Living Biblically 10 – “The Bible is sexist”

CBS is currently airing the last several episodes of its cancelled “Living Biblically” sit-com. I was able to catch up with episode 10 via CBS’s free app that I downloaded to my Kindle.

Living Biblically
Episode 10, “Submit to Thy Husband”
CBS, originally aired 7/7/18

Plot

Chip’s wife, Leslie, is pregnant so he decides to start up a weekly poker game with “the boys” before his domestic responsibilities ramp up. When Leslie, a nurse practitioner, comes home from work exhausted, Chip suggests that she should quit her job and stay home to raise the baby, referencing the Bible as the inspiration for his idea. Leslie is angered by what she perceives as Chip’s Bible-fueled aim to dominate her.

The guy crew (priest Gene, rabbi Gil, friend Vince, and the workplace security guard) show up at Chip and Leslie’s apartment for the card game, but Leslie is too angry to play the polite hostess. When Chip’s boss, Ms. Meadows, also drops by, Leslie imposes on her to go down to the local saloon for a “girl’s night out.”

At the bar, Leslie shares her marital conflict with Ms. Meadows. The latter confides she was “raised in the church,” but has no use for the Bible any longer, calling it “sexist” (the character is an unabashed lesbian). She quotes Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands…,” as evidence that the Bible is no longer to be taken seriously.

Back at the apartment, a distracted Chip continues to send unacknowledged conciliatory texts to Leslie rather than focusing on the card game. Aware of the details of Chip’s marital troubles, priest Gene advises him that the Bible was written for a different time and needs a “modern interpretation.”

When Leslie returns home, Chip apologizes for his heavy handedness and promises to submit to her as they submit to each other.

Commentary

Ephesians 5:22 is egregiously offensive to many unbelieving…and believing…women. But taken together in context with the entire passage of Ephesians 5:22-33, we see both husband and wife instructed to love the other with a sacrificial, servant love. Yes, the husband is to be the head of the family. Not a dictator, but a servant leader. Many Christian husbands have abdicated their spiritual leadership role. Yes, there have been some men who have unfortunately used the Bible to justify mistreating their wives. Many Christian wives have followed the world’s example and sought to dominate their husband.

The Lord’s instructions for a husband and wife on how they are to function together does not need a “modern interpretation,” although you can be sure that the culture is not going to agree with that.

It stung me to watch this episode and listen to God’s Word being strongly attacked. The Gospel is not connected with this series in any way, folks. This is all someone’s interpretation of the Bible who doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


Husbands, Love Your Wives
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-383/husbands-love-your-wives

The Willful Submission of a Christian Wife
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-382/the-willful-submission-of-a-christian-wife

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Some ramblings on LGBTQ

A short time ago, I posted a message about the Supreme Court ruling on a Christian baker’s right not to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage (see here), and I felt led to write ramble a bit more about the subject of homosexuality.

I can remember reading an Ann Landers column in 1969 when I was thirteen-years-old and she was discussing homosexuality. I had no clue what that word meant and had to ask one of my older sisters. My, how things have changed!

The Bible clearly teaches homosexuality is a sin:

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” – Romans 1:26-27

At the independent fundamental Baptist church we attended back in the 1980s, the pastor often railed against gays. This was during the outbreak of AIDS/HIV and everyone was tense. There was a family that attended our church comprised of a father, mother, and four children; two boys and two girls. The two boys were noticeably on the effeminate side and the youngest one, in his early teens, was flamboyantly so. He was actually more feminine in his mannerisms than his sisters and I say that without exaggeration. As the family sat in the auditorium while the pastor railed against gays, I felt increasingly sorry for them. Did the youngest boy turn out to be so effeminate because of biology or because of conditioning? The pastor’s constant harangues against homosexuality was one of the (many) reasons we finally left that church.

