Recently, Pope Francis hung out in the United States. Unsurprisingly, things got weird in a hurry. I mean, the Pope is used to making bizarre and borderline blasphemous statements. In the past, he’s said atheists can go to Heaven, Muslims worship the same God as Catholics, and that “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life.” Let’s hope that last one was a translation issue.
Regardless, the Pope’s American adventure started off in rocky fashion. In his speech to Congress, he mentioned the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Dorothy Day, but he didn’t acknowledge Jesus at all. Curiously, he found time to give a shout-out to Thomas Merton, a “poet who advocated interfaith dialogue.” To be fair, the Pope did give Jesus a brief public nod during his trip. Unfortunately, that’s where he derailed in epic fashion. He said in a speech at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan that “if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.”
Since the Pope didn’t elaborate, he apparently believes the Cross was a failure. Sadly, it gets worse. He opened his remarks at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by addressing “my Muslim brothers and sisters” and giving them “assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.”
This is an obvious reference to Allah (Koran 39:53), and it’s not the first time the Pope has said something along these lines. In 2013, he greeted “Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer.” In other words, the Pope thinks Jesus failed, he personally offers prayers to Allah, he thinks Allah and the Lord are the same, and he has allowed Islamic prayer at the Vatican.
Quite clearly, Pope Francis is pushing Chrislam, a blend of Islam and Christianity. He’s not alone. Several church figures signed “A Common Word” Christian Response, asking “forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.” Likewise, although he issued a correction, Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church has said in the past that “Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God.” Wrong! The Bible says “Whoever denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist” (1 John 2:22). Well, Muslims reject that Jesus is the Son of God (Koran 19:88-92) and they deny He died on the Cross (Koran 4:157). According to the Bible, Islam is anti-Christ. There is no middle ground.
The Bible says “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day in power (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), which was a public declaration of His identity as the Son of God (Romans 1:4). This is non-negotiable, and Jesus made it clear “whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).