Catholic stuff on cable, network television, and radio

There have been a few noteworthy (and un-noteworthy), Catholic-themed programs in the media lately that I’d like to deal with all in one fell swoop:

Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History on CNN
Episode 1: The Rise of the Pope

This CNN series debuted this past Sunday night and I caught the first episode, “The Rise of the Pope,” via on-demand. This docudrama plays fast and loose with historical accuracy. There are no credible sources proving that the apostle Peter was the first bishop of Rome, although this episode presents Catholicism’s claims as fact. Roman Emperor Constantine’s sponsorship of the church is discussed, but as I’ve questioned before (see here), where was the bishop of Rome when Constantine was calling ALL the shots regarding the church? The presentation of the increasing institutionalization of the early church, patterned after the Roman imperial model, is well done. This episode ends with an examination of Roman Catholicism’s schism with Eastern Orthodoxy in 1054 and the genesis of the Crusades to recover the “Holy Land” from the Muslims as well as to suppress Jews and heretics.

While this first episode propagates the Catholic church’s un-Biblical and historically unsupported claims about the primacy of Peter, it does a pretty good job of showing how the leadership of the early Catholic church was increasingly motivated by the lust for temporal political power and wealth. I’m disappointed that no evangelical scholars were asked to participate as commentators. Future episodes are listed as follows:

  • 3/18 – The Resignation of Benedict XVI.
  • 3/25 – The Price of Progress.
  • 4/1 – A Church Divided. (This is definitely an episode I don’t want to miss – Tom)
  • 4/8 – The Wartime Popes.
  • 4/15 – Courage, Change, & the Modern Papacy.

Living Biblically, CBS, Monday Nights
Episode Three: Love Thy Neighbor

After watching the first two installments of this regrettable new CBS comedy series, I finally got around to seeing episode number three via on-demand. The main character, Chip, a Roman Catholic, continues as a self-described “good person trying to be better” by following Biblical law. In this episode, he’s tormented by his inconsiderate upstairs apartment neighbors who blast their stereo late into the night while engaging in noisy sex. Sorry, folks, but that’s the premise. Chip consults with his “god squad,” a priest and a rabbi, and ends up being on better terms with his annoying co-worker, Cheryl, as well as kindly convincing his upstairs neighbors to show some consideration for their fellow tenants. Not a lot of substance here, and nothing about the need for salvation by God’s grace though faith in Jesus Christ alone. The best way to love our unsaved neighbors is to share the Gospel with them, but in Chip’s world, it’s all about being a “good” person.

The Catholic Current
The Station of the Cross, WLOF (Our Lady of Fatima), 101.7 FM, Buffalo, New York

For almost four years, I listened to daily podcasts of a Catholic talk radio show,  “Calling All Catholics,” broadcast out of Buffalo, New York. It was a pretty standard format with Catholic listeners calling in to ask the priest hosts questions about the Catholic religion. The reason I listened was to stay abreast of what was going on within the Catholic church and to use some of the information as fodder for this blog.

But beginning on January 3rd, the show changed dramatically. The name was changed to “The Catholic Current” with a new format addressing the errors and confusion creeping into the church from the likes of pope Francis and his progressive allies. Previous priest hosts were jettisoned and traditionalist priests were brought aboard including David Nix, Ronan Murphy, Shannon Collins, and Robert McTeigue. For twenty-four broadcasts, from January 3rd until February 6th, the traditionalist priests strongly criticized the pope and church progressives in regards to a variety of topics. It was quite amazing to behold! But suddenly it all stopped. Without any explanation, “The Catholic Current” was temporarily replaced by broadcasts of Al Kresta’s national Catholic talk show. WLOF’s website said “The Catholic Current” was “on hiatus.” The show began broadcasting again on March 12th, but notably missing were Nix, Murphy, Collins, and McTeigue and any open criticisms of the pope. The replacement priests are currently discussing the hum-drum basics of Catholic doctrine.

