Welcome to the Weekend Roundup, my friends! The COVID-19 pandemic obviously continues to dominate local, national, and international headlines.
- NYC Mayor Threatens to Close Churches ‘Permanently’ for Meeting during Coronavirus
- Florida church jammed for Sunday service despite pandemic
- Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus Fears, Too
Some Protestants of various denominational affiliations have made headlines this past week by holding worship services in defiance of bans on public gatherings. COVID-19 has a proven track record of contagion and lethality. Christians who defy public health directives are not only giving Christianity a bad name, they are also endangering people’s lives.
- Mass streaming a success for St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Spiritual Communion when there’s no Eucharist available
- US bishop suspends last rites in response to coronavirus pandemic
The Roman Catholic church’s salvation system is largely dependent on its sacraments. The last couple of weeks, we have been following how the RC church is modifying its sacramental rituals in light of restrictions on public gatherings. For example, Catholics were always taught in the past that the graces associated with the mass were imparted only upon those who physically attended. Watching mass on TV, Catholics were told, did not impart graces to the viewer. Since physical attendance is not possible during this pandemic, the RCC has done a flip-flop and is now encouraging Catholics to watch mass via television and/or streaming. Catholics are being told by their priests and bishops that “spiritual communion,” i.e., contemplating and desiring the Jesus wafer, is as effectual as physically consuming it! Another casualty of the pandemic is the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, i.e., last rites. Most Catholics are counting on the sacrament of extreme unction/last rites/anointing of the sick administered by a priest to “get them right with God” before they die, but the pandemic is limiting access to priests. If you desire to genuinely get right with God, repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone!
Catholics are so dependent upon the mass and receiving the Jesus wafer as part of their works-righteousness religious rituals, that some priests are defying public health guidelines and diocesan directives and surreptitiously opening masses to the public and distributing the “host.”
- ‘I’m Not Imagining No Heaven’: Larry the Cable Guy Calls Out Celebrities for Singing ‘Imagine’ amid Coronavirus Outbreak
A couple of weekends ago, I reported that some Hollywood celebrities were trying to rally the nation amidst this pandemic with a rendition of John Lennon’s atheistic paean, “Imagine.” Larry the Cable Guy is having none of it.
This article refers to Bible-denying, mainline Protestants, but evangelical Christians are figuring out how to take the Lord’s Supper “together” while viewing services online. Our church is doing virtual communion tomorrow and my wife and I are prepared with grape juice in the fridge and bread in the pantry.
Americans were recently asked, “Who comes to mind when you think of evangelical Protestantism?” and 21% responded with “Billy Graham,” the most popular answer. It’s ironic that Graham was actually an enthusiastic friend of Roman Catholicism and its false gospel and therefore was at odds with true evangelical Protestantism.