Roman Catholics believe that the Pope is the Head of the True Church of Jesus Christ on earth. This makes his words extremely significant to the hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics worldwide. Thankfully, we also have the Bible today in languages we can understand, so we do have the opportunity to compare what the Pope is saying to what the Bible teaches about salvation. These things ought to be in harmony if the Pope is truly from God.
Nothing is more important for us personally than the matter of human salvation.
People should not be misled about whether they are on the way to heaven and eternal life. Some people believe the Pope is misleading people, and so let us take a look at what he says, what he doesn’t say, and compare his thoughts with some of the thoughts from the Bible.
The pope begins by saying “Most of the planet’s inhabitants declare themselves believers.” Believers in what? Well, believers in all sorts of things. Some believe in Allah, some in Buddha (not generally as a god but as someone who achieved “enlightenment”), some in Krishna and the Hindu deities, some in Jesus Christ. Some people also believe that man is the measure of all things – they believe in humanity. Just saying that “most people” declare themselves as believers is not really saying much more than “most people are religious” or that people believe things. Let’s go on.
“This should lead to a dialogue among religions”.
I think it is good for people of different religions to “have a dialogue” because if we care about truth we should be open to learning from one another. However, Christians believe that Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” because this is recorded in the gospel of John, chapter 14 and verse 6. As long as Christians believe we have a reliable Bible, Christians cannot accept that there is another way to God apart from Jesus Christ. This is very important, and can’t be swept under the rug if we care about truth claims and sources of truth.
Of course, if the Bible can be shown to have been corrupted, as muslims and others claim, then Christians really do not have a lot to base their views on. That would not mean that any other religion was on solid ground necessarily, just that Christians can’t be so sure of what Jesus was all about.
What the pope does not say here is exactly what the nature of this “dialogue” should be, who should set the ground rules for the dialogue, who should co-ordinate the dialogue, and whether this dialogue has a particular end-goal in mind by those who are facilitating it. All those are important points. Just saying there should be a dialogue sounds nice, but if behind these words people are left to believe that everyone should give up a little of what they believe so we can all get on together, true Christians would never agree to this. Jesus Christ does not permit us to embrace a little bit of a lie, and reject a bit of truth so we can all have religious harmony.
“We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently”, the pope says.
No one is going to argue that “prayer” is a bad thing, so again this sounds good. But exactly what kind of dialogue are we supposed to be praying for? This is not stated. What IS stated, is that we should not stop “collaborating with those who think differently”.
What the Bible says in Amos 3:3 is “Can two walk together unless they be agreed?” The Bible also says, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the Living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
Pope Francis is asking Christians in some unspecified sense to collaborate or work together with those who “think differently” which is a very nice way of saying, “with those who worship other gods”, or “those who are idolaters”.
Right here we should detect the smell of sulphur from hell. Something is very wrong when we are being asked to unceasingly collaborate with muslims (who believe in Allah), Buddhists (who don’t believe in a Creator at all), Hindus (who are polytheists) and all kinds of false believers within Christendom. Who, one might ask, is going to set the agenda for this collaboration proposed by the Pope? Does he have himself in mind as the chief architect of this enterprise which we must unceasingly work for? Would that make him a candidate for being the leader of a new one-world religion?
Who does he have in mind? Well the first lady actor says, “I have confidence in Buddha”. Well, Buddha was basically an atheist who was spiritual but not religious. If anyone has confidence in Buddha, he or she cannot have confidence in the words of Jesus Christ who spoke of Father God. So how can we speak approvingly of such a confidence?
“I believe in God”. Says the second man, possibly a Jew. Alright, but as the Scripture says, “the demons believe in God, and tremble”. This kind of believing in God doesn’t save a person. For without Jesus Christ and his blood sacrifice on the cross, there is simply NO WAY that our sins can be forgiven or taken away.
The next person in the video says, “I believe in Jesus Christ”. He looks like a Catholic priest. Alright, if he really believes in Jesus Christ, does he believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life, the only way to the Father” or does he believe in Jesus as a good instructor, a good example who got it a little wrong about God here and there? Does this priest believe in Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ defined believing in Him? You would have to know this priest and know the Bible to answer that question. But if this priest is presented as being just another religious person who must enter into dialogue with other religions to come closer to the truth, what is being presented is likely to lead people AWAY from Jesus Christ, and not TO Him.
