Papal forgery: Missing that title to the continent? No problem. Have one of the monk scribes in the manuscripts department put something together

Anglican convert to Roman Catholicism, John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), is often quoted as saying, “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant,” but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true. The longer a person studies history objectively, the more they will be convinced of the untenableness of Roman Catholicism. I’d like to use this post to present just one rebuttal to Newman’s claim, but it’s a very revealing one.

Recently, I was reading a book which mentioned an ancient manuscript; the “Donation of Constantine.” I’ve seen many references to this notorious document in my studies of Roman Catholicism, but I will briefly summarize it here for those who may not be familiar with it.

When Constantine transferred the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330 AD, it created a political vacuum in the West. As the bishops of Rome consolidated their power, they became the de facto emperors in the West, however there was no legal document granting them the administrative and political powers that they had gradually usurped over time. That embarrassing situation would soon be remedied.

An ancient document, the “Donation of Constantine,” mysteriously appeared in the chambers of the Vatican in the 8th century. The Donation was the missing legal document by which Emperor Constantine supposedly ceded to the bishop of Rome, Sylvester I, and his successors political control of Western Christendom. Pope Stephen II and pope Hadrian I both cited the document in their political negotiations with Pepin (King of the Franks) and his son, Charlemagne (the eventual Holy Roman Emperor), respectively. The Vatican would continue to use the document to justify its political authority for the next 800 years.

By the mid-15th century, church scholars began questioning the authenticity of the “Donation,” with many concluding it was a forgery. By the early 1600s, it was universally accepted that the document was an absolute fake.

So we know that the “Donation of Constantine” was created in the 8th century to justify the papacy’s political ambitions and was the basis of its claim to supreme temporal authority in Europe for 800 years. What might an objective person conclude about the “Vicar of Christ” in regards to the creation and use of such a fraudulent document? Rather than supporting its claims as Newman boasts, we see in this example and hundreds of others that history is the enemy of Roman Catholicism.

Catholics like to use the antiquity of their institutional church as a proof of its authenticity and authority. However, Protestants needn’t be intimidated by these claims. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it wandered from its Biblical foundation and substituted man-made traditions.

For more information on the bogus, “Donation of Constantine,” see the Wikipedia article below:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation_of_Constantine

For information on additional RCC forgeries, see below:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Isidorian_Decretals

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Graven Bread: An Unexpected Twist

Graven Bread: The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary, and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar
By Timothy F. Kauffman
White Horse Publications, 1994, 207 pages

Most books written by evangelicals that critically examine Roman Catholicism cover the various doctrinal differences in regards to such issues as justification, purgatory, Mary, confession, etc.

In “Graven Bread,” Timothy Kauffman takes a unique approach. The author demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between the papacy, the alleged apparitions of Mary, and the eucharist/consecrated bread wafers and the possible roles they will play in the future.

Popes have enthusiastically endorsed the church-approved Marian apparitions and even several unsanctioned apparitions such as those at Medjugorje, Bosnia. For their part, the Marian apparitions have consistently encouraged loyalty and unwavering devotion to the sitting pope. To complete the triumvirate, both popes and the Marian apparitions have strongly admonished Catholics to worship the consecrated eucharistic bread wafer, which they believe to be the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Many “signs and wonders” have been attributed to the apparitions and to consecrated Jesus wafers.

After convincingly demonstrating the interdependent relationship between the three entities, Kauffman takes an unexpected turn and posits the possibility that the three may someday fill the roles of anti-Christ (the pope), false prophet (Marian apparitions), and the image/mark of the beast (the consecrated wafer) spoken of in Revelation 13. Far fetched? Perhaps so, perhaps not. As Kauffman points out, belief in the consecrated wafer as the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ was THE litmus test by which popes and the Catholic church once rooted out and executed heretics for multiple centuries and the author suggests that submission to belief in the consecrated Jesus wafer could also be the future defining mark referred to in Revelation.

