Would anyone use Chris Farley as a role model for physical fitness? Then why…?

Is Jesus the Only Way to God?JEW

By James Emery White

InterVarsity Press, 2010, 32 pages

What goes through the minds of some Evangelicals?!?! I bought this small booklet by James Emery White, mega-church pastor and former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, thinking it would proclaim Christ as the ONLY way to salvation. My original plan was to present it to a Catholic friend who also dabbles in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, “Is Jesus the Only Way to God?” is a major disappointment. Yes, White claims that Jesus is the only pathway to God but uses C. S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, and J. R. R. Tolkien as his examples of stalwart Christians. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” is adored by Evangelicals but the author and educator was an Anglican who believed in sacramental grace and purgatory. Mother Teresa and Tolkien were Roman Catholics who believed in salvation by sacramental grace and by perfectly obeying the Ten Commandments, although Mother Teresa also believed her church’s teaching, issued in 1965, which granted that followers of other works-righteousness religions could also merit Heaven.

Many Evangelicals buy into the herd mentality and absolutely fawn over “Blessed” Mother Teresa. Didn’t she believe in God and work tirelessly for the poor? But Anjeze “Mother Teresa” Bojaxhiu was an ambassador of her works-righteousness religion, which officially denies that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Bojaxhiu and her nuns didn’t even bother trying to convert their patients to Catholicism because they believed God would honor their works-righteousness Hinduism just as well. “I convert you to be a better Hindu, a better Catholic, Muslim, Jain, or Buddhist” (Mother Teresa: The Case for The Cause, p. 4).

How could an Evangelical Christian pastor write a booklet about Christ being the ONLY way to God and cite Mother Teresa as an example of Christianity when she was quite OUTSPOKEN about her belief in MANY, MANY paths to God through Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.?” That would be like writing a book about the benefits of good nutrition and physical fitness and citing comedian Chris Farley as a positive role model!!!!!

How could I give this booklet to my Catholic friend? She would read about the exalted Mother Teresa who openly professed there are MANY pathways to God and think she’s doing just fine. This trash is going in the garbage can where it belongs.

I did some additional research and found that James Emery White and InterVarsity are enthusiastic admirers of works-righteousness Roman Catholicism. I also see that White is a compadre of Vatican ally, Rick Warren, and ecumenical-seeker pastor, Bill Hybels, which says it all. I won’t make the mistake of buying anything from White and InterVarsity ever again. Unfortunately, many Evangelical leaders have dismissed doctrine and embraced Roman Catholics as “Christians” because they also “believe” in Jesus.

Quotes below from Mother Teresa, Catholic Universalist:

“If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we … become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are … What God is in your mind you must accept” (Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work).

“Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him” (“Mother Teresa Touched other Faiths,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 1997).

“At the word of a priest, that little piece of bread becomes the body of Christ, the Bread of Life. Then you give this living Bread to us, so that we too might live and become holy. … We and our people are hungry for God, hungry for holiness. I have seen this same hunger even among Hindus and Muslims” (Be Holy: God’s First Call to Priests Today, 1987, p. 108).

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Ravi Zacharias impersonates Fred Astaire while compromising the Gospel

Ravi Zacharias. Ravi Zacharias. Ravi Zacharias. Everywhere you go you hear Evangelicals fawning over Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. But let’s slow it down a little bit.

Here’s a 6-minute You Tube video that some Evangelicals may find interesting. At a seminar a young man has a question for Dr. Zacharias. The man says he’s been involved in street evangelism for six or seven years and has encountered members of religious groups widely identified as cults such as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. But he’s also encountered many Roman Catholics. The young man asks Zacharias to clarify for him, somewhat inarticulately, if Roman Catholicism is a cult or an apostate church.

Well, Dr. Zacharias tap dances around the question like Fred Astaire for about five minutes and manages to avoid giving anything resembling a forthright answer. Why the hesitancy, Dr. Zacharias? Can people be saved through the Catholic church’s standard theology of sacramental grace and perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments or not? Is the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone the only way to Heaven or not? What was so extremely difficult about the young man’s question that caused you to hem and haw for five minutes, Dr. Zacharias? Yes, denominations have their distinctives but is the Gospel the Gospel or not? The audience heartily applauded Dr. Zacharias and his “wise” and “gracious” non-reply but that young man left the hall more confused than when he entered.

