Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #138

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Romans 2:1-16 on “Unreasonable Thinking.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 1:9-15 on “A Burden to Share the Gospel.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, May 15th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Unreasonable Thinking – Sermon begins at 17:50 mark

Pastor Cody Andrews – Having a Burden for Lost Souls

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/28/22

San Francisco Catholic archbishop, Salvatore J. Cordileone (above photo, right), issued a statement on Friday, May 20th saying that he had barred U.S. Congressional House Speaker and self-described “devout” Catholic, Nancy Pelosi, from receiving the Jesus wafer in her home-diocese because of her enthusiastic support for pro-abortion legislation. Catholics are instructed in their catechism that eating the Jesus wafer is the “source and summit of Christian spirituality.” The wafer wars began in early-2020 after pro-abortion Catholic, Joe Biden, was elected POTUS and conservative Catholic prelates began proposing that all pro-abortion Catholic politicians be barred from communion. Pope Francis quelled the uproar by publicly affirming both Biden and Pelosi. The bishops quietly countered by planning a three-year “eucharistic revival campaign” aimed at educating Catholics about proper Jesus wafer etiquette/reverence, including the requirement of being in a sinless “state of grace” (impossible!) when consuming the wafer. Although he denies it, it’s highly probable that the recent news of the leaked SCOTUS draft indicating the forthcoming overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and Biden’s and Pelosi’s passionate vows to defend “reproductive rights,” emboldened Cordileone to defy Francis and bar Pelosi. The Speaker will be allowed to consume the Jesus wafer in Washington, D.C. where the liberal archbishop, Wilton Gregory, has jurisdiction. The wafer wars continue, no genuine Gospel in sight.

It’s been three months since mass murderer, Vladimir Putin, ordered the Russian military to invade Ukraine and yet pragmatic pope Francis has still not condemned Putin by name. Francis has even shifted some of the onus for the invasion from Putin to NATO, accusing the strictly-defensive alliance of “barking…at Russia’s door.”

Last week, the bankrupt Rochester Catholic diocese offered $148 million to the 475 survivors of priest sexual abuse and diocesan cover-up. A lawyer representing many of the claimants said the proposed settlement was woefully insufficient. A judge will rule on the offer.

Sweeping sexual abuse under the rug to protect the “reputation” of an institution at the expense of the victims was standard procedure throughout society. The SBC must now face up to past failures in this regard. It’s ironic that at the same time that safeguards/protocols are being increasingly mandated to protect children from sexual abuse, the L*** steamroller increasingly recruits children to its agenda via public school and popular entertainment with society’s approval.

Dallas Jenkins, the alleged evangelical steering “The Chosen” trainwreck, has defended Mormon involvement in the production, saying, why, of course he doesn’t believe “all” LDS are genuine Christians, just like he doesn’t believe all evangelicals are Christians or all Catholics are Christians. Huh? There’s little discernment within big tent evangelicalism these days.

Pope Francis has named 20th-century Filipino archbishop Teofilo Bastida Camomot “venerable”—the third of the required eleven steps in canonizing a “saint.” Catholics claim Camomot was able to levitate and bilocate (be in two places at one time), like several of the Catholic saints. I don’t know if it’s myth or fact, but levitating and bilocating are witchcraft. Catholicism’s notion of sainthood, super-good people who merited salvation and now act as heavenly intercessors/mediators, is blatantly anti-Biblical on several levels.

Josh Duggar was raised in a loving and strict Christian family. The Duggars are members of the independent fundamental Baptist movement. What went wrong? In some cases, the outside of the cup may appear clean, but the inside is filthy.

Why is it that in this country a very troubled 18-year-old is able to walk into a gun store and easily purchase two military-style AR-15 semi-automatic rifles? There have been 27 school shootings so far this year. The culture has descended into blatant sin and violence.


