Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/28/23

Nancy Pelosi was barred from receiving the Jesus wafer by the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco because of her support of abortion, but she still considers herself a devout Catholic. After an attacker seriously injured her husband at their SF home last October, Pelosi called in Catholic priests to “exorcise the evil spirits,” but who was going to exorcise the priests’ false gospel? Catholicism is a syncretization of pagan superstition and pseudo-(c)hristianity.

I would never recommend anyone attend a Roman Catholic mass, where its claimed that priests transform bread wafers and wine unto the actual body and blood of Christ, and the Jesus elements are then offered up as a sacrifice for sins. However, if you were to attend a mass you might be surprised that the sermon (aka homily) is usually only around 10 minutes long with the rest of the time devoted to the rote liturgy. Homiletics are not a focus in Catholic seminary. Priests, from my subjective experience, are generally not good public speakers. The homily message is usually connected to the short snippet of the gospel passage that was previously read, whereby the priest will exhort the congregants to live morally upright lives in pursuit of their salvation. There’s no mention of the genuine Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

German cardinal, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has emerged as progressive pope Francis’ most vocal conservative critic. Müller compares Francis’ secret 2018 Vatican-Beijing accord, in which Bergoglio granted the Chinese communist government the power to select puppet bishops from its quisling Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, to a deal with Adolf Hitler. Actually, pope Pius XII did sign a deal with Hitler as historian David I. Kertzer discovered from documents in the previously sealed Vatican archives (see here).

Roman Catholic seminaries and rectories are magnets and hot-house incubators of deviancy and debauchery. Catholic and secular sources have estimated 30-40% of Catholic priests are homosexual. 80% of the victims of priest sexual abuse cases that have been documented since the 1950s were male.

We probably won’t see the official full-acceptance of practicing S&G-ites by the RCC during Francis’ tenure, but the pope is strategically getting all the ducks lined up in a row.

The German Catholic Synodale Weg (Synodal Path), a four-year progressive reform initiative steered by liberal clerics and laypersons, concludes this year. Some conservatives anticipate a schismatic split. Reforms being proposed include women’s ordination, married priests, lay participation in selection of bishops, and the blessing of same-sex unions and revision of the catechism currently disallowing homosexual practice.

Matthew Clark was Catholic bishop of Rochester, N.Y. from 1979 to 2012. Clark was a Vatican II progressive and looked the other way when liberal priests offered Jesus wafers to non-Catholic attendees at wedding and funeral masses. In a March 2020 bankruptcy court deposition, Clark admitted the diocese kept secret archives of pedophile priests and that priests accused of sexual abuse were allowed to continue to “serve,” sometimes moved from parish to parish.

“Progressive” evangelical pastors, like Andy Stanley, are advocating for full-acceptance of practicing S&G-ites. Yes, this “inclusive and affirming” mindset is creeping into evangelical churches.

For a thorough evaluation of Stanley’s latest heresy, see here.

“Meeting the Protestant Response,” #35: “The context reveals that ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ mean belief.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his first of two chapters defending transubstantiation and the eucharist using John 6:48-67 as his lengthy proof-text. For brevity’s sake, find that passage here.

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Protestant response #35: “The context reveals that ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ mean belief.”

Broussard writes that evangelical apologists Rob Zins, Eric Svendsen, and James R. White identify John 6:35 as a very important verse that clarifies that Jesus was using metaphorical language in the Bread of Life Discourse. Zins identifies John 6:35 as the “controlling verse of John 6.”

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35

States White, “‘Coming’ and ‘believing’ will become ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’ in verse 54…the definitions assigned to these terms by the Lord (being spiritual and symbolic, not literal and earthly) must be carried through the rest of the text.”

Writes Broussard, “Both White and Svendsen further cite verse 47, where Jesus says, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life,’ and infer from this that eating equals believing.”

