March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Last week the Papacy elected a new Bishop of Rome, Jorge Bergoglio. Since then we’ve watched with amazement the media coverage of the Bishop’s election. The media has been predictable, they’ve written fawning pieces about Bergoglio that read like they’ve been prepared as Vatican press releases. Those media pieces that aren’t fawning are ruthless in their attack, not so much on Bergoglio but on what the left-wing media believes the Papacy represents. In other words, they’re attacking tradition, monarchy, patriarchy and what they imagine is conservative theology when they attack Bergoglio. More interesting than the media though is the reaction of protestants.
Why are we protestants interested at all in the Bishop of Rome? It’s one thing to be interested in that it’s a news event. The reaction has gone much further than that, like with Ratzinger many protestants seem quite interested and excited by Bergoglio’s election. Have we forgotten why we aren’t Papists? Like Ratzinger, Bergoglio should offend us. This is a sinful man who has the unmitigated audacity to allow people to call him the “holy father.’ Such a term is reserved for God alone. This is a sinful man who claims infallibility when we know the only infallible man in human history was Jesus Christ. Yet we have protestants excited, cheering the new Bishop of Rome. Why?
The protestant churches of 2013 are where the papacy was in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. We have old line protestant denominations that don’t believe in scripture and have rejected the doctrines and confessions that created their churches. We have entire denominations and popular pastors rejecting scripture on the issue of homosexuality, telling us we need to repent of our opposition. They might as well tell us to repent of believing in scripture. Meanwhile we have an evangelical church that we’re told is conservative but its roots are in the progressive theology of the early 20th century. In inanity of the evangelical church, the utter meaninglessness of their sermons and existence is a real problem. We have a pentecostal and baptist movement here in American that is anti-intellectual, driven solely on emotion.
In other words the protestant church has fallen into sin and wickedness. Not all of them of course, there are some who hold firm to scripture and Biblical theology. But as a general rule, the protestant churches have fallen just like Rome fell. Is it any wonder that protestants look around at the the utter uselessness of most protestant churches and then gaze at Rome as a symbol of stability? When the Church of England looks to adopt homosexual marriage as acceptable, is it any wonder that “conservatives” in that church look to Rome which won’t change on the subject? When evangelical churches have a worship style that has nothing to do with scripture and resembles a rock concert, is it any wonder that Rome appears stable, traditional and reverent whether it is or isn’t?
American protestants largely have no idea why they aren’t part of Rome in the first place. Some of them have cooked up elaborate end times predictions that include the Bishop of Rome. Even if these stories suggest the Bishop is an agent of Satan, these folks have no idea why the protestant church isn’t part of Rome. As such, when the instability of the evangelical protestant world becomes too much, they’ll run to Rome. They have no idea that praying to Mary and various saints is evil and wicked, they have no idea that calling the Bishop “holy father” is wicked, they don’t know why Papist theology is wicked because they don’t know any theology. Why don’t they know theology? Because the protestant church is focused on personal experience and when it isn’t focused on personal experience it’s focused on progressive social justice.
We must pray for a new reformation, this time targeted at reforming the protestant church. Our church is where Rome was and where it has remained, we’ve lost our way. The protestant churches largely place scripture on the back burner. Rome appears stable, reverent and traditional. It should surprise no one that protestants, starved of scriptural truth, stability and reverence would be drawn to Rome. It’s a sad state of affairs we face in the protestant world. With God’s help and blessing we can reform the church and renew our faith in God’s word. We can return to Godly confessions such as the Westminster Confession and Three Forms of Unity. We protestants must seek God’s blessing and guidance in this, otherwise we will be devoured by the whore of Rome.