Antichrist in America Again

“…it is manifest that the Roman pontiffs andtheir adherents defend godless doctrines and godless forms of worship, and it is plain that the marks of the Antichrist coincide with those of the pope’s kingdom and his followers. For in describing the Antichrist in his letter to the Thessalonians Paul calls him “an adversary of Christ who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (II Thess. 2:3, 4). He speaks therefore of one who rules in the church and not of the kings of nations, and he calls that man “an adversary of Christ” because he will devise doctrines which conflict with the Gospel and will arrogate to himself divine authority.

On the one hand, it is manifest that the pope rules in the church 40 and that he has set up this kingdom for himself on the pretext of the authority of the church and the ministry, offering as pretext these words, “I will give you the keys” (Matt. 16:19). On the other hand, the doctrine of the pope conflicts in many ways with the Gospel, and the pope arrogates to himself a threefold divine authority.

First, be­cause he assumes for himself the right to change the doctrine of Christ and the worship instituted by God, and he wishes to have his own doctrine and worship observed as divine.

Second, because he assumes for himself not only the power to loose and bind in this life but also the jurisdiction over souls after this life.

Third, because the pope is unwilling to be judged by the church or by anybody, and he exalts his authority above the decisions of councils and the whole church.

Such unwillingness to be judged by the church or by anybody is to make himself out to be God.(The Book of Concord, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, page 327,Tappert Edition).

Once again, a Roman Pontiff comes to the United States.  For the first time in our history, a pope will speak before a joint session of Congress.  He will speak before the United Nations with our President in attendance.  I feel sorry for all those who commute into Manhattan this week, but I am sorrowful of the draw these visits exert on the faithful.  If you have never read, or it has been a long time since you have reread, the Lutheran Confessions on the office of the papacy, please do this week:  The Smalcald Articles, Article IV, The Papacy and Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, they can found here and here.  In short, the Roman Church believes, teaches and confesses the Pope rules by divine right.

The confessions teach, based upon 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4, that the papacy has the marks of the anti-Christ.  It is a doctrine that repels many and in all probability the majority of those who call themselves Lutheran. 

The totality of this false doctrine shows.  Here are two examples from the current Pope which I hope will convince you to speak with others to avoid the papal/p.r. hype that attends these visits of an institution and a man who sets himself as God over the Bible, either misinterpreting or adding to it, as do liberal denominations.

This past May 24th,  the Pope issued an encyclical on climate change and the environment, “Laudato Si’”.   He begins with this heretical statement citing his chosen namesake, St. Francis:

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.  This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.”

First, how could a woman be both sister and mother? A daughter could have sexual relations with her father and the progeny’s mother would also be her sister.  I think this metaphor by St. Francis is mystical incest.

Second, The earth, being neither mother nor sister, cannot ‘cry out’ except to join in the praises of Israel and the Church to the LORD (Psalm 148).   In the Bible, the earth is neither mother nor sister, but God’s good creation as are all people and animals, and that is enough reason to be faithful and careful stewards of creation.  

Third, if the earth is our ‘mother’,then as our ‘mother’ she has begotten us to “embrace us”.   She is not our mother. The earth does not have a father for begetting us.   My mother and father, begot me, not the earth, as your mother gave you birth. The earth does not birth us. Even a stalwart Roman Catholic, G. K. Chesterton flat out wrote that nature is not our mother as this is pagan.  Yes, he wrote she is our sister insofar as we are in God’s creation together, but I do not want to stretch any non-Biblical metaphor. I think we should be wary of such metaphors. The Pope’s approving statement is pagan mythology.  This flies in the face of the summation of Biblical doctrine in the first article of the Creed:  “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”  We are made by God, not begotten from God nor His earth, only the Son is begotten from God. 

Fourth, “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth…” (emphasis my own).  God’s good earth, as His Mother the Virgin Mary,  does not intercede and mediate  for us our praise in  heaven. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…” 1 Timothy 2: 5

There is something worse than the possibility of manmade climate change and that is the reality of manmade doctrinal change. Heresy can make life hotter than hell, and it is usually well intentioned and considered ‘spiritual’.

