Should Evangelicals Care About the New Pope?

article_images/cathedral_small_509938371.jpg

Pope Francis has been called a “friend” to evangelicals — but does it matter?

Last week, people around the world were waiting to see white smoke curling from a tiny chimney. Black smoke meant a group of men were still trying to make a decision. But white smoke meant a new pope, the spiritual leader of Roman Catholics all over the world.

Once everyone saw the white smoke, it didn’t take long for the news to break: the new pope would be Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina and the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Bergoglio chose the name “Francis” as his papal name and greeted the faithful gathered below the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica with a simple Italian greeting: “Buona sera.”

As with the election of any modern pope, Christians of all strains have watched the proceedings with interest. Evangelical Christians are no exception — evangelical websites, churches, pastors and church leaders weighed in on the election of Pope Francis. While some leaders have highlighted the ways a papal election showcases the differences between Catholicism and evangelicalism, other evangelical voices have praised the election of Pope Francis as a positive step toward evangelical-Catholic dialogue.

So how should evangelicals respond to the election of Pope Francis? Should they be suspicious or excited? And, more to the point, should evangelicals even care?

A rocky relationship

American evangelicals have long had a complicated relationship with Roman Catholicism, even in recent memory. In 1994, evangelical and Catholic leaders, like Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus respectively, signed a landmark ecumenical document called Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT), which sought to find common ground in both basic doctrine and social causes. Despite the high profile of many of the evangelical supporters, significant evangelical voices like John MacArthur, D. James Kennedy and R.C. Sproul criticized the statement for de-emphasizing the theological differences between Catholics and evangelicals. In a 1995 radio broadcast discussing the ECT statement, MacArthur said “In all honesty, [Catholicism] is not a group of wayward brothers but is an apostate form of Christianity. It is a false religion; it is another religion.” Those aren’t the only evangelicals who are leery of Catholicism: a 2000 Gallup poll found that 29% of people claiming to be “born again” or “evangelical” had an unfavorable view of Catholics — certainly not a majority but also not an easily dismissible percentage.

So if evangelicals have had a tenuous relationship with Catholicism in the past, why should they care about the election of a new pope? 

Evangelicals and Catholics, mostly together

While there are some notable examples of Catholics and evangelical disagreement — and there are some serious doctrinal differences — those tend to be less comprehensive than the doctrinal matters agreed upon by Catholics and evangelicals. These include some of the basic tenets spelled out in the ancient creeds, like the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed. Additionally, some of the evangelical suspicion of Catholic doctrine stems from misunderstanding of the doctrine, or at least the ways that Catholic doctrine is expressed at a local (as opposed to actual doctrinal) level.

Consider, for instance, the common misconception that Catholics pray to saints as if they were mini-deities. In reality, Catholic doctrine states that Christians can ask the departed saints to intercede — pray for them — to God on their behalf. It’s sort of like asking your friends to pray for you, except your friend lived in the 13th century and you never actually met them. But many times, the way that’s expressed on a local, personal level resembles more charm-laden superstition rather than the Christian faith — like burying St. Joseph in your yard to sell your house.

Ryan E.C. Hamm Ryan E.C. Hamm is a writer and editor. Much of his work has been in the areas of music, technology, religion, and contemporary culture. He's primarily interested in the ways technology and culture are changing faith, relationships, and communication. Twitter: @RyanECHamm.

More from Ryan E.C. Hamm or visit Ryan E.C. at http://www.ryanechamm.com/

Please Note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, uncivil and off-topic. Read a detailed description of our Comments Policy.
  • Greg

    Right after the election they were saying some good things about this guy. He sounds like a nice caring person which is good. However, shortly after the election he went and prayed to Mary. This is more than having a friend pray for you. Pope John Paul II named Mary a co redeemer. Sorry but Mary can’t save you. We don’t need her to speak to Jesus on our behalf. We have one advocate, one high priest, in heaven, The Lord Jesus Christ, He is all we need. This pope is concerned about the poor. Good! Then he needs to open up the vaults of the Vatican and spread the wealth. But, we know that won’t happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.bowers.716 David Bowers

      Matthew 7:15-20 ESV

      “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

      • laruba

        AMEN!

    • Bette

      I think its a good idea to keep in mind that not one person who walked or is currently walking this planet has everything all “figured out.” Except for one – Jesus Christ. Even though some of the Roman Catholics pray to Mary and saints, I can assure you that if you study the life and faith of Karol Wojtyla (aka Pope John Paul II) you will see that he was a man who loved people and loved the Lord Jesus with everything he was. Okay, he did not have everything correct. Maybe we do not all agree on some issues. But I believe unity is the most important. When we Christians point the finger at those who practice religion the wrong way…. well we sure look a lot like the religious Pharisees of the first century.

      One of my favorite sermons by John Wesley, “Catholic[universal] Spirit” talks about loving our neighbor using this scripture:
      “And when he left there, [Jehu] met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him, and he greeted him, and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart?”* And Jehonadab answered: “It is.” [Jehu said], “If it is, give me your hand.” 2 Kings 10:15.

      As true followers of Christ, we must ask: “Are our hearts are right with those that we don’t agree with?” Will we look past differences to truly love? If we cannot say this with an honest heart… I mean not with the kind of attitude that says, “Well I will love you because you are wrong, and I am right and you need to change the way you think so it is in agreement with the way I interpret God’s Word” this is not truly loving.

      If we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we will most definitely care about the new pope. We will pray for him, and lift him up to God as our brother. We must be very careful about pointing a finger say “false prophet.” Who is a false prophet? Who has the Word of God completely figured out, the “Correct” way?
      I say let this person face the Lord Jesus Christ and tell him he is no longer needed, because in our feeble, human mind he has it all figured out now.

      Jesus tells us the most important command is to love him with all our hearts, minds, strength and souls. Everything. And love others in the same way. This is the greatest of all commands.

      • Mike

        I agree with what you have said about our attitudes, and also that many non-evangelicals show a real zeal for Christ. However, loving is one thing but truth is another. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that in the future people would worship God in spirit and in truth. Unfortunately, unity has been put in a higher place than truth in the modern church, and this is what is leading to it’s demise.

        If we see truth and unity(love) as the two wheels of a bicycle, then truth must come first or it will soon become a one unicycle. Truth as Jesus taught it, always leads to love. He so often said “I tell you the truth”.

        In this question, Catholicism is no so different to Mormonism, JWs, Judaism, Islam…. as far a love is concerned. They all demonstrate a great zeal for God in their own way.

        • Bette

          I agree Mike, but as I see the two wheels of the bicycle, love must come first. Truth is important. But in the gospel accounts Jesus is the one who speaks truth. He commands us, his followers, to love. For me, I cannot love my brother or sister if I claim I am more able to see truth then they are. I know the truth for my salvation. I try to speak the truth to others in love. But, I am careful to keep in mind that the way I interpret Scripture is truth for me. The Pharisees also thought they had it right….so much so that they lost their vision of what the true Truth was. Of Who the truth is. They could not even recognize truth. My eyes are fixed on Jesus and his command to love. But I respect your views. I do not believe unity is the downfall of the church. Lack of love is what I see as the downfall of the church. And the Christian church is alive and thriving strong in many parts of the world. It is failing in our Western world.

