Tuesday, August 01, 2006

who is the antichrist?

I found this interesting statement about the identity of the Antichrist at the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod website.
43. As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3-12; 1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example, that the Antichrist "as God sitteth in the temple of God," 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ's sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16); that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation -- these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 515, Paragraphs 39-41; p. 401, Paragraph 45; M. pp. 336, 258.) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is "the very Antichrist." (Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 475, Paragraph 10; M., p. 308.)

I don't know what to think of this, but I do appreciate their clear statement of their position.


Nick Draper said...

I'm pretty stunned by this as well. The Missouri Synod is well known for holding beliefs that are no longer held by most mainline denominations, but this is pretty far out there.

On one hand, I admire their courage in holding to their beliefs in the face of dismissal or outright animosity from fellow Christians.

On the other, I think courage should yield to wisdom, especially in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary (see most of their doctrine, esp. creationism).

Overall, I don't see how calling the Pope the antichrist helps the Kingdom out any, especially considering the baggage the term has gained since the letters of John were written.

Jason Woolever said...

"I don't see how calling the Pope the antichrist helps the Kingdom out any" - well put!

Anonymous said...

The Matthew Henry Commentary on the King James Bible makes references to the Roman Catholic Pontiff shall be the AntiChrist.


Hailey's Bible Handbook of the King James Bible also holds this view.
The revised handbook for the New International version downplays this view.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Jason Woolever said...

huh, interesting!

Anonymous said...

Here one treatise of Martin Luther that has been repudidated by all Lutheran Churches I am aware of.

The complete text of "On the Jews and their Lies" by Dr. Martin Luther.

In 1983, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, noting that "Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world," made an official statement "denouncing" Luther's "hostile attitude" toward the Jews:

While The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod holds Martin Luther in high esteem for his bold proclamation and clear articulation of the teachings of Scripture, it deeply regrets and deplores statements made by Luther which express a negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews. In light of the many positive and caring statements concerning the Jews made by Luther throughout his lifetime, it would not be fair on the basis of these few regrettable (and uncharacteristic) negative statements, to characterize the reformer as "a rabid anti-Semite." The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology). In 1983, the Synod adopted an official resolution addressing these statements of Luther and making clear its own position on anti-Semitism.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Anonymous said...

Here is the URL should you want to see Martin Luther controversial treatise on the Jews.


John Flores
Friso, Texas

BigDoo said...

Sounds to me that those Lutherans don't get out much, I see the antichrist everyday in the eyes of those who choose not to believe as well as those who hunger, the homeless, the sick and the poor.
Its easy to point the finger at one man or thing. Unless its pointing back at us. Perhaps the antichrist exsists because we choose to allow him to.

bandlady said...

Bigdoo--you are right on the mark. Rather than pointing fingers, we need to get our own spiritual house in order and do what we can to promote the kingdom of heaven.

Perhaps the antichrist is the devisivness between denominations...

Anonymous said...

How do you see the antichrist in the sick, the hungry, the homeless, and the poor?? The antichrist exists because God allows him to exist. It has nothing to do with our allowing it. Bandlady has hit it on the head when she tells us about getting our own spiritual house in order. Let God deal with the antichrist.

Jason Woolever said...

THe question of interpretation is whether 1 John 2:18 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are referring to an actual person in history or the bad attitudes that you're discussing. I guess its possible that a homeless guy could be the Antichrist. I had never thought about it.

Historically, we have to remember what Luther witnessed too. He was a Catholic monk who saw the Church robbing the poor by selling indulgences, and saying that if the people bought them it was the only way to get their loved ones out of purgatory. This was a fundraising effort of the R.C. Church of the time to raise money to for a cathedral in Rome. It would have looked pretty evil I'm sure.

It's very problematic for us to point to other human beings and call them by some name as horrible as the Antichrist.

beepbeepitsme said...

The christian tradition concerning lucifer/devil is borrowed from previous myths. Example: There is a Canaanite or Phoenician myth about Helel, who is the son of the god Shahar. Helel sought the throne of the chief god and was cast down into the abyss.

Jason Woolever said...

Beep beep, interesting thought. what if the multiple sources confirm the truth of Satan's existence instead of confirm that it's not true. "To those who believe, no evidence is needed. To those who don't believe, no evidence is enough."

John said...

== Risen Christ is Antichrist ==

The Risen Chirst is the Antichirst, the first beast that had the fatal wound that had been healed.

Paul of Tarsus was his false prophet, the second beast who was servent to the first beast and extended its authority everywhere, making the world and all its people worship the first beast.

If you don’t believe me, read the Bible and no! you will not die if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods.


Jason Woolever said...

what are you talking about? how could the Christ be the Antichrist? need more info

Anonymous said...

It seems likely that John Wesley regarded the Pope as the/an anti-Christ when he referred to him as the "Son of Perdition" who would burn in hell.