Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #12

Yes, it’s two-fer-Tuesday my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have have Pastor Roger Copeland at Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching about Jesus Christ being the Anchor of our lives. Friend, if you aren’t trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone, you have NO anchor in this crazy world and NO hope for the future.

Speaking of crazy, the world is still recovering from Christmas commercialism-mania, but in the second message, Pastor Cody Andrews at Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaches about the real reason why Jesus Christ came to this world (and it wasn’t to inspire Christmas romance soap opera dramas on the Hallmark Channel).

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Anchor Holds

 

Pastor Cody Andrews – Christmas Message – From the Cradle to the Cross

Everybody wants that trident!

Legion of Super-Heroes #2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciller: Ryan Sook, Inks: Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, December 2019

5 Stars

Plot

Issue #1 of the “new,” re-launched Legion of Super-Heroes ended with the Legion surrounded by a gang of angry Horrazian pirates eager to reclaim the contraband trident of Aquaman. In the midst of the battle, Ultra Boy slips the trident to Superboy, who attempts to escape, with the leader of the pirates, Tortor, in hot pursuit. Saturn Girl, with her power of telepathy/mind control, is able to induce the combatants into a stupor, but Superboy and Tortor are too far away to be affected. Saturn Girl then focuses all of her powers on the two adversaries and a mysterious flood of water – somehow brought into existence by the trident – subdues the Horrazian leader.

Elsewhere, at United Planets headquarters, the Legion’s diplomatic liason, Rose Forrest, attempts to smooth things over with the U.P. President, whose last name is Brande. Hmm. That’s a name that rings a bell with Legion fans. The negotiations between the two get off to a rocky start and devolve from there. Rose returns to Legion headquarters and informs the team of the tense tête-à-tête. It’s clear Madam President is not happy about Superboy’s presence in the 31st century or about the Legion’s possession of the trident.

The Legionnaires amble down to their “consumption hall” for a strategy meeting over dinner. Ultra Boy (aka Jo Nah) reveals his father is a powerful and dangerous leader on his civil-war-torn home planet of Rimbor. Both the elder Nah and Mordru were after the trident until Ultra Boy intercepted the Horraz pirates and took possession of the thing himself. A contingent of Legionnaires decides to travel to Rimbor to attempt to smooth things over with Jo’s dad before things escalate while another contingent heads to Planet Gotham to try to find out what Mordru had planned for the trident. Superboy is so excited about the existence of Planet Gotham that he makes the journey back to the 21st century to inform his buddy, Damian Wayne aka Robin. Looks like the Boy Wonder is headed to the 31st century!

Comments

We can predict a cataclysmic brouhaha ahead with the U.P. President, Ultra Boy’s father, and Mordru all in competition for Aquaman’s trident. I’m still a bit fuzzy regarding Gotham Planet. Is it one of the several domed cities of New Earth or is it off by itself somewhere? This was a good story with some excellent dialogue from Bendis. Also, I’m so pleased with Sook’s masterful illustrations. The Legion hasn’t been drawn this well since Curt Swan did the duty back in the 1960s.

Trivia alert: I forgot to point out Ultra Boy’s Biblical connection in my review of LSH #1. His civilian name is Jo Nah and he supposedly acquired his super powers after being swallowed by a space energy beast, which exposed him to strange radiation while inside.

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In this excerpt from Superboy #98 (1962), Ultra Boy explains the origin of his penetra-vision. Note Jo Nah being swallowed by the space beast. It would later be revealed that Ultra Boy had all of the powers of Superboy, although he was limited to using one power at a time.

FINALLY: The Conclusion of the 2019 Leaf Campaign!

This post was sitting in my queue for a couple of weeks waiting to be published, but I had to revise the whole thing yesterday.

I had dragged what I thought was the last tarpful of leaves to the front curb on Friday, November 29th, one month ago. At that point, I had dragged 55 tarps from the backyard to the curb over the course of 33 days and I was quite ready to call it a season.

