This past week, those who practice Roman Catholicism, and some who don’t, the news media and political figures, were all abuzz with the arrival of the Pope. Visiting with a friend Wednesday I expressed my angst with the moniker given to this man as “the holy father.”
Now there is nothing wrong with referring to another as “holy.” We are commanded to be so. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). How great would it be if every Christian lived a holy life and that we could refer to one another as holy?
My objection is then not with the word “holy” but with the definite article “the,” and the joining of such with the spiritual title of “father.” Jesus clearly taught that it is not permissible to do so (Matthew 23:9). We have a Father in heaven and to claim that a mere man (Joseph Alois Ratzinger) is “the holy father” would be to state that he is God (we know he cannot be God because his birthday was yesterday, April 19).
It boggles my mind to think of so many people being so naïve. But when tradition and false doctrine take place of God’s Word, this is always what takes place. There is no difference between this situation and the sad state of those who are part of the polygamist cult in Texas that has been in the news recently.
Truth is we have had a holy visitor. In John 1:14 we read, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (emphasis mine, tld).
Unlike the warm and enthusiastic reception the Roman Catholic Pope received, Christ, “came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). He came to seek and save the lost (Matthew 18:11). But instead of receiving Him as the promised one, the Messiah, the savior of all mankind, they rejected Him, ridiculed Him and killed Him.
Unlike the Roman Catholic leader who rode through our streets in a bulletproof “Popemobile,” Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem seated upon a donkey. Instead of standing before the world (the Pope spoke to the UN the other day) and having the support of his fellowman, Jesus was betrayed and all His disciples forsook Him.
But we have this promise in the same text. That if we will receive Him, reject the will of men, and be born of God, He gives us the power to be the sons of God (vs. 12-13). Will you? Be faithful! Tim Dooley
Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.
Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).