Tom’s retirement countdown – 22 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #1: “Petros and Petra are two different words”

Today, we begin our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). Thanks for joining me and I hope to see you every Friday for the next seventy-seven weeks.

capture30

The first chapter of this book is titled, “Rock of the Church, Matthew 16:18,” and deals with the Catholic claim of Petrine primacy, i.e., that Peter was chief among the apostles and the first pope based upon Matthew 16:18: “You are Peter (Greek: petros, “small stone or pebble”), and on this rock (petra, “a large rock or rock mass; a solid rock formation”) I will build my church.” Roman Catholics interpret this verse to mean that Matthew, and hence, Jesus Christ, intended “Peter” and “rock” as one and the same. Connected to this claim of Petrine primacy is the Roman Catholic church’s assertion that its long line of popes are the divinely anointed successors of Peter and that it is therefore the only authorized and true church.

Broussard examines seven Protestant responses to Catholicism’s claim of Petrine primacy based upon Matthew 16:18. Please bear with me. As you will see, Broussard scrupulously builds his false case far beyond the point of mendacious overkill, but we will eventually get to the crux of the debate.

Let’s look at the first Protestant response along with Broussard’s attempted rebuttal.

Protestant response #1: “‘Petros’ and ‘Petra’ are two different words”

The implication is that two different and opposing words were used because two different meanings were intended.

Broussard’s reply

While Peter (petros) means “rock” it is spelled differently than the rock (petra) Jesus said He would build His church upon. Broussard will begin to focus on the difference in meaning between the two words next week, but for now he posits on why Matthew might have possibly used the two different Greek words for rock. He suggests,

A) Matthew’s Greek-reading audience was not as familiar with Peter/petros, so he resorted to the more familiar petra for the second noun.

B) Matthew used petra because he desired to make a connection to another passage in his gospel, Matthew 7:24-25:

24 “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock (petra); 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (petra).

C) Different words were used “to preserve the distinction between a proper noun (Petros as a proper name) and a common noun (in this case, petra as a metaphor)” (p. 20).

Broussard concludes, “Given that we can provide plausible reasons as to why there might be a difference in words without denying that the rock refers to Peter, the argument that Peter is not the rock, simply based on the use of petros and petra are different words, fails.”

My rebuttal

It’s difficult to address this “Why were two different words, petros and petra, used in Matthew 16:18?” question without also discussing the different meanings of the words, but as I mentioned, Broussard begins to introduce that argument next week. Suffice to say that Matthew’s Greek-reading audience would have immediately picked up on the starkly contrasting meanings of the two words. Matthew would not have used the two polar-opposite words if he intended the same meaning. While Broussard congratulates himself for presenting “plausible reasons” as to why Matthew used opposing words to allegedly intend the same meaning, I see Broussard’s efforts as Jesuitical sophistry and grasping at straws. Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, recorded Jesus Christ using two polar-contrasting words to convey that Peter and “this rock” were contrastingly different. That was the intention of Matthew and that would have been the interpretation of his 1st-century, Greek-reading audience.

Next week: Protestant response #2: “Petros and Petra mean different things.”

Throwback Thursday: I’m Catholic and I believe my good outweighs my bad

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on August 3, 2016 and has been revised.

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Do you think Roman Catholics believe in the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? Please watch the six-minute video below in which evangelist, Ray Comfort, reaches out to Paul, a typical Roman Catholic who believes in salvation by merit as he has been taught by his church.

There are currently about seventy-million people who identify as Roman Catholics in the United States. If you could ask all of them, “How does a person get to heaven?,” you would get a very wide range of responses, but the most popular answer by far would be something like, “A person’s good must outweigh their bad.” Roman Catholicism teaches Jesus Christ died for sins, but also teaches He established the sacraments to administer grace to Catholics so that they could obey the Ten Commandments and church rules and become increasingly sanctified (holier) so they could possibly merit Heaven at the time of their death. The church also teaches those outside the church can merit Heaven if they “follow the light they are given” and are “good.”