I would recommend this book only to those who are already familiar with Catholic dogma and might be interested in giving a hearing to the author’s end-times hypothesis. Kauffman does an excellent job of examining the interrelationship between the papacy, Marian apparitions, and the eucharist, a tack I’ve never come across previously. Have no fears; this isn’t a Jack Chick-style, conspiratorial hyper-polemic. The author presents his views on the possible roles the papacy, the Marian apparitions, and the eucharist will play in the framework of Revelation 13 strictly as the theory that it is. Personally, I’m of the strong opinion that the pope and the Marian apparitions will play significant roles in the end times.

Used copies of “Graven Bread: The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary, and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar” are available from Amazon here.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/28/18

Praise the Lord for these brothers and sisters from the Pioneers mission organization who are bringing the Gospel to lost Catholic souls at one of the major centers of Mariolatry in Lourdes, France.

Pope Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae” (Latin: Of Human Life) encyclical, which banned all forms of contraception, was issued fifty years ago this weekend. With the possible exception of the pedophile priests and cover-up scandal, nothing has done more to damage the credibility of the church hierarchy in the eyes of its membership than the preposterous ban on contraceptives, including even non-abortifacients.

Elected in 2013 with no obligations to the previous two papal regimes, Francis was in a position to take decisive and comprehensive action in regards to one of Catholicism’s biggest headaches, the festering pedophile priests and cover-up scandal. I believe Francis’ unexplainable failure to act is part of the Lord’s providence by which the Catholic church continues to be marked by this disgrace.

I’ll continue to post these news reports of conservative prelates objecting to Francis’ heterodoxy, such as the lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees and allowing communion to Protestants via the discretion of individual bishops. We’re still waiting for a conservative who has the courage of his convictions to step out and call for a formal break from Francis. However, most pious Catholics would rather take a hot poker to the eye than come out publicly against the pope, even if he is a heretic.

The above story from a Catholic source is not surprising. Catholic pundits concede that 20% to 30% of priests are gay (I believe the percentage is even higher) and point out that the clerical gay lobby, the “Lavender Mafia,” is firmly entrenched within the Vatican Curia.

As European governments became increasingly democratized during the 19th century, Rome reacted in horror and has always maintained its theoretical right to its formerly privileged status, including the limitation of freedoms for other religious groups. Incredulous? See my post on the topic here.

So sad to see these confused children egged-on by their “hipster” parent/s. But, regarding the chewing gum, it’s true, Catholics are not allowed to eat anything 60:00 minutes prior to consuming the Jesus wafer or they incur a mortal sin. And that includes even the flavoring from chewing gum. See my post on the topic here.

If Roman Catholic, Brett Kavanaugh, is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, that would make three Jews, one Episcopalian, and five Catholics on the SCOTUS, which would have been an unnerving situation for evangelical Protestants sixty years ago (and would have fueled all kinds of conspiracy theories from Jack Chick thirty years ago). But because of changing society, the Catholic church has largely abandoned its political-religious militancy. In many parts of the world, the church can longer even induce its membership to attend mass on Sunday let alone coordinate a political coup. Remember when the Jesuits were known for their political skullduggery on behalf of the pope? These days they’re known for such things as advancing the Gay agenda within the church.

Leave it to the Babylon Bee to once again hit the nail on the head!

Going, going, gone! Living Biblically 13

This review is for the thirteenth and final episode of CBS’s cancelled sit-com, “Living Biblically.” The premise of series was that the main character, Chip, a Roman Catholic and self-professed “good” person, desired to be an “even better” person by following the Bible literally. The show is in sync with the “good people go to Heaven” philosophy and at odds with the Biblical message of man’s total depravity and the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Living Biblically
Episode 13, “David and Goliath”
CBS, originally aired 7/21/18

Plot

Chip (Jay R. Ferguson) hangs out with his pregnant wife, Leslie (Lindsey Kraft), and his “God Squad” spiritual advisers, priest Gene (Ian Gomez) and rabbi Gil (David Krumholtz), down at the local watering hole and wrings his hands over the upcoming financial challenges the couple will soon face with a child.

