Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Matthew 15:1 9 Their worship of me is useless, because the teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.'" (Stern's Complete Jewish Bible)
Leviticus 26:1 You are not to make yourselves any idols, erect a carved statue or a standing-stone, or place any carved stone anywhere in your land in order to bow down to it. I am ADONAI your God. (Stern's Complete Jewish Bible)
Jeremiah 10: 1 Hear the word Adonai speaks to you, house of Isra'el! 2 Here is what Adonai says: "Don't learn the way of the Goyim, don't be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them; 3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. They cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe; 4 they deck it with silver and gold. They fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won't move. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. It has to be carried, because it cannot walk. Do not be afraid of it - it can do nothing bad; likewise, it is unable to do anything good!" (Stern's Complete Jewish Bible)
One morning in 1997 before the almost simultaneous deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa, I had a strange and very brief premonition: Seemingly out of the blue, the thought came to me that Princess Diana and Mother Theresa were going to die shortly and, while the world would mourn Diana in all her earthly splendor with all her earthly personal problems and continuous airing of her "dirty laundry," the death of Mother Theresa would be nothing more than a passing blurb on the evening news.
What was odd about this, was the fact that I never gave either woman much thought, although I had always admired the good that Mother Theresa had done for the world. This tiny, unassuming woman (although completely Torah-less) was totally focused on the Kingdom of God, doing "good works" and trying to make the world a better place. Diana, on the other hand, was just some woman who was tossed into the limelight because she married Prince Charles - and the world deified her for it, following her every move as if their lives depended on it.
My vision came true a couple weeks later when first Diana was killed in a horrible automobile accident in August 1997, and Mother Theresa passed away just a week later. And, just as my vision had suggested, news of Diana's death was headline material for literally years, while Mother Theresa's passing was barely mentioned. It was clearly God's way of trying to tell me that "the world" was busy looking for fulfillment in the carnal and the sensational, instead of the things YHWH (Yahweh) considers important. How often had we heard of Princess Diana's marital problems or the ongoing saga about Charles' love for Camilla Parker-Bowles, and other "juicy tidbits"? But how many people knew about Mother Theresa's humanitarian efforts, or that she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work? For me, the deaths of these two women turned out to be a literal eye-opener that revealed how the world in general feels about God....
The thing is, men have always made idols in various forms for themselves. Even those who witnessed the Ten Plagues in Egypt first-hand and were part of the powerful God-driven Exodus lamented the fact that their food and conditions were better when they were slaves. They personally saw YHWH's pillars of cloud and fire for 40 years while they were being supernaturally clothed and fed, yet in their zest for idol worship, they didn't have enough discipline to wait for Moses to return from Mt. Sinai! It didn't matter that they KNEW Moshe was with YHWH (Yahweh); they were compelled to melt down all their gold so they could have an idol to worship. It didn't matter that they were fully aware of God's strict and continuous warnings about idols and the pagan customs of the goyim; they had to have their idols....
The Catholic Church is full of idols. Even the Pope himself is an idol for the believers. In mid-April 2008, during Pope Benedict's visit to the United States, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing or hearing about the hoopla and pomp and circumstance surrounding the Pope, the "Holy Father." It doesn't seem to matter that the man is celibate and has never been a "father"; Catholics view him as holy, someone to be revered.
But let's be honest here: If the Pope were truly "holy" then he would be Torah observant, obeying God's original divine Commands! The Torah (first five Books of the Bible) shows us exactly who YHWH is, how we are to worship Him and what's required of us in the way of obedience - in other words, how to be holy. Yet, the "Church Fathers" like Constantine and Tertullian completely changed the teachings of Yeshua and turned Him into some blond, Torah-less adonis hanging on a cross, made Mary "the Mother of God" the central figure, and plastered "the Church" with a myriad idols. (For a more indepth study, please see our article Challenging Catholicism.)
While the idolizing of the Catholic Pope is touching thing to do by his millions of adoring, starry-eyed fans around the world, it is nonetheless blasphemy to worship and idolize a mere man - someone who, unlike our Savior, the Messiah Yeshua who was the "arm of YHWH" - has never walked on water, healed the sick, turned water into wine, or raised the dead. Nor has the Pope (or Mary) ever died on the cross as the Final Sin Sacrifice for the world!
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV)
According to Catholics, the Pope has the power to "forgive sins" and absolution can be obtained only through the prayers of the priests....But what does the BIBLE say?
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (ESV)
Notice Peter did NOT tell us to - for instance - repent "in the name of the Pope" NO! The Pope is just a man! Like Princess Diana, he was placed in his position and given a title by MEN! He wasn't sent by God Himself! So, what's with all the worship, adoration and hoopla?
The bottom line is, most "religions" of the world haven't bothered to check the Bible to see for themselves what our Creator actually says. Man has come up with his own religions and idols and none of them come close to the TRUTH - which includes the following:
Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (ESV)
Exodus 31:13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, 'Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. (ESV)
Leviticus 19:4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God. (ESV)
Colossians 1:18 Also he (Yeshua) is head of the Body, the Messianic Community - he is the beginning, the firsborn from the dead, so that he might hold first place in everything. (Stern's Complete Jewish Bible)
So, should the Pope be referred to as "the Holy Father?" The answer is a resounding NO! The Pope is not Yeshua (Jesus); he wasn't personally sent from heaven by God; he has never performed any miracles. He is just a very nice old man - albeit, a Torah-less one who prays to Mary and is into Sunday masses, which goes against God's ordained seventh day Sabbath. He can't heal you, forgive your sins or pray you into heaven or influence your life in any way. All the pomp and circumstances and media circuses won't change the fact that he is NOT a true representative of YHWH....