This week Pope Francis visits America for speeches in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. The expected massive gatherings have led to coining the term "Popeapocalypse."
Increasingly recognized as the Moral Authority on earth, Pope Francis heads the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church with "a chain of command from the Vatican all the way to the local parish capable of transmitting information, ideology and material goods throughout the world" ("Why the Pope Matters," Huffington Post).
Rewind 500 years to the Protestant Reformation. On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther stood before Emperor Charles V and a vast assembly in Worms, Germany, to protest Catholic traditions that had replaced salvation by simple faith in Jesus Christ alone.
"Sola Scriptura" (which is Latin, meaning "by Scripture alone"), became a rallying cry of countless Reformers, including John Calvin (Presbyterian), John Wesley (Methodist), Charles Spurgeon (Baptist) and Matthew Henry (Bible Commentary author).
For many, the protest is over. A Christian News Network article titled "TV Preachers Glowingly Describe Meeting With Pope to Tear Down 'Walls of Division'" mentions Kenneth Copeland, James Robison and Joel Osteen seeking ecumenical solidarity with Pope Francis. Countless others are boarding this same ecumenical train. But not all.
"While Pope Francis teaches some valuable ideas," reports TV producer and bestselling author of over 30 books Steve Wohlberg, "he still promotes scores of unbiblical Catholic traditions, such as praying to dead saints, purgatory, private confessions to priests, priestly celibacy, Peter as the first Pope and imploring Mary to 'pray for us sinners' (the 'Hail Mary' prayer)—all of which contradict the Bible."
Quoting Scripture, Wohlberg says there is only "one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). "Even the title, 'the Holy Father,' is inappropriate. God alone is our 'Holy Father' (John 17:11)."
"Essentially, the Church that ruled Europe for nearly 1,000 years hasn't changed its core teachings," declares Wohlberg. "Instead, Protestantism has changed. So has America."
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