Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/2/22

Although the U.S. Catholic bishops are solidly against abortion, a recent AP poll found that 64 percent of U.S. Catholic laypersons agreed that abortion should be legal in most or all cases.

Angry pro-abortion supporters are targeting Catholic churches after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade because Catholics are stereotyped as being anti-abortion despite polls which show the majority support the genocide. We note that of the five Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe, four are Roman Catholic: Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brent Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas. Neil Gorsuch was raised a Catholic, but now identifies as Episcopalian. False-gospel religious moralists need the Gospel as much as radical pro-abortionists.

At least the pope isn’t advising mothers to push their sons to be priests.

The National Association of Evangelicals has been heading down the path of the social justice gospel. I don’t blame the PCA for leaving. For a list of denominations that belong to the NAE, see here.

On one hand, I’m glad parents can use vouchers for private schools. On the other hand, I don’t like public tax dollars going to Catholic schools.

Are feminists pleased or angry that “transgender women” have been banned from competing in women’s swimming events? I imagine this ban will be overturned via lawsuit very soon.

This interesting article from a conservative Catholic source focuses on the squabbling between conservative and progressive Catholics over the liturgical rubrics of the mass. The Roman Catholic mass is anti-Biblical from start to finish.

Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, made headlines on May 20 when he banned House Speaker and abortion-supporter, Nancy Pelosi, from receiving the Jesus wafer in her home diocese, yet Pelosi received a personal greeting and “blessing” from pope Francis before receiving the Jesus wafer at a papal mass when she visited the Vatican this past Wednesday. Pelosi is clearly “using” the pope for political purposes just as Francis is using her. Cordileone and Francis are clearly not on the same page of their false gospel.


Tom’s retirement countdown: 17 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #6: “All the apostles are the foundation, not just Peter.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues with his arguments that Matthew 16:18 is a proof-text for Petrine primacy, the papacy, and the authority of the Roman Catholic church.

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13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13-19


Protestant response #6: “All the apostles are the foundation, not just Peter.”

Broussard claims that some Protestants “concede” that Peter is the rock referenced in Matthew 16:18, “but reject the inference that Peter is therefore somehow unique in the role he plays as the foundation of the Church” (p. 31). These Protestants, continues Broussard, cite Ephesians 2:19-21:

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. – Ephesians 2:19-21

From this Scriptural passage we learn that the church is built upon the apostles and prophets, who themselves are all secondary stones built upon Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone, the Foundation (petra). In this passage, Peter is not distinguished apart from the other apostles as being preeminent.

Broussard’s rebuttal

Broussard argues that just because the same metaphor is used for multiple people, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the people are equal. He uses the example of Jesus Christ being called “Shepherd” (Greek, poimena) in Scripture (1 Peter 2:25), while pastors are also identified as shepherds (poimenas) (Ephesians 4:11). Broussard continues with his argument, stating, “Paul’s focus (in Ephesians 2:19-21) is on the Ephesians and their relation to the apostles and Jesus as pieces that make up the edifice of the Church, which Paul calls a ‘holy temple’…Since Paul’s concern is not the order among the apostles as the foundation of the Church, but simply the order that exists between the Ephesians, the apostles and prophets, and Jesus as pieces that make up the edifice of the Church, we shouldn’t expect Paul to highlight Peter’s unique status as the rock of the Church” (p. 33).

My rebuttal

While a very small number of evangelicals (D.A. Carson being the most quoted by Catholics) “concede” that Peter is the rock referred to in Matthew 16:18, that is not the historical or predominant contemporary evangelical Protestant understanding/interpretation. Yes, Protestants often use Ephesians 2:19-21 as a proof-text to demonstrate that Peter is not uniquely singled-out among the apostles as preeminent. Broussard off-handedly dismisses the argument by claiming that Paul didn’t single-out Peter in the passage because of the context, yet Broussard knows full well it is irreverentially unthinkable in Roman Catholic ecclesiastical protocol to group the pope together with his subordinate bishops.

Broussard focuses on one passage, Ephesians 2:19-21, but what he guilefully fails to mention to the reader is that nowhere in Paul’s thirteen epistles does the apostle identify Peter as preeminent. Rather, in stark contradiction of the Roman Catholic claim of Petrine primacy, Paul states that he is equal to all of the apostles:

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

Likewise, nowhere in the eight epistles that follow Paul’s, including the two written by Peter himself, is it suggested that Peter is preeminent and the first pope. Roman Catholicism’s self-serving misinterpretation of Matthew 16:18 is nowhere corroborated by other Scriptures.

Next week: Protestant response #7: Peter is only a pillar, not the pillar”

Throwback Thursday: An evangelical looks at the “fathers”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 16, 2016 and has been revised.

