Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/5/19

In last weekend’s roundup, I included a couple of news articles that reported on conservative Catholic bishop, Charles Chaput’s public criticism of James Martin, progressive Catholicism’s crusader for full acceptance of practicing LGBTers in the church. Pope Francis reacted to Chaput’s criticism by immediately squeezing a meeting with Martin into his busy schedule to let everyone know the LGBT champion has his full support (photo above).

This coming week, Catholic bishops will meet at the Vatican to discuss challenges in the vast Amazon region of South America. One of the problems is the shortage of priests. Only 15% of Amazon communities are able to have weekly mass because of the priest shortage. There’s a very strong possibility that the bishops will approve the ordination of married men in the region to the priesthood, which will serve as a prelude to eliminating the clerical celibacy rule elsewhere. Conservative and traditionalist Catholics are aghast at the possibility of the end of mandatory clerical celibacy and the synod’s decision will give them one more reason to oppose pope Francis. Keep in mind that both the Catholic priesthood and the mass are antithetical to the Gospel of grace.

Instead of telling lost people about the Gospel of grace, Jeffress riles up political conservatives, even suggesting that they consider civil war in reaction to the possible impeachment of Donald Trump.

Have you ever seen a movie in which one of the characters was on the verge of dying and someone shouts, “Somebody get a priest!” The Roman church teaches that its sacrament of the anointing of the sick (aka “last rites” aka “extreme unction”) helps – but doesn’t guarantee – a dying person to merit Heaven. I need to write a post about this alleged sacrament in the future.

Gandhi is revered as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century for promoting civil rights, peace, and human cooperation. But let’s keep in mind that Gandhi was a committed Hindu who propagated his religion’s false gospel. There is no true peace outside of Jesus Christ.

Almost one year after “60 Minutes” outed Buffalo’s Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, as a serial abuse-enabler, the Vatican FINALLY announced it’s launching an investigation. This article in the Buffalo newspaper says the “investigation” appears to more of a sham than a genuine inquiry. What would the results have been if the city of Chicago had appointed Al Capone to investigate organized crime?

The passage being referred to is 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Mega-millionaire, Joyce Meyer, leads millions astray with her false prosperity gospel.

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Leonard Feeney opposed Catholicism’s drift into Universalism

One of the fundamental doctrines of Roman Catholicism is baptismal regeneration. The Roman church teaches that water administered in conjunction with the recitation of the trinitarian baptism formula actually cleanses a soul (in Catholicism, usually an infant) of all original sin and by which a person is alleged to be “born again.”

“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1213

The Roman church teaches that baptism is absolutely essential for salvation. However, accommodations were made for two distinct cases:

  1. In the case of individuals who had been martyred, but had not yet been baptized, the Roman church made an exception and declared that those individuals had experienced a “baptism of blood,” that their bloody death had served as a legitimate baptism.
  2. Then there was the case of individuals who had been studying/preparing to be baptized and enter the church, but died before they could be baptized. The church declared that such persons were covered by “baptism of desire” (baptismus flaminis).

For 1500 years, the Catholic church taught that only people who were physically baptized as well as those two exceptions – unbaptized people who died as Catholic martyrs or people who died while desiring Catholic baptism – could possibly merit Heaven. But as modernism entered into the Catholic church in the 20th-century, the second accommodation began to be understood much more broadly among Catholic theologians and prelates. The notion that baptized Protestants could also merit Heaven was increasingly accepted by Catholic leadership and along with that accommodation came the belief that Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and those of other religions could also merit Heaven. The argument was that “good-hearted” people of those religions would desire Catholic baptism if they understood its importance, so, theoretically, they would also be covered by “baptism of desire.” These further accommodations were made official at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) via the declarations, “Unitatis redintegratio” and “Nostra aetate.” Pope Francis has since stated, although without a formal declaration to this point, that even “good” and “moral” atheists are covered by “baptism of desire.” Catholicism now upholds an impossible dichotomy; that a person MUST be baptized to possibly attain Heaven, and that a person needn’t be baptized to possibly attain Heaven if they don’t understand baptism’s significance.

