Christians, who are we?

When unbelievers look at us, do they see a people who are deeply committed to politics and to fighting the ongoing cultural/political wars engulfing this country and the world…

or

…do they see ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ who are deeply committed to serving Him and to sharing the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone? This world is NOT our home, brothers and sisters!

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” – Hebrews 11:13-16

Martyn Lloyd-Jones and “Logic on Fire”

Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Directed by Matthew Robinson
Media Gratiae, 2015, 102 minutes

As Christians, our focus should always be on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our trust should never be in the flesh. Men and women will always let us down. But every once in awhile, the Lord lifts up a servant who is so strong in their love of Jesus Christ that we praise the Lord for their example. Such a man was Welsh-English pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981).

I don’t remember exactly when the Lord introduced me to the ministry of Loyd-Jones, but I’ve enjoyed gradually learning about the doctor via a book here, an article there. He was perhaps the most notable English evangelical of the last century, although I’m sure he would have despised such a title. When many English evangelicals were dallying with ecumenism with Rome in the 1960s and 70s, Lloyd-Jones would have none of it and stood firmly on the Gospel of grace. The Lord blessed the doctor with a rapier intellect. That’s right, unbelieving friend, you needn’t check your brain at the church door. But Lloyd-Jones was also interested in seeing the Gospel permeate a person’s entire being, not just their intellect. He was a strong advocate in the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the life of a believer, not in emotionalism or showy religious experience, but in knowing the actual presence of Holy God through the Word and prayer. Hence there was both logic and fire in the preaching and ministry of the doctor.

I enjoyed this biography documentary package of Lloyd-Jones tremendously. The first DVD includes the finished documentary, “Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,” a biography of the doctor that relies mostly on the testimonies of family members, friends, and fellow-workers in the Gospel. The first DVD also includes three deleted sequences, one of which is the “1966 Evangelical Controversy,” in my estimation one of the most important segments in the entire package. The second DVD contains over three hours of additional interviews. The third DVD contains a segment on the dangers of church-growth pragmatism from John Snyder from his “Behold Our God” study series. Also, there’s a 128-page booklet with brief biographies of the contributors and interviewees and four sermons from the doctor.

Those who are unfamiliar with the ministry of Lloyd-Jones may want to begin with some short biographies (see here for an example) rather than this mountain of information, but I know as I continue to read his books and sermons, I’ll desire to return to this documentary package every now and then.

Praise the Lord for uncompromising preachers like Charles Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones! May the Lord continue to raise up faithful proclaimers of the Gospel!

“Logic On Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones” is readily available from Amazon. See here.

 

Lots of people call Jesus “Savior,” but…

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 

 

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  

 

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14

 

P&P

Some people confuse uncompromising truth with “hatred”

Most of us have been watching the news from Charlottesville, Virginia regarding the demonstration last weekend by White supremacists. Clashes with counter-demonstrators sadly led to injuries and death.

Christians must follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is NO PLACE for hatred or discrimination in our hearts. To consider a person or group of people as inferior because of their race, nationality, or ethnicity is antithetical to God’s Word and the Gospel.

“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

It was because of accommodation to hatred and entitlement that some White Christians in the past were able to justify slavery and later join or support the Ku Klux Klan* and other pro-segregationist groups in America. That memory will always be a regrettable stain on the history of the church in America. But feeling superior to someone else is a sin we have all shared at one time or another.

All those who are spiritually reborn in Jesus Christ and humbly take His name must reach out in love with the Good News! to men and women of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities.

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15

As our post-modern society becomes more accepting of racial and ethnic diversity, a good thing, there is also a tendency for society to become more accepting of diverse religious beliefs and most popularly, the lack of any religious convictions. Religious groups that proclaim that they alone have divine truth are increasingly frowned upon. As in all other areas of life, tolerance of all religions is “in,” exclusivity is “out.” This attitude has even taken hold within the Christian church. It’s now considered unseemly and ungracious to criticize a religious group that calls itself “Christian” but teaches a false gospel. Those who point out that a religious group is not preaching the Gospel of grace are looked upon by some in the same way as polite society views members of the KKK or other extremist hate groups.