          • Mike

            :-) It is good that we don’t want to disagree with each other, but that we can do so in a good way if we want. Fracis Schaefer once referred to True truth, and for evangelicals that means the Bible is the authority because it is God’s word to us. It doesn’t mean we understand it all, but there are some key things we do understand that we must not surrender, grace being one of them (see the comments below in other posts).

            Whilst we can love a JW, Mormon or Catholic for instance, we cannot compromise on truth and accept their man made doctrines, or any others based on “works”. Once we do this our gospel message becomes bankrupt.

            I think perhaps your idea of truth is when we say “I am right”, and arrogantly argue for some thing. Luther then could be accused of un-loving behaviour with his 95 theses. Missionaries likewise in Muslim and Catholic lands etc., but it is their love that makes them want to go to these lands and even pay with their lives.

            We need to be clear on these things. Although there is a lot of confusion in developing world churches from Latin America, through Eastern Europe and Africa to China, they have known how to live with untruth and dictatorship, and so standing up for “truth” is more important to them.

            In the west, the church tries to be too pragmatic and compromised, often in the name of love and unity.

          • Chad

            Mike is spot on. It doesn’t matter what you believe is truth. It matters what IS true. And isn’t true love telling someone they are wrong and saving them if they are on the road to eternal torment. If a blind man is walking toward a cliff and saying this is “his” way, but will die walking over the edge, would everyone of us not tackle that man and say “Look! Here is the way! You will surely die!” So it is with the blind of this world. They stumble around saying we are all right in love. But I say true love is saying. Repent! Be Saved! This is the way. Not loving them would be remaining silent and letting them continue on their way to darkness.

          • ikoma77

            preach it brother.

          • Don

            Yes sir! May her eyes be opened . . . better yet, her heart with “love” for the only Way, “Truth” and Life.

          • Bette

            Don, I am not sure who you refer to when you say “her eyes be opened” – but I am quite certain that my eyes are opened. I am a seminarian and a strong student of God’s Word. If I am going to err, I will err on the side of love. I defend the truth of Scripture. I hope all of you who know the truth and want to push “your Truth” are absolutely sure that you have the truth figured out. Of course we want to say repent and be saved, to those that are dying and don’t know the truth. I do know the Word of God is infallible. Human minds and our ability to get it right is certainly not fallible. Remember Jesus’ command to us was to was to love one another. We all have to determine in our hearts what this looks like. Certainly not questioning whether or not we should care about the Pope.

          • tatiana marylin

            i think you saying”We need to be clear on these things. Although there is a lot of confusion in developing world churches from Latin America, through Eastern Europe and Africa to China, they have known how to live with untruth and dictatorship, and so standing up for “truth” is more important to them” i have to totally disagree with your statement, the honest truth is there is more truth in Africa ,China than they have in America and talking about dictatorship in america they leave under the worst dictatorship in the world everything they do is under a microscope i guess in America they call it technology and freedom,and standing up for the truth should be more important to the Americans because they leave under a big lie and the only place where there is confusion in creating world churches its in America together with heresy and misconception.

          • ikoma77

            what’s right for you isn’t right for me and vice versa, i hear ya. but hold on, Scripture is Scripture, and it’s dangerous if our faith is based on a false interpretation, especially where salvation is concerned.

          • ikoma77

            New American Standard Bible (©1995)
            But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

          • Bette

            ikoma77, All scripture is interpretation. The Scriptures are God-breathed, true inspired Word of God. Truth. The only way humans understand it is by reading and interpreting what they read. Some of the Scriptures are basic, easy to understand, and some are easily misinterpreted. Firstly, where are you getting your Scripture from? What chapter and verse?
            2 Peter 1:20 “But know this
            first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own
            interpretation.” Humankind must interpret what they read, and remember we are reading in a different language and culture. Our interpreting minds will read the same passage and understand differently. Then we argue and put each other down and say “My way of interpreting truth is better than yours. I am superior. I am the bearer of truth. You must accept my truth, because I have read the words and I know the truth.” The person that truly thinks this has placed him or herself in a dangerous position – one that places them in a superior position, when the reality is that in the light of our Lord, we are all equally loved,

      • pablo taylor

        Very well said.
        Muchas gracias

    • Evangelist Francina Long

      Amen!! Mary was blessed to be the physical vessel to birth the baby JESUS, but she no wise a co redeemer. There is no other name given under heaven whereby men
      Must be saved…our kinship redeemer The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

    • Jac

      I’m an evangelical and am impressed with this pope. The Pope has already told the bishops from his home country to stay home from his installation and give the money that would be spent to the poor instead.

      He is also ditching the traditional service at St Peter’s Basilica to go to a youth prison where he plans to wash their feet.

      Seems to me he is putting his money where his mouth is, much more than a lot of evangelical churches I know.

      • pablo taylor

        Right on!!!!

      • Trevor

        That’s what impresses you? Of what value is that without a gospel that can save? The best the pope has is give people a good example of bring nice while he and they perish. Your thinking is fluffy my friend.

      • pablo taylor

        Great Pope

      • tatiana marylin

        i am not sure you are a true evangelical you might be an evangelical but not a real one ,if you where you would know the bible better,our righteous deeds are like filthy rags,as long as we still bow down to Mary,and ask dead people to pray to God on our behalf that’s absolute heresy and doing good works will by no means cover that.

  • PastorCharlie

    Unfortuneately the Gospel (Good News) that the RC Church preaches is not the good news of the Bible. Two people can say exactly the same thing and mean very different things. Folks who think we have a lot in common with the RC church do not understand their teachings. Not only do they pray to Mary as a co-redeemer and co-mediator (the Bible calls this idolatry) but they teach that you must be baptized into the RC church to be saved and those in the RC largely believe they are saved because they were baptized into the RC church). When the RC church speaks of ecumenicalism, their idea is that we all come under the RC church. They are no more Christian than Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons and a whole lot more dangerous because too many people don’t understand their false teachings.

    • Mike

      What is the good news that the Catholic church teaches?

      • Trevor

        Their good news is that baptism regenerates you and the cross removes original sin. You are then infused with righteousness so that you personally become righteous in your behaviour and are then justified at the point of death based on your life. If your not good enough you can go to pergatory and burn for a whole to atone for your sins, and then go to heaven. That’s obviously bad so you pray to everyone you can for help. Not really good news

        • Trevor

          Bottom line it’s a works religion – another gospel.

          You can tell this in practice by asking Catholics if they are sure they are going to heaven. They think to be sure is presumptuous. You can’t be absolutely sure if your salvation is based on you.

        • tatiana marylin

          not really good news, that’s sounds very heretical,what if everyone you are trying to pray to is also trying to pray to someone,you dont know because you are probably all dead does it mean you keep trying you knw like when you call some one and there phone is busy and you keep trying until you get thru,do you keep trying o you know give up and go to hell.