The next day at his newspaper office, Chip and his peers find out their boss, Ms. Meadows, was fired by Mitch, a company big-shot, as part of a corporate cost-cutting measure. When Chip meets with his God Squad again, he expresses his frustration about not being able to help Ms. Meadows. The clergymen advise Chip that he’s not powerless. Just as young David brought down the Philistine giant, Goliath, with a slingshot, they suggest his writing talent is also a potent weapon.

Chip hatches a plan and writes an article about how corporate greed is destroying people’s lives as in the case of Ms. Meadows with the intention of sneaking it into the newspaper. Chip and co-workers, Vince (Tony Rock) and Cheryl (Sara Gilbert), surreptitiously enter the workplace at night and load the anonymous article into the paper’s computer feed for the next edition.

Chip’s article makes the front page of the newspaper and causes a city-wide outrage, including protests in front of company headquarters. Mitch determines that Chip is the author and immediately fires him. However, the “big boss,” Mitch’s father, advises him via a phone call to avert any future bad press by immediately rehiring Chip. Sensing his favorable bargaining position, Chip imposes upon Mitch to also rehire Ms. Meadows.

Back at the local watering hole, everyone celebrates Chip’s improbable victory including a grateful Ms. Meadows. In anticipation of a second season, the show’s writers end the episode with Leslie revealing she is carrying twins, prompting Chip to inform his “God Squad” that he’s going to need twice the amount of their spiritual guidance going forward, much to their chagrin.

Commentary

I don’t have much to say about this final episode. There really wasn’t much of anything noteworthy to glean from it.

After this final installment, I can finally say goodbye to this sorry comedy series, which claimed to be about “Living Biblically,” but which had absolutely no trace of the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. What the series did accomplish was to demonstrate fairly well Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit and its “good guys go to Heaven” philosophy.

Postscript: I recently read an online review of this works-righteousness-themed series that smartly commented that it would have been more accurately named “Living Levitically.”

Some good points and some bad points

Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump
By John Fea
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2018, 238 pages

As I’ve related several times in the past, I’m a bit of a square peg when it comes to evangelical churchianity. Two issues that I feel very strongly about are ecumenism and Christian nationalism. I’m strongly opposed to the ecumenical compromise and betrayal of the Gospel going on in the more liberal-leaning, “progressive” evangelical churches, but I agree with them on their criticism of Christian nationalism. On the other hand, I appreciate the strong stand by fundamentalist and (many) conservative evangelical churches against ecumenism, but their flag waving and focus on preserving America as a “Christian nation” are turn-offs.

The misguided notion of America being a “Christian nation” in some kind of covenantal relationship with God has been preached from pulpits since the Puritans and has led to all kinds of errors and misguided thinking. With the rise of secularism in the 1960s and 70s, Jerry Falwell and others rallied the church to enter into politics and “reclaim America for Jesus,” leading to a deemphasis of the Gospel and yoking with conservative religious unbelievers to fight the culture wars.

I rarely venture into politics in this blog, but a person would have to be living on an island not to notice how American evangelicals have strongly supported candidate and President Trump. I get why evangelicals voted for “the lesser of two evils” in 2016, but the often-unqualified support for the improbable Trump goes far beyond that (see Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr.).

In this book, historian and progressive evangelical, John Fea, critically examines the history of the popular-but-false notion of America as a “Christian Nation,” the rise of Falwellism, and evangelicals’ unusual support for a man who is often at odds with their Biblical codes of godly morality and decorum. I agree with much of the information that’s presented in respect to the above issues. Christians needn’t (and shouldn’t) be driven by fear or by the nostalgia for a mythical past from which a “Let’s Make America Great Again” campaign draws its strength.

However, this book is not without its problems and they relate to my opening paragraph. Fea is an ecumenist who is eager to embrace as a believer everyone who names the name of Jesus, including Martin Luther King*, Hillary Clinton, and Roman Catholics. The consequence of such belief is a watered down, worthless gospel. It’s quite ironic that the thinking of both theologically liberal and politically-engaged conservative evangelicals results in a tendency toward ecumenism, but for different reasons.