But no one will be able to recognize truth if it becomes so muddy and indistinct that it’s unrecognizable, and yet that is exactly what is happening within the church.

A person’s race or ethnicity makes no difference to  the Lord, Jesus Christ. We are all sinners in need of the Savior. But the Gospel is never to be watered-down or compromised. There is only ONE WAY to salvation and that is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. Baptism doesn’t save. Church membership doesn’t save. Trying to obey the Ten Commandments doesn’t save. The Lord marked false teachers as did His apostles. Yes, we are to love people of all religions and false churches and reach out to them with the undiluted Gospel. But to accommodate and cooperate with those who teach a false religion and false gospel is not love. We don’t do anyone any favors by accommodating their false beliefs.

It’s certainly not popular to tell anyone, “Your religion is not the right way.” It will quickly get you classified as a “hater” and that’s the LAST label anyone desires these days. But if you believe salvation is by anything other than God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, even if you go to a church regularly and call yourself a “Christian,” you are outside of Christ’s salvation looking in.

Forsake all churches and religions that teach you must be “good” in order to merit salvation. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14


Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-only-way.html

*For those who think the KKK was/is strictly a Southern phenomenon, I live less than one mile from a field where Rochesterians (New York) used to gather for KKK cross-burning rallies back in the 1920s and 30s. In 1933, some Rochesterians were so upset that the newly erected Monroe Community Hospital was designed by Black architect, Thomas Wilson Boyde, Jr., they burnt a cross nearby in protest.

An evangelical writes to “Your Holiness,” the pope

In yesterday’s Weekend Roundup, I briefly commented that President Trump’s evangelical advisory board had requested an urgent meeting with pope Francis to discuss the recent, Vatican-approved article in the La Civilta Cattolica journal, which had severely criticized the collaboration of right-wing, Trump-supporting “Catholic Integralists” and “Evangelical Fundamentalists” as being an “ecumenism of hate.” The article also made reference to Trump’s religious supporters as Christian “jihadists.”

Yesterday evening, I came across a couple of articles that shed more light on the controversy (see links far below).

Johnnie Moore, the former vice president of communications for Liberty University and former assistant to university president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., penned the letter to Francis on behalf of the other members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. He begins the letter by addressing the pope as “Your Holiness.” He then tells Francis that evangelicals “have looked upon your appointment with great gratitude to God and with great optimism for the new spirit that you have brought to the Catholic Church.” He further flatters the pope by writing that Francis’ “efforts to build bridges and to spread the doctrine of mercy around the world have been a light and hope to us all.” Moore then gets down to business by requesting a meeting to discuss the troubling article. He ends the letter by claiming “God put it on [his] heart” to write the pope and concludes with the following: “With all the respect in the world and with love for Christ’s Church and every corner of it, I’ll earnestly await your reply.”

Moore’s letter to the pope is a sad commentary on the current state of evangelicalism. The pope heads a 1.2 billion-member religious institution, which propagates a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit and yet Moore addresses him as a fellow believer and a great Christian leader. Obviously, Moore has no understanding of comparative theology and has no clue what happened during the Reformation. But like many politically-focused, conservative evangelicals, Moore is more concerned with preserving “Judeo-Christian” moral values in this country than with correct doctrine and reaching conservative (and liberal) Catholics with the Gospel.

Commenting on Moore’s letter, Mike Gendron, ex-Catholic and director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, a Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics, said:

“Moore’s attempt to unite Evangelicals and Catholics is playing into the pope’s agenda to rebuild the religious tower of Babel. Our sovereign and omnipotent Lord does not need the help of unbelievers to fight the social and cultural wars. There is something much more important at stake and that is the purity and exclusivity of the Gospel. More than ever we need to contend for the faith because divine division in truth is far better than satanic unity in error.”