Not all Catholics accepted this new, modernist-universalist understanding. Jesuit priest, Leonard E. Feeney (1897-1978), had been a very popular author and apologist for Roman Catholicism in the United States for twenty-years. However, he ran afoul of modern-leaning prelates, especially archbishop, Richard James Cushing of Boston where Feeney lived, when, in the 1940s, he began to publicly oppose this evolving new interpretation of “baptism of desire.” Feeney strongly defended the traditional, literal Catholic teaching of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (outside the church there is no salvation). Interestingly, it was Robert F. Kennedy, a young, Harvard undergraduate at the time, who led the campaign to censure Feeney. For his very public obstinacy, Feeney was formally excommunicated from the church in 1953, but was reinstated in 1972 in his old age and declining health.

The new Vatican II accommodations to Protestants and other religionists took many years to spread through the church and become accepted. I can vividly remember a specific incident while attending Bishop Kearney Catholic High School in Rochester in the early 1970s. Irish Christian Brother, John “Cookie” Gilchrist, was teaching our religion class and reiterated the traditional Catholic teaching that only baptized Catholics had a chance of meriting Heaven. One of my classmates, Dennis Kennelly, strongly challenged Gilchrist, stating that a Protestant friend of his was a “good person” and had as much of a chance at Heaven as anyone else. Gilchrist’s face turned scarlet as he struggled to control his anger. He insisted that the church taught that only baptized Catholics could possibly merit Heaven. Amazingly, the Catholic religious instructor was not aware of the Vatican II ecumenical reforms ten years after the fact!!!

Many conservative and traditionalist Catholics believe, as Jesuit Feeney did, that the RCC deviated into error at Vatican II by declaring that non-Catholics could also merit Heaven. However, neither the traditional Catholic teaching on baptism or the modern one are the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

I intend to continue studying the Feeney controversy. To see the interesting Wiki article on Leonard Feeney, click here.

Throwback Thursday: Hislop’s “The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment! Today, we’re revisiting a post that was originally published back on July 22, 2015, and has been slightly revised.

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The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife
By Alexander Hislop
Loizeaux Brothers, 1959, 330 pp.

4 Stars

“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.” – Genesis 10:8-12.

The Bible speaks very sparingly of Nimrod, but in “The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife,” Free Church of Scotland minister, Alexander Hislop (1807-1865, photo right), sets out to prove that Nimrod and his alleged wife, Semiramis, were the inspiration for the important pagan religions of antiquity. He argues that a slew of deities including Adonis, Apollo, Attes, Baal-zebub, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Januis, Linus, Mars, Merodach, Mithra, Moloch, Narcissus, Oannes, Odin, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Tammuz, Teitan, Typhon, Vulcan, Wodan, Zoroaster, not to mention Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Aurora, Bellona, Ceres, Diana, Isis, Juno, Mylitta, Proserpine, Rhea, Venus, and Vesta can all be traced to the Babylon mystery cult worship of Nimrod and Semiramis. Hislop then claims that many elements of pagan belief and practice were adapted by the increasingly institutionalized Christian church by pragmatic, pseudo-Christian prelates, laying the foundations for Roman Catholicism.

“The Two Babylons” was first published in 1853 in pamphlet form, expanded in 1858, and first published as a hardcover in 1919. The publication has been surrounded by controversy since it was first introduced. Many cite Hislop’s extrapolations as reckless. I’m certainly not an antiquities scholar, but there appears to be more than a grain of truth to Hislop’s arguments, which are supported by 400 footnotes along with 61 illustrations. However, neither do I endorse all of Hislop’s claims. Despite a number of questionable assertions, there are so few books that examine the devolution of the New Testament church into institutional Romanism, “The Two Babylons” is an indispensable resource for those interested in the subject.

This book is definitely a tough read due to the 19th-century prose and the small-font used for the footnotes, so it won’t do for breezy relaxing at the beach. You’ll definitely want to get your hands on the older Loizeaux Brothers edition (red and white dust jacket, see photo) which contains the unaltered text and supporting material. Unfortunately, several of the recent print-on-demand editions have removed some of the text and don’t include the brief introduction, sixty-one illustrations, copious footnotes, lengthy appendices, or index (as I found out). Back when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1983, the Loizeaux Brothers edition of this book, with its bright-red dust jacket, was a staple at Christian bookstores. Those days are obviously long gone.

Secondaries?

