Did anyone reading here tonight watch and listen to the prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral? At one point, the interpreter (supposedly translating into English for what the pope was saying) said,
And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.
I stopped what I was doing and re-played the segment just to be sure that I heard it right! My husband thinks that the interpreter made a mistake?
If the pope DID say that, then Christians everywhere should be outraged! That is NOT biblical belief or proper exegesis of what is written in the Scriptures!!! It is NOT a proper interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!
P.S. As a former Catholic, now born again Christian, I have studied and learned how tradition and man-made “rules,” as well as the dogma of the Catholic church differs greatly with the Bible. I did admire John Paul II, but the idea that popes are descended from Peter is false theology.
Martin Luther was correct about the 95 theses he nailed to the church door! However, I doubt that even he would ever think a pope would say what Francis was purported to say (via the interpreter), “And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.” This is weighing upon my heart because I find it deeply disturbing!! I hope that the truth is that the interpreter got it wrong!
Just did a search for the transcript and here it is:
Is anyone else out there upset about this?
I will do a follow-up post just to prove (via God’s Word and Jesus’ own words) that what was said in that horrible sentence is VERY WRONG!
At that blog, some commenters there shared additional information that helps explain two things.
1. Why “cutting off that sentence” led to my shock about what was said by the pope.
September 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm
I think the key there is “humanly speaking”. To those who can see no further than the physical world, it did look like failure. The simple fact is that it was the key to our redemption, thus a total victory.
I just checked the transcript for myself. (Thanks for the link.) What I find disturbing is not the phrase that you cited, but that he simply stopped there. He didn’t point out that it was not failure, but victory. That God’s ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8). That God uses what appears foolish to the world to shame them (1 Cor. 1:27). Instead, he left the idea that Jesus failed just hanging out there, unresolved.
It seems he just expected Christians listening to him to understand the implication. But if you’re going to bring up a point like while trying to encourage people, spelling out that what looks like failure actually isn’t when it comes to faithfully obeying God* strikes me as a supremely important part of encouragement.
(*Refusing to follow God is actual failure.)
2. Why that statement by the pope, standing alone, conflicts with Scripture.
September 25, 2015 at 7:50 am
Yes, this Pope left out the good part, the whole transforming, miraculous, Gospel.
The Gospel is foolishness to men, St. Paul said. But it changes hearts and minds.
“17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” – I Corinthians 1:17-25
My thanks to both commenters for their very important contributions to this discussion!
My blogging friend over at Oil for Your Lamp has a post up entitled:
The Spirit of Anti-Christ in the Words and Deeds of Pope Francis It is a MUST READ!
With thanks to Ashley for sharing these links in the comment section!