Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: This Humble Pope (An Oxymoron?)

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pope-francis_2542431bWell, the media was definitely papally driven today. He was all over Washington and all over the news. On the White House lawn, in the papal open-air car and in the “Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,” he commented on everything from immigration to global warming. He kissed a few babies and even hugged a five-year-old, whose letter to him about immigration reform has gone viral. As I was driving and listening to NPR as the pope was celebrating his first-ever US mass, the people on the street, who turned out by the thousands, were almost unanimous in their herald of His “best quality”—the thing that apparently most Catholics believe has made this pope the most popular “Holy Father” in many years.

That quality is humility. I heard it over and over. Oh, there were several synonyms like “down to earth” or “the people’s pope” along with descriptions about how he “just meets people where they are.”  President Obama addressed Pope Francis using the words “Holy Father”, “Your Holiness” and using the words “…in your humility” and “…your embrace of simplicity.”

Does anyone else see the irony? This is a man; just a created human being who is perfectly comfortable being called “Holy Father”. He is apparently good with millions of people around the world looking to him as the “Vicar of Christ”, which he is indeed called in the catechism of the Catholic church; he is okay with the assertion that he would speak for God with infallibility if he ever sits in the “ex-cathedra” chair (although this particular pope vows to never sit in that chair).

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, “humility” is “having a modest or low view of one’s own importance.” Since there’s not a shred of Biblical evidence that God is speaking through or even approves the papacy today, the acceptance/usurpation of the role of vicar and spokesperson for deity seems quite the opposite of humility, doesn’t it? In fact, I should say, since the scriptures are replete with evidence to the contrary that God is revealing His will today though any man, the role of going about the world and responding to the thronging masses as if he really is a ”Holy Father” to millions of people, is not an humble thing to do. It is much the spiritual equivalent of the the emperor in the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson entitled “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” There is someone going about in a papal parade, someone who thinks (or at least purports to believe) that he is “clothed” with  authority and holiness, who is undone and naked before God.

Here is what the Bible does say:

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:9-11).

It also says this with regard to a “a man of sin” who  is compellingly descriptive of the popes throughout the last seventeen centuries, including the man who came to Washington yesterday:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (II Thess. 2:3-12).

Whoever this man was, he was/is part of a great falling away from simple New Testament Christianity. He is exalted above God. (This is true of one who speaks things from His own wisdom that are in opposition to the revealed Word of God, pope or not.) Because of Him and His work, many shall believe a lie and thus, be forever damned.

Now, I have Catholic friends whom I love and respect. I believe they have been strongly deluded and they have, sadly, believed a lie. Perhaps one of them may read this. Perhaps she will become angry with me. It is not my purpose to anger anyone, ever.  But, if through the challenge that is emotional, one decides to stop and examine evidence—if she decides to re-examine what she has been taught all of her life in her Catholic tradition, then maybe we can have a dialogue and look at the scriptures. Maybe we can discuss the huge percentage of Catholic doctrine that is surprisingly foreign to the teachings of the New Testament.

Finally, let me say this. I understand that anytime a person writes a rebuke or criticism of anything, much less arrogance in religion, she puts herself in the line of critical fire. “How arrogant of you to criticize arrogance.” …  “Humble people do not rebuke people for not being humble.”  I know that Cindy Colley needs to constantly work to be a woman of humility. I know that I have not arrived at the pinnacle of modesty and meekness. I will pray today that God will allow me to serve Him with the overwhelming sense of dependency and weakness that should characterize me in my human-ness. But the Word is His. It is Divine. It is “worthy of all acceptation.”

May I recommend for your further study this article? It makes a lot of sense and might be helpful in shattering a strong delusion for someone you love…

(You still have time to register for the West Huntsville ladies seminar here:  I’m excited to get to be there.  I hope you can come. For those who cannot, you can watch the LiveStream.

Sweet Hour of Prayer – 7 p.m., Friday, Sep. 25th

Living with Purpose – 9:20 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. (approx), Saturday, Sep. 26th

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