Lutherans Think Pope Is Anti-Christ


#1

After the passing of Pope John Paul II, a Lutheran friend said she couldn’t understand what the big deal was about his dying. She made it sound like he was just some old rich guy that died.

Later—from another Lutheran friend—I discovered that Lutherans are taught to believe that the Pope (not the person but the office of the Pope) is the anti-Christ.

I did a little research on this and found the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church does indeed believe this–per their website:

lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=579

And the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church REALLY believes the Pope is the root of all evil:

wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2617&collectionID=795&contentID=4441&shortcutID=5297

Which says in part:

*Therefore on the basis of a renewed study of the pertinent Scriptures we reaffirm the statement of the Lutheran Confessions, that “the Pope is the very Antichrist” (cf. Section II), especially since he anathematizes the doctrine of the justification by faith alone and sets himself up as the infallible head of the Church.

We thereby affirm that we identify this “Antichrist” with the Papacy as it is known to us today, which shall, as 2 Thessalonians 2:8 states, continue to the end of time, whatever form or guise it may take. This neither means nor implies a blanket condemnation of all members of the Roman Catholic Church, for despite all the errors taught in that church the Word of God is still heard there, and that Word is an effectual Word. Isa 55:10, 11; cf. Apology XXIV, 98, cited above under II.

We make this confession in the confidence of faith. The Antichrist cannot deceive us if we remain under the revelation given us in the Apostolic word (2 Th 2:13-17), for in God’s gracious governance of history the Antichrist can deceive only those who “refused to love the truth” (2 Th 2:10-12).

And we make this confession in the confidence of hope. The Antichrist shall not destroy us but shall himself be destroyed—“Whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming” (2 Th 2:8).

We reject the idea that the fulfillment of this prophecy is to be sought in the workings of any merely secular political power (2 Th 2:4; cf. Treatise on the Power and the Primacy of the Pope 39).

We reject the idea that the teaching that the Papacy is the Antichrist rests on a merely human interpretation of history or is an open question. We hold rather that this teaching rests on the revelation of God in Scripture which finds its fulfillment in history. The Holy Spirit reveals this fulfillment to the eyes of faith (cf. The Abiding Word, Vol. 2, p. 764). Since Scripture teaches that the Antichrist would be revealed and gives the marks by which the Antichrist is to be recognized (2 Th 2:6,8), and since this prophecy has been clearly fulfilled in the history and development of the Roman Papacy, it is Scripture which reveals that the Papacy is the Antichrist.*

My question is this: I have many Lutheran friends and family members. I never realized they believed I was a “follower of the anti-Christ”. How do I deal with them in discussions on religion now?


#2

Most of the Lutherans that I’ve bumped into are Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). I don’t believe that ELCA holds the same beliefs that some of these wacky Lutheran synods do.


#3

And people wonder why I have a problem with the teachings of Martin Luther. From there one must deduce the same of the demoninations that stemmed from Luther’s refermation. If you are not for Christ you must be against Christ, this is basic logic. You can’t say that you serve Jesus, but then deny the truth of His statements. The Church was founded on Peter, hell cannot overcome it, and authority has been given to it.

Mat 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Douay-Rheims Bible)

Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to talk to protestants.


#4

PiusXIII,

I would treat as you would like to be treated. If someone would remark “All Catholics (fill in the blank)…,” and you know such a statement to be untrue; you might take exception, even offended. This might be so if it pertained to something no longer practiced or long ago resolved.

In the case of the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods, they have their constitutions. Other Lutheran bodies have theirs. They say what they say. However, when speaking with individuals (here I’m thinking of those other than Missouri and Wisconsin Synods), I woud be greatly surprised, astonished even, to find that every single person held the belief that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. They might object to having a papacy. That’s about as far as it would go.

It might be helpful to resist “lumping” us all together and discover what each believes. By doing so, it could lead to the discovery that there are Lutherans who are closer to the Roman Catholic Church than you might think. I ought to know. I’m one of them, who is in coversation with other-like minded Lutherans. :blessyou:


#5

There are a couple easy refutes for these kinds of accusations.
First off, the anti-Christ is SPECIFICALLY described in Revelation as being a PERSON; not an office. Unless your friend’s church wants to name a specific pope (which I doubt even they would dare to do) their assertion is fatally flawed.
Second, Catholics “*anathematize[s] the doctrine of the justification by faith alone”. *Well, since there was no doctrine of “faith ALONE” until Luther said there was, Catholics are not wrong here. Lutherans are the ones in error.


#6

Without offending any lutheran who visits this site one must remember that Lutheranism is simply one of the myriad of heresies which have occured through the ages. It is in and of itself wholly irrelevant except insofar as understanding it helps us in helping them back to the church. It’s beliefs are irrelevant. What it thinks of the rock on which the church is built in no way adds to or subtracts from the perfection of the church or its teaching.


#7

Some Lutherans do and some do not. The LC_MS and WELS synods are far more anti-Catholic than the ELCA and some other Synods. Turn the other cheek - there are some Catholics that believe that Luther was possessed by a daemon, so it evens out.


