Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do NOT Pray for the Pope

Continuing in this Do NOT Pray series:

In addition to the principles, precepts and precedents already presented (does this sound like Pippi in Mr. Popper's Penguins?)... let's observe some textual criticism of some relevant verses.  Verses which neither the present Pope, nor previous Popes have given an infallible interpretation to.  Yet verses which his supporters admonish me with.

So first let's look at Matthew 5:44- as Maroun is wont to do in his admonition of me:
  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Mat 5:44 KJV)

Now, contrary to Borland, I believe the above text is a prime example of textual expansion.  Of scribes importing the italicized words from Luke 6 into Mathew 5... to expand the understanding of their readers.   A virtuous expansion... but an expansion that didn't pay import duties .  Prominent textual-critics Aland and Comfort give numerous reasons for this virtuous expansion of the text.  Reasons accepted by most translation committees.  So most translations do not include this textual expansion.

But for the sake of argument- let's go with this textual expansion.  Let's see how universal this portion of the Beatitudes really is in Luke's Sermon on the Plains.  Then we'll look at how universal this portion of the Beatitudes really are in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount.

So, looking at this Lukan portion- it should be apparent that this maxim is based on the Principle of Mercy.  Of us being merciful, "just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36).
But does this portion presume equal mercy to both?  Friends as much as enemies?  As much mercy on the hard heart as on the softened heart?
Clearly this presumes too much.  And delivers far too little... from an all-powerful God.

Also, such is contrary to the claim, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy" (Exo 33:19 KJV).  A claim not even endorsed by Rome's Douay-Rheims translation, "I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please me" (Exo 33:19 DRA).  A peculiar translation that reserves for God at least a little mercy unshewn.  And thus reserves for us at least a little mercy unshewn as well.

And the verse preceding this portion?    "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26 KJV).  Does this not belittle universal endorsement of prophets?  Encourage at least a little discernment of who you endorse?

And the verse following this portion?   "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven" (Luke 6:37 KJV).  A maxim promoting general Christian charity.  Hardly applies to all judgement, condemnation or forgiveness, does it?  Certainly doesn't apply to civil judgement.  Civil war would surely result.

Now, the Matthean portion is based on the Principle of Mercy as well.  Based on God sending rain on the "righteous and the unrighteous" (Matt. 5:45).  But this doesn't mean that he sends rain equally.  Or send rain indiscriminately, folks. And we have plenty of biblical evidence against that claim, now don't we?  Plenty of evidence that righteous Noah was spared from rain.  And unrighteous men were not (cf. Amos 4:7).

Which brings us back to the admonition in question.  That I should pray for the universe.  And by extension, even the Universalis Episcopus.  No mere enemy... but an apostate of the Gospel of Grace.  Who stands condemned- just as Peter stood to Paul in his letter to the Galatians (Galatians 2:11).  Not for importing numerous specious graces- but rather for importing Works into the Gospel.  Works that haven't paid their import duties.

Yet let's have a look at another passage in this post.
Let's have a look at James 5:16...  where we are told that the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".
Are the Popes prayers more effectual then?  Is he more righteous than I?

Then let him pray for himself.  Let him pray for his own rain then .  Let him pray for his own mercy.
He doesn't need my puny prayers then. Mine wouldn't avail him much more. And he wouldn't want my prayers and petitions anyways.

Since my prayers would call for the Popes repentance.  Since my prayers would call for him to repent of his misplaced faith... and place his faith in Christ alone.

But the Pope is likely beyond that call.  Waaay beyond that call...

Way beyond that call- when he assumed the title of  Universalis Episcopus.   Way beyond that call- when he assumed the title of "Vicar of Peter, Vicar of Christ and Vicar of God Almighty".  Beyond that call- when he assumed the Patrimony of St. Peter.

A patrimony given to Pope Stephen III in 755A.D.  A patrimony given to him by a puny man named Pippin.  After the Pope promised Pippin the pittance of, "long life and the most glorious mansions in heaven" for the patrimony of much of Italy (funny  how Pippi's and Popper's repeat themselves....).

A patrimony that was lost "a few weeks (1870 A.D.) after the Pope proclaimed to the world his own infallibility in all matters of faith and morals" [Schaff].    A patrimony that was removed from the Pope.  A patrimony that was given to Victor Emanuel.  With the Popes patrimony "confined" to The Vatican.

And it is my prayer, that prayers for the Pope also be confined to The Vatican.
Confined to the Popes repentance.  Confined to a faith in our Victor.

Confined to a faith in Emmanuel (Isaiah 8:8).  The only Vicar of God.

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