The Pontiff recently concluded his three-country tour of Africa, visiting the Central African Republic, Uganda, and Kenya.The Christian Post reports that during an in-flight press conference on his return trip to Rome, Francis stated,“We Catholics have some–and not some, many–who believe they possess the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disorientation, and doing evil. They do evil. I say this because it is my Church.”He added that “ideas and false certainties” can replace faith, love, and God.
During the last couple of years in the ole’ blogosphere I have been accused by Catholic apologists of self-popery. And why such an accusation? Because I dared to have “a personal interpretation” of the Bible that disagreed with them and with the pope’s!
In the Catholic Church, one’s doctrine is not determined by the revealed and written word alone – it is determined by those who make determinations based upon orally determining factors (a.k.a. making up the rules as you go) that shape the determination of God’s will in God’s word. Therefore to rest upon the written word of God alone is to be mistaken, and studying to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15) need not apply since the studying has already been done for you. You just need to study what has already been studied and follow what those personal studies determined for you to study and personally believe.
Case in point is the latest issue the Catholic Church is having with the pope’s willingness to actually “have a debate” on the sinfulness of homosexuality. The reason I bring this up is that there should be no debate at all – none whatsoever. And why not? Because the word of God has settled the issue, but unfortunately the written word of God is not enough for the Catholic Church.
I know, I know. Many Catholic apologists will say “the issue is more complicated” than what I’m presenting it to be. And my response to that is “it’s only complicated because the pope (the pride and head of the Catholic Church) is complicating a very uncomplicated biblical issue and it’s making a lot of Catholics feel uncomfortable.” It’s actually a case of the pope wanting to do something but the Catholic Church has decided that personal interpretations do indeed matter after all.
Following the closing of this latest “synod session” it was released to the press that, “This synod will be followed by a year of consultations, and a follow-up questionnaire will be sent out to dioceses around the world. A second, larger synod will then be held in October 2015. After that, the results will be handed to the Argentinian pope, who will have the final say in outlining the Church’s stance on family matters.”
A questionnaire? Why that would involve making personal interpretations wouldn’t it? Why not just speak “ex cathedra” and get it over with. After all, when the “ex cathedra” starts talking, the Catholic Church has no other choice but to listen because the pope can do no wrong when he starts dictating what is and what is not right for the Catholic Church to believe. But I really do wonder what would happen to all the Catholics if the very “papa” who could do no wrong actually told the majority of the people who make up the Catholic Church that their personal interpretation was wrong on this issue? I wonder how open they’d be to personal interpretation then? But then again, why would the pope do that? After all, who is he to judge?
You see, the irony of the whole matter to me is that while I have been accused of self-popery multiple times over the last couple of years, because I have dared to have an opinion that disagrees with “Catholic Oral Tradition”, the reality of the matter is that the Catholic Church actually has a pope in authority who could be accused of the very thing I’m supposedly guilty of – self-popery! For if the Catholic Church had always had the right answer on this issue then how can this discussion be anything but wrong?
“The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics had called for the Church to take a more merciful approach to unmarried mothers, remarried divorcees and gays, famously saying of homosexuals, “Who am I to judge?”” (see the above link for the quote source)
So much for that Catholic unity. And may we all learn a valuable lesson about biblical authority from this situation.
- The Final Word? – BP’s Fuel For Thought
Doc Phillips, who is one of the fellows here in TFR, wrote a post on his congregation’s blog that includes some powerful examples of some individuals hunger for the word of God and then makes a couple of applications for the American culture to consider. Check it out sometime. I’m going to use it in our bulletin soon enough.
It has been said and asked, and rightly so, “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5) Talk about a timeless truth that still preaches! In a recent story about the Navy’s first supercarrier, the USS Forrestal, it was revealed that this ship, which once wore the title of the world’s biggest ship ever built, could be set to be sold for a penny – yes, I said one little lowly ole’ American penny! The ship “which took an estimated $217 million — nearly $2 billion in today’s dollars — to build” didn’t necessarily see its value fly away, but it sure did sink like a rock while staying afloat, didn’t it?