          • uche Abarikwu

            this your assumption is quite laughable. it is just like one asking Jesus about the woman that was married to seven husband and want to know on the last day whose wife will she be. cant you see that there is no wisdom in this question you are imposing

      • uche Abarikwu

        they teach that Jesus is the savior of the world, and that salvation comes only true him. Please stop misinforming the world about the Catholic Church. but Just as Jesus is persecuted so will his church be persecuted. But Jesus has promised that the gate of hell will never overcome his church. no wonder that despite all the velifications and calumnies the church is waxing strong and growing in numbers. I know that you are not happy with the progress of the church, but my dear you have no alternative than to join the winning side Jesus is Lord and his words stand forever. The problem is that many of you cannot leave under obedience, even if Jesus should come again you will stand and still argue with him, after all the Pharisees in Bible taught they were doing the right thing and hoping for salvation when salvation is standing before them. you read the scripture with the intention of knowing the truth, but yet you see the truth and you cannot even recognize it. your problem is mere arrogance. you are off the boat of peter you better jump in before you drown

    • pablo taylor

      How on earth can you even dare compare the Church founded by Jesus Christ with that of religions that do not believe that Jesus Christ is God?
      How dare you accuse Catholics as praying to Mary as a co-rededeemer and co-mediator. I am Catholic and I never consider Mary a mere woman of God as being co- anything with God.
      The RCC teaches that people are saved by believing in Christ, not Mary, or any other saint of God.
      I was baptized into the RCC and my salvation is not based own baptism or any of my works. My salvation is based only on what Christ did on the cross for me; and me repenting of my sins and daily following Christ in relationship with Him.
      I do not know where you got your information. All my life I have not been taught any of the lies that you have written against the RCC.

      If you want to talk about whats Biblical or not Biblical; where does it say in the Bible to put the word ‘Pastor’ in front of your name.

      There is only one Pastor and that Pastor is Jesus Christ!

      Pablo of Costa Rica

      • Mucuro

        Emmaja

      • http://www.facebook.com/tom.hill.3152130 Tom Hill

        and this post shows YOUR ignorance to all other churches, other than your own. The term pastor, in MY protestant church……..LUTHERAN, by the way…is correct to use in front of MY PASTOR’s name.

        • pablo taylor

          Fine, you may use Pastor in front of your name just like your church tells you too. I am the HYPOCRITE as you referred to me in an earlier post for speaking the Truth.

          But you still haven’t shown where it says in the BIBLE to put the title “Pastor” in front of ones name.

          May God bless you.

          Pablo ‘the hypocrite’ of Costa Rica

    • uche

      I can see ignorance hovering all over you. your problem is that you lack the knowledge of God, and have become so opinionated that you are now unteachable. you really need the light of the holy spirit to get enlightened

  • Bette

    Please fix your links. I keep clicking on page 2 and “next page” and it only takes me to page one again. I am not able to see the full article. Thank you.

    • Julian

      Same issue for me – I cannot read the whole article…

    • chagen

      We apologize, our site is currently experiencing some issues. This feature article has just been updated to fit on a single page.

      • Bette

        Thank you, I look forward to reading the rest of it.

      • ikoma77

        i think your site is definitely having major issues. i mean, it looks like you’re saying that the pope is in fact a prod.

  • Mike

    @Bette. Same problem for me.
    Does this mean the other commenters here didn’t actually read it before commenting?

  • pw73gc

    I grew up a roman catholic and they have many doctrinal errors. Mary, purgurtory, works salvation, pope speaking for God. When I got saved, I realized the false teachings they have. Praise God He showed me the truth.–John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and
    the truth shall make you free.”

    • pablo taylor

      Dear Sir or Maam,

      Perhaps you grew up Roman Catholic, however if you were to do a real study of the doctrines of the Catholic Church you will soon relaize that they do not have many doctrinal errors. In fact it is the 1000’s and 1000’s of protestant churches who have many doctrinal errors.

      I suggest that you research the religion of your childhood with an open mind. If you visit Catholic Answers on line and also in YouTube you will see what the Catholics really believe about Mary, purgatory, works salvation, pope speaking for God, etc.

      One does not have to leave the Roman Catholic Church to get saved. There is Salvation in the RCC through Jesus Christ our only Savior.

      In all my years of being Catholic I have never seen anyone worship Mary.

      Purgatory is the purification of the soul, where does it say in the Bible that God is limited to cleasing the soul only while we are in the earth?

      Salvation is being saved from our sin and the promise of going to Heaven. The cleansing of the soul is the complete purification of sin, even the sins that we commit daily.

      Yes, we are forgiven by the work of the Cross and Christ is resurrected. But what about the areas of our heart, mind, and soul that still need cleansing as a result of our daily sins? Especially those sins that we continue. Do we go to hell? No, because we are saved by the blood of the Lamb. Do we get an instant pass to Heaven? The Book of Revelation says that we have to be perfect and without sin to enter the Presence of God. Remember Moses had to remove his shoes and could see God’s face.

      God by His Grace purifies us of any stains of sin that still lives in us. This my friend is purgatory.

      Pablo of Costa Rica

      • pw73gc

        I have seen a lot of people worshiping Mary. The new pope was seen worshiping Mary. The Catholics do not give ALL the glory to Jesus. They spread it around to all the saints they also worship. I have traveled with my mother who was a catholic and she gave credit to St. Christopher for protecting us. That is blasphemy.
        The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And no sin will be in Heaven. No purification needed. Jesus paid it ALL. And where in the Bible is purgatory mentioned? Nowhere.

        • pablo taylor

          I am so sorry for you that you have so many bad examples of Catholics around you.
          I do not believe that the Pope was seen worshipping Mary. Bowing down in honor of who she is in Jesus Christ is not worship!!!!
          I suggest that you go back to the Original and only Church that was founded by Jesus Christ – The Catholic Church .
          I have many years of studying the Bible with an open mind and I have the Truth and Christ did it for me.
          Pablo of Costa Rica

          • pw73gc

            Then why does the catholic church baptize babies. When it is clear you get baptized after salvation? Answer. Just another misinterpretation of the bible. They did not want anyone to read the Bible for many years. They used a Latin Bible and no one knew what they were saying. Only the pope could interpret the Bible. The catholic church is mentioned in the book of Revelation. Study that out.

          • pablo taylor

            The Catholic Church baptizes babies just like Christ was dedicated in the temple. The baptism of babies is a sign that the family will bring up the baby in the ways of the Lord. Also you will see it in the Bible. Many times it say that when someone came to Christ he and his entire family was baptized. Family includes children of all ages. Also in the New Testament the Christian Church was just forming and of course as people were getting saved they wanted to be baptized into their faith.And of course they wanted to baptized any new member into the family which would include future babies.
            The baptism of today is not the same as when Jesus was baptized by John. Even the protestant churches preach this.
            The RCC did not want people to read the Bible as many misinterpreted the Scriptures. i.e. this is how we get cults like Jehovah Witness and The Church of Jesus Christ from misguided well intentional people who misinterpret Scripture.
            Also before the printing press the Bible as we know it today wasn’t so easily available. If if wasn’t for the Roman Catholic Church we would have the Bible.
            You say the Catholic church is mentioned in the Bible. Yes as far as our first Pope Peter you are absolutely correct. But to say that the RCC was apostate their is no historical nor Biblical evidence of such nonsense.
            Perhaps you should study that out!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • pw73gc

            Peter being the first pope is about absurd as it gets.He was married. if you didn’t know that. He is disqualified as a pope. More evidence you just don’t know the Bible very well. The catholics continue to misinterpret the Bible like always. It is sad. Some many mislead people in that religion. They have changed their view of the scriptures some much that it is confusion. What about the inquisition? fact. Martin Luther got saved and left the catholic church. That is a historical fact.

