Talk about an unexpected question at a poker table. We had already brought up our faith in Jesus. Now a player was going "all in" about religion in a different way.
We stammered a bit, in trying to answer with a bit of humor. "I've never met the guy."
The other player went on to explain why he said that. "This Pope believes in abortion. He believes in homosexuality. Things I don't agree with."
We were aware of some of Pope Francis's remarks about "not judging" homosexuals. But we didn't know what the man meant about abortion - and a quick online search we did for this post indicates the player's statement was in fact an overstatement.
But let's go back to the player's original question. Is Pope Francis a "bad person?" There's a better answer to that, which we admit we didn't give at the time: Is anyone not a bad person?
We've met people at poker rooms and other places insist they're "a good person." Yet the Bible says....
For all have sinned, and short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23All humans sin. Even the Pope has gone to a confessional -- although you don't have to do that to admit your sin. Jesus made an amazing statement along these lines:
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good - except God alone." - Mark 10:18Was Jesus saying even He was bad? We don't think so. Jesus was God in the flesh, after all (John 1:1, 14). But since only God is good, what do the rest of us need to do?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - I John 1:9Confess the sins to God, as opposed to a minister. After all, a minister can't purify you. Only God can do that, through the blood of Jesus (verse 7). And then....
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. - Isaiah 55:7Forsake (as in give up) ways that are wicked and bad -- even thoughts that are evil. Ask God to help you walk in a good and better way. You'll be starting on the road to goodness -- a road that can lead to eternal life.