Flash forward to 2014. We began attending a small Southern Baptist church and the young pastor was very troubled about an issue. An older couple who were members had a son who was unapologetically gay. He argued that homosexuality cannot be a sin if a person is born with same sex attraction. The parents went to the pastor and asked if homosexuality was a sinful choice or a biological condition. The pastor began scouring through research materials that attributed the documented decline of testosterone levels in males to the rise of toxins in the environment, beginning with industrialization. I pointed out to him that homosexuality was rampant in ancient Greek and Roman societies where modern toxins were certainly not a factor and testosterone levels were probably relatively high compared to our society.

Some rambling thoughts and questions:

  • Are some people born with a genetic proclivity for homosexuality as the LGBTQ community argues or is attraction to the same sex learned/conditioned/chosen? Researchers are still looking for a genetic factor for same-sex attraction.
  • Are boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers or very domineering mothers more inclined to homosexuality?
  • Some heterosexuals resort to homosexuality when they are deprived of opposite-sex partners (e.g., in a prison environment), but return to heterosexuality when conditions change. Isn’t that an example of homosexuality via conditioning?
  • Will the growing acceptance of homosexuality by society result in an increasing percentage of homosexuals as impressionable children and teens are being taught that same-sex relationships are positive and perhaps even preferred?

“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 1:32

  • Do low testosterone levels in men necessarily equate to homosexuality? I’m guessing many homosexual men have high testosterone levels and strong sex drives. Contrary to my opening observation, I don’t believe it’s accurate to say a more sensitive nature in a male guarantees homosexual inclinations nor does an exaggerated macho nature guarantee heterosexual inclinations.

This is a fallen world and sin abounds, with homosexuality being only one form. Ideally, males should be attracted to females – if in doubt, just check the biological equipment – and sex should follow after marriage. That is God’s plan. But God’s plan is being increasingly ignored and even flouted. Premarital sex abounds and begins at younger and younger ages. Cohabitation is preferred over marriage. Homosexuality is now without restraint. Most everyone has someone in their extended family who is openly gay. Homosexuals are campaigning to be accepted and affirmed within the church. We are inundated with examples via the media of adults and children changing genders. The world is an increasingly disturbing place.

As Christians, we need to firmly stand upon God’s Word and not compromise with sin, but the love of God and the hope we have in Christ must also be part of our message. I don’t condemn homosexuals because I am a totally depraved sinner saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone. We must introduce our gay family members and friends to the Savior.

Ramble over. Comments welcomed.

A couple of major problems with this book

Back in May, I posted on a very good book on Roman Catholicism, “Test All Things: An Invitation to Examine Your Catholic Faith in the Light of Scripture” by Joe Mizzi. See my review here. As I perused through Mizzi’s website, Just For Catholics, I noticed that he had posted another free downloadable PDF of a book, this one titled “Whose Voice Are You Listening To?” Any book that examines Catholicism and is free to boot is right up my alley, so I downloaded it.

Whose Voice Are You Listening To?: A Comparison of the Catholic Catechism to the Bible?
By Marlene C. Crouch
Tate Publishing, 2009, 310 pages

In this book, the author compares several key Catholic doctrines with Scripture, concentrating mainly on the church’s teachings about Mary and Petrine authority, with a secondary focus on sacramental grace and eucharistic transubstantiation. There’s some excellent information here as Crouch cites many paragraphs from the Catholic catechism and contrasts them with an abundant amount of Scripture to refute the above doctrines. However, there are also some fundamental flaws in this book that cannot be overlooked.

In her introduction, Crouch urges her Catholic readers to “please know that all of (her) efforts in compiling (this information) were born out of love and compassion for (her) Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ – brothers and sisters in Christ who love the Lord and who believe the Gospel’s basic message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, but who are deceived and held in bondage under false doctrines derived from the traditions of man and who are thereby deprived of the freedom and joy of fully experiencing the magnitude of God’s love” (page 14, my italics).

