Pope Francis says it’s better to be an atheist than a greedy Christian

16923836_666339183545593_67439780_nThis article on CNN came across my screen while perusing the news this morning.  To be blunt, that is an ironic statement coming from the Pope, seeing as he is not a Christian himself.

Dear reader, does that assertion shock you?  That is precisely why I am writing this article today.  The world at large, and a hefty percentage of the professing evangelical church, sees Roman Catholicism as part of Christianity, akin to a denomination.  This is a wildly false and grievous assumption.  Roman Catholic doctrine is not biblical Christianity.  They are at absolute odds with each other.  Let’s examine a few of Francis’ statements from the article to demonstrate my point.

Expanding on his statement that it is better to be an atheist than a greedy Christian, Pope Francis said the following:

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The problems with this statement are numerous.  First, a Christian is someone who has placed their faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross for their salvation and forgiveness of their sins.  That is what defines a Christian, we are saved by grace through faith.For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  

A person who is ever genuinely saved (converted/regenerated) is forever saved and is a Christian.  “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:37,39).  

The pope is saying that Christians who don’t do works the right way will be denied entrance into heaven.  So, the first issue is that it would not be a Christian who is not admitted into heaven, it would be an unbeliever.  All Christians will receive eternal life.  The second issue is that we do not receive admittance into heaven based on offerings (good works).  We are admitted because we placed our faith in Jesus.  In Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus says that He will turn away people He never knew, it is not because they did works the wrong way, or the wrong works.  It is because they were never genuine believers in the first place.  They had never placed their trust in Him for forgiveness of sins.  That is the issue at hand.

Example #2:

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“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12)

Pope Francis has again confused what saves a person.  He thinks works, God says faith in His Son.

Example #3: 

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Does Jesus’ death redeem every single person?  No, as the verses below will show.  Jesus sacrifice is infinite in its value…..it could save any number of people who come to saving faith.  But it is not infinite in its application or efficacy, meaning that it is only applied to those who the Father draws, and gives the new heart to, enabling them to believe and repent.  This is the doctrine of efficacious grace: the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save.  However, if according to Francis Jesus paid for everyone’s sins, and the Bible says that people go to hell, then are we to believe that Jesus paid for the sins of the hell-bound and then they pay for their sins eternally in hell also?  No, that is not just, and God is Just.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Who did He give His life for?  All?  No, many.  We do not say many when we mean all.  

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)  Who will receive eternal life?  Those who believe in Him.  Do atheists believe?  No, they do not.

Is everyone saved, as Pope Francis’ statement implies?  No. 

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14)

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)

“…when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,  dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)

No, it is not better to be an atheist than a greedy Christian.  If a Christian is committing the sin of greed, the Holy Spirit will convict them and bring them to repentance.  Christians will go to heaven.  Atheists will go to hell.  I hope this short lesson in the scripture twisting and man-made rules of Roman Catholicism has been helpful for you, my readers.  The reformation happened for a reason, because Roman Catholicism had defected from the true faith, and morphed into a false religion, preaching the doctrine of demons.  People who are wrapped up in Roman Catholicism need to hear the true gospel.  Those who do and believe in it, will reject the false doctrine of Roman Catholicism and come out from her.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Resources for further investigation:

 Are Roman Catholicism and Christianity the same thing?  article by CARM

All articles refuting Roman Catholicism by CARM

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11 thoughts on “Pope Francis says it’s better to be an atheist than a greedy Christian

  1. Hi Jennifer, I’m a bit late on commenting but better late than never. I agree with just about everything that you stated in this post. I’ve always been extremely careful about categorically indicating as to whether a person is a Christian or not due to 1 Cor:4:1-5. If I was a betting man and based on statements that the Pope has said, I would probably have a tendency to seriously think what you have indicated, but I would hold off on actually saying it and basically leave that for God to decide. That also goes with categorically stating that all Roman Catholics are not Christians. Even the author of the CARM article (Matt Slick?) indicates that he does believe that there are true Christians within the RCC. See https://carm.org/are-roman-catholics-christian Just so you know, I have studied Roman Catholicism extensively and I am acutely aware of the fallacies within their doctrine. When it comes to making judgements, within the Church, I agree that it has to be done and I agree that what the RCC teaches is apostasy. When you are dealing with a specific person, it’s a hard one to call. I did a study of a book by Graham Cooke recently and I deliberately did not make any judgement on whether he was a true Christian or not. What I did do was not recommend the book nor the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) organization he is associated with and I gave the reasons for that judgement. The lines are not always as clear as we would like them to be, but when it comes to judging a person’s heart, I think God asks us to leave that to Him, at least when we are making a public statement. I could be wrong (been there before), just thought I would send this your way for your consideration. Blessings.

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    1. Hi Bruce
      Thank you for your thoughts. I always appreciate my brothers giving me feed back and watching over what I write.

