Yesterday, the Pope and Donald Trump exchanged jabs, with the pope throwing the first punch, and Trump countering, and landing a quick and effective jab to the leader of the Catholic Church.
Briefly, here is how the first round went down.
The pope said "Whoever thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, IS NOT A CHRISTIAN."
Donald Trump responded saying that ISIS has plans to attack The Vatican, and should that occur, the pope will have wished that Trump was president.
The charge is that one is not a Christian if he is concerned only about building walls.
Is one a Christian if he is only concerned about social and economic equality, and not the welfare and safety of his citizens?
Most importantly, let us first understand what a Christian is, and is not.
A Christian is first identified not by faith in what he does, but by faith in Who Jesus Christ is, and what Jesus Christ has done on our behalf.
This is crucial, and if their is no faith in Who Christ is, the Son of God, and that He lived a perfect and sinless life, was crucified, and raised from the dead, on our behalf--if one does not believe these to be true, then he is not a Christian. This is followed by repentance. Repentance is the fruit, not the root, of having tasted God's amazing love, shown through Christ on our behalf. This new man in Christ now wants to learn of Christ. He wants to learn what God has spoken. He wants to put off his own ways, and walk with Him in newness of life. Oh, we are slow in progress here, but there must be progress.
If the pope, or Trump, or anyone wants to rely on their own record of building bridges or walls--as Liam Neeson said--"Good Luck".
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I To the world."
No pope Francis, you cannot judge a man by his walls, or by his bridges, or by his own good works, but by His faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. No Mr. Trump, pride has no place in the Christian life.
The cross crushes pride and boasting. For when we realize that we are the ones deserving death, and that Christ took our place, pride has been dealt a mortal wound, and though it lives in the Christian it is dying, and weakening day by day.
Our own record of what we do or do not do, build walls or bridges, our own self righteousness, or pride oppose the true Christian life.