#8

The idea that the pope is the anti-Christ is, unfortunately, not just a Lutheran idea. I read an article recently by an Evangelical who stated that the word “Vicar” in the title “Vicar of Christ” (Latin= Vicarius Christi) means “anti”. In other words, he was saying that “Vicarius Christi” means “anti-Christ”! He obviously went to the Jack Chick school of Latin. The Latin word for “anti” is “anti”. The Latin word “vicarius” is comparable to our word in English “vicarious”:

Vicarious \Vica"rious, a. L. vicarius, from vicis change,
alternation, turn, the position, place, or office of one
person as assumed by another; akin to Gr. ? to yield, give
way, G. wechsel a change, and probably also to E. weak.

  1. Of or pertaining to a vicar, substitute, or deputy;
    deputed; delegated; as, vicarious power or authority.

In other words, while Jesus Christ is not physically present on earth as a man, our pope has been delegated that “vicarious” authority. The poor scholarship of the article that I mentioned above is just one extreme example of how anti-Catholics will stretch credibility to support their position.

I realize I haven’t directly answered your question but I want to research the specific biblical passages, etc. in your post before suggesting how you can talk to people who believe your earthly spiritual leader is the anti-Christ.


#9

You’re right. I recently heard that Martin Lutheran taught that the Magesterium is the “spirit of the anti-Christ” because of Revelations. Apparently all early day Protestants also shared this belief. :banghead:


#10

[quote=PiusXIII]My question is this: I have many Lutheran friends and family members. I never realized they believed I was a “follower of the anti-Christ”. How do I deal with them in discussions on religion now?
[/quote]

Laugh at them. Then, when you stop laughing your butt off, tell them all about that demented guy named Martin Luther. Seriously, read up on the guy, he was a real wingnut, as in not right in the head.


#11

They all quote the Bible and say that the letters on the Holy Father’s headpiece add up to 666. They say that according to Revelations, the anti-Christ is supposed to come from Rome, within the Church itself and take Christians away from Christ. Then they say that things like Purgatory, Confessions and honoring Mary and the Saints, etc. all lead Catholics away from a personal relationship with Christ.

All Catholics should watch 3ABN, a Seventh Day Adventist cable television station. They have ministers on that CONSTANTLY bash Catholics and the Pope. :mad: :mad:

It’s hard to laugh at them because they degrade everything that I hold dear. I get so angry and upset that my daughter tells me I shouldn’t watch 3ABN.


#12

there are different degrees of lutherans just like there are baptists and many other denominations… your lutheran friends are probably not associated with that church’s view of the Pope being the antichrist.


#13

[quote=Shibboleth]there are some Catholics that believe that Luther was possessed by a daemon.
[/quote]

There are? I’ve never met one, or even heard of one till now.:nope:

Irenicist


#14

[quote=shannin]They all quote the Bible and say that the letters on the Holy Father’s headpiece add up to 666. They say that according to Revelations, the anti-Christ is supposed to come from Rome, within the Church itself and take Christians away from Christ. Then they say that things like Purgatory, Confessions and honoring Mary and the Saints, etc. all lead Catholics away from a personal relationship with Christ.

All Catholics should watch 3ABN, a Seventh Day Adventist cable television station. They have ministers on that CONSTANTLY bash Catholics and the Pope. :mad: :mad:

It’s hard to laugh at them because they degrade everything that I hold dear. I get so angry and upset that my daughter tells me I shouldn’t watch 3ABN.
[/quote]

I know it’s hard. But don’t let it get to you, rest assured that they will answer to God for it. Remeber Christ told us to shake the dust from our sandals when things like this happen. Don’t sweat it, after all, you have all of us here! :smiley:


#15

“Justification by faith alone” is not biblical. The early Church Fathers did not write about this “justification” either. Here’s just one useful article: chnetwork.org/journals/justification/justify_12.htm

This article concludes with a good question for Lutherans:

What we find in the writings of the early Fathers is a consistent voice in early Christian life and thought affirming the indissoluble necessity of faith in our Lord and interior conversion that must show itself in a life of holiness. The only boasting that can be done is boasting in God’s work, “for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Catholic teaching is not only clearly present in early Christian life and thought, but it has remained remarkably consistent throughout twenty long centuries, faithfully handing down what it had received. Are we to conclude that the Reformers of the sixteenth century better understood the tenets of the Christian Faith than these early Christian teachers?



#16

The ecumenism to catholics in these lutheran churches are nothing, we have in Spain, protestants very anti-papists.


#17

Since Scripture teaches that the Antichrist would be revealed and gives the marks by which the Antichrist is to be recognized (2 Th 2:6,8), and since this prophecy has been clearly fulfilled in the history and development of the Roman Papacy, it is Scripture which reveals that the Papacy is the Antichrist.

one thing i could never understand is why do protestants think everyone will agree on the interpretation of scripture? i look at history and scripture entirely different as do the jews. so how can they use an interpretation as proof or evidence of anything? like all historians and biblical scholars come to the conclusion that the pope is the antichrist -give me a break. i just don’t understand why they don’t think this thing out.

no where in the bible is it spelled out that “the pope (bishop of rome) will be the antichrist” or “the luthern-presbo-new-western church of america is the one true church”. to read the bible correctly requires proper methods, just like an engineer uses the correct method to construct a building or bridge.