So, what happened? Not one word of explanation was given on the March 12th broadcast regarding the hiatus, the dramatic change in subject material, or the dismissal of the four priest hosts. My guess? Someone had called the Buffalo diocesan office and complained that WLOF was openly encouraging opposition to pope Francis. A diocesan representative then presumably contacted the offices of WLOF and “strongly encouraged” the station to cease and desist immediately.

The above is sheer speculation on my part, but I believe it’s a very good guess. It’s absolutely amazing to watch Catholicism attempt to grapple with pope Francis’ lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees in the “Amoris Laetitia” encyclical and his other “reforms.” You couldn’t find any better theater on Broadway, but following this three-ring circus are hundreds of millions of loyal Catholics who are attempting to earn their salvation according to their church’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.


Sunday Potpourri

The topics below may not necessarily be uplifting, but they’re important for discerning followers of Christ:

“Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History” premiers on CNN tonight

Tonight at 10 p.m. EST is the premier of “Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History,” a six-part docudrama on CNN. I’ve learned over the past not to trust CNN to accurately present Biblical Christianity and I’m confident they won’t begin tonight. Catholic pundits have already weighed in on the series and seem to like it quite a bit except for some qualifications regarding the nastier historical details. See here. The papal office, with all of its worldly pomp and regalia and all of its ignominious history, is actually one of the most convincing arguments against Catholicism being a Christian entity. I’ll be watching the series via on-demand, but I’m not sure at this point if I’ll be reviewing each episode or writing one comprehensive review. Yes, the bishop of Rome morphed into the powerful leader of the increasingly imperialistic church beginning around 500 AD and I believe the pope will play an extremely important role in endtime events, but not in a good way. For a view of the dark side of the papacy, see here.

Vatican releases “Easter” postage stamp of “buff Jesus.”


Conservative Catholics are wagging their tongues over this very strange new stamp released by the Vatican just in time for “Easter” depicting the risen Jesus as a buff gym dude who “causes women’s hearts to beat faster.” See the article here. This is offensive to Bible Christians on multiple levels and I report it here strictly for information sake. There are many strange things going on behind closed doors at the Vatican, and I would suggest this disturbing stamp is another indication. See a previous post on this topic here.

Living Biblically, Episode 2, “False Idols”


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about CBS’s new comedy show, “Living Biblically,” in which the main character, Chip, attempts to live his life strictly according to Biblical Law. There was absolutely no mention of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. See here.

I recently watched the second episode via on-demand. In this installment, Chip is disgusted by his wife’s idolization of pop singer, Beyonce, but his “god squad” advisors, a priest and a rabbi, suggest that he practices idolatry as well with his preoccupation with his smart phone. Chip immediately destroys the device, replacing it with “old school” technology (calculator, wristwatch, camera, beeper, paper maps, etc.) leading to all kinds mayhem. But all ends well as Chip is able to procure tickets to a Beyonce concert for his wife using his new “old fashioned” methods. As in the first episode, Chip sees himself as a “good” person trying to be a better person by living according to Biblical laws. His viewpoint aligns nicely with the Catholic system of merited salvation. For committed Catholics, their institutional church is their idol, which comes between them and the free gift of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Tomorrow night, Chip struggles to love his neighbor.

Florida shooter asks for a Bible


News sources report that 19-year-old mass murderer, Nikolas Cruz, has requested a Bible to read. Praise God! My prayer is that Cruz someday repents of his sins and accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Yes, the Lord can save even troubled mass murderers. There is none righteous, no not one.

Nikolas Cruz, Florida School Shooter, Asks to Read the Bible in Jail

“Living Biblically” misses the main point of the Bible – the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ!

Living Biblically
Created by Patrick Walsh and featuring Jay R. Ferguson, Ian Gomez, Lindsey Kraft, and David Krumholtz
CBS, Monday nights, 9:30 p.m. EST

In the last Weekend Roundup, I mentioned CBS’s new television show, “Living Biblically,” and last night I caught up with Monday night’s pilot episode via on-demand.

