Letter to Editor
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2007
Pope’s labels of ‘defective,’ and ‘not true churches’ lamented
As a Christian and minister, I was very disheartened to hear and read the words of Pope Benedict XVI, as he systematically attempts to dismantle the work of Vatican II. The message from the Pope leads us to consider the potential harm he has inflicted to the entire Christian community. Words such as “defective” and “not true churches,” as a description of the Orthodox and Protestant churches, is a theology more closely aligned to the Inquisition than Biblical scholarship. Notwithstanding the fact, there is no factual or verifiable evidence in sustaining the belief in an apostolic succession from Peter to the present Pope (Joseph Ratzinger), one has to question who is defective?
Pope Benedict claims that there is only one “true” Church, a quick study of the Greek word for church, which is ekklesia, and its New Testament usage, undermines that concept. He further states that the Roman Catholic church is the only means of salvation to humankind. Of course, this robust and self-righteous attitude is shared by a host of others. However, I’ll rest my assurance not on the dictates of a church, but on the authority of Scripture, which boldly declares, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Finally I mean no disrespect to those in the Roman Catholic community, however if a Southern Baptist, such as me, had uttered those same statements to the international media, if I was a person of global status, the press would have called me an uneducated barbarian or better yet, a spiritual Nazi. I would hope that the Christian community, regardless of affiliation, can embrace the unity of Christ, for if we once again battle among ourselves, Islam will rise to fill the gap.
Dr. Andrew Brasher
Cornerstone Baptist Church