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Pope Benedict’s Papal Visit to Benin

November 19, 2011
Gate of No Return, Ouidah, Benin
Séjour au Bénin — Ouidah, 02

Image by Pépé Ciseaux via Flickr

Templevaudou

Image via Wikipedia

I just blogged about much of this in our other blog, but wanted to post some of it here as well.  I found it especially topical since we are dealing with the return of the exiles under Zerubbabel in 538 BC in our local church sermon series.  You’ll remember how the Samaritans wanted to be included in the construction of the Temple, but how Zerubbabel flat out refused them.  This narrowness, this exclusiveness of salvation to Jesus Christ alone, is a hateful thing to modern men, as well as to those who practice traditional religions.  But it’s biblical and we have but one choice, subscribe to Jesus alone or embrace all else but Him.  As Paul wrote Romans 3:4, “Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”  Therefore, read on…

The following press releases out of Ouidah, Benin deserve our attention, along other reports coming out of Pope Benedict XVI visit to Benin.  From recent reports out of Benin, what the Pope is saying and what the practitioners of traditional religions are hearing may be two different messages.  We, as believers in Christ, cannot compromise the centrality and the exclusiveness of the Cross.  There is but one was to the Father, by knowing and confession Jesus of Nazareth as Lord alone, not one of the world’s many lords.

That said, all truth is God’s truth and there are many redemptive analogies that speak of Christ within traditional religions that could contribute peace and reconciliation on the continent.  But as believers we must stand firm in our confession that only Christ’s blood can solve the problem of sin along with all of its inherent aspects that go with that curse.  Nothing else can replace Christ and His sacrifice, there is a way to Christ, and these beliefs and confessions make modern man, and traditional practitioners, uncomfortable.

After 19 years of serving in West Africa, I recognize the danger that syncretism creates in the Church and for the World.  We must be clear in our confession and be clear in our faith which excludes false gods but includes all men in the invitation to join with Christ in heaven.  We can respect other people and their beliefs, but we cannot include those beliefs, as Pope Benedict said, that compromise biblical doctrine.  The world needs to hear the clear and clean message of Christ, not a the diluted message of a confused world.

Pope’s New Document Outlines Role Of Catholic Church In Africa | Fox News.

Pope Benedict XVI Preaches Peace, Reconciliation and Justice During Visit to Benin

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