Accommodation and cooperation with religious error and compromise and betrayal of the Gospel are rampant in the church today.


Former Liberty University VP Raises Concern After Calling for Meeting With ‘Your Holiness’ to Unite Evangelicals, Catholics
https://christiannews.net/2017/08/11/former-liberty-university-vp-raises-concern-after-calling-for-meeting-with-your-holiness-to-unite-evangelicals-catholics/

Dear Pope Francis: An Evangelical Christian’s letter to the Holy Father
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/08/09/dear-pope-francis-evangelical-christians-letter-to-holy-father.html

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/12/17

Right-wing, ecumenical Judas evangelicals can’t understand why papa Francis doesn’t like them. See my previous post on the La Civilta Cattolica controversy here. Don’t worry, children, Daddy loves you. He just wants his children to make the correct choices on issues like climate change, immigration, socialized health care, etc.

In his ongoing feud with the conservatives and traditionalists within the church, Francis knows he has them over a barrel. If they threaten schism from a duly-elected pope, they themselves become enemies of conservative orthodoxy.

The German Catholic church is literally leaking members like a sieve, despite the fact that its coffers are full through state taxation. Praise the Lord for the Protestant church reformers back in the early years of America who challenged the Roman vestige of a state church.

I listen to Catholic talk radio just about every day to stay abreast of Catholic news and viewpoints. The priest-hosts frequently boast that vocations to the priesthood are rising. There’s a lot of fake news out there and that’s definitely FAKE news.

What? The Knights are going to get rid of those gaudy capes and “chapeaus” (plumed hats)? Uh-oh. Watch for the traditionalist Knights who love their capes and chapeaus to threaten to secede!

Actress Patricia Heaton loves to parade her Catholicism on her shirtsleeves, although I’ve previously shown she’s not quite the devotee she pretends to be. See here. A couple of weeks ago, Heaton tweeted that she was bored out of her mind by the priest’s sermon at a Sunday mass, but was then overcome with emotion when she received the Jesus wafer. Some Catholics are still deeply attached to the mass, but the ritual is antithetical to saving faith in Christ.

Frankly, the mass is boring beyond belief. It’s the exact same ritual over and over and over. Some people are drawn to the familiar and predictable. It’s a constant they can rely on in an unpredictable world. But most Catholics can’t stand the dead liturgical monotony. Not to mention, the alleged acts of calling Jesus down from Heaven and literally changing him into a bread wafer and sacrificing him over and over again are spiritual poison.

The scandal of pedophile priests and church cover-up is shamefully old hat here in the US, but it’s raw, front-page news in Australia and Guam.

The Catholic church celebrated the recent opening of it’s new cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina with much fanfare, but churches in the Rust Belt are shuttering faster than you can say, “Hoc est corpus meum.” Many Catholics wonder why they have to sit through the bone-dry liturgy every Sunday when the pope says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience.

No, it’s not religious news, but I couldn’t resist this story from President Trump. Readers of this blog know Upstate and Western New York have been economically devastated by the combination of high taxes and the exodus of manufacturing companies over the past forty years. Buffalo and Rochester rank as two of the poorest cities per capita in the entire country. During his campaign, Trump promised he would bring jobs back to Western New York. But now he’s telling “upper” New Yorkers there’s no hope and that we should move out. One would think state, county, and city lawmakers in this state would get together and reduce taxes significantly so New York could compete with other states, but nobody’s willing to reduce their fiefdoms. And yet New Yorkers return the same politicians to office year after year. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall (like the “Empire State”), but the Lord God Almighty remains on His throne.

Cardinal suggests Francis’ heretical papacy may be a sign of the “end times”

Sixteen-months ago, pope Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio (photo right) issued his “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) apostolic exhortation, which has been the source of increasing controversy and consternation within the Roman Catholic church. A couple of footnotes (#s 329 & 351) buried deep within the document appeared to allow priests to decide whether communion could be given to Catholics who were divorced and remarried on an individual, case-by-case basis. The view held by the church for centuries was that divorced remarrieds were living in an ongoing state of adultery and were barred from receiving communion. It was obvious that pragmatic Francis was surreptitiously altering centuries-old doctrine in an attempt to make the church more inviting to a membership whose sky-rocketing divorce rate mirrors that of secular society.

