ELECTING A NEW POPE
THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION
Every time a new pope is elected I am always amazed at just how unchristian the entire process is. Yes there is scandal galore, but there is scandal throughout evangelicalism as well. Scandal is growing throughout the world in these last days. If all the adultery and drug use and pornography addiction in the church were to be revealed tomorrow it would shock us all. The sirens have called and millions of professing believers have responded.
But the papacy within the Roma Catholic Church is a study in manmade tradition and unbiblical superstition. I certainly hold no ill will toward the common Roman Catholic people, and to a large degree I hold the devil responsible for most of it. But the entire spectacle is built not upon the Rock Jesus, but upon the sinking sand of manmade religion. How can you resolve what you read in the gospels with what you see on television?
Men wearing religious garments invented to set them apart and lift them up. I mean all the different “get-ups” that the Pope wears are almost cartoon like and are crafted to make him to be some sort of god on earth. That in no way resembles the life of Jesus. And when you see all the gold and silver and precious stones as well as the priceless ornate buildings, how can that be of Christ? It is not, and in the light of the abject poverty experienced by millions of Roman Catholic people around the world it is a disgrace. People bow before the Pope and kiss his hand or even his feet. They pay homage to a man who lives in luxury and has servants that wait upon his every whim. All of this is bankrolled by the offerings of common people around the world.
Now some of the vast wealth of the Vatican was gathered during centuries of false promises and the teachings of indulgences and early exits from purgatory, another man made fabrication. So every once in a while we get a glimpse of just how hedonistic the Roman Church is and especially toward a select few. But when you see the man-worship of the pope you cannot help but be amazed and disgusted all at once. And then, with all the child molestation scandal, the cardinals gather to anoint another pope. It is a script right out of Oscars night.
All the useless details about the Pope relinquishing his red shoes, and what people will call him, and where he will spend his retirement. And people are fascinated by all of it. And when the new pope is elected he will change his name according to tradition. The pomp and circumstance will be outrageous. And after centuries of religious layer upon religious layer another pope will take the helm. It is all so carnal, and it would be just disgusting and even somewhat comical if it were not so spiritually diabolical.
The core of deception within the Roman Catholic Church is not the papacy or Mariology or indulgences or even the religious caste system it has created. The most damning element of that church is that they teach a religion of works that suggests that one can be saved by faith and works. In fact, the church used to teach that no one can be saved without being a part of the Catholic Church. But now they teach that God will grant mercy to those of us outside the church but that He still strongly suggests we return to Rome.
It is precisely that teaching that led to the Reformation. The books of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews deal specifically with the false teachings that include works in the salvation experience. So regardless of all the other superstitions taught and practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, their teachings about salvation are heretical. Vatican II, the updated version of their teachings, also reveals that a Muslim can be saved without Jesus as well as any other heathen as long as he believes in God and is a good person. And their salvation also comes through the mercy of the Roman Catholic Church as well.
But as you witness this spectacle of another pope’s ascension to the throne, try and juxtapose that against the teachings of Jesus. Paul talks about a man not thinking too highly of himself, and yet here we have a man chosen by other men who claims to be the personal representative of Christ upon the earth. And in matters of divine truth when he speaks he is infallible which means he cannot make a mistake. Many even suggest that this event signals another chapter in the end times. Perhaps.
But to be sure, this in no way is the faith once delivered to the saints. But although we must humbly but strongly expose these unprofitable religious systems, let us not be self righteous since the system now called evangelicalism is crumbling before our very eyes as well. But it is curious that the secular media views the election of a pope with such interest and even such respect. Even the titles are over the top. His Eminence, Cardinal, Archbishop, and Pope among others are once again some kind of caste system. And the garments once again draw attention to men and not God.
The office of the Papacy is a man made concoction that not only elevates a man, but it assigns power way above what the Scriptures teach. And the college of Cardinals meet and then we all wait until we see the puff of white smoke indicating a Pope has been chosen. It is all such religious drama signifying nothing. And yet with all this unscriptural regalia evangelicals by the millions believe the Pope to be a holy man of God who is somewhat like Jesus. Yes, we live in a world of Biblical illiteracy and spiritual blindness.
Perhaps no religious system has captured sinners, given them false hope, and made merchandise of them as has the Roman Catholic Church. Even today they have cleverly disguised who they are in hopes of drawing more converts into their fold. And there does seem to be a stream of disillusioned protestants from Baptists to Pentecostals and even including Mormons and the like who are joining the Roman Church.
But do not be deceived. I do not know if the papacy will play a significant role in the end times. It is possible. But we must keep our hearts pure before Christ and not desire greener pastures which are visions of deception. Keep Christ personal and close to your heart, and do not stop your journey. We live in a time of great deception; however there is coming a time where deception will be stronger and more clever than anything we have ever known. It will seem so wonderful and so filled with spiritual freedom, but it will lead to spiritual death. Watch and pray.