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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

I am sick to my stomach right now. I mean I am pretty upset. I’m supposed to be studying for my lesson on Sunday morning but as I was taking a break surfing youtube for some video regarding what this post was SUPPOSED to be about, I instead found this:

That’s my favorite Christian band (and one of the only ones I have truly liked) playing for the Pope earlier this year in New York. I know I’m Johnny-come-lately on this one, but when I saw this my heart sank.

I took my wife and kids to the Nebraska State Fair last night. I don’t really care for the fair, but $5 wristbands for the kids and a free Third Day show and I’m sold. The kids got pretty restless just a few songs into the show as it was late and hot, but we stayed just long enough to head their song “Creed” which is basically the Apostle’s Creed. This by the way is the song played in the clip above. Privately this song brings tears to my eyes because the live version features an arena full of people shouting in affirmation of the Truth.

At the end of the live version of the song, Mac Powell sings out “Do you believe it?” and the crowd roars in affirmation. Hearing this song performed live again inspired me to blog on how much I look forward to worship in heaven.

I CAN’T believe it. They played it for the pope. The pope’s people have historically suppressed the Truth and even tortured and killed those who proclaimed it. The Catholic Church makes a habit of obscuring Truth, and standing in the doorway of heaven, pretending to be the gate. My heart is low.

I think I’m the most upset because the creeds of the early church were largely devised as a means of affirming truth over against incursions of false teaching. Creeds helped early Christians systematize what they believed and memorize the major points. Creeds were never meant to be all inclusive, but specifically tailored to the error of the day. To hear it offered on the behalf of the pope tuns my stomach.

Now I know that third Day has an ecumenical bent, hence the album title “Come Together”, but I was still caught totally off guard by this. Do I have to be willfully ignorant of the artist’s beliefs to whom I listen? I can deal with divergent beliefs, but I reject fellowship with antagonists of Christ’s church.

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Open wolf’s mouth, insert head.

After reading an article in today’s paper, I came away with the conviction that the Catholic Church is a wolf, sometimes in sheep’s clothing, and Luis Palau wants to invite the wolf over for lunch.

Here in Omaha, we are bracing for Luis Palau’s traveling show to touch down this weekend, the 14th-15th at the Qwest Center. In my previous post “Let’s get together…or not.” I was critical of Palau for welcoming Catholics. They teach a false gospel, based on works and governed by the Church. It has been opposed to the death for centuries by the Reformers and their theological offspring. Yet Palau invites them to come, offers them space to distribute literature, and now I learn that Palau welcomes local archbishop Elden Curtiss to give the opening prayer. Curtiss gave a glowing reccomendation to Palau some time ago, so now it seems that they will partner directly.

In today’s paper there was an article in which the current pope, Benedict XVI, confirmed the official position of the Catholic Church regarding Protestants: that they are at best second-class Christians and that anything we do that is correct is essentially on loan from them. Protestants, to the Church, are red-headed step-children.

I already knew this to be the Cotholic Church’s official position, but it kindles my ire that Luis Palau is so willing to hold hands with the wolf. Did he learn nothing from ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together)? During that process, initiated by evangelicals to find common ground with Catholics, the Catholic Church conceded ZERO doctrinal issues. The evangelicals, however, made the wording of many of their doctrinal positions vague so as to be more inclusive, to smear the line of division.

Wolf eat sheep.

Wolves do not compromise. Sheep bring the knife and fork.

Catholics should laugh at evangelicals for what a mess we have made of ourselves since the Reformation. Luis Palau, you are providing them with more material.

Though they are wrong, at least they have stuck to their convictions while they watch the rebellion spin out of control. What Luis Palau is doing is the natural extension of error that started with Billy Graham. Graham compromised the distictives of the gospel in order to reach a larger audience. Soon he saw Catholics as partners rather than partners in evangelism. In the end, Graham’s theology followed his message. he is now unwilling to say for sure that ANYONE (Muslims, for example) will go to Hell.

Palau barely preaches the gospel, by his own profession. He says he is most interested in getting people to go to church. Any church, I guess. He should be ashamed that one man I know loves Him to death, says he loves Jesus, and yet refuses to discuss SCRIPTURE when he’s asked who this Jesus is. This is directly a product of Palau’s making. He will not tell this man who Jesus is, any further than he already knows (or doesn’t know), and Palau is comfortable with that.

So if you are intending to attend this weekend, I hope that you will have your ears tuned for discernment. Listen not only to what is said, but what is NOT said. I pray that the wolf will not have its day.

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Ever try to get into a Red Lobster on a Friday this time of year? I and my wife made that mistake last winter. We were out on a date, and I think we got there quite early, only to find the joint packed. We had to have some cheesy garlic biscuits, though, so we toughed it out. “Why the wait?” we asked the waitress.

The answer “Lent.”

Hordes of Catholic abstaining from red meat, particularly on Fridays, and fish frys all over the place are hallmarks of this Catholic celebration. On my morning drive, listening to a sports-talk radio program, the hosts had a lively discussion about whether one of the host’s pledge to abstain from sweets for Lent was being violated by eating sugar-free Jello with whipped topping. Apparently the whipped topping was an infraction. Google for Lent and you’ll see endless articles about Uncle Joe giving up Pepsi, or Dad giving up cursing (seriously), or Mom giving up ice cream.

What’s the deal?

I don’t consider myself an expert on Catholicism (though I have done my homework), but basically Lent celebrates the 40 days before Easter, and it is often observed with fasting and abstaining from certain things like red meat or a favorite food. The fasting is tied to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, and to Jesus’ suffering on the cross. It is a popular custom but not mandated by the Catholic church. Lent is also considered a time of self-reflection. Fasting is said to help with this.

Unfortunately, the Catholic observance of Lent represents a false understanding of true spiritual growth, and it is tied to Rome’s false teaching about salvation. the idea that one can grow spiritually by denying the body food or other material things is totally un-Biblical, and the idea that fasting can help us to understand the suffering of Jesus on the cross is dreadfully misguided and insulting to Christ. Here are a few points to help you sift through some of the issues:

  1. “Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'” (Acts 11:7) Just a slice of the total context is quoted here. Peter is basically being told by God that the ceremonial laws regarding food that were observed by Jews were an object lesson to remind them to be holy in the face of neighboring pagans. Since the gospel was now going to the Gentiles, the food laws were obsolete. Abstaining from certain foods was no longer a way to make a statement to the world about one’s relationship to God. Food is good, so eat it.
  2. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17) This passage clearly overturns the notion that holiness can be achieved through self-denial. The heresy of Colossians had a strong Jewish element, and was probably related to the continuation of the obsolete food laws. Just as the Jews had missed the point with the food laws, a new heresy was being inflicted on Christians. Food is just food. The real issue with holiness is the heart, not food, and Christ. Preoccupation with the material world leads to ignorance of the eternal.
  3. “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Colossians 2:20-23) Even worse, the pursuit of holiness through self-denial rejects the finished work of the cross. Believers have died with Christ in order that they might be free of worldly bondage. Christ’s work frees us from the silly rules and laws that only serve to chain us. If you are born again, you are free to serve! not bound to abstain!

A lot more could be said, but I said enough already. Don’t fall into the Colossian heresy by thinking you can subdue your heart by skipping out in cheeseburgers. An In “N Out Double Double isn’t keeping you from growing, your heart is. Deal with spiritual issues with spiritual means like prayer, Scripture reading, fellowship, and submitting yourself to sound preaching.

And enjoy that Ben & Jerry’s to the glory of God!

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