So the Catholic Church has a new “Pope.” To listen to the news over the past few days one would think that everyone in the world is Catholic; that the resignation and election of a new pope impacts everyone’s life. However, this is not true in my case. The truth is that I feel that the NFL free agent signings and pending draft are bigger events in my life than the religious elevation of a mere man. I continue to be dumbfounded by the things I see and hear. So I thought I would share some thoughts with you and then ask you some questions.
1. We do not have a new “Pope” and he is NOT the “Holy Father.” My Holy Father is in heaven and I will worship and serve Him alone! Jesus said, “And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” (Luke 4:8). My Lord also said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). But apparently these sayings mean nothing to the Catholic Church. Someone might say, “We do not worship the Pope.” This is not what I saw and heard from thousands who stood Vatican waiting for a white smoke signal and announcement of a new “Head.” When the elders selected me to be the preacher at Point Pleasant I looked outside my office window and do you know what I saw? Grass growing! Had the church been standing out there I would have told them to go home and go about the Father’s work!
2. Unlike the previous selection, this transfer of power did not come because of death but due to the resignation of Joseph Alois Ratzinger. But I am reminded of something the events surrounding the death of Karol Józef Wojtyła (John Paul II) and I promise you this is true (I could not make this stuff up). Apparently for centuries, when the “Pope” had evidently taken his last breathe, the senior Cardinal (not from St. Louis) would take out a “silver mallet” and bonk the “Pope” on the head three times, each time calling out his birth name. If he did not respond the Cardinal would announce to everyone present that the “Pope” was dead. No foolin’! You just hit him in the head with a hammer! If he wasn’t dead before, he is now. I have searched my Bible and cannot find any mention of this anywhere. Apparently they have stopped the beatings and just call out his name now. I don’t know why they changed this. Maybe for the same reason they are not allowed to eat meat on Friday (or are they?). And anyway, I thought fish was meat.
3. Speaking of birth names, the new “Pope”, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, got to pick his “Pope” name as all other “Popes” have. They say that they can choose any name they want from the list of previous popes (Jorge picked Francis) except for the name Peter. This is apparently out of respect for their “first Pope.” Yet, there is no credible evidence that Peter was a “Pope” or ever was in Rome. In fact, Paul was there and told Timothy, “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them” (2 Timothy 4:16). Where was Peter? Any way, Jorge broke the norm and chose Francis (a name not previously used) is honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
4. As for the election of a new “Pope” I found this interesting. I again have searched my Bible for this information and came up empty. Apparently many changes have taken place with this process over the years; mostly because the process can become very political (imagine that, when men do things their way, instead of God’s way, they always have to have, their way). But here is the most intriguing thing about this process. All the cardinals under the age of 80 (120 max) come together in a secret meeting to elect the new “Pope.” They say they believe they are being “guided by the Holy Spirit” and God already knows who the man is He wants. So here is my concern, why would it ever take more than one, unanimous ballet? Why would there ever be a need for black smoke to come from the chapel’s chimney (hang on, let me check, nope that’s not in the Bible either)? I heard that many years ago it took more than three years to decide whom the new “Pope” would be and it only happened because a bird landed on one of the “cardinals” when they all walked outside. They determined that the bird was the Holy Spirit. Amazing. This time a bird landed on the chimney prior to the white smoke coming out and this was perhaps a sign from God as well. But Check Acts 1:15-26 to see how the process really works when God’s hand is in it!
Amazing that so many people have been so deceived by this religion and its ungodly, unauthorized traditions. Yes, Paul said to keep the traditions (2 Thessalonians 2:15), but the word there means the teachings that came from God by inspiration and where passed on to all men through the Bible (Ephesians 3:1-5; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The fact is that I am sad today, and frustrated by the work of Satan in the religions of men.