Throwback Thursday: Meriting eternal life?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 15, 2016 and has been revised.


I have a few Roman Catholic publications that I keep for reference purposes including the “New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal: Prayerbook and Hymnal for 2016.” The missal contains the Bible readings for every Sunday mass during the year along with some of the prayers initiated by the priest and the responses from the congregation. I rarely refer to the missal, but for some reason I pulled it off my bookshelf this morning.

This coming Sunday, September 18th, at thousands of Catholic churches across the country, the mass will begin with the following liturgical exchange:

Entrance antiphon (priest): I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. Should they cry to me in any distress, I will hear them, and I will be their Lord forever.

Collect (congregation): O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Did you all catch that?

Rome gives lip service to grace and faith, but the bottom line is every Catholic is instructed they must ultimately merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments, an impossibility. Millions of Catholics throughout the nation will be praying this same prayer this coming Sunday in the hope that they will be able to merit eternal life by obeying the Law.

“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20

Yes, Roman Catholics are a mission field.

God’s Word is an inexhaustible fountain of wisdom. How many times have you read a familiar Bible passage or verse and one day the Holy Spirit fully illuminates it to you for the first time? It’s a WOW! moment.

“And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” – Luke 5:39

I’ve read Luke 5:39 many times before, but when I read it two nights ago the blinders finally fell off. Oh, I get it now! Jesus is saying we’d much rather hang onto our cherished religious traditions and rituals than accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Becoming born-again? Accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior? Catholics laugh at all that talk as being Bible-belt gobbledygook. I know. When I was a Catholic I used to chide Christians and laugh at it too. Catholics say, “Don’t give me that “born-again” stuff. You take religion way too seriously. What was good enough for Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Dad is good enough for me. Just give me those Ten Commandments to follow and I’ll be fine.”

Throwback Thursday: Showing proper respect to the Jesus wafer

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on July 13, 2016 and has been revised.


Evangelicals go to church to worship the Lord with fellow believers through prayer, song, and instruction in the Word. The Lord is present with us spiritually as we worship Him together.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20

Roman Catholics go to their churches on Sunday for a quite a different reason. Catholics are taught by their church that priests change bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. The priest then offers up the Jesus wafers to God the Father as a sacrifice for sins. Catholics then line up to receive and consume the Jesus wafer. They are taught that after they take the wafer into their mouth and swallow it, that Jesus is physically inside of them for 15 minutes until the stomach acids completely break down the bread wafer. During those fifteen minutes, the Jesus wafer allegedly imparts graces to the individual so that they are better able to avoid committing mortal sins. Catholics are taught they must perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) in order to merit Heaven. Minor venial sins will sidetrack them to Purgatory for an indefinite period. After all the supplicants have received their Jesus wafer, the priest places the “leftover” Jesuses in a locked box called the tabernacle, situated on or near church altars.

Today, I was listening to the 6/9/16 podcast of  the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show on the Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, NY, with host, Steve Quebral, and Catholic priest, Rick Poblocki, taking questions from the listeners. Steve started off the show by complaining that Catholics often don’t show proper respect to the Jesus wafer while they’re in church and he asked Rick to review the rules of proper Jesus wafer etiquette.

Priest Rick broke it down into three basic steps:

  1. Catholic must enter the church quietly, respectfully, and reverently. Rick remarked that the Jesus wafer is “resting” in the tabernacle and Catholics must acknowledge “his” presence with the proper respect.
  2. Before entering their pew, a Catholic must look at the tabernacle and genuflect, bending the right knee (according to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal) to the ground, in homage to the Jesus wafer.
  3. While they are sitting, kneeling, and standing in the pew during the mass, the Catholic should focus their attention on the Jesus wafers in the tabernacle and the Jesus wafers newly consecrated by the priest.

Those are the basics. For more detailed instructions on proper Jesus wafer and mass etiquette see the pdf below:

Click to access Catholic%20Mass%20Etiquette,%20I,II,III.pdf

Catholic friend, Jesus is not a bread wafer and He’s not locked away in a little box. The Bible says He’s currently seated at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for all who accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Man-made religious rituals and long religious laundry lists don’t save. God made His Good News of salvation so simple that even a ten-year-old child can understand it. There is no distinction between “mortal” sin and “venial” sin. Sin is sin and we’re all sinners – sinners deserve eternal punishment – Jesus Christ, God the Son, paid the penalty for our sins on the cross – Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and offers the gift of eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sinful rebellion against God and receive Him as Savior by faith alone. We don’t need priests, altars, and daily sacrifices anymore. Jesus did it all! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today and ask Him to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – Matthew 24:23-27

De-substantiation? What happens to the Jesus wafer after it is swallowed?