          • pablo taylor

            Martin Luther also had several wives. And where do you get the idea the Peter being the first Pope as being absurd??? He was not disqualified as a Pope because Jesus qualified him when He said:

            “On this rock (petra in Greek) I will build my church, and the gates of Hell willnot prevail against it.”

            According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he was assigned a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the New Testament, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’ inner circle, walked on water, witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration, denied Jesus, was restored by Jesus and preached on the day of Pentecost.

            Jesus declares Peter to be “blessed” for having recognized Jesus’ true identity and attributes this recognition to a divine revelation. Then Jesus addresses Simon by what seems to have been the nickname “Peter” (Cephas in Aramaic, Petros [stone] in Greek) and says, “On this rock (petra in Greek) I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”

            What is the ” . . . more evidence that I do not know the Bible very well?”

            You do not even know me and you think you have the right to claim that I have little knowledge of the Bible.

            That judgmental statement really gives me a bad impression of evangelical protest so-called professing Christians!

            Where did you get the Authority to cast stones at my knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.

            I do not want anything to do with you or your so-called ‘religious ideas’.

            Adios amigo,

            Pablo De Costa Rica

          • http://www.facebook.com/tom.hill.3152130 Tom Hill

            I’ve read your numerous posts above…..and YOU want to call someone out, after doing so yourself in posts above? Hypocrite is the term that comes to my mind.

          • CB+

            In the incident at Caesarea Phillippi you refer to, our Lord did say those words to St. Peter. However…He was referring to St. Peter’s confession of faith–“You are the Christ”; not the person of St. Peter himself. He said , You are “Petras” (small stone) and upon this “Petra” (ledge or large stone) I’ll build my Church. He did say St. Peter was blessed, calling him “Simon Bar Jonah” (Simon Son of Jonah), and that his Father in Heaven had revealed the Messianic Truth to him, not flesh and blood. This was not an indorsement of St. Peter’s leadership of the Church. The preeminent bishop was St. Paul, not St. Peter. St. Paul was the instrument the Holy Ghost used to reach the Gentile portions of the Church. Using this incident to establish Roman leadership indicates a exegetical misunderstanding of Holy Scripture.

          • tatiana marylin

            the Bible says at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow…….not Mary,we honour God not Mary she is a creature not the creator.

          • CB+

            The Roman Church is not the original Church. The Coptic, Eastern and English Churches all preceded its founding. As I read Acts, the original Church was formed on Pentecost, in Jerusalem.

            St. Mary was never immaculate and is not the Queen of Heaven. She is Theotokos and highly favored, and certainly enjoys a preeminence in Heaven. But she is not our One Advocate and Mediator. We only know we have the Great Cloud of Witnesses. Not certain who they are, or what their role is. If we want the prayers of the Faithful Departed, best practice is comprecation–asking the Father for the prayers of the Saints.

            The Church of Rome is clearly Christian. But they were never left in charge. The See of St. Peter was derived from his confession at Caesarea Philippi, not him personally. He and his wife (documented in Holy Scripture) travelled to, and ministered in Rome, where he was crucified upside down. But his ministry there never constituted an endorsement of Roman leadership. That was derived politically, not spiritually. Jesus never travelled to Rome to found the Church there.

            You are misinformed, my brother. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. May we all be one, as Jesus prayed in Gethsemane…as He and the Father are one.

            Blessings of God Almighty–Father, Son and Holy Ghost to you this Holy Week.

          • Brother John

            Dude, your bias is showing

      • pw73gc

        The Bible says absent from the body and present with the Lord. Which means, no sin in Heaven so we are sinless before God when we die as a saved person. No mention of purgatory in the Bible anyway. My mother was a catholic and she gave credit to St. Christopher for our protection on a trip we were on together. That is not right. God protects, not a sinner that died saved. The y worship many saints which I know for a fact. Please study your Bible with a open mind. Ask God to show you the truth. He will. He did for me.

    • Don

      Thank you for that testimony. The issue goes farther than grace vs. works. It is a matter of which Jesus you believe.

    • http://www.facebook.com/robert.gollwitzer.3 Robert Gollwitzer

      You might have grown up as Catholic, but I wonder if you realize what the Church teaches. One example: the Catholic Church does not teach “works salvation”. We cannot “earn” our salvation. God will keep His promise – unlike men. God leaves us the free will – and it is up to us to accept His free gift of salvation, our turn our head the other way:

      Philippians 2:12 King James Version (KJV): “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    • Brother John

      I know you think you know the Roman Catholic church but I guarantee that you don’t… I too was raised in the Roman Catholic church and thought it was not the “true” church. But then after studying the bible, early church history and the doctrinal claims that the church says about itself (not by her enemies) there could only be one conclusion that the church that goes all the way back, the church that hasn’t changed doctrine (think divorce, contraception, male clergy) From the beginning the Eucharist – the body and blood of Christ- as central to worship). Why do you think that the oldest churches in the world have altars?
      St.Paul:
      1 Corinthians 11:27 ” Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself”.

      Discerning the body is the operative phrase – he is not saying – understanding the symbol…

      Jesus:

      Reread John 6: 51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
      52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

      I have a question when Jesus says “my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” how do you turn that into a symbol? His disciples certainly didn’t and many left – Jesus did not soften his language – in fact the verbs, in the Greek, eats, feeds ect. become increasingly more graphic as the discourse goes on.

      We live by the grace of faith that Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said. And the witness of the Church from the beginning bears this out.

      Grace & Peace,

      Brother John

  • Rev Mike

    Remember the 95 Thesis; they still apply. Just sayin’.

  • PhdRay

    Revelation 17:1-5
    1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

    3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

    4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

    5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

    • Guest

      Huh?

      • PhdRay

        I do not expect that you would get it. Some things are “spiritually discerned.”

    • pablo taylor

      . . . and where does this say that this refers to the Roman Catholic Church? Chapter and verse please.
      Are we supposed to go by your interpretation of Scripture?
      I do NOT see RCC written anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • PhdRay

        Pablo, I would love to help you search this whole thing out, but it would take a little more than what we are doing here on line. In the mean time, as a catholic, search the scriptures, and find a NUN, or a POPE, or a PURGATORY, or THE ROSARY, or A CARDINAL, or CATACISM, or PATRON SAINTS, or MARY WOSHIP, or INFANT BAPTISM by SPRINKLING, or CALLING A MAN HOLY FATHER, or CONFESSIONAL, THEY DON”T EXIST!!!!!!! It is all a MYTH!

