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Scary Christmas!

scary pope.jpg










Saw this creepy photo in the news coverage of the Vatican Christmas Eve service.  Those poor boys were probably scared to death! Old Benedict XVI couldn't look more ghoulish if he tried.

Reader Comments (41)

And here I thought I was the only one who thought this guy looked evil!!
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterplw
Could this be the anti-christ?? I thought that John Carry looked evil, this is even scarier then Kerry.

Pastor Kim Thanks for so many fun and thought provoking Bogs in 2006. May the Lord bless you and your family and give me many more exciting and educational bogs in 2007.

December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTiminator
He looks just like the way the Catholics are drawn in those AWEFUL chick publication tracks.

Spooky indeed!
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHerb Grimaud
There's a side by side, compare and contrast picture floating around the net of Pope Benny and Emperor Palpatine. The resemblance is uncanny.

(Whoa! Doing a google image search on "pope and palpatine" shows there's way more than one pic on that.)
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
I don´t get it. Are you seriously ridiculeing him for being old?
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Astor
I don't think it's that he's old... but more that he looks like the emperor from the return of the jedi.
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterM
Check out the size of that papal ring! It's a wonder he can even lift his hand.
And I don't think anyone is ridiculing anyone, especially not for being old. He just has the look of a vampire to me - I think it's the deep-set eyes and the dark circles. As a young kid, I would've turn tailed and run in the opposite direction!
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHB
Now I know who he reminded me of......Macalousso on that funny action packed movie, 'Tribulation' when he says, "EEEEvaaaaaan".
December 26, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterplw
OK, this blog obviosly wasn't what I thought it was.
December 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Astor
Pastor Astor,

I didn't realize there still were Christians in Sweden. I thought the Islamists had completely taken over.

We're not ridiculing him for being old, we're ridiculing him for looking evil.
December 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwalt
It's not ridicule but perhaps the astonishment that the photograph exudes an uncanny demeanor quite demonstrative of the danger of the Roman church! (I'm sure the Pope was not trying to look evil -- he seems well intended and can't help that he looks old.)

Sometimes, a picture really can be worth a thousand words! O, the irony...

Recalling Scriptural warnings...who is more dangerous, though?

The affable Rick Warren or the intimidating icon of organized religion: the Pope? Both these men affirm the exact same message - which is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
December 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Robin - that's a great response!!!
December 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHB

I think Reuters has manipulated the photo, kind of like was done to the Condoleeza Rice photo published by USA today that made her look like a demon.

The media are becoming increasingly known for this kind of trickery.

December 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMattumanu
Not in anyway saying that anyone connected with the riddleblog altered the photo, just pointing out that the media doesn't always give us anything good.
December 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMattumanu
I find this post thread rather distressing. While I certainly think this blog is an excellent place for learning (as the Rev'd Dr Riddlebarger is a very wise, intelligent theologian and Minister) there have been times where I have been completely shocked at the invective and vitriol in the comments section. Thank God, however, they have usually been rectified by other commenters. Indeed, sometimes I feel that, rather than taking any discussion to a further or deeper level, there have been peanut gallery comments bandied about to sometimes a rather extreme degree. And I am also fully aware that Dr Riddlebarger has no part in this and I am thankful for that. And I also like the more casual air that I find on this site occasionally, it keeps me from becoming a prude or a pompous ass. However, I think sometimes it can be taken to far and there must be a reminder of that periodically.
I guess the issue here is the fact that I believe Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe the Roman Church is a part of the visible Church catholic. I believe the Roman Pontiff is the Patriarch of the West. However, I think the Roman church has gross errors (yet, what church does not have errors of some kind?) and that it most certainly needed reformation, but the Reformers were not revolting.
This background, I think, is necessary to understand the reaction. Sometimes the invective on this site against Rome is taken too far it has seemed to me (and if I am wrong do correct me, and I say this truthfully not facetiously). Some questions I would like to ask however:
1)Robin, could you flesh out more of your comparison between the Holy Father and Rick Warren? More along the lines of what is wrong with organised religion? I suppose my Anglicanism is feeling somewhat offended as well. Remember St Cyprian's dictum, 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus est', "outside of the Church, there is no possibility of salvation". This is followed by the Belgic Confession (I do not know what theological tradition you ascribe to). Also, I think there is a huge difference between the Pope and Rick Warren. One holds to the authority of the Three Ecumenical Creeds, the other does not. That is a big difference.
2) I also am at a loss as to how the Pope denies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He denies a certain mechanism of how one appropriates the righteousness of Jesus Christ (i.e. a iustitia imputa, or imputed righteousness of Christ through sola fide propter Christum) but does not deny the Gospel message itself. Remember the Heidelberg Catechism defines the Gospel as what is contained in our common Creed, the Apostle's. And we must be very careful that we do not turn the mechanism into the message (else we have anathamatised almost any Christian who lived before Luther, great and holy Saints such as Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, who all held to a iustitia imfusa, or infused righteousness of Christ).
3)Should we describe it as ridicule? Such language seems inflammatory. Perhaps a humorous jest would be a more appropriate turn of phrase?
4)Rev'd Astor do not think low of this site. Rev'd Riddlebarger is a holy man of God and he has excellent pieces that betray great learning posted on this site (sermons, lectures, articles, etc.). Yes, I admit the comments can become excessive but let that not deter you from learning and interacting with great knowledge when one finds it, though it be surrounded by things unbecoming of it.
I am sorry that this post is so lengthy but I thought I needed to lay the issues that were upon my heart on the table for your examination. Thank you. Dr Riddlebarger, the times I have visited your parish, Christ Reformed Church, have been times of awesome weight, standing in the presence of God, hearing the Law, confessing my sins, receiving Absolution, hearing the Word preached, partaking of the Blessed and Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist; these times have been wonderful and I have seriously considered submitting a plea for membership. Your blog is a wonderful resource in service to the faithful and I pray for you, that God would continue to bless your work, that he would cause the light of his holy countenance to shine upon you and give you peace. Thank you for the work you have done for the Body of Christ. Pax Christi.

