Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/26/17

Some evangelical commentators cite the 1980s and 1990s as the period when Christianity began to lose credibility in the eyes of many Americans due to the “perfect storm” of the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals and the miasma of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. It’s during that period that the number of religious unaffiliated, the “nones,” really began to skyrocket. Evangelicals’ close connection with President Trump weakens our Gospel witness even further. When will evangelicals learn that the Gospel and politics do not mix? It’s sad to see evangelical Christianity represented to the public by charlatan Paula White (photo right, on the Jim Bakker cable TV show), perhaps the most outspoken member of Trump’s “evangelical” advisory board.

The controversy over pope Francis’ granting of communion to divorced remarried in his “Amoris Laetitia” encyclical is not going away any time soon, and may even come to a head if conservative Catholics have their way. I never tire of this controversy because Francis, an allegedly infallible pope has surreptitiously abrogated the teaching of previous infallible popes by allowing communion for remarrieds. The sabres have been rattling for quite some time over this controversy and I’m waiting for one side to blink.

Francis has voiced a resounding “NO” to suggestions that priests return to the “Ad Orientem” posture during mass, giving conservative clerics another reason to fume.

The American Catholic church was hoping pope Francis’ visit to America in 2015 would spark an attendance increase at obligatory Sunday mass – the theoretical “Francis effect” – but it didn’t happen. Let’s be blunt. Many Catholics wonder why they should bother attending the tedious hour-long liturgical ritual when their pope says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences.

I’m not a big fan of the ecumenical National Day of Prayer. Ronnie Floyd, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and a member of President Trump’s “evangelical” advisory board, is a proponent of Falwellian “Reclaim America for Jesus” church-state symbiosis. It wasn’t tenable then and it’s even less tenable now. Floyd has also participated in several ecumenical projects with Catholic leadership.

The celibacy rule for Catholic priests has led to all kinds of abuse and suffering. We only see the tip of the iceberg.

14 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/26/17

  1. You just had to talk about The Donald didn’t you Tom? My guys today will be mad at you as I will likely take my irritation out on them. Paula White comparing him to Esther may be the single most absurd thing I have heard lately

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wally, you may not think so, but I have been using great restraint in my references to President Trump. 🙂 I don’t know who does more damage to the Gospel witness, unabashed atheists in high places or these worldly-minded “evangelical” charlatans. Comparing Trump to Esther? LOL! Oy vey! So ridiculous.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brothers, in reference to the article about Paula White’s promotion of the President and appearance on Jim Bakker TV, please go read JD Hall’s account of his visit to Jim Bakker’s place, where he rebuked him publicly. As people often say, you cannot make these things up. Tom, the article you linked to on this made me angry. She is a tad confused.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Maria. We’re on the same page because I actually watched that video maybe two weeks ago. Jim Bakker? Who would waste one second of their time listening to his nonsense? He spends the first half of his show scaring his audience about the coming tribulation and then hawks his freeze dried survival meals the second half. Paula White? Oy vey. Well, she’s pretty much the same as the TBN regulars.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, Maria! The irony is that Protestant literature of the 19th and early 20th century included many accounts of ex-nuns who testified of abuse by priests and superiors in convents and they were always dismissed by Catholics as anti-Catholic fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. With all this trouble within the Catholic Church do you think there will be a split resulting in some excommunications? It seems like the church split for less than this back in the first great schism.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This controversy over Francis’ allowing communion for divorced remarrieds is a HUGE deal. Conservatives see it as absolutely heretical teaching but they’re stuck because they also view schism from a duly-elected pope as heretical. When I listen to conservative Catholic talk radio and someone calls in with a concern about this, the priests have a really hard time explaining a pope who is leading the church into error. Of course Francis is just trying to make the church more welcoming to the remarrieds and is willing to bend infallible doctrine to make it happen. He knew there would be a strong reaction from the conservatives. Because the conservatives are caught in a Catch-22, I don’t think there will be open schism. Francis can just wait them out without responding as he’s been doing. But the debate will continue for a very long time. I’m thinking the conservatives are hoping Francis’ successor returns the church to the orthodoxy of previous popes, but Francis has been re-stocking the college of cardinals with like-minded allies. As for the Great Schism, there was a lot of to do about nothing regarding who the Holy Spirit emanated from, but I think the East resented Rome’s claim to absolute primacy and the Holy Spirit dispute was the pretext for severing ties. Sorry, I don’t mean to prattle on, but this “Amoris” controversy is fascinating theater for Vatican watchers like myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is truly fascinating, and I’m hoping it opens an opportunity for evangelizing those caught in the middle. It’s a shame so many have chosen ecumenical ties, because now would be the time for a stark difference in doctrine.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, this would be an excellent opportunity for evangelization because Catholics have always boasted that they alone were the one true church with an infallible magisterium guiding them, but with this controversy the magisterium is at odds with itself and clearly demonstrating its fallibility. As you say, few evangelicals are even aware of this crisis within the RCC because they are so committed to ecumenism.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s