It is clear that the Pope sets up worship and doctrine that is considered as meritorious for forgiveness and salvation. This did not stop with the Reformation.  In the 19th and 20th centuries,  the Pope has decreed doctrines as necessary for salvation  and therefore part of the Church’s worship (“holy days of obligation”): 

  • Pope Pius IX in his Apostolic Constitution “Ineffabilis Deus” (December 8, 1854) decreed the Immaculate Conception of the virgin Mary, Mother of God that she was born without the “stain of original sin”.
  • Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 on his Encyclical “Munificentissimus Deus” decreed the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven. In an article from the Catholic News Agency, they admit, “This dogma has no direct basis in scripture. It was nonetheless declared “divinely revealed,” meaning that it is contained implicitly in divine Revelation.”  We do not base doctrine and faith on an implication from Scripture, but only from Scripture.

So based upon this false doctrine and other Marian dogmas, for instance, the Roman Church has the feast of the “Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven”, August 22, which includes this liturgical verse: “Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia/ The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia”

The blessed Reformers knew that the papacy proclaims himself as God. Do sincere Roman Catholics actually think and/or believe this?  So many do down to their feet.  At the end of “The Today Show” report on Pope Francis’ visit to Brazil on April 24, 2013, they showed a video of a young woman and she said:

“When you are interacting with the Pope you interacting with Jesus on earth.”

I think this is the logical outcome of the Roman Church’s false doctrine that the Pope is the “vicar of Christ on earth”.   I can understand why the young woman would have thought so based upon the aggregate of the false doctrine regarding the papacy and the pope. This so flies in the face of one aspect of doctrine in which Lutherans and Roman Catholics actually have agreement: The bread and the wine of the Mass, or Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ (Article X, The Augsburg Confession; Article X, The Apology of the Augsburg Confession[i]).  This is the Lord on earth until He returns in glory.  He is at His altars and tables by His Word of Promise:  “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood”. No, dear sister, you have not interacted with Jesus on earth when you meet the pope.  Go to Holy Communion, hear the Gospel, pray, serve your family, help the poor. Our Lord’s birth was announced by a star but He was no star.  He was no Superman but He is the Son of Man and Son of God. The pope is sadly a superstar.

I do rejoice that in a papal visit that the Holy Communion is out in the public, but in a world that worships at the cult of personality, of the “star”, the Pope, both in office and especially in person, excites this idolatry and true worship is overshadowed.   

The Pope has also proclaimed this year as a ‘Jubilee Year’, the Year of Mercy.  For instance, during this year, the wax-encased body of Maria Goretti, considered a saint in the Roman church, will be making a tour for veneration of her relics in the Untied States. The last time I remember a pope declaring a jubilee year was John Paul II.  It was also the year the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” was signed by the ELCA, the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation.  It was also the same year the pope declared a plenary indulgence for pilgrimages to the Vatican approved list of cathedrals.

The pope still promulgates wretched manmade works for forgiveness of sins in this world and the next.   The pope is front and center as the masses proclaim him but this is contrary to Scripture:  “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4: 5).   The Pope eclipses the true head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ. This also is true of the multitude of the antichrists already here in our native land on TV, the so-called evangelists and prosperity preachers with their ‘ministries’, and the sad history of cults from Mother Ann Lee to Joseph Smith to Jim Jones.  They deny implicitly or explicitly the Incarnation for our salvation and theirs as well (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).

This proclamation of the Pope as Christ’s vicar has occurred for centuries but now in the multi-media/texting/social media world, it raises it to a frightening level by going down to the depths of the lusts of the old Adam. It takes on apocalyptic proportions in our fan-intoxicated culture and let us always remember:  that “fan” is short for “fanatic”.   This comes in a time when the demise of teaching “sound doctrine” (cf. 1 Timothy 6: 3-4) is profound and such doctrinal teaching is considered as an impediment to so-called “church growth” proponents: conservative and liberal.   I have thought the Pope is an ally in our struggles against abortion, same-sex marriage and the like.  I think the media has distorted the current pope’s traditional understanding on these matters, but such distortion raises the question:  What happens if, or when, the “Supreme Pontiff”, this one or the next one, changes his (or her!) mind on such matters?

In our secularist and ever tolerant culture, the doctrine of the pope as antichrist is not tolerated  and is seen as “over the top”.  What is actually over the top?  The answer is clear:  A Christian religious leader teaching as dogma non-Biblical doctrines, which deny justification in Christ by grace alone. 