However, throughout the book and especially in the chapter devoted to God’s grace, Crouch makes it clear that Roman Catholicism proclaims a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit in direct contrast to the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Which is it, Ms. Crouch? Can a Catholic be born-again in Christ by following the standard works-righteousness salvation theology of their church or not? Catholics by definition DO NOT believe in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE.

In the chapter on the church, Crouch takes the view that when Jesus died on the cross, He descended into hell and “preached to everyone who had died, from Adam to the thief on the cross” (p. 183). She then claims that, “Those spirits who heard his voice and believed his preaching” were saved (p.181). Crouch is saying the Old Testament souls who had not trusted in the Lord for their salvation prior to their death had a second chance, which is at odds with the general revelation of Scripture. People who believe as Crouch does cite 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 1 Peter 4:6. These are no-doubt difficult verses and require thorough and prayerful study. I know there’s some debate about where Jesus went in His spirit and what He did between the time of His death and resurrection, but this claim that the unrighteous souls who died before Jesus’ death were able to trust in Him as Savior is heterodox. Who wouldn’t trust in Christ at that point if it were possible? Wayne Grudem provides some good analysis of 1 Peter 3:18–20 and 1 Peter 4:6 in the article far below.

Because of these two very serious flaws, I can’t recommend “Whose Voice Are You Listening To?” I’m disappointed that Joe Mizzi includes this book as a free download on his website.

Chapters

Mary’s Consent
Marian Apparitions
Mary’s Immaculate Conception?
Mary, Ever Virgin
The Rosary
Pray Only to God
Keys to the Kingdom and Power of God
Peter, the Rock
Peter’s Brethren
Peter, Son of Jonas
The Church
Grace
Transubstantiation


Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/did-jesus-really-descend-into-hell/

Did Jesus actually promise to build His church upon lowly Peter?

In its efforts to bolster its claims regarding the alleged supremacy of the bishop of Rome, the pope, Roman Catholicism had to scour Scripture looking for validating proof texts. They found their primary “evidence” in Matthew 16:

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’” – Matthew 16:13-18

Catholic apologists argue that the passage teaches that Jesus promised to build his church upon the apostle, Peter, who they claim was the first bishop of Rome, but Protestants disagree. In the original Greek text, the word used for Peter is “petros,” which means a small stone or pebble, while the word used for rock is “petra,” which means a massive rock formation. Jesus was using a play on words to indicate that while Simon was an insecure, rolling pebble, the truth that he had proclaimed, that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah and Savior, would be the massive, unmoveable truth that would be the bedrock foundation of the church.

But Protestants are not the only ones who correctly exegete this passage. Church “fathers,” Augustine, Chrysostom, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory of Nyssa, and Cyril also interpreted Matthew 16:18 to mean that Jesus was going to build His church upon the truth proclaimed by Peter, that He was the long-awaited Messiah and Savior.

“Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer.” – Augustine from “The Works of Saint Augustine” (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993), Sermons, Vol. 6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327.

But an even more convincing case against Catholicism’s self-serving misinterpretation is Scripture itself. As in most cases with God’s Word, one passage of Scripture clarifies another and that is the case for Matthew 16. Just four chapters after chapter 16 we find:

“Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:20-28

If Jesus had already granted apostolic primacy to Peter in Matthew 16 as Catholics claim, then why would James and John have requested apostolic primacy in Matthew 20? Does not compute. If Catholics are right, James and John would not have bothered to request apostolic primacy as they had. We see in the passage that Jesus gently rebukes James and John for their ambition and also forbids the Catholic notions of apostolic primacy and an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

Further, in the apostle Paul’s epistles, not only is there NO mention of Peter’s alleged primacy – zero, zip, zilch, nada – but he deliberately contradicts the notion:

“And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.” – Galatians 2:6

Peter was certainly a leader of the apostles and was used by God to spread the Gospel, but he was not the pope or the foundation of Jesus’ church.

Searching for my spiritual gift?

