The Great Falling Away = Protestant Reformation?


#1

This thought has crossed my mind and in no way am I saying it is true… but could it be? Read 2Thessalonians 2 the entire chapter. I know that the anti-christ has not been revealed (at least I don’t think so), but reading about what the great falling away would be like, it sounds very much like the protestant reformation that has already taken place. I’ve been reading this passage in the Amplified Bible. I know it would be a controversial thing to say so, but Paul says that the people who fell away 1) were seduced by error, miracles, signs, delusive marvels…lying wonders and because they refused to welcome and love the Truth. Paul also tells us the way to overcome this delusion is to hold fast to the traditions and instructions that have been passed down whether by word or by letter. Also, Daniel 8:25 which predicts the great falling away to which Paul is referring, says that the antichrist will cause trickery to prosper in his hand; he shal magnify himself in his heart and mind, and in their (referring to the deceived) “security” (once saved, always saved?) he will corrupt and destroy many. I don’t have a full understanding of the historical context and scripture that I need to have to discern whether this thought of mine could contain some truth or not. It just seemed that this passage in II Thess had alot of similarities to what has happened over the centuries during this schism of the church.

What do you guys think?


#2

[quote=Seeking33]This thought has crossed my mind and in no way am I saying it is true… but could it be? Read 2Thessalonians 2 the entire chapter. I know that the anti-christ has not been revealed (at least I don’t think so), but reading about what the great falling away would be like, it sounds very much like the protestant reformation that has already taken place. I’ve been reading this passage in the Amplified Bible. I know it would be a controversial thing to say so, but Paul says that the people who fell away 1) were seduced by error, miracles, signs, delusive marvels…lying wonders and because they refused to welcome and love the Truth. Paul also tells us the way to overcome this delusion is to hold fast to the traditions and instructions that have been passed down whether by word or by letter. Also, Daniel 8:25 which predicts the great falling away to which Paul is referring, says that the antichrist will cause trickery to prosper in his hand; he shal magnify himself in his heart and mind, and in their (referring to the deceived) “security” (once saved, always saved?) he will corrupt and destroy many. I don’t have a full understanding of the historical context and scripture that I need to have to discern whether this thought of mine could contain some truth or not. It just seemed that this passage in II Thess had alot of similarities to what has happened over the centuries during this schism of the church.

What do you guys think?
[/quote]

I never thought of it that way. It actually makes some sense. As for the anti-christ…Benny Hinn perhaps??


#3

I personally think it has more to do with current horrors found within the Catholic faith, like:

70% of all Catholics surveyed do not believe in the Real Presence.

Only 25% go to Mass regularly.

Only 5-10% of Catholics go to regular confession.

Something like 30% of people raised Catholic receive Confirmation.

Divorce rate among Catholics is high.

Abortion among Catholics is high.

Birth control is high among catholics.

Few catholic families encourage vocations.

Few Catholic families have more then 3 kids.

These facts are even worse in Europe, yet are much better in developing countries. Yet, overall the picture is one of a Church with Catholics who simply no longer practice the faith as they should…by the millions. That is a great pulling away.
I do not think anti-Christ is here–yet.


#4

Couldn’t be Benny Hinn… He hasn’t proclaimed himself to be God and hasn’t set himself up in the temple.

As a Protestant, I actually learned alot about God from Benny Hinn. So it’s hard for me to say anything negative about him or his ministry. But I could see where people would think that about him if you just sat and watched his services with no information about him as a believer. :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=Seeking33]Couldn’t be Benny Hinn… He hasn’t proclaimed himself to be God and hasn’t set himself up in the temple.

As a Protestant, I actually learned alot about God from Benny Hinn. So it’s hard for me to say anything negative about him or his ministry. But I could see where people would think that about him if you just sat and watched his services with no information about him as a believer. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Actually I am aware of his millions of dollars and his lavish estates. I was only being sarcastic about the antichrist part. He seems nice on TV and I liked him when I was protestant, but he is kinda ehhh in my book.

Take care,

dxu


#6

Hello seeking33,

When Jesus is discussing the end of the world in Mathew 24, he tells us that false prophets will lead many astray in the end. So now we have the Protestants, from the 16th century on, telling us to abandon Catholic teachings like the sacrament of reconcliation and the Eucharist which have been around since Christ, and follow their new theologies. The Mormons teach that all were in error before their prophet Joseph Smith in the eighteenth century. It is scary how many people (Protestants) actually believe that Jesus had it backwards. They actually believe that the “true prophets” have come closer to the end of time. Truly many are mislead by modern false prophets.

