Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/5/17

In this cleverly-titled book, the author attempts the impossible: to enliven the dead ritual of the mass in the minds of the spiritually shackled.

Based on the number of news stories it generated this past week, it’s clear the Vatican-approved La Civiltà Cattolica’s criticism of politically right-wing American Catholics touched a nerve.

Here we have two very interesting examinations of the current battle between Catholic conservatives and reformers from a liberal perspective. They provide good analysis of where Francis is attempting to drive the church.

Trying to prove the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation/confession from the Bible is like hammering the proverbial square peg through the round hole. This Catholic source admits the earliest isolated examples of auricular confession date to the sixth century.

In 1950, pope Pius XII declared the assumption of Mary bodily into Heaven as an infallible dogma. All Catholics must believe this un-Biblical, mythological doctrine under pain of mortal sin. The Feast of the Assumption is celebrated every August 15th, which falls on a Tuesday this year. The feast is a “Holy Day of Obligation” meaning all Catholics are required to attend mass that day under threat of eternal damnation, but Catholic surveys reveal 65% of members either seldom or never attend obligatory mass on HDOs.

There has been quite a bit of tension between Palestinians and Israelis over the Temple Mount recently. The tense standoff is akin to a case of nitro being transported over a rocky road.

Yes, I can remember the days when Catholic wakes and funerals included much more ritual. Now that most Catholics are nominal members of the church, it’s my observation that many families are opting out of a funeral mass or even a short prayer service officiated by a priest or deacon for their deceased loved one.

In our postmodern era with its idols of relativism and and plurality, its no surprise that heretic Bell can attract an “evangelical” audience.

Evangelicals adopt non-Biblical, culturally-approved aphorisms without even thinking about what they’re saying. Rest in peace? When I pass into glory I’m not going to be resting, I’m going to be busy praising and worshiping my Savior!

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8 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/5/17

  1. Thanks, Tom. I enjoyed that article on the Temple Mount. That situation is, and has been, extremely potentially explosive. It mentioned the Western Wall tunnels. We got to tour them during our visit to Israel this Spring. For years it was thought that the only remaining portion of the Temple was the so called Wailing Wall section, but this was not true. It appears the entire Western Wall is still down there somewhere. The problem is, this entire section is in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem, so people’s houses are there, In fact, some homes were actually built so that the Western Wall itself was the outside wall of homes! Obviously to excavate and see the wall, a portion of many homes had to actually be removed and a new wall for their home built. So, as you tour it, on the right you can touch the Temple wall, and on the left, a persons home. At one point there is a marker that is believed to be very close to where the Holy of Holies would have actually been in the Temple itself. In theory we may have stood within yards of one of the most central place in all of Judaism. Sadly, it will likely never be excavated, as the opposite side of the Western Wall is all part of the Temple Mount area. We were told that a discreet attempt to tunnel underneath was made, and the place almost erupted.

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    1. Wally, Thanks a lot for the interesting background info! An important Muslim “holy site” sitting smack dab in the middle of the Temple Mount area is such a dilemma for Orthodox Jews!

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      1. It is Tom. It’s easy for us as Christians to sit over here and wonder why they don’t just take it back. Rather the same with the pressure on Trump to move our Embassy to Jerusalem; it’s just not that simple. Complexity is a way of life, and Jerusalem is one of the most complex cities in the world. Like it or not, the Israelis can’t just do what they want, when they want, as they want. We went into Bethlehem to visit a Christian School and eat lunch one day. A Christian school, yet had teachers of all faiths working their in peace with kids of all faiths. Now, Bethlehem is under the Palestinian Authority, so coming and going is very hard. In fact, very few Arabs are allowed to actually leave the city and go into Israel proper. There is actually a wall around the entire city, as for years Palestinian bombers were coming from there; now, they don’t. Our host for lunch told us that not even a block away was a house reported to be a cell for ISIS. It’s a delicate situation over there.

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    1. I checked to see if Bell was ever on TBN. It doesn’t look like it but TBN-regulars and fellow-universalists, Joel Osteen and William Paul Young, aren’t all that far from Bell theologically.

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