“Anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with Church dogma must be burned without pity.”
– Pope Innocent III
That was a different Pope. His message was more direct than today. Back then, they didnt have Tweeter, Facebook and Bloggers who would reread and share the statement. But today, in a technologically advanced world, this Pope must watch his words carefully.
The Pope is expected to release a post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation within a few months. In it he is expected to decide on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and on the proposal to give bishops conferences doctrinal authority. Some observers also think the pope may address the question of homosexuality and language
An apostolic exhortation is a type of communication from the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It encourages a community of people to undertake a particular activity but does not define Church doctrine. It is considered lower in formal authority than a papal encyclical, but higher than other ecclesiastical letters, Apostolic Letters and Other Papal Writings.
Apostolic exhortations are commonly issued in response to a synod of bishops, in which case they are known as post-synodal apostolic exhortations.
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”
That is the translation of The Pope’s Homily of January 18th 2016.
The Pope is now issuing a warning that rejection of a coming change (which is not doctrinal-based on the bible) will be regarded as a sin of Divination.
The word divination comes from the Latin divinare, meaning “to foresee” or “to be inspired by a god.” To practice divination is to uncover hidden knowledge by supernatural means. It is associated with the occult and involves fortune-telling or soothsaying, as it used to be called.
He also calls it the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Whatever the change is, it is very big for the Pope to already issue a death warrant to anyone that rejects it. The Pope here has hinted that the change will be so huge that it’s rejection is tantamount to idolatry.
And we all might know the Catholic Church huge craving for idols, but their punishment for idolatry is ironically brutal. Check out here some 10 torture devices used by the same Church during the inquisition.
Whatever change that is coming, we all can agree it is going to be very big and of course, so not biblical.
But the bigger question is, should the people of God change? The second question would be, what kind of change is acceptable? Changing from an iphone to an android phone, OK. Changing from Saturday Sabbath to Sunday worship, NOT OK. Catch the drift?
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We are not to bring our standards to those of the world but we are to bring the standards of the world up to the standards of God.
Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Their should always be a distinct uncompromising difference between the Children of God and the Children of men. Even if the odds be like Elijah, 1 to 500, we are not to bow down.
We all need to tread carefully. This Pope has been around the world touching on some sensitive topics prophesied in the bible. He has made several appeals for a united religion. He has met all the top televangelists and leaders of other faiths and he recently released a video calling for prayers for a united religion.
Whatever the Synod will say, the people of God should be prepared to take an uncompromising stand to the word of God.