Throwback Thursday: Rick Warren and Rome

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on March 4, 2016 and has been revised.

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Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome
By Roger Oakland
Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2015, 20 pages

Popular Southern Baptist, mega-church pastor, Rick Warren, aka “America’s Pastor,” has been courting the Roman Catholic church for many years. But even Rome-friendly, evangelical ecumenists were somewhat taken aback by Warren’s unabashed and forthright endorsement of Catholicism in his 2014 interview on EWTN (Catholic) television (see link below).

In the interview, Warren stated his personal fondness and endorsement of Catholic contemplative mysticism, the pope, ecumenical social projects, Catholicism’s New Evangelization program, spiritual directors, EWTN television, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

In this short booklet, evangelical apologist, Roger Oakland, examines Warren’s shocking statements in comparison to God’s Word and the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The Catholic church teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit, a different “gospel,” but that’s definitely not a problem for Warren who is quite comfortable throwing correct doctrine out the window. He nebulously states that as long as you “love Jesus, we’re on the same team,” whatever that means.


World Over hosted by Raymond Arroyo
EWTN
4/10/2014
Guest, Rick Warren
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCY8pW-ACs

Rick Warren’s comments on Roman Catholicism
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
https://carm.org/rick-warren-and-catholicism

Note: “Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome” is out-of-print, but other materials about Roman Catholicism from Lighthouse Trails Publishing can be found here.

Throwback Thursday: “Secrets of Romanism”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on March 8, 2016 and has been substantially revised.

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Secrets of Romanism
By Joseph Zacchello
Loizeaux Brothers, 1989, 232 pp.

“Secrets of Romanism” by ex-Roman Catholic priest, Joseph Zacchello, was first published in 1948 and went through multiple printings, with the last being in 1989. For decades, this book and Loraine Boettner’s “Roman Catholicism” were the most widely referenced resources on Catholicism from an evangelical viewpoint. Although “Secrets of Romanism” is provocatively titled, most of the material was readily available to anyone willing to dig through the Roman Catholic catechism.

Zacchello examines some of the most significant anti-Biblical Roman doctrines – church authority, sacred tradition, the papacy, the mass, purgatory, confession, Mariology, praying to saints, indulgences – first from a Catholic perspective followed by an evangelical rebuttal. However, the most important doctrinal difference separating Catholics and evangelicals, the opposing views on justification, is not addressed directly. Catholics believe in justification by the alleged graces conferred by its clergy-administered sacraments followed by obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!), while evangelicals believe all those who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone are justified by the imputed, perfect righteousness of Christ. This book offers many convincing arguments in opposition to Rome’s anti-Biblical doctrines, but Zacchello’s failure to deal directly with the overarching issue of justification is a regrettable oversight. Boettner committed the same error in his book.

Used copies of “Secrets of Romanism” are available from Amazon.com here.

In our post-modern era of pluralism, diversity, relativism, and ecumenism, fewer and fewer books from “Christian publishers” are being offered that critically examine the errors of Rome, however, some excellent resources are still available. See “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy and “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” by Gregg R. Allison (a more scholarly treatise) for two excellent and relatively recent offerings. Books by James R. White and William Webster are also very good. For my listing of over 360 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word and Gospel Christianity, see my books tab here.

Postscript A: The forward to “Secrets of Romanism” was written by William Ward Ayer (1892-1985), the popular and influential former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, one of the very first Christian pastors to preach over the radio.

Postscript B: In addition to “Secrets of Romanism,” Joseph Zachello also authored, “Ins and Outs of Romanism” and “How to Prevent Mixed Marriages.” He was also editor of “The Converted Catholic” magazine. Read Zachello’s testimony here.

Postscript C: It’s not clear when Loizeaux Brothers ceased publishing. Their former building at 1238 Corlies Avenue, Neptune, New Jersey is currently occupied by food supplier, Gourmet Kitchen, Inc.

Throwback Thursday: “Jesus did 99 percent of the work, but you must do the remaining 1 percent.” Huh?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on March 5, 2016 and has been revised.

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You won’t find it verbatim in the Roman Catholic church’s official catechism. Catholic congregants may not hear it said during a mass. But there is a saying used by Catholic religious instructors, past and present, that’s extremely popular within Catholicism and it goes something like this:

“Jesus did 99 percent of the work for your salvation, but you must do the remaining 1 percent.”

We students heard that admonition repeatedly from the nuns at our Catholic grammar school.