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The Church of Rome at the Bar of History
By William Webster
The Banner of Truth Trust, 2003, 244 pages

4 Stars

The Roman Catholic church boasts that it has taught the same doctrines since the apostolic era through an unbroken line of papal succession. One of the church’s mottos is Semper Eadem, “Always the Same.”  But even casual students of Catholicism know the church’s doctrines have been constantly evolving. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, the preaching of personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament, devolved into sacramentalism, impersonal rituals, ceremony, and religious legalism. When did the drift from orthodoxy start? In his letters to the 1st century churches, apostle Paul warned the believers of false teachers and works religionists creeping in even back then.

Rome often appeals to the writings of the “Church Fathers” to support its doctrinal claims. But anyone who has studied the fathers knows its a very mixed bag. The fathers include a long list of individuals writing from many locations over a four-century time frame. Their writings can often be interpreted various ways and have been used to support both Catholic and Protestant viewpoints.

In this book, evangelical William Webster compares the writings of the fathers to the theology of the Catholic Tridentine and Vatican Councils. Not being a historian or theologian and disinclined to personally sift through the writings of the fathers myself, I appreciated Webster’s efforts. Catholic apologists are faced with the dilemma that much of what passes for Catholicism today cannot be found in the writings of the early fathers. On the other hand, evangelicals would find some of the fathers’ theology, especially the later fathers, to be drifting into unorthodoxy and heresy, an issue Webster avoids. The moral of the story: Get your theology from God’s Word, not from the fathers.

Chapters

  1. The Authority of Scripture
  2. Scripture and Tradition
  3. Tradition and Roman Catholicism
  4. The Papacy and the ‘Rock’ of Matthew 16
  5. Papal Authority and Infallibility: The Test of History
  6. Marian Dogmas
  7. Salvation and the Sacramental System
  8. The Eucharist
  9. Faith and Justification
  10. Truth: The Defining issue

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #142

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

First, we have Missionary Adolfo Gonzalez preaching at Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana from Philippians 4:5-7 on “The Peace of God.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 2:17-24 on “Only Jesus.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, June 12th.

Missionary Adolfo Gonzalez – The Peace of God – Sermon begins at 20:00 mark

Pastor Cody Andrews – Only Jesus

Huh?

Above: Former member of the Byrds and full-time tweeter, David Crosby, reacts to the news that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Huh, David? You’re holding to a blatant incongruity. If you believe all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, what about the pre-born’s right to life? Apologize to all of the women in this country? How about apologizing to the 30 million pre-born baby girls (and 30 million pre-born baby boys) killed in abortions in the U.S. since 1973?

Pro-abortionists must work very hard to ignore and/or deny the blatantly obvious, that a pre-born baby is a living, human being.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 6/25/22

It’s been four months since Vladimir Putin, ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Untold thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed, injured, or displaced and cities and towns decimated by the Russian dictator, although pope Francis has still not condemned Putin by name. This interesting article examines Francis’ “Jesuitical casuistry” in the face of systematic mass-murder.

Last Sunday, Catholic parishes across the U.S. held Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) processions, in which priests paraded through local neighborhoods holding large Jesus wafers. The Catholic church teaches its priests turn bread wafers into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday kicked off a three-year “eucharistic revival” by which the U.S. Catholic bishops will attempt to revitalize the very low regard the majority of Catholics have for the alleged Jesus wafer.

Back in April, I reported that bishop Robert J. McManus of the Catholic diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts formally requested that the Nativity Jesuit Middle School remove its BLM and Gay Pride flags. The administrators refused to comply, so McManus has ruled the school may no longer identify as “Catholic.” This drama will be played out in Catholic schools all over the country.

A special collection is taken up at Catholic parishes on the last Sunday of every June called “Peter’s Pence.” The funds go directly to the RCC’s central administration coffers at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. I wonder if Catholic contributors ever question how much of their money has been diverted to compensating survivors of priest sexual abuse and cover-up.

Leonardo De Chirico has done fantastic work with his Reformanda Initiative and the Rome Scholars and Leaders Network (RSLN).

Catholics are generally stereotyped as opposing abortion, but a recent AP poll found that 64 percent of U.S. Catholics (and 40 percent of Catholic Republicans) agreed that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, almost identical to the 65 percent of all adult Americans who held that view.

Evangelicals shouldn’t consult any Catholic theologians, but there’s a temptation in some egghead evangelical circles to engage in ecumenical intellectual snobbery. Catholic theologians all propagate the RCC’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Pope Francis has taken many swipes at conservative U.S. Catholics who pine for pre-conciliar militantism. When a Catholic disparages Protestantism for its multi-fold denominations, remind the person that conservative Catholic talking heads advise their followers to ignore the progressive pope Francis.