I’m not trying to start a squabble. I understand that many conservative evangelicals still embrace the notion of America as a “Christian nation” and that it’s difficult for them to relinquish that viewpoint. After all, faith and nationalism have been combined by American pastors since 1776. From an even broader perspective, Christians have struggled since the first century to find the right balance between the spiritual and the temporal. Unfortunately much of the legacy we’ve inherited has been skewed far too far to the temporal. We believers are citizens of Heaven and ambassadors of our Lord as we sojourn on this Earth. Let’s “keep our bags packed” and forego putting down deep roots in a world that is passing away.

*Some may be taken aback by my comments about Martin Luther King not being a Christian. Wasn’t he a Baptist minister? MLK certainly deserves our respect for his efforts to advance the cause of civil rights, but he was a theological modernist and a propagator of the social gospel who did not believe the Bible and did not preach the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. See my post about MLK here.

Living Biblically, Episode 12: “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive”

Today, we’re going to review the next-to-last episode of the cancelled CBS sit-com, “Living Biblically.” The premise of the series is that the main character, Chip, a Roman Catholic and self-professed “good” person, desires to be an “even better” person by following the Bible literally. The show is in sync with the “good people go to Heaven” philosophy and at odds with the Biblical message of man’s total depravity and the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Living Biblically
Episode 12, “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive”
CBS, originally aired 7/14/18

Plot

Chip’s boss, Ms. Meadows, calls the staff at the newspaper together to kick-off the annual charity effort, “Koaster Rides 4 Kids,” at a Six Flags amusement park, the idea being that employees sign up sponsors to donate a dollar amount for every time they ride the roller coaster. What a sacrifice! Chip meets with his “God Squad” at the local tavern to enlist their support, but priest Gene and rabbi Gil balk at such a cheesy concept. Priest Gene suggests instead that the newspaper staff help fix up a family residence in his parish that was damaged by fire. Chip pitches the idea to his workmates and they grudgingly accept.

Saturday morning, everyone shows up at the worksite, but their enthusiasm wanes quickly due to the hard work involved. They decide a day at Six Flags would be more enjoyable and stage a walkout, leaving behind Chip and his wife Leslie, Gene, and Gil. Priest Gene was hoping the family would be able to move back into the repaired house on Sunday, but the walkout foils those plans.

At Six Flags, the deserters begin to have second thoughts about their selfish behavior. The story ends on a happy note as everyone returns back to the house to continue repairing the structure.

Comments

The Bible says even our good deeds, including our charitable efforts, are like filthy rags.

“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” – Isaiah 64:6

Everything we do is tainted by sin, even our charitable giving. For example:

  • We contribute to charities for a tax write-off.
  • We’ll contribute to charities if we receive some kind of recognition such as having our name published alongside other benefactors so others can see how generous we are. Catholic churches and organizations often publish the names of contributors in the parish bulletin and diocesan newspaper as incentive for giving.
  • When we give we often expect some kind of reciprocation.
  • We give because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

There’s a gentleman who made quite a fortune in the Rochester area who has contributed massive amounts of money to the construction of several new educational and medical buildings in town. Not surprisingly, all of the buildings bear his name.

This episode does an interesting job of examining people’s less-than-altruistic motives behind their charitable efforts, but it leaves out the most important spiritual lesson. We are all depraved sinners in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. We can’t reform ourselves unto salvation. All of us are sinners and fall short of God’s glory. Repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.

Pop-evangelicalism’s sorry infatuation with Catholic contemplative prayer

In her latest book, “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again” (June, 2018), popular liberal (c)hristian millennial, Rachel Held Evans, cites the Catholic practices of “Lectio Divina” and “Ignatian Meditation” as important rituals in her “spiritual life.” Held Evans is not alone. Many pop-evangelicals have recommended or sponsored “Lectio Divina,” “Ignatian Meditation,” or some other form of Catholic “contemplative spirituality,” including Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Tim Keller, and Priscilla Shirer.

