Ahh yes, Pope Francis. Sure and what a grand and lovely man he is too.
How can you knock a religious leader who is on Rolling Stone? And Time can’t seem to get Pope Francis on the cover often enough.
Life, Fortune, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, but finally the BIG time–the Pope is on the cover of People magazine–the magazine for or to the celebrities!
All of these are sound theological publications, right? Maybe not.
Pope Francis, a Pope for the people–a religious Pope . . . but not too religious; a spiritual Pope, a man embracing all religions–“a new world Pope” as Time calls him. What’s not to like, right? He is also in there fighting for socialist causes, i.e. climate change and the environment.
All that notwithstanding the Pope, unlike Muslim leaders, gets no bow from our Muslim president (yes, small p) when he visits America–only a handshake.
Of course Pope Francis has prayed and worshiped at the Blue Mosque himself so perhaps it really is meaningless who bows to whom and what their religious beliefs are when both are heretical.
But what is heresy, we are all the same, Christian, Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Muslim, Hindu, Confucian, Zoroastrian–we are all going to heaven, right?
Even Ben Carson, a man I respect, in April of this year posited on Facebook, that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God!–Really??! Carson is a good man, but his theology is wanting.
Pope Francis has also stated:
In a National Catholic Reporter article entitled Church is essential for faith; there are no ‘free agents,’ pope says. The article’s opening sentence reads, “Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.”
I can’t argue with that. We are commanded to be part of a local church body (1 Cor. 12:12).
However deeper into the article “Pope Francis described as ‘dangerous’ the temptation to believe that one can have ‘a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church (italics mine).'” This is clearly antithetical to biblical teaching. Christ, nor the apostles never taught such a thing.
Of course “the mediation of the Church” in the context of a pope and Catholic doctrine is the Catholic Church, not the Church Universal, and “Christian doctrine” is what the pope say it is.
Nevertheless God gave us His standard in the Christian Bible (not the Catholic Bible with the apocrypha). Man’s standard at the end of the day is meaningless. Now you may not chose to believe that and reject God’s free gift of eternal life with Him and that is your prerogative. But I can assure you, you are going to spend eternity somewhere, because the real you is your soul.
It is problematic too that the Pope also seems to believe God is not who God says he is. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences the Pope proclaimed:
When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so. He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.
Tacitly he is saying God can create man, but he can’t keep the world going without an outside system, like evolution, to maintain it. In the Pope’s warning about imagining “God was a magician” Francis is in fact characterizing God as a magician, even as he acts as a warner. The whole thesis is a self-defeating statement. Also if one accepts the Pope’s supposition, then what do you do with the virgin birth of Jesus; what do you do with Christ’s resurrection?
But surely the most important thing in this milieu is to be relevant for today. There are no real heresies. As long as we feel good about ourselves when we walk out of our building of worship, be it cathedral, sanctuary, mosque, or the little brown church in the vale, that is what counts.
But there is the conundrum. Is all of this hoopla, this worldly religiosity; does it really bring us into a relationship with the Creator, the God of the Universe or is it all b_ _ _ s_ _t? (Four hail Mary’s and six up your’s Allah). Or is the Bible, God’s Word, true?
A.W. Tozer eloquently said:
The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater that its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy).
In the letter to the first century Hebrew church the writer stated:
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3).
So the Son God spoke through, Jesus Christ, who is called the Son of God by God the Father declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through me (John 14:6).
No the New World Order with its New World Pope is wrong–it is apostate. Catholicism has become a cult, if not an outright false religion.
How can I say that? I can say that because God said it:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, . . . (1 Timothy 4:1-2).