Too many things to be said about the new pope. Again, I am not endorsing this man as the head of the church. Only Christ is the head of the church, and any other man who puts himself in that place is an anti-Christ. This is a position held by Protestants since the Reformation. Since the RCC has not done anything to change their position on the pope, neither shall we. John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and John Wycliffe have all agreed with this position. So realize it is not something new to me, and it certainly should not be shocking to anyone that a Protestant would actually be opposed to the pope and the apostate church in Rome. There is far too much at stake when it comes to the eternal souls of people, and Protestants who hold true to Scripture can never affirm Roman Catholicism that calls justification by faith alone in Christ alone an anathema! (Canons of Trent, p. 43).
Is The Pope Catholic? With that, I start with some humor. I love what Rush Limbaugh pointed out yesterday when it came to the new pope and the drive-by media. The drive bys are all shocked that the new pope is actually … Catholic. Duh! This goes to any delusional Protestants as well, thinking and hoping that he would be more… Protestant. This is never going to happen. The pope will always be Roman Catholic because the cardinals that pick the new pope are Roman Catholic. AS Rush states:
Pope Francis I is bad news for the Drive-By Media. He is adamantly opposed to abortion. He is adamantly opposed to euthanasia. He has called the pro-choice movement a culture of death. He opposes same-sex marriage, which he has called demonic in origin. He opposes gay adoption on the grounds that it is discriminatory to the child. He opposed Argentina’s legalizing of same-sex marriage. He called it a real and dire anthropological throwback. He was exiled by the Cristina Kirchner government. He was dispatched to the northern climes and the outposts of Argentina. He literally was cast out by the government.
Rush’s point is that the pope is not this new incarnation of the drive-by media. He is not what they wanted him to be because he is actually Roman Catholic. In the words of those famous sociologist, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltery, “meet the new boss, the same as the old boss…”
Ten Reason Why I Will Never Go to Rome — Rev. Shane Lems has put together 10 reasons why we can never agree with Rome using their own statements about what they believe. He has studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church and The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, so he is not speaking off the cuff. He shows us that no matter how theological this pope may be, he is not someone we can ever agree with theologically because the magisterium of Rome is the authority of Rome, not the Scriptures alone. Here are the first four reasons:
1) …I will not have my conscience bound by man or man’s decrees. Rome binds consciences beyond the Word by teaching that the dogmas of the Church’s Magisterium “oblige” adherence (Catechism, p. 33, 548). I believe that God alone is Lord of the conscience and that it can only be bound by his Word (Westminster Confession of Faith 20.2).
2) …I will never submit to a Pope. Rome teaches that the pope is “pastor of the entire Church” and has “full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (Catechism, p. 254). However, Scripture teaches there is no other head of the church besides Christ (WCF 25.6).
3) …I refuse to pray to Mary or have her for a mediator or helper. Rome teaches that Christians should pray “to” Mary; “we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself” (Catechism, p. 704ff). The first commandment, however, teaches us not to pray to or confide in any creature (Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 94).
4) …Rome anathematized the gospel of free grace. “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone…let him be anathema” (Canons of Trent, 43). Scripture, however, teaches that God justifies ungodly sinners by faith alone, completely apart from works (see HC Q/A 60-61).
You can read the rest of his post here.
And the article that makes a lot of people angry is Jesse Johnson’s piece, A Friendly Reminder: The Pope is (Probably) the Anti-Christ. I think this one angers so many people because they forget that there are reals reasons for the Protestant Reformation, and there are reals reasons we believe what we do. I know a lot of people want to go along to get along, but truth matters and there need to be those who stand for the truth, and point out the wolves in sheep’s clothing when necessary. See Neil’s piece on Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdog’s for more on that. But Johnson shows that throughout history, Protestants have realized that the office of pope itself is at least an anti-Christ. The pope cannot be the head of the church.
The idea of the Pope as the antichrist is not unique to Protestants. In fact, for the 40 years where two rival Popes both called each other antichrist (1378-1417), John Wycliffe humorously pointed out that they were each half right. He wrote that they were “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.”
Zwingli, who was a Catholic priest before his conversion to Christ, often referred to the Pope as the antichrist. He wrote: “I know that in it works the might and power of the Devil, that is, of the Antichrist” (Principle Works of Zwingli, Vol. 7, p. 135).
Calvin devoted an entire section of The Institutes to this topic (Book IV, “Of the Popish Mass”). In that section, at length Calvin identifies the Pope as the antichrist for no other reason than he leads the Catholic Mass. “Let my readers understand that I am here combating that opinion with which the Roman Antichrist and his prophets have imbued the whole world—viz. that the mass is a work by which the priest who offers Christ, and the others who in the oblation receive him, gain merit with God.”
What is interesting in that section is that Calvin draws extensively from Augustine, who wrote (translated by Calvin into French, then into English): “It would be equivalent to Antichrist for anyone to make a bishop to be an intercessor between God and man.” There are other sections in The Institutes where Calvin simply uses the term antichrist as a synonym for pope.
Dear reader, please give some thoughts to these things for they do matter. It’s not like we are picking at scabs just to be picking at scabs. If what Protestants says is true, that we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone, because Paul says it, then you cannot have a form of salvation that is based upon works, as does the RCC. Since the Scriptures say Christ is the only Mediator for mankind, then we cannot have Mary worship and saint intercession on our behalf. (1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus). Either Christ is the only mediator or He is not. We must decide are we going to to trust what Scripture says? Or are we going to trust what the RCC and the popes have said over time, even though at times they have contradicted themselves?
Before you answer, you might want to take a look at the following video that helps us see how the church began to worship saints and Mary instead of Christ. It is quite enlightening.