Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/25/21

It’s unconscionable that Donald Trump was invited to speak at a “church service” to forward his political agenda, but it all makes perfect sense to Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of the leading exponents of American Christian Nationalism.

Pope Francis continues to tighten the screws on the Latin mass, the cherished bastion of conservative and traditionalist Catholics.

It looks like this “controversy” over two paintings depicting George Floyd as Jesus Christ has run out of steam, with the president of the Catholic university being scrutinized offering nebulous apologies all-around and directing that a third painting not be displayed.

Pope Francis’ remarks condemning violence against women are ironic given how Catholic nuns were abused and instructed to practice self-mortification/extreme asceticism/self-harm at RC convents for 1000 years.

This article states that “24 percent of U.S. adults described themselves as born-again or evangelical, down 6 percentage points from 2007.” The terms, “born-again” and “evangelical” have become almost meaningless. The percentage of Americans who have genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is undoubtedly significantly less than 24%.

The movies, “The Exorcist” and “The Omen,” have a special significance for me because the Lord used them to kindle an interest in spiritual things 45 years ago. Believers know from the Bible that demonic activity and possession are real. The Roman Catholic church is Satan’s counterfeit church and a major hub of demonic activity. For decades, I’ve said that the most dangerous character in exorcist horror films was the Catholic priest with his false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Genuine Christians differ in their views regarding Christmas. The Puritans who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early-17th century refused to celebrate it. Their rationale? The Roman Catholic church had “christianized” the pagan celebration of Saturnalia into the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The word “Christmas” itself is a shortening of the Roman Catholic “Christ mass” held on December 25th. Several of the customs and practices of Saturnalia were adapted as part of the Christmas celebration. I personally don’t go out of my way to celebrate Christmas, but I also don’t crusade against it. I guess I would say I’m “Christmas neutral.” Christmas is largely a non-religious cultural event in the minds of today’s secular celebrators. Most of those who do view Christmas as a religious holiday to some degree have not trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. However, Christmas can be used as an opportunity for genuine believers to spread the Gospel. People who would not consider attending church any other day may consider going to church on Christmas week and Easter. Our unsaved oldest son and his family came over for Christmas Eve dinner last night and I read aloud Luke 2 prior to the meal. Genuine Christians can sincerely celebrate the incarnation of God the Son in good faith in spite of the pagan and Catholic origins of Christmas. Each individual believer must follow the Lord’s leading on this issue without condemning those who have a different view.

Several years ago, a zealous Christmas-hating blogger uncharitably insisted that I was not saved because I was Christmas-neutral. If Christmas-hating proselytizers desire to be consistent, they should also hate and soapbox against other cultural practices with pagan roots such as birthday celebrations, wedding rings, many funerary practices, celebrating New Year’s Eve/Day and Valentine’s Day, and covering the mouth while yawning, a pagan superstition. They should picket the many U.S. courthouses that are adorned with a statue of the Roman goddess, Justitia (“Justice”). Christmas-hating believers who criticize others should refrain from using the names of the days of the week or the months of the year because they all honor pagan gods. They should also move out of towns and cities named after Catholic saints such as St. Louis and San Francisco. You may object to a single strand of Christmas tree tinsel in your home, and that’s absolutely fine with me, just don’t come down on other believers because they don’t share the exact same militantly anti-Christmas view as you.

28 thoughts on “Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/25/21

      1. Thanks, Mandy! I usually don’t comment on the “Christmas debate,” but I felt like giving my two cents this year. The anti-Christmas posts have been coming out since after Thanksgiving and they always get my brain neurons firing.

