A Significant Change of Perspective

I see the Catholics have a new Pope. Someone asked me last night if I thought the Holy Spirit was involved in that decision. I do! If God raises up rulers for nations, why wouldn’t he care about the Vatican nation-state, even though it also claims to be the church? While I’m convinced the Catholic system is significantly at odds with the priorities and example of Jesus, I have known many Catholics in my life who exhibit a deep and profound relationship to God. It always amazes me what God is free to use to draw people to himself. Of course God would be concerned with who leads them, though his reasons for choosing their leader might be very different from what we would assume.

And lest you think that system is significantly different from Protestant ones, don’t be too sure. It’s just that it has had 1700 years to build its exhaustive machinery. The Lutherans have only had 500, the Baptists about that as well, and Charismatics only 40 or so. But the seeds of institutionalism and exalted clergy infect those systems as well. They just may not be as developed.

I like what Sara said about all of this while we watched part of the funeral for Pope John Paul II. “Wouldn’t you like to hear the sermon he would preach today?” Sara asked me.

Ahh, I would! He had been five days already in eternity and I’m certain he sees things far differently now than he did during his sojourn on the earth.

And I think that will be true for all of us as well when the time comes!

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10 Comments
  1. Steve April 21, 2005 at 4:13 am

    Yep, we will indeed all be very surprised and awed by this awesome God. As the song says, "the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace".

  2. Steve April 21, 2005 at 7:13 am

    Yep, we will indeed all be very surprised and awed by this awesome God. As the song says, "the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace".

  3. J April 21, 2005 at 10:58 am

    I agree with you about all Catholics being lumped together and as a result, getting a bad rap. Many of them have a sincere love for Jesus no doubt. I also agree that they seem more religious because they have had more time for practice. I know that I myself have to guard against being religious verses being a devoted follower of Jesus.

    However, I am not sure I agree with you as far as the Holy Spirit choosing the next pope. Although it is entirely possible that this is what indeed what has happened, it is also entirely possible in my view that church politics played the role and nothing more. Again, this is just my view and I could definitely be wrong here.

    Does the Holy Spirit choose who will be the next local pastor at a denominational church when the last pastor was run off or retired, or did mere men and women choose based on their politics or some other reason? It is entirely possible for the Holy Spirit to arrange it, but is also possible for mere men as well. Perhaps my comparison is off and if so please share with me why. I do not intend to be contentious, but I was actually thinking about how the next pope was chosen before this blog appeared. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

  4. Dave A. April 21, 2005 at 1:05 pm

    Just thinking that if God is indeed involved with the appointment of earthly rulers that it’s not just the good ones that he appoints. Doesn’t He also appoint the Caesars and the Hitlers as well? So the man put in charge may not be who we want but who God sees as being one to be used for His ultimate purposes.

    Just thinking out loud here.

    Dave A.

  5. J April 21, 2005 at 1:58 pm

    I agree with you about all Catholics being lumped together and as a result, getting a bad rap. Many of them have a sincere love for Jesus no doubt. I also agree that they seem more religious because they have had more time for practice. I know that I myself have to guard against being religious verses being a devoted follower of Jesus.

    However, I am not sure I agree with you as far as the Holy Spirit choosing the next pope. Although it is entirely possible that this is what indeed what has happened, it is also entirely possible in my view that church politics played the role and nothing more. Again, this is just my view and I could definitely be wrong here.

    Does the Holy Spirit choose who will be the next local pastor at a denominational church when the last pastor was run off or retired, or did mere men and women choose based on their politics or some other reason? It is entirely possible for the Holy Spirit to arrange it, but is also possible for mere men as well. Perhaps my comparison is off and if so please share with me why. I do not intend to be contentious, but I was actually thinking about how the next pope was chosen before this blog appeared. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

  6. Dave A. April 21, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Just thinking that if God is indeed involved with the appointment of earthly rulers that it’s not just the good ones that he appoints. Doesn’t He also appoint the Caesars and the Hitlers as well? So the man put in charge may not be who we want but who God sees as being one to be used for His ultimate purposes.

    Just thinking out loud here.

    Dave A.

  7. J April 22, 2005 at 7:33 am

    On second thought, you are right about the Vatican being a nation state so I guess that would mean that God indeed had a hand at play in the selection. That makes sense when I think about it that way.

    I wish that as belivers we could stop calling ourselves protestants or catholics, penecostals or baptists, but instead, just followers of Christ period. Why do we seem to need as people to put up walls?

  8. J April 22, 2005 at 10:33 am

    On second thought, you are right about the Vatican being a nation state so I guess that would mean that God indeed had a hand at play in the selection. That makes sense when I think about it that way.

    I wish that as belivers we could stop calling ourselves protestants or catholics, penecostals or baptists, but instead, just followers of Christ period. Why do we seem to need as people to put up walls?

  9. Lynda Olsen March 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Wayne, I write this with respect… you’ll find what you’re looking for in life – for good and for ill. I’ve been Roman Catholic my whole life and have learned about the Love of God our Father, the Precious and Courageous walk with Jesus, his beloved Son, and the Power and Grace of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, when Pope John Paul II met Christ face to face, Our Lord took his face in His hands and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If you take time to read what Pope John Paul II actually wrote and believed, you may find him to be a gracious, humble, strong and faithful servant of God. If, however, you are looking to find evidence on the contrary through the opinions of others, you’ll probably find that too. He’s offered so much to our world about the Love of our Father and you’ll find this again and again in his writings. I hope you’ll take the time. If you look, you’ll find it. I wish you and your family many blessings. Lynda

  10. Lynda Olsen March 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Wayne, I write this with respect… you’ll find what you’re looking for in life – for good and for ill. I’ve been Roman Catholic my whole life and have learned about the Love of God our Father, the Precious and Courageous walk with Jesus, his beloved Son, and the Power and Grace of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, when Pope John Paul II met Christ face to face, Our Lord took his face in His hands and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If you take time to read what Pope John Paul II actually wrote and believed, you may find him to be a gracious, humble, strong and faithful servant of God. If, however, you are looking to find evidence on the contrary through the opinions of others, you’ll probably find that too. He’s offered so much to our world about the Love of our Father and you’ll find this again and again in his writings. I hope you’ll take the time. If you look, you’ll find it. I wish you and your family many blessings. Lynda

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