Only a small percentage of Catholics can actually articulate their church’s theology, but the overriding belief is clear – “good” people go to Heaven and “bad” people go to hell. Naturally, most Catholics believe that they’re good enough to get to Heaven. After all, they haven’t killed anyone or cheated on their spouse or live-in partner.

Of course, none of the above is the Gospel found in God’s Word. We’re all sinners and we all deserve eternal punishment. But God loves us so much he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with Him to all those who repent (turn from their rebellion against God) and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone.

🎼 History of the Byrds

Our ” The Byrds’ Top 25 Songs” countdown series ran from September 29, 2021 until March 23rd of this year and over that six-month span we had a lot of fun delving into the music of the Byrds and some of the history of the band (see the index here). Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube video compilation that ties in nicely with our previous Byrds series.

Musicologist, Matt Williamson, maintains a YouTube channel, “Pop Goes the 60s,” in which he examines the history of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll. Williamson usually devotes one or possibly two videos to the history of a particular 60s band, but he recently released four videos that document the history of the very influential Byrds, from the band’s founding in 1965 to its demise in 1973.

I enjoyed this series quite a bit. Each video is 26-27 minutes long. Williamson did his homework and presents a lot of information, and while he doesn’t get all of the facts 100% correct, I give him an A for effort. Enjoy!

History of the Byrds – Part One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx-B9VWBzXg

History of the Byrds – Part Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmmrIOWOZWc

History of the Byrds – Part Three
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmBSRwbaeIc

History of the Byrds – Part Four
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN5U_M4v0J4

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #137

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from 2 Timothy 1:5 on “A Mom’s Legacy of Faith.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 1:1-7 on “Why We Are Servants.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, May 8.

Pastor Roger Copeland – A Mom’s Legacy of Faith

Pastor Cody Andrews – Why We Are Servants

The Rise of Catholic Indifference

Deadly Indifference: How the Church Lost Her Mission and How We Can Reclaim It
By Eric Sammons
Crisis Publications, 2021, 304 pp.

1 Star

The Roman Catholic church has always taught baptismal regeneration and the complementary doctrine of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Latin: “outside the Church [there is] no salvation.” Two exceptions were added to these doctrines, those being baptismus sanguinis (“baptism by blood”) and baptismus flaminis (“baptism by desire”). The former declared that those who were martyred before they were baptized could be saved, while the latter declared that those who desired to be baptized, but died before the sacrament could be administered, could also be saved. Those two exceptions were historically understood as “rare” occurrences, but today the Catholic church teaches that Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and even atheists can be saved implicitly through baptismus flaminis/baptism by (unconscious) desire. How did this teaching evolve? In “Deadly Indifference,” traditionalist Catholic editor, Eric Sammons (“Crisis” magazine), examines the history of the expansion of baptismus flaminis and the implications for the declining RCC.

Beginning in the Middle Ages, some Catholic theologians and philosophers began to mull over the spiritual status of those pagans in distant lands who had never heard the Catholic gospel. The notion of “invincible ignorance” was born, which stated that “some” pagan souls might desire baptism if they were aware of it, and that they could also be saved via the baptism by desire exception. The teaching was bandied about by Catholic theologians for centuries and even gained papal approval in the Singulari Quadam allocution issued by Pius IX in 1854: “It is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God.” Invincible ignorance was popularly viewed as the theoretical exception rather than the rule as Catholic missionaries determinedly continued their efforts to convert non-Catholics across the globe.

However, as modernism/liberalism took hold in Catholic academia and episcopacies in the twentieth century, “invincible ignorance” and baptismus flaminis gradually became the standard regarding non-Catholics and were codified in the Second Vatican Council declarations, Unitatis redintegratio (1964) and Nostra aetate (1965). It took some time for this new liberal paradigm to filter down to the seminaries, rectories, convents, and pews – as a young Catholic grammar school student in the early and mid-1960s, I distinctly remember being taught by the priests and nuns that Protestants and all non-Catholics were destined for hell – but filter down it did. Sammons uses a “salvation spectrum” to demonstrate the current range of Catholic teaching/belief regarding extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. There is the absolutist on one extreme, who rejects the aforementioned exceptions. This view was infamously espoused by Jesuit Leonard Feeney (see here). Sammons states that, unlike Feeney, he is not an absolutist, but an exclusivist. He concedes the exception of baptismus flaminis as legitimate, but only in “rare” cases. Sammons posits that modern popes, John XXIII, Paul VI, JP II, Benedict XVI were in the middle “inclusivist” range in varying degrees, but that Francis is at the opposite extreme as a pluralist bordering on universalism.

