There has been much intrigue surrounding the pope’s resignation yesterday. Here are a couple of examples of different people’s thoughts:
Then, take a look at all the comments!
As an Evangelical pastor of a multilingual church, I am well aware of the Catholic background of many of my Latino congregants and some of their strongly held beliefs regarding the Roman Catholic Church.
I want to give some simple perspectives regarding Catholics and the pope. My thoughts are directed specifically towards Evangelical Christians.
1. For those who decry the fact that the position of “pope” even exists, remember that every organization, business, or institution has some type of leader at the top. This is normal, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it.
2. For those who love a good conspiracy theory and believe in things like the “Black Pope” or other theories, remember that no institution is without fault. Also, remember that none of these things need impact any person in their daily walk with Christ. Let’s not paint ALL Catholics with the same brush. Many of them have no understanding of what happens in the upper tiers of leadership. The same is true of many of our churches and denominations!
3. I believe there are many Catholics who have placed their faith completely in Jesus. I have had some conversations with Catholic friends who consistently speak about their faith in Christ, their love for him, and their submission to Christ. Regardless of the fact that there are certain beliefs that an Evangelical might disagree with (check here for one Christian’s examples), this does not mean that every Catholic does not have faith in Christ. Remember, there are also people in Evangelical churches who have not placed their faith in Christ!
4. If there is a belief that a Catholic might not be a believer, we would be wise as Christians to follow the apostle Paul’s example. When ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ, a riot broke out. The mayor decided to intervene and said these words about Paul and his friends: “You have brought these men here, but they have stolen nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess.” (Acts 19:37 NLT) We accomplish much more when we lead people to Jesus rather than accusing them of wrong beliefs.
I pray that these thoughts are helpful, especially as we engage our Catholic friends during this time of transition in the Catholic church.
Let me know your thoughts!