VATICAN CITY (Worthy News)– Pope Francis created a controversy amongst Evangelicals this week, when he stated in his weekly address, that those who believe they can maintain a "personal" and "direct" relationship with Jesus Christ outside the "mediation of the Church" was "dangerous and harmful."
In his weekly address from St. Peter's Square, the Pope said, "No one becomes Christian on his or her own! Is that clear? No one becomes Christian by him- or herself."
"Christians are not made in a laboratory. A Christian is part of a people who comes from afar. The Christian belongs to a people called the Church and this Church is what makes him or her Christian, on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of catechesis, and so on," the Pontiff continued.
"We are able to live this journey not only because of others, but together with others. In the Church there is no 'do it yourself', there are no 'free agents'," the Pope added.
"At times one hears someone say: 'I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I don't care about the Church…'. How many times have we heard this? And this is not good. There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations," he continued.
"Dear friends, let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for the grace never to fall into the temptation of thinking we can make it without the others, that we can get along without the Church, that we can save ourselves on our own, of being Christians from the laboratory," the Pope concluded.
Evangelicals have long maintained that one must become "born again" and true faith is not a religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
While many evangelicals are members of churches of many different denominations, the common denominator amongst Evangelicals is the need for a "personal relationship" with Jesus Christ as the sole mediator to God. As Evangelicals often quote, "For there is one mediator between God and Man; the man Jesus Christ." [1 Timothy 2:5]