Conservative members of the church were appalled by the change to what was always considered to be infallible doctrine, leading four cardinals to petition Francis asking for clarification, but they received no reply. The same cardinals sent a second “dubia” (questions/doubts) letter and still there was no answer forthcoming from Francis.

Conservative cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity are in a quandary. They are convinced the current pope is promoting heresy but decline (at this point) in considering schism because Catholic doctrine claims a pope cannot lead the church into error and that all Catholics must remain loyal to him. So by breaking away from the church in defense of one “infallible” doctrine, they would be disobeying another.

Yesterday, news reports (see below) quoted a July 22nd address from U.S. cardinal, Raymond Burke (photo left), one of the four “dubia” cardinals, in which he stated that through “diabolical” means, “confusion and error…has…entered into the Church” via “shepherds who are no longer truly shepherding the faithful entrusted to them.” Carefully choosing his words, he warned against the “idolatry of the papacy,” implying that allowing communion to divorced remarrieds was merely Francis’ worldly opinion and not infallible dogma binding upon Catholics. He also suggested that the deviant teachings from this pope could be a sign of the end times. While Burke isn’t advocating schism (yet), he’s certainly raising the stakes with this address.

Most Catholics probably aren’t even aware of this ongoing controversy (most don’t even bother to attend church these days), but it’s a vital issue for evangelicals who often hear from Catholic apologists that the Roman Catholic church alone has apostolic authority and that its magisterium is infallible in all matters of faith and morals. But which magisterium? Cardinal Burke’s or pope Francis’? And if Francis is able to successfully implement this change to “infallible” doctrine (liberal bishops claim it’s already a done deal), then what is to become of the infallible doctrine of papal infallibility?


‘Confusion and error’ from Catholic leaders may be sign of end times: Cardinal Burke
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/confusion-division-in-church-shows-we-may-be-in-the-end-times-cardinal-burk

“Stop saying Catholics believe they must obey the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY!”

In a previous post, I answered several Catholic critics who objected to my oft-repeated statement that Catholicism teaches its members must merit their salvation. See here. Some Catholics have also sent in comments objecting to my frequent statement that their church teaches its members must obey the Ten Commandments “perfectly” in order to attain Heaven. I’ll use this post to address their objections.

I happily concede that the Roman Catholic church (RCC) nowhere formally dictates that its members “must obey the Ten Commandments perfectly to attain Heaven,” but the bottom line of its cumbersome religious system is exactly that and I’ll explain why.

Catholicism teaches baptism (usually of infants) into the church wipes away ALL sin. After a Catholic matures, they must participate in the church’s sacraments (confirmation, eucharist, reconciliation), which allegedly dispense grace so that the Catholic is able to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and avoid sin. The RCC teaches there are two kinds of sin; major (mortal) sin and minor (venial) sin. MortalMV sin loosely defined is the intentional disobedience of one of the Ten Commandments while venial sins are minor offenses such as the “white lie” a husband tells his wife when she asks if he likes her new hairdoo. It’s not always exactly clear where the dividing line is between mortal and venial sin. One priest might label a sin as mortal while another priest would say it’s venial. Nevertheless, all mortal sins must be confessed to a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation to be forgiven or when a person is dying and receives final absolution. Venial sins can be absolved by attending mass and receiving the eucharist Jesus wafer.

With all that said, the theoretical constant goal of Catholics is to be without the stain of mortal sin on their souls; what Catholics call being in a “state of grace.” Catholics are taught they can only attain Heaven if they are in this mortal sin-free “state of grace” at the moment of their death. So how do Catholics attain this “state of grace”? By obeying the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY! But what if they mess up and commit a mortal sin? They must quickly go to confession and receive forgiveness so they can once again be in a “state of grace” or they will go to eternal damnation when they die.

