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A new Pope has been chosen. But will there be any growth or progress in Christianity with the New Pope?
One hundred fifteen Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican have chosen the new spiritual leader of the Catholic world. For the first time in 1000 years a Pope from outside Europe, from Latin America, now heads the Catholic Church. The 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Buenos Aires of Italian extraction, has taken the name of Pope Francis I.
In addressing tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis called for unity and said, “Let us continue to walk together to unity. This is time for brotherhood, love and trust. Let us pray, let us pray for one another.” Pope Francis I will be the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
Certainly, like every novelty and change, a newly elected Pope is a source of new hope for Christians. Indeed, not only Christians but the whole world has new expectations as a result of this development. The newly elected Pope will be expected to breathe new life into the Vatican, the Catholic Church and the Christian world with a conception that will resolve many existing problems.
Indeed, in answering questions put by the Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, Cardinal Paul Joseph Jean Poupard, former head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said:
“The new Pope must be from outside Europe.” Cardinal Poupard stated that Christianity is growing rapidly in Africa, Asia (particularly the Philippines) and Latin America, and indicated a need for the next Pope to be a non-European; “By 2025, 80% of Catholics will live in the southern hemisphere. The Cardinals must bear this in mind in selecting the next Pope.” He then continued; “He must speak two languages, the language of God and the language of man. He must show that the West is not the sole cultural center. He must bear in mind that the Catholic Church is alive in 186 countries.”
As predicted by Cardinal Poupard, the new Pope has been chosen from outside Europe. And as expected, Pope Francis I has issued messages of peace, trust, love and brotherhood to the whole world.
But will all this really help the Christian world attain the desired result? Will the election of a new Pope change things? Can there be real change, growth and progress in Christianity?
As Cardinal Poupard, Christianity is currently the world’s largest faith, with more than 2 billion believers. The Catholic Church is present in 186 countries and Christians are spread right across the world. And Christian society believes that this number will keep growing very fast.
But no matter how widespread it may be, the really important thing is that Christianity has been corrupted, the fact that it is a faith that has been distorted through various additions and misguided beliefs. Christians’ greatest error (surely Allah is beyond this) is their belief in the “Trinity,” a belief in a tripartite Allah consisting of the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
This misguided concept is one of the main articles of faith of traditional Christianity. This false belief is in totally opposition to the monotheistic belief in Our Lord as the One and Only that represents the basis of the true faith. The idea of the Trinity is a false one that ascribes divine status to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) (surely Allah is beyond that) and looks at our Almighty Lord from a superstitious perspective. Although it is diametrically opposed to monotheistic belief and harbors numerous contradictions within itself, belief in the Trinity still occupies an important place in Christian dogma. Someone who does not believe in the Trinity, and who therefore does not believe that the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is the son of Allah, is not regarded as a true Christian by the proponents of the Trinity.
Of course there are beliefs in Christianity that have not been corrupted, and true beliefs and values. For example, like Muslims, Christians believe in the absolute existence of Allah, that He is eternal and timeless, that He created the entire universe from nothing and that He rules all matter with His infinite power. Their intellectual struggle against atheism, irreligion, racism, fascism and moral degeneration and their efforts to preach the existence of Allah are the same as those of Muslims. They also want to establish a world full of justice in which everyone will come to know Allah as required in the true faith and live in peace, toleration and tranquility. They also act in the light of love and fear of Allah and believe in His messengers.
As in Islam, Christians are opposed to a model of humanity that thinks solely of itself and is loveless, ruthless, selfish, self-interested and dishonest. They also strive against such misguided activities as prostitution, homosexuality, drugs, violence and exploitation. They also strive and long for a world ruled by love, honesty, compassion, altruism, justice, humility and brotherhood.
But no matter how numerous their good sides and no matter how much some of their beliefs are compatible with the true faith, (surely Allah is beyond this), to maintain that there are other divine entities than Allah is to “ascribe equals to Him.” And ascribing equals to Him is a corrupt belief that Allah will never accept:
“Allah does not forgive anything being associated with Him but He forgives whoever He wills for anything other than that. Anyone who associates something with Allah has committed a terrible crime.” (Qur’an, 4:48)
For that reason, no matter how many true spiritual values and beliefs they may hold and although Christianity has grown up within this misguided belief, even if it has spread across the whole world, this is not really progress at all. Neither a new Pope, nor a new stance, nor a new message of love and brotherhood, nor the fact that the Pope who will embrace the whole world comes from a new part of the world can change this situation facing Christianity. None of these will be of any use in leading Christianity to liberation, growth and progress.
The true rise of Christianity can only come when they return to the essence of the true faith, abandon the idea of the Trinity and adopt a monotheistic belief in the might and power of the One Allah.
This will only happen with the imminent return to Earth of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Like all Muslims, Christians have also been fervently awaiting this time for centuries. The New Testament foretells the return of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) in several places. According to Hebrews 9, 28, “He [Messiah] will appear a second time, … to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9, 28)
With the return to Earth of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), disagreements between Christians and Muslims, who share the same moral values and who are described in the Qur’an as “the people most affectionate” (Qur’an, 5:82), will be overcome, and these two great religious communities will unite.
In his works, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi describes how this unification will be. He says that when the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) returns he will rule with the Qur’an, in other words, that all those Christians who follow him will obey the Qur’an. In this way, Christianity and Islam will unite and acquire a great power against all religious ideologies.
The first thing the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will do on his return to Earth is to restore Christianity, which has been subjected to several distortions since its revelation, to its original form and eradicate all superstitious practices, misguided beliefs and unnecessary rules and. The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is the only person who can restore Christianity, which has moved away from its essentials over the last 2000 years, to its original form. Such a change has never taken place to date, and can never do so without the Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
When Christianity follows the Qur’an under the leadership of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) a major power will result. Christianity and Islam will constitute a major political, economic and spiritual power, and will overcome all irreligious ideologies.
Therefore, the salvation of Christianity will mean the salvation of the whole world. With the coming of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and Christianity abiding by the Qur’an, the effects of materialist philosophy and irreligion that encourage a selfish, loveless and aggressive way of life will disappear, and all mankind will find the true path.
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