Broussard’s response

Broussard acknowledges that “Jesus speaks about the necessity to believe in him…in verses 27-48,” but then states, “in verse 51, Jesus introduces his flesh and identifies it as the bread from heaven that he will give for the life of the world.” It is Jesus’ words about eating his flesh that distresses the Jews and disciples, says Broussard. He continues, “Belief in Jesus is not the issue here. It’s eating his flesh.” Broussard notes that “flesh” is mentioned six times in six verses. “If Jesus intended his statement about eating his flesh to be understood as mere belief,” declares Broussard, “and not something that a believer will do in order to have his spiritual hunger and thirst satiated, then he could have easily retracted his language about eating his flesh and gone back to the metaphorical language of coming to him and never hungering and believing in him and never thirsting, as he did in verse 35.”

My response

John 6:35 is definitely a prime clarifier, one of the major keys in the Bread of Life Discourse as Rob Zins, Eric Svendsen, and James R. White rightly point out. In verses that follow, Christ presents “coming” and “believing” metaphorically as “eating” and “drinking.” Broussard argues once again that Jesus would have corrected the Jews’ and disciples’ literalist understanding of “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54) if their understanding was not accurate. That is ground we covered in great detail back in installments #30 (see here) and #31 (see here). Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors throughout His earthly ministry. “Believe” (Greek: pisteúō: to believe in, to put one’s faith in, to trust in) is used nine times in John 6. Trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is the key to salvation, not physically eating Jesus.

Jesus spoke of the hard-hearted Jews and faux tare disciples in Matthew 13:10-13. His words are also true of Roman Catholics: “Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

Broussard devotes twelve sections total to his passionate defense of RC-ism’s literalist interpretation of John 6 and the Last Supper gospel accounts. Six more sections to go. Will Broussard ever get around to mentioning that the RCC also grants that non-Catholic religionists who never eat the Jesus wafer – Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc., and even atheists may also merit Heaven?

Next week: Protestant response #36: “The words eat and drink are used in the Bible as metaphors to refer to our relationship with God.”

Reformanda Initiative Podcast #17: An interview with Dr. Michael Reeves on The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)

Welcome to the seventeenth installment of our weekly Reformanda Initiative podcast series! I’m excited to present the ministry of Dr. Leonardo De Chirico and his associates at Reformanda Initiative as they examine Roman Catholic theology in order to inform and equip evangelicals.

Season 1, Episode 17: An interview with Dr. Michael Reeves on The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)

Show Notes

An interview with Prof. Michael Reeves, President and Professor of Theology at Union School of Theology, UK. Author of books such as The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation (2010) and (with Tim Chester), Why The Reformation Still Matters (2016).

On October 31, 1999, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation signed ‘The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification’ (JDDJ), claiming that they were ‘now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ.’ This has led many since to think that the fundamental theological differences of the Reformation have now been resolved, and that there remains little or nothing of real theological substance to prevent evangelical-Catholic unity. Professor Mark Noll, for instance, boldly declared,

“If it is true, as once was repeated frequently by Protestants conscious of their anchorage in Martin Luther or John Calvin that iustificatio articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae (justification is the article on which the church stands or falls), then the Reformation is over.”

Is the Reformation indeed, over? Listen as Dr. Reeves helps us make sense of the JDDJ.

My Comments

Did the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (JDDJ) forged by the Roman Catholic church and the liberal Lutheran World Federation in 1999 really resolve the opposing and irreconcilable views on justification that sparked the Reformation? Dr. Michael Reeves peels back the ambiguous parlance of the document to reveal that Rome continues to teach that Catholics are initially justified by baptism and then “enter into a process of justification and salvation requiring (their) free cooperation with God’s grace” (i.e., good works resulting in merit). That’s NOT the Good News. Very informative discussion.

Season 1, Episode 17: An interview with Dr. Michael Reeves on the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)
Featuring Leonardo De Chirico, Reid Karr, and Clay Kannard
April 30, 2020 – 45 minutes
https://reformandainitiative.buzzsprout.com/663850/3564586-ep-17-an-interview-with-dr-michael-reeves-on-the-joint-declaration-on-the-doctrine-of-justification-jddj

For the YouTube video version of this podcast, see here.