It snowed on Saturday, November 30th and we’ve had a covering of snow right up until very recently. The town highway department came through the neighborhood on December 9th and picked up our big, snow-covered pile of leaves with a front loader and dump truck. Yes, a front loader! Leaves are serious business in our neighborhood.

Some straggler leaves continued to come down from the oak trees after that, but, with all of the snow cover, I figured the 2019 leaf campaign was over.

Well, not quite.

This past week, we had some mild temperatures in the 40s and 50s and the snow cover gradually melted. I looked out the window yesterday morning and all of the snow was gone. Around 11 a.m., I cranked up my trusty Husqvarna 350BT backpack leafblower and corralled all of the remaining leaves in the backyard, raked them onto the tarp, and dragged them to the curb in two trips. Make that 57 total tarpfuls for the season!

That’s it, folks. I’m d-o-n-e, DONE. I just hope the town picks up the relatively “small” leaf pile now sitting curbside.

p.s. In consideration of several factors, my wife and I have made the bitter-sweet decision to sell our house in the Spring/Summer of 2021 and move into a condo. That means that next November-December will be my final leaf campaign! Removing the humongous amount of leaves from our lot each Fall is a difficult, physically-draining job for a young man let alone an old geezer like myself.

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Above: Dragging the last tarpful, #57, to the curb.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/28/19

Catholics believe that “holy water,” water that’s been blessed by a priest, possesses magical/supernatural properties that benefit all who come in contact with it. Down in Cow Island, Louisiana, a crop duster plane was recently used to spray 100 gallons of holy water on the community. Argh! Such blatant superstition. Catholics will eagerly jump through hoops in this and similar examples, trying to merit their salvation, but resist the simple Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Pope Francis’ conservative Catholic critics are becoming increasingly frustrated with the progressive pontiff and his doctrine-bending reforms, with some even denouncing him as a heretic. Francis is careful to never confront his “rigid” conservative critics directly, but often takes swipes at them in carefully couched language as he did in his Christmas sermon.

For centuries, the Roman Catholic church has taught that Mary is “Mediatrix of all graces.” The RCC teaches that ALL of God’s graces needed for salvation flow through Mary (see (Lumen Gentium, 62, from the Second Vatican Council). In addition, it’s widely accepted among many Catholic clerics and laity that Mary is also “Co-Redeemer” in conjunction with Jesus Christ. For decades, pious Mariolaters have zealously petitioned the church to make this teaching official, but there was resistance because of ecumenical considerations. Pope Francis recently weighed-in on the movement to crown Mary as Co-redeemer/Co-redemptrix, calling it “foolishness,” providing even more grist for conservative Catholics in their simmering rebellion against the pope.

This week, the pope advised a group of Italian high-school students to not to try to convert “non-Christians,” because, after all, everyone is a “child of God.” I’ll have more to say on this in an upcoming post.

This week, Christianity Today magazine published an editorial supporting the impeachment of President Trump and calling for his removal from office, which caused a ruckus among politically conservative-minded evangelicals. I generally avoid commenting on politics, but I couldn’t resist this controversy. What’s most interesting to me is that the opposing camps in this debate are both very ecumenical, but for entirely different reasons. The folks at CT and their readers generally place a high priority on (c)hristian “unity” and eagerly embrace Roman Catholics as Christians despite the fact that the RCC unabashedly teaches works salvation. The folks on the other extreme (e.g., Jerry Falwell, Jr., Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Richard Land, etc.) are eager to unite with any and all politically conservative religious folks in the ongoing culture wars in the misguided effort to “reclaim America for Jesus” and aren’t particular about denominational dog tags. Of course, political alliances always lead to religious accommodations, compromises, and betrayals of the Gospel as we saw with Chuck Colson’s “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” (ECT) project.

Were you able to use Christmas as an opportunity to share the Gospel with the lost? My wife sent out Christmas cards and wrote a rather unconventional-for-Christmas Bible verse inside: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” – 1 Timothy 1:15

Yes, Babylon Bee, society is going topsy turvy! “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #4: “Where Two or Three Are Gathered”

Today, we continue our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. The Catholic apologist continues his six-part section on church hierarchy and authority with this chapter devoted to countering alleged Protestant assertions that the church is not the worldly-minded religious institution headquartered on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome, but is any place where “Where Two or Three Are Gathered.”