A short time ago in a weekend roundup comment, I referred to Catholicism’s obscure teaching regarding the alleged, 15-minute-only, limited presence of Jesus in communion that I’d like to expound upon a bit. This discussion gets a little messy by necessity so I apologize to those readers with very sensitive natures.

Roman Catholicism has catalog after catalog filled with its rituals, ceremonies, and traditions, but the most important of its rituals, by far, is the “celebration of the eucharist” at every mass. The Roman church goes so far as to proclaim that the eucharist (Greek eukharistia “thanksgiving”) is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324).

The RCC claims that during the eucharist portion of the mass, the priest transforms bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. This mysterious transformation is called transubstantiation. The priest then offers up the alleged Jesus wafers and wine as a sacrifice to God the Father for the sins* of the congregants and any others who are named, including the pope, the local bishop, souls in purgatory etc. The congregants then line up in the aisle to receive the Jesus elements from the priest. Catholics are taught the Jesus elements impart graces that enable them to resist sin and do good so as to hopefully merit Heaven at the moment of their death. The Roman church bases its transubstantiation doctrine on a hyper-literalist interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper accounts in the gospels.

With that introduction, we can now get down to the (very) nitty gritty of this post. Let’s go back to the pious Catholic supplicant who received the Jesus wafer from the priest and placed it in his or her mouth. They return to their pew and kneel down on the kneeler, contemplating that they have just swallowed Jesus. What then? The Jesus wafer goes down the communicant’s esophagus and into their stomach where it is broken down by gastric acids. The particles/molecules then travel through the intestines where nutrients are absorbed. Any remaining matter is expelled through the colon and rectum.

Wait a minute! Do you mean to say that some of the Jesus wafer particles are expelled into the public sewer system and that the discharged Jesus matter from the Catholics in the community is mixed together with human excrement down at the local waste treatment facility? That sounds like a real problem. However, the Catholic catechism teaches that Jesus remains present in the wafer particles/molecules only for “as long as the Eucharistic species subsist” (CCC 1377), which is generally assumed to be about 15 minutes. Why 15 minutes? Why not 10 minutes? Why not 20 minutes? Who decided on 15 minutes? So after 15 minutes, Jesus allegedly leaves the eucharist particles/molecules and returns to Heaven, conveniently avoiding the messier parts of digestive waste elimination. What shall we call this process? De-substantiation? Have I coined a new term? There is very little official information from the RCC about this obscure, 15-minute subsistence dilemma. It’s another one of Catholicism’s “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” religious-calculus conundrums. Pious Catholics just go along with the program without thinking through the inevitable messy consequences of the transubstantiation rabbit hole.

Gospel Christians believe, as the Bible states, that communion/the Lord’s supper is a remembrance of how Jesus Christ gave His body and shed His blood as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin.

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” – Luke 22:19

Jesus defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave and He offers eternal life to all those who repent of their sin and trust in Him as their Savior by faith alone. Once again, Catholics get hung up on the physical/temporal rather than just believing the spiritual truth of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

Postscript 1: Question: Since the Bible teaches that God the Holy Spirit already indwells all genuine believers, why would Roman Catholicism make such a HUGE deal about (allegedly) physically ingesting God the Son at Sunday mass every week? Answer: Because the eucharist/transubstantiation doctrine equates to tremendous control for the Catholic clergy.

Postscript 2: Catholicism claims the sacrifice of the mass is a “re-presentation” of Jesus’s sacrifice at Calvary, but the Bible says there is NO MORE sacrifice for sin.

“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

Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He is NOT situated on Catholic altars as a broken host/victim.

*The RCC hierarchy stipulates that only venial sins can be forgiven at mass. They claim mortal sins can only be forgiven by a priest in confession.

For research purposes, see the Catholic article, “How long is Jesus present in the Eucharist after we’ve received Communion?”

Throwback Thursday: Next time you drive past a Catholic church on Sunday morning…

For today’s “Throwback Thursday” installment, we’re going to revisit a slightly re-edited post that was first published back on August 28th, 2015.