NAB MAT 24:3

“What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world?”…

…False prophets will rise in great numbers to mislead many. Because of the increase in evil, the love of most will grow cold. The man who holds out to the end, however, is the one who will see salvation.


#7

From the moment I was convinced Catholicism was the fullness of Christianity, I’ve thought the Protestant Reformation started the great falling away. There are thousands of splits every year within protestantism that further brings people away from the faith. Most splits are the result of part of a congregation NOT believing something the current denomination teaches, therefore dropping even more beliefs everytime a split happens.

I think the reformation has allowed secularism come into the Catholic faith(of course Catholics themselves did plenty of this ;)), and Catholics today look at protestants and think “man, they don’t have as many rules and I think the Pope said something about them being seperated brethren so they are still just as Christian as me” then they get lax and start laying off teachings of the church.


#8

As a humanist and atheist I find these stats encouraging…

[quote=TPJCatholic]I personally think it has more to do with current horrors found within the Catholic faith, like:

70% of all Catholics surveyed do not believe in the Real Presence.

Only 25% go to Mass regularly.

Only 5-10% of Catholics go to regular confession.

Something like 30% of people raised Catholic receive Confirmation.

Divorce rate among Catholics is high.

Abortion among Catholics is high.

Birth control is high among catholics.

Few catholic families encourage vocations.

Few Catholic families have more then 3 kids.

These facts are even worse in Europe, yet are much better in developing countries. Yet, overall the picture is one of a Church with Catholics who simply no longer practice the faith as they should…by the millions. That is a great pulling away.
I do not think anti-Christ is here–yet.
[/quote]


#9

Cdnfreethinker,

Since you are an atheist, I hold no doubt that the statistics I posted would encourage you.

As a Roman Catholic and a free thinker, I find the statistics to be quite disturbing.

Thanks for sharing though. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=Cdn.freethinker]As a humanist and atheist I find these stats encouraging…
[/quote]

I’m confused, are you encouraged by high divorce rates, murdering children, prideful people who believe they do nothing wrong?

Or are you encouraged that Catholics also do such things?

The church is not for sinners freethinker, it is for sinners. Like me…and you.


#11

Very interesting thought posed by Seeking33.

I’ve never really thought of it in that way either. I guess most people wouldn’t since the church views protestants as separated brethren. A couple of weeks ago I started a thread asking the question whether it’s correct to say that protestants are christians also. My thinking was if we know Christ thought one doctrine, his New Covenant, and there is only one way to follow Christ as the scriptures and tradition says, and we know the Catholic Church is the the true church of Christ. Then how could it be correct to say that protestants are also christians when we know they’ve deviate from the teaching of Christ.

It was pointed out to me that the official Church position is that their seperated brethren and I was even quoted a cathechism to support this. I mean I’ll accept it because it’s what the Church says.

But now this question posted on this thread really makes me think. It really fits in my opinion that the great falling away began with the reformation. And I can see how that falling away is still seducing many from the Catholic Church by the statistic pointed out earlier by a previous poster.

I think this is one of those things that would be good to keep stored in our minds cuz you never know.

Nelson


#12

And another scripture that comes to mind is Matt 7:22-25 -

Amplified -

22 Many will say to Me on that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighy works in Your name?
23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding my commands].
24 So everyone who hears thewe words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.
25 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

Emphasis is mine upon the word rock… Hmmm…I wonder if the rock refers to the rock, Peter?

This is probably kind of off track, but it just seems to point to warnings about being outside of the Church built on the Rock. Am I interpreting this right? If you read further Jesus also warns that everyone who hears these words and does not do them will be like a stupid man who built his house upon the sand. When the rain fell, the house fell.


#13

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello seeking33,

When Jesus is discussing the end of the world in Mathew 24, he tells us that false prophets will lead many astray in the end. So now we have the Protestants, from the 16th century on, telling us to abandon Catholic teachings like the sacrament of reconcliation and the Eucharist which have been around since Christ, and follow their new theologies. The Mormons teach that all were in error before their prophet Joseph Smith in the eighteenth century. It is scary how many people (Protestants) actually believe that Jesus had it backwards. They actually believe that the “true prophets” have come closer to the end of time. Truly many are mislead by modern false prophets.

NAB MAT 24:3

“What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world?”…

…False prophets will rise in great numbers to mislead many. Because of the increase in evil, the love of most will grow cold. The man who holds out to the end, however, is the one who will see salvation.

[/quote]

Don’t you think that Mohammed, founder of Islam, is a false prophet and probably one of the anti-Christs?


#14

[quote=TPJCatholic]I personally think it has more to do with current horrors found within the Catholic faith, like:

70% of all Catholics surveyed do not believe in the Real Presence.