        • Gozie

          And where is pastor, mummy and daddy as they are called in Nigeria exist in the bible? I will not fall to the doctrine of pastorprenuers as we now refer to evangelical pastors in Nigeria who sees the work of God as an avenue to amass wealth through all forms of brainwashed worship. The faithful are made to pay through their nose for miracles in The name of tithes and offerings. While the pastor smiles to the bank’ the poor continue hungry. The sad reality is that the evangelicals have brought a lot of confusion to christianity since anyone can start a church and preach anything he likes under the claim of guided by the holy spirit. I will rather remain a catholic knowing we have set principles and a priest cannot wake up and do as he likes. If Christ is not the head of the catholic church, believe me it would have fizzled away long ago. But the church keeps marching on and the gates of hell can never prevail against it.

        • pablo taylor

          So sad that you miss the point that the Catholic Church is the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with 7 incredible sacraments and worship of our Lord and Savior that you certainly don’t begin to understand. I will pray for you but be careful of how you malign the Catholic Church…please.

          There are so many PROTESTANTS possessed by PRIDE, ARROGANCE
          and IGNORANCE and they will never dare to accept the TRUTH,therefore,
          rejecting Jesus (The Truth, John 14:6) . They spend way much more time
          attacking the CATHOLIC FAITH instead of learning the fallacies of their own. They prefer to throw stones to the Catholic Church because it is they the protestant churches that are full of lies and hate.

          • pablo taylor

            Besides, if I were to visit a protestant church which of the thousands of thousands protestant churches would I visit with each church having its own unique way of interpreting the Holy Scriptures?

            No thanks I would rather stay with the original Church founded by Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago, where our Doctrine is the same worldwide.

            In each city block there could be five protestant churches which preach different doctrines.

            Galatians 1: 6-10

            Only One Gospel

            6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

            7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

            8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

            9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

            10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

  • cathcart boy

    Firstly, the Pope in Rome is head of the Roman Catholic Church. Scondly, the Reformation in Europe highlighted serious doctrinal deficiencies of Roman Catholic belief and teaching, particularly concerning “grace”. Remedying these deficiences was the passion of Martin Luther (Commentary on Galations) and the lifelong task of John Calvin (Calvin’s Institutes and other wrings.) Thirdly, on the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church puts Presbyterians and Baptists to shame by their outspokenness on pro-life, pro-family and homosexuality issues, whether one agrees with the Roman Catholic Church’s views or not. Fourthly and finally, institutional cover-up of child abuse by a minority of clerics over many years ought to make evangelical, Protestant, Reformed theology Christians wary of institutional overtures, although on the person to person level we should build relationships with our Roman Catholic friends and their families within our communities.

    • Trevor

      Build relationships for the sake of winning them to Christ – yes; not for any kind of unity.

      • pablo taylor

        and winning the prostestants for Christ as well, as we all need a Savior not just Catholics.

  • DiscussionDave

    I would state that any religion that draws attention away from Faith alone, Grace alone, through Jesus Christ ALONE is something to make sure we’re all aware of. This goes for understanding all religions, just not Catholicism. Only until we are informed can we discuss intelligently and logically.

    What about this: Up until 50 years ago, almost all evangelical denominations called the Pope the “antichrist” in their foundational statements of faith. (Some still do, and what does yours say?) And what is your view on the Catholic church calling anyone who believes Christ is the only way to heaven. Anathema (exhiled/damned)

    And GO!

    • Mike

      Antichrist, yes many still say it, and it may even be true but it comes from a particular view of Biblical prophecy which is not shared by most evangelicals.

      • DiscussionDave

        Yes I would agree. Just saying how far things have changed in a short time.

  • Linval Blackburn

    Linval Blackburn

    God bless, and continue the good work. The sharing of Kingdom information is important. Thanks

  • Pastor Omar México

    I grew up as Catholic in a Catholic Country. Still living in Mexico. Not only in doctrine, but in practice, Catholics do praise and worship Mary and many other virgens and Saints, they mix paganism and christianity, and the Catholic Church, if it is in his hands, persecute and try to destroy any other faith an even the freedom to decide what you want to believe. Here in Mexico Evangelical Christians are today being expelled from their communities because of their faith.

    • pablo taylor

      Pastor Omar,
      Con todo respecto,
      Please come to Costa Rica and you will see Catholics who love Jesus Christ. I never knew a Catholic that praise and worships Mary. You say other virgins, but you never mention who these other virgins are!
      I am so sorry , but somehow you must have been involved with the wrong group of Catholics. I am a Catholic who loves Jesus Christ with all my heart. I never once gave mary or any other human being my praise and worship rather I put in high esteem and great respect the holy saints of God.
      NEVER WORSHIP!!!!!!
      If you know of any supposive Catholic that worships anything or anyone other then the God of our Trinity then send them to me and I will show them the Truth of the Catholic Church founded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
      With all love and respect.
      Praise our glorious Lord and King Jesus Christ.
      Dios te bendiga!!!!!
      Pablo de Costa Rica

      • Pastor Omar Mexico

        Dear Pablo:
        I have no doubt there are Catholics who love Jesus, but in my Country very few have understood the Gospel of Salvation only by faith in Jesus, and it is not a “wrong group”, there are 85 million of Catholic people here who have the same wrong practices. We are praying for them every day.
        I don’t have to go to Costa Rica, I can see on the web that La Virgen de los Angeles is “The Queen and Lady of Costa Rica” and that every 1 and 2 August millions come to the Shrine at Cartago to pray to her and singing an hymn which have this words:

        “we cry to you our Lady, hear our cries… we give to you our soul and life… lest’s praise this mother of mercy….and by her we can reach the eternal glory”

        It seems to me that is giving praising and praying to the virgin and expecting from her what only God can give us, the eternal glory.

        In Mexico we have around 85 million Catholic people, I personally have good Catholic friends, so I cannot send all the 85 million to you, but you may come here and tell them they are wrong, that would be much easier.

        Blessings

        • pablo taylor

          Blessings to you
          Any Catholic who gives praise to Mary or any of the Saints of the Church, Popes, etc. are not true Catholic Christian.
          Walking to Cartago in August is a spiritual journey of self sacrifice and God will never honor anyone with false intentions.
          Never in all my life as a Catholic have I been taught by the Catholic Church to give my soul to Mary, the Pope, Saints, or any other human being. My soul is not even mine as my souls, life, body belongs to God and God alone.
          I do not doubt there there are bad catholics who say and do bad things, however if you ever investage the Official Roman Catholic Church docrines and not what some people say and write you may understand where I am coming from. Some of my best friends are priests of the RCC and they have taught me the Truth about who is Jesus Christ and my role.
          Praise God for Christ is alive and is saving souls and is still in the business of miracles and healing of heart!
          Pablo of Costa Rica

          • pablo taylor

            Let
            me tell you a story:

            When I was a little boy I lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods of my city
            in the early 70’s. My family did not go to church. My parents were separated and my father eventually died of an overdose of cocaine as he struggled every day with addiction.