Next week: Season 1, Episode 18: Understanding the Sacrament of Penance in Roman Catholicism

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/21/23

Conservative Catholic cardinal, George Pell (above photo, right), died on January 10th. He was at one time considered the third most powerful prelate in the Vatican hierarchy in his role as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy between 2014 and 2019. Pell was embroiled in accusations that he covered-up for priest predators in Australia and that he also sexually abused underage boys himself. He spent 13 months in prison, but was released in 2020 on a legal technicality. Shortly following his death, it was revealed that Pell had been the author of a memo which categorized progressive pope Francis’ pontificate as “a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe.” This sentiment is shared by many conservative Catholic clerics.

Last Sunday, pope Francis announced an ecumenical prayer vigil that will take place in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 30, 2023, as part of the RCC’s ongoing Synod on Synodality. Said Francis, “Starting now, I invite our brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this gathering of the People of God. We thank the Lord who faithfully and patiently guides his people toward full communion.” Pope Francis also highlighted the RCC’s annual “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” which began this past Wednesday, Jan. 18. For Catholics, “full communion” and “Christian unity” mean submission to papal authority and to the RCC’s sacramental-merit salvation system.

After years of planning, fundamentalist Catholic, Mel Gibson, will soon begin filming the sequel to his 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ.” In “The Passion…,” Gibson portrayed Mary in accordance with Catholic doctrine as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix (see here). Evangelicals enthusiastically and misguidedly patronized “The Passion…” Gibson is a “sedevacantist” Catholic, meaning he believes all popes who came after Pius XII (d. 1958) are not legitimate because they supported the liberal reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

210 U.S. Congressional Representatives voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require immediate medical attention for babies who are born alive after an attempt was made to abort them.

COVID-19 obviously played a huge role in the decline in church attendance.

This past Monday, Americans celebrated Martin Luther King Day. In the 1950s and 60s, racism and bigotry were deeply ingrained and institutionalized in American society, yes, even in many Gospel churches, and needed to be confronted. Kudos to Martin Luther King for standing up to racism. That said, the liberal Baptist minister preached a social gospel that proclaimed all people are God’s children. King was a modernist who believed much of the Bible was mythical. Any time MLK entered the pulpit, there was no mention of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. For more on MLK’s particular beliefs on God and the Bible, including several revealing quotes, see here.

Being a former independent, fundamentalist Baptist, I’m looking forward to reading Jinger Duggar Vuolo’s upcoming “Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear” (Jan. 31) in which she describes distancing herself from her family’s deep ties to IFB-ism and Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles. The Duggars were also involved in Doug Phillips’ now-defunct Vision Forum. See Jinger’s short video intro to her story here. I’m one of those people Jinger describes who stepped away from God (for 23 years, although He never left me) after coming out of IFB-ism.

81 YO singer-songwriter, David Crosby, formerly of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young), died this past Wednesday. Crosby often stated that he didn’t believe in God, however, he did a lot of “whistling past the graveyard,” especially towards the end of his life. The gentleman did protest too much, methinks. I have a post about Crosby coming up shortly.

“Meeting the Protestant Response,” #34: “Jesus meant his words figuratively, as he did in John 10:9, when he spoke of himself as a ‘door,’ and in John 15:5, when he spoke of himself as ‘the vine.’”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his first of two chapters defending transubstantiation and the eucharist using John 6:48-67 as his lengthy proof-text. For brevity’s sake, find that passage here.

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Protestant response #34: “Jesus meant his words figuratively, as he did in John 10:9, when he spoke of himself as a ‘door,’ and in John 15:5, when he spoke of himself as ‘the vine.’”