We’re all adults here, so I’m hoping no one is offended if I broach a semi-sensitive topic, but one that we must all deal with on a daily basis.

After my wife and I were married back in 1974, we happily moved into our first home together at the massive Rustic Village apartment complex in Brighton, New York. We quickly discovered that we had several differences stemming from how we were raised. My wife and her family were much more formal and observant of proper etiquette (napkin on the lap at dinner, etc., etc.), while I had a much more casual upbringing. Here’s another one. My wife was HUGE into seasonal decorating, while I came from a family that hardly ever decorated. However, perhaps the biggest difference was….

[drumroll]

…how we hung the toilet paper on the toilet paper dispenser!

My wife hung the toilet paper “under” (behind) the roll (photo right). I hung the paper correctly, “over” (in front of) the roll (photo left). I was absolutely amazed that she chose to hang the paper the way that she did. She explained that her mother had taught her to hang the paper “under” the roll because it encouraged guests to use more paper if they chose to. She was told that if you hang the paper “over” the roll, it would leave guests with the impression that you were stingy and wanted them to limit their paper consumption. Well, I don’t think I had ever heard anything more nonsensical. All I knew was that her favored method was demonstrably more difficult for the user because a person had to reach farther for a sheet/s and the increased distance and decreased visibility made it much more cumbersome to remove the desired number of sheets from the roll. I used to routinely switch the roll to the correct configuration and my wife would subsequently switch it back to “under.” The battle continued for decades.

I did some research recently and I’m happy to report to all of my fellow “over” comrades that the facts completely support our side. Here’s two reasons why everyone needs to hang their toilet paper correctly, “over” the roll:

  1. Not only is the paper less accessible in the “under” configuration, but researchers have found that hanging toilet paper “under” the roll is MUCH less sanitary. In the “under” configuration, it was found that users’ germ-covered hands regularly come in contact with the same area on the lavatory wall and E. coli bacteria are spread dramatically. See one of many supporting articles here.
  2. When inventor Seth Wheeler designed and patented the “roll-and-handles” toilet paper dispenser in 1891, the configuration he used was “over” the roll. See the article, which includes the original patent illustration, here.

Researchers report that 70% of consumers correctly hang their toilet paper “over” the roll, and it’s now up to the “under” advocates to accept the indisputable facts and conform.

Okay, okay, the above was written (somewhat) tongue-in-cheek. Which way the toilet paper hangs is definitely not the hill I would choose to die on at this point in my life. I don’t automatically change the roll like I did 45 years ago.

I continue to learn to be more patient with my spouse and with others. There are some beliefs, especially in spiritual matters, that we should NEVER compromise on, like the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. But with other beliefs, the non-essential secondaries, we sometimes need to overlook our differences with other believers rather than start a nasty fight (even when we know we are right). That’s NOT to say that secondaries are unimportant. I couldn’t fellowship at the majority of churches in Rochester that call themselves evangelical because I could not support their particular teachings on certain secondaries. But in our personal encounters with our brothers and sisters in Christ who believe differently than we do on certain secondary issues, we need to show some charity rather than be constantly looking to start a fight.

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” – Romans 14:13-19

Postscript: The paper towel roll in the kitchen is sometimes a point of contention as well. 🙂

Ecumenicity, Evangelicals, and Rome

Ecumenicity, Evangelicals, and Rome
By John Warwick Montgomery, Ph.D.
Zondervan, 1969, 113 pp.

2 Stars

While reading a booklet on the errors of Catholicism, “What’s Happening in the Roman Church?: A Report from Rome” by William C. Standridge (see my review here), I took note of the author’s favorable reference to what looked to be an interesting book, “Ecumenicity, Evangelicals, and Rome” and immediately ordered a copy from an Amazon third-party used book seller.

At the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Catholic church changed its stance regarding Protestants from confrontational militancy to conciliatory cooperation. Protestant theologians were quite surprised by the dramatic change and many were eager to enter into ecumenical dialogue with the RCC.

In this book, published in 1969, John Warwick Montgomery (1931-, photo right), a theologian affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), takes a look at the rising tide of Protestant ecumenism with Rome.

