In an article, “Pope Francis and the need to confront evil”, published in The Jerusalem Post on May 27, Shmuley Boteach writes: “The pope is also courageously confronting the Church’s obsession with abortion, gay marriage and contraception in favor of spiritual values that directly address the materialism, narcissism and rot of the modern world. But there is one area where the pope must do more. And that’s in his confrontation with evil.”
Although this present pope may theoretically still subscribe to the Church teachings based on the Word of God, he obviously heralds a kinder and more tolerant approach to the matters of homosexuality and the murder of the unborn than any of his predecessors have done.
The Bible – which is after all the only book on which any Christian believer should rest his faith and practice – is absolutely clear in naming these practices ‘abominations,’ the practice of which formed the very reason God expelled the original inhabitants of His land in favor for His own people. Them He warned, in no uncertain terms, that if they themselves should practice such abominations “the land, likewise, would also spew you out.” Here is how God worded His very serious warning:
“‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her. And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.'” Leviticus 18:6, 20-30.
There are sins and there are abominations in the eyes of the Lord, and it was because of the totally corrupt lifestyle that manifested itself in these abominations that the Lord flattened the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And as the New Testament, to which Pope Francis owes strict allegiance, also clearly spells out in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:18, 22-32.
This is then the question which ought to be asked, especially to the one who – it is claimed – is the personal physical representative on earth of that great rabbi, Yeshua: Can anyone imagine Him, the Son of God, coming out in agreement with these practices, and this against the written Word of His own heavenly Father? And if this is not enough for any true believer, then what about the clear and fearful words of the One believed by the Catholic Church to be the first pope?
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) — then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire”” 2 Peter 2:4-14, 18-21.
Can it be said any clearer than this?
But what we see happening, with alarming speed, under the new direction of this amazingly humble, kind and peace-loving pope, is the welcome nearly any kind of believer will soon receive from the newly to-be-formed world church in Rome.
The pope came to the Holy Land accompanied by a rabbi and a Muslim cleric who were already his friends in Argentine. During his visit he invited a Jewish leader, Shimon Peres, and a Muslim terrorist leader, Abu Mazen, for prayer to his church in Rome. Is this the new direction Rome is about to take, becoming a universal church that will welcome nearly anyone, as long as he/she subscribes to any kind of belief in God, but without the need to first repent (as anyone of us needs to do) of their sins and misconceptions? Is this the way the harlot church described by John on Patmos will come into being?
No wonder the Word of the Lord says:
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her” Revelation 18:4-8.
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Republished with the kind permission of Author Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director of International Christian Zionist Center.
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