STATE of GRACE – Condition of a person who is free from mortal sin and pleasing to God. It is the state of being in God’s friendship and the necessary condition of the soul at death in order to attain heaven. – from the Catholic Dictionary

Catholics concede that few can live in a constant “state of grace” so they have created confession to receive forgiveness for mortal sins and purgatory as a place where any remaining temporal punishment for mortal sins can be cleansed. Purgatory also allegedly cleanses unrepented venial sins.

Given all the above, Catholics purposely keep the sin hurdle very low otherwise their mortal sin bucket would be unmanageable. Many behaviors evangelicals would definitely consider sinful, Catholics would say are just part of everyday life. Evangelicals don’t differentiate between major and minor sins. Sin is sin. Yes, the Bible speaks of a sin unto death, which refers to the kind of unrepentant sin that leads to an early physical death of a believer, as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.

While several folks have contributed comments complaining that I’m misrepresenting Catholic teaching, the VAST majority of RCC members could not care less about the issue. Catholic sources show that only 20% of members attend mandatory mass every Sunday and only 12% go to confession at least once a year as they are required to do. That’s a lot of mortal sin piling up. Most Catholics are so disillusioned with their church’s religious treadmill that they’ve become Catholics in name only.

Catholic friend, I break the Ten Commandments either in thought, word, deed, or by omission every single day. Try as I might there are times when I lie, steal (work productivity), covet, and lust. I often put my own selfish needs and desires ahead of God and others. I’m prideful as the day is long. I get angry and hateful with others. Sometimes I gossip maliciously. You can try to rationalize it away, but you commit the same sins, too. You and I cannot possibly attain Heaven by obedience to the Ten Commandments. The only Person who perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments was Jesus Christ, God the Son. And He offered His perfect life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for your sins. But He rose from the dead and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sins and accept Him as Savior by faith alone. After receiving Christ as Savior, only then can you follow Him as Lord, albeit imperfectly. Trust in Christ, NOT in your extremely imperfect “obedience.” I’m so joyful that my Savior imputed His perfect righteousness to me. I have no righteousness other than His.

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16

In conclusion, I will continue to state that the RCC teaches its members must obey the Ten Commandments PERFECTLY and have ZERO unconfessed mortal sins on their souls in order to merit Heaven, however, I will agreeably make sure to mention the qualifier that according to the complicated Catholic salvation formula, venial sins, while frowned upon, do not remove a person from the mythological “state of grace.”

How Walter Martin sowed the seeds for the current Hank Hanegraaff controversy

Back in early April, I posted the news about Hank Hanegraaff (photo right), the successor to Walter Martin (photo left) as president of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and host of “The Bible Answer Man” radio show, converting to the Greek Orthodox church. See here. The news caused no small stir among evangelicals, many of whom called for Hanegraaff to step down as the leader of what was always a distinctly evangelical para-church ministry. At least one Christian radio network stopped carrying “The Bible Answer Man.” But Hanegraaff refuses to consider giving up his position and maintains that the core beliefs of Greek Orthodoxy are the same as Bible Christianity.

Walter Martin’s two daughters have taken opposite sides in the ongoing controversy (see article far below). Jill Martin Rische, Martin’s oldest daughter, claims Hanegraaff “stole” the CRI presidency following the death of her father and that Martin definitely did not view Greek Orthodoxy or its cousin, Roman Catholicism, as Christian denominations/churches. See here for Rische’s You Tube video expounding on Hanegraaff’s “conversion.”