Friends, I’m a Theology 101 type of guy and this book was written for Theology 401 types. The academese is so thick that the lay reader must use a fork and knife to labor through it. Difficulties aside, what I catch from the grandiloquent prose is that Montgomery definitely favors dialogue with Rome. However, he doesn’t view ecumenical discussions as accommodation and compromise, but supposedly as opportunities to witness on behalf of the genuine Gospel of grace to Roman Catholic theologians with their false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit (p. 42). What Montgomery and other overly-optimistic and naive evangelical theologians failed to consider was that ecumenical dialogue is a two-way street and Roman Catholic theologians also relished opportunities to advance their false gospel.

Below are the chapters of the book with some comments from myself:

  • Evangelical Unity and Contemporary Ecumenicity

The author notes the change to the RCC’s approach to Protestants and argues for the value of ecumenical dialogue as a chance to witness for the Gospel. Montgomery strangely devotes several pages to complimenting Eastern Orthodoxy for its emphasis on subjective mysticism, but he ultimately rejects it in favor of the absolute authority of God’s Word.

  • Sixtus of Siena and Roman Catholic Scholarship in the Reformation Period

Montgomery is highly complimentary of Catholic theologian, Sixtus of Siena (1520-1569), and his encyclopedic overview of the Bible in his “Bibliotheca Sancta” (1566), but finally renounces the scholarship of Sixtus for his intellectual approach to Scripture rather than embracing the spiritual message of the Gospel therein.

  • The Approach of New Shape Roman Catholicism to Scriptural Inerrancy: A Case Study for Evangelicals

Montgomery notes the rise of “New Shape” theologians within the Catholic church by which higher-criticism/modernism was introduced into the RCC in the 20th century. As a result, Catholic theologians (and also, prelates and priests) increasingly viewed the Bible as myth and allegory rather than God’s literal Word.

  • Rome and the “Death of God”

Modernist RCC theologians of the “New Shape” argued that the church was “progressively unfolding” and was not anchored to “ancient manuscripts” (i.e., the Bible). The RCC’s untethering from Scripture has always allowed it to place its magisterium and its evolving “sacred traditions” above God’s Word.

  • Three Reviews: Hans Kung, Alonzo Schokel, Nathan Soderblom

Montgomery cites three books that were influential in promoting ecumenism and points out their particular faults.

This is a VERY strange book. Montgomery welcomes ecumenical dialogue while simultaneously warning against Rome’s heterodoxies. Via the efforts of theologians like Montgomery, ecumenism gained a foothold within evangelicalism and eventually reached a point where the author’s cautions and objections back in 1969 were no longer voiced or even considered (see William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, etc.). Ecumenism with Rome always, always, always results in accommodation, compromise, and betrayal of the Gospel. What looked to be an interesting book turned out to be a big disappointment.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 9/28/19

This, friends, is breathtaking! The headline and accompanying photo above say it all. Gospel Christians have always been aware of the Biblically-prophesied, one-world, false religious system that would arise at the end times, however, even just sixty-years ago, the possibility seemed to be extremely remote. This generation of believers is witnessing the laying of the cornerstone of that system. And, no surprise, pope Francis is the prime mover.

Jesuit priest, James Martin, is progressive Catholicism’s crusader for full acceptance of the gay lifestyle within the RCC. Elderly conservative Catholic archbishop, Charles Chaput, protests that Martin’s pro-LGBT campaign can’t be reconciled with the Bible or with Catholic “sacred tradition,” but those “inconveniences” won’t stop Martin or his progressive allies. I rarely draw same-issue comparisons between the RCC and evangelical churches, but we can expect to see some “evangelical” churches caving to LGBT pressure in the future.

Francis walks a tightrope with conservative Catholics wishing for a return to preconcilior militantism while progressive German Catholic prelates flirt with throwing all the rules out the window.

After having not regularly attended mass for about a decade, I returned around 1979 or 1980, to this parish in Henrietta N.Y., in order to establish our two young boys in the Catholic religion. The “fly-in-the-ointment” was that I was also reading the New Testament at that time. The Holy Spirit revealed to me from God’s Word that the Catholic mass and many other of Catholicism’s doctrines were incompatible with Scripture. I stopped attending mass after only a few months and finally repented of my sin and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983.

In this article, the writer, an unbeliever, reprimands American evangelicals for shifting their focus from the Gospel to temporal concerns. It’s especially shameful when unbelievers have to remind us of what our mission is.