I heard Vice President Kamala Harris identifies as “Baptist.” Hmm. A google check revealed she is a member of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, which is affiliated with the “social gospel” American Baptist Churches USA. The ABC USA (once known as the Northern Baptist Convention) went apostate generations ago.

Great news!


Tom’s retirement countdown: 18 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #5: “The central theme of the passage is the identity of Jesus.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues with his arguments that Matthew 16:18 is a proof-text for Petrine primacy, the papacy, and the authority of the Roman Catholic church.

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13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13-19


Protestant response #5: “The central theme of the passage is the identity of Jesus.”

Broussard quotes evangelical apologist, James R. White, to expound upon Protestant response #5: “The confession that Peter gives of the messiahship of Jesus is the central thought of the entire passage. It is the reason for the trip to Caesarea Philippi. Jesus indicates that Peter has just been the recipient of divine revelation. God, in his grace, has given to Peter an insight that does not find its origin in the will of man, but in God the Father himself. The content of that confession is, in fact, divine revelation, immediately impressed upon the soul of Peter. This is the immediate context of verse 18, and to divorce verse 18 from what came before leads to the errant shift in attention from the identity of Christ to the identity of Peter that is found in Roman Catholic exegesis. Certainly we cannot accept the idea, presented in Roman theology, that immediately upon pronouncing the benediction upon Peter’s confession of faith, the focus shifts away from that confession and what it reveals to Peter himself and some office with successors based upon him!” – James R. White, quoted from a debate with Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis, May 30, 2008.

Broussard’s rebuttal

Broussard answers that there is a shift in focus from Jesus Christ to Peter beginning in verse 17. The pronoun “you” is used in reference to Peter twice in v. 17, twice in v.18, and thrice in v. 19. Given the context of the entire passage, argues Broussard, it’s only reasonable to assume that Jesus is referring to Peter as the rock upon which He will build His church in v. 18.

My rebuttal

James. R. White presented an excellent argument above regarding the focus of vv. 13-17 in context with v. 18, wherein Jesus declared He would build His church upon the truth divinely revealed to Peter, that He was the Messiah/Christ. White is undeniably correct in asserting that Catholics almost completely ignore the context presented in vv. 13-17 in making their case via v. 18 for Petrine primacy. There is certainly a shift in focus beginning in v. 19 where Jesus declares He will give to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven (important note: Jesus granted these spiritual keys of locking and unlocking, binding and loosing, to ALL of His disciples in Matthew 18:18). Broussard and Catholics self-servingly argue the shift in focus from Jesus to Peter begins in v. 17, while Gospel Christians argue the shift begins with v. 19. Who is right? Last week, we presented conclusive evidence (see here) that Jesus would build His church upon Himself as Christ/Messiah, Son of God, and Savior, NOT upon weak Peter and the corrupt despots in the Vatican who claimed to be Peter’s successors.

Next week: Protestant response #6: “All the apostles are the foundation, not just Peter.”

Throwback Thursday: Billy Graham – Part 2

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 21, 2016 and has been revised.

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Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000
By Iain H. Murray
The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000, 342 pp.

5 Stars

For part one of this post, please see here.

German higher biblical criticism came to the U.S. in the later-19th-century and was a swift-spreading cancer in seminaries and mainline Protestant churches. Believing churchmen drew a line in the sand with a series of 90 essays on the basics of the Christian faith, published between 1910 and 1915, and known as “The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth.” Bible Christians rallied around the cherished doctrinal truths, but as mainline liberalism gained wider support, the fundamentalist movement increasingly adopted a circle-the-wagons, bunker mentality.

Billy Graham began his ministry in 1947 as a fundamentalist, but he and others recognized that fundamentalism took the opposite approach to Jesus’ exhortation to be in the world, but not of the world. Graham and like-minded friends (Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, Edward Carnell, et al.) reasoned they could more effectively reach souls for Christ by cooperating with mainline liberals and religious unbelievers rather than by separating from them. But just as fundamentalism had its unhealthy sectarian extremism, Graham’s “New Evangelicalism” had its own pitfalls. Cooperation works both ways and Graham’s cooperation with unorthodoxy and unbelief led to accommodation, compromise, and eventually, betrayal of the Gospel. Graham sacrificed right doctrine on the altar of numbers, popularity, and ecclesiastical “respectability” and set a precedent for generations of pastors and para-church leaders to come.

