Should people bow down to unsaved Roman Catholic Popes? Is it biblical to pay homage to a man, who leads an organization that preaches a counterfeit gospel?
There is an interesting passage of scripture in the book of Acts, where the apostle Peter was meeting with a man named Cornelius:
And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, STAND UP; I myself also am a man.
Cornelius was a humble man, and at the Lord’s request Peter (through a vison) was sent to instruct him. When Peter arrived at the place where Cornelius and his friends were gathered, Cornelius threw himself down on the floor to worship him. Peter quickly rebuked the man for doing that, and flat out told Cornelius that he was a man just like him.
Fast forward to modern times, and you will see people bowing down before the Roman Catholic Popes [including the present Pope] kissing their rings, paying homage to them wherever they may go. This is actually something that has been going on for centuries. The late Pope John Paul II was constantly allowing people to bow down before him to kiss his ring, and he was no different than the rest of the Pope’s in that respect.
Considering the fact that Peter is said to have been the first Pope, one must wonder why they would even allow that practice.
Peter made it clear to Cornelius that he was just a man like he was. In fact Peter was married, and at one time the Lord healed his mother-in-law of a fever:
And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
So as you can see Peter (Petey or Pete) was a married man and just a regular guy like everyone else. Peter knew full well that this man Cornelius needed to be corrected quickly, lest that type of thinking would get deep into his spiritual system. The Pope even has a Swiss guard, something that has been going on since the Middle ages! Can you imagine the original apostles having their own Swiss guard? The thought is absolutely ludicrous!
If a person has been truly born again of the Spirit, they are fully aware that they have received the mercy of God, and have been snatched from the highway to Hell by the grace of God. A person that has been born again of the Spirit, also realizes that CHRIST, and Him alone, will always get ALL of the glory. That is the reason why Peter stopped this man from paying any homage to him.
There is not one person on this earth who can be called HOLY outside of what CHRIST has done for them on the cross, and that is the beautiful thing about salvation. We are all on the same level ground, with no exceptions. It is true that the Lord will use people in different capacities, such as teachers, evangelists, preachers and other things. But every single one of those people are not one DROP above anybody else, in terms of “holiness,” including the new born Christian. Do not ever forget that.
We find another example in the book of Revelation when the apostle John attempted to worship an angel:
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
So we can see that same spiritual principle at work here. The angel from Heaven rebuked John when he attempted to worship him.
It is plain and simple idolatry when a person gives worship to any person [including angels] except the true and living God. We can see how John simply wanted to pay respect to this angel, whom he knew lived in the very presence of God, but the angel knew better than to receive worship from anyone. He knew that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The Dalai Lama has been called “His Holiness” and the Pope is referred to as the “Holy Father” but we must never forget to take heed to the words of Jesus the CHRIST [MESSIAH] when He said:
And call no man your father upon the earth: for ONE is your FATHER, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for ONE is your Master, even CHRIST.