Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 6/17/17

I would like to understand why Catholicism is so preoccupied with the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Great devotion and worship are accorded to these biological organs, all of which strikes genuine believers in Christ as very strange and idolatrous.

Pope Francis opened the door a crack and liberals are attempting to push it wide open. I anticipate the ordination of female deacons in the RCC in the next 5 to 10 years.

The LGBTQ rainbow alliance is pushing for acceptance in every part of public life. Churches that refuse to participate will be targeted.

The K of C was founded in 1882 as a Catholic benevolent fraternal organization. In some respects, it was the Catholic alternative to verboten Freemasonry. I remember the K of C newspaper advertisements when I was a kid that defended and promoted Catholicism. Most fraternals are in sharp decline these days but the K of C guys with the silly plume hats, capes, epaulettes, and swords are still going strong and wield a lot of influence. Any sign of Jesus Christ in all of this pageantry?

I’m not a big fan of “dialogue” with religious unbelievers. The aim of “dialogue” is to find common ground and build upon that while ignoring or minimizing important doctrinal differences. I don’t read about the apostles and disciples of Christ engaging in ecumenical “dialogue” with religious unbelievers in the New Testament.

These Nigerians priests who refuse to acknowledge a bishop appointed from outside their geographic area are still mired in tribalism. Francis should accommodate them just like Catholicism accommodates/syncretizes native pagan beliefs and practices elsewhere in the world, such as in Latin America.

People are surprised to learn the Muslim Quran references Mary much more than the Bible does. Muslims venerate Mary as a faithful follower of Allah and the mother of the “prophet,” Jesus. Will Marian devotion and worship be the catalyst for a one-world religion?

This past Thursday was the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) for Roman Catholics. This weekend many of the ethnic parishes will have an outdoor procession with the priest carrying a large consecrated bread wafer, which Catholics are taught is the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. The faithful line the streets and bow in worshipful adoration to the passing Jesus wafer.

What is Jesus’ blood type? Defenders of eucharistic miracles claim the blood from bleeding wafers is consistently type AB. But where is the Gospel in all of this?

And while we’re on the topic of Southern Baptists…

…Did you hear the one about the Southern Baptist who decided to let his hair down and throw all caution to the wind on one particular day by reading only four chapters of the Bible instead of the usual five? Praise the Lord for the believers in the Southern Baptist Convention who remain faithful to Jesus Christ and His Word.

An ex-Catholic evangelical speaks to Catholics but the Gospel was nowhere in sight

Religion is a tribal activity for most people, right? People affiliate with the same religion or denomination their parents belong to, preceded by their grandparents, and so on. Most don’t investigate the doctrines of their religion. Their thinking is, “If it was good enough for Mom and Dad (and Grandma and Grandpa) it’s good enough for me!” Within each family, religious piety and practice range from fervent to nominal but the most important rule, especially for Catholic families, is or used to be that no member join another church. Catholicism boasted that it was the “one true church” and warned that anyone who left its ranks was doomed to hell. Catholic parents felt guilty and remorseful if any of their children left the church.

For myself, as I read the New Testament as a Catholic in the early 1980s, I came upon many discrepancies between God’s Word and Catholic dogma. It was soul-wrenching. I eventually left the church, accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior (Yahoo!), and began attending a Bible-preaching church. My parents were not overjoyed but they took it in stride (except for whenever I witnessed to them). They were probably relieved that at least one of their six children was attending some kind of church. Looking back, I’m grateful for some of the information I was taught as a Catholic, but the church has done unimaginable harm over the centuries by leading billions of people away from Christ with its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Praise the Lord for saving me!

“Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'” – Luke 9:62

Speaking of ex-Catholics, news sources reported that the nation’s Vice President, Mike Pence, addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday, June 6. The former Catholic parochial school student and altar boy accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1978 at a Christian concert when he was nineteen, although he continued to attend Catholic church. Following undergraduate school, Pence married his wife at a Catholic wedding ceremony in 1985, but the Pences were gradually moving away from Catholicism. In 1995, the couple joined Grace Evangelical Church in Indianapolis and eventually shifted their membership to College Park Church in the same city.

It may have been a little awkward to have an ex-Catholic speak at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, but Pence quelled any uneasiness by saying many flattering things about Catholicism (full transcript below). He was much more politically correct than I would or could have been, but I’m not a politician.

Twenty or thirty years ago, the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast would not have invited an ex-Catholic as the main speaker, but things are changing. For both evangelicals and Catholics, belief is becoming less doctrinaire and more relative. “If it works for you, that’s fine, I just went in a different direction,” was Pence’s sentiment.

“While my own faith journey has taken me and my family in a different direction, I want you all to know how much I cherish my Catholic upbringing and cherish the Church. In fact, I just attended mass with my mom this weekend when we were in Chicago with family.” – Mike Pence

No, Vice President Pence, either Catholicism’s gospel of sacramental grace and merit is correct or Bible Christianity’s Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone is correct. They are diametrically opposed. They can’t both be right. Traditionalist Catholics cry foul when an “apostate” like Pence is the featured speaker at the Catholic prayer breakfast (see the “Mike Pence’s Catholic Mom” article below). True, there’s very little belief-wise that I share with the Michael Voris and his Catholic “Church Militant” cadre but at least I can say they’re trying to remain true to their untenable Catholic dogmas and have the courage of their convictions, which is more than I can say for some “evangelicals.”


 

Remarks by the Vice President at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/06/remarks-vice-president-national-catholic-prayer-breakfast

Mike Pence’s Catholic Mom
https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-mike-pences-catholic-mom

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup – News & Views – 6/10/17

Catholic apologists like to present their church as a unified monolith but the reality is the spectrum of belief runs the entire gamut – except for the teaching of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Some Catholic parishes are totally on-board with being “welcoming” and accepting of all “lifestyles.”

A praise to the Lord and a tip of the hat for the forthrightness of the Duggar’s sons-in-law.

Few Catholics know (or care) that the alleged apparition of Mary at Champion, Wisconsin in 1859 is one of only seventeen apparitions world-wide and the only one in the U.S. officially approved by the church. Mariolatry diverts people from salvation in Christ.

Traditionalist Catholics are aghast at this pope Francis-inspired, communion-for-adulterers breech in orthodoxy, but liberal priests have been distributing communion to any Tom, Dick, or Sally for decades.

The Bible says no one is to be addressed as spiritual “father.” I believe Catholicism’s defiant rejection of this clear biblical teaching is one of the many signs the Lord has used to publicly mark her apostasy. See here.

Senator Bernie Sanders’ recent attack on Trump nominee, Russell Vought, for his Christian beliefs is just another indication of society’s growing intolerance for Bible Christianity.

Au contraire, Francis, so-called “Vicar of Christ.” The Lord God Almighty is from “EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING.”

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. – Psalm 90:2

Why the membership decline in the Southern Baptist Convention? As someone who attended an SBC church for a year, I have my theories, which I’ll expound upon in a future post.

If you’ve never visited the Babylon Bee you may enjoy their irreverent humor at the expense of “churchianity.” The old-fashioned Methodist teaching that a person could actually achieve a sanctified state of sinless “holiness” this side of eternity was way too close to Catholic doctrine but the denomination’s slide into liberal apostacism goes back to the early 20th-century.

The Most Post-Christian Cities in America

In yesterday’s post, I commented on Barna Research’s recent article regarding the most “churched,” “unchurched,” and “dechurched” cities in the U.S. Not to be missed is an accompanying article from Barna regarding “The Most Post-Christian Cities in America: 2017” (see below).

Not surprisingly, we once again find unbelief and atheism most prevalent on the East and West coasts. It’s interesting to me as a resident of Rochester, N.Y. that the I-90 corridor that runs the length of New York State connects some of the most atheistic communities in the country. From Buffalo #10, to Rochester #13, to Syracuse #41, to Albany #3.

Where does your city rank?