The “pope” recently took action against a “bishop” who was living in a multi (and I mean multi) million dollar residence according to this story. It was said that “pope” “Francis has made clear he expects his bishops to live simply, setting as an example his own humble lifestyle.” I guess that’s his way of saying no one is allowed to live in a more expensive residence or carry a bigger cross made of solid gold than him!
This coming Sunday morning in Bible class we’re going to look at the basic layout of the Tabernacle of God that Moses and the children of Israel built. We started the study last week and I think it’s going to continue to be a profitable one. The Tabernacle has a lot of shadowy, not dark but shadowy, lessons that can be revealed and learned by today’s Christians through the light of the Gospel (Hebrews 8:5; 9:9, 23 and 2 Corinthians 3). From learning to have the proper mindset toward sin, God and the atonement that He offers to the way that Jesus can be seen in the Tabernacle’s furnishings I’m looking forward to studying this series out with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Look for a way to help someone see the Way today!
According to the “Living faith” section C of The Huntsville Times, Friday, June 14, 2013, the article on Religion & Church News carried an item titled, “NO, I did not want to be Pope.” It was an interview from McClatchy-Tribune that quoted the 3-month-in-office “Pope” of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, as saying: “’No, I didn’t want to be pope. A person who wants to be pope does not love himself,’ the pontiff added, in a trademark show of humility.’” Based upon his comments, God would agree that:
1. Since “Pope” is a Latin term for “father,” and since Jesus Christ forbade anyone using the term “father” as a term for a spiritual leader (Matthew 23:9), then God would agree that Francis should not be “pope!”
2. Francis “didn’t want to be pope,” a position which is supposed to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Apostle Paul claimed that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11). Since God’s “mighty power” raised Jesus from the dead and “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23), then God placed Jesus Christ over His church, not a “pope!” Thus, God would agree that He didn’t want Francis to be “pope” over the church!”
3. Francis said, “A person who wants to be pope does not love himself.” God’s Word has said that, after “the falling away,” “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), but whose followers would be “among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10), then Francis must not “love himself” for taking the position of apostasy that God condemns! God would agree that any man who takes such a position “does not love himself” or the truth, either!
4. Contrary to the article cited above, there is no “trademark show of humility” in anyone who opposes God, sits in God’s temple, or claims to forgive sins which only God can do (Matthew 9:1-8)! Jesus Christ condemned public displays of the Pharisees, which are remarkably like that of a “pope:” “all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues” (Matthew 23:5-6). No “pope” has ever manifested a “trademark show of humility,” while claiming to be equal with God! The real head of the church of Christ, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). No “pope” has ever humbled himself to die on a cross for the church of Christ! God would agree that there is no “trademark show of humility” in this, or any other “pope.”
It’s too bad the “pope” refuses to tell his followers what Jesus said would give salvation in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Will this “pope” agree with God?
A bogus bishop nearly sneaked into the closed-door Vatican meeting of the world’s cardinals as they prepared to choose the next pope. Ralph Napierski got past a checkpoint of Swiss Guards and was photographed shaking hands with Cardinals in the cobblestone square to the left of St. Peter’s Basilica. But he never made it inside to loin the more than 140 cardinals from around the world for their first formal meeting since the resignation of Pope Benedict. His undersized cassock, purple rather than red sash and fedora rather than a zucchetto, the typical skullcap, gave him away. When discovered, he was hustled out of the Vatican. I’m not sure what he hoped to accomplish, but it certainly reminds us that there are plenty of folks who are not all they pretend to be. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
The news media and the world have made a big deal about the appointment of the new Pope.
Our world is very careless about religion and religious terms. During this time while the Catholic Church was appointing a new Pope, I never heard anyone ask, “Is there a Pope in the Bible?” No one seems to care about God’s arrangement for the church.
Even the word “church” is used most often in unbiblical ways in our world today. People speak of “the church” when they are talking about the building where the church meets. Some use the word “church” when speaking of a denomination or all the denominations; denomination and our Lord’s church are totally different things.
The church is men and women who have been called out of the word and called into Jesus Christ. When Saul persecuted the church he dragged “men and women” off to prison.
“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:1-3)
This church was not built upon Peter nor was he the first Pope! Continue reading