The Catholic church teaches Jesus only made it possible for people to be saved by His death on the cross, but that it’s then up to each individual Catholic to participate in the sacraments and obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules as their part in meriting their salvation.

Born-again Christians know they cannot possibly obey the Law. Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to Earth, lived a perfect life, and offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He paid our sin debt as only He could. But He rose from the grave, defeating sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who trust in Him as their Savior by faith alone.

Catholics believe that, with the help of God’s grace, they can obey the Law and hopefully merit their way into Heaven, fulfilling their 1 percent. But God’s Word says the Law wasn’t given as a way to Heaven. The Law was given to show us just how sinful we are compared to a Holy God and that we desperately need the Savior He provided.

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” – Romans 3:20

It’s only AFTER we accept Jesus as our Savior and are spiritually born-again that we can follow the Lord in obedience, albeit imperfectly.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10

⚠️ Truth be told, since Catholics are instructed they must perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules to be in a “state of grace” at the moment of their death in order to merit their salvation, they are actually required to do 99 percent of the work, not 1 percent!

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21

If you’re not counting on Jesus Christ 100 percent for your salvation, then you are lost and you will be judged for all of your sins. Say a prayer to Jesus Christ right now and ask Him to save you. Then find an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Word of God without compromise.

“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the (self) righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:17


Christ Has Done His 99 Percent
By James McCarthy
https://jashow.org/articles/christ-has-done-his-99-percent/

Throwback Thursday: The bogus “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus”

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

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I was watching an episode of “The Borgias” on Netflix the other day and a reference was made to
the “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus,” which sparked my curiosity.

During the Middle Ages, prelates of the increasingly institutionalized Roman Catholic church competed with each other to stock their respective cathedrals with famous relics connected to the New Testament. There were churches claiming to have splinters of Jesus’s cross, thorns from His crown, vials of His blood, and even His infant foreskin. Great powers were attributed to these relics and credulous pilgrims from all over Europe flocked to see them and to receive hoped-for healings and blessings.

One of the more famous relics to appear was the “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus.” Catholic tradition has it that Longinus (Latin: from longus, “long,” as in “long lance.” Original, huh?) was the Roman soldier who pierced the side of the crucified Jesus’ body with a lance to verify His death (see John 19:31-37) and who purportedly converted to Christianity. See here for more information. The Vatican claims to possess the alleged “Holy Lance,” which is stored within the north-eastern pillar under the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica. The history of that artifact can be traced back only as far as the 6th century. But like all of the alleged relics associated with Christ, there are several other versions in existence, each one claimed to be the original by its possessor. The most famous competitor of the Vatican lance is the “Holy Lance” currently on display at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, which was used in the coronation ceremonies of several of the Holy Roman Emperors.

This is all sheer nonsense my friends. The Roman soldier who lanced the body of Jesus was not named Longinus. The “Holy Lance” in the Vatican is a fake as are all of the other alleged “relics” associated with Jesus. The institutionalized church turned simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ into superstition and idolatrous worship of physical objects.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and come out of superstition and gross fraud. Seek an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise and worships the Lord in spirit and in truth.

“(Hezekiah) removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.” – 2 Kings 18:4

Throwback Thursday: “The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a short post that was originally published back on March 22, 2016 and has been revised.

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The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic
By Ron Rhodes
Harvest House Publishers, 2002, 128 pp.

In this short book, evangelical apologist, Ron Rhodes, examines Roman Catholicism in comparison to God’s Word and suggests ten topics of conversation when witnessing to Catholics:

  1. The apocryphal books are helpful historically, but they do not belong in the Bible.
  2. The Bible alone is authoritative, not tradition.
  3. Peter was one of the leading apostles, but he was not the first pope.
  4. The pope, the bishops, and the magisterium are fallible.
  5. Mary was the mother of Jesus, nothing more.
  6. Justification is instantaneous, once-for-all, and entirely by grace.
  7. The sacrament of the mass does not appease God.
  8. The sacrament of penance does not absolve sins.
  9. There is no purgatory, nor is it needed.
  10. Jesus has changed my life forever.

The genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is radically different from the false gospel Catholics have been taught. They have been told by their church that salvation comes through participating in its sacraments and then by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules.

This little book is a valuable resource for evangelicals wishing to learn about what Roman Catholicism teaches without having to read a long tome and for Catholics who wish to learn more about the Gospel of grace. It can be ordered from Amazon.com for only $9.79 here.