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

In regards to spiritual gifts, I offer the following with a great degree of humility, recognizing everything we possess is from the Lord:

My wife and I were reading through 1 Corinthians the past several weeks. As part of that, I did some preparatory study for chapter 12, in which the apostle Paul wrote about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Boy, did that bring back memories, but it also spoke to my walk with the Lord currently.

After my wife and I accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior by faith alone back in 1983, we began attending an independent, fundamental Baptist church not too far from our home. The church had several problems, which eventually caused us to leave in 1991, but there were also several positives associated with our time there.

The pastor used an expository style of preaching. He would select a particular book of the Bible and, over time, preach on the entire text, from the opening verse clear through to the last verse. With three different books being studied each week (Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night), we got A LOT of Bible and some very thorough teaching.

I can vividly remember the pastor studying through 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.* His message was that everyone had a spiritual gift and it was up to each person to determine their particular gift so that they could use it to minister to the rest of the body of Christ. For several weeks afterwards, we had members asking each other what their spiritual gift was. Argh! It reminded me of kindergarten class. I felt a bit lost because I didn’t know what my gift was. I taught Sunday School class for primary children (grades 1-3) for about four years and was also a deacon for one year, and, although I was very blessed by both ministries, I felt like a fish out of water.

After I returned to the Lord after my long prodigal “season,” the Lord put it into my heart to reach out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel of grace and to confront the error of ecumenism within the church. For those reasons, I started this blog almost three years ago and I usually post something every day except for Sundays. However, as I wrote my posts, I often became frustrated as to why my brothers and sisters in the Lord didn’t see the obvious dangers of ecumenism as I did, until it struck me; the Lord blessed me with a degree of discernment regarding Catholicism and ecumenism, a gift which many do not have, even pastors and theologians who have a lot more training and familiarity with God’s Word and church history than I do. I don’t state that with any degree of pride. The Lord bestows His gifts upon us differently. But don’t all people who accept Christ and come out of Catholicism also have this gift? No, I’ve noticed that many ex-Catholics have a tolerant “it didn’t work for me, but whatever works for you” attitude. Am I and others who have the gift of discernment always right? Ugh. Hardly. I am not infallible and NONE of us minister in our gifts perfectly. Only Jesus is perfect. But, when I read 1 Corinthians 12 now, I am not frustrated about what my gift is as I was thirty years ago. I know exactly what it is.

Scripture exhorts ALL believers to study God’s Word to show themselves approved unto the Lord, so that they are able to discern false teaching, but many believers are forfeiting their individual responsibility and buying into the ear-tickling, topical, doctrine-lite, and even false teaching that’s increasingly prevalent in hip mega-churches.

Below is a helpful, three-part article from Tim Challies about the gift of discernment.

The Gift of Spiritual Discernment, Part 1
The Gift of Spiritual Discernment, Part 2
The Gift of Spiritual Discernment, Part 3

“Where God has given a gift, we can expect that He will also give passion…Those who look for their gifting should look to what interests them and what makes them feel passionate. As they look to their passions they may just find their gifts.” – Tim Challies

I don’t believe Christians need to wring their hands and anguish over what their spiritual gift (or gifts) is as our old pastor had directed us to. As we follow the Lord and seek His Kingdom, He will put a desire in our hearts to serve the body in the way He desires.

*Full disclosure: When it comes to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I’m a “cessationist,” meaning I believe the showy gifts (healings, languages, raising the dead, handling poisonous snakes, etc.) were meant to demonstrate the authority of the apostles and to establish the church, and ended after the apostolic age following the establishment of the New Testament.

Would Jesus have designed a wedding cake for a same-sex couple? AKA the “gospel” according to Joy Behar!

We’ve all heard the recent news regarding the Supreme Court upholding Christian baker, Jack Phillip’s right not to design and create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The other day, I was looking through some YouTube videos and saw the one below, which featured Phillips as a guest on ABC’s morning show, “The View.” This episode was broadcast in 2017 before the case went to the Supreme Court.