With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error’s maze astounded.

(#260, O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold, stanza 2, TLH)

A dear woman in our mission, in her eighties, grew up in Iowa and when she was a child, an itinerant preacher came through her town and asked a most frightening question:  When the anti-Christ comes, will anyone know it is the anti-Christ? I hope we will know and “speaking the truth in love” (cf. Ephesians 4: 14-15) to guide a neighbor through “error’s maze” to Christ’s most marvelous light (cf. 1 Peter 2: 9).




[i] The point of disagreement regarding the Holy Supper  is not that the bread and the wine is  the Body and Blood of Christ. It is the Roman Church’s non-Biblical misuse of the Mass as a sacrifice for sins and remuneration. The Mass is the  “sacrifice of thanksgiving” in order to strengthen faith:  “…the proper use of the sacrament as a seal and witness of the free forgiveness of sins and as an admonition to timid consciences really to trust and believe that their sins are freely forgiven’ (Apology, Article XXIV, The Mass, paragraph 49, The Book of Concord, Tappert Edition).



Antichrist in America Again — 130 Comments

  1. @Lloyd I. Cadle #92: “Why do you quote the beggars website when the person that runs it is either a Reformed Baptist or from the Dutch Reformed tradition.”

    First, Mr. Cadle, I didn’t quote the Beggars All website, but simply provided a link to it.

    Second, as I previously stated, the Beggars All: Reformation & Apologetics blog, “Trashing Luther? Ex-Lutheran Instructs “Hyper-Catholics” to Settle Down,” does relate to your flurry of Romish comments on this BJS blog.

    Third, for those who read it, the Beggars All blog, also provides two links for Lutheran responses to the 1999 heretical Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by Romanists and Lufauxrans.

    Fourth, regardless of whether James Swan is a member of the Pompton Plains (NJ)Reformed Bible Church or not, your comment is simply a fallacious ad hominem response to the content of that Beggars All blog.

  2. @Mark #89

    Hi Mark – It was a long process. I sell insurance so I am in my car a lot. One day I was sitting behind a car that had a Catholic radio bumper sticker on it. I was tired of sports talk (Go Cards and Fitz!) so I flipped on the Catholic station.
    Of course I disagreed with a lot of what I heard, but I was impressed by them talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and more Jesus.

    Then all I heard was them quoting the Bible all of the time. Bible, Bible and more Bible. I had heard that Catholics only talked about worshiping Mary and the Saints, that they didn’t really care for the Bible. So, I thought that was cool and not what I heard about Catholics.

    So, I would go home and start watching Catholic TV. My wife wondered what the heck I was doing. She was Catholic in her youth. When watching EWTN TV all we heard was Jesus, Jesus and more Jesus. I also started to realize that much of what I heard about the Catholic Church was misrepresented, such as Catholics are trying to get to heaven by their works. What I found that they were not trying to get to heaven by their works, but their real gig was believing in Christ and going to Confession. They are huge on confessing their sins, with long lines of folks. So, I said to myself that Jesus must be happy with folks confessing their sins (John 20:22-23).

    My brother is Coptic but holds the Catholics in high regard. He challenged me to study the ECF’s and said that they are nothing with what we have been taught in the Protestant world. Which I did.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I went to a Catholic book store and bought a Catholic Catechism and read every single word in it with the purpose of wanting to see how much more I had been deceived into believing all the bad things about the Catholic Church. By that point, after reading the Catechism and the ECF’s I was already more than impressed.

    I had never been to a Catholic Mass before, so I told my wife and 5 kids that we were going on a field trip to a Catholic Mass and that they would see 2000 years of history in a 1 hour Mass.

    When I went to my first Mass at a local Catholic Church (they have 23,000 parisheners and another Catholic Church a few miles from there had 13,000
    more) I was surprised at how many folks attended Mass because I had heard that the Catholic Church was dead.

    We went to our first Mass and the Church had pictures of Christ, the ECF’s and the Saints everywhere. The Cross of Jesus everywhere including a huge crucifix in front. I felt the HS like I never felt it before. I was stunned at how much Scripture was read in the readings, liturgy and hymns.

    The rest is history. I apologize for any typos because I am in a hurry.

