Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #17

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim #17: I am a Catholic because of my mother

The reader might mistakenly assume from the title of this chapter that Kreeft is going to give credit to his Dutch Reformed mother for his initial “conversion” to Roman Catholicism and his continuation as a member. Such is not the case. By “mother,” Kreeft is referring to Mary, who Catholics venerate/worship as their spiritual mother. He writes, “(Mary) loves me and watches over me as any good mother does her child” (p. 59). Kreeft cites John 19:27, “Behold, your mother!,” which is Roman Catholicism’s primary scriptural “proof-text” for Mary’s exalted status as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix.* Kreeft continues by citing Mary’s humble obedience, as recorded in the initial passages of Luke, as the example for all Catholics. He also claims the Roman church shares with Mary (or rather, is endowed by Mary with) the role of spiritual mother as “Mother Church.”

Response

The mother goddess was one of the most exalted deities in Greek, Roman, and Mesopotamian pagan religions as the patron of fertility and motherly nurture. The increasingly institutionalized early Christian church regrettably adapted many pagan beliefs and practices, including worship of the mother goddess. The Collyridian sect introduced Marian veneration/worship into the church in the 4th Century, and Marian devotion quickly spread (see “The Virgin” (1976) by noted historian, Geoffrey Ashe). Marian devotees extrapolated from John 19:27 and a few other Bible passages a complex Mariology, which semi-deifies Mary and exalts her as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix. Catholics ascribe to Mary the offices held solely by Jesus Christ as Mediator and Redeemer. Mary plays a large/co-preeminent role in Catholic soteriology (salvation system) as many Catholics pray to Mary, futilely seeking her assistance, as they attempt to merit Heaven.

In Scripture, Mary is an example of humble obedience to the Lord and she would be horrified by Rome’s blasphemous semi-deification of her. The Holy Spirit included two passages in Scripture that specifically counter the very type of veneration/worship that Catholicism accords to Mary:

“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” – Luke 11:27-28.

“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Matthew 12:46-50

When I read the New Testament for the first time as a Roman Catholic, I was absolutely shocked to see that Mary, with her co-preeminent status in RC theology, is not mentioned at all after Acts 1:14! If Mary is the all-important “Mediatrix of all graces” and “Co-Redemptrix” with Christ as Rome claims, then why didn’t Paul and the other apostles, as guided by the Holy Spirit, mention her at all in their epistles? Marian devotion is a prime example of Catholic “sacred tradition” subverting and supplanting God’s Word. The Roman Catholic church’s exaltation and veneration/worship of Mary is a distinguishing heretical mark of its total apostasy.

*Although the RCC has not officially defined the dogma of Mary as Co-Redemptrix in deference to ecumenism, the doctrine is prevalent throughout Catholicism. Pope John Paul II publicly referred to Mary as Co-Redemptrix at least six times (see here).

Next week: Claim #18: I am a Catholic because of the angels, and their invisible and anonymous mediation

Throwback Thursday: James White on Roman Catholicism

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on June 3, 2016 and has been revised.

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The Roman Catholic Controversy: Catholics and Protestants – Do the Differences Still Matter?
By James R. White
Bethany House Publishers, 1996, 268 pages

5 Stars

The release of the first declaration from Chuck Colson’s Evangelicals and Catholics Together ecumenical project shook the evangelical church. The 1994 declaration basically recognized Roman Catholicism as a genuinely Christian institution and advised that evangelicals and Catholics should mutually end all evangelization efforts aimed towards the other camp. Several evangelicals signed the declaration and many applauded it. But many other evangelicals shouted, “Not so fast!”