Many evangelicals pass a Catholic church on Sunday morning and probably think to themselves, “Sure, Catholics worship God a little differently than we do, but we’re all worshiping the same God, that’s the important thing.” But let’s examine that thought. At an evangelical worship service there’s typically some announcements and singing of hymns and songs of praise for about a half an hour followed by an hour of preaching from God’s Word by the minister. The Gospel is presented and the unsaved are invited to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The Catholic “mass” is quite different. At the mass, there are also announcements, singing, a couple of very short readings from the Bible and a short seven or eight-minute “homily” (sermon). But the main focus of the mass is the lengthy ritual whereby the priest allegedly changes bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus. Jesus spoke about being the “bread of life,” but Catholics interpret those passages in a literalist sense that defies sound exegesis and a spiritual understanding of God’s Word. The priest then offers up Jesus the “host” (i.e., “victim”) to God the Father as a sacrifice for the sins of all the participants and any others who are mentioned. The mass attendees then line up to take the Jesus wafer and Jesus wine from the priest and consume them, believing grace is imparted that will wash away “venial” sins and supposedly help them avoid committing “mortal” sins in the future in order to hopefully merit their salvation at the moment of their death.

Catholicism is really an extension of the Old Testament Levitical sacrificial system with the priest serving as a mediator between God and the people. The priest is essential to the Catholic sacramental and works-righteousness system. Without his ordained “powers” and role as mediator, the people are doomed and the Catholic hierarchy has always desired to keep it that way.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5.

However, Jesus completely did away with the Old Testament sacrificial system when He was crucified and breathed His last breath with the words, “It is finished,” and the veil to the Holy of Holies of Jerusalem’s temple was torn in two, giving all people direct access to God through Jesus Christ the Savior. God’s Word says Jesus is currently seated at the right hand of the Father, NOT on Catholic altars as a broken victim, being sacrificed again and again, thousands of times daily all over the world.

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” – Hebrews 10:11-12.

Here’s a passage from a Catholic source that should put the Catholic priesthood and the mass in stark perspective for all evangelicals:

“When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the victim for the sins of man…The priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal victim for the sins of man – not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo, Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s commands.” – from “The Faith of Millions” by Father John O’Brien, Nihil obstat; Rev. Lawrence Gollner, Censor Librorum Imprimatur: Leo A. Pursley, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend; March 16, 1974.

What anti-Biblical BLASPHEMY!

So when you drive by that Catholic church next Sunday morning, remember they’re NOT worshiping God the Son inside, rather they believe they’re sacrificing Him on their altars as part of a process to merit their salvation. Rather than trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone for their salvation, they’re relying on priests, sacraments, “good” works, and “obeying” the Ten Commandments (impossible!)

A Few Catholic Conundrums – Part 1: The Case of the Abused Altar Linens

I listen to Catholic talk radio daily to collect fodder for this blog. Most of the chatter either isn’t very noteworthy or involves topics I’ve already addressed, but two consecutive shows from last month brought up topics that fit right into my “Catholic legalistic rabbit hole” category.

Called to Communion – EWTN Radio
Moderator: Thom Price, Host: David Anders
Podcast 4/23/19 – 24:58 mark

This first episode I’ll call “The Case of the Abused Altar Linens.” Let’s begin by noting that Catholicism teaches that at its masses, priests transform bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ to be offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the congregants. Mass-goers then consume the Jesus wafer (and Jesus wine by some), believing it imparts graces that help them to avoid temptation and sin. Because the Roman church teaches the bread wafers are actually changed into Jesus, they are worshiped by the congregants. Mass-goers bow to the wafer, bend their knee to the wafer, and pray to the wafer god. The Jesus wafer and Jesus wine must be handled with worshipful reverence. As a part of the mass’s liturgical ritual, the priest handles a large Jesus wafer and Jesus wine and there’s always a chance that small Jesus crumbs or Jesus droplets will land on the linens covering the altar. Therefore, when the altar linens are periodically washed, they must be handled with the utmost reverence. Let’s pick it up when an indignant Catholic listener calls in to the show complaining that reverential protocols aren’t being followed with regard to the altar linens at her parish:

Thom Price: Let’s go to Kitty, now, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, listening on St. Michael Catholic Radio. Hello, Kitty. What’s on your mind today?

Kitty: Oh, yes. I would like to know your thoughts about this. I’m very concerned about the presence of our lord in the precious blood that’s on the purificators and altar linens. At the church where I’m going the altar linens are just left in a basket on the counter and, shouldn’t they be in some sort of a container that has a lid with a light next to it to indicate that our lord is present? They don’t leave consecrated hosts just lying in an open basket!

