It is not surprising to hear that a key religious figure has said something with which I disagree. It seems less and less people are willing to do the work it takes to know and understand what it is that God has told us on social issues. Even “conservative evangelicals” would have a humanistic view of government.
It is also not surprising that the Pope, a Catholic, has made a statement that I, a Baptists finds troubling. But, there are many things that I and Catholics can agree upon. We both would say that faith is necessary. We both believe that truth is important. That the love of neighbor is critical to our faith. That God promises not to destroy the earth again until Christ returns. Oh wait, maybe not.
In a surprise visit Sunday to Rome’s Villa Borghese park for a celebration of Italy’s Earth Day, Pope Francis delivered an impromptu message, telling his audience to go through the world turning deserts into forests.
Francis quickly tossed aside his prepared remarks to speak off the cuff to the crowd that had assembled for the celebration. He congratulated the environmentalists for their commitment, saying that the desert represents death while the forest stands for life.
Not to be disrespectful, but this is the second time that the Pope has made statements that are not just troubling they are unfounded. Especially if we are going to have the Bible as any kind of guide. The message, by and large, was rambling and none sense, but there was one thing that was most troubling.
As he has done on other occasions, Francis spoke of the need to put the human person at the center of society and the center of the economy.
He said that people need more “gratuitousness” in a world “where it seems that if you don’t pay you can’t live,” and where “the person, the man and woman that God created to be the center of the world and the center of the economy, are instead driven out and we have at the center a god, the god of money.”
“Today at the center of the world is the god of money, and those who can come forward to adore this god do so, and those who can’t end up in hunger, in illness, in exploitation,” he said.
At the heart of the Pope’s message is not the Christian message but Humanism. It places man and his felt need as the critical point and not God. We are separated by belief as Christ said that we should be. Division is one of his stated purposes for coming to earth.
Matthew 10:33-35 reads:
33 But whoever [a]denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to [b]bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
And do not forget that we must remember that the Lord told us through Paul that if one does not work, he should not eat. It seems inconsistent for the Pope to pass down judgment about money and luxury while sleeping in a golden palace.