Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/25/20

Welcome to our roundup of this week’s news!

The term, “born again,” has become trivialized and has lost its Biblical meaning in American society. Twenty-eight percent of American Catholics now claim to be “born again,” although they unabashedly believe in salvation by merit as their church teaches.

We’re seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe. Pope Francis condemns the hatred, but the Roman Catholic church had a very long history of fomenting anti-Semitism. An upcoming Throwback Thursday installment will address this irony.

What “good news” does a Catholic evangelizer have to share? That a person must constantly avail themselves of the sacraments and obey the Ten Commandments perfectly (impossible!) in order to hopefully merit Heaven? That’s not good news, folks! That’s very bad news because no one is able to merit their salvation. Jesus Christ is the answer, not the Catholic religious treadmill. Some deluded souls are attracted to the pomp and ritualism of the RCC, but that doesn’t save.

Buffalo Catholic bishop and abuse-enabler, Richard Malone, was finally forced to resign last month, but the nearby Buffalo diocese is headed for bankruptcy due to the mounting claims filed there by survivors of priest abuse. The Rochester diocese filed for bankruptcy in September. It’s ironic that the bishop assigned to investigate Malone’s wrongdoings, Nicholas Di Marzio, is now being investigated himself by the Vatican for sexual abuse.

The German Catholic bishops are some of the most liberal/progressive in the RCC. Conservative Catholics are worried that the “German synodal process” that’s underway, spearheaded by the bishops and progressive laity, will introduce reforms that are too liberal even for pope Francis.

Many branches of Lutheranism veered into Bible-denying modernism/liberal apostasy generations ago and have no compunctions about linking up with Rome.

Doomsday eschatologist, Jack Van Impe, was once a very popular figure in independent fundamental Baptist circles. He ended up embracing Rome. I’m currently drafting a separate post about Van Impe.

While this article refers to a church in the apostate United Methodist denomination, there’s mounting discrimination against senior members at non-denominational hipster mega churches where skin-tight skinny jeans (on men no less) with holes in the knees and $100 swag haircuts are de rigueur.

Our humble city of Rochester N.Y., the former “Imaging Capital of the World,” doesn’t have much to boast about these days with the demise of Kodak and Xerox, but we do get more snow than any other city in the U.S. due to our unique location near Lake Erie and on the shores of Lake Ontario.

42 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/25/20

    1. Hi Sally. The Roman Catholic church officially teaches that its members are “born again” when they (mostly as infants) are baptized (CCC 1272). That definitely is not biblical spiritual re-birth in Christ. If a Roman Catholic genuinely trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone, and some have, the Holy Spirit will lead them out of the RCC which teaches otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Tom : Thanks for your reply. Catholics refer to the spiritual experience of being ‘ born again,’ as a metanoia experience. That is a moment of repentance, and the individual’s acceptance of Jesus into their hearts. We need to be careful about judging who “knows Jesus personally”, and who doesn’t. Only the Lord knows for sure who his sheep are, those who genuinely are hearing his voice.
        Many Catholics are deeply wounded ( including me) and we need to minister to them with love as the corruption and deception in “The Church” is exposed.
        God knows what he is doing, even when we are perplexed about the whole thing.
        Thanks, as always, for your thorough research. 🤗

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hi Sally.

        RE: We need to be careful…

        I would be disobedient to God and hateful to lost Catholic souls if I didn’t point out the irreconcilable differences between Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit and the genuine Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

        RE: metanoia experience

        Because of the spread of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement (resulting in the Catholic Charismatic Movement) there’s a great emphasis put on religious “experience.” Catholic charismatics go to a CCM mass or some other event and experience some type of religious euphoria and then go back home and continue to attempt to merit their salvation. There was no genuine repentance unto salvation and no genuine trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith ALONE.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Tom, thanks for your patient explanations. I am a convert to Catholicism. Never once, however, was I taught in any Mass, or by any Catholic person ,that I had to merit my salvation somehow. It should be evident to all Christians that salvation is God’s free gift to us. It is , of course, God’s grace that saves all those who place their faith in Christ. Anyone who is being taught that they have to “work” for their salvation is obviously being misled. However, do you think it shows lack of charity to say that all Catholics are ‘lost souls’? Perhaps Jesus might think it presumptuous of anyone to claim to know who has genuinely repented, and who has not. That knowledge is knowable to the Lord alone. 🤗

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Sally, several Roman Catholics have written to me in the past, objecting that their religion does not teach that a person must merit their salvation, but of course it does precisely that:

        CCC 2010, “…Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.”

        CCC 2027, “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”

        The qualification that’s claimed is that sacramental grace enables meritorious actions, but the bottom line is still merit.

        The vast majority of Catholics do not know the theological details behind their church’s rituals. I really recommend that you read a book like “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy which goes into detail about the differences between Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity, otherwise it’s all according to your own understanding, whims, and opinion.

        RE: do you think it shows lack of charity to say that all Catholics are ‘lost souls’?