The show begins with “lapsed” (non-practicing) Roman Catholic, Chip Curry (Ferguson), who is very troubled by the recent death of his best friend. In the midst of his depression, he decides to start reading the Bible in an attempt to lift himself out of his doldrums and “make sense of it all.” His new “spirituality” consists of endeavoring to live his life in strict accordance with all of the Bible’s precepts. Chip’s local parish priest, “father” Gene (Gomez), tries to humor the zealot into mitigating his rigorous chosen path, while his atheist wife, Leslie (Kraft), is worried her formerly religiously indifferent husband has turned into a fanatical “Bible banger.” Chip takes things too far when he literally “stones” (i.e., small pebble to the forehead) a notorious womanizer who he works with, but his “obedience” seems to be divinely rewarded by a job upgrade at a higher salary. More “comical” clashes between Biblical literalism and secular culture are sure to follow as the series continues.

A couple of moments in the the show really captured its overall spirit:

  • In one of the initial scenes, Chip visits priest Gene in a confessional (photo above) and declares that he’s already a “good” person who desires to be “even better” by following the Bible literally.
  • In the final scene, Chip, Leslie, priest Gene, and Jewish rabbi, Gil (Krumholtz), gather together at a local watering hole and philosophize about Chip’s new “spirituality.” Leslie has just found out she is pregnant and is worried about how Chip’s newfound “faith” will affect their child. The rabbi and priest agree the important thing is that both parents just focus on raising the child as a “loving human being” and everything will be fine.

So what we see in “Living Biblically” is the prevailing gospel of works righteousness with the essential requirement of being a “good” person in order to merit a reward. Jesus Christ was not mentioned once during the entire thirty minutes, which was certainly not a surprise. The Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone is the red thread that runs through the entire Bible, but Chip doesn’t get it and neither do the show’s writers and creators. The letter of the Law is emphasized rather than the Gospel that the Law points to. In future episodes, viewers will no doubt witness many other examples of Biblical precepts pulled out of their context and made to look comically ridiculous just like the faux “stoning” of the adulterer in this pilot episode.

Few Catholics will have an axe to grind with Living Biblically’s view of religion because it’s largely in sync with the notions of popular Catholicism, but Biblical Christians will certainly have a problem with what this show communicates about the Bible. We can only hope that some souls might be inspired by “Living Biblically” to actually start reading the Bible and that the Holy Spirit will enlighten them to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Warren Jeffs: Fundamentalist Mormon Monster

Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil
A&E Cable Channel, 2018, 120 minutes

The documentary, “Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil,” premiered February 19th on the A&E cable channel and I finally caught up with it via on-demand on Saturday night.

Readers of this blog may remember that I had a strong historical interest in the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (LDS, Mormons) because we live only 23 miles from Palmyra, New York, where the “church” had its beginnings. Mormon apologists say the church’s founder and first prophet, Joseph Smith, received divine revelation at some point in the 1830s to revive the Old Testament practice of polygamous/plural marriage and that the “principle” continued within the church until Wilford Woodruff, the fourth prophet, claimed he received divine revelation in 1890, which ended it. My, the Mormon god appears to be quite indecisive. In practical terms, the Mormons ended polygamy due to mounting pressure from the federal government. Although officially banned, Mormons continued polygamy under wraps until it eventually fizzled out within the “official” LDS church. However, several “fundamentalist” Mormon groups split from the church in order to continue the practice.

Warren Jeffs is the president and prophet of one of those groups, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which was concentrated in the Hidale (UT)-Colorado City (AZ)-Short Creek (AZ) area with around 15,000 members. This documentary traces the rise of Jeffs within the FLDS. He had a penchant for marrying underage girls as plural wives (78 wives total! Oy vey!), which eventually led to his arrest, conviction, and sentencing to life in prison in 2011.

