As the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to be from Latin America and winner of Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Pope Francis is kind of a big deal.
And like any person who is a big deal, he has said a lot of things on a lot of topics. Problem is, there is also a lot of stuff attributed to him that, well, might not be accurate.
From judging to atheism, from animals to launching a Third Vatican Council, below in no particular order are a few of the statements that Francis either did not make or that have been taken out of context. more >>
Living solely for yourself can bring absolute misery according to two Christian writers who used Scripture to prove their point in a blog posted on The Gospel Coalition website Thursday.
"One of the barriers that holds many people back from knowing, being filled with, and being controlled by the love of Christ is the idea that true happiness can only be found if I am free to live for myself," writes Colin Smith, senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a council member with The Gospel Coalition, and Kristen Wetherell, writer, speaker and the content manager of Unlocking the Bible.
Smith and Wetherell make that argument that living for yourself is the "default option for every person" and "unless something happens to bring about a change, we end up living for ourselves." They point out that the Bible says this quite clearly: "All seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 2:21). more >>
Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover you spoke to me directly on your nationally syndicated, award-winning talk show. I was stunned and humbled because I believe you are such an incredibly gifted comedian with a God-given gift to entertain and make people feel genuinely valued. You also have a megawatt smile that simply makes people feel happy.
You concluded your remarks to me and the audience by saying, "The only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another." That's one of my goals as well, and in that same spirit, can I appeal to you to consider some thoughts although we share different worldviews? more >>
Theologian James Emery White questions whether many in America who so easily embraced the global outrage in the defense of freedom of expression as the result of the murderous attacks on the staff of Charlie Hebdo would be as quick to defend the rights of others to express moral standards different than their own.
In his blog post, "Are You Charlie?" White quotes Brian Pellot who reflected: "I do not consider myself racist, homophobic, Islamophobic or misogynistic. 'Being Charlie' doesn't mean being any of these things, despite what you think about the magazine's tact and tone. … As advocates for freedom of expression we must sometimes defend views we find repulsive. This doesn't require us to endorse them. In this case, we must protect what gunmen tried to kill, a satirical magazine some deem offensive. #JeSuisCharlie simply means, 'I defend freedom of expression.'"
White then responds: "Yes. But it's easy to side with such a sentiment when it comes to the exercise of free press in the face of senseless terrorism which seeks to silence it. It's not so easy when it comes to allowing people to live by convictional standards that seemingly draw into question your own." more >>
Pope Francis has said that his continued criticism of the global financial system is not because he supports Communism, but because of Jesus' call for Christians to serve the poor. The Vatican meanwhile is set to publish a report titled "This Economy Kills," highlighting the damage that the world economy brings to impoverished populations.
"Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth," Francis said Sunday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. "Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel."
"Jesus tells us that it is the 'protocol' on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me." more >>
A number of Muslim groups have condemned the terror attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead, and argued that Islam is a "religion of peace and non-violence" that should not be tied to the barbaric acts committed in its name.
"Nothing can justify the heinous crime that was perpetrated against journalists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today," said Sufi leader Sheikh Khaled Bentounes regarding the Wednesday attack.
"Islam is a religion of peace and non-violence. Do not let ignorance justify the intolerable. We shall never admit that acts of unspeakable barbarism are being committed in its name. The Islam experienced by the vast majority of Muslims in the world has nothing to do with these acts that are contrary to the fundamental values of this religion." more >>