As long as the Lord sustains us, and we are actually in a pretty bad drought of funding right now, Apprising Ministries will continue to alert you along the Internet Front to the growing syncretism and apostasy slithering within contemporary evangelicalism.

I am a Southern Baptist pastor (for now) and a former Roman Catholic whom the Lord delivered out of that religious bondage to salvation. As such, things like Southern Baptists Assist The Roman Catholic Church To Infiltrate Evangelicalism catch my attention.

Well, here’s something such as these like Rick Warren and Beth Moore should find of interest. Jian Mei of reports in Thousands of pilgrims reach Sheshan on pope’s Day of Prayer that a few days ago:

Thousands of pilgrims from Shanghai and across the country have gathered to pray at the Our Lady of Sheshan Basilica today, 24 May, feast day of Mary Help of Christians, anniversary of the Day of Prayer for the Church in China set aside by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, a day that also marks the feast day of the national Marian shrine. (source)

That’s what’s pictured above; and if you don’t think this idolatry—and God’s Word says that’s precisely what this is—is sanctioned by Rome itself, think again. Consider the following from CARM in Roman Catholicism, Mary, and Idolatry:

Roman Catholics have an extremely high view of Mary and have attributed some astounding characteristics and abilities to her, such as her interceding for us, atoning for us, and delivering our souls from damnation (documented below).  Protestants consider this elevation to be not only extreme, but idolatrous since they attribute to Mary what should only be said of God.

Roman Catholicism responds by saying it venerates Mary and gets its doctrines on her from Sacred Tradition, which is an “inanimate thing passed from hand to hand,”.  Alright, so which is it, the sin of idolatry or the blessing of veneration?

The Roman Catholic church teaches there is a difference between idolatry and veneration.  It says,

“Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God….An essential difference exists between idolatry and the veneration of images practised [sic] in the Catholic Church, viz., that while the idolater credits the image he reverences with Divinity or Divine powers, the Catholic knows “that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshipped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them.”

The Roman Catholic Church has defined idolatry far too narrowly in its favor. (source)

Matt Slick is dead-on-target; the RCC is merely playing a shell game with words. Mei now continues:

Amid a drizzle, at half-past 8, Fr Thaddeus Ma Daqin, vicar general of Shanghai, led the crowd of Catholics in a procession from the Mid-hill Church, carrying the Statue of the Blessed Mother, up to the hilltop basilica.

Once at the hilltop church, Father Ma and almost 40 priests celebrated the Eucharist. Sheshan novices sang during the Mass. There were more than 3,000 faithful inside the basilica for the Mass. (source)

Any doubt whatsoever that this idolatry is just fine by the Roman Catholic Church is dispelled when you realize Pope Benedict XVI is the one who wrote the Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan On The Occasion Of The World Day Of Prayer For The Church In China(24 May 2008).

In closing this, for now, you need to understand that Pope Benedict XVI is not to be admired in a Christian context. He is a blasphemer who, among other things, dares to usurp the Holy Spirit as God’s Vicar of Christ. Now here is his idolatrous “prayer” from the online Vatican Library itself:

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians”, the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection

When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,…

From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith… Mother of hope,… Grant that your children may discern at all times,… Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,…

In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,… Help Catholics always to be… ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever… (source)

Rather than try and reconcile with such as these faithful Roman Catholics, we need to love them enough to confront the with the truth of the Gospel. May the Lord regenerate them; may He pierce their hearts with the truth of His Gospel that may may receive the repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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