This is a sad, sad story of a religious cult wreacking havoc in the lives of its members. Jeffs was a monster of nightmarish proportions who cloaked his pedophilia in “religious authority.” Ultimately, every false religion is spiritually deadly. I’m mindful that such “respectable” religious institutions as Roman Catholicism dealt in abuses and persecutions that surpassed those of the FLDS. Praise the Lord, Jesus Christ, for His genuine Gospel and His genuine Church! Praise the Lord for His easy yoke and light burden! I think it’s useful for Christians to watch “Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil” to remind us that we should be very wary of placing any leader on a pedestal. In the first Biblical church my wife and I attended after accepting Christ, there were elements of authoritarianism and leadership idolatry. We must follow the Lord rather than any man.

For my previous posts on the fraudulent claims of Joseph Smith and Mormonism see here.

George Harrison: Lost and without a shepherd

George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Directed by Martin Scorsese
HBO, 2011, 208 minutes, available on Netflix

I was driving to work this past week, listening to (c)hristian radio, and Greg Laurie (not recommended) mentioned he had recently watched “Living in the Material World,” a documentary about ex-Beatle, George Harrison, on Netflix. So I set aside some time to watch this 3.5 hour documentary.

My five older sisters were big fans of the Beatles and I grew up with their music playing constantly from the family phonograph from 1964 until 1970 when they disbanded. Harrison (1943-2001) was the shy, quiet Beatle who eventually embraced Hinduism (particularly the Hare Krishna sect) with a passion. See my earlier post on Harrison and his influential Hare Krishna song, “My Sweet Lord,” here.

Scorsese’s documentary is an interesting and entertaining look at Harrison’s journey. He was brought up in a Roman Catholic family (as was fellow-Beatle, Paul McCartney), but finding no fulfillment in that impersonal, ritualistic religion, he got mixed up in Eastern “spirituality” through the music of Ravi Shankar. Of course, he didn’t find any real fulfillment in Krishna Consciousness either and regularly fell back into substance abuse and marital infidelity. After having been run ragged by the Beatles’ celebrity steamroller, Harrison sought “spiritual peace” and meaning in all the wrong places.

I enjoyed the many archived photos and videos of the “Fab Four,” along with the interview clips from Harrison, Pattie Boyd, Eric Clapton, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and Ringo Starr, along with many others.* But in the the end, this is a sad story of an unbeliever desperately trying to find spiritual meaning outside of Jesus Christ.

“I was brought up in the kind of Catholic situation up until I was about eleven years old, which was that God is this thing that we’re never going to see, we’re never going to meet, but you still have to believe in what we say. It’s like this blind faith in something that they can’t show you.” – George Harrison

The impersonal and ritualistic religion that Harrison grew up in was/is not Christianity. But you CAN know God through salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” – John 17:3

“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38

*I learned from this documentary that Harrison was a major financial backer of Monty Python, the British comedy ensemble. There are times when Christians can be overly dour and humorless, but I found the clips of Monty Python’s satire of Jesus’ crucifixion and a mocking reference to His sermon on the mount in this documentary to be repulsive. It’s understandable why ex-Catholic and passionate Hindu, Harrison, would have found this anti-Christian humor attractive. It’s also obvious why Monty Python never filmed a skit goofing on backer Harrison’s Hare Krishnas with their shaved-heads and saffron robes, chanting incessantly and begging for money at airports.

Catholic dioceses continue to battle over corpse of Fulton J. Sheen

Centuries ago, it was very popular for Roman Catholics to make pilgrimages to designated “holy” sites and shrines as part of a spiritual/penitential exercise or in an effort to obtain indulgences to shorten time spent in Purgatory after death. Catholic churches across Europe competed with each other to obtain the best “relics” (body parts or personal effects of “saints”) in order to attract potential pilgrims. The pilgrimage busine$$ is definitely not what it used to be, but devotees still flock to various sites.