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Broussard writes that Protestants mistakenly cite Matthew 18:20 as a rebuttal to Rome’s claim that it is THE visible, institutional church founded by Jesus:

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” 

Broussard accuses Protestants of having a stunted understanding of the church as just a spiritual entity rather than that of the church being both a spiritual and a structural (institutional/hierarchical) entity that he claims Christ intended. Broussard cites the preceding passage, Matthew 18:15-19, to show that Jesus had an institutional church in mind when He gave instructions for disciplining unrepentant members. A church of a strictly spiritual nature does not have the organizational ability to discipline anyone.

Broussard attempts to win his argument with a straw man fallacy. Protestants certainly do recognize the structure of the local church as it is presented in Scripture. In numerous passages of the New Testament we see mentioned the offices of pastor, elder, and deacon for leadership and administration of the local church. See here. These offices can be found (perhaps under different names) in Gospel-preaching, local Christian churches.

What Protestants object to is Rome’s claim to be THE monolithic institution divinely authorized by Jesus Christ. A few relevant thoughts come to mind:

  • After the Roman emperors legalized Christianity and shortly afterwards adopted it as the state religion, its clergy began assimilating many of the beliefs and practices of its former pagan competitor. Simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior was replaced with grandiose and complex legalism, ritualism, and sacramentalism, all administered by an increasingly privileged and authoritarian clerical class.
  • As the early bishops of Rome consolidated their power in competition with the other centers of the early church, they patterned their ascendant institution after the imperial Caesars. The acquisition of wealth and political control  – and the elimination of rivals – were the key drivers. Jesus commanded His apostles NOT to create the very type of hierarchy that the RCC instituted. See Matthew 20:25-28.
  • Roman Catholics cannot imagine the comparatively “structureless” mulit-denominational Protestant movement as being legitimate. For a millennium, Catholic clerics taught that membership in their religious institution was tantamount to salvation. However, adhering to standard Catholic theology – salvation by sacramental grace and merit – has never led anyone to salvation in Christ Jesus. It’s precisely in the noncentralized, patchwork quilt of evangelical Christianity that the Holy Spirit has done His salvific work using God’s Holy Word.

Important: Broussard makes great claims for the Roman Catholic church being the visible institution authorized by Jesus Christ and headed by the pope, the alleged “Vicar of Christ.” However, beneath the elaborate and grandiose organizational structure with its veneer of monolithic unity is actually great discord. Conservative and traditionalist Catholics are appalled by the doctrine-bending reforms of the current progressive pope. Many conservative Catholics accuse pope Francis of “spreading confusion” within the church and some even denounce him as a heretic. When Broussard makes these claims for Catholicism’s authority, is he referring to the progressive, doctrine-defying Catholicism of pope Francis or is he referring to the conservative, doctrinaire Catholicism of cardinals Burke and Sarah? We’ve examined four of Broussard’s six chapters on church authority and so far he’s dishonestly failed to mention the current crisis within his church regarding papal authority and pope Francis.

Next up: “All Are One in Christ”

RCC fast facts:

The number of Catholic cardinals, bishops, and priests:

214 cardinals, 5839 bishops, and 415,000 priests.

The number of people who work at the Vatican, the RCC’s worldwide headquarters:

3000

The total number of clergy employed by the RCC worldwide:

One million

The total number of Catholic parishes and members:

223,000 parishes and 1.3 billion Catholics.

The amount of land owned by the RCC:

Estimated at 177 million acres, or 277,000 square miles (Texas is 262,000 square miles.

The amount of the RCC’s annual spending worldwide:

Estimated at $170 billion

The number of times the genuine Gospel is preached in Catholic churches on a given Sunday?

Zero

Throwback Thursday: Yup, convents were cultish, but where’s Jesus in all of this?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 26th, 2015 and has been revised.

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Forgotten Women in Convents
By Helen Conroy
Christ’s Mission, 1960, 121 pp.

