In no way am I trying to anger or cause problems with our Catholic readers with this article. Actually, I am raising a serious alarm against his anti-biblical statement dealing with redemption.
During his homily at Wednesday’s mass in Rome, the Pontiff said:
“They complain. If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good. And Jesus corrects them: ‘Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.’ [The disciples] were a little intolerant, closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that ‘those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.’ This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon. The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation.”
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!.. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
The very definition of an atheist is one who does not believe in God or in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. In John 14:6, Jesus responds to Thomas saying:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
In Romans 10:8-13 it says:
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
No matter where I turn in the Bible, I read that you must believe in God and Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Yet, according to the Pope’s latest statement, even atheists will be saved just for doing good. They don’t have to believe in God or Jesus Christ, just do good.
If that’s the case, then how does Pope Francis explain Scripture such as Ephesians 2:8-9 which states:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [Emphasis mine]
According to the Pope’s statement, we never needed Jesus to take the form of a man, live a sinless life, die on the cross and ascend into heaven on our behalf. All you need to do is just do good works. I know of a doctor who is an adamant atheist, but he donates to the poor, heals people in clinics for free and in general is a really great guy, but he adamantly hates Christians and anything to do with God and the Bible. According to the Pope, this doctor is going to heaven even though he doesn’t believe.
The bottom line is that according to the Pope’s pronouncement, Christ’s redemptive work was all for nought.
I’ve pointed out similar teachings from Protestants over the years as well. Robert Schuler, former pastor of the Crystal Cathedral told a television audience years ago that he compromised the Bible just to make people feel good about themselves, because after all, that’s what Christianity was all about. I could go on with a list of other pastors that I’ve heard or have taken to task, but that is not the point I’m trying to make. Whenever I hear of anyone giving a false teaching that is against what the Bible says, I sound an alarm so that others won’t be caught up in the deception and falsehoods. I cannot, for the sake of Christ, remain silent on this issue and if I offended you, I’m sorry, but I strongly urge you to study the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and you will see that what I am saying is true.