The newspaper, radio, and television media announced the news: Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, was coming to America for a six day tour. He came and was greeted by great crowds in many very public places and events. In only the second ever visit by a pope to the White House in Washington, D.C., our president Bush received him as the "Holy Father."
The Roman Catholic Church obviously planned and conducted this highly publicized tour of the pope in the United States for very important reasons. The Roman Church is experiencing serious troubles. The Associated Press reported that the Roman Church has been forced to close parishes. Over two billion dollars has been paid out by the Roman Church in the last six years, alone, to settle sex abuse cases involving over 4,000 priests. This has caused some parishes to become bankrupt. The Church, itself, has announced that, for the first time in history, there are now more adherents to the Islamic faith than there are Roman Catholics. The Roman Church has grown in America only because of the great influx of Mexican immigrants.
The Catholic membership in America is becoming more liberal. A recent article, entitled, "Why This Pope Doesn't Connect" by Lisa Miller in the April 21, 2008, issue of Newsweek, reports that "... the gap between what the church teaches and what the American laity practices has been growing ever wider. According to a 2005 survey by Catholic University sociologist William D'Antonio and his colleagues, 58 percent of American Catholics believe you can be a 'good' Catholic and disregard the church's teachings on abortion. Sixty-six percent believe you can ignore its position on divorce and remarriage. Seventy-five percent believe you can disregard the ban on birth control. Seventy-six percent think you don't have to go to church every week." She also reported "a radically declining number of priests." Miller also wrote, "For Benedict, God is Truth with a capital T and exists before and outside humans and institutions. That Truth is the only authority, and that authority requires obedience. Benedict's fans say he is at his most eloquent and inspiring when teaching about that Truth."
Dear friends, this brings up a very serious question. "What is truth?" Jesus Christ said, "If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32. In His prayer recorded in John 17:17, Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." What, then, is the truth about the office of the Roman Catholic pope? What does the Word of God say about a man's being called "Holy Father" or "His Holiness?" Absolutely nothing.
In Matthew 23, Jesus spoke of those who love the uppermost rooms, the chief seats, the greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. He said, in verse 8, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." We have only one Holy Father! The New Testament refers to God as our Father at least 270 times. Jesus did not command that we could not call our earthly parent "father." Remember, His mother Mary called Joseph His father in Luke 2:48. Jesus did emphatically command that we are not to call any earthly man our father in a religious sense. This applies to every celibate Roman priest.
No, Benedict XVI is not the Holy Father. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is a high religious impostor infringing upon that which belongs to God, only. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5. If this Roman Church leader is so dedicated to teaching the truth, why does he wear the name that belongs to God, alone?
This man (whose previous name was Joseph Alois Ratzinger) may be the head of the Roman Catholic Church, but he is not the head of the church of Christ! Jesus, as the Christ, built His church (Matthew 16:18, 19; Acts 2) and purchased it with His own blood. Acts 20:28. The true Holy Father "... hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." Ephesians 1:22, 23.
When the church was only about 20 years old, Paul warned that men would arise from the very eldership (presbytery and bishops) of the church, "... speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:30, 31. Further, God warned of a falling away from the faith and that the man of sin would be revealed, the son of perdition "... who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4. I ask of you, "Who and what office in history answers to this religious apostasy?" -Editor
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