The next person says, “I believe in God. Allah.” Well Allah was apparently the moon god in the Arabic pantheon and what was represented by Mohammad as “Allah” showed this Allah to be the greatest of deceivers who led some people astray because that is what he (Allah) wanted. Apparently Allah doesn’t mind husbands beating their wives, and he certainly wants to keep his followers in a state of fear by ordaining their murder if they should ever leave the islamic faith. This isn’t something we see in the God of the Bible – Yahweh/Jehovah.
So far we have a bunch of people who believe different things about Jesus Christ, or even the existence of God.
The pope says, “Many think differently, feel differently.” Well, that is an understatement. We go on.
“seeking God or meeting God in different ways” (Here we have a picture of the Pope himself handling an idol from a Buddhist monk).
Seeking God and meeting God are not the same thing. And a Buddhist who meditates is not seeking “God” but enlightenment or a better reincarnation based on works to improve his or her karma. Such a person is not going to meet God through this kind of idolatry if Jesus Christ spoke truly. But the pope is showing himself very respectful of this Buddhist monk with other religious luminaries presumably in the background.
“In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty we have for all:”
That’s interesting. The pope thinks he has no Universally valid truth except one point. I don’t know why ANYONE should trust this man if that is what he believes. It sounds so humble, doesn’t it, but it is really a profession of ignorance.
What will this one point be? Will it be, for example, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead on the third day? Well, we don’t have to wait long in the video to find out!
“we are all children of God” says the pope, sitting on his chair.
That’s right, whether you are a Jew who rejects the Messiah and follows the Pharisees, whom Jesus called “of their father the devil” (John 8); or whether you are a sincere muslim who believes he is serving God by raping non-muslim women, committing acts of piracy and generally following the example of Mohammed their prophet, whether you are a Buddhist who doesn’t even believe in God, the Pope wants you to know that “we are all children of God”. This is the ONLY certainty the pope can offer. Unfortunately, it is not a certainty. It is an utterly misleading LIE from the devil.
People who worship idols, people who reject the Messiah, people who kill and rape for their god all have DEMONS. No where did Jesus Christ say that they are children of God in the sense of being part of God’s family! For if all are really part of God’s family, regardless of what they believe, then believing is not important at all. In fact, this pope has already virtually said as much by telling atheists that they can go to heaven if they are people of good conscience – (but who is anyway?).
We then have all the representatives of these different religions laughing with each other and they all say, “I believe in love”. This is a very powerful piece of propaganda, but one might ask, in the words of the song “What is love?” What is the love they believe in? Are they all talking about the same thing? Are they talking about the love of God as defined in the Bible – which is amongst other things to obey God’s commandments, or is the love they believe in some kind of generic “lovingness” which many secular humanist educators also believe in and espouse?
Now, its great for us all to express “lovingness” in our human relationships, and some of us are better at this than others. But is this enough to satisfy a holy God? Where does the need for forgiveness of sins fit into this scenario? Do we believe we even NEED God’s forgiveness in the first place?
The pope goes on to say, “I hope you will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue amongst men and women of different faiths [shows Buddhist statue, Menorah and baby Jesus I presume] may produce the fruits of peace and justice”. Well that sounds lovely, and it is certainly desired that religious wars would cease, and that people would be treated fairly. Christians can agree with that, but what would muslims think? Well, muslims believe their religion is also a religion of peace and justice. Its just that they also believe that if gentle persuasion doesn’t work, they are well within their rights to slaughter people who don’t believe like they do in order to further the vision of Islamic peace. We hope radical muslims – the ones who actually follow the Qu’ran – will modify their beliefs and practices – but I doubt it. What is more likely is that people are going to take this kind of message from the pope to be a nice feel-good kind of encouragement to lay down their belief systems and concentrate on being a nice person.
“I have confidence in your prayers”.
Who is going to answer them? The God who says you can approach him apart from Jesus Christ?