Revelation: The Bride, The Beast, and Babylon
The Dragon of Revelation


The Pope, America & Prophecy

The Pope, America & Prophecy
Posted 09.16.2015
Protestants in America have a history of mistrusting the Catholic Church, but attitudes are rapidly changing as many—from all faiths and no faith at all—are opening their arms to welcome Pope Francis on his first visit to the United States. Is this a good sign?

He believes in protecting the environment. He is committed to social justice. He dresses modestly and reaches out to the marginalized. He has washed the feet of prisoners and opened Vatican doors to the homeless. Who wouldn’t like this pope? Baptists, Methodists, Jews, Muslims, former Catholics, and even atheists are all speaking favorably about Pope Francis.

In a recent CNN article titled, “The Pope: Not just for Catholics anymore,” Jessica Ravitz writes, “A variety of celebrities and other public figures across a variety of faiths have expressed support for Pope Francis.” Though he is the “head honcho of the world’s largest Christian church,” she explains, “he’s captured hearts across religious—and even nonreligious—lines.”

How has the “Francis effect” been catching the attention of leaders toward the head of the Roman Catholic Church? It’s quite apparent as America gears up for his big visit to Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia from September 22 to 27, 2015. Not only has a slew of memorabilia been created (T-shirts, mugs, coins, bumper sticks, and even a life-size pop-ups of the pontiff), but congress is rolling out the red carpet. The pope will speak to a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives on September 24. The following day he will address the United Nations General Assembly.

In the wake of his popularity, a chorus of voices is saying we should put aside the past, focus on unity, link hands across faith differences, find common ground, and concentrate on loving others. Even the president of Maryland’s Islamic Affairs Council went so far as to say, “Theological differences should be set aside in the pursuit of a better world for all.”

The United States has not always been so welcoming of Catholics. In his article, “America’s dark and not-very-distant history of hating Catholics,” Rory Carroll highlights several examples of discrimination. Quoting Kenneth Davis of the Smithsonian, he states this “dwindled in the 20th century, especially after John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president, bequeathing a sort of amnesia.” But should we completely forget about why there have been concerns?

It is a fallacy of division to think that one must accept all of the pope’s teachings based on some of his good actions. He certainly has demonstrated acts of compassion, but the same basic teachings that have separated many from Rome in the past remain unchanged. It is also a faulty generalization that to disagree with the teachings of a particular denomination automatically make a person a “hater” of people within that faith. The Bible calls us to love others and put away hatred (1 John 4:20). No true Christian will “hate” a Catholic.

Why has there been distrust in the past of the Catholic Church? While we should have no ill feelings toward other people, neither should there be ignorance on the teachings of Scripture. Honest believers will carefully study the Bible and will weigh the Word against the history and doctrines of the Roman church. There are biblical reasons and prophetic warnings to be wary of a leader who captures the heart of the world. Is it a genuine unity that pulls people of different faiths under the banner of the pope … or is it wishful thinking?

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Revelation: The Bride, The Beast, and Babylon