Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pope Francis, actions and beliefs

I have been watching the actions of  Pope Francis carefully the past several weeks.  He seems to be an intriguing man and most importantly apparently lives what he actually believes. 

He has incorporated the simple lifestyle he lived as a cardinal  and made a statement by his actions he was going to do the same now he is the head of the world's largest church where Jesus Christ is named as the head and founder.  Here is a guy who snuck out of the Vatican after being elected pope  to attend church with the "common people". No guards.  No pomp. No Pope mobile. Positively scandalous to the  old line Catholics.

Here is a guy who breaks with tradition by washing the feet of women and who addressed his fellow cardinals after his election not from the chair of St. Peter but on the same landing as they all stood. That was much like the very early New  Testament church although I do not believe the early church considered Peter a pope. He was more a "first amongst equals" and no central authority existed in Rome.

Pope Francis has demonstrated something that is clearly lacking in many of  the non-Catholic Christian pastors. Simplicity and servant hood. Jesus demonstrated servant hood in every way. Francis is emulating that. Too many of our televangelists and mega church pastors are into the wealthy lifestyle and name it and claim it word of faith prosperity teachings. They are living large and are far from the servant hood Jesus espoused. It stinks and is ugly. It's all about the money and very little about the Gospel.

I admire Pope Francis for what he is demonstrating. He shows what he believes by his actions.  He has also by his actions demonstrated other beliefs he holds dear which I consider to be falsehoods of his faith such as the veneration of Mary. However, Francis is demonstrating what he believes whether you or I agree with it or not.

The actions of Pope Francis  forced me to reflect on some things I say I believe but can't back up with my actions.  That is going to change.

I like my coffee. I freely admit it is my drug of choice. That hearty, black steamy brew helps to get me going in the morning. I buy my coffee from one of the major distributors here in the Northwest-- Starbucks. That company is highly successful and I like their product. However, the company is now getting more politically involved and politically correct. Proceeds from their stores help causes I believe are absolutely wrong and sinful according to the written word of God.

Just last week, Starbucks investors were told by Howard Schultz the head of Starbucks that support for the homosexual agenda of rights, etc. was going to continue and that if they didn't like it they could try to get a great return on their money elsewhere. Schultz is acting according to his conscience in what he believes.  I'm now going to have to act on mine.

This will force me to make adjustments but I'd rather be a "doer of the word" and not give mixed messages on what I believe than continue with the status quo. Up to this point I have not been a "doer of the word"  in this arena as the apostle James says. I'm going to carefully examine as best I can where coffee is manufactured and prepared and then purchase accordingly.

My single action won't hurt Starbuck's bottom line.  I can only do what God is showing me to be the right course of action in my own life.  I want my "yes" to be "yes" and my "no" to be "no". I want to have a clear message and conscience and not be hypocritical. It's difficult to do this in some areas but this area is doable.

May the Holy Spirit give each of us the wisdom and understanding to change where He wants us to change and to do what Father God wants us to do in each area of our lives.

God bless.