Ron Rhodes’ website can be found here.

Additional books about Roman Catholicism from Harvest House Publishers can be found here.

Throwback Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

For this week’s Throwback Thursday installment, I’m republishing this short post from previous years about something that never gets old; being grateful to the Lord for His bountiful blessings!

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“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord here at the WordPress blogosphere! May your time today with your family and friends be joyous as we contemplate all of our blessings in Christ Jesus!

Throwback Thursday: When a pope celebrated the wholesale slaughter of Protestants with a medal

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a short post that was originally published back on February 5, 2016 and has been revised.

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In celebration of the slaughter of the Protestant Huguenots in Paris on the eve of St. Bartholomew’s feast day, August 23-24, 1572, pope Gregory XIII (aka Ugo Boncompagni) directed the pictured medal to be struck, which featured an “exterminating angel” striking the Huguenots and the caption, UGONOTTORUM STRAGES, (“Overthrow of the Huguenots”). Gregory XIII also commissioned three frescoes commemorating the massacre for the Sala Regia Hall at the Vatican, where they remain today. The estimated death toll varies, but some historians put the number of Protestants who were murdered in the violence that spread across France at 30,000. Those Protestants who survived the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and national “religiouscide” were persecuted in Catholic church-supported “dragonnades” and forced to flee to other nations.

Pope Gregory XIII

There’s no debate that both Protestant and Catholic European monarchs engaged in wars of expansion and political control, using religion as an excuse, but how is it that a pope, allegedly guided by the Holy Spirit and supposedly infallible in all important matters of faith and morals, could have celebrated the wholesale slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent victims? In addition, by sanctioning the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the pope was encouraging further violence against Protestants.

On Aug. 24, 1997, pope John Paul II offered a semi-apology for the Paris massacre (see here), but if every pope is infallible when acting as shepherd of the Catholic church, how could Gregory XIII have celebrated an event, which clearly violated the teachings of Jesus Christ? Why did the Catholic church wait 425 years before it apologized for this atrocity? What are Catholics to deduce when one pope apologizes for the actions of another pope?

Better to follow God’s Word in all things than to follow man-made religious institutions and traditions.

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”  Matthew 15:8-9

Throwback Thursday: Priests and ministers: Aren’t they the same thing?

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

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Evangelical churches have their ministers and Roman Catholicism has its priests. But aren’t they the same thing, just with different titles? In this era of widespread ecumenism and the de-emphasis of doctrine, many evangelicals mistakenly think so.

Evangelical ministers are called to preach the Good News of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone and to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12. Evangelical pastors are to preach and teach God’s Word and to shepherd the Lord’s flock and be examples of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. Scripture says we’re to respect and submit to our pastors in the Lord, but we’re certainly not to put them up on pedestals in the place of Jesus Christ. They’re sinners saved by grace just like the other believers in the congregation.

Catholic priests on the other hand are ordained by their church’s hierarchy to administer the sacraments that Catholics believe are required for salvation. The Catholic sacerdotal system is an anti-Biblical continuation of the Old Testament, Levitical priesthood. Catholicism teaches its priests change bread wafers and wine into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, to be offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of those who attend the mass and for any others who are named. Priests are alleged to forgive sins in the confessional booth and administer the last rites to the dying, which Catholics believe absolves the individual of all mortal sin. Priests are alleged to have the power to bless living and inanimate objects. Catholic parishioners bring their rosaries, statues, scapulars, and other objects to priests for their blessing. It’s believed an object blessed by a priest has powers to ward off evil and effect desirable benefits. The priesthood is central to the Catholic system. There would be no Catholicism without its priests and their alleged powers.

In previous generations, priests were highly revered by the Catholic faithful. It wasn’t unusual for members of the Catholic laity to kiss the hands that changed bread and wine into Jesus. Catholics venerated their priests because they were absolutely necessary for their salvation. Catholicism boldly claims its priests are alter Christus, another Christ. The Catholic clergy’s absolute control over the means to salvation was not achieved by happenstance. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it devolved from the preaching of saving faith in Jesus Christ into religious ritual and legalism, all controlled by the increasingly powerful clergy class.