His unworthy servant,
December 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
If anyone is confused as to how the Papists deny the gospel, then you should go back to the writings of the Council of Trent (documents whose pronouncements are still in effect). "If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).

While I think that the comments about this picture are inappropriate at best it should be said that the Pope and his cardinals have a false Gospel, which is really no Gospel at all.
December 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSimul justus et peccator

While I'm sure that there are Catholics that are saved, most I've talked to get offended when you talk about justification by faith. Council of Trent II anathematized anyone who believes in justification by faith. Catholics do have exposure to the Gospel through the ecumenical creeds, so it is possible for there to be catholic believers.

As for your points:
1) The Westminster Confession points out that ordinarily, there is no possibility of salvation outside of the church. We're not as absolute as St. Cyprian.

2) The Pope has infuriatingly reaffirmed again and again his 'respect' for Islam. How do you respect a religion that denies that God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus? Islam also teaches that we're rank polytheists because we say that God has a begotten Son, and in chapter 9:29 of the Qur'an, it teaches Muslims to fight Christians and Jews. If the Pope is the patriarch of the West as you, he needs to wake up and get a clue while there still is a West.

3) Fine. We're poking fun at him. Stop being so sensitive.

4) Nobody here implied that Rev Astor was thinking low of this site. I thought he was addressing his post to the other commenters.
December 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

"How do you respect a religion that denies that God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus?"

I suggest that none can respect the doctrines of the Christian churches which are so blatantly unscriptural.

Doctrines such as the trinity, the miraculous incarnation, and the various divinity teachings are products of the Graeco-Roman church fathers' ignorance of Hebrew modes of thinking and expression, in particular the New Testament term 'son of God' when used in reference to Jesus of Nazareth.

This ignorance, together with a predilection for their own national religions, facilitated the creation of 'Jesus Christ', a new god-man, born of a virgin, fashioned according to their image, their likeness, their values, and their delusions of grandeur.

Out of the necessity to explain away the birth of Jesus was born the entire doctrinal structure of Christendom.

Compare and contrast this doctrinal image of Jesus with what the New Testament actually states about the same person:

he was God's 'anointed' who would one day sit on the throne of David and rule over the Kingdom of God on earth;

he was 'born of the seed of David according to the flesh' and therefore entitled to this position;

he was 'anointed' with full power and authority to speak and act in the name of YHVH;

he was a 'god' in the Hebrew sense that all who received the 'word' were themselves 'gods' or 'exalted' ones.

We have created a bottomless pit of error for ourselves. God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and TRUTH. Jesus died for truth and it is encumbent on all who would be his followers to search out the truth.
December 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervynette

I'm not quite sure how you found this blog, but oh well...

The Christian fathers made up the doctrines of the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, and Jesus being God?

I think not. This has been answered time and time again for the past 2000 years, the Gospel still has it's detractors and will until Christ comes again. There's several authors that have written defenses of these doctrines, but Josh McDowell comes to mind immediately:

and this:

Have fun at the Jesus Seminar.

Jesus is Lord.
December 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

Now is neither the time nor place to engage in the theological discussions of Nicaea. Nor is it the correct or proper post to begin such discussion. However, some quick points: Christ is clearly called God in the New Testament by the holy Apostle St Paul (Romans 9.5; cf. Phillippians 2.6ff.). The phrase, 'Son of man', that our Lord referred to himself as would seem to have been taken from Daniel 7.13-14, where he has qualities that only YHWH could posess.

Might I inquire as to what theological position you hold? Are you a Jehovah's Witness? A classic Arian? In either case might I ask you a few questions? Why should I trust your interpretation over the interpretation given by the catholic Church (and her learned and holy theologians) over two thousand years? Also, why do you not accept the theological formulation of this Church which is supposedly "Graeco-Romanised" and yet accept their Bible? It was this same Church which published and gave you that same Bible. Why do you accept this canon?

It is good to know we agree on the fact that the Gospel is present in the Roman churches. I would submit that the Catholics you have talked to are not really studying their tradition aright and immersing themselves within it. It is interesting to know the Catholics who unwittingly buy into the outmoded bad evangelical Protestant characterisations of Rome!

I think on the issue of salvation and the Church, I do not think we are as far apart. I also hold to the ordinarily (or, genrally) proviso, as I am sure St Cyprian would have. I will return to your other points at a more convenient time, I must be off! Blessings to all! Pax Christi.

His unworthy servant,

December 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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