Friday, March 15, 2013
Pope and Politics
I find it interesting how Protestants the world over, the media and non practicing or lapsed Catholics equate appointment of Popes as a political race. They often speculate will the new Pope be a Conservative or a Liberal when it comes to issues like abortion,birth control,homosexuality, cohabiting without marriage,etc.
These issues are not a matter of politics or issues to relax on to increase church attendance. Although, many churches choose to do this to increase attendance and the collection plate. But this is not what the Pope is selected to do. He is there to spread the Good News, uphold the teachings of the Bible,maintain the integrity of the clergy,serve as the CEO of the big picture to determine what will be the body of Christ's goals and focus for the present problems and minister to the needs of the flock.
Now in the Catholic church there is what are termed church traditions little "t". Things like priests facing or not facing the flock when consecrating the host and the wine, singing or not singing, the order of the mass, the language the mass is conducted etc.
Church traditions little "t" do change over time and country. What the media and others fail to see is that what God communicated to the Hebrews as their code of living a healthy,happy and fulfilling life in the first five books of the bible and the words recorded by witnesses of God as the man Christ do not change. It is the Pope's responsibility to continue to maintain and communicate the good news of Christ's gift of salvation and the wonderful teachings of Christ drawn from his words to the Hebrews that lead all peoples to a happy,healthy and fulfilling life.
Christ on this earth said I come not to change the laws but to fulfill them. He offered himself as the perfect and complete sacrifice for all peoples who continue to sin and fall short of the glory of God. He also left a piece of himself the Holy Spirit so that we may have the power over our sinful selfish natures and those outside forces of Satan that attempt to distract us so that we can live and grow into the best people we are capable of being.
Jesus was no respecter of persons. He saw all people the same. He dined, conversed and socialized with everyone in love because he wanted all to live this victory filled life he offered. He acknowledged the weaknesses we human beings fall prey to either from biology or influence. I often look at my Diabetes that I was born with as a weakness. When I first found out I did all I could to stay off of insulin and I did not give into the raging hunger that comes with the disease. Yes I wanted to live like every other person and have a candy bar or cookie or cake or the second helping of something I liked. But I knew for me that the complications of Diabetes would effect my health and my future. And I managed to extend the life of my Pancreas thru God's help into my fifties without the need of insulin. I still closely watch what I consume and make sure I get exercise everyday. Sure I'd like to give in but I don't. Yes we can be born with issues but not everything is good for us and God has left us a record of what things are good for us and what things are bad for us. It is that simple. To teach people to disregard the wisdom of God by a Pope would be contrary to their appointment of leading the flock. They would be like a foolish shepherd who allows his sheep to wander into a patch of prickly plants, or drink from a tainted pool, or fall into the jaws of a lion or a nest of snakes.
Many of things that society may say is ok is not necessarily good for us. Man has a history of justifying or scripture twisting to justify behaving contrary to God's instructions. Satan tried to scripture twist with Jesus in the desert but Jesus being God was the author of the word and was the the word and he could not be deceived even living as a man. Science has bore out the folly in many of the things. we do. All forms of Abortion and birth control are physically harmful to women and can cause permanent damage including infertility,cancer and even death. Sleeping with multiple partners can cause harm in so many ways physical and emotional. The guidelines God set before his people are for their well being. Just as in owning a car or a computer,when you understand and use the operating instructions properly your car or computer runs well and long.
The consequences of corrupted Popes and Popes unwilling to teach what Christ taught and live the life of Christ resulted in dark days for the flock and the body of Christ. Knowing this, we Catholics rejoice when a Pope is selected that has a history of following God humbly according to his words and instruction and has shown a firm intention of using this as his guide for life and the position of leadership he has been appointed.
This is not politics folks, this is a matter of life and death and eternity. Should a Pope change what Jesus taught to make Christianity more popular? I think not. Leading people over a cliff is not what a good shepherd does. God is not defined in terms of Conservative or Liberal but in terms of truth and love.