In his presentation of the Protestant view, Broussard writes, “If Catholics interpret Jesus’ command to eat his flesh and drink his blood literally in John 6, then they have to take him literally in other passages when he says he’s a door (John 10:9) and a vine (John 15:5). As (Norman) Geisler and (Ralph) MacKenzie write, Jesus ‘said, ‘I am the door’ … and ‘I am the vine’ … and Roman Catholic scholars do not take these statements literally, even though they come from the same book that records, ‘This is my body’!’ (Evangelical apologist) Todd Baker bolsters this argument by highlighting the fact that Jesus’ words in John 6 are part of a series of ‘I Am’ statements in John’s Gospel. In John 10:9, Jesus says, ‘I am the door.’ He says, ‘I am the vine’ in John 15:5. In John 6:48, the beginning of Jesus’ Bread of Life Discourse, he says, ‘I am the bread of life.’ Baker argues that this ‘I Am’ statement clues us in to how we’re to understand his words concerning the bread he will give, which he identifies as his ‘flesh,’ and that we must eat it. Like in John 10:9 and John 15:5, we should interpret him figuratively.”

Broussard’s response

Broussard asserts that the door and the vine passages are disanalogous to the bread of life passage. States Broussard, “The people in the audience in the door and vine passages don’t interpret Jesus literally as they do in John 6.” He concludes, “Given the presence of the literal thoughts among Jesus’ audience in John 6 compared to the lack of such thoughts in the door and vine passages, and Jesus’ engagement with those literal thoughts by way of affirming them, we can conclude that the door and vine passages are meant to be read differently from how we should read Jesus’ teaching about eating his flesh and drinking his blood.”

My response

Jesus used metaphorical language (“I am the bread of life”) in the Bread of Life Discourse in John 6, just as he did later on in John 10:9 (“I am the door”) and John 15:5 (“I am the vine”). However, unlike the other two passages, in John 6 Jesus was alluding to and building directly from a particular event, the feeding of the five-thousand (John 6:1-15), and hence the more complex symbolism that baffled the hard-hearted disciples. Jesus certainly did not “affirm” a literal understanding as Broussard claims. In the previous four installments, we thoroughly discussed how Jesus had clarified His metaphorical language throughout the discourse. Jesus interposed “believe” (Greek: pisteúō: to believe in, put one’s faith in, trust in), nine times along with His “bread of life” metaphorism in John 6. Belief and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior through faith alone is the key to salvation, not physically eating Jesus.

Take heart my friends. Looking ahead, I see there are “only” seven more installments to go in this transubstantiation marathon.

Next week: Protestant response #35: “The context reveals that ‘eat’ and ‘drink’ mean belief.”

Throwback Thursday: Should evangelical Christians yoke together with Roman Catholics in marriage?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Should an evangelical Christian marry a Roman Catholic? The question seems jarringly anachronistic in this current era of undiscerning ecumenism. However, there are very real concerns as we’ll see in this post that was originally published back on December 15, 2016 and has been revised.

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Should Protestants and Roman Catholics Intermarry?
By John Carrara
Zondervan, 1963, 32 pages

5 Stars

Brad was fourteen-years-old when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone at a youth event sponsored by his parents’ evangelical church. He loved reading God’s Word and following the Lord, but soon he was off to college and a busy schedule of studies and sports. Brad met Sara in one of their senior classes and was smitten with the attractive and outgoing young woman. Their relationship grew and after graduation the couple became engaged. Sara was a Roman Catholic, but that “didn’t seem” to be a big problem. She talked fondly about her church and mentioned Jesus. Brad’s parents were a little concerned that Sara was Catholic, but Brad assured them that she also loved Jesus and pointed out that Billy Graham and some other popular evangelicals embraced Catholics as fellow-Christians.

When it came time to make their wedding plans, Sara said she was required to get married at her church. Brad was fine with that. They sat down with the parish priest and discussed the arrangements. The priest asked Brad to sign an agreement promising that he would not interfere with Sara’s religious beliefs and that any children they had together would be raised in the Catholic faith. Brad was weirded out by all that, but perceived the document as just one more hurdle to jump over on his way to wedded bliss.