The result of the expansion of baptismus flaminis and “invincible ignorance” is that there is no incentive for Catholic missions, since it is now taught that it’s possible for every non-Catholic religionist and even atheists to merit Heaven. Another result is an ever-increasing number of cradle Catholics are dropping away from the church because of the prevailing indifferentism. Their thinking: “If non-Catholic religionists and atheists have a good shot at Heaven, it makes no sense to have to suffer through an hour of boring mass every Sunday.”

Traditionalist Sammons, would like to return the Catholic church to pre-conciliar militancy, when baptismus flaminis and “invincible ignorance” were understood as the “rare” exceptions rather than the rule. He desires that Protestants be once-again categorized as “heretics” and that they be targets for proselytization by Catholic missionaries along with all other non-Catholics. Sammons also pines for the day when “religious freedom” is a memory and the Catholic church once again rules hand-in-glove with civil governments (pp. 50-51). Nope, I’m not kidding. How does Sammons put the horse back in the barn? He encourages fellow traditionalists to turn the clock back to pre-conciliar militancy, parish by parish.

We’re seeing signs that this rad-trad militant Catholicism that Sammons espouses is gaining traction and getting some internet notoriety, but the reality is that it’s still a small minority among Catholics.

Postscript: This book was valuable to me only in that it details some of the historical expansion of baptismus flaminis that I wasn’t aware of. In contradiction to all of this Catholic internecine squabbling over legalistic details (i.e., if baptismus flaminis is only rarely legitimate, how rare is rare? 0.1% of non-Catholics? 1%? 5%? 10%?) is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Neither Francis’ progressive pluralism or Sammons’ militant traditionalism have any connection to the genuine Gospel of grace. Some might be surprised that evangelical darling, Billy Graham, also embraced the teaching of “invincible ignorance.” Watch Graham unabashedly propagate the heresy of invincible ignorance in a 1:30 minute video here.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/22/22

In 2018, Pope Francis co-orchestrated the Vatican-Beijing accord, which granted the Chinese communist government partial control of the Chinese Catholic church. Francis saw the accord as a pragmatic compromise to ensure the church’s survival and growth in China, however, conservative Chinese Catholics view the accord as a betrayal. Six-million Chinese Catholics are registered with the communist government while another six-million are defiantly unregistered. Cardinal Joseph Zen, a leader of the conservative Catholics and the biggest critic of the accord, was recently arrested by the communist regime on charges of “collusion with foreign forces.” The Vatican had no comment.

Pope Francis will be visiting Canada in July to apologize for the abuse of indigenous children in Catholic-run residential schools. Papal apologies for past historical atrocities, persecutions, and abuses linked to the Roman Catholic church began with John Paul II and Benedict XVI and now continue with Francis. If RCC popes and prelates of the past were led by the Holy Spirit as Catholicism claims, why do contemporary popes spend so much time apologizing on their behalf?

Last Sunday, a shooter killed 10 shoppers at a Tops grocery store in nearby Buffalo. On the same day on the opposite coast, a gunman opened fire on members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Laguna Woods, California. The culture is becoming increasingly violent.

It’s hard to believe that some American Christian nationalists venerate mass murderer, Vladimir Putin.

I’m seeing more and more manifestations of this traditionalist-Catholic radicalism.

This article is a good example of how Catholics are totally focused on Mary.