In “Evangelicalism Divided,” Iain Murray, a former close assistant to D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, documents the rise and fall of Graham and New Evangelicalism. The larger portion of the book is devoted to circumstances in Britain, which closely mirrored those in the United States. Swimming against the rising tide, Lloyd-Jones called upon evangelicals to break ties with mainline liberalism and religious unbelief. When Graham began organizing crusades in Britain, he asked Lloyd-Jones, the nation’s most notable evangelical, to lend his support. Lloyd-Jones refused due to the many liberal churchmen aka religious unbelievers involved in Graham’s crusades. In opposition to Lloyd-Jones, Britain’s New Evangelicals, led by John Stott and J. I. Packer, rationalized that believers would be far more effective if they worked within the Anglican church. Not surprisingly, Packer would go on to be one of the charter signers of the ECT – Evangelicals and Catholics Together – ecumenical accords. Stott also fully embraced Roman Catholicism as a Christian entity. As for the current state of Anglicanism, is there even one Bible-believing minister within the entire denomination?

Murray may wander a bit, but overall this is an excellent book. There were so many passages I wanted to quote, but where to stop? I would have ended up quoting half the book. For everyone who wonders HOW and WHY Graham and company ended up eventually betraying the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, this book is a sad but necessary eye-opener.

“The reason why the BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) decided to co-operate with liberals and other non-evangelicals (such as Roman Catholics – Tom) was never set out in terms of principle. The fact is that the policy was seen as a neccessary expedient designed sincerely for the best end, namely to gain a wider hearing for the gospel. Crusades depended on crowds and in the Graham story there is an almost ever-present concern for maintaining and increasing numbers. ‘Keeping an eye for maximum public impact’ and ‘trying always for the largest possible crowds’ was a settled part of the Billy Graham Association’s strategy.” pp- 58-59.

“We may be small in numbers but since when has the doctrine of the remnant become unpopular among evangelicals? It is one of the most glorious doctrines in the whole Bible. We are not interested in numbers. We are interested in truth and in the living God. ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ …If we stand for God’s truth we can be sure that God will honour us and bless us.” – a quote from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, p.293.

“Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000” is available at Amazon here.

Catholic Myths

Catholic Myths: A Biblical Examination into the Myths, Rituals, Relics, Superstitions, and Inventions of the Roman Catholic Church
By Charles A. Zonca
Independently published, 2020, 227 pp.

3 Stars

With “Catholic Myths,” author Charles A. Zonca (Word of Victory Tract Ministries) has done a decent job examining many of the mythical elements of Roman Catholic theology (see chapter headings below). The RCC’s doctrines are based more upon the church’s spurious “sacred traditions” than upon the Bible. Many of the traditions have their roots in paganism.

However, there are a couple of problems with this book. 1) Zonca relies heavily upon Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons” (1858) and Ralph Woodrow’s “Babylon Mystery Religion” (1966), which drew directly from the former. Historians have shown that Hislop overreached with some of his postulations regarding Babylonian paganism. Woodrow later reconsidered and disavowed his previous book with the publication of “The Babylon Connection?” in 1997. 2) Zonca is a purveyor of KJV 1611-Onlyism and presses that view.

“Catholic Myths” has a lot of very good, detailed information about popular, superstition-tinged Catholic beliefs and practices that the more academically-inclined evangelical writers like Gregg Allison and Leonardo De Chirico tend to avoid, but the problems mentioned above prevent me from recommending this book as a resource.

An excellent examination of Roman Catholicism as it compares to Biblical Christianity is “The Gospel According to Rome” by James G. McCarthy, available at Amazon here.

Contents

Myths

  • Bible Versions
  • The Rock
  • Apostolic Succession
  • Peter – Bishop of Rome
  • Limbo
  • Purgatory
  • Transubstantiation
  • Sacrifice of the Mass
  • Forgiveness of Sins
  • Mary – Mother of God
  • Assumption
  • Immaculate Conception
  • Mary Worship
  • Worship of Saints
  • Celibacy
  • Priests and Nuns
  • Sainthood Canonization
  • Fasting from Meat
  • Gambling and Drinking
  • Many Ways to Heaven
  • Muslims
  • Chrislam
  • Papal Infallibility
  • Charismatic Movement
  • The Magi

Rituals

  • All Saints Day
  • Holy Stairs in Rome
  • Indulgences
  • Infant Baptism
  • The Host
  • Worship of the Monstrance
  • Pope’s Tiara
  • Mitre
  • Kissing the Pope’s Ring
  • Kissing Statues
  • Priestly Clergy Garments
  • Processions
  • Praying the Rosary
  • Pilgrimages to Shrines
  • Votive Candles
  • Catholic Santería Voodoo Rituals
  • Epiphany Door Blessing Ritual

Relics

  • Relics of Romanism
  • Our Lady of Clearwater
  • The Nun Bun
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe

Superstitions

  • Apparitions
  • Amulets

Good News

  • The Bible – Man’s Only Hope

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #141

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 Romans 3:9-20 on “All Are Under Sin.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 2:1-3 on “God’s Perfect Judgement.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, June 5th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – All Are Under Sin – Sermon begins at 19:25 mark

Pastor Cody Andrews – God’s Perfect Judgement – Sermon begins at 25:45 mark