Last week 50,000 people witnessed pope Francis opening the “holy doors” of St. Peter’s Basilica. These special doors are opened only on the occasion of a “jubilee” year. The pope has designated the next 12 months as the jubilee “Year of Mercy.” See the article far below.
In addition to other “acts of mercy” offered by the church during the year, Catholics will be able to receive a plenary (full) indulgence if they walk through the “holy doors” in conjunction with a trip to the confessional, receiving communion, and praying for the pope.
What is a plenary indulgence, you ask? Catholics believe they must perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (absolutely impossible even within a single 24-hour period!) and church rules in order to merit Heaven. If they commit a “mortal” sin they must confess it to a priest or it will send them to hell. But even after they confess their “mortal” sins to a priest and he forgives them (“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Mark 2:7), some “temporal” punishment remains which must be satisfied in this life or in “purgatory.” So walking through the “holy doors” will allegedly satisfy all pending temporal punishment that’s been accumulated up to that point in a Catholic’s life. Ach! A person needs a personal canon lawyer to keep track of all of this contrived religious proceduralism.
For those unfortunate Catholics who can’t afford the air fare to Rome, doors at bishop’s cathedrals throughout the world have been conveniently designated as “holy doors” with the same “powers” for the next twelve months.
During his address to the crowd, the pope also stated, “None of us can say, ‘I am holy, I am perfect, I am already saved.’ ”
Where do I begin with all of this legalistic, ritualistic rigmarole? Catholicism has more rules and rituals than Carter has pills. Walk through “holy doors” to receive “indulgences”? The pope’s statement that no one can say they are already saved? Are you hearing this, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and all of you other compromisers?
Catholics give lip service to salvation by grace through faith but they actually believe salvation comes by receiving their sacraments, which supposedly give them the grace to avoid committing “mortal” sins so they can “cooperate with grace” and merit their way to heaven by perfectly obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules. Catholics believe no one can say they are already saved because their salvation depends upon their perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules right up until the moment of their death. Jesus brought Good News but there’s NOTHING good or joyous about Catholicism’s doctrine of merited salvation.
In contrast, Evangelicals believe in the GOOD NEWS! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! When I accepted Jesus as my Savior He clothed me with His perfect righteousness. I don’t have a single plea of my own before a Holy and Just God. If I had a lifespan of a million years I wouldn’t be able to point to even a single day where I measured up to God’s perfect standard of holiness. But my Savior lived a perfect life for an entire 33-years and He offered Himself as my sacrifice so that I could go free.
I don’t need any “holy doors” or “indulgences.” Those things are all man-made traditions that can’t be found in God’s Word. My Savior paid the entire debt for my unworthy, disobedient, sinful self. Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord!!! Thank you, Jesus!!!!!!!!!
Francis is absolutely right. A dutiful Catholic could never be so presumptuous as to say they are saved because their salvation depends upon their own sorry efforts. But Evangelical, born-again Christians can SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS we are saved because our salvation depends solely on the perfect, imputed righteousness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:20
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Matthew 18:13-14
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” – Philippians 3:9
“Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” – Romans 3:22
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8
“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:34-36
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:13
The truth is the VAST majority of Catholics don’t bother with obligatory mass on Sunday or yearly confession let alone this “holy door” superstition. There’s no “mercy” in Catholicism. It’s a tyrannical religious treadmill meant to keep the credulous Catholic in the pew (for those who still bother) under the thumbs of priests, bishops, and the pope. Forsake dead, man-made religious traditions and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior!
Pope Francis on Tuesday ushered in a yearlong celebration dedicated to the theme of mercy