            I lived near a shopping plaza of stores; every day this
            Catholic lady who worked in a photo shop shared with me about the love and grace of Jesus Christ. She gave me a New Testament Bible and told me to read it. She told me that her best friend was Jesus Christ. She helped me to realize that I too can have a relationship with Christ.

            I eventually came to know Christ as my personal Savior and it was not a onetime event with a quick prayer, rather it involved a life time of seeing God’s grace in my own life.

            I am sickened by all the protestant evangelical churches and its members who ironically believe that a relationship with Christ means going to their church and following their doctrines.

            I realized that there is corruption, greed, power, and manipulation in the
            Roman Catholic Church, however I have experience more corruption, greed, power, and manipulation form so-called evangelical Christians than I have from Roman Catholics. As long as there are humans there
            will be problems.

            I cannot dismiss the Roman Catholic Church just because some
            human beings who claim or claimed to be Catholics have been guilty of horrible sins.

            I do not have to leave the Roman Catholic Church to prove that I have an abundant relationship and life that God has for me.

            I am so sorry that you and the rest of the people who are attacking my faith and my Church have had problems.

            Are you going to tell me that I can find salvation only in your churches?

            We as Catholics believe that there is one God in three
            persons, that Jesus is God’s Son, and that Jesus lived without sin, died on the cross in our place, and rose as our Savior. These, among a few others, are essential beliefs that must be adhered to if we call ourselves a Christians.

            We do not worship Mary; or any other saint of the church. We are obedient to Christ and we respect our leaders.

            I appreciated your wanting me to know Christ, in fact I pray that you and all the others in this blog page will come to know Christ, the resurrected

            Christ who rose from the grave and became the KIng of kings.

            God bless you brother as you journey down the narrow path of
            righteousness, obedient, and close relationship to Christ our God.

            Pablo of Costa Rica

        • Jhuss

          Thank you Omar. Your explanation is very honest and logical.
          I have a lot of Catholic friends. They believe that need works to go to the heaven. Jesus said that is enough believe in Him.

          • pablo taylor

            yes, but also read James:

            Faith Without Works Is Dead

            14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
            16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and
            filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

            18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
            20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
            22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

            26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
            YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ MATTHEW 25

      • kenyan

        Went to catholic schools and we had to say ten “ten hails mary’s…(during Lent they would be 40!) Now I am african and english is my second language but pray do tell me the meaning of the word “Hail”…..Check in oxford dictionary…

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.montgomery.54584 Peter Montgomery

    Another gospel, their end is hellfire Gal 1:6-9. Hybels and Warren will also be there.

  • pablo taylor

    To all Catholics,

    Don’t be afraid and don’t be ashamed before your Protestant friends, family members and
    enemies. Stand up for Christ, don’t deny him, we, with Christ are the light in the darkness let our flames burn bright.

    Lets not allow the anti-Catholic posts intimidate us. Many of these comments are from well meaning born-again Christians, who have been hurt by people in the Roman
    Catholic Church, or have believed, and/or misunderstand things that are not true.

    We do not worship Mary or any of the saints.
    The Pope is not God.
    We read the Bible.
    We do not leave Christ on the Cross.
    We believe and teach the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    We are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.
    We repent of our sins.
    We are not saved by works rather our works are evidence of salvation Ephesians 2:10
    We have a relationship with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Jesus Christ is the only Way to Heaven.

    If anyone doubts the doctrines of our Holy Church go to Catholic Answers on the internet
    and also watch the YouTube videos.

    We must always read the Bible, attend church, teach our children, form a community
    (not only on the internet but in person). We are the last defense of free world.

    Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, let us repent and confess our sins daily and come into a relationship with our God.

    God bless the Roman Catholic Church and may God bless you all.

    Pablo of Costa Rica

    • pw73gc

      Sure, some catholics are saved. But the catholic doctrine is not biblical. Study the history of the Inquisition. Then tell me about catholics.

      • pablo taylor

        The Inquisition is not about Doctrine.
        If you study only Church Doctrine and the lives of the saints of the Church you will begin to see the brighter side of the Catholic Church.
        I have had my own inquistions from protestant churches who have sought after me, but I would never dismiss their church doctrines just because a few idiots did me harm. Nada que ver!!!!

      • pablo taylor

        Sure some protestants are saved. But some of their leaders who spread false teachings i.e. Benny Hinn with his false miracles, Calvin was a cruel, murderous, tyrant who considered himself to be the pope of Geneva.
        Do your research before you condemn the entire RCC.
        Study all the thousands of prostestant sects, movements, and churches. Then tell me about protestants.

        ,

  • Peter Mahoney

    The issues the brought about the Reformation are still a reality… doctrine divides. We do not honor Christ by compromising the essentials of the Gospel or the Christian faith. That said, as evangelicals we need to acknowledge a distinction… we ought to love catholics (Roman or otherwise)… it’s catholic theology (or catholicism) I despise.

  • Barb Gerhard

    As to wether we bornagain Christians should care about who becomes pope? no we shouldn’t why are evangelicals so interested in who becomes pope? this papasy is a blasphemy to God because the popes past, present and future believe themselves to be God in the flesh incarnate Jesus Christ, check it out the meaning of Vicarius Filii Dii, its true meaning. We christians need to get into the Bible we are supposed to be a light to this world not wallowing about with an apostate religion that denies Jesus His rightful place in the lives of the people, the popes deny Christ by claiming to be Christ, Catholics bow down and worship him not Jesus, he is loved by the world, was Jesus? great men bow down to him, did they bow to Jesus? what institution persecuted the saints during the dark ages? burning them by the millions as heritics, by the way the papasy still considers us to be heritics.and wants to force us if nessassary to re- amalgamte with them. Benndict believes in closing all our places of worship and if nessesary forcing us into the “fold” read up on the doctrinal beliefs of Bennidict. now they have a Jesuit?? they are the worst they are anti christ as much or worse then the other popes. WAKE UP CHURCH!!!!

    • pablo taylor

      Please send us the places where you get your facts. I am Catholic and never was I taught the believe in the Pope as God in flesh incarnate Jesus Christ. The Pope is a representative of Christ and not Christ.
      I am getting so tired of evangelical Christians spreading false information about the Roman Catholic Church-The Only Church founded by Jesus Christ.
      Pablo of Costa Rica.

      • pablo taylor

        To all Catholics,

        Don’t be afraid and don’t be ashamed before your Protestant friends, family members and enemies. Stand up for Christ, don’t deny him, we, with Christ are the light in the darkness let our flames burn bright.

        Lets not allow the anti-Catholic posts intimidate us. Many of these comments are from well meaning born-again Christians, who have been hurt by people in the Roman Catholic Church, or have believed, and/or misunderstand things that are not true.

        If anyone doubts the doctrines of our Holy Church go to Catholic Answers on the internet and also watch the YouTube videos.

        We must always read the Bible, attend church, teach our children, form a
        community (not only on the internet but in person). We are the last defense of
        free world.

        Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, let us repent and confess our sins daily and come into a relationship with our God.

        God bless the Roman Catholic Church and may God bless you all.