For eleven minutes, he and his lawyer were grilled by the mostly-unfriendly, five-member panel. At the 4:53 mark, Paula Faris asks Jack, “What do you think Jesus would have done in that situation (i.e., asked to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple)?” Jack’s answer, that he doesn’t believe Jesus would have made a cake, is met with incredulous disdain. The panel (and audience) largely agrees with Joy Behar (photo above) when she declares, “Jesus is gonna make the cake!”

Blood-bought, born-again followers of Jesus Christ know that the Lord Jesus Christ would never condone sinful behavior by creating a wedding cake for a male couple, decorated with two male figurines on the top, etc., etc. It would not happen. Believers who read their Bibles know this.

The panel presumes to speak for Jesus, although they are not born-again in Christ and do not read His Word. They have their opinion about what Jesus would do in Phillips’ circumstance, but it’s opinion without any Biblical basis. One of the panelists, Sara Haines, takes disparaging pot shots at the Bible for its teachings about homosexuality, and celebrates that “faith has evolved” since the “thousands of years ago” when God’s Word was written. We also hear from the same panelist, who professes to have been “raised in the church” (what church?), that the Bible isn’t to be trusted because it was “translated 60-some times,” whatever that means. The Bible is a closed book to unbelievers.

The Supreme Court ruling is not the end of this. We can anticipate the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality to became an increasingly rancorous point of contention between Bible Christians and unbelievers (religious and secular).

Please watch the video below if you can spare eleven minutes. It’s an education. Jack actually does fine given the unfriendly panel and his lack of experience on television.

 

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” – Romans 1:26-27

Does 2 Timothy 1:16-18 teach Purgatory?

Catholicism differs in many respects from Biblical Christianity, including its belief in Purgatory. The Catholic church defines Purgatory as “a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating (i.e., atoning for) their sins before going to Heaven.” Catholicism teaches that even one unconfessed mortal (i.e., major) sin on the soul dooms a person to Hell, while venial (i.e., small) sins or any residual temporal punishment remaining after confession must be expiated in Purgatory. However, references to Purgatory can neither be found explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. Catholic apologists, of course, argue that the doctrine is based on Scripture.

The other day I was listening to my daily dose of Catholic talk radio via the “Called to Communion” radio show with host David Anders and a listener called in asking where Purgatory could be found in the Bible. Anders responded by saying the doctrine of Purgatory and praying for the dead can be found in 2 Maccabees 12:38-46. See here.

While the Roman Catholic church accepts 2 Maccabees and the other books of the Apocrypha (1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon), Baruch, Tobit, Judith, and additions to Daniel and Esther) as Scripture, the Jews of ancient Israel never embraced those materials as Scripture and, likewise, Jesus and the Apostles never quoted from them. Besides, the dead soldiers cited in the passage had been participating in gross idolatry, a “mortal” sin according to Catholic dogma, so they would have been disqualified from Purgatory anyway.

But wait! Anders also claimed the apostle, Paul, refers to Purgatory in 2 Timothy 1:16-18. Let’s take a look at that passage:

“16) May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17) but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18) may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.”

But is this passage referring to Purgatory? Let’s look at John MacArthur’s exegesis of this passage from “The MacArthur Bible Commentary,” 2005, p. 1805:

1:16 Onesiphorus. One of Paul’s loyal coworkers who had not deserted Paul, but befriended him in prison and was not ashamed or afraid to visit the apostle there regularly and minister to his needs. Since Paul asks Timothy to greet those in his house (4:19), the family obviously lived in or near Ephesus.

1:17 when he arrived in Rome. Onesiphorus was perhaps on a business trip, and the text implies that his search involved time, effort, and possibly even danger.

1:18 that day. This is also called the “Day of Christ,” when believers will stand before the judgement seat and be rewarded (Phil. 1:6, Phil. 1:10, 1 Cor. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:10, 1 Pet. 1:5).

