Healing is a great thing — “a miracle” according to my friend Dr. Jim Currier. It’s especially great when healing happens to your body, your relationships and your credit score. The only time when healing isn’t great is when a monster intent on killing you is cured and stands back up with a roar.
The Bible predicts in Revelation chapter 13 that a monster (or beast) would receive a deadly wound and that would be healed (vv. 3, 12). We Adventists identify (correctly) the dragon as Satan, the composite beast as the Roman Papacy, and the second beast as the United States. We correctly identify as papal wounds the Protestant Reformation and when Napoleon’s General Berthier took the pope captive in 1798. So what about the healing? Listen to this.
According to a Catholic News Service release two days ago, Pope Francis just agreed to visit Lund, Sweden in October of this year to commemorate – of all things – the Protestant Reformation on the beginning of its 500th year anniversary. That's almost like Adolph Hitler celebrating the anniversary of D-Day.
Pope Francis "intends to participate" in the joint ceremony to commemorate next year's anniversary, the Vatican press office said in a written communique. The announcement came Jan. 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul -- "an important day with regard to ecumenism," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. It is the last day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Pope Francis will lead the ecumenical commemoration in Lund alongside Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Rev. Martin Junge, federation general secretary, said a joint press release by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the LWF.
"The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran 'Common Prayer' liturgical guide," and will highlight ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans over the past 50 years", the press release said.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, council president, said in the press release, "By concentrating together on the centrality of the question of God and on a Christocentric approach, Lutherans and Catholics will have the possibility of an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not simply in a pragmatic way, but in the deep sense of faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ."
Rev. Junge said in the joint statement that the federation "is approaching the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical accountability." We ask, accountable to what or whom?
The common prayer document, released Jan. 11, is the first jointly developed liturgical material prepared by a task force made up of representatives of the official Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity.
Catholic bishops' conferences and Lutheran churches around the world are invited to use the Common Prayer as part of local commemorations of the Reformation anniversary in 2017. The prayer includes materials to be adapted to the local liturgical and musical traditions of the Catholic Church and Lutheran communities.
Martin Luther posted his "95 Theses" on a church door Oct. 31, 1517, which is usually marked as the beginning of the Reformation. Over the last 50 years Catholics and Lutherans have been committed to dialogue to restore full unity.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation released a joint document in June 2013 titled, "From Conflict to Communion," which outlined ideas for joint commemorations in 2017.
"Luther had no intention of establishing a new church but was part of a broad and many-faceted desire for reform," the document said." In 2017, when Lutheran Christians celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, they are not thereby celebrating the division of the Western church. No one who is theologically responsible can celebrate the division of Christians from one another."
Such statements, made under the groggy exhilaration of ecumenical intoxication willingly squander biblical historicism and the innocent blood of those who died for truth.
As George Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is supreme irony that rescued from great darkness, Christian Protestantism steps back on the light-less path of the papacy. It is the ultimate scriptural contraband — selling bible truth for a pot of lukewarm ecumenical lentils.
Said Pope Francis “Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God.”
There you have it. This event will be a hyperbaric healing chamber to effectively end the Reformation and provide an anchor point for open condemnation of any religious groups or persons that identify as Protestant. Get ready for the monster to turn its heads towards you—if you still believe that the Reformation was a good thing.
by Gerry Wagoner