The other day, Pope Francis in his usual can never sin attitude called on the Lutherans to set aside doctrinal differences and work together for peace. The story made world knews with popular news outlets covering it because let’s face it, this was huge!
The Washington Post covered it here while Fox News covered it here.
Pope Francis urged Lutherans to set aside doctrinal differences Thursday and work with Catholics to care for the poor, the sick and refugees as he laid out his vision for greater communion before his visit to Sweden later this month.
If the whole issue was to care for the poor, we do not need to start looking at doctrines. Am sure Islam says we should care for the needy just as Christianity. When disaster struck, like the gay club shooting in US, both Muslims and Christians, Straight and gay condemned the attacked. They all went out to donate blood and find ways to help.
So why is this different? We have had poor and sick people since before Israelites left Egypt, it’s not like it is a problem that just happened. Even during the days of Christ, He walked in villages healing the sick, so sickness did not just happen.
Exo_22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
Mat_10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Point is, these problems have always been there because of sin. And through these problems, God still demanded a clear line between His people and those that are not.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
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:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
So why is the Pope different? Why is he asking that doctrine be set aside? Here is why. Because for any church any persons to walk WITH the Roman Catholic Church, they MUST agree. Problem is, there is not a single doctrine in the catholic church that is from the Bible. So to agree with the catholic church means to set aside the Bible.
Amo_3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Foremost among those who were called to lead the church from the darkness of popery into the light of a purer faith, stood Martin Luther. Zealous, ardent, and devoted, knowing no fear but the fear of God, and acknowledging no foundation for religious faith but the Holy Scriptures, Luther was the man for his time; through him God accomplished a great work for the reformation of the church and the enlightenment of the world.
Luther saw the danger of exalting human theories above the word of God. He fearlessly attacked the speculative infidelity of the schoolmen and opposed the philosophy and theology which had so long held a controlling influence upon the people. He denounced such studies as not only worthless but pernicious, and sought to turn the minds of his hearers from the sophistries of philosophers and theologians to the eternal truths set forth by prophets and apostles. GC Chap 7 Ellen White
“Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
And with that, Luther wrote 95 statements and beliefs held by the Catholic Church at the time that were contrary to the Bible. That was in October 31, 1517. Now imagine how much more paganism has been incorporated.
His propositions attracted universal attention. They were read and reread, and repeated in every direction. Great excitement was created in the university and in the whole city. By these theses it was shown that the power to grant the pardon of sin, and to remit its penalty, had never been committed to the pope or to any other man. The whole scheme was a farce,–an artifice to extort money by playing upon the superstitions of the people,–a device of Satan to destroy the souls of all who should trust to its lying pretensions. It was also clearly shown that the gospel of Christ is the most valuable treasure of the church, and that the grace of God, therein revealed, is freely bestowed upon all who seek it by repentance and faith.
Luther’s theses challenged discussion; but no one dared accept the challenge. The questions which he proposed had in a few days spread through all Germany, and in a few weeks they had sounded throughout Christendom. Many devoted Romanists, who had seen and lamented the terrible iniquity prevailing in the church, but had not known how to arrest its progress, read the propositions with great joy, recognizing in them the voice of God. They felt that the Lord had graciously set His hand to arrest the rapidly swelling tide of corruption that was issuing from the see of Rome. . GC Chap 7 Ellen White
God raised up men to cry against the existing sins of the Papal church, and carry forward the reformation. Satan sought to destroy these living witnesses; but God made a hedge about them. Some, for the glory of his name, were permitted to seal the testimony they had borne with their blood; but there were other powerful men, like Luther and Melancthon, who could best glorify God by living and crying aloud against the sins of popes, priests and kings. They trembled before the voice of Luther. Through those chosen men, rays of light began to scatter the darkness, and very many joyfully received the light and walked in it. And when one witness was slain, two or more were raised up to fill his place. The Great Controversy, The Reformation, Ellen White.
The Catholic Church is a system that was founded on paganism and has grown rich by feeding pagan doctrines to other churches. So while you might content to be a protestant or a Lutheran, or Orthodox christian, Muslim, recent meetings by the Pope show that you all are still following this pagan system.
Rome became more and more exasperated by the attacks of Luther, and it was declared by some of his fanatical opponents, even by doctors in Catholic universities, that he who should kill the rebellious monk would be without sin. One day a stranger, with a pistol hidden under his cloak, approached the Reformer and inquired why he went thus alone. “I am in God’s hands,” answered Luther. “He is my strength and my shield. What can man do unto me?”–Ibid., b. 6, ch. 2. Upon hearing these words, the stranger turned pale and fled away as from the presence of the angels of heaven.
Rome was bent upon the destruction of Luther; but God was his defense. His doctrines were heard everywhere–“in cottages and convents, . . . in the castles of the nobles, in the universities, and in the palaces of kings;” and noble men were rising on every hand to sustain his efforts.–Ibid., b. 6, ch. 2.
Yet it was not without a terrible struggle with himself that Luther decided upon a final separation from the church. It was about this time that he wrote: “I feel more and more every day how difficult it is to lay aside the scruples which one has imbibed in childhood. Oh, how much pain it has caused me, though I had the Scriptures on my side, to justify it to myself that I should dare to make a stand alone against the pope, and hold him forth as antichrist! What have the tribulations of my heart not been! How many times have I not asked myself with bitterness that question which was so frequent on the lips of the papists: ‘Art thou alone wise? Can everyone else be mistaken? How will it be, if, after all, it is thyself who art wrong, and who art involving in thy error so many souls, who will then be eternally damned?’ ‘Twas so I fought with myself and with Satan, till Christ, by His own infallible word, fortified my heart against these doubts.”–Martyn, pages 372, 373.
The pope had threatened Luther with excommunication if he did not recant, and the threat was now fulfilled. A new bull appeared, declaring the Reformer’s final separation from the Roman Church, denouncing him as accursed of Heaven, and including in the same condemnation all who should receive his doctrines. The great contest had been fully entered upon.
Opposition is the lot of all whom God employs to present truths specially applicable to their time. There was a present truth in the days of Luther,–a truth at that time of special importance; there is a present truth for the church today. Luther’s Separation from Rome, The Great Controversy, Ellen White
Do not set doctrine aside to walk with the catholic church. Stand up as Luther and choose to stand with the word of God.