Despite the enthusiastic ecumenism of some, evangelicals and Catholics widely disagree on a great number of doctrines; most importantly, on how a person is saved. Although the Catholic church often refers to “grace” and “faith,” what they actually teach is the dispensation of grace through its sacraments, administered by its priests. It’s required of Catholics to participate in the obligatory sacraments so they can receive grace, which allegedly enables them to obey the Ten Commandments and church rules. They refer to this as “cooperating with grace.” Despite the references to “grace” and “faith,” Catholics are taught they cannot have any “mortal” (grave) sin on their soul at the moment of their death in order to merit Heaven. The bottom line for Catholics is they must merit their salvation. That is NOT the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. I can’t perfectly obey the Ten Commandments for even one, single day let alone a lifetime. The Ten Commandments only reveal that we are all sinners in need of the Savior. Trying to obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit salvation as the Catholic church teaches is NOT “Good News.” In fact, it’s VERY BAD news because it’s an impossible task.

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

Several books were written by evangelical apologists in the 1990s in reaction to Evangelicals and Catholics Together, including “The Roman Catholic Controversy” by James White. In this book, White examines several of the important differences between Catholics and evangelicals in regards to Catholicism’s perpetual sacrifice of the mass, purgatory, the papacy, the mediatorship of Mary, and justification via works, but he especially focuses on the evangelical doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). Catholics argue that their teaching magisterium (the pope in union with the cardinals and bishops), and their ever-developing traditions are on equal par with Scripture. For Catholics, whatever their pope declares regarding faith and morals today carries the same weight as what the Holy Spirit revealed to the writers of the Bible manuscripts 2000 years ago. White does a very thorough job of examining the arguments both for and against Sola Scriptura, perhaps drifting into theological academese now and then. This is some challenging reading at times, but it’s well worth the effort.

Chapters:

  1. I Can’t Believe He Did That
  2. Cutting Through the Fog
  3. The Essential Issue: The Gospel of Peace
  4. Who Defines the Gospel?
  5. Sola Scriptura: God Speaks Clearly
  6. The Thousand Traditions
  7. Sola Scriptura vs. Sacred Tradition
  8. The Claims of the Papacy
  9. Justified Before God: Rome’s View
  10. Justified Before God: By Grace Through Faith Alone
  11. What of the Mass?
  12. The Divine Waiting Room
  13. When Sola Scriptura Is Rejected
  14. Sola Gratia

Since “The Roman Catholic Controversy” was published twenty years ago, more and more evangelicals have been fooled by Catholicism’s references to “faith” and “grace” and have purposely overlooked Rome’s anti-Biblical doctrines calling for “cooperation with grace” (aka merit) for salvation, the absolute necessity of priests, the perpetual sacrifice of the mass, transubstantiation of the bread wafer and wine, purgatory, the confession of sins to a priest, praying to Mary and the saints, and the elevation of the pope to the very seat of Christ.

But most Catholics are woefully ignorant of their own church’s teachings. If you were to ask 100 Catholics how a person gets to Heaven, I would hazard that 90% would respond with something like, “By being good” or “By obeying the Ten Commandments” or “By trying your best.” None of those responses is the Gospel. The relatively small percentage of pious Catholics who actually know their religion might answer, “By being baptized, receiving the sacraments, cooperating with grace, and having faith.” Faith? Faith in what or in whom? Faith in Mary and the church to help live a holy, perfectly sanctified life so that you can merit Heaven? That’s not the Gospel either.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the VERY “Good News.” You can’t POSSIBLY merit your way to Heaven, but Jesus Christ paid for your sins and offers you the the gift of eternal life and fellowship with God through Him.

http://www.gotquestions.org/got-forgiveness.html

“The Roman Catholic Controversy” is still in print and available from Amazon. See here.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #110

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Luke 17:11-19 on “Forever Thankful.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Philippians 2:1-5 on “Unity in the Church.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, October 31st.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Forever Thankful. The sermon begins at the 19:20 mark.

