Ruffling Feathers

So we were in the car one day and the trusty husband turns to me and says, “you know the Pope said that Catholicism is the only way to get to heaven.” Really? And here I am a piddly little Lutheran. Damn. I’d had it all wrong all along. Evidently that whole Bible and God’s word thing really isn’t the authority on who actually gets into heaven. Apparently it is the word of some old dude in Rome who wears funny hats.

I pondered my husband’s statement for a little while. You see he does this to me to give me more fodder to poke fun of Catholics. Not that there isn’t plenty of stuff I make fun of Lutherans for. I have many Catholic friends. I don’t hate Catholics so don’t go sending me hate mail on how I’m going to hell for making fun of “the one true religion.” There are a few Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Baptists, Christ Scientists and any other religious sect who would disagree with that statement.

Either way, I didn’t quite believe that a man who is supposed to teach the word of God would make such a bold and sweeping statement. The Pope is basically saying that the rest of us who have faith in God, but commune in a different church are all going to hell or somewhere other than heaven if you are like me and don’t actually believe in a purgatory.

However, the Pope’s statement was real. The actual quote can be found here and in many other newspapers around the world. The quote has become so controversial that it is ruffling feathers worldwide. I can’t see why? I mean come on, the are millions of us around the world that attend church regularly semi-regularly on a bi-annually basis who think we are getting through the pearly gates. Personally I think I’m going to get to the door just to have St. Peter tell me I did it wrong and send me back as a roach.

This isn’t to say that showing up on Sunday is an automatic in. What I am saying is that does it really matter what side of the pew you sit on? Doesn’t it say in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith?and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Right there in the Bible. That book that is supposed to be the word of God. It is by the grace of God that you get in. You don’t give that right to yourself. The Pope does not give you that right. God gives it to you. It is his gift. If I’m not mistaken, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That’s pretty clear cut for me.? I don’t see any fine print that says, “but only if you are Catholic.”? Is my Bible missing an addendum or did I just not get that memo from God?

Who gives the Pope the authority to tell us that Catholics are the only ones who get saved? Certainly not God. Or does the Pope have some top secret red telephone under a glass case that has a direct line to the man upstairs. If that is the case I want to use that phone. I have a beef or two with the big man that I want to hash out.

19 Comment

  1. We have the same mind…I object to the man-made rules.

  2. Nancy says: Reply

    Amen sista!!! Of course, I’m Lutheran so I’m obviously going to going to agree.

  3. Dana says: Reply

    I’ve never been a big fan of this pope. Being Lutheran, I don’t follow him too closely. But I think he’s been controversial the whole time.

  4. NEAL says: Reply

    Note that first comes grace.

    It’s there, and it’s up to us to take it, through our faith.

  5. DebiP says: Reply

    Lutherans rock on….that Pope guy don’t know Jack…

  6. Judy says: Reply

    I always say “God don’t keep no score card up there!”…..

  7. Okay Catholic here…my take on it is this: Isn’t the Pope SUPPOSED to say that? Do you really want your leader saying “Sure we’re great but so is the other team?” Would you like that in a HOCKEY COACH Elle? I think not! You want a leader that says “WE ROCK! YOU SUCK!”, right? No? Okay, truth be told I mostly agree with you. The Catholic church disagrees with IVF, birth control, premarital sex and other really important stuff that I partook of. And his hat is pretty stupid.

  8. Mom says: Reply

    I believe if you live with God in your heart…no matter your denomination…you’ll at least make it to the gate. Lead with your heart for all mankind without passing judgment gives you a ticket but there is no free pass! I too am a confirmed Lutheran but was baptized a Catholic. Yikes…what happens to me in this predicament?

  9. Rhonda says: Reply

    I don’t know. He might be right about you Lutherans…you are one wild and crazy bunch. 😉

    You know, the Catholic church has been hurt so badly by controversies as of recent, that you wonder if something like this isn’t more of a political move than a religious one. Its certainly not Biblical, as you’ve noted here.

