Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/20/21

Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday for Roman Catholics and parishes all across the country modified the ritual in reaction to the pandemic, changed from priests smudging ashes on supplicants’ foreheads to sprinkling ashes on their heads. Some Catholic parishes even offered “ashes to go” in sealed restaurant condiment cups (photo above) so that congregants could apply ashes to their own forehead at home. Ach. Imagine the apostle, Paul, fretting over some silly religious prop such as this. Regarding condiments: I like Rochester meat hot sauce and chopped onion on my hamburger (see here).

Catholics MUST attend mass each and every Sunday under threat of mortal sin and eternal damnation. However, the pandemic has played havoc with this mandatory obligation. At the start of the pandemic, U.S. Catholic bishops granted dispensations, which allegedly allowed their followers to miss Sunday mass without incurring mortal sin, only to rescind and reissue the dispensations like a yo-yo as the virus waned and spiked and waned again. All of this speaks to the arbitrary legalism of Roman Catholicism.

The German Catholic prelates are the church’s progressive vanguard and they will be openly blessing homosexual “marriages” in their churches shortly. Rest assured, they’re already blessing same-sex “marriages” on the QT. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions back in October so this next “reform” will not be such a big stretch

It’s not often that I use the Roman Catholic church as an example, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case. Poland’s Catholic church is in a syncretic, hand-in-glove relationship with the ruling Law and Justice conservative political party. Poland’s younger, urban citizens are generally NOT pleased with this church-state symbiosis and are leaving the Polish Catholic church in droves as a result. American evangelicals should take note.

Catholic archbishop and former papal nuncio to the Unites States, Carlo Viganò, has been a publicly defiant critic of pope Francis since 2018. I placed a library hold on the biography of Viganò that is mentioned in this article. It should be interesting reading.

Immersing a baby underwater once, let alone three times, as was done in this Romanian Orthodox infant baptism ceremony, is absolutely insane. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teaching that an infant becomes a born-again Christian when they are baptized (baptize means “immerse,” but Catholics only sprinkle infants) is also insane and anti-Biblical.

Brian Houston and his Hillsong music troupe took mega-church, hipsterism to new lows, but Houston’s getting a bit “long in the tooth” for hipster Hillsong. I would have thought a Stephen Furtick clone would have been chosen to replace Houston instead of an equally old Gary Clarke, but perhaps they think an outwardly “mature” leader is appropriate after the Carl Lentz scandal. The hipster mega-church I formerly attended periodically featured Hillsong music videos with the Hillsong emblem clearly visible on the corner of the screen.

A federal judge has denied former IFB celebrity pastor, Jack Schaap’s request that his prison sentence be shortened due to his parents’ failing health. Schaap was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2013 for seducing a female high school student. See my previous post on Schaap here.

21 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/20/21

  1. My first thought regarding ashes in condiment “take home containers “ was I hope they don’t mistake that for pepper and use it on their fish!!(sorry it’s not funny but I did wonder that!)
    Now I’m wondering how many took them home and added them to their relic/statue collection instead of using them!

    “ Regarding condiments: I like Rochester meat hot sauce (see here) and chopped onion on my hamburger.” 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: I hope they don’t mistake (ashes in condiment container) for pepper

      That’s actually a very perceptive thought…and your 2nd thought, too, about the inevitability of some Catholics adding the ashes to their collection of sacramentals. I’m 100% sure some will. Thanks for thinking through this legalistic rabbit hole through for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Immersing a baby underwater once, let alone three times, as was done in this Romanian Orthodox infant baptism ceremony, is absolutely insane.” TOTALLY INSANE! 💔😭

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I understand that most Eastern Orthodox “priests” know to close up the infant’s mouth and nostrils during the baptismal dunking, but it’s grievous that 1.3 billion Catholics and 220 million Eastern Orthodox believe an infant is born-again when they are baptized.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes!!!
        “ but it’s grievous that 1.3 billion Catholics and 220 million Eastern Orthodox believe an infant is born-again when they are baptized.” Extremely grievous!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Tom! How’s work? Hillsong is a joke. When Houston was asked about the amount of money his church had, he said something like “it’s nothing compared to the RCC.” My take away from that interview is that Houston wanted to become as big, rich, powerful, well known as the RCC. Both are leading congregants into hell week after week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Mandy! Thanks. There was a lot of physical work yesterday, but made it through. One more day!

      RE: Houston and Hillsong

      Christians are getting sucked into the bad theology of Hillsong and Bethel and Passion via the music…our former church playing those Hillsong videos was another reason why I knew we had to leave.

      p.s. and most importantly

      I was a bit late opening our mail and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks so much for our Valentines Day card and your sweet sentiments! Corinne and I appreciated the card so much. It was a warm delight in the middle of our cold and snowy circumstances. Much love and blessings to you and Nathan. Have a wonderful Lord’s day!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The baby one is so upsetting 😡 I’ve seen videos of them dunking them sometimes, and it’s like… What is that guy thinking?? Why do the families let these men do that?? I’ve been around babies all my life and you have to hold their little heads, you have to be careful, what in the world. It was only a matter of time before one of the babies died, and that is so heartbreaking. Okay, rant over. It just irks me so much because it’s so easily preventable by just not doing such foolish things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Joseph. Having been brought up in Roman Catholicism and then being born again at age 27 in 1983, I try to reach out to Catholics with the genuine Gospel and also warn evangelicals about ecumenism with Rome.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. 1. Wow we are on Lent season, that means its been one year since this covid thing began.

    2. “German bishop says Catholic Church must change its stance on homosexuality”
    More crazy division within RC, contrary to what Catholic Apologists paint what Rome is like.

    3. “Romanian Orthodox Church’s full-immersion baptism ritual under fire after infant dies”
    Some of those videos are cringy if you look online…

    4. Hillsong is imploding

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good comments!

      RE: Lent and COVID

      Yeah, it’s stuck in my head that they began closing things down like the library around mid-March.

      RE:German Catholics vs. conservative Catholic apologists

      Such a contrast.

      RE: Eastern Orthodox infant baptism

      I’m going to have to check those videos tomorrow

      RE: Hillsong

      They went a bit to hipster even for them

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Full immersion, the orthodox version of infant baptism, is so wicked. I saw one such baptism on YouTube that was beyond horrible. Not sure if that was the baby that died. So very very sad. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pastor Jimmy also mentioned some startling YouTube videos. I watched one this morning showing a frustrated Russian Orthodox priest getting violent with an uncooperative older infant. Very disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Really? Take away ashes to sprinkle at home ?….
    I was shocked when I saw in FB the Romanian baptism that killed the baby. I was surprised the child’s parents didn’t do anything to the priest or even stop him as the child was crying uncontrollably.
    interesting about Hillsong. I knew that Brian Houston had stepped down but I didn’t know about his replacement.
    Thank you Tom .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments, Crissy!

      Why make a trip to the RC church to get “take out” ashes when you can make them at home with a burning candle and paper? Whoops! I forgot a priest has “blessed” the “official” ashes.

      I watched some Eastern Orthodox infant baptisms this morning on YouTube. So revolting on multiple levels.

      It will be “interesting” to see how Hillsong “weathers” these “challenges.” In this era of undiscernment within the church, I suspect they’ll do fine.


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