reply to post by 2manyquestions
Catholicism is reckoned as being nothing like true Christianity, by a large percentage of Christians.
We who are outside the Catholic faith disagree over many things (often in ridiculous ways) but there is a majority consensus that the Catholic Church
is rife with idolatry, greed/ worship of money & power structures (including the church's organisational structure in itself), abuse of power in
various forms, theft from the poor, being 'in bed' with the world, exercising control by duplicitous arrangements with other states/ groups, etc.
Many evangelicals believe that the Catholic Church is one of the 'beasts' in the multi-dimensional prophetic Book of Revelation. The Great Whore,
Babylon the Great, etc.
So, the issue of what the prospective Pope says or doesn't say, isn't really about Christianity at all - it's about Catholicism. Which is, in the
eyes of many, quite different from what was originally intended to be a model of 'church'. *
Catholicism in itself
seems to revel in being disobedient to the higher calls of Christian living.
Jesus clearly spoke against a number of Catholic practices - such as that of calling men 'Father' (IE - not to do so, as it would falsely
distinguish them as being superior in the eyes of God - in Truth, all are equal..) Additionally, the Bible is full of direct instructions not to waft
around with pomp and circumstance, wearing luxurious robes, making elaborate public prayers to gain the attention of mankind. Jesus also clearly made
a point about his earthly mother being blessed, but that more blessed would be those who actually obeyed His commands. So, in effect, He was saying
that any number of living humans can be more blessed than Mary; therefore, how can she herself be a conduit to God's blessing?
NB - It only makes sense to obey His commands if He is what He claimed to be.
* NB - Church, as it should be, is a place for developing a shared expression of personal faith, based upon the inspired sharing of individual
personal experience & a shared experience of God's presence. It's also a place wherein the administration of charitable endeavour takes shape. It
is fellowship upon Earth, living 'right' & being accountable to each other, practicing charity & devotion - yes, sharing the sacraments with
reverence - but without all the empty materialistic window dressing.
Postscript, for anyone who might want to read it:
Jesus is either that which was claimed of Him, and that which He claimed (the incarnate, then ascended, 'Living Word of God', the Creative 'Son'
of the Godhead) or - as CS Lewis stated - if not that, then He could only else be a madman, or 'the very devil of hell'. He isn't just another
'good moral teacher' - some of the stuff He said is too bombastic & 'out there' to be considered ordinary moral teaching. He was too intense to
be considered a gentle 'spiritual man'. He gave orders to the lower spirits, and they had no choice but to obey. His miracles were ridiculous
feats of total control over the created order of things. Jesus is either is the timeless, sovereign 'I AM' - above all things & beyond all
constraints, with full authority over everything - or, He isn't.
If He is, then we are sensible to pay close attention to what He said, and what was said by His close followers. In fact, we are greatly blessed for
opening that door, as per consistent testimony down the millennia (from devotees in various denominational groups) showing the remarkable clarity of
insight, the wondrous mystical experience & richness of blessing associated with deep Christian meditative lifestyles. It's not about a 'ticket to
Heaven', it's about a living connection with God, and about serving the needs of your fellow man whilst on Earth in a physical body..
Much needs to be taken on faith, as the ancient records themselves are simple textual & oral traditions passed down. But, the experience of those who
have taken the traditions at their self-stated 'face value', has often been one of incredible power, wonder, healing, renewal, freedom & joy.
Ultimately, a choice to follow Christ (to become a Christian) should lead a person to total selflessness in societal endeavour & personal sacrifice
beyond what could have been imagined for anything not entirely TRUE, and enough of a reward in itself to justify a lifetime of commitment. Time &
again, this has proven true in the lives of saintly folk for two thousand years, and people continue to lay down their lives as a witness to the
living reality of their faith in the eternal Lordship of Jesus Christ.
It is the world's most controversial faith, because it has the potential to get someone totally in line with Truth, thus the 'Enemy of our souls'
HATES it. Demonic powers thus work hard to discredit/ pervert it, sadly with a great deal of success in many ways.