The show’s host, Catholic apologist David Anders, then responds to Kitty’s inquiry, saying that he is aware that “there are liturgical laws that govern these things,” but it’s “not (his) particular area of expertise.” Anders defers to moderator, Thom Price, but Price pleads ignorance as well and suggests to Kitty that she should make inquiries to a particular priest radio host.

The Catholic teaching that its priests change bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus leads to all kinds of legalistic rabbit holes involving such things as falling Jesus crumbs and spilt Jesus droplets and Jesus wine stains. Catholicism breaks my heart. Hundreds of millions of Catholic souls, like Kitty, get indignantly and scrupulously wrapped around the axle over the proper handling of altar cloths, but never hear the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Kitty mentioned “purificators” and altar linens that could possibly have Jesus particles and Jesus stains imbedded in them, but several other cloth items are also used by the priest during the eucharistic liturgical ritual including the “corporal,” “lavabo towels,” and the “pall” (see photo right)

To see the correct Catholic rubrics for the handling and cleaning of these “sacred” cloths, refer to the article below. Wow! The Catholic mass has more protocols than a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier! Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

Friends, we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to all the rubrics involved in the Catholic mass. Whoops, I see we’ve already hit the 625-word mark so we’ll have to visit the second Catholic rabbit hole tomorrow. Remember, it’s the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone that’s important, NOT copious and complicated religious rituals and ceremonies that are alleged to help people merit their salvation.

The Proper Care and Cleansing of Altar Linens & Sacred Vessels in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend – Adapted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship

Click to access 5c3aa66e5663b57ce646ed961423685c-Policy-on-Care-of-Altar-Linens-and-Sacred-Vessels.pdf

Beating the chest and other Catholic formalities

Last week, I was listening to the 10/25/18 podcast of the “Called to Communion” Catholic talk radio show featuring guest moderator, Jack Williams, and host, David Anders, and a call from a listener brought to mind an old memory.

At the 19:16 mark, Duane in Bismark, North Dakota called in with a question regarding his experiences as an altar boy. Duane related that when he served at mass in his younger days, he was required to ring a bell at the precise moments when the priest allegedly converted the bread wafer and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus. He stated that while he rang the bell with his right hand, he was also required to tap his chest over his heart with his clenched left hand. Although he had performed this perfunctory action hundreds of times as an altar boy, and continued with it as an adult attendee at mass, he had no idea what it symbolized and asked Anders. The host explained that striking the breast over the heart with a clenched hand symbolized “penitence.”

Ahh! I had forgotten all about this Catholic ritual of striking the chest. I had been an altar boy from fifth through eighth grades and was also required to ring a bell when the priest raised the wafer and wine chalice as he “consecrated” them while also tapping my chest with my left hand. Like Duane, I had no idea WHY I was doing it. We were taught to tap our chest at the alleged moments of consecration as part of our altar server training and that was all we needed to know. Imagine poor Duane who has been pounding his chest for forty or fifty years, but had no idea why he was doing it! Such are the rote, ritualistic mannerisms of Catholicism.

Some Catholics also tap their chest during the “confiteor” portion of the mass (“through my fault…”), the Agnus Dei portion (“have mercy on us”), and at the “Lord, I am not worthy” prayer before communion. Catholicism is full of many such similar ritualistic gestures and postures. The vast majority of Catholics just follow along with all of the prescribed rituals without giving much or any thought to the meaning behind them. The entire mass liturgy, with a priest allegedly changing bread wafers and wine into Jesus, and then offering “Him” up as a sacrifice to God the Father for the sins of the congregants, is an anti-Biblical abomination. Poor Catholic souls are taught they receive graces from the mass that enable them to obey the Ten Commandments in order to hopefully merit Heaven at the moment of their death.

Salvation is not merited through religious ritual or by trying to obey the Ten Commandments. We are all sinners and none of us can earn salvation. However, God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin on the cross. But He conquered sin and death when He rose from the grave and now offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Accept Christ today!

Postscript: Yes, Scripture does mention beating the breast as a sign of repentance as in Jesus’ story of the proud Pharisee and the humble tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 (below). Roman Catholicism’s teaching that one must merit salvation aligns with the Pharisee character, while the humble tax collector who acknowledged and repented of his sin and pleaded to God for forgiveness and salvation aligns with the Biblical Gospel.

