Pope Got It Wrong

In a world where so many people revere the words of the Pope, I have to shake my head at his divisive comments regarding Donald Trump.  I am not using this as a chance to advocate for or against a candidate – my purpose is to simply clarify a misstatement on behalf of a religious leader in our culture.  According to news outlets Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.”  He went on to say that if a man says things like that, he is “not Christian.”

Although a polarizing issue, it is not black and white.  One cannot authenticate a generality that building a bridge versus a wall uniquely applies to every situation in life through the gospel lens.  I can testify that in my own life, I’ve had to “build walls” to protect me and/or my family, yet as I did, I never stopped trying to build bridges – at times subsequently, at times sequentially.

To illustrate – I can build a security gate (wall) around my house.  That doesn’t mean no one can enter, or leave.  It means I control who enters and who leaves.  It means I take responsibility for who enters and who leaves.  The last time I checked, the gospel does not address this specifically, nor am I condemned to an unchristian life if I choose to employ this at my home.

Those statements are divisive, inflammatory, and politically motivated.  Endorse or don’t endorse a candidate, that’s a right we all have.  But do not attack a candidate’s system of faith and beliefs based on an unfounded accusation that is misaligned with Scripture.

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