Papal Antichrist

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
A short article about papal antichrist using the Protestant form of eschatology (aka Historicsm).

Gleanings | Reformed Christian Magazine – The Papal Antichrist: A Call to Recognition and Opposition I

My thesis is simple. The universal judgment of discerning church leaders, yesterday and today, is that

The Pope of Rome is either the Antichrist or an antichrist; therefore, we ought to oppose him and his religion.

My demonstration of the thesis is not simple by necessity, as it is a very complex topic raising a host of issues which are intricate in three ways—exegetically, theologically, and historically. We plead your careful and sustained attention, and we will do all we can to convey truth and sustain your interest.​
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Papacy isn't the only antichrist. E.g. Liberal theologians and teachers are antichrists (false prophets) and set up a false Christ (antichrist) in the Church.

At the same time, the Papacy is the Antichrist.

But it is important to emphasise the former when speaking about this, as some people become over-obsessed and conspiratorial about the Papacy, while they have more to be concerned about by antichrists on their front door or even in their own denomination.

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
The one belief all Reformers confessed, it was so important that it made it into their/our confessions, was the papacy is antichrist.

It is confessionally Reformed to say the Pope of Rome is antichrist and was until the 19th century. It is true that many are against (anti) Christ but not all claim to be in place of Christ which is also the meaning of antichrist.

JM


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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Yeah. I agree. Just remember thete are other antichrists like Liberal Theology that it may be more pertinent to address than the "Big Daddy" Antichrst, the Papacy.

Remember that when you say that the Papacy is the Antichrist, the word "antichrist" has been so abused by Dispensarionalism and popular culture that you will be misunderstood even by genuine believers. E.g. they may think that you are saying that the present Pope is himself the Antichrist; that you think that he is a particularly wicked and self- consciously machinating man rather than a deluded old priest ; that he intends to unleash war and holocaust on the world; that you're the type of person who has a paranoid obsession with Roman Catholicism, and has a tendency to see Jesuits under the bed; and you hate and wish ill towards Roman Catholics.

These are some of the misunderstandings that will be encountered by those who say that the Papacy is the Antichrist in certain situations.

So unless you're willing to go into great explanations its sometimes not worth casting this pearl before those who do not comprehend.

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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
What was it that changed in the 19th century?

Also, so long as the Pope is seen as Christ's emissary on earth, how can he be seen as anything other than antichrist?
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
What was it that changed in the 19th century?

Also, so long as the Pope is seen as Christ's emissary on earth, how can he be seen as anything other than antichrist?

According to scholars such as E. B. Elliott who wrote the four volume commentary Horae Apocalypticae Preterism became vogue due to German liberalism and higher criticism finding its way into mainline churches in the 1840's and 50's. Elliott deals with some of their objections to Historicism in his work and shows how their unbelief in the prophetic word made them seek an earlier understanding of Revelation. This does not mean modern Preterism or all Preterism of that time were accepted by unbelievers only. (I have audio on my blog: Preterism Refuted | Feileadh Mor ) In the conservative strongholds of Christianity Dispensationalism took root and Futurism became the norm. Both systems were created by Jesuits. Both systems were adopted by Protestants, it would seem, as a reaction to liberalism. (Larkin Dispensational Truth! | Feileadh Mor ) I might be mistaken but the Dutch churches remained idealists.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
You get those who are mildly preterist who recognise the Papacy as the Antichrist, although there are other lesser antichrists.

See e.g. James Madison MacDonald's "A Key to the Book of Revelation", which Charles Hodge recommended in his "Systematic Theology".

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