  3. @Lloyd I. Cadle #94
    Thanks, Lloyd. Yours is a compelling story. It sounds like you were caught up in a media blitz promoting the RCC
    The RCC has used public relations to repair damage caused by the recent priest molestation scandals and similar abuses of trust. They also know that some aspects of their doctrine don’t resonate with American Evangelicalism which holds Catholicism in contempt. As a result, there has been a resurgence of Catholicism with careful theological and historical emphases in the wake of devastating PR.
    Like the Mormon Church, the RCC realizes that some articles of their faith are not palatable to the western mind set, Christians and others, especially those articles that honor Mary and the Saints circumventing, if not subordinating, God the Son, and they have dialed down those articles putting their best foot forward.
    You mentioned Catholic Radio talking Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus and quoting the Bible a lot. That’s great but it’s the finer points of what is being said to which Lutherans would take exception. If you really want to understand where Lutherans are coming from, you will need to read the Book of Concord. In it you will see the differences in the two communions and how Rome came off the rails and needed reformation. Conscience, intellect, and Faith were Martin Luther’s motivations to risk all for the Truth. Lutherans believe he was correct in his effort to stop the Church from teaching things that couldn’t be substantiated in sacred Scripture and which led the flock to rely on its own good works, causing some to despair and others to be overconfident.
    The reason that I am a confessing Lutheran is that our doctrine describes what I know to be true, especially about myself. That I am a miserable sinner with no resource whatsoever to merit God’s grace. I’m not a sinner because I sin. I sin because I’m a sinner. But I’m baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection and that means everything to me and gives me hope that I have God’s favor for Christ’s sake and that I have put on Christ as one wears a garment given as a gift. American Evangelicalism comes in two flavors: Pelagianism and Antinomianism. Neither are satisfactory. I often remind myself in view of pop culture, especially pop culture in the church today, that
    …the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
    Confessional Lutheranism is decidedly in the minority among the various communions in North America. I take some comfort in knowing that we are the few.

  4. I want to avoid the battle between the Confessional Lutherans and the one Roman Catholic apologist. Rather, I want to comment on the context of the original post – that the pope is the antichrist. I was basically raised in the LCMS and was an active member for decades. But I was baptized, as an infant, in the Roman Catholic church (RCC). Yet, I was not required to be re-baptized for LCMS membership. How can a church body recognize / accept a baptism from a denomination whose leader (i.e., the pope) they believe is the antichrist? It makes no sense. You are placing the RCC on par with Mormonism. The RCC, with all its errors, is still within the sphere of Christendom. (In fact, I believe there is a link on the LCMS website which says Catholics are in fact fellow brothers and sisters in Christ – even with their serious errors. I believe this was written by past LCMS President Dr. Berry.) If the pope is the antichrist, then logic insists all their members are non-Christians and eternally doomed. The LCMS position on the pope just doesn’t make sense when they acknowledge that Roman Catholics are part of Christendom.

    I’d argue the papacy should be reexamined based on historical changes. Lutherans treat the Book of Concord like Catholics and others treat councils of the church – without error. Confessional Lutherans won’t agree but that’s how I see it.

  5. Hi Mark –

    Most of these sex abuse cases happened some 20 years ago. Unfortunately, there are a lot of these cases going on in the Protestant world as well. Recently a pastor of a huge Calvary Chapel in Florida had to resign for wife cheating and getting into porn on the Internet. As far as molestations go it happens in all Christian camps and those sickos should get life in prison.

    We did foster care for 18 years (adopted 4 great kids) and a few sickos in the system can harm the image of a great work. In Arizona alone, there are 20,000 kids in shelters and group homes because there are no homes for these wonderful kids.

    A few years ago Sports Illustrated did an article on molesters getting into coaching little league for just that reason. Public school teachers are getting hauled in for it almost daily (although the newspapers tend to under report it).

    Molesters infiltrate the Boy Scouts. Unfortunately it is everywhere. Here is my take on it: Molesters that get into little league are not little league coaches. They are Molesters that get into it because they are sickos. Same with Foster care, school teachers and those in the Christan world–in all camps.

    Yes, if they are repentant God will forgive them. But they still should do many, many years in prison for what they did.