The couple was finally married and settled into their new home. Brad didn’t have much time for the Lord in college or during the engagement-wedding process, but began to follow Him closely again. He found an evangelical church in their area and Sara attended a few times with him, but said she was more comfortable going to mass. Brad attended mass several times with her and noticed a lot of ritual and ceremony, but he never heard the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The more Brad talked with Sara about God, the more he learned how different her beliefs were in comparison to his. Sara believed God granted salvation to those who participated in the Catholic church’s sacraments and obeyed the Ten Commandments and church rules. Brad was shocked! He was no theologian, but he knew from God’s Word that no one could possibly merit their salvation by obeying the commandments. Brad ordered a few books about Catholicism from evangelical authors to learn more and was amazed at the many differences between evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism.

Brad began praying that Sara would accept Christ as Savior by faith alone while she prayed that he would convert to Catholicism. One day Sara came to Brad with news that she was pregnant. Brad was overjoyed, but in the back of his mind he was thinking he did not want this child or any other children they might have to be raised as Catholic. Brad regretted jumping into an unequal marriage without seriously considering the spiritual ramifications.

In this 1963 booklet published by Zondervan (Yes, Zondervan! My, how things have changed.), evangelist John Carrara breaks it all down and includes a copy of the 4-page document Protestants must still sign* before a priest before marrying a Catholic. In our current era of ecumenical accommodation and compromise, a booklet such as this would be viewed by most as sectarianism at its worst, but Biblical truths are no less valid today than they were in 1963. While the Catholic church doesn’t encourage interfaith marriages, it doesn’t prohibit them either, as long as strict guidelines are followed. That might seem a lot more magnanimous than Carrara’s warnings, but don’t forget that the Catholic church also teaches that everyone, even atheists, can also merit Heaven if they “sincerely follow the light they’ve been given” and are “good.” That’s not Christianity.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16

*For an update on the document in which the Protestant marriage partner was required to promise to raise any children as Catholics, see here.

Lausanne’s compromise

Ecumenism: Another Gospel: Lausanne’s Road to Rome
By E.S. Williams
Belmont House Publishing, 2014, 158 pp.

4 Stars

Have you ever heard of the Lausanne Movement? If you’ve been around long enough, you may have read at least some references to it here and there. I’d been meaning to read this book for quite a while and finally squeezed it into my queue. Author, E.S. Williams, a UK fundamentalist layman, takes aim at the Lausanne Movement, which was initiated by Billy Graham and John Stott* with the stated purpose of promoting active worldwide evangelism. Lausanne Movement meetings (“congresses”) have been held in Lausanne, Switzerland (1974), Manila, Philippines (1989), and Cape Town, South Africa (2010). Lausanne IV is scheduled to be held in Seoul, South Korea in September 2024. As Williams ably points out, the theological bent of the Lausanne Movement mirrors (and influences) the declining spirituality of “big tent” evangelicalism, with its growing interest in ecumenism with Rome, its disintegrating understanding of the Bible as God’s Holy and infallible Word, and its syncretic mixing of the Gospel with socio-political ideologies (socialism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.). This book is decidedly polemical in tone, but the facts Williams presents are incontrovertible.

*Billy Graham (d. 2018) and John Stott (d. 2011) are widely revered as “the greatest Christians of the 20th century.” However, no evangelicals did more to advance ecumenism with Rome. Stalwart pastor and preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, broke fellowship with both men over the issue of ecumenism.

Chapters

  1. The Cause of World Evangelization
  2. Billy Graham – the ecumenical evangelist
  3. John Stott – the political theologian
  4. The Cape Town Congress 2010
  5. Promoting the arts and the emerging church
  6. The orality movement
  7. Downgrading the written Word
  8. Ecumenical Alpha
  9. Lausanne’s love for the poor
  10. Lausanne’s feminist agenda
  11. Lausanne’s environmental agenda
  12. Lausanne’s socio-political agenda

Reformanda Initiative Podcast #16: The doctrine of justification according to Roman Catholicism

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of our weekly Reformanda Initiative podcast series! I’m excited to present the ministry of Dr. Leonardo De Chirico and his associates at Reformanda Initiative as they examine Roman Catholic theology in order to inform and equip evangelicals.