Tom’s retirement countdown – 23 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response”

We recently completed our nine-month series in which we examined Catholic philosopher and apologist, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). I was mulling over several Catholic apologetics books for our next series and stumbled upon…

Meeting the Protestant Response: How to Answer Common Comebacks to Catholic Arguments
By Karlo Broussard
Catholic Answers Press, 2022, 288 pp.

As some of you may recall, we examined Broussard’s previous book, “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019) a couple of years ago.

This new book is divided into twenty-four chapters by subject matter, which include seventy-seven “common Protestant comebacks” to Catholic apologetical arguments, followed by Broussard’s responses. We’ll examine and answer one of Broussard’s counter-arguments every Friday.

Unlike Kreeft’s “shoot from the hip,” personal philosophical style in “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic,” Broussard uses ample Bible proof-texts throughout this book, so my responses will require much more research and preparation.

I hope you’ll join me over the next seventy-seven weeks as we respond to “Meeting the Protestant Response.”

Throwback Thursday: Yes, I am “in Christ.” No, you’re not. Yes, I AM! No, you’re NOT!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 30, 2016 and has been revised.

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Last night, I was reviewing some discussions I had with a couple of Roman Catholics back when I first began this blog. The dialogue reached a point where the Catholics claimed to be “in Christ” just as much as I claimed to be “in Christ.” I was a Catholic for twenty-seven years; educated in a Catholic grammar and high school, and I’ve learned even more about Catholicism since I left that church and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983. I’m fully aware that Catholic parlance is filled with references to “Jesus the Savior,” “faith,” “grace,” and the like, but when Catholics use such terms, they mean something entirely different than what evangelicals understand.

In my exchanges with the Catholics about being “in Christ,” I said the term referred to a believer’s position before a Holy God; covered in Christ’s righteousness. I have no righteousness of my own. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, His perfect righteousness was imputed to me. In Holy God’s perfect court of law, I stand completely condemned by my sin, but my Savior took my place and bore the penalty for my sin on the cross. I am washed and redeemed by His blood and I’m able to go free ONLY because of His righteousness.

In contrast, Rome teaches that God’s grace is infused into the Catholic through its sacraments, empowering them to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and live an increasingly sanctified life, enabling them to merit Heaven. So a Catholic faithful to their church’s teachings cannot rightly say they are “in Christ,” because their salvation ultimately depends upon how well they obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) right up until the moment of their death. Positionally before God, they are NOT “in Christ,” they are “outside of Christ” and still in their sins because they are attempting to merit their own salvation rather than accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

My Catholics friends were quite taken aback that I would dare to suggest that they were not “in Christ.” Who was I to tell them that? Was I making myself out to be God Almighty by deciding who was going to Heaven and who wasn’t? How rude! How narrow-minded and judgmental!

But God’s Word says there is only one Way to salvation, and that’s Jesus Christ. Christ is either your Savior or He is not. It’s not enough to call Christ your Savior, you must be trusting in Him by faith alone. If you tell me that salvation is merited by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) through sacramental grace, as Catholicism teaches, then I can tell you with absolute confidence that Jesus is not your Savior and you are not “in Christ.”

To illustrate, let’s suppose you’re a passenger on a sinking cruise ship, and I show up in my rescue boat and beg you to get in. Praising and admiring the rescue boat for its wonderful qualities won’t save you. You have to abandon your ship and get into the rescue boat. You have to be in the rescue boat for the boat to save you. Likewise, gushing about “Jesus the Savior,” “faith,” and “grace” won’t save you when you’re still trying to merit your salvation by your own efforts. You’re not “in Christ,” you’re denying Christ and trusting in your own abilities and “goodness.”

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

In today’s climate of plurality, tolerance, and relativism, theological debates such as the one above are viewed as unseemly and repugnant and are to be avoided at all costs. The only requirement, according to Rick Warren and friends, is that we all nebulously “just love Jesus.” That’s a sinking ship, friends.


What does it mean to be in Christ?
https://www.gotquestions.org/in-Christ.html