Skip to comments.Protestants and the Pope
Posted on 12/28/2005 9:56:34 AM PST by topcat54
The death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI have drawn great attention to the papacy in recent months. Such intense interest is remarkable. Much of it relates to the personality and accomplishments of John Paul II. He was a man of great courage and contributed significantly to the collapse of communism in eastern Europe.
Part of the interest also results from the powerful images that Rome can offer television cameras. Some of the greatest art and architecture of western civilization serve as a backdrop for elaborate rituals performed by gloriously clad clerics.
Part of the appeal for manyincluding non-Roman Catholicsis the sense of continuity and certainty provided by the institution of the papacy. The office of the pope connects us with the past, with a time of greater Christian presence and influence at all levels of society and culture in the west. It also speaks of certain moral standards defended against the relativism of our times.
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Perhaps the nature of the event (and of the media) made it unlikely that much Protestant opinion would be expressed. But in Americawith many more Protestants than Roman Catholicsone might have expected some media exploration of why Protestants do not acknowledge the pope as the head of the church. The repeated claims that the pope is the successor of Peter and that the papacy is a 2000 year old institution went unexplored and unchallenged.
This Protestant silence says much about the state of Protestantism today. After observing the postponement of a royal wedding and the presence of the Prince of Wales, the prime minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the papal funeral, one Oxford historian declared, Protestant England is dead. Similarly, in America the reaction to the death of John Paul II was surprising. Our president, a Methodist, ordered American flags flown at half-staffan honor not even accorded Winston Churchill. And while Mrs. Lillian Carter headed the American delegation to the funeral of John Paul I, the president and two former presidents represented the United States at this funeral. Does the American response indicate that Protestant America is more interested in religious toleration or a Christian united front than it once was?
I got this as my daily grace gem after John Paul II died:
The Death of John Paul II
I grieve for John Paul II who gained the whole world
but forfeited his soul. Year after year he was the most
loved and admired man in the world, but because he
was blinded by the prince of this world, he never saw
the light of the gospel or the glory of Christ. Had he
been a devoted follower of Jesus Christ he would have
been hated and persecuted by the world. I also grieve
for the many who have been deceived by this pope and
his religion. It breaks my heart to see so many professing
Christians who cannot discern truth from error and genuine
Christianity from its counterfeit.
If ever there was a more important time for faithful servants
of our Lord Jesus Christ to take a stand for the truth, it is now.
The religious corruption of Rome has been on constant display
for the whole world to see. The splendor and pageantry has
been extraordinary. Thousands of deceived people have stood
in long lines to venerate a dead man with a rosary in his hands
and a twisted crucifix by his side. Bishops and Cardinals are
now encouraging Catholics to pray to and for this dead pope
whose body is constantly being "blessed" with incense and holy
water. Praying prayers with meaningless repetition to anyone
other than God is an abomination to God (Matthew 6:5-7;
Deut. 18:11). The bizarre veneration and adoration of this man
has been unprecedented. It appears no one is concerned with
the words of Jesus who said, "Woe to you when all men speak
well of you" (Luke 6:26)
Tragically the pope has had greater success in deceiving the
world since he died than during his 26 year pontificate. The
global media has become his mouthpiece and willing partner
in spreading his perverted theology. Through non-stop television
coverage, the pope's church has become the world's stage. Its
princes have been masquerading in their purple and scarlet robes
as "ministers of righteousness." They have cast a spell over the
TV audience with the splendor or their rituals and the pomp and
pageantry of their pagan traditions. The magnificence and
grandeur of this corrupt religion has bewitched much of the
gullible world into believing this is what Christianity is all about.
Few evangelical leaders will speak about the pope's false gospel
that shut the kingdom of heaven to those who wanted to enter.
They refuse to acknowledge that he was condemned by God's
word for preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). Instead they
are saying that since he "believed in Jesus," he went directly
to heaven. His salvation has been guaranteed by some
evangelicals because of his suffering, goodness, and holiness.
There are times in the lives of evangelicals when our faith is
tested. This is indeed one of those tests and sadly we see
many failing the tests by capitulating with enemies of the
Gospel. Could it be that they are seeking the favor and
approval of men rather than the approval of God?
Many are praising John Paul II for being a great spiritual leader.
But why give such honor to the head of an apostate church which
keeps over a billion people in spiritual darkness. While he never
claimed to be God, he took pleasure in being addressed with
titles reserved for the triune God alone. He usurped the title
"Holy Father" from God the Father, "The Head of the Church"
from the Lord Jesus Christ and "The Vicar of Christ" from the
Holy Spirit, who Jesus promised to send in His place.
The pope said he represented Jesus Christ, yet he lived in stark
contrast to the Savior who had no place to lay His head. He
denied Jesus was man's Creator by teaching evolution is true.