Catholicism errs greatly by confusing the judgement seat of Christ (the Bema Seat), where the works of saved believers will be judged, with the Great White Throne Judgement where the unsaved will be judged in their sins and condemned to Hell.

Claiming from 2 Timothy 1:16-18 that Onesiphorus is dead and in Purgatory and that Paul is praying for him is forcing-a-square-peg-through-a-round-hole eisegesis. Onesiphorus was alive at the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy and the apostle was praying that Onesiphorus be rewarded at the Bema Seat for his service and was also praying for his family back in Ephesus for their sacrifice in his absence.

Over the centuries, Rome, with its works gospel of sacramental grace and merit, created an elaborate system with regards to Purgatory involving indulgences, the church’s treasury of merit, and prayers for the dead. But believers know that God’s Word mentions only two afterlife destinations for the dead; Heaven and Hell.

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” – 2 Cor. 5:6-8

There is no “middle place” for the punishment of small sins. “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” – James 2:10. Purgatory is a man-made creation meant as a “safety net” for credulous works religionists. There is only Heaven and Hell. We are all sinners and none of us can merit Heaven. Repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.

What does the Bible say about Purgatory?
https://www.gotquestions.org/purgatory.html

CBS not giving up on “faith-based” entertainment

I have some news about a couple of “faith-based” television shows, one on the way out and one on the way in.

Living Biblically
CBS

I previously reviewed the first eight episodes of “Living Biblically,” which ran on CBS from February through April on Monday nights. The comedy was about Chip, a “lapsed” Catholic, who decides to get serious about his religion and live his life “one-hundred-percent according to the Bible” with “laughable” results. The only redeeming quality of the show, if you could call it that, was that it accurately portrayed Catholicism’s “good people go to Heaven” false gospel.

With the final five episodes still in the can, CBS cancelled the low-rated show in mid-April. However, I’ve just learned that the network will allow the series a “last hurrah” by airing the final five episodes according to the following schedule:

  • Never Let Loyalty Leave You – May 28th
  • Submit to Thy Husband – June 4
  • Thou Shalt Not Covet – June 11
  • It’s Better to Give Than to Receive – June 18
  • David and Goliath – June 25

All of these dates are Mondays and I’m assuming all broadcast times will be at 9:30 p.m. EST as it was previously.

The “Never Let Loyalty Leave You” episode scheduled for this coming Monday, May 28th, looks intriguing. The summary states, “Father Gene is jealous when he finds out that Chip attended Vince’s Baptist church to see another side of religion.” I expect a good dose of “whatever works for you” ecumenism.

Reviews to follow.


Evidently, CBS did not learn its lesson from “Living Biblically” and is coming out with another faith-based comedy show in the Fall titled…

God Friended Me
CBS, Fall 2018 (premier date and time not yet available)

The advertised premise of the new, one-hour show is as follows:

“Brandon Micheal Hall stars in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.”

That’s certainly a wacky premise and I imagine the god that’s presented on this show will be something akin to the New Age, feel-good, false deity that we saw on Roma Downey’s “Touched by an Angel” rather than the God of the Bible. But the Holy Spirit can certainly use a show like this to get people thinking and draw people to the Lord. See the preview video below:

 

 

Prevailing against the Gates of Hell?

“And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:17-19

Matthew 16:17-19 is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. Rome bases its claims to Petrine authority primarily upon this entry. But today I would like to focus on just a small portion of the passage:

“…the gates of hell shall not prevail against (the church).” – Matthew 16:18

I listen to a lot of Catholic talk radio strictly for research purposes and over and over again I have heard Catholic apologists present this verse as a prophetic promise of the alleged perpetuity and authority of the Catholic church, that from the time the church was founded on Pentecost to the papacy of Francis, the Catholic church would perpetually withstand the onslaughts of Satan and his demons.

But is that what the verse is actually saying? The Greek word for “gates,” Πύλη, pýlē, literally means “door-gates,” which Catholics interpret in a metaphorical sense as the “seat of power” of Satan. But “gates” can be interpreted more literally and properly here as the entryway into hell.

