Monday, July 18, 2011

Is the Pope the AntiChrist?


Some argue that the office of the Papacy is the Antichrist, not the particular men who hold the office.  It is a silly argument.  The man who holds the office of Pastor is pastor while he holds it.  So, the man who holds the office of the Antichrist is the Antichrist while he holds the office.

Does that mean that Roman Catholics are not Christians?  No.  It means that the Pope is the Antichrist.  Individual Catholics may well be Christians, just as individual Lutherans of the most orthodox denominations may not be Christian at all.  It is not one's label that makes them a Christian.

Those who belong to anti-Christian religious bodies are clearly not Christians.  Those who choose not to belong to any Christian church at all are clearly not Christians.  Those who disavow Christ and the church are clearly not Christians.  But those who profess a faith in Christ may be Christian, and may not be, depending on what they mean by believing, and who they think Christ is, and what they believe about Him and sin and forgiveness and such topics.  Then again, some who profess faith are quite self-consciously hypocrites.  They are not Christians.  But whether they are or not is in the hands of God to judge, not mine or anyone else's.

The judgement that the Pope is the Antichrist is Scriptural and Confessional.  Those same Scriptures and Confessions instruct us not to be judging one another but to leave judgment to God.  We may assess theological statements as to being true and in accord with Scriptures or not, but we cannot judge the heart of another.  We don't have the ability to do it correctly, and we do not have the authority from God, to whom the job of judging hearts belongs.

Sadly, this doctrine of the faith has become a wedge to damage the political campaign of a candidate, and still it is not being addressed or examined for its meaning or truth.  Our nation and the world are the worse for both of these realities.


RobbieFish said...

Nice to see you posting again. Well done.

tl stout said...

The way you approach this gives rise to the question, "Is it possible for the Pope to be both anti-christ and a Christian?" Since he is anti-christ because he holds the office of anti-christ, and not necessarily because of what he believes or is in himself, is it possible for a Roman Catholic who is truly a Christian by faith to be elected to and hold the office of anti-christ?
At first this may seem simply rediculous, but lets give it some serious thought. It is certainly true, as far too many of us can attest, that a man is not necessarily a Christian just because he holds the office of Pastor. Many who had no true Christian faith have held this office, and yet when they preached the Word of God, people were brought to faith; when they baptized people, God was baptizing them into His Name; when they administered Holy Communion, the people recieved the body and blood of Christ. All of this happened in spite of the fact that the man holding the office was no Christian and should not have been holding it.
So, I ask again, is it possible for a man who is actually a Christian by faith, and should not be holding the office of anti-christ, to be placed into that office, contrary to his faith? I know it is not likely, and I would not try to argue that any known pope has actually filled that description. If such a man could exist, the closest example would be the current pope. But his obsession with elevating Mary to near Christ-like statuse argues against it, and the fact that the recent resurgence of the doctrine that only those who are faithful members of the RCC and in submission to the pope can be saved was his handywork re-enforces the likelihood that he is, in fact, anti-christ, and not a true Christian.
It was this latter doctrine that is the primary reason for calling the pope the anti-christ. The fact hat he places himself between God and His people, essentially putting himself on God's throne is what makes him the man of lawlessness.
Of course, all the current nastiness in the press is just a way of using religion to interrupt politics. Interesting that these are the same people who claim to be defending the seperation of Church and State, and now they are violating the very principle the claim to love.
The question could just as easily be asked the other way around. Could any true Protestant ever vote for someone who insisted that the antichrist was in fact God's representitive on earth? The answer to both the original question and this one is simply "yes". They are not being elected to the position of head of the American Church, but as leaders of the secular government.

El Cid said...

Good post. Glad you 're writing again.