2 Stars

Protestant books examining abuses in Roman Catholic convents proliferated throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. “Forgotten Women in Convents” by ex-nun, Helen Conroy aka Sister Mary Ethel, was originally published in 1946 and was one of the last books of this once-popular genre. The 1960 edition that I purchased was published by Christ’s Mission, a Protestant evangelization outreach ministry to Roman Catholics, as part of a tidal wave of anti-Catholic literature that swept the nation leading up to the Kennedy-Nixon presidential election.

On the plus side, Conroy offers many valuable insights into how the Catholic church lured girls and young women into its nunneries and how it discouraged them from ever leaving. Evangelicals’ antennae go up if you mention the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, but is there anything more cultish than a Catholic convent? As Conroy points out, Catholicism adopted the notion of a cloistered community of virginal women, completely dedicated to (g)od/s, from pagan religions for its own purposes. These poor, deluded women were attempting to merit their salvation via the strict codes of their religious orders, through self-denial and even physically harmful self-mortification practices. Of course, extremely few Catholic women are joining convents these days and many of those who do will enjoy freedoms unimaginable to the nuns of Conroy’s era.

On the minus side – and this is a HUGE minus – Conroy never once alludes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Does she just assume her Protestant readers have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior? In her exodus from Rome, did Conroy ever accept Christ? There’s no testimony therein of that being the case in this book. Instead, there’s quite a bit of criticism of Catholicism’s treatment of its nuns as being antithetical to American freedoms, but there is no mention of how Catholic works-righteousness legalism and ritualism is opposed to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. In its surprisingly Christ-less approach, “Forgotten Women in Convents” reminds me quite a bit of a very popular anti-Catholic bestseller from the same period, “American Freedom and Catholic Power” (1949) by atheist Paul Blanshard.

See my earlier post for a booklist of “convent escape narratives.”

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #11

Yes, it’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which normally means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas. However, brother Wally came down with a case of kidney stones two Sundays ago, and wasn’t able to record the sermon at Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church, so we’re doing some timely improvising.

First off, we have have Pastor Roger Copeland at Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, speaking about standing on God’s promises. I am so grateful that we can stand upon the unmovable, unshakable promises of our God! Life’s circumstances can get pretty discouraging and even dire at times, but we have a mighty Rock who is perfectly dependable!

Next, we have a Christmas Cantata, parts one and two, by the choir of the Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City that was presented this past Sunday.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Standing on the Promises

 

Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church Choir – Christmas Cantata, Parts 1 & 2

Crosby vs. McGuinn: Year 52

I’m not one to pay much attention to soap operas, but I’ve been observing this one for fifty years…

Growing up back in the 1960s, my five older sisters always had a Beatles LP spinning on the turntable. But I eventually blazed my own trail by becoming a fan of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, which led to exploring David Crosby’s back-catalog with the Byrds. I really loved the Byrds with their signature sound of Roger McGuinn’s jingly-jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar complemented by Crosby’s high vocal harmonies. But I also learned there had been tremendous discord in the camp. Laid-back McGuinn was the de facto leader of the group, however, the free-spirited, outspoken Crosby constantly grated against that. As Crosby developed as a songwriter, the conflicts and tensions escalated to the point that McGuinn and Byrds’ bassist, Chris Hillman, drove to Crosby’s house one afternoon in 1967 and fired him from the band.

Crosby went on to bigger things with CS&N, but the resentment and discord never completely healed. By 1969, McGuinn was the only founding band member remaining, but he kept the ersatz Byrds going until 1973. His subsequent solo career achieved only so-so success and he spiraled into heavy drug use. In 1977, at rock-bottom, former-Roman Catholic, McGuinn, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior! At the time, I remember thinking, “Oh, no! McGuinn has become one of those born-agains!”