John MacArthur comments on this verse:

“Gates of Hades: Hades is the place of punishment for the spirits of dead unbelievers, entered at death. This Jewish phrase then refers to death. Even death, the ultimate weapon of Satan, has no power to stop the church. The blood of the martyrs, in fact, has led to the growth of the church in size and spiritual power.” – p. 1155, The MacArthur Bible Commentary

In his commentary compilation, J. Vernon McGee writes of Matthew 16:18:

“The ‘gates of hell’ refers to death. The word used for hell is the Greek word hades, the sheol of the Old Testament, which refers to the unseen world and means “death.” The gates of death shall not prevail against Christ’s church. One of these days the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. That shout will be like the voice of an archangel and like a trumpet because the dead in Christ are to be raised. The gates of death shall not prevail against His church.” – Thru-the-Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. IV, Matthew Through Romans, p. 92.

There are some American evangelicals who interpret this portion of Matthew 16:18 as a battle-cry for the church to storm Satan’s kingdom and “reclaim America for Jesus,” but is that the sense that Christ meant? See Kevin DeYoung’s article below:

A Closer Look at the Gates of Hell
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/a-closer-look-at-the-gates-of-hell/

“The promise in Matthew 16 is not about venturing out on some Dungeons and Dragons spiritual crusade, but about Christ’s guarantee that the church will not be vanquished by death.” – Kevin DeYoung

So Matthew 16:18 is not a prophecy of the perseverance of the Roman Catholic church or a triumphal rallying cry for the militant evangelical church in America to reclaim the country, but rather a promise to the Body of genuine believers (church/ekklasia/called out ones) that death will not prevail over them, thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, who overcame the gates of hell (death) for all who trust in Him.

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:54

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me, to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” – Isaiah 61:1

While I personally believe there has always been a remnant of genuine believers since Pentecost, the Catholic church as an institution devolved long ago into anti-Scriptural legalism, ritualism, and worldiness to the point of being the antithesis of the New Testament church.

Do you have a different view of “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against (the church)”? Comments are welcome.

Somewhat dated but still excellent primer on Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism in the Light of Scripture
By F.C.H. Dreyer and E. Weller
Originally published by Moody Press, 1960
Solid Christian Books, 2016, 218 pages

This book does an excellent job of comparing the many differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity, most importantly, the difference between Rome’s gospel of sacramental grace and merit and the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. While “Roman Catholicism in the Light of Scripture” was first published fifty-eight years ago, all of the information remains pertinent except for references to the mass being said in Latin. Scripture references are plentiful.

F.C.H. Dreyer was a missionary associated with the Moody Church of Chicago, who labored for the Lord primarily in China.

Both paperback and Kindle eBook editions are available from Amazon here. A free, online PDF edition can also be found here.

Chapters

  1. Roman Catholicism and the Bible
  2. The Canon of Scripture
  3. Tradition
  4. The Apostle Peter
  5. The Papal Succession
  6. The One True Church
  7. Temporal Authority
  8. Papal Infallibility
  9. Sin
  10. Justification
  11. Baptism
  12. Purgatory
  13. Confession and Absolution
  14. Works of Supererogation (see definition here)
  15. Indulgences
  16. The Rosary
  17. Sacraments
  18. The Eucharist (I)
  19. The Eucharist (II)
  20. Priest and Altar
  21. Worship
  22. The Mass
  23. Veneration of Mary
  24. The Immaculate Conception
  25. The Continuing Virginity
  26. The Assumption of Mary
  27. Images
  28. Relics
  29. Saints
  30. Angels
  31. Forms of Worship
  32. Miracles
  33. Fasting
  34. Celibacy
  35. The Papacy and Social Conditions
  36. Historical Charts
  37. Epilogue

For my list of over 340 books that compare Roman Catholicism to Biblical Christianity, see here.