[anzac] 'RETHINKING the POPE??' - Andrew Strom

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 14:55:08 -0500
RETHINKING the POPE??
-by Andrew Strom.

In the great outpouring of grief and eulogy that have accompanied
the death of the Pope, there is something that disturbs me greatly.
I hate to always be the one to "rain on the parade", but there are
some pretty basic issues that I believe we need to look at here.

There is no doubt that the last pope was a man of very great 
accomplishments. He broke through many barriers and was truly 
one of the most effective leaders the Catholic Church has had in 
modern times. I don't think we can question that.

But what I would like to question is the organization that he was
heading, and the 'gospel' that he represented. It truly disturbs me 
when I hear of Evangelical leaders praising his overall message
and even calling him a 'great evangelist' or a 'great Christian leader'.
Is the Reformation null and void, then? Shall we simply fold up 
our tents and go back to Rome?

There is something very disturbing in the reaction that has come
from these quarters - including the 'prophets', the Pentecostals
and the "Protestants" (so-called). It makes me very uneasy.

Much has been made of the estimated 100 million Catholics who
have now been baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is certainly worth
rejoicing over. But what of the other 900 million who are locked
inside a system that preaches no "new birth" and no conversion -
but rather salvation by works, rituals and the 'sacraments' of the
church? Is such a "gospel" acceptable?

Is it acceptable to 'sprinkle' little babies and then tell them they
are "saved" so long as they go to Mass and go to 'confession'
and receive the other 'sacraments'? Is it acceptable to pray to
Mary (the 'Queen of Heaven') or to the saints, or to ivory statues? 
Is it acceptable to call a man 'Holy Father'? Is it acceptable to
forbid ministers from marrying, thus bringing about a deluge
of sexual abuse and scandal? Is any part of the way the Catholic
system is set up actually acceptable at all? Does any of it have
even the slightest resemblance to the New Testament?

The fundamentals of Catholicism have not changed since Luther's
day. The last pope altered little or none of these fundamentals. They
have not changed since the Dark Ages. And they make up a system 
that is sending millions upon millions of people to an eternal Hell.
They simply offer NO SALVATION WHATSOEVER. But what they
do offer is a "counterfeit" version of salvation - that keeps millions
in chains of darkness. 

Go and visit Latin America sometime, and see the dark superstition 
that often passes for Catholicism in those countries. Watch as 
they parade their statues through the streets for the crowds to 
bow down to. This is no "Christianity" at all. And it holds MILLIONS 
in its sway.

We need to remember that when elected Pope in 1978, Karol 
Wojtyla dedicated his papacy to Mary and had words of devotion to 
her embroidered on his papal robes. In his 1994 autobiography he 
said: "During the Second World War, while I was employed as a 
factory worker, I came to be attracted to Marian devotion.... Mary 
is the new Eve, placed by God in relation to Christ, the new Adam."
John Paul II venerated Mary on every occasion, private and public.
It was his custom to pray the Rosary before an image of Mary on 
the first Saturday of every month. He continually exalted Mary in his 
sermons. We are told that on his trip to Latin America in 1996 he 
"ended every speech by exalting Mary" (Christianity Today, April 8,
1996, p. 94).

I knew an intercessor in New Zealand who was an ex-Catholic.
She was one of the most anti-Catholic people that I knew. Why?
Because she spent over 20 years of her life brought up in that
system - diligently seeking God. Going to Mass, saying the
'Rosary', going to confession and so-on. And she was in complete
spiritual DARKNESS unitl she came out and embraced the true 
gospel. If she was still in there she would probably be UNSAVED STILL.

I am sorry to have to be the one to point out all of this. But why is  
it that the current crop of leaders seem so willing to give up 500 
years of Reformation truth in order to be "politically-correct" and 
find "unity" with the Catholic system? I received the following email 
last week, which helps bring all of this into focus:

 (From an Ex-catholic priest):

    When a man bows before an idol of ivory, begging for salvation, 
and you tell him it cannot answer - is this hate?

    When someone's little girl...must tell her thoughts, her emotions
and temptations to an unmarried priest in the confession box, and 
you tell her she need only confess to Jesus - is this hate?

    When a poor grieving widow pays from her meagre substance 
for Masses for her dead husband, desperately hoping to end his 
pain in purgatory, and you tell her there is no purgatory - is this hate?

    When one billion souls, for whom Christ died, trust a well-fed
pontiff dressed in gold and fine linen to give them the keys to 
Heaven, and you tell them they need no one but Jesus - is this hate?

    When Jesus, God's gift of love to all mankind, pointed his finger 
at the Pharisees and called them so many snakes - was this hate?

    When the Apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill and dared tell the
philosophers of pagan mystery religion that they were too 
superstitious - was this hate?

    NO!

    To free a man from Satan's chains, you must first tell him he is 
a prisoner. You must convince him that he is lost and without hope... 
There are those who call [evangelical] literature "hate literature." 
But they do not know the true meaning of hate.

    True hatred hides the gospel in beautiful words that upset no 
one, and therefore bring no conviction of sin. True hatred stands in 
selfish silence as hell's population grows.

[Source: 'Battle Cry', May-June 1993].
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God bless you, my friends.

-Andrew Strom.