Weekend Update – News and Commentary – 9/17/16

Happy weekend, my friends! Wow, lots of news from this past week to review! Let’s get right to it.jo

It ended up being a satirical piece, but it wasn’t far from the truth. Could anyone who has genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and reads the Word regularly sit under this guy’s “teaching”?

Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, a Roman Catholic and an unapologetic supporter of “reproductive freedom” and same-sex marriage, is trying to garner the Catholic vote to the chagrin of church traditionalists.

Thirty-five years ago, Falwell, Dobson, Robertson, and other influential evangelical leaders made politics the church’s #1 priority. What a mistake. Politics and patriotism shouldn’t have made the priority list at all.

By subtly changing the church’s teaching on barring communion for remarried Catholics, Francis is being a pragmatist. As the number of divorced Catholics increases, the restriction was alienating a large number of the membership. But Catholic traditionalists (and non-Catholic observers like myself) wonder how an infallible Francis can reverse the unambiguous teaching of previous infallible popes?

I was raised in Catholicism and steeped in the ritual and ceremony of Catholic worship – candles, altars, ornate robes and vestments, incense, statues, stained glass, holy water, gold chalices and accoutrements, formalized liturgy, and grandiose architecture. I certainly understand the carnal appeal of all of that. But after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, all I needed was to hear His Word and to walk with Him. Hmm. This is definitely fodder for a future post.

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t see a story about another pedophile priest somewhere in the world. The sexual abuse of young victims by trusted priests is beyond appalling but the perpetuation and systematic cover-up of the abuse by church leadership at the highest levels is equally offensive.

In the first article, we see some more blustering about historical anti-Catholicism. As usual, there’s no acknowledgement of the fierce persecution of non-Catholics in Catholic nations that fueled prudent concern and prejudice in this country. In the reports from Nicaragua, we see the lingering remnants of non-Catholic persecution that was rampant throughout Latin America only fifty years ago.

Above we have some articles regarding Catholicism and ecumenism and evangelization. Make no mistake, Catholicism’s #1 priority is ecumenism, with the pope ultimately in the driver’s seat. That’s not paranoia. Rome makes no bones about its goal. See here.

Catholics generally seem to be positive about ecumenism with all other religious groups, EXCEPT for Muslims.

Immediately after accepting Christ, I began attending an evangelical church in which the pastor seemed to spend a lot of time preaching against three sins in particular- smoking, drinking, and homosexuality. He went a little overboard – see here – but the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin. Check out the video in the article above. This particular Catholic church is not only accepting of homosexuals, it also accepts their sinful behavior. Catholics boast about unity, but in reality, teaching and practice within the church are all over the map.

This article is more than a little ironic. In the last century, no individual has done more to spread the Gospel than Billy Graham. But at the same time, no one has done more to muddy the Gospel of grace. By embracing Catholicism, Graham himself has declared evil – Rome’s gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit – to be good. The damage done to the Gospel witness worldwide because of Graham’s ecumenism is incomprehensible. I’m currently reading a book titled, “Evangelicalism Divided,” by Iain Murray about the compromise and betrayal of the Gospel by Graham and others, which is as disturbing as it is informative. Review to follow.

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Update – News and Commentary – 9/17/16

    1. Jim, Thanks for your review and the others! After I came out of Catholicism and accepted Christ, I admired Graham very much. But I eventually learned that he invited the local Catholic clergy to support his crusades and any Catholics who came forward were referred to Catholic workers. I was stunned. That was such a sad betrayal of the Gospel. Probably 95% of evangelicals would be upset with any criticism of Graham, which is an indication of the current state of evangelicalism. Most of the criticism of Graham comes from the fringes so I appreciate this book from an associate of Lloyd-Jones. I’m sure several solid evangelical leaders considered writing an expose of Graham and the New Evangelicals from an American viewpoint but restrained themselves because of Graham’s popularity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! The problem with Graham needs to be said. One of the thing that blew me away from Ian Murray’s book is just how early the compromises began in Graham’s ministry. For some reason I use to think it was the later part of his life…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Graham recalled that media mogul, William Randolph Hearst, a Roman Catholic, had ordered his editors to “puff Graham” prior to the 1949 Los Angeles crusade. Perhaps that had an influence. Murray also says Graham was not of a mind to be interested in theological debates.

        Liked by 1 person

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