Pope Says Believe Conscience Not God

Bill Hitchcock September 12, 2013 1
Pope Says Believe Conscience Not God

God. A couple of months ago the Pope Francis was asked a series of questions by the La Repubblica newspaper, Italy’s most widely circulated daily newspaper. The Pope has just responded to the paper in a letter with some rather shocking viewpoints. Not only does the Pope claim that the people who do not believe in God will go to heaven but that all anyone has to do is follow their conscience.

Here is what the Pope said according to The Independent and The Telegraph newspapers:

pope god“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

“To listen and follow your conscience means you understand the difference between good and evil.”

With all due respects to the Pope, some of this is just plain goofy. He is the spiritual leader to over 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and what he is professing is just flat out scripturally wrong.

If someone is an atheist (someone who doesn’t believe in God) then the Pope, sin, faith and listening to your conscience is all a moot point. God doesn’t exist to an atheist. They follow their own self appointed moral code.

The Pope said, “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives”. Is he implying there is some other God besides the one true God Jehovah?

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” Deuteronomy 6:4

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6

Did the Pope have a memory lapse?

When it comes to “conscience” God made it very clear:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:10-11

And as you’ll see the New Testament version comes from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34

All of mankind knows God and is highly aware of Him. He is embedded within our very DNA. Our conscience and our knowledge of good and bad all come from God.

One of the many gifts that God has imparted upon us all is the gift of free will. Each person God created has the free will to believe and follow Him or choose to follow some other path.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

An atheist knows God but has made a conscience choice not to accept or abide in him.

Now the Pope is absolutely correct when he says, “God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart.” This is the miracle of God’s grace and his love.

“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalms 34:18

To go to God with a contrite heart would be a problem for an atheist because God doesn’t exist to him. But for those who do know God, what is the contrite heart for? What is the comparative? Are they comparing their sadden condition to God’s standard and feel bad about it or some personal code of ethics? Better yet, how do they define sin or determine what is wrong? To have a contrite heart there must be a definition of wrong and a standard in which to do this wrong. If there is no God and his way, what then?

God In Your Life

Do you want to be saved? Do you want to go to heaven? There is only one way and listening to your conscience or the Pope isn’t it. Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10: 9-11

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  1. Leah Turner September 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM - Reply

           You are ignoring an important book in our shared Christian theology…the Book of Job. Job was not an Israelite. He was an oriental chieftain and suffered greatly at the hands of the devil who even when his life would have been considered, “damned,” Job refused to blame God. That was despite his friends insisting he was being punished by God. According to your determination of God’s relationship to man, Job could not have benefited from God’s original covenant with Israel. And what of Nineveh?        Are you maybe unaware the Coptic Christians in Egypt are Catholic Christians? Christians live among non-Christians everywhere. Is that the way to convince those who hate us that the Gospel is for them as well? We are all designed in God’s image, even those who chose to sin against God, even those who dishonor His very name!         “Follow me,” is for all Christians but the Apostles were special to Jesus. (Mk 6:7-13) In Acts:2,  I  humbly understand Christ’s mission for Catholic Christians. Not only did ” Peter [say] to them,”Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 2:38) but “They [those who converted] devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the breaking of the bread and to prayers., (Acts 2:42). I believe that celebrating Mass I renew not only the Holy Spirit among my Catholic Christian community but I actually receive The Body and Blood of Christ and that Christ is IN  me! Christ’s most sacred covenant is the covenant of His Body and Blood. What of atheists who celebrated that covenant then because they were abused, claimed that God doesn’t exist? Who caused that? Not God. Not the (whole) Church. It was men who sinned against the (whole) Church from within the Church.           You have said yourself that many times atheists are many times hurt Christians. They were hurt by people…”The Church”... I am grateful that Pope Francis acknowledges their hurt. How do you heal a wound if you do not acknowledge its presence? I ask you, Do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to be saved? Matthew, Mark, and Luke very closely expressed the Last Supper (Mt: 26: 26-28, Mk 14: 22-24, Lk 22:19-20). All three Gospel’s share with all Christians the “Word” of the “New Covenant.” Catholic Christians believe the sacred covenant of the Eucharist (Christ’s Body and Blood) was a literal covenant meant to be practiced as a source of renewal. The Holy Spirit is among all Christians but Jesus’ body and blood are sacrificed to maintain  the “Promise” of Christ. Christ is with us!          Life is eternal with Christ; we either suffer an eternal death or
    celebrate and eternal life. Whichever way we look at this, we cannot
    escape the eternity of God. Can God save the damned? Of course. He’s
    omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.           I am humbled and gratified that the Papal Conclave is divinely inspired. When Pope Benedict XVI resigned the Seat of Peter was restored in Pope Francis, the Church was shining the light of Christ for the world to see! If other Christians choose to convert to follow Christ more fully in the “Body and Blood” Christ spilled for us, denying those who left because they were abused, left alone to suffer, or humanity failed them, it isn’t for us to judge who God saves.              I am grateful Pope Francis addressed “conscience” because the number of faithful Catholic Christians is continuing to grow! The conscience of many, who read the Gospel and Apostolic writings such a  Corinthians, who use the tools for discernment that God designed us with, can leave no doubt as to the expectations for Christian life among His followers. Maybe you are looking yourself for understanding of the Catechism. I can provide a copy of the Bible that has the full Canon if you want one. Those edited Bibles are more like Wikipedia than you think!      This is my humble understanding and if I have not expressed the belief of my Church properly, I confess that I am imperfect. Pray for me that God forgives my mistakes and recognizes my great love for His Son and Church!             

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