The Catholic diocese of Rochester declared bankruptcy on 9/12/19 in order to minimize payouts to victims of pedophile priests. Rochester was the first domino to fall. How many of the other seven dioceses in the state will follow?

Irate Buffalo Catholics have launched an advertising campaign asking their fellow pew-sitters to withhold contributions to the RCC until the Buffalo bishop, Richard Malone, an outed serial abuse-enabler, is ousted. These frustrated Catholics need to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone and leave the corrupt RCC.

How does prosperity-gospeler, Osteen, explain tragedy and suffering entering into the lives of his fellow Houstonians after they’ve been so faithful in contributing their “seed faith” money to his Lakewood church?

The Catholic Merit Game!

Back when I attended Catholic grammar school from 1961 to 1970, the nuns were quite clear about the church’s teaching on how a person could possibly attain Heaven. Yes, the church’s sacraments were important, but it was mostly about obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. Merit was THE KEY to attaining Heaven. The emphasis was on merit, merit, and more merit.

Merit has since became somewhat of “stepchild” word within Catholicism. Is that development an ecumenical accommodation to Protestant sensibilities? I’ve even had Catholics who don’t know their own religion send in comments to this blog angrily insisting that Catholics are not attempting to merit their salvation. Yes, Catholics are absolutely still taught that they must merit their salvation as per the paragraph below and others similar to it in their catechism:

“Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2010

However, the emphasis these days is much more on the supposed graces received via the sacraments, which are alleged to enable a person to hopefully merit their salvation.

Our sister at Biblical Beginnings recently came across an excellent example of the era when I grew up when the Catholic church was much less circumspect about the role of merit in Catholic theology. There was actually a board game called “Merit: The Catholic Game,” which was designed by Edward J. Agnew in 1962 and sold by Educational Research Corp.

I did a little research on the internet and found that the game was somewhat based on Monopoly, but with Catholic themes:

“In “Merit,” two to four players work to build the six key properties (Church , Convent, Seminary, Catholic Charities, School and Foreign Missions) while maintaining their level of merits (700 points) and obtaining six of the seven sacraments. The first player to return home with the required six sacraments and at least 700 merit points after the six properties are built wins the game. The question deck is filled with pre-Vatican II trivia, but also has cards that offer the player a chance to advance via deeds rather than answers (e.g., a card that allows the player to go to any square if they promise to say the rosary).” See the article here.

So, “Merit” was a board game aimed at a Catholic audience, which unabashedly reinforced the teachings of the Catholic church, that its members needed to merit their salvation through the sacraments and obedience/good works.

I’m so grateful to the Lord for leading me out of works-righteousness Roman Catholicism and revealing to me the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone! Won’t you repent of your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone, also? Nowadays, merit is “somewhat” downplayed as a prime element of Roman salvation theology, but if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig, and, yes, merit is STILL the bottom line for Roman Catholics.

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Postscript: It’s quite ironic that Matthew 18:3 appears on the cover of this game: “Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (NABRE). The simple, saving, childlike faith in Jesus Christ as Savior that the verse refers to is the antithesis of complex Roman legalism and ritualism.

Throwback Thursday: Another evangelical pastor caves to ecumenical apostasy

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday.” For today’s installment, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 3th, 2015 and has been slightly revised.

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Back in 2010, Pastor Robert Jeffress (photo above) of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas stated the Catholic church was an apostate church corrupted by the pagan Babylonian mystery religion:

“It is that Babylonian mystery religion that infected the early church, one of the churches it infected was the church of Pergamos, which is one of the recipients of the Book of Revelation. And the early church was corrupted by this Babylonian mystery religion, and today the Roman Catholic Church is the result of that corruption.”

Hear Jeffress’ 2010 remarks about the Catholic church here.

Now, let’s fast forward to 9/24/15. During pope Francis’ visit to America at that time, Jeffress appeared on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show and revealed quite a change in his views on Catholicism:

“I have great respect for Pope Francis. He’s a humble Christ follower. We all can learn from himWith the differences we might have with Pope Francis on some of these secondary issues, I’m not going to quibble about that because, here’s the fact, as this world becomes increasingly darker I find myself having much more in common with my Catholic friends than I even do with liberal Baptists because the fact is we are fighting together against a common enemy, the kingdom of darkness.”