  6. @Mark #96

    Hi Mark – I had no intention of talking about sexual abuse cases. But, since you brought it up please google: sex abuse in Protestant churches.

    The Catholic Church has put in corrections to fix the violations of years ago to where one of the safest places you could have a child is in the Catholic Church.

    With all of the various Protestant denominations out there it may be very hard to police this horrible problem.

    Unfortunately, this stinking stuff is an embarrassment for ALL Christians.

  7. @Lloyd I. Cadle #98

    “The Catholic Church has put in corrections to fix the violations of years ago to where one of the safest places you could have a child is in the Catholic Church.”

    Actually, this is a lie. It has been repeated by Bill Donohue and some recent popes, but a lie nonetheless. This is still a huge problem in the Roman church. Just last week:

    No one denies this happens in other churches. But it has happened on the largest scale in the Catholic church after decades of ecclesiastical coverup and sending offending priests to other parishes where they abused again. And as Tom Doyle frequently points out, the Catholic church made reforms ONLY after being forced to do so by others, that being the secular media, activist groups like SNAP, and finally the secular government.

  8. @Lloyd I. Cadle #101

    Perhaps you didn’t see my last comment. Some of us have been following all this for quite some time, and I am a supporter of Boz Tchividjian’s work at GRACE. I only wish my fellow Lutherans payed more attention to this Tchividjian.

    Now let me ask you, do you think your church did right in declaring John Paul II a “Saint”?:

    Was John Paul II a good pope or a bad pope?

  9. “Our Lutheran Confessions refer to the papacy as the antichrist. This characterization is often understood to describe individual popes who conducted their ministry in less than God pleasing ways, especially the popes in office during the time leading up to the 16th century Reformation. Not nearly as many Lutherans today as in the past consider the pope the antichrist.”

    Sillliness from a silly Lufauxran.

  10. @Nicholas #103

    “Watching such a service brings to mind more similarities between Catholicism and Lutheranism. Both are fundamentally liturgical and sacramental. Clergy vestments, Scripture readings, homily, hymns sung by congregation and choir to organ and orchestra accompaniment are quite familiar.”

    Really? Wasn’t this the president who wanted Church Growth Methods, which typically wish to abandon the liturgy? The guy from (former DP) and now again in Texas, where 5/2, lay ministry and other non-Lutheran practices run rampant?

    “One report I read reminds us that the pope is not a politician, he’s a priest and that, despite what the American media might say of his objectives, this trip is the pope’s opportunity to focus more on things spiritual than things political. I hope that’s true.”

    The Pope and the former SP both try to be churchly, but sometimes I find their comments less than stellar. Word choice and phrasing too often come off as political to my ears. Pres. Harrison also knows politics, but his comments seem far more grounded in the objective (a word despised by modernity and especially post-modernity) truth found in Scripture.

    While I can respect the papacy in certain ways, I am under no illusion that there are many (heretical) problems still associated with the office. And the men who occupy the seat, since they fully believe and perform the anti-Christological functions of that office.

  11. 1 John 4:1-3 tells us about the spirit of anti-Christ, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard is coming, and now it is in the world already.”

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church supports this teaching in CCC-457, CCC-463 and CCC-469 and through out.

    Luther, not going by the Bible, under his own authority decided in an act of defiance against the teachings of Christ, the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers which commanded that he submit to Apostolic Authority chose to start his own denomination with a whole new teaching.

    And since the Reformation (revolution) many other men have started denominations under their own authority and in not going by Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the ECF’s hold to some wild and crazy teachings on the anti-Christ (Chuck Mistler, Chuck Smith, Dave Hunt and many, many others have joined Luther and Calvin). And, this crazy stuff is still going on today.

  12. @Jason #105

    Some CGM enthusiast hirelings are, for now, okay with keeping the obligatory liturgical service where it is convenient. They want it both ways in order to hedge their bets using the Divine Service as a fallback and to accommodate the ones labeled as having “regressive attitudes” aka Old School Lutherans.

  13. @Lloyd I. Cadle #106

    Luther, not going by the Bible, under his own authority decided in an act of defiance against the teachings of Christ, the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers which commanded that he submit to Apostolic Authority chose to start his own denomination with a whole new teaching.

