Saturday, April 30, 2011

John Paul II: Cult of Personality

John Paul II: Blessed in the Sight of God?

By Richard Bennett
John Paul II is to be beatified by Benedict XVI on May 1, 2011. It will be “an historic event which has no precedent,” said the director of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. The “Decree for John Paul II’s Beatification” states, “The proclamation of a Saint or of a Blessed by the Church is the fruit of putting together various aspects regarding a specific Person…. the sine qua non condition is the holiness of the person’s life, verified during the precise and formal canonical proceedings.” The communiqué announcing the beatification referred to “the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death.”

Indeed, there is a great general admiration for the life and achievements of John Paul II. In terms of worldly acclaim, it is hard to find an equal to him in recent history. The Catholic world will soon officially proclaim him blessed and many others will agree. But are they right? Is John Paul II blessed in the sight of God? Is the alleged sanctity or holiness which is claimed for John Paul II in line with what the Scripture teaches?

Objective measure for John Paul II’s sanctity

The Lord underscored scriptural truth as the foundation of sanctity. He declared, “if a man love me, he will keep my word.” Consequently, it is the responsibility of the one who claims to be Christ’s disciple to keep His Word. In fact, the authentic mark of sanctity is total esteem for His Word. As the Lord describes it, “to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Did John Paul II have an absolute respect for Scripture? No, it was the exact opposite. In his role as Pope, he published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the first universal catechism of the Catholic Church in several centuries. In it he decreed the following,

“As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.’”

This teaching of John Paul II equates Scripture with tradition. Christ Jesus continually rebuked the Pharisees because they likewise placed their tradition on a par with Scripture. Christ con-demned them because they were attempting to corrupt the very basis of truth by equating their traditions with the Scripture. John Paul II has committed the same error; thus he falls under the same condemnation. The Lord Jesus Christ clearly showed that God’s written word alone is the sole basis of truth. He proclaimed, “sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” This is why He commands nothing to be added to it nor subtracted from it. Consequently the Holy Scripture alone is the believer’s standard of truth. John Paul II attempted to corrupt this absolute basis of truth set by God alone; therefore, he is to be reckoned as a false teacher.

Reaping from his Corrupted Foundation

From John Paul II’s corrupted foundation, it was possible as Pope to esteem himself gifted with the divine attribute of infallibility. Thus he stated publicly,

“The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful...he proclaims with a definitive act that a doc-trine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”

His claim to “infallible teaching authority,” a divine attribute, proves absolutely that he falls under the category of false teacher. It also implies he saw himself as divinely inspired. In addition to this dreadful arrogance, he also proclaimed in his Catechism, “The Pope enjoys, by divine insti-tution, ‘supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls.’” In that assertion, he has arrogated to himself the power given to the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Thus he has demon-strated actively that from his corrupted foundation, he was not only hopelessly deceived but he also propagated these deceptions world wide. Therefore, his own claims show that he did not possess any sanctity before the All Holy God; but his Catechism shows that he did possess a ter-rible pride.

Nonetheless, the Catholic world desires to show him religious veneration, or worship. Once he is beatified, John Paul will be given the title ‘blessed’ and can be publicly venerated. Many peo-ple, especially in Poland, already venerate him privately, but the ceremony will make it official. Yes, many people will willingly “venerate” or worship John Paul II, as they have been taught is morally right to do once it has been made official by the Papacy.

Ancient sin encouraged

This latest entry point into necromancy simply ensures that the deceptions John Paul II taught will continue to bear much evil fruit. In fact, officially, in his Catechism he encouraged mankind to contact the dead. He publicly taught, “Communion with the dead...Our prayer for them is ca-pable not only of helping ‘them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.’” “We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

Supposed communion with the dead and deification of the dead has held a prominent place in nearly every system of paganism. The dead are consulted to give help to the living, which is the alluring charm of the occult. The practice of communicating with the spirits of the departed is sinful, since the Word of the Lord forbids it: “there shall not be found among you any one...that useth divination…or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer, [one who calls up the dead].” John Paul II’s teaching on communion with the dead is quite similar to what one finds in the pages of the occult. The Lord Jesus Christ com-manded worship in prayer to God alone, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” He gave the indispensable command that communication in worship is due to God alone and must not be given to any creature. “I am the LORD thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

It was not simply that John Paul II recognized and approved of “communion with the dead.” He created more and more personages to be contacted, and did it with great speed. One news service expressed it in the following words, “John Paul II has created more saints and be-atified more people than all the popes put together. He has so far named 477 men and women as saints, and beatified 1,318 others, as it were, putting them into orbit for final elevation to the heavenly pantheon of Christian saints.”
Exchange of merit between believer and dead “saint”

During his lifetime, John Paul II continued his teaching regarding the dead by declaring that there is an interchange of holiness in expiation of sin, shared even with the dead in purgatory. In his Catechism, he officially stated,

“In the communion of saints, ‘a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.’ In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others.”

Again, John Paul II has revealed that he was not blessed; rather, he officially taught damnable heresy. Factually, an abundant exchange of all good things in Scripture is in Christ alone, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” To assign Christ’s role to humans, including the dead ones, is a serious contradic-tion of God’s truth. God’s righteousness, which is credited to the believer at Christ’s expense, fills the believer again and again with awe, worship, and praise to the Holy God, Who Himself has provided the permanent finished work of justification for sin. To purport an imputation of righteousness outside of Him is preposterous in face of biblical truth. Jesus Himself said, “Truly truly, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

The assertion of an exchange of merit between the believer and dead “saints” was egre-gious effrontery against the biblical truth that God alone justifies the sinner. John Paul II simply enlarged greatly the list of officially acceptable Catholic idols. In giving glory, honor, and com-munion in prayer, which is due to God alone, to the spirits of departed humans, the Pope fla-grantly sinned against the Lord God and His first Commandment. That prohibition includes an acknowledgement that He alone is God and therefore in prayer we worship Him alone. It sets our affections entirely upon Him alone.

John Paul II, who practiced and warmly encouraged idolatry, will soon have been given his place officially among the Catholic idols. The Papacy turns a blind eye to the fact that terrible, immutable judgment awaits each and every person who dies embracing such forbidden practices. For Bible believers, this sobering consideration ought to turn the official declaration to be held on May 1st into a day of mourning. It is our prayer to God alone that those still trapped by or being enticed into these destructive pagan practices might be turned to Christ Jesus through the proclamation of the true Gospel.

(Continued tomorrow)