Pope Francis has only “half of the saint’s love”

According to a recent story, pope Francis has been credited with a miracle…wait a second, make that a “half miracle” after a vial of 1,700-year-old blood partially turned to liquid when he kissed it. This same blood purportedly liquefies at least three times a year, if the “faithful” are faithful enough in prayer; the blood has being doing so for the last 600 years, although this is the first time the blood has done such in the presence of the “papacy” in over 150 years.

In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the pope said, “If only half of it liquefied that means we still have work to do; we have to do better….We have only half of the saint’s love.

In response to why the blood only partially liquefied, the Bible says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 – ESV)

#catholicism, #pope-francis, #roman-catholic-church

What is the Difference Between Catholics and…

“What is the Difference Between Catholics and Protestants?” is the title of an article on a popular Protestant website. You can probably imagine how the author answers the question. (I didn’t bother to read it. I have other priorities.) As a New Testament Christian who eschews sectarian divisions, how would you answer this question? Are there any real differences between the two groups? If so, what are the basic differences? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments area.

#catholicism, #denominationalism, #protestantism, #religious-differences

Calendar Apostasy

God sent His people, Israel, into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, but with these “statutes and judgments” in Moses’ final declaration to them:

“These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks” (Deuteronomy 12:1-6). The people in that land were pagans and idolaters who worshiped the Creation rather than the Creator. They worshiped the various “gods” which supposedly represented the powers involved in life on Earth. God did not allow His people to simply adopt, nor adapt, the Canaanites’ religious practices as worship to Him. All of: “the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods,” “their altars,” “their sacred pillars,” “their wooden images,” “the carved images,” were to be “utterly” destroyed so they would have no influence among the Israelites, whatsoever. Only the specified worship in the manner God described would be acceptable to God. The Israelites were not to be allied to the worship proscribed by the seasons, but that which was determined by God.

After the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the kingdom of Christ was established on earth, the Gospel of Christ was to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). While in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man (Acts 14:8-10), but then the idolaters sought to worship both Paul and Barnabas:

“Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14:11-18). God’s inspired Apostle Paul stopped any idolatrous practice from being used as an explanation for, or an application to, Christianity. There is nothing in idolatrous teachings or practices which should be admitted or accepted by Christians.

Catholicism, whether Roman or Greek, has incorporated idolatrous practices and seasonal calendars into what they call “Christian,” when all they have done is find some Scripture or event in Christ’s life with which to “tag” what would otherwise be a rejected practice. The disciples were called “Christians” by God first in Antioch (Acts 11:26), but Catholicism has spread the term, like an umbrella, over practices of paganism and idolatry. No Christian in the New Testament ever celebrated an “Easter,” “Christmas,” “Lent,” “Seder,” or any of the 40 days of mishmash found on today’s religious calendars, which are mistakenly termed a “Christian Calendar.”

No denomination is “Protestant” that follows Catholicism’s religious calendar. “Seder” is simply a re-creation of the Jewish Passover, which Jesus died to remove (Colossians 2:14-16); “Yule” is from witches, “Eoster/Ishtar” is from idolaters, and “Fertility rites” demonstrated by rabbits and eggs, are the very things forbidden by Paul (Galatians 4:8-11); and “Lent” is hypocritical display of a misunderstanding of “fasting” condemned by Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18). The Lord’s death, represented in the Lord’s Supper, must be kept free from the impurities of falsehood (1 Corinthians 10:15-22). Everyone who keeps special days on a religious calendar did “not so learn Christ” (Ephesians 4:20).

To be a disciple of Christ, one must believe the historical and factual evidence of His life found in the New Testament (John 20:30-31; 21:25) and obey His command to be baptized  “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The only events in Christ’s life to be memorialized are: (1) His death, burial, and resurrection first, when a sinner repents and is baptized into death, Romans 6:1-6, then raised “in newness of life”; and secondly, when Christians observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26); and (2) the day of His resurrection remembered each week when Christians assemble (“the first day of the week,” Luke 24:1-9; Acts 20:7). There are no other special or seasonal days for Christians, according to the New Testament. “The churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) never observed a religious calendar that would lead them into apostasy (1 Timothy 4:1-3), because those who follow such stand contrary to inspired truth (2 Timothy 4:1-5). “The churches of Christ salute you” but we salute Jesus Christ above all.

