We are approaching that dreaded season, the one all of us truly hate. No, I’m not talking about winter, but the campaign season. That horrid time when campaigns begin to crank out propaganda by the pound, and we hate to see it coming. We hate it because we know that the truth is usually the first casualty of the coming conflict.
Most of the candidates are so disingenuous that lies roll off of their tongues more naturally than the truth. So, when we have people coming out in support of someone or something we have to wonder what the motive truly is that underlines this praise. We must once again begin to think through what is said and why.
Christian News reports:
Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee offered words of praise and support for the Roman Catholic pontiff known as Francis this week as he landed in the United States for a six-day visit.
It is no real surprise that these candidates would not come out and disrespect Pope Francis. This would surely have been hurtful to their respective campaigns. One does have to ask the reason they broached the topic in the first place. It was not a necessary for them to commit. But what’s more, they could have avoided the topic altogether.
Many of the GOP and Democratic candidates said nothing of note about the Pope. However, what makes one sit up and take notice is that these men both chose to do more than comment, they praised the Pope.
Christian News quotes Cruz:
“In this Year of Mercy, may Pope Francis’s example inspire us to treat all with charity, pray for those who are persecuted, and speak out for those without a voice,” he said. “It is an honor to meet a man who has lived the faith so selflessly. I thank Pope Francis for his service to God and to the world, and I hope during his visit we are each reminded of our call to see every person with the eyes of Christ.”
And then Huckabee:
“I’m not sure that President Obama needs to school and lecture Pope Francis on Catholic doctrine and why he’s wrong. Last time, I checked, it’s the pope who is supposed to lecture Christians, not the other way around,” Huckabee continued. “Unless Obama now has decided that he really has a greater depth of theology and a better understanding of Scripture than the pope himself…”
Last year, Huckabee joked to reporters that “[m]aybe we should run the pope for president.”
Now, I am not going to get into the issues that I personally have with Roman Catholicism or Catholic doctrine. Rather, what I would like to point out is that neither of these men are Catholic, but both claim Christ. In fact, I am a little ashamed to say that they, like me, are Southern Baptist.
I say ashamed because there is nothing the Baptist and the Roman Catholic churches have in common. Now, I said that I did not expect that these men would come out and bash or in some way disrespect the Pope. On the other hand, I did not expect them to be singing his praises, either.
You see, there is such a thing as truth. As Southern Baptists, there is no room for relativists, just as Cruz pointed out. In spite of that, Cruz, a professed Baptist and Huckabee a former Baptist pastor, both spoke as if they and the Pope shared the same religion.
Despite the fact that Catholics and Protestants share the claim to be devoted to Christ, this is troubling. Despite the fact that we can live in peace with one another, we are not brothers. I do not say that to be mean or to degrade them as people. I say that because what they claim is true and what I claim is true cannot both be true.
So, Cruz and Huckabee are both trolling for votes, or they are liars. They either believe that salvation is by faith alone and that Christ is the only head of the church, or they believe that the Pope is a champion of truth and a light to Christians. But no matter what, they cannot believe both.
Which leaves us with liars.