        I’m puzzled about why you are asking me about this again. In my previous comments to you I wrote that I certainly believe some Catholics have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone in spite of their church’s works-salvation system and that the Holy Spirit is leading them out of the RCC. I don’t pretend to be God Almighty, judging who has accepted Christ and who has not, but Roman Catholicism teaches a works salvation system and no one can be saved according to its legalistic precepts. A soul saved by Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary through faith in Christ alone is going to be convicted by the Holy Spirit to leave a religious system that teaches a person must merit their salvation.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Re: CCC 2010

        Trent makes it even more explicit:

        Council of Trent Session 6, Canon 32
        CANON XXXII.-If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the *GOOD WORKS* which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not *TRULY MERIT* increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Firstly, I am jealous of your snow!
    Good points about ‘Catholic evangelizing’. And why not, the Mormons & Jehovah Witnesses are fervent evangelists. It’s those with the true light that drop the ball in proclaiming the truth! 😞
    Also Tom, I think broken people who seek God get weary, even turned off from the happy-clappy performance Gospel that so many evangelical churches espouse. The meditative and solemn venue of Catholic & Orthodox churches have some appeal.
    May the Lord guide the pastors and us sheep to live out His purposes amidst false and hollow religion!
    Press on brother! ❄❄❄❄

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for all of the good comments, Lisa Beth! I’m used to the snow, but many Rochesterians move to Florida when they retire.

      Yes, cultists are zealous evangelizers with their deadly false gospels. Gospel Christians need to love the lost more and follow through more.

      RE: meditative and solemn quality of Catholic and Orthodox churches

      Yes, I have a sister who likes to attend Catholic mass occasionally and loves the ambiance of the liturgical ritual, but admits she doesn’t really believe a word of it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL on Romanists “evangelizing”. The “good news” they bring is not good news at all and no different than the JWs, Muslims, Mormons.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Lisa Beth
    I like your comments about the happy-clappy performances. And that is exactly what they are , performances. God may, or may not be impressed with those performances. Who knows what his preferred style of worship is ? While happy-clappy is pseudo cheerful, the Mass remembers the solemn sacrifice that Jesus made for us. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, Father, have mercy on all your sons and daughters. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: the Mass remembers the solemn sacrifice

      Sacrifice for sin is finished. There is no longer any need for priests or sacrifice. There are 300,000 masses said daily throughout the world that claim to sacrifice Jesus. It’s all blasphemy. He isn’t a “host”/broken victim on Catholic altars. He is seated at the right hand of the Father.

      “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:11-14

      The mass doesn’t “remember the solemn sacrifice,” it purports to be a sacrifice of Jesus Christ, repeated 300,000 times daily. The Catholic church tries to circumvent Scripture by insisting that they don’t “repeat” the sacrifice, but that they “re-present” the same sacrifice. It’s all sophistry. Bottom line: Jesus is not a “host”/victim on Catholic altars or locked in the tabernacle. He’s not there. You need to check into this yourself, Sally.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow I love the picture for this round up! Sad though Catholics are abusing that term. Have a good time tonight with your son’s birthday, will be reading more your blog later, gotta go on a walk and then to a nearby seminary library to prepare my sermon! I’ll read this as a break between things =)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sally, I recommend that you read the official teachings of the Roman Church very carefully. The mass is a propitiary sacrifice, not just one of thanksgiving or praise or remembrance. If you deny that, Rome places you under an anathema.

    Council Trent Session 22, CANON III.–If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Returns after looking up “de rigueur” to say “ewww” to the skinny jeans with ripped knees (on men, no less!) and an extra ewww if the $100 haircuts involve man-buns and/or those silly overdone beards that seem to try to look like woodsman but fall short due to excessive waxes and oils. Sheesh!

    I look forward to reading your words on Jack Van Impe. I never knew much about him other than that he was famous in the TV preaching realm. When I heard that he died a few days ago, via reading about it on a Christian’s social media post, I looked for info online. No news had reported his death that day nor the next, so I wondered as to the post’s veracity. Maybe he wasn’t as famous as I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for all the comments, Steeny! Skinny jeans and swag haircuts just don’t seem to go together with the word “pastor,” but that’s the way it is at hipster megachurches.

      I finished writing my post on Van Impe and it will be coming out in a few weeks. He was actually quite popular 35-40 years ago but was disappointing. Always tying news events to Bible prophecy and making predictions about Jesus’ return. He went way too far with it. Along the way he even favorably cited popes as genuine Christians. He was a televangelist to avoid as most of them are.

      Like

  6. Wow didn’t know that about Jack Impe. Someone had pointed me to his teachings on eschatology a while back but I never did get around to it .
    “ Born again” has become a religion on its own, it’s sad. The term “ I am a born again Christian “ Doesn’t make sense. One can not be a Christian unless they are born again from above.
    Another informative round up. Thank you brother Tom.
    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for all the good comments, Crissy. My post on Van Impe is ready to publish in a few weeks. He was disappointing in many ways, turning every news story into a prophetic event, and even embracing popes and Catholicism as Christian.
      Yes, “born-again Christian” is a redundancy that should not be necessary. And now “born again” has lost its distinctiveness because many people assume it refers to those (c)hristians who have ecstatic, euphoric religious experiences.

      Blessings to you, sister!

      Liked by 2 people

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