—–John T. Polk II

#bible-study, #catholicism, #church-of-christ, #easter, #idolaters, #idolatry, #pagans, #religious-calendar

Hugh’s News & Views (Significant Statements)

Hugh’s News & views


Last week I told of the conversion to Christ of Joanne Howe, a former Catholic nun. I mentioned that Joanne has written three books: A Change of Habit, From Nun to Priest, and Biblical Answers to Catholic Questions, all published either by the Gospel Advocate Company of Nashville, TN or a subsidiary of the Gospel Advocate. With permission from Neil Anderson, owner of the Gospel Advocate Company, I am sharing with my readers this week some of the many significant statements from Joanne’s pen as she recounted her “journey” from Catholicism to the church of which we read in the New Testament, the church of Christ. All the quotations will be from the first two books mentioned above, and for convenience I will abbreviate them as “Habit” and “Priest.”

“Although I knew the Bible was the world’s best-selling book, I couldn’t explain the purpose of its message, nor did I understand why it was written. The contents of both the Old and New Testaments were mystifying in their teachings and overwhelming in the information they conveyed. Because I had never been taught how to read the Bible or how to understand its message, I felt woefully ignorant of God’s purpose for having it written. When I was told that it would tell me who I was, where I was going, and how I would arrive at my destination, I was confused and concerned that I had never received any instruction like this as a Roman Catholic” (Priest, p. 19).

“Anxious to discover other messages, I arranged a Bible study with Mr. Coffman. I was impressed with his knowledge of Scripture, and I admired his ability to quote passages accurately from memory. As a result of counseling, my self-confidence was strengthened, and thoughts and feelings became stabilized” (Habit, p. 92).

“My conscience reeled. Throughout my adult life I had sincerely believed that I belonged to the only true church established by Jesus, under the guidance and direction of the Pope . . . Now I was confounded with the scriptural teachings that the Roman Catholic Church was not founded on Peter, but on erroneous interpretation of the Bible” (Habit, p. 96).

“Though confused over the conflicts between my religious views and Scriptures, I remained steadfast in my belief that the Roman Catholic Church was the true church and that its teachings and traditions were divine and apostolic. I had been taught that the Bible was not a sufficient rule of faith and that God’s revelations were also contained in tradition. Scriptures alone could not convey a sure knowledge of faith and morals. Determined to uphold my Catholic principles, I refused to believe that my church would teach me error” (Italics Joanne’s, Habit, p. 97)!

“I was totally bewildered! Many teachings, traditions, and doctrines of my religion were nowhere to be found in the Scriptures! My faith in Roman Catholicism was shattered by the revelations in God’s Word” (Habit, p. 100).

“I felt numb as the impact of the Scriptures sank in” (Habit, p. 107).

“Confronted with Roman Catholic doctrines that were in complete contradiction to God’s inspired teaching, I wrestled with remaining in my parents’ religion, or choosing God’s plan for salvation. Finally, after many hours of prayer and study of God’s promises, I abandoned my life to Jesus and was born again in the waters of baptism” (Habit, p. 111).

“Today, as a New Testament Christian, I have joy and peace in my heart, knowing that Jesus is my shepherd and will guide and protect me wherever I go. He is the joy of my salvation” (Habit, p. 111).

“Many with whom I have spoken do not believe in the Bible nor in the existence of absolute truth. They believe that all truth is relative and that what may be true for one is not true for another . . . I am a believer in the Bible as God’s Word. I accept God’s teachings as absolute. I understand that truth is knowable and that the Scriptures are truth” (Priest, p. 11, 12).

“We live in troubled times, days of uncertainty, religious divisions, confusing philosophies, doctrinal error, and threat of nuclear annihilation. Jesus came to this earth so that you and I might have life and have it more abundantly” (Habit, p. 116, 117)

Are you saved, based on what you have read and learned from God’s Word, or are you depending on the doctrines of man” (Habit, p. 117)?

Significant statements, indeed!