    Luther, going by the Bible, appealed to Bishop and Pope to stop the unScriptural circuses [e.g., a hard sell on indulgences] going on in Germany and got excommunicated and declared an outlaw for his devotion to Catholicism!

    You apparently lose all previous learning when you switch allegiances, Mr. Cadle?

    It is no accident that Lutheranism, when practiced, is the faith closest to Roman Catholicism, minus the barnacles of unScriptural practice acquired after 1100 A.D. or thereabout. Luther was and wished to be a Catholic faithful to the Word (and the Early Church Fathers, insofar as they were faithful).

  14. @Lloyd I. Cadle #106


    It’s bad form to begin new unsubstatiated litanies of accusations, when you’ve failed to address the more difficult yet straight forward questions given to you. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Pope, teach salvation apart from Christ, by good works and good intentions alone– which is why they no longer evangelize Muslims or Jews. They are in blatant disregard of the First Commandment when they celebrate syncretistic worship with Muslims and other religions.

    So, the question posed to you previously, is do you support these unbiblical teachings and practices, too? Are you also defending syncretism, the violation of the First Commandment, and the universalism that people are saved apart from Christ by ther good intentions?

    Because, of course, if you support Rome’s syncretism, semi-pelagianism, and soft-universalism, what is the point of your apologetics? If you believe like your catechism and your pope that we’re all saved by good intentions, your apologetics and evengelism– let alone your caustic bloviations– are pointless.

  15. @Brad #109

    Hi Brad – Please look at my post #75. I go through in depth, using history and councils on the Catholic Church against semi-Pelagianism and Pelagianism. This issue was settled some 1600 years before in a doctrine taught by Catholic Bishop St. Augustine on original sin long before anyone ever heard of Luther. You cannot teach in Catholic Church if you support this heresy.

    The Catholics don’t reach out to Muslims? Father Zakaria Botros of one of our Eastern Rite Catholic Churches has through his ministry been used by God to bring over a half a million Muslims to faith in Christ. He has a TV show and Jessie Romero (of Catholic radio) picks him up at the airport and he comes on his show. He has a bounty on his head as the number one person that the Muslims want to kill.

    Catholic answers has regular two hour blocks of programming for just callers that are atheists. Many are led to Christ.

    Again, Pope Francis is used by Christ more than anyone in the world today to bring folks to Christ. Pope Francis in his position as successor of Peter in 2015, in a world where many have never even heard of a God (look at what has happened in Europe) is used by God to do pre-evangelism to take down barriers before they hear the Gospel message. It is a process when dealing with Muslims, Mormons, atheists and whatever else is out there.

    Fact is this, sometimes Pope Francis can just kiss a child with Down syndrome, and show the love of Christ as a part pre-evangelism and lead folks to go to the Catholic Church so that they can repent, have faith in Christ and get baptized. After they are Christians, if they commit mortal sins, Gal. 5, Eph. 5 and 1 Corth. 6, they repent, have faith in Christ and go to confession (John 20:22-23).

    The goal of all this is to uphold the teachings of Christ and lead folks to the Catholic Church where salvation takes place.

  16. @helen #108
    Hi Helen. Hope your day is going well.

    The bottom line, cash value of all of this is if there has been a break in Apostolic Sucession then there is not another church because it is going against the immutable promises and nature of God.

    Please try to understand this: A break from Apostolic Succession means that your priesthood is invalid as are your Sacraments invalid.

    Same with all of the other groups in the Protestant world.

  17. I am out of here on this issue. I don’t comment on here very often, but when you read headlines such as the one on this article just because the man Luther hated the Catholic Church I felt compelled to speak up.

    Apparently, the man Luther and some of his disciples never really took the time to read 1 John 4:1-3 or the Catechism of the Catholic Church to understand the biblical teachings of antichrist.

    The more false statements like this come out, the more the open minded folks that really want to learn will hear these misrepresentations will study for themselves and convert to the Catholic Church.

  18. @Lloyd I. Cadle #110

    This response completely ignores the fact that your blasphemous catechism teaches this:

    #847 “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

    This heresy has been upheld again and again by John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Frankie.

    Perhaps Frankie converts people to his false church, but certainly not to Christ, whom Frankie failed to even mention when speaking to this crowd of lost souls: This was not mere oversight. Bergoglio is a lost as they are.

