COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE.
Last month, on June 25, 2014, Pope Francis gave a sermon in which he said the following, and I quote:
“No one becomes Christian on his or her own! Is that clear! No one becomes a Christian by him or herself. Christians are not made in a laboratory. A Christian is part of a people who comes from afar. The Christian belongs to a people called the Church and this Church is what makes him or her a Christian, on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of Catechesis, and so on. But no one, no one becomes a Christian on his or her own. If we believe, if we know how to pray, if we acknowledge the Lord and can listen to his Word, if we feel him close to us and recognize him in our brothers and sisters, it is because others, before us, lived the faith and then transmitted it to us. We have the faith from our fathers, from our ancestors, and they instructed us in it.” (unquote) Note 1.
My brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, we have to ask the Holy Spirit in us to help us discern the truth. We have to take what we hear or see and then compare it against the Holy Scriptures. When Paul brought the Gospel to the Bereans, they did not blindly accept what he told them. They searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was the truth, and Paul commended them for it. (Acts 17:11)
Paul told Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
James said, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him: let him know, that he which convertteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)
I pray that you will loose yourself from the above quotation uttered by the Pope.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6)
My brothers and sister, no one, not any person, any Church Denomination, can give you the Truth and Everlasting life, except the One, who is Christ Jesus!
Paul said the following in 1 Cor 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered: but God gave the increase.”
We are told in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are from God: because many false prophets are gone out in the world.”
Let’s break down some of Pope Francis’ statements
“No one becomes a Christian on his or her own! Is that clear!”
“and this [Roman Catholic] Church is what makes him or her a Christian.” [insert mine]
1 John 4:15, “Whoseover shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”
Jesus also said in John 14:6, “…no man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
These are but a few Scripture verses that tell us we, on or own, can come into the presence of the Father through the covering Blood of the crucified Jesus. We do not need anyone to tell us that they are the one who makes us a Christian – that can only be possible between Jesus and you personally, with no other outside help. Here we see quite clearly that anyone who calls on the Name of Jesus, and believes that He is the only begotten Son of God, will be received of the Father – NOT the Church. We don’t need the permission of any person or Church Denomination in order to be born of the Spirit.
The intimation here by Pope Francis is that no one is a Christian unless he or she belongs to the Roman Catholic Church.
“The Christian belongs to a people called the Church”
I believe that the Church is not a building. The congregation of believers in Jesus together is called the Church – the Bride of Christ.
The born-again Christian does not belong to a building. Neither does he or she belong to the Church (Denomination) but only to God. When one accepts Jesus as their Saviour, they make a commitment to Him and to Him alone.
“This Church is what makes him or her a Christian, on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of catechesis, and so on.”
I came out of the Church of England many years ago. They broke away from the Roman Catholic Church way back as Protestants. Unfortunately they still took some of the unscriptural parts with them – one of which states that only at baptism does a baby become a Christian, inversely, if you are not baptised you are not a Christian. My Bible tells me that only one who confesses that Jesus is Lord becomes a Christian – not a baby who has no understanding as yet! It is also a Believer’s Baptism.
Here we are told that we have to follow a set of rules and regulations after baptism in order to qualify as a Christian. We are explicitly told by Paul, in the letter to the Ephesians that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
“…it is because others, before us, lived the faith and then transmitted it to us.”
Romans 12:3, “…but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
Paul is talking to Christians here and not to unbelievers. Abraham lived the faith, but has he transmitted it to you? David was a great man of faith – has he also transmitted it to you? Of course not!
How then do we get faith? Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith comes from God, and you determine the amount of faith you want to receive. In the Bible we read of the strong in faith and the weak in faith.
“….from our fathers, from our ancestors, and they instructed us in it.”
Here Pope Francis is not talking about any of the great men of the Bible, but of our own biological fathers and ancestors. None of my ancestors are able or have been able to instruct me in the faith. My biological father was able to instruct me but he was never able to transmit his faith over to me. That is a decision that only I could make.
I don’t say that it is, but I grew up in Africa and this has a suspicious ring of ancestor worship to it! Many Africans believe the ancestors talk to them and instruct them.
Let’s look at other parts of his sermon individually:
“Dear friends, let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church….”
Nowhere in the scriptures can I find any reference to the fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had anything to do with intercession where we have to go to her to enable us to communicate with Jesus or God. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it said, or inferred, that Mary had a special standing in the universal church.
When Jesus had a multitude about him and when they said that His mother Mary was looking for him, He said these very pertinent words, “And he answered them saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Here Jesus is putting his mother on the same level as all the other believers – no special place for her! She is not qualified to be a mediator between man and God.
1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
”…you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church.”
When Pope Francis is talking of the Church, he is speaking specifically of the Roman Catholic Church. He is saying here that if you are not a Roman Catholic you cannot love God nor are you able to have communion with Him.
“Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Here Paul is reminding the saints (every believer is a saint – sanctus (set apart from the world) not one who is long dead and has “qualified” by a proven miracle.
Colossians 1:2, “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ …”
Philippians 1:1, “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus ….”
Psalm 132:16, “I will clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout for joy.”
Paul is not writing to dead people but to living believers in Jesus Christ.
Don’t be deceived by the phenomena of the Mary Apparitions which is gaining tremendous momentum all over the world in recent times.
Billions of well-meaning and sincere people are, unfortunately, being misled by these statements away from the true Salvation which is in Jesus Christ and not in His mother Mary.
Revelation 18:4, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
2 Cor:6:17-18, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”