Speaking Schedule:

July 22: Hilldale Church of Christ, Clarksville, TN

July 24: McEwen Church of Christ, McEwen, TN

July 31: GreenHillChurch of Christ, Mt. Juliet, TN

Hugh Fulford

July 9, 2013

#catholicism, #conversion, #conversion-stories, #hughfulford

Hugh’s News & Views (Nun’s Conversion)

Hugh’s News & Views


Joanne Howe is a native of Pittsburg, PA, and the oldest of eleven children born and reared in a devout Roman Catholic family. After attending Catholic elementary schools, in 1949 she entered a preparatory school for girls who wanted to dedicate their lives to God as nuns. In 1953 she entered the religious order of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, PA, where she remained until 1968. As she later wrote in From Nun to Priest (Christian Communications, 1994): “Returning to society after three years in a preparatory school and 16 years in the religious order left me unprepared for the challenges that lay ahead” (p. 16).

I am honored to know Joanne as a good friend and as a faithful member of the Nashville Road Church of Christ in Gallatin, TN. In her remarkable book, A Change of Habit (Gospel Advocate Company, 1986), Joanne tells the touching story of her growing disenchantment with her life as a nun, the questions and doubts that she came to have with reference to various Catholic doctrines and practices, the struggles she experienced in exiting the Catholic Church, and finally the exhilaration of coming to know the truth of the gospel in its original purity and simplicity. Continue reading

#catholicism, #hughfulford

Random Thoughts

I watched the final episode of The History’s Channels “The Bible” last night. In my humble opinion, which is based upon what a person would actually read in the Bible, the further into the Bible the show got, the worse it got! There were a couple of moments that were done really well last night, but for the most part it seemed as if the directors, producers, actors or whomever, had decided that there wasn’t much point in following what the Bible actually says and instead decided to follow what they think the Bible says or what they think it should say. This is so very unfortunate because the TV show that was supposedly meant to educate people has only added to the growing sources of biblical ignorance that are so readily available…goes to show you that there’s more than more way to waste millions of dollars on error.

I got an email this weekend about a product called the TV Guardian. Does anyone know much or anything about this product? The makers/sellers claim that it has the ability to filter out foul language from TV shows and movies. I talked to one brother who’s in the satellite business and he said that he had seen them before but he wasn’t really able to give me a thumb’s up or down. If you know anything about the product, speak up because if it does 90% of what it claims I think it would be worth the money.

Have you ever thought about how God not only sees what we do during the day, but that He also sees what we dream at night?

I saw a member of the catholic “hierarchy” get interviewed on CBS’ Sunday Morning yesterday. I hope they realize there’s a difference in “hierarchy” and “heirarchy.” They have one, but they don’t have the other! I also heard the man push the false catholic notion that the church “moved” from Jerusalem to Rome. Of course the church moved to Rome, just like it moved to Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, etc. Now what the man meant is that the “mother” church moved from Jerusalem to Sinai…I mean Rome. The Christians in Galatia were reminded about the origins of the church, an origin that the catholic church can’t lay claim to (Galatians 4:21-26). And by the way, may we never forget that the church has only one Head, and the Head of the church sits upon His throne in Heaven because He carried a wooden cross to victory – not a gold one (Colossians 1:18, Acts 2:29-36).

#biblical-ignorance, #catholicism, #dreams, #god, #history-channel, #random-thoughts, #technology, #tv

A big deal about the pope

The news media and the world have made a big deal about the appointment of the new Pope.

Our world is very careless about religion and religious terms. During this time while the Catholic Church was appointing a new Pope, I never heard anyone ask, “Is there a Pope in the Bible?” No one seems to care about God’s arrangement for the church.

Even the word “church” is used most often in unbiblical ways in our world today. People speak of “the church” when they are talking about the building where the church meets. Some use the word “church” when speaking of a denomination or all the denominations; denomination and our Lord’s church are totally different things.

The church is men and women who have been called out of the word and called into Jesus Christ. When Saul persecuted the church he dragged “men and women” off to prison.

“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:1-3)

This church was not built upon Peter nor was he the first Pope! Continue reading

#catholicism, #charles-box, #false-religion, #pope