Pastor Cody Andrews – Unity in the Church

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/14/21

Many of the U.S. Catholic bishops were in a tizzy after Joe Biden was elected POTUS. Although Biden is a Roman Catholic, he has consistently supported pro-abortion legislation. Conservative bishops have called for Biden to be denied the Jesus wafer, the alleged “source and summit of Catholic spirituality.” Catholics with unconfessed mortal sin on their souls are theoretically barred from receiving communion. The U.S. bishops met in June to define church policy regarding who can and who can’t receive the Jesus wafer with a follow-up meeting scheduled for November 15-18. A draft of the policy document was leaked to the Catholic press and there is no specific reference to Biden or abortion. RCC progressives, including pope Francis, have been working hard to rein in the conservatives’ demand that abortion-supporting Catholic pols, like Biden and Nancy Pelosi, be denied the Jesus wafer. The RCC teaches that its priests transform bread wafers into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. It’s alleged that eating the Jesus wafer bestows graces that help the Catholic to obey the Ten Commandments in order to merit salvation. Some Catholics worship the Jesus wafer during off-hours “eucharistic adoration” (photo above), although surveys show 70% of Catholics believe the eucharist elements are only symbolic. Young, zealous RC neo-cons are taking up eucharistic adoration, but they’re just a small fraction of the RC population.

Archbishop Jose Gomez, conservative president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is warning against “woke” social justice movements gradually becoming the warp and woof of American Catholicism. Whether the RCC marches to the doctrinaire drumbeat or to the social justice drumbeat, there is/will be no sign of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

A student group is hosting a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood at Loyola Marymount Catholic University in Los Angeles. Pro-abortion, pro-LGBT+ progessivism has already made deep inroads into Catholic universities.

Some Gospel Christians were exuberant back in 2019 when it was reported that famous rapper, Kanye West, had allegedly converted to Christianity. However, many said, “Uh-oh,” when prosperity false-gospeler, Joel Osteen, endorsed West and his new “faith.” Satanist, Marilyn Manson, is now part of the Kanye’s “Sunday Service” entourage.

I need to watch this.

Catholic apologists, like Peter Kreeft, paint a rosy picture of the RCC, but the reality is there’s a steep decline in membership in the U.S. and a growing ideological divide between progressive and conservative clergy.

Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #16

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim #16: I am a Catholic because gratitude is a necessary precondition of all religion

Kreeft begins this chapter by telling the story of a Jesuit priest who journeyed to Tibet and visited with Buddhist monks. When the question, “What is the first requirement for any religion at all?,” was posed to the Jesuit and four Buddhist monks, all answered that gratitude for the things that constitute life is the first requirement of religion. The Jesuit then asked the Buddhist monks WHO they were grateful to? Since Buddhists do not believe in God, they could not answer. The Jesuit then condescendingly stated that he and his fellow Catholics knew who they were grateful to. Kreeft continues by asserting “it would be insanely ungrateful for me to refuse the incredible gift Christ left us; His own body, by which He redeems the world – on the Cross, in the Church, and in the Eucharist” (p. 56).

Response

Asserting that gratitude is the necessary precondition of all religion – as all works religionists do – is putting the cart before the horse. The necessary precondition of the only genuine religion – Bible Christianity – is for a person to understand their sinful depraved state before a Holy God and their absolute need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The helpless sinner must then accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

The unsaved – religious and non-religious – enjoy God’s common grace blessings and may have a nebulous sense of gratitude, but they must repent/turn to Christ to settle their overriding sin problem. Kreeft refers to the Catholic salvation system – the church and its sacraments – as a “gift.” That is Catholic double-speak. Roman Catholics are taught they must ultimately merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. Catholicism’s salvation system is NOT a gift, but an impossibly steep legalistic religious treadmill.

It’s revealing that Roman Catholics, Buddhists, and all other works-righteousness religionists would cite gratitude as THE necessary precondition of all religion, as Kreeft points out in this chapter. Works-righteousness religionists believe they are already in a relatively good spiritual state that they can improve upon through their merits. In contrast, genuine Christians came to the realization, through God’s Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, that they were depraved sinners without one, single plea and on their way to judgement and they trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. Jesus Christ Himself contrasted the mindsets of the grateful religious self-righteous person with the desperate sinner seeking the Savior in His parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 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!’ 14 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.”

Next week: Claim #17: I am a Catholic because of my mother

Throwback Thursday: If you focus on the weekend, you’ll miss the week

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on June 9, 2016 and has been slightly revised.

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Tomorrow is Friday and I’m definitely looking forward to it. On Fridays I get to WFH – work from home – which makes for a more relaxing day. But Fridays don’t have the same appeal when you’re walking with the Lord. What? You don’t believe me? Let me explain.

