The Purpose for Pastor's Space

We like to put our thoughts here to keep up on the day to day things going on here and in the world at large.
We will periodically post items here on current issues and events.
-Pastor Chris

Pope Calls For All World Religions To Pray

There is video circulating with a call to prayer from the Vatican that has created quite a stir,
perhaps you have seen it. If not, I linked it directly from the Vatican Youtube.
It raises an enormously important question, though I don't believe they would see it
as I do, or more importantly, as The Bible does.

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for January 2016

The difficulty with the video is complex because of the authority many invest in
the Vatican's position, but the theological error in it is actually quite simple to see.
Even people who do not believe in the accuracy and authority of The Bible, as I do,
would have to conclude that the writings found in The Bible are at odds with
the Pope's words. He says, "Most of the planet's inhabitants declare themselves believers."
This is true, but believers in what? Or better said, in whom do they believe?

Following these remarks there are other faith traditions represented.
Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. The God represented in The Bible is the same to the Jew
and to the Christian. The difference between us is regarding the person of Jesus and who
He is, essentially. We believe Him to be God in human skin.
We hold to the same view as they do regarding the Old Testament.
We disagree on the continuation of the covenant of The Law as it has been made
perfect in Jesus, but He is the same God in both Testaments.

The difficulty is taking the Pope's words, as they relate to all other religions
because all other religions do not follow God on His terms, but theirs.
The god of Buddhism is not a god in the personal sense, but a consciousness.
The god of Islam, according to their writings, is not deeply personal
nor is he presented as loving his creation, let alone directly engaging it,
as The God of The Bible did and still does.
By contrast, The God of The Bible is deeply personal and loving, in His Own words.
Islam rejects the deity of Jesus, as does Buddhism and all other religions for that matter.
This is why the Pope's appeal to other religions cannot and would not be honored by the Biblical God.

Now, this is why the video is so deeply troubling.
The implication is that since we all believe in "God,"
we should all pray for peace and justice, whatever that means.
But does God hear the prayers not directed to Him?
God does not recognize these other god's, nor does Scripture teach
that God grades on a curve, based on sincerity.
Quite the contrary. Here is what He says of other god's.
These are just a couple of the myriad examples which could be offered:

“You shall have no other gods before Me."
Exodus 20:3

"I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things."
Isaiah 45:5-7

So, the Pope's call to prayer is a call for people to pray to god's with no power to answer,
instead of calling them to the one true God who can.
He, of all people, should know better if we are to believe,
as his church holds, that he is God's representative on earth.

This may seem trivial to some, but it has the effect of not simply blurring lines,
but erasing the distinction that God stands alone, and there is none beside Him,
and none who can answer such prayers.
This is dangerous and a gross misrepresentation of what
someone speaking in God's name should propose.

Be careful, be Berean. Acts 17:11

Back to Calvary Distinctives.
The Vexing Question of Church Discipline


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