See the video of Jeffress’ 2015 remarks about pope Francis and the Catholic church here.

Wow! Jeffress radically changed his views between 2010 and 2015 and compromised the Gospel of grace by joining a number of other evangelical pastors in embracing works-righteousness Catholics as co-belligerents and fellow-Christians in the conservative political crusade to “Reclaim America for Jesus.” At some point in those five years, Jeffress decided that temporal American political concerns were more important than the Gospel. Shame on him. Lost Catholic souls need the Gospel of grace, NOT crusaders for political conservatism.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 9/21/19

Before we start with another roundup of weekly news, I thought it might be a good idea to ponder a bit about why I do this. Most of the stories I present every Saturday focus on the Catholic church. You might ask yourself, “Why should Gospel Christians be concerned about what’s going on within Catholicism?” Well, there’s two reasons: 1) Evangelical churches are being increasingly sucked into ecumenical compromise with Rome. If your pastor is standing strong against ecumenical accommodation and compromise with Rome, know that your church is in the dwindling minority. 2) I don’t dwell on eschatology, but I do share with the Reformers the belief that the Roman church led by the Roman “pontiff” (Latin, means “bridge builder”) will play a significant role in the end times as foretold in the Bible in Revelation, chapters 17 and 18. I also believe that the prostitute daughters of “Babylon the great” mentioned in Revelation 17:5 refers to the compromised, so-called “evangelical” churches that align with Rome. So, Gospel Christian, that’s why what happens inside the RCC is important to you. Of course, the roundup is also presented with Roman Catholics in mind, who will definitely not get this perspective on the news from their church’s lecterns.

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In last weekend’s roundup, I wrote that I anticipated a very strong reaction from conservative Catholics to pope Francis’ September 10th in-flight press conference remarks that he doesn’t desire that they secede from the RCC, but that he is “not afraid” of schism, either. I wasn’t disappointed. Of course, the conservatives accuse the pope of causing schism with his doctrine-bending reforms.

The two articles above are examples of how the moderate and liberal camps of the RCC reacted to Francis’ broaching of possible schism as well. It’s quite extraordinary times we live in when Catholics, including the pope, are openly discussing schism as a potentiality. However, we must keep in mind that the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is not preached in ANY of Catholicism’s ideologies.

While the pope denies concern about conservative Catholic rebellion, his liberal allies in Germany are pushing their progressive agenda even too quickly for Francis.

The investigative journalism television show, “60 Minutes,” outed Buffalo Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, as a serial abuse-enabler way back in October 2018 and a new poll reveals that just about every Catholic in Buffalo wants him out. This is theater of the absolute absurd. The Catholic laity should ponder the fact that the very priests and prelates who admonish them to merit their salvation do not themselves lead lives worthy of Heaven. Come out of Catholicism and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.

Which is more dangerous to a young, unwary soul? A Harry Potter book or a book extolling Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit?

To be a Catholic godparent of a baptized infant, a candidate is supposed to faithfully follow the church’s rules and regulations. Such an individual is becoming increasingly rare these days. See my post on the Catholic godparent sham here.

Some obligatory humor from the Babylon Bee after the serious news.

Final Word

Nope, it’s not my goodbye to the blogosphere, but, rather, it’s the title of John MacArthur’s latest book!

Final Word: Why We Need the Bible
By John MacArthur
Reformation Trust, 2019, 136 pp.

5 Stars

Over the past couple of years, Reformation Trust has published three short books written by Pastor John MacArthur on some of the basics of Christian belief. This latest one focuses on God’s Word, the Bible. Whether you’re new to the Christian faith or you’re a “seasoned saint,” you’ll enjoy this book, which explains why the Bible is our totally reliable standard of faith and practice. Argh! We Christians sometimes take God’s Word for granted. May we always cherish the Bible for what it is; God’s inerrant and infallible Word.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Chapters:

  • The Bible is Under Attack
  • The Bible is Truth
  • The Bible is Authoritative
  • The Bible is the Catalyst of Spiritual Growth
  • The Bible is Central to Faithful Ministry
  • The Bible is Food for the Soul

Order this book from Amazon here. See my reviews of the two other books by JMac in Reformation Trust’s basics-of-Christianity series, “None Other: Discovering the God of the Bible” here and “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” here.