Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Pontificating Mainstream Media Megalomania: In case you missed it, there is a new Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI. For an article that explores the then Cardinal Ratzinger's perspective as it relates to other Christian traditions, read this Christianity Today article.

I have to confess a cynical amusement over the past week or so since the passing of John Paul II, in reading and listening to the pompous pontification of the mainstream media megalomaniacs as they condescendingly sought to instruct the Roman Catholic church on what the next Pope should be like and what he should do; ordain women as priests, embrace this radical agenda, or that... blah... blah... blah..., all to become "relevent" and to attract to the church those who (fill in the blank).

Now I'm not a Roman Catholic, and I have real concerns regarding some of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic church. But I knew there was no way the Roman Catholic church was going to embrace a Pope who would kowtow to the liberal agenda these self-appointed pontificators were seeking to instruct us on. Their ignorance of the Catholic church was simply astounding. They flat out did not know at all what they were talking about, nor did the "Progressive Catholics" who regurgitated the expectations of these media blatherheads.

By the way, a Pope who would embrace that agenda would not only have been disastrous to the Roman Catholic church, but to Christianity as a whole, including Evangelicalism. Like it or not, the Pope is perceived by a secular world as a major leader in Christianity. You don't have to like that, but you better recognize the reality of it.

But also think about what made John Paul II so respected even among Protestant Evangelicals who disagreed with him theologically. In a fractured Post-modern culture and society, the former Pope maintained in a very public way a witness to the existence of an eternal truth and ethos that does not change; a perspective that cuts across the vein of post-modern relativism and fragmentation.

That witness brings up the issue the pontificating mainstream media did not understand. The church, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, or (fill in the blank) does not exist to implement a "social gospel" based on some vague ill-defined notions of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind, blowing about with every changing wind of a secular liberal agenda that would make the church nothing more then a social country club tottering on the brink of irrelevancy and uselessness.

The Christian church does exist to bear witness to the Kingdom of God as in Jesus Christ, that Kingdom has been inaugurated, but not yet consummated. The Christian church stands as an outpost of that Kingdom, an outpost that is to bear witness to the Kingdom rule of the Messiah King, Jesus Christ. The church is not another institution to be manipulated in service to a secular agenda, liberal or conservative.

It's that message the mainstream media has missed in its coverage of the passing of John Paul II and today's election of Benedict XVI. We need to pray for the mainstream media blatherheads. They are pathetic human beings even as we are. Their humanity, found in their broken reflection of God's image, calls for our prayers on their behalf.

As for myself, this Evangelical Baptist intends to pray for this new Bishop of Rome. His common humanity with me is also reason enough to do so.

Jesus reigns!

~ The Billy Goat ~

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