I’ve previously posted a number of messages regarding the strange, ongoing legal tug-of-war over the corpse of former archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen. Sheen was one of the first Catholics to use the new media of radio and television to propagate the Catholic religion and became a national celebrity in the 50s and 60s. Sheen died in 1979 and is on the fast-track to sainthood because of his celebrity except for one huge snag. As we see in the recent news article below, the dioceses of Peoria, Illinois and New York City continue to fight over the final “resting place” of Sheen’s remains. He was born in El Paso, Illinois near Peoria but earned his great fame in New York as auxiliary bishop from 1951 to 1966. Both dioceses desperately want to be “home” to the crypt of this soon-to-be-canonized saint, but the Vatican won’t canonize Sheen until his “resting place’ is settled once and for all. They surely don’t want the negative publicity that would follow if he were canonized in the middle of this squabble.

None of this has anything to do with Christianity.

  • “Holy” sites and relics impart no blessings.
  • Natural man glories in the creature rather than the Creator. Can anyone imagine a passage in the New Testament in which two churches were fighting over the remains of a deceased believer? The veneration/worship of Sheen’s earthly remains is idolatry.
  • According to the New Testament, saints are all those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone, NOT some subgroup of super-sanctified “holy” people.
  • Sheen proclaimed Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit rather than the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” – 1 John 5:20-21

Bishop Fulton Sheen’s bones at center of raging court case

See my previous post on the fight over Sheen’s corpse here.

The Legion of Super-Heroes makes an appearance on “Supergirl”

Yes, it’s time to take a break from theology and discuss the strictly frivolous.

I was a big fan of DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes way back in the late-1960s –  Adventure Comics #350 (November 1966) to #372 (September 1968) to be precise – and I casually followed the various permutations of the 30th-then-31st century superhero team from a distance over the years until DC pulled the plug on the 55-year-old franchise in 2013.

Last month, I had heard that the LSH was making an appearance on the January 15th episode of the popular “Supergirl” television show on the CW cable channel, so I decided to give it a whirl last night via on-demand.

“Legion of Super-Heroes”
Supergirl, Season Three, Episode # 10
January 15th, 2018
Directed by Glen Winter and featuring Melissa Benoist, Chris Wood, Amy Jackson, and Jesse Rath


Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (Benoist), Superman’s cousin, is in a near-death coma after battling Reign, another Kryptonian with similar powers, who is creating havoc in National City with her merciless brand of vigilante justice. Members of the Legion – Mon-El (Wood), Saturn Girl (Jackson), and Brainiac 5 (Rath) – had journeyed back to the 21st century to assist in Supergirl’s recovery with the help of their 31st century medical technology, but Mon-El is reluctant to intervene directly against Reign for fear of adversely affecting the future course of history. The Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) – Supergirl’s crime fighting allies – develops a plan to defeat Reign, but needs Supergirl’s participation. Brainiac 5, a half-human, half-computer life form, slowly helps Kara regain consciousness. Could a romance be developing? Brainiac 5 and Supergirl were a couple in the old comic book series. Mon-El finally changes his mind and volunteers the Legion in the fight against Reign, but just when all appears lost, the semi-recovered Supergirl arrives, forcing Reign to retreat. Ah, a syringe of liquid Kryptonite to the jugular will do it every time!


It was fun to see some of the old LSH characters on the small screen. Will DC now consider bringing the team back in a monthly book? Mon-El didn’t get a chance to strut his Superman-like powers in his appearance, and Saturn Girl, a telepath in the comic series, is incorrectly portrayed as having the power of telekinesis. We’re talking CW here, so the special effects weren’t exactly top notch but, all in all, it wasn’t an unpleasant hour. Kudos to Melissa Benoist who does a very good job in the role of Supergirl.

Was there enough substance to get me to tune in again? Hmm.

Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World

I’m a bit behind on my reviews, so I’m going to keep the next several somewhat brief.

Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World
Directed by David Batty, narrated by Hugh Bonneville, and featuring Padraic Delaney as Martin Luther.
PBS, 2017, 120 minutes

I missed this docu-drama when it aired on PBS back in September as part of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, so I recently ordered the DVD. I enjoyed “Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World” quite a bit. It’s clear that this was a low-budget production and written with a wide audience in mind, but it surprisingly tells Luther’s story quite accurately, including the reclaiming of the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Multiple sound bites from the most powerful Catholic clergyman in America, cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, are included in the first half of the film. Dolan concedes that the Catholic church was exceedingly corrupt at the time of the Reformation and he praises Luther for his zeal. However, he makes sure to point out that some monarchs supported Luther only as part of an effort to usurp territory held by Rome. No debate with that, but leave it to Dolan to draw attention to the temporal sidebars of the Reformation rather than to the spiritual battle of whether man is saved by Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit or by the Biblical Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The film does focus on the moment when the Holy Spirit used Romans 1:17 to enlighten Luther to the Gospel of grace.

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

I’m not altogether pleased with the title of this documentary. It infers that the Gospel was Luther’s “idea.” Rather, Luther, along with others, recovered the New Testament Gospel that had been buried under layer upon layer of ecclesiastical ritual, tradition, legalism, and ceremony.

Praise the Lord for Luther and all the Reformers who were used by the Holy Spirit to return the church to the Gospel of grace. I’m definitely going to watch this film again. Order from Amazon here.

Postscript: Catholics should have absolutely zero objections to Martin Luther and the Reformation at this point because their current pope says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience.

“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” – Round 2

I had watched the first season of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” last Winter and Spring, which I found to be a fascinating examination of that religious cult, so I also followed the second season this Fall. I’ll soon be catching the final two episodes, which were televised this past Sunday and yesterday, via on-demand.

Actress, Leah Remini, was a member of Scientology for 35 years. In this documentary series, she and co-host, Mike Rinder, a former top executive of the “church,” examine some of the teachings of Scientology and interview several former members who were abused.

This series is “must see” television. Scientology’s manipulation and abuse of its membership is sad and terrifying. Remini is on an uncompromising mission to lead people out of the church and to warn others who may be considering it.

Remini’s passion resonates with me on a certain level because I also warn people of the dangers of another cultish religious organization; the Roman Catholic church. Some of you are dismayed. You protest, “Roman Catholicism, a cult?” Yes, Catholicism with its one-billion members might differ from the general understanding of cults being small groups started by a single individual who claims divine guidance and extra-biblical revelation…

Cult: a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

…but a cult can also be defined as “an unorthodox sect whose members distort the original doctrines of the religion” and Roman Catholicism certainly qualifies.

As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior devolved into an increasingly complicated system of legalities, rituals, and ceremonies. The church patterned itself after the authoritarian Roman imperial model. The acquisition of wealth and political power became the driving force within church leadership. Doctrines not found in Scripture, and even opposed to Scripture, were regularly introduced. Nonconformity was not tolerated. Violence was routinely brought to bear upon dissenters.

Today, Catholicism has lost much of its temporal might and can no longer persecute and abuse people at it did in much of its past. The extreme disciplines once imposed on its clergy, especially nuns and monastic monks, would rival and surpass any mistreatment currently dished out by Scientology leader, David Miscavige. But these days, the Catholic clergy can’t persuade the majority of members to attend obligatory mass on Sunday let alone become a priest or nun. Catholicism is a cult that has lost many of its claws and fangs. Despite that, it’s still a toxic belief system that teaches a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Leah Remini states that she has returned to the Roman Catholicism of her infant baptism. I admire her for leading people out of Scientology, but she offers them no good alternative. Ultimately, one false gospel is the same as the next. None lead to salvation. There is only one genuine Gospel and that is salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

It’s quite ironic that my cultural Catholic family thought I had joined a cult after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. They assumed no one but a cultist would mention Jesus outside of church.

