Did He Really Say That?

PopeFrancis

In a shocking speech that is reverberating across the world, Pope Francis made this declaration in the third Vatican council.

“Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer.

“This doctrine, the Pope said “is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.”

“All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there? In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”

Can you believe the Pope really said that?

Well don’t.  Because He didn’t!

This is an internet hoax written by Erik Thorson on his blog The Diversity Chronicle.  He said it was satirical. And written for his own amusement!

However, many well-meaning folks have forwarded this story, posted it on facebook, and plastered it all over social media.

While the Pope may be intent on reforming the Catholic church, hold positions with which I disagree, or embrace a Theology contrary to my understanding of the Bible, I need to be fair.  Honest.  And accurate.

The same is true for President Obama.  I’ve had many emails attributing positions, practices and quotations to Mr. Obama that are simply false.

Why are folks so quick to forward such information? Especially when it seems on the surface to be unbelievable?  Usually, because it reinforces their dislike of the person or their disagreement with their policies, practices, politics or religion.

In an age of instant communication where ideas and articles can be posted, forwarded or tweeted in a nano-second, Christians would do well to follow these Biblical admonitions.

“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil… Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all…. speak evil of no one… be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people…Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor…”    (I Thess 5:21-22;  Rom 12:17; Titus 3:2 Eph 4:25)

Spreading false information, either knowing or innocently, undermines our credibility, decreases our godly influence and diminishes our Christian testimony.  We are called to a higher standard than those in the world who peddle gossip, utter innuendoes, and denigrate their opponents.

By the way, I understand that we’ve all been fooled at some time by a hoax, internet scam or urban legend.  It happens.  I’m simply encouraging us all to do a better job at checking out the facts and the reliability of our sources before we hit the send or share button.

So, the next time your tempted to share the latest unbelievable scandal or incredible story, you might ask, “Is it true?”   “Is it fair?”  “Is it factual?”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

19 Comments

Filed under Integrity

19 responses to “Did He Really Say That?

  1. John Grant

    Excellent article

  2. Very insightful! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sylvilene Larkin Haltom

    I heartily agree with you, Ken. Seems we forget to give people the benefit of a doubt until we know the facts.

  4. Galen Garrison

    Well stated.

  5. Larry Hafley

    When you first heard “reports” and “rumors” about me, what did you do? You called me.  I verified them.  Thanks, brother, for practicing what you preach.  Your brother, Larry

  6. Ivan

    Great article. This Pope is to reform the Roman Catholic Church, and I pray he goes all the way to the First Century!

  7. Just goes to show, that you can’t believe everything you read. Thank you so much for sharing this

  8. Just like that commercial said something like i believe it i heard it on the internet.. well that cannot be the case..

  9. Great point believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear #GoodAdvice

  10. Hi Ken, this is a great post and a great reminder that we cannot just believe what is thrown around on line, since much of it is not true.

  11. Galen Garrison

    Last weekend Dr. Ravi Zacharias addressed abortion and other moral issues during his visit to Brigham Young University and in his presentation at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City where I now live. Zacharias is only the second non-LDS person to speak in the Tabernacle, the first being D.L. Moody. In spite of theological differences, ecumenical bridges are being built to address these tragic social failings that have their roots in our spiritual foundations. Both presentations are available here if interested in viewing. http://www.rzim.org/rzim-news/ravi-zacharias-at-byu-and-the-mormon-tabernacle/

    Keep preaching truth.

  12. Stephen Segrest

    Ken — this blog about Hell brings up a question that I’ve long had — as a valued teacher, could you give me your input? When Christ died on the cross for our sins, did Jesus experience Hell? I’ve always believed He did — as God can not be in the presence of sin. Is it Biblical to think of Hell as a condition absent the presence of God?

  13. Stephen Segrest

    Galen — What’s your take then on “exactly” what was happening in Christ’s agonizing words on the Cross? When Christ was accepting our sin, was He experiencing a complete separation from God?

  14. Galen

    If God completely separated from Jesus on the cross, then is God truly omnipresent? Additionally, Jesus quoted Psa 22:1, however, David went on in verse 21 to say, “Rescue me from the mouth of the lion, and from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered me!” What David correct in verse 1 and incorrect in verse 21 or the inverse?

    The question is whether Jesus was speaking factually, metaphorically, or emotionally. My conclusion, albeit unconventional, is that he was speaking emotionally about how he felt rather than stating fact that he had been abandoned by God the Father. Otherwise, we must re-evaluate other statements considered metaphorical as being factual instead, e.g. Matthew 26;26-28. — “While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”

    I do not propose that I have this or anything else completely figured out relative to the Bible. I know what I believe to be true, and when and/or if discovered that I am wrong, I abandon my previous beliefs and hold fast to truth. I desire truth. 🙂 John 18:37-38

  15. Reblogged this on ThePreachersWord and commented:

    As we close the final 12 days of 2014, we are reblogging the top posts of this year. Based on reader views this one ranked #3.

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