“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation…For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.” (2 Corinthians 7:4+8)
Recently Pope Francis addressed an audience at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences where he contradicted the Genesis account of creation arguing that theoretical science (Darwinian evolution and Lemaîtrian ‘big bang‘) are compatible with the Biblical narrative. That’s worth repeating: the Pope said God’s word and the unproven theories of men are agreeable, congruent, and coexistable.
The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. … Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” – Pope Francis
Before I record my remarks, let me affirm that I am not a scientist, a Bible scholar, or a member of clergy. I am merely a man of faith who chooses to stand as firmly as I am able upon the Word of God. On issues scriptural, I maintain that I don’t have an opinion, I have a Bible. Furthermore I dismiss any source that does not agree with or affirm the Bible, not because I am an arrogant, Bible snob, but because there can only be one truth and I’m siding with God. I deem this stance the safest and most secure position known to mankind; the Word of God is the best defense for the Word of God. For my money, Charlie Spurgeon said it best: “The Gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended. It just needs to be let out of its cage.” I find this to be very freeing, pun intended. Christians don’t need titles, degrees, and strings of letters after their names. They just need the Bible and the God-given faith to trust it. If they also want to understand it, that’s a work of His Holy Spirit.
[T]he natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
So in regard to the Pope’s disputation (and with as much love and respect as one can muster in the written word), I boldly pronounce his remarks to be rubbish, trusting that God and His Word have my back. I say to Pope Francis, either ‘all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,’ or it is not. Either God’s Word is truth, or it is not. You either take the warning to not add or subtract from God’s Word seriously, or you do not.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
I cannot imagine remaining under the tutelage of a school teacher who does not believe in their textbook, but by his own words the Pope essentially made that exact declaration of disbelief, plus the more grievous one — Jesus is a liar. Jesus believed in the Genesis account of creation, so much so He quoted from it in the Gospels, therefore it must be asked, “If Jesus believes it, why doesn’t the Pope believe it”?
“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4)
If the Pope, or anyone else for that matter, has any doubt whatsoever about the legitimacy of the Old Testament text, your skepticism should be immediately exorcised when Jesus, who knew no sin and who by His very nature is incapable of uttering a lie, teaches from the manuscript. If you believe in Jesus, you must believe the Book He teaches from. If you don’t; if you still maintain evolution and the Genesis account of creation are compatible, you are deeming our Lord and Savior a liar.
If you believe in Jesus, you must believe the Book He teaches from.”
Yes, when sharing these same Biblical truths on social media, I was told (by a professing Christian) I was being harsh, judgmental, divisive, and even Pharisaic. I have come to expect those remarks from the atheist, and I even tolerate their opposing views for the sake of sharing Bible truth with them, but when professing Christians say such things I am deeply saddened. My heart breaks for those who selectively receive only specific Bible portions and summarily reject those parts they either don’t understand, don’t agree with, or worse, don’t harmonize with their lifestyle choices. They’ll call Bible-believers harsh and judgemental, but reject the notion that their additions and subtractions to and from Scripture is arrogant, pretentious, and perhaps just steps away from blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Labels such as those are served up for one purpose only: to silence the Bible thumper (a term I use in the best possible sense). What they call harsh, I characterize as bold and true. For the record ‘harsh’ is when somebody (for example) sticks a sign in your face that reads, “Fags Go to Hell.” That’s coarse and devoid of love. Please don’t ever throw God-loving and God-fearing Christians into that group. I’ll add here that if you’re sensing an attitude of judgement and divisiveness, you might be onto something — it could be you’re feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit and it’s causing you to squirm. It could be that the divisiveness you sense is real, but it’s the result of the barriers you’ve constructed about your skewed ideology. I was there and I know how that feels. I also have learned that [that] sensation subsides when you submit yourself fully to God and His word.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
On this final point I want to be as crystal clear: I am not disputing anyone’s salvation, including the Pope’s. God only knows. But do I have an opinion regarding a person’s salvation if they elect to teach unscriptural doctrines? Yes I do, but I will not judge (condemn) anyone to hell — that’s God’s job. To say at this juncture, “The Pope is going to hell,” would be an opinion based on limited preponderance and access to all the facts. Repentance is always an option and one we should be praying for.
What we can affirm is that the Pope is adding and subtracting from the Word of God and that the act is a confessable and pardonable offense. Only God knows if the thin ice on which the Pope stands will support him in the interim. Salvation (in this regard) is perhaps a topic for another blog; my purpose for discussing the original issue was not to judge a man unto condemnation, but rather to judge him for the purpose of identification. In other words, let’s not glean from the Pope’s teaching on this one, for it unquestionably contradicts the Word of God. May it also serve as an admonition to those Christians who would do similarly. Let us rather rest in God’s Word and know there is nothing to be spiritually gained by glomming onto worldly wisdom at the expense of Bible truth.
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalm 37:1-7)
*If you enjoyed the post I’d ask that you ‘like’ it and then ‘share’ it. Also, please leave a comment (below) and subscribe to the blog (above).