McGuinn and Crosby have kept in touch – barely – over the years and participated together in a few (very) short-term projects, however McGuinn keeps a bit of a distance. He has repeatedly resisted Crosby’s MANY overtures to reunite the remaining Byrds (himself, Crosby, and Hillman) for a concert tour. On the occasion of the band’s 50th anniversary in 2015, the Byrds noticeably did not reunite because of McGuinn’s reluctance. McGuinn has explained in a couple of interviews that he declines to be yoked with unbeliever Crosby in another venture (2 Corinthians 6:14). I’m sure that McGuinn deals with many unbelievers in his ongoing solo career, but the thing about Crosby is he’s still very pushy, spews obscenities in his regular conversation, and constantly tokes marijuana.

Despite their differences, McGuinn has had nothing but kind remarks to say to, and about, his former bandmate, but Crosby’s recent documentary, “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” has reopened old wounds. Crosby, who is well-known for his frequent and blunt chatter on Twitter, recently blocked McGuinn from his account. Well, he’s undoubtedly hurt that McGuinn refuses work with him.

The McGuinn-Crosby friendship/feud has been played out in public for 52 years. Why should we even care about this on-again, off-again soap opera? Because it’s an amazing irony. Crosby still crusades for peace, love, and harmony in his songs and tours, but he’s not going to find it outside of Jesus Christ.

Note how the Tweeter below supports Crosby’s decision to block his old bandmate by scoffing at McGuinn for proclaiming Jesus Christ and the Gospel in a tweet he posted back in March:

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David Crosby Does Not Want to Read Roger McGuinn’s Tweets
https://www.spin.com/2019/12/david-crosby-roger-mcguinn-twitter-block/

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/21/19

Welcome to our roundup of news stories for this week!

Above is an interesting article from a Catholic source on how the Santa Claus character was popularized in the U.S. by political cartoonist, Thomas Nast (see illustration above). The article smears Nast as an “anti-Catholic” for his fanciful illustrations that targeted Roman Catholicism, but the popes of that era were actually quite outspoken in their opposition to democratic forms of government and freedom of religion (see pope Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors“). Christians have different views on the celebration of Christmas, but the popularization of the Santa Claus mythos was regrettable.

I fully support this lawsuit against the pope by former-victims of abusive priests. For centuries, the Catholic hierarchy at the highest level was aware of the systematic abuse. Not only did the popes do nothing, they enabled the abuse by encouraging bishops to transfer abusers from one parish to another. In addition to the physical/psychological abuse, the RCC has abused all of its members spiritually by teaching a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Oh, is the pope JUST NOW ending the “secrecy rule” on child sex abuse after twenty+ years of monstrous headlines?????

This article says the median length of a sermon/homily at a Catholic mass is 14 minutes, but I experienced much shorter ones, myself, when I was a Catholic. The main purpose of the mass is the alleged transformation of bread wafers and wine into Jesus by the priest followed by the offering of Jesus on the altar as a re-sacrifice for sin (so anti-Biblical!). The short homily ties in with the previous reading of a short Gospel passage. In the homily, the priests generally challenge the congregants to be more disciplined/determined in meriting their salvation. Catholics are duty bound to attend Sunday mass under threat of mortal sin. Most are already bored silly with the rote liturgical rigmarole and a long-winded homily would just add to the resentment.

The Roman church teaches its priests actually transform bread wafers and wine into Jesus’ actual body and blood (although a recent poll revealed that only one-third of Catholics actually believe this). The theft of a tabernacle with faux Jesus wafers inside is the ultimate desecration in the minds of credulous Catholics.

I don’t become outraged when I see articles like this one. Unbelievers will act like scoffing unbelievers. But why don’t we see similar comedies with Muhammad as the slapstick buffoon?

Bethel and the entire NAR movement is so dangerous and destructive. Run, don’t walk, from this pseudo-Christian abomination.

Conservative and traditionalist Catholics are so frustrated with progressive, doctrine-bending, pope Francis that a few are even discussing the possibility of schism. But most are willing to hang in there with the hope that the next pope returns the church to the doctrinal conservatism of John Paul II. This conservative journalist is already fretting about the next pope being Francis II. Missing in this ideological tug-of-war within the RCC is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Leave it to the Babylon Bee to tell it like it is.

Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #3: “Paul Rebuked Peter”

Today, we continue our series of responses to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. The Catholic apologist continues his six-part section on church hierarchy and authority with a chapter countering Protestants’ argument that Peter (and hence the pope) was not infallible because “Paul Rebuked Peter.”

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The notion of papal infallibility began gaining popularity within Roman Catholicism in the 15th century, but it wasn’t until 1870, after Italian nationalist forces had occupied the former Papal States and prepared to liberate Rome, that a defiant pope Pius IX pressured the bishops attending the First Vatican Council to declare as dogma that popes were infallible when they taught on matters vital to faith and morals. Although he could not resist the temporal power of the Risorgimento liberators, Pius IX could assert his alleged spiritual superiority by having himself proclaimed as infallible (he also excommunicated everyone who participated in the Risorgimento). As a dogmatic teaching, all Roman Catholics were thereafter required to believe the pope was infallible under threat of damning mortal sin.

Ever since 1870, Protestants have cited Galatians 2:11-14 to refute the notion of papal infallibility:

“But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

If Peter was the first pope and infallible, as Catholics claim, then why was he leading the church into serious error by hypocritically abstaining from eating with Gentiles in the presence of Jewish legalists, for which he had to be publicly corrected by Paul?

Broussard argues that Protestant critics reveal their very faulty understanding of papal infallibility by citing this passage. According to the Catholic standard, only when a pope speaks ex cathedra, officially “from the chair” of St. Peter, in declaring a doctrine as dogma is a teaching considered divinely-guided and infallible. Broussard admits that Peter’s behavior at Antioch was reprehensible and worthy of rebuke, but the bad behavior did not meet the conditions required of dogmatic infallibility. Peter wasn’t acting in his office as supreme teacher of the church in that circumstance at Antioch, argues Broussard. He was just being a cowardly hypocrite.

I understand Broussard’s argument. Protestants do present a bit of a straw man fallacy by presenting Galatians 2:11-14 as a refutation of papal infallibility according to the strict Catholic definition. However, there definitely are many problems with the claim of papal infallibility that Broussard conveniently doesn’t touch upon:

  • While Peter may not have been declaring dogma at Antioch, his example was leading many into dangerous doctrinal error. Catholics have historically claimed that popes were incapable of leading the church into error.
  • It’s ironic beyond measure that Broussard chooses to examine Galatians 2 in his defense of papal infallibility. Following Paul’s description of his rebuke of Peter, the apostle follows with one of the clearest defenses of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone in Galatians 2:15-21. The passage directly contradicts the salvation-by-merit theology that is at the heart of Roman Catholicism.
  • The history of the papacy is filled with incidents that do not reflect well on claims of papal infallibility in matters vital to faith and morals including the heterodoxy of pope Honorius, the Cadaver Trial of pope Formosus, the authorization of the Crusades and the Inquisitions, the Great Western Schism, the authorized selling of indulgences, the condemnation of Galileo, etc., etc., etc.
  • Catholic theologians can only agree upon three papal declarations as being infallibly dogmatic: the immaculate conception of Mary (1854), papal infallibility (1870), and the assumption of Mary into Heaven (1950). What is the point of papal infallibility if it is so rarely exercised?

Important: Just as with the two chapters on authority that we previously reviewed, Broussard purposely omits any mention of the current CRISIS within Catholicism regarding the papacy. Pope Francis has overturned three doctrines previously held to be unchangeable: (1) the ban on communion for remarried divorcees, (2) the ban on communion to Protestants (Protestant spouses of Catholic members may now receive communion according to the discretion of each bishop), and (3) the licitness of capital punishment. Conservative Catholic leaders are advising their follows to ignore Francis’s changes and some are even calling the pope a heretic. Catholics are wrestling with how an infallible pope can overturn doctrines considered unchangeable by previous infallible popes. Francis has even gone out of his way to downplay assertions of papal infallibility/prerogatives by emphasizing that “a pope can be wrong” (see here). As Broussard and other conservative Catholic apologists attempt to defend the bastion of papal infallibility, their own pope is busily dismantling the bogus dogma.

Next up: “Where Two or Three Are Gathered”