Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking Mother Teresa at Her Words

In the words of Mother Teresa, "words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness."

So taking her cue, shall I provide some more of the sainted Calcutta nun's quotes?
  • "Whether you are a Hindu, a Moslem or a Christian, how you live your life is the proof that you are fully his [God's] or not." (Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers)
  • "Mary … is our patroness and our Mother, and she is always leading us to Jesus." (Worldwide Retreat for Priests, 1984)
  • "I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic." (multiple sources)
  • "One day I met a lady who was dying of cancer in a most terrible condition. And I told her, I say, 'You know, this terrible pain is only the kiss of Jesus--a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you.'" (speaking to the U.S. Congress at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast)
If you are a born-again evangelical, the heresy in these statements should be readily apparent.  These very words from Mother Teresa "do not give the light of Christ."  It's an important distinction to make, particularly as some people of faith insist on perpetuating the fallacy that Mother Teresa was saved.

Not only did Mother Teresa not hide her pantheism, but as a devout Catholic, she considered Mary, the mother of Christ, to be a conduit to Him.  And she had the audacity to compare human suffering with the substitutionary suffering of the Son of God on the Cross as He prepared to take away the sins of God's people.  Unless Mother Teresa repented of these wholly unBiblical beliefs before she died, which reviewers of her private writings don't believe she did, then she was not saved.

Period.

Spare those of us who claim this truth your protests of judgmental attitudes.  Re-read all of the passages you use to get out of having to make tough decisions about whether other people are sinning or not and take them in context.  Christ actually expects His followers to use discernment, to evaluate the words of those who claim to follow Christ, to exhibit holiness in their lives, to follow His teachings, to judge fairly, and to separate ourselves from people who follow false doctrines.

Isn't even deciding you're not going to judge somebody a judgment?  Deciding I'm wrong about Mother Teresa's faith is a judgement in itself, isn't it?  There's no way any believer in Christ can go through life without making judgments about what is right or wrong.  There's no way any believer in Christ can go through life without judging whether certain doctrines are right or wrong.  And there's no way any believer can go through life without judging whether a person is exhibiting sound doctrine.

Some people insist that because of all the intensely counter-cultural work Mother Teresa performed in slums, that God will give her a waiver for any sin in her life and grant her a pass through the Pearly Gates.  But works-based salvation isn't how Heaven works, is it?

Couple Mother Teresa's heretical theology with tales of her Indian clinics reusing hypodermic needles because of a shortage of supplies, even as a reported $50 million sat in the charity's bank accounts, and a lack of credibility begins to mount not only regarding her Christian faith, but the legitimacy of her efforts on behalf of Calcutta's poor.

She withheld painkillers from patients in her simple clinics, even as she secured for herself world-class medical care in the best hospitals.  She cheered the news of Princess Diana's divorce while chiding the Irish for pursuing pro-divorce legislation.  Are these the policies of a saint?

Not that it matters if they are.  Whatever mortal sins of Mother Teresa, they're no more heinous than yours or mine in the eyes of God.  How wonderful to know that His grace and mercy cover a multitude of sins!  Except one, of course.  What counts to Him is whether or not we accept His holy Son as the sole sacrifice for our sins.  Through her own words, Mother Teresa says she didn't.

"You will know them by their fruits," according to Matthew 7:16.

Can you see the darkness increasing around Mother Teresa's legacy?
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