I feel sad that a few of us have severely criticized the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines. One comment I read even suggested the Philippines will suffer bad luck because of the visit.
I believe we must disown Protestant extremism. We must remember that Martin Luther, when he saw the vandalism done by Protestants to churches in Germany, decided to become Roman Catholic again, just to demonstrate his opposition to extremism. His interest was in reforming the Roman Catholic church, not in condemning her.
This is not the same pope Martin Luther attacked in his writings. This pope does not sell indulgences. This pope does not preach that the papacy never makes any mistake. Instead, this pope is a model of humility and Christian service. He is not an isolated Christian leader. His visit, though very risky and tiring for him, is an expressive obedience to take care of Christ's flock wherever they be.
As Christians, we are commanded by the Lord to love our enemy; and this pope is not even our enemy. He is our co-worker in Christ's kingdom, though he has higher office than most. We should instead pray that our Protestant leaders also learn his style of leadership. As the Apostle Paul said, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable...think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). I believe that applies to all of us, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic.
Respectfully in Christ,
Originally published on Facebook January 18 2015