New Pope: And More

April 19, 2005 — 9 Comments

Well, the new Pope has been elected by the conclave of Cardinals in the Vatican. And as you may well all know, his name is now Benedict the XVI.
I was very happy to hear that Benedict is a conservative Pope, and we hope that he will lead to more reformation in the Catholic Church.
What reformation? Don’t the Catholics believe the same things as you do as an Evangelical?
Well, not quite. I won’t go into deep detail, but I believe that much of the Catholic Churches teachings are in error. They have almost created a religion of their own.
I believe that there are many Christians who are Catholics. I believe it whole heartedly. They just have a different worship style, one that is much more formal. Their “good works” are just acts of their faith that follow belief in Christ.
But I’m here to tell you, living in a state that has more Catholics than almost any state, most Catholics believe in a works religion. They believe it takes more than faith to get to heaven, and they do that by doing good works. It’s by grace through faith that your are saved, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. They have the wrong theology. If the Catholic church is teaching this, they are absolutely wrong. Benedict must believe that it is by grace you have been saved, and that works is just the fruit of your salvation.
I will go on to say that we must remember that Christ did tell us to store up treasure in heaven. And how do we do this? By living a righteous life. Nothing we do can get us into heaven, and even when we get to heaven, will we not turn all of that treasure back to our Creator?
A huge problem in the Catholic church is one that I found out just recently. They have removed the second commandment. And to keep it ten they’ve split the tenth into two parts.
Just read it for yourself:
“The Tenth embraces both the Ninth and Tenth of the Catholic division. It seems, however, as logical to separate at the end as to group at the beginning, for while one single object is aimed at under worship, two specifically different sins are forbidden under covetousness; if adultery and theft belong to two distinct species of moral wrong, the same must be said of the desire to commit these evils. ”
So they can keep worshipping Mary and other objects. And because they have learned their catechism well, they see no fault in this. But they must read Exodus 20:4,5:
“You shall not make for yourself any graven image…You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them.”
I pray this pope will fight relativism as he has said he will. I like that, I like it a lot.

Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

9 responses to New Pope: And More

  1. Tim,
    What you say is so true. My grandparents are Catholic but they don’t believe in the “works religion” stuff. Our old neighbors who homeschooled were also Catholic but they believed in the good works stuff.

    Thanks for your wonderful article too!

    Kristin

  2. I pray this pope will fight relativism as he has said he will.

    I fail to see what relativism has to do with anything else in the post. It looks to me like the rest of the post is critiquing a misunderstanding of the Biblical position of salvation.

    A misunderstanding, however, is far from relativism. If I mistakenly believe that Reagan was the 41st preseident, not the 40th, that’s not relativism: it’s simple error.

    So could you unpack your reference to relativism a bit?

  3. JPE,

    Tim is referring to the moral relativism that has infected our society. This is embraced (often hypocritically) by liberals in general. Keywords are “tolerance” “acceptance” and “open-mindedness.”

    As a Cardinal, the new pope was quite a warrior against it and stood firm. Thank God.

  4. I understand that, but I didn’t see if it had anything to do with the rest of the post.

  5. Right…I was adressing some of the fallacies in the Catholic doctrine, but wanted to add that I was still glad that the pope already stood for fighting tolerance and relativism. I just didn’t go into it deeply, and decided to go with one statement that I was glad that he would fight it, along with hoping that he might change, which is still very unlikely. As a christian, I would pray that those doctrines would change…and as a protestant, I’m glad the church is not going liberal under the new pope.

  6. I have responded to you here because I thought it would be too long to do as a comment.

  7. Actually, Reagan was the 39th and 40th president. If you count Grover Cleveland twice, he was 40. If you don’t, he was 39. I don’t see why we should count him twice simply because his terms weren’t back to back.

    Catholics believe in salvation by grace, by the way. They believe that works will follow a genuine work of God’s grace initiating salvation. They have different views on justification but not on whether salvation is of grace, and it turns out one of the problems with justification is that they define it similarly to what Protestants call sanctification. There are serious doctrinal differences, but I think someone can believe what Catholics teach and fully believe the gospel as Protestants understand it, if they understand it in certain ways and not others. The danger is that it’s possible to understand it in ways that really would mean it’s not the gospel anymore.

  8. Thanks to everyone for their responses…I will most certainly look into all that has been said. I don’t claim to be even close to being an expert on the catholic faith.

    Also, you may like to look at this article,and this article, both by Hank Hanegraff. And also one on Mary here.

  9. Catholics believe in salvation by grace, by the way.

    Of course some catholics believe in salvation by grace. But it’s also clear some don’t. I think Tim was just pointing out that the Catholic religion isn’t going to save you – which sadly is what some catholics believe. However – he never said that all people professing to be catholic believed that way. Like Spunky Jr. said,

    My grandparents are Catholic but they don’t believe in the “works religion” stuff. Our old neighbors who homeschooled were also Catholic but they believed in the good works stuff.

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