The American Catholic church has a two-headed “crisis” on its hands and the U.S. Catholic bishops met in Baltimore this past week to address it (photo above). The crisis involves the Catholic communion wafer. The Roman church claims its priests transform bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ at its masses. The RCC teaches its members that consuming the Jesus wafer provides graces that will help them obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit Heaven. But Catholics with unconfessed mortal sin on their soul are theoretically banned from receiving the Jesus wafer. Challenging the traditional doctrine are 1) Catholic politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi who support pro-abortion legislation and also maintain they are Catholics in good standing (with the pope’s public support), and 2) recent surveys which reveal that 70% of the American Catholic laity believe the consecrated communion elements are merely symbols and not the actual body and blood of Jesus. A “guidance” document on the “eucharist,” endorsed by the bishops on Wednesday, reemphasizes traditional Catholic teaching regarding the Jesus wafer and mentions the obligation of Catholic public figures/politicians to demonstrate moral consistency between their personal faith and their public actions. The document did not specifically cite Biden, Pelosi, or abortion. While some view the guidelines as a compromise between the conservative and progressive RC camps, others see it as a first-step in a conservative clampdown. Let’s come back to this next weekend after the dust settles. What has all of this got to do with the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? That’s right, absolutely nothing.
In this op-ed posted at the pro-ecumenical, Christian Post website, Lutheran pastor, Dan Delzell, naively proposes that Catholics and Protestants can agree on “three foundational points of Christian doctrine” and should be able to reconcile. Delzell asks rhetorically, “Is every Christian forgiven and justified the moment the Holy Spirit converts their soul through faith in Jesus? Or do you have to add some of your own works in order to be justified before God and forgiven of your sins?” Delzell is evidently expecting both Gospel Christians and Catholics to respond to the question in kind, exemplifying the naivete of many/most believers when it comes to Roman Catholicism. The Roman church unapologetically teaches baptismal regeneration and justification via sacramental grace and merit. “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2010). The lack of knowledge and discernment among evangelicals regarding Roman Catholicism and its false gospel is stunning.
The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative journalism team first exposed the widespread sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests and the systematic cover-up by the church hierarchy way back in 2002. The RC church has never concretely addressed this abuse and cover-up calamity. For Pope Francis to “thank” journalists for exposing this institutional evil is the ultimate in hypocrisy and calculated duplicity.
The LGBT+ steamroller will not tolerate what the Bible declares regarding homosexuality.
Prompted by platform speakers of the Christian nationalist, “Reawaken America Tour,” the crowd at Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio, Texas (John Hagee, NAR), broke into an enthusiastic chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” a code phrase for an expletive directed at POTUS, Joe Bidden. In the New Testament, we do not find examples of the Gospel being conflated with political zealotry. If anything, the New Testament identifies political zealots as misdirected. The crowd’s conduct at this so-called “church” was blatantly anti-Christian. Imagine a New Testament church congregation chanting thinly-veiled expletives at the Roman emperor during a worship service, with the apostle, Paul, in attendance. Man, he would be livid!
C.S. Lewis propagated an aberrant brand of Christianity that accommodated baptismal regeneration, belief in purgatory, confession of sins to priests, a view of Scripture as errant, and denial of penal substitutionary atonement. Yet evangelicals fawn over the former Oxford professor due to intellectual snob appeal. See my critique of Lewis’ wide-is-the-way “Mere Christianity” here.
Rochester is a mid-sized city in Western New York with a population of 205,000. Rochester’s 75 homicides for 2021, as of November 15th, ranks it as having one of the highest murder rates per capita in the entire nation. One of the contributing factors, in addition to the general breakdown of society, is the less-than-dismal economic situation in Western New York, precipitated by sky-high taxes and the collapse of once-dominant manufacturing companies (i.e., Kodak and Xerox). U.S. Census data shows Rochester ranks behind only Detroit and Cleveland as the poorest cities in the nation.
My employer followed the Federal policy change and extended its mandatory vax deadline from December 8th to January 4th. In the meantime, I received my Pfizer booster vaccine two weeks ago. As colder temps drive gatherings indoors, Rochester-area hospitals are reporting a dramatic rise in COVID-19 related cases, especially among the unvaccinated. Speaking of the COVID vaccine, prosperity gospeler, Joni Lamb, co-owner of the Daystar cable network with her husband, Marcus Lamb, has been fomenting anti-vax conspiracy hysteria for many months. While channel surfing several evenings ago, I stopped at Daystar and heard the Lamb’s son, Jonathan, and his wife, Suzy, fretting about Marcus being hospitalized and in serious condition with Joni by his bedside, although the illness was not specified. Strangely, there is no mention…zero, zip, nada…of Marcus’ hospitalization or illness on the Lamb’s or Daystar’s social media sites. Is this another example of COVID cover-up?