If you’re out of the pop-evangelical loop, you might be wondering what exactly are “Lectio Divina” and “Ignatian Meditation”? Let’s take a brief look:

Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a monastic, contemplative practice with roots going back to the 6th century and “saint” Benedict (above photo, left). The basic steps of Lectio Divina are as follows:

  • Read – Read a very short passage of Scripture
  • Meditate – Ruminate deeply upon the text, seeking to take from it what God wants to teach.
  • Pray – By gently repeating a “prayer word” or brief phrase (aka “centering prayer” aka “mantra”) over and over, leave thinking aside (my italics) and communicate with God on a mystical level.
  • Contemplate – Listen to God as He speaks with a still small voice and become gradually transformed from within.

Ignatian Meditation is a contemplative practice developed in the 16th Century by founder of the Jesuits, “saint” Ignatius of Loyola. The steps of Ignatian Meditation include:

  • Prepare for the meditation by becoming aware of the presence of God, asking for God’s help to pray well.
  • Visualize in-depth the mystery (e.g., a scene from one of the Gospels) on which you are meditating in your imagination.
  • Considerations – Stop and ponder any particular thought that strikes you during the meditation, for as long as necessary.
  • Affections – Either during or after the considerations, pause to experience any emotions that may result. These emotions, called “affections,” take priority over the considerations. (my italics)
  • Resolutions – You may wish to form some resolution as a result of the affections. In this way, you take advantage of the inclination of your will that has been produced through meditation as an opportunity to clarify and commit yourself to the actions that should follow.

We see that in both methods, the supplicant is encouraged to experience in their mind, an altered “mystical” state, in the first case through the repetition of a prayer mantra, in the second case through visualization and the contemplation of the imagined “sights, sounds, tastes, smells, movement, and tactility” of specific scenes from the Gospels. This kind of visualization and sensory imagination is known as “affective meditation.”

Through either method, the supplicant seeks an experience, a “spiritual high,” that is beyond normal knowledge and cognizance.

Prior to accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983, I dabbled in Eastern spirituality including the practice of Yoga and Transcendental Meditation (TM). Cardiologist, Herbert Benson, brought the “benefits” of Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s (above photo, right) transcendental meditation to the American masses via his book, “The Relaxation Response”Capture11 (1975). By following Benson’s simple instructions, a practitioner was able to quickly learn, through the use of a simple, repetitive mantra, to enter a meditative state; an altered state of consciousness. Once learned, it’s like riding a bike. Forty years later, I am still able to consciously elicit the meditative/relaxation response in my brain in only a matter of minutes or even seconds. Even talking or writing about the phenomenon triggers a partial response.

What are the spiritual benefits of Lectio Divina and Ignatian Meditation? I believe we should be asking about the dangers rather than any alleged benefits. Practitioners indulge in these meditative experiences to feel amazingly pleasant sensations, both physical and psychological, but they have nothing to do with a relationship with Almighty God based upon faith in Jesus Christ and His Word. The practice of contemplative prayer is a “spiritual” drug and practitioners are in a sense, junkies. God’s Word admonishes us not to chase after mystical experiences and sensualism, but to be sober and vigilant.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8

Contemplative prayer is an ecumenical tool, drawing unwary evangelicals away from true knowledge of God through His Word and closer to Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit with its heavy emphasis on mysticism and experientialism. By repressing their reason and mental focus and surrendering themselves to sensualism, undiscerning evangelicals are inviting calamity into their lives and into the church.

Main references:

http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/what-lectio-divina

https://www.osv.com/RSS/365DaysToMercy/TabId/2752/ArtMID/21013/ArticleID/10344/What-Is-Ignatian-Meditation.aspx

The Lighthouse Trails Research Project discernment ministry, link below, specializes in exposing pop-evangelicalism’s dalliance with Catholic contemplative prayer and is a great resource, although I do not endorse all of their views in regards to some secondary beliefs.

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com

For a review of the introduction to “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again” by Rachel Held Evans, see SlimJim’s post here.