Catholic apologists and priests have absolutely NO problem proclaiming their church is the “one true church” and that it alone has the fullness of the “gospel.” Catholic apologists and priests have absolutely NO problem disparaging “Bible-thumping Evangelicals” and the “easy-believism” of the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. So why then are Evangelical preachers and apologists so deferential when it comes to Roman Catholicism? What are Zacharias and the others afraid of? What spirit is driving them to cooperate, accommodate, compromise, and tap dance on egg shells? The young man mentioned the uncompromising Charles Spurgeon. Where are the Spurgeons of today?

Lord, thank you for watchmen faithful to the Gospel of grace who continue to work the ripe fields of the Roman Catholic lost.

Catholic church celebrates 50th anniversary of “Nostra Aetate,” but let’s not forget its anti-Semitic past

Fifty years ago, on October 28, 1965, pope Paul VI issued the Nostra Aetate (In our Time),UC the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. The document was a radical change in the “unchanging” church’s approach to “non-Christian” religions. Instead of viewing Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as false religions, as it had in the past, with this document Catholicism declared there was a certain amount of truth in all religious faiths and that it was possible for people of other works-righteousness creeds to earn their salvation as well. Nostra Aetate took an especially conciliatory tone towards Jews.

This week many Jewish leaders are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the declaration with its startling change in church policy. Unfortunately, many of today’s Catholics are entirely unaware of the church’s long history of militant anti-Semitism. Jews throughout Europe were harassed and persecuted by the Catholic population. Intolerance was often incited and encouraged by the clergy. For centuries in Catholic Europe, Jews were the victims of forced conversions, massacres, and expulsions. When European anti-Semitism reached its culmination with the 20th century Holocaust, Adolf Hitler defended himself by appealing to church history: “As for the Jews, I am just carrying on with the same policy which the Catholic church has adopted for fifteen hundred years, when it has regarded the Jews as dangerous and pushed them into ghettos etc., because it knew what the Jews were like.” For an objective examination of how the church’s anti-Semitic policies led to the Holocaust see “The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences: How Christian Anti-Judaism Spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism” by Judge Anthony Sciolino, a Roman Catholic deacon.

But this ex-Catholic has a question regarding Catholic anti-Semitism: If the church has always been guided by the Holy Spirit and is the “foundation of truth” as Catholics claim, and if the Catholic popes have been infallible in matters of faith and morals as they also claim, then how could the church have been SO TERRIBLY WRONG, for century after century, when it came to its anti-Semitic policies and practices?

I praise the Lord daily that He has freed me from the chains of the worldly-minded Catholic church and saved me by His grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ alone. Contrary to Nostra Aetate, God’s Word says salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – John 3:18

20 Former Nuns Who Left Catholicism and Accepted Jesus Christ

The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories of God’s Amazing Gracedownload

By Richard Bennett

Solid Ground Christian Books, 2010, 237 pages

Richard Bennett, ex-Catholic priest and director of the Berean Beacon ministry, presents the testimonies of twenty former nuns who left behind the legalism and ritualism of Roman Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith. The personal accounts average only about eleven pages each so there’s not a lot of detail about Catholic theology but each testimony is a blessing.

When Christians refer to “cults” they usually have Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses in mind but can there be a practice more “cultish” than a convent full of virgin women who believe they are married to Jesus Christ, replete with wedding rings? The inspiration for the Catholic convent was the convent of the vestal virgins of pagan Rome.

All of the twenty nuns joined their religious “orders” with high expectations, believing they were pleasing God by earning their salvation through self-denial and ritualism but they found no joy or contentment in the convent. All were introduced to the Word of God and were saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. These women gave up the only life they knew to follow Christ but what Christian can look back with regret at the corrupt things of this world when the glory of our Savior is before us?

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” – Philippians 3:7-9

I attended a Catholic grammar school back in the 1960s and was taught by nuns belonging to the Sisters of Mercy order. Our parents assumed the nuns were shining examples of love and contentment but we students witnessed those women as they really were; troubled souls who sometimes vented their frustration, anger, and cruelty on their charges. Sisters Imelda, Annunciata, Tarcisius, Gemma, Maryanne, and Virgina, whatever became of you? Were you somehow able to cut through through the legalism and ritualism you taught to us and find the Savior?

Convents are few and far between these days. The great majority of Catholics can’t even bother to attend mass on Sunday let alone take up a religious vocation. In 1965 there were 180,000 nuns in the United States but by 2006 there were only 67,000. By 2014 the number had dropped to 50,000.

Zzzzzzz. Catholic teens catch 40 winks during religious ed class

The Catholic religious ed. teacher in the article below bemoans the fact that all of herdownload (1) teenage students are totally indifferent to her lessons. But who can blame those Catholic kids for being apathetic about their religion? According to church sources, 76% of their parents don’t attend mass on Sunday. And who can possibly blame those parents? Their pope has said even atheists will go to Heaven if they’re “good” so why bother with all of that boring, liturgical rigmarole?