Season 1, Episode 16: The doctrine of justification according to Roman Catholicism

Show Notes

What is the doctrine of justification and why has it been such a big point of disagreement between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism? Listen as we describe the doctrine of justification according to Roman Catholicism.

My Comments

How is a person made righteous or “justified” before a Holy God? The Roman Catholic church teaches a person becomes justified by the infusion of sacramental graces whereby they are able to “cooperate with grace” through good works and charity in order to become increasingly sanctified/holy so as to possibly merit Heaven at the moment of death. Gospel Christianity teaches a person is justified only by the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ that is imputed to them the moment they receive Christ as Savior by faith alone. The two views on justification are diametrically opposed and irreconcilable. One is right and one is wrong. They cannot both be right. Martin Luther correctly said, “Justification is the doctrine by which the Church stands or falls.” In this podcast, the Reformanda Initiative guys examine the RCC teaching on justification and how it’s become more inclusive/universalized by liberals/progressives like pope Francis. Excellent discussion.

Season 1, Episode 16: The doctrine of justification according to Roman Catholicism
Featuring Leonardo De Chirico, Reid Karr, and Clay Kannard
April 25, 2020 – 59 minutes
https://reformandainitiative.buzzsprout.com/663850/3498823-ep-16-the-doctrine-of-justification-according-to-roman-catholicism

For the YouTube video version of this episode, see here.

Next week: Season 1, Episode 17: An interview with Dr. Michael Reeves on The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/14/23

I was surprised to see the above article in the Christian Post about St. Luke’s Episcopal church in my hometown, Rochester, New York. The church (photo above) was established in 1817 by a group of residents that included Revolutionary War veteran, land speculator, and city founder, Nathaniel Rochester. The church structure that stands today was built between 1824 and 1825, making it not only the oldest church building in Rochester, but also the oldest public building. Sadly, the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, has not been preached at St. Luke’s for generations.

A 2020 Pew Research study revealed 70% of American Roman Catholics don’t believe in transubstantiation. The U.S. Catholic bishops sought to rectify that by initiating the three-year Eucharistic Revival that’s currently underway, The conservative priest-author of the article above suggests four steps that he insists would do more to restore proper piety towards the Jesus wafer than a costly eucharistic revival campaign: 1) return the tabernacle to the center of every RC church, 2) abolish communion in the hand, 3) eliminate extraordinary ministers of the holy eucharist, and 4) require that reception of holy communion be once again in a kneeling posture. The RCC wrangles over proper Jesus wafer etiquette, but overlooks the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

The lifting of restrictions on abortifacient mifepristone is intended to counter recent state measures banning or limiting abortions.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983 at the age of 27, I walked away from the un-Scriptural tenets of the RCC, which included my infant baptism. Baptism is not salvific as the RCC teaches. After I was saved, I disposed of my 1956 infant baptism certificate.

What path will conservative Catholic prelates take to counter progressive pope Francis now that their symbolic champion, Benedict XVI, has died? There is much speculation in the Catholic media after Francis privately grilled archbishop, George Gänswein, Benedict’s right-hand man, for his recently-published book that takes critical jabs at the pope. Catholic apologists boast about unity under the authority of the papacy while conservative Catholic prelates eagerly anticipate the end of progressive pope Francis’ tenure.

I don’t agree with several of Jack Hayford’s teachings on secondary doctrinal beliefs, but I note his passing because Roger McGuinn of the Byrds attended the Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California after he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1977.

Western New York, has been GALVANIZED by the circumstances involving Buffalo Bills player, #3, Damar Hamlin, after he suffered cardiac arrest on the playing field during a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd. Millions have been following along as Hamlin has made fantastic progress in his recovery. Throughout this ordeal, there have been MANY references to God and to prayer by many Western New Yorkers. I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed so many references to God and prayer in the context of a challenging event. It takes an incident like this to “rock people’s boats” and get them thinking about God and mortality. Certainly, short-term, passionate prayers to a nebulous “god” don’t equate to genuine salvation in Jesus Christ. A month from now many Western New Yorkers won’t give God and prayer a second thought. In the meantime, I pray the Lord uses this circumstance to soften hearts and lead souls to salvation in Jesus Christ.

