Likening evangelism to the Crusades, in which Middle Age Romanists commandeered the Holy Land away from Muslim hordes who had been invading Europe, Pope Francis recently told students not to try to convert anyone to Christianity.
As summarized by Breitbart, “Asked by one of the students Friday how a Christian should treat people of other faiths or no faith, the pope said that “we are all the same, all children of God and that true disciples of Jesus do not proselytize.”
Jesus said something different.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:18-20).
Francis went on, “There is a mixture of blood, a strong miscegenation in Argentina — I am the son of a migrant — and this made for a culture of coexistence,” he said. “I went to public school and we always had companions from other religions. We were educated to coexistence.”
“This taught me a lot,” Francis said, “that we are all the same, all children of God and this purifies your gaze, it humanizes it.”
Francis went on, “You must be consistent with your faith. It never occurred to me (and nor should it) to say to a boy or a girl: ‘You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come, be converted!’ You be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature. We are not living in the times of the crusades.”
Francis is a member of the Jesuit order, which tried to convert Amerian natives and European Protestants by the power of the sword under the threat of death.
Yet Francis said, “But listen, the gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism. If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.”
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