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What Luther Says

A New Hope With A New Pope? Nope.

By now, I'm sure you've heard that the Roman Catholic Church has finally elected it's next Pope -- Pope Francis I -- who made history as the first non-European Pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and the first to assume the name Francis.

The new Pope then quickly made another kind of history, breaking with tradition in his first public act before the 150,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square. Rather than bless the crowd first, he asked them to pray for him.

"Let us say this prayer, your prayer for me, in silence..."

Of course, the mainstream media around the world has assumed that Christians worldwide are wondering if humanity now has a new hope with a new Pope.

The short answer? Nope. Hope can only be found in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and not in a man (no matter how "religious/spiritual" he is) let alone man's institutions (John 14:6; Matthew 12:21; Romans 15:12; 1 John 3:2-3).

Today, I was reminded of something I learned about Church history recently.

"Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer; in the seventeenth century, Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of Faith; Sir Isaac Newton...Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards; and more recently Charles Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones; these men among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the antichrist."

-- Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead To Rome, p. 205, 1991.

"As the Head Teacher of the Roman Catholic Church - The Pope is the official representative of those priests, religious, and laymen who teach the errors rejected in the Book of Concord. Whatever is rejected in the Book of Concord therefore applies to the Pope and his clerical followers. The Book of Concord carefully distinguishes between the Pope and his clergy, which are criticized at length, and the people of the Catholic church who are excused for their ignorance,"

-- See Preface to the Book of Concord, sec. 20; KW, pp. 12-13.

"There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God."

-- From the Original Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), Ch. 25:6, "Of the Church."

That's the truth of the matter.

My dear brothers and sisters, I think it's time we took the opportunity to speak "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and offer a timely critique against the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican, and the Pope.

The irony is that Bergoglio is the first Pope to take the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, who is viewed by Catholics as a reformer of the church, answering God's call to "repair my church in ruins" even!

I certainly pray that's what will happen.

So, for now, I'll be praying that the fruits of the Protestant Reformation would find some foothold in the Roman Catholic Church, that true repentance would come, and that the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ would be proclaimed officially.


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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