December 25th 2019
Pope Francis has certainly said a lot of controversial things over the years, but what he just told a group of Christian high school students is the most controversial of all. I know that may be hard to believe, because some of the statements that Pope Francis has made in recent years have definitely been extremely bizarre. For example, he has said that "Muslim terrorism does not exist", he told a gay man that "God made you that way", and he has referred to Christian fundamentalists as "a scourge". But what he has just said tops all of those previous statements. According to Breitbart, Pope Francis told a group of high school students that he was visiting with that they should never try to convert others to Christianity...
Pope Francis told Christian high school students this weekend they should respect people of other faiths and not attempt to convert them to Christianity, insisting "we are not living in the times of the crusades."
Asked by one of the students Friday how a Christian should treat people of other faiths or no faith, the pope said that "we are all the same, all children of God" and that true disciples of Jesus do not proselytize.
[Ron: Typically the Pope is being rabbinical. The distinction here is a subtle one. As each ensouled human being (HUman) is a sovereign individual indwelt by a spark of God consciousness that endows him/her with a unique personality and free will, it is not appropriate to 'try' to convert a HUman to the Christian religion. Arguably there are two main reasons for this. First, attempting to "convert" a HUman, as distinct from sharing one's understanding and knowledge with him/her, is an infringement on that individual's sovereign right and responsibility to exercise independant thought and decision. Second, the Christian religion was established by Roman emperors influenced by Pharisees who sought to eradicate Jesus' teachings by creating a religion and inserting into its doctrines and dogmas humungous LIES meant to deceive and confound members of that religion.
Jesus didn't incarnate to establish a religion. He came to teach divine truths lost over millenia and corrupted by Pharisees and others. In the result, the Christian religion is riddled with false doctrines and dogmas which means that seeking to convert someone to those doctrines and dogmas is inappropriate. Jesus charged his disciples with responsibility to go forth and tell the "Good News" he brought to everyone. BUT he didn't require them to convert anyone. Rather he said that if anyone failed to accept their Good News the disciples were to shake the dust from their sandals and move on to tell others, leaving all who heard with the option of accepting the news or not, which is their sovereign right. in other words forcing anyone to "convert" to Christianity as the Crusaders did, is inappropriate, which it is. However, that does not mean that we should not seek to tell others the Good News Jesus brought to our world. When appropriate, seeking to share with others our understanding of life the universe and everything is our Godly duty and an expression of love.].
In fact, the Pope went on to say that if someone comes to you and is trying to share the gospel, that individual "is not a disciple of Jesus"...
"But listen, the gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism," he continued. "If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism."
And in case there were some students that were confused about what he had just said, Pope Francis made the exact same point one more time...
Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism.
So there you have it.
According to Pope Francis, Christians are never supposed to try to convert anyone.
[Ron: Presumably the rabbinical distinction the Pope is obscuring here is between "witnessing" ie sharing, and forcing ie being over-bearing.].
But this would seem to directly contradict the words of Jesus. The following are just a few examples...
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Of all the things that Pope Francis has ever said, this has me more upset than anything else by far.
Does he really want billions of people to have no hope?
Because without Jesus, there is no hope and no future for anyone.
Even if you are able to have all the health, wealth, fame and pleasure in this life that you could ever want, there would still be no future for you without Jesus. This life is not the end, and thanks to the cross we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ. This is the greatest news that anyone could possibly ever receive, and we should be trying to share it with everyone that we can. I share an extended version of the gospel on all of my websites, and the longest chapter in all of my books is an invitation to become a Christian.
But apparently Pope Francis does not think that we should be trying to share this message with anyone.
[Ron: Actually the Pope is being very subtle, he doesn't talk about "sharing" rather he keeps talking about "proselytism" without defining what he means.].
What in the world is he thinking?
On the other hand, one of the most notorious rappers on the entire globe is now proudly preaching the gospel and trying to reach as many people with the message of the cross as he possibly can.
For most of his career, very few people would have ever imagined that someday Kanye West would be a passionate Christian evangelist. But of course the truth is that the message of the cross can change anyone, and nobody is out of God's reach.
[Ron: Jesus' "Good News" is NOT 'the message of the Cross'! Jesus did not incarnate to suffer and die for humans here. He came to teach divine truths lost over millennia and corrupted by Pharisees and others. Moreover, Jesus didn't die on the Cross but was resussicated and taken to Damascus. There he frightened the bejabbers out of the Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, (St Paul) and then journeyed to India where he married and had children and lived to age 115.
Be aware also that the Pharisees influenced Roman Emperors to establish the Christian religion in order to insert lies into its doctrines to deceive us. A major LIE they inserted was that Jesus sacrificed himself to "save" us. He didn't and he couldn't. Each ensouled human being is indwelt by a fragment of Creator consciousness which means s/he is a sovereign being and therefore responsible for his/her own salvation. That means that everyone has to learn about life the universe and everything FOR self in order to eliminate mistakes in living so that, eventually, after myriad incarnations, s/he can become sufficiently like God to meet the Creator on Paradise whereafter s/he returns to the Creation to assist with its administration and governance. For futher discussion see my comments in: Judaism and Christianity - Two Thousand Years of Lies - 60 Years of State Terrorism - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Judaism-and-Christianity---Two-Thousand-Years-of-Lies---60-Years-of-State-Terrorism.shtml].
When I was encouraged to watch West's new video entitled "Follow God" last month, I have to admit that I was impressed. It has already been watched more than 25 million times on YouTube, and you can find it right here.
But what has impressed me far more is the fact that West has been encouraging people to give their lives to Jesus at his live events. The following comes from Charisma...
According to two people who attended a Kanye West concert on Friday, over 1,000 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ during the famed rapper's altar call.
West performed underneath the crosses outside Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The event drew thousands of people who came to lift their hands and worship. Even though the service started an hour late, according to Fox 8, people said they were thrilled to participate.
West and his crew even had the gumption to give an altar call when they performed at Lakewood not too long ago.
It is not how you start in life that matters.
What really matters is how you finish, and I find it quite bizarre that Kanye West and Pope Francis are both running in completely opposite directions.
West is trying to tell everyone that he can about Jesus, but meanwhile the Pope doesn't want his followers to try to convert anyone.
Of course both West and the Pope could change directions again tomorrow. Every day is a test, and all of us will face great challenges during the times that are coming.
But at this moment, Kanye West is using every opportunity he has to preach the gospel, and because of that I rejoice.
[Colour fonts, bolding and comments in square brackets added.].
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