Weekend Update – News and Commentary – 10/2/16

The news can often be gloomy but always remember the Lord is on His throne! Here’spp some of the news items that caught my eye over the last seven days:

There are many aspects of Roman Catholicism that are just pure, unadulterated acts of pagan idolatry. The heart of deceased, stigmatist priest and canonized saint, Padre Pio (born Francesco Forgione), recently toured several Catholic churches in the Boston area. Many Catholics made a pilgrimage to one of the churches in an attempt to receive blessings by venerating/worshipping the dead priest’s body part (see photo). I’m curious what Rome-friendly evangelicals think of such events.

The conservative Catholic clergy won’t directly tell their congregations to vote for Trump, but they will advise them that voting for an unnamed pro-abortion candidate (aka Hillary) is verboten. But polls say the majority of Catholics will defy their bishops and vote for Hillary anyway.

Catholic traditionalists can’t wait for the next pope but Francis is hoping his reforms will stanch some of the church’s membership exodus. Pollsters tell us millennials, ages 18-34, are notable for their lack of religious belief. One-in-four have no religious affiliation. How are evangelicals going to reach these young people who generally lack any substantive knowledge of Jesus and the Bible? Many say denominationalism and the old way of “doing church” that we grew up with won’t work with this group.

Back in the 18th-century, American colonists were scared to death of their Catholic neighbor to the North, and with good reason. The Catholic church persecuted non-Catholics in league with civil governments in countries where it held the majority. But in the 21st-century, the Québécois largely stay away from their Catholic churches.

Despite all the in-fighting and membership struggles, the Catholic church is still able to generate enthusiasm for rallies and ecumenical efforts. Rome is determined to regather the “separated brethren.”

Persecution of evangelicals in Catholic-dominated Latin American countries was the norm until a few decades ago and still continues in rural areas. I’ve been posting news reports of the persecution of evangelicals in Southern Mexico since I began this blog. When Francis visited Mexico last February, he never once mentioned the oppression.

Surprise! A fair percentage of Americans who identify as “evangelical” don’t know the Bible from a dictionary.

A large number of American Catholics flagrantly disregard their church’s teachings on mandatory weekly church attendance, mandatory annual confession, cohabitation, and contraceptives. Pope Paul VI’s ban on all forms of contraception – even non-abortifacients – in his Humanae Vitae (Human Life) encyclical put the church at odds with over 80% of its membership.

This is an excellent article from John Piper’s website, written by Gregg Allison, evangelical theologian and co-author of the recently published, “The Unfinished Reformation” (see my review here), which nicely summarizes the differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. Sure, you’re busy, but take a moment and find out from this article why Catholics and evangelicals are not on the same page despite the compromise and betrayal of the Gospel by ecumenists who claim to be evangelicals.

This article from a Catholic source encourages Catholics to read the Bible, especially with the guidance of a Bible study group attached to the church. Catholics were never encouraged to read the Bible (until recently) and most generally don’t. In my journey to the Lord, I began reading the Bible and found it increasingly difficult to reconcile God’s Word with Catholic doctrine. I stopped attending mass and eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I strongly encourage all Catholics to purchase a Bible and to read it, beginning with the New Testament.

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