Thursday, April 21, 2005

A conservative pope

This article has some interesting quotes on the new Pope.
Others see his election as widening the global religious "red-blue" divide between conservative moral absolutists and liberals of all faiths who say religion must be more inclusive.

The only way to make religion “more inclusive” is to destroy the differences of each one. Only when we say that the words have no meaning can we all be agreed as to who God is and what he requires.
In his last homily as a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI said that "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires."
Benedict has dismissed anyone who tried to find "feminist" meanings in the Bible, and last year told American bishops it was appropriate to deny Communion to those who support abortion and euthanasia.

I’m by no means a Catholic supporter, but I like this statement. At least someone is blowing the whistle on modern relativism, feminism, and the like. They are all errors.
"He is clearly a person who believes in absolute truth and the clarity of truth - and the possession of truth by the Roman Catholic Church" says Chester Gillis, chair of the theology department at Georgetown University in Washington. "He is very unbending about that."

Well, at least he believes in absolute truth, I’ll go with him that far. I don’t think the Roman Catholic Church really has possession of it though.
The views the new pope has expressed in the past, however, suggest that he is not willing to deal with members of other faiths as equals. "Any notion that we are on a level playing field, and dialogue with other religions under the assumption that they have the same access to truth, would not be something he would be happy with," says Paul Lakeland, a professor of Catholic studies at Connecticut's Fairfield University.
Benedict XVI "has very clear views, that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ, and it makes it difficult to have a dialogue of equals if you do not regard everyone as equal before God," adds Tissa Balasuriya, a progressive Sri Lankan theologian whose run-in with Cardinal Ratzinger in 1997 led to his temporary excommunication.

This is relativism in a nut shell my friends. If all religions “have the same access to truth,” then they are essentially the same. This is nonsensical. Allah and Jehovah are not the same god. They’ve said different things and their writings are different--what more do you want? Christianity is the only religion that says there is nothing you can do to appease God. No Holy War, no keeping his law, no ceremonies can make you clean before the One with whom we have to do. God saves his people from their sins; they do not save themselves.

Those who are cleaver among us will be quick to point out all the similarities: creator, similar prophets, moral codes, etc. This is to be expected. Man was originally made in the image of God:
Romans 1:18-25 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (NKJV emphasis mine)

Satan’s deceptions are rarely totally black. He much prefers to take a bit of truth and mix it in; that way he can appeal to the image of God in man while he feeds them the lies. The similarities argument doesn’t fly.

I’m not Catholic, but some of what this Pope says is very good. I guess I kind of think that modern relativism, feminism, humanism and the like are more dangerous than orthodox Catholic doctrine, but maybe I’m wrong on that; I would almost like to hear an argument that orthodox Catholic doctrine is more dangerous than humanism. Too much defending Catholicism lately for me--it is very unlike a Reformed person ;-)


At 10:05 AM, Anonymous The German said...

Let's find someone's blog who believes that Calvin was a joke, or that infant baptism is wrong. Enough defending the catholics...


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