In my recent article, The Death of Pope John Paul II, the Pope of Rome, I wrote: “You will now begin to hear the praises heaped upon his head by so-called ‘Christian’, ‘Evangelical’ leaders the world over: men like Billy Graham, for example… and many, many others will all sing his praises, speaking of him as a great Christian man, many even saying he was the greatest Christian man in all the world! They will tell the world that he is now in heaven. For weeks to come, we will hear such men saying such things!” I also wrote of “the tragedy of blind leaders of the blind – so-called ‘Protestant’ leaders, calling themselves Evangelicals – speaking well of this Antichrist, praising him, and actually holding him up to a world of lost sinners as an example of Christ-likeness and faithfulness to the Gospel!…. The death of this pope will reveal the hearts and motives and real natures of many, many highly-esteemed Protestant ministers! It will show who they really serve and follow: Christ, or the devil! It will bring to light, again, for those with eyes to see, that these men are wolves in sheep’s clothing, deceitful workers!”
And: “Now, as never before, Christians will see just how utterly blind and deceived the world is – including the so-called Evangelical Christian world! If you had any doubt about the darkness that lies upon the hearts of Evangelicals in this day and age, you’ll see a demonstration of it now! You will be given a graphic picture of that darkness, as you will hear these men praising this pope.”
Well, it did not take long for the “big-name” so-called “Evangelical Protestant” leaders to fall over one another in their scramble to mount a platform and blow a trumpet for the late John Paul II, thereby deceiving Roman Catholics and Protestants alike with their proclamation of a false “gospel” as they praised the false “christ” and his soul-damning heresies. What follows is just a sampling of the gushing praise for the ecumenical pope of Rome by ecumenical “Protestants”.
His funeral, “the greatest the world has seen”, “reflected,” as the London Times noted, “not just the charisma of the late Pope but also a better understanding of the Catholic Church with the growth of ecumenicism.” (The Times, April 7, 2005). It shows just how far the Protestant world has slid since John Paul II. became pope in 1978.It was terrible enough that 200 world leaders attended the funeral, including at least 70 presidents and prime ministers; that for the first time in history, the future king of England attended; that for the first time in history, the president of the United States bowed before a papal casket; that the American flag was flown at half mast at the White House; and that the lights on the Empire State Building in New York City were dimmed – revealing that this man was considered to be the greatest religious and political figure on earth, and the head of the most powerful and influential religio-political institution on earth, as the Word of God reveals: “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Rev.17:2). This was terrible enough; but that so-called “Evangelical” leaders praised the pope as a true Christian – this was even more terrible!
We expect the leaders of the liberal, heretical denominations to praise the pope of Rome. For example, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, said, “Our sincerest condolences go out to Catholics worldwide on the death of their great leader. We thank God for his ministry and that he has now been relieved from pain…. We also pray for the Catholic Church as it contemplates the election of the next Vicar of Christ.”[i]
Did you get that? Ndungane called the pope a “great leader”, thanked God for the pope’s “ministry”, and that he is now “relieved from pain” (which his Anglican forefathers would not have said, believing as they did that the pope was the Antichrist foretold in Scripture, and that he goes to hell when he dies). And then this Anglican archbishop called the pope “the Vicar of Christ”! This title means the one who takes the place of Christ on earth! This is what Papists believe about their pope, but this was a statement by a high-ranking Anglican! We know that Anglicanism is well on the road to Rome, but a statement like this reveals just how far down that road it really is! And this was also shown by the fact that the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, attended the funeral of this Man of Sin, the first time in history that this had happened.
Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (what a misnomer!) and president of the Lutheran World Federation, said: “Lutherans will always remember John Paul II as the pope who fostered an unprecedented growth in Lutheran/Roman Catholic relations. Healing the wounds laid bare during the 16th-century Reformation took on new meaning as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed in 1999. We live in new hope that the spirit of the living Christ will continue that work and bring about an even stronger relationship between the two church bodies.”[ii]
Considering that Martin Luther’s own proclamations on justification were at the heart of the Lutheran break with Rome in the 16th century, one wonders why Mr Hanson belongs to a Lutheran denomination if he believes it was all a big mistake, a misunderstanding that should never have happened. But Lutheranism, never biblical from the start, has, like all other “mainline” denominations, been infiltrated by Rome’s servants and Rome’s teachings. Truly, Rome has done its work well through the diabolical ecumenical movement, and so-called “Protestant” leaders are well and truly “Romeward bound.”
Pentecostal leaders praised him too. J. Delano Ellis, senior pastor of the Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio, and president of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops, a man who had visited the Vatican several times, called the pope a man of prayer and deep devotion, and added: “But he’s also a pope that has reached out… as far as he could afford to reach. He’s reached out to other faith groups in an effort to create a sense of peace between us”. Ellis said that when he met the pope in 1991, “We stood there, talked for about five minutes about the Pentecostal community in America and throughout the world, and I told him we thanked God for his openness and his willingness to at least acknowledge our coexistence with our Roman brothers and sisters” (emphasis added). Although he did not view the pope as “the infallible one”, Ellis compared John Paul II with Paul in faithful resoluteness, and added that he treated him with esteem: “That respect even causes us, when he enters a room, to stand in deference to him. That’s not worship. That’s respect.”[iii]
Time was when, despite Pentecostalism’s own doctrinal errors and false practices, almost no Pentecostal leader would have praised the pope of Rome, or spoken of Roman Catholics as brethren in Christ! But then, Pentecostalism, by its denial of the all-sufficiency of Scripture, holds to unbiblical human doctrines as well, just as Rome does, so it was only a matter of time before there would be a coming together of Romanism and Pentecostalism, and this has been going on for decades now. Ellis called the pope a man of prayer – yet he prayed fervently to Mary! Evidently this is of no concern to Ellis, who after all is quite happy that the pope reached out to various “faith groups.”