According to some of my tightly wound theological buddies, as a Protestant Christian, I?m not supposed to say anything favorable about a Catholic, especially ? a Pope. Oh well, I?ve got to give honor where honor is due, so pardon me, brethren, if I praise the former pontiff?s past achievements.
Even though I disagree with Catholicism?s soteriology, and from a fashion and function standpoint I don?t get their funky hats or the Elvis-like papal robes, or their elaborate walking sticks, I?ve got to admit that I appreciate John Paul II?s accomplishments for the human collective and his unwavering moral convictions in the face of amoral, bossy and prissy secularism.
Yeah ? The Pope did what was right, and in his genteel, non-Doug-like way, let everyone know they could kiss his Polish posterior if they didn?t like what he stood for. And I personally dig that in a priest, pastor, pope or whatever you want to call a religious leader.
Why does this palpably appeal to me? Well, for one revoltingly obvious reason: namely, in many churches today, both Protestant and Catholic, we are inundated with no-guts, wind-testing, capitulating clerical slaves of public opinion who neither lead, follow, nor ? get out of our way. I believe large portions of the pastorate today have become nicer than Christ and have forgotten the injunction in the scripture to take uncomfortable stands for righteousness when things begin to get twisted. John Paul II did just that. Check it out.
While many ministers were pulling lint from their navels, or embroiled in a scandal for trying to hump an altar boy, or chasing rich donors, or vacillating on the major issues, John Paul II was serious business. He didn?t ignore the societal nightmare that was communism; he didn?t waffle in his biblical stance on issues such as sexuality, marriage, abortion, infanticide, suicide and euthanasia. He didn?t mellow his mouth regarding the place of religion and religiously informed moral judgment in public life. Yes, the latest Pope was solid in his deep disregard for the ?progressive? agenda.
Speaking of the progressives ? There?s been a lot of chatter and blather from the loopy left about getting a more secularized pope, a Pope Lite. One who is not an old geezer with respect to his view of right and wrong. Y?know? maybe a metrosexual hip guy, in the vein of Ross on Friends, malleable in his beliefs and muddled in his worldview. One, unlike John Paul II, whom they can bend and stretch like Gumby to fit their licentious lives and liberal take on life.
I, on the other hand, would like to see the subsequent servant be a retro pope and sport the same holy moral nerve of the last pontiff. A veritable papal cowboy who is not indecisive and dithering regarding the verbum Dei, even in this decrepit day of overt ministerial wussification.
Yeah ? I?d like to see the next pope keep an old school devotion to the Christ of the Bible, teach the word of God (as is), and maintain a traditional view of life, sex and marriage, not prostrate himself to the ?progressives.?
I?d like to see the next Pope exchange his white robes for a black leather cape like Morpheus had in The Matrix and trade in the Popemobile for a Harley Fat Boy. At least on the weekends.
I?d like to see the Catholic Church let the next guy get married, as St. Paul said was a minister?s right, to a girl like Salma Hayek and have some kids. This in turn would, hopefully, cause thousands of other priests to follow that which is normal.
I?d like to see the next pope take that gold-plated shepherd?s staff and publicly pulverize any priest who has committed an act of pedophilia and then personally escort such a Judas Priest to the papal dungeon to a) be executed or b) be forgotten forever. Can I get an amen?
I?d also like to see everyone leave the next pope the heck alone and not force him to be just a ?nice guy?? like most ministers have been reduced to, but rather a truth dealer? a herald and defender of God?s word ? who doesn?t give a flip about the feelings of the secular squabs.
My ClashPoint is this: John Paul II faced communist thugs, absorbed a would-be assassin?s bullet, and didn?t bat an eye when the world didn?t like his moral stances. And that?s the kind of holy chutzpah the Catholic Church needs to fill his now empty Chukka boots.
Pope John Paul II understood that a traditional, biblical worldview is the moral rudder that will keep us sailing in the new millennium. I just hope that the Catholic Church will yield up another leader who will fight that which is foul when in floats to the top of society and carry on John Paul II?s attitude and actions. Yes, we need, must have, an old school, JP II-like pope and not a progressive dope.