        Our oldest son and his family came over for dinner last night and I’ll be calling my sisters later today. What are your plans for today?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have purposefully stayed away from all of those posts! My mom is here and we just has a nice Christmas breakfast. My dad will come over for dinner later which will be nice. For divorced folks, my parents have always gotten along extremely well (a fact I didn’t appreciate when I was younger!) and we can enjoy time together. I am glad y’all were able to see your son and his family last night, that’s special!!! Will pray for your convos with sisters🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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  1. You’ve covered quite a bit of ground in this week’s Roundup, Tom. I agree with your thoughts on Trump speaking at First Baptist, Dallas. Pastor Jeffress’ changing views on the Catholic church (something you have covered nicely on your blog) shows us that he some problems in the area of discernment.
    That “said,” I liked quite a bit of what Trump said. Trump always knows his audience and knows how to play to it. I would be shocked if he talked about Jesus in other public appearances as he did in this one. I liked a lot of what he said. Still, a worship service is a worship service and not a political opportunity.
    Trump is right that he certainly isn’t our savior. I only hope that he would act more like he believes that is true. He has stated more than once, that I’m aware, that he hasn’t done anything wrong and doesn’t need forgiveness. Maybe he was quoted out of context, and I don’t know his heart like God does, of course, but I wonder if he really is a Christian. To his credit, he hasn’t been afraid to be seen holding a Bible.
    I saw the report about a “Third of U.S. adults ID as ‘nones’” on the evening news last night. Typical that the mainstream news would share that with us on Christmas eve. Still, I think the stats are accurate. The first world seems bent on removing Jesus from everything including Christmas. A friend of mine shared with me how bad things have gotten in Europe. In Norway, even though a majority belong to the state church, Christmas has been turned into a celebration of hobbits and such. Jesus gets less press there than He does here.
    Your thoughts on militant anti-Christmas folks are interesting. I don’t understand how anyone can come down on a day when believers sing songs filled with the gospel message, some written long ago. Anyone who knows the story behind “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day” might lighten up a bit.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tom.
    God’s blessings in the New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for all of the good comments, ChrisI started out as a new Christian at a church that was very much into politics, so I now have very little tolerance for pastors and churches that are enmeshed in politics.

      I grew up as a Roman Catholic where the seasonal liturgy was THE THING, so now I don’t get excited about the holidays, BUT I don’t begrudge my brothers and sisters who enjoy celebrating the birth of Christ and His resurrection. I think it’s better to use these holidays in the cause of Christ (and enjoy the time with family) than to “circle the wagons” or bolt the bunker door.

      Thanks, Chris! And a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgot its Saturday! Wow I need to read this after lunch! We have on my wife’s sister over today; had a great Duck lunch yesterday with my side of the family! Still need to squeeze in sermon prep!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. One see politics can be one religion whether with the Left (bringing in Flyod as a saint) or Jeffrress with Trump.
    2.Unlike the pope I don’t have a problem with going all the way and saying domestic abuse against a wife is satanic
    3. “For decades, I’ve said that the most dangerous character in exorcist horror films was the Catholic priest with his false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.” I agree. As a heathen kid I was also struck by movies showing the priest having power against demonic forces…so that helps the cause of Romanism rather than hurts it.
    4. I think real evangelicals who are saved are less than 24% too.
    5. Wow you go on an argument reducing to absurdity with Christmas objection. My posts on refuting “Christmas” Bible contradictions always spark CHristians crusading against Christmas and upset with my posts. I just call it “Christmas” as short hand referencing the birth of Jesus and surrounding narratives. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good comments!

      1. Good observation on how both the political Left and Right manipulate religion.
      2. Yup, a husband violently abusing a wife is Satanic. Also Satanic is a man claiming to be the Vicar of Christ.
      3. Yeah, I cringe at priest characters in exorcist movies having power of demons, when they are agents of demons.
      4. Surveys show that a sizeable percentage of people claiming to be “born-again” and “evangelicals” have no Biblical understanding.
      5. This militant Christmas-hatred reminds me of some other extremist aspects of fundamentalism, like KJV-1611 Only-ism. But even prominent IFB leaders like John R. Rice and Bob Jones celebrated Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Re. the Christmas issue I agree Tom, “we must follow the Lord’s leading on this issue without condemning those who have a different view.” Romans 14v5&6 springs to mind. “He that regarded the day regard it unto the Lord… let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” I very much use this (family get-together) time of year as an opportunity for outreach and definitely feel the Lord’s approval in this.
    Yesterday morning we got very bad news that my mother-in-law (92) is very ill (kidney problems) They’ve taken her off IV fluids. It’s horrible. Anyone reading this please pray for her. Members of the family are allowed to see her this afternoon 5pm Irish time. (Please think of us) My daughter and I (both Christians) are included in this. My daughter very close to her Gran and crying this morning. My husband prayed with Gran and witnessed to her yesterday. Pray for us as we talk to Gran (from a R.C. background). “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I couldn’t sleep last night and praying for her in my waking hours. There are so many unvaccinated people with Covid in hospitals now that elderly are being forgotten, neglected and allowed to die under unacceptable circumstances and strict visiting regimes. Thank you for praying.

    Liked by 1 person

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