It appears that the new Pope has gained a lot of credibility points in many sections of society, including unbelievably, some Christians from Protestant backgrounds. Let me say at the beginning, that I do not doubt the "niceness" of Pope Francis and given the history of Roman Catholic persecution of Protestants, this is indeed welcome in our day. However, the Bible does not prescribe "niceness" as a benchmark for truth. If it did, then the Dalai Lama, Ghandi and many others could also be labelled as great spiritual leaders, even though the Lord Jesus Christ labels them as "thieves and robbers" or "wolves in sheep's clothing" (John 10:1, Matthew 7:15-23).
Here are five reasons to explain that Pope Francis is a false teacher.
1.He does not preach the gospel!
This is what Jesus Christ sent out true messengers of the Living God to do and we get something of a summary statement in Acts 2:38-39: "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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself". Have you ever heard such a message from Pope Francis? No, and you will not either because he has not been sent to the church by Jesus Christ. Anyone who does not bring this message is a thief and a robber.
2.He prays to people other than God in the name of Jesus Christ and he teaches others to do the same. This is not surprising because praying to Mary is standard heresy for the Roman Catholic Church though this is forbidden by Holy Scripture. The apostles Paul and Peter would have "torn out their beards" at the idea of such falsity. 1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus".
3.Pope Francis believes that he is the head of the church on earth and that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church on earth. Despite centuries of many heresies, this one is one of their worst. This is why Protestants and the Orthodox Church still, even today, dissent at such an unbiblical notion. We reject the teaching of Pope Francis that he is in apostolic succession of Peter when he refuses to uphold the apostolic doctrines of truth.
4.Pope Francis believes that he and the Roman Catholic Church are the sole interpreters of revelation (including the Bible). I know that he does not broadcast that on his public TV homilies, but this is what he believes. Do not be deceived by niceness! As a Protestant, we reject this false claim and we uphold that: "The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly", The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1:9.
5.Pope Francis believes that every administration of the Lord's Supper outside of the Roman Catholic Church is baseless. This is because it is not administered by one of their priests in communion with the Pope. We reject this teaching, along with the idea that salvation is only through the Roman Catholic Church.
In conclusion, let us hear the teaching of the true head of the church on earth, the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves".
Luke 13:3 "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish".