Happy Weekend, everyone! Here’s the news for the last seven days:
Catholics in Europe love the feast of the Three Kings/Epiphany, which was celebrated yesterday, January 6th. Whenever we visit our grandson in Germany, we notice everyone in his small village has the initials of the three kings/magi (traditionally, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) written in chalk on their front door mantel. This marking supposedly brings blessings to the house and those within. But hardly anyone in the compact village of 1700 people goes to church on Sunday and I imagine very few have accepted Christ as Savior. Ah, but those traditions! Must have those traditions and good luck charms!
Catholic cardinals object to the crass commercialism of McDonald’s being in close proximity to the Vatican but don’t forget that pope Leo X financed the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in the 16th century largely through the sale of indulgences.
The owner of this Catholic book store explains that if a customer asks for a King James Bible she sends them to the Protestant book store. Likewise, if someone asks for a rosary at the Protestant store, they’re sent to the Catholic shop. Such charitable fellowship! But without God’s truth.
- Brazil may soon have married priests
- Allow married Catholic priests to halt decline in Ireland, says clergyman
- Shortage of priests leaves Catholic Church in a real predicament
The priest is central to the Catholic religion. Without him there is no sacrifice of the mass, no Jesus wafer, no confession, and no last rites. It’s no accident that the Catholic church teaches its members their salvation is absolutely dependent on their clergy. But with the number of priests rapidly declining, Rome must weigh all the options.
- Debating ‘Amoris Laetitia’: A Look Ahead
- 2016: The year Pope Francis finally showed his hand
- Austrian bishop: ‘Remarried’ Catholics now have ‘blessing of the Pope’ to receive Communion
- Pope decries ‘prophets of doom’ wanting only ‘the usual fare’
Catholics argue their church alone was authorized by Jesus and that it teaches infallible dogma. But, as with this “Amoris” controversy, how can the current infallible pope contradict the teaching of previous infallible popes?
- Pope Francis Urges: ‘Let Us Entrust the New Year to Mary’
- Reimagining Marian Devotion: Q&A with Sister Albert Marie Surmanski, O.P.
In Catholicism, Mary is as prominent as Jesus Christ, perhaps more so for many.
- Catholic Priest Under Investigation for Organizing Orgies, ‘Pimping Out’ Women From Church
- A child abuse scandal is coming for Pope Francis
The sleeze never stops but it appears from the second article that even Francis may have been indirectly involved in the child abuse scandal. But we already know Wojtyla and Ratzinger harbored guilty clergy.
Above is Michael Horton’s critical take on Paula White as one of Trump’s choices to lead prayer at the presidential inauguration. But Christians must always keep in mind that we are pilgrims while in this world, emissaries and ambassadors of our King in Heaven, rather than deeply-rooted theocrats. What we have in common with fellow believers in other countries is much more important than our shared citizenship with American unbelievers. Let’s concentrate on leading more people to the eternal Kingdom rather than focusing on temporal national politics.
How illustrative! Millions upon millions of misguided Catholics crammed tightly together waiting to pay homage to the Black Nazarene statue, jabbing each other with their long toe nails. Oy vey! Is there any sign of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone in the midst of all of this? Sorrowfully, no.
Catholics will tell you that they also believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. What they will NOT say is that they believe in salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. They believe they must participate in their church’s sacraments and obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit Heaven. Semantics? No, it’s the difference between Heaven and hell.
For these Catholic celebrities, it’s all about the church institution and its traditions. Sadly, there’s no mention of anyone accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Billy Graham warns of “cults” but endorses Roman Catholicism, which preaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Does not compute. No one has done more to muddy the Gospel of grace than Billy Graham. There’s 15 million Mormons and 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the world. Roman Catholics? 1.2 billion! And the VAST majority believe to some degree their church’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.