“St. Francis of Assisi used to say, “If I saw an Angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the Angel. Besides, the power of the priest surpasses that of the Blessed Virgin Mary; for, although this Divine Mother can pray for us, and by her prayers obtain whatever she wishes, yet she cannot absolve a Christian from even the smallest sin.” – from “The Dignity and Duties of the Priest” by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Some of the luster has faded from the Catholic priesthood, beginning in the 1960s and especially after the pedophile scandals over the last twenty years. The church’s celibacy rule for its clergy often attracted the socially awkward and even the psychologically ill. Many Catholics now see their priests as fallible, struggling souls just like them rather than someone to be placed on a pedestal. The majority of Catholics ignore their clergy’s admonishments to attend mass every Sunday and to go to confession at least yearly. Recent surveys show 70% of Catholics don’t believe priests turn bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ.

The Catholic mass is largely about the consecration of the bread and wine, not about preaching and teaching. The sermon portion of the mass, known as the “homily” (Greek for “speaking with”) is generally very short, usually around seven or eight minutes according to Catholic sources, and is often given by a man who is not inclined to speak before crowds. Even so, the message he preaches is not the Good News of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The priest’s messages exhort mass-goers to be faithful to church teaching by participating in the sacraments and by trying to obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit salvation. That’s an empty message without hope, for no one can possibly obey the Ten Commandments. Disaffected Catholics often complain they don’t “get anything” out of the mass and they would be right. The Catholic system is an endless treadmill of sacraments and works in the goal of meriting salvation. Can’t be done.

There is no need for a sacrificial priesthood. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and mankind. The New Testament makes it explicitly clear that the priestly sacrificial system was completely fulfilled by Jesus Christ and was done away with. Repent of your sinful rebellion against God and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone. Ask the Lord to help you find an evangelical church in your area that preaches and teaches God’s Word without compromise.

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

“’This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” – Hebrews 10:16-18.

Throwback Thursday: Goddesses on the mantel?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on February 11, 2016 and has been slightly revised.

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Decorating styles come and go. What was cutting-edge trendy a few decades ago is strictly verboten today. Classical Greek and Roman decorating motifs were VERY popular a couple of generations ago and still have a few fans. I know of an evangelical Christian woman who has several small Greek and Roman statues on display in her house. One of the statues is a miniature of the famous Venus de Milo (see photo), which is said to have been sculpted around 100 B.C. and was discovered on the Greek island of Milos in 1820.

Aphrodite (Venus was the Roman equivalent) was the very popular Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. There were many temples and shrines throughout ancient Greece dedicated to Aphrodite, but the most famous ones were in the cities of Athens and Corinth. Ritual prostitution was an integral part of the worship of this pagan goddess.

I was startled to see the statue and gently asked this Christian friend why she would have a nude statue of a pagan goddess on display in her house? She was visibly offended and replied it was merely decorative; a culturally-acceptable symbol of beauty. It wasn’t like she was worshiping the statue or anything like that. Also, the statue had great sentimental value because it was owned and displayed by her deceased mother. Therefore, if it was good enough for Mom, well, you know the rest. We discontinued the exchange, but I knew I was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about this one. Would Jesus have had a statue of a nude, pagan goddess in His abode? Oy! The idea is laughably preposterous! Or how about the apostle Paul? Oh, absolutely ludicrous beyond imagination! And yet this Christian could justify displaying a statue of a naked, pagan goddess with no qualms whatsoever.

Of course, in criticizing this sister, the Holy Spirit pointed out to me that I also have things in my life that the Lord is not happy with. Argh! They’re certainly not as blatant or conspicuous as that pagan statue, but they’re just as willfully disobedient.

Lord, reveal and take away those things from my life that do not please You. Help me to be softhearted and instructable as You teach me from Your Word. Help me to follow You in all that I do. It’s only by Your grace that I’m saved and it’s only by Your grace that I can serve and please You.

Throwback Thursday: Why I am NOT a Roman Catholic

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

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Why I am not a Roman Catholic: Ten Biblical reasons why I cannot be a Roman Catholic
By Will Graham, Evangelical Focus, February 13, 2016

  1. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in Mariology.
  2. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the pope.
  3. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in idolatry.
  4. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in purgatory.
  5. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in transubstantiation.
  6. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the clergy/lay division.
  7. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the Apocrypha.
  8. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in the seven sacraments.
  9. I’m not a Roman Catholic because I don’t believe in mortal or venial sins.
  10. Most importantly, I’m not a Roman Catholic because I DO believe in the Biblical Gospel!

See the full article via the link below:

http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/1363/Why_I_am_not_a_Roman_Catholic