And people wonder why the Protestant Reformation occurred and the Reformers referred to the Pope as antichrist (Vicarius Christi). Pope Francis, who is known for his totally anti-biblical worldview, continues to lead millions astray and the latest comment to a group of high school students in Rome is just another example that he is one of the blind leading the blind. The Pope, who claims to be Christ’s representative on earth (something true believers actually are – 2 Corinthians 5:11-21), apparently tossed the words of Christ from Matthew 28:19-20 out the window when he told the students that they should never use their speech in an attempt to convince a non-believer to convert.
Now, I wouldn’t want them to convert people to the Roman Catholic Church at all, but the sentiment is that one should not obey the clear commands of the Lord Jesus Christ and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all He commanded.
Diane Montagna has the story:
Citing a fictional 11th century account of an episode of forced conversion, attributed to the eighth century emperor Charlemagne, Pope Francis implied that the belief that positive efforts should be made to convert non-Christians to the Gospel through argument entails coercion to the faith.
The Pope’s remarks came during a visit with students of Rome’s Pilo Albertelli classical secondary school on Friday, December 20. According to Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, school administrators have sought to help students understand the many issues involved in the inclusion of the thousands of those arriving in Italy who are reportedly fleeing war, poverty, and famine. The Pope’s visit preceded a December 21 daylong series at the school on migration.
Describing the fictional passage that recounts the forced conversion of Muslims in the Song of Roland, he said, “This happened in history! … What happened here to me is shameful because it is a story of forced conversion, of disrespect for the dignity of the person.”
Asked by a school boy how one ought to give a reason for one’s own faith, the Pope replied: “With a non-believer the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is talk. I have to live in accordance with my faith.”
A theologian whom LifeSite consulted said that “although Charlemagne was guilty of attempting forced conversion, this occurred in Saxony and not in Islamic Spain, and he was rebuked for this by leading Churchmen of the day, including his adviser Alcuin.”
Let’s be honest, shall we?
Forced conversion in Christianity is an oxy-moron. Men are sought and found by the Living God. The only force on display is the power of God that raises sinners who are dead in their sins to newness of life, and that is accomplished through the power of the Gospel (Ephesians 2:1-10).
Rome has had its own history of corruption, evil, sins and forced conversions, perhaps not as extent as Islam, but it has had them. Sadly, none of that is taught in the pages of Scripture.
However, it’s worse than just the Pope stating that teens should not proselytize, he actually says that by doing so, you are not a disciple of Jesus.
“I have to live in accordance with my faith,” Francis said. “And it will be my testimony that will awaken the curiosity of the other who says: ‘But why do you do this?’ And that’s where I can talk. But listen, never, ever advance the Gospel through proselytism. If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. We shouldn’t proselytize, the Church does not grow from proselytizing.”
I have to say, that though I would probably disagree if we boil down what the theologian that Lifesite spoke to, my understanding of words that he used and the jist of the statement, I would agree with.
In speaking of the Pope’s comments, the theologian said, “Instead of converting non-believers, Pope Francis insists that our message to the non-believer should be: ‘Be consistent in your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature.’ Pope Francis seems to see the various confessions as a variety of cultural patrimonies, not as competing claims concerning the truth about God. Insofar as passage from one religion to another is permissible, it will come only because one person’s patrimony, lived well, becomes for another person an interesting lifestyle choice.”
“It would be as inappropriate for a Catholic to try to convert a Muslim to Christianity as it would for a German to try to convince a Frenchmen to repudiate his nationality and become German,” he added. “Whereas for Benedict Christianity is precisely the religion of the Logos, the Word or Reason, because it is in accordance with reason and so communicable through speech instead of violence. The way you turn bits of France into Germany is by invading France, but the way you convert Pagans to Christianity is by preaching the Gospel.”
“The Church did not launch the crusades in order to convert Muslims to Christianity, the Church launched the crusades in order to prevent Muslims from invading Christian countries and forcing Christians to become Muslims,” the theologian explained, adding: “The Muslims think this is legitimate because, like Pope Francis, they do not think religion a matter of persuasion.”
He is exactly right on this and on how you win pagans and Muslims and anyone else to Christ: Preach the Gospel (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
In his December 20 remarks to students in Rome, Pope Francis said he was deeply affected by his experience of multiculturalism in the Argentina of his youth.
“‘There is a Jew, ah Russian … Come on, come on! I’m the friend of the Russian!’ They said Russian because the majority of Jews came from Odessa, some from Poland but the majority from Odessa. Then there were some Arabs, Lebanese, Syrian … ‘Ah, Turkish! Come on, come on!’ This one was Mohammedan; this one was Jewish … But we all played football together. We were all friends. This taught me so much, that we are all the same, all children of God, and this purifies your gaze, it humanizes it.”
Well, I don’t think anyone is saying that people should not recognize that men are made in the image of God no matter where they come from in the world, but what this man is saying is that he apparently hates them so much that he is unwilling to tell them the truth, and he is encouraging others not to do it either.
The fact of the matter is that the popes know nothing of Christ. Did Christ live in an 1,000 room mansion waited on by a host of servants? Did Christ serve or was He served? Did He command His disciples to serve one another or demand service? Did He command His disciples to make disciples of the nations or let them go about in darkness as Francis told these young people?
Teaching the nations all that Christ commanded and discipling them thereby also comes alongside them in a demonstration of love through actions. One does not simply preach the Gospel alone, but they demonstrate it just as our Lord did for us. Both must be present.
Indeed, this Pope is a clear example of a false teacher and an antichrist, just as much as the prophets of Islam.
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