Rische makes many valid points comparing Greek Orthodoxy with Bible Christianity, but makes a serious blunder in her criticism of Hanegraaff’s claim that he still supports the core beliefs of Christianity as espoused by C.S. Lewis in his popular book, “Mere Christianity.” Rische states Lewis “might be rolling over in his grave, now,” knowing Hanegraaff was using “Mere Christianity” to support his conversion (7:15-7:22). In actuality, Lewis differed with evangelicalism on several important doctrines and certainly DID view Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as valid Christian institutions. See my review of “Mere Christianity” here. Rische’s and evangelicalism’s inexplicable love affair with C.S. Lewis actually fosters the kind of accommodation and compromise that leads to “evangelicals” joining works-righteousness denominations as Hanegraaff has done. Question: Why would Rische refer to C.S. Lewis in her argument when Lewis most certainly would have sided with Hanegraaff in this debate? Answer: Spiritual blindness.

In opposition to Rische, her sister, Cindee Martin Morgan, claims her father did recognize Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism as Christian institutions and supports the continuation of Hanegraaff’s tenure as president of CRI. See her video here. At the 6:21 mark, Morgan inserts an audio recording of Martin as supporting evidence that he believed Catholicism was a Christian entity. In the audio, Martin states that he believes if any Catholics are Christians, “they are Christians not because of the Roman Catholic church, but despite the Roman Catholic church” (9:03-9:22). So far so accurate. But he then goes on to say that Catholicism teaches the basic core beliefs of Christianity including “justification by faith” (10:24-10:30). He continues by saying he believes pope John XXIII was a “sincere Christian” (14:33-14:35). It’s with these two points that Martin stumbles VERY BADLY. Catholicism has ALWAYS taught the doctrine of justification by faith AND works. Even Catholics will admit to that. Question: So how could the evangelical church’s leading apologist and “expert” on cults of a generation ago have been so ignorant of Catholicism’s teachings on justification? Answer: Spiritual blindness.

Martin’s confused and contradictory view of Catholicism helped open the door to future ecumenism with Rome and the current controversy involving  Hanegraaff. Martin’s examination of Catholicism, “The Roman Catholic Church in History” (1960), unexplainably sidestepped the issue of justification (see my review here), and now I know the reason why.


Daughter of CRI Founder Defends Hank Hanegraaff Amid ‘Fake News’ Charges That He Stole CRI Presidency

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 8/5/17

In this cleverly-titled book, the author attempts the impossible: to enliven the dead ritual of the mass in the minds of the spiritually shackled.

Based on the number of news stories it generated this past week, it’s clear the Vatican-approved La Civiltà Cattolica’s criticism of politically right-wing American Catholics touched a nerve.

Here we have two very interesting examinations of the current battle between Catholic conservatives and reformers from a liberal perspective. They provide good analysis of where Francis is attempting to drive the church.

Trying to prove the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation/confession from the Bible is like hammering the proverbial square peg through the round hole. This Catholic source admits the earliest isolated examples of auricular confession date to the sixth century.

In 1950, pope Pius XII declared the assumption of Mary bodily into Heaven as an infallible dogma. All Catholics must believe this un-Biblical, mythological doctrine under pain of mortal sin. The Feast of the Assumption is celebrated every August 15th, which falls on a Tuesday this year. The feast is a “Holy Day of Obligation” meaning all Catholics are required to attend mass that day under threat of eternal damnation, but Catholic surveys reveal 65% of members either seldom or never attend obligatory mass on HDOs.

There has been quite a bit of tension between Palestinians and Israelis over the Temple Mount recently. The tense standoff is akin to a case of nitro being transported over a rocky road.

Yes, I can remember the days when Catholic wakes and funerals included much more ritual. Now that most Catholics are nominal members of the church, it’s my observation that many families are opting out of a funeral mass or even a short prayer service officiated by a priest or deacon for their deceased loved one.

In our postmodern era with its idols of relativism and and plurality, its no surprise that heretic Bell can attract an “evangelical” audience.

Evangelicals adopt non-Biblical, culturally-approved aphorisms without even thinking about what they’re saying. Rest in peace? When I pass into glory I’m not going to be resting, I’m going to be busy praising and worshiping my Savior!