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-37


The Most Post-Christian Cities in America: 2017
https://www.barna.com/research/post-christian-cities-america-2017/

excatholic4christ

After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior over three decades ago, I understood along with other Christians at the time that the world was divided between the saved and the lost; between believers and unbelievers. But through the efforts of the “purpose driven” church marketing guys (Hybels/Warren/Drucker, etc.) the distinction changed from “believers and unbelievers” to the “churched and unchurched.” It seems that the emphasis has shifted from preaching the Gospel and right doctrine to growing the attendance numbers.

Up here in the Rust Belt, we have PLENTY of churches that DON’T preach the Gospel (Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian USA, United Methodist, American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Eastern Orthodox) and very few churches that DO preach the Gospel. In a recent sermon at our church it was stated that only 5% of the one-million people living in the Greater Rochester, N.Y. area attend a…

View original post 302 more words

The “churched,” the “unchurched,” the “dechurched,” and the believer

After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior over three decades ago, I understood along with other Christians at the time that the world was divided between the saved and the lost; between believers and unbelievers. But through the efforts of the “purpose driven” church marketing guys (Hybels/Warren/Drucker, etc.) the distinction changed from “believers and unbelievers” to the “churched and unchurched.” It seems that the emphasis has shifted from preaching the Gospel and right doctrine to growing the attendance numbers.

Up here in the Rust Belt, we have PLENTY of churches that DON’T preach the Gospel (Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian USA, United Methodist, American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Eastern Orthodox) and very few churches that DO preach the Gospel. In a recent sermon at our church it was stated that only 5% of the one-million people living in the Greater Rochester, N.Y. area attend a Gospel-preaching, Bible-believing church on Sunday morning. That’s a sobering statistic.

In the recent article far below, Barna Research ranks the most “churched,” “unchurched,” and “dechurched” cities in America. Barna defines the three categories of people as follows:

  • Churched – have attended a church service in the past seven days, not including a special event such as a wedding or a funeral.
  • Unchurched – have not attended a church service in the past six months, not including a special event such as a wedding or a funeral.
  • Dechurched – were formerly either very, somewhat or minimally active churchgoers, but have not attended a church service in the past six months, excluding a special event such as a wedding or a funeral.

As might be expected the highest-ranking “churched” cities are generally in the Southern Bible Belt with the exception of Salt Lake City where 38% of the population is Mormon/LDS religious non-believers.

The highest-ranking “unchurched” cities are generally located on the East and West coasts as are the highest-ranking “dechurched” cities. Well, what do you know! Lil’ ol’ Rochester ranks as #20 on the “dechurched” list. Yes, it’s pert near spiritually dead up here, folks. People have just stopped attending churches in the Northeast Rust/Unchurched Belt because they don’t see ANY advantage to going through all the rigmarole to hear a spiritually-dead message compared to just sleeping in and watching Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN.

Sitting in a church pew surely never saved anyone, but churches that preach the Gospel are so needed. There are even some believers who don’t attend a church because they cannot find a solid, Bible-teaching church in their area.

Those who still believe America is a “Christian nation” need to travel up here to the Rust/Unchurched Belt on a Sunday morning.


Church Attendance Trends Around the Country
https://www.barna.com/research/church-attendance-trends-around-country/

Weekend Update – News & Views – 6/3/17

Reformation tchotchke, anyone? It’s sad to see the commercial exploitation of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, but it’s to be expected. People down through the ages have always tried to make a buck off of spirituality.

The predominant notions of Jesus Christ in Catholicism are that of the suffering victim hanging in agony on the crucifix and that of the perennial sacrificial victim upon Catholic altars at 350,000 daily masses throughout the world. Praise God, the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for all believers.

When Catholics receive communion they believe the “consecrated” bread wafer is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. They believe that Jesus is physically present in their stomachs for around fifteen minutes during the time it takes for their digestive acids to completely dissolve the wafer. Priests have a lengthy set of protocols to deal with abnormalities in distributing the Jesus wafers (e.g., a recipient vomits the wafer, a wafer drops to the floor and is carried away by a rodent, etc.).

The Anglicans and Episcopalians need to shutter the church windows, padlock the doors, and throw away the keys.