Only 25% go to Mass regularly.

Only 5-10% of Catholics go to regular confession.

Something like 30% of people raised Catholic receive Confirmation.

Divorce rate among Catholics is high.

Abortion among Catholics is high.

Birth control is high among catholics.

Few catholic families encourage vocations.

Few Catholic families have more then 3 kids.

These facts are even worse in Europe, yet are much better in developing countries. Yet, overall the picture is one of a Church with Catholics who simply no longer practice the faith as they should…by the millions. That is a great pulling away.
I do not think anti-Christ is here–yet.
[/quote]

I agree. I believe that great revolt may have begun (as a seed) with the Protestant revolution, but it has continued and reached its full maturity in our very day. I personally believe the “three woes” spoke of in the Apocalypse are the Protestant revolution (first woe), the French Revolution" (second woe), and then a significant event in the Church from 1962 to 1965 (3rd Woe), which has been followed by the great apostacy.

Notice that when Paul speak (in Thesselonians) of the days of antichrist, and the “great falling away”, he immediately give us the antidote, so to speak. What does he say to do in order to avoid this deception and apostacy? He tells us to hold fast to Tradition!

I am convinced that this is the answer to the doctinal confusion of our day: to hold fast to the traditional teachings of the Church, as expressed in any Catechism produced before 1960, and to avoid the ambiguous documents produced during the past 40 years of apostacy. If you want to be a clear thinking Catholic, read old Catechism and Old Papal encyclicals.


#15

I’m a REALLY new Catholic. I was just confirmed yesterday. So I’m not familiar with what I think you’re referring to …Vatican II? I don’t see how this could be part of the falling away since Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. :confused:


#16

usmc,

Actually, I think if we simply adhere strictly to what Vatican II actually taught, the faith would be as strong as ever. The problem is the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” took over the faith. We need to rid the faith of that spirit and then things will begin to turn around. I too agree that we might be smack in the middle of the great apostacy.

The one confusing point is just about all private revelations (approved and not approved) promise an era of peace…we have not yet seen that ere of peace…


#17

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?

Matt 7:4


#18

No matter which way you fall off the Barque of Peter (port or starboard)-you still fall off.

Within the Catholic Church itself the biggest problem we face is the lax and “cafeteria” Catholics. Remember, there is nothing worse than to be lukewarm-lukewarm basically means that you really don’t care.

I believe the problem with lukewarmness really stems from heresy-people see that the protestants don’t have to go to Confession etc. etc. so why should they? Laxity breeds laxity-some go all the way and break away from the Church, others stay in the Church (outwardly) and just don’t bother to follow what the Church teaches.

We also have a smaller (though still significant) problem with the folks who think Vatican II is evil and want to go back to the “good old days”. These folks pull away good Catholics discouraged by the “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense but then they dive overboard to the other extreme. Read the documents of Vatican II-there is good solid teaching. The problem comes from liberals and the cafeteria types who, when given an inch decide to take 10 miles.


#19

[quote=TPJCatholic]usmc,

Actually, I think if we simply adhere strictly to what Vatican II actually taught, the faith would be as strong as ever. The problem is the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” took over the faith. We need to rid the faith of that spirit and then things will begin to turn around. I too agree that we might be smack in the middle of the great apostacy.

The one confusing point is just about all private revelations (approved and not approved) promise an era of peace…we have not yet seen that ere of peace…
[/quote]

I don’t want to get into a discussion of Vatican II, but… The reason Vatican II has been “misinterpreted” by such a large part of the hierarchy, is due to the fact that they were able to misinterprety it. Why is that? Because it is ambiguous and full of “outs”. It affirms one thing while allowing the exact opposite. And it does this over and over again. Thus, some people (conservatives) can either interpret it by what it affirms, while others (liberals) can promote what it allows. Both groups use Vatican II as their authority Thus, we have the confusion of our day.

If we “hold fast to Tradition” this problem ends, since tradition is what it is, and everything continues as it has been.


#20

ismc,

I too have no desire to argue about Vatican II, I will merely restate that if Vatican II was followed, we would not see the problems we have today. IMO, personal obedience has been lost in this culture and it makes little difference if we went back to pre-Vatican II days because people do not know how to obey. Our culture was seriously changing to the worse just as the council came on the scene…the 50s saw a huge change in our culture, followed by the horrors of the 60s and 70s. IMO, if we had not changed as a culture, Vatican II would have been properly implemented and understood.

However, since the teachings of that council have gone largely ignored, it does seem a complete re-direction would be a good thing. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.