“And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt. ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, “God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people, swindlers, unjust, adulterers or even like this tax gatherer. I fast twice a week. I pay tithes of all that I get.” But the tax gatherer, standing some distance away was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven but was beating his breast saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner.” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.’”

The glorification of altar rails and such like*

I grew up during a very tumultuous time for Roman Catholics, during the implementation of the dramatic window dressing changes of Vatican II, and I’d like to share a few memories from that time.

Prior to Vatican II, all Catholic altars had a wooden or carved stone rail around them. The rail signified that the altar, where the priests allegedly changed bread wafers and wine into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and where surplus consecrated Jesus wafers were stored in the “tabernacle,” was an especially holy area. Just as the “common” Israelites were forbidden from stepping foot on Mt. Sinai or entering into the restricted areas of the Tabernacle and Temple, Catholics were generally not allowed to enter the altar area.

I was an altar boy from fifth through eighth grades and my first couple of years serving were prior to the Vatican II changes. The priests conducted the mass in Latin and the altar boys’ responses were in Latin even though we did not understand one word we were saying. The priests had their backs to the congregation and wooden rails were around the altar. I felt very privileged to be able assist the priests inside the restricted altar area.

Several men officiated as priests at the parish while I was an altar server and all of them struck me as a bit strange compared to my father, uncles, and other adult men I knew, but none more so than “father” Lynch.

The other priests at least made awkward attempts at civility towards us altar boys, but not Lynch. When we entered the church sacristy to prepare for mass, Lynch could barely be bothered to say hello. He never offered a smile. I sensed he had a keen dislike for us (or was he struggling with some other issue?). During the mass liturgy, the priests were required to read passages from the huge altar “missal” (i.e., a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year). Lynch was a short, squat fellow and very near-sighted. He would have us boys stand on one of the lower steps leading up to the altar and he would place the huge, heavy book on our heads, not always gently, which he would then read from. It was very humiliating (and physically uncomfortable) to have to stand in front of the congregation with the heavy book on our heads. Lynch enjoyed demeaning us.

When it came time to distribute the Jesus wafers, the supplicants would kneel down along the altar rail and the priests would place the wafer on each person’s tongue while we altar boys walked backward, next to the priest, placing a round “patten” under the chins of the supplicant in order to catch a possible falling Jesus wafer. Lynch would always distribute communion twice as fast as the other priests and we altar boys had a difficult time keeping our balance as we walked backward and tried to properly position the patten under people’s chins in synch with the pace of the frenetic priest.

Vatican II dramatically changed the rubrics of the mass. The mass liturgy was changed to English and priests turned around and faced the congregation. The altar rails were removed so that the congregants could feel like they were more like participants in the ritual rather than just observers. But despite all the window dressing changes, the core doctrines of Catholicism remained. Catholics continue to be taught the false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Catholic traditionalists deeply resented the changes wrought by Vatican II and still clamor for the mass to be said in Latin, for the priest to face “ad orientem,” toward the altar, and for the reinstallation of altar rails. In Catholicism, the ritual and ceremony, the shell, has always been the focus rather than the Pearl of Great Price, which is salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Priests are not needed. Altars are not needed. Sacrifice for sin was finished for all time by Jesus Christ at Calvary. Place your trust in Jesus as your Savior by faith alone. Jesus Christ removes all rails and barriers between sinners and God, but you must accept Him as your Savior. Won’t you repent of your sin and place your trust in Him?

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” – Matthew 27:50-51

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” – Ephesians 2:13-14

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

Priest Lynch, above, died in 2011. I never witnessed the smile displayed in this photo.

* “and such like” – for you non-Baptists out there, this phrase means “and similar things.”

Moses and the Catholic mass

After being raised in Catholicism, I began to drift away from the church in my teen years, even though the high school I attended was Catholic. But after marriage and the birth of our two boys, I felt an obligation to raise our children in the church, so I began attending mass again. At the same time, I was reading the New Testament in my Catholic Bible, but I was having an increasingly difficult time reconciling Catholic doctrine with Scripture. Although it was many years ago, I do recall the Book of Hebrews being the final straw for me; especially the passages about the limitations of human priests, Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice for sin, and how Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. These truths did not square with Catholicism’s perpetual sacrifice of the mass in which priests allegedly sacrifice their wafer Jesus for sin 350,000 times daily on Catholic altars around the world. After much internal turmoil, I finally stopped attending mass and I eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone a couple of years later.

