Skip to comments.Why the Pope’s resignation matters to Protestants
Posted on 02/13/2013 6:48:52 AM PST by Alex Murphy
Surprise and shock are an understatement when it comes to Pope Benedict XVIs resignation. Only a handful of Popes have called it quits. The Popes decision continues to spark speculation about who the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be. This decision will have far reaching impact for Catholics around the world and certainly for Protestants.
As most readers know, Im not Catholic. Im an American Baptist clergyman. I come from a tradition that fought to continue the reforms of the Church of England. Baptists were one of the many English separatist groups that wanted to go further than breaking ties with Rome. Separatist movements during the Reformation were, in general, about freedom of religious expression, freedom to interpreted the Scriptures, and to free themselves from Romes hierarchy.
Some 400-500 years later, the Church in Rome and its Pope still matter to Protestants. Though we Protestants are free from persecution, this new Popes election will impact the way we Protestants interact with our Catholic brothers and sisters. As much as we protestants distance ourselves from the Catholic Church, we are connected common belief and ministry.
In recent years, ecumenical relationships formed between Protestants and Catholics have strengthened. Beyond sharing common basic doctrinal beliefs, (The Trinity, Salvation, etc..) Protestants and Catholics are getting better at how we treat one another. Mostly because of leadership within both traditions. Much of how this new Pope leads the Catholic Church will set a tone throughout Christianity. Protestants will wait to see if this new Pope will begin a period of transformation. Will we see more ecumenical acceptance of marriage, sacraments, membership, and ministry like the Catholic agreement with Reformed churches on Baptism?
If this next Pope leads Catholics to more common ground, we could see a new wave of Catholic and Protestant relationships. Think about it our challenges are the similar: shrinking memberships, public perception, changing church demographics, declining evangelism efforts, and diminishing financial giving. If more could be done together our common challenges, we could share common success. Measurable success could be made globally and nationally with ministry among the poor, basic health care access, developing nation building, fighting injustice, and access to education. The cause for the common good could something that we could work together on.
This is not without problems. There will always be groups within our own traditions that will fight against such togetherness. We Baptists are known for our exclusionary behavior when it comes to differences in theology with other Protestants. However, if leadership from our Protestant groups can commit to working with this new Pope and his leadership, our challenges can begin diminish.
This new Papal change is an opportunity for transformation for Catholic and Protestants. If both Catholic and Protestant leadership plan to work together in our common struggles, a new chapter could be written for Christianity. A new Pope could lead his faithful to turn their attention to breaking down our separation instead of seeking to build more doctrinal walls.
If the homosexualists take over the Catholic Church, all is lost.
Hmmm...if everyone focuses on following God, then we will be drawn closer. But this Baptist - and I’m not an American Baptist, unlike the author - believes that following the truth about God means seeking his revelation thru scripture, rather than humans.
I accept that the Baptist Church in America derives from the dissenters from the Church of England. How could I not, when so many Baptist Churches here in Virginia trace their histories to the colonial period? But, there’s a side of me that thinks Baptists and Catholics co-existed from the very beginning, the difference initially being difficult to identify, but becoming clear upon the establishment of Christianity as the Church of Rome. Now that the Catholic Church is longer an established church, I think there is a tremendous opportunity for renewed unity within the church, including both formal and informal relations.
It is in the best interests of Protestants that the new Pope be as conservative as possible.
Show me a non Catholic faith and I will show you at least one error.
Pope Piel I would pimp-slap this clown.
It is easy to understand how some Evangelicals and Catholics would wish to put aside as many differences as possible in order to help address the moral crises destroying so many lives everywhere.
While we Evangelicals can clearly sympathize with the motives of some of these tenderhearted catholic people, united social action must not be at the expense of truth, and unity should never be allowed to eclipse the most important spiritual truth of all: the gospel.
“Show me a non Catholic faith and I will show you at least one error.”
And what might that error be?
Show me a non Catholic faith and I will show you at least one error.
The RCC has plenty of “errors” of it’s own that need to be addressed before it goes looking to address the errors of others. Furthermore, IF the next Pope embraces all the progressive BS like homosexuality, female priests and social justice, the RCC won’t just have “errors,” it will be over.
I don’t see this happening. I think there will some collaboration to discuss the spread and inroads of Islam and the secular governments seeming embrace of sharia. The lefists have made common cause with Muslims against Christianity.
As far as a pontiff who embraces causes left, that isn’t going to happen.
Peter the African ensured his continuing role as cardinal by his comments yesterday.
Might have been done pre-emptively ( -;!
I can’t imagine anyone actually wanting to be the pope.
In any event, the Holy Spirit will surprise us and foil the media as He has often done.
The immersed Corinthian disciples (and we also) were directed by Paul to separate (2 Cor. 6:17) from those who had already corrupted the Word of God (2 Cor. 2:17) and the minds of naive followers (2 Cor. 11:3); who were following another christ, of the same kind, yet still another that was not the Lord's Christ (2 Cor. 11:4a,b); but who were preaching another spirit of a different kind (2 Cor. 11:4c,d) whose message was that of "earning one's way into the kingdom of heaven" (2 Cor. 11:4e), rather different than the free grace of God (2 Cor. 6:1-2,9:14; Eph. 2:8) which Paul was given to announce.
The God's inspired spoken and written instruction through Paul was, and still is, to come out from among them, be separate, and wholly refrain from even touching "the unclean thing." which is the doctrines of apostasy.
The God repeated that again through the beloved John (the theologian) in His Revelation regarding the city on seven mountains (Rev.17:3-6,7,9;18:2-3): "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven, and The God hath remembered her iniquities."
In his ecumenical zeal, Rudnick is calling his followers to join with heresy rather than to come out, be separate, and not touch the very unclean thing, that Babylon, of even whose temporal magistrate can no longer stand to occupy the pastoral role.
Just sayin' ...
Show me a non Catholic faith and I will show you at least one
“seeking his revelation thru scripture”
Not sure what you mean by that?
Hmmm... There are so many -at least as many errors as there are errant faith knockoffs.
There is no collective salvation -there is individual salvation. So -do not ask me the question as to what is wrong with your faith if you are not of His Catholic Church. Find out for yourself what is any difference that necessitated a departure from truth -it is your salvation at stake not mine.
As a Catholic: LOL. Double LOL. Laughing out loud rolling on the floor LOL.
Rudnick's "church" is the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. They're a member of the American Baptist Churches of the USA (www.abc-usa.org).
Why don't you research the American Baptists' position on abortion for us, and then come back and tell us who ought to be "coming out" of whom, and just who "Babylon" is ... hmm?
I'll give you a little hint: when "beloved John (the theologian)" quoted Jesus as talking to "my people," the "people" he had in mind weren't people who just couldn't decide .. couldn't commit themselves ... couldn't say for sure ... whether or not ripping arms and legs off little innocent children in the womb was an abomination.
"Come out of her" ... indeed.
It means if you want to know the truth about God and who he is, read His Word.
Never thought of that!!
What hath light to do with darkness?
Gotcha and agree. I thought you meant you could actually find God by simply reading and studying scripture. Gotta look, pray, and try to live the Word for that. There is an exercise I have taken upon myself recently to help negate the distractions of the world on earth and remain in sync with the Holy Spirit every day. Every night before I go to bed, I ask myself where I saw the presence of Christ that day. This could be something as simple of observing someone pulling over to help another broken down on the side of the road or it could be something more spiritual or deep. At first it was difficult to recall an instance, but as time goes by, I have found myself looking for Christ throughout the day, even in the middle of daily distractions.