Catholic radio host deceitfully cites ark cherubim to justify statue worship

I’ve listened to Catholic talk radio for over four years now, strictly for the purpose of further educating myself on Roman Catholic doctrinal errors and staying abreast of news and trends, and one concern that comes up repeatedly from callers is in regards to Catholicism’s extensive use of statuary and images.

Recently, I was listening to the 7/13/18 podcast of the Catholic talk radio show, “Called to Communion,” featuring moderator, Tom Price, and host, David Anders (photo left). At the 13:05 mark, Jacob from Fort Worth, Texas called in to say he was troubled because a friend of his had left the church due to the Scriptural prohibition against idols in Exodus 20.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:4-6.

Anders replied to Jacob that his friend should have continued reading in Exodus because in chapter 37 it states that under God’s command, Bezalel crafted the angelic cherubim figurines covering the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant (photo middle). Anders then states that, “Obviously, whatever God means in Exodus 20 does not preclude the manufacture of religious artwork for use in sacred worship, because the same God that (sic) articulates Exodus chapter 20 and says don’t make any graven images turns around and inspires the Hebrews to make religious artwork for use in their own worship.” Anders goes on to claim that what’s being forbidden in Exodus 20 is “the manufacture of pagan idols in the service of other gods.”

I’ve heard this same exact argument, citing the cherubim figurines to justify Rome’s idolatrous statuary, used by multiple Catholic apologists in the past, but let’s examine the claim objectively. The only person who saw the graven cherubim was the high priest within the Holy of Holies and then only once per year on the Day of Atonement. The high priest did not worship the cherubim. The ark was covered from view as it was carried along with the other articles of the tabernacle from site to site and, of course, its location was later fixed within the Jerusalem temple. The Israelites were never to see the ark and cherubim and incurred God’s wrath when they did (see the comments section of this article). The Israelites were prone to idolatry as we know from the Old Testament, which is why they were not allowed to view the cherubim of the ark. Anders is being disingenuous by citing the cherubim as an example of graven image worship sanctioned by God.

It’s clear from Exodus 20:4-6 that God forbids the worship of any graven image, yet Catholicism employs many statues and images in its churches. People kneel down in front of statues of Jesus, Mary, and the saints and pray to them (photo right). That is worship. Catholics object to these accusations, saying that they aren’t actually praying to the carved statue, but to the person the statue represents. It’s a deceitful argument. Neither did all pagan idolaters believe their graven statues were the actual essence of their false deity, a type of fetishism, but rather they believed their graven statues/representations served as a conduit to the divine (see here for the section on “Did idolaters really worship idols?”). Not to mention, praying to any entity other than God is also idolatry. Nowhere in the entire Bible does a believer pray to anyone other than God.

After the adoption of Christianity by Constantine, pagan expressions of worship entered into the increasingly institutionalized church, including the worship of statues and images.

While Bible Christians are unanimously opposed to statue and icon worship, there is disagreement about the use of depictions of Jesus. Some say we should have nothing to do with such things as films that portray Jesus or with children’s books and Bibles that use illustrations depicting Jesus. Others say those things can be valuable teaching tools and are clearly not intended to be objects of worship as Exodus 20 forbids.

Do Catholics worship idols / practice idolatry?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Catholic-idolatry.html

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/21/18

The Catholic church loves its relics and few have been as celebrated and publicized as the Shroud of Turin. Despite the proof that it’s a 14th century forgery, credulous Catholics will still flock to it and continue to put their faith in their works-righteousness institution with its emphasis on religious objects and ritualism rather than trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

There was a glut of local news stories this week, including coverage of a memorial to a priest and nun who tragically died in a church fire trying to rescue consecrated Jesus wafers (see my related post here); news that Rochester will join the “inclusive” band wagon and outlaw gay conversion therapy; an update on one of the first, big breakaway Catholic groups in the city that ordains women as priests and “affirms” everyone; and the angry reaction from Catholics in nearby Buffalo as they come face-to-face with the pedophile priests and cover-up scandal in their community

I’m certainly not a fan of the prosperity gospelers, but I find it gallingly hypocritical for the Vatican to take pot shots at the Osteens, Copelands, Myers, and Dollars when Catholic prelates have been living like kings and princes for 1500 years.