  19. I’m a lifelong Lutheran (LCMS). It seems to me that a sensible and systematic look at the question of whether the Pope is the Antichrist would begin with listing all of the particular characteristics that Scripture attributes to the Antichrist and see how the Pope compares.

    It’s remarkable to me that the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope does not take that approach.

    Having little in the way of theological resources, here’s my own modest attempt, mostly in the form of questions:

    Does the Pope …
    1. Expect to be worshipped as God? (2 Thess. 2:4)
    2. Deny the Father and the Son? Deny that Jesus is the Christ? (1 Jn 2:2)
    3. Fail to acknowledge Jesus? (1 Jn 4:3)
    4. Deny the coming of Jesus in the flesh? (2 Jn 1:7)
    5. Stand apart from Christians? (1 Jn 2:19)
    6. Worship God (which he wouldn’t do if he wanted to be regarded as god)?
    7. Claim that the true God should not be worshipped?
    8. Take pleasure in unrighteousness? (2 Thess. 2:12)
    9. Oppose every so-called god or object of worship? (2 Thess.2:4)
    10. Conduct Mass, which for Roman Catholics involves worship of the elements?

    11. Roman Catholic teaching says that the Office of the Pope is founded on the confession of Peter, “You are Messiah.” So no Roman Catholic could deny that Jesus is the Christ.
    12. “Luther’s expression sola fide is true if faith is not opposed to charity and love.” — Pope Benedict XVI, November 19, 2008
    13. Salvation can be obtained outside the Roman Catholic Church. — Decree on Ecumenism: Unitatis Redintegratio, 1964 Vatican II.
    14. If, as Lutherans claim, official Roman Catholic dogma puts the Pope over Christ, then the Pope would violate that dogma by worshipping Christ.

  20. @Nicholas #115: “Lufauxran perspective on the papal visit number two: Graham Glover”

    Example Glover quote: “For me, the most instructive part of Pope Francis’ visit was his ability to understand and contextualize his audience. Specifically I have in mind his addresses to the US Congress and the United Nations.”

    That could fertilize acres.

  21. @Lloyd I. Cadle #110

    The problem, Llyod, is that Pelagianism by any other name, still smells the same. While it is true that St. Augustine made the best early defense agaist this heresy, it was the Lutheran Reformers who sided with St. Augustine against Rome’s Pelagiansim in the 16th century. When Rome ejected the Lutherans, they ejected the orthodxy of St. Augustine at the same time. Really, the abberations of the latest Roman catechism are an outgrowth of this same salvation by works Pelagiansim which they enshrined at the Council of Trent.

    So really, the catholic church which continued in the west after the Reformation and Rome’s embrace of practical semi-Pelaganism, is the church of the Augsburg Confession. It’s not the church which trusts in who touched who in ordination, but who actually still believes and teaches the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, to which the faithful Fathers bore witness.

    There have been times in the history of the church, where broad swaths were overrun with various heresies, and the faithful remnant kept the witness alive. Our day is no different. The real, true church, which cannot be seen with human eyes but is known to God Himself, is the Body of Christ which lives by His grace through faith in Him, keeping and abiding in His Word.

    I am glad to hear, however, that at least one of the Eastern rites of Rome continues to evangelize Muslims. That’s contrary to Rome’s catechism, but good all the same.

  22. For some really good information on what the Early Church Fathers wrote and taught:

    You will note that they DO NOT teach or preach anything remotely like today’s Roman Catholicism.

    They do confirm all of the essential teachings of the Christian Church that were brought back to light by Luther and the reformers i.e. Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Christ Alone

  23. @James #105

    When i was Baptized in the RCC as a baby, i was baptized a Christian, not as a catholic.You are confirmed and become a member of that church…As long as the Baptism is done IN the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, it saves us no matter what “denomination” it happens in. To require to be re-baptized states you are denying that your first Baptism was real and you are doubting God’s Word as the truth and with out error..I was Confirmed in the LCMS 20 year ago to be come a Member of that Church Body. No need to be re baptized…

  24. how is women’s sufreage within the LCMS CHURCH supported biblicly?????sefpecially when one applies the apostle Paulahe also apply’s the at statementpPthat a women shall not usURPTHE AUTHORITY OF MAN

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