He died this afternoon, (EST). My prayer had been that if he was to die, it would not be lingering. Yes, I, an essentially conservative Evangelical, prayed for the Catholic Bishop of Rome in his last hours. What would Christ have done?
Do I believe John Paul II was "saved"? It actually does not matter what I think about that question. My opinion is irrelevant exactly because it is that, an opinion. And your opinion on that question is as equally irrelevant, so don't waste my time with it. The only opinion that really counts is God's.
Let me say at the onset that as an Evangelical, I disavow those statements in the Reformed confessions that identify the Papacy as "the anti-christ". It may be that over the course of history there have been those Popes who were of the spirit of "anti-christ", but that does not mean all Popes have been, or that John Paul II necessarily was of that spirit by the mere fact of being Pope. Over the years I've known a few Protestant "pastors" who manifested an "anti-christ" spirit too.
If God through Jesus Christ can save me in spite of myself, He's quite capable of saving a Bishop of Rome in spite of himself. After all is salvation of grace or not?
Whatever else you think of John Paul II, his impact on modern history is an objective historical fact that only the dullest and most ignorant would deny. In my mind there are two areas he should rightly be remembered for.
The first is his role in the fall of the evil empire of godless Communism.
The second is his witness for the basic Christian view of a culture of life in the face of the increasing inroads of the culture of death. From maintaining opposition to abortion and euthanasia, to the calling of Terri Schaivo's death the wrongful execution of an innocent that it was, this Bishop of Rome bore witness to the sanctity and dignity of all human life.
By the way, did you know that when what a Pope says is in accord with Scripture, that Pope speaks truth? Doesn't Sola Scriptura demand we recognize that?
John Paul II was a fellow human being created in the image of God. As such his life had the same basic worth and dignity of all lives. He has now gone the way of all flesh. God All-Mighty is John Paul II's ultimate judge, not you or me. My heart goes out to my Catholic friends and acquaintances at this time. I grieve with you. Maybe not to the same degree you do, but I do grieve at the passing of a fellow human being.
~ The Billy Goat ~
PS: If this post offends your "Reformed" sensibilities, that's your "problem" not mine. Get over it and get a life...