Worldly, secular or Christian? When the Pope speaks, you have to listen with “Argus ears.” As a “baptized person” you have to reject worldly things, but you have to serve the world. The claim of the Roman Catholic Church is visible here.
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You have to listen carefully
Sometimes it is really difficult to translate various statements into another language without distorting the context and meaning. Last Thursday, Pope Francis addressed attendees at an audience at the Vatican. It was about the topic of “secolarità”.
This choice of words from Italian was a challenge for the Vatican’s German translators, as “Vatikan News” reported. In German this word could mean “secularity” or “worldliness”. Pope Francis used the word “secolarità” in a positive sense in connection with a “secular institute” of priests. The pontiff, on the other hand, describes “worldliness” as one of the worst temptations of the church.
Secularity, according to the Pope, is “a dimension of the Church called to serve and witness to the Kingdom of God in this world. […] The Church, every baptized person, is in the world and for the world, but not from the world”.
In the world – From the world
It goes without saying that when Pope Francis speaks of the baptized person he is simply a Catholic, just as he equates Catholicism with Christianity. In fact, there is a significant difference between being “of” the world and merely “in” the world. Every human being is naturally in the world. The aspect of the “worldly” comes to light when this person is also “of” the world.
You follow trends, adopt politically motivated ideologies, strive for a professional career, hoard money, want to impress other people, and worship “superstars” and their posters.
The list could go on and on. Even those who profess to be Christians still have both feet in the world. This is demonstrated, among other things, by attending church services and Christian events that are not far removed from a rock concert, and by raising one’s hands in prayer in front of a cross dedicated to the “Sun God” Mithras, as was recently done again in Augsburg, in a so-called ecumenical prayer house.
The true Christian is in this world, but has virtually no part in it. The points of contact with the worldly world are reduced to the minimum possible. “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” said Jesus Christ (Luke 20:25). Observe law and order, but don’t follow every trend or jump over every stick that’s put out there.
The baptized person should be “for” the world?
However, caution is advised when it comes to the Pope’s blanket statement that the baptized person is “for” the world. From a gospel perspective, this meant seeking and evangelizing people to bring them out of this world. Because sympathy for this world should only apply to fellow human beings who are still disorientated or completely seduced. But nothing more, because James 4:4:
“know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.“
In other words, the worldly man is in opposition to God. One leg in secularism and another leg in Christianity are the same nonsense, because Luke 16:13:
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.“
Either … or!
Pope means “a little” more
But the Pope would not be the Pope if he did not consider the work of the baptized “for” the world to be contrary to the Gospel (Info). The work he emphasizes that is beneficial to the world naturally refers to the entire range of the worldly.
He means working “for” politics, education, society, the economy and the definition of ethics, decency and morality. All of this with oneself in the elevated position of the all-encompassing overview. But that is absolutely not what Jesus Christ ever intended or taught. A socio-political intervention of Jesus Christ only exists in some “thought leaders” of the Roman Church. This particularly includes the Jesuit Paul Knitter, who postulated that Jesus was a kind of “revolutionary” who wanted to change society.
The demands of “working for” are clear
The Pope’s claimed work “for” the world describes nothing other than the claim to religious-political leadership over all countries in the world. A model that already existed in the (Dark) Middle Ages. The omnipotent emperor over the kings of this earth.
It is understandable that the Pope also condemns any approach to secularism in the Church. In the self-image of this church, it represents the heavenly on earth, while the worldly is equated with the fallen angels (demons) that need to be controlled and contained.
Rome’s moral, ethical and socio-political guidelines are already clear. The baptized person who works “for” the world should work for “climate protection” in the form of a new religion (Info), and “social justice” within a united human family (Info).
Get out of the world – Don’t do things together
Have no part in this world, is the message of the Gospel, because 1. John 5:19:
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.“
However, Pope Francis is of the opinion that the baptized person should serve the evil described here.
The opposite of so many statements made by a pontiff is true. It is important to overcome this world, just as Jesus Christ overcame this world as an example for all of us. Get people out of this world, but not make common cause. Baptism alone is not a recipe for automatically being counted as a child of God. There is something more to this (Info).
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:4-5
Bible verses from King James Version