Francis is coming to America! If Pope Francis really wants to act like the Vicar of Christ and the heir of the Apostles, he might consider speaking the way they spoke. They did not advise the devil on how better to manage his affairs; they cast him out. They did not instruct rulers, soldiers, politicians, scientists, public officials, rich, poor, men and women in their official and social roles. They spoke to them as naked human beings, responsible directly to God. They spoke about the most urgent matter: how do you stand with your God?
So, your honor, instead of playing the scientist, policy expert and economist, why not speak about something on which you can speak with real apostolic authority: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then the division you cause would between those who accept the gospel and those who reject it! That is would your predecessor Peter did in Acts 4; and that is what Paul did in Acts 19. You could begin like this…
“God is the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them. Every individual owes God for their existence and everything they have and are. Apart from God you are nothing and your accomplishments are worthless. And each one, poor and rich, obscure and famous, weak and powerful will answer to God for every word they say and everything they do and for how they use everything they have been given. Everyone dies, and everyone will stand before the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Every secret will be revealed. It is no excuse to say, “I was acting for the company or the country or for an ideal.” Nor will it work to say, “I was oppressed or poor or ill favored.” God does not show favoritism. Nothing else matters if God is not pleased with our work. The most urgent problem, the root of all other problems, in the world today is its sinful rebellion against the Creator (Romans 1).”
“The answer to this problem, the only answer, is Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all, and every knee will bow to him. He alone has been raised from the dead and is seated at God’s right hand. He alone is our righteousness and wisdom. There is no salvation, no knowledge of God and no life in any other savior. He demands that you repent of your sin, trust in his mercy and following him. No excuses, no delays.
“Allow me to quote a warning given by Apostle Paul in Romans, Chapter 1:
“18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
“Is this not the real problem in America and in the world we live in? We can give more specificity to Paul’s warning by quoting his moral teaching in Galatians 5:
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
“Hence my first word to America, to its leaders, officials and its people and to the world is the same as Jesus’ first message to the people of his day: “The time has come. The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.” Jesus said many things after and along with this message of repentance, but he never compromised or set it aside. Jesus proclaims that the deepest problem that plagues this world, the root of all others, cannot be solved by sinful human beings, individually or collectively.”
This is what Pope Francis should say but probably will not.
One reader recommended that I place the following paragraph from the comments into the post:
“Well, I am thinking about how leftest politicians fawn when he speaks about global warming or socialist economist policies and how rightest politicians fawn when he speaks about abortion or same-sex marriage. Neither party cares to hear the message of repentance; they want to use the church for their own ends. Why not simply call everyone above and beyond the world? Why not attack the devil in his stronghold and call out the idolatry of human self-worship? Do not let yourself be co-opted by the worldly minded! Call them all beyond their utopian visions, right or left.”