        Pablo of Costa Rica

        • pw73gc

          You are being ignorant to truth. You can make the Bible say what you want. But I want to know the truth and that is what the Bible teaches, truth. Someone is wrong, and I base my salvation on what I know from the Bible. Catholics DID NOT teach truth!

        • tatiana marylin

          i have to say you have some truth but you are completely misguided,i know for a fact that the Roman Catholicism is found wanting,they teach a false doctrine and thats the honest truth there is only one mediator between God and men Christ Jesus,not dead saints o mary when is comes to bowing down o praying Mary is out of the picture yes he is the mother of Jesus but thats as good as it gets,we do not put mary,s image in our church and bow to it its ungodly not to mention heretical,as far as catholicism we need to go back to our bibles and read with understanding,unless we do that i dont know if we will make it to heaven.

          • pablo taylor

            Dear Tatiana,

            I am confused you said, “he is the mother of Jesus”. Mary was a she and not a he.

            As far as being one mediator between God and men, you are correct Christ is our only Mediator for the salvation of sins.

            If you are really a true Christian, and hopefully you are, and if I were to ask you to pray for me because I needed healing, would you pray for me? Good I hope that you would. In a sense that makes you a mediator of my healing between God and me – human being. Asking you to pray for me doesn’t take away Jesus Christ from being our Mediator for my salvation rather you are just pleading for my healing. You are not healing me, rather it is God that does the healing and the saving. Mary the mother of the Jesus Christ the human part of Christ, is not dead, nor are the holy saints of the Church dead. For a Christian dying is to gain eteranl life where we live in Heaven eternally with no more sin, no more temptation, no more carnal desires. They are in Heaven in God’s Presence interceding for us.

            When we Roman Catholic pray to Mary and the Saints, a good and educated Catholic is not worshipping Mary or the saints as God rather we know that they were mere human beings like us who are in heaven with God as they care and intercede for us.

            God can do everything by Himself, He doesn’t need angels, Mary, Saints, or even human beings to do His work, however He chooses to share His work with His Creation.

            This is why we are sent to preach the Good News and we are commanded to pray for one another. Our ministry does end just because we physical die. If we are truly Christians there is no such thing a death as are souls are of Heaven.

      • tatiana marylin

        wo it never gets as heretical an these,to say the pope is a representative of Christ is dethroning God,do you mean to say pope is omnipresence because i dont think so,because if you are a representative of Christ you have to be everywhere present and the last time i checked pope was in Rome.

        • pablo taylor

          Dear Tatiana,
          Where on earth do you understand being a representative of Christ as dethroning God. And did I ever say that the Pope is omnipresence. If one was a representative for a king, president, or any other leader that doesn’t make him or her the king, president, or leader.

          Where do you get your reasoning from?

          As for me I look for my reasoning from the Bible and not a Box of Cracker Jacks.

          Pablo of Costa Rica

  • BandGuy

    “I’m thankful for Rome’s social stances but ambivalent toward their theology, given the differences that still remain.” – Trueman

    I think this is probably the best attitude for Evangelical Christians.

  • Stanley Magombo

    Mary,purgatory,the saints,religious symbols in church,praying through saints-all these are beliefs Christians find incompatible with the teachings of the Bible. To the advocates of ecummenism please go ahead and unite with the catholics but don’t urge true Christians to do the same. They can keep their unbiblical beliefs and we will remain evangelicals.

  • chaz1

    I read this with great interest. how many posters are Southern Baptist, kjv only, worshipers of st mcaurther? I am shoutin pentecostal, tongu talkin, holy rollin, and have been at the juudgement seat of these Pharisees my self GOD BLESS YOU POPE FRANCIS,

    • pablo taylor

      And may God also richly bless you Chaz1.

  • Paul

    The protestants and catholics do not have to crow about salvation and all that nice stuff..they should start following the commandments of God first, then start talking about Salvation…part of salvation is repentance, that is turning away from sin..and sin is transgression of God’s law as per Apostle JOHN in1st John3….if you wants God’s salvation by grace, then repent and be born again..then you will receive it..otherwise forget it..God does not want unrepentant sinners in Heaven.

    Remember Salvation is through the Son of God, His grace and Commandments and NOT the sun god/satan and his pagan man made customs and days of sunday, dec 25th and easter!

  • kaypohchee

    I believed that Jesus is LORD and is my saviour more than 30 years ago. Before that for more than 30 years I was against Christianity and made it very clear. Evangelicals did try to tell me of this Saviour, Jesus Christ. They took me to talks and talked to me. I had many Catholic friends who knew I was opposed to Christianity. NONE of them ever broached the subject with me. If Jesus did give Great Commissions to his church, I think in the Catholic Church it fell on deaf ears.

    I had wondered a long time why this was so. Is it because the Protestants and the Catholics had been given different Commissions? Gradually, it dawned on me, no. It had also dawned a a lot of people The leaders of the Republic of Indonesia, when they got independent, expressed, in the Pancasila or the National ideology, amongst other things, that there are five recognised religions, namely Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In other words, Catholicism and Protestantism are different religions. Since both religions are monotheistic, that is, they worship only one God, unlike say, Hinduism which has millions of gods, what they expressed is that Catholics and Protestants worship different Gods. Compare Pancasila with eg what George W Bush said on TV in the Middle East maybe six years ago. “Christians and Muslims worship the same God” and “Christians and Muslims pray to the same God.”

    Sorry. Christians and Muslims each pray to one and only one God, but they pray to different Gods. The characteristics of the two Gods are different enough for us to admit that the differences are irreconcilable. Same too, between Catholicism and Protestantism. Both also agree to the Ten Commandments. “I AM the LORD thy God; … Thou shalt have no other God before me; … Thou shalt not build … graven images … Thou shalt not bow down thyselves to them nor worship them…” But Catholics routinely bow before a statue of Mary. The Pope is supposed to infallible when he speaks ex cathedra, putting himself as God. Their priests perform water baptism unto salvation when “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus (Acts 19:4). John’s baptism does not save. It is all about Jesus. God, not John, does baptize otherwise, and saves, but not by water.

    So it does not matter if Pope Francis cooks his own food or cares for the poor. The question is, whether he is saved by Jesus Christ. If not, he is not even a Christian, and not authorized to speak on behalf of Christians, let alone lead them. I don’t know if he is Christian. I am not able to tell if he has “received the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). In fact based on what some Evangelical Christians say and do I don’t even know if these Evangelicals are Christians. So even if the Catholics and some “Christians” cozy up and become more ecumenical, and do good works together, it may still be that they believe in “another Gospel” (Gal 1:6) and “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4).

    So should Evangelicals care about the new Pope? I don’t know. But Christians should beware any infallible Pope, or, for that matter, beware some Evangelical “Christians.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.gollwitzer.3 Robert Gollwitzer

    Even if some Evangelicals might not care so much for the Pope, he – and many of us Catholics as well – certainly care a lot for our separated brothers and sisters in Christ and wish nothing more than we will come together as one someday. Be one and united under God – the way Christ wanted His Church to be like. We realize how much we can learn from Evangelicals, but we also know that a house that is divided cannot stand and as long as we have not full communion yet, something is missing. Much like one of your brothers is not with you and your family – you still love him, and that’s why you want to be with him again. All the family feasts will not be as joyful as they could be as long as the family is not united. However, if we come together as one, there is nothing that could stop us from turning the world upside down.