I feel sorry for those Catholic teens. I used to be one of them. Instead of being taught they are all sinners facing eternal judgement BUT that God the Son, Jesus Christ, came to this world to save all those who accept Him by faith, they are taught religious ritualism and how to earn their own salvation by trying to obey the Law and by being “good.”  Yet, God’s Word says many times that NO ONE is good. Christ came to save sinners, not the self-righteous “good.” The overwhelming majority of Catholic teens will abandon their religion the first chance they get but I would argue they’ll be no worse off than zealous Catholics who attend mass every day trying to earn their way to Heaven.

Take a browse through this article and then decide if you’re doing a “good enough” job obeying God’s commandments.

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My Students, See Future Ex-Catholics

By Mary Deturris Poust

Aletia

October 23, 2015

http://aleteia.org/2015/10/23/i-look-at-my-students-and-see-our-future-ex-catholics/

Yup, convents were cultish but where’s Jesus in all this?

Forgotten Women in Conventsfwc

By Helen Conroy

Christ’s Mission, 1960

Protestant books examining alleged abuse in Roman Catholic convents proliferated throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. “Forgotten Women in Convents” by ex-nun, Helen Conroy aka Sister Mary Ethel, was originally published in 1946 and was one of the last books of this once-popular genre. The 1960 edition I purchased several months ago was published by Christ’s Mission, a Protestant evangelization ministry to Roman Catholics, as part of a tidal wave of anti-Catholic literature that swept the nation leading up to the Kennedy-Nixon presidential election.

On the plus side, Conroy offers many valuable insights into how the Catholic church lured girls and young women into its nunneries and how it discouraged them from ever leaving. Evangelicals’ antennae go up if you mention the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses but is there anything more cultish than a Catholic convent? As Conroy points out, Catholicism adopted the idea of virgin women completely dedicated to God from pagan religions for its own purposes. Of course, extremely few Catholic women are joining convents these days and many of those who do will enjoy freedoms unimaginable to the nuns of Conroy’s era.

On the minus side – and this is a HUGE minus – Conroy never once alludes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Does she just assume her Protestant readers have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior? In her exodus from Rome did Conroy ever accept Christ? There’s no testimony of that being the case in this book. There’s quite a bit of criticism of Catholicism’s treatment of its nuns as being antithetical to American freedoms but there is no mention of how Catholic works-righteousness ritualism is opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In its surprisingly Christ-less approach “Forgotten Women in Convents” reminds me quite a bit of a very popular anti-Catholic bestseller from the same period, “American Freedom and Catholic Power” (1949) by atheist Paul Blanshard.

See my earlier blog for a list of “convent escape narratives.”

St. Maria Goretti on last “leg” of American tour

Only 17 stops remain on the St. Maria Goretti tour. The bones of the revered “saint”MGT continue to make the rounds of American Catholic parishes. “Saint” Maria will be flying back to Italy on November 13th. See my earlier write-up here.

Catholics are taught the veneration of the relics of “saints” will result in blessings and answers to prayer. Of course, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in Scripture to suggest God desires anyone to pray to dead people’s bones. In contrast, God’s Word distinctly warns against praying to the dead:

“When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” – Isaiah 18:19

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:17

Flee from man-made religious traditions and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Kreeft & Co. – Awestruck by religious pomp but no saving faith in Christ

I was sitting in an Evangelical Sunday service several months ago and in the course of his sermon the pastor quoted Catholic philosopher, Peter Kreeft, and said he was one of his favorite philosophers. Boy, did the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! Kreeft isn’t just a philosopher, he’s also one of the American Catholic church’s most prolific apologists and in that capacity has written MANY books promoting and defending his church’s theology of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. So how could an Evangelical pastor praise a Catholic author who defends and promotes justification by grace AND merit and, thirty minutes later, invite the unsaved members of his audience to receive the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE? How does that work, exactly? Unfortunately, there are many other Evangelical pastors who also compromise the Gospel and embrace Rome.

In this You Tube video Kreeft explains his conversion from “Protestantism” to Catholicism. At the 3:44 mark, he begins to recount an interesting experience from his childhood, which created serious doubt in his mind regarding Protestant attitudes toward Catholicism. On a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with his parents, young Kreeft was completely awestruck by the grandiose architecture of the place. In a bit of a panic, he turned to his father, a Presbyterian elder.

Kreeft Jr.: “Dad, this is a Catholic church isn’t it?”

Kreeft Sr.: “Yes.”