Jesus reincarnated? This new show is no surprise given the rising popularity of neo-Hinduism in the West.

The raging controversy over Francis’ lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees in his “Amoris Laetitia” document has run out of steam if the number of news articles are any gauge. Conservatives continue to wring their hands, but have been steam-rolled because they lack the fortitude to mount any kind of meaningful opposition. In the meantime, liberal bishops are busy implementing the new guidelines.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae encyclical, which banned all forms of birth control, even non-abortifacient contraceptives. Result? The church hierarchy lost a massive amount of credibility in the eyes of its membership, the vast majority of which have defiantly used or are using birth control. Pope Francis and his progressive allies would love to reform the church’s teaching on contraceptives, but it’s a question of how and when. It would not be surprising to see the church’s teaching overturned via a guileful, semi-ambiguous method, as Francis did by lifting the ban on communion for remarried divorcees in a footnote in his Amoris Laetitia encyclical.

Fundamentalist publisher, Jack Chick, hatched some absolutely outrageous conspiracy theories involving the Vatican and the Jesuits and ultimately helped to undermine credible Gospel witness to Roman Catholics. A couple of times, I’ve commented that Chick, in his wildest dreams, could not have come up with a papacy like that of Francis, which has created so much Sturm und Drang within Catholicism. I’m definitely not a fan of TBN huckster and ecumenist par excellence, James Robison, but I got a chuckle when I saw this article (written by a Catholic) in Robison’s virtual news rag, which makes the same observation.

Living Biblically – Episode 11 – “Thou Shalt Not Covet”

Well, we’re slowly inching toward the end of this cancelled CBS sit-com and its propagation of works-righteousness religion. This episode looks at the Tenth Commandment.

Living Biblically
Episode 11, “Thou Shalt Not Covet”
CBS, originally aired 7/14/18

Plot

Chip (Jay R. Ferguson) and his co-worker and best friend, Vince (Tony Rock), are informed they have both been nominated for the same yearly journalism award; Chip for his “Living Biblically” column and Vince for his crime reporting.

Chip subsequently hangs out with his “God Squad” advisers, priest Gene (Ian Gomez) and rabbi Gil (David Krumholtz), at the local tavern and gloats about his nomination. The clergymen remind him that the Bible says, “Thou shalt not covet,” and advise him to be content with a job well done and to keep in mind that, in the grand scheme of things, such awards are “meaningless.”

Despite his “God Squad’s” advice, Chip confides to his wife, Leslie (Lindsey Kraft), that he’s struggling to not covet the award. She suggests that he focus on rooting for Vince to win.

At the awards dinner, Chip tries to make everyone believe that he’s rooting for Vince, but when he’s announced as the winner, he proceeds to make a pompous fool of himself via his obnoxious acceptance speech. However, the emcee abruptly stops the ceremony, saying a mistake had been made and that Vince is the actual winner. Chip then predictably states that he doesn’t really care about the dumb award after all, thereby insulting and angering Vince.

Back at the tavern and with the guidance of his “God Squad,” Chip apologizes to Vince for his behavior and the two friends reconcile.

Comments

The premise of “Living Biblically” is that the main character, Chip, a Roman Catholic and self-professed “good” person, desires to be an “even better” person by following the Bible literally. The show is in sync with the “good people go to Heaven” philosophy and at odds with the Biblical message of man’s total depravity and the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

That being said, I did appreciate this episode about covetousness to a certain degree. No matter how hard he tried to take the high road, Chip’s pride and selfish desires came through. Catholics and other works religionists maintain that they successfully obey the Ten Commandments with the help of sacramental grace. But when they stand before their Holy Judge, He will reveal the tens of thousands of covetous and envious thoughts and actions they had throughout the course of their entire life. And that is just one of the Commandments! When we stand before the Lord, we will not have one single plea of righteousness of our own. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.

“For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” – Ephesians 5:5