Pope Rebuked For Claiming The Heart Is Inherently Good

News Image By PNW Staff May 28, 2024
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Pope Francis is under fire including several accusations of heresy on social media after after claiming that human beings are "fundamentally good" in a recent interview with 60 Minutes host Norah O' Donnell. "We are all fundamentally good," he said. "Yes, there are some rogues and sinners, but the heart itself is good."

Evangelical leaders have pointed out that the pontiff's statements are contrary to the teaching of original sin, one of Christianity's basic doctrines. "If this is true, we don't need a Savior to die on the Cross," wrote Eric Metaxas, best-selling author and national radio host.

"This is contrary to basic Christian theology," radio host Erick Erickson wrote. "We are all sinners. There aren't just 'some sinners.'"

Alluding to the pope's statements in light of the 24/7 news cycle, Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber posted on X: "The remainder of the content of this news program and all the other programming on your TV suggests otherwise. And certainly Jesus taught to the contrary."

Allie Beth Stuckey, conservative Christian author and podcast host, pointed out that the Bible refutes Pope Francis' claims that humanity is inherently good. She quoted Mark 10:18--"No one is good except God alone"--and Jeremiah 17:9--"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick"--among other verses. "This is core to Christianity," Stuckey wrote. "Because if everyone is basically good, the Gospel is not good news. If the Gospel is not good news, what's the point?"

One person pointed out that while Catholics and Protestants disagree on many fine points of theology, the one thing we have always held in common is the belief in the pervasiveness of sin. All confessing orthodox Christians should be able to affirm two basic truths: First, sin is universal. No one is worthy. None of us are good. “For there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). 

Second, denying this first point makes you nothing less than a liar about yourself and God. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us… If we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar.” (1 John 1:8,10)

Some X users also noted that Pope Francis' statement echoed Pelagianism, a heresy spread by 5th century monk Pelagius and his followers. They denied original sin and taught and taught the essential goodness of humanity before they were excommunicated from the Catholic church.

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