    An aside, I was stunned when I realized their latest settlement to the abuse victims was mostly paid by insurance companies, because they had SEXUAL ABUSE insurance!!!??? Huh? How is that even legal?

    (I hate to bash here, so I should clarify that I have every respect for the followers who attend their churches. But I do think the leadership has some issues.)

  10. I have so many issues with organized religion but that would be at the top of the list. I don’t have to go sit in a particular building in pantyhose on Sunday morning to have faith and live a Christian life.

    BTW, don’t you watch South Park? The Mormons on the only ones who have it right and are going to heavan. (And that might friend might be why I’m going to hell in a handbasket. Hehe.)

  11. IAL says: Reply

    We had a good sermon on this a couple of weeks ago when David Algers of Associated Ministries preached. Talked about the community of Christ and having us all work together.

    Basically it comes down to our faith in Christ.

  12. Wendy says: Reply

    Don’t tell the Pope this, but our Priest doesn’t agree with him. He recently gave a sermon on how God is not about what church you attend or what team you are on. We are Catholic but this Pope is not representing the future of the religion or even what most of us believe. I guess we can just hope his age and ill health mean he will be replaced soon…. Oh I am so going to hell for wishing the Pope would die!

  13. I’m Catholic and I 100% disagree with how the Pope’s words are being interpretted. I don’t know a single Catholic person who believes they are the only “saved” people. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I have had people of other faiths, usually Baptist, tell me that I am not saved. Nothing against Baptists or any other faith. This has just been my experience. I sincerely hope Pope Benedict does not mean what he said in the way it is being interpretted.

    One thing I think people don’t understand is that the term Church in Catholism is not the actual religion of Catholism or the physical building we worship in. It means all followers of God. Below is the definition of the term church from my Catholic dictionary.

    “At the Second Vatican Council this concept of the Church was recognized as the objective reality that identifies the fullness of the Roman Catholic Church. But it was qualified subjectively so as to somehow include all who are baptized and profess their faith in Jesus Christ. They are the People of God, whom he has chosen to be his own and on whom he bestows the special graces of his providence.”

    The pope said that Jesus established one true church on Earth. I would assume he meant church in the way we use it in the Catholic faith. Not in the way it is being made to sound. Although I do see how it could be interpretted that way.

  14. Jenny2 says: Reply

    “What if we chose the wrong religion? Each week we just make God madder and madder.”

    Matt Groening, The Simpsons

  15. Well said. I get annoyed when Christians think they’re the only ones entitled to enter heaven, too. It’s pretty stinking self-involved to think that one way is the only way.

  16. Jenny says: Reply

    This pope is HARD ASS LINE. Old school and was made pope because Paul was soo liberal (as popes go)

    Also, I thought what he said was the the pope only recognized Catholic churches as the only real christian churches and that all other christian religions weren’t like up to par or something, not recognizable.

    Being Catholic, planning on sending my kids to catholic school and the whole bit I find it funny. I only take a portion of my religion to heart. I find the having a ritual more important than having to believe 100%. lame I guess. but that was the way I was raised and taught in liberal catholicism in CT.

    I honestly could give 2 shits what people believe. So….christian, jewish, nothing, heathen. go for what you believe and why listen to anyone else?


  17. Jenn says: Reply

    Your right on the money. It says it right in the Bible…believing in Christ and the resurrection. Churches/religion really tend to muddle that upt. Assuming one believes the Bible is the Word of God, then we could all start reading the directions written for us and we’d be better off. Just my opinion.

  18. I understand what you are saying, but I think a lot of protestants don’t agree that Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. are going to heaven. Especially in the Bible Belt area. So even though protestants don’t claim to be the one true religion the general attitude is that they are the ones on the right track and the others are wrong. Just like all of the other ones.

    In my opinion I am in agreement with you that it is up to God and not up to a specific religion. I believe people in different religions will be saved- not all people from one religion.

  19. Kate says: Reply

    It is up to one person isn’t it? God, and no one not even the Pope will ever be able to do anything but guess…

    no one know’s what is in someone’s heart!

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