The Old Testament is filled with wonderful foreshadowings of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone. One of the most amazing is the account of Moses striking the rock in Exodus 17:1-7. God commanded Moses, who represents the Law, to strike the rock at Horeb so that it would bring forth water for the thirsty Israelites. When the Israelites complained again about no water at Meribah in Numbers 20:2-13, God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, but instead Moses struck the rock twice in anger because of the Israelites’ complaints. Because of his disobedience, Moses was not allowed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. That job would go to a fellow by the name of Joshua (translated as Jesus in Greek).

The symbolism is extraordinary. Jesus Christ is the Rock of living waters (1 Cor. 10:4) and He died (was struck) once as a perfect sacrifice for sin because sinful man could not meet the requirements of the Law. God’s salvation flowed out to all men through Christ as a free gift that they receive by faith alone. Jesus cannot be sacrificed (struck) again. Everyone must repent of their sins and come to Christ in prayerful supplication (speaking) to Him and accept Him as Savior. Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished,” with His dying breath. There is no more sacrifice for sin. The sacerdotal priesthood was abolished. The Temple veil in Jerusalem was rent in two from top to bottom by the Lord at the moment of Christ’s death. Men now have direct access to the Father through the mediation of the resurrected Son. The Law (Moses) cannot bring people to salvation. It is Joshua/Jesus who leads all those who trust in Him to salvation!

Catholics insist they do not “repeat” Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary with the mass, but claim to “re-present” the exact same sacrifice over and over. This is sophistry! Sacrifice for sin is done and Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, not on Catholic altars. But without sacrifice, there is no need for priests, so the fraudulent mass continues.

As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I was prayerfully mulling over what to write for the next post and the thought came to me that I should write something once again about how Moses’ striking of the rock in disobedience has similarities to the anti-Biblical perpetual sacrifice of the Catholic mass. While I was still driving, a pastor on the Christian radio station I was listening to started preaching on Numbers 20 and Moses striking the rock. Hmm, what a coincidence. When I got to work, I put on my headset and listened to a video that was recently posted by fellow WordPress Christian blogger, Hope. Of course, it also turned out to be a sermon on Numbers 20 and Moses striking the rock! See here. Wow! Some Catholic really needs to hear about Moses and the anti-Biblical mass today! Thanks, Hope!

Hurricane “dispensation” exemplifies Catholicism’s salvation-by-merit system

After being pounded by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Southeast portion of the country is feeling the effects of Hurricane Nate this weekend. I see from the latest news reports that Nate has officially been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, but it’s still doing damage.

Catholics in the affected area are in a quandary. Their church teaches that members who do not attend mass on Sundays commit grave sin and doom their soul to hell for eternity unless the sin is confessed to as priest.

What to do, what to do?

Catholics in Louisiana can relax because New Orleans archbishop, Gregory Aymond (see photo), issued a formal dispensation on Friday excusing all members impacted by the storm from attending mandatory mass.

Aymond states in his declaration, “Regarding the Sunday obligation for Catholics, if a person cannot get to church for Mass or if traveling causes danger he/she is dispensed from the obligation to celebrate Mass.”

Hmm. Not so fast. It seems to me that this type of declaration is wide open to personal interpretation. How dangerous does travel to church have to be? Must the route be blocked with downed power lines, flooded streets, or fallen tree limbs to be considered dangerous? We must be precise because it’s the difference between Heaven and hell. I anticipate that many unscrupulous Catholics living on the periphery or even outside of the storm’s path will take advantage of the declaration as an excuse to stay home and watch ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown this morning. They will all surely pick up a mortal sin and go to hell. But what is the exact dividing line on this? What are the precise dangerous conditions that will allow a Catholic to stay home from church today without committing mortal sin? Catholics need to know!!! There’s even more complications. Aymond’s stay-home declaration applies to the Catholics in his archdiocese, but what about those living outside of his jurisdiction who are impacted by the storm? Must they consult their own bishop? What if their own bishop hasn’t issued a dispensation, but they have been impacted by the storm? What about Catholics who are traveling in and out of impacted areas on Sunday? What is their exact obligation?

Of course, there are no good answers to any of these questions. It’s all legalistic nonsense. But Catholicism is full of such exactingly vague formulas. Accept Christ as your Savior by faith alone. You cannot obey your way into Heaven.