  • Old Dude

    Wayward brethren? I have no king, but Jesus. Mary was not a perpetual virgin, She did not ascend. She is not co-Redemptrix, She is not Queen of Heaven, Celibacy is not required of a minister. Transubstantiation is blasphemy. The priest cannot forgive sins, Peter was never in Rome so he was not the first Pope. Infant baptism is heresy. There is no purgatory. The Fathers cannot override the Scripture when the two disagree. The list is long. It is a corporation, not a church. It may have been made up of true churches in the beginning, but turned away early in history by incorporating pagan traditions in their version of “seeker” churches and thinking it was a kingdom that ruled over kings. .

    Pablo, I was an Associate Pastor of a church made up of mostly converted Catholics. One had taught the catechism for many years. The pastor’s Dad had studied for the priesthood before he was saved by faith in Christ alone. It is not just an issue of bad examples.

    I lived in a town for four years that was predominantly Catholic. The priest would not even show up to pray at someone’s house without requiring at least a three dollar donation. My neighbors did not comprehend my son and I shoveling their walks for Jesus, not money. When we moved my dear Ukrainian lady cried saying they would never get neighbors like us again.

    My pastor shared a funeral of a family member with a Monseigneur who did not know where my pastor got that part about “in my Father’s house there are many mansions.” My pastor told him St. John 14 in the Bible. We aren’t talking about a young, rural, priest. A man that high up in the organization should know something about the Bible that many five year old church kids can tell you.

    The Bible teaches to have nothing to do with heretics, not torture and drown them or burn them at the stake. The list of popes who were evil in their actions is open to the public. Also, Pablo, those who bowed before Dagon or Baal statues would tell you they are not worshiping the statue, but the God behind it. The Bibles says to make no graven image to bow down to it. It doesn’t say make one as long as you don’t worship the statue.

    All that said, I have no dislike or disdain for the people, only the organization. The people are much like I was growing up. I attended a church, quoted creeds and sang in the choir, but had no real clue what church or Jesus was all about. It was not until I was 22 that I was truly converted and started to understand the Word. I know many in all denominations as ignorant of their roots or doctrine as I was and sadly that includes many Baptists. By the way, the Baptists or anabaptists got their name from the Catholics who drowned them in dunking chairs or burned them at the stake. Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and then read Revelation 12:6 and understand why many non-Catholics do not appreciate your group or see them as a part of the true Church.

    Indeed, if most people matched the Bible to their church teachings there would be fewer denominations and no myriad of nondenominational churches. Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, Corinth, and Phillipi, not to the churches, John wrote to the church at Sardis, Ephesus, Philadephia, and to the other four cities not to the churches. We are to be in one accord and all speak the same thing, but that accord needs to be based on speaking the truth.

    Those who are attached to the Head, Jesus, are the Body of Christ, They are the Church. Man needs a scorecard called denomination to seek to separate the wolves from the sheep and the wheat from the tares, but God knows those that are His no matter what they call themselves or what others call them. If a person is saved and in a dead church or find that group is teaching heresy they need to come out and find a church that is alive and seeking the truth of the Word, not the doctrines of men.

    Blessings and peace be unto you,Pablo, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you seek Him and His will through His Word.

  • Jesseyonfong

    I don’t think we should be worried or care about who the pope is, we’re not catholic, they have a false doctrine, a doctrine that we were warned about in the bible.

  • Greg

    I am sorry but your article is nor convincing. I cannot sweep under the carpet the primary heresy of the Catholic Church of salvation by works. What you have said could just as easily be said of the Mormon prophet when he is placed into office. Sure I can be friends with Catholics (Palau) but I cannot call them “brother” as Jesus framed it.

  • Pastor CSL

    I believe that we need to separate the person from the office here. The new Pope may well be a kind, Godly man personally. And certainly Godly people from all faiths will be saved. But as Protestants we need to remember what the Reformation was all about. The Catholic faith is an apostate religion according to Scripture. We need to read again what the Reformers wrote. The people of the Reformation often paid a very high price for preaching what the Scriptures taught. When we lightly brush over our doctrinal differences today as if they had no real importance, we are denying the truths of the Protestant Reformation and saying that the Reformers were merely misguided, disgruntled Catholics.

    • pablo taylor

      Dear pastor,
      Please show us where the Roman Catholic Church was apostate both biblically and historically?
      It is not there, I have checked.

  • jeru

    Forget all the differences between Churches big or small, new or old, Just Follow JESUS!

  • CB

    They actually do pray to saints in many cases…speaking directly to the dead, instead of our One Advocate and Mediator. If we want the prayers of the Faithful Departed, we can ask the Father to facilitate those in prayers directed to God alone.

    There are a number of issues the RCC needs to address, such as:

    -Rampant homosexuality among their clergy

    -Pluralism (the Vatican’s ecumenical officer himself told me they were in ecumenical talks with Islam, Buddism and Hinduism)

    -Extra-Biblical doctrine/dogma (borderline idolatry regarding the Saints, treasuries of the merits of the Saints, indulgences, purgatory, papal infallibility, immaculate conception of the BVM, forced celibacy, vows of poverty, RCC predominance in Christian leadership etc.)

    -A prevailing sentiment of Anti-Semitism, especially among clergy

    -Assisting criminally-responsible clergy in evading prosecution

    -Their historic support of fascism/Nazism in WWII, including assisting war criminals to evade prosecution

    -Persecution of other Christian faiths, especially in developing countries

    That being said, I like what I hear from the new Pope, who certainly seems to be a good bishop and sound leader. I think we all should work toward the reunification of the Church Militant, and pray for each other. And yes, take an interest in polity everywhere in the One, Holy, Catholic (universal, not just Roman) and Apostolic Church. Jesus only spoke of one Church.

  • saint

    the pope is a false prophet

  • Peter

    The protestants/evangelicals are no better than the Roman church in keeping and following the true word of God…they still follow the pagan traditions and days of sunday, easter, dec 25th which are all from pagan rome…sure they got rid of some statues and went part way, but not far enough to become true Christians…so these protestants should take the sliver out of their own eyes before they criticize “mother Rome”, the mother of these harlots” Rev 17…time to wake up and start followings the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, and His commandments, all ten of them…until then, the protestant/evangelical harlot daughters are not better than mother Rome!

  • Anonymous

    The Catholic love for saints is not about taking our eyes off Jesus Christ. Rather, the Catholic faith is so intensely Christ-centered, that we see Jesus Christ in everything, especially in the saints and the body of His church. The same love of family, brothers and sisters in Christ is given to the saints. This doesn’t take away or add anything to the Glory of Jesus Christ as he already is, rather, it emphasises Him.

article_images/See_105307154.jpg

WATCH: God, Show Me What I Have to Be Thankful For

A powerful video on gratitude and thanksgiving from Igniter Media.