For today’s “Throwback Thursday” installment, we’re revisiting a post that was originally published back on September 26th, 2015 and has been revised with some new material.
In anticipation of pope Francis’ visit to the United States from September 22nd to September 27th, 2015, Lifeway Research (affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention) conducted a poll of 1000 Protestant pastors asking if they considered the pope to be a fellow Christian and a “brother in Christ.” As would be expected, 80 percent of liberal, mainline Protestant pastors answered affirmatively that they did consider pope Francis to be a genuine Christian and their “brother in Christ.” What was disappointing was that 58 percent of self-identified evangelical Christian pastors agreed that pope Francis was a fellow Christian and a “brother in Christ,” while another 19 percent responded that they were not sure. What that means is only 23 percent of the evangelical Christian pastors who were polled disagreed with the statement that the pope is a fellow Christian and a “brother in Christ.”
As I mentioned to sister Lauren of Biblical Beginnings in our recent podcast discussion, I imagine that if evangelical pastors had been polled back in 1960 as to whether they believed the pope was a genuine Christian and their “brother in Christ,” that maybe 5 or 10 percent would have erroneously responded in the affirmative. So, what changed in the interim whereby now almost 80 percent of evangelical pastors either believe the pope is a Christian or are unsure? Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic church still teach the exact same false gospel of sacramental grace and merit that the RCC taught back in 1960. That has not changed at all. So what has changed??? The downplaying of irreconcilable doctrinal differences by many compromising, Judas evangelical pastors, theologians, seminary professors, and para-church leaders over the past several decades has opened up the evangelical church to the spirit of ecumenical false unity and discouraged outreach to lost Catholic souls.
Pope Francis improves Protestant pastors’ views of Catholic Church
By Lisa Cannon Green
“…Evangelical pastors report more skepticism about Pope Francis than their mainline Protestant counterparts. While 80 percent of mainline Protestant pastors believe the pope is a true Christian, only 58 percent of evangelical pastors agree.
*The article cited in my original 2015 blog posting was “From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope” from Christianity Today, hence the title of this post. That article has since been restricted to CT subscribers only, so I referenced a different article for the purposes of this Throwback Thursday re-posting.