#18

When I read that we believed the Pope was the anti-Christ I went to my Lutheran Misouri Synod Pastor to ask him what’s up with that? (Always admired JPII even before I was Catholic) My Pastor told me that was the “Official” position of the chruch but that he thought they were crazy & that Catholics are our brothers & sisters & the Pope was a good man & Mother Theresa was, in his opinion the BEST example of a Christian. So you can’t lump all Lutherans together.

And as a side note to Unworthy Soul,
I plan to add the phrase “real wingnut” to my vocabulary. Love it! :smiley:


#19

[quote=Eden]The idea that the pope is the anti-Christ is, unfortunately, not just a Lutheran idea. I read an article recently by an Evangelical who stated that the word “Vicar” in the title “Vicar of Christ” (Latin= Vicarius Christi) means “anti”. In other words, he was saying that “Vicarius Christi” means “anti-Christ”! He obviously went to the Jack Chick school of Latin. The Latin word for “anti” is “anti”. The Latin word “vicarius” is comparable to our word in English “vicarious”:

Vicarious \Vica"rious, a. [L. vicarius, from vicis change,
alternation, turn, the position, place, or office of one
person as assumed by another; akin to Gr. ? to yield, give
way, G. wechsel a change, and probably also to E. weak.

  1. Of or pertaining to a vicar, substitute, or deputy;
    deputed; delegated; as, vicarious power or authority.

In other words, while Jesus Christ is not physically present on earth as a man, our pope has been delegated that “vicarious” authority. The poor scholarship of the article that I mentioned above is just one extreme example of how anti-Catholics will stretch credibility to support their position.

I realize I haven’t directly answered your question but I want to research the specific biblical passages, etc. in your post before suggesting how you can talk to people who believe your earthly spiritual leader is the anti-Christ.
[/QUOTE]
Here’s the best way to explain the term “vicar of Christ” to someone. I had some idiot tell me that the word meant “in place of” or “acting as” Christ. I told him that’s not how it was used and he was like "well then they need to change the name."
Unfortunately, now that we discussed this in my Roman history class this guy was a street preacher that I can’t find again to correct. I didn’t know exactly what a vicar had been historically, and I found out a week after the conversation. All I could tell him was that vicar was not used to mean that the pope has the authority of God.
Vicar was an old Roman office. The vicar was the person in charge of a diocese–a subdivision of a Roman province. He was a representative of the emperor in Rome insofar as the law was concerned. He was not thought of as being equal, or even close to equal, to the emperor himself. Jesus passed his authority to the apostles, Peter in particular, making Peter his “vicar” essentially. Peter ordained his own successor and passed that authority on down the line. The popes are the Vicars of Christ, in that they make sure that the laws (scripture and doctrine) are followed in Christ’s absence.
Another title that the pope carries also comes from Rome. Pontifax Maximus (pontiff) was a title the emperors held. It means “chief priest” basically. The emperor was the head religious figure in the old Roman religion and carried the authority for how the religion was practiced. Well, the emperors are no longer the head of the Roman religion and the religion is no longer pagan. The pope is the head of the Roman religion and it is Christianity (Catholicism). So it is only fitting that the pope should be called the Pontifax Maximus.
[/quote]


#20

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Here’s the best way to explain the term “vicar of Christ” to someone. I had some idiot tell me that the word meant “in place of” or “acting as” Christ. I told him that’s not how it was used and he was like "well then they need to change the name."
Unfortunately, now that we discussed this in my Roman history class this guy was a street preacher that I can’t find again to correct. I didn’t know exactly what a vicar had been historically, and I found out a week after the conversation. All I could tell him was that vicar was not used to mean that the pope has the authority of God.
Vicar was an old Roman office. The vicar was the person in charge of a diocese–a subdivision of a Roman province. He was a representative of the emperor in Rome insofar as the law was concerned. He was not thought of as being equal, or even close to equal, to the emperor himself. Jesus passed his authority to the apostles, Peter in particular, making Peter his “vicar” essentially. Peter ordained his own successor and passed that authority on down the line. The popes are the Vicars of Christ, in that they make sure that the laws (scripture and doctrine) are followed in Christ’s absence.
Another title that the pope carries also comes from Rome. Pontifax Maximus (pontiff) was a title the emperors held. It means “chief priest” basically. The emperor was the head religious figure in the old Roman religion and carried the authority for how the religion was practiced. Well, the emperors are no longer the head of the Roman religion and the religion is no longer pagan. The pope is the head of the Roman religion and it is Christianity (Catholicism). So it is only fitting that the pope should be called the Pontifax Maximus.
[/quote]

Nicely done. Did you know that “Pontifax Maximus” (which we translate as “Supreme Pontiff”) also means in Latin “greatest bridge-maker”? Although it implies the bridge between God and us on earth, with Pope Benedict XVI reaching out to the Orthodox Churches so strongly, this is one example of how he is our “greatest bridge-maker”.


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