Pope Francis's Modesty
By Adauto Rezende
Reporter John Allen Jr. described Pope Francis in the following words: “With his keen pastoral sense, intelligence and personal modesty, Francis garnered respect from both Orthodox and moderates. He is also seen as a genuinely spiritualized soul and a man of deep prayer.”1
Modesty is a great virtue. The Holy Scriptures encourage Christians to exercise it. Great men of God, such as the prophets Samuel and Elijah, lived modestly, serving God and their generations with love and sincerity. Another great example is the apostle Paul, who, at the end of his life, lived in a rented house and, according to the biblical account, had only one cloak to protect him from winter,2 and of course, above all, the greatest example is the Lord Jesus. Born in a manger, raised in a humble home, worked as a carpenter, served the poor, used a borrowed boat to get around, a borrowed donkey to enter Jerusalem and a borrowed tomb for his burial.
God's Word urges us to live modestly3 and to guard against the dangers of ostentation and riches.4
On the other hand, the same Scriptures describe men who were extremely rich, some with incalculable fortunes, such as Abraham,5 Job6, David,7 and his son Solomon8 and others that we would not have time to mention here.
David offered one hundred and two thousand pounds of gold, 9 two hundred thirty-eight thousand pounds of silver, 10 plus precious stones, bronze, wood and iron11 for the construction of the temple. If the millions of dollars’ worth of treasures were David's offerings, we presuppose that David had an invaluable personal fortune. His son Solomon who followed in his father's footsteps had such great riches and splendor, that nations came to him to discover the secrets of his prosperity.12 His throne was built of ivory and pure gold. His daily food consumption and expenditures were exorbitant due to the greatness of his kingdom. The king's chefs were responsible for preparing thirty oxen, a hundred rams, and deer, springboks, and poultry of all kinds.13 The young king asked God for wisdom, and the Lord added to him riches as well. To affirm his magnificence, even Jesus mentioned about Solomon’s glory to his disciples.14
The Scriptures say that Abraham, Job, and David, despite their great fortunes, were modest men. Their possessions never took their dedication, worship and love away from the Lord they served nor from others. Solomon, on the other hand, was never condemned for his riches, or for the golden throne on which he sat, and neither for his silk garments and the royal crown of gold and precious stones. Much less was he judged for the opulence of his daily banquets or the golden cups from which he drank. He was condemned for the exact same sin as the Roman Catholic Church, which claims to be the representative of Christianity in the world: Solomon was rebuked for the sin of idolatry.
I have heard several comments about the Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis. The religious leader has been praised and applauded by dozens of individuals from various segments of society. Among the observations, his humility and modesty stand out. In contrast to his predecessors, he avoided sitting on the traditional papal throne, instead, he chose a chair, he wears no gold-trimmed priestly garment, no gemstone ring and cross. He also removed the red carpet where his predecessors stepped in. This all sounds commendable. After all, we live in a world where thousands are dying without bread, billions living in slums around the cities in the dozens of underdeveloped nations. However, the reason for the misery and poverty in most of these nations is precisely the consequence of the worship of false gods, which is defined in the Holy Scriptures as idolatry, whatever the idol might be ─ the so-called "saints" by the Roman Church or the thousands of Eastern pagan deities.
But does the Vatican Leader really deserve our applause? Should his modesty be praised? Will his words really comfort the poor? Will the Romanism teachings free the captives and oppressed who are part of their religious organization? The answer to all these questions is no. I say this because this organization has been largely responsible for the paganization of the world with its idolatrous practices. Therefore, Pope Francis deserves no appreciation, praise or even recognition from God's people. His actions, though “praiseworthy” to the eyes of the uninformed, will bring neither healing nor comfort to the world.
I can dress like a beggar, sitting by the wayside begging with the poor and even sleep next to them. However, if I am responsible for putting him there, then I am but a great hypocrite. It's as if I'm the cause of the poisoning of thousands of people, but I address them with modest apparel, acting with flattering words; nevertheless, I continue to feed them with the same doctrine that will lead them to death. Again, this makes me a faker, a liar and a hypocrite.
The Bible says that the great miseries on earth are caused by idolatry. People are making idols of all kinds and prostrating themselves before them. I cannot admire the pope's virtue, for his religion and doctrines are not in accordance with God's Word. His religion has destroyed thousands of people throughout history. His doctrine is responsible for keeping millions in captivity and spiritual darkness, promising salvation that is inconsistent with New Testament teachings.
David, though seated on a golden throne and possessing extravagant riches, was zealous for the Lord. He hated pagan idolatry and taught the people how to worship the true God.
Paul was a diligent enemy of idolatry, “'Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man. 30 'But now, overlooking the times of ignorance, God is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent,”16
And the same apostle applauded and praised the Christians who had left pagan practices and converted to the true gospel; “...other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God and became servants of the living and true God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven. It is he who saves us from the Retribution which is coming.”17
How could I praise a pagan leader or promote his “modest behavior”, while he insists on spreading a detestable practice in the sight of God? I will show my appreciation to the leaders of the Roman church if they obey the Lord's Word in its entirety, and teach their members to practice it.
I will only praise Francis or any other Pope when they imitate God’s leaders such as David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, who fought cancer that destroyed their nation: the practice of idolatry. 15 I will applaud the Roman Catholic leaders if they will follow the example of Paul who struggled daily in prayer, in teaching sound doctrines and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, to liberate people from the paganism of false religion.
However, I want to recommend the rich or poor, kings or vassals who sincerely love and obey the Scriptures’ teachings and doctrines. I will applaud those who are zealous for God's Word, for those who expose false prophets who masquerade themselves as sheep but inwardly are ravening wolves. I want to praise those who endanger their lives because they do not approve of the works of darkness. I want to honor those who are cautioning all idolaters that, if they do not repent, they will spend all eternity in hell. 18
I end this short article by making it clear that I did not write it to cause controversy, but to clarify non-negotiable biblical truths.
To him be the glory!
1. JOHN ALLEN JR., NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER (HTTP://NCRONLINE.ORG/.)
2. II Tim. 4:13, 4:21
3. I Tim. 2: 9; I Pet. 3: 1
4. Matt. 6: 19-21; I Tim. 6: 7-9; 17-19
5. Gen. 13: 1-2
6. Job 1: 3; 42: 12;
7. I Chron. 29: 2-4
8. I Kings 10: 14, 10: 18; 10: 21-22, II Chron. 1:15,
9. The average kilo of gold rotates
10. $ 46268.86 - $ 47281.22 (US dollar) Prices Updated: Jul 27, 2013 at 16:16 NY Time http://www.24hgold.com/english/gold_silver_prices_charts.aspx?money=USD
11. I Chron. 29: 3-4 - GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.
12. I Kings 10: 24-29
13. I Kings 4: 23
14. 11. Matthew 6: 29-30
15. 1 Kings 11: 4-8
17: 29-30 (Verse from the Catholic Scriptures) 17. 1 Thessalonians 1: 9-10 (Verse from the Catholic Scriptures)
18. Revelation 21: 8 “But the legacy for cowards, for those who break their word, or worship obscenities, for murderers and the sexually immoral, and for sorcerers, worshippers of false gods or any other sort of liars, is the second death in the burning lake of sulphur.“ 22:15 “Others must stay outside: dogs, fortune-tellers, and the sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, and every one of false speech and false life.'” (Verse from the Catholic Scriptures)