Luke 14:10-11 (NASB) 10 “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be
Humility is a good thing to the Lord. The Scripture leaves us little question about that. 1 Peter 5:5 (NASB) “… clothe yourselves with humility toward one another for God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Check the papal-chair in the above picture. Does it look like a chair for the humble or the proud? A chair for someone who “clothes [himself] with humility” or a chair for the exalted and lifted up? It is the Pope’s chair — and, it is empty!
This past week, Pope Francis was a no-show at a gala event where he was the guest of honor. The event was scheduled prior to his election in March, and was attended by the rich and famous, except in this case, they happened to be cardinals and Italian dignitaries.
“It took us by surprise,” said one Vatican source on Monday. “We are still in a period of growing pains. He is still learning how to be pope and we are still learning how he wants to do it.” The article continued, “The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realising that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he – and perhaps they – had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.”
The day before the concert, Francis said bishops should be “close to the people” and not have “the mentality of a prince.” Imagine the adjustment that is going on at the Vatican. One source reports, “Since his election on March 13, Francis, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, has not spent a single night in the opulent and spacious papal apartments. He has preferred to live in a small suite in a busy Vatican guest house, where he takes most meals in a communal dining room and says Mass every morning in the house chapel rather than the private papal chapel in the Apostolic Palace.
Does that sound like the Catholic Church that you know? Absent of the pomp and “vestments” intended to “excite the viewer into good thoughts and to increase devotion in those who see and those who use them”? Doesnt sound like Pope Francis got the memo on how to “increase devotion” by the outfit he wears or the chair he sits in. Another interesting item was the report that Pope Francis had performed an impromptu exorcism as he exited a bishop’s conference. In the report, a “man who appears to be a priest leans forward and explains something to the pope, at which point Pope Francis places both of his hands on the man’s head. The man soon appears to become agitated, breaths heavily, twitches slightly and sinks a bit lower in his wheelchair.”
And what is my point? When Pope Francis models the humility of our Lord, in direct contrast to that demonstrated by his predecessors, the Church and the world should take notice. It is not the vestments or the papal-chair that we should take notice of — but the absence thereof. In Francis’ refusal to be exalted on the human plane, it seems that the message he is seeking to deliver to his leaders is not only being communicated with his words, but also by his actions. If our Lord entered Jerusalem seated on a donkey, what is it that makes leadership in the church, Catholic or otherwise, think that we should be seated on anything higher or more elevated? Was it not our Lord that said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”? John 12:32 (NASB).
Christ wasn’t talking about a papal chair to lift him up, but His atoning work on the cross. Perhaps the empty chair was Pope Francis’ way to encourage the leadership of the Church to carry their own cross, and thereby speak volumes about what it really means to “increase devotion” among the followers of our Lord.
Jesus come quickly.
And?…. Is the Catholic church ready to renounce centuries of replacement theology, and a false works based salvation? Is it ready to renounce worship of Mary? Nay.
Please, I think one of the messages that Jack is trying to explain, is that the divisions between us as Christians must cease if we are to battle the Evil One.
In regards to Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, only in heaven will we see how central is the role of Mary in the Divine Plan of Redemption.
Mary is not GOD and we do not worship her. We are not confused by her role and those of the Saints as well. We show devotion to Mary and the Saints who have come before us and implore their help and intercession. Jesus calls us all to be Saints and in the book of Revelation John calls the followers of Jesus as Saints.
Mary, who conceived her son, Jesus Christ, without sin, cannot be just some insignificant person in salavation history. She was chosen by God himself.
She is due great respect and admiration.
We see her as our Most Blessed Mother, our Advocate, who pleads our cause before the Thrown of God as a Most Powerful Queen, (the Queen of Saints) and as a Most Merciful and Loving Mother.
I do not regard Catholics as Christians. So what about the replacement theology? Do you know that that means?
…what that means?
a recent pope kissing a koran: give me a break!
Awesome article, Jack, as always insightful. Change has to start somewhere and Pope Francis seems to want it to start from the top. An example for all Christians of every denomination.
We need to stop worrying so much about theology (like the Pharisees did) and start being the hands and feet of Jesus out in a hurting world. If we just concentrated on loving God with all that we are and loving our neighbor we would be too busy for distracting squabbes about things that keep us from what is really important.
I have been intrigued & pleasantly surprised by the actions of the new pope. I believe that he has a pure heart & wishes to humble himself unto the Lord as an example to his followers. Thanks for your thoughts
on the contrary: we indeed need to start worrying about theology. if your concept of salvation is wrong you die lost…
So Forrest – are you saying that replacement theology is the key or Jesus?
The Jesus of Scripture of course Jack.
But as to RT:
Jesus is not separate from His people Israel: Its a package deal: Gentiles need to heed the warning of Revelation 2: committing blasphemy and lying against God by claiming to be Judean but are not.
Jack: are you saying that Roman Catholicism is Biblical Christianity? Do you believe in baptismal regeneration? works salvation? do you believe the Church is the New Israel? A curse is upon those who hold to replacement theology: they can’t find their way out of the quandry they have placed themselves in: they are in darkness as to the biblical definition of Jesus, salvation, ecclesiology & eschatology.
One last question: Do you believe the Judean people have the sole right of ownership to the promised land as manifested in the state of Israel?
who in this discussion would follow a recent pope’s example and kiss the koran? if not why not? thanks.
I would expect all born again Christians to refuse kissing a koran: apparently a recent head of the Roman Catholic Church saw no problem with it. If you would refuse to kiss the koran: its most definitely a matter of theology.
I tink we need to keep Christ as the way, the truth and the life. Christ is the essential and His word is what justifies or condemns, not me. That does not mean kissing the Quran is acceptable but it does mean I will let the Catholics stand before God and they will be judged through the lens of God’s word just as we will. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and I will follow His word as I understand it.
John 12:44-50 (NASB) 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. 47 “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
Your coping out Jack: Please answer my questions as I did yours. thanks.
Forrest – is this the question I am “copping out” on: “One last question: Do you believe the Judean people have the sole right of ownership to the promised land as manifested in the state of Israel?”
Yes. I agree with that statement. The remnant, however, will be the claimants of that promise (Romans 11:29, 9:27, 11:5; Isaiah 11:11, 16, 37:31-32, 65:9, 17-24), not national Israel; and, in the end (after the tribulation), the remnant of Israel will behold Jesus Christ (Zachariah 12:10). Jerusalem will be reestablished as the Mount of the Lord and the nations of the world (post tribulation) will stream to Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:9-10).
In a future post, I will elaborate. I do not agree with replacement theology.
One day all Israel will be saved so the “remnant” becomes the majority: in fact in totality: every single Judean living at that time will be saved: the entire nation: so in that since it is “national Israel”. Jeremiah 31, Romans 9.
I’m glad to hear you do not agree with replacement theology but keep it mind it can come in some pretty subtle ways. However the Catholic church is undoubtedly never going to repent of it: claiming to be the New Israel: this blasphemes God and is a lie: so why defend it? Roman catholicism bows to Islam and displayed by Pope John Paul kissing the Koran: it also sides with the “palestinians” against Israel. Just take my word for it: its a false gospel heading for damnation. Shalom
typo again sorry: “since” in line three should be sense. thanks
To Jack and all: Please check out this short video series by Mike Gendron: