Weekend Update – News & Views – 4/22/17

In 2000, former-president, Jimmy Carter, announced that he was severing ties with the Southern Baptist Convention because it had ruled that its affiliated churches could not ordain women as pastors. But here it is, seventeen years later, and Carter is still teaching Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, which states on its web site that it’s affiliated with the SBC, although it reserves the right to “ordain whom they perceive as gifted for ministry.” Carter is now suggesting that former Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi (d. 1948), a committed Hindu, may be in Heaven. What Bible does Carter teach from in Sunday School? It’s definitely not the same Bible I read and study. We’re seeing the heresy of universalism making increasing inroads into “evangelicalism” (e.g., “The Shack”). There’s about 47,000 churches in the SBC and they range in belief from solid Christian orthodoxy on one end to Rick Warren’s ecumenical apostasy on the other.

Now that Hanegraaff has joined the Greek Orthodox church he needs to do the honest thing and remove himself from the supposed “evangelical” Christian Research Institute and the “Bible Answer Man” radio show.

Churches that include denominational affiliations in their names just don’t cut it with young “seekers” these days. The Saddleback/Willow Creek/Peter Drucker marketing model dictates that churches not only drop denominational labels but also doctrinal distinctives.

Week after week I’ve been including stories on Catholic conservatives’ growing disenchantment with pope Francis. He’s trying to keep the ship afloat by making some pragmatic changes, even if the changes involve previously “infallible” dogma.

It’s ironic that this Catholic college is uncomfortable about its yoga classes while ecumenical evangelicals can’t get enough of Catholicism’s “contemplative spirituality.”

Speaking of contemplation, the Catholic church has had thirty years to formulate and enact a decisive response to its pedophile priest abuse and cover-up scandal. But the fetid wound just keeps on oozing. What parent in their right mind would ever leave their child in the care of a Catholic priest?

Many people are strongly attracted to sacramental ceremony and ritual. For many, religion equates to an elaborate liturgy, robes, and incense rather than a personal saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I’ve written many times about Roman Catholicism’s very sad misinterpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper passages. Receiving Christ is accepting Him as Savior by faith alone, NOT eating Him! Catholics say Jesus’ words MUST be interpreted literally in John 6:35-59, but if that were the case, salvation would just be a matter of lining up every Sunday morning and eating a communion bread wafer just as once-faithful Catholics, Adolf Hitler, Al Capone, Tomás de Torquemada, and Rodrigo de Borja (pope Alexander VI) used to do, because Jesus certainly stated, “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51).

This week, Russia’s Supreme Court upheld an earlier Justice Ministry order banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating on Russian territory. All JW property will now be immediately confiscated by Putin’s government. Putin is also clamping down on other religious groups that compete with the government sanctioned Russian Orthodox church including evangelical Christians. Will Putin outlaw evangelical Christianity like he has the JWs? Last year he signed a law which restricts evangelism to church properties. Similar persecution could happen here in the U.S. in the coming years for churches that hold to increasingly unpopular Biblical “hate speech” regarding homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and apostate denominations.

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