Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Saint” Mother Teresa?

Pope Francis says that Mother Teresa will soon become a “saint.”  This article from USA Today references the story and lists the following requirements of becoming a “saint” of the Catholic Church:   

1.) At least five years after the candidate’s death, their life is examined and it is decided whether they are worthy to be called a “Servant of God.”  (The previous Pope sped up the process and put Teresa up for examination within two years of her death).
2.) Church officials again examine the candidate’s life and prove whether he or she lived heroic virtues. Upon passing the examination, the candidate earns the title of “Venerable.”
3.) One miracle is proven, and the candidate earns the title of “Blessed.”
4.) A second miracle is proven, and the candidate then becomes a “Saint.”

The Catholic Church supposedly confirmed two miracles of Teresa. In 2003, a woman’s brain tumor allegedly disappeared after she prayed to Teresa.  Again in 2015, a man was healed of his brain tumors when he prayed to Teresa. In each case, the Pope declared these miracles as being authentic.

First of all, to any serious bible student, the belief that one can pray to anyone other than God and be healed is absolutely ludicrous.  Secondly, there is no biblical example of anyone being healed by a dead person. Finally, with the death of the apostles and any person on whom they laid hands, the miraculous age ended.  Miracles were performed as a way to confirm the message of the apostles and those spreading the gospel during the first century. Once God’s inspired word (the bible) was completed, there was no longer a need for miracles. No one can perform miracles today.

The Catholic Church is insanely wrong about its idea of sainthood. For starters, it is up to God to determine whether a person is His virtuous servant. Also, as already stated, no one can be proven by miracles while alive and especially while dead.

The Catholic Church’s view on becoming a saint is far removed from scripture.  Here’s what the Bible says about saints:

1.) Daniel 7:18-25 prophesied that God’s kingdom would be made up of the saints.  Ephesians 1 and 4 define the kingdom as the church. Thus, saints are all the members of Christ’s church

2.) ALL of the church members of each congregation were called saints.

    a.) Consider I Corinthians 1:2:
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

    b.) Roman 1:7:
to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

While addressing the congregations at Corinth and Rome, Paul refers to them as saints. Where in these passages do you find the Catholic Church's process of taking a dead person through a four-step process in order to make them a saint?

3.)  A person becomes a saint prior to death.  In Matthew 27, Jesus spoke about His second coming, and in verse 52, He mentions the bodies of "the saints who had fallen asleep (died)" being raised. It is obviously implied that sainthood preceded death for these people.

4.) The Bible gives no example or authorization for praying to human beings, whether they are alive or dead.  Prayers to dead "saints" are commonplace in the Catholic Church; however, this a concept not found in scripture.

Fortunately, and contrary to what the Catholic Church teaches, sainthood is open to us all. We can all become saints in Christ's church.  By putting on Christ in baptism (Gal. 3:27), you'll call upon His name and have your sins washed away (Acts 22:16), and you'll be added to His body (Acts 2:47).  At that point, you'll become one of His saints.  Make sure to become a saint while there's still time because it certainly won't happen after you're dead.  Thankfully it's up to you and not some misguided church official.