Over the weekend – relating to the pope’s visit to America and the nonstop coverage of everything he did, including every speech he gave – I posted the following on Facebook; I honestly don’t care that America is welcoming the pope, let me know when they welcome Jesus.
A bit sarcastic? Yes. However, it was prompted by something that I took notice of in his address to the joint session of the United States Congress. If I was betting an over/under on the pope saying the name of Jesus at some time during his speech, and the betting number was one, I would have definitely taken the over. But I would have lost. Not once, during his forty five minute address, did the pope mention the name of Jesus. WOW!
How could that be? And, with that said, it begs the question, “What on earth did he talk about?” Well, everything but Jesus. He talked about social issues, income redistribution, global warming, protecting the environment, and uneven wealth distribution. Thomas Merton, a communist mystic who converted to Zen Buddhism actually got five mentions.
Catholics claim their pope is the successor to the Apostle Peter. Can you imagine the Apostle Peter giving a speech before Congress and never mentioning Jesus Christ one single time? Peter spoke to a large crowd in Jerusalem and talked about nothing but Jesus! And the result? 3000 people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior that very day.
Unfortunately, the tendency for denominations, churches, and even individual Christians, when talking about their faith, to talk about everything but Jesus, is becoming all too common today. In fact, Jesuslessness (I know, it’s a word I just made up), is what differentiates real Christianity from religion.
Religion is man reaching up to heaven, trying to do good works to get to heaven. Christianity is God reaching down to man, through His Son Jesus Christ, as the only way to heaven. Religion void of Jesus becomes man centered. That reality is what caused Richard Burton to once say, “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.”
Paul put it best when he said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12