This past week 115 Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church convened to choose the next pope. They chose Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis.
As followers of Jesus we should ask ourselves: How would the Bible teach me to think about this latest event to a prominent religious organization like the Roman Catholic Church? Here are three ways to view the new Pope:
Pope Francis clearly identifies with the biblical teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman (Gen 2.24). He defends the rights of the unborn (Ps 139), highlights the needs of the poor and seeks to alleviate their suffering (Prov 3.27). For all this, as evangelical Christians we can be thankful.
The Roman Catholic Church continues to teach that 1) the pope is the vicar of Christ, 2) the pope is infallible in his office, and 3) saving grace is obtained through faith and works (e.g. sacraments). As Bible-believing Christians we must reject these teachings. The only head of the church is Jesus (Col 1.18). The only One infallible is God (Mk 7.8, 9) and His Word, the Bible (2 Tim 3.16). Saving grace is available through faith alone in Jesus (Eph 2.8-9).
with renewed commitment to the gospel
Over 1 billion people in our world claim the Catholic faith. We all have friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family who are Roman Catholic. We love them. Let’s patiently love, pray and engage them in conversation with the Bible that they would see Jesus as their only righteousness (Rom 5.12; Titus 3.5-6).
as evangelicals we embrace the five solas of the Protestant Reformation:
Scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, and glory to God alone