Most unbelievers are living from weekend to weekend. They dislike or hate their jobs and see the work week as something they have to tolerate at best so they can get to the weekend so they can relax and do what they want. They revel in Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday until Sunday evening when they begin contemplating the approaching dreaded work week. And then the cycle starts all over again, week after week, year after year.

After you accept the Lord, Jesus Christ, as your Savior, He pulls you out of that cycle. Every day is a day in the Lord. My job? I don’t always love it, but I appreciate it so much. He blesses me every day throughout the week. When you accept Christ and begin to walk with Him, it’s kind of like He pulls you up out of the frustrating details of daily living and allows you to see some of the bigger picture. Ah, I get it! No need to get all angry, frustrated, and disappointed with this or that annoying circumstance. The Lord has got it under control. Every day becomes a little bit more like a weekend day the closer you’re walking with Him. Jesus becomes our goal, our rest, and our satisfaction, NOT the two days away from the office.

Yes, I’m glad tomorrow’s Friday, but the Lord gives me tremendous blessings throughout the week. Instead of eagerly anticipating the weekend, focus on Jesus Christ and every day will be Friday. Thank you, Jesus! All praise to You!

“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.” – Psalm 145:1-2


Trivia corner: The days of the week are named after pagan gods. Can you identify them?

  • Sunday is devoted to the sun god. One of the most famous sun gods of the ancient pagan world was the Egyptians’ Ra.
  • Monday is named after Máni, the Norse moon god.
  • Tuesday is named after the Germanic god, Tiu.
  • Wednesday is dedicated to the Norse god, Woden or Odin.
  • Thursday honors the Norse god, Thor.
  • Friday memorializes Freya, wife of Woden.
  • Saturday is devoted to the Roman god, Saturn.

Christians use these day names that honor pagan gods without even thinking about it. Of course, it’s the same thing for the months of the year. But there’s no need to freak out about it. Believers are in the world, but not of the world. Our work for the Lord is not dependent on what the unbelieving world names its days and months. Let’s focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Note from 2021: What a change from when I wrote this post five years ago! After being laid off from Kodak Alaris in September, 2019 and unemployed for fifteen months, I got a job with a defense contractor in January 2020. My work schedule is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, twelve-hours per day. I plan on retiring at the end of November, 2022.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #109

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Luke 16:19-31 on “And in Hell.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Acts 20:28 on “The Church is Purchased and Precious.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, October 24th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – And in Hell – The sermon begins at the 15:50 mark

Pastor Cody Andrews – The Church is Purchased and Precious

Midnight Mass – Netflix miniseries review

Midnight Mass – TV Miniseries (seven episodes)
Created and directed by Mike Flanagan
Featuring: Kate Siegel, Zack Gilford, Hamish Linklater, and Samantha Sloyan
Intrepid Pictures, released on Netflix, September 24, 2021

4 Stars

While searching for articles for a weekend news roundup a short time ago, I came across a couple of reviews for “Midnight Mass,” a new “Catholic horror” mini-series on Netflix. I’m not much of a television watcher, but Catholic horror films (“The Exorcist” and “The Omen”) played a part in my conversion to Christ, so I mentioned the series to my wife and we watched it together.

Plot (spoiler alert!)

A young man, Riley Flynn (Gilford), is released from prison for a drunk driving homicide. He returns to Crockett Island to try to piece his life back together. Concurrently, a new Catholic priest, “father” Paul (Linklater), arrives on the island and strange miracles begin to occur in connection with the “services” at St. Patrick’s Catholic church. A “religious revival” breaks out on the island as the inhabitants are drawn to the charismatic priest and the miraculous events. The stern parish assistant, Bev Keane (Sloyan), is especially captivated by the priest. We learn that “father” Paul is actually his predecessor at St. Patrick’s, Monsignor Pruitt, an aging priest who had onset dementia. Pruitt had taken a trip to the “Holy Land” and stumbled into the cave lair of a blood-thirsty demon. The demon’s blood transforms the aging priest into his younger self and Pruitt returned to the island incognito as “father” Paul. Priest Paul had been slipping the demon’s blood into the congregants’ communion wine, accounting for the transformational “miracles.”