Catholics may skip Mass if Tropical Storm Nate poses threat, archbishop says

The Catholic mass: How a simple memorial became a pompous, elaborate ritual

The Mass vs. The Lord’s Supper
By H. A. Ironside
CrossReach Publications, 2016, 33 pages, $1.99

H. A. Ironside was pastor of Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. In this ebook pamphlet, first published by Loizeaux Brothers in 1926, Ironside compares the Roman Catholic mass with Scripture.

I believe few evangelicals truly understand the anti-Biblical nature of the Catholic mass. The mass is the pinnacle of Catholic worship. Every Sunday, Catholics are required to attend the mass ritual under threat of mortal sin. At the mass, the Roman Catholic church teaches that its priests change bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. The Jesus elements are then offered up to God the Father as a sacrifice for the sins of the congregants and anyone else who is named (i.e., the pope, the local bishop, souls in purgatory, etc.). Only congregants who are in an alleged “state of grace,” meaning they have no unconfessed serious mortal sins on their souls, may line up and receive the Jesus wafer and wine from the priest. After they consume the elements, Catholics are taught that Jesus is physically present inside of them for approximately 15 minutes, as the elements are acted upon by the digestive acids in their stomach, imparting graces that will allegedly help them to avoid sin so they can continue in a “state of grace.” Catholics are taught they must merit their salvation by successfully obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!).

Ironside compares the mass to the accounts of the Last Supper in the synoptic Gospels. It’s clear Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a simple yet profound memorial to His sacrifice on the cross in which He paid the penalty for the sins of all those who accept Him as Savior by faith alone. The Book of Hebrews stands as a witness against a sacrificial priesthood and the perpetual sacrifice of Jesus at the mass. Yes, the Lord’s Supper celebrated by Bible Christians is a sobering occasion for genuine believers who take the symbolic elements of bread and wine/grape juice and gratefully reflect on how their Savior suffered and died to pay for their sins, but we do not worship the elements. In contrast to Rome’s spiritually deadly misinterpretation of John 6, it’s not physically eating Jesus that imparts eternal life (argh!), but salvation comes by belief/trust in Christ as Savior through faith alone.

Because Catholics are taught the bread wafers are literally turned into Jesus Christ, they are told they must accord them proper worship. Surplus consecrated wafers are stored in a locked box called a tabernacle. When Catholics enter a church, they bow their heads and genuflect upon one knee in homage to the Jesus wafers in the tabernacle. The parish priest will occasionally exhibit a large Jesus wafer in an elaborate, see-through sunburst container, called a “monstrance,” and the faithful gather at the church to participate in “perpetual adoration” of the wafer god. Because of the deification of the consecrated elements, the Roman church developed elaborate procedures to be followed by priests for occasions when the “host” suffers accidental desecration, e.g., the wafer accidentally drops on the floor, an insect flies into the wine, a supplicant involuntarily vomits the wafer, etc., etc., etc. The complicated rubrics of the mass liturgy are spelled out in the 1500 pages(!) of the official Roman Missal.

How did the simple Last Supper memorial of the early church devolve into the elaborate ritual of the mass with its sacrificial priests and Jesus host? Ironside explains that as the church became increasingly institutionalized, it incorporated many of the elements of paganism, especially those elements that advantaged the clergy. Wafers and cakes consecrated by priests to pagan deities had been a regular part of pagan sacrificial worship in the ancient world.

It’s estimated the mass is said about 350,000 times every day throughout the world. That’s 350,000 times a day Christ is supposedly re-sacrificed for sin. But God’s Word clearly tells us there is no longer a sacrificial priesthood and no more sacrifice for sin. Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for all those who accept Him as Savior by faith alone. He is not present on Catholic altars as a sacrificial victim.

“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

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – Matthew 24:24-27.

This short booklet is a good introduction to the errors of the Catholic mass. Order from Amazon here.

Postscript: Due to the wonders of modern technology, Catholics are now able to worship the Jesus wafer 24/7 via live webcam. One of many examples of live webcams used by Catholics to worship the wafer god from the convenience of their home or office is this one that originates from St. Martin of Tours Catholic church in Louisville, Kentucky (the large, white bread wafer is visible through the circular window in the middle of the monstrance). Brothers and sisters in Christ, consider the hundreds of millions of lost Catholics who worship and pray to bread wafers like the one in this webcam, and who believe that “receiving Christ” means eating a Jesus wafer.