Archives For Atheism

A couple weeks ago, my kids saw a man and his son out in the park, so they quickly asked if they could go outside. It was a great chance for my kids to play with someone and for me to get to know a neighbor. It turned out to be a great Gospel opportunity.

He was a guy who grew up in Peru, currently working for an airline company. He gets to fly all over the world for free, and he told me that he can’t wait to make it to Italy one day, specifically Rome.  When I informed him that I grew up in Rome, we were practically best friends. Then he asked me what I do. When I informed him that I worked at a church, he played it cool like he was ok with it. He had already told me that he grew up with Catholic grandparents, as well as a Jewish grandpa, all practicing in their respective religions. He never mentioned anything negative about them, nor about religion at all. And then he told me that he was an atheist. As we continued our conversation, it was very pleasant. He couldn’t understand why there are so many religions, so I explained to him the differences between what I believe and most other religions. He had many questions about the Bible’s reliability which I did my best to answer, and then I got the chance to encourage him to read his Bible. He confessed to a fear of death, as well as some doubts about atheism. Right before we went home, we took out our phones and became Facebook friends. All in all, a wonderful conversation, and one which I was very thankful for.

And then I looked at his Facebook.

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Last week Pope Francis ventured above his pay grade with a fallible gaff of historic proportions. In his Wednesday public homily, which usually includes unscripted comments, the Pope announced for the first time in Catholic history, that even atheists can go to heaven by doing good works.

Pope gives thumbs upAdmittedly, this pontification wasn’t pronounced ex cathedra, meaning he wasn’t sitting in his “I’m infallible, so this is God’s truth even if it contradicts the Bible” seat, but still, one would expect the leader of a religion to preach a message congruent with the most elementary tenets of his own faith.

I understand that in Catholic doctrine the Pope holds the keys to the kingdom and that whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven. But contemplate the implications for a moment. On Wednesday (May 22, 2013), heaven suddenly got bound into admitting entry to atheists. Historically, not even Baptists got into heaven, but apparently now God is obligated to let any do-gooder in, even those who don’t acknowledge Jesus at all. How ironic that he declared this on the Feast of St Rita (the patron saint of impossible things).

Here’s a quote from his sermon…

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