Pope Francis on matters of life, death & war

Pope Francis

Pope Francis (photo by Korea.net, Korean Culture & Information Service)

PRAYER ALERT. Pope Francis has often reaffirmed his support for the unborn’s right to life. In his recent address to the US Congress Pope Francis said, “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” But he also applied the Golden Rule to governments dealing with criminals and insurgents. He advocates that that governments abolish capital punishment. That governments make peace with militant Muslims which threaten to destroy them, as evidenced by his support of the Iran nuclear deal. That governments welcome immigrants who are breaking their laws, and who may include treasonous enemies. If Western governments do not enforce their laws, they may find themselves under shariah law. It would be a worse religious tyranny than they have ever known. We can appreciate that Pope Francis loves his enemies. As Christians we all should too. But the government is based on law, not on love. When a government does not take its laws seriously, who will? Wrongdoers will go from evil to worse. Paul says, “if you do wrong, be afraid, for [the governing authority] does not bear the sword for nothing” (Rom. 12:4). That means that death is the government’s ultimate penalty for wrongdoing. The Bible says there is a time to kill, and a time for war (Eccles. 3:3,8). When those times are necessary, Christians should call on the government to recognize those times and fulfill its role. Yet our role as Christians is to forgive wrongdoers, seek to convert them by all means, and pray for them. #DailyInsight: The state needs the church to change evildoers. The church needs the state to restrain evildoers who refuse to change.   PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are Creator, Redeemer, Judge and coming King. We thank You for Jesus who redeemed us. You have called us to share in Your work of redemption, and not of revenge. Your word says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY'” (Rom. 12:19). Yet You say that the government shares in Your work of vengeance and judgment. That “it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Rom. 13:4).   We see great evil and violence perpetrated on people under Muslim tyranny in Muslim lands. We see people fleeing this evil and violence to non-Muslim lands. Provide for them. Guide them to new homes. Knock on their doors and speak to them. Show them that You are a far better Lord than they have ever known. But for those who come to steal, kill and destroy, we ask that You stand in their way. Alert the authorities You have established to their threats. If they violate laws, bring them to justice. In the process of justice, turn their hearts to You.   We ask for mercy on them. We leave vengeance to You and to Your chosen authorities. We know that You want all men to be saved, and have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. You only take life in order to prevent a worse evil. Give Your governing authorities the same attitude. Move them to war only to protect life. Bring down every enemy attack against life, liberty and justice. We pray this that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.   BPN articles related to Pope Francis.

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