Skip to content ↓

John Paul 2: 1920 – 2005

The media outlets are beginning to report that the pope has died at the age of 85. His death (presuming that the reports are true) comes, of course, at the end of a very long illness that had him in and out of hospital (mostly in) for many months.

As of 1:45 PM EST, CNN is reporting that the pope’s brain has ceased functioning but his heart is still beating. Drudgereport was reporting that he died, but has no backtracked to say that reports indicate he may have died.

Now I wonder…is Terri Schiavo’s death going to be forgotten now that the pope has also died, or will her death overshadow the pope’s, at least in the United States? I can’t help but draw a comparison to when Mother Teresa’s death went almost unnoticed among all the fury and media attention surrounding the death of Princess Diana.

James White writes, “Now a Vatican representative is saying that Mary has opened wide the door to heaven to John Paul, who dedicated himself to Mary (a reference to the Papal motto, Totus tuus, “totally yours,” addressed not to Jesus, but to Mary). If you are likewise watching, do not hold your breath waiting to hear about repentance from sin, the perfection of the work of Christ, the imputed righteousness of Christ. But you will hear much of Mary, far more than of Jesus. The true faith of Rome is on display in this situation. American Roman Catholic apologists seek to diminish the centrality of Mary in Roman theology, but here you see how foundational Mary is to the piety of the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome itself.”

3:15 PM – White, once again, says what I am too timid to say. “We are hearing a great deal about the Pope dying in peace. And for what reason? Because he has suffered. You will be able to see, and hear, just how badly understood the gospel is amongst evangelicals and others as you listen to the commentary on the Pope. The specifics of the gospel will be buried under the emotionalism of death. The Pope’s salvation will be guaranteed not because his faith is fixed solely upon the finished work of Christ (which, in light of the devotion to Mary, belief in the Mass, purgatory, etc., it clearly is not), but because of his suffering, his “goodness,” a goodness not determined by reference to God’s holiness, of course, but by reference to other men.
I wonder…how many evangelical leaders will honor God rather than men and say what needs to be said? “Unless the Pope believed the gospel, he, like any other person on the planet, died under the wrath of God, outside of the only way of salvation God has provided in Jesus Christ!” And how many will cave in to the fear of the face of men and do what society demands by compromising the gospel, showing a greater love of the acclaim of men rather than the approval of God? Remember, friends: Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I agree that this is a time when we will see what evangelical leaders are made of!


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…