Priest Paul dies (via poison from Bev Keane?) and is resurrected to become a full-fledged, blood-sucking vampire. One of his first “indoctrinees” is the trusting Riley, who then informs his girlfriend, Erin (Siegel), of what’s really going down on the island before he self-immolates via the sun’s rays at dawn. The sunshine-shy priest holds a midnight mass at the church and invites the credulous congregants to also drink the “Kool-Aid” poison so that they too can be reborn to great spiritual heights (as bloodsuckers) and together bring their bloody “gospel” to the mainland. Erin and a few other incredulous inhabitants escape the mayhem and begin burning all of the boats and buildings on the island so that the neo-vampires can’t escape and will be immolated by the rays of the rising sun at dawn. The vampires hunt the rebels down and priest Paul’s anti-vampire “love-child” is killed in the fracas, giving him second thoughts, much to the angry consternation of “true-believer,” Bev Keane. At dawn, the sun’s rays destroy the “repentant” priest and all of the other defenseless vampires.

Comments

One article writer opined that Midnight Mass is ex-Catholic, Mike Flanagan’s commentary on “the dark role religion can play in the lives of people.” Pseudo-Christian Roman Catholicism is conspicuously creepy with its rites, rituals, ceremonies, and its bloody history. It’s a counterfeit of true Christianity and the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Flanagan takes many pot-shots at Roman Catholicism in this series and I’m not entirely unsympathetic, but the former altar boy is far from irreligious. As Erin lays dying after being attacked/bitten by the demon, and before the impending sunrise, she rattles off a five-minute New Age soapbox soliloquy that would do Oprah and Deepak proud. She makes her dying case for no Heaven and no Hell, and philosophizes that everyone is a part of the eternal cosmos, etc., etc., etc. Hmm, that New Age fluff doesn’t exactly mesh with a demon terrorizing souls for seven one-hour-long episodes.

The performances by the principals were very good. It’s eerie watching Linklater rationalizing his evil schemes in the name of God, quite evocative of actual Roman Catholic church history. Samantha Sloyan is excellent as Bev Keane, the self-righteous “church lady” who is evil personified. I have run across more than a few über-sanctimonious Bev Keanes in my Christian journey.

This was an entertaining horror frolic with many insightful “jabs” at Roman Catholicism, but get your theology from God’s Word, the Bible, rather than from Mike Flanagan. Some believers would object to watching a horror film like “Midnight Mass.” I get it, but in my case the Holy Spirit used religious-themed horror films, among other things, to lead me to Christ. I observe that some Christians object to watching fictional demons in a silly horror movie (understandable, I don’t make it a habit, either), but will enthusiastically endorse ecumenism with false teachers (e.g., the pope and Roman Catholic prelates and priests) with their false gospels.

Trivia: “Midnight Mass” was filmed at uninhabited Garry Point Park peninsula near Vancouver, Canada. All of the buildings seen in the series were built by the production crew. Playing Riley Flynn’s father is Henry Thomas. Remember him? The now-forty-nine-year-old Thomas played Elliot in “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” way back in 1982.

From left to right: Kate Siegel as Erin Greene, Hamish Linklater as priest Paul, and Samantha Sloyan as Bev Keane

Postscript: I used to love going to Christmas Eve midnight mass as a young child, mainly because of the novelty of staying up so late and also knowing Christmas morning mass wouldn’t be interfering with the opening of presents. I also enjoyed the grand pageantry. When I was in my mid-twenties I read the New Testament for the first time and learned that sacerdotal priests and sacrifice for sin had been ended by Jesus Christ. Both priests and sacrifice for sin are anti-Biblical blasphemy and affronts to Jesus Christ.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/6/21

President Joe Biden’s widely-publicized meeting with pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, October 29th, has created a backlash among conservative Catholic clergy and laity. Biden is an unabashed supporter of abortion, yet pope Francis encouraged the president by telling him he was a “good Catholic” and that he should not be denied the Jesus wafer. This latest episode serves to exemplify the wide ideological split between the pragmatically progressive pope and doctrinaire conservative American prelates and priests, many of whom consider Francis a heretic or at least a very bad pope.

