Skip to comments.Baptist church 'fake pope' sign attracting attention, criticism (Pope Bound for Hell).
Posted on 04/14/2005 12:00:51 PM PDT by Dean Baker
Baptist church 'fake pope' sign attracting attention, criticism By JEANNINE F. HUNTER, email@example.com April 13, 2005
NEWPORT, Tenn. - Two days after being posted, a church marquee message that questions the purpose of the papacy is still attracting attention in this small community.
"What I am trying to do is to let people know there's only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Cline Franklin, pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church. "There's no need for help. God sent his son, Jesus Christ. We're all priests if we're saved. I don't need to go to anybody else to pray."
The sign's side facing Broadway, the main thoroughfare in Newport, reads, "No truth, No hope Following a hell-bound pope!" On the other side, facing the church parking lot, it reads: "False hope in a fake pope."
The message appeared days after Pope John Paul II's funeral last week.
"It is unfortunate when it comes from within the Christian church. It's really sad," said the Rev. Dan Whitman, 54, pastor of Newport's Good Shepherd Catholic parish and Holy Trinity parish in Jefferson City. "You learn how to deal with it and pray not to be that way yourself."
It does not reflect mainstream Baptist thought, said Dr. Merrill "Mel" Hawkins, associate professor of religion and director of the Center for Baptist Studies at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City.
"When you see signs like that, they are almost like relics or artifacts of a bygone era," Hawkins said.
He spoke about animus between Protestants and Catholics persisting after the Protestant Reformation and for centuries, during which "harsh things were said, couched within misperceptions, misunderstandings."
Among the major misperceptions is that Catholics "venerate the pope on the same level as Jesus," Hawkins said, and that "the pope is connected to their salvation in place of Jesus Christ."
Catholics make up about 12 percent of the population in the South.
"Catholics are a minority faith in the South, and there's often bias toward minority religious communities because people don't understand," he said.
James Gaddis, a lay speaker who also chairs the board at First United Methodist Church, said he had not seen the sign but had heard about it.
"I understand that it's very degrading," he said. "I think it's tragic that any church group would stoop to this posture."
Following Tuesday night's council meeting, Newport Mayor Roland Dykes Jr. said he was a little saddened by the message.
"It doesn't behoove any of us to determine who is going to heaven or hell. I think the pope is a highly, highly respected person," he said.
Franklin's church is a five-year-old independent Baptist church. When asked what the message meant, he said: "What does 'pope' mean? It means father. We have a heavenly father, and the Bible says we shall call no man a father. "
He said people have been driving by or taking pictures or calling to share their views. He said the intent was not to offend Catholics and people are misunderstanding the sign.
Copyright 2005, Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
I'm wondering (No flame wars, please? Just honest discussion)...
I've seen conversations where those who are "Born Again" (Pardon me if I'm not using the correct term), consider Catholics and other religious people "Bound for Hell" because they don't worship correctly.
How widespread are these beleifs? If at all??
That's distasteful seeing as it's after the pope's death.
Ive been told right here in the Forum that I'm going to hell because I don't attend church.
Agreed. But it looks like that they could only make their point "After" his death?
My father-in-law is a pastor. I never heard him say such a thing. But, his impetus is teaching faith based upon the word of God.
Your nose is growing.
As one with no dog in this fight, I have to laugh at this. He's either a liar or an idiot if he didn't look at those sentiments and think "Catholics will be offended." That he went ahead and let the sign stand, anyway, shows his intentions quite plainly.
I refer to my dad as my father. Guess I'm hell-bound. Wheee!
Not only distateful, but Biblically incorrect.
Surely they know (as well as anyone) that this Pope accepted Christ as his Lord and savior.
The pope is a religiouse leader and example for all Christians. You don't have to be Catholic to admire him and his faith.
"My Jesus is better than your Jesus!"
Honestly, with some people, no one is better than they are.
Just peruse the Religion Forum "debates."
Don't you know? Everybody that doesn't think the exact same way you do is going to spend eternity wearing brimstone britches.
Catholics consider themselves to be born again as well.
"What I am trying to do is to let people know there's only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Cline Franklin, pastor of Hilltop Baptist Church.
Then you aren't needed, either, Pastor.
Write when you get work.
I'm evangelical and this makes me sick.
I hope this isn't widespread, unfortunetly many protestants are ignorant about Catholicism.
While I have some theological differences, I don't assert who and who is not going to hell. I know how to get to heaven, through Jesus Christ, but other than saying that I'm not able to assert who have accepted Christ and who has not.
Calling the Pope hell-bound while millions mourn is not 'loving your neighbor as yourself' as Christ commanded.
Here's a link to a picture of the sign is someone who knows how to do it can post it...
Another example of bigoted so called "Christians".
Oh you have just GOT to see this one.
As a Lutheran, I have objections with the Catholic Church's theology. That said, I wonder who died and made the Rev. Franklin God?
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