On several occasions he denied that Jesus was the only way to
the Father. When he addressed Muslim leaders, he said there is
"a common spiritual bond that unites us." In 1999 he denied the
blood of Jesus was the only purification for sin by awarding a
plenary indulgence for anyone who quit smoking or drinking
alcohol. John Paul is acclaimed as a great moral leader, yet
he failed to discipline American Bishops for tolerating the
wicked sexual abuse of deviant priests.
One thing is certain--the pope knows the truth now. I believe
he is experiencing what the rich man in Luke 16 endured. Both
of them dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in splendor
every day. When the rich man died and found himself tormented
in the flames of Hades, he begged the Father to send someone
to tell his family the truth so they would repent and not end up
in the same place. The pope may now be making the same request.
The passing of John Paul II opens up a tremendous opportunity
for Christians to talk about spiritual issues. We must speak the
truth in love and proclaim the Gospel with clarity and completeness!
We must also earnestly contend for the faith against everything
that stands opposed to God's word. May God help us to be faithful
in these times of great deception and compromise!
Hey wow...Mike Gendron has been given the power to infallibly determine the state of someone's soul. Way cool.
Had he been a devoted follower of Jesus Christ he would have been hated and persecuted by the world
I think he was, Mike my friend. You just weren't paying attention. He was loved by the Godly and despised by the reprobate.
ItsOurTimeNow, nothing personal but this was really a titanically stupid post. The piece that heads off this thread was at least respectful in its disagreement. That anyone would have the temerity to question JPII's devotion to Christ is...well...insanity of the highest order.
>>That anyone would have the temerity to question JPII's devotion to Christ is...well...insanity of the highest order<<
Many say the same thing of those who question other religious leaders, like Billy Graham. Who also placated to the universalist crowd by suggesting that Christ is not the only way to obtain salvation.
What elevates John Paul above you or I, in terms of belief? We're all men, and thus fallible. It's dangerous business to place mortals on such a high, unquestionable, untouchable pedestal.
If you must contend with Catholics over doctrine, do it respectfully, with scripture. These sort of hateful follies change no minds and only serve to injure the Body of Christ.
Well, at least there was something of use in that long "gem".
It's also dangerous business to issue judgements on the state of other men's souls. Last time I checked, that was God's prerogative.
Gee, that is hardly judgmental at all. Judging the state of a man's soul. Now that is Biblical.
Especially given the fact he IS objectively the Vicar of Christ--Peter on earth. No, don't worry. Spreading stuff like this won't come back to haunt you. Keep on doing it. See where it will get you.
The one thing we CANNOT judge, according to Sacred Scripture, is the final judgment of a man's soul. But go ahead. Keep it comin'if you feel so inclined. What a great example to the world of Christian unity.
Now I am becoming more certain where the anti-Christ exists, and it is NOT in Rome.
And I would say the same thing of them as well. You say JPII and Billy Graham placated the universalist crowd and said Christ is not the only road to salvation. That's totally wrong--neither of those eminently respectable men said any such thing. If you have any evidence to the contrary, by all means show us where.
Second of all, I have been and will be critical of some things JPII did. The dogma of infallibility is very limited in its scope, and Catholics are free to think the Pope is totally out to lunch on a number of issues that don't touch upon the doctrine delivered once and for all to the saints. So there's no pedestal here.
Thank you kindly for your eminent sensibility! :)
No need to thank me, although I appreciate it. I take Christ at His word when He tells us that "he who is not against us is for us". However I may feel about the theology of the RCC and the popes, they affirm Christ and Him crucified before an unbelieving world. For this reason alone I wouldn't dare to slander them.
Right. And we have enough that separates us that we do not have to go around inventing more and beating straw men to a pulp.
Of course, and were you to travel in the circles I travel in, you would see how furiously this debate rages within the Roman Church after Vatican II.
And I stress again, neither Billy Graham nor the Pope said anything to the effect that Christ was no longer necessary for salvation.
Bump for a later read
This will be one of the highlights of my presidency, to have been at this great ceremony, Bush said, according to a White House release. I knew the ceremony today would be majestic, but I didn't realize how moved I would be by the service, itself; by the beautiful music. And then I think the thing that struck all our delegation most intensely was the final scene of the plain-looking casket . . . being carried and held up for the seal to be seen, and then the sun pouring out.
Bush Talks about Jesus, Holy Father with Reporters on Flight Home from JPII Funeral
President Bush is the first sitting US president to attend a pope's funeral.
May 28, 2002
Pope John Paul II Greets U.S. President Bush at the Vatican in Rome
Did you read the links I posted?
GRAHAM: "Yes, it is, because I believe that I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived."
No Bible, no knowledge of Christ, just a heart-felt yearning and living a life apart from the rest will save?
Thank you also for your kind words friend. May Christ's Peace be upon you and yours in the coming New Year!