Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Pope: Pastoral? Political?

As a lifetime Protestant with strong Third Reformation (Anabaptist) heritage, I reject the governance practices (polity) of the Vatican Church State, as well as that of the State Church of Luther. I do support separation of Church and State and thank my Anabaptist forebearers for paving the way for the Free Church in America.

Having said that; I support the Pastoral Ministry of this Vatican Pope (Francis) and the moral authority with which he speaks. He is speaking to these very universal and humanitarian issues, although he is not my Papa. I am reading with considerable amusement the repetitious declarations of the News Media, and even some of my Protestant peers who need to update their Church History. The Media speaks regularly regarding the Pope departing from his pastoral corner and fearlessly jumps into (not avoiding) the political. With all due respect for separation of Church and State; and I do separate them, I find the Media reflecting a common misperception of the Media, as well as of others.

When referencing Emigration, Climate Control, et al; the Pope is (1) reflecting our American Founders political choice of Freedom OF RELIGION (including a free church) and not freedom FROM RELIGION. That Free Church and freedom OF religion  rather than FROM religion allowed Roger Williams to be a non-conformist in a Puritan culture and resolved other problems in founding Catholic Maryland. It allows The A-THEIST to live outside of religion if s/he so chooses but it does not  give him/her the right to arbitrarily deprive others of religion as the a-theist is prone to do in that predatory secular culture.

(2) The Pope is reflecting a pastoral issue! In my eight decades there has never been a time when treating others like we want to be treated was not a Christian teaching. While some people attempt to confine such issues as climate control, emigration, et al, to politics, these have  been humanitarian issues of Christian Stewardship since before I was born (the week Lindbergh flew his plane to Paris J). I grant you, the Church has allowed others to re-define its message and say what is pastoral and what is simply political, but that does not mean it has always been that way, nor does it mean it is biblical and confined to politics.It is a universal, humanitarian issue that is of significant importance to people's health and well-being, beyond any financial considerations.

Paraphrasing Jesus, he said we will be known by the fruits we produce. He specifically told his disciples they would be known by their love for one another and he strongly taught that if we follow him we will love one another and be known by that love (John 13:34). Elsewhere, he gave the example of the good Samaritan in Luke 10. In that instance, the command Jesus gave to the Lawyer  to go and do likewise (v. 37) might just as well have been spoken of one American and one Muslim. The Jews and mixed Samaritans hated each other just that badly.

From Warner’s World, I join those who hope and pray Pope Francis will lead America back to the altars of prayer and devotion, and the faith on which our American culture is built.


Dara Phillips said...

Dear Wayne,

I am employed by Warner University and am a fairly new PhD student at Regent University. In researching for paper, I came across your blog. I am looking for information on a R. N. Coolidge who created illustrations depicting scenes from D. S. Warner's life in the Gospel Trumpet in the mid-1930s. Would this R. N. Coolidge be Ralph Coolidge described in one of your blog posts? I'm amazed that my search is not turning up any other information but maybe your blog is the one exception!
Thank you for your time and reply,

Dara Phillips

Wayne said...

The above is the email address of Dave Coolidge. He is Ralph's (R. N.) son

Dara Phillips said...

OK, thank you!