That Pope Francis visited my home country, Sweden, in conjunction with the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation, was in itself a great paradox. I watched the big service from Malmö Arena on TV for about 10 minutes. Although I certainly did not look for errors, or something to criticize, several things took place during these few minutes that totally goes against biblical, New Testament, faith.
They surrendered the congregation to the protection of the Virgin Mary, and said that they entrust her with all their “sorrows, joys, fears and dreams, yes everything…” They also said, ”We never need to be alone in life, because Mary is always with us”. This instead of praying directly to God the Father in the name of Jesus, trusting Him only for their protection, and emphasizing that we never need to be alone because the Holy Spirit – not Mary– is always with us.
Not very surprisingly, the Pope was referred to as “God’s supreme representative” – a statement that there is no biblical support for whatsoever. The fact that we hold a certain position, or office, does not necessarily make us God’s supreme representative. Paul actually said in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 that all born-again believers are God’s ambassadors, or representatives, with the mission of proclaiming “the word of reconciliation” (see 2 Cor. 5:18-20).
The Pope was referred to as “the holy father” over and over again. However, when Jesus spoke to His disciples, the future 12 apostles (and where Peter, who according to the Catholic faith was the first Pope, must have been present), He said:
8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. (Mt. 23:8-10)
The Gospel places every person on the same level before God. Only one person is allowed to be the shining superstar – Jesus Christ. Although we may have different functions or positions, no one is more valuable than the other. We are all brothers and sisters, with the same access and possibility to come before God and make our voices heard before Him.
Paul said in 1 Timothy:
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all… (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
There is only one mediator between God and men – Jesus Christ. Not the Pope, Mary, your pastor, your parents, your spouse, nor any other person.
In the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on earth as today. People who needed a word from God therefore had to go to the priest or the prophet. However, in the New Covenant, the secret lies in that Jesus Christ lives in us who have received Him (Col. 1:27). We are in Him and He is in us. We are now “one spirit with God” (1 Cor. 6:17) and part of the body of Christ on earth.
The Apostle John said:
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 Jn. 2:27)
If we have Jesus on the inside, we have an anointing from God; the Holy Spirit, who teaches us concerning all things. Because of that, we do not need any other person to be our mediator, or to think or make decisions for us. We can connect directly with our loving Father in heaven, because our only mediator, Jesus Christ, has opened the door to the throne of grace, into the most holy place. Spiritually seen, we are already seated with Christ in Heaven (Eph. 2:6), so there is no distance between us and God. We are with Him in heaven and He is with us on earth – today!