Following are some news stories that caught my attention during the week, along with some gentle commentary of course!
- One Priest’s Concern About Recent Remarks by the Pope
- Enough is enough, Pope Francis should resign
- Pope Francis Comes Under Heavy Criticism for Comments on ‘Null’ Marriages
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.
- English martyrs’ relics to tour America
- Relics of 16th century martyrs hold modern significance to Catholics
- Saints’ relics seen as reminder of today’s threats to religious liberty
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.
- Southern Baptists are going to need a bigger tent
- SBC to consider joining National Association of Evangelicals
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.