"The Pope is Going to Hell Because He Wasn't Saved"

I happened to be shopping for a Bridal Shower card this afternoon, when I overheard two ladies talking about 15 feet away.

“So, I went to my sister’s husband’s step-dad’s funeral today, and the pastor said the most horrible thing. He said that the Pope was going to hell because he wasn’t saved.”

What the fuck??? I turned and looked at her in utter disbelief. I don’t normally poke my nose into other peoples’ conversations, but I was too shocked to keep quiet about that one.

“He actually said that??”

“Yeah - in the middle of the funeral service.”

Just wow. Now, I’m not a practicing anything, but I was floored by the fact that a pastor brought this up at someone else’s funeral! I understand that some people are very vehement about their “version” of Christianity being “right,” but I was simply dumbfounded.

(I put this in MPSIMS because I didn’t feel angry enough to put it in the Pit. lease feel free to move it if things get ugly.)

Last year, I went to a generic Easter sunrise service, and the woman preacher just HAD to use her sermon to make digs at Islam. How very Christian of you to use the pulpit to make your political cheap shots. And how awful to do something so cheesy at a funeral!!!

That was a tacky tacky thing to say.
I fully expect some branch of Christianity out there to have a crackpot that will say Jesus himself wasn’t saved because he didn’t accept himself as Lord and Savior I just wanted to be a plumber. or was a Decent and God Fearing (name branch of x-ianity.)
There are morons in every branch of faith and they seem to be the loudest mouths.

In a similar vein, years ago I went to see Jimmy Swaggart when he was in town (don’t snicker – it was a great show, it was free, and I’ve always wanted to see one of these guys up close and in action). He stated, unequivocally, that although some people might think that Mother Theresa was a good woman, salvation was not to be achieved by works; therefore, she was going to go to hell unless she had “accepted Jesus as her personal savior.” (The implication being that, as a Catholic nun, she probably had not done any such thing, at least to Swaggart’s satisfaction.)

I’m no big fan of (the late) Mother Theresa (see Christopher Hitchens’ book **The Missionary Position ** to see why), but I thought the remark to be just a weee bit presumptious,

If I were Jimmy Swaggert or someone of that ilk I’d stop worrying about whether I’d accepted Jesus and start worrying about whether he was planning on accepting me.

I’ve heard some pastors say some extremely weird shit at funerals. At the last one Hubby and I attended, we sat dumbfounded and perplexed as the preacher rambled on and on about the importance of avoiding “sexual sin.” Actually, the sermon had nothing to do with the deceased-- he was barely mentioned. The preacher just rambled on about “sexual sin” (he said it with a heavy emphasis on the first syllable), and the importance of being saved.

Secondly, I have seen people say extremely mean shit at funerals. The principal of our local Christian school once told this story about herself-- that she had been at a funeral of a man who died from “drinking” (whatever that means). The widow had said to her that she was sure her husband’s spirit was still alive out there, somewhere. To which the principal (who would describe herself as a very Christian woman if asked) “Yeah, in hell!

This isn’t in the same league, but I went to the wedding of a college friend, and her dad officiated.

He got himself off on a rant about husbandly duties which meant he needed to list some dangers out there, like these kids and the music they listen to, etc.

She told me later that when they got into the car to leave, she told her new husband, “At least it wasn’t videotaped, and we don’t have to hear that again.”

This is fairly standard stuff in some evangelical churches; Catholicism is considered to be about equivalent to outright Satan worship.

I’ve asked priests I know about how they deal with stuff like this, and they all say we’re supposed to pray that God gives them the charity to love all His children and not second-guess Him as to who’s going where. Of course, they usually made a derisive remark first, they’re only human. I’ve never heard anything like this to my face and am sometimes amazed at how sheltered I am, living in polite little towns like Boston and the Bronx.

OTOH, if I am going to Hell I’d rather fry with JPII and Mother Theresa and Anne Frank and all my relatives, with George Gershwin and Mozart giving alternating concerts every night, than spend one second with the sort of intolerant morons mentioned in the OP.

Unfortunately some clergymen see funerals and weddings as an opportunity to spread the word to an audience that doesn’t attend their usual services.

Ever seen an Altar Call at a funeral? There was one at my Aunt’s funeral (my Aunt was my Mother’s sister). Her husband’s family were all extreme Southern Baptists. That didn’t impress our mostly Methodist family.

IMHO, people that say the Pope and Mother Teresa are going to Hell do not follow the Golden Rule and are the ones that will go to Hell themselves.

Plumber? I think you mean “carpenter”.

Many fundamentalist/evangelicals who stick to a “literal” interpretation of scripture feel that the Catholics have added too many layers of ritual on top of it, including things like idol worship (the statues of the Virgin Mary). Similarly, the idea of a Pope is difficult to reconcile with Jesus’ more populist teachings. The Pope and the Catholic church routinely interpret scripture; anyone daring to interpret it (and not take the triply-translated word of God as completely unambiguous) is guilty of a form of heresy.

Ah, the ignorance of some “Christians.” Only those who haven’t bothered to learn about Catholicisim think a statue of Mary or a saint in the church is idol worship, and if those fundies don’t think they are interpreting scripture to suit themselves they are idiots.

I’m not Catholic, but I do have a brain.

Note- this was not a slam on Jurph, but on the folks being described.

And just how do these judgmental pieces of crap know what goes on in another person’s heart? Baptists and other denominations like that think that you have to pray the prayer of salvation “Dear Jesus, I have sinned, please forgive me and be my personal lord and savior, blah blah blah” to be “saved”. Where in the Bible is this prayer of salvation?? Yeah, the Pope and Mother Theresa may not have literally said these words, but you can’t convince me these feelings and beliefs weren’t in their hearts and minds, and that’s what counts. So I think they were “saved” so to speak if you wanna get technical about it.

By the way, I was raised Baptist, was “saved” as a kid, lived like a goddamn holy roller for the first 22 years of my life. Now I’m not a Christian, because I have lots of problems with any brand of Christianity, and other religions for that matter. And this topic is one of the reasons why. Too many damned hypocrites who think their type of Christianity is better than another. Jeezus H!

“The people who make it hardest to be a Christian in this world are the other Christians.”

I think you can pretty much substitute any religion for Christian in that statement, and it’s still true.

Oh yeah. There are several relatives on my mother’s side of the family that are convinced that because we attend a church named Saint Mary’s that we don’t believe in God or Jesus, and exclusively worship Mary.

Latin-based translations of the Bible went out with the 1970s.

“Unambiguous”? The cathecism of the Catholic Church implicitly regards scripture as ambiguous, requiring careful reading and context:

I think the Pope would have been mighty surprised to find out he hadn’t pledged his life to Christ.

No doubt, he’d be giving himself a Pope dopeslap in the afterlife by now, if that were true.