Below is an interesting article written by Dave Hunt on the cultish church of Rome.

A cult is a cult
By evangelical apologist, Dave Hunt

Things are not always as they appear to be

After lollygagging away most of the summer, the last few months have been very busy for me, between painting one-quarter of the house and attending to all the red tape associated with finalizing the repairs to our house from the damage caused by the March windstorm. But I have made time to follow a couple of television shows. No, I’m not much of a television watcher. Most of the offerings are pure garbage and I’d much rather read a good book, but there are a couple of shows I’ve squeezed into my schedule:

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath: Season Two – After having watched the entire first season of this reality TV exposé, I have seen the first six episodes of the second season. Scientology is about as cultish as it gets; abusing its members emotionally (and church employees physically) and fleecing them of their life savings. Leah is relentless in her attempt to expose her former “church” for what it truly is. As I pointed out last season, after leaving Scientology, Leah returned to the Roman Catholic church where she had been baptized as an infant. So, she has traded one false religion for another. The abuses of Scientology are shocking, but Roman Catholicism has its own sordid history of abuse and corruption. While the Roman church has softened much of its militancy, it wasn’t all that long ago that Protestants viewed Catholicism in much the same way Remini’s viewers are witnessing the “excesses” of Scientology. Is there anything more cultish than the Catholic convents of yesteryear, that were full of virginal “brides of Christ” replete with wedding rings, who were strictly isolated from their families? The bottom line is the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone cannot be found in either Scientology or Catholicism.

The Exorcist: Season Two – My wife and I have somewhat unusual testimonies in that horror films were a part of our journey to accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, particularly “The Exorcist” (1973) and “The Omen” (1976). We were both raised in the Catholic church with its impersonal rituals and ceremonies, but these films presented evil as a very real entity, not as just some vague notion as we were used to. And if evil was real and personified, it followed that goodness was also real and personified. Our intellectual “belief” in a God would eventually lead to reading God’s Word and trusting in THE God. My wife is still a fan of horror films, although I have little interest outside of watching this show with her. We watched the entire first season of “The Exorcist” and have seen the first episode of the second season. The same two Catholic priests are hunting for demons to exorcise and a troubled foster family appears to be next on their list. As I watch the show, the thought that’s always in the back of my head is that the truly dangerous characters in “The Exorcist” are not the demonic ogres but the pious priests who propagate a false gospel. I think it’s quite ironic.

Most believers would be aghast at a Christian watching such a show as “The Exorcist,” but I’ll defend my “square peg” viewpoint as I did last year. Satan is no dummy. No one is going to voluntarily sign up for an Anton LaVey-ish caricature of Satanism except for a few social misfits. No, Satan’s most effective work is creating religious institutions that present false gospels (and secular institutions that philosophically deny God). Souls end up following a counterfeit works religion rather than accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. American believers wouldn’t come within ten feet of “The Exorcist” with it’s Hollywood stereotype demons, but gladly embrace Catholicism with it’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit as a Christian entity (or eagerly soak up the “health and wealth” nonsense on TBN). Does not compute. “The Exorcist” may not be your cup of tea, and I get that, but I pray the Holy Spirit uses the caricaturish depictions of evil on this television show to bring souls to the Savior as He did with my wife and I.

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” – 2 Corinthians 11:12-15

Postscript 1: In the last episode of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath: Season Two,” Leah is outraged over Scientology’s view of homosexuality as deviant behavior. Isn’t she aware that her current church officially teaches that homosexual practices are a sin? Relatively few Catholics actually know their church’s doctrines. But of course doctrine fluctuates in Catholicism depending upon how liberal the parish priest (or current pope 😁) happens to be.

Postscript 2: Scripture certainly teaches that demons may tempt believers, but they cannot possess those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It’s interesting that most of the alleged cases of demon possession I’ve heard of or read about involved baptized Roman Catholics. Priests exorcise possessed Catholics, but who is going to exorcise the priests?