Pope Francis is no stranger to making absurd and controversial remarks. When you run your own city-state and roughly a billion people think everything you say is “infallible,” you usually get away with it. Unfortunately, the fall-out from the Synod of Bishops on the Family illustrates this point.
At the conclusion of the two-week conference, most of the bishops in attendance rejected the idea of making the Roman Catholic Church more accepting of homosexuality and divorce. Francis wasn’t happy, and he threw a mini-tantrum. He said the Roman Church needs to adapt to the “changing conditions of society” and added that “God is not afraid of new things.” He also accused anyone opposed to his agenda of “hostile rigidity.” Curiously, he removed Cardinal Raymond Burke from his post for disagreeing with him. That seems mildly hostile, and it’s definitely rigid. Regardless, Francis received a standing ovation, but why?
After all, there isn’t a single place in the Bible where Christians are commanded to compromise God’s Word to suit the culture (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Quite the opposite, Jesus said “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). He added that “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). Jesus didn’t say adapt to the “changing conditions of society.” Frankly, such compromise reeks of cowardice, and there’s no place for that in the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:9).
In addition, God doesn’t change because society does. On the contrary, God has declared that “I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6). As a result, what He said about homosexuality in the Bible hasn’t changed. Of course, the Bible says “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). It doesn’t matter what Pope Francis says or does, because God doesn’t show partiality (Acts 10:34-35). He is no respecter of persons (Colossians 3:25).
Certainly, men who claim to speak for God can bless same-sex marriages all they like. Yet, it will not legitimize the sin of homosexuality in God’s eyes. Sure, you can try to convince yourself otherwise, but that’s a dangerous game. The Bible says “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
When it comes to sin, God has a zero-tolerance policy (James 2:10). You might call it holy rigidity (1 Peter 1:15-16), and that’s why Jesus is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). Now, for agreeing with God that sin is still sin, you’ll probably be accused of “hostile rigidity.” That’s fine. Jesus said “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). I’d rather hear the angels singing in Heaven (Luke 15:7, 10) than have a standing ovation on this earth. Who wouldn’t?