Kreeft Jr.: “Catholics are wrong, aren’t they?”

Kreeft Sr.: “Oh, yes. Of course. They’re very, very wrong.”

Kreeft Jr.: “Then how can their churches be so beautiful?”

Kreeft relates that it was the first time in his life that his father didn’t have an answer to one of his questions. He was “just stumped.” The experience created a gnawing seed of doubt in Kreeft’s mind which eventually blossomed into his conversion to Catholicism.

Yes, many are drawn to the history (although much of it is VERY unflattering), the traditions, the ritual, the liturgy, the magnificent architecture, the art, and the pomp and ceremony of Roman Catholicism. The church definitely has fleshly, worldly appeal. When I first listened to Kreeft’s account, the Holy Spirit immediately brought Matthew 24:1-2 to mind. As Jesus and his ragtag band of disciples walked through Herod’s temple complex in Jerusalem, the disciples, Galilean hicks, were awestruck by the grandeur of the buildings. Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” The impressiveness of the temple complex obviously meant absolutely nothing to Jesus. Men have erected thousands of majestic religious edifices over the last two thousand years as they toiled to earn their redemption. But like the thief on the cross, accepting Christ as Savior by simple faith is the ONLY way to salvation, NOT membership in a “magnificent” religious institution. And just as Jesus had foretold, all of the buildings of the Jerusalem temple complex were destroyed by Titus and the Roman army in 70 A.D.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

Synod revealed deep divisions within Catholicism

The Vatican’s eagerly anticipated Synod on the Family closes tomorrowSYN without any agreement to change Catholic dogma. The month-long assembly of bishops only served to reveal the deep divisions within church leadership with progressives pressing for changes in policy towards remarried Catholics and LGBTs and with conservatives digging in and holding the line.

The American Catholic church is losing members like a sieve with one of the reasons thought to be its treatment of remarried Catholics as second-class citizens by barring them from receiving the eucharist. Pope Francis understands impediments must be removed if the church is to stay afloat. No one seriously thought anything resembling consensus would come out of this synod but liberals saw it is a necessary step in building consensus for change in the future.

My thoughts? Catholic apologists like to claim their church is the “unchanging” foundation of truth despite the testimony of history, which reveals the church has often radically changed its doctrines and policies to fit changing circumstances. Conservative bishops see any policy shift on remarried Catholics as a blatant admission of church inconstancy and a recognition that previous church doctrine was incorrect.

I certainly don’t believe Catholic priests change bread wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. And I certainly don’t believe ingesting those wafer hosts does one, single thing for the recipients. Catholics believe they receive grace by ingesting the eucharist, which allegedly then helps them from committing “mortal” sins. Catholics believe they must obey the Ten Commandments perfectly (impossible!) to be in a “state of grace” so they will be allowed into Heaven when they die. But receiving Christ is NOT ingesting a bread wafer, it’s accepting Him as Savior by faith. God’s Word makes clear that NO ONE is able to obey their way into Heaven. Christ came to save sinners, not the religious self-righteous who think they are doing a good job obeying the Ten Commandments.

Place your faith in Jesus Christ, not in religious leaders who make idols of their changing traditions. Find an Evangelical church in your area which preaches the Gospel of grace without compromise.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – John 1:12-13

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

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Pope Francis fails to persuade majority of bishops on remarried Catholics

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner

10/23/15

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/23/pope-francis-fails-to-persuade-majority-of-bishops-remarried-catholics-synod-family

The Papacy 101

A Christian’s Pocket Guide To The Papacy: Its origin and role in the 21st centuryPAP
By Leonardo De Chirico
Christian Focus Publications, 2015, 116 pages

This small book examines the development of the papacy in Catholic history with a chapter especially devoted to recent popes, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.

As early Christianity gradually displaced paganism as the official religion of the Roman Empire it adapted many of the beliefs, practices, and rituals of its rival. When the imperial seat transferred to Constantinople, the bishop of Rome became the de facto emperor of the West. The papacy patterned itself on the imperial model and sought to become the most powerful ecclesiastical and political authority in the world.

Dr. De Chirico provides many valuable insights into the history of the papacy and its possible future prospects especially in light of the growing secularization of the West combined with the relentless march of ecumenism. There is no doubt the papacy is planning for all possible eventualities.

Every Evangelical pastor needs to read this book and everyone who loves Jesus Christ and the Gospel of grace would benefit from it as well. A Christian’s Pocket Guide To The Papacy can be ordered from Amazon.com.

Here is a link to Dr. De Chirico’s excellent blog, Vatican Files: Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Roman Catholicism.