When I was in Catholic grammar school the nuns specialized in BFT (blunt force trauma) but the few who remain spearhead the “social gospel.”

“So virulent was the hostility in Colonial Boston that each year on “Pope’s Day,” mobs of predominantly Protestant laborers burned effigies of the pontiff.” Much of the prejudice and paranoia in America regarding Catholics was rooted in the very real and bloody persecution of Protestants in European Catholic countries for centuries. When are they going to write about that?

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Peter Kreeft’s appeal to evangelicals to convert to Catholicism. See here. The end of the article above acknowledges that ecumenical evangelical Lee Strobel’s popular “The Case for Faith” shined an approving spotlight on Kreeft.

The Eastern Orthodox see no advantage in placing themselves under the pope’s authority but Rome won’t rest until she subjugates all of her daughters.

For a religious system that is allegedly infallible when it comes to issues of faith and morals, Catholicism has a lot to apologize for.

Ain’t it the truth.

Weekend Roundup – News & Views – 5/27/17

People are infatuated with celebrity and Christians aren’t always immune. I know of a Christian blogger who regularly posts about celebrities who (may have) accepted Christ. Trail-blazing, gender-bender rock star, David Bowie, made a few impersonal references to God before he died and he’s celebrated as a believer? C’mon! I certainly hope Steve McQueen accepted Jesus. That would be great. But McQueen put his pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else. And I definitely wouldn’t be one to make a huge deal out of Billy Graham’s Bible.

“It is astonishing that a (political) party that celebrates family values at every turn has a president who is on his third wife and who has bragged about his extramarital affairs and who is appointing an ambassador to the Vatican who had a six-year affair with her future husband while he was still married to his second wife. That is not a rumor: Mrs. Gingrich testified to that fact under oath during her husband’s divorce proceedings.” – from the above article.

Mrs. Gingrich should feel right at home inside the infamous Vatican. How does the saying go, “If only these walls could talk”?

The grammar school nuns used to tell us about Padre Pio’s stigmata wounds. So, were the wounds self-inflicted or were they of demonic origin?

We’re pretty much through the “bow wave” of the pedophile priest abuse and cover-up scandal here in the U.S., but it’s currently front-page news in Guam and Australia. I believe this grevous scandal is one of the Lord’s marks upon the Catholic church.

Franklin Graham is one of the last of the Conservative-Right Christian leaders in the mold of Falwell, Dobson, and Robertson. Young Americans generally don’t go for mixing religion with politics like some of their parents did. Graham is also an ecumenist like his father and appears regularly on TBN.

Traditionalist Catholics took this bishop to task for lifting the Lent meat abstention rule for St. Patty’s Day. It’s funny to me that Catholics in general take this no-meat-on-Lenten-Fridays rule so seriously but thumb their noses at so many of the church’s other man-made obligatory rules.

Protestants had good reasons in 1960 for fearing a Catholic in the White House. The Catholic church was still in militant mode at that time and routinely suppressed non-Catholics in European and Latin American countries where they held a majority. But Protestants certainly had nothing to fear from randy Jack. Religion was the LAST thing on his mind.

The Catholic diocese of Orange County must be doing pretty well to sink $72 million into the renovation of ecumenical apostate Schuller’s former showplace. Catholic parishes over here in the Rust Belt are either merging or closing.

Catholics’ and Judas Protestants’ ecumenical views on Martin Luther are always interesting to read. Luther would “roll over in his grave” at the current compromise and betrayal of the Gospel if he were there, but I assume the man the Holy Spirit used to help return the church to Romans 1:17, “the righteous will live by faith,” is largely preoccupied with praising the Lord these days.

Hey, hey, hey! I usually get a chuckle out of the satirical articles in the Babylon Bee but this one hit too close to home!

I’m trying to limit these weekend updates to ten links but I’m making an exception this time with this late addition. Friends of this blog know I truly appreciate John MacArthur (pictured, sort of) and his ministry but these lampoons really had me chuckling. Oy! So funny! If you’re familiar with Johnny Mac, you’ll appreciate these. Absolutely no disrespect intended.