Friday, April 29, 2011

The Beatification Of John Paul II


On May 1, 2011 Pope John Paul II will be pounced as "Blessed" by the Roman Catholic Church. This is the second of three steps that will end in him being declared a "saint." Which is immensely different than the process for us lowly Baptists, who call every born-again, regenerated soul a saint. You get saved, and you're a saint. Baptism by immersion is not even required.

I find the whole process interesting and disturbing at the same time. But then again, my expectations are very low for the church that claims Mary as co-redemptrix. So it is no real surprise that I am both mildly amused and severely repulsed by some of this nonsense.

*******Note to Roman Catholics who used to read my blog**********
(I'm quite certain they won't after this post).

While I know the following will offend, it is not meant to. It is my desire that all come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, not co-Lord, co-God, or co-redeemer. Jesus said it as plainly as it can be said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" John 14:6. Mary cannot save you, answer your prayers, or talk Jesus into anything for you.


Now, back to John Paul. Benedict declared him as venerable, step number 1. This basically means that he lived a heroically virtuous life. I can see that in John Paul. He was an ecumenical wreck, but he did bring many faiths together, reuniting the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches. He had a major hand in bringing down communism in Europe, especially in his home country of Poland. So, yeah, calling him venerable is not a bad thing.

The second step takes place on Sunday. Benedict will pronounce him blessed and he will become what is known as beatified. Once this takes place he will be well on his way to sainthood. The qualification of becoming beatified is that a bona fide miracle must be attributed to the individual. Here is where certain problems come in for me and a whole world of Evangelicals. (Notice that I did not say Protestant. That is because I am not a Protestant. The word comes from "to protest;" as in the Reformers protesting the abuses of the Catholics. I'm not a Protestant because I never protested anything. I am a Baptist. We left a century before Luther!) Anyway, among the festivities of the beatification are things that cause Catholics to worship the individual. As one example (the list is long) the marble slab that covered John Paul's tomb is being sent to his homeland of Poland. Where it will be set up as a shrine, and ultimately where people will flock to offer their reverence...then their adoration...and eventually, their worship.

Step three by-the-way, is the process of canonization, or making the person a saint. Canon is simply the word for measuring stick, like a yard stick. It came to mean a list of things, because the canon was the list of the books of the Bible. Those books that had been canonized, or measured and found to be worthy, were entered into the Bible. So canonization of the saints is adding them to the list. In order to become a Saint, one must have a miracle attributed to that person posthumously. In-other-words, someone prays to the person, after said person is dead, and said person performs a miracle for the someone. It won't take long for someone who has been praying to John P. to get healed of something, and they will give the credit to him instead of Jesus. Sister Teresa already has had two miracles attributed to her since her death.

The main problem I have is the way Roman Catholics attribute God's attributes to people. And dead people at that! This leads to them being elevated above their place as mere servants of God, to a place where they eventually can become, like Mary, co-equal with God. That is a very scary road to walk down, and will always lead to a Second Vatican Council mentality.

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