      The Bible instructs us to mark and avoid false teachers. Romans 16:17-18 says of false teachers: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

      Based on his own statements and what he professes to believe and what he teaches, Pope Francis is a false teacher and he is not saved. 2 Peter 2:1 tells us that false teachers are marked for destruction. Because he is a teacher, we can biblically identify him by his fruit and rightly judge whether or not he is of us or is a wolf in sheeps clothing. I know it is uncomfortable, but I stand by what I say based on following what is laid out in scripture.

      I agree we are not to judge individuals hearts (as in regular people, not teachers). No where in this post did I do so. What I did clearly state is that the doctrine of Roman Catholicism is not Biblical Christianity. And I stand by that statement. I also said that anyone who is caught up in RC who is truly saved will eventually reject the teachings of the RC church. They are not compatible, and the Holy Spirit indwelling a believer will not tolerate forever one of His own staying in a false religion.

      We are not to judge hearts of people (non-teachers) but we are to discern false teaching and warn others. We are loving people lost in false religions when we clearly state the truth.

      Here is a webpage that has numerous scriptures clearly warning believers about false teaching and false teachers, and the biblical response:https://www.openbible.info/topics/judging_false_teachers

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  2. Hi Jennifer, thanks for the quick response. If you notice, a lot of the verses in the link that you sent me tell us to avoid, rebuke, warn etc. The judgement to disassociate ourselves from them is based on what they are teaching, if it disagrees with the Gospel that has already been given. There is a distinct difference between avoiding someone because of what they are teaching and categorically stating that they are not Christian. Also consider in history, prior to the Reformation, for most Christians, the RCC was all that there was. You’re on the right street Jennifer, I was just throwing in a sidewalk for you to consider. Have a great day. Blessings!

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    1. Bruce,

      Your objection is that I stated unequivocally that Pope Francis is not a Christian. Here is how I can say that biblically:

      The pope spends his time in office believing and saying that he is the substitute on earth for Christ, which is blasphemy.

      He holds to, believes, that the doctrine of the RCC is truth. The doctrine of the RCC is another gospel. Paul says in Galatians 1:6-9 “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

      Elizabeth Prata, fellow Christian blogger, stated it perfectly, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I will quote her: “The popes, the embodiment of men who deny Jesus and are spiritual idolaters, adulterers and blasphemers. Protectors of false doctrine, writers of false doctrine, and promoters of false doctrine. I can say with certainty that the bible says such unrepentant men do not enter heaven.”

      What does God say about those who are blasphemers, idolaters, spiritual adulterers and who are unrepentant? :

      Galatians 5 “19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      Revelation 21: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

      The Bible says everywhere that unless one repents, they will go to hell. Pope Francis, according to his own words, believes, teaches, writes and promotes false doctrine. The RCC has not changed their stance on the reformation, they still say anathema to those who hold to the Bible and salvation by faith alone. The RCC and Pope Francis, according to their own words, are unrepentant of those beliefs. The Bible says that those who are idolaters, blasphemers, and spiritual adulterers, will not inherit the kingdom of God and will go to hell. It isn’t my authority and opinion by which I discern that Francis is not a Christian. Like a lawyer, I have shown you through Pope Francis own words (you can re-read the post), and through Scripture, that Pope Francis is not a Christian. The Bible says he isn’t. I am simply repeating that here.

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      1. Hi Jennifer, if I have upset you I am sorry. That wasn’t my intent. I believe that we are not to judge where a person stands with God, because we are simply incapable of doing so. But we must be able to “discern both good and evil” in the actions of ourselves as well as others in order to grow in wisdom and avoid falling into problems ourselves. Apparently we disagree and that is alright. I understand your position and I respect it, was just hoping to give you something to think about. Hope you have a great day. Blessings.

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      2. Hi Bruce,
        You haven’t upset me at all….I’m a bit puzzled you would think so. 🙂

        It is good for believers to have discourse over differences….iron sharpens iron. I was merely clarifying, as you were pursuing a point that I hadn’t made. I’m always open to differences in the comments, as long as people are sure to use scripture (correctly) for the basis of their reasoning.

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  3. Hi Bruce, I really don’t have time, but I briefly skimmed the link. Also, because I do not have time to thoroughly vet the link, I am withholding your comment, as I am responsible for the information distributed through my site.

    As for the article at the link you provided: I don’t see how it applies, as the Roman Catholic church is APOSTATE (not currently a Christian denomination), and in our discussion we are not dealing with a parishioner, but a LEADER. I’ve already shown you through the scriptures in the post and in several comments why we can say with certainty regarding a FALSE TEACHER whether or not they are a Christian. At this point, I don’t see how continuing the discussion is edifying. I’ve given you abundant scriptural evidence. Thanks for the discussion, and no I’m not upset. 🙂

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