Pope Francis stated: ‘It’s Better to Be Atheist’ Than Greedy, Selfish Christian.
So… in other words, a Christian who is still growing and is in dire need of mentorship (which, by the way, is 100% of us) is to be instead ridiculed and condemned – and is an a worse condition then someone who totally rejects God.
Maybe our confusion is due to semantics. Our definition of a Christian is a person who made a conscious heart decision to give their life to the Lord – trusting, serving and obeying Him. These people tend to be teachable and are in a constant – albeit sometimes slow – state of growth.
If, on the other hand, the Pope is describing someone who is Christian in name only – having been baptized into the church as a baby or are there out of family tradition, community benefits or political expediency – then we are not talking about someone who has made a purposed decision to serve and could likely be an atheist in the first place. If this is who he is referring to, he needs to clarify.
But he said it is better to be an atheist, rejecting the truth of Jesus Christ, than to be a stumbling Christian who recognizes and claims Jesus Christ – with no distinction as to whether the Christian has purposed their life.
While he correctly explained, “…this is the fundamental thing — that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to Him with a sincere and contrite heart;” he excused atheists their lack of a contrite heart, saying,”The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”
On the other hand, he demeans struggling Christians by stating they lead a double life – (as if he himself never struggles with sin and can cast stones) – and implies any Christian with an immature focus is “following the passions of the heart, the capital sins that are the wounds of original sin.”
Hmmm… Atheists are innocently following their conscience – (not the “passions of their heart” ie: cravings of the flesh) …yet struggling Christians are committing capital sin.
Wow. For Christians who do have a contrite heart but are seriously struggling, this is a huge condemnation.
MORE IMPORTANT: The Pope appears to be telling atheists that it’s okay for them to NOT accept Jesus Christ as Lord – as long as they are following their “conscious.”
– – How many will now embrace this teaching and die without salvation?
The Pope gives the appearance that he believes he is sinless, can judge the hearts and motivations of other Christians as well as those who reject Jesus Christ, and can cast stones rather than compassionately teach God’s Word to his flock.