The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God”

The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God515ATJpZDDL__UY250_

by James G. McCarthy

Harvest House, 1995, 408 pgs.

The Gospel According to Rome is a well-researched, well-written comparison of Catholic theology with Scripture. McCarthy, an Evangelical Christian and ex-Catholic, uses Catholicism’s own source material including its official 1995 Catechism to present the church’s position on various doctrinal issues and then responds with counter-arguments using relevant passages from the Bible.

Of course the main issue of disagreement between Catholics and Evangelicals is salvation. Is one saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and His once-for-all propitiatory sacrifice as Evangelicals believe or does salvation come from the Catholic Church through the dispensation of its sacraments? A Christian rests securely in Christ’s perfect atonement while a Catholic believes their salvation will ultimately depend on how well they “cooperate with grace” and obey church rules and the Ten Commandments. Is that “Good News”? A person who adheres to a legal system like Catholicism could never possibly justify their standing before a Holy God according to how well they obey His commandments. The law teaches us we are all sinners (Galatians 3:24) and that we all need a Redeemer; justification doesn’t come from trying to obey the law. Christ came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-17) NOT the self-righteous. Jesus Christ has made complete and final atonement for us but we need to accept Him as our Savior. Pride in their religious system and its traditions prevents many Catholics from accepting Christ.

The following books were also written by McCarthy and published by Harvest House. They’re available through

*Roman Catholicism: What You Need to Know (Quick Reference Guides) (1995)
*What Every Catholic Should Ask (1999)
*Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical (2003)
*Talking with Catholic Friends and Family (2005)

“Pentecostals and Catholics Have ‘Many Points of Agreement’”

Pentecostal Christians believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone but they definitely lean towards the Arminian 2152fca124b84bcbb6dea99485e7b769side of the Arminius-Calvin debate and believe those who accept Christ can lose their salvation. At the other end of the spectrum are Calvinists who believe those who are drawn to Christ can never forsake Him and will persevere until the end.

But let’s get to our main point. Pentecostals and their Charismatic cousins place very strong emphasis on the “gifts of the Spirit.” There is an expectation (actually a requirement in some Pentecostal churches) that those who genuinely accept Christ will “speak in tongues” and that many others will manifest additional gifts including “healing” and “prophecy.” I’m a “cessationist” and believe the apostolic gifts so evident in the early church ceased after the time of the Apostles. Certainly I accept that the Lord is as capable of performing miracles today as he was in 40 A.D. but the reason for tongues has ended and no one is physically raising anyone from the dead these days (Acts 9:36-41 and Acts 20:9-10). But the Pentecostals’ belief in and prioritization of the continuance of the apostolic gifts has led to an unfortunate Catch-22.

In 1967, a couple of Duquesne (Catholic) University professors received the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” and “spoke in tongues.” The movement spread throughout Catholicism like wildfire and grew to become Catholic Charismatic Renewal with over 160 million participants worldwide. In addition to the “gifts of the Spirit” the movement encouraged the kind of Bible study usually found only among Evangelicals. When Charismatic Catholics were exposed to God’s Word (many for the first time) more than a few discovered salvation was NOT by sacramental grace and merit as the Catholic church teaches but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Scores of Charismatic Catholics left the church for Pentecostal or Charismatic fellowships. That’s the good part.

Now here’s the bad part. Pentecostals and Charismatics observed that many Catholics were now “speaking in tongues,” “practicing healings,” “prophesying,” and being “slain in the spirit.” Catholic Charismatics loyal to the church still believed in justification via sacramental grace and merit (works) but because they demonstrated the requisite “gifts” Pentecostals had no choice but to disregard the unbridgeable differences in justification doctrine and accept works-righteous Catholics as “brothers in Christ.” Works-righteousness Catholicism had established a bridgehead into Evangelicalism and the results have been tragic and far-reaching. In the interest of “Christian unity” doctrine has been ignored and replaced with shared emotional experientialism. Several times the current pope has publicly spoken of his appreciation for Catholic Charismatic Renewal as the vanguard in the crusade for dialogue and unification with Evangelicals. Even some Baptists and Reformed are beginning to embrace Rome.

“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” (Galatians 5:9).


AG Pastor: Pentecostals and Catholics Have ‘Many Points of Agreement’ About Gifts of the Spirit

Jennifer LeClaire

Charisma News


Body of popular “saint” to tour U.S.

The Catholic church has announced the body of “saint” Maria Goretti will soon be touring the U.S. There are currently forty-seven tour stops scheduled in 25 Catholic dioceses spanning 18 states.

Maria Goretti was a young, Italian Catholic girl who was fatally stabbed after resisting a rape attempt. She survived long ST MARIA GORETTI 7enough to forgive her attacker and died in 1902 at the age of 11. She was canonized in 1950, becoming Catholicism’s youngest “saint.”

Catholicism teaches miracles, favors, and healings are possible through the intercession of a “saint” and the “veneration” of his or her “relics.” Appeals are made to Acts 19:11-12 where handkerchiefs and aprons touched by Paul were used to heal the sick.

Most Evangelicals would consider the Catholic practice of venerating dead bodies or body parts to be unscriptural vestiges of medieval superstition. Why not go directly to the Lord for all spiritual and physical needs? But the Catholic system is based precisely on the mediation of the church – through its priests, sacraments, saints, Mary, etc., etc. Catholics are taught the church is the channel of God’s sacramental grace and they must then “cooperate” with that grace in order to merit their salvation.

Maria Goretti is very popular among Catholics these days and the church venerates her as the “Patroness of Mercy,” “Patroness of Purity,” and “Model of Chastity.” But not everyone agrees that Maria is a helpful role-model for women. Women’s advocates deplore the clerical misogynist concept popularized by the Maria Goretti legacy that death is a more honorable alternative than the “loss of sexual purity.”

I’m so grateful to the Lord that He freed me from the chains of Catholic ritual, superstition, and legalism. Praise the Lord for salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE! The ONLY purity I can boast about is the purity of Jesus Christ, my sinless Lord and Savior.

400-197Above: “Saint” Maria Goretti with compulsory “halo.”

Some Catholics visiting Maria’s “relics” normally displayed in a basilica south of Rome mistakenly believe her body is “incorruptible” like some other “saints.” But what they see is a wax statue containing the majority of her bones. Her right arm, the most treasured “relic” because it was used to “defend her purity,” was given to the church of her small hometown.



“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25.

“As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” – Acts 10:25-26.


Confirmed: The Body of St. Maria Goretti Will Soon Be Brought to the U.S.

St. Maria Goretti will be coming to the USA in September and stay until early in November

by Joseph Pronechen, National Catholic Register, 8/7/15