“Meeting the Protestant Response,” #33: “Jesus can’t intend us to literally drink his blood because the Bible prohibits the partaking of blood in Leviticus 17:10-12.”

⚠️ I realize not everyone enjoys the nitty-gritty, back-and-forth exchanges of theological debates, but I strongly encourage you to read this installment.


Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his first of two chapters defending transubstantiation and the eucharist using John 6:48-67 as his lengthy proof-text. For brevity’s sake, find that passage here.

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Protestant response #33: “Jesus can’t intend us to literally drink his blood because the Bible prohibits the partaking of blood in Leviticus 17:10-12.”

Leviticus 17:10-12 referred to above reads as follows: 10 “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.”

Writes Broussard, “The late (evangelical) American theologian Loraine Boettner (d. 1990) appealed to this verse in his book Roman Catholicism and argued that the Catholic understanding of John 6 violates this prohibition of drinking blood. Protestant apologist Matt Slick follows suit, concluding, ‘It would certainly appear that the Roman Catholic view is in contradiction to the Old Testament Scripture since it advocates the eating of the blood of Christ.'”

Broussard’s response

Responds Broussard, “The dietary laws of the Old Law, to which the prohibition of drinking blood belonged, passed away with the advent of Christ. The prohibition of consuming blood was not a precept rooted in the natural moral law, which is forever binding (Rom. 2:14-15). Rather, it was one of many dietary regulations that involved the ritual purity of Jews – disciplinary in nature, not moral, and thus subject to change.” Concludes Broussard, “If the dietary laws of the Old Law are no longer binding for Christians, and the prohibition of consuming blood was a part of those dietary laws, it follows that the prohibition of consuming blood is no longer binding for Christians. This challenge from Leviticus 17:10, therefore, doesn’t undermine the argument that Jesus meant for us to literally eat his flesh and drink his blood.”

My response

When Jesus Christ offered His body and blood as the perfect sacrifice for sin on Calvary, and not before, the Mosaic covenant, including the dietary restrictions, was done away with and was superseded by the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:13 and 9:12 and 9:15-18). Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law perfectly, the only Israelite/Jew to do so. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” – Matthew 5:17. Because Jesus Christ followed the Mosaic Law perfectly as an observant Jew, He certainly would not have required His observant Jewish apostles to drink His actual blood at the Last Supper Passover meal.

⚠️ Here’s a difficult question for Mr. Broussard and other Catholic advocates of transubstantiation: If the apostle Peter understood from the words of Christ recorded in John 6 and the gospel accounts (Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–38) that he was eating Jesus’ actual body and blood at the Last Supper, which Catholics insist was the case, why did Peter recoil in revulsion when the Lord later instructed him to eat ceremonially unclean food in Acts 10:9-16? Peter replied to God’s command by emphatically stating, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean” – Acts 10:14. If Peter had consumed Jesus’ actual blood at the Last Supper and at hundreds of alleged masses afterwards, as Catholics insist was the case, he would not have protested that he had never eaten any ceremonially unclean food as he declared in Acts 10, which records events that occured seven years after the Lord’s Supper! Scripture interprets Scripture and in this case Scripture clearly refutes the Catholic view. Acts 10:14 is incontrovertible evidence that the Catholic literalist interpretations of John 6 and the Last Supper gospel accounts are perilously incorrect.

Catholic friends, please take note. Jesus was speaking metaphorically in John 6. Believe (Greek: pisteúō: to believe in, to put one’s faith in, to trust in) is used nine times in John 6. Trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is the key to salvation, not physically eating Jesus.

For further clarification on the question of whether it’s permissible for a Christian to consume blood, see the article below:

Got Questions – What does the Bible say about eating/drinking blood?
https://www.gotquestions.org/eating-drinking-blood.html

Next week: Protestant response #34: “Jesus meant his words figuratively, as he did in John 10:9, when he spoke of himself as a ‘door,’ and in John 15:5, when he spoke of himself as ‘the vine.'”