I’ve published several posts in the past that referred to conservative Jesuit, Leonard Feeney, and his opposition to the advance of semi-Universalism in Catholic theology, which culminated in the ecumenical decrees of the Second Vatican Council. The RCC now has no reason to proselytize since it recognizes that all religionists and even atheists may also merit Heaven. This article refers to a new book, “Deadly Indifference: How the Church Lost Her Mission and How We Can Reclaim It” in which author, Eric Sammons, exhorts fellow conservative and traditionalist Catholics to return the RCC to pre-conciliar militancy. The RCC is definitely not a unified monolith as Catholic apologists would have gullible souls believe. I definitely need to read this one.

As I mentioned last weekend, the RCC encourages its members to pray for dead Catholics on All Souls Day, this past Tuesday, November 2nd. It’s claimed that praying for dead souls on that day and the entire week of November 1 thru 8 earns the deceased a “plenary” (full) indulgence resulting in their release from purgatory ahead of schedule. Because of possible hassles due to COVID-19, the RCC has arbitrarily extended the indulgence-granting period thru the entire month of November. Neither purgatory or indulgences are Biblical.

Halloween is widely celebrated on October 31st. Gospel Christians, however, commemorate October 31st as the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, sparking the glorious Reformation.

Pastors periodically admonish their congregants to increase their giving by appealing to the Old Testament tithe. Christians should support the ministries of their church, but the Mosaic Law doesn’t apply to the New Testament church. Ancient Israel was a theocracy and the tithe served as a tax. Americans already pay on average 13.28% of their income to government taxes. In their pro-tithing sermons, pastors purposely avoid the only New Testament passage that pertains to giving, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Compelling people to give by hammering them over the head with Old Testament mandates is wrong.

Hmm. Choosing to end your pre-born baby’s life and then taking time off from work to grieve seems a bit incongruous. But this new policy does recognize the reality that aborters inevitably end up regretting their decision.

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day in the U.K. Make no mistake, the Jesuits had a hand in the 1605 skullduggery.

Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #15

Today, we continue our weekly series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). Thanks for joining me.

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Claim #15: “I am a Catholic because of one thing that that I know with certainty, that I do not need belief or faith for”

The “one thing” Kreeft is referring to above is his impending death. He rejects atheism as implausible and so asks himself if he would he rather face God after death without Christ or with Christ as Mediator and Savior? He chooses the latter and then asks if he would rather meet God as a Protestant Christian with a deficient Christianity or as a Roman Catholic Christian, allegedly already incorporated into the Body of Christ, the RC church, via the RCC’s sacraments. He affirms the later and hopes the reader will agree.

Response

While Kreeft refers to Jesus Christ as Mediator and Savior, the Roman Catholic church usurps Christ’s offices by presenting its priests as in persona Christi (Latin: “in the place of Christ”) who mediate on behalf of Catholic souls through the administration of the church’s sacraments. The RCC teaches souls are born-again when they are baptized and must continue to receive the sacraments in order to successfully obey the Ten Commandments so as to hopefully merit Heaven. Catholics are not “in Christ” as Kreeft claims, because they have not trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone, but are instead relying on the RCC’s sacraments and their ability to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!). Kreeft and fellow Catholics are still in their sins and will remain in their sins unless they turn from their church’s sacramental and merit-based salvation system and accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

Implied in Kreeft’s remarks is the Roman Catholic belief that all religionists – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc., and even atheists – can also merit Heaven if they practice their religion sincerely, follow their conscience, and are “good.” That’s Universalism, not Christianity. As in previous chapters, Kreeft takes the opportunity once again to denigrate Protestantism, which is quite ironic because many misguided evangelical apologists are deferential when it comes to Catholicism.

Next week: Claim #16: I am a Catholic because gratitude is a necessary precondition of all religion