Weekly Roundup – News and Commentary

Following are some news stories that caught my attention during the week, along withwrr some gentle commentary of course!

Disapproval of pope Francis among conservative Catholics began as a whisper and has snowballed into outraged dissent. Catholics like to present their church as a unified, spirit-led monolith but the reality is something entirely different.

Relics of two 16th- century English Catholic saints are currently making the rounds in America. A bone from St. Thomas More and a ring worn by St. John Fisher will tour Catholic churches in Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Denver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles before ending in Washington, D.C. Fisher and More are being touted as champions of religious freedom but the Catholic church persecuted evangelical Christians in countries where it held the political majority well into the 20th-century. Why do Catholics trot around the bones of long-dead people? Catholics are taught they will receive blessings by venerating the body parts or personal belongings of canonized saints.

This Catholic article doesn’t mention it, but in the past pope Francis has recognized the Catholic charismatic movement as an important bridgehead in the church’s ecumenical efforts with evangelicals, starting with Pentecostals and charismatics.

This article, first published in 2012, sheds some light on why some American evangelical pastors are so enamored with C. S. Lewis and other less-than-orthodox British intellectuals. The Anglican author traces the appeal to the evangelicals’ struggle “to overcome an intellectual inferiority complex.” I actually think that’s about right.

My wife and I joined a Southern Baptist church in May 2014. Joining that church was one of my first steps in returning to the Lord after a prolonged absence. We had been members of an independent fundamental Baptist church in the 1980s but I definitely didn’t want to return to that type of legalism again. We thought the SBC would be a much better option but it turned out to be way too ecumenical for us. We left in June 2015. Watch for the SBC to continue down this ecumenical path.

I know that many evangelicals (and most fundamentalists) don’t want to accept it, but the United States was never a Christian nation. People can become Christians, not countries. America is not the New Israel. God never entered into a covenant with America. This mixing of faith with nationalism has no precedent in the New Testament. When believers get to Heaven, the Lord won’t care if the town they lived in was 100 yards north or south of the U.S.-Canadian border.

This Northern Ireland pastor encouraged his congregants to vote for Britain to leave the EU. He states the EU has some “Romanist” leanings. He makes a few good points but most readers would see his comments as far too heavy-handed. There’s no telling what Britain’s decision to leave the EU could lead to. The world is an unstable place. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

 

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8 thoughts on “Weekly Roundup – News and Commentary

  1. “I know that many evangelicals (and most fundamentalists) don’t want to accept it, but the United States was never a Christian nation. People can become Christians, not countries. America is not the New Israel. God never entered into a covenant with America. This mixing of faith with nationalism has no precedent in the New Testament.”

    Yep. Our founding fathers were certainly guided by God inspired morals, and ethnics, but we were not a “Christian” nation. Why would we want to be? Who would be in charge. Or course, I would say the Missionary Baptist, but I suspect my Pentecostal friends would disagree.

    When ever I mention this to my fellow fundamentalist types, they look at me as if I have lost my marbles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wally. I have some Christian friends who strongly believe America was and should remain a “Christian nation” and we’ve had a few debates over this. Right, my point of view would definitely be considered “oddball” by the vast majority of American believers. The Puritans came over here to create a theocracy and elements of that continue to this day. Unfortunately, pastors have perpetuated this nationalist idolatry.

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      1. Good morning Tom, I see you are up early!

        I wanted to clarify some, so no one misunderstands exactly where I stand. I actually happen to be quite patriotic and nationalistic. I love my country, and think it is the greatest around. I have done my part for her and would again if they took old guys.

        But, my faith and my sense of patriotism simply have no bearing on one another.

        I hope you have a blessed day today my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Wally! I hope you have a blessed day, too and I’m looking forward to Sunday worship! Hope you have/had a great worship time. My position on this is admittedly VERY crosscurrent with the mainstream. I also used to be very patriotic and nationalistic but I’ve definitely assumed much more of a sojourner/pilgrim mindset. I’m very grateful I live in America and I pray for our governmental leaders regularly but I now see myself as I was in Germany when we visited our grandson a couple of months ago; just traveling through. Such a view really disturbs my Christian friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will try to have a good day Tom. This is my weekend to cover as supervisor for my work, so I never know. Usually on Sunday when I cover I can hit the road early and take care of any crises, and then pray I don’t get too many calls. Hard to concentrate on my worship when my stupid phone could need me at any moment. Or, worse, I could actually have to go somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sorry about that, Wally. I hope you get ZERO calls today. I also have to do some work-from-home today, just to keep up with my inbox. Such is the nature of the workplace today. Have a blessed Sunday despite it all!

        Liked by 1 person

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